Presidents and Vacations
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
but unlike his position during the investigation of President Clinton and of the allegations that he lied under oath and violated the law, Senator McCain doesn't think that the Bush administration's breaking the law and null and voiding our treaties should be investigated or punished.
Apparently, in Mr. McCain's world as well as in other GOPer's, it's only unlawful when a DEMOCRAT violates his oath of office.
Here is John McCain in his own hypocritical and outrageously partisan words:
"But we are not asked to judge the President's character flaws. We are asked to judge whether the President, who swore an oath to faithfully execute his office, deliberately subverted--for whatever purpose--the rule of law," - John McCain arguing for the impeachment of Bill Clinton for perjury in a civil suit, February 1999.
"Anyone who knows what waterboarding is could not be unsure. It is a horrible torture technique used by Pol Pot," - John McCain, October 2007.
"We've got to move on," - John McCain, April 26, 2009, reacting to incontrovertible proof that George W. Bush ordered the waterboarding of a prisoner 183 times, as well as broader treatment that the Red Cross has called "unequivocally torture."
So let's get this straight: John McCain was a defender of the rule of law when Mr. Clinton lied under oath about sexual misconduct, but believes we should "move on" concerning the issue of the Bush administration breaking the law and torturing.
There is no defending this rank hypocrisy and stupidity.
More hypocrisy, this time from John Boehner:
House GOP leader John Boehner has called on the Obama administration to release unspecified intelligence documents that supposedly will demonstrate that torture has been effective.
But Boehner won’t say whether the CIA should release a key classified report that is said to find no proof that torture foiled terror plots, according to his office.
Monday, April 27, 2009
He has presented a budget that would raise taxes on the wealthy and slash major weapons programs.
Facing an economic downturn early in his first term, Reagan didn’t panic, White said. “People sensed there was a crisis, and they were willing to give him time. So while he took a beating in 1982, they weren’t willing to give up on him or Reaganomics, and I think the public is more willing to accord Obama time than a lot of people think.”
Barack Obama took the oath of office on Jan. 20 with the world watching the inauguration of the nation’s first African-American president. (Photo by Worsom Robinson/Real Times News Service)• Development of a plan to address the housing crisis and nation’s failing economy, amidst which he now sees “glimmers of hope”;
Sunday, April 26, 2009
"Tedisco’s victory will be a credible repudiation of the spending spree that Obama and Congress have been on since January. Even the executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee acknowledged over the weekend that the race was “a referendum on the Economic Recovery Act and Barack Obama’s policies.” Well, the DCCC is right — this likely Republican victory is a referendum on the president. [...]
Friday, April 24, 2009
Steve Schmidt, John McCain's campaign director in the 2008 presidential election, has some interesting things to say
On the Republican Party:
"It is near-extinct in many ways in the Northeast, it is extinct in many ways on the West Coast, and it is endangered in the Mountain West, increasingly endangered in the Southwest . . . and if you look at the state of the party, it is a shrinking entity."...
"As a political proposition, his [Barack Obama] first 100 days have been successful," he said. "His approval rating is in the 60s, there has been dramatic improvement in the 'right track' number, he's had success . . . at passing legislation, and the Republican Party as a matter of reality in the first 100 days has not done anything to improve its political condition."
On Gay Rights:
Schmidt voiced his support for gay rights at meeting of the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay Republican group. Schmidt, when referring to the group, said "I just wanted to take a second to come by and pay my respect and the campaign's respect to your organization and to your group. Your organization is an important one in the fabric of our party."
Schmidt referred in positive terms to his lesbian sister and her life partner: "On a personal level, my sister and her partner are an important part of my life and our children's life. I admire your group and your organization and I encourage you to keep fighting for what you believe in because the day is going to come," said Schmidt.
All one has to do is read the comments in my posts to see how out of touch and extreme the Republican Party of today has become. And yet it stubbornly elevates and admires the nutjobs whom a majority of Americans reject--Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck [a particularly toxic and unbalanced extremist.]
How many more centrist Republicans will the party ignore before it realizes it has become a regional party of negativism and clownish politicians who astoundingly support illegal torture AND, in Texas, secession?
Could the Republican Party get any crazier than this?
