Daily Archives: November 12, 2009

Lincoln Bicentennial: President Obama and the Country Celebrate Lincoln’s 200th Birthday

Posted by Audiegrl (a proud Illini)

“I can say that I feel a special gratitude to this singular figure who, in so many ways, made my own story possible — and who, in so many ways, made America’s story possible”~~President Barack Obama

obama_lincoln_090213_sshWhiteHouse.gov—Thursday night, at a dinner celebrating the Lincoln bicentennial in Springfield, Ill., President Obama delivered remarks standing before a portrait of the 16th President.

The Great Emancipator would have been 200 years old today, and President Obama is marking the occasion in several ways. This morning he spoke at the Lincoln bicentennial celebration on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and tonight he’ll address the 102nd Abraham Lincoln Association Annual Banquet Dinner.

Last night he appeared at the Re-Opening of Ford’s Theatre, the site of the April 14, 1865, assassination of President Lincoln. Big names like Katie Couric, James Earl Jones, and Jeffrey Wright, appeared, and there performances by the President’s Own Marine Band, violinist Joshua Bell, and Audra McDonald, among others.

As part of the festivities in Springfield, Ill., a man portraying Abraham Lincoln prepares to lead a candlelight parade from Lincoln's home and to the Old State Capitol.

As part of the festivities in Springfield, Ill., a man portraying Abraham Lincoln prepares to lead a candlelight parade from Lincoln's home and to the Old State Capitol.

The 44th President commended the 16th’s many accomplishments, but made particular note of his commitment to the future, even amid the upheaval of the Civil War.

When President Lincoln was finally told of all the metal being used at the Capitol, his response was short and clear: That is as it should be,” President Obama said in his remarks. “The American people needed to be reminded, he believed, that even in a time of war, the work would go on; that even when the nation itself was in doubt, the future was being secured; and that on that distant day when the guns fell silent, a national capitol would stand, with a statue of freedom at its peak, as a symbol of unity in the land still mending its divisions.

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Al Arabiya: PM Netanyahu tells Assad he’s willing to cede Golan

posted by GeoT

Benjamin Netanyahu

Could Israel and Syria be on the verge of a breakthrough in their exchanges on the peace process? According to the pan-Arab satellite television station Al Arabiya, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has relayed to the Syrian President Bashar Assad, through French President Nicolas Sarkozy, an expression of interest on renewing peace negotiations.

The same report says that Netanyahu expressed willingness to withdraw from the Golan to the borders of June 4, 1967. Netanyahu also reportedly stressed that he is interested in a meeting with Assad, without preconditions.

The Prime Minister’s Bureau yesterday denied reports that Netanyahu had relayed a message to Assad. However, political sources in Jerusalem said yesterday that Netanyahu is also examining the possibility that France will replace Turkey as a mediator between Israel and Syria.

Bashar Al-Assad

In recent days the Syrian president has made a number of declarations on peace with Israel. Earlier this week he warned that if negotiations fail this would lead to “resistance” as an alternative.
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Filed under Israel, Middle East, Peace Talks, Syria, Uncategorized

My solemn meeting on Veterans Day with President Obama at my friend’s resting place in Arlington

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President Barack Obama leaves a Presidential coin at the gravesite of 19-year-old Medal of Honor recipient, Specialist Ross McGinnis, who is one of two Medal of Honor recipients memorialized at the cemetery from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Daily News/James Gordon Meek—He didn’t introduce himself. He didn’t have to.

President Obama simply stuck out his hand and asked for my name as he stepped toward me amid a bone-chilling drizzle in the Gardens of Stone.

This was Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery. I wasn’t there as a reporter, but to visit some friends and family buried there when Obama made an unscheduled stop – a rare presidential walk among what Lincoln called America’s “honored dead” – after laying a Veterans Day wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

President Obama extends a hand to James Gordon Meek of the Daily News Washington Bureau.

President Obama extends a hand to James Gordon Meek of the Daily News Washington Bureau.

What I got was an unexpected look into the eyes of a man who intertwined his roles as commander in chief and consoler in chief on a solemn day filled with remembrance and respect for sacrifices made – and sacrifices yet to be made.

