Archive for August 18th, 2011

18
Aug
11

‘the stone of hope’

USAToday: Amid preparations to unveil a national memorial in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., a majority of Americans say King’s dream of racial equality has been realized in the USA, although a gulf between blacks and whites persists over how much remains to be done.

Just over half of Americans polled say Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of racial equality has been fulfilled, and another one in four of those surveyed say major progress has been made toward it.

A USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds both pride and division on race relations. Nearly everyone – 90% of whites and 85% of blacks – says civil rights for blacks have improved in the USA during their lifetime, although whites are more likely to see the progress as far-reaching.

…. Dawn Scott, 50, a caregiver for seniors from Bloomfield, Conn., who is black, says racism continues but cites the election of the nation’s first African-American president as evidence of King’s legacy.

“If he was alive, seeing what Barack (Obama) did, he’d be the proudest man on Earth,” she says of the civil rights leader….

Obama is scheduled to speak at the Aug. 28 dedication of the King memorial, a 30-foot-8-inch granite sculpture set amid cherry trees on the northwest shore of the Tidal Basin.

VK News: On Sunday, August 28, 2011, the 48th anniversary of the “March on Washington” and Dr. King’s historic “I Have A Dream” speech, thousands will gather in Washington, D.C. to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a special dedication of the MLK Memorial, The “Stone of Hope which is 30-foot statue of Dr. King located on the National Mall.

18
Aug
11

‘evolution is a theory that’s out there’

Texas Observer: …. “And here your mom was asking about evolution, and you know, it’s a theory that’s out there and it’s got some gas in it,” said Mr. Perry (to nine-year-old Sam Beane). “In Texas, we teach both creationism and evolution in our public schools…. I figure you’re smart enough to figure out which one is right. Thank you.”

Just the day before, Perry tackled climate change (again): “I do believe that the issue of global warming has been politicized. I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects.”

For anyone who’s paid attention to Perry’s career in Texas, these counterfactual remarks aren’t surprising in the least. For years, Perry has been saying things that would earn him a ‘D’ in any college (or high school) science class. He wears his anti-intellectualism on his sleeve like a boutonnière.

And it’s more than just words. Perry has packed key agencies, such as the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, with yes men who hold views far outside the scientific mainstream on climate change, toxicology, and environmental regulation….

But, perhaps more interesting, is that Perry doesn’t appear to know Texas’ official policy on the teaching of evolution in public schools …. it is plainly unconstitutional to teach creationism in public schools. The courts have been consistent on this question. Most recently, in 2005’s Kitzmiller v. Dover, a federal judge ruled that intelligent design can’t be taught in public schools because it’s tantamount to religion, not science, and thus violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

…. Regardless of what the official curriculum is, there are teachers in Texas who do teach creationism. I know, because I had a teacher that did so in my Central Texas high school. She proudly displayed a bumper sticker on her podium that read something like, “Big Bang Theory: God Said ‘Bang’ and There it Was.” Her students picked up on her creationist catch-phrases – “Can’t make a chain out of missing links” – and took pity on us in the AP biology class, where evolution was taught as the cornerstone of biology.

Maybe this is what Rick Perry meant when he said “we teach both creationism and evolution in our public schools.” Creationism *is* taught occasionally; it’s just that it’s not supposed to be…..

Full article here

ThinkProgress: New GOP presidential contender Gov. Rick Perry continues to get a free pass from the press for his stimulus hypocrisy on the campaign trail. Last week the governor claimed that the Recovery Act signed by President Obama had “failed” — conveniently forgetting that he accepted more stimulus money than any other state besides California, and used the funds to close 97 percent of Texas’ massive budget deficit.

The Houston Chronicle reported that as of July 2010, federal stimulus funds created or saved 47,700 jobs in the Lone Star State. Yet today during a question-and-answer session in Pembroke, New Hampshire, Perry once again feigned ignorance of the indispensable benefits his state received from stimulus money. In fact, he claimed that the stimulus “didn’t create any jobs, as far as I can tell”…

… So far, Texas has used $17.4 billion in federal stimulus money to keep schools open, ensure Medicaid coverage for children, and put more people to work on infrastructure projects … Texans would have been much harder hit by the recession if the Recovery Act hadn’t been there to cushion the blow.

Full post here

Thanks Fred

****

Robert Shrum: Rick Perry entered the Republican primaries with Texas-size swagger and prairie-shaking thunder from the right. After just a few days of pyrotechnics, Karl Rove, minister of the dark arts for the last Texas president, reproved Perry as “un-presidential.”

…. The Perry appeal is intense, but limited. He has no coherent economic plan; rather he boasts about his record as a job creator in Texas. It turns out that between 2007 and 2010, the state lost 178,000 private sector jobs; the new jobs came in the public sector, 125,000 of them — fueled by the federal stimulus he denounced as he raked the money in.

