Obama Vs. Cheney on National Security, Plus the Battle Against Closing Guantánamo Bay

Bloggers on Obama, Cheney, Guantánamo Bay prisoners, Colin Powell, the economy, and Louis XVI.

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Our daily look at stories and topics that are lighting up the Internets:

Obama Vs. Cheney

Everybody's talking about it...and it hasn't even happened. Well, maybe not everybody, but Michael Scherer writes a great post explaining why tomorrow's Obama versus Cheney rhetorical boxing match is soon to dominate the headlines. He writes: "There is a showdown scheduled tomorrow—Obama and Cheney both giving separate speeches on national security. All the narrative elements are there to get America to pay attention, a top-billed clash, a battle, a contest of generations, of ideologies, of facts. This is the story line you will likely hear for the next 36 hours on cable and on the web." Which is not to say that tomorrow's clash isn't a distraction. Greg Sargent notes how the Democrats are attacking Cheney, without bringing up any of his arguments. Maybe the Democrats should look to Colin Powell, who's pushing back at Cheney for his harsh words. It looks, however, like the Republicans gave up home court advantage on the national security front. Maureen Dowd's own column on Cheney is stirring up debate. Conservative Danielle Pletka is rooting for Cheney: "There's another message in the former Vice President's efforts to rally the nation behind a robust policy: Americans know we are at war... Mr. President, take note: It's not just about the air time. Leadership matters. Especially in times of war." Josh Marshall is already popping popcorn.

Closing Gitmo

Pletka's words push us to the controversy we don't have to wait a day for: (not!) closing the military prison at Guantánamo Bay. Chris Rovzar explains: "Last night Democratic leaders in the Senate said they would strip $80 million from a war spending bill designated to cover the cost of closing the military prison at Guantánamo Bay. Until they hear a comprehensive plan on how to deal with all of the 240-odd prisoners remaining." Conservative Peter Roff gives his take on the quandary this leaves Obama in. Surely a victory for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Johanna Neuman tells us, the GOP has something else to boast about: "Winning a bill creating a commission to commemorate Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday next Feb. 6." Turns out FBI Director Robert Mueller believes, as do many Republicans, that bringing inmates from Guantánamo to the U.S. is risky. Liberal Steve Benen says we need a little more faith in American prison guards. And Joe Klein thinks this is all a cheap trick.

The Road We're On

..."Things are going to get worse before they get worse." This is the economic forecast of blogger Felix Salmon in a great blogpost on this New Republic interview with economist Nouriel Roubini, "known to the general public as Dr. Doom, Prophet of the Financial Apocalypse." Here's what Salmon predicts for the economy: "So over the long term, I'm optimistic that the redeployment of US human resources away from finance and into the real economy is bound to be a good thing. But in the medium term, the process of 'scaling back and turning inwards' around the globe is going to be extremely painful—and is far from over." Henry Blodget wonders if Obama's led us to an economic No Exit. And BusinomicsBlog takes the economy's temperature.


Obama will allow visitors to national parks to carry concealed weapons... The sixth sense you didn't know you needed (hat tip to MN)... Louis XVI's final testament discovered... And an overwhelming majority of fathers feel useless (but only in Britain, it seems).