Friday, March 22, 2019
Add this page to Blinklist Add this page to Del.icoi.us Add this page to Digg Add this page to Facebook Add this page to Furl Add this page to Google Add this page to Ma.Gnolia Add this page to Newsvine Add this page to Reddit Add this page to StumbleUpon Add this page to Technorati Add this page to Yahoo


ideas have consequences

You are here:Home>>Stevie C. Chiakwelu>>Displaying items by tag: Obama
Displaying items by tag: Obama
Saturday, 25 August 2012 19:20

Most memorial Photos Of Obama's First Term

Most memorial Photos Of Obama's First Term

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their daughters, Malia, left, and Sasha, right, sit for a family portrait in the Oval Office, Dec. 11, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011.  (Official White House photo)

President Barack Obama bends over so the son of a White House staff member can pat his head during a family visit to the Oval Office May 8, 2009. The youngster wanted to see if the President's haircut felt like his own.   (Official White House photo)
President Barack Obama runs around his desk in the Oval Office with Sarah Froman, daughter of Nancy Goodman and Mike Froman, Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics, July 9, 2012.    (Official White House photo)
President Obama joins in singing "Sweet Home Chicago" during the "In Performance at the White House: Red, White and Blues" concert in the East Room of the White House, Feb. 21, 2012.   (Official White House photo)
President Barack Obama tours the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington, D.C., Oct. 14, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
"President-elect Barack Obama was about to walk out to take the oath of office. Backstage at the U.S. Capitol, he took one last look at his appearance in the mirror." (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama looks at the Nobel Peace Prize medal for the first time at the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo, Norway, Dec. 10, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and senior staff, react in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, as the House passes the health care reform bill, March 21, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
"President Obama had called on the two former Presidents to help with the situation in Haiti. During their public remarks in the Rose Garden, President Clinton had said about President Bush, 'I've already figured out how I can get him to do (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama takes a shot during a game with Cabinet secretaries and members of Congress on the White House basketball court, Oct. 8, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama and Sen. Ted Kennedy walk down the South Lawn sidewalk at the White House April 21, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recounts a story to President Barack Obama, Senior Advisors David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett, outside the Sultan Hassan Mosque in Cairo, Egypt, June 4, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama meet with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican on July 10, 2009. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama tours the Egypt's Great Sphinx of Giza (left) and the Pyramid of Khafre, June 4, 2009. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama reviews an honour guard at Ghana's Presidential Castle in AccraPhotograph: Saul Loeb/AFP 11 July 2009
President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron walk across the South Lawn of the White House, July 20, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

"Mitt Romney embodies a system dominated by financial engineering that uses companies as casino chips."

 

'Look, if you've been successful, you did not get there on your own. When we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative but also because we do things together." So said President Obama, campaigning in Roanoke Virginia, last week. He went on: "If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help".

 

He listed great teachers, government research, roads and bridges and the whole fabric of the American system as various ways in which "somebody along the line" would have contributed to your success. This was the essence of the social liberalism of the great British thinker Leonard Hobhouse, but now championed by a United States president. Hobhouse passionately argued that capitalist wealth was co-created by the interaction of society, social capital and the entrepreneur. Government investment, financed properly by taxation, was the precondition for a successful capitalism.

 

Fox News, self-appointed 21st-century American custodian of free-enterprise capitalism, rather as Pravda guarded communism, was on to the issue like a flash. In my New York hotel, I watched an overheated Fox commentator begin railing about socialism and before long Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney took up Fox News' cue as is mandatory for any Republican politician. The speech really "reveals what he [Mr Obama] thinks about our country, about free enterprise, about individual initiative, about America," he declared. "Did you build your business? If you did, raise your hand." Hands, pre-arranged, shot up. "Take that, Mr President," he finished.

 

The slowest and most faltering economic recovery since World War II was already triggering anxious questions about how to regain American economic dynamism, but Romney's presidential candidacy has crystallised a fundamental debate about capitalism that will spill over into Britain. It is a potential turning point in both countries. For Romney, whose fortune was made at Bain Capital, the private equity company he co-founded, owned and ran, embodies all the ills (or strengths, if you are so-minded) of a capitalism dominated by financial engineering, with companies as casino chips. It proved Romney's downfall when challenging Ted Kennedy in the race for the Senate in Massachusetts in 1994. The Democrats are determined to make it his downfall a second time round. Bain Capital was, and is, a quintessential product of the 25-year boom in credit and asset prices that began in the early 1980s. Romney spotted the opportunity. He would raise money from private investors, saying the aim was to deploy Bain's consultancy techniques on pre-established companies carefully bought for their turn-round potential. This, coupled with significant leverage, would guarantee sky-high financial returns, not least for Romney.

