Author Topic: 20 Jan 09: What the world wants from the new American president.  (Read 43940 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline S.M.A.

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 132,340
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 6,515
Re: 20 Jan 09: What the world wants from the new American president.
« Reply #50 on: March 19, 2009, 10:59:55 »
So the POTUS gets help from an unexpected source....Gov. Schwarzenegger.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090319/ap_on_go_pr_wh/obama

Quote
Schwarzenegger to help Obama answer GOP critics
By CHARLES BABINGTON, Associated Press Writer Charles Babington, Associated Press Writer – Thu Mar 19, 7:47 am ET
AP
LOS ANGELES – President Barack Obama is playing a bit of divide and conquer this week, pitting his Republican critics in Washington against GOP governors and mayors eager for the federal money that his hard-fought stimulus plan will bring. Next on the list of Republican notables to embrace the president is California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is to join Obama at a town hall meeting Thursday in Los Angeles.

Congress recently enacted Obama's $787 billion stimulus bill without a single House Republican's vote, and with only three GOP senators' votes.


Republican governors have had mixed reactions to the massive measure. Some hardline conservatives, such as Mark Sanford of South Carolina, have rejected portions of the economic bounty.

Other GOP governors, including Charlie Crist of Florida, have welcomed Obama and the stimulus money. Schwarzenegger is casting his lot with that group.

As Obama began his two-day Southern California visit Wednesday in Costa Mesa, the White House released a list of projects to be funded with stimulus money. They include adding an eastbound lane to the Riverside Freeway/SR91 in Orange County. Obama's mention of the project drew cheers from a crowd of 1,300 that greeted him in Costa Mesa.

When a recently laid-off school teacher told Obama of her plight, he said the stimulus will help thousands of teachers nationwide keep their jobs.

Throughout the trip, Obama is playing the role of the embattled populist crusader, helping average Americans fight entrenched interests on Capitol Hill and Wall Street.

He said Southern California's weather and conversations are much nicer than in Washington. The conversation Wednesday was more one-sided, to be sure, as the Costa Mesa crowd cheered, 2,500 miles from the Capitol's shadow.

He defended his ambitious plan to overhaul health care, energy, education, taxes and spending policies in the coming months, against unidentified forces aligned against him.

"I know some folks in Washington and on Wall Street are saying we should focus on only one problem at a time: 'our problem,'" Obama said. "But that's just not the way it works."

"You don't get to choose between paying your mortgage bills or your medical bills," he told those in a hot auditorium. The government also must tackle multiple challenges at the same time, he said.

Obama spoke for 21 minutes, then took eight questions. The first: Will he seek re-election in 2012?

"If I could get done what I think needs to get done in four years, even if it meant that I was only president for four years, I would rather be a good president — to take on the tough issues for four years — than a mediocre president for eight years," Obama said.

There were other whiffs of self-sacrifice. Referring to the uproar over bonuses paid to executives of the largely nationalized AIG insurance company, Obama said: "I know Washington's all in a tizzy, and everybody's pointing fingers at each other and saying, 'It's their fault, the Democrats' fault, the Republicans' fault.' Listen, I'll take responsibility. I'm the president."

In the same breath, he said, "We didn't draft these contracts." But he added, "It is appropriate when you're in charge to make sure that stuff doesn't happen like this."

Obama tried to head off questions about AIG by saying he understood taxpayers' anger. And he tried to broaden the issue, which has vexed his young administration.

"These bonuses, outrageous as they are, are a symptom of a much larger problem," he said. It's "a culture where people made enormous sums of money taking irresponsible risks that have now put the entire economy at risk."

In fact, no one asked Obama about AIG. The questions focused on jobs, schools, union rights and other issues that are easier for him to handle.

One little curve ball came, however, on a topic Obama rarely mentions on his own: immigration. Before a crowd that seemed divided on the emotional, politically dangerous issue, Obama said he still supports "comprehensive immigration reform."

The nation must find a way, he said, to strengthen its borders while also giving about 12 million illegal immigrants a path to possible citizenship.

"People who have been here for a long time and put down roots," he said, should have "a mechanism over time to get out of the shadows" and achieve legal status, including citizenship.

They would have to learn English, pay a significant fine and "go to the back of the line" of those applying for legal entry, he said.

Former President George W. Bush backed a similar immigration program. But it died in Congress amid heavy criticisms, especially from those saying too many illegal immigrants have been allowed to enter the country.

Before returning to Washington late Thursday, Obama will tape an appearance on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno."

 
« Last Edit: March 19, 2009, 11:06:03 by CougarDaddy »
Our Country
--------------------------------
"A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves."   - Lao Zi (老子)
-------------------------------------------
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
- Winston Churchill

Offline Thucydides

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 180,355
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 13,070
  • Freespeecher
Re: 20 Jan 09: What the world wants from the new American president.
« Reply #51 on: March 22, 2009, 00:20:09 »
Leadership, or just guest appearances? Rex Murphy wants to know:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090320.wcomurphy21/BNStory/specialComment/home

Quote
Faux outrage in a time of crisis
   
REX MURPHY

March 21, 2009 at 12:00 AM EDT

So Jon Stewart has taken down Jim Cramer. Everyone knows Mr. Stewart, the late-night host of The Daily Show, but for those who do not troll the outer regions of the cable badlands, Mr. Cramer plays host to CNBC's Mad Money - a "stock picking" half hour that combines the subtlety of Jackass with the depth of Knight Rider.

Going against his Wall Street genes, Mr. Cramer voted for Barack Obama, but he got picked out by Robert Gibbs, Mr. Obama's press secretary, for a public blistering. Nonetheless, I expect it was Mr. Gibbs's tagging him as an "adversary," something he has been doing with some regularity from the White House podium - impresario Rush Limbaugh and CNBC market commentator Rick Santelli (a mere gnat to Mr. Limbaugh's condor presence) are recent examples - that called Mr. Cramer to Mr. Stewart's attention.

To the satisfaction of all right-minded people, Mr. Stewart, the smirking gladiator, demolished Mr. Cramer, the zany market man, in the so-called anchor war and was roundly celebrated on the blogs and in the wider media. "Ripped him a new one" was the term of art most frequently employed.

Some years ago, Mr. Stewart did a like number on a bow-tied pundit named Tucker Carlson - a calmer adversary than Mr. Cramer, it is true, but one with an equally low-tide profile. Mr. Stewart is getting very good at bringing down small game with cheap shot. Pretty soon, he'll work up from smirk to full grimace and take on, I dunno, that dour laptop ninja George Will.
Related Articles

Now, Mr. Cramer has as much responsibility for the crash of global markets as a dewdrop landing on a tsunami - so let's not mistake this "takedown" for a public service. But, hey, it's comedy, right. So a question arises. Amid the trillions of dollars currently gushing from Congress - in appropriations so large and so quickly passed that no one, not even those authorizing them, is reading the damn things - why take the fly swatter to the most insignificant bug in the room?

There's something of the same disproportion going on with the fury over these AIG bonuses. Now it is surely patented arrogance to be sucking huge bonuses out of a public bailout. But the congressional critters who are braying in outrage over this are monstrous Pharisees. They themselves had passed the bailout bill that allowed these very bonuses, and one of them, Senate banking committee chairman Chris Dodd, wrote in the very clause that protected them. And they themselves have stuck in 8,500 pet pork projects into the stimulus bill - that's 8,500 bonuses, if you like - at a cost of nearly $8-billion.

Is it not convenient, then, to have comedians doing an on-air version of riding irrelevant cable TV hucksters out of town on a rail, at the same time as Congress authorizes and condemns the AIG bonuses - and fattens its own members' political fortunes with nearly $8-billion of pork spending.

And where is Barack Obama in all this. Well, Mr. Obama is acting curiously. He doesn't so much preside over the crisis as act like America's chosen master of ceremonies, who appears on stage to introduce its component segments. Good patter, well-chosen appearances. There's no centre to his performance. We hear as much about the First Dog (chosen, but yet to be installed) as Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner (installed, but yet to act).

Mr. Obama drops in to everyday events more than he actually manages them. He's very cool, as always, but he lacks affect. He doesn't seem to connect with the great swirl of events around him. He shows up. He doesn't act. He likes to tour, and visit happy places. He was, for example, on Jay Leno this week. If things get really bad, I expect he'd take the centre seat of that dread couch on The View. Chat up Joy and Whoopi. The President of the United States as permanent celebrity guest. And if things go completely berserk, there'll be a Barbara Walters special, the President emoting to Babs, sandwiched between teary featurettes on OctoMom and Lindsay Lohan.

The American presidency as a four-year celebrity guest spot. "Say hello to the band, Mr. President." There's something to this. Between the concocted rage of Congress over the bonuses and the faux outrage of Jon Stewart - the Obama administration's house comic - the greatest financial crisis in generations seems to summon very little but gesture and one-liners. From those, that is, who are supposed to be managing it. Those who have lost jobs and more know it's not a TV show, not an irony fest for smartass comedians or an excuse to drop by, ever so winsomely, to the late-night celebrity massage parlours.

Is Barack Obama leading the United States at this time? Or is he just a really cool guy with all the power in the world and not a whole lot of clues about how to use it?
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline tomahawk6

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 83,205
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 8,451
Re: 20 Jan 09: What the world wants from the new American president.
« Reply #52 on: March 22, 2009, 01:06:10 »
The latest Rasmussen poll shows Obama with a 32% approval rating and this is only the first 100 days.

