Archive for May 24th, 2013

24
May
13

Night Owl Chat: Songs Of Pres. Obama

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In that vein, here are some songs Pres. Obama has mentioned liking over the years because they hold some meaning for him”

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24
May
13

A Transformative President

by Japa (@deaconmill)

In 2008, during the primary campaign, in an interview, then Senator Obama talked about how Reagan had been a transformative President and how he hoped to be the same.  He was immediately attacked by many, included his main opponent as being supportive of Reagan’s policies.  That attack, like many others before and since (clinging to guns and religion, they didn’t build that, etc.) was, of course, based upon a deliberate misreading and misinterpretation of what he said and meant.

If it isn’t obvious to everyone now, and it should be, President Obama represents the antithesis of everything President Reagan stood for.  He has repeatedly called out the GOP for continuing the failed policies of Reagonomics.  His approach to immigration reform is radically different than Reagan’s blanket amnesty with no follow-up policy.  He does not see foreign policy as a case of who can puff up their chest the biggest, like Reagan and his successors did.  He supports unions.  He supports all human rights.  He abhors the policies of racism.  He truly recognizes the difficulties and nuances of decision making.

Yet, as much as Reagan Presidency was transformative in a negative way, President Obama’s is becoming transformative in a uniquely positive way.  In fact, it may end up being the most positively transformative Presidency in the history of our country.  And this is not due to specific legislation passed with his urging, although much of that legislation will impact this country and how it views the government’s role in helping its citizens for decades to come.   Nor is it due to the fact that he is, probably, one of the top three President’s in terms of rhetorical skills.  Nor is it because he is the first black President.  All of those are important to his legacy, but they are not transformative in terms of how the country is run or how the President interacts with the other branches of government.

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24
May
13

The Day in Images

President Obama congratulates Alexis Marisa Werner with open arms during the US Naval Academy commencement ceremony in Annapolis

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Text of the President’s remarks here

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First Lady Michelle Obama visits Savoy School, one of eight schools selected last year for The Turnaround Arts Initiative at the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, May 24

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Text of the First Lady’s remarks at Savoy Elementary School here

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President Obama signs a bill in the Oval Office designating the Congressional Gold Medal to commemorate the four young girls killed during the 1963 bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, as (L-R) Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, Birmingham Mayor William Bell, Dr Sharon Malone Holder, Attorney General Eric Holder, Rep Terri Sewell (D-AL), Thelma Pippen McNair, mother of Denise McNair, Lisa McNair, sister of Denise McNair, Dianne Braddock, sister of Carole Robertson, Rev Arthur Price, Jr, pastor 16th Street Baptist Church, and former U.S. Attorney Gordon Douglas Jones look on. The medal, the highest Congressional civilian honor, was given posthumously to Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley and Denise McNair who died September 15, 1963 when a bomb planted by white supremacists exploded exploded at the church

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24
May
13

The beginning of the end of perpetual war

Cross-posted on The People’s View

Of course it’s not good enough for Scahills, Greenwalds, and Benjamins. Nothing other than a strict policy of non-violence, irrespective of the dangers this country faces, would be good enough. And for the Limbaughs, Hannitys, and O’Reillys, it is nothing less than the affirmation of all their fears: that he’s a Manchurian candidate out to deliver the land of the free to its enemies.

But Barack Obama’s speech at the National Defense University on Thursday heralds nothing less than a total upending of the prevailing US security stance post-9/11.

For the past 12 years, we’ve been, quite frankly, in a perpetual state of war. The one in Afghanistan, it can be quite cogently argued, was a war of self-defense, pursued in pursuit of those who rammed planes into New York City, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania. Very few people in this country argued that it wasn’t a war worth waging to extract an enemy who had struck deeply inside our territory.

Of course, we know what happened next. We installed a flawed strongman in Hamid Karzai. We gave cursory aid to the new regime, both financially and militarily, allowing Al Qaeda and the Taliban to regroup and carry on the war. And why? Because the neo-con dream of having a nation up in righteous indignation was too good to pass up to pursue its true project, which was to attack Iraq, remove Saddam Hussein, and remake the Middle East into an American satrapy. Gas would be under $2 a gallon forever, oil companies would reap the rewards of lucrative contracts from an Iraqi regime indebted to the US, and the Palestinians would lose their one ally in the region, leaving Israel to range freely. The new American Century would be born on the streets of Baghdad. And Karl Rove’s dream of a permanent Republican majority would be the fruit of a short, sharp, successful war, fought on the cheap, because the Administration knew that Saddam didn’t have the military capability to hurt his neighbors, much less withstand an invasion by the US.

It didn’t quite work out that way.

Continue reading ‘The beginning of the end of perpetual war’

24
May
13

Catching Up

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Later Today:

1:10: President Obama returns from the United States Naval Academy to the White House

2:15: Signs a bill designating the Congressional Gold Medal commemorating the lives of the four young girls killed in the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing of 1963

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The Hill: President Obama will sign a bill Friday awarding the Congressional Gold Medal posthumously to the four girls killed in the 1963 Birmingham church bombing, the White House said Thursday.

The bombing at the church, which civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ralph David Abernathy used as a meeting place, by members of the Ku Klux Klan proved a pivotal turning point in the push for passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The dynamite blast killed four girls — Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Denise McNair — and injured an additional 22 others.

The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian award bestowed by the legislative branch…

More here

“These children, unoffending, innocent, and beautiful were the victims of one of the most vicious and tragic crimes ever perpetrated against humanity,” said the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a eulogy for the four children–Addie Mae Collins, 14, Denise McNair, 11, Carole Robertson, 14, and Cynthia Wesley, 14. “They died nobly. They are the martyred heroines of a holy crusade for freedom and human dignity.”

More here

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Paul Krugman: Obamacare Will Be A Debacle — For Republicans

… the biggest test case was always going to be California …. well, the preliminary numbers are in – and they’re looking very good, with costs coming in below expectations. At this point, it looks as if this thing is indeed going to work.

….. the whole political calculus was supposed to be that Republicans in red states could point to the horrors of Obamacare and ride them to political victory. Instead, it looks as if we’re going to see blue-state residents reaping the benefits of a functional health care system, while red-state residents are denied many of those benefits, for what looks like no better reason than mean-spirited spite – because what’s going on is, indeed, mean-spirited spite.

Predictions that Obamacare will be a big political issue are probably right – but not in the way gleeful conservatives imagined.

Full post here

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CNN Money: Health insurers in California will charge an average of $304 a month for the cheapest silver-level plan in state-based exchanges next year, according to rates released Thursday by Covered California, which is implementing the Affordable Care Act there. But many residents will pay a lot less than that for coverage.

Rates will vary by region, age and level of coverage, and many lower-income Californias will qualify for federal subsidies that will greatly lower the premiums…..

…. Oregon and Washington recently posted their rates, as well. They were also lower than some had expected.

“Many people will see rates similar to what they’re paying now, or in some cases, lower – and with substantially better benefits,” the Washington Insurance Department wrote in a blog post. “We’re definitely not seeing the huge rate increases that some insurers had predicted.”

More here

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24
May
13

President Obama at the United States Naval Academy

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10:0: President Obama delivers the commencement address at the United States Naval Academy

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Also live at:

White House live * CBS * NavySports.com

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MooooOOOOoorning everyone, and:

Will catch up with the news in the next post – the latest Rise & Shine, like, ever.




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