Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Obama Speaks on Troop Withdrawal in Iraq

Sanford Had More Dalliances with Other Women

Expect Mark Sanford to get more religious and more preachy. Today he admits to further dalliances -- but he did not have sex with those other women!
The reason this interests me is because it seems conservatives always turn to religion to save themselves when morality is what's needed. If he'd been more moral than religious, he might be better off. Instead, his "spiritual advisors" will fix him and he'll be more self righteous than ever. What he should learn is humility.

Google Chief: You Can't be a Happy Dictator Anymore

White House Pleased About Franken's Win

Paving the way for a 60 vote majority in the Senate. Oh yeah.

Norm Coleman concedes:

Odierno Speaks on Iraqi Sovereignty

Obama Speaks on Nonprofits June 30


Today at 2 pm eastern, Obama will highlight nonprofit programs around the nation. It should be live streamed at CNN.com or msnbc.com.
Before Obama talks about nonprofits, he will talk about what no one is talking about--Iraq has taken over its own future. U.S. forces have withdrawn from Iraqi cities with little fanfare. It's National Sovereignty Day in Iraq. I hope they're celebrating well.
I'll post video when it's available.

Palin's Big Spread in Vanity Fair

Zina Saunders illustration
Palin gets a big spread about stuff we already know--she's charismatic representing a small sliver of Americans. She's highly inept and doesn't have the worldliness needed to be a modern day vice president, let alone president. She doesn't worry about what she doesn't know, which is where audacity comes in:

By all accounts, Palin was either unwilling, or simply unable, to prepare. In the run-up to the Couric interview, Palin had become preoccupied with a far more parochial concern: answering a humdrum written questionnaire from her hometown newspaper, the Frontiersman. McCain aides saw it as easy stuff, the usual boilerplate, the work of 20 minutes or so, but Palin worried intently. At the same time, she grew concerned that her approval ratings back home in Alaska were sagging as she embraced the role of McCain’s bad cop. To keep her happy, the chief McCain strategist, Steve Schmidt, agreed to conduct a onetime poll of 300 Alaska voters. It would prove to Palin, Schmidt thought, that everything was all right.
Then came the near-total meltdown of the financial system and McCain’s much-derided decision to briefly “suspend” his campaign. Under the circumstances, and with severely limited resources, Schmidt and the McCain-campaign chairman, Rick Davis, scrapped the Alaska poll and urgently set out to survey voters’ views of the economy (and of McCain’s response to it) in competitive states. Palin was furious. She was convinced that Schmidt had lied to her, a belief she conveyed to anyone who would listen. Read the big Palin story here.
Palin wanted to speak to her people:
Election Night brought what McCain aides saw as the final indignity. Palin decided she would make her own speech at the ticket’s farewell to the faithful, at the Arizona Biltmore, in Phoenix. When aides went to load McCain’s concession speech into the teleprompter, they found a concession speech for Palin—written by Bush speechwriter Matthew Scully, who had also been the principal drafter of her convention speech—already on the system. Schmidt and Salter told Palin that there was no tradition of Election Night speeches by running mates, and that she wouldn’t be giving one. Palin was insistent. “Are those John’s wishes?” she asked. They were, she was told. But Palin took the issue to McCain himself, raising it on the walk from his suite to the outdoor rally. Again the answer was no.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Iraqi Forces Take Over Security

Iraqis celebrate a new national holiday:

Filipino Prisoners Pay Tribute to Michael Jackson

We should have our prisoners dance or work or do something that's useful, instead of rotting in prison.


The original video:

Obama's Virtual Town Hall on HealthCare July 1

UPDATE July 1: See video of the town hall here.
Obama's town hall on healthcare will be held July 1 at 1:15 p.m. eastern. If you're on Twitter you can ask a question using #WHHCQ.

Obamas Celebrate LGBT Pride Month at White House

The Obamas hosted a reception at the White House for LGBT Pride Month. About 300 people were supposed to attend, many very skeptical about Obama's stance on gay issues.
Obama made a proclamation on LGBT Pride month here.
Obama reaffirms that he plans to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell (full video):

Transcript here:
Welcome to your White House.

(APPLAUSE)

(UNKNOWN): (OFF-MIKE) OBAMA: Somebody’s asking for the Lincoln Bedroom here. What -- you knew he’s from Chicago, too.

(LAUGHTER)

It’s good to see so many friends and familiar faces. And I deeply appreciate the support I’ve received from so many of you. Michelle appreciates it, and I want you to know that you have our support, as well.

And...

(APPLAUSE)

You have my thanks for the work you do every day in pursuit of equality on behalf of the millions of people in this country who work hard and care about their communities and who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, this struggle I don’t need to tell you is incredibly difficult, although I think it’s important to consider the extraordinary progress that we have made. There are unjust laws to overturn and unfair practices to stop. And though we’ve made progress, there are still fellow citizens -- perhaps neighbors or even family members and loved ones -- who still hold fast to worn arguments and old attitudes, who fail to see your families like their families and who would deny you the rights that most Americans take for granted.

