Archive for the ‘John McCain’ Category

Obama Respects Afghans More Than Americans

February 15, 2009

Earth shaking news today that Pressident Barack Obama has honored President Hamid Karzai’s request for Afghanistan’s official representation in the strategic review on the future of the U.S. and Afghanistan.

Karsai may have gotten the idea from U.S. Chaiman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen who has an Op-Ed in today’s Washington Post under the headline “Trust is the Coin of the Realm.”

Trust is the coin of the realm

 Obama Team Gloats: Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing

Too bad there was no such effort to involve Republicans in the formulation of the “strategic review” that built the just passed economic stimulus.

That’s because by most accounts, there was no real strategic review on the future of the American economy and what to do next by Team Obama, that we know about, for sure, even given the pledge on “transparency;” and the Republican involvement in the formulation of the stimulus was only given lip service.

We write this fittingly on Valentine’s Day; a day that is often charged with lip service.

Note to President Obama: Congressional Republicans represent something like 47% of the American voter population that voted for the other guy.

In Kabul, Afghanistan, U.S. Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke said President Obama welcomed President Karzai’s recommendation for his side’s total involvment in the U.S. planning effort.

Karzai said his foreign minister, Dadfar Rangin Spanta, would head the delegation.

Memo to Dadfar Rangin Spanta: when you meet Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid you are in trouble.  The “strategic review” is finished, if the stimulus is any guide.

Now maybe the White House, which honored Republicans before the vote on the stimulus with photo opportunity meetings with the president, a cocktail party, a Super Bowl feed complete with peanuts, and not one actual working group of real substance at the White House, Old Executive (excuse me, I’m old: Eisenhower) Office Building, or in the House or the Senate Office Buildings — will send a special envoy to meet Republicans.

I mean, there is a special envoy to the Middle East, isn’t there?  To Afghanistan?  Even Susan Rice, Ambassador to the U.N. is now said to have Cabinet Rank?

Where’s the outreach to Repubicans — and their 47% of the electorate — that has productive intention, real merit, and invites seriously serious input?

Real outreach to Republicans doesn’t exist and hasn’t yet in this presidency.

Trust is not the coin of this realm.

Let’s see: we need a White House special envoy to Republicans.  We are just thinking of guys that won’t be laughed at or ridiculed by say Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, John McCain, or talking heads like Karl Rove  and Charles Krauthammer.

How about  Rahm Emanuel or Jimmy Carter? 

No, maybe not.

Trust is not the coin of Rahm. Ask Judd Gregg.

And Afghanistan should know that the “bipartisanship” they really seek is not the kind of bipolar treatment that Democrats just gave Republicans during the stimulus enema. 

Hint to White House: you don’t need a special envoy to Rush Limbaugh.  Republicans only like him for his entertainment value….

But maybe the president himself could still be the special envoy to Republicans in the spirit of trust and bipartisanship?

Maybe not.

The president’s record on “outrach” and  bipartisanship to Republicans, and trasparency, so far, I mean during the stimulus, is like purchased sex with a working girl; it is sleezy and meaningless.  Maybe he needs some chachki toys or aluminum key chains with little hand painted “Air Force One” or “White House” gimmicks or the presidential Great Seal.  You know, creations to hand out to Republicans…..  Or maybe a little yellow tractor from Caterpillar on a key chain….  Or Abe Lincoln to remind one of two great presidents….

Karzai: watch out.  It’s not just the Taliban that will keep you awake with worry about trust.

If you get peanuts at the White House watch out.  And don’t be surprised….

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

Related:
Missing from Congress’ stimulus negotiations: transparency

Afghanistan to take part in US strategic review

 Stimulus Proves Obama (And The NYT) Have No Idea What “Bipartisanship” Means; Or Could Care Less

 Stimulus: “Obama is popular but has no clout”

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/02/15/tax
payer-revolt-porkulus-protest-in-seattle/

economic stimulus bill will prevent American 'catastrophe'

Photo: AP
Afghan President Hamid Karzai (R) talks with U.S. Special Representative ...

Afghan President Hamid Karzai (R) talks with U.S. Special Representative to Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke in Kabul February 15, 2009.REUTERS/Omar Sobhani (AFGHANISTAN)
Heavy reading 

Psst: Karzai.  If this is your agreement at the end of the ‘strategic review’ and you get it just before decision time, BEND OVER. House GOP leader John Boehner shows a copy of the massive bill, which he and every other Republican in the House opposed, along with seven Democrats. Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior ... 
Special envoy material….. Trust is the coin….Leadership, bipartisanship, transparency, honesty, integrity and clout?  Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior to the inauguration ceremony of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, in Washington, January 20, 2009.(Jim Young – UNITED STATES/Reuters)

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Stimulus Friday: White House Waits; Senate Debates; Vote Tonight?

