|What is it about Obama that bothers people like Rumsfeld? He might ask himself, for a moment, why the idea of Obama—the President of the United States—speaking out of turn bothers him so much, and why the word “ape” sprung to mind. Rumsfeld worked for George W. Bush, who made something of a fetish out of talking like a cowboy; he spent a lot of time in office trying to out-preen Dick Cheney; and yet he just doesn’t like Obama’s tone. What’s particularly odd is that Van Susteren was asking Rumsfeld about, of all things, Karzai’s statement of support for Russia’s annexation of Crimea. (Rumsfeld called it “understandable.”) Haven’t we been hearing from Republicans that Obama is too passive when it comes to Ukraine—that he’s too pleasant with Putin, and doesn’t talk tough in the way that they imagine they would? Just a few weeks ago, Rumsfeld told Van Susteren that “it is U.S. weakness that has shaken the world.” He has also railed against the President’s supposed “apologies” for America.
Van Susteren asked Rumsfeld why it was so hard to get Karzai to sign a status-of-forces agreement—a memorandum that would clarify the legal position of American troops in Afghanistan. Karzai has withheld his agreement for months, despite warnings that it won’t be possible to keep even a residual American force in Afghanistan without one, and despite the approval of Afghanistan’s loya jirga. (He may want to insure he has a card to play after the upcoming Presidential elections.) Rumsfeld scoffed at the idea that Karzai had been difficult—this is where he talked about how “a trained ape can get a status-of-forces agreement. It does not take a genius.”
By that, perhaps, Rumsfeld meant that it does not take a genius to put American troops in another country. Indeed, it does not—Rumsfeld proved that himself, by getting our forces over to Iraq. The hard part can be getting them out.
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2010—Open Thread for Night Owls: Hilda Solis:
|Sometimes, you're just lucky. My good fortune, not the only one, but I savor it, is that I live two doors up the street from one of Hilda Solis's many sisters. Another one used to live two doors further down, but she and her husband managed to sell their house just before the real estate market went belly up here in Los Angeles. That good fortune has meant I've gotten to rub elbows with Solis at a few private parties. I won't reveal any secrets. Everybody already knows she's smart, tough, and the most liberal member of President Obama's Cabinet. A friend of working Americans since before she was appointed Secretary of Labor. A friend of labor unions before she was a Congresswoman. A working-class woman from a working-class immigrant family who has neither forgotten nor forsaken her roots.
If the Chamber of Commerce and its biggest right-wing pals in the Senate had had their way, she wouldn't be where she is. Her open support for the Employee Free Choice Act was something that stuck in their craw. The prospect of that becoming law was what the CEO of Home Depot once called the "demise of civilization." Her foes managed to delay her appointment for nearly two months before finally surrendering.
They were not eager to see Solis heading what might as well have been renamed the Crush Labor Department under her Republican predecessor, Elaine Chao, who is married to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, named one of the 15 most corrupt members of Congress in 2009.
They were right to worry. Although EFCA stands little chance of passage in the near future, ever since Solis was confirmed, she's been putting working men and women into many of the federal regulatory positions that under the Cheney-Bush administration were assigned to union-busting foes of regulation. […]
On today's Kagro in the Morning show Armando joins us for a discussion of what's at stake as the Court hears oral argument on Hobby Lobby. A shooting at the naval base in Norfolk, VA. Apparently the suspect arrived unarmed and took a gun from a guard there. Now there's a twist. A little more reflection on "warrior cops." Third Way steps in it with both feet, thinking they could get away with some easy hippie-punching (and finding out they couldn't), then getting trolled by Sheldon Adelson, who just bought their boss. NH town meetings push to overturn Citizens United. White House wants blue slip reform for judicial nominations.