Weekly Address 09-11-10

 Posted by at 10:34  Politics
Sep 112010

“A Day That Tested Our Country”

From the White House weblog:

The President marks the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks as a National Day of Service and Remembrance to honor those who lost their lives.

“This is a time of difficulty for our country. And it is often in such moments that some try to stoke bitterness – to divide us based on our differences, to blind us to what we have in common. But on this day, we are reminded that at our best, we do not give in to this temptation. We stand with one another. We fight alongside one another. We do not allow ourselves to be defined by fear, but by the hopes we have for our families, for our nation, and for a brighter future. So let us grieve for those we’ve lost, honor those who have sacrificed, and do our best to live up to the values we share – on this day, and every day that follows.”

Click below to listen to the audio only:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The transcript of the president’s weekly address, as prepared for delivery, is available after the break.

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Sep 102010

In accordance with long standing tradition (translation: just a little something we do every Friday at this time), we present the best of this week’s political and editorial cartoons. Click to enlarge or to view a slide show.

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As always, our thanks go to the talented and observant cartoonists who, each week, help us smile through the pain.

Bonus video — Stewart teaches MSNBC to selectively edit clips like Fox. (May not be viewable outside of the United States.)

Saturday additions:

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Teachable moment

 Posted by at 13:26  Politics, Religion
Sep 102010

President Obama held a news conference in the East Room of the White House this morning. It was a lengthy presser (over an hour) and quite a lot of ground was covered. At the end, the president was presented with what is often referred to as a “teachable moment” and he took full advantage. It concerned the Islamic community center currently planned for lower Manhattan…

(Full video and transcript is at the bottom of this post.)

With respect to the mosque in New York, I think I’ve been pretty clear on my position here, and that is, is that this country stands for the proposition that all men and women are created equal; that they have certain inalienable rights — one of those inalienable rights is to practice their religion freely. And what that means is that if you could build a church on a site, you could build a synagogue on a site, if you could build a Hindu temple on a site, then you should be able to build a mosque on the site.

Now, I recognize the extraordinary sensitivities around 9/11. I’ve met with families of 9/11 victims in the past. I can only imagine the continuing pain and anguish and sense of loss that they may go through. And tomorrow we as Americans are going to be joining them in prayer and remembrance. But I go back to what I said earlier: We are not at war against Islam. We are at war against terrorist organizations that have distorted Islam or falsely used the banner of Islam to engage in their destructive acts.

And we’ve got to be clear about that. We’ve got to be clear about that because if we’re going to deal with the problems that Ed Henry was talking about, if we’re going to successfully reduce the terrorist threat, then we need all the allies we can get. The folks who are most interested in a war between the United States or the West and Islam are al Qaeda. That’s what they’ve been banking on.

And fortunately, the overwhelming majority of Muslims around the world are peace-loving, are interested in the same things that you and I are interested in: How do I make sure I can get a good job? How can I make sure that my kids get a decent education? How can I make sure I’m safe? How can I improve my lot in life? And so they have rejected this violent ideology for the most part — overwhelmingly.

And so from a national security interest, we want to be clear about who the enemy is here. It’s a handful, a tiny minority of people who are engaging in horrific acts, and have killed Muslims more than anybody else.

The other reason it’s important for us to remember that is because we’ve got millions of Muslim Americans, our fellow citizens, in this country. They’re going to school with our kids. They’re our neighbors. They’re our friends. They’re our coworkers. And when we start acting as if their religion is somehow offensive, what are we saying to them?

I’ve got Muslims who are fighting in Afghanistan in the uniform of the United States armed services. They’re out there putting their lives on the line for us. And we’ve got to make sure that we are crystal-clear for our sakes and their sakes they are Americans and we honor their service. And part of honoring their service is making sure that they understand that we don’t differentiate between them and us. It’s just us.

And that is a principle that I think is going to be very important for us to sustain. And I think tomorrow is an excellent time for us to reflect on that.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Here is the video of the entire press conference:

Full transcript follows the break.

