Posts Tagged ‘independent

02
Apr
12

rise and shine

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11:15 AM: PBO hosts Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada and President Felipe Calderon of Mexico for the North American Leaders’ Summit.

12:00 PM: Attends a working lunch with Harper and Calderon.

1:15 PM: Holds a joint press conference with Harper and Calderon.

White House live

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USA Today: President Obama has opened the first significant lead of the 2012 campaign in the nation’s dozen top battleground states, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, boosted by a huge shift of women to his side.

In the fifth Swing States survey taken since last fall, Obama leads Republican front-runner Mitt Romney 51%-42% among registered voters just a month after the president had trailed him by two percentage points.

The biggest change came among women under 50. In mid-February, just under half of those voters supported Obama. Now more than six in 10 do while Romney’s support among them has dropped by 14 points, to 30%. The president leads him 2-1 in this group. Romney’s main advantage is among men 50 and older, swamping Obama 56%-38%.

…. In the poll, Romney leads among all men by a single point, but the president leads among women by 18.

More here

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David Javerbaum (NYT): A Quantum Theory of Mitt Romney. The recent remark by Mitt Romney’s senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom that upon clinching the Republican nomination Mr. Romney could change his political views “like an Etch A Sketch” has already become notorious. The comment seemed all too apt, an apparent admission by a campaign insider of two widely held suspicions about Mitt Romney: that he is a) utterly devoid of any ideological convictions and b) filled with aluminum powder.

…. according to the latest theories, the “Mitt Romney” who seems poised to be the Republican nominee is but one of countless Mitt Romneys, each occupying his own cosmos, each supporting a different platform, each being compared to a different beloved children’s toy but all of them equally real, all of them equally valid and all of them running for president at the same time, in their own alternative Romnealities, somewhere in the vast Romniverse.

And all of them losing to Barack Obama.

More here

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Rupert Cornwell (UK Independent): Obamacare is in the hands of the unelected – The Supreme Court has the power to trump Congress and consign to history the US’s boldest attempt at universal healthcare.

….. If the so-called “individual mandate” is rejected, then the whole financial edifice of Obamacare comes crashing down. With the stroke of a judicial pen, unelected judges would have voided the most important piece of health legislation since the Medicare and Medicaid Acts in 1965, and destroyed the boldest effort yet to give America what is taken for granted in every other industrial country: universal health coverage.

…. The biggest casualty of all, however, could be the reputation of the Supreme Court itself … it would be shown once and for all as just another player, albeit a mightily powerful one, in the partisan warfare that has brought the American political system almost to the point of dysfunction. Maybe, that will induce one conservative justice at least to step back from the brink on Obamacare. But don’t bet on it.

More here

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Morons with Signs

This. Just. Cracks. Me. Up.

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Tuesday: PBO will deliver remarks at the AP Luncheon during the ASNE Convention.

Wednesday: PBO will host an Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House. Christian leaders from across the country will join the President at this breakfast for a time of prayer, reflection, and celebration of Easter. Also on Wednesday, the President will sign the STOCK Act, which makes clear that Members of Congress are subject to the same insider trading laws that apply to everyone else. This was legislation the President called on Congress to pass in his 2012 State of the Union Address.

Thursday: PBO will sign the JOBS Act, which includes key initiatives the President proposed last fall to help small businesses and startups grow and create jobs.

Friday: PBO will deliver remarks at the White House Forum on Women and the Economy. Later, the President and the First Lady will mark the beginning of Passover with a Seder at the White House with friends and staff.

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Morning everyone 😉

24
May
11

an unforgettable call to arms

Irish Independent: His voice, that velvet-rich, immense voice, rose and soared and his words were carried by the wind down Dame Street, around College Green, up towards Christchurch, over the sea of people who had come to hear him.

“Is féidir linn. Yes we can. Yes we can. Is féidir linn,” Barack Obama called into the late afternoon as the electric air crackled around him … A massive cheer rumbled and rolled down the carpet of humanity crammed into the city centre.

They were still so powerful, those three small words that swept him into the White House on a wave of hope and a desire for change … And they lost none of their magic as they tumbled in Irish from the lips of one of the most extraordinary orators of our times.

It’s hard to see where all that power and poetry is contained in the slender frame of the 44th President of America, but on a blustery night in Dublin city, his charisma warmed the chilliest soul.

