Barack Obama is trying to do too much.
All this time, I thought he was matching Bully Boy Bush in golfing games and vacations but he's been doing so much. Sadly, none of it has been his job.
Take this from POLITICO:
"As all of you are doing your reporting, I think it's important to remember that the positions that I am taking now on the budget and a host of other issues -- if we had been having this discussion 20 years ago or even 15 years ago -- would've been considered squarely centrist positions," he said in response to a question about Republicans' criticisms of his spending priorities. "What's changed is the center of the Republican party and that's certainly true with the budget."
The White House often stresses that Obama's positions reflect what would've been centrist or Republican positions not long ago and urges reporters to take that into consideration in their work. But it's rare for Obama himself to offer on-the-record advice to reporters on how they ought to do their jobs.You know what? Barack can play life coach all he wants . . . when he's out of office.
Instead of telling reporters what to do, maybe he could do his own job?
In addition, he's wrong about what he's saying. Republicans can't pull the conversation to the right by themselves. They need Democrats to refuse to stand up for what they believe in. If you've ever played tug of war, you know what I'm talking about. Ava and C.I. made this point in "The Great Compromiser Olympia Snowe (Ava and C.I.)" two weeks ago:
As was where it has taken us. Olympia Snowe has been a rare thing: A compromiser from the right. Which is not to say she went to the left but that she went center. And, since the early 1970s, the center in Congress has repeatedly shifted to the right, to the right, to the right. To the point that it's no longer a compromise between the left and the right but between the center and the right.
Snowe's correct that everyone has to give a little for deals to be made; however, she's incorrect to imply, infer or state that everyone does. The Republicans have consistently dug their heels in on issues. And we're not slamming them for that. Good for them for sticking up for what they believe in. But the Democrats have repeatedly caved. Whether it's the spineless Harry Reid 'leading' in the Senate or the embarrassing Nancy Pelosi, representing California's eighth district (much of San Francisco) and unwilling to push for marriage equality.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
I was privileged to present the coordinating committee's draft of the Action Plan to UNAC's national conference in Stamford, Connecticut, this past weekend. "This action plan does not just target some U.S. wars," said the committee's statement. "It does not target the currently unpopular wars. It does not shy away from condemning wars that remain acceptable to half the population because the real reasons for them are obscured in the rhetoric of humanitarian intervention. It does not advocate that we avoid putting U.S. boots on the ground by mounting embargoes that bring economic devastation on the peoples of Iran. It does not condone war by other, more sanitized, means. It does not cheer on wars that minimize U.S. combat deaths by the use of robotic unmanned planes or the highly trained murder squads of the Joint Special Operations Command. It does not see war by mercenary as somehow less threatening to the peoples of the world and the U.S. than war by economic draft. It does not give credit to Washington for removing brigades from one country in order to deploy them in the next."
The document demands an end to "all wars, interventions, targeted assassinations and occupations" and U.S. withdrawal from "NATO and all other interventionist military alliances."
UNAC's reasoning is rooted in the principle that all the world's peoples have the inherent right to self-determination, to pursue their own destinies -- the foundation of relations among peoples, enshrined in international law but daily violated by the United States.
Reporters Without Borders condemns Salahaddin TV presenter Kamiran Salaheddin's murder last night in the centre of Tikrit (170 km north of Baghdad). Aged 35 and the father of two children, he was killed at around 9 p.m. by a bomb placed under his car.
"We offer our condolences to Salaheddin's family, friends and colleagues," Reporters Without Borders said. "The Iraqi authorities must do everything possible to ensure that those responsible for his death are brought to justice. His murder must not go unpunished."
By not filling them, Nouri controls them. He ignores the Constitution and declares someone 'acting' minister. Then they do what he tells them or he fires them. If he nominated someone for the post and the person was confirmed, Nouri could not fire them. He would not Parliament's backing. Since December, he's been trying to strip Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq of his post. Thus far Parliament has refused to go along with him so al-Multaq retains his post.
Muayad Taiyb, spokesperson for the Kurdistani bloc in Iraqi Parliament, believes Barzani is avoiding the convention because he believes it won't solve anything.
"Massud Barzani is not hopeful about the results of the convention; that's why he will not participate in it."
Mulla believes that Barzani's decision to not attend the convention will affect the positions of other political leaders.
"If President Barzani does not participate in the convention, then neither will Alawi," he said. "Massoud Barzani is a key figure in the political process in Iraq. His absence at the convention will make it have no value."
The State of Law Coalition has left many political issues unresolved with the Kurdistan Region and the Sunni-dominated Iraqiya bloc.
Taiyb says, "The State of Law bloc has issues with both the Iraqiya bloc and the Kurds. The convention is meaningless without Iraqiya's participation because the main issues in the political process in Iraq are between Iraqiya and the State of Law."
The National notes, "It is yet another example of Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki's government consolidating power, which in turn is deepening the divisions within the country."
In other news, Alsumaria reports that Minister of Planning and Development Ali Shukri declared that Iraq's budget depends 92% on oil and that they need to diversify and find other avenues for income. That's a call Tareq al-Hashemi's been making publicly since 2009.