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Tue, 04/21/2009 - 9:17am
By Philip Zelikow
I first gained access to the OLC memos and learned details about CIA's program for high-value detainees shortly after the set of opinions were issued in May 2005. I did so as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's policy representative to the NSC Deputies Committee on these and other intelligence/terrorism issues. In the State Department, Secretary Rice and her Legal Adviser, John Bellinger, were then the only other individuals briefed on these details. In compliance with the security agreements I have signed, I have never discussed or disclosed any substantive details about the program until the classified information has been released.
Having been the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, I'm aware of what some of these captives did. The Commission wondered how captives were questioned (for details on that, see this previously disclosed report), and the matter is now the subject of a federal criminal investigation by special prosecutor John Durham. Nonetheless, the evidence against most -- if not all -- of the high-value detainees remains damning. But the issue is not about who or what they are. It is about who or what we are.
Based on what had earlier been released, I have offered some general views on "Legal Policy for a Twilight War." With the release of these OLC memos, I can add three more sets of comments, each of which could be developed at much greater length.
1. The focus on water-boarding misses the main point of the program.
Which is that it was a program. Unlike the image of using intense physical coercion as a quick, desperate expedient, the program developed "interrogation plans" to disorient, abuse, dehumanize, and torment individuals over time.
The plan employed the combined, cumulative use of many techniques of medically-monitored physical coercion. Before getting to water-boarding, the captive had already been stripped naked, shackled to ceiling chains keeping him standing so he cannot fall asleep for extended periods, hosed periodically with cold water, slapped around, jammed into boxes, etc. etc. Sleep deprivation is most important.
2. Measuring the value of such methods should be done professionally and morally before turning to lawyers.
A professional analysis would not simply ask: Did they tell us important information? Congress is apparently now preparing to parse the various claims on this score -- and that would be quite valuable.
But the argument that they gave us vital information, which readers can see deployed in the memos just as they were deployed to reassure an uneasy president, is based on a fallacy. The real question is: What is the unique value of these methods?
For this analysis, the administration had the benefit of past U.S. government treatment of high-value detainees in its own history (especially World War II and Vietnam) and substantial, painful lessons from sympathetic foreign governments. By 2005, the Bush administration also had the benefit of what amounted to a double-blind study it had inadvertently conducted, comparing methods that had evolved in Iraq (different Geneva-based rules, different kinds of teams) and the methods the CIA had developed, with both sets being used to against hardened killers.
Opponents should not overstate their side either. Had a serious analysis been conducted beforehand (it apparently was not), my rough guess is that it might have found that physical coercion can break people faster, with some tradeoff in degraded and less reliable results.
Which underscores the importance of moral analysis. There is an elementary distinction, too often lost, between the moral (and policy) question -- "What should we do?" -- and the legal question: "What can we do?" We live in a policy world too inclined to turn lawyers into surrogate priests granting a form of absolution. "The lawyers say it's OK." Well, not really. They say it might be legal. They don't know about OK.
3. The legal opinions have grave weaknesses.
Weakest of all is the May 30 opinion, just because it had to get over the lowest standard -- "cruel, inhuman, or degrading" in Article 16 of the Convention Against Torture. That standard was also being codified in the bill Senator John McCain was fighting to pass. It is also found in Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, a standard that the Supreme Court ruled in 2006 does apply to these prisoners. Violation of Common Article 3 is a war crime under federal law (18 U.S.C. section 2441), a felony punishable by up to life imprisonment. (The OLC opinions do not discuss this law because in 2005 the administration also denied the applicability of Common Article 3.)
The OLC holds, rightly, that the United States complies with the international standard if it complies with the comparable body of constitutional prohibitions in U.S. law (the 5th, 8th, and 14th Amendments). Many years earlier, I had worked in that area of the law. I believed that the OLC opinions (especially the May 30 one) presented the U.S. government with a distorted rendering of relevant U.S. law.
At the time, in 2005, I circulated an opposing view of the legal reasoning. My bureaucratic position, as counselor to the secretary of state, didn't entitle me to offer a legal opinion. But I felt obliged to put an alternative view in front of my colleagues at other agencies, warning them that other lawyers (and judges) might find the OLC views unsustainable. My colleagues were entitled to ignore my views. They did more than that: The White House attempted to collect and destroy all copies of my memo. I expect that one or two are still at least in the State Department's archives.
Stated in a shorthand way, mainly for the benefit of other specialists who work these issues, my main concerns were:
the case law on the "shocks the conscience" standard for interrogations would proscribe the CIA's methods; the OLC memo basically ignored standard 8th Amendment "conditions of confinement" analysis (long incorporated into the 5th amendment as a matter of substantive due process and thus applicable to detentions like these). That case law would regard the conditions of confinement in the CIA facilities as unlawful.
