Archive for the ‘Biden’ Category

Messiah Obama Speaks On College Football, Some Worshipers Unhappy

November 18, 2008

Naturally, a man newly elected by the American people to become the President of the United States can sometimes delve into areas where he is neither welcomed nor really expected or respected for his involvement.  When President-elect Barack Obama made some remarks about college football’s Bowl Championship Series (BCS), he was not enirely welcomed to the debate with open arms….

BCS power brokers responding to Barack Obama’s comments about a college football playoff largely criticized the president-elect on Monday.

By Dennis Dodd
CBS Sports
Obama said on CBS’ 60 Minutes Sunday night that he would “throw his weight around” in pursuing an eight-team playoff. Among the six power conferences, the commissioners of the ACC, Big 12 and SEC responded when contacted by The Pac-10’s Tom Hansen and Big East’s Mike Tranghese declined comment.

“I am extremely delighted that he is our president and excited that he is going to lead our nation,” Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe said. “I am disappointed that there isn’t more full discussion before he comes to a conclusion on this. I would hope only that the leader of our country would take under full consideration all the aspects.

“The simple solution is easy to state. We’re not in charge of a professional league where we have the entertainment value to consider. That should be fully considered. This isn’t something you should make a rash decision about.”

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany told the New York Times over the weekend: “I think it’s that time of year. Whether it’s the president-elect or college football coaches or fans debating it, the First Amendment is alive and well.”

“Certainly it’s an important issue for college football and colleges. Where does it stand in the list of challenges we have in America today? I would say it’s not very high.”

Obama’s comments have added weight not only because he is about to become leader of the free world. His vice president has been a strident BCS critic. Around the time the Senate Judiciary Committee convened hearings on the BCS in 2003 Joe Biden called the BCS system “rigged” and “un-American”.

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Cocaine Blocks Free Trade

November 13, 2008

The expanding cocaine trade in Colombia is undermining President George W. Bush’s effort to push through a free-trade agreement with his southern neighbor.  Despite opposition from Democracts, Bush is trying to seal a deal before he leaves office in January by hitching it to a bailout for U.S. automakers. Álvaro Uribe, the Colombian president, has argued that free trade would produce jobs in Colombia that would provide alternatives to the illegal drug trade. With the global economy in the cellar, that argument has lost much of its luster.

Now it appears the cocaine business is stronger than previously thought. As the United States was pouring $5 billion into Colombia to fight drugs over the past eight years, particularly cocaine, the country’s drug cartels were finding new routes through West Africa and shipping their wares to expanding markets in Europe, Africa, and South America. The U.S. General Accounting Office reported last week that instead of reducing the cultivation and production of drugs by 50 percent, the stated goal of the U.S.-funded Plan Colombia, Uribe has presided over an increase in coca cultivation of 15 percent and an increase in cocaine production of 4 percent. 

The report was ordered by Vice President-elect Joseph Biden, meaning President-elect Barack Obama, one of the main barriers to the free trade deal, probably took note.

Colombia's President Alvaro Uribe, center, gestures, during ... 

Colombia’s President Alvaro Uribe, center, gestures, during a graduation ceremony for new police officers in Bogota, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2008. At left is Colombia’s Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos, at right, the commander of Army Forces Gen. Freddy Padilla.(AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

From Newsweek

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Catholic Bishops Will Challenge Obama, Lawmakers, Nation on Abortion

November 12, 2008

The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops vowed Tuesday to forcefully confront the Obama administration over its support for abortion rights, saying the church and religious freedom could be under attack in the new presidential administration.

Bishop Dale J. Melczek of Gary, Ind., front left, and Archbishop ...
Bishop Dale J. Melczek of Gary, Ind., front left, and Archbishop John C. Nienstedt of St. Paul-Minneapolis, right, pray during the semi-annual meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2008 in Baltimore. The bishops discussed today Catholic politicians and abortion rights.(AP Photo/ Steve Ruark)

In an impassioned discussion on Catholics in public life, several bishops said they would accept no compromise on abortion policy. Many condemned Catholics who had argued it was morally acceptable to back President-elect Obama because he pledged to reduce abortion rates.

