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White House Cheat Sheet: Obama Moves to Foreign Affairs

President Obama leaves the White House. AP Photo/Ron Edmonds

After a first month focused almost exclusively on domestic policy, President Obama is turning to foreign affairs this week, announcing yesterday that he would send more troops to Afghanistan and making his first foreign trip tomorrow when he is scheduled to travel to Canada.

Circumstances to date -- most notably the near-collapse of the American economy -- have largely dictated the issues on which Obama has been able to focus but with the economic stimulus bill now passed through Congress and signed into law, the president appears ready and able to turn some of his attention to a variety of pressing foreign policy concerns.

In announcing the deployment of additional Marine and Army brigades into Afghanistan on Tuesday, Obama insisted the situation "demands urgent attention and swift action" and repeated his assertion from the campaign trail last year that the situation in "has not received the strategic attention, direction and resources it urgently requires."

Then, in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation released late last night by the White House Obama spoke more broadly about his vision for America's role in the world through the lens of Afghanistan.

"I am absolutely convinced that you cannot solve the problem of Afghanistan, the Taliban, the spread of extremism in that region solely by military means," said Obama. "We're going to gave to use diplomacy [and] we're going to have to use development."

The troop increase represents something of a shift for the Obama administration, which, as Post polling director Jon Cohen points out, has had significant public support for most of its agenda to date. In the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, barely more than a third (34 percent) supported an increase in U.S. military forces in Afghanistan, while almost the same number opted for a decrease (29 percent) or no change at all (32 percent).

Added to that, foreign policy is somewhat uncharted water for Obama as he rarely had opportunity to deal with that particular set of issues during his meteoric rise from the Illinois state Senate to the presidency.

During the primary and general election campaigns, however, attacks on Obama's alleged naivete -- particularly on his willingness to engage in dialogue with leaders of rogue nations -- fell flat.

And, other recent polling affirms the notion that the American public has high levels in Obama's ability to represent the country on the world stage and his judgment when it comes to dealing with tricky foreign policy matters.

In a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll conducted earlier this month 76 percent of the sample said they thought Obama was doing a "good job" on foreign policy, slightly larger than the 72 percent who said he was doing a "good job" handling the economy.

A Washington Post/ABC News survey from January affirms the confidence in Obama; roughly seven in ten said he "can be trusted in a crisis" while 62 percent said they believed he would "be a good commander in chief."

One other intangible likely to work in the president's favor on matters of foreign policy is that the American public had badly soured on former president George W. Bush and his seemingly "go it alone" approach to foreign policy -- particularly in Iraq.

The more Obama can draw a bright line for Americans -- and the rest of the world -- between the Bush Administration and his own when it comes to the U.S.'s role in the global community, the more likely, in the short term at least, he is to succeed in winning over the public on foreign policy matters.

Sked Stuff: President Obama delivers a speech laying out his plans to stem the tide of home foreclosures this morning at Dobson High School in Mesa, Arizona. The plan will allow people to refinance or reconfigure their home loans in order to make their monthly mortgage payments as well as call on lenders to build in some level of flexibility into the system, according to one Democrat familiar with the proposal. "The plan will reward people for playing by the rules," added the source.

Burris Brouhaha, Part 78: In the "story that won't die" category, Illinois Sen. Roland Burris continues to acknowledge that he had far more contact with close associates to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich than he initially told an Illinois state House committee charged with investigating allegations that Blagojevich had sought to sell President Obama's Senate seat. In a sign that his political future is growing more dim, the Senate Ethics Committee -- led by California Sen. Barbara Boxer (Calif.) -- opened a "preliminary investigation" into Burris' past statements on Tuesday, a move recommended by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) in a statement. Burris has been purposefully vague about whether he will seek a full term in 2010 but the recent controversy suggests that even if he does choose to make that bid he will face a serious primary challenge. The leading candidate? State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias who received a vote of confidence last week from Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.). If Burris resigns or is removed from office, Gov. Pat Quinn (D) would be charged with appointing a replacement with state Attorney General Lisa Madigan the leading name.

Solis Doyle Lands: Patti Solis Doyle, campaign manager for much of Hillary Clinton's presidential bid and later chief of staff for vice presidential nominee Joe Biden, is joining the law and lobbying firm Utrecht & Phillips as a partner, she confirmed to the Fix on Tuesday. "I am very proud to join a firm filled with old as well as new friends," said Solis Doyle. Utrecht is a longtime Democratic campaign lawyer -- serving as general counsel to Clinton's 2008 presidential bid as well as former president Bill Clinton's campaigns. "I have known Patti and worked with her for many years," said Utrecht. "She will be a great asset for the firm and our clients." In January, Utrecht and William Phillips broke off from the firm Ryan, Phillips, Utrecht & MacKinnon to form their own legal and lobbying shop.

