Showing posts with label Romney. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Romney. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Live Pink Or Dye

I thought that was quite a turn of phrase.
Romney Is President
Mitt Romney is the president of white male America. .... Maybe the group can retreat to a man cave in a Whiter House, with mahogany paneling, brown leather Chesterfields, a moose head over the fireplace, an elevator for the presidential limo, and one of those men’s club signs on the phone that reads: “Telephone Tips: ‘Just Left,’ 25 cents; ‘On His Way,’ 50 cents; ‘Not here,’ $1; ‘Who?’ $5.” .... In its delusional death spiral, the white male patriarchy was so hard core, so redolent of country clubs and Cadillacs, it made little effort not to alienate women. The election had the largest gender gap in the history of the Gallup poll, with Obama winning the vote of single women by 36 percentage points. ..... As W.’s former aide Karen Hughes put it in Politico on Friday, “If another Republican man says anything about rape other than it is a horrific, violent crime, I want to personally cut out his tongue.” .... the more they insulted the president with birther cracks, the more they tried to force chastity belts on women, and the more they made Hispanics, blacks and gays feel like the help, the more these groups burned to prove that, knitted together, they could give the dead-enders of white male domination the boot ..... Romney was still running in an illusory country where husbands told wives how to vote, and the wives who worked had better get home in time to cook dinner. But in the real country, many wives were urging husbands not to vote for a Brylcreemed boss out of a ’50s boardroom whose party was helping to revive a 50-year-old debate over contraception. ........ More women voted than men. Five women were newly elected to the Senate, and the number of women in the House will increase by at least three. New Hampshire will be the first state to send an all-female delegation to Congress. Live Pink or Dye. ........ as Bill Maher said, “all the Republican men who talked about lady parts during the campaign, they all lost.” ..... The voters anointed a lesbian senator, and three new gay congressmen will make a total of five in January. Plus, three states voted to legalize same-sex marriage. ..... wanted to see an openly gay cabinet secretary and an openly gay ambassador to a G-20 nation.
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Friday, November 09, 2012

Bad Advice From Paul Krugman

When the economist Paul Samuelson urged him to propose an income-tax decrease in 1961, Kennedy said there was no point, it would not pass the Congress. “But then you’ve fought the good fight,” Samuelson said. Kennedy’s answer to that was : “That’s vanity, Paul, not politics.”
Paul Krugman is my favorite political columnist. But he is an economist, not a politician, and it shows in this advice he has for the president. Paul Samuelson said “But then you’ve fought the good fight.” Paul Krugman is saying "No deal is better than a bad deal."

Let’s Not Make a Deal
Both the Bush-era tax cuts and the Obama administration’s payroll tax cut are set to expire, even as automatic spending cuts in defense and elsewhere kick in thanks to the deal struck after the 2011 confrontation over the debt ceiling. And the looming combination of tax increases and spending cuts looks easily large enough to push America back into recession...... nothing very bad will happen to the economy if agreement isn’t reached until a few weeks or even a few months into 2013 ..... standing up to hostage-taking is the right thing to do for the health of America’s political system..... No deal is better than a bad deal.
As for going over the cliff, is it like driving off the roof?

"He drove off the roof!"