 

The public understands that if you finance buying a house with a bank providing 90% of the asking price, and the house doubles in value, then your own 10% stake multiples elevenfold. Romney would apply the same logic not to the wealth-generating activity of starting innovative companies but to buying existing companies. Banks were only too keen to lend vast sums of money for such schemes, as they did right up to the financial crash in 2008. The companies' own profits would service Bain's debt.

 

Bain Capital would make the company more valuable—taking production offshore to low-cost countries, selling off redundant land, slashing research and investment budgets. And the general rise in property prices would help matters still more. When the companies' profits had risen, they would then be floated on the stock market for a much higher price and, hey presto, everybody got very rich.

 

President Obama Photo: mail &Guardian


Trail of disasters

 

Private equity has always been controversial. A few mature and poorly managed companies have benefited from the private equity treatment, but it became a huge industry dedicated to deal-making, extravagant leverage and self-enrichment, leaving a trail of disasters in its wake. In Britain, EMI has been emasculated by Guy Hands's private equity fund and now looks likely to be swallowed up by Universal. US journalist Josh Kosman in The Buyout of America writes that many of the companies in the biggest PE deals in the 1990s fared worse than had the taken-over companies stayed independent. He identifies five companies—Stage Store, American Pad and Paper, GS Industries, Dade Behring and Details, all of which paid lavish dividends and fees to Bain before filing for bankruptcy.

 

For private equity is not at core about creating value through innovation and investment. That would need private equity owners to take another risk (the results from innovation are uncertain) on top of the leverage risk, hardly the point of the deal. Instead, the overriding requirement is to fatten up the company so it can be resold on the public markets to deliver great capital profits, just as Obama says.

 

Bain Capital is part of the problem, not the solution. The private equity recipe has ripped the heart out of innovative US while leaving its banks encumbered by massive non-performing debts. The business model is now broken and the US has to start to ask questions about whether the Bain type of allegedly individualist capitalism really delivers growth and jobs. As the answer is: no, what does?

 

Obama has begun the counter-argument. Innovation is necessarily about taking risks and unless there are mechanisms to share them between the private and public sectors, the risks and innovation are necessarily not undertaken. "The internet didn't get invented on its own," Obama argued. "Government research created the internet so that all the companies could make money off the internet."

 

He could have gone much further. The same is true of industries ranging from aerospace to pharmaceuticals. The whole ecosystem in which innovation is housed—patents, copyright, finance, universities, research, knowledge transfer, ownership rules, regulation to ensure common standards—is co-created between the public and the private. Innovative entrepreneurs and companies are in a continuous trial-and-error relationship with their customers, suppliers and outsiders, not isolated in an individualistic silo.

 

The Fox News charge that this is socialism is bewildering and dangerous nonsense. Anglo-American capitalism, mired in debt, low investment and out-innovated by its competitors in Asia and Germany, is at a crossroads. What is clearer than ever is that the conservatives' response is dumb. If Obama and the Democrats can beat them in the US it will have global ramifications—a chance to recognise what really makes good capitalism work. At last, it is game on.

 

WILL HUTTON, writes for Mail & Guardian South Africa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OBAMA'S WHITE HOUSE RELEASES OBAMA 'PRIVATE MOMENTS' PHOTOS

"May was a busy month for Barack Obama with a trip to Afghanistan, the NATO meeting in Chicago and the G-8 Summit at Camp David.But the President of the United States made sure he had time to enjoy a few tender moments with Michelle Obama. The latest behind-the-scenes photographs from the White House capture President Obama locked into an intimate embrace with the First Lady, dancing before a concert honoring songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David on May 9." - Daily Mail UK

