Daniel W. Drezner (Foreign Policy): Why Obama is arming Syria’s rebels: it’s the realism, stupid.
…. is this the first step towards another U.S.-led war in the region? No. Everything in that Times story, and everything this administration has said and done for the past two years, screams deep reluctance over intervention. Arming the rebels is not the same thing as a no-fly zone or any kind of ground intervention. This is simply the United States engaging in its own form of asymmetric warfare. For the low, low price of aiding and arming the rebels, the U.S. preoccupies all of its adversaries in the Middle East.
…. Now let’s be clear: to describe this as “morally questionable” would be an understatement. It’s a policy that makes me very uncomfortable… until one considers the alternatives. What it’s not, however, is a return to liberal hawkery.
So, to conclude: the United States is using a liberal internationalist rubric to cloak a pretty realist policy towards Syria.
Steve Benen: It was just three weeks ago that President Obama made a persuasive case for closing the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. He described a military prison that costs too much, has become an international embarrassment, and is filled with “people who have been charged with no crime.”
…. Last week, House Republicans once again barred the Obama administration from transferring detainees from Guantanamo Bay. Friday, against a backdrop of a terrible hunger strike, a Democratic effort to do the right thing was easily defeated in the face of mindless, reactionary conservative opposition.
Kurt Eichenwald: PRISM Isn’t Data Mining and Other Falsehoods in the N.S.A. “Scandal”
I can’t stand it.
A few days ago, I wrote in some detail about the National Security Agency’s data-mining program in hopes of calming the hysteria that has been whipped up in the last number of days by incorrect and misleading reports, as well as by plenty of ill-informed commentary based on those errors. At this point, I’ve decided that I need to tell a little bit more…..
Tommy Christopher (Mediaite): …. Glenn Greenwald and his source, whistle-and-country-blower Edward Snowden, have completely taken over the political media with revelations that hype well, but don’t amount to much upon closer examination. Now, Greenwald promises more (and more devastating) revelations to come, but what has been revealed so far is about as alarming as an epidemic of Pac Man Fever….
…. That hasn’t stopped the media from going all Chicken Little, some because they’re desperate to “have the conversation,” some because they want to attack President Obama to prove varying types of cred, and some because they’d like even less fettering of the surveillance state. I think we do need to “have the conversation” about government surveillance, but it should begin in 1978, not last week, when the world discovered that the first black president was in charge of it….
President Obama hosts a ceremony honoring players and coaches from the National Hockey League Stanley Cup-winning Los Angeles Kings and the Major League Soccer champions Los Angeles Galaxy in the East Room of the White House, March 26
I don’t want to talk about football/soccer ever again after watching Ireland v Austria.
Okay, I do:
If Ireland had President Obama’s flippin’ ball control, I’d now be swigging champagne.
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama attend the Kennedy Center Honors, Dec. 5, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
5:20: The President delivers remarks at the Kennedy Center Honors Reception in the White House
7:30: The President and First Lady attend the Kennedy Center Honors
Monday: The President will host Prime Minister Boyko Borissov of Bulgaria at the White House
Tuesday: Meets with governors at the White House
Wednesday: Delivers remarks to members of the Business Roundtable and, later, delivers remarks at the 2012 Tribal Nations Conference
Thursday: The President and the First Family will attend the National Christmas Tree Lighting on the Ellipse (more here)
Friday: The President will attend meetings at the White House
The Sunday shows:
NBC’s Meet the Press: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner; Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO); Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN); Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform; Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD); Jim Cramer, CNBC; Maria Bartiromo, CNBC
CBS’ Face the Nation: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner; Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC); Sen. Dianne Feinstein (R-CA); Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI); Mark Zandi, Moody’s Analytics; Maya MacGuineas, Campaign to Fix the Debt; Rana Foroohar, Time; John Dickerson, CBS and Slate
ABC’s This Week: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner; Rep. Tom Cole, (R-OK); Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN); Dan Senor, Council on Foreign Relations; Steven Rattner, former Lead Auto Adviser; Cokie Roberts, ABC
CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner; Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA); Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH); Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard; Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D-MT); Susan Page, USA Today; A.B. Stoddard, The Hill
Wednesday: PBO will deliver remarks in the Washington, DC area, where he will continue to call on Congress to act on a “To Do List” that will create jobs and help restore middle class security. Also on Wednesday, the President will award Specialist Leslie H. Sabo, Jr., U.S. Army, the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry. The First Lady will also attend.
Thursday: PBO will attend meetings at the White House.
Friday: PBO will deliver the opening keynote to the Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC. Later on Friday, the President will travel to Camp David for the G-8 Summit, which will address a broad range of economic, political and security issues. The President will remain overnight at Camp David.
Saturday: PBO will remain at Camp David for the G-8 Summit. Later on Saturday, the President will travel to Chicago where he will welcome NATO allies and partners to his hometown for the NATO Summit on May 20-21. The First Lady will travel to Chicago with the President.