” Vets for Freedom is a nonpartisan organization established by combat veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Founded in 2006. “
” For the first time, more Americans think President Barack Obama is not respected by other world leaders than believe he is. Americans’ opinions have shifted dramatically in the past year, after being relatively stable from 2010 to 2013.
The results are based on Gallup’s annual World Affairs poll, conducted Feb. 6-9. Although opinions about a president’s perceived world standing often track with his job approval rating, a majority of Americans still thought world leaders respected Obama in 2010 and 2011, when his job approval was similar to what it is now. Thus, the recent decline may be more tied to specific international matters from the past year, such as the revelation the U.S. was listening in on foreign leaders’ phone calls, the situation in Syria, increased tensions with Russia, and an uneasy relationship between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”
All we can say is “What took so long?” The MSM has lost it’s mojo and can no longer keep the present administration’s incompetence under wraps . It’s about effing time . People are finally starting to pay attention . Too bad he gets another three years to continue the destruction of America .
” The strange thing about the crackup in U.S.-Saudi relations is that it has been on the way for more than two years, like a slow-motion car wreck, but nobody in Riyadh or Washington has done anything decisive to avert it.
The breach became dramatic over the past week. Last Friday, Saudi Arabia refused to take its seat on the United Nations Security Council, in what Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi intelligence chief, described as “a message for the U.S., not the U.N,” according to the Wall Street Journal. On Tuesday, Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former head of Saudi intelligence, voiced “a high level of disappointment in the U.S. government’s dealings” on Syria and the Palestinian issue, in an interview with Al-Monitor.
What should worry the Obama administration is that Saudi concern about U.S. policy in the Middle East is shared by the four other traditional U.S. allies in the region: Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Israel. They argue (mostly privately) that Obama has shredded U.S. influence by dumping President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, backing the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi, opposing the coup that toppled Morsi, vacillating in its Syria policy, and now embarking on negotiations with Iran — all without consulting close Arab allies. “
Say what you will but we are finally seeing Obama as the acclaimed “uniter” that we were told to expect . Who else could get the Saudis , Egyptians , Jordanians and the Israelis to be on the same side . Not to mention all of the past US allies that he has managed to drive into the arms of the Russians or the Chinese .
All we can say is it’s a good thing that unilateralist cowboy Bush isn’t still running things or we’d be in a right bloody mess .
” What are the benefits of product variety and how does trade affect variety? This video takes a closer look at how trade leads to variety for the consumer and higher productivity for the producer, too. This video also explains why consumers and producers can’t have exactly what they desire in a good by examining the trade-off between variety and average cost. You’ll also learn how the market manages the trade-off between variety and average cost via theories of monopolistic competition. “
Check out Marginal Revolution for a wide variety of online courses to educate yourself in matters of economics , property rights , foreign policy , media , finance and much much more . You’ll be glad that you did .
” An unmistakable sense of unease has been growing in capitals around the world as the U.S. government from afar looks increasingly befuddled – shirking from a military confrontation in Syria, stymied at home by a gridlocked Congress and in danger of defaulting on sovereign debt, which could plunge the world’s financial system into chaos.
While each of the factors may be unrelated to the direct exercise of U.S. foreign policy, taken together they give some allies the sense that Washington is not as firm as it used to be in its resolve and its financial capacity, providing an opening for China or Russia to fill the void, an Asian foreign minister told a group of journalists in New York this week.
Concerns will only deepen now that President Barack Obama canceled travel this weekend to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum in Bali and the East Asia Summit in Brunei. He pulled out of the gatherings to stay home to deal with the government shutdown and looming fears that Congress will block an increase in U.S. borrowing power, a move that could lead to a U.S. default.
The political turbulence in Washington and potential economic bombshells still to come over the U.S. government shutdown and a possible debt default this month have sent shivers through Europe. The head of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, worried about the continent’s rebound from the 2008 economic downturn.
“We view this recovery as weak, as fragile, as uneven,” Draghi said at a news conference.