Tender: President Barack Obama dances with First Lady Michelle Obama in the Blue Room of the White House prior to an 'In Performance at the White House' series concert honoring songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David on May 9, 2012
President Barack Obama dances with First Lady Michelle Obama in the Blue Room of the White House prior to an 'In Performance at the White House' series concert honoring songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David on May 9, 2012
Playtime: President Barack Obama throws a football on the field at Soldier Field following the NATO working dinner in Chicago, Illinois, on May 20, 2012Playtime: President Barack Obama throws a football on the field at Soldier Field following the NATO working dinner in Chicago, Illinois, on May 20, 2012
Joy: President Barack Obama throws his arms in the air after a field goal kicked by Trip Director Marvin Nicholson at Soldier Field following the NATO working dinner in Chicago, Illinois, on May 20, 2012
President Barack Obama throws his arms in the air after a field goal kicked by Trip Director Marvin Nicholson at Soldier Field following the NATO working dinner in Chicago, Illinois, on May 20, 2012
Time out: President Barack Obama plays a game of pool following the conclusion of the G8 Summit at Camp David, Maryland, on May 19, 2012
Time out: President Barack Obama plays a game of pool following the conclusion of the G8 Summit at Camp David, Maryland, on May 19, 2012
Calm: President Barack Obama prays following a meeting with religious leaders in the Oval Office on May 18, 2012
President Barack Obama prays following a meeting with religious leaders in the Oval Office on May 18, 2012
Colour-coordinated: President Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom talk as they walk to Laurel Cabin during the G8 Summit at Camp David, Maryland on May 19, 2012Colour-coordinated: President Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom talk as they walk to Laurel Cabin during the G8 Summit at Camp David, Maryland on May 19, 2012
World leaders: Obama points at Prime Minister David Cameron while participating in a G8 Summit working session focused on global and economic issues, in the dining room of Laurel Cabin at Camp David, Maryland on May 19, 2012
Obama points at Prime Minister David Cameron while participating in a G8 Summit working session focused on global and economic issues, in the dining room of Laurel Cabin at Camp David, Maryland on May 19, 2012
Engrossed: Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, President Barack Obama, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission
Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, President Barack Obama, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, and others watch the overtime shootout of the Chelsea vs. Bayern Munich Champions League final, in the Laurel Cabin conference room during the G8 Summit at Camp David, Md., May 19, 2012
Powerful: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama walk with former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush in the Cross Hall towards the East Room of the White House on May 31, 2012
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama walk with former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush in the Cross Hall towards the East Room of the White House on May 31, 2012
Gathering: The Obamas host a lunch for members of the Bush family in the Red Room of the White House on May 31, 2012. The Obamas host a lunch for members of the Bush family in the Red Room of the White House on May 31, 2012. Seated clockwise from the President are: former First Lady Barbara Bush, Bucky Bush, Doro Bush Koch, Jenna Bush Hager, Marvin Bush, Jody Bush, former President George W. Bush, Mrs. Obama, former President George H.W. Bush, Patty Bush, Bobby Koch, Barbara Bush, Margaret Bush, Jonathan Bush, and former First Lady Laura Bush
Good spirits: A toddler mimics the Presidents as Obama greets people upon arrival at Des Moines International Airport in Des Moines, Iowa on May 24, 2012
A toddler mimics the President and throws his fists in the air as Obama greets people upon arrival at Des Moines International Airport in Des Moines, Iowa on May 24, 2012
Photo Opportunity: President Barack Obama greets graduating Joplin High School seniors before their commencement ceremony at Missouri Southern State University
President Barack Obama greets graduating Joplin High School seniors before their commencement ceremony at Missouri Southern State University's Leggett & Platt Athletic Center in Joplin, Mo., on May 21, 2012
In 3D: President Obama welcomes service members and their families to a screening of Men in Black 3 in the White House Family Theater on May 25, 2012
President Obama welcomes service members and their families to a screening of Men in Black 3 in the White House Family Theater on May 25, 2012
Maternal: First Lady Michelle Obama joins children in making Mother's Day gifts in the State Dining Room of the White House, on May 10, 2012First Lady Michelle Obama joins children in making Mother's Day gifts in the State Dining Room of the White House, on May 10, 2012
Loving: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet the family of Specialist Leslie H. Sabo, Jr., U.S. Army, outside the Oval Office prior to a Medal of Honor ceremony honoring Specialist Sabo, May 16, 2012.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet the family of Specialist Leslie H. Sabo, Jr., U.S. Army, outside the Oval Office prior to a Medal of Honor ceremony honoring Specialist Sabo, May 16, 2012. Pictured, from left, are: Kathleen Starkey, sister-in-law; Rose Sabo-Brown, widow; Frances Buccelli, mother-in-law.
Happy: First Lady Michelle Obama greets Sherri Shepherd of 'The View' at the show's studio in New York, N.Y., on May 29, 2012First Lady Michelle Obama greets Sherri Shepherd of 'The View' at the show's studio in New York, N.Y., on May 29, 2012
First Lady: Michelle Obama touches the Hokie Stone before walking onto the field at Lane Stadium to give the Virginia Tech commencement address in Blacksburg, Va., on May 11, 2012Michelle Obama touches the Hokie Stone before walking onto the field at Lane Stadium to give the Virginia Tech commencement address in Blacksburg, Va., on May 11, 2012
Intimate: President Barack Obama shares a hug with a U.S. soldier while troops watch, smiling, following his remarks at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, on May 1, 2012President Barack Obama shares a hug with a U.S. soldier while troops watch, smiling, following his remarks at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, on May 1, 2012
Tactile: President Barack Obama greets U.S. troops, shaking their hands, following his remarks at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, on May 1, 2012President Barack Obama greets U.S. troops, shaking their hands, following his remarks at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, on May 1, 2012
Joker: President Barack Obama jokes with Commander Wendy Halsey and Command Master Chief Al Marcucci following his arrival at Camp David, Md., for the G8 Summit, on May 18, 2012

