The window to the world
Tag Archives: barack obama
- Obama As Marxist… ~ revisedhistory | Just another WordPress.com site (gunnyg.wordpress.com)
- I’m Telling Your Commie (trinityspeaks.wordpress.com)
- CommieTunes – OBAMA’s END GAME REVEALED – Obama Socialist / Communist / Marxist / Maoist (newsworldwide.wordpress.com)
- The American Tragedy: Freedom Lost, Constitution Trampled (votingamerican.wordpress.com)
President plans to cut half a million troops and says US can’t afford to wage two wars at once
By: Rupert Cornwell, The Independent
The mighty American military machine that has for so long secured the country’s status as the world’s only superpower will have to be drastically reduced, Barack Obama warned yesterday as he set out a radical but more modest new set of priorities for the Pentagon over the next decade.
After the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that defined the first decade of the 21st century, Mr. Obama’s blueprint for the military’s future acknowledged that America will no longer have the resources to conduct two such major operations simultaneously.
Instead, the US military will lose up to half a million troops and will focus on countering terrorism and meeting the new challenges of an emergent Asia dominated by China. America, the President said, was “turning the page on a decade of war” and now faced “a moment of transition”. The country’s armed forces would in future be leaner but, Mr. Obama pointedly warned both friends and foes, sufficient to preserve US military superiority over any rival – “agile, flexible and ready for the full range of contingencies and threats”.
The wider significance of America’s landmark strategic change was underlined by British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond, who used a visit to Washington to warn that America must not delay the production of US warplanes bound for British aircraft carriers. The US strategy is expected to make a drawdown of some of the 80,000 troops based in Europe.
“We have to look at the relationship with Americans in a slightly different light,” Mr. Hammond told Channel 4 News. “Europeans have to respond to this change in American focus, not with a fit of pique but by pragmatic engagement, recognizing that we have to work with Americans to get better value for money.”
But there is little doubt that Europe will be a much-reduced priority under the new scheme. The blueprint’s status as the president’s own property, after a first three years in office dominated by wars he had inherited from his predecessor, was underlined by his rare personal appearance at the Pentagon flanked by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and other top uniformed officials.
Henceforth, Mr. Obama underlined, the priorities would be maintaining a robust nuclear deterrent, confronting terrorism and protecting the US homeland, and deterring and defeating any potential adversary. To these ends, the US will also boost its cyber warfare and missile defense capabilities.
At the same time, iIf all goes to plan, the center of gravity of the US defense effort will shift eastwards, away from Europe and the Middle East. The focus will be on Asia and – both he and Mr. Panetta made abundantly clear without specifically saying so – in particular on an increasingly assertive China, already an economic superpower and well on the way to becoming a military one as well.
The specifics of the new proposals, set out in a document entitled “Sustaining US Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense”, have yet to be fleshed out. But they are likely to entail a reduction of up to 490,000 in a total military personnel now standing at some 1.6 million worldwide, as well as cuts in costly procurement programs – some originally designed for a Cold War environment.
The “Obama Doctrine” reflects three basic realities. First, the long post-9/11 wars are finally drawing to a close. The last US troops have already left Iraq, while American combat forces are due to be out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014 (though a limited number may stay on as trainers and advisers).
Second, and as the President stressed in a major speech during his recent visit to Australia, America’s national interest is increasingly bound up with Asia, the world’s economic powerhouse, and where many countries are keen for a greater US commitment as a counterweight to China.
Third, and most important, are the domestic financial facts of life, at a moment when government spending on every front is under pressure. For years the Pentagon has been exempt – but no longer, as efforts multiply to rein in soaring federal budget deficits.
At $662bn, Pentagon spending for fiscal 2013 will exceed the next 10 largest national defense budgets on the planet combined. Even so, that sum is $27bn less than what President Obama wanted, and $43bn less than the 2012 budget.
Obama To Iowa Dems: “More Optimistic” About “Change” Than In 2008
In a video conference with Iowa Democrats on Tuesday night, President Obama made his case for another term. Obama outlined his progress during his first term and asked for their help in the upcoming campaign.
Obama also reminisced about his 2008 bid for the presidency.
“We’ve still got a lot of work to do. But think about the change that was accomplished because of those caucuses four years ago,” Obama said in a message that was distributed to more than 200 Democratic caucus locations throughout the state of Iowa.
“I’m actually more optimistic now than I was when we first ran, because we’ve already seen change take place,” Obama said when asked whether he still believed in ‘hope and change,’ his signature slogan of the 2008 election cycle.
