Sunday News Round-Up
I am cross posting this from Taylor Marsh. I’ll be doing a photo bomb later this afternoon, so check back if you are interested.
Here are some links to start off your morning:
~Guess what? Obama is going to announce he wants to run for re-election.
~In yet another shift away from the values and themes he championed as a candidate in 2008, Obama’s reelection campaign will focus more on big-money donors unrestrained by spending limits, as opposed to focusing on the type of small donor, grassroots fund raising he bragged about in 2008.
~So how does the Côte d’Ivoire fit into the Obama administration’s claim that “we are not just going to sit back and watch a government slaughter their own people”? Whether one agrees or disagrees with our military engagement in Libya, I don’t think there is any denying that both liberals and conservatives are scratching their heads looking for some sort of over-arching foreign policy theme. Secretary Clinton called for Laurent Gbagbo to “step down immediately”– this is the strongest condemnation from the administration to date.
~This morning there is breaking news that French forces have taken over Abidjan airport in Côte d’Ivoire.
~The White House is reportedly divided over how to deal with Syria.
~Arianna Huffington announces what has been obvious for some time now- the HuffPo is not a progressive site anymore. I don’t know how I’d describe it- another corporate news experiment, shameless Search Engine Optimizer, ad revenue generator?
~Did the U.S. get Saudi and Bahraini support for military action in Libya by agreeing to not speak out against Saudi troops going into Bahrain to quash democracy protesters?
~If this is true then the military is moving pretty quickly on repealing DADT. That’s good because if the GOP makes more gains in 2012 (or should I say “when”), things could get tricky.
~Israeli President Shimon Peres will be in Washington this upcoming week to work with President Obama to try to find a way to prevent the UN from recognizing a Palestinian state in September. You know, because this conflict hasn’t gone on long enough, we want to draw it out a bit longer.
~Speaking of Israel and Palestine, the International Crisis Group (ICC)released a report last week that details the rise of extremism in Gaza and how it has been influenced, in part, by rival factions within Palestinian politics but also, notably, the Gaza blockade itself has not only not stemmed the militant tide in Gaza but may actually have increased it. We tend to view Palestinian politics through the lens of Hamas and Fatah but the report details the rise of Salafi-Jihadi groups who are more extremist than Hamas. Given that Hamas did not claim responsibility for the recent murder of the Fogel family and the bombing in Jerusalem, it is actually possible that they in fact weren’t responsible, but rather some of these more extremist groups were. The ICC argues that the situation in Gaza makes it more important than ever to reach a quick, just resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict- in other words, the recent violence should not be seen as a reason to not make peace.
~The pointless, provocative burning of the Koran by that malcontent Pastor Jones in Florida continues to reverberate around the Muslim world, not just in Afghanistan. Some believe Afghan President Hamid Karzai may have added fuel to the fire on Thursday when he openly condemned the burning and called on the U.S. to arrest Jones. Then on Friday during morning prayers, various Imans and Mullahs urged people take action in response to the Koran burning, which clearly was taken to mean “do violence,” whether or not that was the original intent (and it may have been). It was on Friday that the worst violence took place, with nine killed and over 80 wounded at the United Nations headquarters in Afghanistan.
~Our attention has been diverted away from Egypt, but there is trouble brewing as this article makes clear. Pretty soon the U.S. is going to have to pressure the Egyptian military to stop the torture, detentions and repression that continues to take place to this day. The U.S. has a very close relationship with the Egyptian military and in my view, we’ve been giving them a bit too much credit for their “restraint” when in fact, the same repressive system that existed under Mubarak continues to hold [and abuse] power. It’s difficult to see them voluntarily giving up all the power and the perks that go along with military dictatorship.
~Political history according to Newt Gingrich.
~So, is the Capitulator In Chief going to allow the GOP another huge victory by agreeing to over $70 billion in budget cuts, much of it targeted at social programs and the usual stuff that the GOP hates. Naturally, the Defense Department gets a pass on this one. You know, because there is no waste, fraud and abuse there. Maybe Obama should stand up for something and allow the GOP to shut down the government? Oh wait, but he doesn’t stand for anything. Does Obama want to help the average middle class American or does he just want to be liked by the GOP and moderates? Because at this point, his military and economic policies are anything but “progressive” and they still can’t stand him. It’s time for Barack Obama to accept that no matter what he does, the GOP will say “no.” Apparently Obama thinks that “compromise” means giving the GOP almost everything they want and getting little to nothing in return. The compromising of late has been rather one-sided.
~Glenn Greenwald does a nice job illustrating why Obama is totally willing to take the progressive vote for granted- because some Obama supporters, just like the G.W. Bush supporters of yore, will rationalize everything Barack Obama does, even if they don’t agree with it. In another recent post, Glenn Greenwald exposes Obama’s hypocrisy and total about-face on the limits (or lackthereof) of Executive Power, particularly as it relates to war and national security.
~Senators have sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton demanding she insist the Palestinians cease their incitement against Jews and Israel in their media, schools etc. No argument there. Incitement by definition throws fuel on an already-smoldering file. But over at Foreign Policy, Mathew Berkman argues that BOTH Palestinians and Israelis should be urged to cease incitement and that Congress, and Israel, tend to have a double standard on this issue.
~Israel will ask the United Nations to retract the Goldstone Report after Judge Goldstone wrote an op-ed in Friday’s Washington Post where he reconsidered some of his conclusions. Ethan Bronner of the NYT has a pretty balanced take on Judge Goldstone’s op-ed.
~592 American soldiers have died since President Obama announced the surge in Afghanistan.
~I hope you don’t mind a little pesticide in your water.
~Fox News lowers the bar. Again. They have given The Donald a regular Monday segment where he say outrageous things without having to explain them while promoting himself as a potential Presidential candidate. They are rationalizing that this ok because he’s not a paid contributor like some of their other Presidential candidates.
~Speaking of The Donald, Glenn Beck has…get this…dismissed Donald Trump as a “showboat” candidate. Hahahahaha. And what would Glenn know about showboating?
~More fun with Fox News- A Fox News executive admits he lied on air about candidate Obama during the 2008 election. Now, if this were any other “news” agency heads would roll. But this is Fox, a place where such biased nonsense is not only encouraged, but rewarded.
~The National Organization for Marriage is warning Virginians and whoever else that will listen, that pretty soon Virginia will have “mandatory gay adoptions” whatever the hell that means. Does that mean gay people will be mandated to adopt? Or does it mean straight people in Virginia will have to adopt gay people? Apparently what it actually means is that there shouldn’t be discrimination in the adoption process. The problem is that the religious right and anti-gay groups have mobilized around this issue and could tilt the balance against what appears to be an entirely reasonable regulation.