Archive for October 20th, 2011

20
Oct
11

west wing week: “right now!” (october 21, 2011)

20
Oct
11

wrap-up

President Barack Obama greets the 2011 Presidential Citizens Medal recipients in the Blue Room of the White House prior to a medal ceremony in the East Room, Oct. 20. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Friday:

9:30 AM President Obama signs the Korea, Panama, Colombia Free Trade Agreements and the renewal of Trade Adjustment Assistance for workers

10:30 The President attends a reception in the Rose Garden

2:30 The President honors recipients of the 2010 National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation

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Andrew Sullivan: To rid the world of Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki and Moammar Qaddafi within six months: if Obama were a Republican, he’d be on Mount Rushmore by now.

Ian Swanson (The Hill): Obama stands tall after the demise of Libyan strongman Gadhafi

The death of Moammar Gadhafi represents another major foreign policy victory for President Obama, who backed a months-long air campaign in Libya while facing criticism from the left and the right.

Obama stared down congressional skeptics across the political spectrum … Through it all, Obama kept his resolve.

…. On Thursday he basked in the second greatest foreign policy triumph of his administration, after the successful operation this spring that killed Osama bin Laden. Gadhafi’s death comes less than a month after the U.S. drone strike killed al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen.

…. For the unwavering Obama, Thursday came the big payoff as Gadhafi’s hopes for returning to power ended in a field outside his hometown of Sirte.

…. Obama entered the Oval Office as a novice on the international stage, criticized for a naïve outlook on the world.

…. three years into his term, both the bin Laden and Libya events suggest Obama can be steely in making decisions about U.S. force, and in sticking with them.

Full article here

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Jake Tapper: Have you had any difficulty discerning Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney’s precise position on the US involvement in the NATO mission in Libya?

The one consistency has been criticism of President Obama. But beyond that, he’s seemed a bit all over the Libyan map.

To wit:

Position 1: Obama was weak in not doing this sooner

Position 2: (Nothing to say)

Position 3: Obama is being too aggressive

Position 4: After Gadhafi fell: Hooray! Now release the Lockerbie bomber

Position 5 – (Somewhat similar to position 1): It’s about time! The world is a better place without him!

See full post here

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Washington Post: Marco Rubio’s compelling family story embellishes facts, documents show

During his rise to political prominence, Sen. Marco Rubio frequently repeated a compelling version of his family’s history that had special resonance in South Florida. He was the “son of exiles,” he told audiences, Cuban Americans forced off their beloved island after “a thug,” Fidel Castro, took power.

But a review of documents – including naturalization papers and other official records – reveals that the Florida Republican’s account embellishes the facts. The documents show that Rubio’s parents came to the United States and were admitted for permanent residence more than 2 and a half years before Castro’s forces overthrew the Cuban government and took power on New Year’s Day 1959.

The supposed flight of Rubio’s parents has been at the core of the young senator’s political identity …. he mentions his parents in the second sentence of the official biography on his Senate Web site. It says that Mario and Oriales Rubio “came to America following Fidel Castro’s takeover.”….

The real story of his parents’ migration appears to be a more conventional immigrant narrative, a couple who came to the United States seeking a better life. In the year they arrived in Florida, the future Marxist dictator was in Mexico plotting a quixotic return to Cuba.

Full article here

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Michael Tomasky (Daily Beast): The economy needs help. The Democrats’ proposals are popular. And yet they’re dying in Congress. Why? Because the GOP hates Obama more than it loves America.

Maybe as early as Thursday night, the Senate will take its first vote on one bite-size piece of President Obama’s jobs bill, a $35 billion measure to fund the hiring of 400,000 teachers and a smaller number of cops and firefighters. It will fail. As usual not a single Republican will vote for it….

…. The Republican Party’s posture to the American people is this. Your opinion on issues like teachers and taxes doesn’t matter a whit to us … if you keep that man in the White House, we will block everything he and you want. Everything. And nothing will happen in this town for those next four years. The Republicans can’t say any of this, of course, but they don’t have to. People get it. It just sort of seeps out of them, like oil from a polluted stream.

I have trouble keeping lunch down when I read these jeremiads about how sad and mysterious it is that our institutions of government are failing. It’s not a mystery. One side wants them to fail. And there’s very little the other side can do about it, besides point it out, which the president has started doing – and now he’s the one being divisive! They’ve turned the world inside out.

Full article here

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The video is glitchy, will get a better version tomorrow – but stick with it, Rachel was on fire

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Nearly there, thank you so much everyone:

Link

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Update:

LA Times: Republican-led opposition in the Senate blocked a key element of President Obama’s jobs plan – a proposal to send $35 billion to cash-strapped states to keep public school teachers, police and firefighters on the job.

The Senate voted 50-50 late Thursday, falling short of the 60 votes needed to advance. Polls have shown the proposal is among the most popular flanks of Obama’s jobs initiative.

President Obama shakes hands with Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) after he signed the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, October 8, 2010

The Hill: Democrats Ben Nelson (Neb.) and Mark Pryor (Ark.), who voted last week to block Obama’s full jobs measure, again sided with Republicans.

Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.), an independent who caucuses with Democrats, also said no, citing concerns about the legislation’s cost effectiveness.