“Part of what 2012 is about is about reminding the American people how far we’ve traveled and the concrete effects that some of our work has had,” Obama also said.
CBS News reports “there was no cheering, chanting or clapping for the president’s message during the address, distributed to more than 200 caucus locations throughout Iowa.”
- Obama’s Iowa Promises, 4 Years Later (huffingtonpost.com)
- Obama readies Iowa teleconference (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- Obama appeals to Iowa Democrats on caucus night – Atlanta Journal Constitution (ajc.com)
- Obama appeals to Iowa Democrats on caucus night (sfgate.com)
- On Caucus Night, Obama Playbook Primed for Campaign (abcnews.go.com)
In a presidential proclamation, Barack Obama announced that January will now be National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.
The full proclamation:
Nearly a century and a half ago, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation — a document that reaffirmed the noble goals of equality and freedom for all that lie at the heart of what it means to live in America.
In the years since, we have tirelessly pursued the realization and protection of these essential principles. Yet, despite our successes, thousands of individuals living in the United States and still more abroad suffer in silence under the intolerable yoke of modern slavery.
During National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we stand with all those who are held in compelled service; we recognize the people, organizations and government entities that are working to combat human trafficking; and we recommit to bringing an end to this inexcusable human rights abuse.
Human trafficking endangers the lives of millions of people around the world, and it is a crime that knows no borders.
Trafficking networks operate both domestically and transnationally, and although abuses disproportionally affect women and girls, the victims of this ongoing global tragedy are men, women and children of all ages.
Around the world, we are monitoring the progress of governments in combating trafficking while supporting programs aimed at its eradication. From forced labor and debt bondage to forced commercial sexual exploitation and involuntary domestic servitude, human trafficking leaves no country untouched.
With this knowledge, we rededicate ourselves to forging robust international partnerships that strengthen global anti-trafficking efforts, and to confronting traffickers here at home.
My administration continues to implement our comprehensive strategy to combat human trafficking in America.
By coordinating our response across federal agencies, we are working to protect victims of human trafficking with effective services and support, prosecute traffickers through consistent enforcement, and prevent human rights abuses by furthering public awareness and addressing the root causes of modern slavery.
The steadfast defense of human rights is an essential part of our national identity, and as long as individuals suffer the violence of slavery and human trafficking, we must continue the fight.
With the start of each year, we commemorate the anniversaries of the Emancipation Proclamation, which became effective on January 1, 1863, and the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery, which was signed by President Abraham Lincoln and submitted to the States for ratification on February 1, 1865.
These documents stand as testaments to the gains we have made in pursuit of freedom and justice for all, and they remind us of the work that remains to be done.
This month, I urge all Americans to educate themselves about all forms of modern slavery and the signs and consequences of human trafficking. Together, and in cooperation with our partners around the world, we can work to end this terrible injustice and protect the rights to life and liberty entrusted to us by our forebears and owed to our children.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 2012 as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, culminating in the annual celebration of National Freedom Day on February 1.
I call upon the people of the United States to recognize the vital role we can play in ending modern slavery and to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities.
- Leading U.S. Abolitionist Groups Enter Joint Initiative to Eradicate Modern-day Slavery – PR Newswire (bchta.wordpress.com)
- Boost fight to end trafficking (mysanantonio.com)
- Modern-Day Slavery (A Global Issue) (alexiscmyers.wordpress.com)
- Human trafficking gets attention from Google (cbsnews.com)
- Google joins fight against slavery (thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com)
- What is human trafficking (wiki.answers.com)
- Polaris Project Supports South Carolina Lobby Day to End Human Trafficking! (imaginepublicity.com)
Perhaps the reputation Obama enjoys for being brilliant, athletic and smooth is slightly exaggerated.
- Mitt Romney: President Obama Out Of Touch Like Marie Antoinette (huffingtonpost.com)
- Obama Gains Reputation As Distant In Washington (huffingtonpost.com)
- Geoffrey R. Stone: Political Vitriol and Its Consequences for Democracy (huffingtonpost.com)
The state Republican Party will require voters to sign a loyalty oath in order to participate in the March 6 presidential primary.
Anyone who wants to vote must sign a form at the polling place pledging to support the eventual Republican nominee for president. Anyone who refuses to sign the pledge will be barred from voting.
During a brief meeting Wednesday at the state Capitol, the State Board of Elections voted 3-0 to approve three forms developed by the election board’s staff to implement the loyalty pledge requested by the state GOP.
