Thursday, May 21, 2009

Cheney vs Obama aftermath.

Politics: Obama's speech was lofty though he could not hide the irritation of quickly having to make it to try and preempt Cheney's speech. The problem is that he created this compare/contrast news angle that would keep this debate in the spotlight for a little while longer.

Obama's speech was I am against everything the last 8 years was about, Bush admin is evil and I will uphold American values unless they get in my way then screw it. All you have to point out at first is his mulling over the Preventive Detention Plan which is another nice way of saying Gitmo is good. That is just one example.

Cheney speech was I apologise for nothing and Obama is making everyone less safe with his hasty decisions. He also brought up something I missed when the memos were released, where is the rest?

By presidential decision, last month we saw the selective release of documents relating to enhanced interrogations. This is held up as a bold exercise in open government, honoring the public’s right to know. We’re informed, as well, that there was much agonizing over this decision.

Yet somehow, when the soul-searching was done and the veil was lifted on the policies of the Bush administration, the public was given less than half the truth. The released memos were carefully redacted to leave out references to what our government learned through the methods in question. Other memos, laying out specific terrorist plots that were averted, apparently were not even considered for release. For reasons the administration has yet to explain, they believe the public has a right to know the method of the questions, but not the content of the answers.

This makes Obama looks like he is hiding something. More from Justoneminute, Hot Air.

UK: Mother wants 8 kids while living off welfare.

UK: Generous welfare benefits leads to members of society being lazy unproductive slugs.

A mother who has had seven children since she first fell pregnant at the age of 15, has revealed that she gets state handouts of £500 a week.

Susie Christian shocked her family when she first became pregnant, announcing that she wanted another seven children.

True to her word, the 24-year-old is now planning her eighth child with husband Dax, 25.

As neither of the couple works, they enjoy child tax credits and child benefits of £24,000 a year to support their ever-increasing brood.

Mrs Christian said: 'We always wanted lots of babies and we only take what we are entitled to.

'I would love to work but I don't have time. Dax can't because he has arthritis.

'People may say we shouldn't have kids if we can't support them, but it's not our fault if Dax is unfit.'

Two months ago Mr Christian's Living Disability Allowance of £500-a-month was reduced to £100 after an assessment claimed that his arthritis had improved.
But his wife insists that the condition continues to cause him so much pain that he cannot work, or even get out of bed some days.

The couple pay £15 a month towards the rent of a three-storey, four-bedroom house in Norwich.

1 in 7 Freed Detainees Rejoins Fight, Report Finds

Terrorism: This really won't help out Obama.

An unreleased Pentagon report concludes that about one in seven of the 534 prisoners already transferred abroad from the detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, has returned to terrorism or militant activity, according to administration officials.

The conclusion could strengthen the arguments of critics who have warned against the transfer or release of any more detainees as part of President Obama’s plan to shut down the prison by January. Past Pentagon reports on Guantánamo recidivism have been met with skepticism from civil liberties groups and criticized for their lack of detail.

The Pentagon promised in January that the latest report would be released soon, but Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman, said this week that the findings were still “under review.”

Two administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said the report was being held up by Defense Department employees fearful of upsetting the White House, at a time when even Congressional Democrats have begun to show misgivings over Mr. Obama’s plan to close Guantánamo.

Wonderful, now we have DD employees scared to do their jobs because Obama may get upset. This is not how you want your national security people to act in this day and age.

Obama thinking about Preventive Detention Plan

Terrorism: Just another fancy term and process in the making to dress up yet another Bush policy as his own improvement.

President Obama told human rights advocates at the White House on Wednesday that he was mulling the need for a “preventive detention” system that would establish a legal basis for the United States to incarcerate terrorism suspects who are deemed a threat to national security but cannot be tried, two participants in the private session said.

The discussion, in a 90-minute meeting in the Cabinet Room that included Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and other top administration officials, came on the eve of a much-anticipated speech Mr. Obama is to give Thursday on a number of thorny national security matters, including his promise to close the detention center at the naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Human rights advocates are growing deeply uneasy with Mr. Obama’s stance on these issues, especially his recent move to block the release of photographs showing abuse of detainees, and his announcement that he is willing to try terrorism suspects in military commissions — a concept he criticized bitterly as a presidential candidate.

The two participants, outsiders who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the session was intended to be off the record, said they left the meeting dismayed.

They said Mr. Obama told them he was thinking about “the long game” — how to establish a legal system that would endure for future presidents. He raised the issue of preventive detention himself, but made clear that he had not made a decision on it. Several senior White House officials did not respond to requests for comment on the outsiders’ accounts.

