The Pentagon rushes to ready the Military Option for Libya….

I told you so….

When I scuffed at Defense Secretary Gates ‘wishful thinking’ about no more forays into combat in the The Middle East, North Africa or Asia…

His staff is now moving assets in place and reading war plans as simple as evacuations, to no-fly zones to boots on the ground in Libya so that nation’s Commander-in-Chief has options if he should choose to order any of those actions……

It NEVER stops people….

Never….

 

I hope it doesn’t come to that….

But being the world’s premier cop …..

Brings these actions….

Under NO circumstance should the US take ANY action alone….

NATO should be involved and other Middle Eastern countries also …..(If that is possible)

***

“Qaddafi has lost the legitimacy to govern, and it is time for him to go without further violence or delay,” Mrs. Clinton told reporters after a special meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council. “No option is off the table,” she said, adding “that of course includes a no-fly zone.”

But officials in Washington and elsewhere said that direct military action remained unlikely, and that the moves were designed as much as anything as a warning to Colonel Qaddafi and a show of support to the protesters seeking to overthrow his government.

Speaking in Geneva, Mrs. Clinton said the United States was sending two teams of aid workers to Libyan border regions with Tunisia and Egypt, where tens of thousands of refugees are massing in a desperate flight from Libya’s strife-torn cities. The administration has set aside $10 million for emergency relief.

As part of a potential military role in the humanitarian effort, Pentagon officials said that military aircraft and ships were being ordered to move into position closer to the Libyan coast. The Navy has an aircraft carrier strike group — with ample planes and helicopters — and an amphibious landing vessel, withMarines and helicopters, in the nearby Red Sea.

“As part of our contingency planning to provide the president flexibility on a full range of options regarding Libya, we are repositioning forces in the region,” said Col. David Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman….

More….


Share on Facebook

Bowing to huge political pressure Interior approves first new Deep water permit…

This is not unexpected….

With an election less than two years away….

The Obama Administration seems to be beginning to go out of its way to find votes…

Resuming deep-water drilling and the jobs and economic boost resulting from the resumed new drilling is a way to get those votes…

While outsiders may lament the resumption of the practice…

The fact is the drilling is jobs….

Directly and in-directly….

And votes….

***

The Interior Department on Monday approved the first Gulf of Mexico deepwater drilling permit since imposing a freeze after the BP oil spill began.

The permit — awarded to Houston-based Noble Energy — follows months of criticism from Republicans, drill-state Democrats and the oil industry, who alleged that Interior was dragging its feet. But department officials maintained they were taking needed steps to lessen the chance of another disaster.

“This permit represents a significant milestone for us and for the offshore oil and gas industry, and is an important step towards safely developing deepwater energy supplies offshore,” said Michael Bromwich, director of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE), in a statement Monday.

“This permit was issued for one simple reason: the operator successfully demonstrated that it can drill its deepwater well safely and that it is capable of containing a subsea blowout if it were to occur. We expect further deepwater permits to be approved in coming weeks and months based on the same process that led to the approval of this permit,” he added….

More….

Note….

Money, jobs and votes aside….One would hope that new permits come with increased owner safety AND  increased government inspections……

 

 


Share on Facebook

Right now Wisconsin Governor Walker wouldn’t get re-elected….

In a  poll that should be a warning to GOPer Governor’s out there and other’s….

Wisconsin Governor would lose to his Democratic opponent Tom Barret if there was a do over today….

He has become that unpopular in his home state and across the country….

Everyday the protests continue in his state…

He loses a little more….

As I have pointed out here…….

 

The 2012 Primaries are less than year away…

House re-elections are less than 2 years away….

All this union busting is just stirring up the Democratic base and pissing Republican union members off also….

Maybe they can get a recall election for next winter and vote him out….

 

Wisconsin Do Over?

A new Public Policy Polling survey finds that if Wisconsin voters could do it over today they’d support Tom Barrett (D) over Gov. Scott Walker (R) by a seven point margin, 52% to 45%.

Key finding: “The difference between how folks would vote now and how they voted in November can almost all be attributed to shifts within union households. Voters who are not part of union households have barely shifted at all- they report having voted for Walker by 7 points last fall and they still say they would vote for Walker by a 4 point margin. But in households where there is a union member voters now say they’d go for Barrett by a 31 point margin, up quite a bit from the 14 point advantage they report having given him in November.”

Poll: Wisconsin Voters Wouldn’t Elect Gov. Walker In Do-Over

 

Wisconsin voters already have buyers remorse about electing Gov. Scott Walker (R).

