The lame duck session of the 111th Congress closed on major victories for the U.S. president and his party including Senate ratification of the New START treaty, the extension of unemployment benefits and stimulus funding in exchange for extending for 2 more years Bush-era tax relief for all, the repeal of “Don’t ask Don’t Tell” (DADT), and a comprehensive food safety bill. The victory for the Republicans on the extension of Bush-era tax relief, and the collapse of consensus for an omnibus spending bill that delays consideration on the budget until the 112th Congress, gave moderate Republicans political cover to vote with Democrats on these other bills—in logical terms, the successful assertion of Republican unity on the issues of taxes, and government spending, negated the basis of Republican unity more generally. In other words, the need for a symbolic show of unity—the basis for Republican unity for the past 2 years—had been negated by actual legislative accomplishments, on the key issues of tax rates, and government spending, made possible by the decision returned on November 2 2010.
Caption: Obama’s New START resets the U.S.-Russian arms control regime to an era of linkage between offensive and defensive systems. Hey, what could go wrong?
Yet somehow the president’s account of the accomplishments of the lame duck session of the 111th Congress assumes a different character altogether Read More »
Caption: There are lights in these worlds.
[...] “History teaches us that anti-Semitism is a tenacious and particularly dangerous form of hatred. And recent events are demonstrating that this hatred is now in resurgence throughout the world. That is why the work of the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism has never been so important or timely as it is now [...]
Transcript of Canadian PM Harper at Ottawa Conference on Combating Anti-Semitism
From the LA Times Top of the Ticket blog, here be the text of President Obama’s Oval Office speech, which was supposed to be a “war speech”, it only wasn’t. It was something else besides.
The part of the speech that puzzles me the most is the digression (digressio) on the economy that begins on a division within a term (or anatomy, which in classical rhetoric means the analysis of a term or issue into its constituent parts), and ends in a call to a vague and under-conceptualized action, almost a pledge, that falls upon the person of the President himself, as well as you and I, his listeners, and a call to action that only foregrounds the ineffectiveness of the President’s policy initiatives to date Read More »