Countries like to give President Barack Obama gifts. The Washington Post catalogued and ranked them for us:
It's really a funny collection of presents, for which, were you asked To what sort of person was this gift given?, you'd likely have a wide variety of responses. Argentina gave Obama a silver dagger in a display box in 2012, perhaps confusing the president with their 13-year-old nephew. Britain gave the family a shawl and some kids clothes in 2009, playing the role of America's eccentric aunt.
Today is the 50th anniversary of the signing of the civil rights act, and to commemorate, the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library hosted in April a Civil Rights Summit
, featuring dozens of civil rights luminaries as well as Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and President Barack Obama. [more inside]
President Barack Obama will tonight give the first State of the Union address of his second term in office.
The address will again
focus strongly on the issues of jobs and the economy.
The Republican response will be delivered by Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and will focus on traditional Republican messages of lower taxes and spending
. The bilingual Senator plans to give his remarks in both English and Spanish
in an attempt to reach out to the Latino community which has proven difficult for Republican politicians to connect with.
There will also be a Tea Party response delivered by Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. Senator Paul will call for
reduced spending and debt and for the Republican party to be more welcoming of immigrants. Jill Stein of the Green Party
will also give a response. [more inside]
The poor in America: In need of help Some 15% of Americans (around 46.2m people) live below the poverty line, as Ms Hamilton does. You have to go back to the early 1960s—before Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programmes—to find a significantly higher rate. Many more, like Ms Dunham, have incomes above the poverty line but nevertheless cannot meet their families’ basic monthly needs, and there are signs that their number is growing.
Once upon a time the fates of these people weighed heavily on American politicians. Ronald Reagan boasted about helping the poor by freeing them from having to pay federal income tax. Jack Kemp, Bob Dole’s running-mate in 1996, sought to spearhead a “new war on poverty.” George W. Bush called “deep, persistent poverty…unworthy of our nation’s promise”.
No longer. Budgets are tight and the safety net is expensive. Mitt Romney famously said he was not “concerned about the very poor” because they have a safety net to take care of them. Mr Obama’s second-term plan mentioned poverty once, and on the trail he spoke gingerly of “those aspiring to the middle class”. “Poor” is a four-letter word.
President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney will have the final debate
of the US Presidential race tonight. Yawning at the thought of a formulaic back and forth, while secretly hoping for a rap battle? Then look beneath the fold for examples of explicit lyrical parodies. [more inside]
Why Obama Now
- from Simpsons/Family Guy animator Lucas Gray [more inside]
It's D-Day: Governor Mitt Romney debates President Barack Obama in Denver, Colorado. Will we see an epic game-changer
or an airless, pre-orchestrated zinger-swap
? [more inside]
"The Republicans’ dominance in races throughout the country in the 2010 elections eviscerated the Democrats’ farm teams in state after state.
" Former Bill Clinton political director Doug Sosnik
offers an 8-page analysis of the U.S. election that discusses the likelihood of an Obama win, the chances of a complete Republican takeover of Congress, continued Republican dominance of governorships and state legislatures for the rest of the decade, and more. There's also a related slideshow
. [more inside]
Just as the 19th Annual International AIDS Conference
is set to convene in Washington DC (the first IAC in the United States since 1987, when a travel ban
was instituted and not lifted until 2009), President Obama has announced that his administration has invested
$80 million in new grants for HIV/AIDS services, essentially eliminating the AIDS Drug Assistance Program waiting lists
, which currently hold the names of 2,030 Americans waiting for access to HIV-related health care.
A perceptive audio interview with biographer David Maraniss
on the life of Barack Obama, including detailed research on his friends and relatives.
Pulitzer-prize winning biographer and associate editor of the Washington Post David Maraniss ...collected so much detailed information about the life of Barack Obama and his forbears that when he submitted his introduction and chapter titles to the White House to request an interview, the President himself was intrigued and surprised.
President Barack Obama's administration will reportedly announce Friday that it will stop deporting and grant work permits to nearly 1 million immigrants who entered or remained in the United States.
