Archive for August 10, 2011
Very cool video of smoke rings emanating from Sicily’s Mt. Etna:
Not only do we here in the U.S. not know what Obama stands for, so too people in the Middle East. And his refusal to take a stand is hurting Obama (and the United States) not only domestically, but internationally:
One of the questions I hear increasingly among Arab friends and colleagues is, “why is US policy the way that it is?” This confusion may help explain why U.S. favorability ratings continue to plummet well below what theywere in the final days of the George W. Bush administration (see thisrecent Zogby poll for example). As hated as President Bush was, there was at least a relatively clear sense of where he and the people around him stood.
At a time when clarity and resolve would seem more important than ever, the Obama administration has acted as if incoherence were a virtue. The administration’s supporters respond by saying that “one size doesn’t fit all” — a cliche with unclear implications — or, more charitably, that a “boutique strategy” is the right way to respond to Arab revolt. But the question remains: What exactly does the Obama administration stand for in today’s Middle East?
In this context, what the Obama administration has managed to do is in some ways remarkable: Protesters and revolutionaries are convinced that Obama is either on the side of their oppressors or, worse, a non-entity altogether (“impotent” — and its Arabic equivalents — is what one hears more and more these days from Arab critics of U.S. policy). At the same time, Obama has managed to alienate friends and allies alike. Many Gulf leaders and officials are convinced that Obama is, somehow, intent on destabilizing the region by fomenting revolution. This is an old story, and increasingly one that defines the Obama administration’s missteps: By trying to please everyone, it ends up pleasing no one.
The damage to U.S. interests – already evident in the months since the Arab revolts began – will likely be compounded over the longer term unless the Obama Administration re-thinks this proclivity for compromise solutions. When both sides are equally right (or wrong), seeking compromise may be both appropriate and effective. But when one side is in the right – in this case, that of the courageous Arab protesters fighting for their freedom – the middle ground can be a dangerous place to be.
Sound familiar? He apparently doesn’t understand that there are actual rights and wrongs in this world and sticking to the middle in those conflicts totally blows his credibility.
It’s monumentally frustrating.
Read more here.
This would be our tweet of the day:
Factoid: Michele Bachmann will be a guest on all the Sunday morning talk shows this weekend. Wonder if any of them are going to have either (or both) of the two Democrats who defeated Republicans in Wisconsin last night.
I know. Silly me.
Sorry, I have to scream. I can’t stop myself: IS HARRY REID KIDDING OR WHAT?!
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Wednesday that Democrats hope to make energy one of their “signature issues” when Congress returns from its summer recess next month.
“One of the things at the top of the list is energy jobs, and we’re going to see if we can get some cooperation from Republicans so we can make that one of our signature issues over the next couple of months,” Reid told reporters Wednesday on a conference call.
I can hear Republicans bursting out laughing right now. I mean, is Harry Reid kidding or is he insane? Why in the world would Republicans want to cooperate with Democrats to make energy one of the Democrats’ “signature issues?” Why would Republicans want to cooperate with Democrats to make Democrats look good in any way and why is Reid even entertaining that thought? Isn’t it perfectly clear to him — YET! — that Republicans are going to scratch and claw to get what they want but otherwise they’re going to sit on their hands?
OMFG. When will these guys wake the hell up? Do they need Republican “cooperation” in order to think too?
A sign being held by a panhandler in downtown Boulder, Colorado this morning:
SPACESHIP BROKEN. NEEDS PARTS.
Cracked me up.
This breaks my heart:
After tens of millions of dollars spent by outside interest groups, dozens of attack ads and exhaustive get-out-the-vote efforts, Democrats on Tuesday fell short of their goal of taking control of the state Senate and stopping the agenda of Gov. Scott Walker.
Republicans won four of six recall races, meaning the party still holds a narrow 17-16 majority in the Senate — at least until next week, when Sens. Robert Wirch, D-Pleasant Prairie, and Jim Holperin, D-Conover face their own recall elections. A third Democrat, Sen. Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay, easily survived a recall attempt last month.
Sens. Robert Cowles, R-Green Bay, Sheila Harsdorf, R-River Falls, Luther Olsen, R-Ripon, and Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, successfully defended their seats Tuesday.
Challengers state Rep. Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse, and Jessica King unseated incumbent state Sens. Dan Kapanke, R-La Crosse, and Randy Hopper, R-Fond du Lac.
Going into Tuesday, Republicans controlled the body 19-14, so Democrats needed to win at least three seats and hold onto two more next week to take over.
It will be interesting to see how the media spins this and to see what “lessons” national politicians “learn” from it.