The board also held a drawing that determined Texas Rep. Ron Paul will appear first on the primary ballot, followed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the only other candidate who qualified for the ballot. The state GOP previously announced that Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich did not amass enough valid signatures to qualify.
Also Wednesday, Paul Goldman, a former chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia, and Patrick McSweeney, a former chairman of the state Republican Party, held a news conference at the state Capitol. They urged legislators to pass emergency legislation establishing a standard — through criteria such as polling data — that would get additional Republican candidates on the ballot March 6.
Legislators say changes to Virginia’s election laws are virtually impossible in time for the primary. State law requires that absentee ballots be mailed by Jan. 21 – 45 days ahead of the election. The legislature does not convene until Jan. 11.
As for the loyalty oath, the elections board approved a notice to inform absentee voters of the pledge, a sign to hang at polling places and the pledge form itself.
Signs for polling places and the pledge form will advise voters that “Section 24.2-545 of the Code of Virginia allows the political party holding a primary to determine requirements for voting in the primary, including ‘the signing of a pledge by the voter of his intention to support the party’s candidate when offering to vote in the primary.’ ”
The pledge will require the voter to sign and to print his name beneath a line that says: “I, the undersigned, pledge that I intend to support the nominee of the Republican Party for president.”
Virginians do not register to vote by party. That means any registered voter can cast a ballot in a presidential primary. If the Democrats and Republicans hold primaries on the same day, a voter must choose one or the other.
In Virginia’s 2000 GOP presidential primary, won by Texas Gov. George W. Bush, voters were required to sign a different pledge: “I, the undersigned, state that I do not intend to participate in the nomination process of any other party than the Republican Party.”
GOP officials said at the time that national party rules required a loyalty oath in states, such as Virginia, that do not have party registration.
Virginia did not hold a GOP presidential primary in 2004, because Bush was seeking re-election. In November 2007 the GOP State Central Committee voted to rescind their demand for a loyalty pledge in Virginia’s Feb. 12, 2008 Republican presidential primary, won by John McCain.
GOP officials considered a pledge unnecessary because Democrats would be inclined to vote in the Democratic primary – also on Feb. 12, 2008 — that featured Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Virginia will not hold a Democratic primary in March because Obama was the only candidate who qualified.
During Wednesday’s drawing for ballot spots, Kimberly Bowers, vice chairwoman of the elections board, picked one of two identical film canisters from a crystal bowl. It contained Paul’s name. Board Secretary Donald Palmer then picked the second canister, which contained Romney’s name.
At the afternoon news conference, Goldman charged that the state GOP used two different standards to vet the signatures candidates submitted for ballot access and that Democrats used another standard in assessing President Barack Obama’s signatures. Goldman said the differing standards raise constitutional issues.
Late Wednesday the state Republican Party released a lengthy defense of its procedures, under which a candidate who submitted more than 15,000 “facially valid” signatures “would be presumed to be in compliance with Virginia’s 10,000-signature law” to get on the ballot.
In part, the statement says that “RPV has never encountered a situation where a candidate who submitted 15,000 signatures has failed to make the ballot (absent cases of obvious fraud)” and that the state party repeatedly encouraged campaigns to submit at least 15,000 signatures “in an abundance of caution.”
“Despite this early notice and RPV’s exhortations to candidates, only one candidate availed himself of the 15,000 signature threshold – Governor Mitt Romney.”
The statement says the state GOP “counted Governor Romney’s signatures, reviewed them for facial validity, and determined he submitted well over 15,000. Never in the party’s history has a candidate who submitted more than 15,000 signatures had 33 percent invalidated. The party is confident that Governor Romney met the statutory threshold.”
The GOP said Paul “submitted just under 15,000, and was submitted to signature-by-signature scrutiny on the same basis as the other candidates who submitted fewer than 15,000 signatures.”
It said that Paul had cleared the standard in state law – at least 10,000 signatures, including 400 from each of the 11 congressional districts – “with ease.”
The Republican Party’s statement said Gingrich and Perry “did not come close to the 10,000 valid signature threshold.”
The state GOP said it regrets that Gingrich and Perry did not qualify for the primary.
“But the failure of these two candidates to meet the state requirements does not call into question the accuracy of the party’s certification of the two candidates who are duly qualified to appear on the ballot.”
- Rick Perry Sues Over Virginia Ballot Exclusion (outsidethebeltway.com)
- GOP Candidate Blames Ballot Failure On ‘One Guy’ (huffingtonpost.com)
- Failing the competence primary (hotair.com)
- Newt Gingrich Fails To Qualify For Virginia GOP Primary (huffingtonpost.com)