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Hello

The mishmash to follow.

Actually i had this plan to mumble about the topic of whether "making sure that Palin and the Republicans stay out of power is good enough reason to vote FOR Democrats in general and Barack Obama in particular". But while i think that preventing a racist-hateful-ignorant-misanthropic-stuck-in-the-19th-century party from regaining power - is more than good enough reason to run, not walk, to vote - i decided not to write anything that creates any kind of linkage between the nothingness that is Sarah Palin and the extraordinary that is Barack Obama. She is a butthead, he is a damn good president, who in my opinion on his way to greatness.

Anyone remember where we've been 15 months ago - easily the worst situation since FDR days - and see where we are now in every area, domestically and internationally, knows that this man took a ship on the verge of hitting the iceberg, and stirred it away. And on the way, he materialized some of the biggest dreams of the Democratic party for decades.

So no, i refuse to elevate this woman to a level of being compared to Barack Obama in any way, form or shape. For me, this is not about keeping her away, this is about keeping him where he is.
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First, some Rachel Maddow awesomeness from last night. Change, big change:
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Add Mexico too:
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Deal reached on Mexican nuclear fuel issue

Washington (CNN) -- An agreement involving the United States, Canada and Mexico will help convert fuel at Mexico's nuclear research reactor to a lower grade of uranium unsuitable for nuclear weapons, the White House said Tuesday.

In a statement at the Nuclear Security Summit convened by President Obama, the White House said the highly enriched uranium fuel at the reactor would be converted to low enriched uranium, which would eliminate all highly enriched uranium in Mexico.
The International Atomic Energy Agency will oversee the project, according to the statement.

In the statement, Mexican President Felipe Calderon said the agreement contributes to reducing the risk of nuclear materials such as highly enriched uranium being sold illegally and possibly ending up in the hands of terrorists.

The agreement follows announcements Monday by Ukraine saying it would get rid of its highly enriched uranium and Canada saying it will send highly enriched uranium from an Ontario power plant to the United States to be converted into another form.

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Oh, one more deal between Medvedev and The Thinker:
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U.S., Russia reach deal on plutonium

Washington (CNN) -- The United States and Russia signed an update to a 2000 agreement Tuesday intended to eliminate weapons-grade plutonium from their military programs.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov signed the new protocol amending the earlier agreement at the Nuclear Security Summit involving 47 countries.

Clinton said the agreement commits each country to "irreversibly and transparently" dispose of at least 34 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium. She said the total amount of material involved is enough for 17,000 nuclear weapons.
Both Clinton and Lavrov said the agreement prevents any future military use of the plutonium.

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A very interesting New Yorker article about the significance of the stimulus spending timing and the coming election:
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Democrats do have an ace in the hole when it comes to keeping the economy moving: last year’s stimulus bill was back loaded, which means that close to five hundred billion dollars in stimulus money is still to be spent.

That backloading of the bill was good economics: with the Federal Reserve doing less to pump up the economy, an extra half-trillion dollars in fiscal stimulus will help pick up the slack. It was also good politics, since much of that money will be flooding into the economy during the key second and third quarters. Republicans in Congress would presumably block any Democratic attempt to pass another major stimulus, both for ideological reasons and because they have no political incentive to see the economy improve...
...It didn’t guarantee that the economy would be healthy by November, though. So it’s still possible that we may see a replay of the 1982-84 election cycle, when Republicans lost twenty-six seats in the midterm elections, thanks to a weak economy, but Ronald Reagan won reëlection in a landslide two years later. This time around, the recovery could come too late to save Democrats in November but still be in time to set Barack Obama up well for reëlection in 2012. The economy’s recent signs of life, coupled with all the stimulus money, give the Democrats a better chance of avoiding that fate. But economies aren’t machines. The Democrats will have to spend the next seven months much the way voters will: waiting and hoping that, at long last, things are finally back on track.