Offline S.M.A.

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 132,340
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 6,515
Re: 20 Jan 09: What the world wants from the new American president.
« Reply #53 on: March 22, 2009, 01:27:22 »
Meanwhile, down under...

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/090322/world/australia_us_diplomacy_politics

Quote
Australian PM says he'll talk straight with Obama
41 minutes ago


MELBOURNE (AFP) - Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said Sunday he wanted a straight-talking relationship with US President Barack Obama and would stand up to the American leader if necessary.


Rudd will meet Obama for the first time on Tuesday in Washington, with Afghanistan and the global recession likely to dominate the agenda.


Asked if he would have the guts to stand up to the head of Australia's major ally if he believed it necessary, Rudd replied: "Absolutely.



"None of us have perfect wisdom," he told Channel Nine television. "I expect some of my friends around the world would pick up the phone and say 'I think you got this one wrong mate'.


"So if that happens -- and I see no evidence of it yet -- my responsibility as prime minister of Australia is to say 'we're with you on this, we're with you on that but actually, we part company on this'."


Rudd's predecessor, John Howard, struck up a strong personal friendship with the previous US president, George W. Bush, who hailed the Australian leader as a "man of steel" over his support for the US-led war in Iraq.


But Howard was sometimes criticised for following Washington's foreign policy lead too closely, earning himself the nickname as Bush's "deputy sheriff" in the Asia Pacific.


Rudd said he had developed a "good rapport" with Obama in their telephone conversations.


But rather than dwelling on the personal relationship, he said Australia wanted to work with the United States on the big issues -- including security in Afghanistan, global economic challenges, climate change and China's future role in the Asia Pacific region.


"I'm not saying we're going to agree on everything, our job is to look at everything in terms of Australia's national interest," he said.


"But I think I'm going to have a good relationship with President Obama."


Rudd offered no guarantees if, as has been widely tipped, Obama asks during the talks for Australia to lift its troop deployment in Afghanistan from its current level of about 1,000 soldiers.


"They may put to me a request for further Australian commitment and I will, together with my colleagues, consider all those things on their merits. It doesn't mean you say yes, or say no," he said.



The Australian leader praised Obama's response to the global economic crisis.


"America's back in the game of providing global economic leadership," he said. "That's so important, given what we all face and the implications back home in Australia for jobs and the economy."
Our Country
--------------------------------
"A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves."   - Lao Zi (老子)
-------------------------------------------
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
- Winston Churchill

Offline S.M.A.

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 132,340
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 6,515
Re: 20 Jan 09: What the world wants from the new American president.
« Reply #54 on: April 01, 2009, 12:50:48 »
So will Putin *COUGH* Medvedev be ready when Obama comes to visit?  ;D

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090401/ap_on_re_eu/eu_obama_china

Quote
Obama accepts invitations to visit China, Russia
1 hr 20 mins ago
 
LONDON – President Barack Obama has accepted an invitation to visit China later this year. The White House said Wednesday that Obama has accepted an invitation from President Hu Jintao. Obama and Hu met in London ahead of the G-20 economic summit.

The White House also announced that Obama was accepting an invitation to visit Moscow this summer.

The White House says Obama and Hu agreed to "intensify coordination and cooperation on global economic and financial issues." As economic leaders, the United States and China say they want to work together to address the economic crisis.

The two countries also agreed to form a U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue. The White House says Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner would represent the United States during those talks.

Our Country
--------------------------------
"A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves."   - Lao Zi (老子)
-------------------------------------------
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
- Winston Churchill

Offline S.M.A.

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 132,340
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 6,515
Re: 20 Jan 09: What the world wants from the new American president.
« Reply #55 on: April 01, 2009, 15:44:11 »
Read the last line of this article to see another example that show that Obama is also "reaching across the aisle" to Conservatives there, even in another country.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090401/ap_on_re_eu/eu_obama

Quote
Obama arrives at Buckingham Palace to meet queen
           
2 hrs 23 mins ago
LONDON – President Barack Obama has arrived at Buckingham Palace for a private meeting with Queen Elizabeth II. Several thousand well-wishers crowded the traffic circle in front of the gated palace on Wednesday to cheer and wave as the limousine carrying Obama and first lady Michelle Obama rolled past.

On the eve of a global economic summit, Obama promised world leaders he would listen, not lecture, as they seek a common fix to the financial crisis. "We can only meet this challenge together," he said Wednesday as the U.S. and Russia spoke on the summit sidelines about nuclear warhead reduction.

The flurry of diplomacy came as Obama stepped on the world stage for the first time as president, aiming to shore up both America's economy and its reputation across the globe. He met with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Chinese President Hu Jintao — and promptly accepted invitations to visit Russia in July and China sometime in the second half of the year.

Thousands of protesters converged on central London to rally against the economic summit.

In the most dominant development, Obama and Medvedev announced talks to limit the number of nuclear warheads, the first major negotiations in years over what Obama called the "gravest threat to humanity."

Meanwhile, speaking directly to anxious families back home, Obama sought to restore consumer confidence and encourage people to think about spending now to help their future.

(...)

Brown said he was confident Sarkozy would still be at the table when the dinner was complete.

In London, Obama is also meeting with Brown's main rival — David Cameron, the leader of Britain's opposition Conservative Party.
 
Our Country
--------------------------------
"A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves."   - Lao Zi (老子)
-------------------------------------------
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
- Winston Churchill

Offline Chris Pook

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Legend
  • *
  • 182,705
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 11,674
  • Wha daur say Mass in ma lug!
Re: 20 Jan 09: What the world wants from the new American president.
« Reply #56 on: April 01, 2009, 17:46:01 »
CougarDaddy:

Nobody is denying that Obama is willing to gab with all-comers.

Two questions.

Does he know what he is talking about?

Does he givadam what the other side thinks?

My sense is that the answer to both questions is: NO.

"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

Offline Hamish Seggie

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 209,517
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 9,567
  • This is my son Michael, KIA Afghanistan 3 Sep 08
Re: 20 Jan 09: What the world wants from the new American president.
« Reply #57 on: April 06, 2009, 09:18:52 »
I was watching the news and it seems the rest of the world (Turks and Czechs) aren't as enamored with the new President as we are. In fact, there were demonstrations in Turkey telling President Obama to go home.
Freedom Isn't Free   "Never Shall I Fail My Brothers"

“Do everything that is necessary and nothing that is not".

Offline Inky

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • 8,845
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 380
Re: 20 Jan 09: What the world wants from the new American president.
« Reply #58 on: April 08, 2009, 00:02:53 »
Quote
In the most dominant development, Obama and Medvedev announced talks to limit the number of nuclear warheads
I hear a lot of talks about reduction of nuclear arsenals these days.
While it "seems" a good thing that there are less nukes laying around, does it really make a difference if a country has 10 000 warheads or 2000?
Still enough to kill everyone on earth.

Offline Thucydides

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 180,355
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 13,070
  • Freespeecher
Re: 20 Jan 09: What the world wants from the new American president.
« Reply #59 on: April 11, 2009, 01:54:34 »
More "Hope'n'Change":

http://torydrroy.blogspot.com/2009/04/krauthammer-on-obamessuahs.html

Quote
Krauthammer on obamessiah's...

big trip. Dr Krauthammer points out it was not very successful. He also points out that obamessiah, like his wife doesn't seem to like America.

Our president came bearing a basketful of mea culpas. With varying degrees of directness or obliqueness, Obama indicted his own people for arrogance, for dismissiveness and derisiveness, for genocide, for torture, for Hiroshima, for Guantanamo and for insufficient respect for the Muslim world.

And what did he get for this obsessive denigration of his own country? He wanted more NATO combat troops in Afghanistan to match the surge of 17,000 Americans. He was rudely rebuffed.

He wanted more stimulus spending from Europe. He got nothing.

From Russia, he got no help on Iran. From China, he got the blocking of any action on North Korea.

And what did he get for Guantanamo? France, pop. 64 million, will take one prisoner. One! (Sadly, he'll have to leave his swim buddy behind.) The Austrians said they would take none. As Interior Minister Maria Fekter explained with impeccable Germanic logic, if they're not dangerous, why not just keep them in America...
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline S.M.A.

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 132,340
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 6,515
Re: 20 Jan 09: What the world wants from the new American president.
« Reply #60 on: April 13, 2009, 11:50:22 »

The SEALs were inserted by C-130 at night 36 hours before the conclusion of the incident. They and their boats dropped into the ocean and then made a stealth approach to the Bainbridge. I give the skipper all of the credit and little to Obama. Obama didnt order a rescue,rather he authorized action if it was needed to preserve the life of Captain Phillips.

Regardless, that authorization was enough for many in the MSM to say that he passed his first national security test.

Quote
Analysis: Obama beats first national security test
AP

By JENNIFER LOVEN, AP White House Correspondent Jennifer Loven, Ap White House Correspondent – 2 hrs 50 mins ago

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.

Also, this crisis, while topping the news now, may fade into distant memory by the time voters get a chance to take any new measure of Obama and his party.

Still, it goes some way toward dispelling the notion that a liberal Democrat with a known distaste for war — Obama campaigned on his consistent opposition to the Iraq invasion — doesn't have the chops to call on U.S. military power.

