Posts Tagged ‘address



05
Dec
13

‘The Sun Shall Never Set On So Glorious A Human Achievement’

Nelson Mandela’s inaugural speech, May 1994

Your Majesties, Your Highnesses, Distinguished Guests, Comrades and Friends:

Today, all of us do, by our presence here, and by our celebrations in other parts of our country and the world,confer glory and hope to newborn liberty.

Out of the experience of an extraordinary human disaster that lasted too long, must be born a society of which all humanity will be proud.

Our daily deeds as ordinary South Africans must produce an actual South African reality that will reinforce humanity’s belief in justice, strengthen its confidence in the nobility of the human soul and sustain all our hopes for a glorious life for all.

All this we owe both to ourselves and to the peoples of the world who are so well represented here today.

To my compatriots, I have no hesitation in saying that each one of us is as intimately attached to the soil of this beautiful country as are the famous jacaranda trees of Pretoria and the mimosa trees of the bushveld.

Each time one of us touches the soil of this land, we feel a sense of personal renewal. The national mood changes as the seasons change.

We are moved by a sense of joy and exhilaration when the grass turns green and the flowers bloom.

That spiritual and physical oneness we all share with this common homeland explains the depth of the pain we all carried in our hearts as we saw our country tear itself apart in a terrible conflict, and as we saw it spurned, outlawed and isolated by the peoples of the world, precisely because it has become the universal base of the pernicious ideology and practice of racism and racial oppression.

We, the people of South Africa, feel fulfilled that humanity has taken us back into its bosom, that we, who were outlaws not so long ago, have today been given the rare privilege to be host to the nations of the world on our own soil.

We thank all our distinguished international guests for having come to take possession with the people of our country of what is, after all, a common victory for justice, for peace, for human dignity.

We trust that you will continue to stand by us as we tackle the challenges of building peace, prosperity, non-sexism,non-racialism and democracy.

We deeply appreciate the role that the masses of our people and their political mass democratic, religious, women, youth,business, traditional and other leaders have played to bring about this conclusion. Not least among them is my Second Deputy President, the Honourable F.W. de Klerk.

We would also like to pay tribute to our security forces, in all their ranks, for the distinguished role they have played in securing our first democratic elections and the transition to democracy, from blood-thirsty forces which still refuse to see the light.

The time for the healing of the wounds has come.

The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come.

The time to build is upon us.

We have, at last, achieved our political emancipation. We pledge ourselves to liberate all our people from the continuing bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender and other discrimination.

We succeeded to take our last steps to freedom in conditions of relative peace. We commit ourselves to the construction of a complete, just and lasting peace.

We have triumphed in the effort to implant hope in the breasts of the millions of our people. We enter into a covenant that we shall build the society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without any fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity – a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world.

As a token of its commitment to the renewal of our country,the new Interim Government of National Unity will, as a matter of urgency, address the issue of amnesty for various categories of our people who are currently serving terms of imprisonment.

We dedicate this day to all the heroes and heroines in this country and the rest of the world who sacrificed in many ways and surrendered their lives so that we could be free.

Their dreams have become reality. Freedom is their reward.

We are both humbled and elevated by the honour and privilege that you, the people of South Africa, have bestowed on us, as the first President of a united, democratic, non-racial and non-sexist South Africa, to lead our country out of the valley of darkness.

We understand it still that there is no easy road to freedom.

We know it well that none of us acting alone can achieve success.

We must therefore act together as a united people, for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world.

Let there be justice for all.

Let there be peace for all.

Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.

Let each know that for each the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfill themselves.

Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world.

Let freedom reign.

The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement!

God bless Africa!

Thank you.

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Rest in peace, Madiba.

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12
Oct
13

Rise and Shine

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Live coverage from Congress on C-Span

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Steve Benen: Republican support in ‘jaw-dropping’ free fall

Professional pollsters for major news organizations are notoriously cautious people who avoid hyperbole. So when Democratic pollster Peter Hart and Republican Bill McInturff conducted the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll and described the results as “jaw-dropping,” it’s worth appreciating why.

Let’s put it this way: if this poll were a campfire story, it’d leave Republicans shaking uncontrollably in their sleeping bags. The GOP wasn’t in especially good shape before, but the shutdown crisis and the threats to crash the economy on purpose have been an unmitigated disaster for the party, causing the sort of collapse in public support pollsters simply don’t see very often.

What’s the good news for Republicans in the poll? There is no good news.