House GOP Hammers Perriello: The National Republican Congressional Committee will go on the air in Virginia Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello's 5th district with ads that slam the freshman Democrat for allegedly "stretching the truth" in explaining his vote for President Obama's economic stimulus package. The ad, which is running in the Roanoke-Lynchburg media market, details some of the spending in the stimulus plan -- "smoking cessation, arts funding, treatments for STDs" -- and urges viewers to call Perriello and "tell him to stop wasting our money." NRCC communications director Ken Spain described the ads as a second phase of a campaign begun last Friday with radio ads in the districts of 30 Democrats who voted for the bill. "Struggling middle-class families in Virginia need a leader who will work to deliver immediate relief during tough economic times, not a politician who refuses to be honest about how he wants to spend their hard-earned tax dollars," said Spain. Perriello, who defeated Rep. Virgil Goode (R) in 2008, is a top target of House Republicans given the Republican lean of his Southside Virginia district.

Paterson's Problems: New York Gov. David Paterson's public indecision over who to appoint to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate appears to have badly damaged him as he considers whether or not to run for a full term in 2010, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll. A majority (52 percent) said they disapproved of the way Paterson handled the appointment process that saw Caroline Kennedy emerge as a frontrunner only to remove her name from consideration days before Paterson opted for then Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (D). And, in a hypothetical Democratic primary matchup Paterson trails state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo by a 55 percent to 23 percent margin -- a stunning deficit for an incumbent. Cuomo leads former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) 51 percent to 37 percent in a general election race while Giuliani and Paterson are knotted at 43 percent. Conventional wisdom in the Empire State had assumed that Cuomo could not challenge an African American Democrat twice for his party's gubernatorial nomination (Cuomo against ran state Comptroller Carl McCall in 2002 and dropped out one week before the primary) but if several more polls show the seat in real jeopardy if Paterson is the nominee, there could be justification for Cuomo to get into the race.

RNC Up on the Air in New York Special: Speaking of Gillibrand, her ascension to the Senate has created a competitive special election for her Albany-area 20th district seat. Sensing opportunity, the Republican National Committee launched an ad on Tuesday touting the credentials of state Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R). The commercial, which cost the RNC approximately $80,000, was touted by national Republicans as evidence that newly-elected RNC Chairman Michael Steele was making good on a commitment to ensure the party was competitive nationwide. "The Republican Party will no longer ignore the Northeast," pledged Steele. "Our conservative principles are applicable to every county and corner of this country."

Podcast Recs: Yesterday on "TheFix" Twitter feed (Haven't signed up yet? Um, do it now.) we asked folks for their recommendations for the best podcasts out there. We couldn't keep all the great suggestions to ourselves so here are some of the most commonly mentioned: "This American Life," "RadioLab," Slate's "Political Gabfest," "New Yorker's Fiction," Harry Shearer's "Le Show," "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me," "Music PopCast," "Planet Money," "The Moth," "All Songs Considered," "This Week in Tech," "Stuff You Missed in History Class" and last but not least "Flight of the Conchords."

Say What?: "He should resign immediately." -- Cook County Commissioner Billy Quigley, one of the frontrunners in Illinois' 5th district special election, on topic du jour -- Roland Burris.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 18, 2009; 6:03 AM ET
Categories:  Cheat Sheet Share This:  E-Mail | Technorati | Del.icio.us | Digg | Stumble Previous: IL-Sen: Burris Backtracks, Ethics Committee Investigates
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The burden of proof for President Obama to step up the forces in Afghanistan seems a mine filed waiting for him. To that end our voices seemed to have not be heard saying we wanted NO MORE WAR.

Thus the use of the Internet is not going to save our nation. Just because we can air our wishes and desires to bring coalitions together to discuss between ourselves the needs of others and us is far from a FIX for our GOVERNMENT.

The Internet is not the fix it is just one step along the way to bring saneness back as a core of thought between us.

But WAKE UP WE HAVE NO POWER for our thoughts and desires to be pushed along inside of our corrupt affairs of our GOVERNMENT.

Petitions and Pleas and all our blogging trying to tell each of our stories best as we can will never bring the kind of POWER to bring about the needed changes.

