The previous President, after the attacks of 9/11, engineered a war with a state which, though abysmal to its own people, had had no direct or indirect link with any terror attack on the United States. It was, if anything, a mortal enemy of the group which carried out the attacks, as that group saw the ruling regime as corrupt and un-Islamic. As the history of that war is being written, the regime sought to stave off war, willing to give the previous President anything he wanted, save for the regime’s destruction. Of course, the regime as it existed stood in the way of the grand plan to remake the Middle East; its destruction, not its containment, was the goal. Anything short of political—and literal—suicide would not suit the ultimate purpose. So the country and the world were lied into a war, which cost nearly 5,000 American lives, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths; a war which was supposed to last a few weeks and pay for itself instead dragged on for nearly a decade, costing over $1 trillion. And the Middle East, far from being remade into a collection of benevolent American satrapies, teetered on the edge of all-out war for the eight years of the George W. Bush administration.
That President, however, was never asked to apologize for the disaster he had wrought. And if ever he had been asked to apologize in a face-to-face interview, he never offered one: no apology for the countless dead, for the treasure wasted, for the lives destroyed. It’s just not the done thing.
Reporting that House Republicans are investigating whether Attorney General Eric Holder lied to Congress during his recent testimony about Justice Department seizures of communications records in connection with a national security leak investigation, CNN’s Dana Bash misstated key facts of the controversy. In so doing, CNN helped bolster the hollow claims of Republicans – wildly hyped by Fox News – that Holder may have perjured himself….
Greg Sargent: A new Quinnipiac poll finds that an overwhelming majority of Americans – 73-22 – thinks we should be placing a higher priority on the economy and unemployment than on the “scandals” gripping Washington. That includes 72 percent of independents, who are critical in midterm elections. At the same time, a variety of indicators, from rising home prices to buoyed consumer confidence to falling gas prices, suggest that the economy is improving at a stronger clip than previously anticipated.
If the recovery is strong next year, it could help Dems hold the Senate….
TPM: The White House has received more than 120 applications from health insurance plans looking to sell on the new federal health care exchange …. The success of the Affordable Care Act partially hinges on competition in order to keep premiums low, and, according to the memo, “the early signs are promising and demonstrate a significant increase in competition and an array of options for consumers everywhere.”
One out of four insurers that have applied to sell insurance in the marketplace is new to the individual insurance market and at least one new provider has been added in 75 percent of states with a federally run marketplace…..
Jonathan Chait: Pete Wehner, former Minister of Propaganda for the Bush administration, sees the excitement of the Obama scandals receding, and he knows just how to explain this. Not a lack of evidence to date that anybody in the administration has done anything wrong. It’s media bias ….. Yeah, that sounds right….
USA Today: The pro-Obama group Organizing for Action will hold 39 “founders events” across the country this weekend as part of an effort to build separate state chapters.
“OFA supporters, volunteers, campaign alumni and donors will come together to discuss what OFA has already accomplished as well as our goals and the path forward,” said an announcement from the group….
The Illinois State Founders Summit will be held Friday and Saturday in Obama’s hometown of Chicago, and will feature remarks by OFA Chairman Jim Messina and Executive Director Jon Carson.
They plan to discuss “how OFA plans how to continue to ensure the American people’s voices are heard by lawmakers as we fight to tip the scales of power back to the American people and away from the special interests to advance the issues the American people voted for in November,” said the statement.
President Barack Obama greets a little girl following his remarks during the Irish celebration at College Green in Dublin, Ireland, May 23, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
BusinessWeek: Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA), labeled a “loser” by Mitt Romney during the U.S. election, is giving President Barack Obama’s green-energy strategy its biggest win after almost two years of failures pounced upon by Republicans.
The maker of the electric Model S car as early as today will become the first recipient of a U.S. Energy Department vehicle loan to pay off its debt. The Palo Alto, California-based company will do so nine years ahead of schedule, with taxpayers making at least $12 million on the $465 million lent.
People cheer as President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are introduced during an Irish celebration at College Green in Dublin, Ireland, May 23, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama’s 1979 Prom Photos
TIME Magazine: Tucked away in someone else’s shoe box of adolescent artifacts, there might be a picture of you in garish clothes and with an outdated ‘do, your arm around a high school squeeze. The President of the United States is no different. These previously unpublished photos, obtained exclusively by TIME from Obama’s schoolmate Kelli Allman (née McCormack), show a 17-year-old Barack Obama on the night of his senior prom.
Tom Kludt: President Barack Obama on Thursday will outline his administration’s counterterrorism policy in a major speech to be given at National Defense University in Washington, D.C. Obama will use the speech to announce new restrictions on unmanned drones.
According to the New York Times, the policy changes signed by Obama include a reduction of the “instances when unmanned aircraft can be used to attack in places that are not overt war zones, countries like Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.” The new rules will also establish “the same standard for strikes on foreign enemies now used only for American citizens deemed to be terrorists,” the Times reported.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet Henry Healy, the President’s distant cousin, after arriving in Moneygall, Ireland, May 23, 2011. The President and First Lady were also welcomed by Counselor Danny Owens, Chair Offaly County, and Counselor John Kennedy, Chair Tipperary County, center. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Two years ago: President Obama shakes hands with a young girl after arriving at Miami International Airport, April 29, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)
10:30: The First Lady speaks at a White House Forum on Military Credentialing and Licensing (White House live)
10:50: The President delivers remarks at the National Academy of Sciences 150th Anniversary (White House live)
12:30: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney
2:10: The President makes a personnel announcement
Tuesday: As part of the Joining Forces initiative, President Obama, Vice President Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will make a significant employment announcement for veterans and military spouses. This event will take place at the White House
Wednesday: The President will attend meetings at the White House
Thursday: In the morning, the President will depart Washington, DC for his visit to Mexico and Costa Rica
Friday: In the afternoon, the President will depart Mexico for Costa Rica
Saturday: In the afternoon, the President will depart Costa Rica and return to Washington, DC
Sunday: The President will deliver the commencement address at Ohio State University. He will return to Washington, DC, later that day
ABC: President Obama will nominate Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx as the new Transportation secretary on Monday, a White House official said.
Foxx, who has served as mayor of Charlotte since 2009, has overseen several major infrastructure initiatives in the city and rose to prominence after bringing the Democratic National Convention to Charlotte last year.
Anthony Foxx holds up his son Zachary to the microphone after being sworn in as Charlotte’s new mayor
…. with his grandmother Mary Foxx after mid-morning services at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church on August 5, 2012. Anthony was raised by his grandparents, Mary and James Foxx, Sr., who led him into politics, and his mother Laura
Mayor Foxx at the 2012 Democratic National Convention:
AP: One of the architects of failed gun control legislation says he’s bringing it back.
Sen. Joe Manchin on Sunday said he would re-introduce a measure that would require criminal and mental health background checks for gun buyers at shows and online. The West Virginia Democrat says that if lawmakers read the bill, they will support it.