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Does Being A National Leader Shorten Your Lifespan? Maybe, Maybe Not

Obama Aged Photos

A new study suggests that being a national leader may shorten your expected lifespan.

That’s a Good Question

Writing at Atlantic, Jeffrey Tayler asks President Obama ten questions about Ukraine. They’re all good, thoughtful questions. Here’s a key one: Currently, the United States has 67,000 troops in Europe, down from 400,000 during the Cold War. If, to confront a new Russian threat, Washington decides to beef up NATO forces on the continent, how […]

Mitt Romney Is Not Convincing Me


Mitt Romney outlines his plan for dealing with Iran.

A Flawed Legal Argument

Peter Berkowitz has presented a flawed legal argument for attacking Iran.

Obama and Sarkozy Dis Netanyahu on Hot Mic


Obama to Sarkozy on Netanyahu: “You’re sick of him — but I have to deal with him every day!”

The Security Council Resolution on Libya

The United Nations Security Council Resolution on the situation in Libya is available online. In summary it authorizes member states to act as required to prevent harm to Libyan civilians, authorizes the establishment of a no-fly zone in Libyan air space, strengthens the arms embargo against Libya, and strengthens the freeze on Libyan assets in […]

Quote of the Day: Welcome to the White House Edition


Washington Wire: “I hope today, all of you feel free to make yourselves at home. For those of you with a particular interest in the next election, I don’t mean that literally.” — President Barack Obama, welcoming governors to the White House. A moment later, he gestured toward Mississippi’s GOP Gov. Haley Barbour and the […]

Mike Huckabee Defends Obama On Birther Claims, Religion, And Jeremiah Wright Issues


I’m no Mike Huckabee fan, but I will say I’m glad to see that he said this in an interview with a Christian magazine: According to a Pew survey last August, 29 percent of evangelical Christians believe Obama is a Muslim, while only 27 percent think he is a Christian. Who or what is at […]

What Should The U.S. Do About Libya? Most Americans Say Nothing


Calls are coming from both sides of the aisle for the U.S. to do “something” about the situation in Libya. It would be better if we didn’t get involved.

How Much Does Russia Spend On Highways?


Does Russia really spend more on roads than we do?

Will President Obama Bomb Iran?


The title says it all.

Arabs Discouraged About Obama


This year’s Zogby poll of public opinion in the Middle East exhibits a marked shift on the Obama Administration, Iran.

Firing McChrystal: Anatomy of a Decision

Obama Fires McChrystal

Both President Obama and General McChrystal handled a bad situation incredibly well.

Obama Oil Spill Speech Reax: Epic Fail


Doug has already done an excellent job assessing President Obama’s Gulf cleanup speech but I’m going to weigh in with some further thoughts. As has been my custom in recent years, I skipped the speech altogether, preferring to assess it the next morning based on reading the text and gauging the reactions to it.  This […]

Obama Swings And Misses In Oval Office Address


President Obama used the prestige of his very first Oval Office speech to report to the American public on Day 57 of the Gulf Oil Spill Crisis, and it was, quite honestly, less than it should have been: WASHINGTON — President Obama summoned Americans on Tuesday to a “national mission” to move away from reliance […]

Obama’s New Oil Spill Plan: An “Oil Recovery Czar”


At least one element of the plan that President Obama plans to announce in his speech tonight has been leaked, and it sounds very familiar: WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama, in his televised speech to the nation Tuesday, will announce the creation of an oil recovery “czar” to oversee progress in siphoning crude from the […]

Obama Oddly Unpopular in Former Slave States


The post title is borrowed from Josh Marshall. Roll Call has a good article (sub.req.) today about the role of former President Bill Clinton in the 2010 election. The gist of the piece is that Clinton is turning out to be an important asset in this cycle since there are many parts of the country […]

Obama Leads All Potential Republican Rivals In 2012 Poll


Despite recent dips in his personal approval ratings and the ongoing crisis in the Gulf of Mexico, there’s no sign yet that any of the most-talked about Republican candidates in 2012 would beat President Obama: President Barack Obama holds an edge over each of his potential Republican challengers in 2012, according to a new Public […]

The Odd British Response To American Anger At BP


One of the most striking developments over the past several days has been news of the way that some Britons seem to be reacting to American anger at BP. It started with statements from Boris Johnson, the always outspoken Mayor London, who accused President Obama of using “anti-British rhetoric:” Boris Johnson has warned that the […]

Obama Attended Fundraiser Instead of Memorial Service


The scandal du jour is that Barack Obama was flying to a political fundraiser during a memorial for those killed in the BP explosion: According his official schedule, President Obama did not attend the May 25 memorial service in Jackson, Mississippi for the workers who died in the Deepwater Horizon explosion because he was en […]

What Does Snack Food Have To Do With Keeping Weapons Out Of Gaza ?


