Look what President Obama has done

Nate Silver:

Poll: Egyptian Public’s Views Toward United States Are Much Improved

Understandably, there’s been a lot of concern about what sort of regime might replace Hosni Mubarak’s in Egypt, if a new one replaces it at all.
How friendly might a new regime be toward the United States, for instance? No one certainly can predict that.
What does appear to be the case, however, is that Egyptian popular opinion toward the United States has substantially improved over the course of the past 2 to 3 years, to the point that a new leader would probably not gain any points by expressing anti-American sentiment.

The BBC World Service conducts an annual survey in 28 countries, in which it asks participants how they feel about each of the others. The BBC has interviewed Egyptians as part of its survey since 2007.
Egyptian sentiment toward the United States has improved dramatically since the survey began. In 2007, just 11 percent of Egyptians said they viewed the United States as having a “mostly positive” influence, versus 59 percent who said it had a “mostly negative” influence. The numbers were even worse the next year: 16 percent positive, but 73 percent negative.

The election of President Obama created a major change in opinion, however. In 2009, positive opinions about the United States rose to 40 percent against 48 percent negative. And last year — the first survey conducted after Mr. Obama’s well-received June 2009 speech in Cairo — positive opinions became the plurality, at 45 percent, against 29 percent negative views.

// more


And here’s a little evening treat, thanks to Pro President Obama Blog:

San Jose Mercury News Letters to the Editor

Jan. 31 Readers’ letters

This Republican favors Obama

This Republican is up to here with all the negative comments that bombard us from most Republicans and some Democrats against the current administration and the work it is doing. Thank goodness we have President Baracj Obama in the White House, someone who will fight for our country. The “loyal opposition” either just sits back and says no, or tries to strategize to get Obama defeated — no talk or effort to improve the country or have any plan to get us out of the bind he inherited. Reminds me of children who, when they are sick, don’t like the medicine designed to make them well. We were so lucky in 2008.

I want and wait for a Republican with Obama’s stature, savvy and political will. Our country needs a system of strong, responsible two-party leadership. But, until this happens, we are in the best hands possible.

Robert Rutherford,
Portola Valley, CA


130 thoughts on “Look what President Obama has done

  1. A nice desert right after dinner. Thank you for this round up BWD.

    I expect this trend to continue in the coming years since of course our President is telling the world “you are with us or against us”/of course a snark. 🙂

    Glad I have a presentent who is committed to building consensuses and not bullying other nations.

  2. Utterly agreed. And hopefully this can provide some comfort for those who think that Egyptians are looking to create a government of hardliners or ideologues rather than seeking to address some basic internal bread and butter issues which had been neglected through the years. I can’t see how American interference on either side would do much to resolve this internal Egyptian dispute.

  3. It is my humble opinion that President Obama is someone who sees his fellow human beings first and foremost as potential partners not as threats. One psychologist I have read calls this a “mutual” mindset. Also, and to our great good fortune, I think the President looks at people no matter who they are, Americans or Egyptians or anyone else as an end and not a means. This makes all the difference in how he works through each situation.

  4. Very good tidbits after the little agita we’ve had over the putative candidacy of Amb. Huntsman. Loved the LOE from the fed-up, pro-Obama Republican. I think there are more of them than the GOP wants to admit.

  5. I went home for lunch, and turned on Euronews, which did a report on the Israeli gov’t reaction to the demonstrations. First, the Israelis are hoping Soliman takes over and continues a sort of Mubarak-light regime; they’re scared out of their wits that the Muslim Brotherhood will take over. Secondly, Netanyahu is warning the West not to be too critical of Mubarak. So, Pres. Mubarak has at least one ally left in the world.

  6. Yet CNN this afternoon was trumpeting the view that Pres. Obama and the US are unpopular on the streets of Egypt. Wow

    They so badly wanna push a negative narrative.

  7. I think the fact that he was exposed to so many places, races and cultures while growing up helped reinforce his way of thinking.

    And you’re right it really does make all the difference in these situations. We’re really at a ‘Man-Moment-Machine’ juncture watching our guy navigate this neo-global-political reality.

  8. This is very good news indeed. Nate’s work is usually spot on. I did not care for it much before the fall elections, but of course he was right.

    Thanks BWD, as always.

  9. Thanks so much for this. I’ve been so upset about this Florida court ruling against Health Care 😦
    This is much a much better focus!

  10. A happy Monday evening to everyone, and thanks to BWD for her ongoing, tireless effort to keep us informed!

    I firmly believe that as the President continues on the path he charted from the beginning of his political career, his ‘stature, savvy and political will’ will become more commonly known to GOPers. I’ve recently been viewing some ‘old’ interviews of the President over on theobamadiary and it’s reassuring to be reminded that HIS political will for the country hasn’t changed. Intelligent republicans can’t help but see a difference between the President’s goal and leadership and the lack of the same on the other side, and if they love their country one would think that they would vote for its growth in 2012. Continue on your path, Mr. President – you are showing a clearer understanding of what the country needs than anyone else I’ve heard out there. Those who truly ‘love’ their country will subscribe to your vision. God bless you!