Continue reading »

Book burning canceled

 Posted by at 18:21  Politics
Sep 092010

The leader of a 30-member “church” in Florida today announced that he has canceled his plan to burn copies of the Koran this Saturday, September 11th.

Mission Accomplished:


Terry Jones says that his decision to cancel the book burning was contingent upon an agreement with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf in New York to move the proposed Islamic community center that is currently planned for two blocks away from the former site of the World Trade Center. Imam Rauf denies that any such agreement has been reached or was even discussed.

Can we all now agree to let Terry Jones fade back into the obscurity from which he should never have emerged?

Fear versus Hope

 Posted by at 19:26  Politics
Sep 082010

President Obama was definitely on his game when he spoke in Cleveland, Ohio today. He laid out for us exactly what is at stake in the midterm elections coming up in less than two months…

A few weeks ago, the Republican leader of the House came here to Cleveland and offered his party’s answer to our economic challenges. Now, it would be one thing if he had admitted his party’s mistakes during the eight years that they were in power, if they had gone off for a while and meditated, and come back and offered a credible new approach to solving our country’s problems.

But that’s not what happened. There were no new policies from Mr. Boehner. There were no new ideas. There was just the same philosophy that we had already tried during the decade that they were in power — the same philosophy that led to this mess in the first place: Cut more taxes for millionaires and cut more rules for corporations.

Instead of coming together like past generations did to build a better country for our children and grandchildren, their argument is that we should let insurance companies go back to denying care for folks who are sick, or let credit card companies go back to raising rates without any reason. Instead of setting our sights higher, they’re asking us to settle for a status quo of stagnant growth and eroding competitiveness and a shrinking middle class.

Cleveland, that is not the America I know. That is not the America we believe in. (Applause.)

A lot has changed since I came here in those final days of the last election, but what hasn’t is the choice facing this country. It’s still fear versus hope; the past versus the future. It’s still a choice between sliding backward and moving forward. That’s what this election is about. That’s the choice you will face in November.

That’s what this election is about.

The full transcript of the President’s remarks follows the break.

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Laborfest 2010

 Posted by at 14:58  economy, Politics
Sep 072010

President Obama spoke at Laborfest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin yesterday to mark Labor Day, a day on which we in the United States celebrate the labor movement — the movement that built the middle class in America which the Republican party is now striving so mightily to destroy. I am sure that by now you have heard the pundits talking about how the President “socked it to” the Republicans during his speech yesterday. He did that, but he had so much more to say. Watch and listen (President Obama’s remarks begin at the 10 minute mark in this video, following remarks by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis)…

Transcript following the break.

Continue reading »

Weekly Address 09-04-10

 Posted by at 10:59  Politics
Sep 042010

“Honoring the American Worker”

From the White House weblog:

The President talks about his fight to make America work for the middle class and make sure hard work is rewarded — rather than greed and recklessness.

Click below to listen to the audio only:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The transcript of the president’s weekly address, as prepared for delivery, is available after the break.

Continue reading »

Sep 032010


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As always, our thanks go to the talented and observant cartoonists who, each week, help us smile through the pain.

Brewer’s meltdown

 Posted by at 18:05  Politics, Republicans
Sep 022010

Jan Brewer became governor of the state of Arizona when Janet Napolitano resigned to accept the position of Secretary of Homeland Security in the administration of President Barack Obama. She had previously served as Secretary of State. She is now running for her own term as governor under the banner of the Republican Tea Party.

Arizona held a gubernatorial debate last night. Ms. Brewer’s performance in that debate was, to say the least, extremely painful to watch. It seems inconceivable that this woman is now leading her Democratic opponent in the polls by something like 20 points. In the event that you have not yet seen these videos (they have already been posted all over the internets), please take a moment now to watch them. I think you’ll be as amazed as I am that Ms. Brewer is even considered a serious candidate.

First, her disastrous opening statement (it’s as if she herself can hardly believe what she is saying)…

Then there was her refusal to renounce her earlier statement about beheadings in the Arizona desert

Our Republicans really are a lot of fun, aren’t they?