Obama has scored again

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lennygoran
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Obama has scored again

Post by lennygoran » Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:00 am

Looks like Obama has scored again--nice to see some progress fially taking place!

More Support for Arms Control Treaty
By PETER BAKER

"Senator Lamar Alexander, a top-ranking Republican leader, announced Tuesday morning that he will vote for President Obama’s arms control treaty with Russia, all but putting the pact over the top as it heads to a decisive vote later in the day.

Mr. Alexander, who represents Tennessee and is chairman of the Republican Conference, said the treaty would not inhibit missile defense and that the United States would be left with enough nuclear firepower “to blow anyone to kingdom come.” He also welcomed Mr. Obama’s support for simultaneously modernizing the nuclear weapons complex.

“I’m convinced that America is safer and more secure with the New Start treaty than without it,” Mr. Alexander said, just a week after voting along with other Republicans against bringing the treaty to the floor for debate.

Mr. Obama needs nine Republicans to reach the two-thirds majority needed under the Constitution to approve a treaty. Mr. Alexander was the sixth Republican to flatly declare his support. Three others have said they probably will vote for the treaty."

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010 ... treaty/?hp

Regards, Len

HoustonDavid
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Re: Obama has scored again

Post by HoustonDavid » Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:07 pm

Looks like President Obama has scored a "Happy Hanukkah", "Kolossal Kwanzaa"
and "Merry Christmas" all in the last two weeks. Could this actually be a rebound
for him? I'm not nearly so optimistic about "Happy New Year!" :wink:
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

Jean
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Re: Obama has scored again

Post by Jean » Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:42 pm

Genuine progress within the political system takes time. I think he's doing very well.
Compared to the Bush Sr & Jr which had a combined 16 years and only succeeded (imo) in making a colossal mess of things.
Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population. - Albert Einstein

I haven't got the slightest idea how to change people, but still I keep a long list of prospective candidates just in case I should ever figure it out - David Sedaris (Naked)

jbuck919
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Re: Obama has scored again

Post by jbuck919 » Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:37 pm

Jean wrote:Genuine progress within the political system takes time. I think he's doing very well.
Compared to the Bush Sr & Jr which had a combined 16 years and only succeeded (imo) in making a colossal mess of things.
In the spirit of the holidays I am willing to suggest a political truce on this thread and just say I'm glad these things are getting done. :)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

John F
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Re: Obama has scored again

Post by John F » Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:11 pm

The Senate has voted 67-28 to end debate on the New Start treaty. The vote on ratification is to be taken tomorrow.
John Francis

Barry
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Re: Obama has scored again

Post by Barry » Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:28 pm

Even if I had any qualms about the missile defense issue (and I'm not sure about it; I've heard or read good arguments from people on both sides), I would hate to see our President look so weak on the international stage with so much time left in his first term; which is what failing to get this through would accomplish when combined with the recent election disaster for the Democrats and other events that have combined to change the political tide in the country during the past year.

I said on an earlier thread that I don't think it would be a big deal if the vote were taken early in the next Congress. But it became a bigger deal in terms of the possible consequences of failure when the Administration and their Democratic allies in Congress decided to play up the significance of getting it done immediately with their public statements.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

JackC
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Re: Obama has scored again

Post by JackC » Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:09 pm

Foreign policy can't be run by a 100 people who think that THEY should be President. It is important that appropriate deference be given to the President in international affairs. Treaties should be ratified unless there is a genuine concern on the part of the Senate that they are against the interest of the US. They should not be defeated simply because the parties are looking to pick a fight and the Senators all seem to vote on party lines on almost all issues now.

And it is the President's responsibility not to negotiate treaties that do not have an chance of ratification.

Werner
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Re: Obama has scored again

Post by Werner » Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:56 pm

Well said, Jak. It's the right thing to do, the deed is done, and perhaps the term "shellacking" is ripe to be put in storage.