  11. There’s some pushback on Nates analysis of the numbers.

    See Sully’s page for the link. I had actually heard the numbers that are cited in the rebuttal.

    But I think a lot of that is neither here nor there. It’s just another piece of filler for the media and a way to again view everything from a dangerously myopic lense that is a hybrid of Obama derision and America as the center of the universe thinking.

  12. What Florida court ruling? I’d better hurry through the reading and get to the earlier mishmash.

  13. I have to say it’s pretty understandable that the Israelis are scared. Egypt was one of their only neighbors who hasn’t been an enemy.

  14. Personally, I don’t have agita over Huntsman. I just find the idea that the media thinks he is a legitimate candidate is bizarre. This is a Mormon, who supported cap and trade, civil unions and worked for Obama. How the hell is he getting through the GOP primary?

  15. Now Msnbc is saying Obama laid the ground work for this kind of democracy. Lawerence Odonnell is saying that the cairo speech is the DNA of this movement. He did it without bombs.

  16. If you’re going to stick to logic and factual analysis, how do you ever hope to make it onto David Gregory’s show?? 🙂

  17. Those republicans are part of my concern. I want them to remain pro-Obama. I was a participant of the little “agita” today…

  18. Wow, and it took them only a week to start coming to this view. Perhaps there’s hope for our MSM after all. (I know, I know, but I’m a glass-half-full kinda guy.)

  19. Citizens United has indeed demonstrated that a majority on this SCOTUS isn’t shy about disrespecting precedent…

    Let’s hope Justice Kennedy, at least, comes back from wilderness.

  20. “Look what President Obama has done”

    Um, BWD? That is why I come here! That could be the name of this blog!

    You have enough awesome for three bloggers 😉

    Yer pal,

  21. Ezra Klein kept it short and simple…

    Can someone sketch me out an even moderately plausible scenario in which a moderate Republican governor who broke with his party on civil unions and cap-and-trade and then joined the Obama administration wins both the GOP nomination and the presidential election in 2012?

  22. Yes BWD you just keep coming with the good stuff.

    I am sure their are many republicans like Robert Rutherford, out there

    Hope everyone is having a pleasant evening.

  23. This is a great update. I truly believe there can be alot of good come out of Egypt. But we will all have to wait and see. I am so thankful that we have President Obama. Electablog I also like your blog, but this is such a special place, I am a believer that good things can come out of a bad situation, from BWD leaving the other site we have this wonderful site that we can all have adult conversations. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  24. Please don’t be easily happy and easily disappointed. This is what makes you crazy for no apparent reason. There is a truth and there is a lie. There are some happy moments and some unpleasant ones. If you are affected by both so easily then you are not here for the long whole and that worries me a lot. Because from what I read here you become very happy for very minor good news and utterly disappointed for another minor bad news. This is crazy. Life, my friends, leave alone politics is not easy, we can not get the right thing or what we want all the time. If you don’t learn something from this President, then what is truly the point of supporting him?

  25. Saku to whom did you address this comment?

    “Because from what I read here you become very happy for very minor good news and utterly disappointed for another minor bad news.”

  26. Tossing in a point of historical comparison, there is something to President Obama’s handling of this current crisis that seems to me reminiscent of the “Good Neighbor” policy that Franklin D. Roosevelt adopted in order to repair and advance US relations with Latin America during the Great Depression years.

    At the time of FDR’s ascension to the Presidency in 1933, popular opinion in regards to the United States had sunk to an all-time low throughout the Western Hemisphere, just as world opinion of the US had sunk to an extreme low when PBO came to power. Latin Americans in the early 20th Century had been enraged by what they regarded as the blatent imperialism of the United States as its leaders exercised their “rights” through the Monroe Doctrine to employ heavy-handed economic and military interventionist policies in the Carribean, Mexico, and South America with the sole motivation of protecting their own country’s interests. Even after the administration of Woodrow Wilson attempted to put a more liberal, pro-democracy spin on these policies, they continued in terms of both practicality and perception to be something approaching international military thuggery.

    FDR, who possessed a much greater appreciation for the geography, history, and geopolitics of the region, sought as President to turn American foreign policy around. In place of the active interventionism of his predecessors, his “Good Neighbor” policy placed an emphasis on the *avoidance* of using military muscle, the withdrawal of American occupying forces in countries that had been placed under the aegis of US “protection”, and instead sought to rely on the establishment of increasingly high levels of diplomatic, economic, and political relations and even cultural exchanges, a combination through which FDR sought to introduce new foreign policy initiatives that would *expand* rather than decrease American influence over the affairs of the Western Hemisphere, but would do so by making the relationship between the northern and southern continents a *mutually* rather than exclusively beneficial one, fostering the successful development of democracy in the region, and restore the united States’ reputation as a positive influence amongst the people in these countries.