The sniper operation Sunday, with pirate guns aimed at Phillips, was a daring, high-stakes gambit, and it could have easily gone awry. If it had, the fallout would have probably landed hardest on Obama.

Indeed, the last Democratic president to unleash American military might against Somalis suffered miserably from the failure of that operation. Portrayed in the book and movie "Black Hawk Down," a U.S. peacekeeping mission ordered by President Bill Clinton ended with a humiliating withdrawal of troops after a deadly clash in the Somali capital of Mogadishu.

The outcome this time was vastly different.

Since the standoff began last Tuesday, Obama made no public, in-person remarks on the topic, even declining to answer when questions were shouted at him during a press availability.

He didn't call in his Cabinet for a high-profile command meeting. He let military and top administration officials do the talking, but even they kept saber rattling out of the equation.

White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel said Obama's silence should not be interpreted to mean that he wasn't deeply involved. The president's public posture was calculated to not raise the temperature on the situation or give the hostage-takers anything to exploit.

"Let's not confuse a public role with being on top of the situation," Emanuel said. "If you'd interjected yourself, you would make the discussions that were happening more difficult."

So what Obama did was receive regular briefings, sometimes as often as half a dozen times a day. He weighed in with two critical decisions allowing the military to take action to save Phillips' life. And he laid the groundwork for a federal criminal law enforcement response.

White House officials said the Justice Department is already reviewing evidence to determine whether to file criminal charges against the captured Somali pirate. The U.S. is treating the matter as a criminal case because officials have found no direct ties between East African pirates and terror groups.

Obama doesn't like labels for himself or catch phrases for policy. So it's notable that in an administration that has virtually banned the phrase "war on terror," no one called the pirates "terrorists."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090413/ap_on_...irates_analysis               
Our Country
--------------------------------
"A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves."   - Lao Zi (老子)
-------------------------------------------
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
- Winston Churchill

Offline recceguy

    A Usual Suspect.

  • At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child – miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats. -P.J. O’Rouke-
  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Myth
  • *
  • 236,472
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 17,358
  • doddering docent to the museum of misanthropy
    • Army.ca
Re: 20 Jan 09: What the world wants from the new American president.
« Reply #61 on: April 13, 2009, 12:13:01 »
While 'dramatic' in the sense that there was Americans involved, I don't think, by any stretch of the imagination, this could be called 'a big win for his administration in its first critical national security test.'

Critical national security test? C'mon, that's just more Obama PR machine pandering to the morons. Next thing, it'll have been his plan and he was in the water co-ordinating it ::)
“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.”

John G. Diefenbaker

Offline S.M.A.

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 132,340
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 6,515
Re: 20 Jan 09: What the world wants from the new American president.
« Reply #62 on: April 17, 2009, 15:37:09 »
And Obama arrives at the summit of the Americas. Apparently Cuba will be a hot topic there.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090417/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/cb_obama_summit

Quote
Obama heads to Americas summit with Cuba focus
By MARK S. SMITH, Associated Press Writer Mark S. Smith, Associated Press Writer
Fri Apr 17, 11:31 am ET
 
MEXICO CITY – After backing Mexico's ongoing battle against drug cartels, President Barack Obama is heading to a Western Hemisphere summit with a sudden spotlight on Cuba. The president is to fly Friday to the island of Trinidad for the 34-nation Summit of the Americas, a gathering to which Cuba, as the region's only non-democracy, is not invited. Venezuela President Hugo Chavez, a staunch ally of Cuba's communist government, vowed to torpedo a final summit communique in protest of the country's exclusion.

But Obama's move this week to ease travel and some other restrictions for Cuban-Americans brought an unprecedented reply from Havana. Raul Castro, who took over from his ailing brother, Fidel, a year ago, offered to talk to the Obama administration about all outstanding grievances.

Speaking from a meeting Chavez hosted in Venezuela, Raul Castro declared: "We have sent word to the U.S. government in private and in public that we are willing to discuss everything — human rights, freedom of the press, political prisoners, everything."

Previously, Cubans had insisted their domestic politics were their own business, and administration officials were trying to determine what to make of the development.

On Tuesday, Obama lifted limits on visits by Americans with relatives in Cuba, eased restrictions on family gifts and cash payments, and moved to allow U.S. telecom companies to expand service to the island.

But the 47-year-old U.S. trade embargo remained in place, despite pleas from U.S. allies that it's counterproductive.

"The embargo has been there long before we were even born," Mexican President Felipe Calderon said. "And yet things have not changed all that much in Cuba."

After talks with Calderon during a pre-summit stop in Mexico, Obama told reporters that further easing depends on Havana sending "signals that they're interested in liberalizing."

He also sounded a note of caution. "A relationship that effectively has been frozen for 50 years is not going to thaw overnight," he said.

Chavez said the summit's final statement and its call for greater democracy reflected American hypocrisy.

"I have no doubt there's more democracy in Cuba," he jeered.

Aides said Obama doesn't plan to meet with Chavez during a summit session, but if the fiery leftist approaches him, Obama would likely engage in polite conversation.

Obama said the gathering, being hosted by the two-island country of Trinidad and Tobago off Venezuela's coast, "offers the opportunity of a new beginning" in the region. And he expected the major focus to be on the global economic crisis, which has America's Latin American neighbors reeling as their prime export markets shut down.

The summit will aim to "jump-start job creation, promote free and fair trade, and develop a coordinated response to this economic crisis," Obama said.

The president's brief stop in Mexico was a chance to talk about trade and immigration with Calderon, but also was a visible show of support for the Mexican's crackdown on drug trafficking. In the two years since it began, more than 10,000 Mexicans have perished as regional cartels target each other and Mexican security forces with contract killings and kidnappings.

Obama lamented the bloodshed, saying it's been "sowing chaos in our communities and robbing so many of a future both here in Mexico and in the United States."

But he said America must do its part to help stop it.

"A demand for drugs in the United States is what is helping to keep these cartels in business," he said. "This war is being waged with guns purchased not here but in the United States."

That said, Obama acknowledged he's unlikely to get Congress to reimpose the Clinton-era ban on assault-style weapons that he favored as a candidate, and which Calderon has urged to help stanch the flow of arms to Mexican drug traffickers.

___

On the Net:

Summit of the Americas: http://www.summit-americas.org

Our Country
--------------------------------
"A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves."   - Lao Zi (老子)
-------------------------------------------
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
- Winston Churchill

Offline Thucydides

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 180,355
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 13,070
  • Freespeecher
Re: 20 Jan 09: What the world wants from the new American president.
« Reply #63 on: April 30, 2009, 06:18:18 »
Fact check time:

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_FACT_CHECK_OBAMA?SITE=TNKNN&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

Quote
FACT CHECK: Obama's job, deficit claims are iffy

By CALVIN WOODWARD
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama turned the page on 100 days in office with an iffy boast about job creation and claims of fiscal prudence that are hard to square with his spending.

Obama spoke with abundant confidence about his chances for achieving the big-ticket items on his agenda despite economic calamity:

-His assertion that his proposed budget "will cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term" is an eyeball-roller for many economists, given the uncharted terrain of trillion-dollar deficits the government is negotiating.

-He promised vast savings from increased spending on preventive health care in the face of doubts that such an effort, however laudable it might be for public welfare, can pay for itself, let alone yield huge savings.

-He pitched a remedy for Social Security's long-term crisis that analysts say won't fix half the problem.

Obama held a prime-time news conference Wednesday and addressed citizens at an Arnold, Mo., high school, using both events to review progress at the 100-day mark and look ahead.

A look at some of his claims:

OBAMA: "We began by passing a Recovery Act that has already saved or created over 150,000 jobs." - from news conference.

THE FACTS: This assertion is dubious on several levels. For starters, the U.S. has lost more than 1.2 million jobs since Obama took office, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even if Obama's stimulus bill saved or created as many jobs as he says, that number is dwarfed by the number of recent job losses.

But Obama's number is murky, at best. The White House has not yet announced how it intends to count jobs created by the stimulus bill. Obama's number is based on a job-counting formula that his economists have developed but have not made public. Until that formula is announced - probably in the coming week or so - there's no way to assess its accuracy.

Whatever the formula, economists who study job creation say it will require some creative math. That's because Obama has lumped "jobs saved" in with "jobs created." Even economists for organizations that stand to benefit from the stimulus concede it probably is impossible to estimate saved jobs because that would require calculating a hypothetical: how many people would have lost their jobs without the stimulus.

---

OBAMA: "We must lay a new foundation for growth, a foundation that will strengthen our economy and help us compete in the 21st century. And that's exactly what this budget begins to do. It contains new investments in education that will equip our workers with the right skills and training; new investments in renewable energy that will create millions of jobs and new industries; new investments in health care that will cut costs for families and businesses, and new savings that will bring down our deficit." - news conference.

"I've personally asked the leadership in Congress to pass into law rules that follow the simple principle: You pay for what you spend, so that government acts the same way any responsible family does." - in Missouri.

THE FACTS: While the budget does set a roadmap for achieving the president's goals, it says nothing about how to pay for his health plan, expected to cost more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years. And while the deficit, under the plan, would drop to $523 billion in 2014, it achieves it with unrealistic assumptions, such as projections that spending in Iraq and Afghanistan will amount to only $50 billion a year.

---

OBAMA: "Number one, we inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit. ... That wasn't me." - in Missouri.

