The Obama administration is wasting no time in showing support for the new government forming in Ukraine. The State Department has announced that Deputy Secretary of State William Burns will visit Kiev, Ukraine on a February 25 to 26 trip that will include a stop in Istanbul, Turkey, as well. Burns plans to meet with acting President Turchynov in addition to various civic, business and political representatives. The portion of the press release relating to Ukraine reads as follows:
In Kyiv, [Burns] will consult with key Ukrainian leaders, the business community, and civil society on U.S. support for Ukraine’s efforts to secure a stable, democratic, inclusive, prosperous future. He will also honor the memory of the victims of the tragic events of last week. He will meet with a range of political, business, and civil society representatives, including Acting President Turchynov, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, and the deputies of the Verkhovna Rada, and will urge the new government to take all steps necessary for free and fair presidential elections in May. He will urge the rapid formation of a national unity government that represents the wide array of stakeholders in Ukraine’s domestic political discourse, and encourage immediate steps to undertake the critical reforms necessary to restore Ukraine’s political and economic health. The Deputy Secretary will be accompanied by representatives of the Department of the Treasury and the National Economic Council, who will work in concert with partners such as the EU and the IMF to discuss needed financial support while a new government implements the difficult steps necessary to reform the economy. The Deputy Secretary will encourage all Ukrainians to continue their efforts to write a new chapter in their history that leads to a Ukraine that is democratic, sovereign, prosperous, and free to choose its own future.
Russian prime minister Dmitri Medvedev has reportedly referred to the changes underway in Ukraine as an “armed mutiny.”
Women Speak for Themselves, a grassroots organization of more than 40,000 women for religious freedom, gathered today at Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C. to protest enforcement of the Health and Human Services mandate, which requiresemployers (including some religious institutions) to cover contraceptives for employees. The mandate went into effect for for-profit organizations a year ago today.
The spirited debate over suspension of aid to Egypt has given rise to a good argument over how to encourage progress in Egypt toward stable, responsible, and democratic government. We know what we would, as Americans, like ideally to see there: respect for civil liberties such as freedom of speech and press, an independent judiciary, religious freedom, free elections, and so on. And we would like to see an end to violence, whether by the state or by political and religious factions. We would like to see a system based on law, rather than on mob action or military fiat.
They had me at “street theater.” Last week at the GOP convention, the AFL-CIO sponsored a “Mitt Romney’s America” protest. It wasn’t just an ordinary march, though. It was billed as a “parade.” In addition to consciousness raising and “making their voices heard,” the union press release promised there would be “street theater.”
During the first two months of the nationwide Occupy protests, the movement that is demanding more out of the wealthiest Americans cost local taxpayers at least $13 million in police overtime and other municipal services, according to a survey by The Associated Press.
In a graphic video posted on CBS's website, an Occupy Wall Street protester threatens violence: “No more talking. They’ve got guns, we’ve got bottles. They’ve got bricks, we’ve got rocks…in a few days you’re going to see what a Molotov cocktail can do to Macy’s.”
Earlier this week, a group of Harvard undergraduates aligned with Occupy Wall Street protesters made a statement yesterday by staging a “walkout” of an introductory economics course taught by conservative professor Greg Mankiw. Mankiw, who chaired the Council of Economic Advisers for President George W. Bush, says in a phone interview that about 5 to 10 percent of the 700-person lecture class (Harvard’s largest) walked out “very politely” just after noon on Wednesday.
A new Emergency Committee for Israel ad asks Democratic leaders who have embraced Occupy Wall Street to condemn the anti-Semitism elements of the protest. "Why are our leaders turning a blind eye to anti-Semitic, anti-Israel attacks?" the ad asks. "Tell president Obama and Leader Pelosi to stand up to the mob. Hate is not an American value."
“What do we want?” “Jobs!” “When do we want them?” “Now!”
The couple hundred participants at Wednesday’s Rebuild the Dream rally on the southwest lawn of the U.S. Capitol raise their fists defiantly as they shout. Some hold blue, pre-made signs bearing the phrase, “Jobs, Not Cuts,” and the letter “A,” the logo for Rebuild the Dream, the organization led by former Obama administration green jobs czar Van Jones.