Vladimir Putin’s Excellent Syrian Adventure was all fun and games so long as he was hitting Bashar al-Assad’s enemies (which rarely meant Daesh until that group downed a Russian airliner) and those enemies couldn’t fire back.
However, Russian pilots had the unfortunate habit of straying into Turkish airspace. This was understandable, as the air space in the war zone was rather tight. But the Turks warned Russia after the last incident that another violation of their airspace would bring about a response.
Today, a Russian jet again strayed into Turkish airspace. According to Turkey and the coalition command in Baghdad, Turkey warned the Russian plane ten times to leave its airspace. The Russians either didn’t hear the warnings, or ignored them, at which point Turkey downed the Russian jet. The pilots ejected, but didn’t survive. (The details of their deaths are still sketchy, but it seems that Syrian rebels shot them down.)
President Barack Obama speaks to the media during his closing press conference on day two of the G20 Turkey Leaders Summit
(L-R) Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.S President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron and French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Laurent Fabius talk during a round table meeting on day two of the G20 Turkey Leaders Summit on November 16, 2015 in Antalya, Turkey
First Lady Michelle Obama greets Gloria Estefan in the Diplomatic Room of the White House during a Broadway at the White House event for high school students involved in performing arts programs
First Lady Michelle Obama speaks about last Friday’s attacks in Paris
First Lady Michelle Obama dances to Gloria Estefan’s “Conga” with actor Josh Segarra and choreographer Sergio Trujillo
President Barack Obama takes the stage to deliver remarks on housing and home ownership at Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, Ariz., Aug. 6, 2013. Photo by Pete Souza
All Times Eastern
12:30PM: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Josh Earnest
2:10PM: President Obama holds a video conference to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. Congressman John Lewis and Attorney General Loretta Lynch will join him. It will be live streamed at WhiteHouse.gov/VotingRightsAct
The U.S. has begun conducting air strikes over Syria from a base in southern Turkey wapo.st/1MP3RZR
Missy Ryan: U.S. Conducts First Islamic State Strike Launched From Turkish Soil
The United States has begun conducting airstrikes over Syria from a base in southern Turkey, the Pentagon said Wednesday, opening a new front in the Obama administration’s air war against the Islamic State. Capt. Jeff Davis, a Defense Department spokesman, told reporters at the Pentagon that a U.S. drone had hit an Islamic State target in Syria on Tuesday. He declined to say exactly where the strike took place or whether it was successful. The beginning of combat flights from Incirlik Air Base is a sign of deepening U.S.-Turkish cooperation against militants in Syria, where the expansion of the Islamic State poses a growing threat to Turkey and the West.
Christopher Ingraham: Americans Say Racism Is A Bigger Problem Today Than At Any Point In The Past 20 Years
Half of Americans — exactly 50 percent — say racism is a “big problem” in this country, according to a fascinating new Pew poll released today. That’s up an astonishing 17 points since the last time pollsters asked this question in 2010. And it represents the highest level of concern about racism in this country in at least 20 years. So what’s changed? In a word: Ferguson.
And of course, everything that’s followed since. The Pew numbers reflect some of this. Americans are divided on the extent of the racism problem in this country. 73 percent of blacks call it a big problem, compared to 44 percent of whites. Democrats (61 percent) are also considerably more likely to see a major problem than Republicans (41 percent).
Nearly one year after Michael Brown was shot dead by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, a new poll shows a growing number of people believe there’s much to be done before black lives will be valued as much as others. Fifty-nine percent of Americans now believe changes are needed to give African-Americans equal rights, according to a Pew Research Center poll released on Wednesday. That’s up from 46 percent in a Pew poll just last year, before Brown was killed by officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9, setting off a series of demonstrations and fueling the Black Lives Matter movement.
The poll saw increases in the number of blacks, whites and Hispanics who felt more changes were needed. In 2014, only 39 percent of whites said more needed to be done. In 2015, that number jumped to 53 percent. For blacks, the numbers increased from 79 percent to 86 percent, and for Hispanics, 54 percent to 70 percent. The Pew poll comes after a year of heightened Black Lives Matter activism, including numerous rallies, die-ins and acts of civil disobedience.
