The president also hit the nail on the head on head when he called out the canonization of a traitor (Edward Snowden), by pointing out the fact that he and not Edward Snowden had called for a review of the surveillance programs and their transparency – and that Snowden’s only contribution to that process was to disrupt it and hurt the actual debate by generating heat rather than light, as well as the fact that it was the president that provided safeguards for whistleblowers within the intelligence community.
If Edward Snowden actually believed himself to be a whistleblower acting in the interest of his country rather than for the political benefit of himself and the global attention whores like Glenn Greenwald, he would have noticed that President Obama has, since taking office, been the strongest advocate for whistleblowers that has ever occupied the oval office. He took pains to stop agency retaliations against whistleblowers. Just a few examples
…. touring the Gay Head lighthouse in Aquinnah while on vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, Aug. 27, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
… with lighthouse keeper Joan LeLacheur
….. with his young niece, Savita, Martha’s Vineyard, Aug. 25, 2009 (Pete Souza)
….. during a round of golf at Farm Neck golf course, Martha’s Vineyard, Aug. 24, 2009 (Pete Souza)
….. waving to an onlooker while playing golf, Martha’s Vineyard, Aug. 24, 2009 (Pete Souza)
Pete Souza: “On vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, the President was golfing at the Vineyard Golf Club. I switched my digital camera to the black-and-white setting to capture the ominous clouds.” Aug. 22, 2010
…… at Mink Meadows Golf Club in Vineyard Haven, Aug. 25, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
Tom Kludt: Obama To Continue Economic Tour In New York, Pennsylvania
President Barack Obama is expected to embark on a two-day bus tour next week to both New York and Pennsylvania where he’ll “discuss another cornerstone of his vision for a better bargain for the middle class,” a White House official told a pool reporter.
Obama will travel through the two states on Aug. 22-23. Politico’s Maggie Haberman, citing sources familiar with Obama’s plans, said the President will deliver the remarks in upstate New York.
Adam Peck: Missouri State Fair Apologizes After Mocks, Threatens Rodeo Clown In An Obama Mask
Officials from the Missouri State Fair are busy putting out fires after the organizers of the fair’s bull riding exhibit brought a clown in an Obama mask into the ring and goaded the bull into chasing him around the enclosure.
Videos of the racially-charged incident began circulating across local news organizations shortly after it took place on Saturday evening, and public consternation was quickly followed by condemnations from Republican Party officials and lawmakers across the state. Officials from the state fair issued a public statement via its Facebook page on Sunday evening, calling the performance “inappropriate and disrespectful.”
TPM: Biden To Attend Harkin’s Annual Iowa Steak Fry
Vice President Joe Biden is expected to deliver the keynote address at Sen. Tom Harkin’s (D-IA) annual steak fry this year in Iowa, The Des Moines Register reported. A Biden spokesperson told the Register that Biden has intended to attend the event, one of the biggest fundraisers for the Democratic Party in the Hawkeye State, ever since he was unable to make it last year.
San Antonio, Texas Mayor Julian Castro, who delivered the keynote address at last year’s Democratic National Convention, is also expected to attend the steak fry, scheduled to be held Sept.15, in Indianola, Iowa.
When Anastasia Tolmasoff went to a Planned Parenthood clinic in March to receive her quarterly injection of Depo-Provera, she discovered she could no longer afford to receive birth control there. “I’m living paycheck to paycheck, so getting pregnant and having another child is not an option for me,” said Tolmasoff, 33, who rehabilitates wildlife at a nonprofit organization. She and her husband cannot afford health insurance. Tolmasoff is one of thousands of women affected by the Texas Legislature’s 2011 decisions to drastically cut family planning financing and remove “abortion affiliated providers” — namely, Planned Parenthood — from state health programs.
In its 2013 session, the Legislature sought to mitigate the impact of those cuts with the largest financial package for women’s health services in state history, increasing spending to $214 million in the 2014-15 budget from $109 million. Still, women’s health advocates have raised concerns that the financing does not go far enough. Moreover, some advocates argue that strict abortion regulations approved during a special session will create additional burdens on women already struggling to access contraception……
The GREATEST movie villain of all time. I saw Hannibal Lecter when I was younger; don’t think I slept for a whole week. Anthony Hopkins?! Wow!
Heath Ledger’s Joker was brilliant. BRILLIANT. Jack Nicholson didn’t do The Joker justice. The Joker is not supposed to be silly. He’s evil. There’s nothing good about The Joker. Heath Ledger became The Joker and scared the living crap out of everyone because he showed how a conscienceless person can turn a civilized society into savages in the blink of an eye.
