Saturday 267

Illegal Predator

Filed under: Computers, Obama, Politics — Tags: — zundel @ am

So, the CIA uses aerial drones to assassinate people.
Obama has authorized more clandestine drone assassinations.
Some of the software that guides those drones is stolen and buggy.

So, the CIA conducts illegal assassinations using aerial drones.
And kills the neighbor, the wrong guy, because they use stolen and faulty software.

Sadly, none of this surprises.

Great article from the The Register.

CIA used ‘illegal, inaccurate code to target kill drones’


Sunday 341

Welcome General Jones

Filed under: Obama — Tags: , — zundel @ pm

Obama has chosen General James Jones for his national security adviser.

Obama’s best pick yet: Jones as national security adviser” by Albert R Hunt from Bloomberg News in the International Herald Tribune 2008-12-07

Monday 328

Obama: First Moves

Filed under: Obama, Politics — zundel @ pm

Obama: First Moves” by George Friedman in Stratfor 2008-11-24

The brilliance of Obama’s presidential campaign was that he convinced his hard-core supporters that he intended to make a radical shift in policies across the board, without ever specifying what policies he was planning to shift,…

What Obama needs to do politically, then, is protect and strengthen the right wing of his coalition…

On the financial bailout, Obama has not at all challenged the general strategy of Paulson and Bernanke…

History makes presidents. Presidents rarely make history.

Friday 325

The team

Filed under: Obama — Tags: — zundel @ am

I have doubts about Clinton for State and Napolitano for Security. But it begins to make sense. Obama assembles a team that can work well with congress. And a team that can hit hard. Clinton has global name recognition—and global credibility. We need strong management of difficult diplomatic negotiation, and strong public diplomacy. She can do public diplomacy. If you’d like a metaphor, think basketball.

Wednesday 316

NATO expansion

Filed under: Obama, Politics — Tags: — zundel @ pm

On the list for the new Obama administration to consider: should NATO expand? No. NATO should not consider expansion to states it has neither the means nor the will to protect. Unless NATO becomes little more than a club, assurances of mutual protection need to have real meaning. Either NATO has become irrelevant, so why play with expansion, or the Obama administration needs to work on strengthening and consolidating NATO. That cannot come from expansion.

The German Question” by George Friedman in Stratfor 2008-10-06: NATO is therefore an entity that issues proclamations, not a functioning military alliance.

Tuesday 315

Obama’s Challenge

Filed under: Obama, Politics — Tags: — zundel @ pm

Obama’s Challenge” by George Friedman of Stratfor 2008-11-05

And then, sometime in March or April, things will get interesting.

If he simply withdraws from Iraq without a solid understanding with Iran, the entire American coalition in the region will come apart.

Or he can do what we have suggested is the inevitable outcome, namely, negotiate — and reach a political accord — with the Taliban

Doing so will take cunning, trickery and the ability to make his supporters forget the promises he made while keeping their support. […] In other words, he will have to be cunning and ruthless without appearing to be cunning and ruthless. That’s what successful presidents do.


Rebounding with Obama

Filed under: Obama — zundel @ pm

from Eric:
Rebounding with Obama by John Feffer in World Beat 2008-11-11 published by Foreign Policy In Focus, a project of the Institute for Policy Studies

He’s a good listener. He’s patient. He shows grace under pressure. He’s good with little kids. What a catch!

He’s a policy wonk who deflected most questions during the campaign with vague pronouncements of change (a wise strategy but not exactly love-connection material).

After all, the Bush administration had an abusive relationship with just about everyone in the world. (Well, perhaps the relationship with Tony Blair was a little bit kinkier.)

Follow up:
Obama’s Victory” comment from John Cavanagh, Director of the Institute for Policy Studies

In other words, can’t the goal be bringing the top down as well as bringing the bottom up?

Yuck! Nice article, but the publisher has a strong bias.

Quote of the day

Filed under: Obama, Quote — zundel @ pm

Obama’s vanishing agenda: Calm down, have some dip” by Julian Sanchez in Ars Technica 2008-11-11

The chances of the president-elect surreptitiously pivoting on any issue of greater moment than his new puppy’s eye color are, to a first approximation, nil.

Saturday 312

Goodbye to All That: Why Obama Matters

Filed under: Obama, Politics — zundel @ pm

Highly recommended prescient analysis from Andrew Sullivan:
Goodbye to All That: Why Obama Matters” by Andrew Sullivan in The Atlantic 2007-12

It is a war about war—and about culture and about religion and about race. And in that war, Obama—and Obama alone—offers the possibility of a truce. 

To deploy the rhetoric of Evangelicalism while eschewing its occasional anti-intellectualism and hubristic certainty is as rare as it is exhilarating.

But Obama will still face the legacy of contention.

Thursday 310

Tortuous prose

Filed under: Obama, Politics — Tags: — zundel @ pm

Obama’s Triumph Is America’s Too” by Elizabeth Wurtzel in The Wall Street Journal 2008-11-06

biracial man who identifies as African-American

Mmm…let’s resuscitate black.

When the winner was declared last night, I was deeply moved by the images of the Luo tribesmen in Kogelo, Kenya, dancing in the streets because one of their descendants is to become leader of the Free World. It would have been similarly appropriate for the CNN cameras to show the thrilled faces at the offices of the Harvard Law Review or in the dormitory lounges at Columbia University, or to look into living rooms in Honolulu or dens in Wichita as folks watched their hometown boy head to triumph.

CNN did not show the many colors of Harvard Law, Columbia, or Honolulu.

I am mystified by what happened instead. All the news networks showed scenes in the streets of Harlem and Compton, on the campus of Spelman College, and in the pews of Ebenezer Baptist Church — all of which have nothing to do with Barack Obama. It seems that his win was mistaken for a black triumph, when actually it was a Democratic and human victory.

The Guardian had images of celebration from all over the world—none white.

Of course, Mr. Obama’s election to the highest office in the nation is a particular party for the African-American community — only a moron would miss that point — but why leave the rest of us out? Anyone still thinking straight after this heady occasion knows that Mr. Obama is to be our next president in spite of race, not because of it.

Obama at Punahou, Honolulu

Obama at Punahou, Honolulu

Wednesday 309

No surprise, but…

Filed under: Obama — Tags: — zundel @ pm

Reality adjustment exercises recommended.

Say Barack Hussein Obama to yourself a few times—out loud: Barack Hussein Obama. Again.

Now say President elect Barack Hussein Obama. Again.

This is different.

Now what?

Filed under: Obama, Politics — Tags: , — zundel @ am

With two wars, a financial crisis, and fundamental transportation and economic problems, Obama will have to solve pressing problems before embarking on new projects.

It is an amazing moment. This will be interesting.

2008 Elections Gallery from Google

Global Electoral College from The Economist

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