In a PPP poll released Monday, a majority of registered Wisconsin voters say that in a hypothetical re-do of last year’s gubernatorial election, they would vote for Democrat Tom Barrett, whom Walker defeated in November. That finding comes as Walker continues to stand firm on his budget proposals that would strip most state public employees of long-held collective bargaining rights.

Fifty-two percent of respondents said they would vote for Barrett if the election were held today, while 45% said they would vote for Walker. That’s almost exactly the opposite of what happened in the election, when Walker won the governorship with 52% of the vote to Barrett’s 47%.

 

Read more »


Share on Facebook

That Gallup poll that had the Public for Walker?…I have two that say the public ain’t….

It’s all in the question folks…

And I posted that I didn’t believe that poll that the public back Wisconsin Governor Walker’s stealing his workers bargaining rights….


Well here’s TWO polls that don’t believe it either….

 

Rasmussen Poll On Gov’t Shutdown Shows Inverse Of Gallup Findings

 

According to one poll, six in ten Americans want a budget compromise to prevent a government shutdown. According to another survey 60% want a government shutdown to get to a budget compromise. Wait, what?

Yes, two polls in the past week have shown apparently opposite results on how Americans feel about a looming government shutdown, should Congress not pass a budget by the end of the week. So why the sharp discrepancy?

The answer, as is so often the case, is in the framing.

 

Read more »

 

 

 

Majority Oppose Taking Rights from Public Sector Unions

A new New York Times/CBS News poll finds a majority of Americans “say they oppose efforts to weaken the collective bargaining rights of public employee unions and are also against cutting the pay or benefits of public workers to reduce state budget deficits.”

“Americans oppose weakening the bargaining rights of public employee unions by a margin of nearly two to one: 60% to 33%. While a slim majority of Republicans favored taking away some bargaining rights, they were outnumbered by large majorities of Democrats and independents who said they opposed weakening them. Those surveyed said they opposed, 56% to 37%, cutting the pay or benefits of public employees to reduce deficits, breaking down along similar party lines.” 

Key finding: 61% of those polled — including just over half of Republicans — said they thought the salaries and benefits of most public employees were either “about right” or “too low” for the work they do, despite rhetoric that they are overpaid or have generous benefits.

 

Share on Facebook

Iraqi Update…Small Protests…Fustration at things not moving fast enough…Will they slide backwards?

Iraq IS a democracy…

A democracy just beginning…..

The people of this country rejoiced at deposing the first dictator in the Middle East…

They now have grown impatient at the pace of their democracy…..

Overthrowing a dictator is just baby steps as a country stumbles and tries to walk….

The US took decades and centuries ….

 

While things move quickly these days…

Democracy will need patience….

And better economies in the Middle East and North Africa…

 

The worry is will the masses turn elsewhere for a quick fix?

Going back to autocratic governments  to maintain order and stability…..

Again?

***

As waves of demonstrations have swept through the region and toppled regimes, Iraq’s new government, just two months old, seems to sense danger in the anger of its citizens. This isn’t Egypt or Libya, of course; Iraqis aren’t staging a revolt against the state so much as telling their democratically elected leaders to get their acts together. Still, there are potentially dire consequences. On Tuesday, I asked a top member of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s political party, Kamal al-Saidi, whether the protests could fracture the governing coalition, which took nearly a year to assemble. “It depends on Friday,” he answered. A large wave of popular anger could potentially cause rival political parties, who have formed an uneasy alliance with Maliki, to withdraw their support — either in an effort to exploit a moment of political opportunity or in response to the demands of their constituents…..

More….

heuvelenfeb28p.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share on Facebook

President Obama Job Approval 2/28/11….

This poll list from RealClearPolitics…..

 

President Obama Job Approval

Polling Data

 

 

Poll Date Sample Approve Disapprove Spread
RCP Average 2/7 – 2/27 49.3 44.3 +5.0
Gallup 2/25 – 2/27 1500 A 47 44 +3
Rasmussen Reports 2/25 – 2/27 1500 LV 49 50 -1
Newsweek/Daily Beast 2/12 – 2/15 918 LV 50 44 +6
CBS News 2/11 – 2/14 1031 A 48 41 +7
Democracy Corps (D) 2/7 – 2/9 1000 LV 51 44 +7
FOX News 2/7 – 2/9 911 RV 51 43 +8

 

 

RCP POLL AVERAGE
President Obama Job Approval
49.3 Approve 44.3 Disapprove

 

Share on Facebook

Political Roundup for February 28, 2011…Red Horses Racing…

By: James_Nola

PresidentGingrich: The big news from this weekend is that Newt Gingrich will be the first major Republican candidate to join the Presidential race, or to form an exploratory committee. According to Gingrich’s lawyer, Randy Evans, he will announce an exploratory committee on March 8th in Georgia. Meanwhile, a Gingrich aide tells Politicothat Gingrich will decide this week, but there may not be an announcement that soon. He will also conveniently be in Iowa on March 7.

