Archive for foreign affairs

President Obama Has a Full Day of New Conferences on Africa - LIVE FEED


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The president has had at least six weeks from the depths of hell.

We've seen the Regressive Right and Fvx Nation pound President Obama, pummeling him about Gaza, Israel, the crisis at our southern borders, and the neo-con backlash that festers away, Obamacare Delusionalz, Ebola hysteria … and being facetiously sued by John Boy Boehner.

No wonder the man is growing grayer than most presidents have in only six years.

The Lipton Brigade and luminaries like Man Coulter, Rushee Limpbaugh and ole Sean Hannity have turned hate and disdain into a bloody cottage industry.

Today, President Obama will take some tough-as-nails questions and fierce follow-ups as the Summit on Africa closes for the day. Other vids here at

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Obama had already spoken today on the hot topics of foreign affairs rather beautifully earlier on the situations in Africa that we as a country need to hear. 

President Obama Delivers Remarks at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit

And he then addressed economic issues of the continent.

From John Podesta at

This week, more than 40 heads of state and government from across Africa are joining President Obama in Washington for the first-ever U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. Since 2000, the continent has seen enormous progress. Rates of extreme poverty and hunger are down. The number of new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa dropped by almost 40 percent between 2001 and 2012. Access to education and health care is on the upswing.

The actual press conference is slotted for 5 p.m. +/- VT, 2ish in California. Will get that code in when available.


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Eric Cantor Pulls Off a semi-Palin, K Street Needs Him STAT



Cantor, I hope there's a spot open at Liberty College … those who turn out not to be the RWNJ's cup o'tea tend to zoom right down there, and it IS in Virginia … but the lobbyist alternative is WAY more income friendly - and K Street loves 'em some ex-Congressionals. And they pay accordingly.

Cantor has also had the extremist balls to demand  a costly special election from Virginia Governor Terry McCauliffe, the unexpected new Governor of olde Virginia.

Something tells me that Guv'nah McAuliffe isn't heartbroken to wave him off to the private sector.

I quit

From MSNBC's Ed Shultz:

Ralph Nader and Doug Heye,former spokesperson for Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), a Cantor ex-staffer now, was the non-wonky but deeply funny GOP guest on Bill Maher Friday night. Great material! From Realtime HBO/Raw Story/Mediate.

And some Overtime with Ralph Nader and Doug Heye, former spokesperson for Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA).

Cantor coverage at The Carnival's archives, here at this link.

One of the best articles about Quitter Cantor (did he conference call La Palin for quitter tutoring?) came from The Federalist, of all places:

Eric Cantor just announced that he is quitting his House seat on August 18. Why did Cantor quit? There are three reasons.

1) He’s given up on the lame duck session. The last week of this legislative session has been no fun whatsoever for House Republicans, and there’s no sign the lame duck session is going to be any better.

2) Cantor has checked out. For at least the past ten years.


3) To start the lobbying ban clock five months early. The House bars former members from lobbying for one whole year. So by quitting early, Cantor can move into his new K Street digs in August of 2015 instead of January 2016. So on behalf of the 7th District, let me bid Eric Cantor goodbye—and good riddance.


Eric Cantor needs a whopper of a Farewell Party from Fvx Nation … at least he was an Idjit of long standing, a couple Congressional decades (from hell) will scamper off and merrily retire with him.

When The Federalist turned on Cantor, they went for the jugular. Like a True Blood maneuver.

Couldn't happen to a better man.


The Importance of Being Earnest, and Honestly, a Little Feisty



It's rather refreshing to have a Press Secretary at the podium who has a bit of vinegar in his delivery. That touch of acid we all crave.

Meet relative newcomer, and at what a quiet time in world affairs, new 1600 Pennsylvania Main Face: Josh Earnest. Flippant Oscar Wilde tie-ins aside, it truly is a dramatic turn of events. Domestically. In a good way.

Now you're listening.


The West Wing personnel department might had been catching up on Scandal and went "Man, we have to really up our game around the real deal," or just relaxed a bit as it eases on to the final, two year stretch.

It will certainly be more interesting, and we all want interesting. Less Tea Party, more interesting.

Within the #OhButWeKid category of media-watching perspective is also no small amount of awe that the Obama team let a bit of a bulldog out to man a pretty public desk. A Press Secretary with teeth, topics get fleshed out when the pearly whites are flashing … always a plus for discussion.