As Europe worries about economics, Asian allies watch in some confusion about what the U.S. is up to with its promise to rebalance military forces and diplomacy in the face of an increasingly robust China.
Global concerns about U.S. policy came to a head with Obama’s handling of the civil war in Syria and the alleged use of chemical weapons by the regime of President Bashar Assad. But, in fact, the worries go far deeper.”
Read the whole scathing piece on the diminution of the USA under Obama.
” “We want American leadership,” said a member of a diplomatic delegation of a major U.S. ally. He said it softly, as if confiding he missed an old friend.
“In the past we have seen some America overreach,” said the prime minister of a Western democracy, in a conversation. “Now I think we are seeing America underreach.” He was referring not only to foreign policy but to economic policies, to the limits America has imposed on itself. He missed its old economic dynamism, its crazy, pioneering spirit toward wealth creation—the old belief that every American could invent something, get it to market, make a bundle, rise. The prime minister spoke of a great anxiety and his particular hope. The anxiety: “The biggest risk is not political but social. Wealthy societies with people who think wealth is a given, a birthright—they do not understand that we are in the fight of our lives with countries and nations set on displacing us. Wealth is earned. It is far from being a given. It cannot be taken for granted. The recession reminded us how quickly circumstances can change.” His hope? That the things that made America a giant—”so much entrepreneurialism and vision”—will, in time, fully re-emerge and jolt the country from the doldrums.
The second takeaway of the week has to do with a continued decline in admiration for the American president. Barack Obama‘s reputation among his fellow international players has deflated, his stature almost collapsed. In diplomatic circles, attitudes toward his leadership have been declining for some time, but this week you could hear the disappointment, and something more dangerous: the sense that he is no longer, perhaps, all that relevant. Part of this is due, obviously, to his handling of the Syria crisis. If you draw a line and it is crossed and then you dodge, deflect, disappear and call it diplomacy, the world will notice, and not think better of you. Some of it is connected to the historical moment America is in.
A scorching assessment of the president as foreign-policy actor came from a former senior U.S. diplomat, a low-key and sophisticated man who spent the week at many U.N.-related functions. “World leaders are very negative about Obama,” he said. They are “disappointed, feeling he’s not really in charge. . . . The Western Europeans don’t pay that much attention to him anymore.” “
Sometimes Peggy gets it right .
” And so the government of the United States has put its foreign policy in the steady hands of President Vladimir Putin and the KGB. Americans from coast to coast are breathing a sigh of relief. In Congress, the left and the right and those in between, are relieved. In recent months it has become abundantly clear that the President of the United States is not up to the task. He would rather lecture us on domestic issues, such as how to run up trillions of dollars of debt. Then he would like to work on his golf game—do you recall how our elites laughed and laughed when the former Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe, then the Supreme Commander of NATO, and finally the two-term president of the United States, Dwight Eisenhower, played golf?
Now our foreign policy is in the hands of true professionals. The KGB has a spotty record on human rights, but everyone says they are pros at handling the realities of power. In fact, in yesteryear when they had real power they were—you will remember the term—“prudent.”
Oh, yes, it would probably be better to have the foreign policy of our country residing in the hands of an American professional, say, Henry Kissinger. But Henry has limited time these days and besides his power base is compromised. He has many Republicans on his side, but the American left has never been a big fan of Henry’s. Besides, over the last few weeks Mr. Putin has shown that he has the will and the agility to run foreign policy for his country as well as ours, or at least ours when the President is Barack Obama, a man who before coming to the White House had been a part-time United States senator for four years, a state senator for three terms, and—most spectacularly—a community organizer. Naturally his experience in foreign policy has been a little thin.
The Russians do not have the military might of the United States, if they ever did. But they are clever, and they have their own problem with terrorism at home. They will make an excellent stand-in until we have a president in office who is up to the job of wielding power responsibly, hopefully in 2017. Yet, if the angry women and the clueless college students have their way, we may have to wait until 2021.”