THE FACTS:

Congress, under Democratic control in 2007 and 2008, held the purse strings that led to the deficit Obama inherited. A Republican president, George W. Bush, had a role too: He signed the legislation.

Obama supported the emergency financial bailout package in Bush's final months - a package Democratic leaders wanted to make bigger.

To be sure, Obama opposed the Iraq war, a drain on federal coffers for six years before he became president. But with one major exception, he voted in support of Iraq war spending.

The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has estimated Obama's policy proposals would add a net $428 billion to the deficit over four years, even accounting for his spending reduction goals. Now, the deficit is nearly quadrupling to $1.75 trillion.

---

OBAMA: "I think one basic principle that we know is that the more we do on the (disease) prevention side, the more we can obtain serious savings down the road. ... If we're making those investments, we will save huge amounts of money in the long term." - in Missouri.

THE FACTS: It sounds believable that preventing illness should be cheaper than treating it, and indeed that's the case with steps like preventing smoking and improving diet and exercise. But during the 2008 campaign, when Obama and other presidential candidates were touting a focus on preventive care, the New England Journal of Medicine cautioned that "sweeping statements about the cost-saving potential of prevention, however, are overreaching." It said that "although some preventive measures do save money, the vast majority reviewed in the health economics literature do not."

And a study released in December by the Congressional Budget Office found that increasing preventive care "could improve people's health but would probably generate either modest reductions in the overall costs of health care or increases in such spending within a 10-year budgetary time frame."

---

OBAMA: "You could cut (Social Security) benefits. You could raise the tax on everybody so everybody's payroll tax goes up a little bit. Or you can do what I think is probably the best solution, which is you can raise the cap on the payroll tax." - in Missouri.

THE FACTS: Obama's proposal would reduce the Social Security trust fund's deficit by less than half, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

That means he would still have to cut benefits, raise the payroll tax rate, raise the retirement age or some combination of these measures to deal with the program's long-term imbalance.

Workers currently pay 6.2 percent and their employers pay an equal rate - for a total of 12.4 percent - on annual wages of up to $106,800, after which no more payroll tax is collected.

Obama wants workers making more than $250,000 to pay payroll tax on their income over that amount. That would still protect workers making under $250,000 from an additional burden. But it would raise much less money than removing the cap completely.

---

OBAMA: "My hope is that working in a bipartisan fashion we are going to be able to get a health care reform bill on my desk before the end of the year that we'll start seeing in the kinds of investments that will make everybody healthier." - in Missouri.

THE FACTS: Obama has indeed expressed hope for a health care plan that has support from Democrats and Republicans. But his Democratic allies in Congress have just made that harder. The Democratic budget plan that Congress passed Wednesday gives Democrats the option of denying Republicans the normal right to block health care with a Senate filibuster. The filibuster tactic requires 60 votes to overcome, making it the GOP's main weapon to ensure a bipartisan outcome. The rules set by the budget mean that majority Democrats could potentially pass health care legislation without any Republican votes, sacrificing bipartisanship to achieve their goals.

---

Associated Press writers Matt Apuzzo, Kevin Freking and Jim Kuhnhenn contributed to this report.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 180,355
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 13,070
  • Freespeecher
VDH:

http://pajamasmedia.com/victordavishanson/929/

Quote
Cracks in the Facade

Posted By Victor Davis Hanson On May 14, 2009 @ 8:33 am In Uncategorized | 201 Comments

Fissures in the Obama Totem

Oh, I know that President Obama’s approval ratings are still around 62%. But I also remember that George Bush’s at the end of 2001 got even higher — and stayed at or above 60% through most of 2002, explaining why he increased his congressional majority in the midterm elections.

Nevertheless, I think we are beginning — after less than four months — to see fissures in Obama’s Pentelic statuary. And the cracks will widen, because in about six areas he has taken on human nature itself, age-old logic, and common sense-opponents that even a Harvard Law degree and Chicago organizing are no match for.

1) The Rule of Law. We are on dangerous ground here with the reordering of the bankruptcy statutes with Chrysler and the UAW; with the strong-arming of stimulus money for California predicated on the protection of unions; with the serial disdain for paying taxes on the part of Geithner, Solis, Daschle and others; and with the selective release of CIA memos, to denigrate those out of office as veritable torturers (they should reread the transcript of Eric Holder’s 2002 CNN interview with Paula Zahn in which he grandly denies that the Gitmo detainees have any recourse to the Geneva Convention accords and can be held there for as long as we think the war lasts). What separates the U.S. from Mexico, Cuba, or Haiti is the rule of law, the protection of capital and property, the evenhanded treatment of investment, and the faith in a fair media to uncover abuse. I think that is now all in question, as the Utopian ends justify the tawdry means.

2) Energy. We are finding more natural gas than ever. There are billions of barrels of U.S. oil in Alaska, offshore, and in shale. Yet rigs sit idle and government leases are constricting rather than expanding — and for reasons other than the economy. Logic dictated a simple course: expand exploration, increase production, use the revenue to pay down the deficit, and, along with conservation, ready ourselves for the next round of inflationary energy hikes, petro politics, and Middle East petro-bribery by transitioning to alternate energies. In other words, the rare carbon bounty of the U.S. was vital in providing a window of survival, until technology solves wind, solar, and bio-fuel by making them more competitive and plentiful.

No to all that common sense. Instead, Obama is ignoring the potential of coal, nuclear, gas, and oil, intent on cap-and-trade, and pie-in-the-sky present-day Gore-ish wind and solar. The result will be that our energy bills will skyrocket. Our vulnerability will increase. Our overt enemies will gain leverage, and covert ones will keep using coal and nuclear for economic advantage. This is a disastrous energy policy and apparently has been outsourced to the Al Gore cadres. We have a rendezvous with real trouble when the global economy rebounds and  demands more oil and gas. Al Gore will keep his yacht, jet on private planes, and tinker with his various contraptions at his estate; the rest of us will be in gas lines.

3) Debt. Obama has somehow already used the tax last resort. That is, his figures assume taking off FICA caps, watching the states increase their own tax rates, upping the federal rate to 40%, curbing deductions, and effectively increasing the total state and federal bite to above 65% on top incomes.

Fine. But the deficits still go up, adding an aggregate $8-9 more trillion to the debt. The magnitude of borrowing is so staggering that there is almost no conceivable way that we can ever balance the budget without simply confiscating incomes in toto, or taxing our very sneezes. This will blow up in the administration’s face as well. The taxes will discourage and dishearten entrepreneurship as the spending increases unproductive sectors of the now federalized economy, as in turn a larger fossilized constituency demands ever more entitlement and more taxes for “them.”

I do not know what is worse, the mega-interest to come on the debt; the stifling of economic initiative and the rise of barter, off the books income, tax avoidance, or simple slowdowns; or the creation of vast new dependent classes who vote in exchange for entitlement.

We have a rendezvous with hyperinflation, or perhaps stagflation, in that all at once we will see high interest, high inflation, low growth, and nagging unemployment as we finagle ways to service a $15 to 20 trillion debt. Expect not just high taxes, but higher Social Security retirement ages, means-testing, higher FICA taxes, rationed Medicare, and still all that will not be enough…(Interpolation: at that point the only answer is repudiation of the debt....)

4) Security. Very schizophrenic. WE keep FISA, Patriot Act, rendition, military tribunals (Gitmo for now?), Predator attacks, Iraq and Afghanistan, while we trash their Bush origins, apologize abroad, and try to out  CIA memos to embarrass the country between 2001-8.

At some point, Putin, Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Kim Song Il, Assad, and others will conclude that Obama is either not serious or confused — and therefore ready to be tested. Right now hostility towards the U.S. garners attention and apology; loyalty and alliance win neglect and complacence: better to be an enemy than a friend of America. If we get hit again at home,  then the Obama administration is effectively over as a successful governing experiment. If we are tested abroad, Obama will almost have to overreact to restore squandered deterrence. Not good. For 24 months Obama  ignited the left to slur the Bush protocols as krypto-fascism, then found (1) they worked, (2) they were not fascist at all, (3) and now he cannot muzzle the left wing multi-headed Cerberus he unleashed.

5). Civil Discord. In just three months Obama has caused more disunity than most presidents in recent memory. Why and how? He has chosen to demonize as greedy (cf. the Super bowl quips, the “speculators” jab, the “fair share” and “spread the wealth” slips, etc.) capitalists en masse. Why laugh as Ms. Sykes wished for Limbaugh to die of kidney failure, which set a new low for presidential uncouthness. He treats the media with contempt as all earls do with obsequious court jesters. There is a mood of ‘them/us’ and ‘time is running out’, as the Obama administration used the panic over the autumn 2008 financial meltdown to steamroll through a statist, postmodern economic and social agenda before the people woke up. They embrace the term “100 days”; do they realize its genesis is 1815 and Napoleon’s return from Elba? (they should: it ended at Waterloo). The cynicism is now such that anytime Obama offers a grand assurance (most ethical administration, no interest in government take-overs of autos and finance, unwavering support of Israel, no desire to look backward at the Bush administration, etc.), in Pavlovian fashion we expect the very opposite to follow.