And I know this is painful. And I know it can be heartbreaking.

And yet all of you continue, leading by the force of the arguments you make, but also by the power of the example that you set in your own lives, as parents and friends, as PTA members and leaders in the community, and that’s important. And I’m glad that so many LGBT families could join us today for...

(APPLAUSE)

... for we know that progress depends not only on changing laws, but also changing hearts and that real, transformative change never begins in Washington.

(CELL PHONE RINGS)

Whose -- whose -- whose duck back there?

M. OBAMA: It’s a duck.

B. OBAMA: There’s a duck quacking in there somewhere.

Obama Speaks on Energy Efficiency - Video June 29

Obama talks about lightbulbs and energy efficient technologies in homes and commercial buildings:


Climate bill has a long slog ahead. Chances of passing=Zero.

Obama gave an interview on Sunday to a few reporters regarding energy. Read the transcript here. What's ahead in the Senate:
Q. Talking about the regional differences, as you well know they're much more pronounced in the Senate. What do you expect from the Senate from this bill and how do you think it will change?

President Obama: One of the things that we were convinced of was that we could not get the Senate to move aggressively until they saw how the politics aligned in the House. And I think now that you've seen somebody like a Rick Boucher of Virginia able to enter into very constructive negotiations with a Henry Waxman of California, that, I think, provides a blueprint for how the Senate can proceed.

And I think that there is a clear sense on the part of the American people, on the part of governors -- both Republican and Democrat, mayors -- both Republican and Democrat -- that the future is in clean energy and we need to do something about it. So my expectation is that the Senate is going to move forward; they're not going to have a bill that's identical to the House bill. This will end up in conference and there are going to be a series of tough negotiations. But I think the ability of the House to move forward is going to be a prod for the Senate towards action.

Hillary Calls for Order in Honduras

Is it me or does Hillary look extremely tired.

Treason Against the Planet

Paul Krugman notes a little denying go on regarding the health of our planet. Haley Barbour told of the republican idea of energy yesterday, nothing that we didn't already know: Drill baby drill and clean coal. Use up our own resources, he said.
It truly will be remarkable if this bill passes the Senate. Apparently, there are a few things still to work out before it's finalized.
Obama will talk more about energy today at 1:15 p.m. eastern.

So the House passed the Waxman-Markey climate-change bill. In political terms, it was a remarkable achievement.

But 212 representatives voted no. A handful of these no votes came from representatives who considered the bill too weak, but most rejected the bill because they rejected the whole notion that we have to do something about greenhouse gases.

And as I watched the deniers make their arguments, I couldn’t help thinking that I was watching a form of treason — treason against the planet.

To fully appreciate the irresponsibility and immorality of climate-change denial, you need to know about the grim turn taken by the latest climate research.

The fact is that the planet is changing faster than even pessimists expected: ice caps are shrinking, arid zones spreading, at a terrifying rate. And according to a number of recent studies, catastrophe — a rise in temperature so large as to be almost unthinkable — can no longer be considered a mere possibility. It is, instead, the most likely outcome if we continue along our present course. Read the rest at NYT

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sanford Gets All Preachy

Conservatives don't get that it's not about religion.
Getting more religion--getting all preachy--isn't going to help Sanford, though I'm sure that's what he thinks.
When these guys fall they turn even more religious than before. It's as if they think that if they were more righteous to start then they never would've committed the "sin." They use it as a tool, when it's convenient, to save their butts.
Well, fact is, less self righteousness and a little more humilty--without the call that everyone in your path turn religious--will do the trick.
It doesn't take religion to tell you that you shouldn't cheat on your wife and that you shouldn't leave your responsibilities high and dry.
A little less religion and little more common morality is what's called for.

Haley Barbour on Face The Nation

This guy replaced Sanford as chair of the Republican Governors Association and is being held up as a possible 2012 republican pick. Ick. Listening to this guy as president would drive me nuts. Republicans have no answer on energy. Barbour says drilling and clean coal. That's it.
Barbour said it was impolite to talk about Sanford's affair.

Watch CBS Videos Online

Iraq Celebrates National Holiday June 30

That's the day U.S. troops withdraw from Iraqi cities. We ought to be celebrating as well. It's been a long time coming. The video below shows recent violence, but Gen. Odierno says overall, the time for leaving is good. Frankly, I don't think we have a choice.

Gen. Ray Odierno says that overall stability remains good in Iraq as the U.S. prepares to meet a deadline for withdrawing forces from major cities.

Odierno says the attacks ahead of that pullout are aimed at diverting attention from the progress made by Iraqi security forces as well as local and national government.