“He was almost ruminating over the need for statutory change to the laws so that we can deal with individuals who we can’t charge and detain,” one participant said. “We’ve known this is on the horizon for many years, but we were able to hold it off with George Bush. The idea that we might find ourselves fighting with the Obama administration over these powers is really stunning.”

Hope and Change to the status quo.

Rush, Newt and Cheney are the RNC muscle,

Politics: Both Howard Fineman of Newsweek and Roger Simon of Politico playing in the same writing sandbox saying that Cheney is showing the rest of the party how to fight.

Right now there are two RNCs here in Washington, side by side. The contrast is instructive.
One, the Republican National Committee, is a clueless self-parody. The other, the (R)ush-(N)ewt-(C)heney tag team, is providing the real muscle as the Republican right begins to build traction in taking on President Obama and the Democrats.

The official RNC just spent the last two days wasting time and inviting ridicule—listening to a listless, empty speech by its chairman, Michael Steele, and debating the grand idea of calling the Democrats "socialists." Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh hammers away at the Democrats and the president on radio every day; Newt Gingrich sarcastically attacks Nancy Pelosi on The Daily Show (and gets laughs for doing so); and Dick Cheney continues his high-profile, Iraq-star media tour.

Steele kicked away his moment as leader of the party, failing even to launch a single credible attack line, let alone sketch a new strategic or tactical vision for the Republicans. Cheney—despite his deep and abiding unpopularity—has helped the GOP exploit the first true weak spot in the alliance of Obama and congressional Democrats: the question of how to handle the war on terror. In one sense, the issue has been presented, gift-wrapped, to the GOP. But while Steele has dithered, Rush, Newt and Cheney have latched on like the partisan pit bulls they are.

He points out as others like Hot Air that Obama has taken on Bush policies as his own much to the disgust of his leftist supporters. Even Maureen Dowd has joined in on the act with her predictable snarling parody bit.

Dick is looking over at himself on the TV behind the bar, where Fox is doing a segment about how Republicans on the Sunday talk shows praised him for his shock-and-awe campaign against Obama.

“I can’t believe how easy it was to bring Obama into line,” Rummy says, gnawing on Gorgonzola. “We wouldn’t have needed waterboarding if everybody cracked like a peanut. It was even easier than getting the bit into Junior’s mouth. Way simpler than if we’d had to contend with McCain. In the end, the right guy won.”

Dick is surprised, too, but who can tell?

“You’re running national security now and everyone knows it,” Rummy says. “You got Obama to do an about-face on the torture photos. He’s using our old line about how it would endanger the troops. He’s keeping our military tribunals. His Justice Department invoked our state secrets privilege to try to get that lawsuit on torture and rendition dismissed. He’s trying to stop any sort of truth commission, thank goodness. He’s got his own surge going in Afghanistan. He’s withdrawing from Iraq more slowly. He’s extended our secret incursions over the Afghan border into Pakistan.”

The hope the rest of the RNC would learn from these guys is just a setup for disappointing for the rank and file of the GOP party. But much praise to Cheney for showing everyone that standing up and fighting for your views is *shocking* a good thing.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cheney vs Obama security speeches today.

Politics: Despite the Republican "insiders" who were wishing that Dick Cheney would go away, on this one issue he not only took the reins but trampled all over the White House in the process. The surprise factor is the GOP didn't manager to bumble over themselves when they saw the issue of Gitmo closing and terrorists being released or put in jail on American soil gaining traction.

Now Obama has scheduled a national security speech the same day as Cheney who will be at the American Enterprise Institute. Cheney's speech was scheduled weeks ago and Obama is going to try and take back the debate(or at least calm it down) and upstage the former VP.

President Barack Obama will attempt to regain control of a boiling debate over anti-terrorism policy with a major speech on Thursday — an address that comes on the same day that former Vice President Dick Cheney will be weighing in with his own speech on the same theme.

The dueling speeches amount to the most direct engagement so far between Obama and his conservative critics in the volatile argument over what tactics are justified in detaining and interrogating suspected enemy combatants.

The national security debate — egged on by frequent charges from Cheney that Obama is leaving the country more vulnerable to attack — is the only subject on which many Republicans believe they have been able to gain traction against a popular president and the Democratic majority that now dominate Washington.

Helping the situation has been Nancy Pelosi acting the idiot about the CIA and Robert Mueller, head of the FBI stating the obvious about bringing the terrorist here.

FBI Director Robert Mueller dealt another blow to Obama's goal of shutting the prison by a self-imposed January 22, 2010 deadline on Wednesday, challenging Democratic assertions that maximum-security US prisons can safely hold accused terrorists.

