What these women are doing is brave and what they are seeking is right, but the effort belongs to them. I am moved by it and I support them, but I want to underscore the fact that this is not coming from outside of their country. This is the women themselves, seeking to be recognized.Secretary of State Hillary Clinton • Speaking about last week’s protest in Saudi Arabia, where many women took to automobiles to violate one of the country’s sexist laws, which prohibits female drivers. Clinton is clearly stressing the internal origin of the protests, as the claim of foreign interference is one that Saudi Arabia could potentially get a lot of mileage out of. Regardless, she’s voiced her support, and we feel nothing but pleased about it — protests against laws like these just need support, pure and simple. source (via • follow)
Obama wants patience on Libya: In a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron. President Obama sought to erase any doubt that the NATO action against Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi would let up while Gaddafi clings to power through his military. “Gaddafi and his regime need to understand that there will not be a let-up in the pressure that we are applying.” Obama refused to give a timetable for the military action, saying it would be resolved “in a timely fashion,” and stressed the need for “patience.” source
I’d think it’s a terrific idea. I think you’re going to find when it’s all said and done, after all these states that are the laboratories of democracy, get their chance to try their own plans, but those who follow the path that we pursued will find it’s the best path, and we’ll end up with a nation that’s taken a mandate approach.Mitt Romney • Expressing his experience-based belief that health care (and insurance) reform would be helped by an individual mandate, on a 2007 episode of Meet The Press. In other words, one of the quotes Romney is hoping beyond feverish hope not too many Republicans read heading into 2012. The thing is, this does conform with what he’s been insisting, that he supports what he did on health care because it was at the state level (the laboratories of democracy), not the federal level. However, he clearly says here that the mandate would, in fact, be the best plan nationwide. This is a problem — the GOP’s talking points haven’t just been saying that the mandate is bad because it’s federal, they’ve also been saying it’s wrong for the government to force you to buy something. Whether it’s Barack’s federal government, or Mitt’s Massachusetts, that argument ought to stay the same, right? source (via • follow)
» Just get me outta here: Much to the relief of aid agencies and arbiters, the enormous surge of people fleeing Libya by way of the Tunisian border, estimated in recent days at around 150,000, is now getting support from aerial transport, easing the burden on the escape route. Aircraft have been activated from Britain, Egypt, and France, among others. This relieves much concern about a pressurized, very volatile situation the last few days due to the intense crowding being endured by these refugees.
What we see happening in Iran today is a testament to the courage of the Iranian people, and an indictment of the hypocrisy of the Iranian regime – a regime which over the last three weeks has constantly hailed what went on in Egypt.U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton • The American official issued a strong statement of support for the protests currently taking place in Iran. It will be interesting to see what tact the Obama administration takes towards these new protests in light of the criticisms of fence-sitting they absorbed during the Egypt affair, as well as their relative inaction during the protests of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s fradulent election two years ago. The line then was that vocal American support would undermine the Iranian opposition’s appeal to their own people, implying a western interference. But now tasting some revolutionary blood, will the U.S. try to fan the flames against the Iranian ruling authorities? Can’t think of a better time to try, right? source (via • follow)
» New polling from the California Public Policy Institute:A surprising and heartening result, in light of Governor Brown’s rhetoric about tough choices and shared sacrifice. Staring down a state in dire fiscal crisis, Brown has proposed broad, painful spending cuts, as well as a special election to seek voter approval on a package of new taxes and fees. Say what you will about the strategy, but Brown’s candor and honesty about his cuts have been impressive, and it seems voters may reward him with that rarest of the rare: a voter approved tax increase.