More here

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Dana Milbank: Cruzification of the GOP

…. Skeptics warned from the start that it was a suicide mission for Republicans to shut down the federal government in a long-shot attempt to defund Obamacare. Now that such dire predictions have come to pass, the lawmakers who engineered the shutdown are getting the conflagration — and the martyrdom — they sought.

….. Cruz has seen his reputation take a 16-point negative turn in the national Gallup poll since June. Cruz’s partner in the rebellion, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, has seen a 20-point negative swing in his home state over the same time period.

…. Even the infamous Koch brothers, financiers of the tea party, are distancing themselves from the shutdown contretemps….

The Boston Globe recently reported that David Koch gave MIT $20 million for a child-care facility, because “I got a tear in my eye” hearing about researchers’ need for child care. Maybe the lachrymose Koch will weep for his country when he realizes the economic destruction caused by the groups he bankrolled.

Full post here

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Ed Henry walking out of yesterday’s briefing because Jay Carney didn’t call the shill for a question – and because, you know, it’s all about him:

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The People’s View: As GOP cries uncle, Obama refuses to bail them out

As the Republican plan to deprive Americans of health care by holding the government’s operations hostage and threatening default has fallen apart in the face of withering public backlash and the strength of a president who has refused to pay ransom for Congress doing its job, some Republicans are still holding out hope that the same president who they hoped to destroy will bail them out from their own quagmire and save their face. Well, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

… In the mean time, Jay Carney has re-iterated that the president will not pay a ransom simply to reopen government and pay America’s bills.

What does all this mean? The best I can tell, the president is exactly in the same position he has always been in: Republicans need to end the shutdown, stop threatening default, and then the normal process of budget negotiations can resume. Once it does resume after the GOP ends the crisis they inflicted on America, the framework, as far as the president is concerned, needs to include both long term budget savings and increased taxes from those who can afford it.

More here

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Our very own Alycee:

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Oh, these people:

ThinkProgress: Congressman: Workers Furloughed In Shutdown Should Not Get Backpay

While the House unanimously passed a bill last week to pay the 800,000 workers who have been deemed non-essential in the shutdown their lost wages once the government opens again, Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) thinks they shouldn’t get paid.

At a teletown hall on Thursday, a constituent called in to say, “The people that had to work should be paid. But the people that are home watching Netflix and whatever, I’m not sure that we should be sending them checks.”

More here

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UPI: US postal worker fired for throwing away Obamacare mail

The United States Postal Service has fired a Fresno, Calif., mailman who admitted he threw away letters about “Obamacare.”

Residents of a Central Fresno apartment complex took photos of a nearby dumpster filled with mail about “Obamacare.” Witnesses saw the postal carrier discarding the mail.

“He just kept glancing over his shoulder over and over again. It was like he knew what he was doing was wrong,” said witness Jerry Dills. “It was just amazing, I looked down in there and there was a bunch of people’s addresses and right away… I knew this was absolutely wrong.”

More here

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UPI: First lady Michelle Obama welcomes Pakistani teen shot by Taliban

Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban in Pakistan last year, was greeted at the White House Friday by first lady Michelle Obama.

“President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama today welcomed Malala Yousafzai to the Oval Office to thank her for her inspiring and passionate work on behalf of girls education in Pakistan,” the White House said in a statement. “The United States joins with the Pakistani people and so many around the world to celebrate Malala’s courage and her determination to promote the right of all girls to attend school and realize their dreams. As the first lady has said, ‘Investing in girls’ education is the very best thing we can do, not just for our daughters and granddaughters, but for their families, their communities, and their countries.'”

“Across the globe there are girls who will one day lead nations, if only we afford them the chance to choose their own destinies,” President Obama said in his proclamation to mark the International Day of the Girl. “And on every continent, there are girls who will go on to change the world in ways we can only imagine, if only we allow them the freedom to dream.”

More here

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Media Matters: Once Again, Sunday Morning Talk Shows Are White, Male, And Conservative

In the first nine months of 2013, white men dominated the guest lists on the broadcast network Sunday shows and CNN’s State of the Union. MSNBC was the only network achieving notable diversity in its guests, particularly on Melissa Harris-Perry’s show. Republicans and conservatives are hosted significantly more on the broadcast Sunday shows than Democrats and progressives.

More here

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@NoShock: The Washington Post engages a troll for the win!!

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Another Great Twitter Exchange of our Time:

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On This Day:

President Obama greets the student finalists of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge as they enter the Oval Office, Oct. 12, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

Continue reading ‘Rise and Shine’

05
Oct
13

Rise and Shine

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The Week Ahead

Who knows?

