Tag Archives: bush
Today, the White House announced that the Obama administration has lifted travel, remittance, mail and business restrictions relating to the Communist nation of Cuba. This also means that Cuban-Americans will now be able to visit relatives and loved ones in their homeland.
According to ABC News (Jake Tapper reporting), the Obama administration will also “take steps to enhance the flow of information by allowing U.S. telecommunications networks to link the U.S. and Cuba; and will allow an expansion of humanitarian items that can be sent to the island.” This is overall good news. Bush put restrictions on flow of Americans and products between Cuba in 2004 in hopes that the country’s leader, Fidel Castro (pictured above) would cave into our requests. However, this never happened. Meanwhile, living conditions in Cuba got worse.
My good friend’s mother is from Cuba. She was scared to visit family in Cuba because she was concerned that her passport would be taken away in Cuba and would not be able to return to America. I talked to her recently, and she feels better about going to Cuba. She stressed the fact that now that humanitarian items are allowed to be shipped to the Cubans, conditions there will improve. She said she may even take a trip there in the near future despite her lingering concerns.
In a related story, Chuck Todd, NBC News’ Political Director, had a little bit of a back and forth with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs because of the fact that Gibbs delivered the news instead of President Obama. Todd felt that this kind of message should’ve come from the President who was in his White House office. Watch the video clip here.
The Department of Justice announced several weeks ago that the government would end the Bush-era practice of designating people “enemy combatants.”Â The Bush administration had asserted that the president has a wartime power to declare a person an “enemy combatant” arbitrarily and detain him or her indefinitely.Â The administration used “enemy combatant” status to ensure that suspected terrorists were held out of reach of both international law (namely the Geneva Conventions) and fundamental Constitutional rights, particularly the right to due process.
It is widely agreed that the president has increased powers during wartime.Â President Abraham Lincoln first asserted such wartime powers during the Civil War.Â Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman also took up expanded powers during war.Â Following September 11th, President Bush argued that he too had extraordinary wartime powers–this time from the War on Terrorism.
While the principle of expanded wartime powers is reasonable, it becomes concerning in the context of the War on Terrorism.Â Terrorists, by definition, do not represent a country; rather they are individuals or members of organized groups that commit acts of violence in an effort to attain change (usually political change).Â Terrorists can spring up anywhere in the world at any time.Â While this makes them particularly dangerous, it also changes the concept of “war.”Â In traditional wars, such as World War II, there are clear sides and the war ends when one side is defeated.Â A war against a noun , however, will always be perpetual.Â While the War on Terrorism certainly needs to be fought, using an indefinite war as grounds for extraordinary governmental powers is straight out of “1984″ and is certainly not something that the Framers had in mind.
Fortunately, President Barack Obama has signaled a change in course by dropping the “enemy combatant” designation and removing such prisoners from legal limbo. President Obama, a Constitutional law scholar himself, understands that America derives its greatness from its values and its freedoms, and that the terrorists have won we surrender our liberties.
On the web.
Most people know the mad love I have for the Obama Art Report and all the snazzy politically charged art it posts. Wooster Collective, the original site that found these images in a New York subway, is very similar to the Obama Art Report but solely focuses on street art. If you can’t read the bottom of the second poster, it reads, “Out of the White house, but not offÂ the hook. Arrest Cheney and Bush for crimes of high treason.” Admittedly, that is a bit harsh, but it is definitely one slick image.
When George Bush was inaugurated, I was twelve years old and in seventh grade. I have lived the twelve most meaningful and intellectually stimulating years of my life under him, forming my worldviews and political philosophies. Frankly, I feel a bit deprived from growing up in this era as I realize coming out of it that something was wrong. This is not the normal critique, but a deeper, more fundamental sense of unease coming from my memories of the last eight years.
The impetus for writing this is obviously the end of the Bush Presidency and Obama’s inauguration tomorrow. Yet, it came about as a combination of three stories which I was going to write about, that I realized was all just one story, the story of that unease.
The first was about Joe the Plumber and specifically this clip:
To put it simply, this is fucking stupid. To call it anything else is to couch it in terms that deny the level of idiocy presented by Samuel Wurzelbacher. First of all, this man started as a campaign prop. He asked a question which McCain seized upon and attempted to exploit to idiotic levels. From there, he has now decided that he is a war reporter and is qualified to give updates on the geopolitical struggles of the Middle East. I know that saying this makes me an elitist that Joe is fighting back against, but this is complete crap. He is nowhere near qualified and exists solely because conservatives think he pisses liberals off. A guy who was focused on taxes is now an expert in war.
Well, I’ll say two years and it will be four. I don’t know. I mean, yes, I’d like to get it done. I am a Type A personality that — you know, I require things to do, and I bet once I get going on this book, I’ll be able to get ‘er done.
~President George W. Bush on his plans to write a book, post presidency.
What’s that? Your finals are finally over, you’re sitting at home with nothing to do, desperately craving your very own opportunity to hit bush in the face with a shoe?
This is my first blog. Please don’t slaughter me for doing something wrong.
Robert Gates is going to keep his position as Defense Secretary under Barack Obama. I know that many people wanted him to stay because he is smart and well-informed (even though he was appointed by George W. Bush). Anyway, I want this post to be more of a conversation; what do you all think about Barack Obama’s decision to retain Gates as Secretary of Defense?