Jump for joy: President Barack Obama congratulates cadets as they receive their diplomas during the commencement ceremony at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo

 

Warm welcome: President Barack Obama disembarks Air Force One upon his arrival at Joplin Regional Airport in Joplin, Mo., on May 21, 2012

 

President Barack Obama looks at Mount Rainier from Air Force One during a flight from Seattle, Wash., to Los Angeles, Calif., May 10, 2012. Nancy-Ann DeParle, Deputy Chief of Staff, and Press Secretary Jay Carney join the President for a look

 

President Barack Obama has lunch with members of the Congressional Leadership in the Oval Office Private Dining Room, May 16, 2012.Obama has lunch with members of the Congressional Leadership in the Oval Office Private Dining Room, May 16, 2012. The President served hoagies from Taylor Gourmet, which he purchased after a small business roundtable earlier in the day. Seated, clockwise from the President, are: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and House Speaker John Boehner

 

Gesticulating: President Barack Obama jokes with Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett backstage before delivering remarks on the economy at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the State University of New YorkPresident Barack Obama jokes with Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett backstage before delivering remarks on the economy at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the State University of New York in Albany, N.Y., May 8, 2012

 

Today, President Obama signed a new Presidential Policy Directive on Sub-Saharan Africa, taking another step in deepening the U.S- Africa partnerships. The new U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa,  which is derived from the Presidential Policy Directive, builds on numerous accomplishments of U.S.-Africa policy such as:

U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa

to strengthen democratic institutions

promote regional peace and security, engage with young African leaders and

promote development, trade, and investment.

President Obama's new Policy Directive for Sub-Saharan Africa comes at a  time when the African continent is  showing great economic promise. Over the past decade (2001- 2010), six of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies were in Africa. Trade and investment are also on the rise- in 2010, total foreign direct investment was more than $55 billion—five times what it was a decade earlier, and much more than Africa receives in aid.

 

ObamaPresident Barack Obama delivers remarks to Parliament at the International Conference Centre in Accra, Ghana, July 11, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy

 

This week, June 14-15 , the United States is hosting the 11th  annual US-Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum. The event is mandated by the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). AGOA became law in October 2000.  AGOA is the cornerstone of U.S. economic engagement with the countries of sub-Saharan Africa.  By providing duty-free access to the U.S. market, AGOA has succeeded in helping eligible sub-Saharan African nations grow and diversify their exports to the United States.

The theme of the AGOA 2012 Forum is  “Enhancing Africa’s Infrastructure for Trade.”

In September 2009, President Obama launched the U.S. government’s global food security initiative, Feed the Future. Its goals are:

to boost food supplies through agricultural development;

to increase access to food through more efficientlyfunctioning markets, job growth, and higher incomes forpoor people;

to improve nutrition, especially among mothersand infants; and to build stronger food and agricultural systems and other institutions that can assure sustainable foodsecurity for years to come.

Sustaining the current progress in Africa requires investing in long-term development partnerships in order to accelerate sustainable - not just economic growth, but also promote food security, support the capacity of countries and communities to respond to diseases and rebuild infrastructure and combat climate change.  These  smart investments should be aligned with country-owned plans, include civil society and the private sector, while fostering mutual transpsrency, accountability and respect. Long-term progress  to reduce poverty will depend on the capacity of each country to build on the gains achieved with donor assistance rather than having donor assistance replace its own efforts.

