Posts Tagged ‘review


2011 in photos (a salute to pete souza & his team)

YouTube have blocked the video in some countries because of the music used, if you can’t see it try this:

Have a lovely day tomorrow everyone – or today, if you’re one of our Australian or New Zealand friends!

I just want to thank you all for keeping me company on this amazing journey. So many highs, so many lows, it’s been a bumpy ride. But on the bad days we’ve raised each others’ spirits, and I can never ever thank you enough for that.

You make me think, learn, smile, laugh, cry, the whole lot, I’m richer for knowing you all. You’re just the very loveliest bunch of people.

My heart goes out to those of you who have lost loved ones in the last year or two, I know Christmas will be desperately lonely for you. If you ever need a friend, drop in here – you’ll always find support. And take good care of yourself.

Wishing you all good health and happiness, we’ve a busy year ahead, I need you fired up and ready to go – okay?

Love ya.


Between periods of recovery from turkey overload I’ll carry on posting any updates from Hawaii over the next few days, so don’t go away ;-)


ABC: “20/20″ visited two New York City schools to talk to students and get their feedback on the president. We asked students in grades five through 12 at Frederick Douglass Academy and P.S. 199 Jessie Isador Straus School to describe the president in one word. Watch below to see what they came up with:


First Lady Michelle Obama reacts while talking on the phone to children across the country as part of the annual NORAD Tracks Santa program. Mrs. Obama answered the phone calls from Kailua, Hawaii, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)



afternoon all


President Barack Obama signs legislation that will provide tax credits to help put veterans back to work during a ceremony at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. From left are, Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., Sen. Patty Murray. D-Wash., first lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden, Veterans Affairs Secretary Erik Shinseki and Vice President Joe Biden

Jason Hansman (WH): Today is a historic day for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. When President Obama signs the VOW to Hire Heroes Act into law, an entire generation of new vets will be provided much-needed practical support to transition from combat to careers.  As an Iraq vet I am privileged to lead the membership team at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the country’s first and largest nonpartisan organization committed to our newest veterans. And I speak for all of us when I thank the lawmakers who worked so hard together, putting aside party, to get this bill passed. We also thank the President for his leadership on the issue – for acting so quickly on this legislation and for bringing national attention to the veterans’ unemployment crisis.

More here


Oh dear, Andrew Breitbart’s buddy haz a sad:

Michael Walsh (National Review): ….. the WaPo’s Chris Cillizza makes the same point I made …. You may think Obama is eminently beatable, but unlike Mitt Romney, he has a solid base that is a dead-certain lock to be there for him next year ….

…. Meanwhile, “electable” Romney stays moored at around a quarter of the GOP primary electorate, and as a “frontrunner” has been happily chucked overboard for every not-Romney flavor of the month, including Bachmann, Perry, Cain, and now Mr. Newt. Head-to-head with Romney next year, Obama will sink him handily.

….. Say-Anything Mitt has no home port and is unlikely to find one beyond the generic anti-Obama vote. Which, alas, will not be big enough or motivated enough to evict Cap’n Barry from the White House bridge …. Indeed, the campaign will begin and end with this photograph:

Sorry, but that’s the truth. Say what you will about Sarah Palin, but she would have brought a super-energized base of productive taxpaying citizens with her that might have competed favorably with the Obamabots. But she broke their hearts – and damaged herself – by teasing and then not running, leaving the GOP bereft of a candidate who could match BHO II’s charisma.

What can be done at this late date, I have no idea. And neither do the Republicans.



Jonathan Chait (NY Mag): …. Here is my explanation: Liberals are dissatisfied with Obama because liberals, on the whole, are incapable of feeling satisfied with a Democratic president …. they compare Obama with an imaginary president – either an imaginary Obama or a fantasy version of a past president.

…. His single largest policy accomplishment, the Affordable Care Act, combines two sweeping goals that Democrats have tried and failed to achieve for decades. Likewise, the Recovery Act contained both short-term stimulative measures and increased public investment in infrastructure, green energy, and the like. The Dodd-Frank financial reform, while failing to end the financial industry as we know it, is certainly far from toothless, as measured by the almost fanatical determination of Wall Street and Republicans in Congress to roll it back.

Beneath these headline measures is a second tier of accomplishments carrying considerable historic weight (see article for list)

…. Of the postwar presidents, only Johnson exceeds Obama’s domestic record, and Johnson’s successes must be measured against a crushing defeat in Vietnam. Obama, by contrast, has enjoyed a string of foreign-policy successes ….

