Archive for negotiations – Page 2

When You Aren't Totally, Fully, Without A Doubt, Absolutely, Completely Sure, Be Quiet

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

SYRIA-CONFLICT

We all know that there's a looming crisis in Syria. We're also quite aware that the public is not in favor of the US taking any miliarty action at this time regardless of the horrific poison gas murders of innocent civilians by the Assad regime this past August 22nd.

Fortunately, through a series of planned or unplanned events, a crack in the diplomatic door has been opened and Obama has chosen to pursue that potential avenue. This must be applauded. Despite all the rhetoric by the McCain hawks or the Rand Paul doves, the drumbeat for war was becoming quite alarming.

What we should be alarmed at is not our determination to make a stand against the use of chemical weapons. But that it took this August massacre to be the flash point. There have been reports of much earlier use of CW's that rose to the White House's attention.

LA TIMES:

WASHINGTON — In July 2012, senior U.S. intelligence officials drove to the Capitol to secretly brief top lawmakers on the first indications that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against its own people.

SNIP

But it was the beginning of a stream of intelligence documenting what U.S. officials say was a yearlong escalation in the use of the banned weapons by the government of President Bashar Assad, a far more extensive record of the incidents than previously known. The Obama administration did not publicly acknowledge the attacks for months, and declared in April that it believed Syria had used chemical weapons.

So if Obama knew this information that chemical weapons were being used, why is it that it took this large scale attack in August to trigger his "line in the sand?"

The Daily Beast.

Though President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and other officials have asserted there is "no doubt" Assad was behind the attack, they have been careful to refer to "Assad's regime" or the "Syrian regime" to avoid stating it outright. Outside the administration, analysts with senior-level intelligence clearance say there is real doubt that Assad has command of his chemical weapons.

It's this kind of tenuous reassurance or double talk that has me worried. I personally think Assad is in charge of his current regime and anything they do, whether with his explicit, implied or even blind eye are still his responsibility. Just as Obama is ultimately responsible for the US response.

With this question of who really has control of the chemical weapons in Syria, this is the time to tread lightly and continue to investigate. The Washington Times also echos this concern of who's really in command of these CW's.

U.S. intelligence has yet to uncover evidence that Syrian President Bashar Assad directly ordered the chemical attacks last month on civilians in a suburb of Damascus, though the consensus inside U.S. agencies and Congress is that members of Mr. Assad’s inner circle likely gave the command, officials tell The Washington Times.

If we don't know for sure if it's Assad or his lieutenants, there's something interestingly optimistic in this. Russia also may not know who's really pulling the strings in Syria. And they have a huge stake in making sure these CW's don't end up being used against them down the road. If they back Assad and someone else is capable of using the Sarin gas, then they have a fear that Chechen's or others within Russia may seek out an alliance with the real person responsible and that could bring about an attack on Putin's land.

Just a thought -- if it wasn't Assad himself who gave the order, look for some close adviser to the President of Syria to suddenly go missing, under Putin's secret authority.

Everyone's got some skin in this game. And for a change, the outcome for both the Russians, despite their bluster, and the US are the same-- elimination of the chemicals. So while we give negotiations a chance, let's keep some optimism alive. And maybe during that time, we'll find out who really pulled the trigger on the August 22 chemical attack. It just might be the Syrian Minister or General who doesn't answer "here" when they do the next role call.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Cartoons of the Day- Syria Crisis Averted?

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

crisis

Jimmy Margulies

crisis1

Rick McKee

crisis2

Joel Pett

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Cartoons of the Day- Negotiations

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

neg

neg1

neg2

Via.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

VIDEO-- Peggy Noonan: "People are buying guns like crazy now. Not because they're nutty..."

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

condescendingVia

Good grief, speaking of "nutty," can Peggy Noonan sound any more sanctimonious? Her level of "concern" and condescension is only surpassed by her phony sincerity and inability to stick to facts.

Thankfully, Paul Krugman was there to counter all that with reality checks and reason.

From the ABC transcript:

NOONAN: I think it should be noted that we have a president. I think it should be noted that he should be sitting down and talking with those who would move -- attempt to move forward on spending. I consider it unusual that this president can never make a deal with those folks.

KRUGMAN: But this is not something you negotiate over. You do not negotiate with hostage-takers. That's the White House position. They're right about that. You just don't negotiate on this. You can negotiate on the sequester, you can negotiate on taxes, but not on someone who is threatening to blow up the world economy if he doesn't get his way.

NOONAN: My goodness. That appeared to be the White House attitude on the fiscal cliff just a month or two ago.

KRUGMAN: It's very different.

NOONAN: Why can nothing ever be worked out? We do have a president. We do have legislative leaders. We do what should be noted, have a spending crisis in America. It is not an eccentric thing to worry about the amount of spending that America does. The income, the outcome and the long-term promises.

KRUGMAN: This is really -- this is a doomsday -- this is really saying I will blow up the world unless you give me what I want. And you don't negotiate on that.