Considering the course of presidencies, half way through the first term is the obvious time to observe problems, real or potential. But we've seen that judgment has to be held until, as in the baseball parlance, "it's not over until it's over."
Werner Isler

lennygoran
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Re: Obama has scored again

Post by lennygoran » Wed Dec 22, 2010 6:41 am

>Bush Sr<

IMO Bush Sr. is very underrated--he had to get the Reagan budget back into order and compromised just like Obama is now trying to do. Sure Bush looked bad after "read my lips" but in the end he did the right thing. Regards, Len

jbuck919
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Re: Obama has scored again

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Dec 22, 2010 6:51 am

lennygoran wrote:>Bush Sr<

IMO Bush Sr. is very underrated--he had to get the Reagan budget back into order and compromised just like Obama is now trying to do. Sure Bush looked bad after "read my lips" but in the end he did the right thing. Regards, Len
To paraphrase Tacitus, Bush capax imperii nisi Reagan imperasset. Bush would have been a fine president if Reagan had never been one. Of all the Republicans in my lifetime, he was the one I could have lived with prior to 1980, but he left the sinking ship of his kind of Republicanism to save his career. I can agree that within the constraints of Reagan Republicanism he did a decent job.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

lennygoran
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Re: Obama has scored again

Post by lennygoran » Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:04 am

>but he left the sinking ship of his kind of Republicanism to save his career.<

Could you elaborate on this? Also could you translate the this--I was always just terrible with foreign languages--got a D in Latin:

"Bush capax imperii nisi Reagan imperasset"

Regards, Len :)

jbuck919
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Re: Obama has scored again

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:23 am

lennygoran wrote:>but he left the sinking ship of his kind of Republicanism to save his career.<

Could you elaborate on this? Also could you translate the this--I was always just terrible with foreign languages--got a D in Latin:

"Bush capax imperii nisi Reagan imperasset"

Regards, Len :)
Bush made adjustments in his political philosophy to accommodate the requirements of the party under Reagan. For one thing, he flip-flopped on abortion rights. He was actually a fairly liberal guy on social issues and it is hard to excuse that level of sloughing off principle in order to get elected.

Tacitus wrote of the emperor Galba, "Capax imperii nisi imperasset"--"he was capable of rule had he never ruled," i.e., he was greater in the promise than the fulfillment. I feel the same about Bush except it was not his but Reagan's ascendancy that put the kibosh on his (Bush's) possibilities. Hence "Bush was capable of rule had Reagan never ruled."

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

lennygoran
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Re: Obama has scored again

Post by lennygoran » Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:56 am

>For one thing, he flip-flopped on abortion rights. He was actually a fairly liberal guy on social issues and it is hard to excuse that level of sloughing off principle in order to get elected.<

I wasn't aware of his stand on abortion--in general I'm against abortion myself except under limited condtions.

> "Bush was capable of rule had Reagan never ruled."<

Thanks for the explanation. Regards, Len

Cosima___J
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Re: Obama has scored again

Post by Cosima___J » Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:58 am

Just what was Reagan's legacy, what did he accomplish in foreign affairs and in the "start of START"? It seems that at the Pub there are some conflicting opinions about that. Especially it seems to me there are Reagan bashers. Here's an interesting article that concludes "If nothing else, the dueling claims to Mr. Reagan’s legacy demonstrate once again that his was a presidency that depended on the eye of the beholder."

In Arms Treaty Tussle, What Would Reagan Do?

By PETER BAKER
Published: December 2, 2010


The new arms control treaty with Russia, now being considered by the Senate, follows in the storied tradition of Ronald Reagan, or so say people who worked for him. Except that Mr. Reagan would never have supported it, at least according to other people who served him.

The debate over the New Start treaty, as it is known, has become a proxy fight over the legacy of the nation’s 40th president. Dueling op-ed columns in two leading newspapers on Thursday morning reflected the battle over who speaks for the cold warrior who ultimately made peace with a collapsing Soviet Union.

