Showing posts with label Obama. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Obama. Show all posts

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Quotes of the Week

"Globalisation can't be just about outsourcing and low wages"   [Jeff Immelt, Chief Executive Officer General Electric, quoted in Financial Review, 26 June 2017]

“In an appearance at the University of Chicago on Monday, former President Barack Obama unloaded a relentless barrage of complete sentences in what was widely seen as a brutal attack on his successor, Donald Trump.” [Andy Borowitz writing in The New Yorker, 24 April 2017]

“Coal India—a government-back coal company–is reportedly closing 37 of its "unviable" mines in the next year to cut back on losses.
India is primed for an energy revolution. The country's ongoing economic growth has been powered by fossil fuels in the past, making it one of the top five largest energy consumers in the world. But it has also invested heavily in renewables, and the cost of solar power is now cheaper than ever. In some instances, villages in India have avoided coal-powered electricity altogether, and "leapfrogged" straight to solar power.” [ Journalist Ankita Rao writing in Motherboard, 24 June 2017]

Monday, 29 September 2014

The truth about the Australian Prime Minister's address to the United Nations on 25 September 2014

Prime Minister Tony Abbott  addressed  the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on 25 September 2014 during the Opening of the General Debate.

There was the standard set image of his attendance on the UN website:

Other more animated images in the Australian media such as this:

However, there were no long shots of the audience listening to Abbott’s speech.

This is one possible reason why…..

US President Obama speaking during the Opening of the General Debate in front of a packed audience of delegates on 24 September:

This was Tony Abbott speaking during the same Opening of the General Debate with a decidedly sparse audience the next day:

Like the difference in the size of their official audiences, the messages they delivered to the world were starkly different even when both were addressing the situation in Syria and Iraq.

These were President Obama's opening remarks:

Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentlemen: we come together at a crossroads between war and peace; between disorder and integration; between fear and hope.
Around the globe, there are signposts of progress. The shadow of World War that existed at the founding of this institution has been lifted; the prospect of war between major powers reduced. The ranks of member states has more than tripled, and more people live under governments they elected. Hundreds of millions of human beings have been freed from the prison of poverty, with the proportion of those living in extreme poverty cut in half. And the world economy continues to strengthen after the worst financial crisis of our lives.

Today, whether you live in downtown New York or in my grandmother’s village more than two hundred miles from Nairobi, you can hold in your hand more information than the world’s greatest libraries. Together, we have learned how to cure disease, and harness the power of the wind and sun. The very existence of this institution is a unique achievement – the people of the world committing to resolve their differences peacefully, and solve their problems together. I often tell young people in the United States that this is the best time in human history to be born, for you are more likely than ever before to be literate, to be healthy, and to be free to pursue your dreams….

While these were Prime Minister Abbott's:

I’m happy to be here at your urging, Mr President. It is the weightiest of matters that brings us together today.
Right now, thousands of misguided people from around the world are joining terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq because they claim Islam is under threat and because they are excited by the prospect of battle.
But whatever they think or say, these terrorists aren’t fighting for God or for religious faith.
At the heart of every terrorist group is an infatuation with death.
What else can explain the beheadings, crucifixions, mass executions, rapes and sexual slavery in every town and city that’s fallen to the terrorist movement now entrenched in eastern Syria and northern Iraq?
A terrorist movement calling itself “Islamic State” insults Islam and mocks the duties of a legitimate state towards its citizens.
And to use this term is to dignify a death cult; a death cult that, in declaring itself a caliphate, has declared war on the world.
So, countries do need to work together to defeat it because about 80 nations have citizens fighting with ISIL and every country is a potential target….

Full transcript of Obama's speech.
Full transcript of Abbott's speech.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

As Prime Minister Abbott retreats into a Dorothy Mackellar-inspired climate myth, President Obama moves America forward by preparing the United States for the impacts of climate change

As the Australian Abbott Government reverses climate change policy, dismantles government departments/agencies implementing or advising on policy and creates bills to repeal the national carbon pricing system, US President Barak Obama moves to create a national Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience.

