I believe President Obama deserves deference in picking his team, and I’ve generally tried to give him that. But enough is enough.
Last Wednesday, President Obama announced his nomination of Antonio Weiss to serve as Under Secretary for Domestic Finance at the Treasury Department. This is a position that oversees Dodd-Frank implementation and a wide range of banking and economic policymaking issues, including consumer protection.
So who is Antonio Weiss? He’s the head of global investment banking for the financial giant Lazard. He has spent the last 20 years of his career at Lazard — most of it advising on international mergers and acquisitions.
That raises the first issue. Weiss has spent most of his career working on international transactions — from 2001 to 2009 he lived and worked in Paris — and now he’s being asked to run domestic finance at Treasury. Neither his background nor his professional experience makes him qualified to oversee consumer protection and domestic regulatory functions at the Treasury. As someone who has spent my career focused on domestic economic issues, including a stint of my own at the Treasury Department, I know how important these issues are and how much the people in Treasury can shape policies. I also know that there are a lot of people who have spent their careers focused on these issues, and Weiss isn’t one of them.
President Obama’s address at the United Nations today was a stirring defense of universal moral values and international law — one that felt weirdly at odds with his actual policies. For example, at one point Obama said, “all of us — big nations and small — must meet our responsibility to observe and enforce international norms.” But it was hard to see how the American targeted-killing campaign, as well as the recent escalation in Syria, fit in.
In a weird way, this sour note is what made Obama’s speech so important: it was perhaps the clearest articulation yet of what he actually believes and how he sees the world, and yet it also showed how his policies do not line up with those beliefs. The UN address — purportedly written by the president himself — laid out Obama’s fundamental worldview in especially clear terms. He’s an inveterate optimist, deeply believing that we’ve built a world with a bright future. But he’s also willing to take aggressive, even cynical actions to secure that future. That’s why his rhetoric and policy so often feel at odds.
Submitted with little comment but there appears to be a highly misquoted remark by President Obama as reported by Mark Landler of the New York Times with regards to President Obama’s appearance at DSCC fundraiser and his comments on Ukraine.
Mark Landler reports:
Expressing confidence that the United States was on “the right side of history” in this battle, Mr. Obama said the nation would also resist Russia’s incursions in Ukraine, even though he noted that the United States has very little trade with Ukraine and “geopolitically, what happens in Ukraine doesn’t pose a great threat to us.”
However, according to a transcript of said remarks President Obama stated the following:
And if it were not for us, I think it’s fair to say that the situation would be much worse. But it’s something that we are going to have to not just pay attention to but continue to organize, not so much because Ukraine itself is a vital national security threat to us — we do very little trade with Ukraine and, geopolitically, it doesn’t — what happens in Ukraine doesn’t pose a direct threat to us — but because we are expected to uphold basic international rules and norms. And those rules and norms are what not only allows us to prosper but has allowed an unprecedented number of people to rise out of poverty, and wealth to spread to vast corners of the world, and the Internet to connect the world together.
If this is a misquote it’s a misquote of high magnitude and should be corrected by either Mark Landler or the New York Times.
As a consequence of this misquote here are several negative reactions.
Get lost, Ukraine, Obama says: “geopolitically, what happens in Ukraine doesn't pose a great threat to us” http://t.co/KYXfzg1agD
Obama: US doesn't trade much w/ Ukraine & "geopolitically, what happens in Ukr doesn’t pose a great threat 2 us.” Ugh http://t.co/gQOteJOES2
WASHINGTON — House Republicans have rebuffed President Obama’s request for explicit approval to train and equip Syrian rebels battling forces seeking creation of an Islamic State and to spend up to $2 billion stabilizing the situation in Ukraine, Iraq and other hotspots, U.S. officials said Wednesday.
Despite the setback, administration officials worked to win the support of reluctant lawmakers in the hours before Obama was delivering a nationally television speech to the nation laying out his strategy for combating militants with Islamic State group.
Officials said Obama made two specific requests of lawmakers as they drafted a sweeping spending bill to keep the government open past the end of the Sept. 30 budget year. Neither was included in the bill that the House is scheduled to vote on Thursday, but the situation remained fluid.
The White House request asks for “authority to train and equip appropriately vetted elements of the Syrian armed opposition to help defend the Syrian people from attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Syrian regime” as well as stabilize areas in Syria under rebel control.