Greece Drinks the Hemlock
lawmakers narrowly approved a $23 billion package of new austerity measures, including further spending cuts to social services, pensions and public salaries, as well as tax increases demanded by Greece’s European lenders. ...... In return, the troika of official creditors — the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund — promise to consider, but not guarantee, reducing the punitive interest rates they charge Greece for bailout loans and unlocking a $40 billion aid payment Athens needs to avoid a default on its debts. ...... just about everything in this austerity package has been tried before and failed disastrously. These unpalatable steps will do nothing to make Greece’s debts more payable, bring its budgets closer to balance or help make the structural reforms Greece needs to revive its economy. Instead they will almost certainly further shrink an economy that has already shrunk by an astounding 25 percent over the past few years, making fiscal improvement nearly impossible. ...... The austerity approach was supposed to reduce Greece’s ratio of debt to gross domestic product. But that ratio has grown, despite debt write-offs and bailouts, because the economy has contracted so much. The new package is expected to shrink it an additional 9 percent. ...... The only way forward is through more debt write-offs and more low-interest European loans, as well as by opening up restricted job markets. ...... measures that extend and deepen Greece’s severe recession are certain to intensify public opposition to labor market reforms that could increase an unemployment rate already over 25 percent. And imposing new fuel taxes and health care charges will hurt ordinary people and make a tax system that is scandalously unfair even more so
Happy Days, Even With the Cliff
The fiscal cliff doesn’t happen until the end of the year when the Bush tax cuts expire and monster budget cuts automatically kick in. ..... Trump has no conceivable impact on anything. ....... Boehner... “Mister President, this is your moment. We’re ready to be led” ....... sounded as if the only cliff-avoidance Boehner was really interested in was one that raised new revenue through “fewer loopholes, and lower rates for all.” ...... We have already seen that plan. It was proposed by a man who, on Tuesday, lost the state in which he was born, the state in which he was governor, and the three states in which he owns houses. Thanks to a blog by Eric Ostermeier in Smart Politics, I am able to point out that the only candidate for president who lost his home state by a larger margin than Mitt Romney was John Frémont in 1856. And Frémont was coming out of a campaign in which the opposition accused him of being a cannibal. ........ he’s an older white guy, and, therefore, part of the biggest loser demographic of the election, the flip-side of the insurgent Latino vote. ........ John Weaver worried about becoming “a shrinking regional party of middle-aged and older white men.” On Fox News, Bill O’Reilly moaned that “the white establishment is now the minority.” ..... O’Reilly, 63, added that the new majority was composed of people who “want stuff.” As opposed to older white men, all of whom have signed a pledge never to accept veteran benefits, Social Security or Medicare. ....... Cheer up, white men! You seem to be doing O.K. Next year women will have 20 percent of the seats in the U.S. Senate, and we’re celebrating. ..... If all else fails, strap John Boehner to the roof of a car.