The economic stimulus bill being discussed has had the LOBBYIST in Washington DC in a feeding frenzy adding the things that their clients WANT ADDED to the bill and some call that PORK.

I call it GREED. The give and take and chit chat and back slaps and ballyhoo are just a repulsion to me how about you?

We have the number of folks to start our own LOBBY in Washington DC. When done we would have power to affect the changes needed to bring a halt to our run a way GOVERNMENT for a time.

Our LOBBY would represent us. They would snoop too ---- to give all of us the day by day LOW DOWN what and who were pushing for what to be added to a bill to get a FREE RIDE in our DEMOCRACY.

Our LOBBY would be seen on CSPAN each night for the nightly NEWS not VIEWS from the elites and EAST COAST BLUE BLOODS needs to have their agendas pushed down our throats.


Contact dbaker007@stx.rr.com on how you can help push the concept of

Posted by: dbaker00711281944 | February 20, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

It's Mike Quigley, not Billy.

Posted by: pcarey12 | February 19, 2009 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Barack Obama was right and wise to criticize the unnecessary invasion, followed by the occupation of Iraq. His decision to send more troops to Afghanistan to support a government widely perceived among Afghans as corrupt, seems puzzling given his earlier stance against the war in Iraq.

Perhaps like other post-World War II presidents he is trying to show he is "tough." That was the mentality of Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon during the Vietnam war.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | February 18, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Just as the West was misled by the previous US president and UK prime minister into an invasion of Iraq, Sri Lanka president cheats the whole world including his own people into waging 'war on terror' but in fact committing systematic genocide of Tamils. He never investigated any human rights abuse of abductions of Tamil youths numbering more than 3,400, killing school girls, aid workers, MPs and journalists. The perpetrators of such horrendous crimes enjoy impunity. Now the civilians are denied food and medicine but bombed and shelled day and night in the shrinking conflict zone.

Posted by: shanmugalingams | February 18, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

TBN - no problem. Actually worked this afternoon.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 18, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

okay...lunch hour almost over.
mark---i'm not mad, are you? i have been blogging a long time (20 years now) and when one reads "me", one can believe i am yelling. I am not. I just get down to facts (and opinions at times) real fast.

this new Housing Plan: FAQs are on whitehouse.gov.
interesting one:
How do I know if I am eligible?
Complete eligibility details will be announced on March 4th when the program starts. The criteria for eligibility will include having sufficient income to make the new payment and an acceptable mortgage payment history. The program is limited to loans held or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

so it is only fannie mae or freddie mac foreclosures--is what I am getting.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 18, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

hey psears2:
we can't use White House Press Gaggle cause that is already used.
How about White House Blogger Gaggle.
Enter At Own Risk

(((hearty laughs)))

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 18, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

what was the blair question again?
i found the Nov 2002 United Nations piece i was looking for.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 18, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

i should add:

albeit, we adjusted "crooked".

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 18, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

and there was the rub.
we tried to adjust

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 18, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

The Washington Post should perhaps explore the reason behind extremisim and corruption in the Middle East and not simply the obvious targets but the so called 'more civilised' states that are on every level corrupt. Yet the West continues to turn a blind eye to the oil rich states in particular without fully comprehending or even exploring the possibilty that there is connection between the rise of terrorrisim and corruption on state level.

Posted by: monabauwens | February 18, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

TBN, Please recall that when I listed the Chinese money surplus as a contributing cause I wrote that lawyers and their financial clients invented products to absorb the excess Chinese money - I did not "blame" China. But it is an economic fact that the tertiary derivatives would not have found ready markets without Asian Tiger money. Think of our own attempts to wipe out drug supply, which are wasted, because our own drug demand is so high.

Mallaby is more critical of China than even Geithner because there are not supposed to be international players living by 18th Century Dutch East Indies mercantilist rules any more.

I think that I have been polite and cordial and I will continue to be, but admit to some frustration in attempting to communicate with you. I am certain that it is both my inability and the limitations of the medium, but I really do want to know what role you think the policies of Bush41 played in the current crisis. If you want more Blair links, let me know. If you want more scholarly references to the displacement that is caused in world trade and in monetary and financial markets by "Asian Tiger" policies, let me know.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 18, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Will BHO be able to beat Bill Clinton's record for the number of foreign affairs?

Posted by: leapin | February 18, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

the wapo article states in part:
Starting around the middle of this decade, China's cheap currency led it to run a massive trade surplus. The earnings from that surplus poured into the United States. The result was the mortgage bubble.

