lundi 31 janvier 2011

The Devil We Know

"As the world ponders the fate of Egypt after Hosni Mubarak, Americans should ponder this: It’s quite possible that if Mubarak had not ruled Egypt as a dictator for the last 30 years, the World Trade Center would still be standing."

Moubarak, ami ou ennemi?

Belle réflexion de ROSS DOUTHAT dasns le NY Times de ce matin:

La "chute" est intéressante:

But history makes fools of us all. We make deals with dictators, and reap the whirlwind of terrorism. We promote democracy, and watch Islamists gain power from Iraq to Palestine. We leap into humanitarian interventions, and get bloodied in Somalia. We stay out, and watch genocide engulf Rwanda. We intervene in Afghanistan and then depart, and watch the Taliban take over. We intervene in Afghanistan and stay, and end up trapped there, with no end in sight.

Sooner or later, the theories always fail. The world is too complicated for them, and too tragic. History has its upward arcs, but most crises require weighing unknowns against unknowns, and choosing between competing evils.

The only comfort, as we watch Egyptians struggle for their country’s future, is that some choices aren’t America’s to make.

Le point sur le State of the Union avec Catherine Lachaussée

Extrait de l'entrevue dans le cadre de Ça me dit de prendre le temps:

Visions critiques du State of the Union...

Obama et le Titanic... Savoureux!

Caricatures américaines pour la scène internationale!

Je trouve la première particulièrement réussie...

31 janvier 1865: la Chambre des représentants vote l'amendement pour mettre fin à l'esclavage

Le vote de la Chambre faisait suite à celui du Sénat (avril 1864). L'adoption de l'amendement se fera le 6 décembre 1865. L'abolition de l'esclave par le Président Lincoln en 1863 pouvait être considérée comme une décision temporaire et elle ne s'appliquait pas aux états "borduriers", les états à la limite du Nord et du Sud qui étaient demeurés fidèles à l'Union. Fin stratège, Lincoln ne voulait pas se mettre à dos des alliés... Cette situation démontre également toute la complexité politique du problème de "l'institution particulière".

Je vous laisse deux liens pour écouter Amazing Grace, un chant composé pour la fin de la traite des esclaves noirs. Avec le temps, ce chant est devenu un hymne à la liberté

Le premier lien permet de faire l'histoire de ce chant et d'en apprendre un peu plus sur les liens entre l'histoire de la musique noire et la culture "blanche":

Le second lien pour une version "celte"!!!:

Voici le texte du 13e amendement:

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation

vendredi 28 janvier 2011

Old Rules Won't Determine GOP Presidential Candidate

Point de vue intéressant de Michael Barone sur la prochaine nomination républicaine. Nouvelle donne à considérer pour ceux qui se lanceront dans la course à la Présidence pour 2012. Si l'auteur a raison, nous pourrions attendre longtemps avant que les "plus gros joueurs" annoncent leur couleur.

Internet nous rend dingue? Caricature...

On Jan. 28, 1986, space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff

Peut-être est-ce parce que j'ai eu l'opportunité de visiter le Kennedy space center pendant mes vacances, mais ce rappel du 28 janvier 1986 m'a ému ce matin. Je me souviens encore des images des élèves de Christa McAuliffe regroupés devant un téléviseur pour suivre les exploits de leur prof... L'aventure spatiale ne sera probablement jamais dénuée de risques...

Encore des doutes sur le lieu de naissance d'Obama? Pour 100$ vous pourrez calmer vos angoisses...

Projet de loi pour le moins original de l'état d'Hawaï. Dans l'espoir de faire taire ceux qui doutes des origines américaines du Président, l'état souhaite passer une loi qui permettrait à n'importe qui d'obtenir une copie de son certificat de naissance. Il faudrait cependant dépenser la somme de 100$ pour l'obtenir. Au-delà du réel!

Un extrait de l'article sur le Huffington post:

"The idea behind the measure is to end skepticism over Obama's birthplace while raising a little money for a government with a projected budget deficit exceeding $800 million over the next two years.

"If it passes, it will calm the birthers down," said the bill's primary sponsor, Rep. Rida Cabanilla. "All these people are still doubting it because they don't want the birth certificate from Obama. They want it from our state office."

So-called "birthers" claim there's no proof Obama was born in the United States, and he is therefore ineligible to be president. Many of the skeptics question whether he was actually born in Kenya, his father's home country.