How a Race in the Balance Went to Obama
Seven minutes into the first presidential debate, the mood turned from tense to grim inside the room at the University of Denver where Obama staff members were following the encounter. Top aides monitoring focus groups — voters who registered their minute-by-minute reactions with the turn of a dial — watched as enthusiasm for Mitt Romney spiked. “We are getting bombed on Twitter,” announced Stephanie Cutter, a deputy campaign manager, while tracking the early postings by political analysts and journalists whom the Obama campaign viewed as critical in setting debate perceptions...... No one wanted to go to the spin room and speak with reporters. ...... “Boy, the president is off tonight,” said Stuart Stevens, the senior Romney strategist, sounding mystified, according to aides in the room. ...... he would now accept and deploy the prewritten attack lines that he had sniffed at earlier. “If I give up a couple of points of likability and come across as snarky, so be it” .... His antipathy toward Mr. Romney — which advisers described as deeper than what Mr. Obama had felt for John McCain in 2008 — led the incumbent to underestimate his opponent as he began moving to the center before the debate audience of millions of television viewers. ...... The power of this operation stunned Mr. Romney’s aides on election night, as they saw voters they never even knew existed turn out in places like Osceola County, Fla. ..... On Tuesday night, a crestfallen Mr. Romney and his family watched as the television networks showed him losing all but one battleground state. ....... Romney, who had earlier told reporters he had written only a victory speech ...... It was 11:30 p.m., and Romney field teams in Ohio, Virginia and Florida called in, saying the race was too close for the candidate to give up. At least four planes were ready to go, and aides had bags packed for recount battles in narrowly divided states. Bob White, a close Romney friend and adviser, was prepared to tell the waiting crowd that Mr. Romney would not yet concede.... But then, Mr. Romney quietly decided it was over. “It’s not going to happen,” he said......... As Ann Romney cried softly, he headed down to deliver his speech ..... Obama had returned, if not to the candidate that he was in 2008, as a man hungry for four more years to pursue his agenda in the White House ...... Mr. Stevens argued that Mr. Obama’s dislike of Mr. Romney would lead the president to underestimate him. “They think there’s something intellectually inferior there,” he said later. Mr. Romney’s advisers also believed that Mr. Obama had demonized Mr. Romney to such an extent that their candidate would benefit when judged against the caricature....... In August, Mr. Romney began testing out one-liners on friends flying with him on his campaign plane. On issue after issue, Mr. Romney led discussions on how to frame his answers, to move away from the conservative tone of his primary contests in front of the largest audience he would have as a candidate.......... (Mr. Romney’s advisers broke out in laughter when the real Mr. Obama opened with a similar line, and nodded approvingly when a very prepared Mr. Romney countered with a gracious response that even Democrats said put Mr. Obama off balance.) ........ Nothing had been left to chance: Mr. Romney put on full makeup and did his final practice in a room set up to replicate, down to the lighting and temperature, the hall where he would meet Mr. Obama. ....... George W. Bush phoned Mr. Romney, too. ...... incumbent presidents almost invariably lose their first debate. ..... presidents are not used to being challenged, and unlike candidates, are out of practice at verbal jousting. ...... Obama showed no interest in watching the Republican debates. But his aides studied them closely, and concluded that Mr. Romney was a powerful debater, hard to intimidate and fast to throw out assertions that would later prove wrong or exaggerated. At one debate, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas criticized Mr. Romney for having praised Arne Duncan, the education secretary, days earlier. Mr. Romney flatly denied it, leaving Mr. Perry speechless. ....... “I’ll be there on game day,” he said. “I’m a game day player.” ..... came across .. as professorial, arrogant, entitled and detached from the turmoil tearing the nation. ....... appeared to be disdainful not only of his opponent but also of the political process itself. Mr. Obama showed no passion for the job ........ The voter-analysis database back in Chicago noted a precipitous drop in perceptions of Mr. Obama among independent voters, starting that night and lasting for four days, long before the public polls picked it up. Voters who had begun turning to Mr. Obama were newly willing to give Mr. Romney another look. ........ After the debate, Mr. Obama called Mr. Axelrod on his way back to the hotel room. He had read the early reviews on his iPad.... “I guess the consensus is that we didn’t have a very good night,” Mr. Obama told Mr. Axelrod.... “That is the consensus,” Mr. Axelrod said........... Romney soon recognized the scope of his accomplishment. He flew from Denver to Virginia for a rally the next day, and as the motorcade headed toward the event, there was so much traffic that Mr. Romney and his top advisers thought there must have been an accident. In fact, the roads were jammed with people on their way to see him. ........ Obama used his rallies to collect supporters’ telephone numbers and e-mail addresses. ..... the hurricane pushed him off the stage at a crucial time. ..... Colin Powell, a former secretary of state, endorsed Mr. Obama. The ad, Mr. Obama’s aides said, produced a spike of support from independent voters. (Mr. Obama’s aides grabbed the clip from a television interview with Mr. Powell, deciding not to chance asking him for permission). ...... The futility of that effort was apparent outside the sprawling Jeep assembly plant in Toledo, which had just had a $500 million renovation for production of a new line of vehicles, a project requiring 1,100 new workers...... “Everyone here knows someone who works at Jeep”
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Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Biden, Bobby

It will be Joe Biden versus Bobby Jindal.

Six People Who Could Replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State
The Race for 2016 Starts Today