And several prelates promised to call out Catholic policy makers on their failures to follow church teaching. Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton, Pa., singled out Vice President-elect Biden, a Catholic, Scranton native who supports abortion rights.

“I cannot have a vice president-elect coming to Scranton to say he’s learned his values there when those values are utterly against the teachings of the Catholic Church,” Martino said. The Obama-Biden press office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Archbishop Joseph Naumann of the Diocese of Kansas City in Kansas said politicians “can’t check your principles at the door of the legislature.”

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Israel urges Biden not to go soft on Iran, Hamas

November 11, 2008

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni urged US vice president Joe Biden in a telephone call to keep up a tough line on Iran and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, her ministry said on Monday.

“Iran, Hamas and other extremists are testing our attitude, and they must understand that the world will not be tolerant towards extremists and terrorism,” she said.

“It is of the utmost importance that we keep up our coordination against the Iranian threat because time is not on the side of the moderates,” she was quoted as saying in the call initiated by Biden, according to the ministry.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (R), Foreign Minister Tzipi ... 
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (R), Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni (C) and Defence Minister Ehud Barak attend a memorial parliament session in Jerusalem. Livni urged US vice president Joe Biden in a telephone call to keep up a tough line on Iran and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, her ministry said on Monday.(AFP/Pool/Eliana Aponte)


Israel’s Defence Minister Ehud Barak on Friday issued a thinly veiled call for the United States not to rule out the possibility of a military strike against Iran because of its nuclear ambitions.

“We don’t rule out any option. We recommend others don’t rule out any option either,” Barak told journalists after talks with visiting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Tehran denies it wants nuclear weapons, and says its atomic project is purely peaceful.

The previous day, Livni herself said that possible US talks with Iran may be problematic, highlighting possible disagreements with a Barack Obama administration.

“Dialogue at this point may be interpreted as a sign of weakness,” she said.

President-elect Obama warned during a visit to Israel in July that a nuclear Iran would pose a “grave threat,” but he also reiterated his openness to meeting Tehran’s representatives if the conditions were right.

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Testing of Obama Begins

November 10, 2008

It seems we at Peace and Freedom wrote this same article a few days ago!  See:
“Testing” of Obama Has Already Begun

Now, finally, a big-time columnist takes it on….

By Linda Chavez
The Washington Times

If Barack Obama were elected president, he would be tested by a major international crisis soon after taking office. Mr. Biden was wrong about one thing: The test has come even before President-elect Obama is sworn in.

Within hours of Mr. Obama’s impressive victory, another new leader, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, warned that Russia would deploy short-range missiles capable of hitting NATO territory if the new American president goes ahead to build a missile defense system to protect Europe.

President Dmitry Medvedev announced plans Wednesday to deploy ... 
President Dmitry Medvedev announced plans Wednesday to deploy missiles on the EU’s doorstep in a warning shot to US president-elect Barack Obama and Washington’s allies in central Europe.(AFP/Alexander Nemenov)

It’s unclear where a President Obama will come down on this issue. He’s been on both sides during the campaign.

The idea of an anti-missile defense system, of course, is not new. The United States has been working on an anti-missile system to protect our territory since the Reagan administration. The Strategic Defense Initiative – often derisively dismissed as “Star Wars” by its critics – fundamentally changed the way the U.S. approached the idea of nuclear war.

Through much of the Cold War, the United States based its defense almost entirely on a good offense: mutually assured destruction (MAD). We would have so many weapons that the Soviets would realize that an attack on us would be suicidal. If they launched a surprise nuclear attack on us, enough of our missiles would survive to retaliate against them, and annihilation would be the fate of both sides.

But Reagan changed the equation. Essentially abandoning the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which allowed the Soviets and the U.S. to set up anti-missile systems to protect only their two capitals, Reagan announced he would explore building a defense shield to protect the entire country.