The Obama campaign issued a certification of live birth in 2008, an official document from the state showing the president's Aug. 4, 1961, birth date, his birth city and name, and his parents' names and races."

Quand on fait n'importe quoi pour nuire à l'adversaire...

jeudi 27 janvier 2011

Caricatures: spécial "réactions négatives et/ou humoristiques"

Un faible pour le "Sputnik moment"...

Utah’s Gun Appreciation Day

Hallucinant! Dans le NY Times de ce matin on nous présente un projet de loi de l'Utah visant à faire du pistolet Browning M1911 l'arme officiel de l'état. On l'Ajouterait à d'autres symboles comme une dance, un oiseau ou des rochers... Nous savions déjà que les espoirs étaient minces de voir les choses changer après la tuerie de Tucson, mais je n'imaginais pas ce type de réaction...


"This week in Washington, Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey introduced three very modest gun regulation bills, including one making it more difficult to sell guns to people on the terror watch list.

Meanwhile, in Salt Lake City, the State Legislature is considering a bill to honor the Browning M1911 pistol by making it the official state firearm.

Guess which idea has the better chance of passage? Can I see a show of hands? Oh, you cynics, you!

Yes, a committee in the Utah House of Representatives voted 9 to 2 this week to approve a bill that would add the Browning pistol to the pantheon of official state things, along with the bird (seagull), rock (coal) and dance (square). Also, although it really has nothing to do with this discussion, I have to mention that the Utah Legislature has provided its citizens with an official state cooking pot, and it is the Dutch oven.

“This firearm is Utah,” Representative Carl Wimmer, the Browning bill’s sponsor, told The Salt Lake Tribune. He is an energetic-looking guy with a huge forehead who has only been in office four years yet has, according to one of his videos, “sponsored and passed some of the most significant pieces of legislation in Utah history.”

Capitol observers say the Browning bill has an excellent chance of becoming law. Meanwhile, Lautenberg will be lucky to get a hearing. The terror of the National Rifle Association is so pervasive that President Obama did not want to poison the mood of his State of the Union address by suggesting that when somebody on the terror watch list tries to buy a gun, maybe we should do an extra check.

“But people are now commenting on the fact that the president didn’t talk about it in his speech. That hasn’t happened for years,” said Paul Helmke of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, whose job really does require an inordinate amount of optimism.

À lire:

mercredi 26 janvier 2011

Caricatures: spécial "gun control"

Snore or Snare? The State of the Union set a cunning trap for Obama’s enemies.

Retour critique de The new republic sur la performance d'Obama.

The ideas and policy proposals in Barack Obama’s 2011 State of the Union Address were anything but fresh and original. Much of it could easily have been harvested from any number of interchangeable speeches given during the last 20 years—not just by presidents by members of Congress, governors, mayors, and CEOs—from both parties. Yet that may have been exactly the point. By staking his claim to decades of well-worn political detritus, I think Obama has set a cunning political trap for his enemies.

A crash program for economic competitiveness? We’ve heard it dozens of times, and Obama’s speech mainly substituted new global rivals for old ones. Harrumphing about how education and a skilled workforce are they key to national prosperity? Obviously an old theme. Reorganizing major federal departments was one of Jimmy Carter’s signature initiatives. Tax simplification was one of Ronald Reagan’s. Making government a lean, mean efficiency machine has been promised many times, most notably by Bill Clinton. Across-the-board spending freezes, support for small business entrepreneurs, growing green jobs, better infrastructure, boosting exports (without, presumably, those pesky imports)—we’ve heard it all. One conceit—the “Sputnik Moment”—was so old that you wonder if the president’s young speechwriters just found out about it.

And that’s the beauty of Obama’s address. He basically put together every modest, centrist, reasonable-sounding idea for public investment aimed at job creation and economic growth that anyone has ever uttered; and he did so at the exact moment that the GOP has abandoned the very concept of public investment altogether. He’s thrown into relief the fact that Republicans no longer seem interested in any government efforts to boost the economy, except where they offer an excuse to reduce the size and power of government.