That’s the question raised by yesterday’s announcement that Israel would now allow snack food and drinks to be imported in to the Gaza Strip: Israel is easing its Gaza embargo to allow snack food and drinks into the Palestinian enclave, Palestinian officials said Wednesday, following an international outcry over Israel’s raid on an aid flotilla. […]

Sarah Palin Has A Good Primary Night


Some are referring to yesterday’s election results as a good night for women, but it was also a good night for one specific woman: Some of Sarah Palin’s riskiest endorsements scored major victories Tuesday for the former Alaska governor, showing off her power in Republican primaries. Palin had four primary endorsements in play – Carly […]

The “A Word” And Presidential Dignity


Last night in my post about President Obama’s “whose ass to kick” comment, I said: It will be interesting to see how the public and the media reacts to this, not the least being because this is the first time that I can remember that a President used and (admittedly minor) vulgarity in a public […]

Public Rates Federal Response To Oil Spill Worse Than Response To Katrina

on June 4, 2010 in Grand Isle, Louisiana.

More bad news for the Obama Administration in a new ABC News poll about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill: By more than a 2-to-1 margin, Americans support the pursuit of criminal charges in the nation’s worst oil spill, with increasing numbers calling it a major environmental disaster. Eight in 10 criticize the way BP’s […]

Barack Obama: Speaking Loudly, Carrying The Same Old Stick


In an interview that will air tomorrow morning on Today, President Obama displays another example of what appears to be the “tough talk” strategy the White House adopted late last week on the Gulf Oil Spill: (CNN) — President Barack Obama bluntly defended his administration’s response to the undersea gusher fouling the Gulf of Mexico […]

Support For Kagan Lower Than Other Recent SCOTUS Nominees


A new Gallup poll shows that public support for Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court is lower than it has been for most recent Supreme Court nominees: PRINCETON, NJ — A USA Today/Gallup poll finds just under half of Americans, 46%, in favor of the Senate’s confirming Elena Kagan’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme […]

Oil Spill Day 46: Obama Held Hostage


Pundits such as  James Carville, Chris Matthews, Peggy Noonan, and Maureen Dowd have given President Obama a lot of heat lately for his response, or lack thereof, to the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and what’s becoming clear is that the longer this story goes on, the more that his entire Presidency is becoming consumed […]

Weak Employment Report Points To Weak Recovery


The unemployment report for May, released this morning, reflects the fact that the economy is still a long way from the kind of recovery that will actually put people back to work: Employers added 431,000 nonfarm jobs nationwide in May, the biggest increase in a single month since the recession, the Labor Department said Friday. […]

Barack Obama Gets An Unlikely Defender: Ron Paul


Texas Congressman Ron Paul thinks that the media and the public are being too hard on President Obama for his response to the Gulf Oil Spill: Rep. Ron Paul, the libertarian Republican lawmaker from Texas, said that people were expecting too much from the president in his ability to react to the ongoing spill into […]

Blagojevich Corruption Trial Begins


Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich goes on trial this morning, and its a trial that will likely echo all the way from Deaborn Street to Pennsylvania Avenue: Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s federal corruption trial will feature prosecutors feeding voters a steady reminder of the worst elements of Illinois’ political culture — allegations that money, insider […]

White House Admits To Job Offer To Another Senate Challenger


The White House admitted early today that it had offered Andrew Romanoff, who is running a primary challenger to Colorado Senator Michael Bennet, options of Executive Branch employment instead of running for office: The White House acknowledged Thursday that it made overtures to Colorado U.S. Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff about a possible administration job as […]

National Debt Tops $ 13 Trillion


The Treasury Department announced yesterday that the nation’s debt had officially passed the $ 13 trillion mark: The National Debt topped $13-trillion for the first time in U.S. history – reflecting the surge in government spending that will push the Debt to increasing highs through the rest of the decade. Posted on the Treasury Department […]

Obama Administration Leads To Record Sales Of Atlas Shrugged


This is pretty amusing: When people started talking about President Obama and the return of reading, they probably didn’t mean Ayn Rand. But the Obama presidency has been a boon to Rand’s publishers. Buried in George Will’s upcoming column is the nugget that sales of Atlas Shrugged have tripled since Obama took office. From 2000 […]

Obama Paying A Political Price For The Oil Spill Crisis


A new Gallup poll seems to indicate that President Obama is beginning to pay a political price for what many are perceiving as a lack of an aggressive response to the Gulf oil spill: WASHINGTON, D.C. — With President Barack Obama and BP taking their most aggressive steps yet in response to the massive oil […]

Quote of the Day, Big Chief Show Emotion Edition


“In some cultures, there need to be ritual displays of over the top emotion for some events- profuse groveling including getting down on your hands and knees when making an apology, wailing and beating of the chest and throwing yourself on the coffin at a funeral, and so on. Apparently, this is what we expect […]

“Top Kill” Fails, BP Moves On To Plan C


Late yesterday, the officials in charge of trying to stop the Gulf Oil Spill announced that their latest efforts had ended in failure: NEW ORLEANS — In another serious setback in the effort to stem the flow of oil gushing from a well a mile beneath the Gulf of Mexico, BP engineers said Saturday that […]

Is “Top Kill” Failing ?


