Heads Explode Over ‘1967’

By |May 19th, 2011|

If Drudge knew anything about Middle East policy his headline would read: OBAMA TO NETANYAHU: BALL'S IN YOUR COURT. Clearly the Right isn't on the side of the American President, which is getting more unseemly as we creep closer to election season. It puts U.S. Middle East policy in a political vice, which is why [...]

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The Democratic Plan: Protect & Defend Medicare

By |May 19th, 2011|

"It is a flag we've planted that we will protect and defend. We have a plan. It's called Medicare." - Rep. Nancy Pelosi The following campaign strategy is brought you by Paul Ryan, Newt Gingrich and the Tea Party House. The Democratic Party thanks you very much. What's below is obviously not an ad, because [...]

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Obama’s Next Move in the Middle East

By |May 19th, 2011|

**UPDATED with OBAMA’s FULL REMARKS** Originally posted at 11:30 a.m. With the majority of the population under the age of 30, and more than 4 million people entering the labor force annually, the demographics of the Middle East and North Africa pose challenges. Unemployment rates are high across the region, particularly among the burgeoning youth population. In Egypt, youth unemployment is estimated at over 30 percent. The ability to address the growing demand for jobs “” which was one of the drivers behind the revolution “” will require significant structural changes and economic reform. – Economic Support for Middle East and North Africa, from the White House Pres. Obama will speak at the State Dept. If he makes the case for humanitarian intervention based on Libya he’s going to lose me, because there remains no justification for our military involvement in that country. The ICC has acted on Ghadaffi, even if the U.S. isn’t a member, with how we weigh in usually with might. But perhaps a deft touch is being added. Obama’s speech comes at a time when PM Netanyahu is backing away from a peace plan, as Israel takes in the Arab spring to decide what exactly he can do next. Color me skeptical about anything that includes the words peace and Netanyahu in the same sentence. He’s made me cynical about anything he does. I’m very ambivalent about Pres. Obama’s speech today, even after seeing the administration’s talking points. There’s not a lot the United States can deliver, though the focus on economic development is one that’s long overdue in Arab countries. But this is about the Arabs deciding what they want in their own country, not what the U.S. hopes might unfold. Just think what things might look like if George W. Bush had started on economic development instead of preemptively invading Iraq, which led to the revelations it was all done on a lie, that opened out on torture, Abu Ghraib and the disgrace of our country’s most vital asset, our brand. A snippet from the briefing yesterday: Senior Administration Official: Our approach is based around four broad pillars, and I’ll mention the broad pillars and my colleague will go into further details under several of these. First is support for better economic management. As we’ve learned from the transition experience in Central and Eastern Europe, it’s important to provide support on policy formulation and economic management, along with our support for democratization. We’ll use a number of programs to support NGOs, universities, think tanks, and others who can help contribute to economic policymaking in the region. Second pillar is support for economic stability. Clearly, as part of this — of the upheaval, there’s been a series of economic implications. Growth forecasts have been revised downward. International reserves have decreased. Budget deficits are widening. And the international community will need to come together to take steps in the context of reform to ensure financial stability across the region. And my colleague will go into more details about specific steps that the U.S. is prepared to take in that context. Thirdly is support for economic modernization and reform. And very much key to the future of this region is the development of a strong private sector, entrepreneurial sector that can create jobs and bring young people — who I mentioned earlier — suffer from high unemployment rates into the workforce. There are institutions and experience out there in facilitating this transition, and he’ll be taking a number of steps to ensure that the international financial institutions and others are supportive of this modernization. And finally, fourth, it’s important to develop a framework for trade integration and investment. If you take out oil exports, the countries of this region, 400 million people, export about the same amount of goods as Switzerland does with only 8 million people. The countries are not terribly well integrated with each other, nor are they terribly well integrated into the global economy. And we’ll be taking a number of step-by-step initiatives to facilitate more robust trade within the region and to facilitate — do trade facilitation, to build on existing agreements, to promote greater integration with the U.S. and Europe, and to open the door for those countries who adopt high standards of reform and trade liberalization to construct a regional trade arrangement. White House didn’t send out Obama’s remarks until deep into his speech, revealing he was tinkering until the end. Speech below the fold… […]

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Maria Shriver Hires Divorce Attorney

By |May 19th, 2011|

From People magazine: Prominent Los Angeles family law attorney Laura Wasser is now representing California's former first lady, according to sources close to Shriver. "Maria hasn't decided yet if she wants to end her marriage," says one source. Wasser was hired before the news of the affair went public, sources say. I don't know how [...]

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Dominique Strauss-Kahn Resigns from IMF Under Pressure

By |May 19th, 2011|

**UPDATED** "... The real debate isn't just going to be between Europeans versus others. The real debate should be who brings a genuine vision to that institution (IMF), because to some degree Strauss-Kahn saved the IMF and repurposed it, if you will.. [..]" - Steve Clemons, New America Foundation (interview on MSNBC) Post Strauss-Kahn, French [...]

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Kathy Hochul Takes on Pakistan Aid

By |May 19th, 2011|

Dave Weigel captured the ad below himself, which isn't on Hochul's website yet. Hochul says straight out that she wants to look at the Defense budget, but also that "we need to reevaluate some of those relationships." Is Pakistan's free ride over? For Hochul to get this far out on this issue is an interesting [...]

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David Gregory Goes Beyond Russert’s ‘Gotcha’ Style to Get Gingrich

By |May 18th, 2011|

Earlier Tuesday, Gingrich -- who'd made 34 previous appearances on "Meet the Press" "” said on a conference call that he "didn't go in [to the interview] quite hostile enough, because it didn't occur to me going in that you'd have a series of setups." - NBC's David Gregory Defends Medicare Question As Newt Gingrich [...]

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From Cambridge and Princeton, Cornell West

By |May 18th, 2011|

West begins with a bit of historical revision. West suggests that the President discarded him without provocation after he offered the Obama for America campaign his loyal service and prayers. But anyone with a casual knowledge of this rift knows it began during the Democratic primary not after the election. It began, not with a [...]

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Newt: ‘Any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood’

By |May 18th, 2011|

There isn't enough popcorn in the world to slake the savage salaciousness of watching Newt Gingrich's contagion implosion. Okay, so that's a bit much. But giddy just doesn't cut it. "Any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood, because I have said publicly those words were inaccurate and unfortunate," he told [...]

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Get Ready for BACHMANN 2012

By |May 18th, 2011|

"Our Facebook has been lit up. Our donations are pouring in, and people are saying 'Michele, jump in. We want you to run'. We had announced earlier that we would be looking at a June entry date for a decision, one way or another, about this race. Possibly, we may move that up." - Bachmann [...]

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