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AP: Text of Obama’s exclusive interview

Q: There is a lot that I want to ask you about the government shutdown and foreign policy, but I wanted to start with health care. The signature element of your health care law went online this week, and the interest seems to have really exceeded expectations, but there were some serious glitches with the online systems. And our reporting shows that the number of people who actually managed to sign up for insurance in the states using the federal system was in the single digits. How many people have actually signed up for insurance this week?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I don’t have the numbers yet. What we know is that, as you indicated, the interest way exceeded expectations and that’s the good news. It shows that people really need and want affordable health care. And the product is a really good one. It turns out that choice and competition work. So what’s happened is you’ve got private insurers who have bid to get into this system to offer affordable health care at significantly lower prices than anybody could buy in the individual market, because basically they’re now part of a big group.

And it is true that what’s happened is the website got overwhelmed by the volume. And folks are working around the clock and have been systematically reducing the wait times, but we are confident that over the course of the six months – because it’s important to remember people have six months to sign up – that we are going to probably exceed what anybody expected in terms of the amount of interest that people have.

More here

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NYMag: George Clooney Explains the Shutdown

…. we asked the liberal-leaning actor for his thoughts about the ongoing government shutdown. He had many — on John Boehner’s grand strategy, on the “idiots” who think we don’t need government, and on Ted Cruz’s reading of Green Eggs and Ham.

“People keep talking about how this has to be a great negotiation, but there isn’t any negotiating a law. We negotiate on all these other topics, but this was put into law, and [Obama] was reelected on it. It was reaffirmed, it was passed through the Supreme Court — it’s a law. You don’t like it? Win an election. That’s how it works…..”

…. “Shutting down the government is not how you make government work. And anybody who thinks we don’t need it is an idiot.”

More here

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I think we linked this already, but it’s so good it can’t be linked enough:

Kurt Eichenwald: The Truth About Obamacare and How It Solves the Suffering of the Insured

Last week, I wrote a lengthy piece to refute the Republican lies about Obamacare. This week, I am going to write about some of the truths.

… Normally, I would start this discussion by providing chapter-and-verse details about the 47 million men, women, and children who now have the opportunity to obtain health insurance, to live longer and healthier lives, to avoid needless bankruptcies. But, in what to me is one of the saddest developments in our nation’s history, that reality is irrelevant to ardent Obamacare opponents.

Words like “takers” and “slackers” are thrown at the uninsured, as if they have brought their pre-existing conditions, jobs without benefits, or low-paying positions on themselves…..

…. I don’t expect to persuade the people who really believe all the malarkey about death panels and socialism. They have been lied to for so long that I think it will take years before they will be able to understand how badly they have been used. But, hopefully, there are those who want to know why Obamacare exists and what the point of it is. And when you know the truth, you will understand that — for all of its imperfections — Obamacare is an essential step toward healing the deeply sick American health-care system.

Full article here

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ThinkProgress: How A Rand Paul Republican From Alabama Learned To Love Obamacare

Joshua Pittman is a 31-year-old self-employed videographer from Montgomery, Alabama. A libertarian Republican who voted for Ron Paul in 2012 and believes that Sen. Rand Paul is the future of the GOP …. But on Tuesday morning, Pittman logged on to HealthCare.gov and after some initial glitches and delays, successfully enrolled in a Bronze-level Obamacare health insurance plan….

Though he initially supported repealing the law, Pittman became curious about Obamacare in the days and weeks before it launched …. Asked what he liked, Pittman highlighted its prohibition against denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, noting that he wouldn’t be able to find coverage without it….

… Pittman doesn’t believe that Obamacare is perfect, but says Republicans in Congress should stop trying to repeal the law and give it a chance to work. “As a Republican, I think [the GOP's repeal effort] is childish and I think this is the wrong way to lead… it’s babyish and I think as a party it just reflects negatively upon us,” he explains.

Full post here

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The Perpetual Campaign: My Obamacare Experience… And Why The Shutdown Was Never About Obamacare

…. I currently pay $348 per month for health insurance, with a $1500 deductible. For a plan with the same level of coverage, I will now pay $297 per month, with a $1000 deductible. This will save me $1100 on health care in 2014. That’s $1100 that I will spend on something other than health care, money that will stimulate the economy. That money did not come from other taxpayers. The savings came as a result of setting up an exchange that would allow everyone to access group buying power.

…. the reason insurers can no longer discriminate against me for my pre-existing condition is because of the individual mandate. If there were no mandate forcing healthy people into the risk pool, then everyone would simply wait until they were sick to get insurance, and the entire insurance system would collapse.

… the Teahadists will scream about losing our freedoms, but as best as I can tell, the only freedoms I’m losing here are the freedom to be in pain and the freedom to overpay for health insurance.