The use of a balancing test to measure constitutional validity (national security gain vs. harm to individuals) is lawful for some techniques, but other kinds of cruel treatment should be barred categorically under U.S. law -- whatever the alleged gain.
The underlying absurdity of the administration's position can be summarized this way. Once you get to a substantive compliance analysis for "cruel, inhuman, and degrading" you get the position that the substantive standard is the same as it is in analogous U.S. constitutional law. So the OLC must argue, in effect, that the methods and the conditions of confinement in the CIA program could constitutionally be inflicted on American citizens in a county jail.
In other words, Americans in any town of this country could constitutionally be hung from the ceiling naked, sleep deprived, water-boarded, and all the rest -- if the alleged national security justification was compelling. I did not believe our federal courts could reasonably be expected to agree with such a reading of the Constitution.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||M - Th 11p / 10c|
|We Don't Torture|
And Peggy Noonan says "You gotta walk and don't look back." But Peter Tosh said it waaaay better, and he wasn't talking about torture:
Monday, April 20, 2009
A little boy said to his mother, "Mommy, how come I'm black and you're white?"
His mother replied, "Don't even go there, Barack! From what I can remember about that party, you're lucky you don't bark!"
It's been amusing how loudly the extremist right wingers complain that we see racism whenever we hear them complain about anything to do with Mr. Obama. This piece of hateful, dehumanizing rot puts everything into perspective.
And here are the people who sent this around:
Ron Chilton, President & CEO
National Trench Safety, LLC
Coble Trench Safety
Friday, April 17, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Sinfonian was featured on Keith Olbermann's show tonight! Woo-Hoo!
He spoke at one of the tea bagger parties in Pensacola, Fla., but it wasn't a speech the audience was expecting. In fact, he was calling out the Bush administration for the mess we're in today and it was a while before the listeners understood that he was most definitely NOT one of them! LOL!
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
DFH blogger speaks at Pensacola Tea Party ... and lives to tell the tale
If you were following my livetweeting today from the Pensacola Tea Party, then you already know: I gave a little speech. Hey, I'm a sucker for Open Mic Night ... what can I say?
Seriously -- I didn't realize there would be an opportunity to speak, but they were practically begging folks to come up and say a few words ... and I was right there ... well, with apologies for the picture quality, now you can see and hear for yourself:
"I enjoyed the part when I asked, "How many here make less than $250,000 a year?" and there's a big cheer ... then it goes quiet again when I tell them they'll pay less in taxes under the Obama plan. That's about when the murmuring started ...
My favorite part, though, is as I continue to gripe about the years from 2000 to 2008 (yeah, it's '01 to '09, but you have to "speak to your audience," y'know), and then I hit them with "place the blame where it belongs: squarely on the Republican Party and the Bush administration," they pretty much lost their shit at that point. That was fun.
But, like all good villains, I reveled in the booing just a bit ... although I should have closed with "Enjoy the rest of your teabagging!" Maybe I should have paid more attention in rehearsal ..."
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Today's "Party" in Boston is Weak Tea
by Dana Houle
Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 04:50:05 PM PDT
On December 16th, 1773, three ships were docked in Boston harbor filled with cargoes of tea from the royally chartered East India Company. The previous year, in a scheme to help fund colonial rule in India through the East India Company, the crown had decided to dump tea cheaply on the American colonies, but with a tax added to raise revenue.
American colonists drank prodigious amounts of tea, but it was almost all contraband tea. Dumping cheap tea on the American market would hurt the business of the contraband smugglers, many of whom had high status in the colonies. It also was a tax on colonial tea-drinkers, who had no representation in Parliament. Thus, it was taxation without representation.
A crowd of about 7,000 people assembled near the harbor. That night, after a town meeting in Boston's South Meeting House, around a hundred men, led by Sam Adams, boarded the vessels and dumped all 342 chests of tea in to the harbor.
A quick search of the intertoobz doesn't give the population of Boston at the time. But 17 years later, the first official US census found Boston's population at a little over 18,000; given the population growth trends of the time, it's probably safe to say that Boston's population in 1773 was around 15,000.
So, for the Boston Tea Party, the crowd was a little under half the size of the entire population of Boston.
Today, some people angry that they have both taxes and representation, got together in Boston. Fox News, which has been trumpeting these gatherings for days if not weeks, reported that the crowd was about 500 people. The current population of the city of Boston is over 600,000 people, and the population of the Boston metro area is close to 5 million.