    As well as being a precursor to the foreign policies that FDR would pursue on a more comprehensive and globabl scale through the device of the Grand Alliance, later the United Nations, that he orchestrated during the WWII years, the Good Neighbor policy notably resulted in a high degree of success in its stated goal of improving US-Latin America relations, and considerably improving the general opinion of the people of the latter in regards to the former. Roosevelt’s efforts were aided by the fact that many Latin Americans found him personally to be a highly attractive figure (just as Barack Obama today is in most countries far more popular than the nation that he leads), but they also saw great promise in the new line that his administration’s foreign policies were taking. It is one of the great misfortunes of modern history that most of FDR’s good work and accomplishment in regards to Latin America was undone by subsequent administrations during the Cold War.

    Although the parallels are in some ways inexact (President Obama has not had to contend with a deep-seated isolationist sentiment amongst the body politic, and nor has he been confronted with a domestic crisis quite as serious as the Great Deoression – although the present American domestic crisis is certainly severe), it is nonetheless very possible to see echoes not only of the Roosevelt Foreign Challenge, but also of the Roosevelt Response in PBO’s confrontation of the crises facing America and American power in the world today and his able work to defuse them. In confronting a tangled web of geopolitical strategic considerations and developments in a world where America’s imperial power is widely percieved as diminished from what it was just a few years previously (thanks largely to the hopeless mismanagement of his predecessor – see David E. Sanger’s “The Inheritance: A New President Confronts the World” for a detailed read on the challenges that have been bequeathed to Obama by virtue of Bush’s neoconservative blundering), Obama must and is seeking to manage the parallel efforts of restoring America’s tarnished reputation as the moral leader of the free world, while at the same time managing the diplomatic effort to “reset” American foreign relations in regards to Latin America, Africa, Europe, Russia, Asia and the Pacific Region(particularly India and China), and of course the Middle East, so as to be able to forge a stable foundation upon which can be built a new role of world leadership for America on an endurable and positive basis.

    In analyzing the President’s success in this great venture thus far, it is very important to remember that the development of a foreign policy legacy is a complicated process that can only truly be appreciated at its end, when it can be regarded as a whole. Although PBO’s FP achievements thus far are formidable (most notable being the START treaty), he is after all only just entering his third year in office. If the presidency of Richard Nixon, the second greatest Foreign Policy President in American history, had ended at the beginning of his third year it is likely that few would remember him – it was only in 1971 and 1972 that he could finally bring about the great public successes of his diplomatic efforts: the Opening to China, Detente with Russia, and the extraction of the US from Vietnam.

    Those who urge President Obama to focus only on Egypt in this crisis, to the exclusion of the rest of the region, demonstrate their foolishness in doing so. Great foreign policy success can only be built upon the understanding the interconnected nature of geopolitics. How President Obama handles this incident will not only define this single chapter of his presidency, but possibly his entire legacy in regards to the Middle East.

    I have every confidence that he will navigate it not only successfully, but with flying colors.

  27. Whom do you think? Do you?

    I am just warning you all. If you are then don’t be, that is all!

  28. Whom do you think? Do you?

    I am just warning you all. If you are then don’t be, that is all!

  29. With all due respect, I don’t think that characterization applies to the majority of posters here. I haven’t seen much evidence of exaggerate responses to positive or negative news. We celebrate the positive and express concern with the negative, but I fail to see the “crazy” and extreme responses you have described in your comment.

  30. With all due respect have you read the small fight between Saint Roscoe and the other guy/gal on the other post? Read that and talk to me. If all the post you see is all good to you, then fine good for you. I am just giving warning to all of you to be reasonable, not too high or too low. Just give the right tone. If you think this never happen here, then I can’t make you believe me by force, good luck too you and all the best.

  31. Thank you again for sharing your expertise with us. I too am very confident in President Obama’s skills. The first two years of his presidency are indeed impressive in terms of FP.

  32. Yes, I did read the exchange. It didn’t impress me as being an exchange of “highs” or “lows” but one in which people saw things differently and expressed their opinions. Perhaps I missed something that you picked up on. I do agree with you when you state that we could all learn from our President to not overreact to situations. However, I haven’t seen this as typical of this blog. Furthermore, this was one exchange on one post. There have been thousands of comments on many posts since this blog started.

