19
May
13

The Day in Images: President Obama at Morehouse

Pete Souza: ‘Graduates in the rain cheer POTUS at Morehouse College’

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Full text of speech: as delivered

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Pete Souza: ‘POTUS backstage w CoS Denis McDonough (and painting of Potus) before today’s commencement’

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Students arriving for President Obama’s Morehouse commencement

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ATLANTA — President Obama came to Morehouse College, the alma mater of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., on Sunday to tell graduates, 50 years after Dr. King’s landmark “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, that “laws, hearts and minds have been changed to the point where someone who looks like you can serve as president of the United States.”

Wearing an academic robe in maroon and black, Mr. Obama paid tribute to Morehouse as the place where Dr. King first read the writings of Gandhi and Thoreau, and absorbed the theory of civil disobedience.

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The president tied Dr. King’s journey to his own, speaking in forthright and strikingly personal terms about his struggles as a young man with an absent father, a “heroic single mother,” supportive grandparents and the psychological burdens of being black in America.

“We know that too many young men in our community continue to make bad choices,” Mr. Obama said. “I have to say, growing up, I made quite a few myself. Sometimes I wrote off my own failings as just another example of the world trying to keep a black man down.”

“But one of the things you’ve learned over the last four years is that there’s no longer any room for excuses,” the president told the 500 or so graduates, who greeted him enthusiastically.

“Along with collective responsibilities, we have individual responsibilities,” Mr. Obama added. “There are some things, as black men, we can only do for ourselves.”

Mr. Obama exhorted the graduates to extend a hand to other black men, saying that his success depended less on his Ivy Leagues credentials than on his sense of empathy and obligation he felt as a black man to help his brothers.

“But for the grace of God, I might be in their shoes,” the president said. “I might have been in prison.”

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… arriving with College President John Wilson

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…. with Valerie Jarrett

…. with College President John Wilson and Chairman of the Board of Trustees Robert Davidson

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“What I ask of you today is the same thing I ask of every graduating class I address,” Obama told 500 graduates and an estimated 10,000 onlookers, most of them in ponchos, on the school’s stormy, rain-soaked campus. “Use that power for something larger than yourself.”

While the message may have been unremarkable, the occasion was historic: Obama became the first sitting president to address Morehouse, the alma mater of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose spirit was evoked throughout the speech.

“Many of you know what it’s like to be an outsider, to be marginalized, to feel the sting of discrimination,” Obama said. “That’s an experience that so many other Americans share. Hispanic Americans know that feeling when someone asks where they come from or tells them to go back. Gay and lesbian Americans feel it when a stranger passes judgment on their parenting skills or the love they share. Muslim Americans feel it when they’re stared at with suspicion because of their faith. Any woman who knows the injustice of earning less pay for doing the same work—she sure feels it.”

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President Obama, in a soaring commencement address on work, sacrifice and opportunity, told graduates of Morehouse College today to seize the power of their example as black men graduating from college and use it to improve people’s lives.

Noting the Atlanta school’s mission to cultivate, not just educate, good men, Obama said graduates should not be so eager to join the chase for wealth and material things, but instead should remember where they came from and not “take your degree and get a fancy job and nice house and nice car and never look back.”

“So yes, go get that law degree. But if you do, ask yourself if the only option is to defend the rich and powerful, or if you can also find time to defend the powerless,” Obama declared. “Sure, go get your MBA, or start that business. We need black businesses out there. But ask yourself what broader purpose your business might serve, in putting people to work, or transforming a neighborhood.”

“The most successful CEOs I know didn’t start out intent on making money — rather, they had a vision of how their product or service would change things, and the money followed,” he said.

For those headed to medical school, Obama said “make sure you heal folks in underserved communities who really need it, too.” He asked those headed to law school to think about defending the poor.

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President Obama receives an honorary degree:

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Britney Ferguson arrived early to get a front row seat in the family and friends area. The 20-year-old from Hayward, Calif., came to see her brother, Ian Minerve Jr., graduate from Morehouse with his business degree.  “It’s really, really amazing to be here. I’m so happy for my brother,” said the California State University East Bay student. “This inspires me to keep working hard in school so I can graduate and feel success.”

Ferguson’s father got to campus at 3:30 a.m. to save seats for the rest of the family.  “Seeing Obama makes it worth it sitting here in the rain,” she said.  Her cousin, Sally Seow, from Trinidad, is attending her first American graduation.  “Having Obama here makes it that much more special,” she said.  Sean K. Daughtry of Boston, a Morehouse graduate, was in Atlanta to celebrate his 20th class reunion.  “It is a great honor to have our president here and an even greater honor that we are bestowing upon him an honorary degree,” he said. “So we will have a Morehouse man as president.”

