Archive for October 21st, 2011

21
Oct
11

wrap-up

E.J. Dionne: “The tide of war is receding,” President Obama said today. He’s right to withdraw our troops from Iraq by the end of the year.

I am sure some longtime supporters of the war will criticize him for pulling out too quickly. But as Obama pointed out, we have been at war in Iraq for nine years. The situation there will never present a perfect time for withdrawal…

… It was appropriate that Obama made this announcement immediately in the wake of Moammar Gaddafi’s death. It’s worth noting that our intervention in Libya, which did not place U.S. forces on the ground, was not only successful but also left the United States far more popular among the Libyan people. Gaddafi would not have fallen without outside intervention, but he was ultimately brought down by the Libyans themselves. Is this not a far better model for democratization?

…. “The United States is moving forward from a position of strength,” Obama said today. The truth is we will be stronger for ending an intervention in Iraq that has cost us so much in lives, injuries and money. On this matter, at least, we really have “turned the page” that Obama spoke about so often in his campaign.

Full article here

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People with weak stomachs, don’t click the next two videos, they both feature Piers Morgan.

So, Morgan, talking about Cain’s 999 plan, tells Juan Williams that “I read a Wall St Journal Op-ed piece yesterday, very praiseworthy, by a big financial expert”.

Williams kindly points out the piece was written by the Reagan administration guy Arthur Laffer, one of the architects of, yes, the ….. 999 plan :roll:

So, “big financial expert” Laffer was praising his own plan in the “very praiseworthy” Wall St Journal Op-ed piece that so impressed Morgan.

How much is CNN paying this guy?

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Be warned, it’s Bill Maher being, well, Bill Maher:

Mediaite (Thanks Loriah)

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Andrew Sullivan: ….. if you’d told me in January 2009 that the banks would pay us back the entire bailout and then some, that the auto companies would actually turn around with government help and be a major engine of recovery, that there would be continuous job growth since 2009, however insufficient, after the worst demand collapse since the 1930s, that bin Laden would be dead, Egypt transitioning to democracy, al Qaeda all but decimated as a global threat, and civil rights for gays expanding more rapidly than at any time in history … well I would be expecting a triumphant re-election campaign.

But we are where we are – and the economic pain is real and the president must take his lumps. The good news for those of us who still back Obama and hope for his re-election is that even with all this positive record essentially dismissed and little of it capitalized on politically, Obama is still neck and neck with any likely opponent. And he is his own best messager.

At some point, he needs to shuck off the restraint, and tell the actual story of the last three years – against the fantastic and self-serving lies and delusions we keep hearing in Republican debates and Beltway chatter. If he does it with panache, he won’t need a jumpsuit onto an aircraft carrier. And many of his missions may even be accomplished.

Full post here

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See you tomorrow ;-)

21
Oct
11

catching up

Steve Benen: …. In his remarks in the White House briefing room, the president noted that, as a candidate, he “pledged to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end.”

It’s a commitment he’s been able to keep.

….Perhaps realizing what’s on the minds of American voters, the president added he intends to “enlist our veterans in the greatest challenge that we face as a nation: creating opportunity and jobs in this country. After a decade of war, the nation that we need to build — and the nation that we will build, is our own. An America that sees its economic strength restored, just as we restored our leadership around the world.”

It looks another check mark on the president’s “promises made, promises kept” list.

Full post here

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Original video here (Thanks Hopefruit)

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President Barack Obama talks with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of Iraq during a secure video teleconference in the Situation Room of the White House, Oct. 21, 2011 (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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National Journal: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee outraised the National Republican Congressional Committee during September by nearly $3 million, and also bested the GOP during the third fundraising quarter, according to spending reports filed Thursday evening with the Federal Election Commission.

The DCCC raised $6.64 million last month, compared to the NRCC’s $3.8 million. Even out of the House majority, the Democratic House campaign arm also raised more during the past three months, bringing in $14.22 million to the NRCC’s $10.68 million.

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President Obama signs the Panama Free Trade Agreement, Oct. 21, in the Oval Office. From left are Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Boeing CEO Jim McNerney, US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., Xerox CEO Ursula Burns, Demetech CEO Luis Arguello, Rep. Greg Meeks, D-N.Y., and Panamanian Ambassador to the US Mario Jarmillo.

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Annie Lowrey (Slate): The economy seems to be recovering …. Everything is getting better. No, no, I know … it certainly doesn’t feel as if things are getting better.

…. Even so, a spate of new data suggest that the trends, at the least, might be looking up for now, and the possibility of a double-dip recession might be fading.

… The good news comes in construction. This month, housing starts smashed expectations, jumping 15 percent … The jump in construction means both an increased willingness to invest on business’ part and a probable uptick in hiring for construction workers.

…. Retail sales climbed strongly from August to September, with an upward revision for the summer months, too. Americans spent 7.9 percent more this September than last September. What are we buying? More of everything. But we are really picking up cars. Auto sales hit an annual sales pace of 13.1 million vehicles last month, up a whopping 10 percent.

Next, jobs … fewer people are applying for initial jobless benefits, implying that the overall unemployment rate might drop soon. Industrial production also seems to be firming up. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, for instance, reported that its business activity index climbed from -17.5 in September (recession!) to 8.7 in October (expansion!).

… The most important numbers show signs of life as well. Gross domestic product, measured monthly, has started picking up after stalling in the spring….

Unfortunately …. If European leaders don’t do something to figure out how to deal with the sovereign-debt euro crisis, this return to recovery could end quickly …. We need years of strong growth to reduce unemployment, cure the cyclical and structural unemployment crises, and reduce households’ crushing levels of debt.

Full article here

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