  33. A subject of Jane Hamsher’s and Glenn Greenwald’s (he of BWD=Nazi propagandist fame) speaks out: http://shoqvalue.com/our-fact-free-media-not-just-for-fox-news-anymore

    Basically, this guy critiqued their reporting on this wikileaks/Manning story and noted that it is very emotional but they skimped on some of the facts here and there…this set off Hamsher who decided to attack him on twitter, threaten to out his real life identity, and made up a lie that he works for the GOP. You cannot make this stuff up. Our liberal spokespeople on display, using right wing tactics of intimidation like outings. People need to wake up to these two, they are no good. I share some of their professed beliefs but the things they do are just abhorrent to me as a liberal.

  34. Saku I certainly understand what you are saying and think that it is very wise; it’s not good to ping from an extreme high to an extreme low. I just think that perhaps you don’t need to worry so much about that here. This is not one of the new media spaces in which this is a problem. I personally, speaking for myself, *choose* optimism, but I can take disappointments when and where they come without going to an extreme of denouncing anything. Trust us to digest this information without resembling some of the excesses in other spaces my friend.

  35. Just another amazingly thoughtful comment. Thank you beyond words for taking the time to craft this message which is laden with rich contextual textures and facts which many of us don’t know. Just wonderful.

  36. she was tweeting and then saying the goverment took her cell phone so she could’nt take pictures when she went to visit manning. Now when the confiscate the take computers and cell phones. she is such a fraud.

  37. Yeah, that was just a ball of crazy. Seriously, Hamsher’s need to turn her arguments personally is disturbing.

  38. THANK YOU. Wonderful read. If only the media were even a fraction as savvy as your comment. Wow.

  39. This article explains why Obama approaches the Egyptian situation the way he does, its a good read.


    Obama can’t offer the moral thunder that Egypt craves
    The challenge for the US this week is to raise the temperature delicately, rather than seeking to call the global shots

    Michael Tomasky
    guardian.co.uk, Monday 31 January 2011 21.30 GMT
    Article history

    On an emotional level, everyone wants Barack Obama to thunder that Hosni Mubarak must go. And there are bad reasons why the US president won’t do that. Egypt is probably exhibit A in the broad US foreign policy imperative of geopolitical stability trumping internal democracy and human rights. It’s older than the cold war, this impulse. It was in the 1930s that Franklin Roosevelt supposedly said of Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza: “He may be a sonofabitch, but he’s our sonofabitch.” The same words have been true of Mubarak through 30 years of opposition crackdowns and human rights abuses.

    In 2005, then-secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, to her credit, gave a speech in Cairo that critiqued this policy, with the famous line: “For 60 years, my country … pursued stability at the expense of democracy in this region … and we achieved neither.” This was while the Bush administration was pushing the “freedom agenda”. American conservative commentators and bloggers have been quoting it over the past week as a supposed lesson in what moral clarity looks like. But all you have to do is look at today’s headlines to see exactly how little impact her words had.

    Nothing against Rice; this stuff isn’t easy. But it underscores the fact that there are also good reasons why Obama is in no position to offer the moral thunder the protesters and their supporters everywhere crave. It’s not just that the US needs to keep its powder on the dry side just in case Mubarak holds on, and it’s not even that the US must be extremely careful about emitting any slight signal that might ratchet up the unrest to a point that leads to a violent crackdown and even more repression. Rather, it’s that the US should not be dictating outcomes any more. The modern world requires a US posture that is more fluid and subtle, and that no longer seeks to call the global shots.

    We’re at a strangely paradoxical point in geopolitical history. On the one hand, we live in a unipolar world. The US is unchallenged in terms of global supremacy. It continues to have immense global obligations that no other country could or should fulfil (you want China to start arranging global alliances?). America remains the global hegemon. On the other, we have seen in the past decade the limits of American power far more clearly than we have seen its possibilities. The world’s greatest superpower got badly tangled up in Iraq and is bogged down in a seemingly unwinnable, decade-long war in one of the poorest and most backward countries on the planet. We can’t change Iran. North Korea does its thing. Bibi Netanyahu thumbs his nose at the US, as do Hamas and Hezbollah and Bashar al-Assad on the other side.

    Meanwhile, on the economic front, China makes deals and finances construction projects across the developing world; and it is Germany, not the US, that appears to be leading the way into the global economic future. Add to that – and this is perhaps most important of all – what Zbigniew Brzezinski has called the “global awakening” of peoples around the world in developing countries, who have more and more access to information and more and more impatience with the old geostrategic arrangements, and we are in a world of mightily reduced American leverage.

    The US can respond in two basic ways. One path is the neoconservatives’ chosen direction of maintaining hegemony at all costs – which, paradoxically, has reduced American hegemony, because they led the US into the very wars that exposed its limitations, and they made decisions that are directly to blame for doing so (Donald Rumsfeld’s conviction that Iraq could be tamed with just 130,000 troops, say). That way lies further disaster, and quite possibly war with Iran one of these days.