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A graduate listens to President Obama speak at Morehouse College


173 Responses to “The Day in Images: President Obama at Morehouse”


  1. 9 vitaminlover
    May 19, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Such a wonderful day for all the young graduates.

  2. 10 GGail
    May 19, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    I can’t believe it!!!!!

    It’s been AGES since I’ve been at the top :-)

  3. 13 anniebella
    May 19, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    What a special day for those people there. It was for me and I wasn’t even there.

  4. May 19, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    This is just so purely GORGEOUS in every way. POTUS looks reflective and handsome and truly engaged with the moment. He’s in a really great spot right there today. And look at how that genius Pete Souza caught that rain!!

    • May 19, 2013 at 8:08 pm

      You know Meta, I’m beginning to think Pete Souza is not of this earth – he can’t be!!!!

      • May 19, 2013 at 8:28 pm

        Inorite? He has patience, a trained eye, compassion and an incredible work ethic. I’ve seen him up close and personal and he is focused like a LASER beam on what he’s doing, relentless in his drive to get a great shot. And I loved him in that National Geo doc where he really opens up about PBO and his work. He seems like a lovely man, even if he really isn’t of this earth!!

        • May 19, 2013 at 8:35 pm

          Oh wow Meta, I’d love to see him work close up, what a thrill!

          I still smile at this video, I finally accepted he’s human after all! :-)

          • May 19, 2013 at 8:38 pm

            Yeah! He blew his sd card!! But what’s cool is you can tell that he truly loves PBO making fun of him. Lots of affection there. Oh, the stories these two could tell………someday?

          • 20 MightyPamela
            May 19, 2013 at 8:46 pm

            Bless his heart! Talk about someone being fully immersed in what he is going… He makes it all look like a dance! And yes, I believe there will be stories a-plenty for us to read later on…. Many bedtime stories to bring us sweet dreams! :)

            • May 19, 2013 at 8:48 pm

              It’s just the cutest clip Pamela, you can tell how mortified he is to have made a ‘mistake’ – oh that my mistakes were so small :???:

              Loved how PBO had fun with him, it was like: “OMG! Souza made a mistake :shock:

              • 22 MightyPamela
                May 19, 2013 at 8:51 pm

                I know, it was just so kind and supportive of PBO to tease him ever so gently.. I made a typo in my last sentence and I was not under any pressure at all! Have made 3 in this one so far, but am catching them, I think!

            • 24 MightyPamela
              May 19, 2013 at 8:48 pm

              *doing

            • May 19, 2013 at 8:55 pm

              I dearly hope that we will be able to read about their personal history during this incredible era. Imagine being inside the head and heart of this inner circle. OMG.

              • 26 HZ
                May 19, 2013 at 9:34 pm

                Meta, that is a prayer of ‘gracious favor’ that I have asked to be granted in my life. I pray that I will be granted many years with good hearing and good eyes to read and hear POB and his close and dear friends and advisors write about their journey with this great President. My dreams will come true.HZ

            • May 19, 2013 at 9:29 pm

              @SharylAttkisson’s twitter bio:

              Investigative Journalist. Dreaming of a day when public officials answer questions as if they know they work for the public.

              https://twitter.com/SharylAttkisson

  5. May 19, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    Great post. Thanks for this wonderful compilation of pictures LP. This is truly a man for the times. Just watched the speech for the 2nd time. Deep!

  6. May 19, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    GE Chips, TOD….Congrats on first GGail, Viatimlover nipping at your heels.

  7. May 19, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    This is so cool….”is giving those who loved him reason to smile”

  8. May 19, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Agree Chips, Pete Souza is not of this earth methinks :) He is a special photographer placed on this earth to capture a special Presidency.

  9. May 19, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    some wonderful pics – thank you so much

  10. May 19, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    GOP Rebranding on full display…..

  11. May 19, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    A must read from one of the country’s most prominent media critics…..