"The concerns we have about individuals who may support terrorism being in the United States run from concerns about providing financing to terrorists, radicalizing others with regard to violent extremism, the potential for individuals undertaking attacks in the United States," he said.

That helped the Senate to block funding to the closing of Gitmo until they see a detailed plan. I don't know how detailed since they have told Obama what he can't do which limits his options and that is including the reluctance of other countries to take in prisoners.

Now Obama has to figure out a way to placate everyone but at this point it will be useless because anything he says that would please the left would be a point for the GOP to say he is soft on national security. If he goes right, leftists will howl.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

BBC's new kids show to further wimpify children.

Entertainment: Yoga loving hippies who are all about love and affection. This next generation of kids will make Gen Y'ers look like Rambo.

Parents will be invited to do yoga with their toddlers and hug them in a new BBC children's TV show.
Mothers and fathers may be forgiven for thinking they have travelled back to the late 1960s when they sit down with their children to watch Waybuloo.

The series, which it is hoped will be as big a hit as the Teletubbies, is said to be imbued with a 'hippy' philosophy.

Viewers will be encouraged to hug each other to achieve happiness and the show's characters float when they achieve the zen-like condition of 'Buloo'.

The four 'Piplings' - Lau Lau, De Li, Nok Tok and Yo Jojo - teach youngsters how to deal with their emotions as they travel through the countryside of Nara.

BBC publicity for the show claims: 'Waybuloo is not just a series, it's a philosophy for a happy life.' It claims that the Piplings embody a range of emotions including love, wisdom, happiness and harmony and 'personify positive emotion' by floating.

Auto Fuel Mileage Standards up by 2016

Nation: All for it and with one standard instead of idiot states making up their own rules it should work out for the best in the long run. Automakers should have been upping the MPG on their own instead of being forced to grin and bear it for government policy.

President Barack Obama plans to propose the first-ever national emission limits for cars and trucks as well as average mileage requirements of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016 — all costing consumers an extra $1,300 per vehicle. Obama's plan couples for the first time pollution reduction from vehicle tailpipes with increased efficiency on the road. It would save 1.8 billion barrels of oil through 2016 and would be the environmental equivalent to taking 177 million cars off the road, senior administration officials said Monday night.

The plan also would effectively end a feud between automakers and statehouses over emission standards — with the states coming out on top but the automakers getting a single national standard and more time to make the changes.

Obama's Iran Timetable. Weak.

Politics: Bibi and Obama met while putting on the game face to ease the awkwardness of the fact Obama think he can trust Iran and other Arab leaders at their word over Israel.

President Obama said Monday that he expected to know by the end of the year whether Iran was making “a good-faith effort to resolve differences” in talks aimed at ending its nuclear program, signaling to Israel as well as Iran that his willingness to engage in diplomacy over the issue has its limits.

“We’re not going to have talks forever,” Mr. Obama told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel after a two-hour session in the Oval Office.

The president added that he did not intend to foreclose “a range of steps” if Iran did not cooperate.

Mr. Netanyahu, for his part, told Mr. Obama that he was ready to resume peace talks with the Palestinians immediately, but only if the Palestinians recognized Israel as a Jewish state.

After their private meeting, the two leaders spoke to a small group of reporters and answered questions.

The meeting between the leaders, both new to their jobs but with very different political styles and outlooks, comes at a delicate time in the relationship between their countries, especially over the issue of Iran.

Mr. Obama wants time for his diplomatic overtures to work. Israel is rattled by those overtures and concerned that the president will not be as unwavering a supporter of Israel as was his predecessor, George W. Bush.

On Monday, Mr. Obama seemed to be trying to address that concern.

Speaking of the development and deployment of a nuclear weapon, he said, “We’re not going to create a situation in which talks become an excuse for inaction while Iran proceeds.”

Mr. Obama added that he intended to “gauge and do a reassessment by the end of the year” on whether the diplomatic approach was producing results.

The exchange was the first time Mr. Obama had seemed willing to set even a general timetable for progress in talks with Iran, a country that has not had diplomatic relations with the United States in three decades.

He said he expected international talks with Iran, involving six nations including the United States, to begin shortly after the Iranian elections in June, with the possibility of “direct talks” between the United States and Iran after that

Giving extended deadlines to the Iranians are a waste of time, look at European talks which have been useless and only gives time for Iran to continue with their nuke program.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Obama calls for 'common ground' over abortion

Politics: Kinda hard to have common ground over killing unborn babies. If he had come out with as much vigor promoting adoption, discouraging abortion, increasing research into adult stem cells..etc then I would be more apt to believe that this wasn't a bunch of hot air.

Maureen Dowd gets talking points from talking points.

Media: Someone has some explaining to do at the NYTIMES.