    The other choice is to manage carefully the transition from a hegemonic world to an awakening world. This is a process whereby the US encourages reform and openness without being seen as dictating outcomes. Here is where writers use words like “challenging”, but challenging understates the matter. Doing this will be extremely difficult. For one thing, it’s subtle and doesn’t lend itself to slogans. It’s hard to communicate politically. And never forget domestic politics: the neocons will be banging on about how such a posture signals weakness to the world. And, like a stopped clock, every once in a while, they’ll be right.

    The challenge for Obama, Hillary Clinton and the rest of the team this week is to raise the temperature delicately, on behalf of the right things: not against Mubarak or the Muslim Brotherhood or for Mohammed ElBaradei, but on behalf of the great global awakening for rights and freedom. That is the “right side of history” everyone is chattering about. Another American gave a pretty good speech in Cairo once, instructing his audience: “You must maintain your power through consent, not coercion; you must respect the rights of minorities, and participate with a spirit of tolerance and compromise; you must place the interests of your people and the legitimate workings of the political process above your party.” That was Obama. They’re words I hope he’s rereading.

  40. Thanks for a nice historical perspective, axrendale.

    If only the fifth columnist media and the fourth rate pundits did their due diligence like you ….

  41. Axrendale, I appreciate your insight, comparison and evaulation of FDR and BHO foreign policy approach.

    Thank you

  42. Thanks Starm. Tomasky nails it. This is a delicate teaching moment for rest of the world. With rising population with resultant rising unemployment and rising scarce food resources, many ‘stable’ countries are in for a rude awakening.

    I got two young kids raising them a corrupt country and am always worried what sorta mess we elders are leaving behind for them.

  43. It’s too much; is the story about her, or is the story about the real harm to humans which certain types of imprisonment create??? And if it’s the latter, it’s going to necessitate more than one sensational story. It’s going to mean challenging an entire mindset of criminal *in*justice in this country and wondering why we lock up so many people without regard to making sure that 100% of them are in humane conditions. This is my problem with fauxgressives. They jump from thing to thing but a lot of these problems are entrenched and complex and are going to take more than a generation to fix, not merely a bunch of blogs railing against President Obama for not being able to snap his fingers and dismantle the status quo.

  44. I doubt that’s the case actually. People say lots of things on big orange which may or may nor signal a divergence from the tactics of Hamsher, in order to preserve credibility. Without going into this extensively, let’s just say take those relationships and supposedly fractures in those relationships with a HUGE grain of salt.

  45. Thanks AFO

    This is also an interesting article on how China is responding to what’s happening in Egypt


    Chinese authorities restrict news of Egypt protests Internet searches are hindered amid carefully controlled coverage of Egypt in mainstream media

    Tania Branigan in Beijing and agencies
    guardian.co.uk, Monday 31 January 2011 13.51 GMT

    An Egyptian anti-government protester in Cairo. Searches for the Chinese characters for Egypt on popular websites return messages saying the results are not being shown due to local regulations. Photograph: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters

    The Chinese authorities are censoring references to the protests inEgypt as some internet users draw comparisons with China, it emerged today. Searches for the Chinese characters for Egypt on the popular Sina microblog service returned a message saying results were not being shown due to local regulations. But tactics such as employing the English word or characters sounding the same as the Chinese name – also “ai ji”, but this time meaning “sad and worried” – allowed internet users to discuss the situation.
    Some people said they had also been able to post messages containing the characters for Egypt, although it was not clear how long they stayed up.

    Although Beijing’s grip on power remains strong, the authorities are deeply aware of social tensions and are anxious to avoid mass unrest. There has been carefully controlled coverage of Egypt in the mainstream media, with newspapers and major news portals running short pieces from the Xinhua state news agency. They are often told to use only Xinhua articles on sensitive subjects.

    Reports have focused on the economic impact of the protests and the risks of instability, rather than their causes. But the official Global Times newspaper ran a commentary on its English site arguing that the so-called colour revolutions “will not bring about real democracy”. It concluded: “When it comes to political systems, the western model is only one of a few options. It takes time and effort to apply democracy to different countries, and to do so without the turmoil of revolution.”

    The Chinese edition today pointed to US interests in Egypt, declaring that the west was trying to decide which direction the country will take.

    Officially, Beijing has urged a return to order in Egypt, with the foreign ministry spokesman, Hong Lei, saying in a statement: “China is paying very close attention to developments in Egypt. Egypt is a friend of China, and we hope Egypt will return to social stability and normal order as soon as possible.” But some internet users embraced the protests. One message on the popular Baidu.com message board read: “We must clearly support this revolution.”