    • 49 Nena20409
      May 19, 2013 at 9:04 pm

      I am sorry LP but with these righties, I have my antenna up. Nothing they do is ever by accident. They set out to dismantle the Media and build their own media empire. It took 40 yrs, but they did it and now they Scream, Shout and distort to spread their kind of propaganda……Case in point, Jonathan Karl had an accomplice…..by this I should say, a cohort of some kind…..a CBS rightie by the name sharyl Attkisson. She did the same kind of reporting along with the National Review. As The Reid report stated…..what exactly was Tom Coburn talking about on Thursday, the day before the May 10, 2013…..that Karl spouted his false and wicked distorted lies? These people don’t know how to govern…..but they sure love to use the media to frame their agenda and then drive the narrative and distract We The People from focusing on what are important for the population at large.

      http://www.mediaite.com/online/cbs-news-sharyl-attkisson-also-presented-invented-benghazi-emails-as-authentic/

  12. May 19, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    repost from tail-end of last thread…

    I really like @JamesFallows, a fellow California native.

    He’s the polar opposite of Chris Matthews and they were both part of Jimmy Carter’s speechwriting team (with Henrik Hertzberg).

    So this week will the loathsome MSM continue to shout “3-headed scandal?” Or wll they come to their senses and realize that elections DO have consequences and Americans are either ignoring the MSM or recoiling from their nonsense.

    • 53 CaliCat
      May 19, 2013 at 9:19 pm

      Stupid GOP and stupid Beltway media – when will they ever learn? The charade they put on this past week was an absolute disgrace! I’m not surprised PBO’s numbers are holding strong. Most Americans are fed up with the never ending smear attacks directed at our honorable president. Shame on the GOP, shame on their Washington media hacks and especially, shame on the pathetic Democrats like Patrick Leahy who jumped on board with this nonsense. And one more thing, Robert Gibbs can go sit in the corner. /end of rant.

    • 54 jacquelineoboomer
      May 19, 2013 at 10:20 pm

  13. 55 amk for obama
    May 19, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    This must be a memorable day for these young graduates.

    • 56 hopefruit2
      May 19, 2013 at 8:59 pm

      Indeed. They will never forget it. Ever.

    • 57 nathkatun7
      May 19, 2013 at 9:12 pm

      Yes Indeed! To this day I do not remember the boring guy who spoke at my college graduation. This will not be the case for the Morehouse graduates of the class of 2013!

    • 59 GGail
      May 19, 2013 at 9:46 pm

      That was more than just a cool reception. The behavior of turning ones chair around speaks volumes.

      • 60 jacquelineoboomer
        May 19, 2013 at 9:56 pm

        Ha! Almost as good as having shoes thrown at you, in other countries. Well deserved.

    • 61 99ts
      May 19, 2013 at 9:54 pm

      From your link

      “It’s not a big deal,” said Michael Carpenter, a business administration major from West Chester. “You’re not going to remember in 10 years who you’re commencement speaker is. It’s not Oprah. It’s not Seth MacFarlane.”

      HAHAHAHA – EVERY single graduate from Morehouse today will remember all their lives who their commencement speaker was. Mr Carpenter sounds very GOP..ish

    • 62 jackiegrumbacher
      May 19, 2013 at 10:23 pm

      In addition to the offense of his presence, Corbett’s remarks were profoundly stupid. Comparing the business climate of Thomas Edison’s era and suggesting that public investment should not support small businesses today shows a man out of touch with the world he lives in. Edison helped develop the light bulb, but it was the government’s rural electrification program that brought light to the nation’s towns, villages and farms. I’ll bet there wasn’t a student in the audience that wasn’t smarter than their simple-minded speaker.

  14. May 19, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    Second listen to the speech. It is even better the second time around.

  15. 65 nathkatun7
    May 19, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    Thank you Chipsticks and LovelyPlains for posting President Obama’s Morehouse commencement Speech! Like Dr. King, President Obama can speak! This was by far one of the most inspirational and heartfelt commencement speeches I’ve ever listened to.

    • May 19, 2013 at 9:04 pm

      It was just beautiful nathkatun7, didn’t get to hear it til later in the day and it was so gorgeous I clicked replay immediately. Thanks again to LP for the lovely post.

      • 67 nathkatun7
        May 19, 2013 at 9:31 pm

        Chipsticks, it was indeed a “beautiful” speech that captured the essence of the man we elected President of the United States. I just loved his emphasis on universal humanity and the importance of realizing that there is more to life than material acquisitions. Like you, I missed watching it in real time. That’s why I am so grateful to your blog because I can always count on you, and your fabulous “blog tyrants,” as you call them, to share with us the President’s speeches unfiltered by the MSM pundits.

        • May 19, 2013 at 9:38 pm

          A really lovely summing up of the speech, nathkatun7, you captured its essence. I’m grateful too to the blog tyrants, even Amk, I’d be lost without them!

