Thank you CarolDuhart
Thank you CarolDuhart
August 2006: Senator Barack Obama peers out of what was Nelson Mandela’s prison cell on Robben Island off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa (Photo: Pete Souza)
Washington Post: President and Michelle Obama will leave Washington on Wednesday for a week-long trip to three African nations, focusing on economic development, democracy building and private sector investment.
Among the highlights for the president will be bilateral meetings with the leaders of Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania, visits to Senegal’s supreme court and a power plant in Tanzania, tours of a slave museum in Gorree Island and the site of the prison where Nelson Mandela was held for two decades on Robben Island.
Obama also will tour a community center with Archbishop Desmond Tutu in Cape Town.
The centerpiece of the trip will be the president’s speech at the University of Cape Town, where he will deliver a message that the United States intends to significantly boost its presence on the continent….
…. Michelle Obama, too, will have a full schedule. She will speak to girls at a Senegal middle school and with students at a South African high school, and she will participate in a first ladies summit hosted by the George W. Bush Institute. Former first lady Laura Bush also will participate, along with first ladies of African nations, officials said.
August, 2006: Sen. Barack Obama, Michelle, daughters Sasha, Malia and other children help plant a tree with 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, Nairobi, Kenya
Photos from then Senator Obama’s visit to Africa in 2006 – all taken by Pete Souza, then working for the Chicago Tribune:
…. touring Robben Island with Ahmed Kathrada, a former prison mate of Nelson Mandela
….. visiting a health clinic in a township near Cape Town, Sen. Obama talks to Sisisipo Mngeni, 3, whose mother Nomathamsanqa Mngeni (top right) is HIV positive
….. viewing a 1976 photograph of the fatally wounded Hector Pieterson at the museum in Soweto, named for the 13-year old victim of apartheid violence. Antoinette Pieterson, Hector’s sister, accompanies Obama
President Obama and Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) talk as Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Mark Udall (D-COL) putt out during a round of golf at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland
Musicians Mavis Staples and Justin Timberlake listen to first lady Michelle Obama during a Memphis Soul music workshop in the State Dining Room of the White House, April 9
Musicians Samuel Moore, Mavis Staples and Justin Timberlake
2:0: Vice President Biden Speaks at a Law Enforcement Event at the White House
7:30: The President and First Lady host a concert celebrating Memphis Soul music as part of their “In Performance at the White House” series
Both on White House live
Senator Tim Kaine: Nearly four months after the horrific Newtown shootings, the Senate is poised to do something that hasn’t been done for a long time in Congress – actually have a meaningful floor debate on reducing gun violence. Some senators and lobbyists are trying to make sure that no vote can take place. This should outrage the strong majority of American citizens who believe in reasonable gun rules to protect public safety.
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and 11 other senators have promised to filibuster any discussion of gun safety rules. Instead of just voting against restrictions they don’t like, they are trying to block any vote whatsoever….
…. There are those who believe the National Rifle Association and its allies are so powerful that no legislation will pass. But the power of the organization’s leadership is vastly overrated. I’ve run three statewide races in the NRA’s home state. Its leadership campaigned vigorously against me each time, spending nearly $800,000 against me in my 2012 Senate race. I won all my races anyway.
Full Op-ed here
Steve Benen: I’ve long believed we can learn a lot about politicians by how they conduct their campaigns. Candidates who are honest and above board before the election tend to be honest and above board after the votes are tallied. Those who choose to be dishonest and sleazy during the race are often less than forthright once in office.
And if this adage is true, we’re learning some unsettling things about Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell…
Greg Sargent: …. The suggestion by the McConnell campaign that Mother Jones engaged in “Watergate-style tactics to bug campaign headquarters” is intriguing; it constitutes a suggestion that Mother Jones broke the law. To my knowledge, the McConnell campaign didn’t provide CNN with any evidence of this. (The Mother Jones story only says that a “recording” of the strategy session “was obtained by Mother Jones.”) It’s a serious charge, and if it were made without evidence by the campaign of the Senate minority leader — perhaps the most powerful Republican elected official the country — it’s a big deal.
The People’s View: How Obama is Vastly Expanding the Social Safety Net
Since late last week, we have been fed a steady diet of grandma on catfood and the eeeebil Obama that is trying to make that happen. As usual, focusing on the method of inflation adjustment (that isn’t simply applicable to Social Security but all of government), our venerable Leftist talking heads are missing the forest for the trees. Well, more like they’re missing the forest for the branches. While people are howling at a revised method of calculating inflation, they are completely missing broader perspective on how this president is devising a more expansive social safety net.
