Pete Souza: “Call him the baby soother. At the Congressional picnic on the South Lawn, the First Lady held a young baby who began crying (top photo). The President then came over to hold the same baby and was able to quiet her down as the First Lady reacted in astonishment in the background of the bottom photo.” June 15, 2011
Pete Souza: “We had just arrived at the helicopter landing zone in Chicago and instead of walking right to the motorcade, the President and First Lady walked past their vehicle to the edge of Lake Michigan to view the skyline of their home town.” June 15, 2012
Daniel W. Drezner (Foreign Policy): Why Obama is arming Syria’s rebels: it’s the realism, stupid.
…. is this the first step towards another U.S.-led war in the region? No. Everything in that Times story, and everything this administration has said and done for the past two years, screams deep reluctance over intervention. Arming the rebels is not the same thing as a no-fly zone or any kind of ground intervention. This is simply the United States engaging in its own form of asymmetric warfare. For the low, low price of aiding and arming the rebels, the U.S. preoccupies all of its adversaries in the Middle East.
…. Now let’s be clear: to describe this as “morally questionable” would be an understatement. It’s a policy that makes me very uncomfortable… until one considers the alternatives. What it’s not, however, is a return to liberal hawkery.
So, to conclude: the United States is using a liberal internationalist rubric to cloak a pretty realist policy towards Syria.
Steve Benen: It was just three weeks ago that President Obama made a persuasive case for closing the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. He described a military prison that costs too much, has become an international embarrassment, and is filled with “people who have been charged with no crime.”
…. Last week, House Republicans once again barred the Obama administration from transferring detainees from Guantanamo Bay. Friday, against a backdrop of a terrible hunger strike, a Democratic effort to do the right thing was easily defeated in the face of mindless, reactionary conservative opposition.
Kurt Eichenwald: PRISM Isn’t Data Mining and Other Falsehoods in the N.S.A. “Scandal”
I can’t stand it.
A few days ago, I wrote in some detail about the National Security Agency’s data-mining program in hopes of calming the hysteria that has been whipped up in the last number of days by incorrect and misleading reports, as well as by plenty of ill-informed commentary based on those errors. At this point, I’ve decided that I need to tell a little bit more…..
Tommy Christopher (Mediaite): …. Glenn Greenwald and his source, whistle-and-country-blower Edward Snowden, have completely taken over the political media with revelations that hype well, but don’t amount to much upon closer examination. Now, Greenwald promises more (and more devastating) revelations to come, but what has been revealed so far is about as alarming as an epidemic of Pac Man Fever….
…. That hasn’t stopped the media from going all Chicken Little, some because they’re desperate to “have the conversation,” some because they want to attack President Obama to prove varying types of cred, and some because they’d like even less fettering of the surveillance state. I think we do need to “have the conversation” about government surveillance, but it should begin in 1978, not last week, when the world discovered that the first black president was in charge of it….
Dec. 14, 2011: “During one of the Christmas Holiday receptions at the White House, I noticed the First Lady’s hands resting on the podium as the President made brief remarks.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Sept. 21, 2011: “The First Lady reacts to something the President whispered to her at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in between events related to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, New York City.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
June 11, 2011: “The top photograph shows the President having a water gun fight with his daughter Sasha on her birthday weekend at Camp David. Unbeknownst to me, David Lienemann captured a similar photo of the Vice President on the very same day.” (Official White House Photos by Pete Souza and David Lienemann)
Feb. 5, 2011: “The two coaches for Sasha Obama’s basketball couldn’t make it to one of her games, so the President and his then personal aide, Reggie Love, filled in as coaches for this game one Saturday. Here they along with Sasha’s teammates react during the game.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
June 15, 2011: “Call him the baby soother. At the Congressional picnic on the South Lawn, the First Lady held a young baby who began crying (top photo). The President then came over to hold the same baby and was able to quiet her down as the First Lady reacted in astonishment in the background of the bottom photo.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
May 1, 2011: “The President was ready to announce the news about the mission against Osama bin Laden and was putting the finishing touches on his statement in the Outer Oval Office. As he did so, the networks broke in with bulletins confirming that bid Laden had been killed and a photograph of him appeared on the television screen in the background near the Vice President and Press Secretary Jay Carney.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Oct. 14, 2011: “The Obama family made an unannounced visit to tour the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington, D.C. the night before the President made remarks at the official dedication of the memorial.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
“The President reacts jokingly after the First Lady in her remarks called Jill Biden, ‘my favorite person here,’ despite the fact that her husband was standing next to her. All in good fun, the President then spoke at the signing ceremony for the Veterans Opportunity to Work to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Dec. 1, 2011: “The President with Malia and the First Lady with Sasha wait backstage before the lighting of the National Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Dec. 21, 2011: “The President and Bo, the Obama family dog, ride in the presidential motorcade en route to PetSmart in Alexandria, Va. The President bought Bo some Christmas gifts at the pet store then walked nearby to Best Buy to purchase gifts for his daughters. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)