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Archive for June 6th, 2009

Obama’s Cairo Speech: Significant, Eloquent—and Perhaps Just the Beginning

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 6th, 2009 4:42 am by HL

Obama’s Cairo Speech: Significant, Eloquent—and Perhaps Just the Beginning

Obama’s speech was distinguished by the quality of his previous major speeches, that of speaking as an adult to adults. He promised to say what he thought, and did so on all of the topics he addressed.

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Right-Wing Protesters: Birth Control Will Kill You

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 6th, 2009 4:41 am by HL

Right-Wing Protesters: Birth Control Will Kill You
Unable to turn the public against sex, the pro-life movement will be on the march Saturday trying to convince women that birth-control pills will kill…

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McConnell Doesn’t Rule Out Sotomayor Filibuster
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Chris Weigant: Friday Talking Points [80] — Parsing Obama’s Cairo Speech
This will be a truncated column this week (which doesn’t mean it isn’t also a fairly long one). Because every so often I have to…

Catholic Relief Services: A Clash of Civilizations Between Islam and the West: Is it Inevitable?
By Ken Hackett Is a clash of civilizations inevitable between the West and Islam? President Barack Obama doesn’t think so. In his recent speech in…


Media conservatives divided in reactions to Obama’s Cairo address

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 6th, 2009 4:40 am by HL

Media conservatives divided in reactions to Obama’s Cairo address

Media conservatives have been divided in their responses to President Obama’s June 4 address at Cairo University. Some prominent media conservatives, including Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Karl Rove, have harshly criticized the speech. However, several media conservatives offered praise for Obama’s address, while conservative author David Horowitz went as far as to issue a warning: “Conservatives will make a great mistake if they fail to see this speech for what it was, and treat it as another round in the partisan food fight.”

Limbaugh — whose importance to the Republican Party and the conservative movement GOP leaders have repeatedly emphasized — stated on the June 4 edition of his radio show that in his speech, Obama was calling for a “world order” of “socialism” and “fascism.” Limbaugh also said that Obama was “offering a foundational reasoning for the redistribution of wealth” and “a call for the end of sovereignty.”

Similarly, on the June 4 edition of his Fox News show, Hannity claimed that Obama “decided to use his time on foreign soil to point the finger directly at America for many of the world’s problems.” He went on to state: “[T]hat is our headline tonight: ‘Blaming America First.'”

In addition, as the blog Think Progress noted, on the June 4 edition of The O’Reilly Factor, Fox News contributor Karl Rove said, “[O]n the important parts of the speech, that is to say understanding the nature of the U.S. relationship with the Middle East, I would give him a D minus.” In judging Obama’s “comments about extremism and terrorism,” Rove added: “I would give him a C minus on them.” He also said that he would give Obama “sort of a B minus or maybe a B” on “the opening” of the speech.

By contrast, several conservatives in the media approved of the speech:

Conservatives will make a great mistake if they fail to see this speech for what it was, and treat it as another round in the partisan food fight. It was not an appeasement of our enemies. It was a forthright statement by an American leader in a Muslim capital explaining why America is in fact the global leader in those battles that matter most to people everywhere: freedom, equality, and peace. As conservatives we have many quarrels with the Obama administration — and we should have. But this speech is not one of them.

  • In a June 4 post on the blog Hot Air titled “Obama’s Cairo speech: Surprisingly good,” Ed Morrissey stated that the speech was “a much better effort than I’d feared.” He also praised Obama for “a not-so-subtle jab at the practice of various Arab and Muslim states to use the Palestinian issue to whip up anti-Israel sentiment for their own domestic purposes,” which he called “a little surprising – and refreshing.”
  • In a June 4 Commentarymagazine.com column, Max Boot wrote:

Having just read Obama’s Cairo speech, my reaction is: Not bad. It could have been better. But it also could have been a lot worse

[…]

I realize that the Obama speech isn’t going to satisfy those (like me) who once thrilled to Bush’s unapologetic pro-democracy rhetoric but, for all of Obama’s rhetorical sleight of hands and elisions, I thought he did an effective job of making America’s case to the Muslim world. No question: He is a more effective salesman than his predecessor was. Which doesn’t mean that his audience will buy the message.

Boot also cited several passages that he “particularly liked.”

  • In a June 4 post on the National Review Online blog The Corner, National Review editor and syndicated columnist Rich Lowry wrote of the speech:

I have to go back and read it carefully, so I reserve the right to extend and revise my remarks. But on the whole I thought it was pretty good and I basically agree with Max Boot’s take here. Yes, there were many things about which to cavil, there were missed opportunities, and he betrayed the disturbing weakness of his policy in certain key areas, Iran foremost among them. But the speech was an act of diplomacy and as such, it inevitably was going to skate over some inconvenient truths and tilt its presentation in a way to try to make it more persuasive to its target audience. Fundamentally, Obama’s goal was to tell the Muslim world, “We respect and value you, your religion and your civilization, and only ask that you don’t hate us and murder us in return.” Bush tried to deliver the same message over and over again. The difference with Obama is that people might actually be willing to listen.