So, if Obama is the most successful liberal president since Roosevelt, that would make him a pretty great president, right?

Full article here

Thanks gobrooklyn and saintroscoe


Thank you proudmemberofglobalzero – you see more videos like this at Daniel Tilson’s YouTube channel


Ooooooooooh, so close!




I think most of you have probably seen this video already, but for some reason HuffyPo and others think it’s only just appeared – it’s been on YouTube since March 2009, someone else just copied it and posted it two days ago!

Any way, you can never see it enough ;-)


There are lots more old videos in the ‘Down Memory Lane‘ category


AP: Dresses, china and mementos dating back to days when Americans referred to the first lady as “lady presidentress” or “republican queen” will return to view Saturday at the National Museum of American History, along with Michelle Obama’s dashing inaugural gown as a centerpiece.

The new exhibition “The First Ladies” features 26 dresses and about 160 other objects ranging from Martha Washington’s White House collection to a first look at Laura Bush’s china. It’s the 10th version of the first ladies exhibit in nearly 100 years. The last one closed in October as the museum moves historic objects out of its west wing for a major renovation beginning early next year.

More here


Love it!

More here

Thanks Hopefruit ;-)


‘pursue your dreams and give something back’

LA Times (March, 1990): Barack Obama stares silently at a wall of fading black-and-white photographs in the muggy second-floor offices of the Harvard Law Review. He lingers over one row of solemn faces, his predecessors of 40 years ago. All are men. All are dressed in dark-colored suits and ties. All are white.

It is a sobering moment for Obama, 28, who in February became the first black to be elected president in the 102-year history of the prestigious student-run law journal.

The post, considered the highest honor a student can attain at Harvard Law School, almost always leads to a coveted clerkship with the U.S. Supreme Court after graduation and a lucrative offer from the law firm of one’s choice.

Yet Obama, who has gone deep into debt to meet the $25,000-a-year cost of a Harvard Law School education, has left many in disbelief by asserting that he wants neither.

“One of the luxuries of going to Harvard Law School is it means you can take risks in your life,” Obama said recently. “You can try to do things to improve society and still land on your feet. That’s what a Harvard education should buy – enough confidence and security to pursue your dreams and give something back.”

After graduation next year, Obama says he probably will spend two years at a corporate law firm, then look for community work. Down the road, he plans to run for public office…..

Full article here

** Thank you LoriahR ;-) **

Vanity Fair (June 1990): The new president of the Harvard Law Review was somewhat taken aback by the deluge of media coverage that followed hard on the heels of his election. The New York Times ran a “First Black” headline, which probably won’t be the last time that label is affixed to Barack Obama.

The twenty-eight-year-old law student says he wasn’t going to run for the office until a black friend talked him into it. “There’s a door to kick down,” the friend argued, “and you’re in a position to kick it down.”

The job does give him a great forum, but there’s a trade-off. “I like to read novels, listen to Miles Davis,” he says. “I don’t get to do that anymore. I don’t get dates anymore.” Still, he’s philosophical, even briskly cheerful, about his lost leisure….

…..he responds warily to the assumption that he himself will run for office. “If I go into politics it should grow out of work I’ve done on the local level, not because I’m some media creation.”  Though, as media creations go, he’d be a pretty good one.


flashback …. 1991

Thank you QuietObserver ;-)




matt? oooops

Columbia Journalism Review: Our nomination for this week’s bogus Times trend story is in the national section under the headline, “Murmurs on Left of a Primary Challenge to Obama.” Its author, political writer and analyst Matt Bai, writes that disappointed liberals, spurred by the president’s compromise on extending the Bush era tax cuts, among other compromises and failures, are calling for—or at least “murmuring” among themselves about—a primary challenger to take on the president in the lead-up to 2012. The evidence? A trio of liberal columns. Yep, as the rule goes, “three’s a trend.”

….And that’s pretty much all that’s offered to support the rather sensational headline and a lede which claims the latest compromise “is bound to intensify a debate that has been bubbling up on liberal blogs and e-mail lists in recent weeks—whether or not the president who embodied ‘hope and change’ in 2008 should face a primary challenge in 2012.” Well, after an uncritical reading of this article, maybe.

Full article here

Salon (Alex Pareene): Matt Bai has written — and the New York Times has published! — the most pointless piece of fantastical political “analysis” since … the last Matt Bai piece, I guess. The idea is that there is serious talk among liberals of supporting a primary challenge against Barack Obama, and the only problem with the otherwise flawless story is that that it is not true, and so it is a gigantic waste of everyone’s time.