If Geitner or anyone else is trying to tell us we are in THIS trouble NOW because of China's supply and demand.
my gosh----can you say gullible. Do you actually believe that China's trade surplus caused the mortgage bubble????

then it states:
Moreover, regulatory failings exist not just at one regulator but many. The Securities and Exchange Commission failed to check risks at broker-dealers such as Bear Stearns. State insurance regulators failed to prevent the collapse of AIG. The Federal Reserve failed to see that banks were pouring capital into toxic securities that they then held off their balance sheets. European regulators were no better, even though they had adopted a supposedly more up-to-date set of capital standards. The lesson: Faced with a deluge of cheap money, no regulatory regime can be expected to prevent bubbles.

that is all American.
don't try to skirt our problems onto China trade. our fall from grace, since 2001 (as Paulson says) was all American.
American companies bilking Americans.
I am with China on this one. They are being labelled scapegoats.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 18, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

If you are going to continue to have a posting almost every day about the White House, because the new administration is covering a lot of ground right now, you need to come up with a better name than the White House Cheat Sheet. How about the White House Watch? Ooops, that's already taken. How about the "Fix is in 'da House"? Or...shoot, ran out of ideas. Need more coffee. Give it up to your readers to pick a new name for the feature?

Posted by: psears2 | February 18, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

TBN wrote:

"Puhleeze....who the heck talks like this. state in english mark.
Now who do you think developed the trade policy in the first place?"

TBN, please read


Where Mallaby explains Geithner's understanding of Chinese trade and monetary policy [and mine, in language more suited to the reader of plain English].

For more background, see


I have attended ALI employment law seminars where Chinese employment policy as it relates to trade has been the subject and I really would like to see your memoranda.

I also still want to know what Bush41 did that you believe contributed to the current crisis.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 18, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

okey dokey....
it is called the
The Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 18, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

You don't mention a very significant piece of the reason why Obama is sending more troops to Afghanistan, which is this: the Taliban is having huge success taking over entire regions of Pakistan, and Pakisitan is not only the main sponsor of terrorism [against the US and Europe] but possessess nuclear weapons. We have every reason to be in Afghanistan for this reason.

What I find completely bizarre is that there are people who still want to keep troops in Iraq, when there is no threat to us there, but don't want to defend our interests [and our national security] in Afghanistan. It's puzzling.

WASHINGTON – Pakistan's startling accord with Taliban fighters that would impose Islamic religious law on the strategic Swat valley looms as a setback for the Obama administration's hopes to mount a united front against militants there and in Afghanistan.

The agreement between Pakistan's government and the growing Taliban forces in the country's northwest region cemented a truce between the two sides and gave the insurgents dominance in the Swat region by installing a strict regimen of Islamic law amenable to the militants' authority. The pact was spearheaded by a hard-line cleric sent to the region to negotiate with the Taliban and persuade them to give up their arms.

"It is definitely a step backwards," said James F. Dobbins, the Bush administration's first envoy for Afghanistan. "The Pakistanis have to take a stronger line with extremists in the region."

The war against Taliban rule in Afghanistan seemed won seven years ago. But the Taliban is gaining ground there, U.S. and NATO forces have been unable to reverse the gains, and the outlook appears increasingly bleak.

"We are very concerned about Pakistan and stability," U.S. special envoy Richard C. Holbrooke said last weekend on a trip to the area."

Posted by: drindl | February 18, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

"House GOP Hammers Perriello"

Uh oh. This too shall backfire?

What's the matter with funding smoking cessation and treatment for STDs? Both will save health care costs down the road.

The arts. This is debatable but I'd remind you that life without the arts is like a Republican party. No thanks.

Posted by: Pluto1 | February 18, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

President just took off.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 18, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

phoenix is experiencing very very weird satellite stuff right now folks....

internet is messin' up all over the place.

i'm re-booting

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 18, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

mark-you state:
If your memos contradict the accepted notion that Asian Tiger trade policy is based on devalued currencies that cause their goods to be "underpriced" so that they can amass piles of western currencies in a neo-mercantilist fashion, I would like to read them.

Puhleeze....who the heck talks like this. state in english mark.
Now who do you think developed the trade policy in the first place?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 18, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I feel they will re-instate the draft also.

It will be interesting to see the public's
response. I do not look forward to it.

Posted by: njtou | February 18, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

The fight against terrorists will not be won by military might alone. America and the European nations must also try to win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people.

