Saturday, April 11, 2009
Man, what bad publicity does to make you flip your decision in 48 hours.
After a day of withering criticism over its decision not to award President Barack Obama an honorary degree, Arizona State University announced on Saturday that it would expand a scholarship program in the president's name.
In a press release sent out by ASU spokeswoman Sharon Keeler, the university "apologized" for the "confusion" over the past few days. Its president Michael Crow, meanwhile, framed the "President Barack Obama Scholars" program as a higher honor than the honorary degree, one that would "affect the lives of thousands of students" and be "an honor befitting, not only the president's exceptional achievements, but also his values as an individual."
Crow also suggested that the school had never ruled out the degree for Obama - something that earlier statements suggested - but merely had yet to make a determination as to what honor would suit the president best.
"It has always been our intention to recognize and honor President Obama's accomplishments during his visit," said Crow, "but we had not yet determined the best or most appropriate way to do so."
ASU undoubtedly faced an intense amount of media and political scrutiny for its decision to not offer Obama an honorary degree. In particular, the message from many alumni of the university, as gathered by dozens of emails to the Huffington Post, was one of disappointment and anger.
The expansion of the scholarship program is an effort to temper these emotions. But for the cynics, the fact that the announcement came only after a day of vocal complaints - and didn't include giving the degree from the president - is not likely to go unnoticed.
Press Release from ASU"I apologize for the confusion surrounding our invitation to President Obama to address ASU students at commencement," said ASU President Michael M. Crow. "The entire ASU community has been electrified with excitement since we learned of his participation in our commencement ceremony. We hope that the recent discussion of honorary degrees will not detract from the honor and thrill that ASU - and indeed all of Arizona - is experiencing in anticipation of his visit. I am honored, as are our faculty, staff and students, that President Obama will give his first commencement speech as president of the United States at ASU."
In recognition of President Obama's commitment to educational access and to an entire career dedicated to public service, ASU is naming and expanding its most important scholarship program in his honor. Going forward, this program will be called the President Barack Obama Scholars and will offer thousands of students with the greatest financial need the opportunity to go to college.
"It has always been our intention to recognize and honor President Obama's accomplishments during his visit," said Crow, "but we had not yet determined the best or most appropriate way to do so. Although the focus and attention of the media and others has been on an honorary degree, we never felt that was the only--or even the best--means of honoring his tremendous service to our country. Naming this scholarship program after President Obama that will affect the lives of thousands of students is an honor befitting, not only the president's exceptional achievements, but also his values as an individual. The President Barack Obama Scholars program will be a legacy that will endure and inspire others for generations to come."
Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona USA
See what backlash and mockery does to organizations....
The Official Photo from the White House, signed by the President and First Lady:
Ah, it looks nice and sweet. Many of us have fond memories of our childhood Easter Egg Hunts. Growing up we had a huge backyard and every year we would dye and color our eggs for the hunt. My mother used to make her own coloring liquid and came up with come crazy colors, but it was my father who got up very early in the morning and would hide all the eggs in the backyard. We all had our baskets and ran around like crazy looking for eggs, my sister was the youngest and would cry because she could not find any eggs, but my father always saved her, picked her up and guided her to finding the eggs. Our German Shepard, Princess, even went out sniffing for the eggs. Ah, sweet memories....
Egg hunts are traditional as having a Christmas tree for many Americans. But for the White House, The Annual Easter Egg Roll is a big event for many. This year, the Easter Egg Roll is not just confined to those who have the priviledge of living in the Washington, D.C. area to participate, it was opened up for families to participate all over this country.
For the first time the ticketing bid went on line and families were selected through that metric. Of course, there were families, mostly in the D.C. area angered because they were used to standing in line to receive tickets, but opening it up on-line brings families to Washington, D.C. from all over the country.
Monday is the day of the Annual Easter Egg Roll and for all "annuals" there is history behind it. More details from East Wing Rules:
There is no doubt Executive Chef of the White House, Cristeta Comerford, could whip up lip-smacking egg rolls. Plenty of ingredients will be organically grown right on the South Lawn. But this pertains to the tradition of the annual White House Egg Roll with the meticulous planning the entire event entails. This is Mrs. Obama's first time at the helm of such a high powered East Wing choreographed event. First, she sends a sizzling shock to the DC area's local citizenry jolting their plans to sleep out at the Ellipse to corner an early place in line to guarantee admittance. Instead, the electrifying new first lady decided everybody would procure egg roll event tickets online from the comforts of their local coffeehouse or wifi in the laundry room at staggered times. Military families and some overlooked DC residents would have tickets set aside for them. It cracked open the entire process to garner participation from over 40 states and Canada.
Note to those still DC denizens still crackin on the infringement of their egg roll entitlements by outsiders - These tourists are bringing American dollars while staying overnight, inducing a wee boomlet in some nest eggs. Also, the White House is hosting a 2009 Spring Garden Tour encompassing the Rose garden, Jaqueline Kennedy Garden and the Children's Garden on April 18 & 19th. So for those who missed the line tango over eggs, have an opportunity to get in line at the Ellipse Visitor Pavillion as it is on a first come first served pending weather. read more here.....