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
November 01, 2013
Executive Order -- Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change
- - - - - - -

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to prepare the Nation for the impacts of climate change by undertaking actions to enhance climate preparedness and resilience, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. The impacts of climate change -- including an increase in prolonged periods of excessively high temperatures, more heavy downpours, an increase in wildfires, more severe droughts, permafrost thawing, ocean acidification, and sea-level rise -- are already affecting communities, natural resources, ecosystems, economies, and public health across the Nation. These impacts are often most significant for communities that already face economic or health-related challenges, and for species and habitats that are already facing other pressures. Managing these risks requires deliberate preparation, close cooperation, and coordinated planning by the Federal Government, as well as by stakeholders, to facilitate Federal, State, local, tribal, private-sector, and nonprofit-sector efforts to improve climate preparedness and resilience; help safeguard our economy, infrastructure, environment, and natural resources; and provide for the continuity of executive department and agency (agency) operations, services, and programs.

A foundation for coordinated action on climate change preparedness and resilience across the Federal Government was established by Executive Order 13514 of October 5, 2009 (Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance), and the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force led by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In addition, through the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), established by section 103 of the Global Change Research Act of 1990 (15 U.S.C. 2933), and agency programs and activities, the Federal Government will continue to support scientific research, observational capabilities, and assessments necessary to improve our understanding of and response to climate change and its impacts on the Nation.

The Federal Government must build on recent progress and pursue new strategies to improve the Nation's preparedness and resilience. In doing so, agencies should promote: (1) engaged and strong partnerships and information sharing at all levels of government; (2) risk-informed decisionmaking and the tools to facilitate it; (3) adaptive learning, in which experiences serve as opportunities to inform and adjust future actions; and (4) preparedness planning.

Sec. 2. Modernizing Federal Programs to Support Climate Resilient Investment. (a) To support the efforts of regions, States, local communities, and tribes, all agencies, consistent with their missions and in coordination with the Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience (Council) established in section 6 of this order, shall:

(i) identify and seek to remove or reform barriers that discourage investments or other actions to increase the Nation's resilience to climate change while ensuring continued protection of public health and the environment;

(ii) reform policies and Federal funding programs that may, perhaps unintentionally, increase the vulnerability of natural or built systems, economic sectors, natural resources, or communities to climate change related risks;

(iii) identify opportunities to support and encourage smarter, more climate-resilient investments by States, local communities, and tribes, including by providing incentives through agency guidance, grants, technical assistance, performance measures, safety considerations, and other programs, including in the context of infrastructure development as reflected in Executive Order 12893 of January 26, 1994 (Principles for Federal Infrastructure Investments), my memorandum of August 31, 2011 (Speeding Infrastructure Development through More Efficient and Effective Permitting and Environmental Review), Executive Order 13604 of March 22, 2012 (Improving Performance of Federal Permitting and Review of Infrastructure Projects), and my memorandum of May 17, 2013 (Modernizing Federal Infrastructure Review and Permitting Regulations, Policies, and Procedures); and

(iv) report on their progress in achieving the requirements identified above, including accomplished and planned milestones, in the Agency Adaptation Plans developed pursuant to section 5 of this order.

(b) In carrying out this section, agencies should also consider the recommendations of the State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience (Task Force) established in section 7 of this order and the National Infrastructure Advisory Council established by Executive Order 13231 of October 16, 2001 (Critical Infrastructure Protection in the Information Age), and continued through Executive Order 13652 of September 30, 2013 (Continuance of Certain Federal Advisory Committees).

