If you love your country, (for USA residents), watch the video below. MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann sometimes borders on committing the same sins of hyperbole and one-sidedness that he rightfully calls out the likes of Hannity and Glenn Beck for on a regular basis. Every now and then I’m reminded he is truly on a different intellectual plane than his detractors when he delivers an especially hard-hitting, well-reasoned “Special Comment” that spares no one, not even the political leaders with which we all may think he is normally aligned.
Tonight was such a night, with Keith coming to the Shirley Sherrod fray guns a ‘blazin. He really had me when he said to President Barack Obama – beseeching him to return to the ‘Fired Up – Ready to Go’ Barack – “We’re in a freaking war out here!”
Watch Olbermann, you’ll know of which war he speaks. And, even if you’re not on his side, perhaps some of his words will at least make you think about where you’re getting your information — and what you’re doing with it.
Tea Baggers and Loyal to a Fault Republicans will be interested to know that The One (Ronald Wilson Reagan) had essentially the same approval rating after a year and a half in office as that of President Barack Obama. The screen grab below comes from Gallup’s Presidential Job Approval Center, which is an interactive way to track and compare presidential job approval ratings all the way back to Harry Truman. If you haven’t already clicked the link above, click the image below to go to Gallup’s site. Check out the tabs in the interface to discover all of the depth in these stats and their presentation. Oh, and for the record, after 507 days in office: Reagan 45% and Obama 46%.
The first half of President Barack Obama’s first Oval Office address was as it should have been: holding BP accountable for the devastation to our Gulf Coast and outlining in broad terms what the government is going to do to ensure people and the environment are made whole.
The second half of the speech was unnecessary at the moment and came across as political opportunism.
I don’t doubt for one second that Obama believes it when he says this country is addicted to oil and that energy independence and a clean energy future are strategically – perhaps existentially – critical goals for the United States.
I don’t think tonight was the time because now is the time for the nation to be laser-focused on our neighbors’ travails on the Gulf Coast. Everyone knows that the Obama Administration’s commitment to clean energy and a green economy is only rivaled by its commitment to health care reform. It wasn’t necessary tonight to take the focus off of the immediate task, even for the eight minutes or so the president discussed national energy policy. And, that energy policy is a politically divisive topic as it is currently framed. Evil, multi-national oil companies and terrorists on one side vs. Smart Car drivin’, Birkenstock wearin’ idealists on the other. It’s just not fair to the people of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi to have to share their moment with the Cap and Trade debate.
Now is the moment for this generation to embark on a national mission to unleash American innovation and seize control of our own destiny.
I can’t tell you how long I’ve waited for a president of the United States of America to utter words to that effect regarding energy policy in this country. Tonight, though, they rang hollow. I’m watching this live feed of black and brown shit jetting, pouring into the Gulf of Mexico at the revised-again rate of 65-100 thousand barrels per day. Anderson Cooper is on TV with not just oil-slicked birds, but the eggs of brown pelicans – recently stepped on by “BP cleanup workers.” Keith Olbermann actually screamed “Goddammit” last night on Countdown. (That was actually about something else.) One crisis at a time, please!
Source: White House Press Office
Good evening. As we speak, our nation faces a multitude of challenges. At home, our top priority is to recover and rebuild from a recession that has touched the lives of nearly every American. Abroad, our brave men and women in uniform are taking the fight to al Qaeda wherever it exists. And tonight, I’ve returned from a trip to the Gulf Coast to speak with you about the battle we’re waging against an oil spill that is assaulting our shores and our citizens.
It’s totally reasonable and inevitable that the share price of BP would suffer mercilessly from the company’s gargantuan liability in the Gulf of Mexico. Earlier this week I created the following chart of BP’s daily closing share price for it’s U.S.-listed shares.
When Interior Secretary Ken Salazar opined publicly that the company ought to be responsible for all unemployment claims related to the federal government’s six month moratorium on offshore Gulf drilling, BP’s stock took an especially nasty dive to a 14-year low on Wednesday. I hope that the Obama Administration’s efforts to turn public opinion back in the president’s favor on this mess don’t backfire and kill what this country needs to be the proverbial “Golden Goose” for the next several years. A heavily-regulated and monitored BP – in a strong financial position – is the company that will be able to afford the tens of billions of dollars needed to make the people and environment of the Gulf Coast whole.
Madame Speaker, Vice President Biden, Members of Congress, and the American people:
When I spoke here last winter, this nation was facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. We were losing an average of 700,000 jobs per month. Credit was frozen. And our financial system was on the verge of collapse.