As the President said during his visit to Ghana, in 2009, the people of Africa are ready to claim their future. This new Presidential Policy Directive should promote partnership  and mutual respect  that allows the people of Africa and the U.S to work towards a more prosperous world.

 

U .  S  .   S  T  R  A T  E G  Y   T  O WA  R  D  S  U  B  - S  A  H  A  R  A  N   A  F  R  I  C  A U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa

“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand." - Matthew 12:25

 

It is beginning to look like a child's game but this is a serious business. President Obama and his reelection team have a formidable fight in their hands as they put together the strategies to defeat presumed Republican Party candidate Mitt Romney. Obama campaign strategy is to first and foremost define who is Romney and then let American voters make the decision not to vote for Romney. But the efforts Obama’s people are making are being undercut continuously by unexpected utterances coming from Democratic Party leaders. The most visible of them all is the former President Clinton who is working with President Obama for his reelection.

 

Former President Bill Clinton is a gifted politician, the best you can get in the business of retail politics. By pressing the skin and with his charisma he knows how to make a lasting impression on the average working class voters, those people that are the base of Democratic Party.

 

President Clinton was on Piers Morgan show on CNN and was commenting on the business record of Mitt Romney, his words:  “I don’t think we ought to get in a position where we say this is bad work. This is good work. There’s no question that in terms of getting up and going to the office and, you know, basically performing the essential functions of the office, a man who’s been governor and had a sterling business career crosses the qualification threshold.”

 

After that many people were so much surprised not for praising Mitt Romney’s business achievement, which he may deserve but for the sterling endorsement he gave to Romney.

 

The word, that word "sterling" is powerful; it sends the message that Romney is the "man" that can get the economy accelerating because of his private sector experience. That might be the case, but nobody knows for sure. Moreover, the Republicans should be the ones making the case for Mitt Romney not Bill Clinton and Democratic Party doing it for them.

 

The Republican’s Mitt Romney presumed strength is on his record as the founder and operator of Bain Capital. The equity investment entity made so many deals by financing and propping up failing companies; then turn around and sale them for huge profits. Obama argument was that in most cases, Bain Capital made deals at the expense of the workers to the advantage of investors. When you take away this point of view from the table, Obama has less to run on.

 

Many people are becoming concerned and are probing on what is going on between Obama and Clinton including popular Slate magazine: "Recently he has been on the wrong end of at least three different statements he has had to clarify--defending Bain Capital, testifying to Mitt Romney's "sterling" business career, suggesting the country was still in a recession, and suggesting he favored, extending the Bush-era tax cuts. Clinton is doing such good work for Mitt Romney that he now appears in the Republican nominee's press releases. Even Sarah Palin praised Clinton last night, in an effort to make President Obama look way out of the mainstream."

 

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), chairwoman of the DNC, did not agree with "sterling" attribute to Mitt Romney business record. Speaking in an interview with Piers Morgan on CNN she said, "Certainly, everyone is titled to their opinion, including President Clinton,” but on "sterling" description, she continued "No, I don't agree with President Clinton on that point," Wasserman Schultz said. "In fact, Mitt Romney is basing his entire candidacy on his experience in the private sector and the application we have in government to Mitt Romney's 'sterling' private sector experience is when he was Governor of Massachusetts."

 

But Clinton is not alone in this act; other few influential Democratic Party members are joining the trail and are beginning to sound like they are closet supporters for Republican Party Mitt Romney. A rising African American star in Democratic party, Mr. Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark New Jersey speaking recently on NBC Meet the Press  said that Obama's campaign running a commercial critical of Bain Capital is  "nauseating."

 

"Nauseating?"  What a wrong choice of word? Cory Booker was supposedly a surrogate for President Obama campaign team and should have known better. If he feels that way, then the house of Democratic Party is in trouble. Even the former elected Tennessee politician Harold Forda, also an African American supported Cory Booker on his pronouncement on Bain Capital.

 

A former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell, who supported the wife of President Clinton, Hillary Clinton for presidency in 2008 did underline President Obama with his latest comment: “I think the president was hurt by being a legislator only" and this he will probably enhanced the message of Miitt Romney election team that Obama lacks the business experience to handle the economy.

 

Are Democrats ready for prime time or do they want to lose the election even before the Election Day?  Or maybe we are all reading too much meaning to a strategic formulation in making. Whatever the case maybe, there must be a perceived resemblance of unity among Democratic Party stalwarts to enable them to win the coming presidential election. Obama re-election team should realize that a much penetrating effort is needed to rally around their constituency, even before making the pitch for the independent voters.

