Year Three Day 100 Obama Administration 29 April 2011 - Geskiedenis

Year Three Day 100 Obama Administration 29 April 2011 - Geskiedenis

8:00 ONS ontmoet die PRESIDENT deelnemers aan die Memphis Sanitation Strike van 1968
Diplomatieke kamer


08:30 Die eerste gesin vertrek uit die Withuis onderweg na die Andrews -lugmagbasis
South Lawn


08:45 vertrek die eerste gesin uit die Andrews -lugmagbasis onderweg na Alabama


CDT

09:50 arriveer die eerste gesin in Alabama
Tuscaloosa Streeklughawe


10:10 Die president en die eerste dame sien die skade en vergader met goewerneur Bentley, staats- en plaaslike amptenare en gesinne wat deur die storms geraak is
Alabama


11:45 AM DIE EERSTE GESIN vertrek uit Alabama
Tuscaloosa Streeklughawe


EDT

14:10 DIE EERSTE GESIN arriveer in Cape Canaveral, Florida
Cape Canaveral Skid Strip


14:45 DIE EERSTE GESIN besoek die baanverwerkingsfasiliteit
Orbiter Processing Facility, Kaap Canaveral, Florida


15:30 DIE EERSTE FAMILIE kyk na die bekendstelling van die ruimtetuig Endeavour
Begin die beheersentrum


17:40 arriveer die PRESIDENT in Miami, Florida
Miami Internasionale Lughawe


18:55 lewer die PRESIDENT die aanvangsrede van die Miami Dade College
Miami Dade College, Miami, Florida


21:05 Die PRESIDENT vertrek uit Miami, Florida
Miami Internasionale Lughawe


23:30 arriveer die PRESIDENT by die Withuis
South Lawn


100 dae, 100 grappe deur Obama

Die lys van 100 Obama -gaffes in hierdie New York Post -stuk wat deur hul crackerjack -personeel opgestel is, is eintlik nogal skrikwekkend. Die buitelandse beleidsrigtings is veral kommerwekkend, aangesien dit tesame met mekaar onthul dat 'n administrasie op verskeie gebiede na 'n ramp dryf.

Alle presidente maak foute. Dit is omdat dit menslik is en dat pratfalls deel uitmaak van die werk.

Maar die aantal en erns van Obama se oordeelsfoute, om nie te praat van wanvoorstellings nie, leuens, oordrywings en 'n algemene onvermoë om daagliks flipflops te vermy - dui alles op 'n skokkende onbevoegdheid.

Ek kan nie sê dat daar 'n verbetering van dag 1 tot 100 was nie. Óf Obama se & quot -leerkurwe & quot het min of geen boog nie, of hy het eintlik agteruitgegaan. Ongeveer die enigste ding wat u kan sê, is dat hy steeds kan doen wat hy wil - selfs as hy dinge opdok - vanweë sy steeds enorme persoonlike gewildheid en die feit dat sy groot Demokratiese meerderhede in die kongres sy agenda met gemak laat verbygaan.

Hier is 'n paar van die Pos se Obama -goeters:

Lees al 100. Ek sal wed dat daar 'n paar is waarvan u nie geweet het nie.

Die lys van 100 Obama -gaffes in hierdie New York Post -stuk wat deur hul crackerjack -personeel saamgestel is, is eintlik nogal skrikwekkend. Die buitelandse beleidsrigtings is veral kommerwekkend, aangesien dit tesame met mekaar onthul dat 'n administrasie op verskeie gebiede na 'n ramp dryf.

Alle presidente maak foute. Dit is omdat dit menslik is en dat pratfalls deel uitmaak van die werk.

Maar die aantal en erns van Obama se oordeelsfoute, om nie te praat van wanvoorstellings nie, leuens, oordrywings en 'n algemene onvermoë om daagliks flipflops te vermy - dui alles op 'n skokkende onbevoegdheid.

Ek kan nie sê dat daar 'n verbetering van dag 1 tot 100 was nie. Óf Obama se & quot -leerkurwe & quot het min of geen boog nie, of hy het eintlik agteruitgegaan. Ongeveer die enigste ding wat u kan sê, is dat hy steeds kan doen wat hy wil - selfs as hy dinge opdok - vanweë sy steeds enorme persoonlike gewildheid en die feit dat sy groot Demokratiese meerderhede in die kongres sy agenda met gemak laat verbygaan.


Obama se 100ste dag was onderskat

Terwyl president Trump sy 100ste dag in sy amp bereik het, is ontelbare terugskouinge neergeskryf oor wat hy tydens sy jong presidentskap al bereik het en wat hy nie bereik het nie. Afgesien van die suksesvolle aanstelling van 'n hooggeregshofregter en die vermyding van beskuldiging, het Trump tot dusver nie baie bereik nie, wat moontlik 'n rede kan wees waarom hy die 100-dae-maatstaf in die openbaar as 'n 'wonderlike standaard' afgemaak het. 'Maar in werklikheid is presidente dikwels gretig om die betekenis van die eerste 100 dae te verminder. President Obama het byvoorbeeld sy 100ste dag op kantoor gehou tydens 'n perskonferensie.

Dit was ook nie 'n vreeslike opvallende perskonferensie nie. Alhoewel Obama 'n kort gedeelte bestee het - net meer as 100 woorde, volgens my telling - om sy prestasies gedurende die eerste 100 dae te vertel, het hy die meeste van sy tyd bestee aan die onderwerpe van die dag, waaronder die uitbreek van die H1N1 -griepvirus, dreigende outomatiese reddingsboei, en die kwessie van waterboord oor die weer is marteling. Dit was nie juis 'n oorwinningsronde nie.

Nie dat Obama geen prestasies onder die knie gehad het waaroor hy sou kon roem nie. Binne sy eerste 100 dae het Obama ten minste drie belangrike wetgewing onderteken: die Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, die ekonomiese stimuluspakket en die Children's Health Insurance Reauthorization Act, wat gesondheidsversekering uitgebrei het na ongeveer 4 miljoen kinders. Teen die tyd dat hy dag 100 bereik het, was Obama se gemiddelde goedkeuringsgradering 'n sterk 63 persent.

Trump, in vergelyking, het geen groot wetsontwerpe onderteken nie. Sy talle pogings om Moslem -reis na die VSA te beperk, is deur federale howe geblokkeer, en daar was glad nie 'n kongresbeweging wat beloof het om 'n grensmuur tussen die VSA en Mexiko te bou nie.

Die FBI, sowel as albei takke van die kongres, is besig met ondersoeke na die bande van sy veldtog met die Russiese regering. Trump se nasionale veiligheidsadviseur bedank minder as 'n maand in die pos weens sy kommunikasie met Rusland, en sy gemiddelde goedkeuringsgradering sedert sy intrede is 39 persent - laer as enige ander president in die geskiedenis van Gallup, het die stembus gesê.

Dit alles gesê, die eerste 100 dae is nie naastenby so belangrik as 'n maatstaf nie. Die presidentskap is immers 'n termyn van vier jaar en beleide wat later in 'n termyn uitgevaardig word, tel net soveel as die wat gedurende die eerste 100 dae uitgevaardig is. Trump het nog baie tyd om die verandering te beïnvloed wat hy tot dusver nie kon regkry nie.


Obama se buitelandse beleid op 100

Obama het Amerikaanse belange en die strategieë wat gebruik is om dit te bereik, herprioritiseer.

Om terrorisme op sy regte plek te plaas.
Die president het ons prioriteite herstruktureer sodat terrorisme as een van 'n aantal belangrike uitdagings beskou word, maar nie meer alle ander beleidsdoelwitte oorheers nie. Dit beteken nie dat die teenterrorisme as prioriteit opgegee moet word nie. Obama het dit duidelik gemaak toe hy die doelwit van sy nuwe strategie tussen Afghanistan en Pakistan verduidelik: "Om Al-Qaeda in Pakistan en Afghanistan te ontwrig, af te breek en te verslaan en om in die toekoms terug te keer na enige van die twee lande." Maar dit is 'n bestraffing van die konsep van die Bush-era van 'n 'oorlog teen terreur', wat alle ekstremistiese groepe en staatsborge van terrorisme as 'n samehangende bedreiging beskou het-'n beleid wat gelei het tot ons inval in Irak, 'n land wat niks gehad het nie te doen met 9/11 of al-Qaeda.

Dit het ook 'n herformulering van ons verhouding met die Moslemwêreld beteken. Soos die president tydens 'n toespraak aan die Turkse parlement verduidelik het, "kan Amerika se verhouding met die Moslemgemeenskap, die Moslemwêreld, nie en sal dit nie net berus op teenkanting teen terrorisme nie."

