A new report by the U.S. Conference of Mayors found that most metro areas will have high unemployment for years to come. Some findings:
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, said:
It’s time for Congress to get on with the serious business of legislating short and long-term solutions to our jobs crisis…. We need to stand for a new world order in federal spending. It’s time to bring our investments back home. We can’t be building roads and bridges in Baghdad and Kandahar, and not Baltimore and Kansas City. Not when we spend $2.1 million on defense every single minute. Not after nearly $1.2 trillion spent and over 6,000 lives lost in Iraq and Afghanistan.
From Rolling Stone to a rolling stone in less than 48 hours.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s dissing of President Barack Obama and his national security team has led to his dismissal by the Commander-in-Chief:
Today I accepted General Stanley McChrystal’s resignation as commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. I did so with considerable regret, but also with certainty that it is the right thing for our mission in Afghanistan, for our military, and for our country.
But war is bigger than any one man or woman, whether a private, a general, or a president. And as difficult as it is to lose General McChrystal, I believe that it is the right decision for our national security.
The conduct represented in the recently published article does not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general. It undermines the civilian control of the military that is at the core of our democratic system. And it erodes the trust that’s necessary for our team to work together to achieve our objectives in Afghanistan.
It is also true that our democracy depends upon institutions that are stronger than individuals. That includes strict adherence to the military chain of command, and respect for civilian control over that chain of command. And that’s why, as Commander-in-Chief, I believe this decision is necessary to hold ourselves accountable to standards that are at the core of our democracy.
Obama replaced McChrystal with Gen. David Petraeus.
McChrystal, who “used to laugh about,” is now on his own like a rolling stone.
This year alone, 139 Americans have died in Afghanistan.
Rep. John Conyers Jr. recently formed the Out of Afghanistan Caucus, whose members include Reps. Barbara Lee, Jim Moran and Maxine Waters. Their goal: The swift redeployment of the U.S. military.
During the White House press conference, Helen Thomas asked President Barack Obama: When are you going to get out of Afghanistan? Why are we continuing to kill and die there?
Over 5,400 young men and women have died in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This Memorial Day, let’s honor their sacrifice by saying “Enough.”
On the eve of President Obama’s address at the United States Military Academy at West Point, a Gallup poll found that 55 percent of Americans disapprove of his handling of the war in Afghanistan.
Obama’s “way forward in Afghanistan and Pakistan” likely will not change any minds:
As Commander-in-Chief, I have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan. After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home. These are the resources that we need to seize the initiative, while building the Afghan capacity that can allow for a responsible transition of our forces out of Afghanistan.
In setting a timetable for withdrawal, Obama telegraphed his punch. The Taliban and al Qaeda will hide out in their caves and wait for our troops to hit the "exit ramp."
The fact sheet that the White House released subsequent to Obama’s speech makes it clear that “building the Afghan capacity” means nation-building:
We will maintain this increased force level for the next 18 months. During this time, we will regularly measure our progress. And beginning in July 2011, we will transfer lead security responsibility to Afghans and start to transition our combat forces out of Afghanistan. As Afghans take on responsibility for their security, we will continue to advise and assist Afghanistan’s Security Forces, and maintain a partnership on behalf of their security so that they can sustain this effort. Afghans are tired of war and long for peace, justice, and economic security. We intend to help them achieve these goals and end this war and the threat of reoccupation by the foreign fighters associated with al Qaeda.
Mr. President, Americans are tired of war and long for economic security.
I’ve also indicated that after eight years -- some of those years in which we did not have, I think, either the resources or the strategy to get the job done -- it is my intention to finish the job. And I feel very confident that when the American people hear a clear rationale for what we’re doing there and how we intend to achieve our goals that they will be supportive.
Obama reportedly will send an additional 34,000 troops in order to bring them all home. Hmm. Sounds like the Vietnam War strategy to “destroy the village in order to save it.”
Washington Post columnist Colbert I. King recently wrote:
And that gets us to a fear that is growing among some of the president's most ardent supporters: that Barack Obama, the fresh, think-outside-the-box leader brimming with energy and new ideas, has entered the White House and gone native.
Suspicion is spreading that Obama has lost some of the character that made him special; that he has taken on the ways of this town, thinking in conventional terms dictated by a brain trust and self-serving, entrenched Washington interests that make this city go ‘round.
That development, if true, would be as disastrous to the Obama presidency as a military miscalculation.
Count me among the 52 percent of Americans who oppose the Afghanistan war. The only viable “exit ramp” is to bring the troops home. Now.