Sorry, Senator Cruz, but contrary to what you wailed no fewer than 100 times during the course of your 21-hour fake filibuster/ideological hissy fit… Obamacare is working, chief.

Full post here

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EgbertoWillies: Even In Texas The Republican Caricature Of Obamacare Is Meeting Reality

Texas Governor Rick Perry has been one of the biggest obstructionists to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in Texas along with the entire Republican Party nationally. Inasmuch as Texas is the state with the highest rate of uninsured citizens he refused Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid. For those with pre-existing condition in Texas who were either in the high priced high risk Texas insurance pool or were uninsured because of the cost of these high risk pools, Obamacare comes to the rescue even here in Texas.

Must-read: here

And more (thank yoooou GlobalCitizenLinda for the link!):

EgbertoWillies: GOP Biggest Fear Occurring – Republicans Loving Obamacare

Anyone wondering why the Right Wing Tea Party Republicans are in a frenzy, one need only see what is happening now that the reality of the Affordable Care Act is emerging. The lies they told are coming back to bite them.

They are attempting to discourage young American citizens from going to the exchanges by telling them Obamacare will either be too expensive or an intrusion from the government. Good things are happening however. Inasmuch as the Right Wing is being outright destructive with the nation’s economy in the attempt to derail Obamacare, empirical and factual data is proven to be a hindrance to their obstructionist tactics.

The State Health Bureaucracy in Texas is actually promoting Obamacare. That is a feat in its own right. On October 1st, the Obamacare health exchange servers were overwhelmed because of the inordinately large number of people accessing it.

More here

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Paul Krugman: Reform Turns Real

…. It’s long been clear that the great fear of the Republican Party was not that health reform would fail, but that it would succeed. And developments since Tuesday, when the exchanges on which individuals will buy health insurance opened for business, strongly suggest that their worst fears will indeed be realized: This thing is going to work.

…. the glitches of October won’t matter in the long run. But why are they actually encouraging? Because they appear, for the most part, to be the result of the sheer volume of traffic, which has been much heavier than expected. And this means that one big worry of Obamacare supporters — that not enough people knew about the program, so that many eligible Americans would fail to sign up — is receding fast.

….. Obamacare is off to a good start, with even the bad news being really good news for the program’s future. We’re not quite there yet, but more and more, it looks as if health reform is here to stay.

Full article here

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Timothy Egan: Wrong Side of History

Sarah Palin finally got her death panels — a direct blow from the Republican House. In shutting down the government, leaving 800,000 people without a paycheck and draining the economy of $300 million a day, the Party of Madness also took away last-chance cancer trials for children at the National Institutes of Health.

And now that the pain that was dismissed as a trifle on Monday, a “slimdown” according to the chuckleheads at Fox News, is revealed as tragic by mid-week, the very radicals who caused the havoc are trying to say it’s not their fault.

It’s too late. They flunked hostage-taking. About 30 or so Republicans in the House, bunkered in gerrymandered districts while breathing the oxygen of delusion, are now part of a cast of miscreants who have stood firmly on the wrong side of history. The headline, today and 50 years from now, will be the same: Republicans closed the government to keep millions of their fellow Americans from getting affordable health care.

More here

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Baltimore Sun: Congress: Do your job

Our view: There is no room to ‘negotiate’ when extremists take the federal government hostage — and threaten to do the same to the economy

With the shutdown dragging along and no discernible progress coming out of Wednesday’s meeting between President Barack Obama and Congressional leaders, Republicans bemoaned the Democrats’ unwillingness to negotiate. They’ll negotiate with the president of Iran, was the common GOP talking point, but they won’t talk to us.

Actually, the more appropriate comparison might have been that President Obama didn’t negotiate with foreign terrorists out to hurt the country, and he isn’t rewarding similar tactics back home. California Rep. George Miller, a Democrat, may have gone too far when he recently referred to the tea party attack on Obamacare as a “jihad” on the House floor, but not by too much.

More here

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Greg Sargent: Dems move to force Republicans to reopen the government

House Democratic leaders believe they have hit on a new way to potentially force House Republican leaders into allowing a vote on a “clean CR” funding the government without any defunding of Obamacare attached.

At last count, as many as two dozen House Republicans appear prepared to vote for a clean CR. With Democrats included, that means a majority of the House of Representatives would vote right now to reopen the government. But the House GOP leadership won’t allow such a vote.