 

Emeka Chiakwelu, Analyst and Principal Policy strategist at Afripol.

Published in Emeka Chiakwelu

Nigeria was not invited to the month of May's G8 Gathering in United States

Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania and Benin presidents were officially invited to the forthcoming G8 Summit later this month in the United States by U.S. President Barack Obama. United States will be hosting the next G8 summit and with the tradition of the event, the host nation can invite other world leaders that have issues that can enhanced the gathering. Nigeria, an oil rich nation with a powerful and recognized influence in Africa has always receive invitation to the august meeting. But this time around invitation card was not extended to her.

 

According to Voice of America: " White House spokesman Jay Carney says Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, Ghana's President John Mills, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete and Benin President Yayi Boni, who is the current chairman of the African Union, will attend the summit for a discussion of food security on May 19 at the U.S. president's mountain retreat – Camp David in Maryland.”

 

There is no African nation that is a member of the esteemed G8 Group that includes the United States, Canada, Japan, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Russia. The G8 nations are characterized with developed and industrialized economies, open societies and intimidating Gross Domestic Products. The G8 are member nations of the world's largest economies but having one of the largest economies are not only the criteria for membership for China and Brazil with large economies by any standard have not made it to the well respected group.

 

G8 leadersG8 leaders pic:White House


Voice of America, further reported, "The Group of Eight holds a summit each year of the leaders of eight of the world's largest economies – the United States, Canada, Japan, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Russia. The host of each year's summit frequently invites other leaders for an expanded discussion of specific issues. Last month, the United States announced it is providing nearly $200 million in additional humanitarian aid to the Horn of Africa, where a lack of rain is again threatening food supplies.  Last year, the Horn suffered through a severe drought that triggered famine conditions in parts of southern Somalia. Thousands of Somalis died and tens of thousands more fled to camps in Mogadishu or refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya, in search of food and water. The United States says it has provided more than $1.1 billion in humanitarian aid to the Horn since the crisis began in 2011."

 

Nigeria has enjoyed the privileged of being invited to G8 meeting until this time despite not even being a member nation of G20. South Africa is the only African nation that has both memberships in G20 and BRICS nations.

 

Published in Emeka Chiakwelu

Mitt Romney is in the midst of a bruising, costly campaign to oust Barack Obama from the White House, but one expert has long said the Republican challenger's efforts are for naught: the president's re-election is a sure thing.

"Even if I am being conservative, I don't see how Obama can lose," historian and American University professor Allan Lichtman told US News & World Report.

That was last August, and he stands by his prediction today.

Lichtman is no ordinary soothsayer; he and his pattern-recognition model have been right 100% of the time since he created The Keys to the White House in the early 1980s.

His system, based on 13 conditions that favour re-election of the incumbent party, has also retroactively called every presidential election since 1860.

That's 37 in a row, including advance calls on every election since 1984.

As for 2012, "I don't think [Romney] can upset the apple cart," Lichtman said, as his system gyrates around a simple truth: "presidential elections are essentially referenda on the performance of the party holding the White House."

In other words, "there is little or nothing the challenging party can do to change election outcomes."

 

Assessing strengths


The 13 keys assess the strength of the incumbent party, the presidency's perceived achievements and failures on issues such as the economy and foreign affairs, and charisma of the incumbent and the challenger.

Obama currently holds 10 keys. He'd have to lose three more to lose the election, but Lichtman says such a collapse this late in the game would be unprecedented.

The professor has fended off criticism, notably by Nate Silver of the New York Times, who wrote in the FiveThirtyEight blog last year that many of the keys are subjective.

President Obama and Mitt Romney (Credit: AP Photo)

Lichtman argued that "the world is subjective, and can't be reduced to these equations as we know."

He's stirred controversy by saying for example that Republican John McCain's status as a war hero was not enough to turn the challenger charisma key in 2008.

This year he scores some keys controversially in favour of Obama, such as the president effecting "major changes in national policy," a nod to his health care reform, even though the law is unpopular.

Silver and experts like University of Chicago professor John Brehm say Lichtman engages in data dredging, mining details of past elections in order to establish a winning set of criteria.

Margin of victory

Brehm points to Lichtman's deficiencies in forecasting the margin of victory, including in some elections that were "squeakers in reality but ... the model predicted them to be runaways," such as John F Kennedy's razor-thin 1960 defeat of Richard Nixon.

