:: IPD Daily Cartoon Find.
:: POLITICO adding to the bs floating around re Blagojevich and Obama.
With a video titled "Obama sidesteps Blagojevich", and referring to Obama's press conference this morning, Politico infers that Obama is hiding something. The truth is far different.
In a post on IPD yesterday, a quote from Obama Transition Communications Director, Dan Pfeiffer, noted that the US Attorney had asked Obama not to release the report until the week of December 22, in order not to impede the investigation of Blagojevich. The Obama team worked with the US Attorney's office during the compilation of the report. That said, watch the video. Do you consider Obama's response re Blagojevich "sidestepping", or is he trying to do as the US Attorney requested and refrain from compromising the investigation?
EDIT: the US Attorney did confirm his request to Obama to withhold the report.
:: Bush refutes his own prior claim re the Taliban in Afghanistan.
In 2004, this is what Bush told the American people re the Taliban in Afghanistan (and this is irrefutable-it is from whitehouse.gov). Bolding is mine.
In a different kind of war, we had to recognize that we're not facing a nation; we're facing a group of people who have adopted an ideology of hatred and love to find places where they can hide. They're like parasites. They kind of leech on to a host and hope the host weakens over time so they can eventually become the host. That's why I said to the Taliban in Afghanistan: Get rid of al Qaeda; see, you're harboring al Qaeda. Remember this is a place where they trained -- al Qaeda trained thousands of people in Afghanistan. And the Taliban, I guess, just didn't believe me. And as a result of the United States military, Taliban no longer is in existence. And the people of Afghanistan are now free. (Applause.) In other words when you say something as President you better make it clear so everybody understands what you're saying, and you better mean what you say. And I meant what I said. (Applause.)
President Bush,yesterday, in 2008, to a reporter in Afghanistan (also from whitehouse.gov):
PRESIDENT BUSH: I respectfully disagree with you. The Taliban was brutalizing the people of Afghanistan. And they're not in power. And I just cited the progress that is undeniable.
Now, is there more work to be done? You bet. I never said the Taliban was eliminated, I said they were removed from power.
Hmm.....eliminated and "no longer in existence" mean the same thing, do they not? ;)
Read more at the Huffington Post.
Image of Bush and Karzai from whitehouse.gov.
:: Newt Gingrich RIPS RNC chair, and defends Obama.
Um, I sure didn't see this coming. Newt defending Obama? Not that I'm complaining, mind you. It is, however, rather unusual to say the least.
I was saddened to learn that at a time of national trial, when a president-elect is preparing to take office in the midst of the worst financial crisis in over seventy years, that the Republican National Committee is engaged in the sort of negative, attack politics that the voters rejected in the 2006 and 2008 election cycles.
The recent web advertisement, "Questions Remain," is a destructive distraction. Clearly, we should insist that all taped communications regarding the Senate seat should be made public. However, that should be a matter of public policy, not an excuse for political attack.
In a time when America is facing real challenges, Republicans should be working to help the incoming President succeed in meeting them, regardless of his Party.
From now until the inaugural, Republicans should be offering to help the President-elect prepare to take office.
Furthermore, once President Obama takes office, Republicans should be eager to work with him when he is right, and, when he is wrong, offer a better solution, instead of just opposing him.
This is the only way the Republican Party will become known as the "better solutions" party, not just an opposition party. And this is the only way Republicans will ever regain the trust of the voters to return to the majority.
This ad is a terrible signal to be sending about both the goals of the Republican Party in the midst of the nation's troubled economic times and about whether we have actually learned anything from the defeats of 2006 and 2008.
:: President-elect Obama announces a new education secretary.
We reported last week that Duncan was one of the people being considered for the position, and today, Arne Duncan was formally announced as the nominee for Secretary of Education.
From my post last week:
Two competing factions, the "reformers", and the teacher's unions, have different ideas as to who it should be, and there doesn't seem to be an actual candidate who can bridge that divide.One person does come close, Chicago schools superintendent, Arne Duncan.
Obama is going local for his Education secretary -- Chicago public schools chief Arne Duncan, “who over seven years maintained a positive story line for the troubled district," the Los Angeles Times reports. More: "Since 2001, when Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley plucked Duncan from obscurity to head the country's third-largest school district, Duncan has gained a reputation as a reformer who isn't afraid to rankle the teachers union and punish underperforming schools. His decisions to pay students for good grades, back an unrealized plan for a gay-friendly high school and consider boarding schools often polarized the community while bolstering his renegade image.”
:: Change.gov publishes the first round of questions from the people, with answers from the transition team.
10,000+ questions voted on by 20,000+ people, and nearly one million votes up or down. A historic presidency becomes even more so. Read some of the top questions, and the transition team responses, on change.gov
Q: "What will you do as President to restore the Constitutional protections that have been subverted by the Bush Administration and how will you ensure that our system of checks and balances is renewed?" Kari, Seattle
A: President-elect Obama is deeply committed to restoring the rule of law and respecting constitutional checks and balances.That is why he has pledged to review Bush Administration executive orders. President-elect Obama will also end the abuse of signing statements, and put an end to the politicization that has taken place within the Department of Justice and return that agency to its historic and apolitical mission of fair and impartial administration of justice.