Posts Tagged ‘g20

06
Sep
13

Rise and Shine

A year ago today: The Obama and Biden families joined together onstage following the President’s speech at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte (Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

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Coming up today (all times US Eastern):

9:50: President Obama holds a press conference

White House Live

11:15: Holds a Civil Society Roundtable

12:15: Departs Saint Petersburg

9:15 PM: Arrives Joint Base Andrews

9:30: Arrives at the White House

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Also today:

10:0 AM EDT: Vice President Biden Speaks at Farewell Ceremony for Secretary Napolitano

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The expression on PBO’s face on this Belgian front page is, well, priceless

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USA Today: President Obama wraps up a global summit Friday before heading back to Washington, D.C., to continue dealing with the challenge of Syria.

At the G-20 summit in St Petersburg, Russia, Obama will attend working sessions before hosting a news conference….

Earlier on Friday, Obama met with President Xi Jiping of China and President Francois Hollande of France.

While in St Petersburg, Obama hosts a Civil Society Roundtable that includes gays and lesbians … he returns to the White House late Friday night.

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Michael Tomasky: When Liberals Enable Tyrants

Can a liberal oppose tyranny and support military intervention at the same time? Hell yes. Six reasons why Congress must authorize an attack on Syria now.

….. What values and goals do American liberals wish to promote around the world? I’m pretty certain most would say free democratic societies; full political rights for ethnic minorities; equal rights for women and, with any luck, gay people; a free press; an independent judiciary; and so forth. And, where those cannot be achieved, at least a base-level opposition to tyranny, reaction, religious fundamentalism, and so on.

….. But, I have to say, most rank-and-file liberals don’t seem to me to be very passionate about them. What most liberals are passionate about is one thing: opposition to U.S. militarism….

I’ve described here two impulses: the desire to do good in the world, or at least to prevent the bad; and opposition to American force. Often these desires can exist in harmony. But what if they conflict? Why is opposition to any projection of force always the deciding factor? At times it can lead people into some very illiberal little corners.

…. it isn’t always immoral. This is one of those cases where, if the scale of the action is appropriate and if it works, a military incursion can actually serve liberal ends. No, that’s not for sure. But it is for sure that doing nothing helps the reactionaries.

Full post here

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See the new White House website section on the situation in Syria – here

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Keep track of how members of Congress and senators have said they are voting on Syria at TPM

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Steve Benen: The prevailing winds on Capitol Hill

There’s no shortage of congressional head counts when it comes to authorizing the use of force in Syria, but I’d caution against taking them too seriously. The briefings for lawmakers are still underway, and while many have firm opinions, there is not yet an actual, agreed upon resolution for lawmakers to read and consider.

That said, at least for now, the prevailing winds on Capitol Hill are blowing in an unmistakable direction:

Several Republican leadership aides say that there are roughly one to two dozen “yes” votes in favor of military action at this time. The stunningly low number is expected to grow a bit. But senior aides say they expect, at most, between 50 and 60 Republicans to vote with Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who support the president’s plan …. That would amount to less than one-third of the House Republican Conference.

That would mean the vast majority of the 200 House Democrats will need to vote with Obama for the resolution to pass. But Democrats privately say that Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer can only round up between 115 and 130 “yes” votes.

More here

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G20 Summit members attend a working dinner for G20 Summit members in St Petersburg, September 5

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Mediaite: Rep Alan Grayson Cackles That Syrian Atrocities ‘Simply Not Our Problem’

The debate over military action in Syria has produced a landfill’s worth of stupidity, from every side of the debate, and every corner of the political media …. but on Thursday night’s All In with Chris Hayes, “Congressman with Guts™” Alan Grayson (D-FL) made a bold incursion, from stupid into contemptible.

…. Chris Hayes asked Grayson if there was anything in the interview with Secretary Kerry “that you find compelling or convincing?”

“Not at all,” Grayson replied, with a thin smirk. “Listen, most people understand this is simply not our problem. This is not our problem to solve.”

…. Whatever you think about Grayson’s logic, what the frack is he laughing about? What, exactly, is so funny about this? There doesn’t seem to be much that people agree about with regard to Syria, but can’t we at least find common ground in the notion that this is not a laughing matter?

Full post here

And in case you missed it – see ‘Alan Grayson Conspires with Far Right Lunatics to Lie and Fundraise off of Syria’ at The People’s View

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Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron talk during a working dinner for G20 Summit members in St Petersburg, September 5

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ThinkProgress: Top House Republican Rewrites History, Claims Reagan Stood Up To Chemical Weapons Use

A top Republican lawmaker on Thursday invoked Ronald Reagan to say that Obama was weak for not acting more directly in response to Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons, ignoring the fact that Reagan’s White House looked the other way when chemical weapons were used in the 1980s.

….. Former House Foreign Affairs Committee chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL): It is against the norms of international standards and to let something like this go unanswered, I think will weaken our resolve. I — I know that President Reagan would have never let this happen. He would stand up to this. And President Obama — the only reason he is consulting with Congress, he wants to blame somebody for his lack of resolve. We have to think like President Reagan would do and he would say chemical use is unacceptable.

