Posts Tagged ‘apartheid


Rise and Shine

President Obama walks off the stage after speaking during the 2013 National Christmas Tree Lighting on the Ellipse in Washington, D.C. on December 6 (Photo by Molly Riley)



1:0 EST The President participates in a conversation with Saban Forum Chairman Haim Saban at the Saban Forum

Brookings * CBS

Tomorrow: The President and First Lady will attend the Kennedy Center Honors



Alex MacGillis: Those Media Hysterics Who Said Obama’s Presidency Was Dead Were Wrong. Again.

It’s been a pretty good week for the Obama administration. The bungled Web site emerged vastly improved following an intensive fix-it push, allowing some 25,000 to sign up per day, as many as signed up in all of October. Paul Ryan and Patty Murray inched toward a modest budget agreement. This morning came a remarkably solid jobs report, showing 203,000 new positions created in November, the unemployment rate falling to 7 percent for the first time in five years, and the labor force participation rate ticking back upward. Meanwhile, the administration’s push for a historic nuclear settlement with Iran continued apace.

…. it seems safe to say that the Obama presidency is not, in fact, over and done with. What, you say, was there any question of that? Well, yes, there was – less than a month ago…..

…. with whiplash force, came the obituaries for the Obama presidency. The Washington press corps has been reduced to the state of the tennis-watching kittens in this video, with the generic congressional ballot surveys playing the part of the ball flitting back and forth.

Full post here



Jonathan Cohn: The Obamacare Error Rate Has Fallen Dramatically Some perspective on the latest ACA freak-out

These days it seems like everybody following Obamacare is talking about the 834s. Those are the personal data files that sends insurance companies, in order to notify them of new enrollees. The data has been prone to errors and that’s a real problem. …

But the 834 problem is fixable and, according to multiple sources in the public and private sectors, it is being fixed. In fact, one administration official tells The New Republic that preliminary estimates, just now becoming available, suggest the error rate has fallen from one in four during October to one in ten now….

More here



National Journal: 3 Ways You Can Tell the Health Care Website Is Working

Just five days into the relaunch of the new and improved, it’s probably too soon to say if the website is working properly in terms of technology. The initial numbers look good. Although important back-end problems remain, the site has handled close to a million users some days, and more people signed up Tuesday than in all of October. But we don’t need the stats to know the website is working in at least one important way: politically.

Here’s how you can tell:

1) Republicans have mostly stopped attacking the website….

2) Democrats have calmed down….

3) The media has started to move on….

More here



PoliticusUSA: A Nasty Anti-Obama Column Draws a Contributor’s Angry Response

This Newsday commentary by Lane Filler appeared in my local paper Thursday. I sent the author an email…

Mr. Filler:

I just read your 12/5/13 column in my local paper under the rubric of “Media are too easy on the emperor.” … you claim that the ‘mainstream’ reporters on health care restructuring “seem to have taken a dive for their beloved.”

Surely you jest if you propose that President Barack Obama is being given a pass on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)….

…. Allow me to do the research that apparently you eschewed. In the last year alone, there have been nearly 50 SHJ AP stories about ACA that could be considered anti-Obama. There has been an endless stream of ACA attacks from right-wing columnists carried by the paper. Fully 95% of editorial cartoons have been anti-ACA and anti-Obama….

As for your description of Obama as emperor or king, what is the origin of this insult? …. maybe [he is] a little too ‘uppity’ for your taste. Could that be the problem, Lane?

…. if Obama is king, Lane Filler is the Court Jester, heartily juggling propagandized “facts” for the entertainment of HIS corporate buddies.

Full post here


Thank you President Obama:



Charles Pierce: Conservatives can own Ronald Reagan and be welcome to him, but you don’t get Nelson Mandela.

It is possible, if we all think really hard, we can use the days between Nelson Mandela’s death and his journey to his final resting place deep in the hills of his boyhood to make quite plain to young people who may have joined us late what a thoroughgoing moral disaster was the Reagan Administration (1980-88)….

… now, of course, with the death of Mandela, there are a lot of proper retrospectives concerning how enthusiastically the Reagan Administration supported the white-supremacist government of South Africa, and how morally obtuse (at best) that administration was to the reality of apartheid….

It’s too late now to seek absolution at the bier of Nelson Mandela, who is dead and can’t speak for himself … You opposed Mandela when it really counted for the same reason you cheered on murderers in this hemisphere. Ronald Reagan was a dim hack who did horrible damage to almost everything he touched. You can own him and be welcome to him, but you don’t get Nelson Mandela.

