Posts Tagged ‘brilliant


reaction: ‘a spirited defense of a progressive vision’

President Barack Obama reviews his fiscal policy speech with advisors in the Oval Office. Pictured, from left, are: Rob Nabors, Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs; Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner; National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling; Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew; and Director of Speechwriting Jon Favreau. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Steve Benen: …. As heartening as it was to hear President Obama’s full-throated condemnation of the House Republican budget plan – he didn’t pull any punches – what made his remarks this afternoon especially satisfying was his defense of the progressive vision.

…along the way, the president made a point of reminding his audience that government, the institutions of the modern welfare state, and the modern social compact are worthy of a spirited defense. Indeed, to hear Obama tell it, the progressive vision is the American vision.

See here for extract

There’s a word to summarize this approach to government. It’s called “liberalism.”

Jonathan Bernstein put it this way: “Liberals have wanted a full-throated affirmation of why government is a good thing? Obama delivered, with perhaps his strongest case for a liberal vision of government that he’s given so far during his presidency.”

The “sellout of the left” this wasn’t. What we saw today was an unapologetic defense of a progressive vision of government, cased in terms that were equal parts moral and pragmatic. America doesn’t hear it often enough, and Obama delivered it with passion and conviction today.

Read the full post here

Steve Benen: The President’s rousing rejection of Republican radicalism …. President Obama’s speech on the nation’s fiscal future was one of my favorites in a long while. It was exactly the sort of spirited defense of government and progressive values the nation desperately needed to hear right now.

…Last week, when the White House was criticized from the left for not having said more about the GOP vision, I wrote about my expectations for this week’s message: “I want to see a forceful, unapologetic response. I want a hearty defense of government. I want officials explaining why Paul Ryan’s plan is dangerous and ridiculous.”

This afternoon, in Obama’s address, I got all of those things …There were concerns among some of my fellow progressives going into this speech that the president may accept parts of the GOP plan or express some sympathies for the Republican vision. The opposite happened – this was a full-throated condemnation, not just of the radical Paul Ryan plan, but of the far-right goals it intends to pursue.

I know many hoped to hear this message from the White House last week, but from where I sat today, it was worth the wait.

Full post here

Greg Sargent (Washington Post): Obama made the moral case for what it means to be a democrat … For some time now, a bunch of us have been wondering when – or whether – Obama would step up and make a strong case for an expansive vision of Democratic governance … it’s fair to say Obama delivered.

Sure, the speech had flaws …but Obama did offer perhaps the most ambitious defense he may have ever attempted of American liberalism and of what it means to be a Democrat.

Crucially, right at the outset, Obama cast the battle with the GOP as one over whether we are going to maintain the social safety net and the national social contract as we’ve understood it for decades — and cast this question as central to our national identity. He used a key word — “commitments” — to describe Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment insurance, insisting: “We would not be a great country without those commitments.” In other words, the social safety net and the liberal social contract are indispensable components of America’s greatness.

…We cannot know right now whether the steadfastness of Obama’s rhetoric in defending core liberal and Democratic ideals will be matched by equal resoluteness in practice when the battles heat up and the temptation to make deals and jettison core priorities intensifies. But Obama did tell us in clear and unequivocal moral terms what he thinks it means to be a Democrat, and those who have been waiting for him to do so should be quite satisfied by what they heard.

Full post here


‘the liberal whine-o’-meter’

Mark Morford (San Francisco Chronicle): And suddenly we come to the crux of the problem: What shall we do about Barack in 2012? ….This is apparently now how it works in American politics: You are allowed no more than 2.4 years of impossibly difficult service as redeemer president, shouldering the overwhelming burden of failure foisted on you by your pathetic predecessor, before you have to start … all over again.

….liberals are, as they say, up against it. Many are fidgeting and fussing, puling about the fact that, while they grudgingly admit Obama has mostly been a fine, articulate, highly regarded president who has passed a huge amount of progressive legislation and returned America to a place of relative honor in the international community, turns out he’s not been nearly fine enough.

Just the opposite, in fact. To the sneering disappointment of the puritanical left, Obama has turned out to be pretty much exactly what he said he’d be during his ’08 campaign…

In short, Obama has failed. He has not at all been the delicious chocolatey superjesus of radical sociopolitical transformation most on the hard left hoped, prayed and sacrificed precious Prius bumper ad space he would be.

…Let us now check the liberal Whine-O’-Meter…. (see here)

…Sure, the extremely difficult Iraq drawdown is going brilliantly, on time and on target. Sure, the economy is recovering, a little. Sure Obama saved GM and a million jobs. Sure he’s great on women’s rights, unemployment and housing aid, college loans, science, high-speed rail, all sorts of non-sensational but still hugely impressive triumphs that never make screaming 300-point headlines in HuffPo, TPM and Politico.

… Obama has a sense of the long view like no president in our lifetime. He seems to understand that his true positive impact will be felt cumulatively, over time, way down the road (your kids will love him). He thinks not egomaniacally, not insta-gratifyingly, but historically. This alone makes him one of the most remarkable politicians of any stripe, now or ever….