Daniels: Daniels says that Indiana’s fleebaggers may extend the legislative session, which would delay his decision on a Presidential run

Tea Party Straw Poll: A straw poll taken of the attendees of the Tea Party Patriots policy summit this weekend, keynoted by Tim Pawlenty , put businessman Herman Cain at the front with 22%, followed by Pawlenty with 16% edging out Ron Paul, who received 15%.

More….

 

Share on Facebook

Which Nurse Is Nurse?….The Oligarch Kings….

 

This one perhaps?

As a diversion from the real and serious happenings in the Middle East, I thought tonight I might explore a totally useless and utterly frivolous subject.  That of Galyna Kolotnytska the nurse, who first came to public notice through a WikiLeaks cable and was described as the “voluptuous” Ukrainian nurse who was Gaddafi’s constant companion these past nine years.

Little, it seems is known about her.  Her age is only guessed at by various agencies.  38 seems a reasonable supposition.  How close she was to the mad dictator these last nine years is, the subject of fevered speculation.

It seems we cannot even be sure what she looks like.  Just try to sort out a Google Image inquiry!  The picture above of a very pretty woman who may or may not be thought “voluptuous” yet is being touted as the real one by Order Order – a political blog in Britain.  Not sure myself.  Yeah, she looks nice but nurse-like?  Ukrainian?  Think not.  Happy to be proved wrong of course.

Now the one here is The Guardian’s shot at the prize.  Yeah, definitely a bit more voluptuous a real …. perhaps … here.

Undoubtedly we will find out……

More….

 

Share on Facebook

New GOP Budget Balancing Plan….Cut 700,000 government jobs…

The GOP finally has a jobs plan. Too bad it’s a plan to kill jobs:

A Republican plan to sharply cut federal spending this year would destroy 700,000 jobs through 2012, according to an independent economic analysis set for release Monday.The report, by Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi, offers fresh ammunition to Democrats seeking block the Republican plan, which would terminate dozens of programs and slash federal appropriations by $61 billion over the next seven months.

Zandi, an architect of the 2009 stimulus package who has advised both political parties, predicts that the GOP package would reduce economic growth by 0.5 percentage points this year, and by 0.2 percentage points in 2012, resulting in 700,000 fewer jobs by the end of next year.

Although Zandi helped shape the stimulus plan, he’s not partisan. In fact, during the 2008 election, he served as an economic adviser to John McCain. And as Greg Sargent points out, Zandi’s analysis mirrors a similar one by Goldman Sachs last week.

Although there’s no doubt Republicans will ignore Zandi’s analysis like Goldman Sachs’ before it, the bottom line is that immediate austerity hurts the economy and does nothing for long-term deficit reduction. In other words, the GOP’s economic plan is to kill jobs and ignore long-term debt……

 

Share on Facebook

The US and Pakistan Military sit down last week was to try straighten out things between the two countries…

A fly on the wall account of the get together that happened last Tuesday on Oman….

The top US Military General’s met with their counterparts from Pakistan for the face to face to discuss the case of CIA shooter  Raymond Davis, US bombings in Pakistan, US Special Ops programs in Pakistan and other issues including the countries Intelligence organization….

***

“It’s a spy game being played out in the media and the CIA has told the ISI to cut it out,” the official said. “The relationship remains testy. But after the meeting between Mullen and Kayani the likelihood of some resolution has increased.”

Inside the Pakistani government, the Davis case has exacerbated internal tensions between the civilian government, led by President Asif Ali Zardari, and the ISI. Pakistani news agencies have been reporting that the Pakistani embassy in Washington has approved hundreds of visas for American officials without proper vetting, increasing the ease with which covert CIA operatives could enter the country.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to Washington Husain Haqqani has denied that any visas had been issued from his embassy without proper authorization. An analysis of Pakistani visas granted to U.S. government employees, conducted by the Pakistani government, shows there has been no significant increase in the number of visas issued since 2007.

Regardless, the gentlemen’s agreement between the ISI and the CIA that the two organizations would keep each other informed on each other’s actions in Pakistan has now broken down.