Contact Mark Pryor here

Ben Nelson: TwitterEmail

Joe Lieberman – TwitterEmail

From two days ago:

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Joan, in case you drop in, thinking of you, hope all’s well and you’re recovering from your surgery. Take care of yourself, see you soon.

20
Oct
11

first lady, first tweet

20
Oct
11

‘leading from behind is looking pretty good right now’

Ian Swanson (The Hill): Obama stands tall after the demise of Libyan strongman Gadhafi

The death of Moammar Gadhafi represents another major foreign policy victory for President Obama, who backed a months-long air campaign in Libya while facing criticism from the left and the right.

Obama stared down congressional skeptics across the political spectrum … Through it all, Obama kept his resolve.

…. On Thursday he basked in the second greatest foreign policy triumph of his administration, after the successful operation this spring that killed Osama bin Laden. Gadhafi’s death comes less than a month after the U.S. drone strike killed al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen.

…. For the unwavering Obama, Thursday came the big payoff as Gadhafi’s hopes for returning to power ended in a field outside his hometown of Sirte.

…. Obama entered the Oval Office as a novice on the international stage, criticized for a naïve outlook on the world.

…. three years into his term, both the bin Laden and Libya events suggest Obama can be steely in making decisions about U.S. force, and in sticking with them.

Full article here

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David Ignatius (Washington Post): ….  Obama saw that a no-fly zone wouldn’t be enough and lobbied for tougher U.N. language authorizing “all necessary measures” to protect the Libyan people. But he opted for limited U.S. involvement, front-loaded in the first week, and under the protective cover of NATO and the Arab League.

Obama deliberately kept the U.S. in the background even when critics began howling for a show of American “leadership.” And most important, he was patient through last summer, rejecting the counsel of those who argued that he must escalate U.S. military intervention to break the stalemate or, alternatively, bail out.

…. Obama took a lot of shots along the way to Thursday’s symbolic end of the Libya campaign. But it seems fair to say that his vision of opposing Gaddafi through a broad, international coalition – in which other nations share the burden, for a change – worked out pretty well.

Full article here

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Steve Benen: President Obama took an enormous risk by agreeing to intervene militarily in Libya. Military resources were stretched in Afghanistan and Iraq; U.S. military commanders were deeply skeptical; Pentagon chief Robert Gates urged the president not to act in Libya; and there was no great appetite among Americans for a third conflict in the Middle East. What’s more, there were all kinds of credible questions about whether this mission had a meaningful chance of success.

But it did succeed and the gamble paid off. Gadhafi and his regime are no more. There’s ample room for a fair debate about whether the mission was wise, but predictions of failure proved to be incorrect.

When it comes to American politics, the next question is what in the world Republicans are going to say about it … ABC’s report identified five different positions Romney has taken on the U.S. million in Libya this year, and as my friend Elon Green notes today, there’s actually a sixth: in his book, Romney accused Obama of appeasing Gadhafi. I’d imagine Romney would drop this attack now, but I suppose one never knows with that guy.

….As for “leading from behind,” it’s looking pretty good right about now.

Full post here

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FT: The demise of Muammer Gaddafi will bolster Barack Obama’s reputation as a strong commander-in-chief, credentials that will make it difficult for Republican rivals to attack his national security credentials as the 2012 election campaign begins.

… Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, two of the leading candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, have largely avoided talking about national security because it is an issue where they can score few points against Mr Obama.

They cannot even use the unpopular wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as lightning rods, as the president is making good on his pledge to withdraw American troops from the former and wind down the latter.

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Mark Landler (!) and David Leonhardt (New York Times): The final end to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s rule is the latest victory for a new American approach to war: few if any troops on the ground, the heavy use of air power, including drones, and, at least in the case of Libya, a reliance on allies.

Only a few months ago, the approach had few fans: not the hawks in Congress who called for boots on the ground, not the doves who demanded a pullout and not the many experts who warned of a quagmire. Most pointedly, critics mocked President Obama for “leading from behind”….

But the last six months have brought a string of successes. In May, American commandos killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. In August, Tripoli fell, and Colonel Qaddafi fled. In September, an American drone strike killed Anwar al-Awlaki, a top Qaeda operative and propagandist, in Yemen. And on Thursday, people were digesting images of the bloodied body of Colonel Qaddafi….

Full article here

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Meanwhile….

Steve Benen: Sen. Marco Rubio appeared on Fox News this morning …. His first instinct wasn’t to thank American troops, but rather, to thank French troops.

…. In the mind of this rising Republican star, the American military that helped drive Gadhafi’s regime from power deserves no credit at all. Marco Rubio is comfortable crediting the French, but not American men and women in uniform.

Wow.

Remember hearing about the “blame America first” crowd? Well, say hello to the “thank America last” crowd.

…. Republicans hate the president so much, they just can’t bring themselves to credit him for the success of the mission, or even thank American servicemen and women for their service in completing the mission.

….. When the fear of Obama getting some credit for success is stronger than the satisfaction that comes with Gadhafi’s demise, there’s a problem.

…. Update: McCain appeared on CNN this morning and said, “I think the [Obama] administration deserves credit, but I especially appreciate the leadership of the British and French in this in carrying out this success.” Shameless.

Full post here




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