Steve Benen: …. I’m reminded of a recent tweet from Eli Lake, a national security correspondent for the conservative Washington Times (see above).
Though I imagine the choice of words will be very different, I suspect Obama’s re-election team will be pushing a similar message. Sure, national security policy probably won’t drive the presidential race, but for those who consider the issue, Obama and his team will have a compelling pitch to make.
There’s still a worthwhile debate to be had over whether U.S. intervention in Libya was a wise move, a terrible tragedy, or something in between, but the White House can credibly claim quite a bit of success: the Arab League endorsed intervention from the West; the administration assembled an international coalition with surprising speed; the mission gained approval from the United Nations; and as of this morning, it appears the Gaddafi regime is no more.
Steve Benen (in August): …..if McCain and Graham really want to complain about why “this success was so long in coming,” maybe they can talk more about their trip to Tripoli two years ago, when both cozied up to Gaddafi, even visiting with him at the dictator’s home, discussing delivery of American military equipment to the Libyan regime. Both senators shook Gaddafi’s hand; McCain even bowed a little.
I’m curious if McCain and Graham have simply forgotten about this, or if they’re just hoping everyone else has.
Oh, here’s McCain sharing his fine judgment with us today:
McCain statement today: “The death of Muammar Qaddafi marks an end to the first phase of the Libyan revolution. While some final fighting continues, the Libyan people have liberated their country…… (bla bla bla).”
Ah ha – update:
GOPolitico: Sen. John McCain hailed the reported death of Muammar Qadhafi as a “victory” for President Obama.
“This is a victory for the president, the Obama administration but most importantly” for the Libyan people, McCain said on Fox News Thursday morning.
…. In a statement released earlier in the day, the Arizona senator said Qadhafi’s death “marks an end to the first phase of the Libyan revolution” but didn’t mention the president or the Obama administration.
Thanks Esmerelda & amk
Reuters: New claims for unemployment benefits fell last week, according to a government report on Thursday that showed layoffs in recent weeks had dropped to levels last seen in April.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 403,000, the Labor Department said. Economists had forecast claims falling to 400,000.
The four-week moving average of claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends, dropped 6,250 to 403,000 – the lowest level since mid-April.
Michael Woolfolk, senior currency strategist at BNY Mellon in New York, said recent data on payrolls and retail sales had “effectively removed the double-dip scenario for the U.S.”
“The weekly fall in jobless claims adds to this, and the four-week moving average continues to drift lower. But we are still a long distance from the 200,000 new jobs a month we need for a sustainable improvement in the unemployment rate,” he said…..
TPM: One reason you can expect unanimous Republican opposition to Senate Democrats’ latest jobs bill Friday is because it includes a tax – a 0.5 percent surtax on income above $1 million starting in January 2013. That would raise enough money over the next 10 years to cover the $35 billion cost of hiring and retaining about 400,000 teachers and emergency responders next year – but for Republicans, it’s not worth it.
….. Enter Vice President Joe Biden, who at a Capitol Hill rally on Wednesday provided a lesson on just how modest the tax is.
“You have a one-half of one-percent surtax on the 1,000,0001th dollar — in other words it doesn’t affect anybody who makes $999,000, it doesn’t affect anybody making $999,999 — and if you want to find the guy who make $1,000,0001, it only affects that $1. That’s the only thing the rate goes up on,” Biden explained.
…. “If you make $1.1 million, and god-willing this passes, you would pay next year, $500 more in taxes,” Biden said.
….. “I say to the American people: watch your senator,” Biden said. “Watch him or her choose: Are you going to put 400,000 school teachers back in classrooms; are you going to put 18,000 cops back on the street, and 7,000 firefighters back into firehouses? OR are you going to save people with average income over $1 million a one-half of one-percent increase in tax on every dollar they make over a million.”