February 6, 2009

As an impatient White House watched from the sidelines, Senate Democrats redoubled their efforts to complete passage this weekend of a massive economic recovery bill sought by President Barack Obama.

By David Rogers, Politico

Harry Reid
Meetings intensified among a bipartisan bloc of senators seeking to trim close to $90 billion from a massive economic recovery bill nearing final action.  Photo by AP

Bipartisan talks continued Thursday night on a package of spending cuts to win over moderate Republicans. Failing that, the Appropriations Committee leadership was preparing its own amendment to address concerns among rank-and-file members in both parties.

“I do believe that at this moment that we’re going to be able to achieve it,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) Thursday night. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) described himself as “cautiously optimistic” that the bill can pass late Friday.

Minutes before Collins and Reid could be seen through the open doors of the Senate back lobby as she appealed to the Democratic leader to back away from his plan to keep the Senate in session all night.

“I told him if we had more time we could achieve what everyone is shooting for,” Collins said. “But if the process is rushed, it diminishes our chances.” 

Read the rest:
http://www.politico.com/news/stor
ies/0209/18461.html

Obama Was Cheated: House Stimulus a Nancy Pelosi Crime

February 5, 2009

The newly inaugurated President of the United States declared a national crisis.  He wanted an economic stimulus and he wanted it fast.

His mantra was jobs.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was ready with every hunk of junk pork spending that no Congress before had ever seen fit to pass.

She assembled a group of her Democratic staff and Representatives and put together a one-way Democrat spending bill — not a stimulus.

And she totally ignored the president’s pledge for bipartisanship.

House Minority Leader John Boehner and Republicans were completely shut out; their inputs ignored or overruled.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader ... 
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer speak to reporters after a bi-partisan meeting with President Barack Obama and leading Republicans at the White House, January 23, 2009.(Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

When the House prepared to vote on the stimulus, Boehner expressed “disappointment.” He said it included a “lot of wasteful spending that won’t create jobs.”

“Saying ‘we won’ and excluding Republican input is not the way to start,” Republican Senator John McCain said of the “bipartisanship” within the current stimulus bill.

The Speaker of the House also participated in a conspiracy that resulted in the failure of the stimulus to be properly understood.  It was not even available in the Internet in time to be publically read before the House vote.

Democratic House Member Jim Cooper from Tennessee said, “If members actually had to read the bills and figure out whether they are any good or not. We’re just told how to vote. We’re treated like mushrooms most of the time.”

“We’ll be glad to sit down with the White House any time,” McCain said.  “We’re in a national crisis.”

Thank goodness for the Senators.

Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) said today, “It doesn’t treat the disease; just the symptoms.” 

He’s a doctor.

Coburn also said of the stimulus bill, “I don’t think the president has read it.”

Coburn said the stimulus will probably pass “but it won’t work, it won’t be successful.”

Now some 43% of the voters say the stimulus is wrong; and only 37% of those polled like it.

At this point McCain says,  “no bill is better than this bill.”
.
He and other Republicans have an alternative to the House stimulus that they have already discussed with President Obama.

We pray President Obama has the good sense to work with McCain and others to make an acceptable stimulus — something he has always pledged to do.

And we hope President Obama has learned a lesson about Nancy Pelosi and her House Democrats.

Related:
House Stimulus Has Anti-Prayer, Religion Provisions?

Mayors, Governors of Both Parties Favor Stimulus (Surprised?)

 Stimulus: Some Loony Spending Requests in Obama Plan

Flaws of Stimulus More Obvious Each Day
.
Senate Votes “Softened” “Buy American” Section in Stimulus

Michelle Malkin:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/02/04/nan
cy-pelosi-company-yuk-it-up-while-stimulus-
becomes-a-national-joke/

Stimulus Congress

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi listens to National Governors Association chairman Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, second from right, during a meeting with National Governors Association vice chairman Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas, left, and Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., right, on Capitol Hill. Photo: Susan Walsh / AP

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/02/04/h
as-obama-gone-to-war-with-nancy-pelosi/

Obama Shares Lighter Moment With Washington Elite; Kids Swearing Chief Emanuel

February 1, 2009

President Obama joked, “For Rahm [Emanuel, the White House Chief of Staff], every day is a swearing-in ceremony.”