Looking to the future, Odierno says that any instability is most likely to stem from unresolved political issues such as relations between Arabs and Kurds and the question of reconciliation among various religious and political factions. Read it all at WaPo

Joe Jackson is a Creepy Guy

Joe Jackson is going to turn Michael Jackson's death into a circus so he can get more attention for himself. What an icky guy. Yuck:

Tribute at the Eiffel Tower:

Obama Concerned Over Honduran President Kidnapping

Zelaya, a leftist elected in 2005, had found himself recently pitted against other branches of government and military leaders over a referendum planned for Sunday that could have allowed the president to run for another term.

Honduras' Supreme Court ruled the referendum illegal, and the military and Congress agreed.

Despite the military and Congress' position, Zelaya pressed forward, vowing last week that he would push for the referendum. His four-year term ends in January 2010, and under current law he cannot run for re-election.

He called the coup an attack on Honduran democracy. "There are ways to protest without arms," Zelaya said. CNN



Update:

Romney: We've Got Ideas

Major Policy Shift in Afghanistan Lays Off Poppy Fields

You won't find this story in much of our media, besides NPR, but the U.S. is changing its Afghanistan policy--for the better. The new policy of assisting those who trade their poppy fields to grow other crops is part of U.S. efforts to win hearts by rebuilding instead of tearing apart. The U.S. is also reducing air strikes.

President Barack Obama’s administration was making “significant adjustments” from the previous George W Bush administration in a bid to root out extremism, Richard Holbrooke told Congress. “We are downgrading our efforts to eradicate crops-spraying, a policy we think is totally ineffectual,” Holbrooke, the special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, said in his testimony. The money spared would be devoted to stopping trafficking, pursuing drug lords and helping farmers grow other crops, he added.

“Hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars we’ve spent on crop eradication has not done any damage to the Taliban. On the contrary, it’s helped them recruit,” Holbrooke said. “In my experience,” the veteran US diplomat and negotiator said, “this is the least effective programme ever.” Afghanistan supplies 90 percent of the world’s heroin, much of which emanates from the southern province of Helmand, where Taliban-led insurgents are waging a bloody campaign against international and Afghan forces. Critics of previous US policy, even within the NATO-led coalition in Afghanistan, feared that the United States was pushing impoverished peasants to the Taliban by destroying their key cash crop while funding the extremists.

Holbrooke said the Obama administration was instead focusing on ramping up agricultural aid to provide Afghans with alternative livelihoods. But his view was challenged by Representative Mark Souder, a member of Bush’s Republican Party. Afghanistan was already “the breadbasket of the world” until poppy became more lucrative, he said. “There has to be some disincentive to plant heroin in addition to an incentive to plant other crops,” Souder said. “It will not suffice to say, ‘Plant corn,’ when you can get incredible amounts more dollars” with poppy, he said.
....
New view: Separately, US Gen Stanley McChrystal has said that US and other NATO troops must make a “cultural shift” away from being a force designed for high intensity combat and instead make protecting Afghan civilians their first priority. The newly arrived four-star commander said on Wednesday he hopes to install a new military mindset by drilling into troops the need to reduce the number of Afghan civilians killed in combat. McChrystal is expected to formally announce new combat rules within days that will order troops to break away from fights – if they can do so safely – if militants are firing from civilian homes.Daily Times
The G-8 welcomes the policy shift:
The G-8 foreign ministers "strongly appreciated" the policy shift, Frattini said. Costa, of the U.N., said the new focus "seems to be the winning strategy, and I'm glad that all of this has received support from the G-8 ministers."

The G-8 ministers along with Afghan counterpart Rangin Dadfar Spanta issued a statement at the end of their three-day summit Saturday saying it was urgent to find alternatives for farming communities where "narco-trafficking and extremism are endemic."

They said sustainable farming was key to Afghanistan's and Pakistan's future in that it would boost incomes, create jobs, improve rural development and lower regional tensions.

"Food insecurity and chronic poverty are root causes of civil instability and forced migration," the statement said. Read more at NPR

Axelrod Speaks on Iran on Meet the Press

The media could do the Obama administration a favor and stop acting like what comes out of Ahmandinejad's mouth is legit in any way.