….Enda was only half way through his speech when a bone-rattling roar erupted in front of him. And out on to the stage, hand-in-hand, strode Barack and Michelle Obama, waving and smiling as a chant of “Obama, Obama” echoed around the buildings.

….Slowly and gracefully, the speech built momentum and Obama wove together the shared experiences of Ireland and America and paid tribute to the generations of immigrants who travelled from this country – as did his own great-great-great grandfather from Moneygall in 1850 – to put down roots in his land.

…Waves of emotion poured from the crowd, many of them young people who have suddenly found themselves facing bleak options at a time when their dreams are shattered.

Before the final cheers had quite subsided, he was down in front of the stage, shaking hands, cuddling babies, signing autographs, shooting the breeze.

…Obama didn’t let us down, and he left us with his unforgettable call to arms. “Ireland, if anyone ever says otherwise, if anybody ever tells you that your problems are too big, your challenges are too great and we can’t do something, that we shouldn’t even try, think about all that we’ve done together, remember that whenever hardships the winter may bring, springtime is always just around the corner.

“And if they keep on arguing with you, just respond with a simple creed – Is feidir linn. Yes we can.”

….he touched us all.

Full article here

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03
May
11

‘obama has shown the world why it fell in love with him’

Matthew Norman (The UK Independent): He is not the Messiah, but he deserves to sleep easy in his bed, and leave the 3am angst to malevolent midgets like Donald Trump who will never trouble him again

…Obama is said to be a strong player in the tight-aggressive style, which means that he doesn’t play a lot of hands or bluff much; but that when the potential return justifies the risk, he isn’t scared to push all his chips in … This is what he did in Abbottabad…

He bet the lot – his presidency, re-election chances, and place in history … had it gone wrong, Obama would by now have been measured up for the Jimmy Carter One Term Memorial Shroud…

It did not go wrong, and so he finally became the President of the United States of America, rather than President of That Chunk Of America That Doesn’t Regard A Black Man In The Oval Office As The Cleaner Or An Imposter.

… Obama did more than quell the screechings of the wingnuts, chat-show rabble-rousers, the Birthers and those we should term the Placentas (the After-Birthers who have now progressed to post-certificate conspiracy theories to question his legitimacy). He reminded the world why it fell in love with him in the first place.

…People have criticised him for being “professorial” as well as arrogant. They will do so no longer. He pondered for months, studied the research, weighed up the evidence, and reached the right conclusion. This is one cool, tough prof, and the lesson he has taught by example won’t quickly be unlearnt. In asymmetric warfare against a stateless enemy, invading sovereign states and slaughtering civilians is not the way to go. You don’t punish the guilty by killing the innocent. You do so by killing the guilty.

….Let no one hear attempts to share Obama’s credit with Dubya without revulsion. He failed pitifully in this, as in almost every thing else … Obama hasn’t honoured on every promise, nor will. He is not the Messiah, although if the Kool Aid truck has redelivered at last, make mine an octuple. For tempering vengeance with mercy, by refusing to reckon countless civilian lives a price worth paying to safeguard himself, hedeserves to sleep easy in his bed, and leave all the sweaty 3am angst to Donald Trump and the other malevolent midgets who will never trouble him again.

Full article here

01
May
11

‘trump’s lunacy reveals core truth about the republicans’

Johann Hari (The UK Independent): Since the election of Barack Obama, the Republican Party has proved that one of its central intellectual arguments was right all along. It has long claimed that evolution is a myth believed in only by whiny liberals – and it turns out it was on to something. Every six months, the party venerates a new hero, and each time it is somebody further back on the evolutionary scale.

Sarah Palin told cheering rallies that her message to the world was: “We’ll put a boot in your ass, it’s the American way!” – but that wasn’t enough. So the party found Michele Bachmann, who said darkly it was an “interesting coincidence” that swine flu only breaks out under Democratic presidents, claims the message of The Lion King is “I’m better at what I do because I’m gay”, and argues “there isn’t even one study that can be produced that shows carbon dioxide is a harmful gas.”

That wasn’t enough. I half-expected the next contender to be a lung-fish draped in the Stars and Stripes. But it wasn’t anything so sophisticated. Enter stage (far) right Donald Trump, the bewigged billionaire who has filled America with phallic symbols and plastered his name across more surfaces than the average Central Asian dictator. CNN’s polling suggests he is the most popular candidate among Republican voters. It’s not hard to see why. Trump is every trend in Republican politics over the past 35 years taken to its logical conclusion. He is the Republican id, finally entirely unleashed from all restraint and all reality…..

