Archive for November 16th, 2010


a shiny new asia category

Hello people. I know lots of you enjoyed the photos, videos and reports from the President and First Lady’s trip to Asia – so, I’ve added an ‘Asia November 2010’ category to the sidebar on the right. It will – I hope – make it easier for you to find all the coverage of the trip.


rebel with a cause

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and senior staff, react in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, as the House passes the health care reform bill, March 21, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

NPR: Richard Wolffe (in his new book Revival: The Struggle for Survival Inside the Obama White House) writes that Obama was holding back tears when he finally signed the health care bill. He says that it helps answer an important question: why Obama stubbornly insisted on moving forward with the health care overhaul when others advised against it.

“This was clearly a decision that his own chief of staff didn’t agree with, and there were other senior advisers who thought this was insane, lunatic, to risk the presidency on it,” Wolffe says. “And it comes down to the memory of his mother.

“So, his mother passed away because of cancer. Her experience in her final days and months was about struggling with insurance companies over … the question of pre-existing conditions. And if you listen to the president, what does he talk about most?” Wolffe says. “It’s about insurance companies quibbling with patients about pre-existing conditions.

“And he tears up — it’s strange that people didn’t kind of notice it — in all of the hullabaloo around the signing in the East Room, he can barely keep it together. And that’s very, very rare — to see a president, especially this president, who is struggling, fighting with himself, to hold back the tears.”

Although the health care overhaul may have hurt Democrats at the polls, it wouldn’t have been Obama’s style not to go for it, Wolffe says.


flashback …. it’s okay, i know when i’m not wanted

President Barack Obama walks out of frame as Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Singapore’s finance minister, wanted a picture with first lady Michelle Obama as he arrives for the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009.


go on, smile


“america, you know not what you have”

America – He’s Your President for Goodness Sake!

By William Thomas

Extracts – full article here

There was a time not so long ago when Americans, regardless of their political stripes, rallied round their president. Once elected, the man who won the White House was no longer viewed as a republican or democrat, but the President of the United States. The oath of office was taken, the wagons were circled around the country’s borders and it was America versus the rest of the world with the president of all the people at the helm.

Suddenly President Barack Obama, with the potential to become an exceptional president has become the glaring exception to that unwritten, patriotic rule.

Four days before President Obama’s inauguration, before he officially took charge of the American government, Rush Limbaugh boasted publicly that he hoped the president would fail. Of course, when the president fails the country flounders. Wishing harm upon your country in order to further your own narrow political views is selfish, sinister and a tad treasonous as well.

….At some point, the treatment of President Obama went from offensive to ugly and then to downright dangerous.

The health-care debate, which looked more like extreme fighting in a mud pit than a national dialogue, revealed a very vulgar side of America. President Obama’s face appeared on protest signs white-faced and blood-mouthed in a satanic clown image. In other tasteless portrayals, people who disagreed with his position distorted his face to look like Hitler complete with mustache and swastika.

Odd, that burning the flag makes Americans crazy, but depicting the president as a clown and a maniacal fascist is accepted as part of the new rude America.

In President Barack Obama, Americans have a charismatic leader with a good and honest heart. Unlike his predecessor, he’s a very intelligent leader. And unlike that president’s predecessor, he’s a highly moral man.

What America has in Obama is a head of state with vitality and insight and youth. Think about it, Barack Obama is a young Nelson Mandela. Mandela was the face of change and charity for all of Africa but he was too old to make it happen. The great things Obama might do for America and the world could go on for decades after he’s out of office.

America, you know not what you have.

The man is being challenged unfairly, characterized with vulgarity and treated with the kind of deep disrespect to which no previous president was subjected. It’s like the day after electing the first black man to be president, thereby electrifying the world with hope and joy, Americans sobered up and decided the bad old days were better.

Please. Give the man a fair, fighting chance. This incivility toward the leader who won over Americans and gave hope to billions of people around the world that their lives could be enhanced by his example, just naturally has to stop.

(Thank you to blackwaterdog for the link)



President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta and his wife Jennifer Mueller in the Oval Office, Nov. 16, 2010. Later, the President presented the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Giunta for his courageous actions during combat operations against an armed enemy in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan, in October 2007. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta receives the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama. The 25-year-old Iowan received the nation’s top military award for his heroic actions in Afghanistan, and is the first living service member to receive the award since the Vietnam war. Others have been awarded posthumously.

First lady Michelle Obama hugs a family member of Sgt. Joshua Brennan who died despite the efforts of his friend and Medal of Honor recipient Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta



President Barack Obama hugs the mother of a fallen soldier after awarding Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta, U.S. Army, the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington on November 16, 2010. Giunta received the Medal for actions during combat in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan in October 2007


‘a letter to my daughters’

CNN: Half a million copies of a new children’s book by President Obama hit the shelves Tuesday.

First daughters Sasha and Malia inspired the president to write “Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters,” publisher Random House said.

The publisher describes Obama’s latest book as “a moving tribute to thirteen groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped our nation — from the artistry of Georgia O’Keeffe, to the courage of Jackie Robinson, to the patriotism of George Washington.”

The manuscript was completed before Obama took office in 2009.

The book “celebrates the characteristics that unite all Americans — the potential to pursue our dreams and forge our own paths,” said Chip Gibson, head of the publisher’s children’s books division.

Proceeds from the book, which has a suggested retail price of $17.99, will be donated to a scholarship fund for children of fallen and disabled soldiers.


Earlier this year – What did Sasha and Malia think of their dad’s short book? “I asked them to read it, see what they thought,” Obama said in an interview with Sirius XM radio. “I think they’re pretty soft on their dad. They figured out I already have enough to worry about. So, not too many rewrites.”

The President’s ‘Groundbreaking Americans’

* Painter Georgia O’Keeffe
* Scientist Albert Einstein
* Baseball player Jackie Robinson
* Sioux medicine man Sitting Bull
* Singer Billie Holiday
* Advocate for people with disabilities Helen Keller
* Vietnam Memorial architect Maya Lin
* Social worker Jane Addams
* Civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr
* Astronaut Neil Armstrong
* Farmworkers’ leader Cesar Chavez
* President Abraham Lincoln
* President George Washington







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November 2010

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