Jindal, Christie tapped to lead GOP governors
Jindal, who serves on the association's executive committee, will chair the group in 2013 under a plan that officials say has broad support from other Republican governors. Christie, the current vice chairman, will take over in 2014. ..... The move gives both up-and-comers prominent leadership roles in the Republican Party and access to a national network of conservative donors, laying the groundwork for possible presidential bids in 2016 .... Jindal will serve as Christie's vice chair after relinquishing the chairmanship in 2014. ..... Christie was chosen to deliver the keynote at the Republican National Convention in August. ..... has had a meteoric rise within the Republican Party. The 41-year-old won re-election last year in a landslide with minimal opposition. ..... Taking a turn as the association's leader has in recent years been a prelude to seeking higher office. Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, both served as chairman before pursuing a presidential bid.
Top 10 Republican presidential contenders for 2016
Top 10 Democratic presidential contenders for 2016
Will Marco Rubio lead the Republicans in 2016? GOP scrambles to find new standard bearer after Romney loses minority voters
Romney lost Hispanics to Barack Obama by 69 points to 29 and blacks by 93 to six. ..... After being portrayed as an extremist on abortion and fertility issues, Romney also lost women voters by 55 to 43 points. ....... Romney lost Florida, Ohio, Virginia and Colorado - his most likely path to a narrow victory - by just over 305,000 votes ..... The fact that Obama was able to increase his support among Hispanics is indicative of the deep unpopularity of the Republican stance of dealing with illegal immigrants. ..... More than two-thirds of voters believed that illegal immigrants should have some kind of 'path to citizenship'. But in the primary, Romney had argued that the millions of illegals should be forced to 'self deport'...... A broader problem for the Republican party is that among voters who wanted a president who 'cares about people like me', Obama won by 81 per cent
Handicapping the 2016 presidential field
we could be looking at a race as wide open as 2008 for both parties. ..... Bobby Jindal: The Louisiana governor seems all-but-certain to make a bid for president in 2016 and he’s got a strong argument in his favor. He’s Indian American (Republicans badly need non-white faces in top positions), he’s compiled a decidedly conservative record as governor of the Bayou State and he’s among the wonkiest members of his party. Jindal’s time on the national stage hasn’t exactly been filled with star turns — his 2009 Republican response was super awkward — but we’ve always been impressed with his ability to move seamlessly between politics and policy, a rare gift in politicians. ...... Joe Biden: Just in case you had ruled out the possibility of Biden running in 2016 — he will be 73 on Election Day 2016 — Biden reminded you of it while voting on Tuesday. Asked whether this was the last time he would cast a ballot for himself, the Vice President smiled mischievously and said “No, I don’t think so.” If the best indicator of wanting to run for president in the future is having run for president in the past, then Biden qualifies since he has run for the top spot in 1988 and 2008. Biden would have the benefit of semi-incumbency going for him and has always had a top-tier team of political professionals who have stuck with him through thick and thin in a political career that began way back in 1972. Biden’s problems? One is named Hillary. The other is named Joe Biden. The Vice President’s tendency to veer off script would be a major issue if he decided to run in four years time.
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Bobby Is Going To Run And Win In 2016

English: Governor Bobby Jindal at the Republic...
English: Governor Bobby Jindal at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
While I was watching Barack Obama's victory speech last night I was jotting down notes for Bobby Jindal. I am an Independent. If he can get me, he can win. And the New Jersey Governor would be a great running mate. But the shrill rhetoric of the hard right is not what will carry the day.

Bobby Jindal is a conservative like I am a progressive. It has been fascinating for me to watch him. This guy truly believes. He is sharp, that I have no doubts about. He is gifted.

A Bobby Jindal in the White House will be an even bigger statement on race relations in America than Barack Obama in the White House. And such an event will help the Republican Party go back to becoming the party of Abraham Lincoln. Bobby's symbolism will help turn that party into one that is not doing voter suppression, but is instead competing for the hearts, minds and votes of Blacks, Hispanics and Asians.

Abortion should be legal but rare, with the emphasis on rare. If Bobby can meet me there, he's got it. Instead of trying to overturn Roe V Wade, you work with progressives to bring forth programs and laws that minimizes the chances of abortion. That means a major expansion in health care for women, nationally and globally.

Bobby's stance on gun control to me is a metaphor. It is about rugged individualism. I too want a small government. The founders of America wanted a small government. Much of the US constitution is about keeping the state out of the face of the individual.

Now off to some of the notes I jotted last night, or rather, early morning.
Conservatism For The 21st Century
  • A bigger statement on race if an Indian gets it.
  • A smaller government brought about by universal gigabit broadband.
  • A universal push for democracy, a muscular activist.
  • Rule of law within nations, rule of law between nations.
  • Ongoing, respectful, civil, fruitful dialogue with Independents and Progressives.
  • Competing for Black, Hispanic, Asian and female hearts, minds, votes and support through gestures and policy.
  • The industries of tomorrow, faster.
  • 5%+ economic growth rates year in, year out.
  • Paying down the debt.
  • Tax cuts that are paid for.
I expect Barack Obama to have brought down the unemployment rate to 5% by the time he is done. That can create conditions for a political pendulum swing. The idea of a smaller government might become palatable at that point.