Rupert Grint Awed by Michelle Obama


Rupert Grint, who plays Ron in the Harry Potter movies (new movie coming out folks!), says he was taken with Michelle Obama when she and the kids visited the set:

When I meet Grint, he’s come from the Harry Potter set near Watford, where filming has been on hold to welcome First Lady Michelle Obama.
‘I’m not easily impressed by famous people, but nothing’s matched this,’ he says. ‘I didn’t think I was going to be nervous, then this huge motorcade pulled up at the studio and Michelle stepped out of a black Range Rover and everybody was speechless. It’s hard to imagine Gordon Brown having that kind of effect.
‘We sat around, ate cake and chatted. She said that the President is a big fan of the films and loves the books, and that she’d met the Queen the day before – but visiting the Potter set was far more exciting, that we were a lot cooler. It was hard to take it all in. I kept thinking, “Here I am talking to the First Lady.”’ Mail

Republicans Get Sappy Over Achy Breaky Sanford Heartbreak

I'll say this: Gov. Sanford is a wreck. Anyone can see that.
But this morning Mitt Romney and Lindsey Graham, the godfather of one of the Sanford's children, try to defend his butt.
Romney says it's not for anyone outside of South Carolina to make pronouncements on. Wrongo again Romney.
I've never seen republicans tap into so much emotion as they try to defend Mark Sanford. It's not the affair that was horrible, it was the manner in which he had the affair, the way he used taxpayer money, the way he through his job out the window like a lovesick puppy.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Obama Dunks Rahm Emanuel

Peter Orszag and Robert Gibbs also get dunked at the June 25 Congressional luau picnic:

The Obamas Get Tested For HIV Video

It's National HIV Testing Day. The Obamas got tested in Kenya in 2006:

And here is Obama's weekly address on the energy bill, which passed the House but is going to have a tough time getting to 60 in the Senate:

transcript

Friday, June 26, 2009

Lynn Rosenthal New Advisor on Violence Against Women

House Passes Climate Bill

I didn't think this would pass because some democrats said it didn't go far enough and others said it went too far. Republicans merely hated it.

The 1,200 page bill—formally known as the "American Clean Energy and Security Act"—will reach into almost every corner of the U.S. economy. By putting a price on emissions of common gases, such as carbon dioxide, the bill would affect the way electricity is generated, how homes and offices are designed, how foreign trade is conducted and how much Americans pay to drive or to heat their homes.

The House climate bill, approved by a 219 to 212 vote Friday evening, seeks to boost a number of nascent industries, such as wind-generated electricity and solar power. It would mandate that 15% of the nation's electricity come from sources such as wind and solar power by 2020, potentially expanding the market and profit potential for investors in those sectors. WSJ
From the Energy and Commerce site:
The bill contains the following key provisions:

Requires electric utilities to meet 20% of their electricity demand through renewable energy sources and energy efficiency by 2020.
Invests $190 billion in new clean energy technologies and energy efficiency, including energy efficiency and renewable energy ($90 billion in new investments by 2025), carbon capture and sequestration ($60 billion), electric and other advanced technology vehicles ($20 billion), and basic scientific research and development ($20 billion).
Mandates new energy-saving standards for buildings, appliances, and industry.
Reduces carbon emissions from major U.S. sources by 17% by 2020 and over 80% by 2050 compared to 2005 levels. Complementary measures in the legislation, such as investments in preventing tropical deforestation, will achieve significant additional reductions in carbon emissions.
Protects consumers from energy price increases. According to recent analyses from the Congressional Budget Office and the Environmental Protection Agency, the legislation will cost each household less than 50 cents per day in 2020 (not including energy efficiency savings).

Wacky Michelle Bachmann. The House chose tyranny! Yay!

White House Press Presses for Written Statement on Michael Jackson

A few times this morning, the press asked why Obama didn't release a written statement about Michael Jackson. Robert Gibbs offered a verbal statement. Obama essentially said: Michael Jackson was a spectacular performer, a music icon. He also had aspects of his life that were sad and tragic. He offered condolences to the family.
Okay. Perspective here. Michael Jackson was a wonderful, fabulous, well-loved entertainer, but Obama is President of the U.S., Commander in Chief.
There are soldiers who die daily without any recognition whatsoever. There are plenty of other worthy people who die everyday with zero recognition.

BEAT IT Iranian Regime


Gibbs Gets Dunked Video

Robert Gibbs gets dunked--now in slow motion. See photos of yesterday's congressional luau picnic here.

Jenny Sanford: His Career Isn't a Concern of Mine

Jenny Sanford a smart woman, indeed.

Obama Speaks on Immigration Reform June 25

Obama is sandwiched between Biden and McCain, whose body language is kind of strange. Obama commends John McCain, who has shown leadership on immigration reform, despite his party. Immigration reform steps have begun:

Sanford Apologizes to His Cabinet

He seems to be saying don't let my dalliances distract you from the work you need to do.

Iranians Pause to Remember Michael Jackson

In between the protests, they're mourning Michael Jackson. On Morning Joe, Reza Aslan says that shows just how much we have in common. He says the uprisings have expanded beyond Tehran, part of it because of the brutality of the crackdown. What's happened on the streets has pressured the Iranian regime, he said.