“It’s a vicious circle. Davis was in Pakistan because Pakistan can’t be trusted. But Davis getting caught has increased the mistrust,” the Pakistani official said. “Their interests are no longer congruent. Eventually the ISI and the CIA will have to work out new rules of engagement.”

More….


Share on Facebook

Maybe there actually won’t be a Government shutdown…..

Good piece on why BOTH parties are working to find a way to NOT shut things down….

I like the part about Newt Gingrich being dragged back out in public….


Why There Will Not be a Government Shutdown

John Dickerson on why there won’t be another government shutdown this time around:

“The White House wants Senate Democrats to make a deal. It cannot have a government shutdown while the economic recovery is still so fragile. Though the actual impact of a short shutdown would not be dire, it would increase uncertainty in the business community, say administration aides, sending the signal that in the bigger budget fights to come, no one in Washington can be trusted to do the right thing. Such unpredictability may cause businesses to hold on to their profits and hold off on investing or hiring new workers.

“…Republicans, meanwhile, don’t want a shutdown because they can’t risk having their first big public act be that they shut down the government. Footage of Newt Gingrich will flood the airwaves… GOP leadership aides are also worried that the narrative of the shutdown stories will be that House Speaker John Boehner is too beholden to the ‘Tea Party crazies.’ That diminishes Boehner’s stature and suggests the House is out of control.”

 

Share on Facebook

With The House newbie’s leading the way…State’s push back against Federal programs….

With the Governor’s and the President talking for the last two days here’s the story….

Governors have asked for more latitude in federally mandated programs that they have…..But have asked the President to work with the Congress to slow down cuts that both Houses of  Congress want to do….

While the nation seemed to be pulling smartly out of the economic down turn…The states are having trouble…

They are scrambling to balance budgets and want the Fed’s to go easy on rules, regulations and limits to their bottom lines….

 

Very few of the Governor’s have attracted the attention that Wisconsin Governor Walker and Indiana Governor Daniels have…

But most, if not all have budget deficits that they must overcome….

And they are looking for help from Washington….

And…

If they don’t get it by asking for it….

Several GOP Governor’s have tried use the courts and have vowed to fight the Fed’s or plan to just ignore federal rules, policies and regulations..

This could get messy…

***

“There is a lot more activity on a broader front,” said Karl Kurtz, a staff analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures. “Fueled by the election results, more Republicans are pursuing their agenda.”

In Kentucky, the State Senate is expected to take up a bill this week declaring the state a “sanctuary” from meddling by theEnvironmental Protection Agency.

In Arizona, the State Senate approved a measure this month that would exempt all products made and consumed within its boundaries from federal interstate commerce laws.

The Montana Legislature is considering a bill that would allow the state to nullify federal laws that protect endangered species. And in Georgia, a bill that would override federal monetary regulations by requiring banks to accept payment in gold or silver has survived two readings in the State House of Representatives.

“There’s been a kind of ramping up,” said Michael Boldin, the founder of the Tenth Amendment Center, a research and advocacy group in Los Angeles. Last year, Mr. Boldin said, many of the bills were simply statements of dissatisfaction or intent. This year, he said, the bills are armed with teeth and recommended penalties. The Arizona bill, for instance, would make it a felony for anyone who tried to enforce federal commerce laws.

Critics say the measures are mostly still just talk — rhetorical flourishes shaped to criticize the Obama administration. Federal law, by dint of multiple legal precedents, almost always trumps state law. Even worse, the critics say, the effort to wrest power from Washington is distracting legislators from making tough economic and budget decisions…..

More….

 


Share on Facebook

The true key states for Obama in ’12…..

This from the Washington Post…..

Much depends on the health of the economy as well as the relative strengths of the president and the eventual Republican nominee when voters start paying close attention.

But in politics, past is often prologue, so it’s worth comparing Sen. John Kerry‘s performance as the Democratic presidential nominee in 2004 with Obama’s showing in 2008.

In 44 of 50 states, Obama did better than Kerry (Mass.). In 28 of those 44, Obama was five or more percentage points ahead.

Adjusting for some bias – Obama had 18 points more than Kerry in his childhood state of Hawaii – the state with the biggest difference in performance between the two Democratic nominees was Indiana, where Obama took 11 percent more of the vote than Kerry had four years earlier. (Indiana was one of nine states that Kerry lost but Obama won.)

In North Dakota, Obama did 10 points better, and in Delaware – the home state of Vice President Biden – and Nebraska, Obama improved on Kerry’s take by nine points.

(Interestingly, of the 10 states where Obama outperformed Kerry’s 2004 showing by at least eight points, he lost four: Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota and Utah.)