What Ros-Lehtinen seems oddly unaware of, however, is that Ronald Reagan did exactly the opposite…

Full post here

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Steve Benen: U.S. economy created 169k jobs in August, jobless rate dips

The jobs reports are starting to get a little predictable, by virtue of the fact that over the last several months, they’re effectively the same.

The new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the U.S. economy added 169,000 jobs in August, which is roughly in line with expectations. After years of public-sector layoffs serving as a drag on the overall economy, we’re starting to see a slight turnaround – the private sector added 152,000 jobs last month, while the public sector added 17,000 jobs. That may seem like a fairly modest number, but it’s the most in recent memory.

More here

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Amazing exchange between the Iranian foreign minister and @sfpelosi on Twitter, part of it:

Read about it here

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Brilliant:

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TPM: McConnell’s Anti-Obamacare Juggernaut Turns Against Him

Perhaps nobody was more responsible for making Obamacare a partisan bill than Mitch McConnell. During the grueling debate that began in 2009, the Senate minority leader worked harder than anyone else to ensure no Republican voted for health care reform.

…. The law was upheld by the Supreme Court and validated by the re-election of President Barack Obama. The public has grown tired of continual budget crisis brinkmanship. McConnell still fights the fight. Obamacare, he told his constituents a few weeks ago, is the “single worst piece of legislation passed in the last 50 years in the country.” But ever the pragmatist, he knows an all-out assault on the Affordable Care Act to the exclusion of all other political considerations would be a political disaster for his party. And so, in a brutal irony reminiscent of Mary Shelley’s novel “Frankenstein,” the monster McConnell created has turned against him and is threatening to end his political life.

More here

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MooooOOOOoooorning!

PS Is it just me or has everyone noticed the increase in stupid on the Twitter machine? Supposed President Obama supporters who think they are qualified to lecture him on Syria, even though most of them know as much about the situation as they do about nuclear physics? Blocked a bunch of them last night, it felt good.

Update: One of them just tweeted me: “No matter how you phrase it ‘war’ is a four-letter-word!”

I kid you not.

Happy Friday!

06
Sep
13

Early Bird Chat

President Obama and members of his delegation walk to meet with China’s President Xi Jinping for a bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit, Sept. 6, in St. Petersburg

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Today (all times US Eastern):

4:0 AM: The President participates in G-20 Working Session Two

5:45: Participates in a G-20 Family Photo

6:0: Participates in a G-20 working lunch

8:30: Holds a bilateral meeting with President Hollande of France

9:50: Holds a press conference

11:15: Holds a Civil Society Roundtable

12:15: Departs Saint Petersburg

9:15 PM: Arrives Joint Base Andrews

9:30: Arrives at the White House

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MooooOOOOoooorning Early Birds – back in a bit with R&S.

05
Sep
13

A Working Summit

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President Barack Obama and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shake hands before the start of their bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit

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 President of the United States of America Barack Obama attends a working meeting of G20 heads of state and government, heads of invited states and international organizations.

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The first working meeting of G20 heads of state and government, heads of invited states and international organizations.

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Continue reading ‘A Working Summit’

05
Sep
13

Keep Chattin’

President Obama walks to attend the working dinner after the session of the G20 Summit in Strelna near St. Petersburg, September 5

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Back in a bit with a post or three

05
Sep
13

Friends Reunited

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“Damnski – he’s even taller than I remember.”

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin ‘welcomes’ President Barack Obama before the first working session of the G20 Summit in Constantine Palace in Strelna near St. Petersburg

05
Sep
13

Rise and Shine

Two years ago today: President Obama greets a man in the crowd after addressing the Labor Day celebration in Detroit, Mich., Sept. 5, 2011. (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today:

This morning, President Obama met with the King and Queen of Sweden before departing Stockholm for Saint Petersburg, Russia for the G-20 summit.

Through the day, the President takes part in G-20 meetings and working sessions, finishing with a working dinner at 8:0 local time (Saint Petersburg is eight hours ahead of US Eastern)

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President Obama arrives to take part in the G20 Summit in St Petersburg, September 5

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President Barack Obama meets with Sweden’s King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia at the Royal Palace in Stockholm

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Nicholas Kristof (NYT): The Right Questions On Syria

Critics of American military action in Syria are right to point out all the risks and uncertainties of missile strikes, and they have American public opinion on their side. But for those of you who oppose cruise missile strikes, what alternative do you favor?

It’s all very well to urge the United Nations and Arab League to do more, but that means that Syrians will continue to be killed at a rate of 5,000 every month….

…. A decade ago, I was aghast that so many liberals were backing the Iraq war. Today, I’m dismayed that so many liberals, disillusioned by Iraq, seem willing to let an average of 165 Syrians be killed daily rather than contemplate missile strikes that just might, at the margins, make a modest difference.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks the number of dead in the civil war, is exasperated at Western doves who think they are taking a moral stance.