6). Race relations. Here I am worried. Far from bringing us together, I think Obama’s serial emphasis on race may achieve the unintended opposite of polarization. He should have learned in the campaign (Rev. Wright, Trinity Church, typical white person, clingers, call for reparations, his grandmother — the purported prejudicial stereotyper, etc.), the perils of seeing the world through skin color. Yet to establish his own diplomatic fides abroad, he immediately evokes race at the South American summit. His interview with al Arabiya highlights his race and family’s religion. Race appears in presidential jokes. He distances himself from America prior to his coming of age.

Stranger still, Obama’s heritage is unlike that of a Clarence Thomas, Tom Sowell, or Bill Cosby, who all knew real prejudice in 1950s America. He matured at a different time, was of African, rather than African-American, heritage, went from prep school to Occidental without the sting of experiencing the underbelly of American working class life, and yet has showcased (here I refer to his book Dreams From My Father) racial difference and knows its emphasis is a proven route to professional success. Again, there is too much disingenuousness for such racial identification to turn out well.

Missed opportunity? Obama could have had a one-time stimulus, then vowed to balance the budget. He might have praised wind and solar as he asked the carbon industry to ‘get us through.’ He could have politely disagreed with Bush, but framing differences in the tragic notion of no good choices. He might have cooled the overseas apologies, savvy that other nations have more to apologize for than his own. Obama should have established zero-tolerance for tax avoidance at a time of record tax increases. He could have remonstrated with Wall Street, and sought to rein in excess without Europeanizing the financial sector. He could have proactively reformed entitlements with bipartisan support, rather than, as will happen, drastically address them in the 11th hour. But then to do all that would be to assume he never went to Trinity Church, knew no Rev. Wright, Ayers, Khalidi, etc., did not run mysterious campaigns that eliminated opponents before the elections, was not the most partisan Senator in Congress, and avoided rather crude social and racial stereotyping while campaigning. Most who read this will not agree, given the mesmerizing effect of the Obama charisma. But in time, unless there are radical changes, I think the nation will come to learn that such talent was not put in service to our collective welfare.

Article printed from Works and Days: http://pajamasmedia.com/victordavishanson

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/victordavishanson/929/
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline S.M.A.

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 132,340
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 6,515
A controversial visit, that's for sure.

Quote
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090517/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_obama_notre_dame

Obama calls for understanding in Notre Dame speech
By JULIE PACE, Associated Press Writer Julie Pace, Associated Press Writer Sun May 17, 7:27 pm ET
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – President Barack Obama strode head-on Sunday into the stormy abortion debate and told graduates at America's leading Roman Catholic university that both sides must stop demonizing one another.

Obama acknowledged that "no matter how much we want to fudge it ... the fact is that at some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable." But he still implored the University of Notre Dame's graduating class and all in the U.S. to stop "reducing those with differing views to caricature. Open hearts. Open minds. Fair-minded words. It's a way of life that always has been the Notre Dame tradition."

One of the noisiest controversies of his young presidency flared after Obama, who supports abortion rights but says the procedure should be rare, was invited to speak at the school and receive an honorary degree. "I do not suggest that the debate surrounding abortion can or should go away," the president said.

The Rev. John Jenkins, Notre Dame's president, introduced Obama and praised the president for not being "someone who stops talking to those who disagree with him." Jenkins said too little attention has been paid to Obama's decision to speak at an institution that opposes his abortion policy.


Ahead of Obama's address, at least 27 people were arrested on trespassing charges. They included Norma McCorvey, the plaintiff identified as "Roe" in the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. She now opposes abortion and joined more than 300 anti-abortion demonstrators at the school's front gate.

More than half held signs, some declaring "Shame on Notre Dame" and "Stop Abortion Now" to express their anger over Notre Dame's invitation to Obama.

Obama entered the arena to thunderous applause and a standing ovation from many in the crowd of 12,000. But as the president began his commencement address, at least three protesters interrupted it. One yelled, "Stop killing our children."

The graduates responded by chanting "Yes we can," the slogan that became synonymous with Obama's presidential campaign. Obama seem unfazed, saying Americans must be able to deal with things that make them "uncomfortable."

The president ceded no ground. But he said those on each side of the debate "can still agree that this is a heart-wrenching decision for any woman to make, with both moral and spiritual dimensions.

"So let's work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions by reducing unintended pregnancies, and making adoption more available, and providing care and support for women who do carry their child to term."

He said he favored "a sensible conscience clause" that would give anti-abortion health care providers the right to refuse to perform the procedure.


Before taking on the abortion issue, Obama told graduates they were part of a "generation that must find a path back to prosperity and decide how we respond to a global economy that left millions behind even before this crisis hit an economy where greed and short-term thinking were too often rewarded at the expense of fairness, and diligence, and an honest day's work."
Obama's appearance appeared additionally complicated by fresh polls that show Americans' attitudes on the issue have shifted toward the anti-abortion position.

A Gallup survey released Friday found that 51 percent of those questioned call themselves "pro-life" on the issue of abortion and 42 percent "pro-choice." This is the first time a majority of U.S. adults have identified themselves as "pro-life" since Gallup began asking this question in 1995.

Just a year ago, Gallup found that 50 percent termed themselves "pro-choice" while 44 percent described their beliefs as "pro-life."

A Pew Research Center survey found public opinion about abortion more closely divided than it has been in several years.

Pew said its latest polling found that 28 percent said abortion should be legal in most cases while 18 percent said all cases. Forty-four percent of those surveyed were opposed to abortion in most or all cases.


Gallup said shifting opinions lay almost entirely with Republicans or independents who lean Republican, with opposition among those groups rising over the past year from 60 percent to 70 percent.

The abortion issue also is front and center as Obama considers potential nominees to fill the vacancy left by the retirement this summer of Justice David Souter. Abortion opponents are determined to see Roe v. Wade overturned, but only four court justices out of nine have backed that position. Souter has opposed arguments for overturning the ruling.

The Catholic Church and many other Christian denominations hold that abortion and the use of embryos for stem cell research amount to the destruction of human life, are morally wrong and should be banned by law.

The contrary argument holds that women have the right to terminate a pregnancy and that unused embryos created outside the womb for couples who cannot otherwise conceive should be available for stem cell research. Such research holds the promise of finding treatments for debilitating ailments.

Within weeks of taking office in January, Obama eased an executive order by President George W. Bush that limited research to a small number of stem-cell strains.

On the Notre Dame campus, members of an abortion rights group also protested while a plane pulling an anti-abortion banner circled above. Tara Makowski of Seattle, who received a master's degree Saturday from the school, said she was dismayed by the way Notre Dame was being characterized.


"Seeing us being portrayed nationally as radical conservative has been really tough," she said. "People need to realize that the majority of students and faculty" favored Obama's visit.

But Bishop John D'Arcy, whose diocese includes Notre Dame, skipped commencement. He attended an open-air Mass and rally. He said he wanted to support the students protesting Obama's speech.

"All of you are heroes, and I'm proud to stand with you," he said.

Obama was the ninth president to receive an honorary degree from Notre Dame and sixth sitting president to address graduates. Other commencement speakers have included Dwight Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.

Before returning to Washington, Obama stopped in Indianapolis for two fundraisers. About 40 people attended a $15,000-per-couple Democratic National Committee event, which raised between $300,000 and $400,000.

About 650 people attended a second fundraiser for four Indiana Democratic congressmen. That dinner cost $250-$5,000 per person.

Indiana is a traditionally conservative state that Obama carried in the presidential election.


___

Associated Press writer Tom Coyne contributed to this report.


Quote
Nearly 40 protesters arrested at Notre Dame


By TOM COYNE, Associated Press Writer – 42 mins ago

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Nearly 40 people were arrested Sunday as they tried to enter the University of Notre Dame to protest President Barack Obama's appearance at commencement, police said.

At least 39 people were taken into custody on trespassing charges, police Sgt. Bill Redman said. Among those arrested were Norma McCorvey, the plaintiff identified as "Roe" in the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. She now opposes abortion.

Obama's commencement speech capped weeks of protests at the nation's most prominent Roman Catholic university. Critics have condemned the university's decision to invite Obama, who supports abortion rights and embryonic stem-cell research, and some have called for the resignation of the Rev. John Jenkins, the university's president.

In his introduction for Obama, Jenkins reiterated the school's support for the church's teaching on the sanctity of human life but applauded Obama for coming to the school.

"Others might have avoided this venue for that reason, but President Obama is not someone who stops talking to those who differ with him," he said.

Obama thanked graduates for their "maturity and responsibility," acknowledging that his appearance "has not been without controversy."

Hundreds of people attended an outdoor Mass and rally on campus, while students who decided not to attend the commencement went elsewhere on campus for prayer. Students opposing the Obama invitation had urged peaceful protests.

Victor Saenz, a philosophy graduate from Mexicali, Mexico, said attending the ceremony "was something I just couldn't do" because he believed Obama's invitation violated a 2004 statement adopted by U.S. bishops saying Catholic institutions should not honor those who don't adhere to church teachings.

In his commencement appearance, Obama also received an honorary law degree.

Bishop John D'Arcy, whose diocese includes Notre Dame, joined the rally and called students "heroes" for expressing their anger over the invitation to Obama.

Some students who attended the rally carried signs declaring "Shame on Notre Dame" and "Stop Abortion Now." Many wore anti-abortion T-shirts, one of which depicted a leprechaun throwing a baby into a trash can and the words "May 17, 2009, The day the dome was forever tarnished," which referred to the school's famed golden dome.

