Europe invented the Western opera. America took the opera tradition—among others—and turned it into the great American musical. The first in a series on numbers from American musicals. Tonight: the music of the greatest musical composer of the latter 20th century, Stephen Sondheim.
On This Day: President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama wait in the Map Room of the White House, before welcoming President Felipe Calderón of Mexico and his wife, Mrs. Margarita Zavala, to the White House, May 19, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
Today (all times Eastern)
10:10 Attorney General Eric Holder News Conference on China being charged with hacking for trade secrets (CBS)
12:30: The President meets for lunch with Combatant Commanders, Roosevelt Room
1:0: Jay Carney briefs the press
7:30: The President speaks at a fundraiser for congressional Democrats, private residence, Maryland
Bob Cesca: Popular Conservative Website Tries and Fails to Debunk Our ’13 Benghazis’
A little more than a year ago, I wrote an article for The Daily Banter titled “13 Benghazis That Occurred On Bush’s Watch Without a Peep From Fox News.” In it I listed 13 terrorist attacks on U.S. consulates and embassies that happened during the years when President Bush was evidently “keeping us safe.” Throughout the past year, the article has sporadically gone viral among one internet clique or another, and at least one graphical meme has been based upon the list.
Late last week, I began to receive a new onslaught of tweets from readers of a website called the IJReview about an article written by Managing Editor Kyle Becker, titled, “’13 Benghazis That Happened Under Bush’ Viral Meme Taken Apart & Destroyed Before Your Very Eyes.” Clearly it was intended to debunk my article — hocus-pocus alakazam! — before our very eyes.
TPM: John Kerry To Yale Grads: You’re ‘Donald Sterling’s Worst Nightmare’
Secretary of State John Kerry used his address to this year’s Yale graduates on Sunday to take a swing at America’s favorite punching bag.
Speaking at the school’s Class Day ceremony in New Haven, Conn., Kerry noted the record diversity in this year’s crop of graduates.
“You are graduating today as the most diverse class in Yale’s long history,” Kerry said, according to a transcript provided by the State Department. “Or as they call it in the NBA, Donald Sterling’s worst nightmare.”
The line drew laughter and applause, but the speech also contained a commentary on contemporary affairs, with Kerry lamenting the lack of political action on climate change and immigration reform.
TPM: Eric Holder: Chief Justice John Roberts Is Wrong On Race
In a rare move, Attorney General Eric Holder took direct aim at U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts on issues of race during a commencement speech Saturday.
“Chief Justice John Roberts has argued that the path to ending racial discrimination is to give less consideration to the issue of race altogether. This presupposes that racial discrimination is at a sufficiently low ebb that it doesn’t need to be actively confronted,” Holder said, speaking at the historically black Morgan State University. “In its most obvious forms, it might be. But discrimination does not always come in the form of a hateful epithet or a Jim Crow-like statute. And so we must continue to take account of racial inequality, especially in its less obvious forms, and actively discuss ways to combat it.”
Holder was referring to the Bush-appointed justice’s famous quote from a 2007 ruling: “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”
Auburnpub.com: President Obama to visit Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown during latest upstate NY trip
President Barack Obama is heading to upstate New York next week to highlight tourism’s role in boosting the economy.
In his weekly address, the president said he will travel to Cooperstown Thursday to deliver remarks at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
“I’ll be heading to Cooperstown, New York – home of the Baseball Hall of Fame – to talk about tourism,” Obama said. “Because believe it or not, tourism is an export. And if we make it easier for more foreign visitors to visit and spend money at America’s attractions and unparalleled national parks, that helps local businesses and grows the economy for everyone.”
According to the Baseball Hall of Fame, this will be the first time a sitting president has visited the hall in its history.
Smartypants: President Obama: Harnessing the power of big business for change
I’ve written before about how President Obama’s time as a community organizer and his understanding of power relations informs his foreign policy and the development of the Obama Doctrine. See if you can connect those dots with why Max Fisher says his strategy of letting Putin hang himself is working:
Most of this is economic. Russia’s self-imposed economic problems started pretty quickly after its annexation of Crimea in March and have kept up. Whether or not American or European governments sanction Russia’s broader economy, the global investment community has a mind of its own, and they seem to have decided that Russia’s behavior has made it a risky place to put money. So risky that they’re pulling more money out.
A lot of that may have come from the targeted sanctions that Obama pushed for against individual Russian leaders and oligarchs. Those targeted sanctions did not themselves do much damage to the Russian economy. But, along with Russia’s erratic behavior in Ukraine and the lack of clarity as to whether Europe and the US could impose broader sanctions, it appears to have been enough to scare off global investors — the big, faceless, placeless mass of people and banks who have done tremendous damage to Putin’s Russia, nudged along by the US and by Putin himself…
Trevor LaFauci (The People’s View): The Man In The Mirror: An Open Letter to Bill O’Reilly Regarding His Very Own White Privilege
As a fellow White male who has also studied history, I felt compelled to write to you today to respectfully disagree with your stance on White privilege in America. You see, William, on your show The O’Reilly Factor on May 15, you stated that, “I do not believe you are granted favorable treatment in this country because you are White. You have to work for success.” This point was conceded as a followup to your May 14th program during which you had a segment discussing how the Kennedy School at Harvard was considering including a portion of its orientation to discuss issues associated with White privilege as a way for students to be made aware of the issue going forward as they began to think about it impact in relation to public policy. As always William, your guests had some interesting things to say on the topic but unfortunately I don’t think either they or you truly understand what White privilege is. Allow me to share some of my thoughts as it relates to you and your own life, if I may.
