Archive for the ‘Secretary of state’ Category

Joe Biden You Rascal: You Got Your Dream Job With Limited Risk, Accountability

January 20, 2009

Joe Biden was first offered the job of Secretary of State, his wife said yesterday.

Either by contrived intent or grand accident of  history (and in this case maybe “his story”  of Joe Biden)  Jill Biden said on “Oprah” yesterday, “Joe had the choice to be secretary of state or vice president.”

Her husband, the Vice President-elect,  “shushed” her.

Oprah, and the audience, chuckled.  The Vice President-elect then blushed, grimaced awkwardly and eventually gave his wife a hug, saying: “That’s right … go ahead.”

Her husband turned to his wife with his finger to his lips and a “Shhhh!” that sent the audience into laughter. Left, Jill Biden with Oprah (R) and the Vice President elect.

This may have been a true “gotcha” moment and it may have been contrived for TV; but why anyone would do that is beyond me.

Joe Biden has never had a real job of weight, character testing, decisions and life or death, and  gravitas.  He has always been the Senator from the smallest state in America, Delaware.

Nothing against Joe Biden, a great guy by most accounts, and nothing against Delaware.

But Joe Biden was a Senator in the 1970s just after I came here and he never left.

He rose to be Chariman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and ran for President in his own right twice as we recall; losing out in the early going both times.

And he said a ton of stupid things along the way….

You’d think his charmanship of the prestigious Foreign Relations Committee would make him the perfect Secretary of  State but maybe not: that job requires one to actually meet, impress and persuade people like Olmert of Israel and Ahmadinejad of Iran.

A woman named Hillary got the meaty job. 

President-elect Obama named Joe Biden head of the “White House Task Force on Working Families”…. a title never before used and one where his foreign relations “expertise” probably won’t get into his way….

Joe Biden has pretty much stopped impressing people outside Delaware…

And then there is all this talk about a “lesser” role for the vice president.

Vice President-elect Joe Biden will chair a new task force aimed at helping working families.

Above: Former Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Vice President-elect Joe Biden, will chair a new task force aimed at helping working families. He’ll have a “lesser role” than Dick Cheney, Obama spokesmen say.

A spokeswoman for the Vice President-elect said “Biden had no intention of continuing the practice started by Vice President Cheney of regularly attending internal legislative branch meetings — he firmly believes in restoring the Office of the Vice President to its historical role.”

Let’s be honest, children.  The traditional and historical role of the Vice President of the Uited Sates is to stand in the corner, go to funerals the president doesn’t want to attend and await the death of his boss.

John Nance Garner said while he was vice president that the job “wasn’t worth a bucket of warm piss.”

That’s the traditional “lesser” role of the vice president.

And the office of Vice President is mostly “no risk” except “God forbid” …..

Our prayers and wishes go to Joe Biden.  But biggest prayer to Barack Obama.

By John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

Related:
 Obama’s New Vision for Vice President Joe Biden
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Biden Off Mic: “Gimme a f*&$#ing break”
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090
120/ap_en_tv/biden_oprah_34


Photo: Getty Images

Israel Expected To Begin “Unilateral Gaza Cease Fire,” End Fighting Saturday

January 16, 2009

Israel is saying its cabinet will vote on a unilateral cease fire in Gaza tomorrow, Saturday.

Alalysts say the decision may mean that Israel has decided to end the operation in Gaza, “Cast Lead,” without an agreement with Hamas, relying instead on the support of the United States and Egypt.

Most insiders in Israel say Israel will end the fighting unilaterally on Saturday evening, and respond with “certain force” to any Hamas provocation.

Haaretz reported that “A government source emphasized that there has been great progress with Egypt in reaching an agreement on fighting arms smuggling. The deal would require the combined use of technological measures to fight smuggling on the border between Gaza and Egypt, operations against smugglers in the southern Gaza town of Rafah, and the use of international experts to identify smuggling tunnels on the border. ”

Israel also believed that the U.S. offer to prevent the rearming of Hamas merited a trip by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to the U.S. State Department for a meeting with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.  The two inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the prevention of the rearming of Hamas.

