Archive for December 30th, 2010

30
Dec
10

west wing week: “mailbag day, new year’s edition”

30
Dec
10

there but for the grace of god……

I haven’t posted one of my own photos here before, largely because they’re completely rubbish (unless you like out-of-focus Golden Retriever’s bottoms), but I just wanted to share this one.

It was taken on the evening of President Obama’s inauguration as me and my two friends left a metro station in DC en route to a celebratory meal in a swanky restaurant.

To make ourselves feel better we dropped some money in the man’s cardboard box, but he didn’t respond, he was in another world.

It was a magnificent day in our lives, but just another day in his.

I thought of him again tonight after reading some emails from visitors to this blog, truly amazing people who give up so much of their time to do voluntary work to help people just like this man. We’ll never know his story, what happened in his life to reduce him to this, but it’s just incredibly heartening to know there are people out there doing their very best to help.

Many would say he’s just a a bum and a junkie, most probably inflicting misery on other people’s lives. That may be true, his woes may well be self-inflicted, but there but for the grace of God go all of us … and even if, like me, you’re not religious, the sentiment holds true.

So, just to say: thank you to all you wonderful people who quietly do the very best you can to help. While the keyboard warriors trash you on various – supposedly – progressive websites, you’re out in the real world trying to help real people in their real lives.

Love you for it – you know who you are.

30
Dec
10

good luck, mr president

Shamans perform a ritual for good luck in 2011 as they hold up an image of President Obama in Lima, Peru, Dec. 29, 2010

Thank you globalcitizenlinda

30
Dec
10

flashback …. what became of barry?

‘Scott & Barry, 3rd grade, 1969’

A former Manoa, Hawaii resident sent President Barack Obama an old photo of the two of them taken while they were third-grade classmates at Noelani Elementary School, requesting an autograph …. He received the autographed picture back, as well as a personally signed thank-you note.

Scott Inoue, now a chiropractor in Stockton, Calif., said the small, black-and-white photo had been stashed away for almost 40 years at his childhood home in Manoa. For some reason, Inoue said, as he was growing up he always remembered that photo and wondered what became of “Barry.”

30
Dec
10

fox noise: incensed hawaiians lash out at obama

Well wishers hold up a sign offering their greetings as President Obama’s motorcade drives past in Waialua, Hawaii, December 30

30
Dec
10

down to a tee

Aug. 22, 2010: “On vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, the President was golfing at the Vineyard Golf Club. I switched my digital camera to the black-and-white setting to capture the ominous clouds.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

From the Year in Photos on the White House Flickr site

30
Dec
10

the year in photos

July 22, 2010: “It’s always fun to observe how the President interacts with little kids, in this case the very shy daughter of Sen. Jack Reed who had brought his family by for an Oval Office visit.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Oct. 17, 2010: “Waiting backstage to be introduced, the President wrapped his arms around the First Lady before an outdoor rally in Columbus, Ohio.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


Feb. 6, 2010: “Another snowstorm blanketed Washington for the second time in a few days. Because it was a Saturday, I hung around the White House thinking that the President might venture out in the snow with his daughters. Here they are playing in the Rose Garden in the midst of the storm.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

March 22, 2010: “The day after the health care bill passed, the President greeted Sen. Tom Harkin at the door of the Oval Office before a meeting with the Senate Democratic Leadership.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

July 17, 2010: “On a weekend trip to Acadia National Park in Maine, the President showed his daughters, Malia and Sasha, how to skip stones during a hike in the park.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

May 5, 2010: “After doing a series of posed photos, the President started joking around with the First Lady in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House before a Cinco de Mayo event.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Dec. 10, 2010: “The President had just met with former President Clinton late on a Friday afternoon. When they emerged from the Oval Office, the President said, “We’re going to the press briefing room.” I had walked ahead of them and, upon reaching the briefing room, found that the door was locked: the press office staff were all attending a White House Christmas party in the residence. So we went to find Robert Gibbs. “We’re looking for some reporters,” the President said, when we found Robert Gibbs in his office. Returning to the briefing room, the two Presidents waited until someone found a key, before doing an impromptu news conference.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Oct. 31, 2010: “It was Halloween at the White House for military families and the First Lady began dancing with some of the their children.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


Sept. 11, 2010: “We were at the Pentagon to mark the ninth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. After the formal ceremony, the President stopped to shake hands with family members of victims attending the event. Here he is holding hands with a little girl.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Oct. 30, 2010: “The President has lunch with Sen. Bob Casey at the Famous 4th Street Deli in Philadelphia. I love the woman in the background on the phone, probably alerting her family about her lucky seat.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

From The Year in Photos on the White House Flickr site – lots more photos at the link

30
Dec
10

mish mash marvels

Don’t miss BWD’s ‘Mish Mash‘ today, it’s jam-packed with uplifting news.

30
Dec
10

a happier new year?

Reuters: New claims for jobless aid hit their lowest level in more than two years last week and factory activity in the Midwest grew in December at its fast pace since 1988, evidence the recovery was gaining steam.

Views economic activity accelerated in the fourth quarter were hardened by another report on Thursday showing pending sales of previously owned homes rose more than expected in November, even though the housing market remains in distress.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 34,000 to a seasonally adjusted 388,000, the lowest reading since early July 2008, the Labor Department said. That was well below economists’ expectations for 415,000.

Separately, the Institute for Supply Management-Chicago’s business barometer jumped to 68.6 from 62.5 in November, beating economists’ expectations for a dip to 61.0. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the regional economy.

….the reports backed perceptions the recovery from the worst recession since the 1930s was gaining traction after a pause earlier in the year.

..In a third report, the National Association of Realtors said its pending home sales index based on signed contracts to buy previously owned houses rose 3.5 percent last month to 92.2. The second straight month of gains beat market expectations for a 2 percent increase.

…Underscoring the nascent labor market strength, the four-week average of new jobless claims, considered a better measure of underlying labor market trends, fell 12,500 to 414,000, also the lowest level since July 2008.

“This adds to the idea that the jobs picture is improving … this is another feather in the cap of the idea of recovery,” said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of Sarhan Capital in New York.

Even more encouraging, the Chicago factory report showed the employment gauge rose to 60.2 from 56.3 in November….

30
Dec
10

snappers? you can go home now, the day is done.

President Obama waves as he leaves Alan Wong’s Restaurant in Honolulu after dining with family and friends




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