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The following are some facts I came across today along with my commentary. I have tried to give appropriate credit by noting the article name, the author, and the news service. Since some quotes are many I have put these quotes between  bars.
My observation after reading these news stories is that Obama says a lot but he signs very little presidential orders. In almost all these articles it is mentioned that Mr. Obama has made a decision but he has not made it official yet. What is the need to talk to high level officials, make decisions, and not make anything official? People keep commenting on how Obama is decisive and makes fast decisions when he knows the facts. Well decisions are only good if Mr. Obama signs the presidential order to put in effect his policy.
In the first article I read titled Obama set to shut CIA's secret prisons:
President also moving on Guantanamo as part of reversal of past policies and which appeared at the following url,
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28788175, but had no named author I took the following quotes;
["...Barack Obama readied on Thursday national security moves that included preparations to close the Guantanamo Bay prison, review military trials for terror suspects and ban harsh interrogation tactics."]
My thoughts on the above quote is that terrorism is not over. If Mr. Obama and company do their job of protecting the US properly there will be more detainees. Does Mr. Obama really believe the appropriate place for foreign nationals wanting to kill Americans is the federal courts with all their appeals.
The next quotes reinforces my belief that raising taxes and public works projects will not create jobs or help the economy improve.
["House Republican Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia said his party wanted to work with the new administration, but that many facets of the stimulus program wending its way through Congress would not create jobs, a vital requirement as unemployment numbers climb. Cantor spoke on CBS television Thursday."]
In an article titled What we don't know about Obama written by John F. Harris and Jim Vandehei of the POLITICO the authors attempt to report that not much is known about Obama's potential reactions.
The quotes that caught my eye are the following:
["Until then, here are the questions still left hanging as the Obama administration begins:"
"DOES HE REALLY THINK AFGHANISTAN IS WINNABLE?
The new president has strongly signaled that he thinks the answer is yes. But neither his rhetoric nor his policy proposals so far have fully reckoned with the implications.
Most military experts think a decisive win in Afghanistan — as opposed to a muddle-through strategy leading to a gradual withdrawal —will involve a major surge in troops and a willingness to tolerate high costs and high casualties.
In any event, the country and its unruly neighbor, Pakistan, will quite likely dominate Obama’s attention much more than Iraq.
Obama advisers say one of the biggest surprises of recent secret briefings on trouble spots around the globe was how unstable, exposed and dangerous Pakistan is. A nuclear neighbor that harbors terrorists injects all the more danger and uncertainty to the war on the other side of its border.
Joe Biden’s first trip abroad as vice President-elect included a stop in Afghanistan. When he returned home, he told Obama: “The truth is that things are going to get tougher in Afghanistan before they’re going to get better.”
If that’s true, Obama may in the end find muddle-through more attractive than victory.]
With these quotes we see that thought Obama and company have criticized Mr. Bush's use of military force in the end Mr. Obama may have to rely on this very same use of force.
Next are some quotes on the economy. I think this is the wrong time to be playing with the economy. Money is needed for government to function in the areas of deterrence of attacks and influencing foreign leaders away from violent tendencies. A hands-off policy would allow for the economy to naturally regain its vitality.
During my life I have seen many examples of leaders of companies waiting for government action in order to start planning. Business people either work with a policy or they look for ways to work around the policy. I cannot blame them. I do not appreciate it. It makes a mockery of the intent of the government policy. However, business people are only doing what they get paid to do which is make money. I say it is better for government not to keep trying to influence markets and let people live by the consequences of their actions.
Here are the quotes:
[DO DEFICITS MATTER?
In the short-run, Obama and his advisers believe, just like Bush and his advisers, that pumping up the economy is the top priority —budget deficits be damned.
Obama has said long-term, trillion-dollar deficits are “unsustainable.” His inaugural address warned about the need to cut programs that don’t work and make “hard choices.”
Does he really mean it? If so, the second half of Obama’s first term likely will be marked by austerity just as much as the first half is going to be marked by massive spending in the name of economic stimulus.
Embracing balanced budgets would also mean embracing steep cuts in weapons systems and entitlement programs, as well as curbing his ambitions for new initiatives in health care and energy. Tax hikes would also be part of the remedy.]