In a second post later that day, Lowry wrote:

I don’t want to make exalted claims for the speech. It was a mixed bag and there are limits to the effect any one speech can have. But I think some in the conservative blogosphere are pronouncing it a scandal because they leave out all the good things. Consider: He extolled America as “one of the greatest sources of progress that the world has ever known”; pledged we will “relentlessly confront violent extremists who pose a grave threat to our country”; condemned Holocaust denial as “baseless, ignorant, and hateful”; said “it is a sign of neither courage nor power to shoot rockets at sleeping children, or to blow up old women on a bus”; insisted that “the Arab-Israel conflict should no longer be used to distract the people of Arab nations from other problems”; and called for more democracy, religious freedom, and women’s rights in the Muslim world. And he got a standing ovation.

That should count for something. My standard is not whether Obama gave a speech I’d totally agree with (not going to happen), or whether it was strictly accurate as a matter of history of Koranic exegesis (irrelevant), but whether the speech will, on balance, help isolate Islamic extremists intellectually and politically, or not. Since I think it will, I consider it a success.

  • In a June 4 post on the blog RedState, conservative blogger Dan Spencer wrote, “This was one of President Obama’s more important speeches and he rose to the occasion and delivered a fine speech.”
  • In a June 4 Newsmax.com column, chief Washington correspondent Ronald Kessler wrote, “There is a right way to diminish recruitment of terrorists, and there is a wrong way … The right way is for the president to give an honest and thoughtful speech such as Barack Obama did in Cairo.” Kessler also stated, “Obama sounded like an American president who we want to succeed.”

From the June 4 edition of Fox News’ Hannity:

HANNITY: While much of America was asleep this morning, President Barack Obama delivered a major address in Egypt that was billed as a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world. But in the end, the president decided to use his time on foreign soil to point the finger directly at America for many of the world’s problems. And he faulted the U.S. for the tension that exists between Americans and Muslims. And that is our headline tonight: “Blaming America First.”

Now, in his remarks, Mr. Obama refused to use these words: “terror,” “terrorism,” “terrorists,” or even that term “manmade disasters.” But he repeatedly quoted the Quran and even accused Americans of overreacting to the 9-11 terror attacks.


Hoekstra: Leaking Classified Info Is Terrible — Except When GOP Does It

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 6th, 2009 4:39 am by HL

Hoekstra: Leaking Classified Info Is Terrible — Except When GOP Does It
Now this is some chutzpah…. You might remember that a few years ago, Washington’s Republicans were all up in arms over the fact that classified information about the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program had been leaked to the New York…

Before Tiller Murder, FBI Got Detailed Info On Roeder’s Illegal Activity
Earlier this week, we raised questions about whether the FBI acted aggressively enough after getting a tip about Scott Roeder, who’s been charged with murdering Kansas doctor George Tiller. And those questions are only getting louder. Last night, the abortion…

Gitmo Detainee Dead In “Apparent Suicide”
A Guantanamo detainee has died in what the military are calling an “apparent suicide” — and civil liberties groups are calling for action. Guards found 31-year-old Muhammad Ahmad Abdallah Salih, known as Al-Hanashi, unresponsive and not breathing in his cell…


GOP Land of the Lost

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 6th, 2009 4:36 am by HL

GOP Land of the Lost


California’s Water Woes Threaten the Entire Country’s Food Supply

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 6th, 2009 4:35 am by HL

California’s Water Woes Threaten the Entire Country’s Food Supply
Nearly a third of the country’s food supply comes from California, but drought there may be a catastrophe for farmers — and the rest of us.

A Brief History of the Radical, Violent Right: How Racist Hate Groups Joined up With Abortion Terrorists
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Homophobia on Prime Time: Judges from ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Freak Out Over Two Men Dancing Together
They were so freaked out that they were unable to render a verdict on the pair’s dancing, and insisted that each man repeat the audition with a woman.