    Another asked: “Will Mubarak become [late Chinese leader] Deng Xiaoping?” That was apparently a reference to the brutal military crackdown on the pro-reform protests that began in Tiananmen Square in 1989, which resulted in hundreds, possibly thousands, of deaths.

    On the Sina microblog, several users drew parallels with their own situation. “So much tax every year, visiting the hospital once would cost a fortune – this reminds me of Egypt,” one wrote.

    “[Am] watching TV. One woman said: ‘The Egyptians don’t have the most basic rights. They can’t vote, they don’t have freedom of expression, some of them can’t even work. The poor are extremely poor and the rich are extremely rich, and the government has been ignoring the gap for 30 years.’ OK … very thought-provoking …” noted another.

    A third wrote: “No matter how wealthy the society seems, there is one thing that’s missing, just like the Egyptians – they are missing the exact same thing, too. The evil will eventually perish and we will have the thing which has been missing in our hearts.”
    Others questioned why news programmes were not devoting more time to the subject.

    BWD what are the rules for posting articles? I notice that you don’t usually post articles in full. Tell us if we are breaking and rule etc.

  46. I believe that the only way Huntsman could win the GOP nomination at this point is to out crazy the rest of the pack vying for the nomination. Also, the republicans are scared $h!*less of the tea partiers and the corporatists and have spent the last 2 years pandering to them. I just don’t think the tea partiers would have much use for a republican that told them the truth and talked with some sense. Since Huntsman endorsed cap and trade, it would seem that Big Oil would have little use for him also. The republicans seem to be addicted to destroying the country to get their policies through, and I don’t see Huntsman being in agreement with them on this point. If he decides to run, he has his work cut out for him.

  47. Starm. Fair use is utmost 3 grafs and then a linky. I think. 😉

    Agree China with a huge population still under poverty. The same case with India. The so-called asian tigers have allowed an exorbitant growth at the top level with very little trickledowns to a huge majority.

  48. I was trying to figure out what “LOE” meant… thanks for coming back to explain. I would have been at that one for ages… 😳

  49. Ah, the media are not yet *entirely* devoid of reason and the ability to provide facts.

    If I may throw in another reference to Franklin Roosevelt, he once expressed the opinion that the processes of media, communication between government and people, the news, etc, moved in constantly evolving “cycles” that turned upon technological, cultural, social, and political shifts. We seem to be at the nadir of such a cycle. The positive side of this is that when one has reached the nadir, the only way left to go is up.

    Until then, we are fortunate to have BWD, who seems to possess a genius for sifting through the great morass of the news cycle to find the real gems for our consumption. 😀

  50. I think if he was to run, he might try as an Independent. That’s the only way he could make it. And he’s got enough money to try and do it himself.

  51. I hear you Saku for warning us, like that great African Revolutionary Amlicar Cabral who warned his fighters, in Guinea Bissau, not to “Claim Easy Victories.” While this is a wise warning, we also must guard against constant negativity and the tendency to focus on the weaknesses of our side while elevating, sometimes without much foundation, the perceived strength and advantages of our adversaries. If we are constantly fed negativity about our position, or are constantly fed the view of how superior our adversaries are, we are likely to develop less confidence in our cause and our leaders. I have tremendous confidence in President Obama because of what he has done, and what he is capable of doing. My confidence in the President does not mean that I am not aware of the possibility that this country can choose to replace him with some one else in 2012. In fact, I am not that naive to think that the people will always make the best choices in elections especially given what the majority did in the 2010 mid-term congressional elections. But, to repeat: while we supporters of President Obama should guard against claiming “Easy victories,” we must also fiercely reject any demoralizing tendencies that seek to weaken our resolve by constantly harping on the perceived strength of our adversaries.

  52. This is what drives me a little batty about U.S. mainstream–even Nick Kristof at NYT is saying Obama is not showing enough commitment. It’s a very delicate situation, the ’79 peace treaty is so important to maintain, and also, Egypt’s been an ally for 30 years with Mubarek after Sadat. Divorces are messy. I’m just thrilled with the sights of people in the streets wanting democracy, and on Ian Masters tonight, a young Egyptian woman spoke of wanting “one or more to choose from” when she voted. I can’t imagine it will become a Tiananmen Square type thing tomorrow with the million march, that would be ruinous for Mubarek. Heady times, people. 🙂

  53. Yep.. that Hamsher is some piece of work.. and yet she continues to be allowed to speak as if she speaks for the ‘left’. They’re a disturbing bunch.

  54. I am really worried about Huntsman running. If he wins the primary then Obama will have a really tough challenge/race and the possibility of him not winning is out there.

  55. Yeah, that is what I was going to say. If Jane was still willing to pay eve and slink, you know they’d be defending her latest crazy.