The policy change, described to The Associated Press by two senior administration officials, will affect as many as 800,000 immigrants who have lived in fear of deportation. It also bypasses Congress and partially achieves the goals of the so-called DREAM Act, a long-sought but never enacted plan to establish a path toward citizenship for young people who came to the United States illegally but who have attended college or served in the military.
Today, President Obama signed an executive order
which places stricter disclosure requirements on recruiters for for-profit schools looking to recruit veterans and soldiers. The move comes amid growing concern among state and federal legislators
that for-profit educational institutions are doing more harm than good and are employing predatory recruiting practices
especially on veterans who are exiting the military and looking to improve their education through the Post-9/11 GI Bill
. [more inside]
President Barack Obama will today give the annual State of the Union address.
There will be at least three rebuttals
in addition to a prebuttal
that occurred this morning. The address will be streamed online at Whitehouse.gov. [more inside]
Penn Jillette: An Atheist's Guide to the 2012 Election. [SLYT]
Via BigThink, "A knowledge forum featuring the ideas, lessons, stories and advice of leading experts from around the world."
If we trace liberal disappointment with President Obama to its origins, to try to pinpoint the moment when his crestfallen supporters realized that this was Not Change They Could Believe In, the souring probably began on December 17, 2008, when Obama announced that conservative Evangelical pastor Rick Warren would speak at his inauguration. “Abominable,” fumed John Aravosis on AmericaBlog. “Obama’s ‘inclusiveness’ mantra always seems to head only in one direction—an excuse to scorn progressives and embrace the Right,” seethed Salon’s Glenn Greenwald. On MSNBC, Rachel Maddow rode the story almost nightly: “I think the problem is getting larger for Barack Obama.” Negative 34 days into the start of the Obama presidency, the honeymoon was over.
Jonathan Chait asks in New York
magazine, When Did Liberals Become So Unreasonable? [more inside]
"History Changes". LG Telecom
is Korea's perennial also-ran in the mobile telephone market. Their latest attempt at coming from behind includes another revision to their brand identity: "U+", replacing 2009's "Oz" rebranding effort
. With operating profit down by half since last year
, they are anxious to prove that they are as good as, if not better than, their competitors Korea Telecom (KT) and SK Telecom. Now that they are offering 4G service almost as soon as KT, LG sees itself as making history in the same way Barack Obama did when he demonstrated the equality of everyone in the
Korean telecom market
Text overlay on images of Jim Crow-era American South: "It was utterly impossible for a black person to become the President of the United States."
Voiceover: "History Changes! Beginning with 4G service".
, currently of influential political site The Page
, founder of groundbreaking Washingtonian blog, The Note
, has been a journalist and political analyst for twenty years. Until yesterday, he was a popular talking head
at the MSNBC network. Halperin drew criticism and landed himself out of a job after calling President Obama "a dick" on the air. Reactions are delightfully mixed
Of course, Halperin has already apologized
New York Magazine has posted an excerpt about John Edwards' ill-fated campaign
from John Heilemann and Mark Halperin's book about the 2008 presidential election Game Change
. [more inside]
Do you feel disappointed in government? Does Obama seem a little too meek for the Presidency? Do you wish he'd make larger structural reforms? Maybe, suggests Matt Taibbi, there's an answer
. [more inside]
All at once, they practically screamed, “We’ve got ten minutes with the President on Monday…do you wanna do the shoot?!!”
. Don’t let anyone tell ya photographing the President
ain’t all it’s cracked up to be! [more inside]
Bill Maher's criticism of Obama? Be more like Bush. ...And just like Lindsey [Lohan], we see your name in the paper a lot, but we're kind of wondering when you're actually going to do something. Follow up
of his statements with Keith Olbermann. ...But where's the beef? And it's easy to make speeches; what's hard to do is stand up against corporations. Corporations and their incredible strength are what have ruined this country so far, and this president -- we thought -- might be the one to stand up to them. I'm losing hope. I still have audacity, but my hope is fading.
Open For Questions.