Obama and Merkel News Conference June 26

Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel met this morning in the Oval office ahead of the G8 summit next week.
Ahead of the video, which I'll post later if it comes available, is some of what he and Merkel said--PARAPHRASED:
Discussed the tragic situation in Iran. They talked about the peoples' bravery. He said we see the violence and we condemn it. They discussed Iran's nuclear program.
They discussed the Middle East.
We agreed on confronting extremism in Aghanistan and Pakistan
They talked about working with the Russian government to advance common interests such as reducing nuclear arsenals.
Merkel:
Today, challenges can't be met by one nation going it alone.
Iranian people need to be given the rights to peaceful demonstrations and votes recounted. The Iranian nuclear program needs to stop.
They talked about climate and the economy. The bill in the House means the U.S. is serious about climate, she said. It's an enormous success that I wouldn't have thought possible a year ago.
They take questions:
NYT: Have you changed your view on Mousavi and Ahmandinejad and will you apologize to Ahmadinejad for meddling (what?)
Obama said given the structure of the power of the government and the power residing with Khamenei, we could not automatically assume there could be a huge shift on those security issues. What's clear over the course of days, Mousavi has shown to capture the imagination and the spirit of forces within Iran who want to open up. He represents people on the streets. I continue to believe Iranians need to decide who their leaders are going to be. A govt. that treats their citizens with such violence and can't deal with peaceful protestors has moved outside of universal norms. Merkel and I share the believe the violence is unacceptable.
On the apology: I don't take Ahmadinejad's statements seriously about apologies given the fact that the U.S. has gone out of its way to not meddle. Ahmadinejad needs to think about the obligations he owes to his own people.
On Gitmo: We are going to be looking for the help of our friends and allies as we close Guantanamo that is going to be difficult politically. The EU gave a legal framework of how to evaluate Gitmo detainees. The specifics are still preliminary. Merkel has an obligation to make sure Germany's interests come first. We will continue to have constructive discussions.
Merkel has not made commitments of that sort. Conversation has been general.

Merkel: We aren't going to shirk our responsibility.

Q on dialogue with Iran and what about Iraq deadline:
We are still waiting to see how the situation in Iran plays out. I continue to call on the Iranian govt. to deal with people peacefully. There is no doubt that direct dialogue or diplomacy will be effected by the events of the last several weeks. We don't know how any potential dialogue will be affected. The clock is ticking. Iran's nuke program is moving along. We have to be steady in recognizing that Iran with a nuke is a big problem. We have to work with international community to prevent that from happening. We will see multilateral discussions with Iran. The direct dialogue between the U.S. and Iran we'll have to see how that plays out in days and weeks ahead.
On Iraq, we are concerned about the bombing in Iraq. If you look at the overall trend, despite the high profile bombings, security continues to approve. Still some work to do with Maliki govt. I haven't seen as much political progress as I would've like to seen. There continues to be violence in Iraq but the bigger challenge is can the Shia, Sunni and the Kurds work together.
Merkel:
On Iran, we've seen horrifying scenes. We will do everything to identify the victims. Iran can't count on the world community turning a blind eye. Iran can't gain nukes. I completely agree with the president--we need to bring Russia and China in on this.

Merkel shakes her head as a German reporter asks why Obama hasn't give an interview to German media. He asks something else but the mic is off.

Obama says the times I've visited Germany have been wonderful. I will always have a warm spot in my heart for Germany. We had a rally in Germany. It was pretty good. I like Chancellor Merkel a lot, he said. She's smart, practical and I trust her when she says something. That's what you want from an international partner.
On climate change, Obama boasts the energy bill about to be voted on in the House.

Merkel: I'm gratified Obama is interested in the climate issue. We're both convinced climate change means more than numbers.
Partial video:


U.S. About to Leave Iraq

So many distractions, Michael Jackson, Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Neda, Iranian elections, Kodachrome, Sanford...
Let me say a word about Sanford. People are teasing him--and republicans are dogging him--because he fell for an Argentine woman, whom I'm sure seemed very "exotic" to a South Carolinian man with conservative values. It says a lot about his--and maybe even conservative--psychology.
At the press conference, he acted like a man who had never been in mad love before, which made it raw and sad. I liked the way he apologized because it made him human. However, I don't think it repaired his career (and it didn't do anything for his family-he doesn't seem to love his wife) and I don't think he should be governor and it doesn't seem like he even wants to be governor. He's got some fixing to do.
Meanwhile, the U.S. is about to withdraw from major cities in Iraq and as everyone points out on Morning Joe, no one is talking about it. Frankly, I'm war weary. I never wanted us in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dancing Machine

Sad. RIP Michael Jackson.