Paul Ryan’s deficit-maniac response played right into Obama’s trap: Ryan barely mentioned the economy other to imply that every dollar taken away from the public sector will somehow create jobs in the private sector economy (a private sector economy wherein, as Obama cleverly noted, corporate profits are setting records). For those who buy the idea that government is the only obstacle to an economic boom, this makes sense. But for everybody else, the contrast between a Democratic president with a lot of small, familiar ideas for creating jobs and growth, and a Republican Party with just one big idea, is inescapable. It’s a vehicle for the “two alternate futures” choice which Obama will try to offer voters in 2012.

Moreover, Obama’s tone—the constant invocation of bipartisanship at a time when Republicans are certain to oppose most of what he’s called for, while going after the progressive programs and policies of the past—should sound familiar as well. It was Bill Clinton’s constant refrain, which he called “progress over partisanship,” during his second-term struggle with the Republican Congress. During that period, the Republicans being asked to transcend “partisanship” were trying to remove Clinton from office. And Clinton wasn’t really extending his hand in a gesture of cooperation with the GOP but, by creating a contrast with their ideological fury, indicating that he himself embodied the bipartisan aspirations of the American people and the best ideas of both parties. It was quite effective.

By playing this rope-a-dope, Obama has positioned himself well to push back hard against the conservative agenda. Having refused to offer Republicans the cover they crave for “entitlement reform,” while offering his own modest, reasonable-sounding deficit reduction measures, he’s forcing the GOP to either go after Social Security and Medicare on their own—which is very perilous to a party whose base has become older voters—or demand unprecedented cuts for those popular public investments that were the centerpiece of his speech. Either way, in a reversal of positions from the last two years, Obama looks like he is focused on doing practical things to boost the economy, while it’s Republicans who are talking about everything else. Boring it may have been, but as a positioning device for the next two years, Obama’s speech was a masterpiece.

Caricatures: spécial Michele Bachmann!

Certaines sont dures, mais, avouons-le, assez proches de la réalité! Ma préférée est la première. Pour entrer au rassemblement de Palin et Bachmann, il faut laisser sa "grip on reality" à la porte"...

mardi 25 janvier 2011

Bachmann blasts president in first Tea Party rebuttal

Sur le site du Star Tribune de Minneapolis-St. Paul, la réponse de Michele Bachmann.

"In the first-ever Tea Party rebuttal to a State of the Union Address, Minnesota Republican Michele Bachmann blasted President Obama over government spending "unlike anything we have seen in the history of our country."

In what some saw as dueling rebuttals, the media focus on Bachmann's address threatened to eclipse the official GOP response delivered by Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.

While Bachmann's response was originally slated to be webcast only by the Tea Party Express, CNN decided to carry her remarks in their entirety after Ryan was done. Though Bachmann tried to tamp down reports that she was delivering an alternative GOP response, there were signs of increasing friction over her speech, including dissension within Tea Party ranks, where there is resistance to the idea of Bachmann as a national spokeswoman.

"They don't like it that Michele Bachmann is speaking on behalf of the Tea Party," said Toni Backdahl, president of the Tea Party of Minnesota, one of several Tea Party factions in the state.

Democrats appeared delighted, with the Democratic National Committee (DNC) distributing copies of a Fox News report titled "Unusual Bachmann Rebuttal Could Scramble GOP Message on Obama Address."

Republicans, meanwhile, seemed ambivalent. House GOP Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia downplayed Bachmann's plans, saying all 535 members of the House and Senate would have their own opinions about Obama's speech.

Hours before the State of the Union, the conservative website reported that Bachmann was not being allowed to deliver her rebuttal from the Capitol Hill Club, which serves as the GOP's nerve center near the Capitol.

Bachmann's office said her speech was being moved to the National Press Club instead.

In her rebuttal, the three-term congresswoman and potential presidential candidate focused on the Obama administration's record of spending to kick-start the stagnant economy. "After the $700 billion bailout, the trillion-dollar stimulus and the massive budget bill with over 9,000 earmarks that the president signed, many of you implored Washington to please stop spending money we don't have," said Bachmann, founder of the House Tea Party Caucus. "But, instead of cutting, we saw an unprecedented explosion of government spending and debt."

Un discours parfait, mais...

Ce soir, c'est la "candidat" Obama que nous retrouvions. Plutôt "cool" dans le ton, confiant, drôle par moments et défiant ses concitoyens. Il y avait du "Yes we can" dans l'air... Pour appuyer cette affirmation je citerai le passage de son discours dans lequel il réfère à la petite fille décédée dans la tuerie de Tucson: "The dreams of a little girl in Tucson are the same as the dreams of our own children". Si ce 'est pas en lien direct avec une phrase de son discours lors des primaires du New Hampshire (inspiration de la chanson "Yes we can" de W.L.L.I.A.M)...

