Archive for April 28th, 2014

28
Apr
14

The Philippines, Then Home

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10:15 AM (10:15 PM EDT): President Obama delivers remarks to the troops, Fort Bonifacio, Manila

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Philippines Time (12 hours ahead of EDT)

9:10 AM: The President participates in the COMET electric vehicle viewing, Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel, Manila

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10:15 AM (10:15 PM EDT): Delivers remarks to the troops, Fort Bonifacio, Manila

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11:05 AM: Participates in a wreath laying ceremony, The Manila American Cemetery

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12:05 PM: Departs Manila, Philippines en route Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska

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President Obama embraces an unidentified Filipina World War II veteran after he addressed troops in Manila

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Alaska Time (4 hours behind EDT)

5:25 AM: Arrives in Anchorage, Alaska and Air Force One refuels

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7:50 AM: Departs Elmendorf Air Force Base en route Washington, DC

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EDT

5:45 PM: Arrives Joint Base Andrews

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6:0 PM: Arrives the White House

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Don’t know what CBS live streaming will show tonight, but keep an eye on the link

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Completely Random Commander-in-Chief Pic:

28
Apr
14

Manila to DC

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Philippines Time (12 hours ahead of EDT)

9:10 AM: The President participates in the COMET electric vehicle viewing, Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel, Manila

****

10:15 AM (10:15 PM EDT): Delivers remarks to the troops, Fort Bonifacio, Manila

****

11:05 AM: Participates in a wreath laying ceremony, The Manila American Cemetery

****

12:05 PM: Departs Manila, Philippines en route Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska

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Don’t know what CBS live streaming will show tonight, but keep an eye on the link

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Alaska Time (4 hours behind EDT)

5:25 AM: Arrives in Anchorage, Alaska and Air Force One refuels

****

7:50 AM: Departs Elmendorf Air Force Base en route Washington, DC

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EDT

5:45 PM: Arrives Joint Base Andrews

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6:0 PM: Arrives the White House

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28
Apr
14

Race and our post-racial age

This has always stuck with me, but it’s only in the past few years that I’ve been able to process it and come to terms with it.

About twenty years ago I was visiting a friend in Marina Del Rey. I got on the elevator, then saw a young black man about my age rushing to get on. I held the door open for him.

The first thing he said was “You’re lucky you’re white. You’ll never get stopped like I just was by the sheriffs.”

I protested that I was Latino, and subject to the same discrimination. He said, “You may be, but you look white. You’ll never be stopped.” He then got off on his floor.

Needless to say, I dismissed his assertion that I was “white”. I was Latino, part of the Prop 187 generation. We were fighting for our place in the sun. I was with the oppressed.

But here are a few facts.

I’m Cuban. That off the bat sets me apart from most of the Latinos in California. Cubans are always thought of as the “good Latinos”, not like those other ones who just want to take.

And I’m not only Cuban, but a white Cuban. That doubly sets me apart from most of the US Latino population. Cuba, like the US, has a horrifying history of slavery and oppression of its black citizens. Even in the Communist era, most people in high ranking positions are white.

It took many years, but eventually it did get through to me that my skin color conferred advantages and privileges upon me. That is merely a fact. I will most likely not be pulled over by a cop while walking down the street. I will not be stopped and frisked for no reason. I will be given the benefit of the doubt where people with darker skin will not.

When Barack Obama was elected, many of us felt as if a historical weight had been lifted off our shoulders. “Look, we elected our first African American president, and it happened so soon after Dr. King’s assassination!” There was a sense of national euphoria during the heady times surrounding the 2008 election.

But almost immediately it went to seed. Some on the Left were immediately disappointed that he wasn’t going to govern as their idealized version of an oppressed minority finally scaling the heights of power. And many on the Right were convinced not only that he would, but that he was.

I’ve documented the explosion of racial animus in our post-racial age elsewhere, all triggered by Pres. Obama’s election. But the previous week has seen it take hold of the national conscience in a way which has been extraordinary even in light of the past six years.

Continue reading ‘Race and our post-racial age’

28
Apr
14

Schooling Ed Henry

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Ed Henry:

More broadly – big picture – as you end this trip, I don’t think I have to remind you there have been a lot of unflattering portraits of your foreign policy right now.  And rather than get into all the details or red lines, et cetera, I’d like to give you a chance to lay out what your vision is more than five years into office, what you think the Obama doctrine is in terms of what your guiding principle is on all of these crises and how you answer those critics who say they think the doctrine is weakness.

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From 31:20

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President Obama:

Well, Ed, I doubt that I’m going to have time to lay out my entire foreign policy doctrine. And there are actually some complimentary pieces as well about my foreign policy, but I’m not sure you ran them.