As any American who is still looking for work or a way to pay their bills will tell you, we are by no means out of the woods. A full and vibrant recovery is many months away. And I will not let up until those Americans who seek jobs can find them; until those businesses that seek capital and credit can thrive; until all responsible homeowners can stay in their homes. That is our ultimate goal. But thanks to the bold and decisive action we have taken since January, I can stand here with confidence and say that we have pulled this economy back from the brink.
Michael Isikoff writes in Newsweek about an Obama Administration stance on revealing which bigwig execs visit the White House on business. The problem is that Obama’s lack of transparency in responding to a FOIA request regarding coal company executives resembles the stonewalling secrecy of the Bush Administration’s handling of similar requests.
As an Obama supporter and Obama voter I am equally elated and dismayed. In the case of energy policy, I’m elated we have a President who seems to be finally making the connection between our dependence on oil – foreign and otherwise – and environmental and national security issues. I’m dismayed by Obama’s refusal to honor public interest groups’ requests to know what coal companies are lobbying the White House on “clean coal” initiatives. The jury is out on the feasibility of clean coal technology and its practicality. As an Ohioan I want to support the coal industry. As an American concerned about pollution, greenhouse gases and the affordability of electricity I want to know more about where the federal government intends to invest clean coal funding and what to expect as a return on investment. As a cynic, I want to know what big spenders – be they coal companies or the Sierra Club – are attempting to game the political system.
Must Read: Wall Streeters Call for Reform & Say Federal Efforts to Combat Financial Crisis Inch Wide, Mile Deep
America and the world have found out the hard way how Wall Street’s fast and loose ways hurt regular folks more than the fatcats with Gulf Stream jets and golden parachutes. It’s heartening to see at least two creatures of The Street find religion and evangelize the good news of reform.
Sandy B. Lewis and William D. Cohan do just that in an op-ed piece headlined, The Economy is Still at the Brink, in Saturday’s New York Times. It’s a shame that the editors at the Times decided to run their important message in Saturday’s edition rather than Monday morning when it might have attracted more attention from the likes of CNBC or the day’s cable news cycle. Cast against the constant stream of “Everything’s Fine,” from the Obama Administration to the likes of Jim Cramer, Lewis and Cohan’s message is succinct and important to the long run of the U.S. economy.
In short, the pair are telling us that the structural issues with American high finance are still there, Bush and Obama Administration efforts to staunch the bleeding are merely fingers in Wall Street’s dike, the current system is too heavily weighted in favor of ‘insiders’ and a program of real reform is needed to restore full confidence and ensure a system that works for all levels of the economy.
Here are some take aways from their piece:
- If nearly everyone agreed six months ago that our banking system was a sham, why is every government program or action directed at preserving the old order? Lewis and Cohan say to start with compensating executives well for moving the ball, but create a system where their net worth is tied to their failures as well.
- The writers wonder why so many federal resources are going to propping up those at the top of the financial pyramid – the big banks and insurers – when recovery will come only when the bottom of the pyramid gets more confident.
- Rather than talk of the “imminent return” of the “good times” President Barack Obama should be messaging America with “living within our means.”
- For the “long term health of the market” shareholders and other investors in the big banks need to feel the “market’s wrath.” No more rescues for the banks that created the mess.
- More market discipline and fewer government bailouts – where will the federal government draw the line?
- Fewer academics should be advising the president and he should make room for more folks saavy in trading and markets – not to have the fox guard the henhouse, but to design incentives that will work to revive the capital markets.
- More transparency in the entire system – from providing the same real-time market information to citizens that’s available to Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley – to replacing the marketing exercise known as financialstability.gov with real information.
- Go after the bigwigs who brought this pox upon us – either through truth commissions or the same way the FBI prosecutes the mafia.
There’s a lot more detail in what Cohan and Lewis wrote – go check it out.
(Source: White House Press Office)
Over the past few days, I’ve been traveling through the Middle East and Europe working to renew our alliances, enhance our common security, and propose a new partnership between the United States and the Muslim world.
But even as I’m abroad, I’m firmly focused on the other pressing challenges we face – including the urgent need to reform our health care system. Even as we speak, Congress is preparing to introduce and debate health reform legislation that is the product of many months of effort and deliberation. And if you’re like any of the Americans I’ve met across this country who know all too well that the soaring costs of health care make our current course unsustainable, I imagine you’ll be watching their progress closely.
Transcript – President Barack Obama Speech at Cairo University – A New Beginning for U.S. – Muslim World Relations
1:10 P.M. (Local)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you very much. Good afternoon. I am honored to be in the timeless city of Cairo, and to be hosted by two remarkable institutions. For over a thousand years, Al-Azhar has stood as a beacon of Islamic learning; and for over a century, Cairo University has been a source of Egypt’s advancement. And together, you represent the harmony between tradition and progress. I’m grateful for your hospitality, and the hospitality of the people of Egypt. And I’m also proud to carry with me the goodwill of the American people, and a greeting of peace from Muslim communities in my country: Assalaamu alaykum. (Applause.)