I’m sure the cynics will assume this was just another Obama photoop.

If they’d been standing in my boots looking him in the eye, they would have surely choked on their bile.

His presence in Section 60 convinced me that he now carries the heavy burden of command.

I had stopped at Arlington to see the resting place of Ken Taylor, Ed Lenard and Dave Sharrett. Ken and Ed survived their service, in World War II and Korea, and died as old men. Dave did not leave Iraq alive. He was 27.

Obama arrived just before noon at the serene Section 60, where many of the dead from Iraq and Afghanistan are buried together – and where many more heroes will undoubtedly be laid to rest before this President leaves office.

It’s a section typically bustling with those visiting loved ones. Every time I go there, more and more graves have been dug into the earth.

The President and First Lady Michelle Obama emerged from their armored limousine hatless in the frigid downpour and took a slow stroll into the soggy rows of white marble headstones.

They stopped first at the grave of Medal of Honor recipient Ross McGinnis, an Army private who threw himself on a grenade in Iraq three years ago to save four buddies.

A sad-faced woman reached for Obama’s hand and pointed him to a nearby plot.

The face of another woman – who had grimly sat in a folding chair for hours next to a headstone she’d arranged flowers around – suddenly broadened into a smile as she stood to embrace Obama and thank him for paying his respects.

She was so overcome with emotion that a soldier from the Army’s Old Guard had to console her afterward.

Gravestone of Pfc. David Sharrett at Arlington National Cemetery

Gravestone of Pfc. David Sharrett at Arlington National Cemetery

The President patted backs of a dozen other Gold Star relatives and troops visiting buddies now in the ground.

He gave hugs. He shook wet, chilly hands. He wanted to know something about each fallen warrior.

He began to slowly trudge back toward the motorcade – and to another White House huddle with his war council, which is advising him whether to send up to 40,000 additional troops into harm’s way in Afghanistan.

And then Obama noticed a tall, bearded figure. He probably didn’t see the mud-caked combat boots I trudged around Afghanistan in a few years ago.

What’s your name?” a somber President asked as he extended his hand.

James Meek, sir,” I replied, struggling to pull off my wool glove and pull my hood back from my head. “I’m here visiting a friend, Pfc. David H. Sharrett II, who was killed in Iraq last year.”

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Filed under Afghanistan, Barack Obama, Journalism, Military, Politics, Pres. Barack Obama, Presidents, Veterans Day

“South Park” Takes On Glenn Beck: Cartman Leads Campaign Against “Communist” President

Posted by TheLCster

IFilterShop XMP Edit Toolkit evaluationEric Cartman is the new Glenn Beck. Last night on “South Park” the chubby youngster took over morning announcements and turned them from standard bullet points into long screeds about the student class president. Turns out Eric hates her and as a result devotes all his time to creating and promoting crazy conspiracy theories about her time in office. Sound familiar?

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Glenn Beck’s Radio Webcam Reaction To South Park’s Cartman Turning Into Him




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New account of Fort Hood shooting may put another officer in spotlight

It has emerged that a previously unheralded police sergeant may have fired shots that ended attack

posted by GeoT

KILLEEN, Tex. — Sgt. Kimberly D. Munley has been applauded as a hero

Sgt. Kimberly D. Munley, is credited with saving lives

across the nation for shooting down Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan during the bloody rampage at Fort Hood last week. The account of heroism, given by the authorities, attracted the attention of newspapers, the networks and television talk shows.

But the initial story of how she and the accused gunman went down in an exchange of gunfire now appears to be inaccurate.

Another officer, Senior Sgt. Mark Todd, 42, said in an interview Thursday that he fired

Senior Sgt. Mark Todd, of the Killeen Police Department, unsung hero?

the shots that brought down the gunman after Sergeant Munley was seriously wounded. A witness confirmed Sergeant Todd’s account.

In the interview, Sergeant Todd said he and Sergeant Munley had pulled up to the scene in separate cars at the same time. He said they began running up a small hill toward the building that held the processing center where unarmed soldiers reported for check-ups and vaccinations before deployment. The gunman was already outside, Sergeant Todd recalled.