That joke referred to the preident’s second swearing in ceremony and Emanuael’s notorious swearing on a daily basis.

“Every week the guy takes a little time away to give back to the community. Just last week he was at a local school, teaching profanity to poor children,” according to Obama. Excerpts of Obama’s remarks were released by the White House.

President Obama attened the Alfalfa Club dinner last night in Washington DC.

The Alfalfa Club was started by four Southerners in Washington’s Willard Hotel in 1913. Its sole purpose was an annual night out for the boys, and it took its name from a thirsty plant that sends its roots deep down looking for liquid refreshment.

Read about the dinner from CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITIC
S/02/01/alfalfa.obama/index.html

Associated Press:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090
201/ap_on_go_pr_wh/obama_alfalfa_4

Read some history on the Williard Hotel:
Willard Hotel’s Historic Civil War Role

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior ... 
Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior to the inauguration ceremony of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, in Washington, January 20, 2009.(Jim Young – UNITED STATES/Reuters)

Gitmo, Human Rights, Legalities and Terrorist: Will This Be the Bipartisan Test for Obama?

January 25, 2009

Senator John McCain is a former prisoner of war (POW).  A tortured prisoner of war.

Senator Lindsey Graham is a lawyer.  A military lawyer.

Both these allies could be just the help President Barack Obama needs as he tries to navigate the difficult waters of the prisoner, legal, human rights and torture issues surrounding the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The president has asked that the issue be handled with bipartisan resolve and principled care.

“We look forward to working with the president and his administration on these issues, keeping in mind that the first priority of the U.S. government is to guarantee the security of the American people,” McCain  said in a joint statement with Graham.

“This is a tough battleground to determine if we can work in a bipartisan manner,” said one old U.S. Senate hand.  “But the economic stimulus bill will be tough too.”

In this Jan. 11, 2002 file photo, released by the Department ... 
In this Jan. 11, 2002 file photo, released by the Department of Defense, detainees wearing orange jump suits sit in a holding area as military police patrol during in-processing at the temporary detention facility Camp X-Ray on Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy, Shane T.McCoy, File)

*******

From Senator John Kerry:

Thursday was an important day for the rule of law in the United States of America.

With a handful of signatures to executive orders, President Obama ordered the eventual closure of Guantanamo Bay prison and CIA “black site” prisons, and placed interrogation in all American facilities by all U.S. personnel under the guidelines of the Army Field Manual.

In a season of transformational changes, these are among the most meaningful, because they send a powerful message that America’s struggle against terrorism will once against honor some of the most cherished ideals of our republic: respect for the rule of law, individual rights, and America’s moral leadership.

Read the rest:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/01/25/k
erry.guantanamo/index.html?iref=newssearch

John Kerry says Barack Obama sent a message that fight against terror will respect America's values.

John Kerry says Barack Obama sent a message that fight against terror will respect America’s values.

********************

By ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writer

President Barack Obama‘s pledge of bipartisan cooperation with Congress will be tested as he tries to fulfill a campaign promise to close Guantanamo Bay and establish a new system for prosecuting suspected terrorists.

The undertaking is an ambitious one. Fraught with legal complexities, it gives Republicans ample opportunity to score political points if he doesn’t get it right. There’s also the liklihood of a run-in with his former rival, Sen. John McCain, a former prisoner of war who before running for president staked his career on overhauling the nation’s detainee policies.

“We look forward to working with the president and his administration on these issues, keeping in mind that the first priority of the U.S. government is to guarantee the security of the American people,” McCain, R-Ariz., said in a joint statement with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

The statement seemed aimed at putting Obama on notice that he must deal with Congress on the matter.

In his first week in office, Obama ordered Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba to be closed within a year, CIA secret prisons shuttered and abusive interrogations ended.

So far, Obama’s team has given every indication it will engage lawmakers, including Republicans, on the issue. Graham and McCain were among several Republicans briefed last week by White House counsel Greg Craig and handed drafts of the executive orders.