The strategy that paved a winning path
The choice was made. The onetime campaign of hope and change soon began a sustained advertising assault that cast Romney as a heartless executive, a man who willingly fires people and is disconnected from how average Americans live their lives — an approach reinforced by Romney’s mistakes along the way. ...... Obama’s decision to focus on Romney helped set an angry tone for the multibillion-dollar campaign, the first presidential race since the Citizens United decision changed the financial calculus of U.S. elections. But among the most critical elements of his success was the quiet work his staff accomplished last year, not this one, in reviving and expanding a vast field organization that lay dormant for much of Obama’s presidency. The turnout Tuesday of African Americans, Latinos, women, and young voters in swing states was a testament to its success. ....... In Ohio, Obama’s early decision to bail out the auto industry, and Romney’s opposition to the plan, helped frame the contest in the incumbent’s favor before it even began. ..... In the final stretch, Obama almost squandered his hard-won lead with a bewildering performance in his first debate with Romney. But, for a candidate whose political career has been touched at times by luck, Hurricane Sandy arrived with a week left in the race and disrupted Romney’s effort. ...... campaign spoke early and often with “persuadable” voters, selected for targeted e-mails and doorstep visits through demographic data unavailable last time. ...... “We turned a national election into a school-board race” ....... In January 2011, nearly two years before Obama would face voters, top strategist David Axelrod, campaign manager Jim Messina and other advisers moved from the White House to Chicago to be insulated from what one campaign official described derisively as “Washington’s chattering classes.” ........ In 2011, something unexpected happened: nothing. The predicted onslaught was largely absent, giving the campaign in Chicago the time and resources to set up the organization a full year before the general election. Without having to respond to negative advertising, the campaign spent its time and money on preparation. ....... “One of the great mysteries was why they waited so long,” a third senior Obama campaign official said. “We were like the Brits during World War II, staring at the sky waiting for the bombs to fall. They never came.” ....... spent $126 million in 2011 — more than three times Romney’s total that year. The campaign opened field offices, began an extensive outreach effort in swing states and enriched a voter database with information unavailable in the last election. ....... the Obama campaign advertised heavily on the CBS’s sitcom “2 Broke Girls” ....... The tools allowed campaign officials to determine — on a house by house basis, rather than on a Zip-code-by-Zip-code basis – how people were likely to vote and whether they were likely to vote at all. ........ Voters were given “support” scores and “turnout” scores to tell the campaign’s field offices who to go after and how. Field workers were outfitted with mobile applications to give an instant report on every doorstep chat. ....... When Rick Santorum finally suspended his campaign in April and Romney emerged as the presumptive nominee, he was battered and broke. He had spent most of the roughly $100 million he had raised and would not be able to tap into his general election funds until after the August convention. ........ His political image was in tatters, too. He had turned to the right to secure the nomination, complicating his general election run. He suggested “self-deportation” to remove immigrants in the country illegally, and on Tuesday, Latinos turned out overwhelmingly in favor of the president. ........ Throughout 2011, Romney aides researched each of the roughly 100 deals that Bain Capital made during the candidate’s tenure as chief executive so they could prepare for criticism. When it came in the GOP primaries, Romney easily turned it away, accusing his opponents of attacking success itself. ........ Obama’s attempt to “swift-boat” Romney, the tactic of using a perceived strength against a candidate. The term recalled the 2004 presidential race, when Sen. John F. Kerry’s sterling Vietnam War service record was turned into a liability. ...... With an estimated net worth of between $190 million and $250 million, Romney is one of the richest Americans ever to win a major party’s presidential nomination, and he has never been at ease talking about it. ..... The Republican super PACs, sitting on millions of dollars, also decided not to defend Romney at a time when the campaign could not afford to defend itself. ....... As part of his role, Ryan had wanted to talk about poverty, traveling to inner cities and giving speeches that laid out the Republican vision for individual empowerment. But Romney advisers refused his request to do so ..... After a troubled summer trip to Britain, Poland and Israel, Romney placed foreign policy to the side. ....... The overseas excursion, described by a member of Romney’s national finance committee as “a mistake from beginning to end,” had been followed by an awkward convention. ..... His advisers told him that, if he took back his statement, the neoconservative wing of the party would “take his head off.” ...... Romney speaking derisively about “the 47 percent” of Americans who pay no