Slide show by windsofchange:

White House Press Briefing June 25

Albright Speaks on Iran

Ahmadinejad is blaming the CIA for shooting Neda and is trying to engage Obama in a tit for tat. Madeleine Albright says Obama doing the right thing. The question is, how does the U.S. engage with irrational people. We also have North Korea set to go off at any time now.
I think Obama's steadfast response of little reaction to Ahmadinejad works to keep the ball out of our court and in theirs. Obama is in effect saying: we're watching. We want to see how you handle the ball. Obviously, they're fumbling around acting like a bunch of thugs, enraging the world. 

Congressional Luau at the White House June 25

Tonight it's a congressional picnic luau for members of Congress and their families. Events, according to Politico, include a dunking tank (see Rahm and Orszag get dunked here and Gibbs get dunked in slow mo here), hula lessons and dancing to Hawaiian music, Beach Boys and Elvis.
Before tonight's luau, Michelle and Obama pitch volunteering. They worked at the food bank this morning:

Watch Michelle Obama sort of hula:

Luau photos:







Iranian Regime Expected to Stay

The Iranian regime has turned into thugs, says Richard Haass, and it looks like they're going to remain. He says the U.S. is slightly worse off now and Iran's going to be a big challenge ahead. 
The Iranian government is despicable, if you ask me, beating and killing its people. I'm hoping the opposition grows stronger and can find a non violent way to get rid of Ahmadinejad and the rest of the cretons. 
Haass says it's important that the opposition stays home grown. He also says Obama needs to negotiate with the regime--it's not a favor, it's a policy--but it's going to be tough to negotiate now. 

Obama Speaks on the Energy Bill Video

Obama urges the House to pass the energy bill, which he calls a jobs bill.

Obama on ABC's Nightline


From the ABC town hall:


It was hardly an infomercial but protesters were out against "nationalized healthcare."
What's wrong with these people? I'm protesting unrationalized people. I'm weary of stupid talk.

For Once Just Toss The Cheat

This is part of Jenny Stanford's statement:

This trial separation was agreed to with the goal of ultimately strengthening our marriage. During this short separation it was agreed that Mark would not contact us. I kept this separation quiet out of respect of his public office and reputation, and in hopes of keeping our children from just this type of public exposure. Because of this separation, I did not know where he was in the past week.

I believe enduring love is primarily a commitment and an act of will, and for a marriage to be successful, that commitment must be reciprocal. I believe Mark has earned a chance to resurrect our marriage.

Psalm 127 states that sons are a gift from the Lord and children a reward from Him. I will continue to pour my energy into raising our sons to be honorable young men. I remain willing to forgive Mark completely for his indiscretions and to welcome him back, in time, if he continues to work toward reconciliation with a true spirit of humility and repentance. RCP
She sounds like an honorable and religious woman with good intentions. She has four children so it's understandable why she'd want to work on her marriage.
But for once, I'd like to see one of these women just toss the guy. She could do it with grace and dignity. Or not.
I suppose it's a wise woman that hangs on to her cheating spouse, especially if he has other redeeming qualities, because men cheat, so starting from scratch wouldn't be any fun. Men, especially politicians, have yet to rise above their biology.
The GOP is standing by their man. Rush Limbaugh is hurt.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

White House Press Briefing June 24

Buffett Gloomy on Economy

On the upside, he said we avoided a complete financial meltdown. He compliments Ben Bernanke, Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner but gives mega kudos to Bernanke.

Al-Qaeda Leaving Pakistan for Somalia and Yemen

I think they're ready to move at a moment's notice. Al-Qaeda seems pretty agile.

Obama Meets With Governors on Healthcare Video

Obama seeks input on healthcare reform from nation's governors:

Bloomberg interviews Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who was one of the governors at the meeting:

No Hot Dogs For Iran

It was an attempt by President Obama to reach out to Iran with a classically American invitation: celebrate July 4 with hot dogs and hale fellowship at United States embassies worldwide. Now, hot-dog diplomacy is the latest casualty of the bloody clashes in Tehran.

On Wednesday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who had authorized diplomatic posts earlier this month to invite Iranians to their Independence Day parties, sent out a cable rescinding the invitations.

“Unfortunately, circumstances have changed, and participation by Iranian diplomats would not be appropriate in light of the unjust actions that the president and I have condemned,” she said. Embassies that had already invited Iranian diplomats were instructed to disinvite them. Read more at NYT

Sanford Was Smitten

Sanford was head over heels. Kind of feel bad for him on a human level. Okay, I'm over it. Men in power will never learn, will they? They'll risk everything for lust and excitement and I imagine, a break from the dullness of their personal lives. I'm sure politics leaves them no time to nurture their family life, which is why the Obamas seem intent on date nights and emphasizing family.