Lichtman said he has not heard from the Romney campaign.

But he has over the years fielded calls from Democratic challengers, including one from an advisor to a man Lichtman had never heard of in 1991: Arkansas governor Bill Clinton.

"I shared the copy [of 'The Keys'] with governor Clinton and he loved it," Kay Goss, who was senior assistant to Clinton at the time, said.

In the aftermath of the Gulf War George W Bush had some of the highest approval ratings in history, and Democrats were avoiding running against him in 1992.

Lichtman saw it differently, and wrote that based on the keys, Bush could be beaten.

"I can't speak to the exact impact it had on his decision-making process," Goss said, but the book was "quite helpful to me and to many others supporting governor Clinton's successful quest for the presidency."

Tobe Berkovitz, an advertising professor at Boston University and long-time political consultant, says the system provokes collegial envy and criticism.

Popular vote

"It's a brilliant work of marketing. But, he's been accurate," Berkovitz conceded -- though he stressed Lichtman's model predicts the popular vote, not the electoral college, which allowed him to keep his perfect record in 2000 when he picked Al Gore.

Gore won the popular vote, but Bush won the White House.

"Overall, more power to him," said Berkovitz. "But am I going to bet the farm on his prediction? No."

Lichtman says there is still a path to victory for Romney -- albeit a negative one.

"The economy could take a catastrophic dive into recession, there could be some terrible disaster abroad, and some presidential scandal. Those three things would do [Obama] in," he said.

As for 2016, some keys are already in the Republicans' favour, especially if Obama wins re-election and there's a Democratic nominations battle four years from now.

"Run," Lichtman tells Republicans, "because it's more likely to be a better Republican year than now." -- Sapa-AFP

Source: CBSNews.com

At the annual American-Israeli conference in Washington, DC, President Obama promised the crowd that the United States would stand by Israel, but he warned against a rush to war with Iran.

 

The day before his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Obama attempted to assure the pro-Israel audience that the United States will not sit idly by and watch Iran build a nuclear weapon.

 

“I have said that when it comes to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, I will take no options off the table, and I mean what I say,” the President said.

 

The President had a similar message for Iran: “Iran’s leaders should understand that I do not have a policy of containment; I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

 

Prime Minister of IsrealTHE HONORABLE BENJAMIN NETANYAHU  Picture credit United with Israel

 

But, the president urged more diplomacy, first, and to tame down any talk of military strikes against Iran.

 

“I only use force when the time and circumstances demand it,” he said. “Already, there is too much loose talk of war.”

 

The president urged continued use of sanctions, travel restrictions and efforts to choke off the Iranian regime, but he said that the United States is willing to take military action. "Of course, so long as Iran fails to meet its obligations, this problem remains unsolved. The effective implementation of our policy is not enough - we must accomplish our objective," the president said.

 

READING CONTINUES: CBSNews.com

 

 

 

 

Operation "Let's Stay Together"

Mr. Barack Obama, the president and commander-in-chief did something that may be a clue on how his campaign will be conducted in the forthcoming presidential election. While in New York at the famous Apollo Theater he made the spur-of-the-moment rendition of Rev. Al Green classic song “Let’s Stay Together” and the crowd went ecstatic, later the sales of the classic escalated. Right there he has gotten himself a campaign strategy - Operation "Let's Stay Together." A winning strategy of bringing all people together, working together for a common goal of fixing the economy and producing 21st century jobs.

 

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it," is President Obama pathway to his reelection victory and he's to bring back his 2008 election campaign style and sensibility. Observing President Obama strategy for victory can best be summarized with the Rev. Al Green classic “Let’s Stay Together.”  As President Obama broke into a line of Rev. Al Green classic song “Let’s Stay Together,”  he brought the house down and that was on every lip in the country. People are coming together and talking about the president and the future with smile and confidence. The economic climate of the country is gradually changing for the best and unemployment is slowly but steadily coming out from the hole.

 

 

For the first time in several years the January job report shows that President Obama and his administration are heading in the right direction. The payroll jobs added into the economy was 243,000 while the unemployment fell to 8.3 percent. This positive and solid economic growth is the key to his re-election.

 

 

Confidence building statistics are trickling down from US labor Department; fewer people are receiving and filing for unemployment checks. The American productivity and consumer confidence are bumping higher, inflation is under control and Americans are becoming optimistic even bullish on the economy. It is beginning to look like the good time is coming back again. But let us not get so fast, a recession in Europe or China may dampen American rising economy.

