Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Posts Tagged ‘President Obama’

Fortune Refuses To See The Obvious

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 18, 2014

After nearly two weeks of tanking over various worries — one of the biggest being whether the Saudis’ continued oil dump will cause Russia and various other countries to collapse and/or their leaders to flip out — the stock market had a big day yesterday and a really big day today, and various reasons were posited: The Fed’s not raising interest rates, decent (by Wall Street standards) unemployment numbers, things like that.

But there was something, a something that was announced at around 11:29 am ET yesterday, well over four hours before the 4:00 pm NYSE closing bell yesterday, and the effects of which were still reverberating through the market — and indeed, the entire nation — today:

WASHINGTON — The United States and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday.

The announcement came amid a series of sudden confidence-building measures between the longtime foes, including the release of American prisoner Alan Gross, as well as a swap for a U.S. intelligence asset held in Cuba and the freeing of three Cubans jailed in the U.S.

President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro were to separately address their nations around noon Wednesday. The two leaders spoke by phone for more than 45 minutes Tuesday, the first substantive presidential-level discussion between the U.S. and Cuba since 1961.

Wednesday’s announcements followed more than a year of secret talks between U.S. and Cuban officials in Canada and the Vatican. U.S. officials said Pope Francis was personally engaged in the process and sent separate letters to Obama and Castro this summer urging them to restart relations.

As Mistah Pierce said yesterday afternoon:

In response to six years of being called a “dictator” for just trying to keep the lights on in the government, he dropped an executive order on immigration right on their heads. Now, in response to six years of being told he was un-American, and a friend to the country’s enemies, he’s handed them the ultimate exploding cigar.

Boom.

And for those worried about whether the US brand of invader capitalism is going to ruin Cuba, I answer that the Canadians and Europeans and Asians have too strong a presence there to allow the US business community to pull that sort of stunt. They’ve been there for the past fifty-five years; we haven’t been aside from Guantanamo — which thanks to Pope Francis (who brokered the whole normalization thing in the first place, by the way) is about to get a bit emptier and perhaps even close fairly soon.

There is just so much winnitude here it’s measuring off the charts.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

How Bad Is The GOP? Crazy John McCain’s Now The Voice Of Reason WRT Foreign Policy.

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 2, 2012

So President Obama goes to Afghanistan on a long-planned trip to put the finishing touches on the US’ withdrawal plans, and what do most Republicans do?

As Tengrain at Dependable Renegade shows, they pout:

“The special operators who have every right to “spike the football” are too professional to do so. The White House might follow their lead.”

Donald Rumsfeld

And:

“I think what offends people is that instead of recognizing it as a national triumph and having everybody share in it, that the Obama administration has tried to make it look like the president did everything, including fast-roping out of the helicopter and pulling the trigger.”

John Bolton

Meanwhile, John McCain, astonishingly enough, does what a sensible grown-up would do — he praised Obama for his Afghanistan trip and deal:

“I am pleased that the President has traveled to Afghanistan. This is a significant opportunity for him to hear directly from our military commanders and troops on the ground about the significant progress we are making in this fight.

“It is also important because President Obama and President Karzai will announce the U.S.-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Agreement, which will define the long-term political, economic, and military commitment between our countries. While I will carefully examine the details of this agreement, I am hopeful that it will send a signal to friends and enemies in the region that the United States is committed to a secure and free Afghanistan.

“I hope the President’s speech tonight will emphasize the degree of our commitment in Afghanistan, rather than the plans for withdrawal. I would urge the President to return from this visit and spend more time speaking directly with the American people about the vital national security interests at stake in Afghanistan and the need for the United States to remain strongly engaged there in the years ahead.”

Now, is it all what I think McCain should have said? No, especially not the last paragraph. Is it designed to push a particular agenda (namely, continuing to stump for an increasingly hated war) that might tie President Obama’s hands were he to follow it? Yup. But McCain, unlike the rest of the GOP, knows that mounting a frontal attack on the foreign policy of the man who did what Bush wouldn’t — get bin Laden — is not exactly a wise move politically. (It’s incredibly crass, for starters.) So instead, he (or whoever wrote this for him) baits the trap with honey and hopes Obama bites on it.

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The Republicans’ Enthusiasm Gap

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 1, 2012

I’ve been trying to gauge relative voter enthusiasm by comparing 2012 primary and caucus results to those of 2008, on the idea that the more folks who turn out for the early primaries, the ones that decide the end result months in advance, are the key ones to watch as the motivation factor to participate will be higher in those than in the primaries held after them.

Up to this point — aside from South Carolina which was the Tea Party’s Last Hurrah, hence the huge TheoCon turnout which disproportionately benefited Newt — turnout’s been similar to 2008, especially when you take population growth into account. But then we came to Florida, and Florida’s GOP turnout this year was much lower than four years ago: 1,663,698 to 2008’s 1,949,498, or nearly 300,000 less.

I believe this means that while the Republican’s Tea-Party/Bircher base may have grudgingly accepted Romney as the only Republican who stands a chance against Obama this year, the operative word here is “grudgingly”. This was an incredibly hard-fought state — Romney needed Florida’s winner-take-all system to put a stake through Newt’s heart, which is why he outspent Newt there by a five-to-one margin — and if there really was the huge “dump Obama” fervor the GOP/Media Complex says exists, one would expect turnout to have been much higher than in 2008. Instead, the opposite happened, and there was a fifteen percent drop in turnout from 2008.