” In 2003, to celebrate 35 years of publishing a monthly magazine dedicated to Free Minds and Free Markets, reasonnamed “35 Heroes of Freedom”—innovators, economists, singers, anti-communists, pornographers, professional athletes, and even the occasional politician who contributed to making the world a freer place since 1968.
These weren’t necessarily the 35 best human beings to span the globe. Richard Nixon, for example, was selected for encouraging “cynicism about government” through his rampant abuses of power. And, well, let’s say Dennis Rodman hasn’t aged particularly well. But the list reflected the happy, unpredictable cacophony that has helped liberate the world one novel or deregulation or electric guitar at a time.
Our 45th anniversary has come along at a darker time. The post-9/11 lurch toward unchecked law enforcement power has now become a permanent feature of our bipartisan consensus, with a Democratic president now ordering assassinations of American teenagers and with millions of Americans unaware that the feds are combing through their telecommunications. Keynesians in Washington responded to the financial crisis of 2008 by ushering in a lost decade of government spending, sluggish growth, and the worst employment numbers since Jimmy Carter was president. And after an initially promising Arab Spring, whole swaths of the Middle East seem poised for a long, sectarian, transnational war.
So it’s fitting that this time around we’re anointing reason’s 45 Enemies of Freedom. Again, these aren’t the worst human beings who bestrode the planet since 1968 (though Pol Pot and Osama bin Laden rank right down there). Some, like John McCain, are even genuine American heroes. What unites them is their active effort to control individuals rather than allow them free choice, to wield power recklessly rather than act on the recognition that the stuff inherently corrupts, and to popularize lies in a world that’s desperate for truth.
You’ll see some familiar names there (we can’t quit you, Tricky Dick!) and some others that deserve to be more notorious. But in our otherwise alphabetical list we’ll start with the man who nearly everyone on our staff nominated, a figure who embodies so much that is wrong with public policy and the political conversation in these United States.“
1. Michael Bloomberg
” House Republicans scheduled a new hearing on the Benghazi terrorist attacks and suggested it would include new testimony from eyewitnesses to the deadly Sept. 11 assault on the U.S. Consulate who will provide firsthand reports about what happened that day.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., scheduled a May 8 hearing entitled “Benghazi: Exposing Failure and Recognizing Courage.” It will be the latest attempt by congressional Republicans to demonstrate that the Obama administration misled the public about the true nature of an attack that killed four people, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.
Issa did not disclose the witness list but promised the hearing “will expose new facts and details that the Obama administration has tried to suppress.”
The FBI on Wednesday released photos of “three individuals who were on the grounds” of the Benghazi consulate when it was attacked.
The photos, which were posted online by Foreign Policy magazine, are accompanied by an FBI request for information about the attack “from Libyans and people around the world.” “
” As a conservative, picking out things you don’t like about Barack Obama is kind of like pointing to the wettest part of the ocean. It also goes beyond politics. Not only is Barack Obama wrong politically, he’s not a good guy, “cool,” or even moderately likable. To the contrary, he’s one of the nastiest, least admirable people in politics and he gets by based on a phony persona he created when he ran for President in 2008 — along with the help of press corps liberals that work to protect him like they’re on his payroll. Based on his performance and his personality, Barack Obama deserves to be the least popular man ever to sit in the White House.
1) Nobody but an ass would say, “It’s very rare that I come to an event where I’m like the fifth- or sixth-most interesting person.”
2) He’s a former (maybe, who really knows?) coke-snorting pothead who governs with all the care and due diligence you’d expect from a coke-snorting pothead.
3) Barack Obama actually said, “The private sector is doing fine.” Given that the private sector has never at any point been doing fine since he became President, he’d have to be dumb, dishonest or delusional to say something like that.
4) He is a bigger liar than Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter put together. There’s nothing the man says you can count on his meaning unless he’s saying something nice about himself.”
” (Foreign Policy) – Quietly and without much notice, the Air Force has reversed its policy of publishing statistics on drone strikes in Afghanistan as the debate about drone warfare hits a fever pitch in Washington. In addition, it has erased previously published drone strike statistics from its website.”