 

That is why it is important for the problem of Greece to be skillfully managed before it does more damage to the European economy that is already weaken by runaway debt. German and French leaders are doing a good job in working with President Obama to make sure that Europe is not totally fallen apart. The success of the going deficit treaty talks in European Union can be a reassurance to the global market and bond holders of European debt. A global double dip recession particularly in Europe will be a disaster to United States and that will not be good news for Obama's reelection.

 

Back to Obama's reelection, the emerging operation "Let's Stay Together” is the endeavor to bring back all the voters especially Democrats and Independent together in the fold once again, as President Obama did in 2008. Just go and review his State of the Union address, his big smile, wits and charisma are all back again. Everything was coming into place, David Axelrod is charge of the campaign and the former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs is back on the Obama payroll as a 'roving surrogate and strategic consultant' for the reelection campaign.

 

The first task of the campaign is to get people to start believing again and to believe against all odds. One great thing going for President Obama is the level of trust American people has for him in spite of the economic problems. They know that he is working hard day and night to improve the economy. Another thing is that they know he did not cause the problem, they maybe little impatience but they know that he cares for all Americans. When he became president the economy was losing jobs and there was hardly any GDP growth but now the affirmative changes are becoming apparent.

Obama and Al Green Getty Images

President Obama has done so much to fix the economy, although the economic problems persisted but the downturn have ceased. When we reflect on his accomplishments, he has stood up for the American people and turned the economy around with affirmative policies. The current economic outlook, growth and jobs maybe slow but it is steady. When he came into his presidency the economy was losing thousands of jobs but since his presidency millions of jobs have been added to the private sector, auto industry was bailed out and it is registering big profit, health care for all was passed and Iraq war has been successfully ended. His foreign policy can be describe in one word - impeccable and he reminded us in State of the Union address that Osama bin laden is no longer here, he managed Arab spring skillfully and has given Iran the most restrictive sanction ever.

 

Rasmussen recent polling reported by Forbes stated that "Obama beats former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney by four points and Newt Gingrich by 10 points, firming a comment made by former senator Bob Dole this week that if Gingrich is chosen to be the party’s presidential candidate then an Obama re-election is assured. Obama also beats Texas congressman Ron Paul by 10 points and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum by 8 points, according to Rasmussen. Obama beats Gingrich, Santorum and Paul in at least six polls taken during the Primary season, including those conducted by conservative Fox News. Only Romney comes marginally close to beating Obama in two polls conducted early this month by CNN/Opinion Research and ABC News/Washington Post. Both have Romney beating the president by no more than two points."

 

Obama's people can see the Rasmussen polls as encouraging despite the state of the economy and without a Republican presidential nominee that has not been visited with barrage of adverts and criticism. President Obama should also make sure that he did not invite extra burden by self inflicting which can be avoided. For example he did not need to isolate and alienate religious voters with his healthcare policy on contraceptives. If President Obama can keep and sustain the strategy of “Let's Stay Together," comes January 2013 he will be sitting in the oval office.

 

Emeka Chiakwelu is the Principal Policy Strategist at Afripol Organization. Africa Political and Economic Strategic Center (Afripol) is foremost a public policy center whose fundamental objective is to broaden the parameters of public policy debates in Africa. To advocate, promote and encourage free enterprise, democracy, sustainable green environment, human rights, conflict resolutions, transparency and probity in Africa. http://afripol.org.   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


 

 

Published in Archive

 

Obama's singing of 'Let's Stay Together' at Apollo Theater last week upped sales of iconic 1972 hit.

 

Sure, clean energy, the return of manufacturing, a boost in education spending and saving the domestic car industry are awesome ways to revive the American economy. But another tactic President Obama might consider is more singing.

 

Because a week after the falsetto singer-in-chief unleashed his version of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" at an Apollo Theater fundraiser, sales of the good Rev.'s most iconic hit have taken off.

President Barack Obama at the Apollo Theater on ThursdayPresident Obama singingat the Apollo Theater Shahar Azran/WireImage

 

According to Billboard magazine, the viral video of the president singing the first line of the #1 hit from 1972 boosted sales of the song by 490 percent. In fact, the tune had its best week since SoundScan began tracking digital sales in 2003, with 16,000 downloads. The YouTube video of the impromptu recital has been viewed more than 4 million times.

 

Published in Archive
5
Page 5 of 6