Hierdie benadering het oorgedra na die president se besluit om Guantanamobaai te sluit en 'n einde te maak aan marteling. Hierdie praktyke is moreel laakbaar, van twyfelagtige doeltreffendheid en dien as 'n werwingsinstrument vir terroriste. Soos Obama verduidelik het, "Amerika se morele voorbeeld moet die grondslag en die baken van ons wêreldwye leierskap wees."

Prioritiseer die uitskakeling van kernwapens.
Gedurende die Bush -era was daar 'n tweeledige ooreenkoms dat die gebruik van kernwapens deur terroriste boaan die lys van nasionale bekommernisse was. Tydens die presidensiële debatte in 2004 was senator John Kerry en president George W. Bush dit eens. Die probleem met die Bush -benadering was dat dit uitsluitlik gefokus was op die daders van so 'n aanval terwyl die wapens self geïgnoreer is.

Obama het hierdie beleid omvergewerp en die globale wapenbeheerregime omhels wat so 'n deurslaggewende rol gespeel het in die beperking van die verspreiding van kernwapens tydens die Koue Oorlog. Tydens 'n seminaarrede in Praag op 5 April het hy hom verbind tot die doel van 'n kernvrye wêreld.

Na jare van verslegtende betrekkinge met Rusland, het Obama en die Russiese president Dmitri Medvedev ooreengekom om die onderhandelinge weer te begin en teen die einde van hierdie jaar tot 'n ooreenkoms te kom oor 'n nuwe Strategiese wapenverminderingsverdrag (START), wat die Amerikaanse en Russiese kernvoorraad dramaties sal verminder. Aangesien die twee nasies altesaam 95 persent van die wêreld se kernwapens besit, was dit 'n kritieke stap om kernwapens te verminder en ook duidelik te maak dat die wêreld se voorste kernkragte verbind is tot 'n kernvrye wêreld.

Die president het ook sy verbintenis tot die Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) aangedui deur visepresident Joe Biden die belangrikste man te maak om die Senaat te bekragtig. Hierdie belangrike ooreenkoms om die toetsing te verbied, het mislukte bekragtiging in 1999 ondermyn, en sodoende die posisie van Amerika om internasionale nie-verspreidingsinisiatiewe geloofwaardig te ondermyn, ondermyn.

Herbalansering van die nasionale veiligheidsbegroting.
Die toewysing van uitgawes in die nasionale begroting vir veiligheid word al jare gekenmerk deur erg misplaaste prioriteite. Dit beklemtoon militêre besteding te veel, terwyl die ander instrumente van diplomasie en ontwikkeling geïgnoreer word. Dit het miljarde fondse ingesluit vir ondoeltreffende en onnodige wapensisteme uit die Koue Oorlog, terwyl dit tekort skiet aan basiese behoeftes soos wapenrusting en troepesterkte vir die oorloë wat ons vandag voer. Die gevolg was 'n nasionale veiligheidsinfrastruktuur wat nie voorbereid was op die probleme van die 21ste eeu nie.

Die begroting van die Obama -administrasie voeg 10 persent by tot die gesamentlike staatsdepartement en buitelandse hulpbegroting. Boonop het die administrasie 'n duidelike sein gestuur dat die staatsdepartement 'n ware speler sal wees in die stryd deur die hoogs gerespekteerde Jack Lew as adjunk -minister van Buitelandse Sake vir Bestuur aan te stel - 'n pos wat nie in die Bush -administrasie vervul is nie. vir hulpbronne.

Die verdedigingsbegroting verteenwoordig ook 'n dramatiese strategiese verskuiwing van groot duur speelgoed na die programme en personeel wat nodig is vir huidige en toekomstige konflikte. Dit het die sny ingesluit: die F22 Raptor, wat ontwerp is om die volgende generasie Sowjet -vegters, die DDG1000 -oppervlakvernietiger, te bestry - 'n program wat so duur en onhandig was, dat selfs die vloot besluit het dat dit nie wil nie, en die Future Combat Systems, wat die Army se planne vir vervangingsvoertuie, maar het nie die ervarings en behoeftes van Irak en Afghanistan in ag geneem nie. In plaas daarvan het Gates hom daartoe verbind om die grootte van die grondmagte uit te brei en te belê in wapensisteme wat ontwerp is vir onreëlmatige operasies, soos die oorloë in Irak en Afghanistan.

Verbind die kolletjies oor streeksstrategieë.
Die Bush -administrasie het te dikwels ingeskakel by simplistiese teorieë wat op soek was na plaaslike silwerkoeëls. Die mees uitgesproke voorbeeld was die bewering dat die inval in Irak demokrasie sou versprei en tot 'n permanente vrede in die Midde -Ooste sou lei. Obama het 'n ander benadering gekies om verskeie streeksprobleme gelyktydig aan te spreek en erken dat daar belangrike skakels bestaan.

In die Midde -Ooste het die president tegelyk op 'n aantal fronte beweeg. Hy het 'n vaste sperdatum bepaal vir onttrekking uit Irak - 'n besluit wat 'n duidelike sein aan die streek gestuur het dat die VSA nie daar is om 'n permanente militêre teenwoordigheid te skep nie. Hy het aggressiewe openbare uitreik na Iran gevolg in 'n poging om jare se slegte bloed te oorkom en die weg te baan na diplomatieke onderhandelinge. Maar hy het ook gewerk om groter steun te kry van Rusland - die land wat die meeste druk op Iran kan uitoefen - oor die kernkwessie. Hy het verloof gemaak dat Sirië twee jaar na diplomatieke afsondering twee senior amptenare na Damaskus gestuur het. En van dag een af ​​het hy die onderhandeling oor 'n Arabies-Israeliese vrede bo-aan sy agenda geplaas.

In Latyns -Amerika het die president erken dat ons anachronistiese Kuba -beleid as 'n versperring tussen die Verenigde State en die hele streek dien. Hy het die kritieke proses begin om die betrekkinge te verbeter deur hindernisse te verwyder wat Kubaanse Amerikaners verhinder om na die eiland te reis of geld te stuur en ook 'n nuwe toon aangeneem, wat 'n positiewe reaksie van Raul Castro gekry het. Hy het dit opgevolg deur die Summit of the Americas by te woon, waar hy hartlik ontvang is, in skrille kontras met Bush se isolasie vier jaar gelede.

Die administrasie het ook die stryd met die dwelmkartelle in Mexiko geprioritiseer en nuwe inisiatiewe vrygestel wat bedoel is om die vloei van geld en wapens na die suide te stop en die interne veiligheid van Mexiko en die vermoë om die kartelle te hanteer, te versterk. Die grootste sein van hoe ernstig Obama hierdie probleem is, is miskien die feit dat die president sowel as drie kabinetslede (Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder en Janet Napolitano) almal binne die eerste 100 dae besoek afgelê het.

In die algemeen is dit te vroeg om 'n volledig gevormde filosofie van buitelandse beleid aan die president toe te ken. Maar 100 dae na sy administrasie is dit duidelik dat hierdie veranderinge reeds 'n lang pad gevorder het om die Amerikaanse buitelandse beleid te herdefinieer, en dit sal waarskynlik nog jare lank sentrale elemente van die president se beleid bly.


Obama se binnelandse beleid op 100

By die tuiskantoor was Obama se honderd dae 'n warrelwind van aktiwiteite, maar die groot gevegte kom daarna.

Volgens senior adviseur David Axelrod, is die eerste 100 dae "die joernalistieke ekwivalent van die Hallmark -vakansie. Die waarheid is dat dit baie moeilik is om 'n presidentskap na honderd dae te evalueer."

Maar as u die administrasie wou evalueer, miskien na die nuuskonferensie van die president op die dag waarop ons praat, het sy stafhoof, Rahm Emanuel, 'n voorstel: 'Ek wil nie negatief wees op Franklin nie Delano Roosevelt, maar hy het in die eerste 100 dae nie 'n ekonomiese ooreenkoms gesluit nie. Ons het die grootste herstelwet in die geskiedenis van die land aangeneem. " Is daar iemand wat Emanuel nie negatief sal wees nie?

Dus, om duidelik te wees, as u by CVS aankom om u kaart van 100 dae op te tel ("Vir die president, van die Republikeinse leier van die huis"), moet u iets kry wat die regte balans vind tussen die afvee van die geleentheid en die meeste eis. suksesvolle vroeë presidentskap in historiese geheue. Om u te help - die Vooruitsig beskou vier van president Obama se groot binnelandse beleidspogings in sy eerste 100 dae.

Elke krisis.

