Republican presidential candidates will showcase their own ideas for leading a financial recovery in a CNN debate in New Hampshire tonight at 8 p.m. Given that less than half of Republicans blame Democrats for the weak economy, analysts say, “GOP candidates will have to do more tonight than simply criticize President Obama on economic grounds.”
President Obama is moving aggressively to win back Wall Street donors who donated heavily to his campaign in 2008. Among Obama’s efforts was a meeting with more than two dozen Wall Street executives at the White House earlier this year.
The United Nations said Sunday that May was the deadliest month for Afghan civilians since the agency began tracking their deaths in 2007. “We’re very concerned about this because, historically, civilian harm increases over the summer fighting months, and we’ve only just begun the summer now,” said Georgette Gagnon, who directs the U.N.’s human rights mission in Kabul.
Gareth Porter of IPS casts doubt on U.S. military claims of capturing over 4,000 Taliban. He writes, “More than 80 percent of those called captured Taliban fighters were released within days of having been picked up, because they were found to have been innocent civilians, according to official U.S. military data.”
The Obama administration is launching a new “Campaign to Cut Waste” that includes plans to close or consolidate about 500 federal websites as part of an effort to reduce government overlap. In a video announcing the initiative, Obama joked that the government doesn’t need websites devoted to desert tortoises or a quintet of U.S. Forest Service rangers who play the fiddle.
Tomorrow, President Obama will become the first U.S. president in 50 years to visit Puerto Rico. The last president to do so was John F. Kennedy. The island, whose future status remains in limbo, is “crippled by a soaring murder rate, mass exodus and 16.2 percent unemployment.”
And finally: After CNN blocked former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson (R) from participating in tonight’s debate, Fox News host John Stossel decided to throw Johnson a bone and invited him to debate “President Obama” — in the form of Obama impersonator Reggie Brown. In a “SNL”-worthy seven-minute segment, Brown recited “real Obama quotes” for Johnson to counter in front of “a small studio audience” that “was there to clap for Johnson and boo fake POTUS.”