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Deus Ex Machina

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Tag: Speech

Appease and Carrots

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Posted on Sep 14, 2009 READ MORE    


Rep. Joe Wilson
AP / Harry Hamburg

Wilson and Our National Character

If you saw a woman struck by a car, would you call an ambulance right away? Or would you first ask for her papers to make sure she was not an illegal immigrant?

Posted on Sep 14, 2009 READ MORE



house.gov

Is Rep. Joe Wilson Winning?

The White House was worried President Obama’s major health care address would get lost in the commemorations of 9/11. They didn’t know about Joe Wilson, the heretofore unknown South Carolina congressman who is now the national poster boy for the disaffected and ill-informed white people hurling tea bags and insults at the president.

Posted on Sep 13, 2009 READ MORE


Obama speech
YouTube / BarackObamadotcom

Fact-Checking Obama’s Health Care Speech

When emotions run high about certain hot-button issues, good judgment can fall by the wayside, and facts can get lost in the shuffle. Luckily, the helpful researchers at FactCheck.org are around to round them up again, as they’ve done here with President Obama’s health care speech.

Posted on Sep 11, 2009 READ MORE


Joe Wilson

Wilson’s Apology (Plus a Campaign Plug)

So, Congressman Joe Wilson heckled President Obama during Wednesday’s speech on health care reform. On Thursday, Obama accepted Wilson’s apology, but that same day the South Carolina lawmaker leveraged the situation by posting this video calling for voters’ support and announcing he was “under attack by liberals for standing up against a government takeover of health care.”

Posted on Sep 10, 2009 READ MORE


Obama M.D. [A Cartoon From Germany]

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Posted on Sep 10, 2009 READ MORE


No Way to Treat a President

Throughout Obama’s speech Wednesday, there was grumbling, mugging and eye-rolling on the Republican side that was not only undignified but frankly un-American.

Posted on Sep 10, 2009 READ MORE


We’ve Seen This Trigger Before

The “trigger mechanism” is gaining momentum after President Obama’s speech to Congress. Once again, lawmakers turn to legislative subterfuge to kill popular common-sense reform.

Posted on Sep 10, 2009 READ MORE


President Obama
White House / Pete Souza

Insurance Stocks Rise After Obama Speech

Remember President Obama’s reference during his health care address to “Wall Street’s relentless profit expectations”? Well, those expectations were apparently met by that same address. Insurance company stocks got a boost from the speech, which foreshadowed the death of the public option and promised to deliver millions of currently “irresponsible” customers.

Posted on Sep 10, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

A Speech Even Insurance Companies Could Love

President Barack Obama’s health care reform speech to Congress Wednesday night was impassioned, but it also echoed a lot of ideas from insurance company lobbying.

Posted on Sep 10, 2009 READ MORE


A Perfect Storm of Idiocy

How did America surrender its political discourse—not to mention the news cycle—to the most unreasonable and unstable elements of the far right?

Posted on Sep 9, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Health Care Reset

By joining specifics, a powerful moral argument and an unapologetic defense of government’s role in promoting social justice, the president sought to rescue the health care debate from the mire of a congressional system that has encouraged delay and obstruction.

Posted on Sep 9, 2009 READ MORE


Full Text of the President’s Speech to Congress

The president’s speech to Congress on Wednesday was not without surprises, including a Ted Kennedy-inspired appeal to the “character of our nation” and a rowdy (and democratically elected) heckler. Here is the full text.

Posted on Sep 9, 2009 READ MORE


Video: Obama’s Health Care Speech to Congress

Listening to the president’s speech Wednesday night was at times riveting, at times like listening to an insurance salesman. He gave a strong defense of the public option, but also indicated he would settle for whatever he could get.

Posted on Sep 9, 2009 READ MORE


Obama Heckled During Speech

Rep. Joe Wilson, Republican of South Carolina, is a real class act. To prove it, he heckled the president Wednesday, shouting “You lie!” after Obama promised that his plan would not cover illegal immigrants. Update

Posted on Sep 9, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Joyce N Boghosian

Ted Kennedy’s Letter From Beyond the Grave

The late senator had an unexpected cameo in the president’s speech in the form of a letter that, at Kennedy’s request, was delivered after his death. The White House has released the document, which says “at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country.” Read it after the jump.

Posted on Sep 9, 2009 READ MORE


Rep. Charles Boustany

Republicans Ask Reformed Birther to Rebut Obama

Boy, they sure can pick ’em. When Republicans asked Rep. Charles Boustany to give the response to President Obama’s major speech tonight, they either didn’t know or didn’t care that the congressman once questioned the president’s nationality and is so patriotic he may have attempted to purchase a British title.