So let’s get some perspective. This president has expanded the social safety net in more broadly than anyone since the passage of Social Security – through health care reform, through expanding children’s health insurance, through student aid expansion and through Medicare reforms. Let’s talk about those.
NYT: David Axelrod, the political strategist behind the rise of President Obama, has signed with Penguin Press to write a memoir, the publisher said Tuesday morning. Release is slated for fall 2014.
Independent (UK): Lady Thatcher’s death could propel The Wizard Of Oz track “Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead” to the top of the charts.
Those who saw her death as a cause for celebration have prompted a download surge for the track.
Within 24 hours of the former Prime Minister’s death, the song had risen to number 9 in the iTunes best-sellers chart. It reached number 2 on the Amazon singles download chart.
Guess who’s paws? twitter.com/petesouza/stat…
— petesouza (@petesouza) April 9, 2013
January 2005, Barack Obama sworn in as US Senator
January 2009, the Inauguration ….. never saw that coming, eh Dick?
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will again administer the oath of office to President Barack Obama during his second inauguration this month, the Presidential Inaugural Committee announced on Friday.
Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will take the oath officially on Sunday, Jan. 20 and again on Jan. 21 in a ceremonial swearing-in at the Capitol. Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor will be the fourth woman to administer the oath when she swears in the vice president, the committee said.
President Obama puts his toe on the scale as Trip Director Marvin Nicholson weighs himself in the volleyball locker room at the University of Texas in Austin, Aug. 9, 2010 (Pete Souza)
Morning everyone – or afternoon/evening/night.
It’s another one of those Sundays, a bit busy-ish with work, but I’ll be dropping in and out through the day and will update later. So, chat away ;-)
PS From the archives (thanks Cluny!)
See the speech at C-Span
… with Air Force Col. Michael A. Minihan
Andrews, Sept 27
…. with Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) at Naval Air Station Oceania, Sept 27
Springfield, Virginia, Sept 27
Mediaite: …. Mitt Romney’s campaign released its first television ad …. The biggest point of contention was a moment where the ad shows 2008 footage of then-Candidate Obama making fun of a quote made by one of John McCain’s aides. However, the Romney ad makes it seem like Obama is saying the quote himself. When CNN asked Romney’s team about the error, they cheerfully responded that they did it on purpose.
This appears to have really ticked some folks at the news network off as CNN just did a segment on the ad that was one of the most blistering things we’ve ever seen…..
10:30 AM President Obama pardons the National Thanksgiving Turkey (Woot!)
4:20 The President, First Lady and their daughters participate in a service event
Wait, wait, don’t tell me! 2005
President Barack Obama greets members of the audience after delivering remarks on the American Jobs Act at Manchester Central High School, Manchester, N.H., Nov. 22. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Thanks Tracy – as seen at Political Carnival
Will catch up later today, chat away ;-)
Source – 2008 (extracts): Mary was a newlywed and ready to move to Norway, but was stopped at the airport because she didn’t have enough money for the trip. Then a stranger turned up and paid for her.
Mary Menth Andersen was 31 years old at the time and had just married Norwegian Dag Andersen. She was looking forward to starting a new life in Åsgårdstrand in Vestfold with him. But first she had to get all of her belongings across to Norway. The date was November 2nd, 1988.
At the airport in Miami things were hectic as usual, with long lines at the check-in counters. When it was finally Mary’s turn and she had placed her luggage on the baggage line, she got the message that would crush her bubbling feeling of happiness.
“You’ll have to pay a $103 surcharge if you want to bring both those suitcases to Norway,” the man behind the counter said.
Mary had no money. Her new husband had travelled ahead of her to Norway, and she had no one else to call.
“I was completely desperate and tried to think which of my things I could manage without. But I had already made such a careful selection of my most prized possessions,” says Mary.
Although she explained the situation to the man behind the counter, he showed no signs of mercy.
“I started to cry, tears were pouring down my face and I had no idea what to do. Then I heard a gentle and friendly voice behind me saying, “That’s OK, I’ll pay for her”.”
Mary turned around to see a tall man whom she had never seen before.
….She was thrilled to be able to bring both her suitcases to Norway and assured the stranger that he would get his money back. The man wrote his name and address on a piece of paper that he gave to Mary. She thanked him repeatedly. When she finally walked off towards the security checkpoint, he waved goodbye to her.
The piece of paper said ‘Barack Obama’ and his address in Kansas, which is the state where his mother comes from. Mary carried the slip of paper around in her wallet for years, before it was thrown out.
“He was my knight in shining armor,” says Mary, smiling.
