Archive for June 22nd, 2011

22
Jun
11

night everyone

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Thursday – The First Lady’s schedule

Mrs. Obama begins the day in Cape Town, thanking United States Consulate employees and their families for their service.

The First Lady then visits Robben Island where former President Nelson Mandela was held for 18 of his 27 imprisoned years.

Mrs. Obama has invited students from area schools for a day-long university “immersion experience” at the University of Cape Town. The students are attending a full day of activities at the University, concluding with remarks delivered by the First Lady.

Mrs. Obama completes her day with a visit to the Cape Town Soccer Stadium. There she will meet with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and organizations dedicated to combating HIV/AIDS in South Africa.

After the meeting, Mrs. Obama will join girls and boys from the Cape Town area, including its townships, on the soccer field for activities and drills.

*****

😉

22
Jun
11

a night of highs and lows for cnn

😕

22
Jun
11

“it is time to focus on nation building here at home”

Text of the President’s address here

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David Ignatius (Washington Post): When President Obama announced his Afghanistan troop “surge” strategy at West Point 18 months ago, he seemed to be keeping the reality of the war at arm’s length, even as he sent more soldiers into battle.

A sign of that ambivalence was the president’s announcement, in ordering 30,000 more troops into the fight, that he would begin pulling them out in July 2011 …. this conditionality was apparently the only way Obama – a president who grew up in the shadow of the Vietnam war – felt comfortable with the decision.

….tonight, Obama announced a measured withdrawal of 10,000 of those surge troops this year – more than military commanders might have wanted but far less than war critics have been demanding. In taking this course, he took ownership of the policy more decisively.

You could argue that, in choosing his own option, Obama fully became commander in chief of this war. He opted for what he thinks has worked: an aggressive counter-terrorism assault on al-Qaeda and its Afghan allies. And he implicitly rejected the more ambitious counter-insurgency goals of some of his commanders, who had hoped that by protecting the Afghan population, the United States could “take away the oxygen” from the Taliban. For all the gains in security in Helmand and Kandahar provinces, that COIN precept hasn’t proven out.

The most persuasive argument for the approach the president embraced tonight is that it will keep enough military pressure on Taliban forces to make them consider the wisdom of a negotiated settlement of the war. That’s the crucial strategic benefit of the president’s approach – that it confounds the Taliban expectation that the United States would be gone by the end of this year. And to that extent, it makes the prospect of a negotiated settlement a little more plausible.

Thanks Jovie

22
Jun
11

“not in it for the balloons”

Rachel Maddow on John …. sorry …. Jon Huntsman’s campaign launch

22
Jun
11

aw, bless

Newt Gingrich, who turned 68 last week, celebrated with a birthday party at his Atlanta campaign headquarters today.

Fixed that for ya Newt:

22
Jun
11

sigh….

Steve Benen: James Fallows (here) had an interesting item this afternoon, noting the “Why Americans Hate the Media” thesis, and highlighting a case study that came into focus today:

“Al Gore’s new essay in Rolling Stone, about impending climate disasters, is mainly about the failure of the media to direct adequate attention to the issue, and to call out paid propagandists and discredited phony scientists. That’s where the essay starts, and what it covers in its first 5,000 words. The second part, less than half as long, and much more hedged in its judgment, is about the Obama Administration’s faltering approach on climate change. But of course the immediate press presentation on the essays has been all “OMG Gore attacks Obama!” For instance at Slate, TPM, NY Mag, the AP, and the Atlantic’s own Wire site.”…..

…..After writing several thousand words on the crisis itself, Gore actually praised President Obama, lauding the fact that the White House “included significant climate-friendly initiatives in the economic stimulus package he presented to Congress during his first month in office….. (see here for details)

….In the next paragraph, however, Gore wrote, “But in spite of these and other achievements, President Obama has thus far failed to use the bully pulpit to make the case for bold action on climate change.”

On CNN’s political page right now, well below a top-of-the-page piece about Bristol Palin’s memoir, CNN’s headline reads, “Gore: Obama has ‘failed.’”

As Fallows put it, “The reaction to Gore’s essay illustrates the pattern: from his point of view, it’s one more (earnest) attempt to say ‘Hey, listen up about this problem!’ As conveyed by the press, it’s one more skirmish on the ‘liberals don’t like Obama’ front, and one more illustration of the eyes-glazing-over trivia and details about melting icebergs and scientific disputes.”

Full post here

****

The first comment on the post:

This passage from Gore’s article highlights the irony of Steve’s post: “Even writing an article like this one carries risks; opponents of the president will excerpt the criticism and strip it of context.”

22
Jun
11

thank you west wing week ;-)

22
Jun
11

pure gold

😆

Thank you Loriah!

22
Jun
11

the first lady in south africa

Thanks Jessica 😉

22
Jun
11

whooooo hoooooo, it’s gone viral!!




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