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Old 05-10-2011, 11:42 AM   #21
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Daily Beast

Michelle Obama Invites Rapper to White House


Calling him “quite controversial,” the conservative website The Daily Caller is questioning First Lady Michelle Obama’s decision to invite the rapper Common to a poetry evening at the White House Wednesday. “His poetry includes threats to shoot police and at least one passage calling for the ‘burn[ing]’ of then-President George W. Bush,” Neil Munro writes. Obama’s office did not respond to a request for comment, but Munro invites readers to compare a sample of the Chicago MC’s “A Letter to the Law” with Emily Dickinson’s “I'm nobody! Who are you?” (Dickinson was recited at Laura Bush’s poetry night when she was first lady.) Actually, given the choice, we’ll take Common.

Michelle Obama | Burn Bush | Poetry | The Daily Caller
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:03 PM   #22
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This is the story of the Obama Administration's prosecution of a man, Thomas Drake who exposed hundreds of millions in waste and abuse of the NSA's power to Congress.

What he may now spend 35 years in jail for:

Quote:
“They had made me into an enemy of the state just by saying I was,” Drake says. The boxes in his basement contained copies of some of the less sensitive material that he had procured for the Inspector General’s Trailblazer investigation. The Inspector General’s Web site directs complainants to keep copies. Drake says that if the boxes did, in fact, contain classified documents he didn’t realize it. (The indictment emphasizes that he “willfully” retained documents.) The two documents that the government says it extracted from his e-mail archive were even less sensitive, Drake says. Both pertained to a successor to Trailblazer, code-named Turbulence. One document listed a schedule of meetings about Turbulence. It was marked “unclassified/for official use only” and posted on the N.S.A.’s internal Web site. The government has since argued that the schedule should have been classified, and that Drake should have known this. The other document, which touted the success of Turbulence, was officially declassified in July, 2010, three months after Drake was indicted. “After charging him with having this ostensibly serious classified document, the government waved a wand and decided it wasn’t so classified after all,” Radack says.

In April, 2010, Welch indicted Drake, shattering his hope for a reprieve from the Obama Administration. But the prosecution’s case had shrunk dramatically from the grand conspiracy initially laid out by Tyrrell. (Welch accidentally sent the defense team an early draft of the indictment, revealing how the case had changed.) Drake was no longer charged with leaking classified documents, or with being part of a conspiracy. He is still charged with violating the Espionage Act, but now merely because of unauthorized “willful retention” of the five documents. Drake says that when he learned that, even with the reduced charges, he still faced up to thirty-five years in prison, he “was completely aghast.”

Morton Halperin, of the Open Society Institute, says that the reduced charges make the prosecution even more outlandish: “If Drake is convicted, it means the Espionage Law is an Official Secrets Act.” Because reporters often retain unauthorized defense documents, Drake’s conviction would establish a legal precedent making it possible to prosecute journalists as spies. “It poses a grave threat to the mechanism by which we learn most of what the government does,” Halperin says.
Quote:
When President Barack Obama took office, in 2009, he championed the cause of government transparency, and spoke admiringly of whistle-blowers, whom he described as “often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government.” But the Obama Administration has pursued leak prosecutions with a surprising relentlessness. Including the Drake case, it has been using the Espionage Act to press criminal charges in five alleged instances of national-security leaks—more such prosecutions than have occurred in all previous Administrations combined. The Drake case is one of two that Obama’s Justice Department has carried over from the Bush years.

Gabriel Schoenfeld, a conservative political scientist at the Hudson Institute, who, in his book “Necessary Secrets” (2010), argues for more stringent protection of classified information, says, “Ironically, Obama has presided over the most draconian crackdown on leaks in our history—even more so than Nixon.”

...

Jack Balkin, a liberal law professor at Yale, agrees that the increase in leak prosecutions is part of a larger transformation. “We are witnessing the bipartisan normalization and legitimization of a national-surveillance state,” he says. In his view, zealous leak prosecutions are consonant with other political shifts since 9/11: the emergence of a vast new security bureaucracy, in which at least two and a half million people hold confidential, secret, or top-secret clearances; huge expenditures on electronic monitoring, along with a reinterpretation of the law in order to sanction it; and corporate partnerships with the government that have transformed the counterterrorism industry into a powerful lobbying force. Obama, Balkin says, has “systematically adopted policies consistent with the second term of the Bush Administration.”