The terrorists have won over the hearts and minds of Afghan tribes, by helping to meet their daily needs. They helped them to create a source of income, growing Poppies. They schooled young boys in their way of thinking. We need to give these tribal groups an alternative source to turn to to help them forge ahead. Right now, the terrorists are the only ones who have shown that they care about them. They view our military as a destructive force, we need to show them that are intent is only to eliminate the terrorists and that we are not destructive - that we can also be a constructive force by bringing programs which will help them to create an economic infrastructure that is not based on the Poppy trade. We need to help them establish programs that will help them to develop a stronger economic infrastructure that will improve the quality of their lives, that our improvements are better than those of the terrorists. We need to get the government and Afghani tribesmen to value women, and to see that it takes both men and women working together to improve the conditions in their country - that it is just as important to educate girls as it is boys.

Posted by: Nevadaandy | February 18, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Second point: Blair's great speech masked his year long intention to invade no matter what. Also, although I have cited the original UN resolutions as providing legal justification for the Anglo-American invasion, I have read them, and I know that is stretching a point. For the most critical Brit view of Tony based on actual internal docs, see:


I have heard WJC say that he thought that Blair wanted invasion in 97-98 and that Blair was very persuasive. I will try to find a written version - I think he told that to "The Atlantic", as well, in early '03.

I never bought into the Blair as "lapdog" argument because Blair was out front on this in the 90s. However, the UK was constrained from flexing its muscles without US joinder.

If it is on the web, I will find you Blair's analysis of the continuing cost of containment to the UK - I think he said it was a third of their mil budget. I will also find you a link to the "90 days".

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 18, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse



... coordinated multi-agency action "programs of personal destruction" manned by security/intel/revenue agents, local police nationwide, citizen vigilantes fronted by government-funded community policing and anti-terrorism programs.











Posted by: scrivener50 | February 18, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 18, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

At the rate we are going the draft should be in effect by September, according to Rep. Rangel he was going to wait until June, or July to make sure it will pass.
That will require another expense but should alleviate the unemployment scene.
Let's see how many more illegal aliens come for those new construction jobs arising from the "package".

Posted by: legalinmigrant | February 18, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

If your memos contradict the accepted notion that Asian Tiger trade policy is based on devalued currencies that cause their goods to be "underpriced" so that they can amass piles of western currencies in a neo-mercantilist fashion, I would like to read them.

I will post Blair's great speech to Commons and other Blair talking points here, or to a dummy email address you might provide.

I am not picking a fight, I think this stuff is interesting. My dummy box is

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 18, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

i just did a stint in the Chinese, Japan, Jordan, and Nigeria trade associations within the educational arena. institution (certified) that taught taught the requirements for trade compliance with the above countries.

do you need to read my book of documentation on that topic???

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 18, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

so the UN inspectors meant nothing,uh?

and 16 UN resolutions means "entrusting the US and UK with enforcing the peace"
Come on now mark!!!!
the UN proved its worth with Iraq. It became only a League of Nations with no power. don't try to cover it up that THEY entrusted the peace to us. We (and the UK) looked towards the UN to do something.

we waited and waited for the UN to act on their resolutions and nothing happened. And tell me where you get the Blair was ready to turn over peacekeeping to the UN-
After it proved it was useless?
Point me towards the documentation about the UK. Blair was in Bush's shadow with every step.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 18, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

TBN, Did you ever tell me what role you thought Bush 41 had in the creation of the current financial collapse? Did you see the link I gave you to a WaPo column on the role of Chinese trade policy?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 18, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

TBN, While neither we nor the Brits lost any planes in the no-fly zones, the part of Blair's argument that sold me was that the UN had entrusted enforcement of the peace to the US and the UK and provided sanctions that everybody but the US and the UK wre violating, so it made the no-fly zone seem to Blair like a futile function and it would make more sense to remove Saddam, within the grant of authority to the US and the UK from the original resolutions.