Binnelandse beleid is veral gefokus op die noodsaaklikheid om op die resessie te reageer. Ondanks vrae oor die grootte daarvan (te klein of te groot, afhangend van met wie jy praat) en doeltreffendheid (te vroeg om te sê), sal die pakket van bykans $ 800 miljard se ekonomiese stimuluspakket wat op 17 Februarie by die wet aangemeld is, status en status kry as die gewildste en suksesvolste prestasie in die president se arsenaal, ondanks die byna verenigde opposisie van die GOP. Sy program om afskermings, Making Home Affordable, te stop, moet ook erken word, alhoewel dit 'n goed ontwerpte plan is, maar dit is onduidelik hoe effektief dit sal wees, veral omdat 'n kritieke deel van die plan wat die bankrotwet aanpas, 'n stille dood in die Senaat sonder veel steun van die administrasie.

Die administrasie se bisantynse reaksie op die finansiële krisis verdien 'n aparte paragraaf, aangesien dit dikwels die middelpunt van die mediaverhaal was. Die Tesourie-sekretaris van Elfin, Tim Geithner, het uitvoerende hoofde van elke bedryf gekonfronteer, woedende kongreskomitees, kritiese ekonome, metaforiese menigte klipvurke wat burgers dra, werklike menigte teesakkers, CNBC-gasheer en, ja, die ministers van finansies van elke groot ekonomiese mag. 'N Rotsvaste begin het plek gemaak vir meer konsekwentheid in openbare betrekkinge, hoewel daar steeds groot vrae bestaan ​​oor die meganismes wat Geithner voorgestel het om kredietmarkte reg te stel. Daar was 'n paar gemengde seine van ekonomiese verbetering - seine wat die moontlikheid van 'n stilstaande herstel kan verduister. Ondanks kritiek, 'n kongres wat nie die nodige gereedskap of geld vir meer aggressiewe optrede sal voorsien nie, en 'n rampspoedige kommunikasiestrategie, het die styf gewondde minister van finansies sy kop gehou en kyk hy na vore - markspel bedoel - en voer sy komplekse plan om insolvente banke te herkapitaliseer.

. is 'n geleentheid.

Die volgende stap is die indrukwekkende begroting van die president, wat hy onthul het vir byna hoorbare snak om die gordel. "Enorme beleggings!" Demokrate roep 'Enorme tekorte!' Republikeine het geantwoord. Die dokument, gekenmerk deur gewaagde beleidsinisiatiewe op die gebied van gesondheidsorg, energie en opvoeding, en die laat vaar van baie van die tradisionele begrotingspremies wat bedoel is om toekomstige koste te verduister, gegalvaniseerde liberale - 'Dit is 'n begroting waaraan ons kan glo', sê ekonoom en gereeld administratiewe kritikus Paul Krugman spog - en lei konserwatiewes tot openlike opposisie - "Hierdie getalle werk nie en die praktiese implikasies daarvan is verbysterend vir die land en die volgende generasie," kreun die Republikeinse senator Judd Gregg. Die president stel sy voorstel voor as die volgende stap in die ekonomiese herstel, 'n grondslag vir die opbou van langtermyn ekonomiese groei, met die belofte om langtermynskuld te hanteer met besparings in gesondheidsorg en 'n verantwoordelike begrotingsbesnoeiing, wat hy ook te kenne gee vir toekomstige pogings om sosiale sekerheid aan te spreek uitgawes, omhakels aan die linkerkant en wenkbroue aan die regterkant.

Die visie van die president het 'n mate in die hand van parogiale belange in die kongres gely-innoverende maatreëls om inkomste te genereer om belastingaftrekkings te beperk, landbousubsidies te verminder en die verdedigingsbegroting aan te pas, sowel as sy bedryfs- en handelsenergieplan, het almal groot teenstand. Die president het nietemin groot oorwinnings behaal deur te verseker dat twee kritieke inisiatiewe, sy plan om $ 400 miljard te bespaar deur subsidies vir studielenings te verminder en sy pogings tot hervorming van gesondheidsorg, teen enige toekomstige filibuster beskerm sal word. Nou begin die groot gevegte terwyl die res van die somer bestee word aan die invul van die beleidsbesonderhede oor hervorming van gesondheidsorg, die hoogste prioriteit van die president se binnelandse agenda en die besonderhede van die res van die regering se balansstaat uitstryk.

"Ek weet hoe om 'unie' te sê."

Miskien is die grootste teleurstelling vir die linkses die administrasie se gebrek aan ondersteuning vir die goedkeuring van die Employee Free Choice Act, die belangrikste vakbondprioriteit wat 'n arbeidersbeweging sou laat herleef. Met die belangrikste senatore wat hul steun vir die wetgewing teruggetrek het, lyk dit asof die enigste kans om die arbeidswet te verander 'n kompromiswetsontwerp is wat tans onderhandel word.

Dit wil nie sê dat Obama nie stappe gedoen het om werkende Amerikaners te help nie: Tot dusver het hy die Ledbetter Fair Pay-wet onderteken, die kongresvrou Hilda Solis as sy sekretaris van arbeid aangestel, nuwe befondsing aangewend vir veiligheidsprogramme op die werkplek, en tik op twee prominente arbeidsadvokate om by die National Labor Review Board aan te sluit. Belangrike veranderinge, sekerlik, maar nie so simbolies kragtig soos 'n verbintenis om die eerste groot vakbondwetgewing in dekades te aanvaar nie.

Die einde van die kultuuroorloë?

In 'n woord, nee, maar die Withuis was nog stiller op sosiale gebied, ten koste van kritiek van links vir openbare uitreik na konserwatiewe godsdienstige figure. Die president het geweier om wetgewing te nader om keuses te beskerm, sy belofte na te kom om nie te vra nie, nie te vertel nie, of om te oorweeg om die Wet op die Verdediging van Huwelik teen te staan. Tog het hy die beperkings op stamselnavorsing opgehef en 'n openlik gay amptenaar aangestel as hoof van die kantoor van personeelbestuur, wat na verwagting sal streef na gelyke voordele vir LGTB -staatsamptenare. Miskien was die dapperste stap in hierdie opsig die oorgang van 'n breë uitbreiding van die program vir gesondheidsversekering vir kinders, wat gesondheidsdekking tot miljoene kinders uitgebrei het.

Dit is 'n besige en nuuskierige paar maande. Hoe oordeel jy so 'n breë kanon? Ironies genoeg, beide weergawes van die Withuis -draai is reg op hierdie oproep. Honderd dae is 'n uiteindelike willekeurige en dus dom tyd om die prestasie van 'n uitvoerende hoof te beoordeel - groot programme begin skaars, met sukses of mislukking oor jare. Oorweeg die vroeë lot van die stimulus-dit is 'n slim beleid, maar dit is reeds onder die aanval weens bepalings wat bonusse vir werknemers by AIG wat deur die regering gered is, goedgekeur het.

Kenners dink graag dat die politieke voorspellings van vandag afhang van die optrede van die president, maar gegewe die huidige ekonomiese situasie hang die optrede van die president af van die vermoë van sy tesourie -sekretaris om die uitval te beheer van 'n finansiële stelsel wat vasbeslote lyk om homself en die ekonomie as geheel. Dit is die tesourie -agenda wat progressief die moeite werd moet maak, en dit kry die graad 'Behoefte aan verbetering'.

Tim Fernholz

Tim Fernholz is 'n voormalige personeelskrywer vir die Prospect. Sy werk is gepubliseer deur Newsweek, The New Republic, The Nation, The Guardian en The Daily Beast. Hy is ook 'n navorsingsgenoot by die New America Foundation.


Michelle Malkin: Obama se span is korrup

Inleiding: Alle eer aan die prestatrone! Sjoe. Betogers in redaksies regoor Amerika het oortyd gewerk in die tydperk nadat Barack Obama die presidentskap gewen het. Dit was nie maklik om die skootrekenaars en vloere af te vee in die kantore van joernaliste wat die grootste oorgang in die wêreldgeskiedenis dek nie.

Die rubriekskrywer van die New York Times, David Brooks, maak aanspraak op die mees geweekte klawerbord en die matte in die onderneming. Hy het Team Obama se "oopkop individue" en "bewonderde professionele persone" geprys. Hy was mal oor hul 'postpartisan -retoriek' en 'praktiese kreatiwiteit'. En-ooooh-la-la! - hoe gaan dit met die brein van al die breinagtige breinsakke? So rokerig:

Dit sal werklik 'n administrasie wees wat soos Amerika lyk, of ten minste die deel Amerika wat dubbel 800's op hul SAT's gekry het. Selfs meer as vorige administrasies, is dit 'n valedictokrasie - reël deur diegene wat eers in hul hoërskoolklasse studeer. As 'n buitelandse vyand die Verenigde State gedurende die komende vier jaar die Verenigde State tydens die Harvard-Yale-wedstryd aanval, is ons verward.