The next quotes deal with the challenge of Iraq. Again I will state that Iraq is a favorable partner of America and it is in her best interest to work at maintaining this relationship. Offering no assistance to Iraq runs the risk of appearing disinterested in Iraq. However, the goal should be to build cooperative relationship that is beneficial to both parties.
[HOW FAST IS TOO FAST IN IRAQ?
The president says he still wants U.S. troops out of Iraq in 16 months. Tellingly, he always adds caveats that conditions and advice from commanders will dictate the pace. Defense Secretary Gates recently made this clear: “He also said he wanted to have a responsible drawdown. And he also said he was prepared to listen to his commanders. So, I think that that’s exactly the position the president-elect should be in.”
In a recent interview with the Washington Post, he suggested he would not aggressively push for legislation to free workers to easily unionize (the bill is known as the Employee Free Choice Act. “If we are losing half a million jobs a month, then there are no jobs to unionize.” Even Nancy Pelosi seems inclined to cut him some slack for a while on this one – but at some point the pressure will intensify and we will learn if this is truly a pro-union White House. ]
In this following quotes we see some hypocrisy in Obama. In Obama's campaign for the presidency he criticized president Bush for going to Iraq. Obama's point was that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. However in the following quotes we see an interesting in helping people experiencing genocide. Regardless of the reason given by Bush to invade Iraq the end result was the liberation of the Iraqi people from a regime that was systematically killing them. How come it is okay to send American soldiers to fight for the people of Darfur but not the people of Iraq.
[CAN U.S. POWER SAVE DARFUR?
Darfur will be the first test case - but almost certainly not the last one - in which we will learn just how strongly Obama believes his stated view that the United States should act aggressively when it can use its military power to stop genocide or other humanitarian catastrophes.
There is powerful momentum inside the Democratic Party to come the aid of the suffering people of Darfur. Among the biggest advocates are two of Obama’s top advisers: Biden and U.N Ambassador-designate Susan Rice.
But with the military stretched thin, and with many others in his administration more skeptical about the use of force on problems that don’t directly threaten national security, nothing is likely to happen unless Obama puts his own influence and reputation strongly behind an intervention.
Politically savvy liberal activists are an important reason Obama beat Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Democratic nominating contest, and a big reason he blew through all fund-raising records. It will be hard for Obama to govern without their enthusiasm, onthe other hand, it will be tough to reinvent politics if Obama is forced to routinely throw bouquets to the various factions of the Democratic Party.
In his inaugural speech, Obama spoke of tired ideologies and a time to think anew about policy and politics. That is easy to do if he simply means rejecting Bush’s idea. But he has suggested this rethinking will hit the left, too – that’s trickier.]
The following quotes are notations of events.
In an article titled New jobless claims rise more than expected to 589K written by CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Write it is noted that jobless claims are seemingly higher then expected. However, this high more number during the time noted has more to do with bureaucratic lag then new unemployment claims.
My last customer yesterday was looking for an office to finish his unemployment registration. He told me he had grown disgusted and discouraged from all the trouble he has experienced at the hands of people at the unemployment offices he has visited.
[The Labor Department reported Thursday that initial jobless benefit claims rose to a seasonally adjusted 589,000 in the week ending Jan. 17, from an upwardly revised figure of 527,000 the previous week. The latest tally was well above Wall Street economists' expectations of 540,000 new claims.
The increase is partly due to a backlog of claims that piled up in recent weeks in several states that experienced computer crashes due to a crush of applications, a Labor Department analyst said. The four-week average of claims, which smooths out fluctuations, was 519,250, the same as the previous week.
But the layoffs continued Thursday. Microsoft Corp. said it will cut up to 5,000 jobs as profit tumbles amid weakness in the personal computer market, and chemical maker Huntsman Corp. will slash 1,175 jobs this year, representing more than 9 percent of its work force, to reduce costs as demand slows amid the global economic downturn. Salt Lake City-based Huntsman also plans to cut an additional 490 contractors.]
Of last note is what Ms. Rice is up to in her life.
In the story Condoleezza Rice signs with William Morris Agency written by Paul J. Gough Paul J. Gough of Reuters we learn of Ms. Rice's future plans.
[Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has made a key step in her post-Bush administration career: The William Morris Agency announced Wednesday that it has signed her as a client.
It's unlikely that Rice will turn up as a talking head on television, however. The deal includes William Morris representation for books, lecture appearances and philanthropic initiatives, as well as business initiatives in media, sports and communications.]
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