…. how is being “pro-peace” in this case much different in effect from being “pro-Assad” and resigning oneself to the continued slaughter of civilians?

More here

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National Memo: Obama Still Most Popular World Leader

Though his popularity is down from its peak in 2009, President Obama remains the world’s most popular leader among the world’s citizens as the G20 gathers for a summit in Russia, according to Pew Research.

“Only Angela Merkel comes close to the breadth of Obama’s popularity,” writes Pew’s Andrew Kohut. However, Obama inspired more confidence than the German chancellor in seven out of eight major German countries polled last year.

…. President’s Obama’s median popularity of 42 percent is more than double that of G20 summit host Vladimir Putin’s 19 percent. The only country where Putin inspires more confidence than Obama is China.

More here

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Steve Benen: Jobless Claims Improve, Remain Near Six-Year Low

Today’s report on initial unemployment claims was widely expected to be good, but the newly released figures from the Department of Labor were even better than expected.

More here

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‘Sweden in World Focus’

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Smartypants:  Why The Most Liberal President In A Generation Is Driving Some Progressives Bonkers

Just as President Obama is taking huge steps to walk back the imperial presidency and making tremendous strides on issues like health care reform and LGBT rights and ending the war on drugs and fighting to curb climate change and ending the perpetual war and taking on the NRA and fighting for immigration reform and trying to curb the rising costs of college tuition and proposing things like a minimum wage increase along with universal day care, there is a group of progressives who have gone absolutely bonkers with their conspiracy theories about him. As Bob Cesca points out this morning, many of them are are so deranged that they’re staring to line up with tea party libertarians to destroy the Democratic Party.

Its no wonder that many of us are saying “WTH? Why now? You want to jump ship just when we’re starting to make some progress?”

To be honest, I’ve been trying to understand this particular variety of Obama Derangement Syndrome for quite a while now.

More here

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Steve Benen: Rumsfeld Just Keeps Talking

If there’s anyone in America who should go enjoy a little quiet time right about now, it’s failed former Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld. Nevertheless, he just keeps talking, appearing this morning on Fox News (thanks to my colleague Tricia McKinney for the heads-up) …Rumsfeld, who earned public scorn for his leadership of the Pentagon during the Iraq War, said Obama didn’t need to ask Congress for authorization and may have made a mistake in doing so.

Rumsfeld, who seemed generally supportive of intervention in Syria, added that President Obama “doesn’t have the kind of support that President Bush had in respect to his military actions.” Yep, he really said that. Part of me continues to wonder why Rumsfeld is still allowed to speak in polite company. Lance Armstrong isn’t asked for his opinions about athletes and performance-enhancing drugs; Miley Cyrus isn’t sought out for analysis on public modesty; so why should anyone take seriously what Donald Rumsfeld has to say foreign policy and the use of military force abroad?

Don’t go away mad, Rumsfeld. Just go away.

More here

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Jonathan Cohn: ObamaCare Implementation: Clinton Speech Gives The Big Picture

The Secretary of Explaining Stuff is back on the job. On Wednesday, former President Bill Clinton gave a speech about Obamacare—why it was necessary, how it will work, and what it will do in the future. In the speech, Clinton acknowledged some of Obamacare’s flaws and he urged Republicans to join Democrats in trying to fix them.

But Clinton also pointed out the benefits Obamacare has already produced. Young adults are getting insurance through their parents. The insured have new consumer protections, like those eliminating lifetime limits on benefits. Seniors have more coverage of prescription drugs and preventative services. The list goes on: In all, many millions of Americans are better off because of these provisions. Meanwhile, the year-to-year increases in health care spending have been lower than usual, which means government is saving money and premiums for the privately insured aren’t rising as fast as they would be otherwise. Obamacare isn’t the only reason for this change and it probably isn’t the primary reason, either. But most experts think it has played a role.

Those savings are likely to grow with time. Health improvement might follow, since the changes underway—like a reduction in hospital readmisisons—save lives as well as money. And that’s not all—not by a longshot. Starting next year, millions of people without insurance today will get coverage via expanded state Medicaid programs or through the new insurance exchanges. Thanks to generous federal subsidies, many people will pay less for their insurance than they pay now. And those who do pay more will at least have more comprehensive and stable coverage, while paying premiums that are pretty much comparable to what employer-sponsored insurance costs. Oh, and if the Congressional Budget Office is right, the deficit will be lower than it might otherwise be.

More here

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A Year Ago Yesterday (Chips had the photo and video ready to post yesterday, but then glitch-a-rama struck):

President Obama and his daughters Malia and Sasha watch on television as First Lady Michelle Obama begins her speech at the Democratic National Convention, in the Treaty Room of the White House, Sept. 4, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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On This Day:

President Obama hugs a woman in the crowd after addressing the Labor Day celebration in Detroit, Mich., Sept. 5, 2011 (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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