Tag: Bill Clinton

Obama on Attempted Al Qaeda Christmas Airline Bombing: “The Buck Stops Here”

A few days after Christmas, I thought about Harry Truman and the sign that he kept on his desk at the White House, "The Buck Stops Here."

President Obama said that today.

From the Sun-Times:

President Barack Obama suggested Thursday he would not fire anyone for the attempted Christmas airline attack, saying it appears the security lapses that led to the near-disaster were not the fault of a single individual or institution.

“Ultimately the buck stops with me,” said the commander in chief.

He declared anew that the government had the information to prevent the botched attack but failed to piece it together. He announced a range of changes designed to fix that, including wider and quicker distribution of intelligence reports, stronger analysis of them and new terror watch list rules.

But, added Obama, “When the system fails, it is my responsibility.”

What a change of pace from some of the previous Occupants. We’re going to have to let that sink in a bit — having a President take responsibility.

He didn’t even try to parse the word "is."

Clarence Page is Spot On with GOP Health Care Scare

Stop by the the Chicago Tribune.  Clarence Page wrote a column about the scare tactics the birthers and other GOP servants are spreading regarding any attempts at true health care reform currently before congress.

From Clarence Page:

They have been aided in this mission by a key figure in the killing of Bill and Hillary Clinton‘s proposed health-care reforms in the early 1990s. Former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey, a conservative health-care specialist, lit the spark on various op-ed pages and talk shows, including former Sen. Fred Thompson‘s radio talk show.

There she told Thompson that “Congress would make it mandatory, absolutely require, that every five years, people in Medicare have a required counseling session that will tell them how to end their life sooner.”

McCaughey added that the bill “expressly says if you get sick somewhere in that five-year period, you have to go through that session again, all to do what is in society’s best interest or your family’s best interest and [basically] cut your life short.”

Nonsense. The provision would require Medicare to pay for advanced-care consultations, but it does not requireindividuals to take advantage of the benefit.

Nor does it require that a government bureaucrat intervene among the patient, the patient’s family or a doctor or nurse practitioner, as McCaughey insists it does.

Look: read Mr. Page’s column.  We have to stay on message.  We must reform health care.  This will not be a repeat of the Clinton-era attempts at health care reform.  We know those who object to reform for who they are: they serve the health insurance industry.

They do not serve the American people.

Bill Clinton’s Lightning Diplomacy Frees 2 Journalists Held in North Korea

This just in from the WTAE Pittsburgh:

North Korea said Tuesday that two detained American journalists have been pardoned. The announcement came after news reports that former President Bill Clinton met Tuesday with the two journalists. ABC News reported that a government source with knowledge of the mission said Clinton’s meeting with journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee was very emotional.

The source was hopeful that Ling and Lee would leave North Korea on Tuesday night for the United States, ABC reported.

Earlier, Clinton met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il during his surprise mission to Pyongyang to negotiate the release of the two reporters, holding “exhaustive” talks on a wide range of topics, state-run media said.

Clinton “courteously” conveyed a verbal message from President Barack Obama, the official Korean Central News Agency said in a report from Pyongyang. Kim expressed his thanks, and engaged Clinton in a “wide-ranging exchange of views on matters of common concern,” the report said.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, however, denied Clinton went with a message from Obama. “That’s not true,” he told reporters.

I don’t know what was said behind closed doors, but this was incredibly fast. The fact that Clinton is not a member of the Obama Administration no doubt gave him greater flexibility in dealing with Kim Jong Il.

I look forward to hearing former President Clinton speak about this trip when he returns to the United States.

I especially look forward to hearing from Laura Ling and Euna Lee.

And I am incredibly impressed.

Steeler Nation Endorses Obama

It’s official.  The Steeler Nation has endorsed Barack Obama for President.

Very cool.

It must have been an awesome event in Pittsburgh’s Mellon Arena Monday.  According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, thousands showed up to hear the Senator from Illinois deliver his “closing argument” to the campaign:

Mr. Obama was introduced by Steelers President Dan Rooney whose presence sparked incongruous calls of “Here we go Steelers, Here we go,” in the home of the Penguins.

“Eight more days, eight more days,” the crowd chanted taking the lead of Sen. Bob Casey, who, along with Gov. Ed Rendell joined Mr. Obama on the arena floor. As they voiced their support for the Democratic nominee, thousands of other supporters still waited in the long line that wrapped around the Lower Hill site.

Obama brought his message of hope home to the voters of Pennsylvania:

“After decades of broken politics in Washington, eight years of failed policies from George Bush, and 21 months of a campaign that has taken us from the rocky coast of Maine to the sunshine of California, we are one week away from change in America,” he said as a wave of applause broke over the arena.

“I knew that the size of our challenges had outgrown the smallness of our politics. I believed that Democrats and Republicans and Americans of every political stripe were hungry for new ideas, new leadership, and a new kind of politics — one that favors common sense over ideology; one that focuses on those values and ideals we hold in common as Americans.”

And more:

“Now, Sen. McCain has served this country with distinction. And he can point to a few moments over the past eight years, on torture for example, where he has broken from George Bush,” Mr. Obama said. “But when it comes to the economy — when it comes to the central issue of this election all across then region, he don’t get it. The plain truth is that John McCain has stood with this president every step of the way. Voting for the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy that he once opposed.

“Voting for the Bush budgets that spent us into debt. He called for less regulation twenty-one times just this year. Those are the facts.”

As a Steeler fan, I have to admit seeing Dan Rooney with Barack was incredibly awesome.  Look, I know Barack has been cheering many different sports teams all over this great country of ours.  Pols do that all the time.

Today, one team cheered back with a thunderous roar.

The message is clear, Pennsylvania: Barack Obama is on our team now.  Give him your vote.

Addendum:  Franco Harris, who is also backing Barack Obama, attended the 55th Annual Autumn Leaf Festival parade on October 4 to campaign for Obama.

Editor’s Note: On Wednesday, former President Bill Clinton, one of the most beloved pols to ever visit the Keystone State will seek Democratic votes in Washington County.  Our report on Turning Left will follow.