Die kultuur van die Obama -administrasie kom reeds in fokus. Sy lede is twee keer so slim as die arme verslaggewers wat dit moet dek, drie keer as u die rubriekskrywers insluit. Hulle het gewoonlik in die Clinton -administrasie gedien en dan, net soos Cincinnatus, teruggetrek na die gemak van die privaat lewe - dit wil sê as Cincinnatus by Goldman Sachs, Williams & Connolly of die Brookings Institution gewerk het. Soveel van hulle stuur hul kinders na die Georgetown Day School, die spoggerige privaatskool in DC, dat hulle personeelvergaderings in die Withuis in die saamrylyn kan hou.

Dit was net sewentien dae sedert die verkiesingsdag. Maar die president-uitverkorenes (kompleet met sy eie "Office of the President-Elect" -logo) en sy span valedictokrate (gewapen met hul Ivy League-grade) het Brooks reeds met hul organisatoriese bekwaamheid afgewerp:

En tog, so graag as wat ek my wil wroeg oor hierdie ooropgevoede Achievatrons (om nie eers te praat van die inval van 'n regering in Franse styl wat oorheers word deur hoogs opgeleide Enarchs nie), vind ek my baie beïndruk deur die Obama-oorgang ...

Hulle kies veral insiders in Washington. Of om meer presies te wees, hulle kies die beste van die insiders van Washington. As gevolg hiervan is die span wat hy tot dusver aangekondig het, indrukwekkender as enige ander in die onlangse geheue.

... Glo my, ek probeer om nie deel te neem aan die uitgestrekte, opwindende Ophoria wat nou oor die haastige bourgeoisie van die kus vloei nie. Maar die personeelbesluite was uitstekend. Die gebeure van die afgelope twee weke behoort gerusstellend te wees vir enigiemand wat gevrees het dat Obama na links sou draai of selfwonde sou opdoen weens sy onervarenheid. Hy het begin wat die hype amper regverdig.

En Brooks se werkgewer het baie baat by die hype. Ter viering van Obama se 100-dae-merk, het die verslaggewer van die New York Times, Jennifer Lee, verheug dat die finansieel ontsteld Fishwrap of Record goedere van $ 2 miljoen ter waarde van $ 2 miljoen verkoop het. The Times het 'n gevestigde finansiële belang om die Obama -administrasie te ondersteun.

By ABC News het die voormalige demokraat-operasioneel-objektiewe nuusman George Stephanopoulos ook die simptome van die speekselklierstimulasie van die Obama-oorgang getoon. 'Ons het hierdie soort kombinasie van sterrekrag en breinkrag en politieke spiere nog nie so vroeg in ons kabinet gesien nie,' dribbel Stephanopoulos. Nadat hy 'n bietjie met sy ken gevlek het, het hy bygevoeg: '[Hy] het sy oorgang met dieselfde presisie en dissipline bestuur as wat hy tydens die veldtog kon toon. . Dit is moeilik om te dink dat hierdie oorgang baie beter gaan vir die uitverkore president. ”

Die Washington Post en Newsweek het albei hulself toegegee aan Transition-manie en het webwerwe geloods met die nuutste blogging van Barack Obama se 'historiese' en 'ongekende' styging aan bewind. Die New York Times het die verhaal vertel van hoe die vaardige Obama dertien dae voor die verkiesing 'n oproep gemaak het om 'n voeler na generaal James Jones te stuur vir die pos van die nasionale veiligheidsadviseur. Hele dertien dae! Asof geen ander inkomende president die afgelope 232 jaar met die geniale konsep vorendag gekom het om voor die inhuldigingsdag uit te reik na potensiële genomineerdes nie.

Dit word vroeër genoem beplanning vooruit.

In die mees "historiese" en "ongekende" inkomende administrasie in ons leeftyd, word Obama se oproep beskou as 'n visioenêre vooraf mobilisering ten bate van die Westerse beskawing.

'N Ongemaklike eenkant: vir al die hype oor die grootste oorgang in die wêreldgeskiedenis kon Obama nie die pas van die Reagan White House klop nie. Teen dag 100 het Obama 65 amptenare laat bevestig. Reagan het 73 - en die Bose Republikeine het dit gedoen sonder al die bungles en bagasie wat die Engele van Obama saamgebring het. "Obama is 'n vinniger skilpad, maar hy is nog steeds 'n skilpad," het die oorgangsontleder Paul Light opgemerk - sy stem van rede verdrink te midde van die media -waansin.

Joernaliste en kabeltelevisie -praatkoppe het eindeloos gesels oor Obama se "rekordsnelheid" aan die een kant en sy "uitputtende" ondersoekproses aan die ander kant. Die New York Times was verbaas oor 7 aansoeke en 63 vrae. (Die Bush-Cheney vise-presidensiële aansoekvorm was 200 bladsye. Maar as Republikeine streng agtergrondondersoeke vereis, is dit nie 'uitputtend' nie, dit is 'n paranoïese inbreuk op privaatheid. Maar ek dwaal af.)

Die gekose president het honderde noukeurige lede van die “agentskapbeoordelingspan” gestuur-“135 mense wat in 10 groepe verdeel is, tesame met‘ n lys van ander adviseurs ”-na die ingewande van die federale regering. Hulle missie: om programme en beleide streng te ondersoek en die oordrag van mag te bespoedig. Die leiers van die oorgangspan het slim geel kentekens op die werk gedra met 'n ooreenstemmende houding met 'Ja, ons kan'.

Die anker van Awestruck Good Morning America, Robin Roberts van ABC News, herhaal die konvensionele wysheid: 'Sommige sal sê dat dit 'n span mededingers is, à la President Lincoln, of is 'n beter vergelyking 'n span genieë soos FDR?'

Ek het hierdie boek geskryf om u die volledige antwoord te gee wat president Obama se moerse media -harem nie wil hê dat u moet lees nie.

'Crony', sê William Safire, kom uit die sewentiende-eeuse kollege-slang aan die Universiteit van Cambridge in Engeland. Die woord is gewortel in die Griekse khronios ('langdurig') van khronos ('tyd'). Safire het sy etimologiese evolusie in die Verenigde State opgespoor:

... [C] rony het 'n pejoratiewe konnotasie aangeneem as die sinistere kant van 'vriend'-meer 'n hanger, die ontvanger van guns ter wille van die ou tyd. In 1946, toe president Harry Truman se pokerspelers sy administrasie oneer bring, het die rubriekskrywer van die New York Times, Arthur Krock, geskryf: “New Dealers and Conservatives bevind hulle saam in teenstelling met wat 'n persgalery 'n kriminele regering 'genoem het. '”

Obama se span-die 'beste van die Washington-insiders', soos David Brooks dit genoem het-is 'n disfunksionele en gevaarlike konglomeraat van sake soos gewoonlik. Hulle speel nou basketbal saam met die president in plaas van poker, maar hulle is net so onbetwisbaar en veeleisend as hul eweknieë van die veertigerjare. Die administrasie wemel van langdurige gunsoekers in die regering, sakeondernemings en die winsgewende brug tussenin. Die korrupsie strek van die ryk kragmakelaars Rahm Emanuel en Valerie Jarrett, tot die betaal-tot-speel-besmette Michelle Obama en Joe Biden, tot die eties uitgedaagde, reddende geldmanne Larry Summers en Tim Geithner by die tesourie, die misdaadbekampende korporatiewe advokaat Eric Houder by DOJ, aan die skewe dienswerknemersunie, die afgeskudde kunstenaars by die Association of Community Organisations for Reform Now en die steeds groter wordende moeras van Washington-lobbyiste.

Hierdie boek trek die bekende en nie-so-bekende stukke van die oorgang in 'n krisis saam om Obama-hagiograwe te dwing om 'n alternatiewe verhaal te konfronteer. 'N Werklikheidsgebaseerde vertelling. 'N Vertelling van onbevoegdheid, nepotisme, invloedryke handel en selfhandel wat die hardnekkige mite dat Barack Obama die enigste ware agent van hoop en verandering is, weerlê.

