Archive for March 20th, 2011

20
Mar
11

‘christ the redeemer’

President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and their daughters Sasha and Malia tour the Christ the Redeemer Statue on Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro, March 20

*****

A big hello to all our visiting wingnut birther buddies from wingnutevents.com (okay, okay, that’s not the blog’s real name, you didn’t think I was going to link it, did you?)

They’re all dropping by to have a look at the photos of the President and Christ the Redeemer – “Imagine George Bush snapping these photos the day after launching a military campaign against a Muslim country,” barks one of the creatures.

Um…….while, President Obama was on official duty in South and Latin America …. here’s Bush being photographed clearing brush and riding his bike during one of his many lengthy vacations at his beloved ranch … while American troops were dying in Iraq and Afghanistan:

Sourcewatch: While the war on terrorism – that is, the global struggle against violent extremism – continues in such places as Iraq and Afghanistan, President Bush will keep busy throughout the month of August, beginning on August 4th, when he will “host Colombian President Alvaro Uribe at his ranch” and “spend time outdoors … at his ranch, doing things like clearing brush and riding his bike.”

Indeed, he was a classy President:

Washington Post (2002): …President Bush … sprang from his golf cart at 6:15 a.m. and said he was “distressed to hear about the latest suicide bombers in Israel.” Just over four hours before, as Bush slept at his parents’ seaside retreat, a Palestinian suicide bomber blew up a bus in Israel, killing nine passengers.

Bush, wearing khakis and a knit shirt, was holding a driver in his gloved left hand …. however incongruous the setting, the president plunged ahead. “There are a few killers who want to stop the peace process that we have started, and we must not let them,” he said. “I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers.”

His business out of the way, Bush barely paused for breath before saying, “Thank you. Now watch this drive.”

The abrupt segue illustrates the dilemma Bush will face over the next month as he relaxes and works at his ranch in Crawford, Tex., at a time of global political volatility. On Tuesday, Bush will leave Washington behind until Labor Day. That is likely to mean a return to the golf-cart diplomacy of last summer when Bush talked Middle East peace between playing holes, at one point dripping sweat as he said Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat “can do a lot more to be convincing the people on the street to stop these acts of terrorism.”

Must try harder, wingnuts 😉 Hugs!

20
Mar
11

welcome

President Barack Obama waves to the people gathered on the street outside the Ciudad de Deus (City of God) favela Community Center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, March 20, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Hey, joy is an international language 🙂

20
Mar
11

pele

😎

20
Mar
11

on call

President Barack Obama is briefed on the situation in Libya during a secure conference call with National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, right, Chief of Staff Bill Daley, left, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Bob Gates, AFRICOM Commander General Carter Ham, and Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough, in Rio de Janeiro, March 20. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

20
Mar
11

protests

A man holds a banner which reads “Obama, the world needs peace”, Rio de Janeiro, March 20

***

Lots of anti-American protests too in Brazil the last few days (mainly over Libya), this was one of the friendlier guys!

20
Mar
11

rio, the speech

Text of speech here

President Barack Obama delivers a speech at the Municipal Theater in Rio de Janeiro, on March 20

20
Mar
11

‘city of god’

AP: ….In this nation of 190 million where half the population is black, Obama’s election is an inspiration for many, said Ana Luiza Paradiso, a 40-year-old housewife.

“He opened a path for us,” Paradiso said. “The fact that he is black lets other people dream. We have a real connection, real empathy for Obama.”

…City of God gained worldwide notoriety after the 2002 film, which told of the slum’s transformation over five decades from a government-planned housing project for the poor to a violent haven for cocaine gangs. The same story has been repeated in hundreds of Rio slums.

In 2009, however, City of God became part of an ambitious police “pacification” program, in which security forces clear heavily armed gangs from slums and establish a police presence….

Noemia Marinho, a 40-year-old saleswoman who lives in the slum and got her hair done just for the presidential visit, said she hopes Obama’s presence inspires Brazil to pay more attention to her neighborhood.

“He is thinking of Rio as more than just the Christ and Copacabana,” Marinho said, referring to the city’s iconic hilltop statue and world-famous beach. “Maybe our government will look to us more as well.”

20
Mar
11

nowruz

President Obama sends a message to those celebrating the holiday of Nowruz, the name of the New Year in Iranian calendars

20
Mar
11

when they think “brazil,” they think “carnival”

Steve Benen: ….The good news is, the right has stopped obsessing over President Obama picking his favorites in the NCAA tournament. The bad news is, conservatives have moved onto something nearly as silly … President Obama landed in Brazil Saturday to learn about its booming economy, but conservatives called the trip a distraction from worldwide turmoil.

….This may be hard for conservatives to understand – when they think “Brazil,” they think “Carnival” – but Latin America has many quickly growing economies, and Obama is visiting the region to promote trade and open markets. The point is to take steps that will strengthen the U.S. economy, which the right should at least pretend to care about.

What’s more, the visit was scheduled months ago. It’s not as if the president woke up Friday morning and thought, “Fire up Air Force One; I’m in the mood to see Rio.”

I can appreciate why the timing of the trip may seem inconvenient, but the logistics of presidential travel abroad are laborious, and canceling would have proven problematic. Besides, there’s always weighty issues on a president’s to-do list, and if the White House had pushed off the Latin American visits until later in the year, there’d very likely be important developments going on then, too.

What we’re seeing from the right, then, is criticism for the sake of criticism. The discourse has reached the point at which Republicans and their media figures have to be whining about something at all times. Obama is stopping in Chile, Brazil, and El Salvador as part of a broader economic agenda, so the right feels the need to pretend to be outraged.

It’s quite sad.

Full article here

20
Mar
11

“you’re the man”

BBC: US President Barack Obama is set to deliver a speech in Rio de Janeiro, hailing the shared values of Brazil and the US. Mr Obama, on a five-day trip to Latin America, is also due to visit the city’s Christ statue and a shantytown.

…The president is due to visit the famed Christ the Redeemer hilltop statue. However, the visit was rescheduled from morning to evening. This was to allow Mr Obama time to be briefed on the situation in Libya, where US, UK and French aircraft have been carrying out strikes against the forces of Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi.

Mr Obama’s itinerary in Rio is also due to take him to the City of God (Cidade de Deus) favela, one of several hundred shantytowns that dot Rio’s hills. The shantytown is one of several “pacified” under a programme to reduce violence in the city, which is set to be in the international limelight with the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games two years later. The programme involves the deployment of a permanent police presence, known as the Police Pacification Units (UPP), that aim to drive out the drug traffickers who control the slums.

…Crowds gathered in Copacabana to greet Mr Obama as his motorcade arrived at his beach front hotel on Saturday night.

“Welcome to the most beautiful city in the world, Obama. You’re the man,” read a sign held up by Rio resident Carlos Henrique do Nascimento.

More here

Members of a local theatre group hold banners to celebrate the visit of U.S President Barack Obama in Cidade de Deus (City of God) in Rio de Janeiro March 20

Boys gather in Cidade de Deus (City of God) slum streets where U.S President Barack Obama is expected to visit




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