John Dickerson says there is a disturbing "glee" over Sanford:

I'm not offering Sanford's humanity as an excuse. I'm just marveling at how few people stopped for a moment to even nod to it. My thoughtful colleague William Saletan and Andrew Sullivan were exceptions. Maybe there are others. Maybe people expressed these views in private conversations. But in the e-mails and Twitter entries and blog posts I read in the aftermath, Sanford's human ruin was greeted with what felt like antiseptic glee. The pain he's caused, the hypocrisies he's engaged in, seemed like license to deny him any humanity at all.
Sanford's fumbling efforts to explain how he's tried to rescue himself with his faith offered some people an opportunity to make fun of his religion, as if a confused, lost, flawed person were the right spokesman for anything. People tend to think the most awful thing about a person is the most true thing. They also apparently think it's the most true thing about his or her associations. So an e-mail arrived asking, "[I]s there any Republican not sleeping around?" Maybe Sanford should have been a presidential candidate. He apparently represents an entire party and an entire religion.
I would say the lesson here is conservatives gotta stop signing up to be Promise Keepers and they gotta stop preaching values. They have to make things right in their own house. They aren't the arbiters of what's right and wrong. 

Sanford Cheats on Wife With an Argentine Woman

Updated with video of the press conference below
Sanford cheated on his wife. He didn't just go to Argentina for an "exotic" vacation.
In a press conference, where he nearly broke down, he apologized to his wife and four boys.
Why is it always these conservatives, busy preaching to everyone what's moral and right, who do these lousy, unfaithful things. I feel for his wife and children.
He's got no business talking about "God's law." Don't these fellows see the hypocrisy of their actions.
He met this person "very innocently" a few years ago and they developed a "remarkable" friendship that sparked. She's married with two children.
"This was selfishness on my part," he said.
He said he was resigning as chairman of the Republican Governors' Association. (Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is taking over).
It's doubtful he would've told if he didn't get caught.
He walked out of the press conference. He was getting all blubbery. 
My bet--he'll be resigning as governor. You can't just leave your post as governor, amid a flurry of lies, to go get some in another country. It seems South Carolina has a lot of troubles and is in need of serious leadership, not a guy in pursuit.
He seemed somewhat of a basket case and in need of mental health counseling, so it's a good thing he has insurance.
Read all about it.

Sanford explains how he got together with his gal:

Watch the full conference here.

Obama to Meet the Pope

Outdoor White House meeting

Following the G8 Summit (read about that here), Obama will meet with the Pope:
Vatican officials said the U.S. leader will have an afternoon audience with the Pope in the Vatican after the conclusion of a July 8-10 summit of Group of Eight industrial nations, due to take place in the Italian city of L'Aquila.

"The Pope is ready to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama in the afternoon of July 10," deputy Vatican spokesman Ciro Benedettini told Reuters. Read more
Obama's upcoming travel schedule:
July 6-8: Obama will be in Russia meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
July 8-10: Obama will attend the G8 in Italy (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States).
July 10-11: Obama will visit Ghana

Harry Smith Shuts Down Snide Mitt Romney

Republicans have some sort of weird thing going on with Ronald Reagan. I understand having admiration of the former president, who has since passed away, but come on, get with the modern times. What worked then might not work now. If Reagan were president today, he might be doing things in a different way. But don't try telling that to conservatives pining for the past.
CBS' Harry Smith shuts down Mitt at about the 2 minute mark when Romney says Obama's stance on Iran wasn't like Reagan's "tear down this wall" moment.
Smith points out that was a very different occasion.
Romney is such a snot. His language is so spiteful and he has such venom for Obama, a psychologist might say he's plainly jealous. Many of the alpha males have troubles keeping their testosterone in check when it comes to Obama.
Watch the video here.

Obama's GMA Interview June 24

Obama talks about healthcare reform and the ways to pay for it.
All I've got to say on that is 1) the majority of Americans want it 2) Most Americans want a public insurance option and 3) Democrats better bring healthcare home. It doesn't help to be the party in power if you're impotent.
Watch the video here.

ABC is also airing Obama's healthcare town hall tonight at 10 pm eastern. 

Sanford In the Mood for Exotic Goes to Argentina

Sanford was feeling all stressy wessy, so he wanted to go someplace "exotic." I'm sure more details are to come about just how exotic Sanford got.

A mystery has turned into a fiasco for South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, who now says he was in South America — not on the Appalachian Trail, as his staff had said on the record in official statements when his whereabouts became the subject of global news coverage.

“I don’t know how this thing got blown out of proportion,” the governor told The State newspaper of Columbia, S.C., after he landed at the Atlanta airport Wednesday morning.

