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Archive for January 24th, 2009

‘Mosaic’: The Inauguration, as Seen From the Middle East

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 24th, 2009 5:42 am by HL

‘Mosaic’: The Inauguration, as Seen From the Middle East

Obama and the Middle East

How did the changing of the U.S. presidential guard register throughout the Middle East? Will Barack Obama deliver on his inaugural promise to usher in a new era of respect and consideration for mutual interests of the U.S. and the Mideast? This week’s “Mosaic Intelligence Report” offers some answers.

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Missile Strikes Kill 20 in Pakistan

Predator

At least 20 people were killed in Pakistan on Friday in two missile attacks that are being attributed to unmanned U.S. drones near the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. It was the first such strike since Barack Obama took office as president.


The Washington Post:

A U.S. Predator drone fired three missiles at a compound about two miles from the town of Mirali in the tribal area of North Waziristan about 5:15 p.m., according to a Pakistani security official and local residents. The precision strike leveled a compound, which was owned by local tribal elder Khalil Malik, killing at least 10 suspected militants, including five foreign nationals, according to the Pakistani security official. The site of the attack is about 30 miles east of the Afghan border.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, said Malik was killed along with his brother and nephew. Authorities in North Waziristan, however, said they have been so far unable to identify any of those killed because militants immediately cordoned off the area. “I suspect a high-value target may be among the dead,” the Pakistani security official said.

Jan Mohammad, a local tribesman, said Malik and his relatives probably died in the strike, which sparked panic among Malik’s neighbors. Mohammad said that Malik was an influential tribal elder but that he was not known to have links with the Pakistani Taliban or other insurgent groups in the area.

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Russia Ready To Cooperate With US On Afghanistan

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 24th, 2009 5:41 am by HL

Russia Ready To Cooperate With US On Afghanistan
MOSCOW — President Dmitry Medvedev said Friday that Moscow is ready to help stabilize the situation in Afghanistan by allowing the United States and others…

Obama Tells GOP: “You Can’t Just Listen To Rush Limbaugh And Get Things Done”
President Obama warned Republicans on Capitol Hill today that they need to quit listening to radio king Rush Limbaugh if they want to get along…

Kirsten Gillibrand Called “Tracy Flick” Of NY Politics
Within the high school gossip circle that is New York’s congressional delegation, Kirsten Gillibrand’s nickname is “Tracy Flick” — a not-so-flattering reference to the over-eager,…

“Face The Nation” Lands First Interview With VP Biden
CBS News chief Washington correspondent and Face The Nation host Bob Schieffer has landed an exclusive interview with Vice President Joseph Biden. The interview will…

Nancy Snow: Syracuse China and the Forgotten City
Last semester I took a position at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. It is located at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. Syracuse…


Obama and Values-Based Messaging

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 24th, 2009 5:40 am by HL

Obama and Values-Based Messaging
The one sure thing about Barack Obama’s inaugural address is that it increased tensions within the progressive coalition about his taste for “bipartisanship” (or “post-partisanship,” if you prefer). Despite passages in the speech that were a very direct repudiation of the Bush administration, and a few strikingly progressive flourishes (e.g., the shout-out to religious “unbelievers”), the overall tenor continued his long rhetorical preoccupation with embracing values usually considered conservative as well as liberal, and deriding the partisan fights in Washington (this time in the Pauline phrase “childish things”). As has almost always been the case with Obama, observers have reached very different conclusions when listening to him in the inaugural speech and in other recent utterances. Some conservatives profess themselves as pleased or even charmed by his invocation of “conservative” values like hard work, personal and mutual responsibility, sacrifice and discipline, even as they (typically) warn he may not really believe in them. Some progressives continue to be alarmed by his post-partisan talk, and even more (notably both Marie Coco and Michael Crowley in separate pieces today) suggest it’s a habit that will soon expire in the partisan exigencies of Washington. A few have divined somewhat less conventional ideological leanings in Obama; both Alan Wolfe and E.J. Dionne have noted the communitarian vein that runs deep through Obama’s rhetoric.


The Daily Muck

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 24th, 2009 5:39 am by HL

The Daily Muck
President Obama issued an executive order yesterday limiting the ability of former presidents to keep certain records private. Under the order, former presidents, former vice presidents, and relatives of former presidents will have less control over the release of their…

Bailout Overseer To Ask Banks To Track Funds
Could we finally be headed for a whole new level of transparency and oversight over the bailout funds? Neal Barofsky, the inspector general for the TARP program, today sent a letter to Sen. Charles Grassley, the ranking Republican on the…

FBI Raids Defense Contractor Linked To Murtha
Local media in western Pennsylvania is reporting that FBI agents have raided the offices of a defense contractor in the area, which has received millions of dollars in earmarks at the request of earmark king Rep. John Murtha (D-PA). According…






A New Deal of the Mind?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 24th, 2009 5:34 am by HL

A New Deal of the Mind?
I am very grateful to James Galbraith for his post. It is very important to count in the people the government directly employed on the WPA and other programmes when calculating the impact on unemployment. James’s father’s analysis of…

The Right To A Useful and Remunerative Job
Theda Skocpol, as always, makes a compelling case for reweaving the social contract. But one crucial ingredient is missing in her list: organized labor. One of the greatest accomplishments of the New Deal was the National Labor Relations Act,…

Stimulus Bashing And The Secret CBO Report
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is supposed to be a non-partisan organization providing neutral analysis on budget and economic issues to members of Congress and the general public. CBO has generally adhered to the principle of careful neutrality regardless of…


Obama attracts diverse press corps.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 24th, 2009 5:32 am by HL

Obama attracts diverse press corps.
Politico reports that the Obama administration’s first press briefing yesterday “was one of the most crowded ever –- and more diverse than ever too, with about a dozen black reporters, veterans and newbies among them.” There were four black media outlets represented, including three monthly magazines who have hired their first White House reporters to […]

Politico reports that the Obama administration’s first press briefing yesterday “was one of the most crowded ever –- and more diverse than ever too, with about a dozen black reporters, veterans and newbies among them.” There were four black media outlets represented, including three monthly magazines who have hired their first White House reporters to cover Obama. The White House press corps has long been the “exclusive bastion of white males” — a fact that even the former President Bush noticed, once remarking to American Urban Radio Network’s April Ryan, “I’m not pandering, but I wish there were more blacks in the press corps.” Ryan said she had never seen as many people of color in the briefing room as yesterday.


Obama to Decide Soon Whether to Add to Bailout

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 24th, 2009 5:31 am by HL

Obama to Decide Soon Whether to Add to Bailout
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are bracing for a fresh request from President Obama for another massive round of spending to shore up the nation’s faltering financial system, which could send the total price for the bailout soaring toward $1 trillion.

Obama Seeks GOP Backing for Stimulus
President Obama ramped up his personal lobbying campaign yesterday for an economic recovery package that would cost at least $820 billion, holding his first bipartisan gathering of congressional leaders at the White House and urging swift passage of the plan.

Despite Dramatic Change at White House, Pace of Filling in Departments Much More Slow
Sean Smith, 38, is an Obama newbie, freshly arrived at the Homeland Security Department on Nebraska Avenue. He has an interim ID badge, a computer, an e-mail account, a BlackBerry. He has gone through what is known in the bureaucracy as “in-processing.” By Thursday, Day Two of the job, he was…

Government Approves Study Using Human Embryonic Stem Cells
A California biotechnology company plans to launch the first government-approved clinical trial testing human embryonic stem cells on people by next summer after receiving federal approval yesterday.