Posts Tagged ‘wikileaks


Rise and Shine


President Barack Obama greets departing Associate Counsel to the President Alison J. “Ali” Nathan, left, Meg Satterthwaite, and their twin sons Oliver and Nathan, in the Outer Oval Office, July 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


Daily Presidential Schedule (All Times Eastern)

11:0: The President meets with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus

12:45: Press Briefing by Jay Carney

1:00: Michelle Obama delivers remarks to mayors and other local officials engaged in Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties

2:0: The President awards the 2012 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal; The First Lady also attends


Knox News: Makenna Hurd’s tasty banana muffins got her through the White House door. While she was there, the 9-year-old delivered something extra: Hugs for President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle.

…. Makenna earned the invitation by being one of the winners of a recipe challenge that is part of the first lady’s “Let’s Move!” initiative to promote healthy eating.

“I’m at the White House!” exclaimed Makenna, who has Down syndrome.

…. As news photographers jostled to record the scene, Obama squatted down by Makenna’s seat and thanked her for coming. Makenna thanked him back, threw her arms around his neck and gave him a hug.

Her mother, Amanda Hurd, who watched with tears in her eyes, was so caught up in the moment that she forgot to pull out her own camera and take photos.

“I was too busy soaking in the fact that my daughter was hugging the president,” Hurd said.

More here



USA Today: This morning, President Obama meets with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to talk about the major immigration bill now pending in the U.S. House.

The bill would increase border security and provide a path to citizenship for some 11 million people who are already in the country illegally.

The Obama administration is also releasing a report Wednesday arguing that an overhaul of the immigration system would strengthen the economy, create more jobs, increase worker productivity, and decrease budget deficits.




This exchange is worth the read. This is how STUPID Republicans are and their stupidity will kill thousands of women

Jennifer Bendery: Texas State Rep. Jodie Laubenberg (R), the author of the radically anti-abortion bill making its way through the Texas Legislature this week, argued for hours on Tuesday that lawmakers should support her bill because of its strong protections for a person’s “pre-born life.” But back in 2007, she made the case against treating the unborn as people — at least, when it comes to qualifying for health care services. During a House debate on an appropriations bill that year, Laubenberg, a staunch conservative, put forward an amendment that would require expectant mothers to wait three months before they could begin receiving prenatal and perinatal care under the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, a program that helps cover uninsured children in low-income families.

Laubenberg’s amendment drew criticism from Democratic Rep. Rafael Anchia, who said the change would mean that more than 95,000 children, in utero, would be kicked out of the CHIP program. As the two sparred over whether that was true — Anchia cited CHIP data from hospitals, Laubenberg alleged it was “misinformation” — Anchia asked if Laubenberg recognized those in-utero babies as people. “You do know, don’t you, that these are U.S. citizens?” Anchia asked. “But they’re not born yet,” Laubenberg said.

Laubenberg’s response drew a look of shock from Democratic Rep. Dawnna Dukes, who could be seen standing next to Anchia during the exchange. Anchia also appeared to relish the moment as he pressed Laubenberg that she was now arguing against treating a fetus as a person. “That’s the whole point, see?” Anchia said. “You have an anti-life amendment.” Laubenberg fired back that there is “no one more pro-life” in the House than her, and again said Anchia’s data was wrong. Still, something he said must have rattled her because she pulled down her amendment. “I will be back,” Laubenberg said as she prepared to leave the podium. “But right now, out of consideration for the body, I will pull this amendment down.”

More here



Well, hellooooo Governor Transvaginal Probe



2012 National Medal of Arts:

Herb Alpert * Lin Arison * Joan Myers * Renée Fleming * Ernest Gaines * Ellsworth Kelly * Tony Kushner * George Lucas * Elaine May * Laurie Olin * Allen Toussaint * Washington Performing Arts Society, Washington, DC

2012 National Humanities Medal:

Edward L. Ayers * William G. Bowen * Jill Ker Conway * Natalie Zemon Davis * Frank Deford * Joan Didion * Robert Putnam¸* Marilynne Robinson¸* Kay Ryan * Robert B. Silvers * Anna Deavere Smith¸* Camilo José Vergara

More here


More Americans still rightfully angrier at George Bush over the state of the economy than Pres. Barack Obama



Jared Bernstein: First, “not hurting” isn’t the same as “helping.” But more important, it is hurting. Real GDP growth was only 1.8 percent in the first quarter of this year, with the government sector subtracting 0.9 percent (that’s percentage points) from the growth rate. That’s not all sequestration, of course, but it is implicated.

Catherine Rampell also has a very useful bit of analysis over at the NYT, showing job impacts. As many have, she notes that while public sector jobs have been declining for years now, federal government job losses accelerated in March when the sequester hit; they’re down 40,000 since then.

More here



Becca Aaronson: After more than 10 hours of debate, the House voted 98-49 to tentatively approve the abortion regulations in House Bill 2, which would ban abortions at 20 weeks and add regulations to abortion providers and facilities that opponents argue would effectively eliminate access to abortion in Texas. The House must approve the bill again on another calendar day before it will be sent to the Senate. State Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, urged lawmakers to realize that no one is “pro-abortion,” and expressed discontent that some supporters of the bill had labeled opponents of the legislation “baby killers.” She said that the question is not when life begins but rather, “It’s a question of decisions that have to be made along the way.”

Howard said that during the regular session, a bipartisan group of lawmakers came together to increase financing for family planning services, which decrease maternal deaths, infant deaths and unplanned pregnancies. “What we’re talking about here is going backwards,” she said. “It’s embarrassing that we’re doing this.”