Here’s I think the general takeaway from this trip. Our alliances in the Asia Pacific have never been stronger; I can say that unequivocally. Our relationship with ASEAN countries in Southeast Asia has never been stronger. I don’t think that’s subject to dispute. As recently as a decade ago, there were great tensions between us and Malaysia, for example. And I think you just witnessed the incredible warmth and strength of the relationship between those two countries.

We’re here in the Philippines signing a defense agreement. Ten years ago, fifteen years ago there was enormous tensions around our defense relationship with the Philippines. And so it’s hard to square whatever it is that the critics are saying with facts on the ground, events on the ground here in the Asia Pacific region. Typically, criticism of our foreign policy has been directed at the failure to use military force. And the question I think I would have is, why is it that everybody is so eager to use military force after we’ve just gone through a decade of war at enormous costs to our troops and to our budget? And what is it exactly that these critics think would have been accomplished?

My job as Commander-in-Chief is to deploy military force as a last resort, and to deploy it wisely. And, frankly, most of the foreign policy commentators that have questioned our policies would go headlong into a bunch of military adventures that the American people had no interest in participating in and would not advance our core security interests.

So if you look at Syria, for example, our interest is in helping the Syrian people, but nobody suggests that us being involved in a land war in Syria would necessarily accomplish this goal. And I would note that those who criticize our foreign policy with respect to Syria, they themselves say, no, no, no, we don’t mean sending in troops. Well, what do you mean?  Well, you should be assisting the opposition – well, we’re assisting the opposition. What else do you mean? Well, perhaps you should have taken a strike in Syria to get chemical weapons out of Syria. Well, it turns out we’re getting chemical weapons out of Syria without having initiated a strike. So what else are you talking about?  And at that point it kind of trails off.

In Ukraine, what we’ve done is mobilize the international community. Russia has never been more isolated. A country that used to be clearly in its orbit now is looking much more towards Europe and the West, because they’ve seen that the arrangements that have existed for the last 20 years weren’t working for them. And Russia is having to engage in activities that have been rejected uniformly around the world. And we’ve been able to mobilize the international community to not only put diplomatic pressure on Russia, but also we’ve been able to organize European countries who many were skeptical would do anything to work with us in applying sanctions to Russia.

Well, what else should we be doing?  Well, we shouldn’t be putting troops in, the critics will say. That’s not what we mean.  Well, okay, what are you saying? Well, we should be arming the Ukrainians more. Do people actually think that somehow us sending some additional arms into Ukraine could potentially deter the Russian army? Or are we more likely to deter them by applying the sort of international pressure, diplomatic pressure and economic pressure that we’re applying?

The point is that for some reason many who were proponents of what I consider to be a disastrous decision to go into Iraq haven’t really learned the lesson of the last decade, and they keep on just playing the same note over and over again. Why?  I don’t know. But my job as Commander-in-Chief is to look at what is it that is going to advance our security interests over the long term, to keep our military in reserve for where we absolutely need it. There are going to be times where there are disasters and difficulties and challenges all around the world, and not all of those are going to be immediately solvable by us.

But we can continue to speak out clearly about what we believe. Where we can make a difference using all the tools we’ve got in the toolkit, well, we should do so. And if there are occasions where targeted, clear actions can be taken that would make a difference, then we should take them. We don’t do them because somebody sitting in an office in Washington or New York think it would look strong. That’s not how we make foreign policy.

And if you look at the results of what we’ve done over the last five years, it is fair to say that our alliances are stronger, our partnerships are stronger, and in the Asia Pacific region, just to take one example, we are much better positioned to work with the peoples here on a whole range of issues of mutual interest.

And that may not always be sexy. That may not always attract a lot of attention, and it doesn’t make for good argument on Sunday morning shows. But it avoids errors. You hit singles, you hit doubles; every once in a while we may be able to hit a home run.  But we steadily advance the interests of the American people and our partnership with folks around the world.

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Ed? Your time is up.

28
Apr
14

Team Obama-Holder

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Julia Edwards: U.S. Justice Department To Collect, Study Arrest Data For Racial Bias

The U.S. Justice Department on Monday said it will begin collecting data on stops, searches and arrests made in five U.S. cities to weed out possible racial biases within the criminal justice system. Later this year, a $4.75 million federal grant will be awarded to recipients who compete for the funds to work with their local law enforcement to analyze arrest data and find ways to reduce any biases they find, particularly toward young minority men.

Black men were six times more likely, and Latino men were 2.5 times more likely, to be imprisoned than white men in 2012, according to Justice Department data. Attorney General Eric Holder said the data collection effort is in response to President Barack Obama’s call for better relations between law enforcement and young men of color following the “not guilty” verdict in the shooting death of black Florida teen Trayvon Martin.

More here

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U.S. President Obama and Attorney General Holder attend the National Peace Officers Memorial Service at the Capitol in Washington

Barack Obama, Eric Holder




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