… while libs can whine all they want about Obama’s imperfections and so-called failures, the instant you turn it all around and look at the alternatives, and then hitch them to the current GOP-led House’s plans to gut the budget and spew hate on women and gays, the arts and the poor, promote Islamophobia and kowtow to the rich, well, suddenly Obama shines all over again like the gleaming savior we all want him to be.

Suddenly all the complaining turns into nitpicking. Suddenly that vague dissatisfaction is instantly overshadowed by this shuddering, sour tang deep in the gut that just about screams OMFG, thank God Obama’s there, how much worse off we’d be without him, how much good he’s actually accomplished, how blessed his articulate intelligence, how proud we are every time he travels abroad – please, please, please don’t ever leave and sorry we complained in the first place and oh my God please don’t leave.

…So count your presidential blessings, libs, for while they may be tattered and rashy and often pinch and ride up, they are, on the whole, still plentiful and hugely impressive and just shockingly better than any alternative you can name, much less vote for. And you know it.

Full article here

Thank you Eleroy, this article is magnificent!


‘how the u.s. pulled off a major freeze of libyan assets’

Washington Post: The Treasury Department team had been working nonstop on a plan to freeze Libyan assets in U.S. banks, hoping they might snare $100 million or more and prevent Moammar Gaddafi from tapping it as he unleashed deadly attacks against protesters who wanted him gone.

Now, at 2:22 Friday afternoon, Feb. 25, an e-mail arrived from a Treasury official with startling news. Their $100 million estimate was off — orders of magnitude off. The e-mail said there was in “excess of $29.7 Billion — yes, that’s a B.” And most of the money was at one bank.

It was a piece of extraordinary good fortune for the Obama administration at a crucial moment in the efforts to address the bizarre and deadly events unfolding in Libya.

Never before had U.S. officials so quickly launched economic sanctions affecting so many assets of a targeted country.

The frenetic 72 hours leading up to the Executive Order 13566 illustrate how a process of identifying and freezing assets — something that customarily has taken weeks or months — has become one of the first tactical tools to employ in the midst of fast-breaking crises.

It also shows that government officials have learned from other recent economic sanction efforts, including against Iran and North Korea. Instead of being a secondary measure, as in the past, economic sanctions have become a centerpiece of national security policy.

Full article here


Thank you so much for this link, Majii – the article is absolutely fascinating, and shows just how damn smart the Obama administration is.


‘a brilliant diplomatic strategy’

The UK Guardian: If the Obama administration does nothing else, it will always compare favourably with Bush’s for its diplomacy over Libya

The New York Times called it “inconsistent”. The Wall Street Journal questioned whether “any direction” could be divined behind the decision. But in referring to America’s part in the attack on Libyan forces, the mainstream media is blind to what has been a brilliant diplomatic – and domestic – political strategy on the part of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

…Having learned the lessons of Iraq and countless other American boondoggles in the region, President Obama has played his hand deftly to avoid accusations of American imperialism and to project the optics of consensus. Today, as the United States engages once more in the Middle East, it does so with the imprimatur of a United Nations resolution and an impressive coalition of allies – not just George Bush’s “coalition of the willing” – but countries not usually associated with military intervention in the region, including France and the countries of the Arab League.

…President Obama has “played it cool” – refusing to cut short his trip to Latin America and emphasising that American action will be short (if committed). This is a far cry from the sort of chest-thumping bellicosity from the Oval Office we saw under Bush.

There are, of course, domestic politics at play here as well. America is tired of seeing its military in Iraq and Afghanistan, let alone getting involved in a new Middle Eastern conflict. But through diplomatic and strategic manoeuvering, President Obama has ensured that the United States is simply one nation among many engaging in the region, lifting some of the weight of history from the shoulders of the nation.

Full article here


‘100 per cent true blue american’

I finally got to see this Chris Matthews clip at The Only Adult In The Room …. I think I almost love Chris again.

Read Salon’s ‘What the Huck?’ here


‘help wanted – seeking: president of the united states’

Eclectablog: ….you will need to accomplish the following tasks:

* Freeze pay of highest-paid White House staff on first day of office while maintaining good workplace morale.

* Make federal government more transparent by opening up records of previous administrations and instructing staff to be more amenable to Freedom of Information Act requests. This should be accomplished no later than the day after assuming office.

* Sign Executive Order to close the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. This should be done by no later than the third day in office and should be done despite the fact that Congress will not allow you to actually accomplish this by denying any funding for it.

* Sign Executive Order to prohibit torture. This should be done by no later than the third day in office.

* By no later than the tenth day in office, sign legislation into law that requires fair pay regardless of gender, race or age.

* During the third week in office, direct the Secretary of Interior to cancel 77 oil and gas company leases on federal lands that were authorized by the previous office holder’s administration.

* By the end of the third week in office, sign an Executive Order backing the use of union labor for large federal construction projects.

* During the early part of the second month of your term, you shall begin the process of repealing or modifying a federal law protecting health workers who refuse to treat patients for reason of “conscience”. This process shall culminate no later than two years into your term, plus or minus two months.

(Much more at this link)


This is magnificentplease go here to read the full post. And pass it around!!


flashback …. “don’t tell me words don’t matter”

February 2008

Thank you stylishgurl







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