(c) Interagency groups charged with coordinating and modernizing Federal processes related to the development and integration of both man-made and natural infrastructure, evaluating public health and social equity issues, safeguarding natural resources, and other issues impacted by climate change -- including the Steering Committee on Federal Infrastructure Permitting and Review Process Improvement established by Executive Order 13604, the Task Force on Ports established on July 19, 2012, the Interagency Working Group on Coordination of Domestic Energy Development and Permitting in Alaska established by Executive Order 13580 of July 12, 2011, and the Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice established by Executive Order 12898 of February 11, 1994 -- shall be responsible for ensuring that climate change related risks are accounted for in such processes and shall work with agencies in meeting the requirements set forth in subsections (a) and (b) of this section.

Sec. 3. Managing Lands and Waters for Climate Preparedness and Resilience. Within 9 months of the date of this order and in coordination with the efforts described in section 2 of this order, the heads of the Departments of Defense, the Interior, and Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, NOAA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers, and other agencies as recommended by the Council established in section 6 of this order shall work with the Chair of CEQ and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to complete an inventory and assessment of proposed and completed changes to their land- and water-related policies, programs, and regulations necessary to make the Nation's watersheds, natural resources, and ecosystems, and the communities and economies that depend on them, more resilient in the face of a changing climate. Further, recognizing the many benefits the Nation's natural infrastructure provides, agencies shall, where possible, focus on program and policy adjustments that promote the dual goals of greater climate resilience and carbon sequestration, or other reductions to the sources of climate change. The assessment shall include a timeline and plan for making changes to policies, programs, and regulations. Agencies shall build on efforts already completed or underway as outlined in agencies' Adaptation Plans, as discussed in section 5 of this order, as well as recent interagency climate adaptation strategies such as theNational Action Plan: Priorities for Managing Freshwater Resources in a Changing Climate, released October 28, 2011; the National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy, released March 26, 2013; and the National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan, released April 16, 2013.

Sec. 4. Providing Information, Data, and Tools for Climate Change Preparedness and Resilience. (a) In support of Federal, regional, State, local, tribal, private-sector and nonprofit-sector efforts to prepare for the impacts of climate change, the Departments of Defense, the Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Energy, and Homeland Security, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and any other agencies as recommended by the Council established in section 6 of this order, shall, supported by USGCRP, work together to develop and provide authoritative, easily accessible, usable, and timely data, information, and decision-support tools on climate preparedness and resilience.

(b) As part of the broader open data policy, CEQ and OSTP, in collaboration with OMB and consistent with Executive Order 13642 of May 9, 2013 (Making Open and Machine Readable the New Default for Government Information), shall oversee the establishment of a web-based portal on "" and work with agencies on identifying, developing, and integrating data and tools relevant to climate issues and decisionmaking. Agencies shall coordinate their work on these data and tools with relevant interagency councils and committees such as the National Science and Technology Council and those that support the implementation of Presidential Policy Directive-21 of February 12, 2013 (Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience).

Sec. 5. Federal Agency Planning for Climate Change Related Risk. (a) Consistent with Executive Order 13514, agencies have developed Agency Adaptation Plans and provided them to CEQ and OMB. These plans evaluate the most significant climate change related risks to, and vulnerabilities in, agency operations and missions in both the short and long term, and outline actions that agencies will take to manage these risks and vulnerabilities. Building on these efforts, each agency shall develop or continue to develop, implement, and update comprehensive plans that integrate consideration of climate change into agency operations and overall mission objectives and submit those plans to CEQ and OMB for review. Each Agency Adaptation Plan shall include:

(i) identification and assessment of climate change related impacts on and risks to the agency's ability to accomplish its missions, operations, and programs;

(ii) a description of programs, policies, and plans the agency has already put in place, as well as additional actions the agency will take, to manage climate risks in the near term and build resilience in the short and long term;

(iii) a description of how any climate change related risk identified pursuant to paragraph (i) of this subsection that is deemed so significant that it impairs an agency's statutory mission or operation will be addressed, including through the agency's existing reporting requirements;