Some 20 years later, U.S. technology in this area has advanced to the point that we are capable of deploying a limited system to protect our allies. Last year, the U.S. announced that negotiations were under way with some of our friends in Europe to deploy anti-missile systems on their territory. For some of those allies, the primary threat they fear is a nuclear-armed Iran. Although, Poland, with whom we’ve now signed an agreement, also fears a newly belligerent Russia. But the Bush administration has been at pains to reassure an insecure Russia that any American-deployed system would be purely defensive – a so-called “hit-to-kill” strategy in which a missile’s technology would not even include explosives but would rely on intercepting a nuclear missile before it hit its target.

A launcher of short-range Iskander missile rides in a column ...
A launcher of short-range Iskander missile rides in a column of Russian military vehicles, during a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade in downtown Moscow, in this Tuesday, April 29, 2008 file photo. President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2008, that Russia will deploy the short-range Iskander missiles to Russia’s Kaliningrad region, which lies between Poland and the ex-Soviet republic of Lithuania on the Baltic Sea, in response to U.S. missile defense plans. He did not say whether the missiles would be fitted with nuclear warheads.(AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

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Bush and Obama Teams: Thoughtful, Peaceful, Lawful Transition of Power

November 9, 2008

While meeting with a group of immigrants to American on the night of Barack Obama’s election last Tuesday, several new Americans said they could never have voted in the nation of their birth — or their vote was just for show and not counted by the ruling powers.  Others said they had never witnessed a peaceful transition of political power…


By Robert Barnes, Dan Eggen and Anne E. Kornblut
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, November 9, 2008; Page A01

Faced with one of the most important transfers of presidential power in American history — amid wars on two fronts, the looming threat of terrorism at home and a full-blown economic crisis — the outgoing Bush administration and the incoming Obama team have responded with exceptional cooperation on those issues, aides and outside experts say.

Serious decisions, and potentially divisive ones, still remain for the politically and ideologically divided camps, such as access to classified information and, in particular, battles over the regulations and executive orders that will define the policy of the two administrations.

But the days since Tuesday’s election have shown a striking level of comity following the rancor of the campaign, enhanced by President Bush‘s months-long efforts to pave the way for a smooth transition and President-elect Barack Obama‘s preelection determination to move quickly.

“Ensuring that this transition is seamless is a top priority for the rest of my time in office,” Bush said in his weekly radio address yesterday. “My administration will work hard to ensure that the next president and his team can hit the ground running.”

Bush has created a transition coordinating council, populated by experts from inside and outside the administration, and has streamlined the process for obtaining security clearances for key transition officials. National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell flew to Chicago on Thursday to deliver Obama his first daily intelligence briefing.

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By Jim Rutenberg
The New York Times

There is a great tradition of paint-peeling political hyperbole during presidential campaign years. And there is an equally great tradition of backing off from it all afterward, though with varying degrees of deftness.

But given the intensity of some of the charges that have been made in the past few months, and the historic nature of Mr. Obama’s election, the exercise this year has been particularly whiplash-inducing, with its extreme before-and-after contrasts.

The shift in tone follows the magnanimous concession speech from Mr. McCain, of Arizona, who referred to Mr. Obama’s victory Tuesday night as “a historic election” and hailed the “special pride” it held for African-Americans. That led the vice president-elect, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., to get into the act. During the campaign, Mr. Biden said he no longer recognized Mr. McCain, an old friend. Now, he says, “We’re still friends.” President Bush, in turn, also hailed Mr. Obama’s victory, saying his arrival at the White House would be “a stirring sight.”

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Obama’s First Press Conference — Long on Style, Short on Substance

November 8, 2008

Barack Obama was long on style and short on substance today as he hosted his first press conference as president-elect, as perhaps was appropriate. He reminded the audience that George Bush is still president, but signaled to Americans that his administration will not want for talent or diversity by appearing with a bevy of top drawer financial figures. The members of his Transition Economic Advisory Board who joined him on the stage included, among others, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, Governor Jennifer Granholm of Michigan, and business leaders such as Eric Schmidt of Google, Dick Parsons of Time Warner and Anne Mulcahy of Xerox.