Terwyl kenners oor Obama se "Achievatrons" en hul ongebreidelde "sterrekrag" gekuier het, het nominasie na nominasie ontplof. Die Withuis en sy bondgenote het elke mislukking as 'n "hik", 'n "hobbel in die pad" of 'n 'gooi' afgemaak. Intussen was die tempo van onttrekkings en mislukte afsprake 'rekord' en 'ongekend'. Sommige van die name sal u herken. Sommige waarvan u nog nooit gehoor het nie, omdat Obama se cheerleaders te besig was om die grootste oorgang in die wêreldgeskiedenis te verheerlik. Onder die gevalle:

• Bill Richardson (korrupsieskandaal)

• Annette Nazareth (bewerings van onbevoegdheid)

• H. Rodgin Cohen (belangebotsings)

• Frank Brosens (“persoonlike” redes)

• Scott Polakoff (aantygings van bedrog)

• Jon Cannon (verband met bedrogspul)

• Charles Freeman (cronyisme van die buitelandse regering)

En dit was net 'n paar van die lyke wat voor die 100-dae-merk onder die bus gegooi is. Heckuva -werk, Obama swaar!

Maar om deur die bevestigingsproses te kom, was geen waarborg vir etiese netheid of bekwaamheid nie. Tesourie-sekretaris Tim Geithner staan ​​natuurlik boaan die lys van Obama-bomme wat deur die Senaat bevestig is. Onder leiding van Wall Street -kragmakelaars Robert Rubin en Larry Summers het hy 'n belangrike rol gespeel in die verswakking van Indonesië se ekonomie en die ontwerp van die Bear Stearns- en AIG -reddingsdiens. En dit was voordat sy langdurige versuim om belasting terug te betaal op onwettige immigrante se huishulp (tesame met sy aanvaarding van vergoedingsgeld vir belasting wat hy nie betaal het nie) ontdek is en voor sy skaamte erkenning dat hy die AIG -bonusse goedgekeur het, het sy baas besluit as “Skandelik” en “verregaande”.

After Bill Richardson and GOP Senator Judd Gregg bowed out of the Commerce Secretary position, President Obama settled on former Democrat Governor of Washington, Gary Locke. The national papers called him “strait-laced” and hailed his “clean reputation.” Both liberals and conservatives in his home state called that a crock. As governor, he gave billions in tax breaks to Boeing while failing to disclose that he had retained a paid Boeing private consultant and auditor to advise him on the matter. In the governor’s mansion, Locke had his own Billy Carter — a brother-in-law who mooched off the family name to secure tax breaks and job opportunities. And on top of all that, the corporate lawyer Locke (who specialized in trade issues with China) was involved in not one, not two, but three campaign finance scandals involving tainted Asian cash. Perhaps suffering from Commerce Secretary withdrawal fatigue, the Senate confirmed Locke by unanimous consent.

Hostility to transparency is a running thread through Obama’s cabinet:

• The No. 2 official at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, former King County, Washington, Executive Ron Sims, has the distinction of being the most fined government official in his state’s history for suppressing public records from taxpayers.

• Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for years fought disclosure of massive donations from foreign governments and corporations who filled her husband’s library and foundation coffers.

• Top Obama advisor David Axelrod ran fear-mongering campaigns in Illinois in support of a huge utility rate hike — and failed to disclose that his ads were funded by Commonwealth Edison in Chicago.

• Labor Secretary Hilda Solis failed to disclose that she was director and treasurer of a union-promoting lobbying group pushing legislation that she was co-sponsoring as a congresswoman.

• Attorney General Eric Holder overruled his own lawyers in the Justice Department over the issue of D.C. voting rights (which he and President Obama support) and refused to make public the staffers’ opinion that a House bill on the matter was unconstitutional.

President Obama set the tone, breaking his transparency pledge with the very first bill he signed into law. On January 29, 2009, the White House announced that the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act had been posted online for review. One problem: Obama had already signed it—in violation of his “sunlight before signing” pledge to post legislation for public comment on the White House website five days before he sealed any deal. “[W]hen there is a bill that ends up on my desk as a president, you the public will have five days to look online and find out what’s in it before I sign it, so that you know what your government’s doing,” he had vowed.

But Obama broke the pledge again with the mad rush to pass his trillion-dollar, pork-stuffed stimulus package full of earmarks he denied existed. Jim Harper of the Cato Institute reported in April 2009: “Of the eleven bills President Obama has signed, only six have been posted on Whitehouse.gov. None have been posted for a full five days after presentment from Congress. The President has signed most bills within a day or two of their presentment from Congress, violating his campaign promise. He has signed two bills more than five days after presentment, but — ironically, because it preserves the broken promise — not posted them on Whitehouse.gov.”

It’s this utter disregard for taxpayer accountability that prompted hundreds of thousands of citizens to take to the streets on Tax Day 2009 for Tea Party protests. The trampling of transparency in the stimulus debate inspired signs that read: “No legislation without deliberation” and “READ THE BILL FIRST.” Obama’s response was first to claim that he hadn’t even heard of the Tea Party movement and then, on his 100-day celebration, to deride all those Americans he is supposed to represent of “playing games.” Projection, anyone?

Excerpted from "Culture of Corruption" by Michelle Malkin. Copyright (c) 2009, reprinted with permission from Penguin Group.


More than 350 big money bundlers have contributed at least $55 million so far this year to President Obama’s re-election efforts, according to an iWatch News analysis of the campaign’s Friday disclosure. And more than 40 bundlers each roped in at least $500,000.

Among the 358 big bundlers are two men prominently tied to the ongoing Solyndra controversy.

Included in those totals are 114 new bundlers who had not been reported as bundlers in the first half of the year, almost a 50 percent increase from just three months ago. Another 80 bundlers disclosed last summer have notably increased their efforts for Obama.

The Solyndra-related bundlers are Steve Westly and Steven Spinner, whose names have figured prominently in communications related to the solar startup, which went bankrupt even after receiving more than half a billion dollars in federal loan guarantees from the Energy Department.

Overall, the campaign and the Democratic National Committee raised more than $70 million this quarter. While less than the $86 million reported by Obama in the second quarter, the total nonetheless dwarfs even the closest Republican challenger. Texan Gov. Rick Perry announced his campaign had raised $17 million during this period, while former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney had over $14 million for the quarter.

There is no legal requirement for campaigns to disclose the names of their bundlers, and despite cries from good government groups, none of the Republican candidates have shown a willingness to publicly name their star donors. In 2008, major candidates from the Democrats and the GOP released their bundler information so far this cycle only the Obama campaign has followed that practice. The campaign discloses it’s bundlers in four levels: $50-100,000 $100-200,000 $200-500,000 and $500,000+. It is impossible to tell exactly how much each bundler raised, but it is possible to arrive at a minimum of $55 million from this relatively small group.

Despite the reliance on bundlers, the campaign continues to rack up impressive individual donor numbers as well. The campaign claims that 606,027 individuals donated during the third quarter, with 98 percent of the donations at $250 or less, with an average gift of $56.

Fundraisers have been held jointly by the campaign and the DNC. Many bundlers have focused on getting checks for the maximum that can be given to the DNC and the campaign combined, or $35,800 per person. Of that total $5,000 can go to the campaign, checks that became part of its haul of $47 million. $42.8 million has reportedly gone to the campaign, with $27.3 million going to the DNC.

Campaign money is expected to be just one front in the political battles over the next year. Both Democrats and Republicans have signaled that they intend to invest heavily in outside groups. In the wake of last year’s Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United vs Federal Election Commission, these groups can accept unlimited donations but are barred from coordinating directly with the campaigns.

The Republican aligned American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, both tied to GOP consultant Karl Rove, have indicated they intend spend heavily in the next elections. The groups raised $71 million raised for the 2010 congressional elections but expect to easily surpass that after initially declaring a goal of $120 million for this cycle, they doubled their goal to an astonishing $240 million.

Democrats have attempted to counter by forming their own outside groups, including Priorities USA and Priorities USA Action, formed by two former Obama aides, who stated a goal of raising $100 million this cycle. In the first six months of this year, these two groups and several others backing Democrats in the Senate and House raised a combined total of just over $10 million. However, the Democratic groups have struggled with coordinating among themselves, causing six groups to come together earlier this month to ensure better coordination.

And with their own outside groups still getting off the ground, the Obama campaign still plans to raise historic levels of cash. iWatch News reported this summer that Obama campaign manager Jim Messina asked about 450 leading fundraisers to bring in $350,000 each by the end of this year, and that bundlers were also told they were expected to pull in the same amount next year— an extraordinary $700,000 per bundler over the course of the president’s re-election effort.

It may be a stiffer challenge than many expected. One of Obama’s bundlers, Peter Buttenwieser, told iWatch News that the amount the campaign reported “is a healthy amount by any standard and ought to be sufficient to keep the planning for the campaign moving along.”

But Buttenwieser, who bundled at least $500,000 for Obama in 2008 and has bundled at least $50,000 this cycle, added, “Anyone doing fundraising for the President and Senate candidates is finding it more difficult now than four or five years ago. This is in large part due to the economic situation and the political stalemate in Washington, which has been a deterrent to fundraising.”

