Obama Chooses Confrontation With Republicans

This suddenly got interesting..
GOP has full control over Congress (technically not before Jan 3rd).. and should fix this..
After years of “no” to everything.. their tactics have to change..
Presenting a more concrete alternative..
And maybe Obama aims for Health Care and Immigration as his main domestic legacies, and will fight hard for it..


President Obama “chose confrontation over conciliation on Thursday as he asserted the powers of the Oval Office to reshape the nation’s immigration system and dared members of next year’s Republican-controlled Congress to reverse his actions on behalf of millions of immigrants,” the New York Times reports.

Said Obama: “To those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill.”


Clinton: No Obama immigration action may have hurt in midterms

Bubba could become very uncontrollable in Hillary’s run for President.. for good and for bad….
The suggested hostility towards the current President might be more outspoken too..
And it doesn’t seem like he’s planning on being a quiet and subservient “first husband” in the WH…


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Former President Bill Clinton said he was surprised by the Democrats’ lopsided losses in Senate races in this year’s midterm elections, and he suggested that President Barack Obama’s decision not to sign an executive order on immigration may have played a role in keeping some Hispanic voters at home.

He also said Obama should maximize his pulpit and not give in to being a “lame duck,” setting a high bar by saying he should turn to the budget process to try to push through his agenda in his final two years in the White House and that the president should also try to pass immigration reform. Above all, he said, Obama should try to have “fun” in the job.


World Leaders Snub Putin at G20, Exile Him to ‘Social Siberia’

At times it seems like Russia’s President just wants some attention and to be liked.. and respected.. no matter how much he practices on his "stone face"..

It’s very sad and it creates a lot of damage to Russia.. and unnecessary tensions internationally.. and deaths in Ukraine..

Why doesn’t he try to make a successful and prosperous economy instead.. that would’ve brought him some real respect..


Russian President Vladimir Putin was reportedly set to walk out of the G20 summit in Australia a day early after drawing a series of rebukes over Ukraine and threats of further sanctions from Western leaders, but a Kremlin spokesman now says Putin plans to stay.

A member of Putin’s delegation told Reuters that Putin was planning to cut out on a working session Sunday during the second half of the two-day world leaders forum because he had business to attend to in Moscow. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov later denied reports of Putin’s early exit. "This is wrong," Peskov said. "The president is taking part in all the (G20) events."

(..) Later at the summit, Putin received another social blow from Harper as he reached out to shake the Canadian Prime Minister’s hand.

"I guess I’ll shake your hand, but I have only one thing to say to you: You need to get out of Ukraine," Harper said to Putin, according to the prime minister’s spokesman, Jason MacDonald.

(..) Later, as leaders assembled for the "family photo," Putin was placed on the far outer right of the other heads of state, and away from Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who threatened to "shirtfront" rugby tackle the Russian leader last month over MH17.

Elizabeth Warren On New Leadership Position: ‘Nobody’s Clipping My Wings’

Let’s see how this all plays out.. and how her political skills are in navigating this whole thing.. It’s a big platform for her.. but it might also tie her into the establishment.. and other new political games…

In some ways she’s had the privilege of a persistent "one-note" line of attack against banks on behalf of families so far..
Now things will change..


WASHINGTON — Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) pushed back Thursday evening against the notion that her new Senate position means that she will be a "liberal liaison" between Democratic leaders and the party’s progressive base.

"I don’t quite understand it," said Warren of the oft-repeated, informal title that’s been used in media reports to describe her new leadership position.

Warren’s elevation was ratified Thursday during a more than three-hour, closed-door meeting, where Democrats elected their new Senate leaders for the next Congress. Warren’s role had not previously been disclosed to the caucus, having only been reported as a possibility by HuffPost the afternoon before. Before the meeting had ended, reporters were being told by sources outside Reid’s office that Warren would be a "liberal liaison," and would additionally hold a policy portfolio.

Attacking the Soviet Union. | Books

Just a small announcement here on Talk & Politics – we’ve recently started a separate blog to write about books and history! Check it out here:

Our current reading is “Stalingrad” by Antony Beevor, from the Eastern Front in Europe in WWII. The numbers and scale of things involved are just staggering.