          • 69 amk for obama
            May 19, 2013 at 9:42 pm

            Heh !!!

            I hereby resign resolve to be more PITA.

          • 73 nathkatun7
            May 19, 2013 at 10:28 pm

            Hey, Chips AMK is my main man! I love his sense of humor. I am sure you do too. I also think his humanity and honesty comes through whenever he writes serious commentaries. Besides, who can complain about a man who has raised such smart and exceptional children. I know if I ever made to India, AMK would be the guy I would love to have a beer with while listening to all his jokes and stories. I of course know you are joking and love him so much.

  16. 74 Jovie
    May 19, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    :)

    • 75 jackiegrumbacher
      May 19, 2013 at 10:16 pm

      Not surprised by this. Anything from AP is suspect.

      • 76 nathkatun7
        May 19, 2013 at 10:34 pm

        Some enterprising scholar should by now be writing a book about the utter failure of the mainstream media (MSM) in the age of Obama. Thank God more and more Americans no longer depend on the MSM as their only source of information.

  17. 77 dotster3
    May 19, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Newtown parents join Il. Gov. Quinn in calling for ban on high capacity magazines———and teddy bears face more stringent regulations than guns in this country. Try to make sense of that. It’s beyond comprehension.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-newtown-parents-join-quinn-to-call-for-ban-on-highcapacity-ammo-magazines-20130519,0,5894367.story

  18. 78 africa
    May 19, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    LP, all powerful images. Thank you.

  19. 79 Nena20409
    May 19, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    ABC.com had the President’s Morehouse Video……Here is the whole speach….. ;)

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/video/president-obama-morehouse-college-commencement-speech-19212248

  20. 81 hopefruit2
    May 19, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    I rarely link to Old Orange, but I think this diary from noweasels merits a link because apart from being consistent with the theme of this thread, it’s extremely positive and features our President’s commencement speech and the story of the young man who was once in foster care and is now on his way to Harvard Law School. Those of you who have accounts at Old Orange, please tip & rec if you can. :) :)

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/05/19/1210318/-President-Obama-I-realized-that-no-one-was-afraid

    • 82 GGail
      May 19, 2013 at 9:37 pm

      I love that image of the young man who made it through foster care and graduated from Morehouse

  21. 83 amk for obama
    May 19, 2013 at 9:19 pm

  22. May 19, 2013 at 9:22 pm

  23. May 19, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    Doubt if many in the Midwest will get much sleep tonight, with the tornados and thrunderstorms pummeling our country’s midsection:

    Stay safe Mid-West TODville. (almost all of Iowa, Missouri and Oklahoma are under tornado watch).

    • 86 carolyn
      May 19, 2013 at 9:28 pm

      There’s been physical damage, but so far no fatalities. All the storms were east and north of where I live. Emergency vehicles are out, and people are working as fast as they can before night fall. Tonight we’re due for thunderstorms, but not tornadoes. We’re getting a cool front now, so it won’t be the right mix for a tornado.
      We live with these, and almost can feel them coming. A certain warmth and humidity and stillness…..then the wind, hail, rain…..We love rain without hail and tornadoes.
      Thanks for your concern. These storms are nasty. Fortunately, we have early warning systems which enable people to take shelter and be safe. 6600 homes are without power in the OKC metro now because of the storm.

      • 87 carolyn
        May 19, 2013 at 9:35 pm

        I need to make one sad correction. The authorities know of two fatalities so far, and two missing from the mobile home park. Every time we have a tornado, the TV weather people beg people who live in mobile home parks to get some place safe…..often it’s hard for people to find some place close.

      • May 19, 2013 at 9:41 pm

        Good news.

        The latest local news alert mentioned thunderstorms in the Mid-West. I wasn’t sure what that meant for tornadoes, but it sounds like good news.

        Hopefully tornardo season will be over after this show of strength.

  24. 89 Bill R.
    May 19, 2013 at 9:23 pm

  25. 91 GGail
    May 19, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    This post is so marvelous that I’ve sent it to the state of Georgia, Michigan, Louisiana and all the way to the country Finland. I can’t thank you LP and Chipsticks enough for this compilation – it perfectly captures today’s Morehouse Commencement!!!!

  26. May 19, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Nice detailed report from the Council on Foreign Relations on the benefit of expanding broadband….which PBO did in the stimulus.