  56. I really don’t think you should worry. First, Huntsman is not making it through a GOP primary. He is pro-civil unions, pro-amnesty, pro-cap and trade and he worked for Obama. The GOP voters aren’t going to vote for someone that moderate. Plus, he’s Mormon.

    Also, it is going to be hard for Huntsman to credibly criticize his ex-boss, Obama.

    The media will lap Huntsman up with a spoon, but I don’t imagine the voters will agree.

  57. Thanks for the post of the Republican seeing that President Obama is trying to help the American people.
    I have wanted people that did not support his election to discover that he genuinely cares about us and has formulated plans using top people to try to get us out of the situation the GOP got us into.

  58. It sure feels like that cycle has hit a trough and stayed there. 😦

    But as you, the Saint Barnard BWD is here to save us. 🙂

  59. Today is really going to be an amazing day to watch history being made across the world.

    At 9:30 am NYT, there will be a change in government in Ireland, through democratic means, brought on by lack of employment and the financial devastation of a country. This morning Cowan will make his farewell speech to his country insisting to the end that no matter how sorry he is about what happened, he always acted for the good of the Irish people and the country. It should be a speech that will likely be a template for Mubarak’s final speech. What happens in Ireland now can affect all of Europe.

    In the next degree, we will watch a massive march to bring about a change in government in Egypt who do not have the ballot box to make the change. The underlying cause here is lack of employment and lack of affordable food, a more dire degree of distress than exists in Ireland. What happens here will affect all of the Middle East and maybe the world.

    And finally, there are dreaded developments in Haiti, where lack of food, lack of shelter and lack of jobs now has not one, but two former dictators circling like vultures, drooling, waiting to seize control of a country and its people once again. Poor Haiti goes in the opposite direction to the rest of the world.

    I wonder when PBO will ever have an empty plate before him on foreign affairs? There are similarities between these countries and yet vast differences. I just can’t imagine having to juggle so many delicate political situations at the same time. What a burden he has taken on for us.

    And for a different reason, let us also pay attention to Australia today, hit by record floods already,, and about to be hit by the biggest and worst cyclone in their history, with the resulting human distress and economic hardship that is sure to come.

    Yes, a day for history this February 1st, 2011.

  60. I was suddenly reminded of Eva Peron’s farewell speech wherein:
    Don’t cry for me, Argentina. Every [despicable, nasty, evil] thing I did, I did for you.

    Sorry, I am really feeling the weight of today for some reason.

  61. “He is the Obama of cricket,” was Praveen’s reply when asked what makes Dhoni a special captain.

    AFO that’s is probably one of the funniest line

  62. Yup. Abdullah dismissed the govt. Looks like the domino effect may not be a hyperbole after all.

  63. I thought so too. That’s why I posted it.

    He is right. Indian cricket captain has that no-drama quality of other whatchamacallit guy with funny name and funnier ears. 😉

  64. Howard Fineman (on HuffnPuff) is drooling at the prospect of Hunstman running (and beating Obama, no less). Interestingly, he’s had nary a positive word to say about Obama, yet he’s effusive with positive things to say about Huntsman.

    This “Huntsman running” will be pushed by the media. But it could backfire. They need to be careful what they wish for. Because it might be easy to hide his associations with the Koch Brothers and Glen Beck as an ambassador, but as a Presidential candidate, this is going to be problematic. And that is assuming he gets past the far-rightwing/Teafolk in the GOP primaries.

  65. Jordan’s king sacks Cabinet amid street protests


    AP foreign, Tuesday February 1 2011
    AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Jordan’s Royal Palace says the king has sacked his government in the wake of street protests and has asked an ex-army general to form a new Cabinet.

    King Abdullah’s move comes after thousands of Jordanians took to the streets — inspired by the regime ouster in Tunisia and the turmoil in Egypt — and called for the resignation of Prime Minister Samir Rifai who is blamed for a rise in fuel and food prices and slowed political reforms.

    The Royal Palace says Rifai’s Cabinet resigned on Tuesday.

    Abdullah also nominated Marouf al-Bakhit as his prime minister-designate. No other details were immediately available.


  66. I’ve been seeing “reports” that Egyptians are not happy with Obama and the US right now because he has not literally called for Mubarak to step down. Its understandable that some of them would feel that way and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t help that they are not aware of what the president is saying day after day nor of his actions.

    It bothered me last night when The Daily Show showed clips of Egyptians showing how the pelts and tear gas cans were made in the US. It just seemed over the top, IMO, for those individual protesters to think that we are against them because those items were made in our country. Blame the people who are actually tossing and spraying these things on you NOT where they were made.