Sanford, a conservative Republican who had a promising future in national politics, is now not only the butt of jokes but has serious questions to answer about his stewardship of his state’s safety. Politico
From the State:
“Sanford, in an exclusive interview with The State Media Company, said he decided at the last minute to go to the South American country to recharge after a difficult legislative session in which he battled with lawmakers over how to spend federal stimulus money. Sanford said he had considered hiking on the Appalachian Trail, an activity he said he has enjoyed since he was a high school student. ‘But I said no, I wanted to do something exotic,’ Sanford said. ‘It's a great city.' 
Read live updates at South Carolina's the State.
Sanford is toast:

Fellow republicans mad:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Obama Meets With Bachelet of Chile

Obama met with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet at the White House. They appear to have a rapport with one another. They talked about cooperative projects on clean energy, and a cancer research center. Great way to work with our allies. So often, we're only rallying our allies to war.
Obama complimented Chile on managing its economy and surpluses well.
Watch the video here.

Michelle Obama Speaks to GMA on Obesity


See more of this interview here.

Republican Rohrabacher Blames Obama for Iran Violence

Republicans are becoming repulsive.
Dana Rohrabacher is an arse. I've been saying that a lot lately. I'm aghast that our country is in the hands of so much incompetence and small mindedness. Republicans are really going to town--sneak away hiking, cheating on wives with married co-workers, behaving like trolls under the bridge. Republicans need to get out of the way. Credibility=0. Let our president do what we elected him to do.

Obama's News Conference June 23

Full video

Transcript of Obama's introductory remarks here

Monday, June 22, 2009

White House Press Briefing June 22

Styx Visits the White House


Obama Plans to Attend World Cup Ceremonies 2010


The 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, will be in attendance at next summer’s World Cup, says FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

This comes after FIFA’s top man formally invited Obama to the tournament which will be played in South Africa a year from now.

“He accepted,” Blatter told a small gathering of reporters in Johannesburg, South Africa. “But you know that heads of state are extremely busy. Hopefully his schedule will allow him to attend.” Goal

Ha! Ha! Another Wacky Republican

WHAAAAAT? Funny, head shaking stuff.


Obama in an Apron Grills Steak at the White House

Obama Speaks on Prescription Drug Costs

Obama says "Yes we can."

Ahmadinejad Set to Have Less Power

The clerics want Ahmadinejad to change his hateful rhetoric and they want people to have more freedoms. This kind of reporting isn't anything you'll get in the mainstream media, which seems bent on highlighting the violence.

Michelle Speaks on Community Service in San Francisco

Michelle Obama was in San Francisco with Maria Shriver today promoting community service. Transcript

Republicans Winning the War on Themselves

Rachel Maddow nails this one.

Obama Speaks on Anti-Smoking Bill

Barack Obama Comes to Save the Day

Too bad Obama isn't a super hero, considering Congress seems to be impotent. Democrats can't get it together and republicans are acting like trolls.

Missing South Carolina Governor Found Sort Of

Is he upset because he lost a court case to a teen and now has to accept stimulus money?
Must be nice to be able to slip away from everything and everyone for a few days. In my dreams. Watch.

The whereabouts of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford was unknown for nearly four days, and some state leaders question who was in charge of the executive office.
But Sanford’s office told the lieutenant governor’s office Monday afternoon that Sanford has been reached and he is fine, said Frank Adams, head of Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer’s office on aging.
Neither the governor’s office nor the State Law Enforcement Division, which provides security for governors, had been able to reach Sanford after he left the mansion Thursday in a black SLED Suburban SUV, said Sen. Jake Knotts and three others familiar with the situation but declined to be identified.
....

Jenny Sanford said the governor said he needed time away from their children to write something.
The governor’s office issued a statement Monday afternoon: "Gov. Sanford is taking some time away from the office this week to recharge after the stimulus battle and the legislative session, and to work on a couple of projects that have fallen by the wayside. We are not going to discuss the specifics of his travel arrangements or his security arrangements." More at the State

Republicans on Parade

Surprisingly, George Will gets it. Where were the republicans for Obama's last 100 speeches? 

Here's an edited look at the goofy republicans under the bridge:

Iran's Foreign Ministry Press Conference

Iranian leaders have a completely different world view, that's for sure. Listen to the foreign ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi, who spoke to the press about the elections, calling its elections a "gem:"

Michelle Obama and Maria Shriver in San Francisco

Michelle Obama and Maria Shriver kick off United We Serve. Read about that here.

Fast forward to Monday, June 22, 2009, when the two Chicago-born first ladies -- Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States and Maria Shriver, First Lady of California -- appear together in San Francisco at a conference to boost volunteerism, a cause both of them have embraced.

They will appear together the 2009 National Conference on Volunteering and Service. The two will deliver brief remarks and, according to a release from Mrs. Obama's office, "work on a community playground service project with volunteers at a mid-day event at Bret Harte Elementary School in San Francisco."

Later on Monday afternoon, Mrs. Obama gives a keynote address to the conference, hosted by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Points of Light Institute at the Moscone Center.

Mrs. Obama's San Francisco visit leads off a string of events across the country in which Cabinet members will highlight volunteer projects. Lynn Sweet