income taxes ..... “I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives,” he told the guests, who paid $50,000-a-plate to attend. ..... “Among some of the senior members of the campaign, you found people slip into talking about the campaign in the past tense” ...... “It can’t happen if you write off half the nation before you even took office,” he said. ..... as the president left for a resort outside Las Vegas to prepare for the first debate...... For weeks, Obama had resisted the intensive practice that his advisers wanted him to take on. He was the president now, and even those closest to him had a harder time ordering him to do something he didn’t want to do. ...... And he didn’t want to prepare for the debate, one of those political duties, like donor phone calls, that Obama disdained. Once in Nevada, Obama managed to escape “debate camp” for a visit to the Hoover Dam and another to a campaign field office. ...... Trailing in the polls, Romney knew the debate was perhaps his last opportunity to reverse the trajectory of the race. During flights between campaign stops or in his hotel room before bed, he studied. ...... Romney had pushed around Obama, who appeared alternately sleepy, distracted and peevish. And the conservative Republican from the primaries had made a swift turn to the center on a number of issues important to independent voters. ...... To Obama’s advisers, the gains from Romney’s stumbling September vanished in a night. ..... Obama was angry with himself and began studying the tape in preparation for the second debate that was more than a week away. ..... Unlike Obama, Biden had been preparing, off and on, for months. Advisers had put together 100 questions that Biden should expect to get, and during even the smallest windows of free time on Air Force Two, they would quiz the vice president: “So why is the economy better off than it was four years ago?” ...... He drew on “Obamadata,” as the campaign refers to its voter lists, to hold conference calls directly with thousands of voters and volunteers. ...... Then Hurricane Sandy arrived, stalling out the campaigns. It couldn’t have come at a worse time for Romney
China wrestles over democratic reform
When Chinese President Hu Jintao addressed his comrades at the opening of the 17th Communist party congress five years ago, he used the word minzhu – democracy – 69 times. ....... In addition to talking about grassroots democracy, socialist democracy and “intraparty” democracy, Mr Hu explained how the party was building a “rich, strong, democratic, civilised and harmonious modernised socialist country”. ..... a party that is richer, stronger and more modern and has 10m more members than it did five years ago. ...... After three decades of sweeping economic reforms and average annual growth rates near 10 per cent, the party is under more pressure to reform the opaque authoritarian system than at any time since the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. ..... “Today the most important thing is political reform,” says Ren Yi, the grandson of reform-minded former Chinese leader Ren Zhongyi. “All Chinese, including those inside the system, all agree that it’s the next big thing.” ...... China’s annual economic growth rate has slipped from 12 per cent at the start of 2010 to around 7.5 per cent. Perhaps partly as a result, the belief that it must retool its authoritarian political structure has become surprisingly widespread among those who have benefited the most from that system. ....... The Organisation Department, which oversees party personnel issues, this year ordered a study into how Taiwan and South Korea transformed themselves from authoritarian military regimes to flourishing democracies during the 1980s and 1990s. ..... if the party allows a small group of senior officials to vote in a competitive, if severely limited, internal election. ....... This would be a small step toward “intraparty” democracy, a move that many in China see as a possible precursor to much broader political reforms. But it is far from certain that even this tiny, incremental move is on the cards. ...... The concept of open political contests behind closed doors is one that authoritarian neighbours like Vietnam and Myanmar have adopted, to the chagrin of China’s leaders, who have banned public discussion of the politics in those countries. ..... the party has “picked all the low-hanging fruit” over the past three decades. ..... “Now it is time for major political and systemic reform on the tree itself. But the party is not able to take the fundamental step of restraining itself and handing power over to the people.”
Britain to organise armed Syrian rebels into efficient fighting force
the UK will directly deal with the armed opposition in Syria for the first time. ...... has cost as many as 40,000 people lose their lives. .... The first National Security Council meeting after the US presidential election which is likely to be chaired by Prime Minister David Cameron, will be dedicated to the crisis in Syria. ...... he planned to establish an interim government inside the 'liberated' parts of northern Syria. ..... It would seek international recognition, request a fund of "more than a billion dollars", and military support to "defend ourselves from the regime's war planes". ..... "The opposition have been very clear that they want help from the international community."
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