Related:
U.S., Israel Sign Agreement Aimed At Preventing Rearmed Gaza, Hamas

“We have what we need not.  Hamas has agreed not to shoot rockets.  And the United States and Egypt have agreed to not allow the rearming of Hamas.  It is not perfect but it is a good outcome,” one senior Israeli told us.

Israel’s decision is being welcomed by Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, and others who have been urging an end to the fighting.

Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (L) shakes hands with ... 
Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (L) shakes hands with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during their meeting in Tel Aviv January 15, 2009, in this picture released by the Israeli Government Press Office (GPO).

The decision to start a cease fire unilaterally would avoid a prolonged and difficult negotiation with Hamas, an organization that has vowed to destroy Israel.

The Jerusalem Post said, “A unilateral decision is likely after Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal rejected Israel’s conditions for a truce and called on all Arab countries to cut ties with the Jewish state during a summit of Arab leaders in Doha, Qatar. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Syrian President Bashar Assad gave Mashaal their full backing, but significantly, both Egypt and Saudi Arabia boycotted the summit.”

Turkey said today that Israel should not be allowed to return to the U.N., adding another nation to the anti-Israeli faction.
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“How is such a country, which totally ignores and does not implement resolutions of the U.N. Security Council, allowed to enter through the gates of the UN (headquarters)?” Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan said during a meeting at the ruling AK Party’s headquarters in Ankara Friday.
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According to Israeli radio, Cairo will host a truce summit on Sunday with Israeli officials and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expected to attend. Israeli television said Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni would attend.

The Israeli “unilateral” vote was set hours after the U.S. agreed to provide assurances on ending weapons smuggling into Gaza as part of a cease-fire, the Associated Press noted.

AFP reported that Russia has called on Iran and Syria to persuade Palestinian Islamist group Hamas to accept a plan pushed by Egypt to end the fighting in Gaza, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.

“We are sending the appropriate signals to Hamas representatives and to those states that have influence on Hamas, meaning above all Iran and Syria,” of the need to accept the Egyptian plan, Lavrov said at a news conference.
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Related:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD
/meast/01/16/israel.gaza/index.html

From the Jerusalem Post:
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?ci
d=1232100163477&pagename=JPost%2
FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Associated Press:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009011
6/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_palestinians

Related:
Gaza Cease Fire: Now What?

AFP:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090116/wl_mid
east_afp/mideastconflictgazarussia_200901161
43225

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Will Visit China

January 2, 2009
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will visit China from next Wednesday to Thursday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced in Beijing Friday.

Rice, who is at the invitation of Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, is slated to attend the activities marking the 30th anniversary of China-US diplomatic ties.

Rice, who is at the invitation of Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, is slated to attend the activities marking the 30th anniversary of China-US diplomatic ties, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.

During Rice’s two-day visit, China and the United States will exchange views on bilateral ties and other issues of common concern, Qin said.

 

From China Daily

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, seen here, will visit ... 
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, seen here, will visit China on January 7 and 8, the foreign ministry said here Friday, in her last scheduled trip before the Bush administration leaves office.(AFP/File/Pavel Wolberg)

 

 

Condoleezza Rice takes responsibility for Iraq occupation woes; absolves Rumsfeld

December 7, 2008

Condoleezza Rice is taking responsibility for the troubled U.S. occupation in Iraq right after Saddam Hussein was overthrown.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice speaks during a joint news ... 

Rice was President George W. Bush’s national security adviser when the war began in 2003. She says it wasn’t former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld‘s fault that things went badly when the U.S. began to occupy Iraq after driving out Saddam.

She says military operations went very well in removing Saddam from power. But she says the U.S. did not have what she calls the right structure in place to handle the occupation.

Donald Rumsfeld
Donald Rumsfeld

Rice says the Bush administration put a single department — the Pentagon — in charge of running Iraq. Rice — who’s now secretary of state — says that wasn’t the right approach.

Rice made her comments on “Fox News Sunday.”

–Associated Press