She paid the $103 back to Obama the day after she arrived in Norway. At that time he had just finished his job as a poorly paid community worker in Chicago, and had started his law studies at prestigious Harvard university.
In the spring of 2006 Mary’s parents had heard that Obama was considering a run for president, but that he had still not decided. They chose to write a letter in which they told him that he would receive their votes. At the same time, they thanked Obama for helping their daughter 18 years earlier.
In a letter to Mary’s parents dated May 4th, 2006 and stamped ‘United States Senate, Washington DC’, Barack Obama writes:
“I want to thank you for the lovely things you wrote about me and for reminding me of what happened at Miami airport. I’m happy I could help back then, and I’m delighted to hear that your daughter is happy in Norway. Please send her my best wishes. Sincerely, Barack Obama, United States senator.”
The parents sent the letter on to Mary.
“It’s amazing to think that the man who helped me 20 years ago may now become the next US president,” says Mary delightedly.
Original Norwegian newspaper link
Pjstar: Forgive Tim and Diana Wheeler if they sometimes slip and refer to President Obama by his first name. After all, the Wheelers are quite possibly the only townsfolk in Alpha to know the leader of the free world on a first-name basis.
“Barack is coming to Alpha!” Tim Wheeler, 53, crowed with a chuckle Tuesday at Caterpillar Inc.’s Building HH, where he is a section manager.
Not that the Wheelers would be so informal Wednesday, when there’s a good chance – yet again – that they’ll get a few minutes to chat with their presidential pal. “We knew him before he was president,” Diane Wheeler, 50, said from Alpha. “We got in the habit of calling him by his first name. Out of respect, now it’s ‘Mister President.'”
Mind you, the Wheelers are no heavy-hitting politicos or deep-pocket contributors. They’re just workaday people who just happen to have the ear of the most powerful man on the planet. And when Obama saunters into the Country Corners Farm Market, the Wheelers stand the best chance of the Alpha’s 671 residents for a presidential one-on-one. It’s a special relationship, stretching from a hardscrabble farming burg to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. “We consider him a friend,” Diane Wheeler said.
The connection comes via son Marcus Wheeler, who in 2004 was a 19-year-old in dire need of a liver transplant. At the time, Tim Wheeler faced the loss of his 28-year job at Butler Manufacturing, which would leave Galesburg the next year. No job meant no insurance.
Meanwhile, Obama, then a state senator from Chicago, was campaigning for a U.S. Senate seat. On May 15 of that year, he made an unplanned stop at Galesburg’s Labor Temple, to talk with 25 local labor leaders. One was Wheeler, of United Steelworkers Local 2629.
When he got a chance with Obama, Wheeler sobbed as he told of his son’s need of a second transplant and expensive drugs. Obama promised to seek help via Medicare.
Two months later, die-hard Democrats Tim and Diana Wheeler flipped on their TV to see Obama address the Democratic National Convention, as John Kerry’s keynote speaker. A riveting speech bolstered his national gravitas, in part with the heartfelt plea, “We have more work to do. More work to do for the workers I met in Galesburg, Illinois, who are losing their union jobs. … More to do for the father that I met who was losing his job and choking back the tears, wondering how he would pay $4,500 a month for the drugs his son needs without the health benefits that he counted on.”
Stunned to tears, the Wheelers vowed to support Obama the next week at a Kewanee rally. Tim Wheeler approached Obama, who immediately said, “I want you to know: Every day I say a prayer for Marcus.” Thereafter, Obama would use the Wheeler story on the stump. Meanwhile, Tim Wheeler got a new job, at Cat, where insurance covered another two liver transplants for his son. In 2006, Obama’s “The Audacity of Hope” mentioned Galesburg several times, including the value of on-the-road encounters with people like the Wheelers: “Those were the stories you missed on a private jet at 40,000 feet.”
Later, they there were more meet-ups. When Marcus had treatment at the University of Chicago Hospitals, his dad met Michelle Obama in a hallway. She said her husband often prayed for the family. Later, as a U.S. senator, Obama gave a speech at the University of Illinois. Marcus Wheeler, en route to a bachelor’s degree in math, got a front-row seat. To start the speech, Obama mouthed, “Hi, Marcus.”
And in 2009, before Obama toured Cat here, Tim Wheeler was picked to join 200 workers to meet with Obama. Through the throng, the president summoned Wheeler for a few personal words for the first time since inauguration.
“How ya doing?” Wheeler asked.
“Oh,” Obama said with a grin, “I’ve been kinda busy these days.” ….
Full article here
Thank you LOL ;-)