Metafilter's Own™ box
"skim the White House's Open For Questions
, posting the best and brightest queries the American public can manage." [via mefi projects
] [more inside]
In 2007, Dubya wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal
. Obama has followed suit with an op-ed article in the Washington Post. Both sites mention that
"is the president
of the United States." Have we entered a new era of the bully pulpit
Wired: Obama Sides With Bush in Spy Case. "The Obama administration fell in line with the Bush administration Thursday when it urged a federal judge to set aside a ruling in a closely watched spy case weighing whether a U.S. president may bypass Congress and establish a program of eavesdropping on Americans without warrants."
"The government of the United States is in no sense founded on the Christian Religion."
~ George Washington /
"I do not find in Christianity one redeeming feature."
~ Thomas Jefferson /
"The Bible is not my book, nor Christianity my religion."
~ Abraham Lincoln /
"A just government has no need for the clergy or the church." ~ James Madison /
"I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end... where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice." ~ John F. Kennedy /
"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers
." ~ Barack Obama
The historic inauguration
of President-Elect Barack Obama is two weeks away, and vendors are making a mint
selling memorabilia. But be warned: the commemorative coins
you see being advertised are not official
. A relatively new $1 coin series
does feature US presidents
in chronological order (previously
), but getting Americans to use $1 coins hasn't been easy. Remember Susan B. Anthony
? Native American $1 coins
will be offered in tandem with the presidential series; if they continue to be issued, Obama's official $1 coin should be available in 2017
America has come a long way
. There is the official version
of history or the peoples' version
. There are artifacts
. They had some quirks
and were occasionally men of their time
. If you prefer audio
references those are available as well. Common knowledge
has it that one GW was our first President but the title of first is under dispute
. 230 years later another GW is making a run for worst
. That is also under dispute
by the nations best brains
. For better and worse, the story of the Presidency is the story of America
A 1926 Brazilian sci-fi novel
predicts a U.S. election determined by race and gender.
O Presidente Negro envisions the 2228 U.S. presidential election. In that race
, the white male incumbent, President Kerlog, finds himself running against Evelyn Astor, a white feminist, and James Roy Wilde, the cultivated and brilliant leader of the Black Association, "a man who is more than just a single man ... what we call a leader of the masses."
U.S. Presidents have had an uneven relationship
with technology. The Clinton Presidential Library
has more than 40 million White House emails on record (but only two
are from the man himself). The Bush Administration, on the other hand, junked the Clinton archival process and replaced it with a comically inept alternative
that has lost more than five million messages, many concerning official government business
. (President Bush, for his part, gave up his longtime address -- G94b@aol.com
-- just before his inauguration). Even the Reagan White House had its share of problems
with the digital age. Now, as tech-savvy
Barack Obama prepares to implement his technology plans
, does he have a shot at dragging the Oval Office into the 21st century
? Or will he have to surrender his laptop
, his email account, and his beloved Blackberry?
How Obama Did It
: an in-depth look behind the scenes of the campaign, assembled by a special team of reporters who were granted year-long access on the condition that none of their findings appear until after Election Day.
Fringe Friday: Obama is a hypnotic and entrancing public speaker. No, really, he's hypnotic and entrancing
. [PDF] via
Former US Secretary of State and retired General Colin Powell
, a controversial, if reluctant
supporter of the war on Iraq, offers his endorsement
) of Senator Barack Obama for the office of President of the United States. [more inside]
If you missed the VP debate last night, you might enjoy this video of VP debate highlights in song and dance
by Michael Gregory. (Also available: Running From Your Shadow
, presidential debate highlights in song and dance.) DLYT
Now that the presidential debate is back on
, it's time to prepare by selecting the most appropriate drinking game for tonight's debate. [more inside]
On the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech
, Barack Obama
accepted the nomination of the Democratic Party to be their Presidential candidate with a speech so well-crafted that Pat bloody Buchanan couldn't stop raving about it
, and had to be cut off by his fellow broadcasters. It was an occasion so historic that McCain chose to release an ad congratulating his opponent
The hidden factor in Hillary Clinton's rebound:
committed Republicans voting in open primaries who want to prolong the messy battle for the Democratic nomination, encouraged by right-wing radio hosts like Laura Ingraham and Rush Limbaugh. Or is Hillary just suddenly more palatable
to conservatives than multi-culti Obama