President Barack Obama smiles as he walks down the steps of the Capitol with Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny after attending a “Friends of Ireland” luncheon
President Barack Obama holds a book of poetry given to him by Ireland’s Prime Minister Enda Kenny during their meeting in the Oval Office
Vice President Joe Biden listens during a meeting between President Barack Obama and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, on St. Patrick’s Day in the Oval Office
St. Louis Rams’ Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin, Jared Cook, Chris Givens and Kenny Britt put their hands up to show support for Michael Brown before a game against the Oakland Raiders at the Edward Jones Dome.
Tavon Austin #11, Jared Cook #89, Chris Givens #13 of the St. Louis Rams pay homage to Mike Brown
Professional sport, as we know, is generally an amoral cesspit (eg see Ray Rice’s reinstatement) jammed with self-absorbed, overpaid twats who couldn’t give a crap about anything outside their own ludicrous worlds or anything that doesn’t feed their egos.
But then, occasionally, we get gestures like today’s from those Rams players, and from the Miami Heat back in 2012. And they’re powerful, not least to the kids for whom these guys are idols.
And their idols honored Michael Brown and protested against what was done to him. That matters. That’s good.
In this image posted to Miami Heat basketball player LeBron James’ Twitter page, Miami Heat players wear team hoodies. Heat stars Dwyane Wade and James decided, March 22, 2012, to make their reactions about the Trayvon Martin situation public, and James felt the best way to do that was the team photo with everyone wearing hoodies.
Irish Times: Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said US president Barack Obama has ’reaffirmed his intention’ to return to Ireland for a second official visit.
The two leaders held the traditional annual St Patrick’s Day meeting at the White House in Washington today.
Following a private meeting with the president afterwards, the Taoiseach said Mr Obama had accepted an invitation to visit Ireland again but was unable to say if he would do so during his second term as president.
I smiled at the whole ‘Is America better off?” business the last few days. There are countless reasons to answer ‘yes’, not least economically wise, but I think back to President Obama and Michelle visiting Ireland.
When Bush visited, it was the largest security operation in the history of the state, that’s what was required to protect him from the protestors – he wasn’t welcome. And he wasn’t allowed anywhere near the public, who had nothing but contempt for him.
And then President Obama and Michelle visited Ireland:
Charles Pierce: …. That was about as bad a speech as you ever will see from a candidate who probably just wrapped up the nomination. …. At its heart, though, Romney’s speech featured some sub-Santorumish sarcasm directed at the president for having been a law professor while Willard was fighting his way up every inch of the hard road that leads from opulent wealth to incalculable wealth.
…. There was also the requisite sneering at community organizing. Let us consider, then, the community in which the president once organized. This is what I found out about it when I went and looked at it in 2008:
Obama also worked in the Altgeld Gardens, a housing development built in 1945 atop an ecological hellspout where two thousand families lived on an old landfill and hard by fifty-three different sites that had been designated as “toxic” by one study of the area.
Altgeld Gardens was built on the bones of old steel mills and factories, and atop the waste dumps and landfills that serviced them. And, when they built the projects there, they filled them full of asbestos. That poisoned neighborhood was a perfect product of the “freedom” that Romney talks about when he talks about an unregulated economy. Barack Obama went there to organize the people who were living on that deadly ground because The Market couldn’t have cared less about them, and the various governments allowed The Market not to care and, so, did not care either. The kids with the asthma, they weren’t free. The kids who developed the renal disease, they weren’t free. The people in all the cancer clusters, they weren’t free ….. in the 1980’s, when the president was working for peanuts trying to get some sort of justice for the people that The Market had chosen to poison, Willard Romney was making millions with Bain Capital…..
Michael Tomasky: Illinois was a breeze for Mitt Romney, and yes, numerically, maybe it’s getting close to done. But state by state, this still isn’t over. Rick Santorum remains likely to win Louisiana, which is next. Then comes Wisconsin on April 3. Santorum is still about 15 points ahead there right now. And it looks like Santorum has taken Missouri – again. So while Illinois probably means that Romney is on his way to the nomination, and maybe on his way to 1,144 delegates, it’s also a fact that Santorum isn’t going anywhere….
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny came to Washington bearing a few special gifts for President Barack Obama.
Among them, an official certificate of Irish heritage. “These are rare, as rare as the man himself,” Kenny said, presenting the document to Obama at a White House reception.
The president, without missing a beat, said: “This will have a special place of honor, alongside my birth certificate.”
First Lady Michelle Obama gestures as she pretends to pour a pint of beer alongside Fionnuala Kenny
Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley performs with his Celtic rock band O’Malley’s March during a St. Patrick’s Day Reception at the White House
President Barack Obama, House Speaker John Boehner, and others applaud as Enda Kenny, Taoiseach of Ireland, is introduced during a St. Patrick’s Day lunch at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., March 20, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
I posted the video below in the comments in the previous thread in response to Joan’s take on the debate: “The world is listening to these people. They’re all seriously embarrassing the United States, the entire country. They should be dumped in a deep lake somewhere.”
But, I honestly think the world sees the difference between these nutjobs and sane Americans!
Just as a small example, when George W Bush came to Ireland in 2004 it was the biggest security operation in the history of the state because of the protests against his visit. The public wasn’t allowed anywhere near him.
Too many blissful moments to choose from today, but go on then …. I’ll pick these three minutes … just listen to the crowd from 0:18 and watch the President and First Lady’s reaction:
And these five photos….
1 Because the President visiting Ireland meant so, so much to Dan Rooney – just look at his face at Dublin airport this morning, and the way he’s holding the President’s hands:
2 Because the sight of President Obama with a hurley in his hands just cracked me up …. especially when he threatened to use it against Congress:
3 Because the Obamas’ visit to Moneygall gave the village’s people a day they will never, ever forget:
4 Because this photo just showed how fun and utterly lovely the first couple are:
5 Because, for me, this photo is iconic. The sight of President Obama pointing towards the skies, in the general direction of the Irish flag, will hardly make Ireland’s economic disaster go away …. but his speech today made more than a few Irish folk believe that Ireland can come back again: Is Féidir Linn … Yes We Can.
Can I have a sixth? Please? Thanks!
Because they said President Obama couldn’t possibly attract as big a crowd in Dublin as Bill Clinton did 15 years ago.
He did ;-)
Thank you for your company on a beautiful day – I won’t be able to post as frequently tomorrow, but I’ll do my best ;-)