I still think it is a powerful argument for the invasion, better than anything GWB said. But - Blair envisioned turning Iraq over to the UN three months after the cessation of hostilities.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 18, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

"according to one Democrat familiar with the proposal. "The plan will reward people for playing by the rules," added the source."
---that's because for 7 years under Bush rule, regulatory requirements were broken left and right, with no one in control to bust them. what about the companies who broke the law???

and mark writes:
...."told me that he saw no reason why we could not keep Saddam contained by the joint air control we exercised with the UK..."
---sure, while he was blowing our planes out of the green zone/no fly zone everyday since 1998 when he kicked out the UN inspectors! Anyone ever read "A Decade of Deception and Defiance" (from Baby Bush) presented to the UN in March 2003? Oh, I guess 16 resolutions from the UN didn't matter--and quite frankly made the UN obsolete because they never enforced the resolutions. Enforce-the UN cannot do it.

who can?
Let's as Osama and Dr. Zawahiri.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 18, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Your points are well taken, Mark, but I am just not a big believer in this so called bipartisanship. We have two different parties because we just view the world and how to adress issues totally differently. I am not sure sending more troops is the right thing, but i know Obama is getting good advise from the CENTCOM Commander, so I am willing to go along for the time being. But if its like Vietnam, lets not take forever to admit a mistake.

Posted by: vbhoomes | February 18, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse








OR (if link is disabled/corrupted):


Posted by: scrivener50 | February 18, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

reporting live from Mesa, AZ....

i am looking for an announcement of an 180 day freeze on all foreclosures.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 18, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

bhoomes, let me add something about VN. When I went to OCS in 1968 I was for that war because I believed it was vital to containing the USSR and China and saving a country that oversaw the South China Sea lanes from communism. When by 1970 I opposed the war it was because it did not seem to have to do with containment or with the sea lanes, which we controlled, anyway; and our friendlies were corrupt.

So within the War on Terror when a retired Col. who taught at the Army War College, a R, told me that he saw no reason why we could not keep Saddam contained by the joint air control we exercised with the UK but he trusted our leaders, I supported the Iraq invasion. But I later thought that I had been misled by our leaders and by Blair, who made that great speech to Commons.

VN and Iraq - II were examples of issues that had broad support at first but proved unworthy relatively quickly. This may become true of Afghanistan, too.

The bigger picture is whether the parties have an agreed goal or set of goals with regard to FP. They could still disagree about how to achieve the goals, around the edges.

These do not have to be my goals. They should just be pragmatic, feasible, and good for our long-term security. Do we need to chase AQ around the world? Do we need to address MX and our border problems of crime, drugs, and undocs? Do we need to push free trade or free trade with strings or protectionism? Do we see energy dependence as related to shaping our FP and do we want a major project to change that?

I think there is room for consensus on these types of issues.

I think there is

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 18, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

"The Republican Party will no longer ignore the Northeast," pledged Steele. "Our conservative principles are applicable to every county and corner of this country."

Yes, your conservative principles have trashed the economy of every county and corner of this country. From sea to shining sea.

Posted by: kevrobb | February 18, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

bhoomes, the broad consensus was the policy of containment of the USSR which began as a commitment from a D Prez, Truman, and an R SMajLdr, Arthur Vandenburg.

IT was carried forward by Ike with a D Congress. It fractured during and after VN to some extent, but remained strong enough for RWR to be able to count on general support for his approach to Gorby, even if the Ds were skeptical of the big bucks Star Wars initiative.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 18, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

vbhoomes - You need to do a little reading yourself. The early 80's defense build-up began under Carter, BEFORE Reagan took office. The Berlin Airlift? Under Truman. Ditto the Korean War. Don't worry. The American people don't believe the lie that Democrats aren't patriotic.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | February 18, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Mark I do not know what you are talking about, their was no broad consensus in fighting the Cold War, the dems were against Star Wars, supported a unilateral nuclear freeze, spported gutting our Defense and so one. Reagan and the Republicans won the Cold War without any help from the dems. I think you may need to reread what happen during this era.

Posted by: vbhoomes | February 18, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Parker, this is the first actual test of the attempt at post-partisanship. Only foreign policy presents the area where broad based bipartisanship is actually useful to the country. We had a broad consensus during the Cold War but not since.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 18, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

I cannot wait until 2010, cause we are going to kick some serious dem butt. Fisher and Brunner now running for the dem nomination in Ohio, which means Portman will be a shoe in.,plus we will pick up a senate seat in Illinois and New York of all places. Anybody who has a D in front of their name will be dead political meat.

Posted by: vbhoomes | February 18, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

We should have only one objective in Afganistan, that is to keep it from coming a staging ground for terrorist. We cn do that by Air Power and contracted war lords. Afganistan is not Iraq, it is and has been mired in the 6th century. This country is beyond saving.

Posted by: vbhoomes | February 18, 2009 7:31 AM | Report abuse

So is this when Republicans go back to criticizing "nation building"?


Posted by: parkerfl1 | February 18, 2009 7:17 AM | Report abuse

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