Je pourrais résumer sa soirée de travail à trois trois formules: "Winning the future", This is a Spoutnik moment" et "We do big things".

Il n'y a aucun doute selon moi que le Président profitait de ce SOTU pour lancer la prochaine campagne présidentielle. Le discours était parfait! On lui reprochera la substance, comme pendant la campagne, le manque de précisions et des coupures budgétaires superficielles.

Obama a placé sa nation face à un défi gigantesque en l'invitant à devancer le reste de la planète. Sa recette: innovation (recherche), éducation (rarement un Président en a dit autant à ce sujet, bravo!), reconstruction de l'Amérique (infrastructures, routes, internet haute vitesse, etc.) et réduction de la dette.

Une foule de "détails" intéressants dans la "mise en scène"... Michelle Obama entourée de personnes touchées par la tuerie de Tucson. Démocrates et républicains "mélangés" dans la Chambre plutôt que regroupés en fonction de leur appartenance politique. La présence des juges de la Cour suprême malgré les reproches d'Obama il y a un an.

Je me gardais pour la fin ma citation préférée du discours: "Nous ne devrions pas seulement célébrer la victoire au Super bowl, mais aussi le gagnant de l'expo scientifique". L'éducation encore avec des profs qu'il compare à des "Nation builders".

State of the Union Preview: Obama's Unofficial 2012 Kickoff

Beau survol des enjeux du discours de ce soir dans le Time.

Un extrait:
"The truth is that, for all the pomp and circumstance, State of the Union speeches tend to be small-bore affairs that make headlines but not history. They are occasions for tactical positioning and debate-framing.
That doesn't mean they aren't important. The short term matters, too. And that may be especially true at this transitional—and perhaps pivotal—moment in Barack Obama's presidency. Over the past three months Obama has resurrected a presidency that seemed in danger of failure. With his successes in the lame duck Congress last month, his winning response to the Tucson massacre, and a steady new trickle of economic optimism, he has reclaimed some of the political capital snatched from him in the November elections. Witness his rising approval rating, and the way Republicans--having enjoyed their cathartic vote to repeal health care in the House—are now arguing amongst themselves about what budget cuts they actually dare to enact.
But this remains a fragile political moment for the president. The economic recovery is painfully slow. The public is still skeptical about big government and debt-fueled spending. The war in Afghanistan is unpopular, Middle East peace is elusive as ever, and China seems to be overtaking the U.S. on the global stage."

Le lien pour l'article:

Bienvenue à tous les élèves d'Histoire des États-Unis!

Des caricatures pour le State of the Union de ce soir!

Je n'ai pu résister à la tentation d'ajouter celle où Obama demande s'il peut prendre son fauteuil...

lundi 24 janvier 2011

President, Rebounding, Gives Opponents Pause

L'élection de 2012 est encore loin, mais les républicains n'ont toujours pas de candidat(e) solide (ça ne presse pas nécessairement), le GOP ne sait pas encore où le Tea party figure dans sa stratégie et Obama est au-dessus des 50% d'approbation dans les sondages.

Bel article dans le NY Times de ce matin.

"Analysts in both parties agree on the elements of Mr. Obama’s rebound. Most Americans never turned on him personally, even as they shouted their disappointment in the November elections. Postelection compromises with Republicans on tax cuts showed the White House breaking Washington gridlock on the economic issues Americans care about most. That, along with signs of accelerating growth, increased confidence."

"“People can only sustain anger for so long,” said Vin Weber, a former Republican House member from Minnesota who is now a Washington lobbyist. “Republicans have to be very careful that they don’t simply refight the election of 2010.”"

Caricatures: grand spécial "discours plus respectueux au Congrès"

Est-il possible de changer la donne au Congrès? Un discours plus constructif et respectueux? Pas selon ces caricaturistes!

Les Tours de Laliberté migrent: rejoignez-moi sur le site du Journal de Québec et du Journal de Montréal

Depuis un certain temps je me demandais comment faire évoluer mon petit carnet web. La réponse m'est parvenue par le biais d'u...