From now on, the rest of the primary schedule will have a decreasing amount of relevance aside from padding Mitt’s delegate totals. Money that was either on the sidelines or committed to other candidates will now start flowing Mitt’s way, and he’s going to need it: He outspent Santorum by nearly 100-to-1 in Iowa and still lost by a hairsbreadth, he outspent Gingrich by over two-to-one in South Carolina and got beaten like a gong, and he had to pull out all the stops and outspend Newt by five-to-one to beat him in Florida. His easiest win was in New Hampshire, where he had the advantage of being the only New Englander in the race, and even there he still had to spend over $10 million.

David Paul Kuhn of the Republican-run RealClearPolitics addresses the Republicans’ enthusiam gap in a roundabout way, asking: “Will Romney’s Strengths Prove Moot Against Obama?” Well, when even the Republican stalwart Scott Rasmussen’s polling shows Obama beating Romney by four percentage points in the general, I suspect that the answer is “no”.

Why is this? A number of reasons have been advanced, one of them being anti-Mormon prejudice, but I suspect that another factor is this: Having Romney as the nominee would mean that the Republicans’ biggest weapon to date against Obama and the Democrats — the unpopularity of the Affordable Care Act — is now permanently neutralized, as the ACA is in essence a national version of the “Romneycare” that Mitt introduced in Massachusetts, and too many Republicans are all too aware of this.

If Romney is ever foolish enough to criticize the ACA during any of his debates with Obama, all Obama has to do is tell the stark truth: “Funny you should say that, Governor, as we used your Romneycare plan as a model for the Affordable Care Act.”

Posted in 2008, 2012, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Right-Winger Julie Mason Doesn’t Like It When People Point Out Right-Wing Media Bias

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 16, 2011

So here we have Julie Mason, who covered the White House beat for the Houston Chronicle since the first term of Bill Clinton, but who after being laid off in October of 2008 went to the extreme-right-wing Washington Examiner to continue her White House coverage, and has now since February of this year been writing for Politico, which is known for being funded and run by Reagan Republicans and other right-wingers.

Which is why it’s a little amusing (and by “amusing” I mean bile-inducing) to see her get all shirty when one of her targets points out that a lot of US media is biased towards the right wing and/or Republicans:

President Obama’s remark to Ed Henry of Fox News on Thursday that, “I didn’t know you were the spokesperson for Mitt Romney” set off heated discussions this week around the White House briefing room.

Henry declined comment on the matter. But reporters were left wondering — is this how the administration is going to respond to criticism from Republican opponents going forward — by casting aspersions on journalists who ask questions?

That’s right, folks: Pointing out what everyone knows about right-wing bias in American media is “casting aspersions”. Charming, eh?

This isn’t her first slapback at politicians and other media critics who she obviously sees as insubordinate. Check out her snotty comments on the media obsession with ridiculous (and usually right-wing-planted) non-stories such as the “flag pin” bogosity:

To many in the press corps, Obama is just naïve for characterizing things like flag pins, the patriotism of his former pastor, and subversive activities committed 40 years ago by a guy he sort of knows as “distractions.” When he noted that the debate was nearly half over before an actual policy issue was mentioned, they were dismissive. Appearing on MSNBC the next day, Julie Mason of the Houston Chronicle said with a mocking tone, “It seems like he wants to live in this sort of perfect, high-minded political world where things like flag pins don’t matter, but they really do. These things create perceptions. Everyone is saying he didn’t do well. I have to agree. I don’t think he did much for himself at all.” The “everyone” to whom she was referring was no doubt the rest of the political reporters.

Better adjust that tiara a little bit, Miss Desmond, so you can be ready for Mr. DeMille’s closeup.

Posted in beat the press, eedjits, GOP/Media Complex | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Right-Winger Julie Mason Doesn’t Like It When People Point Out Right-Wing Media Bias

Debt Ceiling: Obama Wants To Cave, Tea Partiers Won’t Let Him

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 31, 2011

This has got to be driving John Boehner mad.

Here he is, having got the cut-happy Obama to bludgeon Harry and Nancy into agreeing to yet another round of austerity for the masses and tax breaks for the upper classes, to go with the one agreed upon back in April, and those darned Tea Partiers keep getting in the way:

I’m hearing that there is significant opposition from the tea partiers in the House who (1) don’t like some (taxes and military spending) of what’s in the current deal and (2) think that they can hold out for more concessions from the White House by waiting until Tuesday or Wednesday.  As of now, there’s no indication at all that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has the political gravitas with his caucus to simply demand that it vote for any deal.  The same dynamic that forced Boehner to change his plan earlier this week to please the tea partiers is still in place.

There’s also the chance that a non-trivial number of Democrats will still resist the whippings of the Obama-whipped Harry and Nancy, but I wouldn’t count on that

Of course, there are six currently identified options that Obama could take if he really wanted to avoid chaos and tanking the economy, but they would also allow him to avoid the cuts to Social Security he’s apparently been set on making since before he entered office.

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