Once again the ACLU points out a dichotomy presented by our times. And our President is caught between a rock and a hard place, largely of his own administrations making.
It’s not just the record breaking prosecutions of leakers. He is responsible for DOD policy that delineates what surplus equipment gets mothballed or distributed and why. His DOJ may need to be more proactive on police, the DOD and racial tensions and injustices. It’s not that I feel he should be excoriated, but I think we see a lot of room for improvement.
Addressing events in Ferguson, President Obama had some encouraging words last week that defended this country’s proud tradition of media freedom. “Here, in the United States of America,” he said, “police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their jobs and report to the American people on what they see on the ground.”
But those strong words, a reflection of the foundational role of the media in our democracy, belie what has become a sustained attack by the government on press freedoms.
The Obama administration is the most aggressive in U.S. history when it comes to prosecuting journalists’ sources for disclosing unauthorized leaks. It has gone after the journalists, too. In just one example, it continues to pursue a Bush-era subpoena of James Risen, a New York Times journalist, to testify against a source accused of leaking information about CIA efforts to derail Iran’s nuclear program. In an effort to sever journalists from their sources, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper recently went so far as to sign a directive forbidding intelligence officials from talking to the press - even about unclassified matters - without securing permission in advance.
Widespread government surveillance, in addition to imperiling the privacy rights of millions of Americans, has also severely undermined the freedom of the press. A recent ACLU-Human Rights Watch report shows that many journalists have found information and sources increasingly hard to come by. To make matters more burdensome, they’ve had to resort to elaborate techniques to keep their communications secret. The result? We get less information about what our government is doing in our name.
Wow! Everyone supposed someone in government would eventually come out and call President Obama a Ni-CLANG. Looks like we have a winner:
In the almost all-white town of Wolfeboro, N.H., resident Jane O’Toole was in a restaurant in March when, she says, she overheard the police commissioner use the n-word. She wrote the town manager about the language.
Wolfeboro Police Commissioner Robert Copeland wrote her back acknowledging that he’d called the president the n-word and adding that he had no intention of apologizing.
“I believe I did use the ‘N’ word in reference to the current occupant of the Whitehouse [sic],” Copeland wrote in the email, the Associated Press reports. “For this, I do not apologize—he meets and exceeds my criteria for such.”
Copeland is an elected official in the first year of a 3-year term. The town is almost exclusively white, but thankfully, residents seem pretty upset about the incident.
via The Root
Joe Messina’s mess of an article attempts to call Obama, Pelosi, and the left racist :
Yes, I am just the old, white, racist guy whom the left attacks as having ideas dating back to the Fifties.
I say to those who embrace Planned Parenthood: you are the racists. You are the accessories to murder. You are responsible for more than 50 percent of black pregnancies in New York ending in abortion.
It’s time for you to just live up to the truth.
And, as if that is not ridiculous enough, he adds this:
A few weeks ago, President Obama decided to insult Pope Francis by giving the blessed rosary beads given to him by the Pope to Nancy Pelosi.
The first insult: Re-gifting something that a leader of one of the largest religious groups in the world gave him. Really? It’d be like giving Qurans signed by Osama bin Laden to the families of 9/11 victims. Why didn’t he just save them and to include in his presidential library? Does he not understand the gesture and value? Does he care?
So, yeah, giving a Catholic a Catholic icon, is akin to racism, and giving KKKorans to 911 families.
Read More (at your own risk of ptbsd - or post teapartum bullshit syndrome) : SCVNews.com
Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld slammed President Barack Obama on Monday, saying “a trained ape” would have better foreign policy skills.
During an appearance on Fox News’ “On the Record with Greta van Susteren,” Rumsfeld criticized the White House for not securing a status of forces agreement with Afghanistan.
“We have status of forces agreements probably with 100, 125 countries in the world,” Rumsfeld said. “This administration, the White House, and the State Department, have failed to get a status of forces agreement. A trained ape could get a status of forces agreement. It doesn’t take a genius.”
Not content to lecture HBCU students on the history of the NAACP, Rand Paul, noted opponent of the Civil Rights Acts, lectures Berkeley students about the FBI surveillance of civil rights leaders.
Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, says President Obama should be particularly wary of domestic spying, given the government’s history of eavesdropping on civil rights leaders such as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
I suppose his next lecture will be to speak to the Anti-Defamation League about how the Holocaust never would have happened if Jews had more guns.