President Obama officially endorsed Hillary Clinton today. In a video announcement, the President says “I’m in” and then asks “Are you?” Obama says of Clinton, “I don’t think there’s ever been someone so qualified to hold this office.” Senate minority leader Harry Reid (D, Nevada) is meeting with Bernie Sanders today, presumedly to work something out for a Sanders’ exit strategy from the race. Sanders lost California’a delegate-rich primary on Tuesday.
“When I think about members of my own staff…when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married,” President Obama told Robin Roberts of ABC News.
- An Obama Gay Marriage Timeline (buzzfeed.com)
- Is Barack Obama Poised to Announce that He Supports Gay Marriage Soon? (themoderatevoice.com)
- Rumors Swirl About Obama’s Stance on Gay Marriage (usnews.com)
- Obama Likely to Discuss Views on Gay Marriage in ABC News Interview Today (towleroad.com)
- Obama’s views on gay marriage have been ‘evolving’ for a while (theblaze.com)
- The end of Obama’s “evolution”? (salon.com)
- “The President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to…” (shortformblog.com)
- Gay-Marriage Speech Obama Should Give (theroot.com)
- Everyone Is Wondering If Obama Will Endorse Gay Marriage This Afternoon (businessinsider.com)
- President Obama seems ready to address gay marriage issue in interview today with ABC News (miamiherald.typepad.com)
- Obama to give TV interview on gay marriage as speculation grows (guardian.co.uk)
- Time for Obama to Support Same-Sex Marriage (redstateprogressive.com)
- BREAKING: Obama’s Same Sex Marriage Evolution Complete? (minx.cc)
- The Nation: Obama’s Phony Position On Gay Marriage (wnyc.org)
- Ed Rendell: Obama Should ‘Man Up’ And Embrace Same-Sex Marriage (thinkprogress.org)
President Obama announced today that the long Iraq war will be over and all troops back home by the end of this year. In the announcement from the White House, President Obama said an agreement was reached with the Iraqi government and that “as promised, the rest of our troops will come home by the end of the year.”
By January 1, 2012, relations between the United States and Iraq will become “normal between two sovereign nations,” the president said. President Obama added that he invited Iraq’s Prime Minister al-Maliki to the White House in December.
Candidate Obama in 2008 promised that he would end the Iraq war by the end of 2011. Looks like he accomplished it!
- Iraq War to End with a Whimper? (peaceblog.wordpress.com)
- Chris Weigant: The End of the Iraq War Is in Sight (huffingtonpost.com)
- U.S. to ‘pull troops out of iraq before the end of January’ – Daily Mail (news.google.com)
- US Drops Keeping Troops in Iraq (stevebeckow.com)
- AP: U.S. drops keeping troops in Iraq – USA Today (news.google.com)
- For Obama, Gadhafi death a vindication of doctrine (boston.com)
- Success in Libya Unlikely to Aid Obama’s Re-election Chances (usnews.com)
- Poll: 1 in 3 vets sees Iraq, Afghan wars as wastes (charlotte.news14.com)
- Jay Carney Responds To Fox’s Ed Henry On Marco Rubio Remarks: ‘This Is Not The Day For Politics’ (mediaite.com)
- That Iran Plot Movie (tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com)
- US says Iraq agrees to buy American fighter jets (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Iraq seeks greater presence at UNESCO (thecurrencynewshound.com)
- Judge dismisses Iraq war vet’s lawsuit over ‘Hurt Locker’ (ctv.ca)
- Why Iraq Was a Mistake (time.com)
- US says Iraq agrees to buy American fighter jets (seattlepi.com)
- Lauding Libya success at UN, Obama makes subtle digs at Iraq war (csmonitor.com)
- Turkish planes, troops attack Iraq Kurds – Sydney Morning Herald (news.google.com)
- No Final Decision Made on Iraq Troop Withdrawals, Officials Say (businessweek.com)
- Is Iraq Officially Coming to a Close? (thewesternexperience.com)
- US says Iraq agrees to buy American fighter jets (sfgate.com)
- Iraq War: Conflicting reports on forthcoming troop departures (shortformblog.tumblr.com)
- APNewsBreak: US drops keeping troops in Iraq (aegischronicle.com)
- APNewsBreak: US drops keeping troops in Iraq (boston.com)
- APNewsBreak: US drops keeping troops in Iraq – Boston Globe (news.google.com)
- U.S. drops idea of keeping troops in Iraq past deadline (ctv.ca)
- How To Overthrow A Dictator (ken_ashford.typepad.com)
- Report: U.S. set to pull all troops from Iraq by the end of the year – Hotair.com (hotair.com)
- US: We’re out of Iraq by January (mirror.co.uk)
- APNewsBreak: US drops plans to keep troops in Iraq (sfgate.com)
- U.S. Hawks Behind Iraq War Rally for Strikes Against Iran (irannewpearlharbour.wordpress.com)
- US to pull troops from Iraq by next year? (msnbc.msn.com)
- U.S. drops plans to keep troops in Iraq (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- US drops plans to keep troops in Iraq – Cherry Hill Courier Post (news.google.com)
- Sadarists demand removal of all troops from Iraq. (americablog.com)
- U.S. drops plans to keep troops in Iraq (cbsnews.com)
- Hawks behind Iraq War rally for Iran strikes (irannewpearlharbour.wordpress.com)
- Iraqi Dispute About U.S. Troops Reflects Clashing Emotions – New York Times (nytimes.com)
- Africom Outsources Iraq War (colonel6.com)
We know that President Obama doesn’t like press conferences. His last meeting with the press, over 10 months ago, didn’t go so well. During the heat of last year’s health care debate, the unscripted (no teleprompter) session, on July 22, 2009, threw the president off balance; it was when he made those controversial remarks about the “Skip” Gates incident, you recall.
