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Neil Armstrong Attacks Obama Space Plan

neil-armstrong-nasa

Neil Armstrong has led a pretty quiet life since becoming the first man to set foot on the moon four decades ago.  But he’s going public with his displeasure over President Obama’s rumored plan to cancel the next generation space vehicle. The first man to walk on the moon blasted President Barack Obama’s decision to […]

Palin on Obama’s Nuclear Policy

us-politics

Sarah Palin, who was governor of Alaska for a few months before launching a career as a talk show host, objects to President Obama’s new nuclear policy thusly: Now, the president, with all the vast nuclear experience that he acquired as a community organizer, as a part-time senator, and as a full-time candidate, all that […]

Scott Brown Win a Nihilist Moment?

Scott Brown Win

The special election to fill the Massachusetts Senate seat vacated by the passing of Teddy Kennedy is ongoing, with most expecting a win by Republican Scott Brown.  Andrew Sullivan sees this as the death knell of American politics. I can see no alternative scenario but a huge – staggeringly huge – victory for the FNC/RNC […]

Obama Briefed on Homeland Terror Threats

top-secret-folder

The president and his key national security advisors were warned about a possible terrorist attack just three days before the failed Detroit plot, Mark Hosenball reports for Newsweek. President Barack Obama received a high-level briefing only three days before Christmas about possible holiday-period terrorist threats against the US, Newsweek has learned. The briefing was centered […]

Most Influential Person of the Decade

most-influential

The Washington Post has been having one of those silly polls the last several days, asking “Which of these nominees had the greatest influence in shaping the past decade, either by changing how we live or by making the greatest impact on our culture?” Kevin Drum can’t believe they didn’t include Alan Greenspan, which is […]

Presidents, the Military, and Stagecraft

obama-usmc-shirt

Dana Milbank starts an otherwise thoughtful piece with a rather sophomoric attempt at humor: First, the good news: President Obama will not be wearing a flight suit when he addresses the cadets at West Point on Tuesday night. Nor will he wear a bomber jacket with the presidential seal on the chest, nor even, the […]

Obama Ties Bush on Golf

obama-golf-ties-bush

Interesting-if-true fact from Patrick Gavin:  President Obama has already played as many rounds of golf after nine months in office as President George W. Bush did in eight years. President Barack Obama has only been in office for just over nine months, but he’s already hit the links as much as President Bush did in […]

Harry Reid: Protesters “Evil-Mongers”

Harry Reid Evil-Mongers Photo

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has termed those who show up at town hall meetings and speak their mind “evil-mongers.” Reid coined the term in a speech to an energy conference in Las Vegas this week and repeated it in an interview with Politics Daily. Such “evil-mongers” are using “lies, innuendo and rumor,” to drown […]

Dick Cheney’s Tell-All Book

dick-cheney

Dick Cheney is breaking the mold on how recently-departed vice presidents act. First, he immediately went into attack mode against President Obama. Now, he’s going after President Bush, too. Bart Gelman for WaPo: Cheney’s disappointment with the former president surfaced recently in one of the informal conversations he is holding to discuss the book with […]

CEOs Invited to White House for Lunch, Charged Them

no-checks

While not that big a deal, this would seem to take the “appearance of impropriety” thing a mite far: Four of the most powerful business leaders in America arrived at the White House one day last month for lunch with President Barack Obama, sitting down in his private dining room just steps from the Oval […]

President Obama = President Carter?

Avedon Exhibit

That is what Matt Welch and Nick Gillespie argue in their Washington Post article. Barely six months into his presidency, Barack Obama seems to be driving south into that political speed trap known as Carter Country: a sad-sack landscape in which every major initiative meets not just with failure but with scorn from political allies […]

Bush on Nation Building

travel-suitcase

In a sidebar on the Iraq War casualty predictions post, regular commenter Odograph observes, “I think ‘Bush was famously against nation-building’ is a retroactive political claim.” Not at all.  While it’s hard to imagine in hindsight, Candidate Bush ran against nation building and promised a “more humble foreign policy.” Remember, Realist Condi Rice was his […]

Obama’s First Pitch

movie-popcorn-filmstrip

President Obama threw out the ceremonial first pitch in last night’s All Star game.  Although I didn’t watch the game, I happened to catch the pitch: What I found interesting is the camera angle: The showed the windup and the pitch but not the landing. There’s a consensus in the righty blogosphere that, despite standing […]

Obama Approval Dropping as Hard Choices Made

nyt-obama-poll-20090618

As President Obama settles into his fifth month in office, his personal popularity remains high but his job approval is slipping drastically, according to a new NYT/CBS News poll. A substantial majority of Americans say President Obama has not developed a strategy to deal with the budget deficit, according to the latest New York Times/CBS […]

Obama Vindicates Bush?