  27. 93 africa
    May 19, 2013 at 9:25 pm

  28. 94 hopefruit2
    May 19, 2013 at 9:25 pm

  29. 96 africa
    May 19, 2013 at 9:26 pm

  30. 99 anniebella
    May 19, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    I think I will go listen to POTUS speech today at Morehouse, and FLOTUS speech yesterday at MLK high school in Tennessee.

  31. 102 amk for obama
    May 19, 2013 at 9:26 pm

  32. May 19, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    • May 19, 2013 at 9:45 pm

      I’m glad he’s going to discuss Guantanamo. I”m sure it bothers him immensely that horrific situation that exists there with 100 of them on a hunger strike having been there for a decade without a trial.

      • 108 99ts
        May 19, 2013 at 10:05 pm

        This will be a speech to hear – as are all his speeches.

        I had not thought about it – until listening to the Morehouse speech today – PBO will be the most sought after speaker in the world come 2017. He will not be lost to anyone. His views and speeches will overshadow US Presidents for many years – in the best most positive ways. What a wonderful man he is.

  33. May 19, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    @SharylAttkisson’s twitter bio:

    Investigative Journalist. Dreaming of a day when public officials answer questions as if they know they work for the public.

    https://twitter.com/SharylAttkisson

  34. May 19, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    Good summary by the NYT.

    LP, thanks for posting this on the occasion of “the first sitting president to address Morehouse, the alma mater of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose spirit was evoked throughout the speech.”

    I didn’t realize that Morehouse was so exclusive. Only 500 in the graduating class, yet 10,000 at the the commencement. May the President’s words positively influence many more who were not in attendance.

    • May 19, 2013 at 9:39 pm

      NP Arapaho…. Morehouse, Clark, and Spellman all are about 90 minutes from Auburn’s campus. Clark is the only Co-ed campus….also PBO is the first president to address any college in the state of GA since FDR!

    • 112 Nena20409
      May 19, 2013 at 9:40 pm

      Until today, I had no idea that Morehouse is an all male College.

      • May 19, 2013 at 9:49 pm

        If you notice PBO’s opening remarks, when he refers to the parent’s would amazement due to Spelman’s proximity….their kids graduated….Spelman is all female! Think of it as Barnard, for women in the south. A lot of AA’s turn down Harvard and Yale if they get into Clark, Spelman, and Morehouse.

        • May 19, 2013 at 10:02 pm

          Amazing that no President has delivered a commencement in Georgia since FDR.

          I wonder why Carter and/or Clinton didn’t?

        • 115 Nena20409
          May 19, 2013 at 10:02 pm

          OK, like……College of St Catherine In St Paul, MN and Now St Thomas University…….the formerly known as College of St Thomas.

          Columbia where POTUS went in NY and the sister School where he spoke last year….. his sister, Maya Attended. I get it now. I thought most of those schools have integrated……I suppose not….some retain their tradition.

          Thanks for the information. I appreciate it.

  35. May 19, 2013 at 9:40 pm

  36. 122 africa
    May 19, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Interesting read.

  37. 123 vitaminlover
    May 19, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    What I like about my President’s speeches is that they are never too long, never boring, always to the point and very inspirational. He is so real with his speeches.

  38. 125 africa
    May 19, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Interesting read. I hope this does ot post twice.

  39. 128 hopefruit2
    May 19, 2013 at 9:47 pm

  40. 131 Dudette
    May 19, 2013 at 9:48 pm

  41. May 19, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    I hope the DC echo-chamber is reminded of what a true Presidential scandal looks like.

    Most of the DC MSM are too young to remember how the Watergate and Iran-Contra hearings permeated our airwaves. Seems like they were carried by radio and TV at about the same level as the mid-1990s O.J. Simpson trial.

    Does the MSM ever mention what a traitor Oliver North was, and yet he’s now worshipped by the “country first” “patriots”?

    • May 19, 2013 at 10:40 pm

      He was extreme creep.

    • 137 jackiegrumbacher
      May 19, 2013 at 10:42 pm

      Yes, the sainted Ronnie was up to his ears in the Iran Contra corruption, but looney Noonan thinks the IRS kerfluffle is the greatest scandal ever. So many of this country’s woes–from the ballooning of the deficit, to the decline of unions, to the condescending attitude toward the poor –came from that incompetent boob Reagan. With him began the slow decline of the middle class and our current shameful income disparity. His whole presidency was a sad chapter in our history and I, for one, couldn’t stand him or bear listening to his voice.

  42. 138 Dudette
    May 19, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    • 139 nathkatun7
      May 19, 2013 at 10:07 pm

      Bravo, Bravo, Dudette for that spot-on tweet! I am sick of the MSM! They think all of us are afflicted with amnesia.