...

Drake’s case also raises questions about double standards. In recent years, several top officials accused of similar misdeeds have not faced such serious charges. John Deutch, the former C.I.A. director, and Alberto Gonzales, the former Attorney General, both faced much less stringent punishment after taking classified documents home without authorization. In 2003, Sandy Berger, Clinton’s national-security adviser, smuggled classified documents out of a federal building, reportedly by hiding them in his pants. It was treated as a misdemeanor. His defense lawyer was Lanny Breuer—the official overseeing the prosecution of Drake.

Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard law professor who served in the Bush Justice Department, laments the lack of consistency in leak prosecutions. He notes that no investigations have been launched into the sourcing of Bob Woodward’s four most recent books, even though “they are filled with classified information that he could only have received from the top of the government.” Gabriel Schoenfeld, of the Hudson Institute, says, “The selectivity of the prosecutions here is nightmarish. It’s a broken system.”

...

Mark Klein, the former A.T. & T. employee who exposed the telecom-company wiretaps, is also dismayed by the Drake case. “I think it’s outrageous,” he says. “The Bush people have been let off. The telecom companies got immunity. The only people Obama has prosecuted are the whistle-blowers.”
I wonder who I may vote for President in 2012, and things like this remind me that there's one foreign-policy/surveillance state consensus in Washington, and Obama is just another face of it.
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:46 AM   #23
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I love watching the former cable TV winner see his home network slide slowly past him into absurdity. It's been a fun 2000s, folks.



This is what happens when you are a boob and you invite a guy with a writing staff capable of amazing interview prep onto your show (to discuss non-issues).
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Old 05-17-2011, 03:16 AM   #24
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I had to look up the Bono thing, because I thought Native Son was just some gibberish about gun control.

This is a great link about the last 72 years (!) of bullshit about the debt ceiling. Short version: a kerfluffle happens virtually every single time.
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Old 05-17-2011, 09:10 AM   #25
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Poor Bill, why does he even try?
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Old 05-17-2011, 09:38 AM   #26
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I love him
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Old 05-17-2011, 10:50 AM   #27
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Tide goes in, tide goes out....never a miscommunication.
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:03 PM   #28
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Tomorrow it will have been 60 days since the Libya Operation started.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:29 AM   #29
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By Matt Viser, Boston Globe Staff May 17



Cornel West, a Princeton University professor and leading black intellectual, is harshly criticizing President Obama, a candidate he once supported but now calls “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats.”

West, a former Harvard University professor, said during an interview with the website Truthdig posted yesterday that the president has not been true to his race.

“I think my dear brother Barack Obama has a certain fear of free black men,” West said. “It’s understandable. As a young brother who grows up in a white context, brilliant African father, he’s always had to fear being a white man with black skin. All he has known culturally is white…When he meets an independent black brother, it is frightening.”

The White House did not have an immediate comment. West did not respond to messages left at his office.

Republicans have questioned Obama’s origins — to the point where he felt compelled to release his long-form birth certificate to prove he was born in Hawaii — but West also uses Obama’s past to draw into question the president’s racial bearings.

“Obama, coming out of Kansas influence, white, loving grandparents, coming out of Hawaii and Indonesia, when he meets these independent black folk who have a history of slavery, Jim Crow, Jane Crow and so on, he is very apprehensive,” West said. “He has a certain rootlessness, a deracination. It is understandable.”

West is a professor at Princeton's Center for African American Studies and is the author of "Race Matters." He was a professor at Harvard, but left in 2002 amid quarrels with then-president Lawrence Summers.

West also recounts personal slights — that his phone calls didn’t get returned, and that he couldn’t get a ticket with his mother and brother to the inauguration.