In particular, the Obama campaign has struggled to win support from Wall Street, which has been suspicious of his administration’s policies and downright hostile to the Dodd-Frank financial reforms passed last year. A report in September found that 100 Obama donors from Wall Street have switched sides to back Romney. Obama has recruited former New Jersey governor and current CEO of brokerage firm MF Global, Jon Corzine, a $500,000+ bundler in his own right, to try and shore up his New York financial support. Corzine has already held a high-end fundraiser and organized a secret meet-and-greet between finance executives and Obama’s new chief of staff.

In contrast, the elites of Hollywood have maintained their loyalty to the President. Among his $500,000 bundlers are two moguls, DreamWorks animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg and Miramax co-founder Harvey Weinstein. Ken Solomon, the Tennis Channel CEO, and HBO executive James Costos joined them atop the list, along with Michael Smith, the famed interior decorator. Two California sherpas – Andy Spahn, an associate of Steven Spielberg, and Noah Mamet – who serve as go-betweens for the talent and the politicians, were also on the list, as was John Emerson, an investment manager and longtime party fundraiser.

Among other notable bundlers:

Christine Forester, a top bundler from 2008 and vice chair of Obama’s national finance committee in 2008, was appointed to the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in 2009. A native of Switzerland, she heads Christine Forester Catalyst, a business marketing and branding consulting firm and has bundled at least $500,000 in just this quarter.

Sally Susman runs communications for drug giant Pfizer, which flooded Capitol Hill with lobbyists to the tune of $26 million in 2009 while the debate of Obama’s health care legislation ramped up. She too bundled over $500,000 this cycle.

Matthew Barzun, also a bundler in Obama’s 2008 campaign, gave up his diplomatic post as U.S. ambassador to Sweden to serve as the Obama campaign’s 2012 national finance chair.

Tom and Andi Bernstein are longtime supporters of George W. Bush, even joining him in purchasing the Texas Rangers in 1988, but they are both registered Democrats. The couple were bundlers for Obama’s 2008 campaign and were also contributors to Bush’s presidential campaigns. In 2010, Obama appointed Tom chairman of the U.S. Holocaust Museum.

Bundlers are well-connected and wealthy individuals who typically hit up friends and business associates for political donations, sometimes at large events. The fundraisers then present the checks to political campaigns in “bundles.”

The practice is widespread and can be controversial because it allows campaigns to skirt individual contribution limits of $2,500 in federal elections, and gives extra cachet to aggressive and well-connected fundraisers. Despite the Obama campaign’s impressively wide donor base in 2008, the roughly 550 bundlers contributed about 10 percent of the overall $745 million raised that election.

And bundling has its rewards. About 200 of the bundlers from 2008 have received various perks including jobs in the administration like ambassadorships, appointments to governmental boards or government contracts, according to an earlier investigation by iWatch News. Several bundlers went from soliciting political contributions to working from within the Energy Department as it showered billions in taxpayer-backed stimulus money on alternative energy firms.

Several Obama bundlers also had hands in wireless company LightSquared, now the focus of Congressional investigations into whether their political connections to the Obama White House secured approval for a controversial product.

Bundler Ties to Solyndra

Those bundlers who didn’t receive jobs can still have the ear of the White House, such as investor Steve Westly, A bundler in 2008, Westly has enjoyed easy access to the White House at the same time companies in his investment portfolio have received more than a half billion dollars in grants and loans since 2009. Earlier this year, he emailed Valerie Jarrett, one of Obama’s closest advisers, to warn her about political fallout that could ensue if the president visited the factory being built by Solyndra.

“Could you perhaps check with [the Energy Department] to make sure they’re comfortable with the company? I just want to help protect the president from anything that could result in negative or unfair press,” Westly wrote on May 24, 2010. “If it’s too late to change/postpone the meeting, the president should be careful about unrealistic/optimistic forecasts that could haunt him in the next 18 months if Solyndra hits the wall, files for bankruptcy.”

In August 2010, Westly was appointed to a high-powered advisory board to Energy Secretary Steven Chu. Before that appointment, four companies in the Westly Group portfolio secured more than a half billion dollars in DOE support, iWatch News and ABC News reported. Last month – while Westly continues to raise money for Obama and advise Chu – a fifth firm secured DOE backing. Energy Department officials said the loans and grants were awarded on merit.

Another prolific bundler, Steven J. Spinner, lobbied for Solyndra from his position as a political appointee within the Energy Department.

“How hard is this? What is he waiting for?” Steven J. Spinner, who worked in the Obama administration’s energy loan guarantee program, wrote in August 2009. “I have OVP [the Office of the Vice President] and WH [the White House] breathing down my neck on this.”

Spinner, a high-tech consultant and energy investor who raised at least $500,000 for Obama’s 2008 campaign, joined the DOE in April 2009 and left in September 2010. In the lengthy email discussions that occurred in the days before the Solyndra loan closed in September 2009, Spinner emerges as a key figure in advocating for getting the deal done, apparently in an effort to score the loan as a political victory for Obama. Many of the emails surround his efforts to coordinate plans for either Obama or Biden to announce it as the administration’s first loan approval – one that he repeatedly notes will create clean energy jobs.

It is Spinner, for instance, who pushes for a “big event” with “golden shovels, bulldozers, hardhats, etc.”

The emails occurred less than two weeks after Spinner received a three-paged ethics agreement in which he pledges he will “not participate in any discussion regarding any application involving [his wife’s law firm] Wilson [Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati].”

The $535 million loan to Solyndra was ultimately approved in 2009 and for months was touted by Obama as a model of his efforts to create new jobs in the emerging field of clean energy. But in late August, the company abruptly shut its doors and days later declared it was filing for bankruptcy. Now the loan, part of the federal stimulus to jolt economic recovery and create jobs, is the subject of multiple investigations, by Congress and by the Justice Department, and taxpayers may be on the hook.

A question of transparency

Even as it released campaign bundler details on Friday, which the Republican candidates have refused to do thus far, the Obama administration filed notice Friday it would appeal a judge’s ruling that Secret Service records of visitors to the White House complex are subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

The Justice Department is appealing a federal judge’s ruling in August that the so-called WAVES records belong to the White House even though they are maintained and used by the Secret Service. iWatch News reported in April that the logs were riddled with errors and omissions.

Peter Stone, Elizabeth Lucas, John Aloysius Farrell, Paul Abowd and Rachael Marcus all contributed to this report.


The Obama Diary

Steve Benen: The general trend on initial unemployment claims over the last few months has been largely encouraging, despite occasional setbacks, and most analysts expected this morning’s report to show a modest uptick in filings.

The good news is, that didn’t happen. In fact, initial jobless claims reached a four-year low last week, and the new totals were unchanged this week.

Greg Sargent: At yesterday’s debate, Mitt Romney and the other candidates went all in on birth control – sorry, “religious liberty” – in blasting President Obama over the contraception controversy…. But some new polling out this morning from Quinnipiac illustrates the risk Republicans are taking with this latest reprise of the culture wars:

President Obama recently announced an adjustment to the administration’s health-care rule regarding religiously affiliated employers providing birth control coverage to female employees. Women will still be guaranteed coverage for birth control without any out-of-pocket cost, but will have to seek the coverage directly from their insurance companies if their employers object to birth control on religious grounds. Do you approve or disapprove of President Obama’s decision?

Independents approve 56-36 women 56-34.

Steve Benen: …… Romney added that Obama is “requiring the Catholic Church to provide for its employees and its various enterprises health care insurance that would include birth control, sterilization and the morning-after pill. Unbelievable.”

It is, in fact, literally “unbelievable,” since that’s not at all what the administration is doing.

It was painful enough to have so much of the debate focus on opposition to birth control, but Romney’s dishonesty managed to make a mind-numbing discussion even worse.

Ronald Brownstein (National Journal): ….. Some of Romney’s answers could come back to haunt him, not in the primary but in a general election, if he gets that far.

At a time when some Republicans are already concerned that he has narrowed his potential support among Latinos with an unflinching embrace of conservative positions on immigration (like “self-deportation”), Romney doubled down by insisting that on “day one” as president he would drop the federal legal challenge to Arizona’s tough state statute against illegal immigration.

And on the same day that an NBC/Marist poll already showed Romney trailing President Obama by 18 percentage points in Michigan, a state Republicans once hoped to contest this fall, Romney likewise doubled down on his criticism of the auto rescue engineered by Bush and Obama – and sprinkled in some especially sharp rhetoric against the United Auto Workers union for good measure.

E.J. Dionne: They say that President Obama is a Muslim, but if he isn’t, he’s a secularist who is waging war on religion. On some days he’s a Nazi, but on most others he’s merely a socialist….