On the one side are Republicans like George P. Shultz, James A. Baker III and Colin L. Powell, all of whom served Mr. Reagan. They signed an essay in The Washington Post arguing that their former boss and other Republican presidents “recognized that reducing the number of nuclear arms in an open, verifiable manner would reduce the risk of nuclear catastrophe and increase the stability of America’s relationship with the Soviet Union and, later, the Russian Federation.” (Two other Republican former secretaries of state, Henry A. Kissinger and Lawrence S. Eagleburger, signed it as well.)

The authors called the New Start treaty signed by President Obama “a modest and appropriate continuation of the Start I treaty that expired almost a year ago,” a treaty initiated by Mr. Reagan. Mr. Powell also visited the Oval Office on Wednesday to join Mr. Obama in urging the Senate to approve the new treaty.

But two other Reagan veterans, Edwin Meese III and Richard Perle, argued the opposite. They wrote in The Wall Street Journal that Mr. Reagan would never have endorsed the New Start treaty, because they said its verification regime was inadequate and it could lead to constraints on American missile defense plans.

“The main reason Reagan would have objected to this treaty is that it may well undermine his dream that our country might one day be shielded by a missile defense system from nuclear attack,” Mr. Meese and Mr. Perle wrote.

They added that “President Reagan knew that in arms control, the U.S. should play to win, and negotiate from a position of strength.” Mr. Obama’s citations of Mr. Reagan in promoting the new pact, they wrote, amounted to “a brazen act of misappropriation.”

The latest salvos followed a column last week by Patrick J. Buchanan, another former Reagan aide, who wrote that “Ronald Reagan would have supported this treaty, as he loathed nuclear weapons and wished to rid the world of them.”

The New Start treaty would impose no restriction on current missile defense plans. Its only real binding limitation is a ban on converting old intercontinental ballistic missile silos to deploy missile interceptors. But Pentagon officers have said repeatedly that they had no plans to do that, and that it would in any case be cheaper to build new silos for missile interceptors.

Of more concern to critics of the treaty is some nonbinding language in the preamble that acknowledges a relationship between offensive and defensive weapons. That language is a nod to Russian concerns that if nuclear arsenals are reduced too much, an American missile defense system could negate their deterrent. The language has no legal effect; neither does a unilateral statement made by the Russians warning that they would withdraw from the treaty if they decided in the future that missile defense had become a threat to their security.

Critics argue that the language of the preamble “establishes a bias against missile defense,” as Mr. Meese and Mr. Perle put it, and that the Russian unilateral statement would inhibit the administration from developing a robust missile defense system for fear of driving Moscow out of the treaty. The White House and Pentagon have dismissed such arguments and said that they were going ahead with a new missile shield in Europe despite Russian objections.

Like George W. Bush did as president, Mr. Obama has moved ahead with a more limited missile defense system than Mr. Reagan sought — one that is aimed not at neutralizing Russia’s enormous nuclear attack capability but rather at countering a possible threat from Iran. Both Mr. Obama and Mr. Bush repeatedly assured Russia that their plans would have no impact on Moscow’s nuclear arsenal, which could still overwhelm the relatively few missile interceptors to be deployed in Eastern Europe.

So in the end, who speaks for Mr. Reagan? Mr. Shultz has a powerful case as the architect of Mr. Reagan’s rapprochement with the Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, which led to the breakthrough Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty and to negotiations that ultimately produced the original Start treaty, which was signed by Mr. Reagan’s successor, George Bush.

Mr. Powell was Mr. Reagan’s national security adviser, and Mr. Baker was his White House chief of staff before becoming secretary of state under the first President Bush. Mr. Buchanan was less involved in setting national security policy from his perch as the president’s communications director.