His partisans claim an advantage for him as the only Southerner in the race, but his brand won’t appeal in the changing South, in places like Virginia and North Carolina, where a PPP poll shows him running 8 points behind Obama. And then there’s Florida, where Perry’s radical notion that Social Security and Medicare are unconstitutional — and states should be able to opt out — would make him radically unacceptable to senior citizens. He could also pose as a Westerner. But in Colorado, which withstood the GOP tide of 2010 by choosing both a Democratic senator and a Democratic governor, Perry loses to Obama by 13 points.

Perry, who’s previously spoken of Texas seceding from the Union and who’s proposed repealing the 16th and 17th Amendments – the income tax and the popular election of senators — could have general election trouble even in marginally red states. While people may feel the country is on the wrong track, they won’t rally to someone who will take America completely off the rails. So Rove’s right: Perry’s wrong for the GOP.

This leads establishment Republicans to gravitate grudgingly toward Romney, who’s now the former front-runner because he has employed the classic and historically failed approach of just trying to hold on to a lead. He’s “tortoise-like,” one of his aids rationalized to Politico. A strategist who has worked with Romney added that for him to prevail, “Perry needs to make some mistakes.” That’s a recipe for spending tens of millions of dollars on a run-up to a withdrawal speech.

… Right now in a painful economic time, the kind that has always stirred paranoia in America, Rick Perry is an updated replay of Huey Long in the 1930s, a William Jennings Bryan in reverse. In Bryan’s words, it is Perry who would “press-down upon the brow of labor [a] crown of thorns.” The Texan may exploit the flame of anger to win the primaries, only to see himself and his party consumed in November.

For Rove, who already sees that reality, I offer only half a defense; in 2012, Republicans may reap the whirlwind of what he’s sowed in the past decade…

Full article here

18
Aug
11

afternoon massachusetts

The Secret Service stands guard as the Lynch triplets – Cameryn, Nora and Corinne – sleep on the tarmac after Air Force One touched down at Air Station Cape Cod

Eleanor Lynch hands one of her triplets to President Obama. Eleanor’s husband is a Marine who flies with the Marine One detail

Part of a convoy of helicopters bringing President Obama to Martha’s Vineyard Airport in Vineyard Haven, Mass

President Obama arriving at Martha’s Vineyard Airport in West Tisbury

President Obama’s motorcade turning into Blue Heron Farm after arriving in Chilmark, MA

18
Aug
11

a well-earned break (hey, for bo too)

President Obama’s dog Bo is led onto Air Force One before Obama’s departure from Andrews Air Force Base

President Obama waves as he boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base en route to Martha’s Vineyard for a family vacation.

18
Aug
11

more pete souza magic…..

President Obama hugs First Lady Michelle Obama after watching her jump rope during a taping for the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) challenge and Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play, July 15

President Obama gets a hug from a little girl as he greets Wounded Warriors and their families in the State Dining Room of the White House, July 5

President Obama talks with Andrew Kline, outgoing Chief of Staff, Office of Intellectual Property Enforcement, in the Oval Office, July 12. Kline’s daughter, Logan, sits atop the Resolute Desk.

President Obama greets members of the audience following a town hall at the University of Maryland, July 22

Vice President Biden and President Obama look at an app on an iPhone in the Outer Oval Office, Saturday, July 16

President Obama and Vice President Biden greet Wounded Warriors and their families in the State Dining Room of the White House, July 5

President Obama meets with senior advisors in the Situation Room, July 8

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama watch fireworks from the roof of the White House, July 4

A young girl salutes President Obama as he shakes hands along a ropeline with members of the military and their families during the Fourth of July celebration at the White House

And from Samantha Appleton:

First Lady Michelle Obama greets children during her visit to the Naval Air Station Oceana Summer Camp in Virginia Beach, July 21

More new photos here

18
Aug
11

on tour

18
Aug
11

‘obama’s vacation ripped …. but he’s taken less time off than bush’

Chicago Sun Times: Is there ever really a good time for the president to go on vacation? President Barack Obama’s 10-day summer getaway from Washington to Martha’s Vineyard – scheduled to start Thursday – has reignited a seemingly annual debate.

…. Mark Knoller of CBS, the unofficial keeper of presidential work schedules, reported that President George W. Bush had taken more time off than Obama at this point in his first term.

Obama’s upcoming vacation is his ninth vacation since taking office. Obama has spent all or part of 38 days on vacation away from the White House. He has also made 14 visits to Camp David spanning all or part of 32 days, for a total of 70 days, Knoller said.

Bush, at this point in his first term, had made 14 visits to his Texas ranch spanning all or part of 102 days, Knoller said. He also made 40 visits to Camp David spanning all or part of 123 days. His vacation total at this point in his presidency was all or part of 225 days away….




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