E.J. Dionne Jr: No more liberal apologies as Elizabeth Warren takes the offensive
Elizabeth Warren is cast as many things: a populist, a left-winger, the paladin against the bankers and the rich, the Democrats’ alternative to Hillary Clinton, the policy wonk with a heart.
… Since the Reagan era, Democrats have been so determined to show how pro-market and pro-business they are that they’ve shied away from pointing out that markets could not exist without government, that the well-off depend on the state to keep their wealth secure and that participants in the economy rely on government to keep the marketplace on the level and to temper the business cycle’s gyrations.
Warren doesn’t back away from any of these facts. In her new book, “A Fighting Chance,” she recalls the answer she gave to a voter during a living-room gathering in Andover, Mass., that quickly went viral.
ThinkProgress: Obama To Host Summit On Concussions In Youth Sports
As research about concussions in sports continues to pour out, President Obama will host a White House summit later this month focusing on the risk concussions pose to young athletes. According to the Washington Post, which first reported the summit, the May 29 event will include young athletes, parents, coaches, professional athletes, and members of the military.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said this week that the summit will include the announcement of new initiatives to help research and address concussions in youth sports.
“The president will announce new commitments by both the public and private sectors to raise awareness about how to identify treat and prevent concussions, and conduct additional research in the field of sports-related concussions that will help us better address these problems,” Carney said.
President Obama stands in the entrance to the Oval Office, May 19, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama delivers remarks at ceremony honoring National Small Business Award Winners in the East Room of the White House, May 19, 2009
President Obama and President Felipe Calderón of Mexico stand together during the playing of the national anthem on the South Lawn of the White House, May 19, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
First Lady Michelle Obama and Mrs. Margarita Zavala watch the State Arrival ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House, May 19, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama watches as President Felipe Calderón of Mexico signs the official guest book in the Blue Room of the White House, May 19, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
First Lady Michelle Obama and her Mexican counterpart Margarita Zavala run with second graders during a physical education class as they visit New Hampshire Estates Elementary School May 19, 2010 in Silver Spring, Maryland
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama wait to welcome President Felipe Calderon of Mexico and his wife Margarita Zavala to the White House for an official State Dinner, May 19, 2010
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and her husband Paul arrive for the State Dinner for Mexican President Felipe Calderon and his wife Margarita Zavala at the White House, May 19, 2010
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and his wife Dr. Sharon Malone arrive for the State Dinner
Guests board trolleys at the South Portico entrance to the White House, en route to the State Dinner reception in a tent on the South Lawn, May 19, 2010 (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
President Obama adjusts his tie in the Yellow Oval Room of the White House, following a private reception in honor of President Felipe Calderón of Mexico and his wife, Mrs. Margarita Zavala, May 19, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama and President Felipe Calderón of Mexico descend the Grand Staircase at the White House, prior to the State Dinner, May 19, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, President Felipe Calderón of Mexico, and his wife, Mrs. Margarita Zavala, attend the State Dinner reception in a tent on the South Lawn of the White House, May 19, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
Dr. Jill Biden listens to music during the State Dinner reception in a tent on the South Lawn of the White House, May 19, 2010
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama dance to music performed by the United States Marine Band, during the State Dinner reception in a tent on the South Lawn of the White House, May 19, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks at the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum National Issues Conference in Washington on May 19, 2011
President Barack Obama arrives to deliver a speech on Mideast and North Africa policy in the Ben Franklin Room at the State Department May 19, 2011 in Washington, DC
First Lady Michelle Obama hugs a child as she paint a mural during a community service activity day at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington on May 19, 2011
President Obama takes the stage before addressing the Women’s Leadership Forum at the Grand Hyatt Hotel May 19, 2011 in Washington, DC
First Lady Michelle Obama escorts spouses of G-8 leaders on a tour of the White House, May 19, 2012 – L-R: Margarida Barroso (EU), Elsa Antonioli Monti (partially hidden, Italy), Laureen Harper (Canada), Valerie Trierweiler (France), Geertrui Windels van Rompuy (EU) and Hitomi Noda (Japan)
President Obama with French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrive for a family photo during G8 Summit in Camp David, Maryland on May 19, 2012.
President Obama smiles after delivering the commencement address to over 500 graduating students at the historically black Morehouse College on May 19, 2013, in Atlanta
On This Day – Pete Souza: “The President was leaving the State Floor after an event and found Sasha in the elevator ready to head upstairs to the private residence. He decided to ride upstairs with her before returning to the Oval Office.” May 19, 2009.