While Matt Bai and his editors would certainly welcome a serious primary campaign against the president, because it would be fun to report on, the fact is that Bai has built this entire piece around some blog posts. You know you’re reading a really great piece of professional political analysis when the thesis is refuted in the first sentence of the second paragraph. “The idea seems to have little momentum for now,” Bai explains, but then for some reason he continued writing instead of shutting down his MacBook Air and going outside for a nice walk or something….

….As Steve Kornacki explained this morning, Barack Obama’s coalition still loves him and he’s in fine shape for reelection.

Of course, Matt Bai is not a complete idiot. He knows full well that a credible primary challenge from the left is very unlikely. He just wrote this piece because he thinks it would be totally awesome if that did happen. It is like a writer for the Times Science section turning in a piece headlined, “Maybe aliens will give us Warp Drive technology next year, that would be cool.” Save it for your Tumblr, Matt.


Full article here

Washington Independent: Recently, political memes have surfaced that do not have much basis in reality.

Matt Bai of the New York Times sees “murmurs” of a primary challenge against President Obama after he cut a deal with congressional Republicans to extend the tax cuts for the wealthy for two years in exchange for a 13-month unemployment extension, a payroll tax cut and other tax breaks designed to stimulate job growth.

As angry as some liberals are, there isn’t a lot of there there — the article quotes two Huffington Post blogs, a Washington Post op-ed and the head of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, who said he isn’t advocating a primary challenge.

Massachusetts Rep. Mike Capuano said he “may or may not” support Barack Obama’s reelection, but he’s not known for holding his tongue. Moreover, Rep. Alcee Hastings (Fla.) said the same thing over the summer. It’s just talk.

Meanwhile, President Obama has an 80 percent approval rating among self-identified liberals, and liberal icons like Sen. Russ Feingold (Wis.) and Howard Dean have unequivocally said they won’t challenge him.

Full article here

CBS: A column in the New York Times today headlined “Murmurs of Primary Challenge to Obama” is generating buzz about whether the president could face a serious challenge from within his own party in his reelection bid in 2012.

The reality, however, is that such a challenge is extremely unlikely.

…there is a difference between the liberal blogosphere and pundit class – what White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs calls the “professional left” – and the liberal base overall. According to the latest NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll, 90 percent of blacks still approve of the president, as do 82 percent of Democrats and 79 percent of liberals. It would seem to be very difficult to mount a successful challenge from the left in light of these numbers.

Add to that the fact that there is no plausible and interested challenger out there – no figure like Ted Kennedy, who challenged (and weakened) Jimmy Carter. Howard Dean and Russ Feingold, perhaps the two most viable options, say they aren’t doing it; Dean said he “is absolutely, categorically not running in 2012,” while Feingold’s spokesman said the Wisconsin Democrat “has no interest in challenging President Obama in 2012.” Rep. Dennis Kucinich has also ruled out a run.

Indeed, the Times column is pretty thin on evidence that there is momentum building for a primary challenge: It points to Michael Lerner, the editor of Tikkun magazine, former Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. confident Clarence B. Jones and American Prospect co-editor Robert Kuttner. With all due respect to these men, that does not constitute a groundswell of support for a primary challenge.

…despite the juicy Times headline – Mr. Obama doesn’t seem to have much to worry about.

Full article here


the reviews are in!

More on the book here


psst, whisper it, more encouraging news from the asian trip….

When Dmitry Medvedev was a law student he used to read articles in the Harvard Law Review by a guy with a funny name. He was, he said, hugely impressed. Now? Medvedev is Russian President, Barack Obama….well, you know. Funny old world.

From earlier this year, HuffPost:

STEPHANOPOULOS: What do you make of Barack Obama the man?

MEDVEDEV: He’s a very comfortable partner, it’s very interesting to be with him. The most important thing that distinguishes him from many other people – I won’t name anyone by name – he’s a thinker, he thinks when he speaks. Which is already pretty good.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You had somebody in your mind, I think. (LAUGHS)

MEDVEDEV: Obviously I do have someone on my mind. I don’t want to offend anyone. He’s eager to listen to his partner, which is a pretty good quality for a politician. Because any politician is to a certain degree a mentor. They preach something. And the ability to listen to their partner is very important for the politician. And he is pretty deeply emerged in the subject, so he has a good knowledge of what he’s talking about. There was no instance in our meetings with Mr. Obama where he wasn’t well prepared for the questions. This is very good. And after all, he’s simply a very pleasant man with whom it’s a pleasure to deal with.


check please!



for old times’ sake

Barack Obama in a Black History Minute from 1991









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