Whatever our president is, he is never allowed to be a garden-variety American who plays basketball and golf, has a remarkably old-fashioned family life and, in the manner we regularly recommend to our kids, got ahead by getting a good education.

Please forgive this outburst. It’s simply astonishing that a man in his fourth year as our president continues to be the object of the most extraordinary paranoid fantasies … And now that the economy is improving, short-circuiting easy criticisms, Obama’s adversaries are reheating all the old tropes and cliches and slanders.

….. As for Obama as a socialist, ponder two numbers: 13,005, which the Dow Jones average hit this week, up from a low point of 6,547 in March 2009. Some socialist.

We are blessed with the freedom to say whatever we want about our president. But those who cast Obama as something other than one of us don’t understand him and don’t understand what it means to be American.

10:45: PBO departs the White House

1:25 Arrives in Miami, Florida.

1:45: Tours the Industrial Assessment Center at the University of Miami.

2:25: Delivers remarks to University of Miami students and faculty members.

4:20: Delivers remarks at a campaign event at the Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables, Florida.

5:55: Delivers remarks at a campaign event.

7:00L Departs Miami, Florida en route Orlando, Florida.

8:15: Arrives in Orlando, Florida.

8:55: Delivers remarks at a campaign event.

10:30: Departs Orlando, Florida en route Joint Base Andrews.

Clueless

Boston Herald: Mitt Romney’s on red-faced run …. He’s admired for his perfect hair and polished style. It’s when Mitt Romney tries to be a regular guy that he runs into trouble.

…. he has made a string of quirky campaign missteps that have pundits questioning his ability to relate to the common voter. Some have even dubbed him an “awkward” candidate struggling with an identity crisis….

From pretending a waitress pinched his behind in New Hampshire, to cracking jokes about being “unemployed,” to pulling out a $100 bill in a Colorado restaurant, Romney has raised eyebrows with a series of stumbles as he stumps in the harsh glare of the national spotlight.

… The media hasn’t been kind. The Wall Street Journal recently referred to his “aw shucks, cornball humor,” and the Washington Post wrote of his “weirdness,” describing his demeanor as “equal parts ‘Leave It to Beaver’ corniness and social awkwardness.”….

Oh no…..

Oh dear. According to Steve Benen, Huntsman’s people forgot to register JonHuntsman.com – so when you visit the site the image above greets you, ie that glowing letter Hunstman wrote the President when he accepted the position of Ambassador to China.

ABC: Every detail of Jon Huntsman’s long-awaited campaign launch was meticulously planned, except of course for one minor detail: the misspelling of the candidate’s name. Members of the media were handed a press pass that read “John Huntsman for President” – adding an unnecessary H in the candidate’s first name. Huntsman’s staffers promptly scrambled to remove the passes from reporters before they caught the snafu.

Steve Benen: …. worse, visitors to Huntsman’s online donation page this morning saw this message alongside the contribution form:

If you prefer you can contact us by mail or by telephone.
Jon Huntsman for President
123 Main Street
Charlotte, NC 12345
(123) 456-7890

All of this is wrong, and was obviously just put in as placeholder text the campaign forgot to replace. As Jamison Foser noted, “So far today, Huntsman campaign has gotten his name, phone number & address wrong. That’s a rough day in first grade.”

That’s not all. The Huntsman campaign picked a location for the kick-off speech where the Statue of Liberty would be in the background, but put the television cameras in such a place where the Statue of Liberty wasn’t seen by viewers at home. Some pundits knocked the new candidate for a “bland, uninspiring speech,” and the cable networks didn’t stick with his remarks very long.

Well, at least Huntsman had a good crowd for the campaign launch, right? Verkeerde. Only “about a hundred” people showed up, and roughly 60 of them were political reporters…..

100 yards?!

Steve Benen: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie created a bit of a stir this week, using a state helicopter to travel to his son’s high school baseball game, then using a state car to drive him 100 yards from the landing site to the game itself. Making matters slightly worse, the governor left half-way through the game, had the state car drive him back the 100 yards, and then took the helicopter to a meeting with wealthy Iowans who want him to run for president.

Yesterday, Christie’ office responded to calls that he reimburse the state for the costs of this excursion, announcing the governor doesn’t intend to pay a dime.

…his flap certainly isn’t doing Christie any favors. His whole message is about austerity: cutting back, making sacrifices, living with less, eliminating waste in government, etc. The use of the chopper, to put it mildly, belies the governor’s larger agenda.

….A Star Ledger editorial today concluded, “Now we know why [Christie] can’t imagine what it’s like to walk a mile in the shoes of regular New Jerseyans: He doesn’t even walk 100 yards in his own.”

The time 100

Professor David Kennedy: “We remain a young nation,” Barack Obama said in 2009, but he added an unsettling admonition that “in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things.” No passage in his Inaugural Address more vividly reflected the President’s vision of his country and his times or more accurately foreshadowed the vexations that were to beset his leadership.

Like FDR before him, Obama, 49, has looked beyond the near horizon. He has paid the political price of setting far-visioned initiatives on health care and financial reform ahead of short-term relief. And he has tried to persuade his countrymen to shed some of their youthful illusions: to forsake the frontiersman’s faith in unbridled individualism for a recognition of the complex interdependencies of modern life, to replace the rebel’s fear of government with the citizen’s trust that government of the people and by the people is for the people too, to stop assuming that Santa Claus will give us cheap energy forever and the Easter Bunny will pay our bills. Whatever the near term holds, history is likely to record that Obama set the country on the path to a future with fewer illusions.

Kennedy is a professor of history at Stanford University

Rahm Emanuel: The partnership between any President and Vice President is like a shotgun wedding: Sometimes it works well. Most of the time, it does not. But the relationship between Barack Obama and Joe Biden is as successful a public partnership as I have ever seen.

They began as rival politicians who merged to form a ticket, which is not a prescription for harmony and close cooperation. But in my two years in the White House, I saw these onetime rivals become solid allies and then close friends. I saw a deep bond of trust grow between them, forged in a crucible of crisis.

Biden, 68, has been a wise counselor – unfailingly frank with the President behind closed doors and unwaveringly loyal on the public stage.

With 36 years of experience in the U.S. Senate and a wealth of relationships and insight, Biden has been an invaluable lieutenant on a wide variety of issues. And the President has trusted him with some of the most critical assignments, from the $787 billion Recovery Act to the transition in Iraq.

This is one shotgun wedding that works.

Jamie Oliver: Declaring herself “first mom,” Michelle Obama got right to work on the defining issues of her children’s generation: obesity and improving the health of America’s kids.

Her Let’s Move campaign put obesity in the headlines in part because Americans under 25 are the first generation expected to live shorter lives than their parents because of diet-related illnesses. But Obama, 47, urged people to get up and do something. She convinced her husband to establish America’s first Childhood Obesity Task Force…..

She’s encouraging mayors around the country to embrace obesity-prevention programs. And perhaps most incredibly, she’s had frank and challenging dialogues with some of America’s largest corporations and persuaded them to change their business practices for the sake of the children.

While she knows none of these changes are easy, she’s stood firm in her conviction that if we all just eat better and move more, then we can fight obesity. For her inspirational work, I salute First Lady Michelle Obama – a true revolutionary.

President Obama: The violence in Tucson earlier this year was made all the more shocking by the quintessentially American scene that it shattered: folks of different backgrounds yet part of the same community gathering to share their hopes and ask questions of their elected representative. To put it simply, they came to do the daily work of democracy.

Before that morning, Gabrielle Giffords may not have been a household name. But the reason she has long been admired by people of all political stripes is that she embodies the best of what public service should be: hard work and fair play, hope and resilience, a willingness to listen and a determination to do your best in a busy world. As hard a battle as Giffords, 40, now fights every day, she’s got a strong partner in her husband Mark Kelly, who visits her daily while training to command the space shuttle Endeavour. And she’s got the prayers of a nation rooting for her, a model of civility and courage and unity — a needed voice that cannot return soon enough.


Year Three Day 100 Obama Administration April 29, 2011 - History

They were among his first big decisions - to close Guantanamo, shut down the CIA's secret prisons, and end the intelligence agency's "enhanced" interrogation programme.

In one sense, they had an immediate result - breaking with the Bush administration and improving America's tarnished global image.

But 100 days on, the goal of closing down the detention centre at Guantanamo still seems some way off, and the decision to denounce the past techniques of the CIA is kicking up a political storm.

First Guantanamo - so far Britain has taken back Binyam Mohammed and France has taken another, which still leaves around 240 detainees.