Sunsara Taylor, a New York City resident and a member of the abortion-rights group Abortion on Demand, said outside the school's gates that "there was a voice missing" in the controversy over Obama's visit.

"If women don't have a right to decide if they have a child, women aren't free," she said. "We need to expand abortion access and abortion rights and lift the stigma. Fetuses are not babies and women are not incubators."


School spokesman Dennis Brown said most of the arrests Sunday were at the school's front gate, where most of the protesters angered by Obama's campus appearance had gathered.

He also said three people were ejected from the commencement venue after shouting anti-abortion slogans during Obama's speech.

Kathleen Hession, a graduate from Iowa City, Iowa, said after the ceremony that the protests have overshadowed the students' academic achievements.

"This is our graduation, and it's neither the time nor the place to stage something like that," she said. "I respect their beliefs, but it's not the right platform."

yahoo.com/s/ap/20090517/ap_on_re_us/us_notre_dame_protests

   
Our Country
--------------------------------
"A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves."   - Lao Zi (老子)
-------------------------------------------
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
- Winston Churchill

Offline Thucydides

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 180,355
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 13,070
  • Freespeecher
Robert Kaplan reminds us about the future:

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200905u/kaplan-obama-100-days

Quote
A look ahead to the crises—from Russian power plays to Israeli military strikes—that could really show us what the president is made of.
by Robert D. Kaplan

Obama the Untested
 
The American media has just released an avalanche of reports assessing President Barack Obama’s first 100 days in office. Ignore it all. It doesn’t matter. The revealing part of his presidency hasn’t begun yet. At about this point in his presidency, George W. Bush had, with the help of his secretary of state, Colin Powell, just won the release of the crew of a U.S. spy plane from China, leading the world media elite to declare Bush a pragmatic president in foreign affairs, and Powell his most important advisor. As for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, it was said that he would be gone by summer—a short-serving and utterly forgettable secretary of defense. 9/11, of course, still lay in the future.

President Obama may not face a single cataclysmic event like 9/11. But he will certainly face an array of unforeseen crises that will test him and reveal his inner self the way that 9/11 revealed Bush’s inner self, and will take his presidency in ironic directions. American presidencies in these tumultuous times, with their rapid-fire sequences of events, are like wars. And wars—even successful ones—never go according to plan. If presidential terms were like visits to the dentist, Obama is still in the waiting room listening to the elevator music, with the drill yet to be turned on.

Yes, Obama has faced great crises and choices already: the meltdown of the economy, the bailout of the Detroit automobile companies, the release of the Bush-era memorandums on torture. But all of these crisis were entirely predictable. They are leftovers from the last administration. And the decisions Obama has made on them are the product of staff meetings going back to the days before he was even elected. In all of them he has had the advantage of advance planning. The piracy incident off the coast of Somalia and the swine flu epidemic (provided it doesn’t get worse) do not qualify as crises that define a presidency.

What are the kind of crises that will make the media instantly forget their musings on Obama’s first 100 days?

Getting bogged-down in Afghanistan. Obama has just committed 17,000 more American troops to the effort, and will likely commit more. The war in Afghanistan is about to be Americanized to a greater degree than it ever has. A summer of higher casualties is upon us, as U.S. marines and soldiers advance down Taliban ratlines in southern Afghanistan. That is predictable. But what if the August elections in Afghanistan go badly—or they go well and, nevertheless, there is no political progress in Kabul? What if the war continues in a bloody manner the following summer? Obama in 2010 could find himself in a similar situation as Bush in Iraq in 2006.

Pakistan slowly, chillingly unravels. Obama is now knee-deep in Pakistan’s murky and intractable politics. He is dealing with its greatly unpopular president, Asif Ali Zardari, even as he reaches out to its very popular opposition leader, Nawas Sharif. The Administration is selling arms to the Pakistan military as a bribe to get it to take action against the Taliban. This all makes good policy sense, but Pakistan as a piece of political geography makes no sense. What if Zardari is reduced to a figurehead and the Pakistan military stages a quiet, soft coup: taking power in all but name, even as it becomes further comprised of pro-Taliban officers? Such a scenario will reveal who Obama really is.

Russia officially becomes a dictatorship. As the economy falters and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin looks vulnerable, he could force President Dimitri Medvedev to resign, change the constitution, and get himself reelected as president. In other words, Russia could become a dictatorship in all but name. And by the way, because of an understanding between Russia and Iran that they will respect the status quo in Central Asia and the Caucasus, Putin will likely reject Obama’s offer of scrapping missile sites in Poland in return for Moscow’s help in taming Iran’s nuclear ambitions. What is Obama’s next move, then? Obama has spent 100 days being nice to the outside world, but what happens when the outside world – Europe, Russia, Iran – does not return the favor?

And I haven’t even mentioned the possibility of an unraveling in Iraq, an Israeli military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, or another stock market collapse as the economy refuses to recover quickly. Indeed, there are a slew of nasty probabilities lying in wait to define Obama. There could be more incidents between the U.S. and Chinese navies in the Western Pacific; a country in Africa could implode, requiring a massive relief effort, fraught with the specter of nation-building; the collapse of the North Korean regime could precipitate the mother of all humanitarian interventions, as well as the need for cooperation between the American and Chinese armies.

At present, Obama’s foreign policy team is talented but unwieldy. The National Security apparatus under former Marine General James Jones appears to be handling Israeli-Palestinian matters with the help of special envoy George Mitchell. The State Department, with the help of special envoy Richard Holbrooke, has apparently taken control of Afghanistan-Pakistan matters. This is a very unstable arrangement: Holbrooke is building his own mini-empire in the shadow of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Someone will be forced to resign, and that will affect foreign policy dramatically. This Administration is still just settling in.

Keep in mind that Obama has never really been tested. Life has been easy to him. He has achieved so much at such a tender age. He commands the American Congress and the global media. But such situations are ephemeral. The crises ahead will test him to a degree that perhaps even he himself, so thoughtful and deliberative, cannot yet imagine. And in the process we will all come to know him better.

Robert D. Kaplan is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline S.M.A.

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 132,340
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 6,515
Re: 20 Jan 09: What the world wants from the new American president.
« Reply #67 on: June 04, 2009, 16:31:44 »
Another notable update:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090604/ap_on_re_mi_ea/obama

Quote
Obama seeks common cause with Muslim world
          AP White House Correspondent Jennifer Loven, Ap White House Correspondent – 16 mins ago
CAIRO – Stretching out a hand to the Islamic world, President Barack Hussein Obama on Thursday invoked the Quran, his middle name and an American evenhandedness he says too few Muslims see. Obama drew a respectful response from unlikely places — an Iranian cleric called it "an initial step for removing misconceptions."

The president, speaking at a seat of Islamic learning, delivered a 55-minute speech that was heavily promoted, carefully watched and had as its guiding themes the need to "speak the truth" and "seek a new beginning."

"So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace," the president said.


Obama made no specific references to his predecessor in the White House during his Cairo University speech, but others quickly did.

"There is a change between the language of President Obama and previous speeches made by George Bush," said Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for Hamas. But he added that Obama did not specifically note the suffering in Gaza following the three-week Israeli incursion earlier this year.

"So all we can say is that there is a difference in the statements, and the statements of today did not include a mechanism that can translate his wishes and views into actions," said Barhoum, whose group the U.S. considers a terrorist organization.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in advance of the speech that any statements by Obama were just "words, speech and slogan" that would leave in place sanctions designed to persuade the nation to stop its nuclear weapons program.

But Mohammad Ali Abtahi, a cleric who was vice president under reformist President Mohammad Khatami, called the speech "compensation" for a hostile environment created by Bush.

"This can be an initial step for removing misconceptions between world of Islam and the West," he said.

Obama's remarks were designed to reset relations after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the U.S.-led war in Iraq. Yet he also called sternly for Israel and Palestinians to live up to their obligations in seeking peace, demanded Iran bow to international demands to halt its nuclear weapons program and bid Muslim countries help in eradicating the threat of fundamentalist' violence across the globe.

In doing so, the Christian son of a Kenyan Muslim father and a Kansas mother sought common cause in part by addressing his own roots — and using a middle name that opponents used against him at inflammatory moments in the presidential campaign.

"Much has been made of the fact that an African-American with the name Barack Hussein Obama could be elected president," he said. "But my personal story is not so unique." He went on to say the dream of America exists for all who come there — including nearly 7 million Muslims.

The Israeli government issued a statement saying it, too, hoped for a new era. But it skirted any reference to Obama's calls for a settlement freeze in the West Bank and the creation of an independent Palestinian state — demands that Israel's hawkish prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, continues to reject.

Obama addressed the Israeli-Palestinian dispute pointedly in his address, knowing it goes to the heart of Muslim anger toward the West,

"It is time for us to act on what everyone knows to be true," he said. "Too many tears have flowed. Too much blood has been shed."

Obama's boisterous audience included several members of the nonviolent fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's most powerful opposition movement. Though banned by the President Hosni Mubarak's government, it holds 20 seats in parliament.

Obama seemed upbeat after he spoke, touring the Great Pyramids at Giza. "This is huge!" he yelled at the base of the biggest, his voice echoing off the stone. Around the corner he joked about getting on a camel — and then several of his closest aides promptly did.

The president's brief stay in Cairo also included a visit to the Sultan Hassan mosque, a 600-year-old center of Islamic worship and study.

