Archive for May 1st, 2012

01
May
12

A word from Chitra

by Chitra

Nearly thirty years ago Michigan State University offered both my husband and I each a half-time graduate assistantship to pursue a PhD in mathematical statistics.

For two people living day to day with a small daughter, in a poor third world country, it was a god’s send.

There was one catch. We had to pay our own way to get to US. After selling everything we owned, we had just enough money to buy tickets for two of us, but not for our daughter. Then we found out, at that time, airlines allow children under the age of two to travel free as long as they sat on their parents lap. So, we booked our flights and came to this wonderful country, two days before our daughter’s second birthday, with two suitcases and only $50 in hand – but most importantly: with a lot of hope.

In the middle of our studies, I remember my advisor telling me that due to the Reagan budgets cuts to higher education, MSU had to reduce my assistantship in half. That was my first experience with a Republican administration.

Living in Michigan as full time graduate students, taking care of a little girl with a small stipend, wasn’t easy. We could never afford new clothes, books, cars or really anything new for that matter. I can remember in winter walking knee deep in snow, carrying grocery bags with my little girl trotting behind me, making snow angles on her way, bundled up in the warm jacket that others had donated to the community swap box.

Fast forward a few years, and after a lot of hard work both my husband and I earned our PhDs and went on to become college professors, and today we can send our daughter to a graduate school without worrying about loans. In fact, today we are living our American dream.

That is why when I heard then Senator Obama give that rousing speech at the 2004 convention, I thought to myself, ‘that is my story he is telling’.

By the time he started saying, “in no other country on earth is my story even possible” tears were rolling down my cheeks.

We knew that was true, because we had lived through it.

After that speech, I started reading everything I could, including his two books, to better understand how someone could so completely understand what we too saw as the American dream. The day his candidacy was announced, I was elated at the news.

I used to tell my daughter, when she complained, that it is not the material things that matter, it is something we have to understand and enjoy immensely everyday in this country – it is freedom and education that matters.

The country I came from practically had no freedom of speech, no freedom of press or none of the freedoms that we take for granted here. Yet, we had one important right: every six years we are allowed to vote to elect a government of our choice. This is the only freedom we have without government intrusion, the only chance we get to say something about our government without getting beaten.

We treasured and guarded it with our lives. That is why, usually, almost 95% of the population votes every time there is an election, some even risking their lives.

We always knew how important voting is and we never took that right for granted. We know the power it has on our education, the power it has on our social well being, the power it has in every aspect of our lives.

Growing up in this country, my daughter was so cynical and skeptical about politics. So, when Senator Obama announced his candidacy I just asked her one simple thing: just listen to him and make your own judgment. When my daughter believes in something, she does everything to see it through.

So, she took a break from her graduate program, became a field organizer for the 2008 Obama campaign and started telling our story at house parties and meetings, bringing tears to the audience and convincing them how much we need his vision and to vote and organize for him.

I don’t know whether I am as good as she is at telling this, but if I can convince at least one person how much is at stake in this election, how much we need President Obama to save our education and our social well being, I have accomplished something.

We need to organize, donate as much as we can – and volunteer.

I know one thing for sure: we need him now more than ever.

Link

01
May
12

Ozzie for Obama

Jacki Weaver on PBO

Thanks Berny😉

****

01
May
12

Hostile reception for pbo in bagram

President Barack Obama greets U.S. troops at Bagram Air Field after a surprise visit to Afghanistan, May 1, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

01
May
12

President Obama’s address from Afghanistan

01
May
12

Heads up: President Obama’s address from Afghanistan

White House live

CNN live streaming

C-Span

Everywhere, I hope.

01
May
12

Bagram

****

President Obama is greeted by Marine Gen. John Allen, the top US commander in Afghanistan, as he arrives on stage to address troops during a visit to Bagram Air Field on May 1

****

01
May
12

Heads Up: PBO speaking to troops in Afghanistan

Check your TV (CNN showing it live now)

01
May
12

Afghanistan

President Obama is greeted by Lt. Gen. Curtis “Mike” Scaparrotti and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker as he steps off Air Force One at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan, May 1

President Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai arrive before signing a strategic partnership agreement at the presidential palace in Kabul

****

President Barack Obama has landed in Afghanistan for an unannounced trip to sign a strategic partnership with President Hamid Karzai. He will speak to the nation at 7:30 EST.

****

01
May
12

‘The Bin Laden Freakout’

Andrew Sullivan: I can see no problem with the ad run by Obama on his extraordinarily ballsy decision to choose the riskiest path to get bin Laden and all the intelligence his compound contained ….. If Bush had done it, he would have jumped out of a helicopter in a jump-suit with fireworks. And it is simply true that both George W. Bush and Mitt Romney downplayed the importance of finding and bringing Osama bin Laden to justice….

….. And this was a key issue in the 2008 election …. this was a hugely successful policy opposed by McCain, opposed by Bush and opposed by Romney. No wonder they’re so upset at reality. It’s the same reaction they have when it becomes clear that Osama bin Laden was captured and killed by a president smart enough not to deploy torture, years after a bunch of thugs took over US intelligence on the orders of the panicked incompetent, Dick Cheney.

And one thing about John McCain. He actually said: “And, you know the thing about heroes, they don’t brag.” For his entire political career, McCain has done nothing but brag about his own military service, milking every last, disgusting drop for his own interests, making it the center-piece of his campaign. And he didn’t kill anyone – just crashed his plane…..

More here

****

Jon Meacham: Republicans are – forgive the cliché – shocked, shocked to discover that a presidential contender is “politicizing” an important national event. In this sense, “politicizing” might be best translated as “beating us up and we don’t have anything much to say to stop it.” The ad itself raises intriguing, substantive, legitimate questions – and the ferocious, sputtering Republican reaction is proof positive that they know it, or at least suspect it.

More here

****

Michael Tomasky: It couldn’t be more hilarious, watching these Republicans rend their garments over the Obama administration’s bin Laden video. Imaging the paroxysms we’d have been forced to endure if George W. Bush had iced the dreaded one is all we need to do to understand how hypocritical it all is. But what obviously gets under Republicans’ skin is not the fact of this video’s existence, but the fact that Barack Obama got him and they didn’t, which destroys their assumption of the past decade that they are “the 9/11 party.” And more than that – and this is the real story here – it’s the fact that the Democrats don’t appear to be afraid of the Republicans anymore. That, to Republicans, is what’s truly unacceptable.

More here

01
May
12

“The longest 40 minutes of my life”

 

The special will air tomorrow at 9pm ET




@POTUS

@BarackObama

@WhiteHouse

@FLOTUS

@blog44

@PeteSouza

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.

@TheObamaDiary

@NerdyWonka

@Lib_Librarian

@Our4thEstate

@DaRiverZkind

@zizii2

Categories

Archives

Blog Stats

  • 36,082,630 hits

WH Flickr

P071516PS-0802

P061516PS-0016

P061216PS-0013

P050416PS-0731

P042816PS-0838

P042816AL-0076

P042816PS-0248

P042816AL-0023

P042216PS-0680

P042216PS-0677

More Photos