Obama agreed to face the press this morning in an attempt to allay growing anger, including from supporters, regarding what looks like Obama’s nonchalant attitude toward the Gulf oil disaster.
Although Obama was probably advised that he better get out there and say something to assure people he was on top of the situation and in control of BP (rather than the other way around), there was nothing in this morning’s question and answer session that would quell people’s fears and concerns.
In fact, some of his statements generate more questions as to what is exactly going on.
Obama, for instance, claimed he knew nothing about the firing of MMS head Elizabeth Birnbaum even though the Associated Press reported earlier Obama himself fired her and that he would announce her firing in this press conference (see link). Obama this morning, however, claimed he learned about it “after the fact” and questioned that it was in fact a firing, but more her resignation.
Obama also did nothing to directly address the corruption and bribe-taking that Minerals Management Service (MMS) took to shirk their duties to inspect the safety devices on rigs like Deepwater Horizon. Had they done their jobs, rather than accepting gifts to look the other way, our Gulf coastlines might not be facing total destruction from millions of barrels of oil!
Obama is continuing to do at least two things wrong, in my opinion:
- Obama is not getting personally involved and taking command of this crisis;
- Obama is using this crisis to springboard his energy agenda.
Let’s take number one, here’s what I mean:
President Obama is being too cerebral about this disaster. Sure, we know that he’s intellectual and a thinker, but this “heady” attitude of his gives me the impression that he spends his time in a room in the “thinker” pose; not getting directly involved; not feeling, or trying to feel, what people are going through down there.
For all his talk this morning about being “in charge” and how he meets everyday with everyone for updates, I get the feeling that this is all rumination; he’s analyzing it from afar, indirectly, the way someone would impersonally analyze, for instance, a math problem.
Obama this morning made excuses as to why he rejected 15 countries’ offers to help, only accepting assistance from Norway and Mexico. He also skirted questions about stalling on Federal permits for Louisiana to construct barrier islands off their coastline.
What he could do, and what he should do, is order the Army Corps of Engineers to waive environmental impact reports so that Louisiana can protect itself: and Obama should have made that order this morning during the press conference. But he didn’t. Instead, he rambled on in a long and confusing answer and then went on to the next question.
Even though he referred to this crisis as “a tragedy, and it’s a tragedy,” the very fact that he feels he has to reiterate the word indicates that he’s trying to impress us that he feels this situation, but he really doesn’t.
Obama repeatedly claimed how involved he and the government are; that they are doing everything they can “on the surface” of the water to clean up the oil. Oh really?
If that’s so, why is it that people down there aren’t seeing it?
James Carville yesterday told CNN that the marsh he was in yesterday was “quiet;” that there was no evidence of anyone there to clean it or assess the damage. Reporters in the middle of the Gulf, sitting in oil 360-degrees around them all the way to the horizon, say there are no skimmers or skimming efforts at all.
The second thing that President Obama is doing wrong is that he appears to be using this oil disaster as a springboard to push his own energy agenda. We don’t want to hear excuses about how we must “move forward” to solar and wind power, we want action now to stop the leak, clean up the ocean, and restore our beaches and fishing areas.
I’m all in favor for totally getting off oil. But, if the president really wants to take this country off oil, then he should do it by proposing legislation or enacting policies to inspire business and industry toward alternative innovations. But, today’s press conference is not the time to push politics. By going on for several minutes about how we can look forward to a clean future by enacting legislation, but for now we must put up with the dirt and filth of oil, Obama is looking like a typical politician, not a statesmen, nor a leader.
The best thing Obama could do right now is to spend some time in the Gulf region. I know that he said he’s going there again today, but that’s not what I mean. He goes there for a few photos and speeches, sheltered away from everyone else, and then he leaves again for Washington. What I mean is to really spend some time there, right in the middle of it.
As Mary Matalin said yesterday, “Feel it, smell it!” referring to the oil that was coating her hands, she was holding a bottle drenched in oil.
That’s what Obama needs to do now, to prevent his administration from becoming like Carter’s. Obama needs to feel it and smell it; and he needs to prove that to us!