By Liz Peek
Fox News

US President-elect Barack Obama (C) speaks to the press in Chicago. ... 
US President-elect Barack Obama (C) speaks to the press in Chicago. Obama on Friday said he would act “swiftly” as soon as he takes office to confront the economic crisis head on, during his first news conference since his historic election.(AFP/Stan Honda)

He appeared at first to disappoint investors who may have been hoping that Obama would announce a sterling choice for the key post of Treasury Secretary, or would somehow produce a rabbit out of his hat that would guarantee an economic recovery. The stock market averages were ahead strongly as Obama took the podium, but drew back as he delivered tempered remarks about his programs to help out the middle class and boost growth. As the day came to an end, however, the market came back to post a 2.8% gain.

Not only did he speak against an impressive backdrop of well known financial figures, he also spoke against a backdrop of sobering economic news, including word today that the U.S. lost another 240,000 jobs in October, leading to a year-to-date drop of nearly 1.2 million.

Responding to the worsening employment picture, Mr. Obama outlined his top priorities.

His first aim appears to be the passage of a stimulus program, which he described as “long overdue” and which he suggested would be his top goal as president in the event that the plan does not get passed by the lame duck Congress. He emphasized the need to extend unemployment benefits, aid homeowners, help small businesses navigate the financial crisis, and assist hard-pressed states and local governments. Doubtless mindful of the miserable earnings results and dire cash flow projections reported earlier in the day by General Motors and Ford, Obama also singled out the auto industry as needing assistance –- advocating specifically funding for retooling for the industry as well as considering other possible options.

Otherwise, Obama reached back into his campaign quiver to talk about long-term areas of focus such as clean energy, universal health care, improved education and tax relief for middle class families. He said his team would work to stabilize markets, help homeowners and oversee the implementation of the financial bailout package “without unduly rewarding” managements of those companies receiving assistance.

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“Testing” of Obama Has Already Begun

November 6, 2008

Russia, China and the tangled web of a very troubled economy have already conspired to begin the “testing” of president Elect Barack Obama.

During the campaign for the White House, Vice Presidential candidate Joe Biden said, “Mark my words.  It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev began the process of testing America’s new President Elect Obama yesterday during his State of the Nation address.

Medvedev did not welcome or congratulate Barack Obama on his election and entry on to the world stage as the elected leader of the United States.  Instead, Medvedev launched a verbal assault on U.S. foreign policy and announced that he would order the deployment of short-range missiles to Kaliningrad, facing Poland and the joint U.S.-Polish missile defense site.

He said Russian missiles would “neutralize” the planned U.S. missile-defense system.

“From what we have seen in recent years — the creation of a missile defense system, the encirclement of Russia with military bases, the relentless expansion of NATO — we have gotten the clear impression that they are testing our strength,” Medvedev said.

President Dmitry Medvedev announced plans Wednesday to deploy ... 
President Dmitry Medvedev announced plans Wednesday to deploy missiles on the EU’s doorstep in a warning shot to US president-elect Barack Obama and Washington’s allies in central Europe.(AFP/Alexander Nemenov)

He signaled Moscow would not give in to Western calls to pull troops from Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, or rescind its recognition of their independence following the August war.

“We will not retreat in the Caucasus,” he said, winning one of many rounds of applause during the televised 85-minute address.

“There’s no question that this is designed as a test for the Obama administration,” said Kimberly Marten, a professor of political science who specializes in Russian foreign policy at Columbia University’s Barnard College in New York.

The BBC said of Medvedev, “He could have made the speech on any day in November.  Instead he chose 5 November, the day after the US presidential election.”

“It’s posturing,” she said. “Kaliningrad is already so heavily militarized — there are tactical nuclear weapons from the Russian side there — so these missiles wouldn’t actually have any particular major impact on the defense balance in the region.”

China also scheduled a major military event this week: the huge China airshow.

A model of ARJ21 jet is seen on the opening day of China Airshow ... 
A model of ARJ21 jet is seen on the opening day of China Airshow 2008 in Zhuhai, south China’s Guangdong province, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008. China’s biggest commercial aircraft maker landed its first foreign order Tuesday when General Electric Co. announced its plane-leasing arm would purchase at least five of the company’s new regional jets. The order for the 70-seat ARJ21 jets made by Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China includes an option to purchase as many as 20 more, said GE spokesman Geoff Li.(AP Photo/EyePress)

Add to these major foreign policy challenges Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and North Korea.