Quick response on David v Goliath

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 6th, 2009 4:34 am by HL

Quick response on David v Goliath
I’d like briefly to address some points made by Kim Bobo and Janice Fine about immigration and labor organizing. Without question, stagnant wages and increased workplace abuses are due to many things, and it’s debatable how much of a…

The Ground Shifts: Olbermann Goes After Lobby, High Fives J Street, And Discusses The Shift Among Jews
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My Son, Hot 97 DJ, Peter Rosenberg, Interviews Dave Matthews About Obama
A dad can brag, right. My younger son who is a DJ, radio personality, and all around big shot in New York did a cool interview this morning with Dave Matthews. Check it out. My kid is great (so is…


Steele refers to members of the Obama administration as ?numb nuts.?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 6th, 2009 4:33 am by HL

Steele refers to members of the Obama administration as ?numb nuts.?
During his guest-hosting gig on Bill Bennett’s radio show this morning, RNC Chairman Michael Steele commented on the Wall Street Journal report that the Obama administration plans to appoint a “Special Master for Compensation” to ensure that companies receiving federal bailout funds are abiding by executive-pay guidelines. Echoing the common conservative criticism of the Obama […]

During his guest-hosting gig on Bill Bennett’s radio show this morning, RNC Chairman Michael Steele commented on the Wall Street Journal report that the Obama administration plans to appoint a “Special Master for Compensation” to ensure that companies receiving federal bailout funds are abiding by executive-pay guidelines. Echoing the common conservative criticism of the Obama administration’s use of so-called “czars,” Steele wondered aloud, “can the people appoint a czar to make sure these numb nuts don’t do what they’re doing?” Listen here:

Transcript:

STEELE: And I think the president has now announced yet another czar. We probably have more czars in the United States right now then they’ve ever had in the entire Russian bureacracy going back to the days of the czars. But yet we have another czar that the president has who’s going to oversee, I believe, how we spend the money. I think that’s a, I remember hearing something about that, which I found to be somewhat fascinating. They, what do they call, they’re appointing a special master for compensation to ensure that companies receiving federal bailout funds are abiding by executive pay guidelines. Oh, ok that’s right, they want to make sure that nobody’s getting paid more than they’re supposed to be getting paid. Is that the goal here? So so, can the people appoint a czar to make sure these numb nuts don’t do what they’re doing because this is…ugh…Paul. Let’s just go to Michigan. Paul, what’s up man?

Bye-Bye Satyam
ThinkProgress recently bid farewell to our good friend and colleague, Satyam Khanna. For more than two years, Satyam has tirelessly scoured every corner of the Internets to dig up interesting and insightful posts for ThinkProgress. Neither rain, nor sleet, nor slow news days could stop Satyam. A look at some of his posts: McCain To […]

satyamphoto4ThinkProgress recently bid farewell to our good friend and colleague, Satyam Khanna. For more than two years, Satyam has tirelessly scoured every corner of the Internets to dig up interesting and insightful posts for ThinkProgress. Neither rain, nor sleet, nor slow news days could stop Satyam. A look at some of his posts:

McCain To Deliver Keynote Speech For Creationists [Link]

Fox News Sinks To New Low, Repeatedly Reports Parody Story As Actual News [Link]

Malkin: Sally Field Is The Type Of Mom Who ‘Buys Her Teenager Beer And Condoms On Prom Night’ [Link]

Rep. King Decries ‘Assault On Christmas,’ Calls On Americans To ‘Stand Up’ And ‘Worship Christ’ [Link]

Bush Rejects McCain’s ‘100-Year’ Occupation Of Iraq: ‘That’s A Long Time’ [Link]

Bush: ‘I Don’t Give A Darn’ What Americans Think Of Me [Link]

(You can read all of Satyam’s posts here.)

Satyam is off to law school now. We’ll miss you, Satyam — you’ll always be a part of our team!


Nominee Pulls Out as Role at CIA Is Studied

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 6th, 2009 4:32 am by HL

Nominee Pulls Out as Role at CIA Is Studied
A longtime CIA official chosen by President Obama to be the intelligence chief at the Department of Homeland Security withdrew from consideration yesterday after it became apparent that senators examining his nomination planned to scrutinize his role in the agency’s interrogation of terrorism…

High-Stakes Quest for Permission to Pollute
During the final days of the drafting of a 946-page climate bill, Rep. Gene Green (D-Tex.) won support for an amendment that deleted a single word and inserted two others. The words could be worth millions of dollars to U.S. oil refiners.

Better Intelligence, Technology Part of Anti-Drug Plan for U.S. Mexican Border
The Obama administration released yesterday a counternarcotics strategy for the U.S.-Mexico border that calls for deploying new technology, stepping up intelligence gathering and increasing interdiction of ships, aircraft and vehicles that are smuggling drugs, gun and cash.


Two in Justice’s Integrity Section Transferred
Justice Department leaders quietly transferred two career prosecutors under fire for their work in Alaska corruption cases out of the department’s public integrity section this week as scrutiny of the troubled unit intensifies, according to two sources.


Race: Sotomayor & Obama Versus Voters

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 6th, 2009 4:29 am by HL

Race: Sotomayor & Obama Versus Voters
Stuart Taylor, National Journal

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