He flew to Europe later in the day, with stops planned in Germany and France before returning to the United States on Sunday.

Obama's remarks were televised on all radio and television stations in Israel; and with Arabic voice-over translations by Arab satellite stations. The Iranian government jammed signals to block satellite owners from watching.

From its opening phrases, the speech was laden with respectful gestures to Muslims.

Obama said it was part of his responsibilities as president "to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear."

He quoted the Quran: "be conscious of God and always speak the truth" to underscore his call for a new relationship based on mutual interest and respect. He referred to Iran by its full name, the Islamic Republic of Iran, said Islamic countries had been victimized by colonialism as well as the Cold War era struggle between the United States and the former Soviet Union.

"As a boy, I spent several years in Indonesia and heard the call of the azaan at the break of dawn and the fall of dusk," he said. "As a young man, I worked in Chicago communities where many found dignity and peace in their Muslim faith."

The battle against terrorists will continue, in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere, Obama said, despite the animosity the operations have helped created toward the U.S. among Muslims. "America's commitment will not weaken."

But calling Iraq, unlike Afghanistan, "a war of choice," he explained his plan to withdraw American combat troops next year and his reversal of Bush-era policies in the pursuit of terrorists that have enraged Muslims the world over. Obama said flatly that he has banned torture and will close the detested Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba next year.

He asked Muslims to join the fight. "The sooner the extremists are isolated and unwelcome in Muslim communities, the sooner we will all be safer," Obama said.

Not all with hostile views of the U.S. were mollified.

"Obama's speech is an attempt to mislead people and create more illusions to improve America's aggressive image in the Arab and Islamic world," said a joint statement by eight Damascus, Syria-based radical Palestinian factions, including Hamas.

Still, many Muslim listeners praised the shift in U.S. attitude.

"It is the first time I have ever heard such affectionate words from an American for Muslims," said Zahid Husain Gardezi, a landowner in the Pakistani city of Multan. "Apparently we can expect America to try to befriend the Muslim world in deeds as well. But let's see how long it will take to see this on the ground."
Our Country
--------------------------------
"A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves."   - Lao Zi (老子)
-------------------------------------------
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
- Winston Churchill

Offline Chris Pook

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Legend
  • *
  • 182,705
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 11,674
  • Wha daur say Mass in ma lug!
Re: 20 Jan 09: What the world wants from the new American president.
« Reply #68 on: June 04, 2009, 17:47:47 »
A pox on the Great Apologist's thoughts on colonialism.  If I hear one more vacuous twit "apologize" to the world of Islam for colonialism and slavery I will spew. More keyboards will be required.

Why did we colonize Islamic ports?  They sheltered pirates.  They still flaming do.

We should apologise to the Arabs for buying the slaves they bought from blacks and transported to West African to sell to more black Africans and us?

Bugger them all - NO MORE APOLOGIES.   :rage: :piper:
"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

Offline S.M.A.

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 132,340
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 6,515
Re: 20 Jan 09: What the world wants from the new American president.
« Reply #69 on: June 05, 2009, 12:40:23 »
I'm just curious: does anyone here know the unit that his great uncle on his mother's side had belonged to, when they helped liberate one of these camps during WW2? Patton's US Third Army?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090605/ap_on_go_pr_wh/obama

Quote
At death camp, Obama says evil must be confronted

Mark S. Smith, Associated Press Writer – 22 mins ago
WEIMAR, Germany – President Barack Obama witnessed the Nazi ovens of the Buchenwald concentration camp Friday, its clock tower frozen at the time of liberation, and said the leaders of today must not rest against the spread of evil.

The president called the camp where an estimated 56,000 people died the "ultimate rebuke" to Holocaust deniers and skeptics. And he bluntly challenged one of them, Iranian President Ahmadinejad, to visit Buchenwald.


"These sites have not lost their horror with the passage of time," Obama said after seeing crematory ovens, barbed-wire fences, guard towers and the clock set at 3:15, marking the camp's liberation in the afternoon of April 11, 1945. "More than half a century later, our grief and our outrage over what happened have not diminished."

(...)

Obama became the first U.S. president to visit the Buchenwald concentration camp. It was, in part, a personal visit: His great-uncle helped liberate a nearby satellite camp, Ohrdruf, in early April 1945 just days before other U.S. Army units overran Buchenwald.

(...)
 

   
Our Country
--------------------------------
"A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves."   - Lao Zi (老子)
-------------------------------------------
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
- Winston Churchill

Offline S.M.A.

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 132,340
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 6,515
Re: 20 Jan 09: What the world wants from the new American president.
« Reply #70 on: June 27, 2009, 21:10:43 »
And Obama scoffs at Ahmadinejad's demand for an apology for US criticism of Iran's recent actions against the protest movement and for meddling in Iranian domestic affairs.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5juui7didNwh_vzBmJyrbjxkeF-IgD992IRFO2

Quote
Obama scoffs at Ahmadinejad's demand for apology
By JENNIFER LOVEN – 1 day ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's criticism of Iran escalated Friday into an unusually personal war of words. To Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's demand he apologize for meddling, Obama shot back that the regime should "think carefully" about answers owed to protesters it has arrested, bludgeoned and killed.

"The violence perpetrated against them is outrageous," Obama said. "We see it and we condemn it."


The president spoke at an East Room news conference capping his third set of meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, one of several European leaders who spoke out more forcefully, more quickly than Obama on the unrest in Iran that followed the disputed June 12 elections.

"We will not forget," Merkel said.

Turning to Iraq, where a deadline for U.S. combat troops to leave all cities was just four days away, Obama offered no support for allowing a spate of recent violence to push back the withdrawal. "If you look at the overall trend, despite some of these high-profile bombings, Iraq's security situation has continued to dramatically improve," Obama said.

Of bigger concern than the violence, Obama said, is the lack of movement on laws to share oil revenues and other matters that keep Iraq deeply fractured along sectarian lines. He called on Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to step up his leadership.

Merkel's visit happened to coincide with the day that a sweeping global warming bill came up for a vote in the House amid contentious partisan sniping about its effect on jobs and consumer costs. With the vote still hours away and the outcome in doubt, Obama and Merkel, who has made climate change a top priority, presented the rare sight of an American president and a visiting foreign leader together urging the U.S. Congress to act.

Obama said he had been "very blunt and frank" with Merkel that it will take significant time to turn the U.S. into a world leader on climate change but that the "critical" bill before the House was a good start.

Merkel sympathized with the difficulty of approving such legislation, which would impose the first-ever limits on greenhouse gas pollution and force a shift to cleaner energy sources. "I know what's at stake, when you talk about reduction targets, how tricky that is," Merkel said.

In Iran, the government proclaimed the incumbent hardline president, Ahmadinejad, the landslide winner of the June 12 voting over opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, prompting widespread protests followed by a brutal state-led crackdown.

Ahmadinejad told Obama Thursday to "show your repentance" for criticizing Tehran's response.

"I don't take Mr. Ahmadinejad's statements seriously about apologies, particularly given the fact that the United States has gone out of its way not to interfere with the election process in Iran," Obama responded sternly.

"I would suggest that Mr. Ahmadinejad think carefully about the obligations he owes to his own people," he added. "And he might want to consider looking at the families of those who've been beaten or shot or detained. And, you know, that's where I think Mr. Ahmadinejad and others need to answer their questions."

It was Obama's first direct criticism of any of Iran's leaders. Even more, it was coupled with his first specific boost for Mousavi. "Mousavi has shown to have captured the imagination or the spirit of forces within Iran that were interested in opening up," Obama said.

The remark sought to clarify what many view as Obama's biggest misstep — saying last week in a television interview that there may not be much difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi. But it appeared to swing over to an outright endorsement of Mousavi, though White House press secretary Robert Gibbs denied it was meant that way.

Obama also said for the first time that his offer to loosen the decades-old U.S. diplomatic freeze with Iran through direct talks is now in question.

"There is no doubt that any direct dialogue or diplomacy with Iran is going to be affected by the events of the last several weeks," Obama said, without elaborating.

Gibbs said Obama was "more stating the obvious" that no talks are possible while developments are still unfolding. And Obama said that an existing system of multilateral talks with Iran over its suspected goal of building a nuclear bomb, involving nations including the U.S., Europe, China and Russia, must continue.


"The clock is ticking. Iran is developing a nuclear capacity at a fairly rapid clip," he said.

Merkel agreed there must be no letup among nations trying to stop Iran's nuclear development, which Tehran insists is aimed at providing only electric power, not weapons. She said "we have to bring Russia and China alongside," referring to the two nations most historically unwilling to get tough with Iran over the nuclear standoff.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Our Country
--------------------------------
"A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves."   - Lao Zi (老子)
-------------------------------------------
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
- Winston Churchill

Offline S.M.A.

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 132,340
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 6,515
Re: 20 Jan 09: What the world wants from the new American president.
« Reply #71 on: July 11, 2009, 12:36:18 »
And Obama sends a strong message in his Africa visit.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090711/ap_on_go_pr_wh/obama

Quote
Obama declares to Africa: End tyranny, corruption
            Mark S. Smith, Associated Press Writer – 55 mins ago
ACCRA, Ghana – An American president who has "the blood of Africa within me" praised and scolded the continent of his ancestors Saturday, asserting forces of tyranny and corruption must yield if Africa is to achieve its promise.