The Architects Of Our "Smart Diplomacy"
” If there was one constant through Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s appearances before congressional committees Wednesday, it was that lawmakers fell all over themselves heaping praise on her for the job she has done. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., was typical, saying: “Madame Secretary, you have represented us with tremendous strength and poise. You have won us friends.”
Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., gushed, “We don’t have time to give a full listing of the achievements you deserve credit for.” And Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., began his remarks by saying that he shares the “tremendous respect” of his colleagues for the job she has done.
What on Earth are they referring to? American foreign policy under Secretary Clinton has been one disaster after another. She may not deserve blame for all of them — or even most of them — but it defies common sense to call her tenure a success.
Let us review the record. “
” If we reach the following highly unpleasant conclusion, what are the implications?
The United States has taken a political turn which, at least for the next four years, will guarantee that it does not play the role of a great power mindful of and willing to protect its own true interests, to support its allies, and to combat its real foes. On the contrary, through inaction or active effort the leadership of America will take counterproductive actions that achieve the opposite result. And there are certain factors — radical ideological hegemony, a weak economy and growing debt, structural social changes, the weakness and disorganization of the opposition — that may make this situation regarding America’s international behavior and policies a long-term, partly irreversible condition. In other words, we don’t know if America is finished as the world’s leading power, but we do know that it will not have leadership and certainly not leadership in a good direction for a while and perhaps will never fully recover.
So what do those outside the United States do to face this situation? (Please note that I am speaking here only of U.S. foreign policy and just remarking on the domestic situation.)
There are those readers who would contest the accuracy of this statement. They will say that Barack Obama is a great president, or at least a decent one, and there is no big prob. lem regarding U.S. foreign policy at all. In fact, he and his team, which now includes Secretary of State-designate John Kerry, will be just fine, or at least okay. They will make the point — valid, but irrelevant — that the United States doesn’t control everything in the world . “
“The comments by Locklear reflect the
Obama administration’s policy of
“leading from behind” rather than
assertively. That posture has troubled
states in Asia that rely on the United
States and its naval power to
maintain stability, free and open
commerce, and transit.
The comments regarding Japan also
are unusual because the United
States has a mutual defense treaty
with Tokyo. However, the
administration was slow to invoke
the treaty as part of the Japan-China
Illustration By Gary Varvel
” Clearly we are in deep waters here: This involves political intrigue at the highest level and has profound national security implications, involving the directorship of the CIA and clandestine operations, intelligence reports, multi-billion dollar expenditures and US efforts to stabilize client regimes and destabilize target regimes. CIA intelligence reports identifying allies and enemies are critical to shaping global US foreign policy. Any shift at the top of the US empire’s operational command can and does have strategic importance.
The ‘outing’ of General Allen, the military commander in charge of Afghanistan, the US main zone of military operations occurs at a crucial time, with the scheduled forced withdrawal of US combat troops and when the Afghan ‘sepoys’, the soldiers and officers of the puppet Karzai regime, are showing major signs of disaffection, is clearly a political move of the highest order.
What are the political issues behind the beheading of these two generals? Who benefits and who loses? “
” Just when I thought the Petraeus story couldn’t get any weirder, along comes a story in the Wall Street Journal reporting that an FBI official allegedly sent shirtless pictures of himself to Jill Kelley, the Tampa woman who has emerged as a key player in this increasingly bizarre drama: “
” So that’s strange. But here’s what is truly weird: The emails in question don’t seem to be a big deal.Wired‘s Kim Zetter says they “reportedly told Kelley to ‘back off’ and ‘stay away’ from the unnamed man.” According to the Journal:
The accusatory emails, according to officials, were sent anonymously to an account shared by Ms. Kelley and her husband. Ms. Broadwell allegedly used a variety of email addresses to send the harassing messages to Ms. Kelley, officials said.
