Archive for March 15th, 2011

15
Mar
11

close at hand

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden greet Susannah Flanagan, daughter of Frank Buckles, at Arlington National Cemetery Memorial Chapel in Arlington, Va., March 15, 2011. Buckles, the last surviving American World War I veteran, passed away on Feb. 27, 2011, at his West Virginia home. He was 110. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

15
Mar
11

hey, nice tee! (updated – see comments: say hello to the boy in the tee!)

President Barack Obama visits a classroom before discussing education at Kenmore Middle School in Arlington, Virginia on March 14

15
Mar
11

ah, some balance

Sorry for bringing Dana Milbank here, but it’s so hard to find balanced articles on Bradley Manning – he’s either a martyr or a traitor – it was a relief to find this. I’ve cut out the silly, glib ‘underwear’ stuff by Milbank, but you can read the full article here

Dana Milbank: ….On the left, Bradley Manning is being hailed as a hero and a whistleblower for stealing and then making public thousands of classified government documents. The Pentagon, meanwhile, sees Pfc. Manning as a traitor, and so is holding him in maximum-security confinement. The naked truth is that Manning was neither a hero nor a traitor but a misguided kid flying by the seat of his underpants.

…PJ Crowley … had it exactly right last week …. after his claim that the treatment of Manning was stupid, he added: “Nonetheless, Bradley Manning is in the right place” at Quantico, because “there is sometimes a need for secrets.”

Liberal supporters of WikiLeaks and Manning have a rather elastic interpretation of Crowley’s remarks, embracing the suggestion that Manning had been mistreated but ignoring the contention that he belongs in the brig.

…(they are) trying to lionize Manning as a champion of open and transparent government. The trouble, of course, is that if Manning did what he is accused of doing, he has almost certainly done more harm than good to the cause of government openness.

“I don’t think these qualify as whistleblowing,” said Steven Aftergood, a longtime transparency advocate who runs the Federation of American Scientists’ Government Secrecy Project. Yes, there were important disclosures from WikiLeaks, such as the documentation of civilian casualties in Afghanistan. But the indiscriminate leaks also may have put at risk many lives, including those of hundreds of Afghans who cooperated with the U.S. military.

“The approach of grabbing hundreds of thousands of documents and shoveling them into the public domain,” said Aftergood, “was needlessly provocative.” He added: “It was not exposing misconduct. It was sticking a thumb in the government’s eye.”

The Pentagon, for its part, seems to be acknowledging, implicitly, that it mishandled Manning … Now it’s time for Manning’s fans to accept that he’s not necessarily the champion of freedom they have made him out to be….

15
Mar
11

interviews, interviews, interviews

….with Royale Da of KOAT Albuquerque, N.M. in the Map Room of the White House, March 15

This morning the President gave local TV interviews to KOAT Albuquerque, KDKA Pittsburgh and WVEC Hampton Roads

WVEC interview – part one:

Parts two and three

15
Mar
11

bottled up

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden return to the White House in Washington, March 15, after attending the funeral of Army Cpl. Frank Buckles

15
Mar
11

respect

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden walk with Kathryn A. Condon (Executive Director, Army National Cemeteries Program) and Arlington National Cemetery Superintendent Patrick Hallinan as they arrive for the funeral service for Army Cpl. Frank Buckles, the last surviving American World War I veteran. March 15, at Arlington National Cemetery

Buckles died at 110 in his home in West Virginia in February. The Army corporal will be buried with military honors on Tuesday after lying in repose in Arlington’s Memorial Chapel, where mourners could go to pay their last respects.

The casket of US Army Corporal Frank Buckles lies in honor at the Memorial Chapel at Arlington National Cemetery, March 15

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden greet Susannah Flanagan, daughter of Frank Buckles, at Arlington National Cemetery Memorial Chapel in Arlington, Va., March 15, 2011. Buckles, the last surviving American World War I veteran, passed away on Feb. 27, 2011, at his West Virginia home. He was 110. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

15
Mar
11

blinded by science

President Barack Obama meets with student finalists of the Intel Science Talent Search 2011 competition, March 15, in the East Room of the White House

Info here

15
Mar
11

keep on moving!

First lady Michelle Obama gestures while speaking speaks at the National League of Cities Conference about the Let’s Move! initiative, March 15, in Washington

Text of speech here

15
Mar
11

a congenitally untrustworthy columnist?

When writers like Steve Benen, Ezra Klein and Steve Kornacki are critical of the President it’s hard not to take notice – they do, after all, have a record of being objective with no suspect agendas.

But then you read someone like The New Republic’s editor-in-chief Martin Peretz and all you can do is laugh. In his latest diatribe, posted today, he describes the President’s approach to the Middle East as “scandalous” and his attitude to Israel as “hostile indifference”.

“What is curious about Obama’s infatuation with Arab societies (and with non-Arab Muslim societies, too) is that he knows just about nothing about them,” Peretz pants.

It’s always interesting to look at the track record of people who spew dishonest hysteria like this. And in Peretz’s case it’s some track record….

Wiki: Over the course of his career, Peretz has drawn criticism from some fellow commentators … for making comments they considered bigoted, particularly towards Arabs and Muslims.

He has written (among other things) that “Arab society is hidebound and backward” and that the Druze are “congenitally untrustworthy”.

The website Peretz Dossier has compiled an encyclopedia of the most ridiculous and inflammatory things Peretz writes about Palestinians, Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis….

On September 4, 2010, Peretz drew media attention and controversy when he posted an editorial which concluded: “But, frankly, Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims…. so, yes, I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse.”

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof denounced Peretz’s comments, asking: “Is it possible to imagine the same kind of casual slur tossed off about blacks or Jews?”

When criticized, Peretz insisted “Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims” was “a statement of fact, not of value”.

Two weeks later Peretz apologized: “…..I allowed emotion to run way ahead of reason, and feelings to trample arguments.”

The Atlantic’s James Fallows: “Peretz … beloved by many students and respected by some magazine colleagues, but broadly considered in his 70s to be a bigot.”

***

So, short of President Obama agreeing to nuke the Palestinians, his approach to the Middle East will, in Peretz’s eyes, always be “scandalous”. How ‘fair and balanced’!

15
Mar
11

today

Morning everyone 😉




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