On the other side, Mr. Meese was Mr. Reagan’s White House counselor and attorney general, and thus played a less central role in foreign policy than Mr. Shultz or Mr. Powell. But he was an important figure behind the development of Mr. Reagan’s missile defense plan, and he was one of Mr. Reagan’s closest advisers, serving him since Mr. Reagan was governor of California. The presidential biographer Lou Cannon called him “Reagan’s geographer.”

As an assistant defense secretary, Mr. Perle was not part of Mr. Reagan’s inner circle, but as he pointed out in the Journal column, he “was present in Iceland when he turned down an otherwise desirable treaty with the Soviet Union” because it would have impeded missile defense.

If nothing else, the dueling claims to Mr. Reagan’s legacy demonstrate once again that his was a presidency that depended on the eye of the beholder.

Werner
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Re: Obama has scored again

Post by Werner » Wed Dec 22, 2010 12:05 pm

A fitting conclusion to that Reagan appraisal. There were many aspects to his presidency that strike me as wrong - but then there is the undoubted charisma and optinism of the man, and his appropriate action in working with Gorbachev to reduce the Cold War tensions. "Trust but Verify" was a good slogan for this president. It's just as well that he was the author of the motto.
Werner Isler

Barry
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Re: Obama has scored again

Post by Barry » Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:18 pm

Whether Reagan would support this treaty is an interesting topic. He had a Gorbachev to work with during his second term. But would he have considered someone like Putin to be a negotiating partner he could trust?

And of course, the fact that we're not in a Cold War with the Russians any longer has to be accounted for.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

jbuck919
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Re: Obama has scored again

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:24 pm

Just for the record, the achievements in nuclear arms limitation from the Nixon presidency to the current president are a feather in the cap of all the leaders involved, including Reagan. My comments on this thread, following up on Len's reasonable evaluation of Bush the elder, were in reference to constraints on political philosophy with more noticeable consequences for domestic policy.

And Barry, I don't think Obama has more to contend with in Putin than Nixon did in Brezhnev.
Last edited by jbuck919 on Wed Dec 22, 2010 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Barry
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Re: Obama has scored again

Post by Barry » Wed Dec 22, 2010 2:03 pm

jbuck919 wrote: And Barry, I don't think Obama has more to contend with in Putin than Nixon did in Brezhnev.
I know Reagan opposed SALT 2. I'm not sure about the deal/deals Nixon negotiated with Brezhnev. But I know that in general, he opposed detente as long as the Soviet leadership was composed mainly of hard-liners who weren't interested in seriously reforming the Soviet system. On the other hand, his views on nuclear weapons were so strong that he showed signs of being willing to negotiate deals that could be strictly verified and which didn't undercut American interests in any way even while simultaneously trying to undercut the Soviets in ways that would weaken their economy and system.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Werner
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Re: Obama has scored again

Post by Werner » Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:33 pm

As you said, Barry, the fact that the Cold War is history makes a big difference. Of course we still need to guard ourselves, but - to what extent we don't know at this point - the relationship has changed from warfare to competition. Where's the difference? we don't know yet, but we should not fall into the trap of fighting the last war.
Werner Isler

lennygoran
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Re: Obama has scored again

Post by lennygoran » Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:10 pm

>following up on Len's reasonable evaluation of Bush the elder<

Talk about reasonable Obama has to get the credit for one helluva lameduck session!

"But Mr. Obama rejected an opportunity to gloat about the successes of the past several weeks by declaring himself the “comeback kid,” telling a reporter that the results are “not a victory for me. It’s a victory for the American people.”

In fact, the president appeared to go out of his way to suggest that Americans would see from him more of the kinds of compromises that led him to cut a deal with Republicans on the extension of tax cuts for the middle class and the wealthy.

“A lot of folks in this time predicted that after the midterm elections, Washington would be headed for more partisanship and more gridlock,” Mr. Obama said. Instead, he said, Washington politicians decided that it was time to find common ground.

“That’s a message that I will take to heart in the new year, and I hope my Democratic and Republican friends will do the same,” he said."

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010 ... idlock/?hp

Regards, Len

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