Posts Tagged ‘2009


Okay, my life is now complete…

Remember I was majestically kind enough earlier today (this post) to share with you one of my spectacular photos from the last inauguration?

Some of you were rude enough to refer to it as the ‘horse manure’ pic, which said a whole more about you than my masterly eye for a photograph.

Any way, I captioned it:

“Eat your heart out, Scout Tufankjian”

Some of you might be aware that I worship the ground Scout Tufankjian carries her cameras on (if you haven’t bought this book you should be ashamed), she’s the most brilliant photographer on planet earth – and did gorgeous work again on the 2012 campaign (I’ve posted lots of her photos, you can see more here)

So, where were we?

Yes, my ‘horse manure’ pic that SO many of you failed to appreciate?


Look what I just found in pending:

And yes, I checked, it’s HER!



Scout Tufankjian? I LOVE you! :lol:

The rest of you? Like Scout, please respect my horse manure pics in future, okay?


Inauguration Day


More here


More here


I don’t know yet if I’ll make it to the inauguration, but if I do you can look forward to some truly exceptional photos – like the ones I took last time.

This was probably the best – eat your heart out, Scout Tufankjian:

Although – and I shouldn’t boast – I got one of Sasha’s hands, and a third of Michelle too:

And this was Joe waving to me:

I also got Bush leaving DC – I wished him well, needless to say, while almost falling off the balcony with glee while I tried to focus:

And I managed to get about, oh, 97 shots of toilets – and you can never, ever have enough of them:

And I made a new friend in DC:

Then there was President-elect Obama, Denzil and me at the ‘We Are One’ concert – we were practically cheek-to-cheek we were so close:

I met President-elect Obama again next day, while walking down the street – you can see by his face that he recognized me from the concert:

More toilets:

Sadly, I also met some not-so-nice people. I’m a sports nut – so I was very offended:

More toilets:

The most impressive photos I took, though, were in the early hours after the inauguration:

…. and out the window of the cab on the way back to where I was staying:

It was a very good day/night. :???:

So, if I make it in January, you can anticipate more top class photography of this kind.

What hurts, though, after all of this, was that Pete Souza got the WH photographer’s job and not me. To this day, I will never understand why.



9:0 President Obama, Vice President Biden and First Lady Michelle Obama welcome South Korean President Lee and First Lady Kim to the White House

11:0 The First Lady invites the Republic of Korea’s First Lady Kim Yoon-ok to Annandale High School in Virginia

11:05 The President holds a bilateral meeting with President Lee and official U.S. and South Korean delegations

12:20 The President holds a joint press conference with President Lee

7:0 The President and First Lady welcome South Korean President Lee and First Lady Kim to the White House for a state dinner

November, 2009



Left to right – Martin Nesbitt, Valerie Jarrett, Dr. Eric Whitaker

The State: They golf with him, they vacation with him, their kids and his kids hang out. To them, he is Barack, not Mr. President. He can be teased and tease back.

They form the trusted circle of tightlipped friends who have sustained Barack Obama through good times and bad since his days in Chicago, from Hawaii to Washington to Martha’s Vineyard and back again.

For the most powerful man on the planet who nonetheless may have one of the loneliest jobs, a close band of buddies – Eric Whitaker, Martin Nesbitt and Valerie Jarrett form the core – has become a second family, to a degree replacing the one he lost or never had with the absence of his father and death of his mother in 1995.

Apart from wife Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha, they are the people he is closest with. And to the president, in his private life a creature of habit, there’s a comfort in turning to trusted friends with whom confidence runs deep and there is no question about where loyalties lie.

“I think that for a president of the United States who’s always on, it’s a relief to be around people who’ve known you for a very long time so that you can just be comfortable, No. 1 being yourself, and No. 2 knowing that you can trust them completely,” Jarrett said in an interview.

“There’s a level of trust that has withstood the test of time. He doesn’t have to worry about his friends leaking the details of his vacation to the press,” she said.

“He enjoys being around people who are completely comfortable teasing him and treating him like a friend and not the president of the United States.”