(iv) a description of how the agency will consider the need to improve climate adaptation and resilience, including the costs and benefits of such improvement, with respect to agency suppliers, supply chain, real property investments, and capital equipment purchases such as updating agency policies for leasing, building upgrades, relocation of existing facilities and equipment, and construction of new facilities; and

(v) a description of how the agency will contribute to coordinated interagency efforts to support climate preparedness and resilience at all levels of government, including collaborative work across agencies' regional offices and hubs, and through coordinated development of information, data, and tools, consistent with section 4 of this order.
(b) Agencies will report on progress made on their Adaptation Plans, as well as any updates made to the plans, through the annual Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan process. Agencies shall regularly update their Adaptation Plans, completing the first update within 120 days of the date of this order, with additional regular updates thereafter due not later than 1 year after the publication of each quadrennial National Climate Assessment report required by section 106 of the Global Change Research Act of 1990 (15 U.S.C. 2936).

Sec. 6. Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience.
(a) Establishment. There is established an interagency Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience (Council).....

Read the rest of this Executive Order here.

Monday, 1 August 2011

U.S. Election Cycle 2012: Retirees think Obama's best - by a slim margin

When it comes to placing money where confidence or hope lies, then U.S. retirees appear to think a re-elected Barack Obama is worth betting on, according to the Center for Responsive Politics:

†These numbers show how the industry ranks in total campaign giving as compared to more than 80 other industries. Rankings are shown only for industries (such as the Automotive industry) -- not for widely encompassing "sectors" (such as Transportation) or more detailed "categories" (like car dealers).

METHODOLOGY: The numbers on this page are based on contributions of $200 or more from PACs and individuals to federal candidates and from PACs, soft money (including directly from corporate and union treasuries) and individual donors to political parties and outside spending groups, as reported to the Federal Election Commission. "Donations to Democrats," "Donations to Republicans," and the associated percentages are based solely on contributions to candidates and parties. Independent expenditures and electioneering communications are not reflected in the breakdown by party." While election cycles are shown in charts as 1996, 1998, 2000 etc. they actually represent two-year periods. For example, the 2002 election cycle runs from January 1, 2001 to December 31, 2002.

Data for the current election cycle were released by the Federal Election Commission on Saturday, July 16, 2011.

NOTE: Soft money contributions to the national parties were not publicly disclosed until the 1991-92 election cycle, and were banned by the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act following the 2002 elections. Contributions to Outside Spending groups legalized by the 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission Supreme Court decision are listed in the "Soft/Outside Money" column as are donations of "Levin" funds to state and local party committees. Levin funds were created by the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002.

According to Open Secrets on 28 July 2011:

People listing their occupation on campaign finance filings as retired have given Romney at least $1.6 million. Pawlenty, meanwhile, has raised at least $577,000 from retirees. And retired people have contributed at least $324,600 to Paul's presidential campaign and $160,300 to Bachmann's.
Obama, meanwhile, has reported raising at least $3.1 million from retirees.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Ooops! Obamba's beans get spilled

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Ned the Bear does national emergencies

It's always a bridesmaid and never the bride for Kevin Rudd when it comes to hosting a visit Down Under from U.S. President Barack Obama and naughty Ned the Bear takes full advantage of the situation. :-D
"He's cranky. He's orange. He's a cartoon bear." And he's here.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Just don't get Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize? Well join a growing crowd.....

I have to admit that I was one of those who, on hearing that US President Barack Obama had been awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, went; "Whaaa?"
To see if I was the odd man out I did a quick swing across cyberspace on Saturday afternoon and this is what I found:

According to Mashable: The Social Media Guide Obama's Nobel Peace Prize: 69% of Twitter Users Don't Get It and drew this graph. Click to enlarge

Many in US media skeptical of Obama's Nobel Prize reported the AFP.

Nancy Gibbs at Yahoo News thought The Last Thing Obama Needs Is the Nobel Peace Prize but her colleague Gregory Katz played another tune with Obama's Nobel Peace Prize triumph praised by many.