This whole attack on the Soviet Union is still boggling.. also as it seems so poorly thought through, as many German generals pointed out at the time.

The numbers are staggering too, with the Germans sending in over 4 million troops to the Union, divided in three parts. After some struggles in the south the middle part thrust towards Moscow is stalled/diverted for a while – with angry protests from the commanders – and when winter then arrives in November they are all slowly starting to freeze to death.

Bush (43) Shares Spotlight With Bush (41) as Tribute Book Is Published

GWB is out in the spotlight again with a new book about his father, and talks about Bush 41′s close relationship with Bill Clinton among other things..
So we’ll see how this exposure works in terms of the detoxification of the Bush name and Jeb’s potential candidacy.. it’s good politics to get it all out there now..


COLLEGE STATION, Tex. — While hosting guests at his Texas ranch shortly after leaving office, former President George W. Bush got into a discussion with the daughter of the historian David McCullough.

The daughter, Dorie McCullough Lawson, mentioned that in researching his acclaimed book on John Adams, her father would have loved to have been able to read a biography of the second president written by his son, John Quincy Adams, the sixth president.

Mr. Bush, the only other American to follow his father to the White House, took the hint. That, he concluded, was something he could do. And so on Tuesday, he published a biography of the first President George Bush, called “41: A Portrait of My Father,” an unabashed love letter presenting the 41st commander in chief in heroic terms.

Kaci Hickox, boyfriend leaving Fort Kent after Ebola quarantine fight – The Portland Press Heraldv

Just to wrap up this story.. turns out that parts of the local community in Maine did not respond very well to the narrow-minded defiance of Hickox, refusing to show a minimum of consideration towards other people’s fears and just stay home for a couple of weeks. So the blow-back came hard on her boyfriend with threats from fellow nursing students and silent consent from the school management.

Talk about completely unnecessary self-inflicted wounds… this was all of her own making..


Nurse Kaci Hickox and her boyfriend are leaving Maine next week for parts unknown.

Hickox made national headlines last week when she fought efforts to quarantine her in New Jersey and Maine because she had just returned from treating Ebola patients in West Africa.

Her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur, withdrew from an accelerated nursing program at the University of Maine at Fort Kent on Friday and said the couple will stay through Monday, after which a state court order expires and Hickox will no longer have to submit to daily health monitoring, inform state officials of travel plans and let them know if her health changes.


Wilbur said he withdrew from the nursing program because university officials – who told him there had been threats against him – refused to communicate to students that any harassment, threats or demonstrations against Wilbur would not be tolerated.

Wilbur said school officials pointed out that those acts were prohibited, and said they wouldn’t act ahead of Wilbur’s return to school to reinforce the prohibitions.

Wilbur was concerned about the threats and also about potential silent protests, such as students getting up and leaving a room when he entered.

White House Presses States to Reconsider Mandatory Ebola Quarantine Orders

This issue has gotten very emotionally loaded by now..

But Obama really should back off of this..

He has done a couple of good things in his presidency but so gravely mismanaged a lot of things.. blaming others afterwards and "seething" with anger and so on..

There is no reason to have any trust in his competence on this issue either.

The treatment of the nurse in NJ is of course horrendous… she should be given a luxury facility as a thank for her service for Africa and global health, but that is a seperate issue from how to protect the US from a deadly and potentially unpredictable plague.
And this is not every day stuff… and we’re also only talking about 30 – thirty – US health care workers in Africa at the moment..

Cuomo’s "erring on the side of caution" seems like a reasonable position for now..

Also as statements like "only direct contact with bodily fluids" are supplemented with "and perhaps contaminated objects we’re not sure"…

And.. these kind of issues should not be dictated and decided by medical experts. Informed yes, but decided no. No way.


The Obama administration has expressed deep concerns to the governors of New York and New Jersey and is consulting with them to modify their orders to quarantine medical volunteers returning from West Africa
as President Obama seeks to quickly develop a new, nationwide policy for the workers, according to two senior administration officials.

One administration official said the federal government has been pressing the governors to back off their decisions, which quarantine all medical workers who had contact with Ebola patients. But another official said the administration has not specifically asked the governors to reverse their policies.