Full article here


CBS: Obama’s Circle Of Friends (January 21, 2009) – ‘From Barry to President Obama; Erin Moriarity speaks with Marty Nesbitt, one of President Obama’s closest friends, about this historic moment and the importance of friendship.’ (You can see the original video here)


there may be trouble ahead…

NY Mag: From the Time Capsule: Dominique Strauss-Kahn Meets Barack and Michelle Obama at a dinner during the G-20 conference in September 2009. Some pictures say a thousand words. This one just says two: No Touching.

Thank you Proud ;-)

Although Michelle knows how to handle creeps …. remember her keeping Berlusconi at arm’s length?



warm-up time




‘mccain returns to libya … under very different circumstances’

Steve Benen: Sen. John McCain yesterday became the highest profile U.S. official to visit Libya since international military intervention began, and gave a hearty endorsement to the rebels fighting the Gadhafi government … “They are my heroes,” he said … he called his visit “one of the most exciting and inspiring days of my life”.

….McCain’s last visit to Libya was very different, and it’s amazing that U.S. media outlets reporting on his remarks yesterday are pretending this other visit never occurred. It was just 18 months ago that McCain traveled to Libya and cozied up to Gadhafi, visiting with him at the dictator’s home in Tripoli, shaking his hand, and even bowing a little to Gadhafi:

The point of the meeting was for McCain to discuss delivery of American military equipment to the Libyan regime. I guess the rebels didn’t hear about this? And that American media outlets simply forgot it happened?

Politics Daily (August 2009): Sen. John McCain, visiting Libya this past week, praised Muammar Gaddafi for his peacemaking efforts in Africa. In addition, McCain called for the U.S. Congress to expand ties with Gaddafi’s government, according to Libya’s state news agency. McCain had a face-to-face meeting with Gaddafi, which he detailed on his Twitter page with the following message:

“Late evening with Col. Qadhafi at his “ranch” in Libya – interesting meeting with an interesting man.”


18 months later McCain was mentioning Gaddafi and Hitler in the same sentence (here)


just for laughs



Thanks for the reminder, obamalia! ;-)


two years ago … day one

President Barack Obama sits in the Oval Office on his first day in office, Jan. 21, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


two years ago…..


‘the single most effective pieces of antipoverty legislation in decades’

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Our analysis of data that the Census Bureau released this week shows that the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was one of the single most effective pieces of antipoverty legislation in decades. In 2009, the Recovery Act’s temporary expansion of the safety net kept 4.5 million people out of poverty.

Last September, the Census Bureau reported that, under its official measure of poverty, which counts only a household’s cash income (not tax credits or non-cash government assistance such as food stamps), the poverty rate rose from 13.2 percent in 2008 to 14.3 percent in 2009.

On Tuesday, the Census Bureau released several new poverty figures for 2009 that rely on alternative, broader poverty measures — ones that include tax credits and non-cash benefits. Under almost all of these alternative measures, the safety net as a whole, including the Recovery Act expansions, prevented any rise in poverty in 2009, despite the deep recession and very high unemployment….

We examined the Census data to see how much of that poverty-reducing impact came from the Recovery Act expansions. We found that they kept more than 4.5 million people out of poverty in 2009 (see graph):

* 1.3 million people through extensions and expansions of federal unemployment benefits;
* 1.5 million people through improvements in the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit;
* nearly 1 million people through the law’s new Making Work Pay tax credit; and
* 700,000 people through an increase in benefit levels for the SNAP program (previously called food stamps).



…..with Will Smith and Jada Pinkett, Oslo, 2009


a year ago today….

July 4, 2009: President and Mrs. Obama were watching the Fourth of July fireworks from the roof of the White House


two gifts: bo & and the nobel prize!

May 17, 2010: President Obama released his 2009 financial disclosure report, which includes details of gifts received in 2009.


flashback….hot date!

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama await the arrival of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India and his wife, Mrs Gursharan Kaur, for the State Dinner at the White House, Nov. 24, 2009.







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