Tag Archives: Obama

Obama has “no strategy” for dealing with ISIS?

Actions have consequences and words have meaning, but it is easier to see consequences than to decipher meaning. Practically everyone, Democrats and Republicans alike, jumped on the president for  admitting that “we have no strategy yet” for countering ISIS. Admittedly, it would have been better PR for Obama to have phrased a positive answer rather than a negative one.

The president was attacked for candidly answering the question put to him about what sort of congressional authorization would be required. That would be putting the cart before the horse, he said, for a plan that hasn’t been finalized.

And suppose there actually is a strategy — how smart would it be to divulge it to our enemies? After a decade of war, a war that Americans wanted desperately to end, how would a hawkish strategy for a new invasion be received? Why isn’t the press relieved that the president is considering his options and their probable consequences rather than diving recklessly into a new war with a far more dangerous adversary than Saddam Hussein was?

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Pres. Obama zings, jokes and takes on his critics

Pres. Obama at 2013 White House Correspondents' Dinner

Pres. Obama at 2013 White House Correspondents’ Dinner

Pres. Obama pulled no punches Saturday night at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Having been re-elected, the President’s confidence was obvious. Obama enjoys his one-liners — he’s not one to let a chance like this one to pass him by.  He let the zingers fly.

The audience howled, cracked up and smiled knowingly at the inside-the-Beltway jokes at the expense of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), birthers, all manner of critics and even some friends.

The President put on a good show. Watch the video after the break and enjoy.   Continue reading

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Obama’s remarkable achievements

President Obama has joined the very exclusive club of Democratic presidents who have won election for a second term in the last century.

Until yesterday, there were only three: Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt and Bill Clinton, but now there are four.

Still, not much has changed. The electoral college vote (currently 303-206, with Florida— wouldn’t you know it— still to be determined) is deceptive. Obama had more victories, but the margins were narrow. He doesn’t have a mandate; he will have to use all the arts of persuasion he can muster to win over a divided Congress. Yet with his re-election, the president will have the time needed to see his policies through and complete them. Had Romney won instead and rescinded as he had promised Obama’s historic initiatives, the Affordable Healthcare Act in particular, Obama’s principal claim to fame would have been as the first African-American president, a man who aimed high but ultimately failed.

For some arcane reason, the Obama campaign hardly stressed the president’s extraordinary initiatives and achievements. In the first two years of his presidency, Obama   Continue reading

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Horses and Bayonets

Debate 3.

Obama:

But I think Governor Romney maybe hasn’t spent enough time looking at how our military works. You — you mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets — (laughter) — because the nature of our military’s changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.

And so the question is not a game of Battleship where we’re counting ships.

I almost felt sorry for Romney at this point.

Hat tip: Horses And Bayonets tumblr

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Obama caves, puts Medicare, Social Security on the chopping block

Evidently, Speaker of the House Boehner and President Obama are secretly negotiating an end to the impasse over raising the debt ceiling and reducing the federal budget deficit. It is clearly in the interest of both to come to an equitable and far-reaching — rather than stop-gap — agreement. A successful accord would be a large part of the legacies of both men.

The short-term political effect, however, could be politically disastrous for both of them, as they will undoubtedly infuriate their respective bases. Yesterday’s Pew poll reports that 60% of the public doesn’t want any benefit cuts. The most important issue by far is joblessness. Despite this and other polls showing that Americans care much more about retaining their benefits from Social Security and Medicare than they do about reducing the deficit or raising the debt ceiling, Obama has defied the Democratic leadership by putting those two programs on the table. Boehner has indicated he’s willing to concede on some tax reforms/increases. Continue reading

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Clinton, Rice, Power: Three Women Swing U.S. Policy on Libya

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

The key players who brought about the sharp shift in policy were women. For a veteran of the feminist battles of the 1960s and ’70s, that disclosure was stunning. My take is here; the New York Times story is here.

Susan Rice, US Ambassador to the UN

Samantha Power, Senior Adviser, National Security Council

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The next Supreme

My ideal candidate to replace Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court is a brilliant, young, Asian-American Protestant lesbian with finely honed negotiating skills acquired perhaps in the legislature, but not on the bench. We don’t live in an ideal world, of course, so it is exceedingly unlikely that we’ll see all these qualities united in one person. Let’s consider each on its merits. Continue reading

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