So, fun with numbers: Crowd at Boston Tea Party=7,000, equal to 46% of population of Boston
Crowd at Boston Teabaggers's Party= 500, equal to 0.08% of population of Boston.
BTW, the original Boston Tea Party didn't have free advertising from Fox News
Fake Teabaggers Are Anti-Spend, Anti-Government: Real Populists Want to Stop Banks from Plundering America
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A Minnesota court confirmed Monday that Democrat Al Franken won the most votes in his 2008 Senate race against Republican Norm Coleman.
Monday, April 13, 2009
"Obummer will be a disaster for America, on the other hand, he is the right color for the left (yellow) and doesn't his wife dress well!! In the space of two months, he's already become America's Gordon Brown. He is a complete incompetent.Proposing an amnesty for the 12-20 million illegal immigrants at this time of economic crisis? Declining to pay his respects to the American war dead in Normandy? Look what he's doing offshore Somalia. Nothing.I think it far more significant that the US isn't dealing with pirates"This is very strange isn't it?"
Actually, what is strange is that this commenter has the ability to use hand-eye coordination to even type, let alone turn on a computer. But even well-fed pigeons can learn to poke out letters on a keyboard, so I'm told.
Go here to read what the estimable TAO has posted regarding the sad state of the GOP over at his blog.
Here is the report on what actually happened and how Mr. Obama handled the crisis.
WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy is showing only glimmers of life and two costly wars remain in the balance, but President Barack Obama's "no drama" handling of the Indian Ocean hostage crisis proved a big win for his administration in its first critical national security test.
Obama's quiet backstage decision to authorize the Defense Department to take necessary action if Capt. Richard Phillips' life was in imminent danger gave a Navy commander the go-ahead to order snipers to fire on the pirates holding the cargo ship captain at gunpoint.
For Obama, the benefits were instantly clear: an American life saved and a major victory notched against an increasingly worrisome scourge of the seas off the Horn of Africa.
Obama's handling of the crisis showed a president who was comfortable in relying on the U.S. military, much as his predecessor, George W. Bush, did.
But it also showed a new commander in chief who was willing to use all the tools at his disposal, bringing in federal law enforcement officials to handle the judicial elements of the crisis.
The rescue appeared to vindicate Obama's muted but determined handling of the incident. What won't be known for some time is whether Obama will benefit politically.
When Obama campaigns for re-election, he may take Bush's approach of turning any such incident into evidence of his leadership acumen.
On the other hand, Obama didn't go before the cameras Sunday to trumpet the success, instead releasing a written statement that saluted the bravery of the military and Phillips but claimed no credit for himself.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Barack Obama has reached the pinnacle of American politics and fame in being elected not only the POTUS, but as a result of attaining this distinction, the Leader of the Free World. Mr. Obama did this without benefit of having a father who was a past president of the US, nor a grandfather who was a US Senator. He accomplished this without having had his father and grandfather serve as admirals in the US Navy. Mr. Obama's father, in fact, abandoned him, his mother was absent for a good deal of his formative years, and he had the extra burden of being a bi-racial young man in a country still struggling with its racist past.
Mr. Obama, by dint of his own determination to succeed and through hard work and dedication to learning, earned scholarships to some of America's most prestigious institutions of learning. He was elected the first African-American head of the Harvard Law Review, graduated magna cum laud and became a community organizer instead of heading for a fast-track lucrative job in a first-tier law firm.
He was elected to the Illinois state legislature, wrote two best-selling books himself--no ghostwriters involved, got elected to the US Senate, ran for president and beat out one of America's most powerful, popular, and well-known political families-- the Clintons, won the Democratic nomination, and went on to vanquish a long-established US Senator and Vietnam war hero, while carrying traditionally Republican states, like Virginia and North Carolina.
Apparently, those accomplishments are paltry compared to the honorees who have had the benefit of ASU's degrees conferred upon them in the past--one of which was a Chinese Communist.
"His body of work is yet to come," said Sharon Keeler, a spokeswoman for the university. "That's why we're not recognizing him with a degree at the beginning of his presidency."
ASU's decision, announced on Thursday, has already floored members of the academic, political and media communities. At once bizarre and insulting, critics are curious as to what, exactly, a sufficient body of work resembles under the university's standards. After all, in addition to being the first African-American elected to the office of the president in our nation's history, Obama has served in the United States Senate and authored two best selling books.