"Yes you can," Barack Obama declared, dusting off his campaign slogan and adapting it for his foreign audience. Speaking to the Ghanaian Parliament, he called upon African societies to seize opportunities for peace, democracy and prosperity.

"This is a new moment of great promise," he said. "To realize that promise, we must first recognize a fundamental truth that you have given life to in Ghana: Development depends upon good governance. That is the ingredient which has been missing in far too many places, for far too long. That is the change that can unlock Africa's potential."

The son of a white woman from Kansas and a black goat herder-turned-academic from Kenya, Obama delivered an unsentimental account of squandered opportunities in postcolonial Africa.

America's first black president spoke with a bluntness that perhaps could only come from a member of Africa's extended family.

"No country is going to create wealth if its leaders exploit the economy to enrich themselves, or if police can be bought off by drug traffickers," he said

"No business wants to invest in a place where the government skims 20 percent off the top, or the head of the Port Authority is corrupt. No person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way to the rule of brutality and bribery.

"That is not democracy, that is tyranny, even if occasionally you sprinkle an election in there," he said, "and now is the time for that style of governance to end."

He added: "Africa doesn't need strongmen, it needs strong institutions."

Obama was on a 21-hour visit to the West African nation to highlight that country's democratic tradition and engagement with the West. His visit, his first to sub-Saharan Africa as president, was greeted as a "spiritual reunion" Saturday by Ghanian legislators.


Before the flight home, Obama visited Cape Coast Castle, a seaside fortress converted to the slave trade by the British in the 17th century. In its dungeons, thousands of shackled Africans huddled in squalor before being herded onto ships bound for America.

He, his wife Michelle, their daughters and the first lady's mother toured the grounds as a festive crowd of thousands milled outside, pounding drums and dancing in the streets. Obama smiled and waved, pausing after he exited the motorcade, before disappearing with his family and entourage into the courtyard. Michelle Obama is the great-great granddaughter of slaves.


Earlier, people lined the streets, many waving at every vehicle of Obama's motorcade as it headed toward a meeting at Osu Castle, the storied coastline presidential state house, before his speech to Parliament. "Ghana loves you," said a billboard.

The Obama administration sought a wide African audience for the president's speech, inviting people to watch it at embassies and cultural centers across the continent.

The 33-minute address was in part a splash of cold water for Africans who blame colonialism for their problems.

Obama spoke of the indignities visited upon Africans from the era of European rule. He said his grandfather, a cook for the British in Kenya, was called "boy" by his employers for much of his life despite his being a respected village elder. He said it was a time of artificial borders and unfair trade.

But he said the West is not to blame "for the destruction of the Zimbabwean economy over the last decade, or wars in which children are enlisted as combatants." Nor for the corruption that is a daily fact of life for many, he said.

"Africa is not the crude caricature of a continent at perpetual war," he said. Yet for "far too many Africans, conflict is a part of life, as constant as the sun. There are wars over land and wars over resources. And it is still far too easy for those without conscience to manipulate whole communities into fighting among faiths and tribes.

"These conflicts are a millstone around Africa's neck."

Obama started his day with typical calm. Wearing a gray T-shirt and gym pants, he walked through the lobby of his hotel almost unnoticed at 7:30 a.m. local time on his way to the downstairs gym for a workout.

A short time later, his motorcade left the hotel, passed under hovering military helicopters and arrived for a delayed welcome ceremony with Ghanaian President John Atta Mills.

"I can say without any fear of contradiction that all Ghanaians want to see you," Mills said. "I wish it were possible for me to send you to every home in Ghana."

Before the flight home, Obama planned to tour Cape Coast Castle, a seaside fortress converted to the slave trade by the British in the 17th century. In its dungeons, thousands of shackled Africans huddled in squalor before being herded onto ships bound for America.

The castle visit mirrored ones paid by Clinton and George W. Bush to the slave-trading post of Goree Island, Senegal — with the added impact of Obama's mixed-race background and history-making election.

In Ghana, too, Obama followed in Clinton's footsteps. In 1998, a surging crowd cheered Clinton in Accra's Independence Square and toppled barricades after his speech. Clinton shouted, "Back up! Back up!", his Secret Service detail clearly frantic.

Bush's reception last year was less tumultuous, but equally warm. At a welcoming banquet, then-President John Kufuor noted huge increases in U.S. development aid and AIDS relief — and named a highway after Bush.

Obama avoided scheduling large public events, wishing to keep emotions in check in a singular moment in African-American diplomacy.

The president pledged America's partnership in Africa's growth. Specifically, he said he would make sure U.S. aid gets to the people who need it most, such as farmers and entrepreneurs, not Western consultants and administrators.

That's why $3.5 billion in food assistance will focus on new methods and technologies for farmers, instead of simply sending U.S. goods to Africa, he said.


Obama flew to Ghana after the G-8 summit in L'Aquila, Italy, approved a new $20 billion food security plan. It aims to help poor nations in Africa and elsewhere to avert mass starvation during the global recession.

He also had a cordial first meeting with Pope Benedict XVI. In their half-hour private audience at the Vatican, the two reviewed Mideast peace and anti-poverty efforts, aides reported. They also discussed abortion and stem cell research at length, subjects of disagreement between them.
Our Country
--------------------------------
"A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves."   - Lao Zi (老子)
-------------------------------------------
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
- Winston Churchill

Offline Thucydides

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 180,355
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 13,070
  • Freespeecher
Re: 20 Jan 09: What the world wants from the new American president.
« Reply #72 on: July 12, 2009, 13:41:48 »
While I applaud the Presidents words, I can only contrast these words with the "Chicago" style politics that he worked his way up in, and the actions that have been taken to nationalize the Us financial and automotive industries (and proposed actions for the US health care industry).

Is this simply another case of "do as I say..."?
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline tomahawk6

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 83,205
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 8,451
Re: 20 Jan 09: What the world wants from the new American president.
« Reply #73 on: July 13, 2009, 11:25:46 »
Unfortunately Obama's words are just that. Its his actions that tell the real story. Slowly the American public is realizing that they elected a real honest to god statist. With majorities in the House and Senate Obama should be able to enact anything he wants. With 2010 looming he is having trouble keeping his legislative majority together because most politicians want to be re-elected. His climate change bill and healthcare bill are in deep trouble. For the good of the country I hope they dont get passed. Even the Europeans have come to realize that in the face of recession that they cannot afford climate change.

On the foreign policy front Obama has made common cause with fellow statists in south america and the middle east. Obama doesnt support democracy movements of any stripe. He will sell Israel out in a heartbeat. Everywhere he goes he apologizes for America's wrongs. He is supposed to be the President of the United States but it seems that he is aiming to be the world's first President.

Offline S.M.A.

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 132,340
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 6,515
Re: 20 Jan 09: What the world wants from the new American president.
« Reply #74 on: July 30, 2009, 23:10:02 »
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/07/26/gates-crowley-expected-share-beer-obama-white-house-early-week/

Quote
President Obama's highly anticipated sit-down with Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley and Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. over some brews is expected to take place early this week, administration officials said Sunday.

Obama extended the invitation Friday in phone calls to the two men as he tried to calm a furor over racial profiling and his comments this week that the police "acted stupidly" in arresting Gates. He invited both to share a beer.


White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told FOX News on Sunday that he isn't sure whether the meeting has been scheduled but added that the White House is hopeful it will occur "in the next several days."

"And it's our hope that, as the president said, this can be part of a teachable moment, that we can create a better communication and a dialogue between communities and police and help everyone do their job a little bit better," he said. "And it's our hope that soon Professor Gates and Sgt. Crowley can sit at the White House and talk about some of these issues and have a beer with the president."

David Axelrod, Obama's top political adviser, told CBS News that he expects the meeting to happen.

"I think the president sees this as an opportunity to get dialogue going on an issue that has been historically troubling and one he has worked on and they both seem very eager to move forward, so I expect that it will," he said.

Boston Globe reporter Tracy Jan told FOX News Sunday that Gates is looking forward to meeting Crowley at the White House under more pleasant circumstances, according to an e-mail he sent her. Gates said he's not sure exactly when the meeting will happen but thinks it will be very soon. He added that he is a fan of Red Stripe and Beck's.

Obama will try to broker the peace between Crowley, whose supporters say he was unfairly maligned by the president's comments for doing his job, and Gates, whose backers say he was a victim of racial profiling.

The blowup has dominated national attention just as Obama tries to marshal public pressure to get Congress to push through health care overhaul legislation ... and as polls show growing doubts about his performance.

Obama walked back his comments Friday at a surprise appearance at a White House daily briefing and announced he had spoken with Crowley on the phone and invited him to the White House for a beer with Gates. Gates accepted the invitation later that day.


"This has been ratcheting up, and I obviously helped to contribute ratcheting it up," Obama said of the racial controversy on Friday. "I want to make clear that in my choice of words, I think I unfortunately gave an impression that I was maligning the Cambridge Police Department and Sgt. Crowley specifically. And I could've calibrated those words differently."

The president did not back down from his contention that police had overreacted by arresting the Harvard professor for disorderly conduct after coming to his home to investigate a possible break-in. He added, though, that he though Gates, too, had overreacted to the police who questioned him. The charge has been dropped.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Pics below:



    
Our Country
--------------------------------
"A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves."   - Lao Zi (老子)
-------------------------------------------
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
- Winston Churchill