…So who should be the Republican nominee? I hear the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse were considering running – but they are facing primary challenges from the Tea Party for being way too mild-mannered.

Read the full article here

This is brilliant Edwina, thank you so much for the link

23
Mar
11

‘obama’s cautious approach is perfectly sensible’

UK Independent: …Think what would have happened if Washington had taken the lead in declaring a no-fly-zone over Libya without UN agreement or Arab backing. The people now criticising President Obama for dilatoriness would be accusing him of being another Bush. And if he’d refused to have anything to do with the no-fly-zone, commentators in Europe and the Middle East would be saying that it was because, at the end of the day, America doesn’t want democracy in the Arab world, that it prefers the rulers of Bahrain and Yemen to suppress revolt than bow before it….

…Obama’s cautious approach is perfectly sensible. Libya is not America’s dogfight. Thanks in large part to Lockerbie, Washington has never favoured Gaddafi. It is, in US eyes, and rightly, a European problem. It was France and Britain – Sarkozy and Blair – who spent their time sucking up so obscenely to the Libyan dictator, just as Silvio Berlusconi embraced him in a Faustian pact to stop illegal migration from Africa. Washington under President George W Bush certainly welcomed Gaddafi’s dramatic (and largely meaningless) gesture of giving up nuclear ambitions – but they didn’t sell their souls to him in the way we (the British), and the French, did.

Nor can Washington be blamed for being forced into military command of the first phase of the Libyan operation by the simple fact that it is only the US that has the hardware and control systems to do it. French objections to this becoming a Nato exercise are just so much hot air. They can’t do it, nor can the British in alliance with them.

Obama is also right to spell out, as he did this week, a clear separation between the objectives of the UN resolution, which is to protect Libyan civilians, and the objectives of American policy, which is to see the back of the Colonel.

…Once Gaddafi had turned the military tide and was openly threatening, by word as well as deed, to wreak his wrath on the rebels in Benghazi, the world couldn’t stand by and watch a massacre. Memories of Srebrenica and Rwanda are too raw for western politicians to allow it to happen again….

Full article here

19
Mar
11

‘wise’

President Obama arrives to make a statement authorizing limited military action against Libya, March 19

UK Independent: The Paris summit yesterday of the 10-nation coalition of the willing, including the Arab League, backed by a United Nations resolution authorising the use of force to impose a no-fly zone over Libya, marks a triumph of diplomacy.

Inevitably, it is marred by the besetting fault of such negotiations: it has taken too long for the world community to come to this point …. but that is the price of unity. Far better to have the Arab League call for a no-fly zone and the UN respond than to have the rich Western nations of Nato decide what is good for north Africa.

…Barack Obama made it clear last week that US troops would not be deployed in Libya and the UN resolution specifically excludes “a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory”. President Obama, incidentally, has been criticised in recent weeks for his apparent uncertainty and lack of assertion. We do not join in that criticism. It is wise that the United States should allow European and Arab states to take the lead in the Mediterranean theatre, while supporting the rule of law under the aegis of the UN.

…The no-fly zone may seem inadequate to the task of protecting the Libyan people, but, however difficult it may be to accept, it may be that the best we can hope for is that the international community blunts the worst excesses of Gaddafi’s brutality.

Full article here

18
Mar
11

‘caution is obama’s only option. but it’s working’

UK Independent: The United States appears to have been taking a back seat in coping with the Libyan crisis, leaving its European allies and the Arab world to make the running. And that is exactly how Washington wants it.

After Iraq and Afghanistan, there is little appetite on Capitol Hill and absolutely none in the White House for another US-led attack on a Muslim country, at least without the declared blessing – and better still, the participation – of other Arab states.

In the end, the Obama administration had little choice. However much it abhors the slightest risk of another Middle Eastern military entanglement, there was no way the US could be caught, as the well-worn American phrase goes, on the wrong side of history, watching from the sidelines as a dictator unleashed brutal violence against his own people.

With its authorisation of “all necessary force… short of foreign occupation” to protect the Libyan civilian population from Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s onslaught, Thursday evening’s Security Council resolution at the United Nations essentially makes the best of a bad job. The mission has been couched in humanitarian terms. The resolution’s wording explicitly rules out an Iraq-style ground war. It follows approval by the Arab League of a no-fly zone over Libya, while White House officials made clear yesterday they expected logistical support from “Arab partners”.