We meet at a time of great tension between the United States and Muslims around the world — tension rooted in historical forces that go beyond any current policy debate. The relationship between Islam and the West includes centuries of coexistence and cooperation, but also conflict and religious wars. More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations. Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam.
This is kind of annoying – for it’s total lack of saying anything of any substance:
Readout of The President’s Meeting with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
President Obama and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia met today and discussed a wide range of issues including Middle East peace, the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan, energy, Iran and other matters affecting the region. The President and the King also discussed the President’s upcoming speech to the Muslim world. The President and King pledged to remain in close contact in order to continue to make progress on these and other issues central to the US-Saudi relationship.
This came, “Immediate Release,” for God’s Sake! LMAO. How about if the White House just released the President’s public schedule each day. For the 30 minutes it took some young press aide to sweat over the drivel above and the layers of approval it probably went through, is it really worth it?
Exercises like the one above are not transparency.
Filed under: Barack Obama, Foreign Policy, National Security, Politics
(Source: White House Press Office) 4:02 P.M. EDT
Q Mr. President, welcome to the program.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much.
Q Mr. President, thank you for joining us — that we could join you, in this case. If you want to improve relations with the Muslim world, do you have to change or alter in some way the strong U.S. support for Israel?
THE PRESIDENT: No, I don’t think that we have to change strong U.S. support for Israel. I think that we do have to retain a constant belief in the possibilities of negotiations that will lead to peace, and that that’s going to require, from my view, a two-state solution; that it’s going to require that each side — Israelis and Palestinians — meet their obligations.
I’ve said very clearly to the Israelis both privately and publicly that a freeze on settlements including natural growth is part of those obligations. I’ve said to the Palestinians that their continued progress on security and ending the incitement that I think understandably makes Israelis so concerned — that that has to be — those obligations have to be met.
This week, I nominated Judge Sonia Sotomayor of the U.S. Court of Appeals to replace Justice David Souter, who is retiring after nearly two decades on the Supreme Court. After reviewing many terrific candidates, I am certain that she is the right choice. In fact, there has not been a nominee in several generations who has brought the depth of judicial experience to this job that she offers.
(Source: White House Press Office)
11:08 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Everybody, please be seated. We meet today at a transformational moment — a moment in history when our interconnected world presents us, at once, with great promise but also great peril.
Now, over the past four months my administration has taken decisive steps to seize the promise and confront these perils. We’re working to recover from a global recession while laying a new foundation for lasting prosperity. We’re strengthening our armed forces as they fight two wars, at the same time we’re renewing American leadership to confront unconventional challenges, from nuclear proliferation to terrorism, from climate change to pandemic disease. And we’re bringing to government — and to this White House — unprecedented transparency and accountability and new ways for Americans to participate in their democracy.
In February President Barack Obama directed the National Security Council and the Dept. of Homeland security to assess the nation’s stance in cyberspace with special attention to cybersecurity. The NSC and DHS have recommended:
- The establishment of a national cybersecurity official and office which would review laws and practices and provide leadership tying national, state and local efforts more closely together.
- National focus on a technologically advanced workforce – similar to the nation’s efforts at greater math and science proficiency during the 1960s.
- Calls for expanding the federal government’s own IT workforce and capabilities especially with regard to security and implementing best practices across the government enterprise.
- Expanded partnering among government, private sector and U.S. allies.
- Greater federal incident response focus and better communication and integration of incident response efforts across the federal enterprise.
- Harness the benefits of innovation to address cybersecurity concerns, including work with the private sector to define performance and security objectives for future infrastructure, linking research and development to infrastructure development and expanding coordination of government, industry, and academic research efforts.
- More focus on supply chain and TCOM security.
I’m surprised it’s taken this long for the question to be asked in a White House press briefing. There is a fairly large amount of folks out there in Amerika who believe that President Obama has not released his birth certificate; that it resides behind lock and key in a vault somewhere in Hawaii.
Un-f*&cking believable. You can see the president’s birth certificate here. The tards on the right who continue to wring their hands over this issue say that the document is not what they expect for some reason. According to Snopes.com, a site that never lets us down when it comes to debunking, the document linked above is consistent with other certificates of live birth from the time in Hawaii.
Lester Kinsolving is the fellow who asks the question. Kinsolving a radio host and “correspondent” for Internet conservaporn World Net Daily has every right to ask the question, but it should be noted that WorldNet Daily has been the standard bearer for all things anti-Obama.