Posted on Sep 9, 2009 READ MORE


Obama

White House Releases Obama’s School Speech

With some parents still reluctant to send their children to school Tuesday for fear that President Obama will indoctrinate them with his scary socialist ideals, the White House has attempted to ease the hysteria by releasing the full text of his speech a day early. Now doubters can do a close textual analysis for objectionable content.

Posted on Sep 7, 2009 READ MORE


Corporate Flag
Illustration courtesy of Adbusters

It Could Be the End of Our Democracy as We Know It

Radical is too small a word to describe the extent to which the Supreme Court will turn our political system upside down if it decides to let corporations directly fund campaigns.

Posted on Sep 6, 2009 READ MORE


Obama and Weaver
whitehouse.gov

Obama’s Back-to-School Speech Ruffles Feathers on the Right

So, President Obama wants to give our nation’s schoolchildren a personalized message Tuesday as they start a new year. One might imagine that the president plans to emphasize the importance of education, but some of Obama’s detractors are reading much more into the motives behind his speech.

Posted on Sep 4, 2009 READ MORE


D
AP / Jack Dempsey

Go to Pittsburgh, Young Man, and Defy Your Empire

Voices of change, who speak in powerful and yet unfamiliar words, are on their way to Pittsburgh. They will cry out to defy the heads of state, bankers and finance ministers meeting there for the G-20.

Posted on Aug 31, 2009 READ MORE


His Own Man

The obituaries say that Kennedy never achieved the dream of becoming president. But there is a difference between a family destiny and a man’s dream.

Posted on Aug 26, 2009 READ MORE


Ted Kennedy
Mr. Fish

Ted Kennedy’s Humanity

Ted Kennedy’s suffering and failures fed a humane humility that led him to reach out to others who fell, to empathize with those burdened by pain, to understand human folly, and to appreciate the quest for redemption.

Posted on Aug 26, 2009 READ MORE


Freedom From Fear—and the Second Amendment

The gun nuts showing up at rallies and town hall meetings should check the order of their amendments: The First guarantees people—whatever their politics—a fundamental right to participate in their democracy without concern for physical retribution.

Posted on Aug 21, 2009 READ MORE


The Politics of the Jackboot

We are re-featuring this E.J. Dionne column from August of 2009 in light of this weekend’s deadly shooting in Arizona.

Posted on Aug 20, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

‘Nothing Has Changed’ for Public Option

Press secretary Robert Gibbs called the media’s determination that the president had abandoned the public option “one of the more curious things I’ve ever seen in my life.” Is this a case of spin or spine? Read Gibbs’ entertaining back-and-forth with reporters (full text after the jump) and come to your own conclusion.

Posted on Aug 18, 2009 READ MORE


Obama and Rahmbo
White House / Pete Souza

Team Obama Ready to Surrender Public Option?

The president and his lieutenants are on a whistle-stop tour of disappointment. It started Saturday, when Obama called the public insurance option “just one sliver of” health care reform, “whether we have it or we don’t have it. ... ” You don’t have to be clairvoyant to see the cave coming.

Posted on Aug 16, 2009 READ MORE


Inside Story on Town Hall Riots: Right-Wing Shock Troops Do Corporate America’s Dirty Work

How the health care industry, the GOP and one media mogul made common cause with the anti-government fringe.

Posted on Aug 10, 2009 READ MORE



USAF / Tech. Sgt. Eric T. Sheler

Counterterrorism Chief Says Bullets Alone Won’t Do the Job

John Brennan has known controversy for his defense of torture and rendition, but the president’s top counterterrorism adviser has just condemned the Bush administration’s approach by declaring: “We cannot shoot ourselves out of this challenge.”

Posted on Aug 6, 2009 READ MORE


‘Judicial Activism’ on Campaign Finance Law

The Supreme Court may soon allow an unlimited amount of corporate money into the political process. Imagine drug companies and banks running their own ads against legislators who vote against their interests.

Posted on Aug 2, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Obama
White House / Lawrence Jackson

Obama Pushes Health Care in the Face of Delays

President Obama made an appeal Wednesday night for health care reform, complete with this zinger: “This isn’t about me. I have great health insurance, and so does every Member of Congress.” However, his Senate mentor, Dick Durbin, said not to expect a health care vote before the August recess. Excerpts from the president’s speech and video after the jump.

Posted on Jul 22, 2009 READ MORE


Closet Racism in the Age of Obama

Unless Sotomayor suffers a “complete meltdown,” Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina predicted, she will be confirmed. The price, though, is barely coded race baiting that has been part of the assault on Sotomayor since her nomination was announced.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 READ MORE


Palin the Pretender

What fans loved about Sarah Palin was her perceived authenticity. She was repeatedly described as “real.” But now it appears she doesn’t really know who she is. Or what she wants.