***

NOONAN: Yes, two things I'd like to say, one is that people are buying guns like crazy now. Not because they're nutty, not enough because they're angry, but because I really think they fear their country is falling apart.

It's defensive and it's something that I think we all have to be talking about. There's so much anxiety out in America. And they also fear their government.

Second thing, I guess connected to that, leave gun control and gun reform issues in the Congress of the United States, the president should not be issuing executive orders in this area. It would really be unwise and it will cause great problems, I would think. [...]

STEPHANOPOULOS: It seems that the White House believes that if the president doesn't move quickly, nothing is going to happen.

KRUGMAN: That's right. This is the moment. And he certainly has to be seen to be doing something. And by the way, it is crazy to be out there buying guns right now. People are afraid, you know, the reality of life in America is that it's safer than it has been in decades.

If we walk out of this studio and walk through Manhattan, your chance of getting mugged are less than they have been since, I don't know, 1960. I mean, this is a -- so this is an odd thing, this is a mental state, not about the reality of America.

NOONAN: No, no, no...

KRUGMAN: The big revelation here has been we've realized -- I didn't know, that the NRA is no longer about gun owners. It's actually representing the firearms industry. And that's something we've learned. So...

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

AUDIO-- The always classy Rep. Gohmert (R-TX) insults Pelosi... again: "There’s no facelift with John Boehner. He is who he is."

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

louie gohmert

O’Connor:

"So basically John Boehner became Nancy Pelosi without the charm?"

Gohmert:

"For the last two years. Let’s give him credit. There’s no facelift with John Boehner. He is who he is."

The above clip is from GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert's conversation with guest host Larry O’Connor on the Dennis Miller Show, courtesy of Think Progress.

This would be the same Louie Gohmert, a birther, who recently pushed a theory that President Obama helped oust Muammar Qaddafi “so that al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood could take over Libya”; who wants to arm teachers with assault rifles; who said that the shootings that took place in the Aurora, Colo. movie theater were a result of “ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs” and questioned why nobody else in the theater had a gun to take down the shooter; who cast President Obama as an "evil emperor"; who joked about hitting “Nancy Pelosi” with a golf club; who lied at tea party rally: "I brought an abortion to show you"; who suggested that NYC 9/11 trials would be an "insane" gambit to create more jobs?...

You get the idea.

This man is an elected representative. Elected!

And because he represents those who voted for him (they did what again?), then clearly, many of his fellow Texans feel it's acceptable to desperately resort to jokes about a fellow Congress member's appearance.

Then again, she's just, you know, a woman.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Boehner asks Obama what he gets for offer of $800 billion in tax revenue. PBO: "You get nothing. I get that for free."

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

boehner crying smaller

If President Obama would always be this tough, would continue the spine stiffitude, the swagger, the driving a hard bargain, we Dems would be in great shape. Or will this possible scenario burst the hardass bubble?

The Wall Street Journal posted a behind-the-scenes look at some of the fancy negotiation talkin' between Obama and John Boehner, but it's subscription only.

However, FiredUpInCAFollow at DKos has excerpts. So, here are excerpts of the excerpts. “John Boehner is, in fact, bad at his job.” Sources say Paul Ryan may replace him. This could be why:

Mr. Obama repeatedly lost patience with the speaker as negotiations faltered. In an Oval Office meeting last week, he told Mr. Boehner that if the sides didn’t reach agreement, he would use his inaugural address and his State of the Union speech to tell the country the Republicans were at fault.

At one point, according to notes taken by a participant, Mr. Boehner told the president, “I put $800 billion [in tax revenue] on the table. What do I get for that?”

You get nothing,” the president said. “I get that for free.” [...]

The president repeatedly reminded Mr. Boehner of the election results: “You’re asking me to accept Mitt Romney’s tax plan. Why would I do that?” At another point, the speaker noted his GOP majority would also return next year. [...]

Mr. Boehner said he wanted a deal along the lines of what the two men had negotiated in the summer of 2011 in a fight over raising the debt ceiling. “You missed your opportunity on that,” the president told him.

oof 2

Sounds like a president who knows he has a mandate. Let's hope he keeps acting like he does.

obama gloat smaller

More fun here.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

President Obama, Boehner meeting at the White House

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

slow-dance

This is definitely a slow dance.

WASHINGTON -- A White House official says President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (BAY'-nur) are meeting at the White House to discuss the pending fiscal cliff and deficit reduction.

The meeting comes as Boehner is offering $1 trillion in higher tax revenue over 10 years and an increase in the top tax rate on people making more than $1 million a year.

The speaker also has offered a large enough extension in the government's borrowing cap to fund the government for one year before the issue must be revisited - conditioned on the president agreeing to $1 trillion in cuts.

The offer was made Friday after a long impasse. It calls for about $450 billion in revenue from increasing the top rate on income over $1 million.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare