Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's message from President Barack Obama (Video)

Good evening. Tonight, as Americans across the country gather with family and friends, I want to wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year.
This is always a hopeful time, as we celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another. And while 2009 was difficult for many Americans, we must also look back on this year with the knowledge that brighter days are ahead of us – that although our challenges are great, each of us has the courage and determination to rise up and meet them.
It is that spirit that has kept the American Dream alive for generations, and it is that spirit that will keep it alive for generations to come. Happy New Year, everyone.
En Español:

Saludos a todos. Esta noche que estadounidenses en todo el país se están reuniendo con familiares y amigos, quiero desearles a todos un feliz Año Nuevo, lleno de salud.

Éste siempre es un periodo de optimismo, ya que celebramos el final de un año y el inicio de otro. Y aunque el 2009 fue difícil para muchos estadounidenses, debemos también ver este año pasado con la certeza de que tendremos días mejores por delante – que a pesar de que los retos son grandes, cada uno de nosotros tiene la valentía y la determinación para enfrentarlos.

Es ese espíritu el que ha mantenido vivo el Sueño Americano generación tras generación, y es ese espíritu el que lo mantendrá vivo en generaciones futuras. Feliz Año Nuevo a todos.

Senator John Ensign gets hoodwinked by Rick Sanchez, CNN on his infidelity scandal (Video)

A MUST SEE. Senator Ensign can all of a sudden be FOCUSED on the other issues, but he made news on his own personal issues. He must answer up.

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DNC calls for an end to Superdelegates

AMEN to this one. h/t DemConWatch

A commission of Democratic leaders on Wednesday recommended their party virtually eliminate superdelegates from their presidential candidate nomination process.

Their proposal -- commissioned by the Democratic National Committee in the aftermath of last year's tough primary season -- would essentially make the "superdelegate" post an honorary position.

Consequently, these powerful party leaders could no longer select the candidate of their choice; rather, their votes would be tied to the outcome of their respective states' primaries, which choose winners by popular vote. - The Hill

Superdelegates should not be given the power to over through elections, caucuses because that is what it came down to in the 2008 Democratic Primaries. The courting to these people was ridiculous and this part of the process should be eliminated.

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Obama and the polls a year later, not looking good

Again, Barack Obama and his mismanagement of the health care debate is a major reason why his poll numbers are where it is at, along with siding with the continuous bailouts of Wall Street, banks, automotive industry with NO RELIEF for Main Street. This equals anger out here and it is real. Barack Obama has done some good things, moving towards transparency, putting science first, standing with the military, movement in changing the education system, looking forward to climate change. But Obama must show more LEADERSHIP come 2010 because for many he lacked it in 2009. Sure, he had divisive people like the Republicans in his way, but they were always going to be there, Barack Obama must convey to this country what EXACTLY he wants, but more importantly he must DELIVER. And jobs? People don't believe this White House is focused on it, it clearly is displayed in the polling numbers. With no jobs, losing jobs, fear of losing jobs and the White House nonchalant to many, this is why the numbers are shitty.

Remember, people voted for Barack Obama on his agenda not for what is coming out of the White House now. So, if the middle class, independents, young, and many other are angry all Barack Obama needs to look at is right in his White House.

Until his behavior change, remove some people change, these polling numbers are going to continue to erode.

Wake up, Barack Obama. You are not on the ballot in 2010 but the WHOLE DEMOCRATIC PARTY is and if it is a bloodbath for Democrats, the blame will be put squarely on your shoulders.

The anger is real out here and our President better get in touch or we are talking bad times in 2010 for the Democratic Party.

From morning joe:

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

How can we win in Afghanistan with all of this going on?

I happen to watch MSNBC today with David Shuster talking to Richard Engel about the Afghanistan mission. After listening to this exchange, I was left with, "How can any mission in Afghanistan be complete in 18 months?"

It is not going to happen.

Richard Engel talked about major problems on the Afghanistan side:

* Corruption
* Nepotism
* Absenteeism
* Drug Addiction
* Illiteracy

This is the short list.

Let's be real, does anyone thing that the 2011 timeline will be kept, with this information from the Pentagon Papers? I mean, I stopped listening at drug addiction and illiteracy. Just those two issues are life changing ones and we all have been around or know someone who has been in and out of rehab for drugs, do you think with all that going on that a 2011 withdrawal is realistic?

And there may not be nearly as many Afghan battalions as the country claims. The report said previous estimates are not believable. "Estimate for soldiers actually in battalions far below reported," it said. "Example: between 40 and 50 percent in some areas." And Afghan soldiers still in the ranks have literacy problems, and that "mentally, physically unfit and drug addicts hurt units."

I am not for the Afghanistan surge or build up, but will give President Obama a chance here, and this is a very small chance. This task is hard and difficult, but nobody is asleep nor does anyone believe that any Western change will be real in Afghanistan.

President Obama must decide what he is going to do. Go after Osama bin Ladin, appease Pakistan, nation build in Afghanistan as we did in Iraq, or just call it a day and focus on us, the citizens and security HERE. I state this after the botch job of our government agencies with the Nigerian terrorist who tried to ignite explosives on a plane from Amsterdam to Detroit, Michigan.

Our president has a lot of issues on his plate, he is a rookie president, he has been slow on some moves, but in the end we can not continue sending our precious blood to these countries and in the end don't have shit to show for it.

To sum it up from Meteor Blades @ Daily Kos:
To condense: the Afghan National Army is a farce; there's little chance of turning it into a cohesive fighting force; and there's zero chance of doing so on a speedy timetable, all of which I noted 10 days ago in Phantom Hope: The Afghan Army.

That is the reality.

From Rachel Maddow:



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8 Americans killed in Afghanistan

Suicide attack claims the lives of civilians at a military base in Khost region

Expect this to continue with the War in Afghanistan cranking up.

All of the eight Americans killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan Wednesday were civilians, and no U.S. or NATO troops were injured in the blast, a U.S. defense official said.

The attack took place at Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost province, in eastern Afghanistan, said the official, who declined to be named. The New York Times was reporting that the bomber managed to elude security and reach the base's gym.

"We can confirm that there was an explosion in Khost province and eight Americans have been killed," a U.S. official said. He could not give any further details.

A senior U.S. official in Washington said the Americans were killed by an attacker wearing a suicide vest.

Another senior U.S. official in Washington said there were conflicting reports on the total number of casualties. Others were also wounded.

Wazir Pacha, a police spokesman in Khost province, said local people reported hearing a blast in the area.

Attacks in Afghanistan this year have spiralled to their highest levels since the Taliban were overthrown by U.S.-backed Afghan forces in late 2001.

Washington is sending 30,000 extra troops to Afghanistan in an attempt to stem the mounting violence, with NATO allies also contributing thousands more. read more here....

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President Obama was slow on the move in regards to the attempted airline terrorist attack

I have not written much because I am taking some holiday time off, but I have watched this airline incident unfold and this is my take.

The incident with the Nigerian individual, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was serious enough for the Obama Administration to make a statement within 24 hours and they did not. This incident happened on Christmas Day, December 25, 2009 but by the time President Obama took the microphone we all ready KNEW much of what happened which was failure in communication from all of these government agencies. Is anyone surprised at this? When the microphone was taken by President Obama, Monday, December 28, 2009, he was behind the eight ball.

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano made a major snafu on the Sunday talk shows by actually stating, "the system worked", but immediately walked back this statement on Monday. Why? The system did not work and we all know this.

The system did not work. It is not the passengers’ responsibility to intervene in any terror plot; it is the government's responsibility to make sure this does not happen period. To hear that this individual's name was on a list, that his father went to the American Embassy in Nigeria that he was just out in the open is outrage. Now, what should happen to this "underwear bomber"? We already take our shoes off at airports, what is next; full body search as in the strip down type? At this point, what is the point in even flying now? Not for this, I hope.

The one word I remember from the Bush Administration was incompetence. President Obama was subdued on Monday, but became angered by the time Tuesday came and took responsibility. As he should.

The Obama White House is very cautious and that is OK, on some levels, but when something like this happens when a bomb could have potentially gone off, it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Head of State needs to be in front of a camera with a statement, IMMEDIATELY, like within 24 hours. It took this White House 72 hours before President Obama made his first remarks, by then we knew everything from the reporting about Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a wealthy banker’s son, a prestigious London college grad and now an accused terrorist.

Incompetence can happen easily, as we have seen revealed by these government agencies, but I don't ever want President Obama making a statement on a serious event 72 hours later, I don't care if he is on vacation, the public needs to be informed and it should come from HIM. Will this be a big deal? Short term, No. Why? Folks are on holiday, vacation and not paying attention. But long term, this should be fixed within these agencies and it better not take President Obama 72 hours to address the country again regarding an incident like this. Did you get that White House?

From morning joe:

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

President Obama on the systematic failure of air travel security (Video)

From Hawaii:


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Monday, December 28, 2009

President Obama addressses the U.S. airline attack (Video)

From his vacation in Hawaii:

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