Posted on Jul 8, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Carolyn Kaster

Sexism and Sarah Palin

Marie Cocco writes that Sarah Palin’s “intellectual emptiness” and “demonstrably poor judgment” should not excuse the “sexist cant that Palin ... has been subjected to since she burst onto the national scene.” Eugene Robinson, however, finds that the fear of “being painted as elitist and sexist” has perpetuated the myth that Palin is “a substantial figure whose presence on the national stage is anything but a cruel, unfunny joke.” Read on and decide for yourself.

Posted on Jul 7, 2009 READ MORE


A Trashing as Old as Suffrage

None of Sarah Palin’s numerous shortcomings excuse the sexist cant that she, like Hillary Clinton before her, has been subjected to since she burst onto the national scene.

Posted on Jul 7, 2009 READ MORE


The Battle Over the Burqa

Since President Barack Obama in his recent Cairo speech made a tut-tutting remark about countries that restricted wearing religious garb in school, the controversy over the Muslim burqa has resumed in Europe.

Posted on Jul 2, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Dan Balilty

A Settlement Stalemate With No End in Sight

The Obama administration’s confrontation with Israel over its colonies inside the Palestine territories began as a test of Prime Minister Netanyahu, who was elected in order to defy the U.S. How it will end is a mystery.

Posted on Jun 25, 2009 READ MORE


Baracks Obama
White House / Lawrence Jackson

Obama Comes Closer to Meddling

The president reiterated Tuesday that he has no intention of “interfering with Iran’s affairs,” but he also dialed up his criticism of the regime’s crackdown from “it is of concern to me” to “I strongly condemn these unjust actions.”

Posted on Jun 23, 2009 READ MORE


Tuning a Culture to a ‘Calling’

At the meeting of the American Medical Association, Barack Obama tackled the model “that has taken the pursuit of medicine from a profession—a calling—to a business.”

Posted on Jun 17, 2009 READ MORE



White House / David Bohrer / Archive

CIA Chief Wonders Whether Cheney Wishes for Terrorist Attack

Leon Panetta responds to the former vice president’s constant sniping in the latest New Yorker: “I think he smells some blood in the water on the national-security issue. ... It’s almost, a little bit, gallows politics. When you read behind it, it’s almost as if he’s wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point. I think that’s dangerous politics.”

Posted on Jun 14, 2009 READ MORE


Being Obama Matters

I used to fear that the president was overestimating the power of his personal history as an instrument of foreign policy. Now I wonder if he might have been underestimating.

Posted on Jun 8, 2009 READ MORE



Mr. Fish

Hold Your Applause

We may thrill to Obama’s rhetoric, but very few of the 1.3 billion Muslims in the world are as deluded. They grasp that nothing so far has changed for Muslims in the Middle East under the Obama administration.

Posted on Jun 8, 2009 READ MORE


Naysayers

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Posted on Jun 8, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

LRC: Obama in the Middle East, GM in Bankruptcy, Now What?

You know you’re in for a spirited episode of “Left, Right & Center” when Truthdig’s own Robert Scheer drops a line like “Tony, you’re getting overly excited for NPR.”

Posted on Jun 5, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Susie Linfield on How to Think About the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

A provocative new book, “One State, Two States,” by revisionist Israeli historian Benny Morris breaks a taboo by asking whether anti-Zionism has become the anti-imperialism of fools. Can his polemic act as the ax that helps break up the frozen and brittle nature of a debate over the seemingly intractable war between Palestinians and Jews?

Posted on Jun 5, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Damian Dovarganes

Prop. 8 and the Misery of the Law

The right to rebel is my real subject here, but the misery of the law is not incidental. No good case can be made for rebellion as an unqualified good in itself. But the right to rebel also cannot be limited to the rebel causes that were won long ago and have passed over into our national mythology.

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


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. Correction

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


President Obama

Obama’s Cairo Speech

The president called his landmark address to the Muslim world “A New Beginning,” and for good reason.

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


What Rhetoric Won’t Cure

The murder of Dr. George Tiller cannot be smoothed over with a speech. This is the lesson the Obama administration must learn from it.

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


O’Reilly: ‘If I Could Get My Hands on Tiller ... ’

Back in 2006, here’s what Bill O’Reilly had to say about the recently murdered Dr. George Tiller: “[I]f I could get my hands on Tiller—well, you know. Can’t be vigilantes. Can’t do that. It’s just a figure of speech. But despicable? Oh, my God. It doesn’t get worse. Does it get worse? No.”

Posted on Jun 3, 2009 READ MORE


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