    In any case, I think this uprising will temporarily hurt relations with the US and Egypt, but I’m confident Obama will work to make sure that it becomes more solid and favorable in the future. This has to be Egypts moment though, not Obama’s. Provide what help they may need and stay in the background like he did with Sudan. After complaining for so many years about US intrusion in foreign “business” I find it interesting that some are complaining that Obama is missing some “historic opportunity”.

  67. Wow – that was an interesting article, and explains so much for my intense dislike of that one blogger “Valtin”.

    And he’s supposed to be a psychologist??? How does this guy get any business?? He is not rational at all, and hyper black and white in the “if you don’t agree, you’re evil” arguments.

  68. I haven’t been paying as much attention to that region as I should, I suppose. I thought Jordan had the most stable country/government in the region.

    Do y’all suggest BBC or Al Jazeera for reliable news of that region?

  69. I trust BBC 100%. Al J is getting there. Though their Live blog on Egypt is probably a tinge influenced by the reporters being too close to the action.

  70. http://thepage.time.com/2011/01/31/wh-slams-florida-ruling/#more-210434

    WH response to the HCR ruling by the biased, opportunistic judge in florida( I say that because, these judges are saying they want to be in the US supreme court some day)!
    Oh yeah, and for all you liberals out there that think that this gives you new hope for medicare for all, what are you smoking? Be Real… The medicare for all thiny will NEVER pass the United states senate, EVER!

  71. I think we have a habit of making stuff about us. Its the egocentric mind set, which is very much part of the western culture mindset.

  72. Temp, you hit the nail on the the head with this statement. I have been thinking this for days now.

    After complaining for so many years about US intrusion in foreign “business” I find it interesting that some are complaining that Obama is missing some “historic opportunity”.

    The Egyptian people want the right to choose the leaders of their country. They appreciate the speech that President Obama gave in June 2009. However, they are disappointed that President Obama has not said that Murbarak should step down. They want a stronger statement from President Obama.

    Clearly, there is a lot going on behind the scenes between the diplomats, the US military and the Egyptian military. When the dust settles, it will be interesting to learn how US leverage impacted some of the actions taken.

  73. From my twitter timeline:

    RT @nidalmawas: Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Tahrir Square says that up to two million people are now protesting in Tahrir Square. #Egypt

  74. I think the pre-emptive angst about Huntsman is wasted energy. It is difficult to believe that someone of whom few people have heard has sufficient charisma to leap into the limelight a la Senator Obama from his position as Ambassador, no matter what his intentions.

  75. It truly is wonderful that someone is willing to gather the positive information for us in one place where we can access it and feel inspired to do what we can, however small, to move the world forward. I echo all the thanks here.

  76. I do think implying Saint Roscoe is a troll was unwarranted. He/she perhaps has a more pessimistic view than most of us here, but we certainly can accommodate that.

  77. Just so you know, reuters has up a stroy that says the isrreali govt is pissed at POTUS for abandoning Mubarak! To much restraint or not enough!
    Same argument we have heard for a while now, you know, to black, not black enough…

  78. axrendale, your comments are a great asset to this site. Thank you for your well-articulated and informed thoughtfulness.

  79. Nathan Katungi, yours is one of many comments this morning that make it absolutely unnecessary for me to add anything. You are all expressing it so well and in a more analytical manner than I am capable of.

  80. gn, the positive news is that hardly anyone outside of the blogosphere knows who they are, even though they appear on television now and then. Let’s take them for the grains of salt they are.

  81. “Rather, it’s that the US should not be dictating outcomes any more. The modern world requires a US posture that is more fluid and subtle, and that no longer seeks to call the global shots.”

    Excellent, just excellent.

  82. DO you think he can win the primary without ANY Tea Party support? And if he does, he must build up a public persona, since hardly anyone has ever heard of him. Do you think he has sufficient charisma to do this in less than two years’ time? The fear about Huntsman seems to be founded on conjecture and prognostication. Why give him the validity?

  83. BWD ARE YOU OKAY? It is unusual for me to get here and you are not here! Sure hope all is well, and maybe you just slept in! {You have been going non-stop for us here for quite a while!} TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!

    Going up to read today’s comments – maybe someone already knows why I’m not seeing you here yet.

  84. It’s really mindblowing, when you think of it, just how much this one man is on the minds of hundreds of millions of people on the planet at any given moment. Anything happens, and before long, Obama’s name will be in the discussion. Good, bad, or indifferent, somehow he will be connected to the issue.

    It’s really incredible.

    Have a good day, everybody :-).

  85. Thanks for the synopsis OG, it will help me focus a little more on what is happening worldwide.

  86. Valtin is the blogger that wrote the diary calling President Obama ‘the Manchurian Candidate’ that went to the top of the rec list for at least 24 hours.. all while MB also had a top-rec’d diary.. ultimately it was removed. But that diary is the one that sent me outta there. And he’s a psychologist? What a bunch of kooks. I’ll go read the article.

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