The Taliban pointed out the irony of getting a peace prize while conducting an escalating war in The Age's article Taliban condemns Obama's Nobel Prize.

The Brisbane Times informed us his Kenyan family 'honoured' by Obama's Nobel Prize.

The Sydney Morning Herald ran with Obama urged to use Nobel as spur to peace

Al Jazeera expressed surprise but went with Obama: I do not deserve Nobel prize

Teh Man himself was suitably humble according to a White House presser REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT ON WINNING THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE and a twee blog post Happy Birthday Bo! (which should come with an excess sugar warning).

While the Norwegian Nobel Committee released a short four paragraph announcement which started all the fuss by awarding the prize to Obama primarily for his "vision" and "attitudes".
Ever obliging, the Nobel Committee invites us to Ask the 2009 Nobel Laureates a Question! via its website.

Before the year is out Obama will probably be wishing that he hadn't won, because everytime the US death toll in Afghanistan rises some grieving mother is likely to toss that prize right back in his face.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

And you thought he would be different?

As the days mount in Barack Obama's presidency, the word 'change' has been firmly shelved when it comes down to actual government practice.

Reverting to what looks suspiciously like right-wing Christian fundamentalism, the Obama Administration through the US Justice Department has now argued against same-sex marriage in a 54-page motion to dismiss in the matter of Smelt & Hammer v The United States of America.

Incredibly at Page 28 of the motion the legal argument appears to draw an analogy between same-sex marriage, underage marriage and incestuous marriage (but was careful not to mention polygamous marriage).

Not content with this about-face, Obama's troops are also out there arguing in support of the restrictive use of 'state secrets' legislation when it feels US political interests are threatened, as well as continuing to support warrantless phone tapping.

Jewel v NSA has now been joined by Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation v Obama and the earlier Mohamed et al v Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc., has just developed an extra twist.
With the Obama Administration arguing against a recent ruling on limitations when invoking state secret provisions (the court had ruled that government could not prematurely invoke privilege) and petitioning the court of appeals full panel of judges to rehear an earlier Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that victims of extraordinary rendition and torture could have their day in court.

The rehearing application hypocritically states in part:

This is one of those few cases warranting review by the Court en banc.
The panel has significantly altered the contours of the military and state secrets privilege – a constitutionally-based means by which the Executive protects critical national security information from disclosure.
The panel's approach is flatly inconsistent with decisions of the Supreme Court, this Court, and this Court's sister circuits on questions of exceptional importance applying the privilege.
We emphasize that the Government's request for en banc review is based upon the most careful and deliberative consideration, at the highest levels, of all possible alternatives to relying upon the state secrets privilege.
As the President made clear two weeks ago, while the state secrets privilege is necessary to protect national security, the United States will not invoke the privilege to prevent disclosure of "the violation of a law or embarrassment to the government."1

Full copy of Petition for Rehearing here.

It seems that from American presidential election to presidential election POTUS remains POTUS in the worst sense of this public office.


In Padilla & Lebron v John Yoo currently before the courts it appears that John C. Yoo, former US Justice Department counsel, former advisor in the President's War Council and author of the infamous Bush-era torture memos, has also unsuccessfully attempted to invoke 'state secrets' to avoid legal scrutiny and litigation. US District Court June 2009 ruling here.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Whatisname and I had a meeting of minds

It was an almost comic situation.
In full camera glare Kevin Rudd watched political triumph threaten to turn to smoke on the breeze, as President Obama first forgot his title and then had obvious difficulty recalling Our Kev's name in the middle of one photo opportunity for the gathered media during the Australian Prime Minister's visit to Washington this week.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

The baby kissing effect begins to fade for Obama?

Thanks to Clarrie Rivers for the photo

US President Barack Obama scored a 68% approval rating for the first three days in office according to Gallup and 69% for the next three days.