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AP analysis: Economic pain eases in hard-hit areas

WASHINGTON – Economic stress declined in the nation's most troubled areas in February as unemployment stabilized and the pace of foreclosures eased, according to The Associated Press' monthly analysis of conditions in more than 3,100 U.S. counties.

After peaking in January, economic stress dipped in February in half the states and half the 3,141 counties.

"We are not out of the woods yet, and there are still a lot of things that could go wrong, but things are improving," said David Wyss, chief economist at Standard & Poor's in New York...

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You want optimism? How about this Robert Shrum piece already comparing president Obama to Ronald Reagen, in terms of transformative presidency (you should read it all :)

With his 2012 election victory, Barack Obama has secured a progressive hegemony in American politics reminiscent of the conservative one engendered by Ronald Reagan a generation ago. Both men arrived at their second term landslides following a remarkably similar path...

...During the 2008 campaign, Obama was assailed for saying, honestly and accurately, that "Ronald Reagan changed America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path." Obama wasn’t endorsing Reagan’s policies, but acknowledging the transformative impact of his leadership. Once in the Oval Office, Obama was Reaganesque in his reach, just as Reagan had been Rooseveltian in his...

...Reagan’s landslide entrenched an era that lasted for more than a quarter-century. He had done big things, disdained the polls, weathered the political storms—and come through to a triumph that brought conservatives far more than his second term. From the other side of the spectrum, Obama has now finished a similar journey, ending the Reagan Era and forging one of the periodic realignments that redefine our politics.

Reagan might not have liked the outcome, but I believe he would have understood it—and perhaps even have admired Ronald Wilson Obama’s mastery in setting America on "a fundamentally different path."

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Michelle Obama and Jill Biden makes surprise visit to Haiti

MEXICO CITY -- First lady Michelle Obama made a surprise stop in Haiti this morning to see the relief efforts following the catastrophic earthquake that hit the impoverished island Jan. 12.

She was expected to spend part of the day in Haiti and speak to the press before her departure to Mexico City to begin a long-planned, three-day visit, an aide said.

Traveling with Jill Biden, the vice president's wife, Obama took a helicopter tour of Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital where more than a million people are homeless, many living underneath tents and tarps...

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Finally, here's the president further weakening America by showing all sorts of respect to foreign leaders (some of them not even white! Or Christians!!) yesterday and today, as he try to rally the world behind the cause of a future free of nuclear weapon. OMG! He is just a community organizer!!!

All photos by AP. Please don't hot-link.*
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German chancellor, Angela Merkel:
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South Korean President Lee Myung-bak
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Brazilian President Inacio Lula da Silva:
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Robert Kupiecki, Poland's Ambassador to the U.S., and a moment of silence before the first session this morning:
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India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh:
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Russian's president, Dimitry Medvedev:
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Philippines President Gloria Macapagal:
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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan:
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President of Finland Tarja Halonen:
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President Barack Obama listens to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during a briefing with advisors before a bilateral meeting with President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, at Blair House in Washington, D.C., April 11, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
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President Barack Obama arrives for the Nuclear Security Summit at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., April 12, 2010. (Official White House Photo by )
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President Barack Obama meets with, from left, National Security Advisor Gen. James Jones, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, and Deputy National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, during the Nuclear Security Summit at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., April 12, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
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President Barack Obama listens during a briefing with Senior Director for Asian Affairs Jeffrey Bader, left, and National Security Advisor Gen. James Jones, during the Nuclear Security Summit at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., April 12, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Barack Obama talks with Prime Minister Mohammed Najib Abdul Razak of Malaysia, following a bilateral meeting at the Nuclear Security Summit at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., April 12, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Barack Obama is briefed before the start of an expanded bilateral meeting with President Serzh Sargsyan of Armenia, during the Nuclear Security Summit at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., April 12, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
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Originally posted to blackwaterdog on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 02:25 PM PDT.

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