Dems have hit on a way to use a “discharge petition,” which forces a House vote if a majority of Representatives signs it, to try to force the issue. Previously, it was thought this could not work, because a discharge petition takes 30 legislative days to ripen, so if this were tried with the clean CR that passed the Senate, this couldn’t bear fruit until some time in November.

But now House Democrats say they have found a previously filed bill to use as a discharge petition — one that would fund the government at sequester levels.

More here

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On This Day:

Oct. 5, 2012: President Obama has his picture taken with a patron at the West Side Market in Cleveland, Ohio (Pete Souza)

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Oct. 5, 2010: President Obama waits in the Green Room before being introduced at the White House Summit on Community Colleges (Pete Souza)

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Oct. 5, 2011: First Lady Michelle Obama greets USO honorees and their families in the Vermeil Room of the White House (Photo by Samantha Appleton)

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MoooOOOooorning – Happy Saturday!

11
Sep
13

Rise and Shine

Sept. 11, 2010 – Pete Souza: “We were at the Pentagon to mark the ninth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. After the formal ceremony, the President stopped to shake hands with family members of victims attending the event. Here he is holding hands with a little girl.”

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Today (all times Eastern)

8:45 AM: The President, Vice President, First Lady, Dr Jill Biden and White House staff observe a moment of silence to mark the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks

9:30 AM: The President attends a September 11th Observance Ceremony at the Pentagon Memorial

12:30: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney

2:0: The President participates in a service project in the Washington, DC Area

White House Live

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Sept. 11, 2009: President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama gather on the South Lawn of the White House to observe a moment of silence marking the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks (Photo by Pete Souza)

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USA Today: It’s a day of remembrance for President Obama and the rest of the nation.

A full dozen years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the president, first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Biden, and wife Jill Biden gather on the South Lawn of the White House for a moment of silence.

The solemn ceremony is set for the time the first hijacked plane hit the World Trade Center in New York City.

Later in the morning, Obama attends a September 11 Observance Ceremony at the Pentagon … this afternoon, the president participates in a service project, part of the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance.

More here

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USA Today: How the Syria solution developed: The inside story

The idea of coming up with a plan to secure Syria’s chemical weapons dates back more than a year, when President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin first discussed the matter on the sidelines of an economic summit in Los Cabos, Mexico.

At the time, the two remained far apart in their views on the conflict …. but they seemed to find some common ground on the need to secure Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile, although no agreement was reached.

…. Late last week, days after announcing his desire to carry out a punitive strike on Syria, Obama was in St. Petersburg, Russia, for this year’s meeting of the G-20. There was no plan for Putin and Obama to hold formal discussions, but the two chatted informally at the tail end of the first plenary session.

The two leaders then decided to go into a corner of the room and spoke about Syria for 20 to 30 minutes…. Both leaders repeated their longstanding belief that a political solution was the only reasonable end to a civil war that has killed more than 100,000 Syrians, but they remained at odds about Assad’s role in the process.

They did, however, agree something had to be done about chemical weapons, and Putin again broached the idea about finding a path for an international agreement to remove chemical weapons from Syria, according to official.

Obama agreed it was a path worth exploring, and both leaders agreed that Kerry and Lavrov should follow up…..

More here

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Steve Benen: Turning the exceptionalism debate on its ear

For much of President Obama’s first term, when conservatives weren’t questioning President Obama’s citizenship, patriotism, or affinity for capitalism, they complained loudly and frequently about the president’s commitment to “American exceptionalism.”

After last night, the criticisms look pretty silly. Obama has not only embraced the principle, he’s now begun using it as a key part of his rationale in confronting Syria.

…. After years in which Republicans expressed exasperation over the president and his indifference towards exceptionalism — Kathleen Parker, I’m looking in your direction — Obama’s presentation to the nation at times boiled down to a simple proposition: the United States has to act because we’re the United States. It’s what we do. It’s the burden that comes with being a superpower.

We can’t look the other way, the argument goes, because America isn’t just another nation with a flag.

Full post here

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Sept. 11, 2011: President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet guests at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks against the United States (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Sept. 11, 2011: First Lady Michelle Obama signs a program for children at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Sept. 11, 2011 – Pete Souza: “The President greets a woman following a ceremony to commemorate the tenth anniversary of 9/11 at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pa.”

Sept. 11, 2011 – Pete Souza: “Following the ceremony at the Flight 93 National Memorial, the President and First Lady pause as they view the crash site.”

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Morning everyone – will follow-up later with more newsie stuff.

10
Sep
13

Video: President Obama addresses the Nation on Syria

Text of remarks here

10
Sep
13

Heads Up: President Obama Addresses the Nation on Syria

White House Live * Everywhere




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