President Barack Obama delivers remarks during the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., Aug. 6, 2014. Photo by Pete Souza
First Lady Michelle Obama and former First Lady Laura Bush participate in a symposium on advancement for women and girls in Africa, with U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit spouses at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., Aug. 6, 2014. Photo by Amanda Lucidon
President Barack Obama walks with Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on the South Lawn of the White House upon returning from the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., Aug. 6, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
First Lady Michelle Obama watches a performance during a symposium program on advancement for women and girls in Africa, with U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit spouses at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., Aug. 6, 2014. Seated with her, from left, are: Constancia Mangue de Obiang, First Lady of Equatorial Guinea; former First Lady Laura Bush; Sylvia Bongo Ondimba, First Lady of the Gabonese Republic; and Tina Tchen, Chief of Staff to the First Lady. Photo by Amanda Lucidon
President Barack Obama joins Jay Leno for a taping of the “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” in Burbank, Calif., Aug. 6, 2013. Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama autographs a banner following his remarks on the economy at Gelberg Signs in Washington, D.C., Aug. 6, 2010. Photo by Pete Souza)
“At the annual State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol, Chuck Kennedy captured this poignant moment between the First Lady and U.S. Army Ranger Sgt. First Class Cory Remsburg. Cory first met the President in 2009 at a D-Day ceremony in Normandy. Four months later, Cory was badly injured in Afghanistan and in a coma for three months. In early 2010, shortly after Cory came out of his coma, the President happened to be visiting patients at Walter Reed Hospital. As he walked into one of the patient’s rooms, hanging on the wall was a photo I had taken of the President and Cory in Normandy. The President then realized that he had met this badly injured Army Ranger at Normandy. Two years later, we were visiting Arizona, where Cory had gone home to further recuperate. The President asked if Cory would be able to greet him backstage. Amazingly, Cory was able to salute the President and walk across the room aided by a walker to shake hands with the President.” (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
February 4, 2014
“Members of Congress vie for the President’s attention following a meeting with the House Democratic Caucus in the East Room of the White House.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
“The President talks with some of his national security advisors before a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the situation in Ukraine. I’m sure there will be people quick to comment about his wearing casual clothes and having his feet on his coffee table. Let’s keep perspective in mind: it was a Saturday, and a President is the President whether he’s wearing a suit on a weekday or casual clothes on a weekend. And a President, any President, isn’t disrespecting the office if he puts his feet on a table or a desk; he’s just being relaxed.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama checks to see if he still needs the umbrella held by a U.S. Marine during a joint news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Rose Garden of the White House, May 16
Steve Benen: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was asked yesterday about House Republicans, once again, voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act, even though House Republicans realize this is pointless. Noting the insanity of doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results, Reid said they have “truly lost their minds.”
Generally, once partisan, tendentious sources leak information that turns out to be wrong, nothing’s ever done about it. That’s for many reasons, some good or somewhat understandable, mostly bad. But on CBS Evening News tonight, Major Garrett did something I don’t feel like I’ve seen in a really long time or maybe ever on a network news cast. He basically said straight out: Republicans told us these were the quotes, that wasn’t true….
Bloomberg: The U.S. auto industry is seeing demand recover faster than anticipated, with carmakers headed toward their best annual performance in three years at sales of 12.8 million vehicles.
Consumers entered this year’s final month demanding models ranging from big pickups to luxury sedans to fuel-sipping hybrids after pushing November’s sales to the fastest monthly pace since the government’s “cash for clunkers” trade-in program in August 2009….
…. Consumer confidence surged in November by the most in more than eight years, and the portion of consumers planning to buy a new vehicle within six months climbed to the highest since April, data from The Conference Board showed Nov. 29.
Vice President Joe Biden has a breakfast meeting at the Turkish Parliament in Ankara
Vice President Joe Biden visits a shop in the Samatya Square neighborhood in Istanbul, Turkey, Dec. 4
Official White House Photos by David Lienemann
Just when it looked like things couldn’t get worse for Willard:
President Barack Obama meets with advisors in the Oval Office, Dec. 5, 2011. Pictured, from left, are: Gene Sperling, National Economic Council Director; Dan Pfeiffer, Director of Communications; Press Secretary Jay Carney; Cody Keenan, Deputy Director of Speechwriting; and Senior Advisor David Plouffe. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
$1,000 in 24 hours? You people are just fantastic – thank you so much ;-)
A gazillion thanks to those of you who provide links to posts on other blogs, really appreciate it, it makes it so easy for all of us to keep up with what’s worth reading.
Just a very, very polite request: please only include a few short extracts from the posts and then provide the link to the full piece. eg If it’s, say, a piece by Steve Benen that runs to about 10 paragraphs, just include about 2 or 3 paragraphs, or parts of 3 or 4, and then the link.
If we post most or all of the piece here then there’ll be no need for us to visit the blog itself, which isn’t fair on the author of the post in question. Thanks everyone.
Jon Hopwood (Yahoo): …. Barack Obama visited New Hampshire two days after Mitt Romney …. the events illustrated a substantial difference in style between two politicians….
… Obama’s appearance, in which the President displayed a fire-in-the-belly that was perfect for prime time and showed him in full campaign mode, was in sharp contrast to the more subdued political pitch made by Romney in Nashua. While Obama is cool, he can turn up the heat. The laid-back Romney, in contrast, comes across as cold….