But once the two sides begin delving into details, there will be ample room for dispute.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090125/a
p_on_go_pr_wh/guantanamo_politics

McCain on working with Democrats:
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politi
cs/2009/01/22/sot.lkl.mccain.inauguration.cnn

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/0
1/25/mccain-i-wont-be-a-rubber-stamp-for-obama/

On Inauguration Day, One Nation

January 21, 2009

Time and again, incoming presidents point Americans toward unity. Jefferson did so in the great debate over strong central government. Lincoln did when slavery cleaved the country. Now, after decades of cultural and political polarization and in the face of great challenges, it’s Barack Obama‘s turn at choirmaster for the nation’s disparate voices.

Americans excel at pulling together when needed. Look no further than last week’s Hudson River emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549, which combined the expertise of the pilots, the quick response of harbor boats, and the calm aid of crew and passengers.

But such common effort reaches far beyond a crisis, back over the centuries to the ideals that set the American experiment apart.

The diverse faces of the millions who came to witness the swearing in of the country’s first African-American president testify to what ultimately unifies. It’s not ethnicity or religious creed, which define so many nations, but the founding ideals of the United States – liberty, justice, and opportunity for all.

When put into practice, they attract and inspire the world over. They are the reason many in other countries tuned in to President Obama’s inauguration and sent e-mails like this one: “Today, I feel like an American, too.”

These values have had the power to throw off a monarchy, abolish slavery, and make way for women’s suffrage. They have been worth suffering and dying for. They have plied the decades, refining and improving laws and behaviors until almost unawares, they produced a president whose very identity embodies unity as none before him has, and whose personal story is a nonfiction American dream.

As a candidate, Mr. Obama campaigned on oneness. In the weeks since the election, he has put that concept into practice: in his Cabinet, in reaching out to Republicans (including his opponent, John McCain), and in meeting with conservative columnists. He appears to be not just asking for input, but listening. As Jefferson pointed out, woe to that democracy that does not protect minority interests.

Obama repeatedly states that his will be an administration influenced by what works, by empirical evidence – not by party ideology. He’s set a tone that honors that of his political hero, Lincoln: “With malice toward none, with charity for all.” Applied consistently, it may earn him charity in return when he disappoints either side – as he will.

So far, Obama’s having a unifying effect. Forty-seven percent of voters rejected him on Nov. 4, yet a New York Times/CBS News poll shows 79 percent of Americans are optimistic about the next four years under the new president – a level of support greater than that of the past five incoming chiefs.

It’s a tall order, bringing a country together. But Obama is reaching beyond political bridge-building – as hard as that is – to a spiritual union grounded in individuals caring for each other, what he calls “a new era of responsibility.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt hinted at the same in his first inaugural: “These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men.”

As America’s 44th president recognizes, the job ahead belongs to all of us.

From the Christian Science Monitor

InauguralObama! Calls for Unity, Action, Responsibility

January 20, 2009

There has never been an event like this in Washungton DC… And then again this is the “40 something” inauguration here; all with their own distinct character excitement, hope and glory.

There has never been a black American President of the United States.  And who can recall a President-elect appearing with the man he defeated in the polls to ask the public, all Americans, for unity, action, and responsibility?

Last night, Barack Obama did just that, as John McCain joined him at a very public dinner.
“I could stand here and recite the long list of John’s bipartisan accomplishments …” Obama said.

“Campaign finance reform. Immigration. The Patients’ Bill of Rights. All those times he has crossed the aisle and risked the ire of his party for the good of his country. And yet, what makes John such a rare and courageous public servant is not the accomplishments themselves, but the true motivation behind them.”

McCain returned the gracious feelings at the dinner.

“I am very grateful to the president-elect and to all of you for this very considerate gesture, and for allowing me to play a small role in the inauguration of the 44th president of the United States, even if it isn’t the one I had in mind a few months ago,” McCain said.

“Tomorrow, the President-elect will accept the burdensome privilege of leading America to its next accomplishments and its future greatness,” McCain went on to say. “He has my sincere best wishes for his success, and my promise of assistance. For his success will be our success.”

President-elect Barack Obama greets Sen. John McCain on stage after praising him at a bipartisan dinner.

President-elect Barack Obama greets Sen. John McCain on stage after praising him at a bipartisan dinner.

President-elect Barack Obama stands with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., ... 
President-elect Barack Obama stands with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., at a dinner in Washington, Monday, Jan. 19, 2009.(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

************

Related:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITIC
S/01/19/obama.inauguration.eve/i
ndex.html

By David Espo, Associated Press

Barack Obama stood at the threshold of the White House on Monday, summoning fellow Americans to join him in service as tens of thousands flocked to the nation’s capital to celebrate his inauguration as the first black president.