Many of the traditional swing states featured far smaller variations between Kerry and Obama.

In Florida, Obama had four points more than Kerry, but that improvement was enough to tilt the Sunshine State to him. Ditto in Ohio, where Obama outperformed Kerry by just three points. In Pennsylvania, a state both men carried, Obama outdid Kerry by three points as well.

Of the six states where Kerry did better or matched Obama’s showing, five are either in the deep South or the southwestern plains. Obama took six points less in Arkansas than Kerry had four years earlier; he fell two and one points short of the Massachusetts senator’s total in Louisiana and Tennessee, respectively. (In Massachusetts, Oklahoma and West Virginia, Kerry and Obama received the same percentage of the vote.)

Given Democrats’ struggles at the ballot box in 2010, it’s virtually impossible to imagine Obama re-creating the map of 2008 – a map that featured not only wide but also deep gains when compared with Kerry’s performance four years earlier……

More…..

 

Share on Facebook

Obama declares national state of emergency over Libya….

Bowing to international and strong domestic political pressure…

The President acts….

There are also murmurs of applying a ‘No-Fly Zone’ over the Libya enforced by US and NATO fighters….

What was Secretary Gates saying no further involvement in the Middle East and Africa?

***

 

President Obama

issued an executive order Friday evening that imposes immediate sanctions on Libyan ruler Muammar al Qaddafi, his sons and his accomplices in the slaughter of civilians. In a letter accompanying the order, Obama declared a national emergency over the situation.

“I have determined that the actions of Colonel Muammar Qaddafi, his government, and close associates, including extreme measures against the people of Libya, constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. The order declares a national emergency to deal with this threat,” Obama wrote in the letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).

The executive order itself condemns the “wanton violence against unarmed associates” perpetrated by Qaddafi, his sons, his government, and his close associates. Effective immediately, all U.S.-based assets of Qaddafi and his four sons are to be frozen and transactions intended to move those assets are prohibited. The order allows the measures to be expanded to include any member of the Libyan government who are determined to be complicit in Qaddafi’s brutality.

In a personal statement issued by the White House at the same time as the order, Obama referenced what he called the Libyan government’s continued violation of human rights, brutalization of its people, and outrageous threats…..

More…

 

 

 

Share on Facebook

The 2011 Academy Award Winners……

Your 2011 Academy Award Winners

 

Best Picture
The King’s Speech

Best Actor
Colin Firth, The King’s Speech

Best Actress
Natalie Portman (duh), Black Swan

Best Director
Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech

Best Supporting Actress
Melissa Leo, The Fighter

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale, The Fighter

Best Adapted Screenplay
Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network

Best Screenplay
David Seidler, The King’s Speech

Best Foreign Language Film
In Another World (Denmark)

Best Animated Feature
Toy Story 3

Best Music (Original Score)
Trent freaking Reznor and Atticus Ross, The Social Network

Best Documentary Feature
Inside Job

Best Song
Randy Newman, “We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3


 

Share on Facebook

Obama signals to states he is flexible on Healthcare law…

In something I have stated here  awhile ago….

The President has let it be know that he will accept adjustments to the just passed healthcare Law…

With the nation’s Governor’s at the White House last night and more meeting coming today the President has offered an olive branch to the Governors who are hurting fiscally…

The word is…. The President will move the time  from 2017 to 2014…. That the states can drop out of certain parts of the law, if they can present cheaper ways to do the same thing as the law requires….

 

Senior administration officials said Mr. Obama would reveal to the National Governors Association in a speech on Monday morning that he backs legislation that would enable states to request federal permission to withdraw from the law’s mandates in 2014 rather than in 2017. The earlier date is when many of the act’s central provisions take effect, including requirements that most individuals obtain health insurance and that employers of a certain size offer coverage to workers or pay a penalty.

The announcement is the first time Mr. Obama has called for changing a central component of his signature health care law, although he has backed removing a specific tax provision that both parties regard as onerous on business. The shift comes as the law is under fierce attack in the courts and from Republicans on Capitol Hill and in statehouses around the country.

The bipartisan amendment that Mr. Obama is now embracing was first proposed in November, eight months after enactment of the Affordable Care Act, by Senators Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, and Scott Brown, Republican of Massachusetts. Senator Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, a Democrat, is now a co-sponsor.

The legislation would allow states to opt out earlier from various requirements if they could demonstrate that other methods would allow them to cover as many people, with insurance that is as comprehensive and affordable, as provided by the new law. The changes also must not increase the federal deficit…..

More….

 

Share on Facebook