In light of it all, it's worth looking back at who Arizona State University has offered honorary degrees.
Here is a list. And here is the honor give to the Chinese Communist fellow:
Wu Qidi: the vice minister of education of the People's Republic of China was given an honorary degree at ASU in May 2006."
Mr. Wu Qidi wasn't even the CHAIRMAN of education--only a vice chairman.
Incidentally, ASU gave both Sandra Day O'Connor and Sen. Barry Goldwater honorary degrees when O'Connor was only 3 years into her 25 year career on the Supreme Court and when Goldwater was eight years into his 30 years of serving in the US Senate. Those examples are hardly representative of a "body of work."
It's very clear what ASU and the people who made the decision are up to.
Mr. Obama received REAL degrees from far more prestigious universities than ASU. He hardly needs their pissy sheepskin adornment to validate his very real, very honor-worthy accomplishments.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||M - Th 11p / 10c|
|Baracknophobia - Obey|
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Great news! Another New England state joins heartland Iowa in standing up for civil rights. Vermont becomes the fourth state to legalize same sex marriage. Good for Vermont, good for the country. Congratulations to everyone for all the hard work and dedication. On to Maine!
Vermont today became the fourth state to legalize gay marriage — and the first to do so with a legislature’s vote.
The Burlington Free Press reports that Gov. Jim Douglas’ veto of a bill allowing gays and lesbians to marry was overturned by a 23-5 vote in the state Senate and 100-49 in the House. Under Vermont law, two-thirds of each chamber had to vote for override.
Vermont becomes the fourth state to permit same-sex marriage, joining Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa. Their approval of gay marriage came from the courts.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
I'll be in and out of here over the next few weeks. I thought these links were interesting and would inspire everyone to join in a lively discussion on any of the subjects. I'll pop in to see what, if anything, my visitors have to say.
Science, Religion, and Evolution
William Black on Bill Moyers' Journal talk about the bailout and liars' loans
Europe Falls Hard for Michelle
Natural mechanism for medieval warming discovered, disputes global warming deniers' claims
Saturday, April 4, 2009
UPDATE: When you finish reading Billy Collins' poem, go here and read what rockync wrote on the anniversary of Dr. King's assassination. You don't want to miss it.
April is poetry month. I've chosen this Billy Collins poem because I can understand where the impulse came from for him to write it. I've been in dozens and dozens of poetry workshops, and believe me, what he writes is not only hilarious, but true. I have heard several of the stanzas Collins writes in this poem many times as the people in the workshops I've attended tore apart my poems.
Enjoy poetry month. Read one; write one. Heck, write two!
by Billy Collins
I might as well begin by saying how much I like the title.
It gets me right away because I’m in a workshop now
so immediately the poem has my attention,
like the Ancient Mariner grabbing me by the sleeve.
And I like the first couple of stanzas,
the way they establish this mode of self-pointing
that runs through the whole poem
and tells us that words are food thrown down
on the ground for other words to eat.
I can almost taste the tail of the snake
in its own mouth,
if you know what I mean.
But what I’m not sure about is the voice,
which sounds in places very casual, very blue jeans,
but other times seems standoffish,
professorial in the worst sense of the word
like the poem is blowing pipe smoke in my face.
But maybe that’s just what it wants to do.
What I did find engaging were the middle stanzas,
especially the fourth one.
I like the image of clouds flying like lozenges
which gives me a very clear picture.
And I really like how this drawbridge operator
just appears out of the blue
with his feet up on the iron railing
and his fishing pole jigging—I like jigging—
a hook in the slow industrial canal below.
I love slow industrial canal below. All those l’s.
Maybe it’s just me,
but the next stanza is where I start to have a problem.
I mean how can the evening bump into the stars?
And what’s an obbligato of snow?
Also, I roam the decaffeinated streets.
At that point I’m lost. I need help.
The other thing that throws me off,
and maybe this is just me,
is the way the scene keeps shifting around.
First, we’re in this big aerodrome
and the speaker is inspecting a row of dirigibles,
which makes me think this could be a dream.
Then he takes us into his garden,
the part with the dahlias and the coiling hose,
though that’s nice, the coiling hose,
but then I’m not sure where we’re supposed to be.
The rain and the mint green light,
that makes it feel outdoors, but what about this wallpaper?
Or is it a kind of indoor cemetery?
There’s something about death going on here.
In fact, I start to wonder if what we have here
is really two poems, or three, or four,
or possibly none.
