9:50: PBO departs the White House en route to Joint Base Andrews
10:05: Departs Joint Base Andrews en route to Cedar Rapids, Iowa
12:20: Arrives in Cedar Rapids
12:40: Tours Conveyor Engineering & Manufacturing
12:55: Delivers remarks
2:30: Departs Cedar Rapids en route to Phoenix, Ariz
5:35: Arrives in Phoenix
6:30: Delivers remarks at Intel Ocotillo Campus
8:35: Departs Phoenix, Ariz. en route to Las Vegas, Nevada
9:30: Arrives in Las Vegas
John Cole (Balloon Juice): I gotta say, every time I get some one on one time with that guy, which is basically what the SOTU is- an opportunity for the President to speak to America, I just want to vote for him early and often. The contrast between Obama and the crowd of miscreants in the GOP running to replace him is just striking.
…. every time I hear him speak, I am still aware of all the things I disagree with him on, but think “That is a good man doing what he thinks is best.”….
Paul Krugman: From the Daniels reply to the State of Union: Contrary to the President’s constant disparagement of people in business, it’s one of the noblest of human pursuits. The late Steve Jobs – what a fitting name he had – created more of them than all those stimulus dollars the President borrowed and blew.
…. Steve Jobs designed great products. It’s very, very hard to make the case that he created large numbers of jobs in this country. Obama’s auto bailout, just by itself, saved a lot more jobs than Apple’s US employment.
David Corn (Mother Jones): …. With this speech, Obama forcefully presented a view of the nation and the tasks at hand that positioned him as a can-do, patriotic, forward-looking optimist against obstructionist Republicans with a dark take on the nation’s prospects. He pitched government policies that would bolster middle-class security ….. “Take the money we’re no longer spending at war,” he declared, “use half of it to pay down our debt, and use the rest to do some nation-building right here at home.”
… This State of the Union — Obama’s best so far — won’t move the needle (as politicos like to say) in Washington. The president’s calls for bipartisan cooperation, for reforming the easy-to-abuse rules of the Senate, for campaign finance reform, and for lowering the heated rhetoric will not be heeded. But he demonstrated that when it comes to concocting a political messaging — and tethering it to his past achievements and current proposals — he can be masterful….
Steve Benen: Daniels is the serious one? Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels delivered the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address, to the delight of GOP insiders who still hope he might run for president. The national platform offered Daniels an opportunity to back up the hype — pundits routinely praise the former Bush budget director as a serious, thoughtful conservative, and this was his chance to prove it.
President Obama phones Jessica Buchanan’s father John last night to inform him of her rescue.
MSNBC: In a daring nighttime raid Tuesday, U.S. Navy SEALs rescued two hostages, including one American, who were being held by kidnappers in Somalia, U.S. officials tell NBC News.
American Jessica Buchanan, 32, and a 60-year-old Dane, Poul Thisted, were working for a Danish relief organization in northern Somalia when they were kidnapped last October. U.S. officials described their kidnappers as heavily armed common criminals with no known ties to any organized militant group.
Juan Cole: As I expected, now that Qaddafi’s advantage in armor and heavy weapons is being neutralized by the UN allies’ air campaign, the liberation movement is regaining lost territory….
I am unabashedly cheering the liberation movement on, and glad that the UNSC-authorized intervention has saved them from being crushed …
…On the surface, the situation in Libya a week and a half ago posed a contradiction between two key principles of Left politics: supporting the ordinary people and opposing foreign domination of them. Libya’s workers and townspeople had risen up to overthrow the dictator in city after city … even in the capital of Tripoli, working-class neighborhoods such as Suq al-Jumah and Tajoura had chased out the secret police….
…The United Nations Security Council authorization for UN member states to intervene to forestall this massacre thus pitched the question. If the Left opposed intervention, it de facto acquiesced in Qaddafi’s destruction of a movement embodying the aspirations of most of Libya’s workers and poor, along with large numbers of white collar middle class people. Qaddafi would have reestablished himself, with the liberation movement squashed like a bug and the country put back under secret police rule…
The arguments against international intervention are not trivial, but they all did have the implication that it was all right with the world community if Qaddafi deployed tanks against innocent civilian crowds just exercising their right to peaceful assembly and to petition their government…
Some have charged that the Libya action has a Neoconservative political odor. But the Neoconservatives hate the United Nations and wanted to destroy it. They went to war on Iraq despite the lack of UNSC authorization, in a way that clearly contravened the UN Charter…. …The Libya action, in contrast, observes all the norms of international law and multilateral consultation that the Neoconservatives despise.
The intervention in Libya was done in a legal way. It was provoked by a vote of the Arab League, including the newly liberated Egyptian and Tunisian governments. It was urged by a United Nations Security Council resolution, the gold standard for military intervention.
….To make ‘anti-imperialism’ trump all other values in a mindless way leads to frankly absurd positions…. ..in Libya intervention was demanded by the people being massacred as well as by the regional powers, was authorized by the UNSC, and could practically attain its humanitarian aim of forestalling a massacre through aerial bombardment of murderous armored brigades.
…I would like to urge the Left to learn to chew gum and walk at the same time. It is possible to reason our way through, on a case-by-case basis, to an ethical progressive position that supports the ordinary folk in their travails in places like Libya. If we just don’t care if the people of Benghazi are subjected to murder and repression on a vast scale, we aren’t people of the Left. We should avoid making ‘foreign intervention’ an absolute taboo the way the Right makes abortion an absolute taboo if doing so makes us heartless….
Thank you so much for the link Suzanne, this is just brilliant …. although I suspect it will make Juan Cole an even bigger hate figure for the Professional Left than he already is. Their rage at the international community (especially President Obama, of course) for stepping in to stop the slaughter of the innocent is a sight to behold.
Professor Juan Cole: Here are the differences between George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the current United Nations action in Libya:
1. The action in Libya was authorized by the United Nations Security Council. That in Iraq was not. By the UN Charter, military action after 1945 should either come as self-defense or with UNSC authorization. Most countries in the world are signatories to the charter and bound by its provisions.
2. The Libyan people had risen up and thrown off the Qaddafi regime, with some 80-90 percent of the country having gone out of his hands before he started having tank commanders fire shells into peaceful crowds. It was this vast majority of the Libyan people that demanded the UN no-fly zone. In 2002-3 there was no similar popular movement against Saddam Hussein.
3. There was an ongoing massacre of civilians, and the threat of more such massacres in Benghazi, by the Qaddafi regime, which precipitated the UNSC resolution. Although the Saddam Hussein regime had massacred people in the 1980s and early 1990s, nothing was going on in 2002-2003 that would have required international intervention.