At the time of writing, US Attorney General Eric Holder is travelling Europe trying to persuade countries to take some more.

A number of governments first want to see how many detainees America itself will take.

Finding a home for a handful will be the easy part what to do with around 100 detainees from Yemen, more difficult.

Send them back and Dick Cheney will see more proof that this administration is weak on terror.

The rush to close Guantanamo, and to denounce the CIA's past has left this administration exposed on national security.

For Barack Obama the bottom line is standing up for America's principles. For many Republicans it's all about keeping the country safe.

You get a real sense of the dilemma in the row over the release of the CIA "torture" memos.

The president is now caught between the human rights and civil liberties lobbies, who are demanding prosecutions on the one hand, and members of the intelligence agencies - past and present - who feel betrayed on the other.

President Obama may have thought coming clean was the best policy. But in reality, he's now going to be spending the next 100 days - probably more - arguing over how much of America's dirty laundry should be shown to the rest of the world.

All the while, Dick Cheney is primed and waiting to say, "I told you so," if one of these decisions backfires and does make America less safe.

Energy policy is one of the areas where the Obama administration has already offered a stark break with the past.

After years of US reticence about tackling climate change, the White House now has an occupant who is committed to taking a global lead in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

President Obama has instructed congressional Democrats to draw up legislation that would establish a cap and trade system, allowing companies who continue to pollute to trade carbon credits with those who take more rapid steps to use cleaner energy.

The ultimate goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80% by 2050.

The president has also linked the fight against climate change with the battle against unemployment.

He has appointed a special advisor to help reach his goal of creating millions of "green jobs" - blue collar jobs with an environmentally-friendly goal.

But the good intentions have already run up against obstacles in congress.

Democrats have delayed further action on a big climate change bill they'd hoped to have in place this week.

The reason: disagreements, not just between Democrats and Republicans, but between Democrats who want to push ahead faster and those from oil, gas and coal-producing states, who are worried about over-burdening industry at a time of economic crisis.

There is one thing that Mr Obama has up his sleeve: the recent landmark ruling by the US Environmental Protection Agency that carbon dioxide emissions do pose a threat to human health.

If the politicians won't legislate, the administration might have to regulate.

The first 100 days of the Obama presidency have been about more than just a president - they have told the story of the first African-American family in the White House, a very young one at that.

The interest in the First Family has been as much a part of the story as the president's policies.

The interest in Michelle Obama as a separate entity, and the addition of a White House pet, Bo the dog, are testament to that.

The Obamas have tried to portray themselves to ordinary Americans. as a family people can relate to - be it Mrs Obama's credit crunch chic when she chooses to wear high street clothes, or her call to Americans to plant their own organic vegetables, just as she is doing in the White House garden.

Of course their status and the trappings of power mean they're anything but ordinary, but Mrs Obama is always keen to point out that she has to juggle the demands of motherhood and work like anyone else.

The juxtaposition to all of this is that the First Family are the biggest celebrities in the world - Stevie Wonder played in their house and A-listers are queuing up to meet them.

As Barack and Michelle Obama sashayed down the red carpet at Downing Street for a G20 dinner, you could've mistaken them for an Oscar night entry - the papparazzi are always close by.

But almost all of the photos we see of the family, be it the children's swing in the garden or the playful pictures of them walking the First Dog Bo, are carefully orchestrated.

The high approval ratings for both Mr and Mrs Obama show that the love affair the American public have with the First Family is still going strong.

Barack Obama's honeymoon is over - but not so you'd notice.

His approval ratings were pretty high at the beginning of his presidency, and have sunk only slightly as he reaches his 100th day in office.

While individual pollsters' results vary, they all indicate the same trend: the number of people expressing approval of Mr Obama has decreased somewhat since January, while the number of people expressing disapproval has risen.

And the growth in disapproval has been sharper than the decrease in approval.

Clearly some of those who - perhaps carried away by the pomp and ceremony of inauguration day - initially expressed their support for the new president have revised their views on closer scrutiny of his actual policies.

On average, Mr Obama's support has dropped by around 10 percentage points, while disapproval is up by some 15 points.

That said, Mr Obama's approval rating has remained essentially unchanged since early March.

The ABC/Washington Post poll has been the most favourable to Mr Obama. It gave him an approval rating of 80%-15% around inauguration day, falling to 68%-26% in its most recent survey.

Rasmussen has been the least positive for the president: it had him at 65%-30% in January, and 55%-44% today.

Gallup's results have been somewhere in the middle. According to their polls, Mr Obama had a 67% approval rating in January, which dropped to 61% earlier this month, but sprung back up to 65% on his 100th day in office.

All three polls indicate that Mr Obama still has the support of the majority of the country as he heads into his next 100 days.

Amid all the other huge economic problems he's tackling - rescuing the US banking system, deciding how far to rescue its car industry - President Obama has been careful to stress that healthcare reform cannot wait.

Central to his ambitious agenda is a belief that improving the health of the US economy partly depends on improving the health of the American people.

In his address to a joint session of congress in February, Mr Obama said the cost of healthcare was weighing down "our economy and our conscience".

So, in his budget proposal, he set aside $634bn (£428bn) over 10 years to pay for reforms designed to significantly lower the number of Americans without health insurance. That figure is currently thought to be around 46 million people.

As part of the consultative process, he's organised a healthcare summit at the White House, where he assembled the various bodies with a potential stake in the reforms - employers, unions, healthcare professionals, insurance companies.

It was a clear attempt to avoid the appearance - which proved fatal to the Clinton healthcare initiative - of a secretive plan being cooked up behind closed doors.

He has been handicapped by the withdrawal of his first choice of Health Secretary, Tom Daschle, over tax issues.

Many health professionals, in particular, had of hoped that having the former senate majority leader as the president's point man on the issue would smooth the legislative process.

Republican opposition to greater government involvement in healthcare - something they label "socialised medicine" - means that process will not be easy.

The details of the bill are still being worked out, but the Democratic majority hopes to have something ready by June.

The recent news that the White House wants senate Democrats to use a congressional procedure to override Republican opposition has given a sense of the scale of the political challenges the president is expecting and of his determination to overcome them.

You cannot accuse President Obama of lacking energy when it comes to economic policy.

But effectiveness is another matter.

His first 100 days contain at least one notable achievement - the $787bn (£539bn) stimulus plan.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, to give it its proper title, was signed into law by the President less than a month after he took the oath of office.

It is the single biggest peacetime spending initiative in US history and was passed in record time.

But it failed to gain the bi-partisan support in Congress that President Obama was looking for and has become a rallying point for Republican opposition.

Barack Obama's presidency has been dominated by the economic crisis, but that has not stopped him from trying to launch a massive recalibration of US foreign policy.

The breadth of issues he has tackled in this short time is unprecedented, prompting former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to write recently in the Washington Post that "the possibility of comprehensive solutions is unprecedented".

There is no guarantee that any of it will lead to success over the next four years, but the new administration is aiming high.


ARREST OBAMA NOW: OBAMA INELIGIBLE TO SERVE.

We’re About to Show You How You Can Prove This Yourself: Barack Hussein Obama (a.k.a. Barry Soetoro, a.k.a. Saebarkah) is a Usurper — His 4-27-11 Birth Certificate is an Easy-to-Prove Fraud — It Shows Congress Has Already Ruled He’s Ineligible — Not Constitutionally Certified to Serve by Any US State — Not Natural Born — Refused to Show His Long Form Birth Certificate

— Jailed a Military Officer and Arrested a Woman Who Both Asked to See His Proof of Eligibility — Spent $Millions, Signed an Executive Order and Created a Hawaiian Law to Hide His Identity — His Grandmother Swears He was Born in Kenya — No US Hospital Claims His Birth Location — No One Claims to have been Present at His Birth — Three in Five Americans are Not Convinced of His Claimed Hawaiian Birth — School Records Say He’s was an Indonesian Citizen — May Have Received Aid as a Foreign Student — Yet No Government Body Has Demanded to See His Eligibility Credentials! Instead, the US State Department has Destroyed His Mother’s Files and the Hawaiian Gov’t Has “Lost” Obama’s School Records.

Want to Get Rid of Obama, Obamacare, Two Communist Supreme Court Justices and Every Law Obama Signed Since He Took Office? Then Insist the House of Representatives Immediately Arrest and Investigate Obama. If the House Does Not Demand Obama Prove His Identity, then the GOP is Complicit in a Treasonous Conspiracy of Epic Proportions Against All American People! The Evidence:

As He Absconded It In The First Place

NOT “NATURAL BORN” AS REQUIRED BY CONSTITUTION

BHO Sr.’s British Colony (Kenya) Citizenship Makes Obama Ineligible to Serve as President