One asked if Ms. Kelley’s husband was aware of her actions, according to officials. In another, the anonymous writer claimed to have watched Ms. Kelley touching “him” provocatively underneath a table, the officials said.
A Daily Beast story cites a source “who was until recently at the highest levels of the intelligence community” characterizing the emails as “More like, ‘Who do you think you are? … You parade around the base … You need to take it down a notch.’”
Either way, that doesn’t sound like the kind of thing that merits an FBI investigation, bureau officials’insistence notwithstanding.
One more thing: The New York Daily News spoke with Broadwell’s father, Paul Krantz, who told the paper: “This is about something else entirely, and the truth will come out.”
“There is a lot more that is going to come out,” said Krantz, claiming he was not allowed to elaborate. “You wait and see. There’s a lot more here than meets the eye.”
I suspect we’ll know more soon — and I wonder if what we learn will reflect well on the FBI.”
This case gets more odiferous by the day .
” The real unemployment rate — the rate when you factor in those who have given up looking for a job or are underemployed — sits at almost 15%. Real wages have declined. Gas prices have soared. While the Obama team would like to trumpet the recent dip in the official unemployment rate to below 8%, the fact is that many Americans do not feel like a recovery is underway.
President Obama’s promises from the 2008 campaign have come back to haunt him. For example, he promised healthcare premiums would go down under his plan — they haven’t, pinching families even harder in tough economic times. He promised he would have us on the road to independence from foreign oil — and though he has benefited from the discovery of shale gas, prices at the pump have skyrocketed, and the optics of holding up the pipeline from Canada further dispels his narrative.
President Obama promised his stimulus package would create 5 million new “greenjobs.” Instead, the American taxpayer has been left holding the bag for billion-dollar boondoggles like Solyndra, with the grant process having heavily relied on a series of losers
” Former United Nations Ambassador and senior Mitt Romney campaign surrogate John Bolton ripped into President Barack Obama’s foreign policy at the National Museum for American Jewish History in Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Bolton told the auditorium, packed with approximately 200 attendees, that Obama has adopted a submissive “Mother, may I?” approach to diplomacy, in the vain hope that other nations will return the favor.
“The tragedy of the Arab Spring is, in part, our government didn’t understand what was at work there,” Bolton said. “And we saw the tragedy play out in the most tragic way in Benghazi.” “
” During Monday night’s third and final presidential debate, President Barack Obama denied the charge by Republican nominee Mitt Romney that Obama had gone on a global “apology tour” after assuming office.
But a collection of clips of the president, assembled by the nonpartisan conservative group Young America’s Foundation, undercuts Obama’s denial. “
” Doesn’t matter who won the battle, says Ron Fournier. What matters is who won the war:
Mitt Romney wins. That’s not to say he won Monday night’s debate or the presidential campaign, but it’s safe to say he won an important chapter: The debate season…
There are ample reasons for both Obama and Romney to feel optimistic about their chances Nov. 6. But through his own steady performances and a spectacular first-debate failure by the incumbent, Romney has cleared an important hurdle: A near-decisive number of Americans believe that he is a viable alternative to Obama, an incumbent saddled with a weak economy and a pessimistic national mood.
Another point made more than once in the national tweet scrum tonight was that it sometimes felt like Romney was the incumbent and Obama the angry, occasionally snide challenger. “
” Obama was very aggressive throughout the debate–perhaps still trying to compensate for his lackluster first debate–using every single question to attack his opponent’s record and policies. That approach may have backfired, as it allowed Romney to strike a calmer, more stable posture. Romney’s apparent strategy was to give up scoring points on particular issues in favor of appealing to war-weary, politics-weary moderate voters.
But that did not mean Romney failed to fight–and fight he did, particularly on the issue of Iran, which he stressed repeatedly as the biggest threat to the U.S. and the greatest failure of the Obama administration. He also repulsed some of Obama’s attacks–when given the opportunity by a moderator who once again showed far greater favor to the incumbent–and occasionally used some of them to pivot to his favored policy points.”