And don’t forget the economy and a host of domestic promises Mr. Obama made about taxes, healthcare and other agenda items.

The testing of the President-Elect is underway….

Best Analysis of Obama’s Economic Challenges, From The BBC and Peter Morici, Univ of Maryland

Testing of Obama Begins
By Linda Chavez, November 10, 2008

Obama to begin receiving intelligence briefings

November 6, 2008

“The world is a much more dangerous place that Barack Obama has ever realized before,” a CIA analyst told Peace and Freedom.  “The the challenges are daunting and the president elect will have a new realization staring today.”


By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer
CHICAGO – Barack Obama will begin receiving highly classified briefings from top intelligence officials Thursday, as the rush of his campaign gives way to intensive preparations to take over as commander in chief and build a Democratic administration. The briefings typically last 45 minutes to an hour, but Obama’s initial one is expected to be longer.

A U.S. intelligence official speaking on condition of anonymity said Joe Biden, the vice president-elect, also will begin receiving briefings this week.

The president’s daily brief that Obama will receive is mostly written by the Central Intelligence Agency and will include the most critical overnight intelligence for the president. They sometimes dig deeply into a specific topic to give the president an in-depth understanding.
Seal of the Central Intelligence Agency

Obama began his first full day as president-elect with the simple pleasure of having breakfast with his daughters, the type of everyday activity with his family that he often said during the nearly two-year campaign was his greatest sacrifice.

Later in the morning, Obama left the house alone, clad in workout clothes, a ball cap and sunglasses and carrying a newspaper on his lap. He ducked into a friend’s apartment building where he usually uses the gym while in Chicago. About a dozen onlookers expecting his arrival had gathered with cameras and cell phones to get a glimpse of him.

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American Presidential Campaign: New Version of ‘World’s greatest Soap Opera’ Begins Wednesday for 2012

November 2, 2008

It’s been the year’s longest-running serialized drama, with more ups and downs than a season of “Lost” and more jilted contestants than a season and a half of “Top Model.”

And it all comes to a screeching halt after Tuesday night.

By Adam Buckman
The New York Post

The “show” is the presidential campaign. As in past election seasons, the all-news cable channels aired thousands of hours of repetitive chatter, much of it no more illuminating than a chat you or I or Joe the Plumber might have had about the candidates at a corner saloon.

The broadcast networks clawed at each other for interviews with the candidates, those all-important “gets,” not so much to inform the electorate but to showcase their anchors, in whom they have invested millions of dollars.

The highlights for better or worse, inasmuch as they helped form public perceptions, were Charlie Gibson’s and Katie Couric’s interviews with Sarah Palin. Both made news for days (if not weeks), after they were conducted, with Couric’s in particular providing more grist for Tina Fey to impersonate Palin on “Saturday Night Live.”

Gibson’s was notable mainly for the anchorman’s pomposity. Never mind what the interview revealed (if anything); most of us were too fixated on the way Charlie’s glasses were perched on the end of his nose to listen to what Gov. Palin had to say.

Comedy, with Palin positioned unfairly at the center of much of it, was once again a big part of the campaign picture, with untold numbers of voters preparing to cast their ballots on Election Day based on Jay Leno’s jokes and Jon Stewart’s sarcasm.

Stewart will be on hand to “cover” the Election Night returns on Comedy Central, with Stephen Colbert as his co-anchor, demonstrating how comedy and TV news are fast becoming synonymous.

But you could have said that four years ago, and even eight years ago. The difference this time around was this campaign’s soap opera storyline, which seemed tailor-made for TV.

Presidential campaigns are always dramatic, but this one was more so. It had race and gender and two candidates, Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani, who a year ago looked like shoo-ins for each of their party’s nominations, but who shattered all predictions for how this campaign would go by falling by the wayside.

Tuesday night, the TV newsers will make their last efforts to impress you enough for you to stay with them after the 2008 campaign saga concludes, and the 2012 race commences first thing Wednesday morning.