More here



Michael Tomasky: There’s an assumption embedded in the argument that no one disputes: namely, that whites will always be as conservative as they are now and will always vote Republican in the same numbers they do now. This assumption is wrong. White people—yep, even working-class white people—are going to get less conservative in coming years, so the Republicans’ hopes of building a white-nationalist party will likely be dashed in the future even by white people themselves.

Everyone knows and concedes all this. And everyone counters it by saying that the Republicans will just goose the less-educated white vote. As I noted above, everyone agrees that that vote is theirs for the goosing. But what if it isn’t? Back in March, the Brookings Institution and the Public Religion Research Institute released a big poll on immigration. Those findings are interesting as far as they go, but the questions and results went beyond that. It’s the first poll I’ve seen that breaks the white working class into four distinct age groups (65-plus, 50-64, 30-49, 18-29) and asks respondents attitudes about a broad range of social issues. And guess what? White working-class millennials are fairly liberal!

More here


From Monday:


Fantastic takedown of Sean Trende’s “GOP WILL BE SAVED BY MISSING WHITE VOTERS” drivel; using FACTS

ThinkProgress: As GOP House members continue their Kamikaze mission to scuttle the immigration reform bill, many political observers are wondering why. After all, isn’t it obvious that Republicans need more minority, particularly Hispanic support, and that therefore their self-interest should lead them to support a reasonable bill? Karl Rove thinks so. But lots and lots of Republicans dissent from that analysis, preferring to put their faith in a group they’re much more comfortable with: white voters. The most influential empirical analysis supporting this view was recently published by Sean Trende in a four part series on RealClearPolitics. Trende’s analysis is built around the idea of “missing white voters.”

What he means by this is that, given the estimated number of white voters in 2008 (derived from exit polls) and the natural increase in white eligible voters between 2008 and 2012 there should have been far more white voters than there actually were (again, estimated from the exit polls). He labels the difference between his projected and actual numbers of white voters as “missing” white voters. He goes on to say that “[i]f these white voters had decided to vote, the racial breakdown of the electorate would have been 73.6 percent white, 12.5 percent black, 9.5 percent Hispanic and 2.4 percent Asian — almost identical to the 2008 numbers.” Get it? The only real demographic change of importance between 2008 and 2012 was all those white voters who didn’t show up.

What’s wrong with this analysis? Plenty. Start with Trende’s projected natural increase in white voters—around 1.5 million voters, based on an assumed 55 percent turnout rate of additional white eligible voters. This implies that Trende was using an estimate of around 2.7 million additional eligible whites between 2008 and 2012. That’s wrong: Census data show an increase of only 1.5 million white eligibles. At Trende’s assumed 55 percent turnout rate, that translates into only 825,000 additional white voters from “natural increase.” So: GOP phone home! Your missing white voters have been found, and it turns out they weren’t really missing. They were simply sitting out a relatively low turnout election along with a large number of their minority counterparts. They may be back next time if it’s a higher turnout election — but then again so will a lot of minority voters. Bottom line: your demographic dilemma remains the same. The mix of voters is changing fast to your disadvantage and there is no cavalry of white voters waiting in the wings to rescue you.

More here




President Barack Obama meets with senior advisors in the Situation Room of the White House, July 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


Have A Broccoli Loving Day Courtesy Of President Barack Obama! 😀



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



“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.”



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.


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.


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


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….


wikileaks revelations embarrass obama! oh yeah?

Cables depict range of Obama diplomacy

NYT: Barack Obama came to office vowing to restore “engagement” — talking and listening to America’s most troubling adversaries and reluctant partners — as a central feature of American foreign policy…..

Now we know, from the granular picture of engagement-in-action that emerges from that trove of 250,000 WikiLeaks cables, many from the first 13 months of the Obama presidency. Mr. Obama’s style seems to be: Engage, yes, but wield a club as well…..

The cables suggest that Mr. Obama’s form of engagement is a complicated mixture of openness to negotiation, constantly escalating pressure and a series of deadlines, some explicit, some vague.

…the cables confirm that the administration has largely fulfilled its promise to give engagement some time to work, even while preparing for it to fail…..

While WikiLeaks made the trove available with the intention of exposing United States duplicity, what struck many readers was that American diplomacy looked rather impressive. The day-by-day record showed diplomats trying their hardest behind closed doors to defuse some of the world’s thorniest conflicts, but also assembling a Plan B.

“When dysfunctional does not begin to describe our political system and institutions,” Prof. Stephen Kotkin of Princeton concluded after sampling the cables last week, “something in the government is really working — the State Department — far better than anyone thought.”

Full article here

WikiLeaks doesn’t tell all

LA Times: The headlines from the WikiLeaks dump of thousands of not-very-classified State Department cables have focused, understandably, on the embarrassment factor: It’s not good for American diplomacy when foreign leaders see what they thought were confidential conversations reprinted on websites and in newspapers.

But the substance is another thing. Take Iran. What do the cables tell us? That the United States has been telling the truth about what it wants from Iran; that the Obama administration desperately wants to find a solution that doesn’t include military action; and that a formidable alliance of other countries, not only Israel but most of Europe and Iran’s Arab neighbors as well, shares the U.S. concerns….

….There is a limit, though, to how much a random assortment of cables can show. From reading every document released about Iran so far, you might miss the most important fact: The Obama administration’s long campaign to increase pressure on Iran is actually showing signs of progress……

….The Obama administration deserves credit for getting as far as it has. Critics dismissed Obama’s offer of engagement with Iran as naive and his reliance on economic sanctions as ineffective. But the sanctions have had bite, and it was engagement that made the sanctions possible. The problem of Iran hasn’t yet been solved, but the administration has made progress, the kind of progress that a collection of leaked cables can’t always convey.

Full article here

Thanks so much for the LA Times link parkrangersuzanne 😉







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