Spin Meter Obama Cheney

Charles Krauthammer contends that the remarkable continuity between the Obama foreign policy and the Bush foreign policy he campaigned against so vociferously is an example of “the genius of democracy” through which “a national consensus is forged and a new legitimacy established.”  As a result, “The Bush policies in the war on terror won’t have […]

Rumsfeld Bible Quotes

rumsfeld-bible-quotes

Apparently, a lot of people who use Yahoo! are searching for “Rumsfeld bible quotes” today. This rather odd happenstance is apparently a function of a story that circulated earlier in the week about Rumsfeld putting bible verses on the cover sheets of “Worldwide Intelligence Updates” intended for President Bush.  Apparently, the story is largely untrue.

Press Loves Obama!

newsman

Andrew Malcolm and Patrick Gavin point out that the “remarkably dissimilar treatment” that President Obama and President Bush got from the White House press corps, noting that they stand in respect for the former and kept their seats for the latter. CBS’ Mark Knoller provides a plausible explanation: It’s a long-standing practice for reporters to […]

UN Demands Torture Prosecutions

Austria UN Torture

Manfred Nowak, the U.N.’s special rapporteur on torture, proclaimed yesterday that the United States must prosecute the lawyers who drew up the torture memos and that if we fail to do so it is the duty of other states to step in and bring charges. In my New Atlanticist piece, “UN: United States Must Prosecute […]

America Invented Everything

Pavel Chekov

President Obama is, correctly I think, taking some good natured ribbing from all sides for his rhetorical overreach in last night’s speech, claiming that America invented the automobile and solar energy when, in fact, others did. Since we’re making pop culture references (Bobby Jindal as Kenneth Purcell), I’m reminded of Star Trek’s Pavel Chekov (Walter […]

Filibuster Reform: Is The Time Right?

us-politics

Kevin Drum agrees with Duncan Black that it’s fine for Republicans to oppose Barack Obama and the Democrats. He adds, though, that “The filibuster was never intended to become a routine requirement that all legislation needs 60% of the vote in the Senate to pass. But that’s what it’s become. It’s time for reform.” Steve […]

Bush Stimulus Packages

bush-signs-stimulus

Some on the left are under the impression that the Bush administration failed to provide stimulus to get us out of the current economic mess, so we therefore need even more stimulus now. Matt Yglesias:  “When you see conservative complaining that the stimulus bill is too expensive and won’t be fast-acting enough, keep in mind […]

Obama Defiles Oval Office with Shirt!

Obama in Shirt Sleeves

Barack Obama has already lowered the standards of the presidency, CNN Political Ticker reports. It’s the same Oval Office. The same desk. Even the same curtains. But President Obama has already made one major change: Go through eight years of White House photos, and you won’t find one of former President Bush in the Oval […]

Whitehouse.gov Gets Makeover II

whitehousedotgov-katrina

Yesterday, I complained that President Obama is using the White House website for partisan political purposes. Politico’s Andy Barr digs deeper and says it’s worse than it appears at first blush: The new White House website unveiled by President Barack Obama’s team Tuesday includes a shot at former President Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina. Under […]

A Bit Late Don’t Ya Think?

money-investing

Republican Party officials are seeking to pass a resolution accusing President Bush and Congressional leaders of embracing socialism. Socialism might be a bit strong, but Bush in many ways has governed like a Democrat not a Republican. In any event where were these boobs say…5 or six years ago? Oh yeah, back then they were […]

Bush Shoe Incident: Where Was Secret Service?