Full post here



ThinkProgress: The Right Wing’s Campaign To Discredit And Undermine Mandela, In One Timeline

The world is celebrating Nelson Mandela as a selfless visionary who led his country out of the grips of apartheid into democracy and freedom. But some of the very people lavishing praise on South Africa’s first black president worked tirelessly to undermine his cause and portray the African National Congress he lead as pawns of the Soviet Union.

In fact, American conservatives have long been willing to overlook South Africa’s racist apartheid government in service of fighting communism abroad. Below is a short history, and some explanation, of how conservatives approached Mandela with the hostility they did…

More here




On This Day:

President Obama greets the family of Katie Stanton, a departing staff member, in the Outer Oval Office, Dec. 7, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama and Personal Secretary Anita Decker watch a video of former advisor David Axelrod shaving off his mustache, in the Outer Oval Office, Dec. 7, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)


MoooOOOooorning! If anyone mentions soccer/football today, they’re going in to spam with the body-bits-enlarging-pills people.


johannesburg, wednesday (live updates)

Children from a nearby creche hold placards as they wait for U.S. first lady Michelle Obama before a wreath-laying ceremony at the Hector Pieterson Memorial in Soweto, June 22



A choir sings before U.S. first lady Michelle Obama speaks at Regina Mundi Church and addresses the Young African Women Leaders Forum in a Soweto township

BBC: Introducing the first lady, Mr Mandela’s wife, Graca Michel, spoke of the symbolism of her visit.

“You may have been a toddler when the 1976 uprising took place. Now, in your adulthood, you come to us and you connect that history, and to say the triumphs of yesterday have to be the triumphs of today,” she said.

“Regina Mundi’s name in Latin means queen of the world. And we welcome you as a daughter of African heritage, and we can call you ‘the queen of our world.'”

Reuters: First Lady Michelle Obama urged young Africans to fight for women’s rights and battle the stigma of AIDS, using her husband’s “yes, we can” campaign slogan to motivate youth across the continent.

….her speech to a group of young women and men at Regina Mundi Church, which played a role in South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement, touched on race, discrimination, democracy, and development.

Obama drew on the leaders of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa and the civil rights movement in the United States as an example for the younger generation to follow.

“It is because of them that we are able to gather here today…It is because of them that I stand before you as First Lady of the United States of America,” she said to applause. “That is the legacy of the independence generation, the freedom generation. And all of you – the young people of this continent – you are the heirs of that blood, sweat, sacrifice, and love.”

Obama appeared visibly moved when the audience stood and sang an impromptu serenade as she approached the podium. Placing her hands over her heart, she thanked the crowd and seemed to choke back tears.

She spoke passionately about women’s rights, saying the young leaders should ensure that women were no longer “second class citizens” and that girls were educated in schools. “You can be the generation that stands up and says that violence against women in any form, in any place, including the home – especially the home – that isn’t just a women’s rights violation. It’s a human rights violation,” she said.

“You can be the generation that ends HIV/AIDS in our time, the generation that fights not just the disease, but the stigma of the disease, the generation that teaches the world that HIV is fully preventable and treatable, and should never be a source of shame,” she said to applause.

Mrs Obama, who was introduced by Graca Machel, Nelson Mandela’s wife, used her husband’s famous campaign slogan to urge the audience to follow through on the issues she addressed. “If anyone ever tells you that you shouldn’t or you can’t, then I want you to say with one voice – the voice of a generation – you tell them, ‘yes, we can.”

Michelle Obama embraces Baleka Mbete, who has promoted equality and development in South Africa, with Graca Machel, wife of Nelson Mandela



Michelle Obama talks with Antoinette Sithole, sister of Hector Pieterson, before laying a wreath at the Hector Pieterson Memorial in Soweto. Hector Pietersen became a symbol of the apartheid struggle in South Africa when he was killed by police during the 1976 student uprising in Soweto. Read more about Hector here


….. at a ‘breakout’ session at the Young African Youth Leaders Forum in Johannesburg


…. with children after participating in a community service project at Vhuthilo Community Center in Soweto


Videos from yesterday:


the apartheid museum

First lady Michelle Obam and her daughters visit the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, June 21

….. posing for a photo with young women leaders during a visit to the Apartheid Museum







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