“Tomorrow we will come together as one people on the same Mall where Dr. King’s dream echoes still,” said the president-elect, invoking the memory of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on the national holiday in his honor.

The U.S. Capitol is illuminated the night before the inauguration ... 
The U.S. Capitol is illuminated the night before the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Barack Obama in Washington January 19, 2009.REUTERS/Scott Andrews/Pool

The 47-year-old former senator takes office at noon Tuesday at a time of economic crisis at home and two wars overseas. But the challenges of the moment receded into the background for many who came for a chance to witness history.

“I didn’t think I would see a black president in my generation. I just had to be here,” said Donald Butler, 20, a University of Washington student.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/200901
20/ap_on_go_pr_wh/inauguration_rdp

Also Related:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009012
0/ap_on_go_pr_wh/inauguration_obama

*********************

By Barton Gellman
The Washingon Post

Emergencies have always brought commensurate new authority for the presidents who faced them, not only because the public demanded action but also because rival branches of government went along.

Obama arrives with a rare convergence of additional strengths, some of them inherited and some of his own making. Predicting a presidency, to be sure, is hazardous business, and much will depend on Obama’s choices and fortune. But historians, recent White House officials and senior members of the incoming team expressed broad agreement that Obama begins his term in command of an office that is at or near its historic zenith.

“The opportunity is there for Obama to recast the very nature of the presidency,” said Sean Wilentz, a presidential historian at Princeton. “Not since Reagan have we had as capable a persuader as Obama, and not since FDR has a president come in with quite the configuration of foreign and domestic crises that open up such a possibility for the reconstruction of the executive.”

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte
nt/article/2009/01/19/AR2009011903100.
html?hpid=topnews

SPEECH:
 Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address: What To Expect

McCain, Other Senators Say Pakistan Will Act In Post-Mumbai Terrorist Crackdown

December 6, 2008
Senators John McCain, Joseph Lieberman and Lindsey Graham expressed confidence in the government of Pakistan today during a visit to Islamabad….

*****

Pakistan understands it must take quick action against any terrorists connected to the Mumbai attacks that are living in the country, U.S. Sen. John McCain said Saturday after meeting its leaders.

By CHRIS BRUMMITT, Associated Press Writer

U.S. Sen. John McCain, left, shakes hand with Pakistan's Prime ... 
U.S. Sen. John McCain, left, shakes hand with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani during their meeting in Islamabad, Pakistan, Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008.(AP Photo)

Indian authorities say the attackers were members of a banned Pakistani militant group that was set up by the country’s intelligence agencies to battle Indian rule in the disputed Kashmir region.

The attacks have ratcheted up tensions between the nuclear-armed countries, which have fought three wars in the last 60 years.

Asked about the possibility that India may take military action if Pakistan does not react to its allegations, McCain said he believed Islamabad would cooperate with India and take timely “specific acts to avert any further deepening of this crisis.

“From our meetings we have had today we are encouraged that the government of Pakistan will show that cooperation in words and deed,” he told reporters after meetings with Pakistan’s prime minister and military chief.

McCain came to Pakistan with two other U.S. senators — Joseph Lieberman and Lindsey Graham — as part of a regional tour as members of the Senate Armed Services Committee. They previously visited India.

Lieberman said he was encouraged that Pakistan “will not allow the terrorists to divide this country from either its allies in Washington or its neighbors in New Delhi.”

The attacks have triggered an intense round of diplomacy to stop relations between the two countries deteriorating, something Washington fears will affect its campaign against al-Qaida in the region.

Earlier, the government denied reports that a man pretending to be India’s foreign minister spoke to President Asif Ali Zardari over the phone during the Mumbai attacks.

Dawn newspaper reported the alleged hoax call Saturday, and said it prompted Pakistan to put its air force on high alert. A security official later said a man pretending to be Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee had spoken to him in a “threatening manner.”

But Information Minister Sherry Rehman said in a statement that the call “was placed from a verified official phone number of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.”

She did not explicitly say that the call was from Mukherjee, but two other government officials said it was him. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

Pakistan says it has yet to see any proof of New Delhi’s allegations that its citizens were involved in the Mumbai attacks, but is prepared to cooperate with India. It has denied any of its state agencies were involved, noting it too is a victim of terrorism.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081206/ap_on_re_as/as_
pakistan;_ylt=Ag8bimnS5xYy5zi2Wh9hrbWs0NUE