John F. Kennedy is the single modern president who appears to have started his presidential life with a higher approval score, but his popularity was not polled so early in his presidency.

However, Obama scored a whopping 83% approval rating during his president-elect transition period so this latest poll (with its 14 to 15 point drop) while clearly showing that his honeymoon with the American people is not yet over does indicate that it may be on the wane.

Strangely the main stream media appear to be largely silent on this rather dramatic plunge in the polls except to characterise it in an historical context or refer to it as normalising the figures.

Only Iran Press TV and The Daily Mail pointed out that the new figure actually represented a decline, though a small number of news blogs also mentioned the percentage as a drop in approval.

In the U.S. Real Clear Politics tells us that across six polls conducted over 11-24 January, between 52-79% of those polled believed America was heading in the wrong direction.

What we need here is Possum Comitatus to decipher the apparent change in voter sentiment after Obama's comfortable election win.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Obama being asked what did he know and when did he know it

First he supposedly discussed the disposition of his soon to be vacant Senate seat and then he did not, according to conflicting statements from Barack Obama and his transition team.

Not a propitious start to the president-elect's response to the fact that
Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevitch was arrested this week for allegedly conspiring to 'sell' a Senate seat.
Especially in light of Obama's political support of Blagojevich in the past.

The direct result of this mixed response can be found in posts such as
7 Blago questions for Obama.

While the Republican National Committee is ecstatic according to the New York Daily News:

And they are singing. Here's the release Alex Conant sent out this morning:

All - In light of the arrests in Illinois today, please recall the below points:

Obama Has Advised The Blagojevich Campaign And Endorsed Him For A Second Term:

Obama Advised Blagojevich On His Victorious Gubernatorial Run. "That year, [Obama] gained his first high-level experience in a statewide campaign when he advised the victorious gubernatorial candidate Rod Blagojevich, another politician with a funny name and a message of reform." (Ryan Lizza, "Making It," The New Yorker, 7/21/08)

Obama: "If the governor asks me to work on his behalf, I'll be happy to do it." (John Patterson, "Senator Says He's Still Willing To Help Blagojevich Despite Hiring Concerns," Chicago Daily Herald, 7/27/06)

Obama Endorsed Blagojevich For A Second Term. "Obama, who endorsed Blagojevich for a second term nearly 18 months ago, said he's ready to help Illinois democrats in the upcoming elections." (John Patterson, "Senator Says He's Still Willing To Help Blagojevich Despite Hiring Concerns," Chicago Daily Herald, 7/27/06)

Obama: "We've got a governor in Rod Blagojevich who has delivered consistently on behalf of the people of Illinois." (Deanna Bellandi, "Illinois Democrats Talk Unity But Don't Show It," The Associated Press, 8/16/06)

It seems that The Chicago Way may yet come back to haunt the Obama presidency and, it's quite possible that damage control is already geared towards a plea deal with Blagojevich so that the case does not go to a full trial where claims and speculation could drag Obama's name further into this tangled web.

All of which will make Obama's scheduled press conference later today rather interesting.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Obama voters = sinners

Blogger John Richardson ( has produced a pearler. It appears below:

politics & the value of sin .....

The Catholic Church in South Carolina is telling its members, who voted for Obama that they cannot receive communion without confessing and repenting for their sin.

A lot of folks might be upset by this, but I'm not. I would prefer that the church keep its nose out of our secular form of governance but since it refuses to do so, perhaps, it is time to revoke the tax exempt status of churches and, too, time to have religious institutions regulated by the government.

Seriously, if churches feel comfortable with ignoring the First Amendment, then government should too and government should begin to fully regulate religion.

Such regulation would, of course, include guidelines for what can and cannot be preached from the pulpit - and, too, whether or not a particular church can practice its faith at all.

Yeah, it would probably be a terrible thing for religion and the country, but fair is fair!

If the church wants to invade upon our secular form of governance, then the government MUST intrude upon and regulate religion.

Well done John Richardson!