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Archive for January 24th, 2009

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We begin this year and this Administration in the midst of an unprecedented crisis that calls for unprecedented action.  Just this week, we saw more people file for unemployment than at any time in the last twenty-six years, and experts agree that if nothing is done, the unemployment rate could reach double digits.  Our economy could fall $1 trillion short of its full capacity, which translates into more than $12,000 in lost income for a family of four. And we could lose a generation of potential, as more young Americans are forced to forgo college dreams or the chance to train for the jobs of the future.

In short, if we do not act boldly and swiftly, a bad situation could become dramatically worse.

That is why I have proposed an American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan to immediately jumpstart job creation as well as long-term economic growth.  I am pleased to say that both parties in Congress are already hard at work on this plan, and I hope to sign it into law in less than a month.

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by Geezer Power


One significant addition to WhiteHouse.gov reflects a campaign promise from the President:
we will publish all non-emergency legislation to the website for five days
, and allow the public to review and comment before the President signs it.

Another significant change will be in Duhbya’s weekly radio address, which IMHO has been done for all these years with a text to speech program. Obama will, instead, post his weekly video address on Youtube.

How Obama will use web technology

Washington Post

Guest Author
TechCrunch.com
Saturday, January 24, 2009; 2:54 AM

Editor’s Note: The following guest post was written by Kevin Merritt, the CEO and founder of blist, a Web-based list manager and spreadsheet that was used on Change.gov, the Obama Administration’s transition Website.

President Barack Obama was sworn into office this week as our nation?s 44th president. Despite running into a few technical challenges in the first few days at the White House, the Obama Administration will embrace technology in unprecedented ways. Led by forward thinking, web savvy technologists, President Obama?s new media team looks poised and ready to fulfill President Obama?s vision of open-source democracy.

Coincident with Mr. Obama being sworn in, the Obama Administration?s new media team assumed control of WhiteHouse.gov at 12:01 PM EST on Tuesday. This is the official website of the sitting administration. The new media team has identified three top priorities of the new administration ? communication, transparency and participation. Let?s examine how the new administration has been leveraging web technologies to meet these priorities.

Communication. This administration?s use of Google?s YouTube during both the campaign and after winning the election leverages Internet video to reach a generation of Americans and global citizens who no longer tune in to AM radio on a regular basis. President Obama has vowed to continue video recording his fireside chats and publishing them via YouTube and other video sites. With the transition of WhiteHouse.gov to the new administration, for the first time ever an official White House blog came online. You can sign up for email updates from the president. Through the blog, Mr. Obama is the first U.S. president to have an RSS feed!

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Nasir @ 12:00 CET

by George McGovern | The Washington Post, Jan 22, 2009

As you settle into the Oval Office, Mr. President, may I offer a suggestion? Please do not try to put Afghanistan aright with the U.S. military. To send our troops out of Iraq and into Afghanistan would be a near-perfect example of going from the frying pan into the fire. There is reason to believe some of our top military commanders privately share this view. And so does a broad and growing swath of your party and your supporters.

True, the United States is the world’s greatest power — but so was the British Empire a century ago when it tried to pacify the warlords and tribes of Afghanistan, only to be forced out after excruciating losses. For that matter, the Soviet Union was also a superpower when it poured some 100,000 troops into Afghanistan in 1979. They limped home, broken and defeated, a decade later, having helped pave the way for the collapse of the Soviet Union.

It is logical to conclude that our massive military dominance and supposedly good motives should let us work our will in Afghanistan. But logic does not always prevail in South Asia. With belligerent Afghan warlords sitting atop each mountain glowering at one another, the one factor that could unite them is the invasion of their country by a foreign power, whether British, Russian or American.

I have believed for some time that military power is no solution to terrorism. The hatred of U.S. policies in the Middle East — our occupation of Iraq, our backing for repressive regimes such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, our support of Israel — that drives the terrorist impulse against us would better be resolved by ending our military presence throughout the arc of conflict. This means a prudent, carefully directed withdrawal of our troops from Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and elsewhere. We also need to close down the imposing U.S. military bases in this section of the globe, which do so little to expand our security and so much to stoke local resentment.

We cannot evade this reckoning. The British thought they could extend their control over Iraq even while pulling out their ground forces by creating a string of bases in remote parts of the country, away from the observation of most Iraqis. It didn’t work. No people that desires independence and self-determination wishes to have another nation’s military bases in its country. In 1776, remember, 13 little colonies drove the mighty British Empire from American soil.

In 2003, the Bush administration ordered an invasion of Iraq, supposedly to reduce terrorism. But six years later, there is more terrorism and civil strife in Iraq, not less. The same outcome may occur in Afghanistan if we make it the next American military conflict.

Continued >>

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