Friday, April 3, 2009
WOW! From the heartland of America! It looks like Vermont may be next, if the legislature can override Gov. Douglas' veto.
DES MOINES, Iowa - The Iowa Supreme Court legalized gay marriage Friday in a unanimous and emphatic decision that makes Iowa the third state — and first in the nation's heartland — to allow same-sex couples to wed.
Iowa joins only Massachusetts and Connecticut in permitting same-sex marriage. For six months last year, California's high court allowed gay marriage before voters banned it in November.
The Iowa justices upheld a lower-court ruling that rejected a state law restricting marriage to a union between a man and woman.
The county attorney who defended the law said he would not seek a rehearing. The only recourse for opponents appeared to be a constitutional amendment, which could take years to ratify.
This was in the comment section of "From The Left," and it is just beautiful.
I found this joint statement from Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal and Iowa House
Speaker Pat Murphy on today’s Supreme Court decision:
“Thanks to today’s decision, Iowa continues to be a leader in guaranteeing all of our citizens’ equal rights.
“The court has ruled today that when two Iowans promise to share their lives together, state law will respect that commitment, regardless of whether the couple is gay or straight.
“When all is said and done, we believe the only lasting question about today’s events will be why it took us so long. It is a tough question to answer because treating everyone fairly is really a matter of Iowa common sense and Iowa common decency.
“Today, the Iowa Supreme Court has reaffirmed those Iowa values by ruling that gay and lesbian Iowans have all the same rights and responsibilities of citizenship as any other Iowan.
“Iowa has always been a leader in the area of civil rights.
“In 1839, the Iowa Supreme Court rejected slavery in a decision that found that a slave named Ralph became free when he stepped on Iowa soil, 26 years before the end of the Civil War decided the issue.
“In 1868, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that racially segregated “separate but equal” schools had no place in Iowa, 85 years before the U.S. Supreme Court reached the same decision.
“In 1873, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled against racial discrimination in public accommodations, 91 years before the U.S. Supreme Court reached the same decision.
“In 1869, Iowa became the first state in the union to admit women to the practice of law.
“In the case of recognizing loving relationships between two adults, the Iowa Supreme Court is once again taking a leadership position on civil rights.
“Today, we congratulate the thousands of Iowans who now can express their love for each other and have it recognized by our laws.”
President Obama pointed to both the US and Europe's tendency to mistrust and misinterpret each other. We need each other to confront the economic, ecological, and social problems facing the planet. Coopeeration is need, not name-calling. Remember when the Bush administration's cheerleaders called the French a bunch of "cheese eating surrender monkeys?" And the Congressional Republicans changed French fries to Freedom fries? Embarrassingly juvenile behavior. But then, we had a president who tended to act like one himself--"Bring it on!" That was the tone set by the Bush administration--bullying was in, diplomacy was out. But on November 7, 2008, our long national embarrassment ended.
STRASBOURG, France (CNN) -- President Obama on Friday called on Europe and the United States to drop negative attitudes toward each other and said "unprecedented coordination" is needed to confront the global economic crisis.
Speaking at a packed town hall meeting in Strasbourg on his first overseas trip as president, Obama said, "I'm confident that we can meet any challenge as long as we are together."
It's easier to allow "resentments to fester" than "to forge true partnerships," the president said. "So we must be honest with ourselves. In recent years, we've allowed our alliance to drift. I know that there have been honest disagreements over policy. But we also know that there's something more that has crept into our relationship.
"But in Europe, there is an anti-Americanism that is at once casual but can also be insidious. Instead of recognizing the good that America so often does in the world, there have been times where Europeans choose to blame America for much of what's bad.
"On both sides of the Atlantic, these attitudes have become all too common. They are not wise; they do not represent the truth. They threaten to widen the divide across the Atlantic and leave us both more isolated."
Obama's comments came after the G-20 meeting in London, England -- which Obama called "a success" of "nations coming together, working out their differences, and moving boldly forward" -- and on the eve of a NATO summit in Strasbourg marking that organization's 60th anniversary.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
This is not the first time Rush Limbaugh has suggested that a government official would contract, and die from, "anal poisoning."From last year:
Is this where Limbaugh lives?
Someone named Angie Harmon explains it for us: "I think one of the greatest things about the Republican Party is the understanding, we don't point fingers and we have class..."
I continue to follow Limbaugh's pronouncements because, he is, afterall, the Head of the Republican Party, and we must know how the opposition thinks.