military-soldier-sunset

ABC’s Ann Compton answers the question that many of us had about the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at President Bush:  Where was the Secret Service? U.S. Secret Service officials in Washington say they are satisfied their agents responded with “the appropriate level of reaction” when an Iraqi journalist hurled two shoes directly at […]

Bush Iraq Trip: Hit by Shoes, Cheered by Troops

military-soldier-sunset

President Bush made a surprise farewell visit to Iraq and Afghanistan, suffering the indignity of having an Iraqi journalist hurl his shoes at him but being greeted warmly by American troops. Sudarsan Raghavan and Dan Eggen for WaPo: In Iraq, Bush said the conflict “has not been easy” but was necessary for U.S. security, Iraqi […]

Bush May Bail Out Big 3 without Congress

bush-hand

President Bush may ignore Congress and give the Big 3 the money they want, anyway. Worried about the weakening economy, the Bush administration said it was ready to step in and prevent the U.S. auto industry from collapsing after the Senate refused to pass a rescue bill endorsed by President George W. Bush and congressional […]

Bush’s Flight Suit

Bush Flight Suit USS Lincoln

Glenn Greenwald notes that Joe Klein has changed his mind in the last five-and-a-half years about President Bush’s now infamous flight suit gambit. Now:  “The flight-suit image is one of the two defining moments of the Bush failure.” Then: “[T]hat was probably the coolest presidential image since Bill Pullman played the jet fighter pilot in […]

The Laconic Karl Rove

us-politics

This NYT Magazine interview with Karl Rove is rather amusing, especially for the terseness of his responses. Do you like Joe Biden? I think he has an odd combination of longevity and long-windedness that passes for wisdom in Washington. Do you regret anything that happened in the White House during your tenure? Sure. You’ve been […]

Obamas Visit White House

us-politics

NYT has a feature on today’s visit by Barack and Michelle Obama to the White House for the traditional meet-and-greet with outgoing president and first lady George W. and Laura Bush. For nearly two years on the campaign trail, Senator Barack Obama rarely missed a chance to take a swipe at President Bush. The name […]

The Angry Left

us-politics

I caught a bit of the Republican Convention last evening, including the Ronald Reagan tribute and as much of the Fred Thompson speech as I could take before shutting it off. I TiVo’d Joe Lieberman but it’s iffy as to whether I’ll get to it. Matt Yglesias points to a sound byte that I first […]

Hurricane Gustav and the Republican Convention

2008 Republican National Convention

Hurricane Gustav is barreling down on the Gulf Coast and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, who has dubbed this “the mother of all storms,” has once again ordered the evacuation of New Orleans.  Aside from the obvious humanitarian and logistical issues, this is also a huge wild card going into the GOP convention. President Bush […]

Russia: Forget Georgian Territorial Integrity

Georgia Captured Capital

Russia has abandoned all pretense that they’re merely intervening on behalf of aggrieved minorities in Georgia’s breakaway provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Russia’s foreign minister declared Thursday that the world “can forget about” Georgia’s territorial integrity, and officials said Russia targeted military infrastructure and equipment — including radars and patrol boats at a Black […]

Russia Orders Georgia ‘Cease-Fire’

Georgia Conflict Map

Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has ordered what the press is describing as a “cease-fire” in Georgia. Given that he is not withdrawing Russian forces and is going to keep killing Georgian troops in South Ossetia in violation of international law, however, that term doesn’t quite seem to fit. NYT: The president said Russia had achieved […]

Hamdan’s Light Sentence

Guantanamo Bin Laden's Driver

Salim Hamdan, the former driver and bodyguard for Osama bin Laden convicted by a U.S. military tribunal Wednesday, could be released from prison before President Bush leaves office. The U.S. military jury sentenced the Yemeni prisoner Thursday to just 5 1/2 years in prison, including five years and a month already served at Guantanamo Bay. […]

Winning Wars: Winer vs. Clausewitz

Saddam Statue Pulled Down

We’ve done the “Have we won in Iraq?” thing a couple of times recently, without ever really answering the question.  The problem is that there’s no clear definion of “victory” given the vagueness of our objectives. Weblog pioneer Dave Winer, though, thinks it blindingly obvious:  “We won in Iraq, a long time ago.” Remember when […]