It is not the first time West has raised questions about Obama. Last year, during an interview with NPR, he said he wished the president were more “Martin Luther King-like.”
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:02 AM   #30
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oh Cornell ... i like you, i enjoy you when you're playing Black Yoda ... but questioning someone's blackness or claim to that label is about as appropriate as questioning Obama's American-ness. it's all so 20th century.

yes, i think Obama's experience is quite different from a black person growing up on, say, the south side of Chicago (like, say, Michelle Obama), but i think we're putting a limit on what it means to be authentically black in America. there is no singular, monolithic experience, and you'd think someone as florid and able to grasp complexity would see that. perhaps he's saying that Obama, himself, is uncomfortable around black people from a different background, and, well, fair enough. lots of white people make me uncomfortable. even some gay people too.
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Old 05-19-2011, 11:52 AM   #31
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I got that e-mail-I don't know about that They have mugs too

Obama campaign hawks 'long-form' T-shirt - Ben Smith - POLITICO.com
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:06 PM   #32
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Very smart and able to not take oneself too serious...
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:45 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsSpringsteen View Post
By Matt Viser, Boston Globe Staff May 17



Cornel West, a Princeton University professor and leading black intellectual, is harshly criticizing President Obama, a candidate he once supported but now calls “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats.”

West, a former Harvard University professor, said during an interview with the website Truthdig posted yesterday that the president has not been true to his race.

“I think my dear brother Barack Obama has a certain fear of free black men,” West said. “It’s understandable. As a young brother who grows up in a white context, brilliant African father, he’s always had to fear being a white man with black skin. All he has known culturally is white…When he meets an independent black brother, it is frightening.”

The White House did not have an immediate comment. West did not respond to messages left at his office.

Republicans have questioned Obama’s origins — to the point where he felt compelled to release his long-form birth certificate to prove he was born in Hawaii — but West also uses Obama’s past to draw into question the president’s racial bearings.

“Obama, coming out of Kansas influence, white, loving grandparents, coming out of Hawaii and Indonesia, when he meets these independent black folk who have a history of slavery, Jim Crow, Jane Crow and so on, he is very apprehensive,” West said. “He has a certain rootlessness, a deracination. It is understandable.”

West is a professor at Princeton's Center for African American Studies and is the author of "Race Matters." He was a professor at Harvard, but left in 2002 amid quarrels with then-president Lawrence Summers.

West also recounts personal slights — that his phone calls didn’t get returned, and that he couldn’t get a ticket with his mother and brother to the inauguration.

It is not the first time West has raised questions about Obama. Last year, during an interview with NPR, he said he wished the president were more “Martin Luther King-like.”


Seriously, Cornel. . .STFU.
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:59 AM   #34
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He's going to Ireland tomorrow

(AP)A highlight of Obama's opening stop in Ireland will be a feel-good pilgrimage to the hamlet of Moneygall, where America's first black president will explore his Irish - yes, Irish - roots, and most likely raise a pint.

It turns out that Falmouth Kearney, who immigrated to the United States in 1850 at the age of 19, is the great great great grandfather of Obama on his white, Kansas-born mother's side. Obama, whose father was born in Kenya, will connect in Moneygall with distant relatives from the Irish branch of his family tree.

Michael Collins, the Irish ambassador to the United States, says the president's visit will be "a golden moment" for a country that's been on the economic ropes after its boom time. The visit is sure to play well at home for Obama - make that O'bama - as he heads into re-election season after being pushed to great lengths simply to prove he was born on U.S. soil.
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Old 05-23-2011, 12:16 PM   #35
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Obama just quoted Delmore Schwartz in his Irish Speech. Which was the inspiration for Acrobat. I am sure Bono has to have had some connections to this speech.

"In Dreams begin responsibilties"
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Old 05-23-2011, 12:18 PM   #36
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Quite the Inpsirational speech I might ad. As good as the 2004 Democratic National Convention.
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Old 05-23-2011, 12:59 PM   #37
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Yayyy! Yayyy!! Yaa.. ohhhhhhh.
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Old 05-23-2011, 01:56 PM   #38
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Biden would have changed the tire himself.
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Old 05-23-2011, 02:30 PM   #39
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He has to leave Ireland early because of the ash plume from the Icelandic volcano.

Bummer. Is there a video of the speech he made? I'd love read it.
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Old 05-23-2011, 02:31 PM   #40
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Between the Queen's visit and Obama's visit, and the volcano, I'm sure glad I moved my Ireland trip to September! (was originally planning on May)
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