Obama roused an enthusiastic crowd with his rhetoric. He was back at being the master of the campaign trail. Romney, in contrast, was rather flat …. Romney’s appearance brought to mind Clint Eastwood’s recent remarks about him: That if a movie-maker was looking for an actor to play the President, central casting would send over Mitt. Just what he stood for, Clint said, is anybody’s guess.
…. Romney was paired with the tall and also good-looking Kelly Ayotte. But there was something uncanny about the pair, something not quite human. Rather than fashion models, they struck me as two mannequins that had miraculously come to life and had escaped from Macy’s. There was a plastic quality about both, and for a candidate for President of the United States going up against one of the great campaigners of modern times, Barack Obama, this could prove fatal.
President Barack Obama greets Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India at the start of their bilateral meeting at the ASEAN Summit in Nusa Dua, Bali, Nov. 18, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
The BIG news!
“On Wednesday, November 23, 2011, President Obama will pardon the National Thanksgiving Turkey in a ceremony in the Rose Garden. The President will celebrate the 64th anniversary of the National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation, reflect upon the time-honored traditions of Thanksgiving, and wish American families a warm, safe, and healthy holiday. The 2011 National Thanksgiving Turkey and its alternate were raised on AgForte farm in Willmar, Minnesota.
“After the pardoning, the turkeys will be driven to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens. The National Thanksgiving Turkey will be on display for visitors during ‘Christmas at Mount Vernon,’ a special program through January 6. After the holidays, the National Thanksgiving Turkey and its alternate will live in a custom-made enclosure at Mount Vernon’s nationally recognized livestock facility.”
Steve Benen: One of the top priorities of the House Republican leadership for this Congress was passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. As of this afternoon, we can add another item to the list of GOP failures …. it needed 290 votes in the lower chamber, and came up with 261.
….only four House Republicans voted against it. The majority needed roughly 50 Democrats to break ranks, but ended up with about half the necessary total. [Here’s the roll call.]
The nation dodged a bullet today. This amendment would have devastated the economy and made responses to future crises effectively impossible….
Washington Post: Despite it all, the U.S. economy has entered a strong patch.
…. following a year of one economic disappointment after another, a variety of economic indicators are pointing in a more positive direction. The question is whether the U.S. economy has built enough momentum to withstand new shocks from overseas.
On Thursday, the Commerce Department said the number of permits to build new housing units rose 10.9 percent in October, compared with the 2.4 percent gain analysts had expected, suggesting that home-building may be finally picking up. And the Labor Department said the number of people filing new claims for unemployment-insurance benefits fell last week to its lowest level since April, continuing a two-month downward trend.
NYT: Even with low approval ratings and an uncertain path to reelection, President Obama is exceeding expectations in one area: His campaign is doing far better at attracting grass-roots financial support this year than his GOP rivals or his own historic effort in 2008, according to new contribution data.
The sheer scale of small donations, totaling $56 million for Obama and his party, has surprised many Democratic strategists and fundraisers, who feared that a sour economy would make it difficult for Obama to raise money from disenchanted and cash-strapped voters.
A Washington Post analysis shows that nearly half of his campaign contributions, and a quarter of the money he has raised for the Democratic Party, has come from donors giving less than $200. That’s much higher than it was four years ago, and far beyond what the best-funded Republicans have managed.
…. “The number of small donations shows who it is that supports this president and who put him there,” said Katherine Hahn, a self-described “mom and artist” from Evergreen, Colo., who gives Obama $25 a month. “It wasn’t the powers that be so much as it was people like me.”
AP: Some of the money from President Barack Obama’s health care law is flowing to places you might not expect.
Two Texas public employee programs are among the top 25 beneficiaries of a $5-billion fund to shore up employer coverage for early retirees, despite Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s vow to repeal what Republicans derisively call “Obamacare.”
And records show the Huntsman family business, where GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman was once a top executive, received about $1 million.
Some see a gap between dire Republican rhetoric about the health care overhaul and the pragmatic impulse to cash in on a new government benefit.
“Lots of Texans are already benefiting from health care reform,” said Anne Dunkelberg, a health care expert at the Austin-based Center for Public Policy Priorities. “Other than for political theater, there would not be the kind of opposition there is.” The nonpartisan center advocates for the poor.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner
…. with Spain’s PM Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero
… with Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff
…. with Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
… with International Labor Organization Director-General Juan Somavia
CNN: President Barack Obama leads all of his potential Republican challengers in hypothetical 2012 matchups among Pennsylvania adults, according to a new poll.
The Franklin and Marshall College poll released Thursday in the battleground state, shows Obama ahead of potential rivals Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum, but the results are closest when the president is paired with Romney.
Obama leads the former Massachusetts governor 35% to 26% and Cain, the former pizza executive, 38% to 24%. He enjoys a 20% lead over Texas Gov. Perry, 40% to 20% and a 13% advantage over former two-term Pennsylvania Sen. Santorum, 38% to 25%.