In any case, it makes for fine embed video. This bit courtesy of Morning Joe Schmoe, and so you also get the Full Pith of the Panel. 'pologies.

You can tell by the sub-titles these days how the production team is going after the differing viewership over the course of their day. "Caught?" The actual Question and Answer are transcribed below.

Q: One other question on a different subject. The Washington Post report this weekend about the information available to the administration about the border and expectations of a surge at the border. Can you comment on whether the administration was advised, and then overlooked or disregarded the information that was available to DHS and the White House?

MR. EARNEST: Well, Alexis, I’d first point out that you’re asking about a story that’s based entirely on anonymous sources. So that should be reflected in the record. The second is, if you do take a look at what this administration’s response has been not just in the last couple of months, but over the last few years, you’ve seen that this administration has repeatedly sought additional resources to deal with this specific problem at the border. That if you look at the trajectory of the budget from Fiscal Year 2011 to the 2012 to 2013 to 2014, that there has been a steady increase in the amount of resources requested to deal with this precise problem. That is a pretty good indication that this is something that we’ve been watching carefully and preparing for.

What also happens to be true is that there are a number of steps that were taken by this administration in the months before, or at least in the weeks before this became the media sensation that it has been over the last several weeks, that there were repeated visits by the Secretary of Homeland Security to the border and to facilities that were used and have been used to detain unaccompanied minors.

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There were steps taken by the President to direct the FEMA Administrator to coordinate the activities of DHS and the Department of Defense, and Health and Human Services, to coordinate the response for detaining these children and these families in a humanitarian way.

So this is something that the administration has been focused on for quite some time. And we have seen, as I mentioned at the top of the briefing, the tide at least start to turn over the last couple of weeks. But we’re not going to turn our attention away from that; in fact, the President is having a meeting on this today, because he believes that this is the kind of significant problem that merits sustained attention.

Everyone's an editorialist.



The Lure of Scandal … drifts into a juicy The New Yorker Spy Story


I came late to the party to two major political dramas highly prized by the liberal community, but sure am having a delightful time catching myself up. If you enjoy either of them, described briefly below, you'll enjoy this long form but magnetic real-life spy story over at The New Yorker.

It even has an Albanian plot line for Russia parallels, with Ukraine and Putin being a hot topic.


Now House of Cards, that was virtually Binge By Imperative. You guys catching this Netflix creation? I tried watching only three at a time, no way José, or no way Robin Wright Penn, as it were.

It didn't help so much that I had seen the Brit version, but tried to erase that mentally and just take the unusual camera and actor exaggerated interaction with a grain of salt.

What did translate beautifully to American politics was the loving attention to minutiae and the gratuitous sexually provocative moments ... like when Kevin Spacey got in on the Secret Service cutie-patootie mènage his wife was indulging in to make it an authentic party of three.

GIF courtesy

GIF courtesy

Certainly as complex in plot lines and underlining the politically scandalous exceptionally well in regular television -- network, even, go ABC for apparently this one show and whatever else folks are hooked on from genius and some kind of modern cultural oracle, Shondra Rhimes -- with Olivia Pope and her cohorts on Scandal.


As stated, if you enjoy either show, have a gander at this piece at the New Yorker, just excerpting a generous paragraph below, but the entire piece is so worth the time.

Macintyre tells Philby’s story through the prism of his longtime friendship with another young star of M.I.6, Nicholas Elliott. The two men were of a piece. Elliott’s father, Claude, was the headmaster of Eton. According to Macintyre, the elder Elliott “loathed music, which gave him indigestion, despised all forms of heating as ‘effete,’ and believed that ‘when dealing with foreigners the best plan was to shout at them in English.’ ” Like Philby, Elliott went to Trinity College, Cambridge, and did not join public service so much as he was ushered into it. A family friend, Sir Nevile Bland, “simply told the Foreign Office that I was all right because he knew me and had been at Eton with my father.” (Sir Nevile’s words of advice to Elliott: “In the diplomatic service it is a sackable offense to sleep with the wife of a colleague,” and “I suggest you should do as I do and not light your cigar until you have started your third glass of port.”) Elliott trusted and revered Philby. Their families vacationed together. Elliott modelled himself on his friend, Macintyre writes: “his spycraft, his air of worldly irony, his umbrella with an ebony handle. . . . They were as close as two heterosexual, upper-class, mid-century Englishmen could be.”