REMINDER:At 1PM ET / 12PM CT / 10AM PT, Attorney General Eric Holder addresses the American Bar Association’s annual meeting in San Francisco where he is expected to discuss drug offenses and prison sentencing. C-SPAN One will air it.
Four years ago today: President Obama hugs Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient actor Sidney Poitier during the award ceremony in the East Room of the White House, August 12, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
The Grio: Holder to call for major reform of mandatory minimum sentencing
Attorney General Eric Holder will announce in a speech today that the Department of Justice will no longer charge low-level, non-violent drug offenders with crimes that trigger mandatory minimum sentences, a major shift in American drug policy and an indication that President Obama wants to reduce the number of Americans who serve long prison sentences over drug crimes and rethink American laws that have existed for decades.
“I have mandated a modification of the Justice Department’s charging policies so that certain low-level, nonviolent drug offenders who have no ties to large-scale organizations, gangs, or cartels will no longer be charged with offenses that impose draconian mandatory minimum sentences,” Holder is expected to say Monday at a meeting in San Francisco of the American Bar Association, according to excerpts of his remarks provided to theGrio….
In effect, Holder is calling for prosecutors to charge defendants for lesser crimes than they may have actually committed, thereby allowing juries and judges more latitude in imposing sentences, instead of following mandatory minimums created by Congress that many in both parties say are now outdated.
Michael Tomasky: Obama Is Giving Up Some Executive Power, and He’ll Still Get No Credit
Predictably, everyone is unimpressed by the measures Barack Obama has announced to bring a little ray of transparency to America’s surveillance programs …. I think it’s pretty remarkable that a president, any president, announced, without absolutely being forced to, a series of steps that relinquish some degree of executive power. Of course he’ll get no credit for that, because civil libertarians tend to be absolutists and other liberals tend to be afraid or even terrified of their wrath…
…. Obama was headed down this course before the Snowden leaks. Those began on June 5. But on May 23, he gave a speech at the National Defense University in which he foreshadowed the moves he just announced. Combine all this with John Kerry’s recent announcement that we have a plan for ending drone strikes in Pakistan, and you might have thought liberals would be cheering.
I suppose some liberals are. I am. But not civil libertarians. With them, it’s all or nothing. If you’re not signed on to the whole program, you might as well be Joe McCarthy….
…. Obama has public opinion to think about. And of course he has keeping the country safe to worry about, and no one at the ACLU is sitting in on those intel briefings and learning the things the president is learning every day about threats to the nation, and no one at the ACLU will be responsible if our wall of security is breached. Obama is responsible, and I think mere willingness of the man in that position to have this conversation, let alone take some concrete steps, does him enormous credit.
Next tweet will probably be: ‘Ask not what the Nobel Prize can do for Bradley Manning, ask what Bradley Manning can do for the Nobel Prize’
Andrew Liepman (LA Times): What did Edward Snowden get wrong? Everything
Edward Snowden is now out of his limbo at Moscow’s airport, presumably ensconced in some Russian dacha, wondering what the next phase of his young life will bring. Having spent 30 years in the intelligence business, I fervently hope the food is lousy, the winter is cold, and the Internet access is awful. But I worry less about what happens to this one man and more about the damage Snowden has done — and could still do — to America’s long-term ability to strike the right balance between privacy and security.
Democrats and other proponents of immigration reform caught another lucky break over the weekend: Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) appeared on “Meet the Press” yesterday, and just kept talking. If the progressive goal is to see reform opponents discredit themselves on the national stage, the right-wing Iowan has become the left’s most reliable ally.
Indeed, who do you think was happier to see King on the air, the DNC or the RNC?
The Root: Politics Gets Its Own Cheerios Ad – The black son of a white candidate tackles stop and frisk in a campaign ad.
Earlier this year, Cheerios generated extensive media attention — and countless racist comments online — for becoming the first major American brand to feature a mixed-race family in a television advertisement. Now, an ad for a political campaign is poised to be just as groundbreaking, and potentially controversial.
This weekend television advertisements began airing starring the teenage son of New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio. De Blasio is white, his wife, Chirlane McCray, is black, and their son, Dante, sports a sizable Afro in the ad, in which he makes the case for why he believes his father is the best candidate for mayor.
While he touches upon a number of issues, including affordable housing, the ad’s most powerful moment comes when he talks about his father’s position on stop and frisk….