Archive for September 23rd, 2010

23
Sep
10

the lesser halves

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President Obama: But I’m not just here today to sing President Clinton’s praises, or to commend all of you for the terrific work that each of you have done — although I am grateful for that. I am here to play an even more important role, and that is to introduce my better half: my extraordinary wife, and America’s extraordinary First Lady, Michelle Obama. (Applause.)

Now, Bill Clinton understands where I’m coming from here. (Laughter.) He knows what it’s like to be married to somebody who’s smarter — (laughter) — somebody who’s better looking — (laughter) — somebody who’s just all around a little more impressive than you are. (Laughter and applause.) Right? It’s — this is not news to people. (Laughter.)

Since Michelle and I first started dating 22 years ago, pretty much everybody I know who’s met her at some point comes up to me and says, you know, Barack, you’re great and all, I like you, but your wife, now, she’s really something. (Laughter.) And I, of course, agree. They’re right. And I feel grateful that Michelle so far, at least, has not run for any offices I’ve been running for. (Laughter.) She would beat me thoroughly.

…..And while I get plenty of good advice from a lot of people during the course of the day, at the end of each day, it is Michelle — her moral voice, her moral center — that cuts through all the noise in Washington and reminds me of why I’m there in the first place.

…..And while I am tremendously proud of the First Lady that she’s been for this country, at the end of the day I’m most grateful that she’s been such a partner to me, and the best mother that I know.

Every moment that I spend with my daughters, I am thankful for all that she’s done to make them who they are. Every day, I see her strength and her kindness and her character reflected in the two of them. And there is no greater gift — and I know Bill feels the same way about when he looks at Chelsea, he sees this incredible force that a mother can bring.

To this day, I still don’t know how I talked her into marrying me, but I know that I am the luckiest guy in the world that she did. So it is with that that I would like to introduce you to my first lady, America’s First Lady, Michelle Obama. (Applause.)

Full text of President Obama’s introduction and Michelle Obama’s speech here

23
Sep
10

worlds apart

The President outlines his Administration’s vision for American leadership in the 21st century and calls on the world to help realize a future built on freedom and human rights in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly. September 23

First Lady Michelle Obama with Yoo Soon-taek (R), wife of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, after President Barack Obama spoke to the United Nations General Assembly September 23

23
Sep
10

good health, mr president

President Barack Obama participates in a toast at a luncheon hosted by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon during the General Assembly at the United Nations September 23, 2010 in New York City

23
Sep
10

“those signs should be going up at the other folks’ event”

OBAMA HECKLED: NEW YORK – President Barack Obama was heckled multiple times during his speech at a Democratic fundraiser in one of the country’s most Democratic cities. 

They held signs and interrupted his speech to protest AIDS funding and the stalled repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the policy banning gays for serving openly in the military that he has promised to repeal.

His administration has increased AIDS funding, he said, but “the people that potentially will take over will cut AIDS funding if we don’t focus on this election.”

The “don’t ask, don’t tell” protest came moments later, as Obama began talking about how incomes for middle class fell by 5 percent – a statement he had to repeat twice. 

The president pointed out that this week Senate Republicans blocked Democrats’ attempt to begin debating a bill that would have moved toward repealing the policy.

“And as a consequence some of those signs should be going up at the other folks’ event. Folks should be hollering at the other folks’ event,” he said, “because the choice in November could not be clearer.”

In response to a thread started recently on a forum we all know, entitled ‘Obama has taken no questions from LGBT media since election,’ ‘Political Tiger’ posted this:

Yet he invited Rachael Maddow to the White House and hosted a reception for 300 LGBT activists at the White House to honor LGBT Pride, the first such event ever held at the WH … appointed more openly gay people to his administration than the last two combined, including the first ever transgender appointees … awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Harvey Milk and Billie Jean King … signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act … spoke out against LGBT discrimination at the National Prayer Breakfast … spoke out about repealing Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell in his first State of the Union Address … released the first Presidential PRIDE proclamations since 2000 … invited gay families to the Easter Egg Roll as part of the Obama administration’s outreach to diverse communities … welcomed four gay couples to its first State Dinner … publicly invited shunned gay Mississippi high school prom student to the White House … convened the first-ever anti-bullying summit to craft a national strategy to reduce bullying in schools … reversed the US’s position by signing the UN Declaration on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity … successfully fought for UN accreditation of IGLHRC (the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission, against Republican attempts to block it … extended benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees in 2009 and 2010 … issued diplomatic passports, and provided other benefits, to the partners of same-sex foreign service employees … banned job discrimination based on gender identity throughout the Federal government (the nation’s largest employer) … instructed HHS to require any hospital receiving Medicare or Medicaid funds (virtually all hospitals) to allow LGBT visitation rights … extended the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program … issued a National HIV/AIDS Strategy praised as “long-overdue” by the Task Force, Lambda and others … eliminated the discriminatory Census Bureau policy that kept gay relationships from being counted, encouraging couples who consider themselves married to file that way, even if their state of residence does not yet permit legal marriage … produced U.S. Census Bureau PSAs featuring gay, lesbian, and transgender spokespersons … extended domestic violence protections to LGBT victims … extended the Family and Medical Leave Act to cover employees taking unpaid leave to care for the children of same-sex partners … required all grant applicants seeking HUD funding to comply with state and local anti-discrimination laws that protect LGBT individuals … issued guidance specifically to assist LGBT tenants denied housing on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity……….

But let’s ignore all that because bitching is so much more fun.”

But hey, if these haters choose to ignore all that (‘Change we refuse to believe in!’), and carry on (willfully) failing to distinguish their enemies from their friends, they’re most welcome to Palin, O’Donnell and Co.

PS Have a read of this

President Barack Obama kisses Judy Shepard, Matthew Shepard’s mother, after delivering remarks following the enactment of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act in the East Room of the White House October 28, 2009 in Washington, DC. Obama earlier signed the $681 billion U.S. defense budget bill which included a provision that makes it a federal hate crime to assault people based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. Matthew Shepard was tortured and murdered in 1998 in Wyoming. Witnesses say he was targeted for being gay. Also in 1998, three white men in Texas chained James Byrd, a black man, to a pickup truck and dragged him to his death.

Louvon Harris stands alongside her sister Betty Byrd Boatner, both sisters of James Byrd, Jr, as she embraces Judy Shepard, mother of Matthew Shepard, as President Barack Obama looks on after he spoke in honor of the enactment of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr, Hate Crimes Prevention Act during a reception in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, October 28, 2009.





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