The President's trip abroad -- was it really a foreign policy success? U.S. President Barack Obama made what may be a ground breaking address at Cairo University in Egypt. He was seeking common ground with Islam and new beginnings. As he spoke at the Buchenwald concentration camp, he was seeking to reinforce the U.S./Israel alliance, a bit bruised, since the President had skipped visiting Israel. Saturday is June 6, the anniversary of the 1944 allied invasion at Normandy Beach in France. This day President Obama found much common ground as he and leaders from the countries allied with the U.S. France, Great Britain, and Canada gave speeches (and France honored with medals) the sacrifices made by the armed forces of nations who participated in storming the beach that important day. The President's performance was outstanding, in my opinion.
Detainees may plead guilty. . . what then? An article in the New York Times raises a complicated issue regarding what might happen to detainees who want to plead guilty and face execution. Whether the U.S. wants to risk "aiding and abetting" extremist martyrdom is a terrible justice question, for which I have no answer. William Glaberson writes on June 5 that,
The Obama administration is considering a change in the law for the military commissions at the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, that would clear the way for detainees facing the death penalty to plead guilty without a full trial.
The provision could permit military prosecutors to avoid airing the details of brutal interrogation techniques. It could also allow the five detainees who have been charged with the Sept. 11 attacks to achieve their stated goal of pleading guilty to gain what they have called martyrdom. (NYT links).
Why do nothing to weaken the presidency? Because any president rarely gives back power, which is why the establishment of a "unitary presidency" was such a disservice to the nation by the Bush-Cheney administration. The article "Obama's embrace of Bush terrorism policies is celebrated as "Centrism, is by Glenn Greenwald at Salon.com (5/19/09). Greenwald explores the recent writings of former OLC Bush lawyer, Jack Goldsmith, who is the one who calls it centrism. To quote:
What's most striking about the denial of so many Obama supporters about all of this is that Obama officials haven't really tried to hide it. White House counsel Greg Craig told The New York Times' Charlie Savage back in February that Obama "is also mindful as president of the United States not to do anything that would undermine or weaken the institution of the presidency."
Will the call for justice be going away anytime soon? The massive expansion of America's "Hard Left," is an opinion piece written by Glenn Greenwald at Salon.com (5/13/09). He focuses on Jesse Ventura's call for prosecution of "every person that was involved in that torture." And, no, the call for justice will not go away. I am convinced of that because of who we are as a nation. Our history of the rule of law cannot be denied forever.
Was the CTO duty absorbed by the new Cyber Czar to be? I have a feeling that is what happened in regard to this question. The story was in Mother Jones (3/2/09): Where is Obama's chief technology officer? To quote: "Obama has yet to appoint a CTO. Techies and open government activists are getting restless. A government-wide CTO would be the first of its kind, and Obama's proposal, though ill-defined, seemed promising."
How do we know when the White House websites are updated? The President's commitment to transparency has been commendable, but spotty. But it is certainly better than anything we have had up to this point. Change Tracker: what else should we track? is the story from ProPublica (5/13/09). To quote: "Last week, we launched ChangeTracker, an application that flags changes to whitehouse.gov, recovery.gov and financialstability.gov. . . Since then, we’ve spotted a few interesting updates, but so far most changes have been relatively unsurprising."
Immigration reform in 2009? I must be on the right side of this question, because I believe we need immigration reform, though not nearly as much as health care reform. Public support for immigration reform is rising, according to The Democratic Strategist.
Is Global warming real? Absolutely! Without question! Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan told CNN of a recent climate change report that called the climate change crisis "catastrophic." To quote:
The first comprehensive report into the human cost of climate change warns the world is in the throes of a "silent crisis" that is killing 300,000 people each year.
More than 300 million people are already seriously affected by the gradual warming of the earth and that number is set to double by 2030, the report from the Global Humanitarian Forum warns.
"For the first time we are trying to get the world's attention to the fact that climate change is not something waiting to happen. It is impacting seriously the lives of many people around the world," the forum's president, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, told CNN.
Or, is it? A Memphis, Tenn. Burger King posted "Global Warming is Baloney" on its street sign.
See also Behind the Links, for further info on this subject.
Blogs: My general purpose/southwest focus blog is at Southwest Progressive. My creative website is at Making Good Mondays. And Carol Gee - Online Universe is the all-in-one home page for all my websites.