Archive for the ‘President Obama’ Tag

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Julian Bond “Obama is to the Tea Party as the moon is to werewolves.”

 

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Bill Maher “If Secret Service agents are going to get drunk and crash their car into the White House they, at least, have to try to hit one of the nuts jumping the fence.”

 

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John Oliver speaking about the report from the Justice Department about the Ferguson, MO Police department “Now, the rest of the report didn’t just show evidence of disproportionate targeting and violence against African Americans, it also showed this.”

Reporter “Investigators say that they found e-mails from court officials and police officers that were racial jokes that referenced President Obama.”

Another reporter “Another message in June 2011 compared dogs to African Americans suggesting the animals needed welfare because they were ‘mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can’t speak English, and have no frigging clued who their daddies are’.”

Oliver “It is moments like this that make me glad I’m on HBO, where you can hear me say this.  Bleep those bleeping bleepholes!  This is what swearing is for.”

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“50 years from Bloody Sunday, our march is not yet finished, but we’re getting closer. 239 years after this nation’s founding, our union is not yet perfect, but we are getting closer. Our job’s easier because somebody already got us through that first mile. Somebody already got us over that bridge. When it feels the road is too hard, when the torch we’ve been passed feels too heavy, we will remember these early travelers, and draw strength from their example…we honor those who walked so we could run. We must run so our children soar.” —President Obama

http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/civil-rights/selma

 

Posted March 8, 2015 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

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FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: President Obama stands accused of political correctness for his unwillingness to accuse groups like ISIS of Islamic extremism, choosing a more generic term, violent extremism. His critics say you cannot fight an enemy that you will not name. Even his supporters feel that his approach is to professorial.

But far from being a scholar concerned with describing the phenomenon accurately, the president is actually deliberately choosing not to emphasize ISIS’ religious dimension for political and strategic reasons. After all, what would the practical consequences be of describing ISIS as Islamic? Would the West drop more bombs on it? No.

But it would make many Muslims feel that their religion had been unfairly maligned and it would dishearten Muslim leaders who have continually denounced ISIS as a group that does not represent Islam.

But Graeme Wood writes in a much discussed cover-essay in the “Atlantic” this month, “The Islamic State is Islamic — very Islamic.” Wood’s essays is an intelligent and detailed account of the ideology that animates the Islamic State. These are not secular people with rational goals, he argues, they really do believe in their religious ideology.

But Wood’s essay reminds me of some of the breathless tracks written during the Cold War that pointed out that the communists really, really believed in communism. Of course, many ISIS leaders do believe their ideology. The real question is, why has this ideology sprung up at this moment and why is it attractive to a group, a tiny group of Muslim men these days?

Wood describes ISIS as having revived traditions that have been dormant for hundreds of years. Exactly. ISIS has rediscovered, even reinvented, a version of Islam for its own purposes today.

Wood is much taken by the Princeton academic, Bernard Haykel, who claims that people want to turn a blind eye to the ideology of ISIS for political reasons.

Quote, “People want to absolve Islam,” Wood quote Haykel as saying. “It’s this Islam is a religion of peace mantra, as if there is such a thing as Islam,” he says. “It is what Muslims do,” end quote.

Right, there are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world and perhaps 30,000 members of ISIS. And yet Haykel feels that it is what 0.0019 percent of what Muslims do that defines the religion.

Who is being political, I wonder.

“An Ideology succeeds when it replaces some other set of ideas that has failed,” says Professor Sheri Berman at Barnard College.

And across the Middle East, the ideas that have failed are Pan Arabism, Republicanism, nascent efforts at democracy, economic liberalism and secularism. The regimes espousing these principles have morphed into dictatorships producing economic stagnation and social backwardness. In some cases the nation itself has collapsed as a project. It is in the face of this failure that groups like ISIS can say Islam is the answer.

This battle of ideologies can be seen vividly in the life of one man, Islam Yaken, profiled brilliantly by the “New York Times'” Mona El- Naggar. Yaken, a middle class fitness trainer from Cairo who’s interested mostly in making money and meeting girls. “But his dreams began to crash into Egypt’s depressed economy and political turmoil,” the article notes. He couldn’t get a good job and began dreaming about leaving Egypt.

Questioning his life choices Yaken became drawn to a very different ideology, a version of Islam that is rigorous and militant. Yaken, now 22, fights for the Islamic State in Syria. During the last Ramadan season, he tweeted a photograph of a decapitated corpse. His post read, “Surely the holiday wouldn’t be complete without a picture with one of the dog’s corpses.”

Islam Yaken is now a true believer. But the question surely is, how did he get here and what were the forces that helped carry him along? Calling him Islamic doesn’t really help you understand any of that.

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Former Secretary of State James Baker said Sunday that House Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress in March is a breach of diplomatic protocol.

“I can’t remember an instance in which it’s been done,” said Baker, who served as secretary of state to former President George H.W. Bush, on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

“The speaker of the House has every right in the world to invite whoever he wants to speak to the House; it’s a coequal branch of government,” Baker added. But, he said, “the executive branch of government really has the primary power and responsibility and authority to conduct the nation’s foreign policy. It’s not in the Congress, it’s in the executive branch. So our foreign policy benefits when there’s cooperation and so does the issue of U.S.-Israeli relations.”

 

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/netanyahu-speech-invitation-a-breach-of-protocol-james-baker-says/

 

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President Obama said Thursday that he would propose a government program to make community college tuition-free for millions of students, an ambitious plan that would expand educational opportunities across the United States.

The initiative, which the president plans to officially announce Friday at a Tennessee community college, aims to transform publicly financed higher education in an effort to address growing income inequality.

The plan would be funded by the federal government and participating states, but White House officials declined to discuss how much it would cost or how it would be financed. It is bound to be expensive and likely a tough sell to a Republican Congress not eager to spend money, especially on a proposal from the White House.

Mr. Obama’s advisers acknowledged Thursday that the program’s goals would not be achieved quickly. The president, however, was more upbeat. “It’s something that we can accomplish, and it’s something that will train our work force so that we can compete with anybody in the world,” Mr. Obama said in a video posted Thursday night by the White House.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/09/us/politics/obama-proposes-free-community-college-education-for-some-students.html?_r=0