Despite initial reports of success, it’s beginning to look like the “top kill” procedure to stop the Gulf of Mexico oil leak may not be working: BP engineers struggled Friday to plug a gushing oil well a mile under the sea, but as of late in the day they had made little headway in stemming […]

Potemkin Village Cleanup Crews For Obama’s Visit To The Gulf ?


Local officials in Louisiana are accusing BP of busing in workers to the Grand Isle, Louisiana for President Obama’s visit there yesterday to make it appear that the clean-up task was larger than it actually is: BP, the oil company taking flak for its inconsistent response to the massive oil leak in the Gulf of […]

Sestak vs. al-Awlaki


So it appears that Darrel Issa has requested that the FBI investigate that non-illegal, politics-as-usual act of offering Joe Sestak a job. Rep. Darrell Issa, the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee, Friday asked the FBI to begin a criminal investigation into efforts by the White House to convince Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Penn.) to […]

Obama’s Obligatory Oil Odyssey


The following headline and picture, currently fronting YahooNews, sums it up: Obama arrives in Gulf as BP tries to stop oil leak Four paragraphs in, AP writers Ben Nuckols and Greg Bluestein get to Obama’s role: President Barack Obama arrived in the Gulf, where he stood on Fourchon Beach in his shirt-sleeves and called reporters […]

Security is Everything and Everything is Security?


George Kennan famously defined national security as “the continued ability of this country to pursue its internal life without serious interference.”  The Obama Administration, with the release of its National Security Strategy, has re-defined it beyond all meaning. I make the case at greater length in my New Atlanticist essay “Obama’s National Security Strategy Sleight-of-Hand.” […]

White House, Sestak Confirm Clinton’s Role In “Job Offer”


The White House released it’s response to the questions that have arisen regarding the allegations of a job offer made to Congressman Joe Sestak during his primary run against Arlen Specter: At the urging of the Obama White House, former President Bill Clinton asked Rep. Joe Sestak whether he would abandon his plans to challenge […]

Report: White House Used Bill Clinton To Approach Sestak About “Unpaid, Advisory Position”


The New York Times has just broken a story about the Joe Sestak job controversy that puts the entire story in a new light: President Obama’s chief of staff used former President Bill Clinton as an intermediary to see if Representative Joe Sestak would drop out of a Senate primary if given a prominent, but […]

Obama’s Not Going To Arlington: Much Ado About Nothing


President Obama left for a Memorial Day weekend stay in Chicago last night and will be returning to Washington Monday evening, which means that he will be sending Vice-President Biden to the traditional wealth-laying ceremony at the Tomb Of The Unknowns At Arlington National Cemetery: President Obama is skipping the traditional Memorial Day visit to […]

Obama On Sestak Job Offer: Nothing Improper, Official Response Coming Soon


At the tail in of today’s press conference, President Obama was asked about the ongoing controversy over the alleged job offer to Congressman Joe Sestak: President Barack Obama said Thursday that “nothing improper happened” regarding allegations that the White House offered Rep. Joe Sestak a job to get out of the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary. […]

GOP Seeks Special Prosecutor To Probe Sestak Job Offer


In the latest sign that the political controversy over whether or not Joe Sestak was offered a job to induce him to drop out of the race against Arlen Specter, seven Republican Senators have asked the Attorney General to appoint a Special Prosecutor: In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder today, all seven Republicans […]

Cult of the Presidency: Oil Spill Edition

Obama Stetson

Over at his own digs, Dave Schuler discusses the politics of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster in a post titled “Beyond White House Control.”   I commend it to you in full, but the key ‘graphs are: All of the experience, expertise, and equipment relevant to dealing with the spill are in the […]

The Great James Carville Oil Spill Freak Out Of 2010

In case you missed it, here are the highlights from James Carville’s rant against the White House Good Morning America this morning: Man, when a Democrat loses James Carville…….

Of Rush Limbaugh, Limbaughism, And The Future Of The GOP


David Frum’s Washington Post review of Zev Chafets’s Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One has already been attacked by many on the right, but his closing paragraphs make a point worth considering: Chafets acknowledges that Limbaugh has no conception of fairness or objectivity, that he is not an original thinker, and that he is prone […]

307 Days And Counting


That’s how long it’s been since President Obama last held a press conference: Will Barack Obama go an entire year without holding a formal news conference? He’s getting close: The president’s last full-scale session with the press was on July 22, 2009, which was 307 days ago. When Obama last held a big news conference, […]

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