“That’s when the bystanders were pointing in his direction,” he said. “And when we popped up, he was standing there, and we shouted our commands — ‘Police, drop your weapons!’ — and he just opened fire on us.”

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Related: Massive Media FAIL: Female Cop Did NOT Bring Down Fort Hood Killer

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Dylan Ratigan tells guest: “Coming on television and lying is not journalism…”

“…nor is it actually beneficial to the country”

Posted by Audiegrl

Morning Meeting with Dylan RatiganOn yesterday’s Morning Meeting, host Dylan Ratigan’s guest were President of NARAL Pro-Choice America’s Nancy Keenan and Family Research Council’s Cathy Ruse. They had a discussion on how the controversial abortion amendment may stop the health reform bill in its tracks.

When Ms. Ruse starting using her false talking points, Ratigan stopped her in her tracks. Wow. I could certainly get used to this. A pundit stopping a guest from telling blatant lies on television. Hopefully he will start a trend.

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Her Honor: A Portrait of Justice Soñia Sotomayor

Posted by Audiegrl

Justice Sonia SotomayerLatina Magazine/Shani Saxon-Parrish—America has never before met a wise Latina like Soñia Sotomayor. Latina contributor and former Editor-in-Chief Sandra Guzmán offers the first glimpse of the woman behind the robe in this exclusive profile of the newly minted Supreme Court justice.

Here is an excerpt from this fascinating story:

I first met Soñia in 1998, after she had been sworn in as a federal judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. I was the Editor-in-Chief of Latina, and a mutual friend, New York attorney Lee Llambelis, suggested that Sotomayor was someone I should meet since I’d probably want to write an article on her (which appeared in our March 1999 issue). Sotomayor’s life story not only inspired readers, but also captivated me.

Since then, we’ve been to each other’s homes for dinner and shared many sweet, honest and confidential conversations. A doting hostess, she puts together cheese platters, makes tasty salads and hooks up a mean churrasco with a tangy lemon marinade. This past spring, she promised to share some of her culinary secrets, so we set a date to fire up the grill in her small yet superb two-bedroom condo in the heart of NYC’s Greenwich Village. Soñia thought things would finally slow down for her by the summer—but that’s when things really started heating up.

During those grueling confirmation hearings in July, Republican senators Lindsey Graham, Jeff Sessions and Jon Kyl dissected her now-famous “wise Latina” phrase, uttered during an inspirational lecture to Latino law students at the University of California, Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law in 2001.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts, administers the Constitutional Oath to Judge Soñia Sotomayor in the Justices’ Conference Room on Aug 8, 2009. Mrs. Celina Sotomayor, the mother of the new Associate Justice, holds the family Bible during the ceremony.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts, administers the Constitutional Oath to Judge Soñia Sotomayor in the Justices’ Conference Room on Aug 8, 2009. Mrs. Celina Sotomayor, the mother of the new Associate Justice, holds the family Bible during the ceremony

The senators aggressively argued that her remarks proved she would bring bias and a liberal agenda to the bench. But Sotomayor repeatedly explained that her comments were part of a regrettable “rhetorical flourish that fell flat.” “I want to state up front, unequivocally and without doubt: I do not believe that any ethnic, racial or gender group has an advantage in sound judging,” she said. She added that she was simply trying “to inspire young Hispanics, Latino students and lawyers to believe that their life experiences added value to the process.’’

As the new personification of an intellectual rock star, Sotomayor has been inundated with interview requests—from Vogue to Newsweek, El País to Le Monde. But the new justice has yet to agree to a sit-down, aside from one she granted C-Span for a documentary on the Supreme Court. When I asked about a formal interview for this magazine, she told me, “I am not doing interviews and have said no to everyone. I do not want to be seen as having favorites.”

She did, however, agree to have her portrait taken for the cover and inside pages. And she went as far as granting me her blessing: “You will have to write based on our history together.”

And that’s exactly what I’ve done.

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