  43. May 19, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Can anyone point me to a video of the Valedictorian’s speech…as PBO said the Skinny Kid with the funny name. I read that he was very good.
    Would love to hear him.

  44. 141 amk for obama
    May 19, 2013 at 9:54 pm

  45. 143 Ladyhawke
    May 19, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    The Real Benghazi Scandal

    Congressional investigators are pointing fingers in the wrong direction if they want to save more U.S. lives.

    RONAN FARROW

    ————————

    America is far less served by the endless recitation of calls made and talking points issued than it would be by a hard look at the members of Congress that failed to provide resources, and the bureaucratic hurdles that kept the resources that were available from being deployed. The breathless search for a cover-up has only served to bury those real — and potentially deadly — problems.

    ———————————

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/05/the-real-benghazi-scandal/275950/

    • 144 amk for obama
      May 19, 2013 at 10:01 pm

      Bingo. These punks are CYA mode on Benghazi. That is the real ‘scandal’ here.

      • 145 desertflower
        May 19, 2013 at 10:22 pm

        From amk’s link:

        Hillary Clinton waged a losing fight with Congress for embassy security resources over the course of the first Obama administration. Some of the ringleaders of last week’s hearing were among the prominent opponents to that spending, with Representative Chaffetz and Representative Darrell Issa joining to cut nearly half a billion dollars from the State Department security accounts that cover armored vehicles, security systems, and guards. In Fiscal Year 2011, House Republicans cut $128 million from the Obama Administration’s requests for embassy security funding; in 2012, they cut another $331 million. Issa once personally voted to cut almost 300 diplomatic security positions. In 2011, after one of many fruitless trips to the Hill to beg House Republicans for resources, an exhausted, prophetic Hillary Clinton warned that cuts to embassy spending “will be detrimental to America’s national security.” Democrats, like Senator Barbara Boxer in a heated speech this week, have been quick to paint opposition to security funding as exclusively Republican. The truth is, it is a bipartisan failure, repeated through years of both Republican and Democratic control of Congress. In 2010, Democrats cut $142 million from the Administration’s requests for State Department funding.

        That history of nickel-and-diming is one contributing factor to a security culture that relies increasingly on outside contractors willing to provide solutions on the cheap. Longer-term investment in the American government’s own civilian security personnel, meanwhile, has been sidelined. At the time of the Benghazi attack, about 900 Diplomatic Security Agents were responsible for guarding 275 American missions around the world.

        A lack of resources is only part of the picture, however. Equally significant is where these resources can be applied. Informal, and especially secret, outposts often fall through the cracks. The facility in Benghazi was classified as a temporary facility despite the full-time presence of American staff. Because of this, it was technically denied access to traditional streams of funding for overseas buildings. A general culture of overlooking such informal outposts also explains why the lead diplomatic security agent for Libya, Eric Nordstrom, was denied his requests for additional support. “It’s not the hardships,” Nordstrom testified last October. “It’s not the gunfire. It’s not the threats. It’s dealing and fighting against the people, programs and personnel who are supposed to be supporting me.”

      • 146 jackiegrumbacher
        May 19, 2013 at 10:44 pm

        As Barbara Boxer told Republicans, “if you want to find out what went wrong in Benghazi, look in the mirror.”

  46. 147 amk for obama
    May 19, 2013 at 9:57 pm

  47. 149 amk for obama
    May 19, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    Rafa hammers Fedex in Italian Open final.

    Sigh…

  48. 165 Eveingeorgia
    May 19, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    CHIPSTICKS and LovelyPlains, let me add my voice to the chorus thanking you for your fine reporting today. It is very special to me because ( allow me a bit of preening here), I’m a SPELMAN grad and My sons and their father are MOREHOUSE grads.

    This compilation is especially precious to me. I really appreciate you two. Thank you so much!

  49. May 19, 2013 at 10:16 pm

  50. 168 amk for obama
    May 19, 2013 at 10:22 pm

  51. May 19, 2013 at 10:26 pm

  52. May 20, 2013 at 12:50 am

    I can always count on you to load the full speeches!! This one was so beautiful…I am crying. To have our black President addressing these educated, young, black men…it just had such resonance and power. He spoke from the heart and it was beautiful. I will never forget these years….the Obama years!!

  53. 172 arkluvspbo
    May 20, 2013 at 1:24 am

    I love the poetic beauty of the rain falling down on these young hopeful faces.


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