…Like everyone else, the US is scrambling to keep up. And Washington must display an especially delicate touch, given its vast geo-strategic interests in the region, the need to preserve alliances and the importance of making sure the turbulence does not play out to the longer-term advantage of Iran.

Thus far, this cautious approach – one that reflects the instincts of Barack Obama – seems to be working. In Tunisia and Egypt, friendly governments were toppled but their replacements, at least for now, have not sought to break ties with Washington. Nor does radical Islam appear to be moving to fill the vacuum.

The Gaddafi regime’s declaration of a ceasefire after the Security Council resolution is also probably exactly what Washington wants. Whether it is sincere, or merely a ploy to buy time, the next few days will tell. But at least it raises the chance of a peaceful outcome.

Full article here

President Barack Obama talks with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton following a meeting in the Oval Office, March 18, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

12
Mar
11

yahooooooooooo!

You know, when the media tries to set a narrative it’s comically stubborn in trying to back it up with evidence, even when the ‘evidence’ is a little shaky.

Take this report I saw today on Yahoo News.

The headline? “Obama Shows Alarming Loss of Ground with Independents, Poll Indicates.”

Okay, that didn’t sound good.

“A new Reuters/Ipsos Poll shows President Barack Obama’s job approval rating among independents (37%) dropped sharply when compared to last month’s rating. According to the poll, the president’s approval rating fell a precipitous 10 percent. Could it spell trouble for his re-election?”

Uh oh.

But wait. Buried right at the bottom of the article were the findings of two other polls, by Gallup and Rasmussen, which put the President’s approval rating among independents at, respectively, 43% and 47%. Yes, 47% – a whole 10% higher than the Reuters/Ipsos poll. That’s just 4% lower than he got in the 2008 election.

“The numbers might be more worrisome for the president … if other polls corroborated the fall in approval ratings … Gallup, which daily tracks the president’s approval rating, showed Obama at 43 percent approval among independents during the same time frame, down only 2 percent from a month ago (and still up by a point over January).”

But it was the Reuters/Ipsos Poll that Yahoo chose to highlight, and feature in their headline.

I dunno, if you had three polls showing wildly different findings, wouldn’t you focus on the middle one?

Or mention that two of the three polls were rather positive for the President?

Then again, “Independent support for Obama down only 2 percent from a month ago (and still up by a point over January)” doesn’t quite fit that narrative, eh?

28
Feb
11

‘house gop budget cuts would destroy 700,000 jobs’

Greg Sargent (Washington Post): A Republican plan to sharply cut federal spending this year would destroy 700,000 jobs through 2012, according to an independent economic analysis set for release Monday.

The report, by Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi, offers fresh ammunition to Democrats seeking block the Republican plan, which would terminate dozens of programs and slash federal appropriations by $61 billion over the next seven months.

….Zandi will of course be dismissed in some quarters because he has aggressively defended the stimulus. But this is the second outside analysis to reach this conclusion. Last week Goldman Sachs, in a confidential report to clients, concluded that House GOP budget cuts would be a drag on the economy and cut economic growth by roughly two percent of GDP.

More here

24
Feb
11

making the economy worse, on purpose

Steve Benen (Washington Monthly): If federal policymakers want to make the economy worse, on purpose, all they have to do is approve the Republican agenda. The Financial Times has this report today:

“The Republican plan to slash government spending by $61bn in 2011 could reduce US economic growth by 1.5 to 2 percentage points in the second and third quarters of the year, a Goldman Sachs economist has warned……”

…Remember, this analysis comes a week after additional research found that the Republican spending cuts could lead to roughly 1 million job losses. (Asked about this, Speaker John Boehner replied last week, “So be it.”)

…We now have independent analyses showing that the Republican spending measure would push the economy back towards a recession and would deliberately make unemployment worse. If Democrats balk, the GOP will shut down the government.

Why this isn’t the lead story in every news outlet in the country remains unclear.

Update: I suppose the next question is why Republicans would pursue a plan they know would slow the economy. Among the possibilities … they have to hurt the country on purpose to undermine President Obama’s re-election chances … I’d love to understand the GOP’s motivations, but just as importantly, I’d love for the media to press the GOP on its motivations.

Read the full article here




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