Purchase the 2009 White House Easter Egg Here
From Rachel Maddow.....
Friday, April 10, 2009
These governors, Sanford of South Carolina, Jindal of Louisiana, and Palin of Alaska proudly stated they would reject some stimulus money. Well, when you have unemployment like South Carolina does over 11%, folks hurting and in need of unemployment extensions as in Louisiana, pressure comes in all forms. These governors state legislators and the constituents are putting the pressure on these governors, they appear to play politics over governing. Well, like deers in the headlights, they all BLINKED. From MSNBCs Countdown with David Shuster sitting in.
If you want to know why folks are standing with Obama, read this, "Republican Leaders: What Recession?"
I mean, WTF is totally warranted here at ASU. How the hell can you invite a sitting president and the first African-American President of this country to give the commencement speech but say, "Sorry, ain't givin' you the honorary degree, you have not done enough." This school needs to be laughed at, as it is currently being laughed at all over the media.
I don't know who decided this, but this was one of the worst media moves, ever. Sorry, but you can't help but say, what constitutes body of work? Obama's accomplishments are stellar and got him where he is now. For Arizona State to say, basically, "you can come here and talk but not good enough for the degree" too much.
Now, damage control, because they need it.
Michael M. Crow, president of Arizona State University, tells POLITICO that the school is reconsidering its widely mocked plans not to give President Barack Obama an honorary degree when he speaks at commencement on May 13 and will “honor him in every way possible.”
“There was no intended slight,” Crow said by telephone from his office in Tempe. “We had not yet talked about what honors we might give him as our commencement speaker, and we still have a month to work all that out. We don’t want anyone to think we do not recognize what he has achieved and what he means in America.”
A formal decision has not been made, but it was clear from Crow's comments that the university is headed in that direction. ASU risked becoming a national punch line if it did not quickly retreat from its policy against conferring honorary degrees on a sitting politician.
Hell, yeah, Obama should get the honorary degree, this is a joke, a pure joke. This school was on its way to a lifetime of mockery, and I am being nice here. And the media is blasting this school and not in a good way.
GET IT TOGETHER, ASU.......I MEAN QUICK, FAST AND IN A HURRY...
Fox News is pushing the TEABAGGIN PARTIES scheduled for April 15, 2009, that the Republican Party is pushing. This is what the intent is meant to be:
"All across America on Tax Day, Republican members of Congress are lining up to speak at teabag tea party events. Even Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina is getting in on the hot teabagging action," Maddow joked. "Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, previously most famous for his self-admitted very serious sin with prostitution services - he wants to give teabagging the Senate seal of approval. He has asked the Senate to commemorate the day of anti-Obama protests in law.'
Fox News in particular has offered the protesters unusually enthusiastic coverage. "Specifically, Fox News has in dozens of instances provided attendance and organizing information for future protests, such as protest dates, locations and website URLs," noted Media Matters. "Fox News websites have also posted information and publicity material for protests. Fox News hosts have repeatedly encouraged viewers to join them at several April 15 protests that they are attending and covering; during the April 6 edition of Glenn Beck, on-screen text characterized these events as 'FNC Tax Day Tea Parties.'"
Well, I just think it is stupid. Who cares? So, here is what Jed @ Daily Kos put together:
Of course, my girl, Rachel Maddow slammed this in true Rachel form, from her show last night:
Thursday, April 9, 2009
President Obama hosts a traditional Seder dinner in the Old Family Dining Room of the White House on Thursday night, April 9, 2009. Some friends and White House employees and their families joined the Obama family.
I have written several times about Lawrence O'Donnell, if you don't have your i's dotted and your t's crossed he will make you look like a jackass. This is one of the best takedowns of that gas bag, Pat Buchanan on the fake outrage of President Obama delivering the commencement address at Notre Dame in South Bend, IN.
Barack Obama. Former President of the Harvard Review (first African-American to achieve that), former Law Professor, former State Senator of Illinois, former U.S. Senator to the State of Illinois, a writer of two NY Times best sellers, a winner of two grammy awards and President of the United States.
And he is too inexperienced for a honorary degree? What the Phuck!!!!
And how many degrees did former President George W. Bush get? And we know he was and still is not the brightest light bulb in the building.
ASU, come on. You are wrong here, out of bounds.
Universities typically confer an honorary degree on commencement speakers, particularly those who have reached the pinnacle of their career or achieved the top of their field. Arizona State University (ASU), though, says it will not confer an honorary degree on this year's commencement speaker, President Barack Obama, because "his body of work is yet to come."
ASU Media Relations Director Sharon Keeler says, unlike other universities, the processes for selecting commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients are independent. She says that honorary degrees are given "for an achievement of eminence" and that Obama was not considered for an honorary degree because his body of achievements, at this time, does not fit within that criteria.
Writing two best-sellers? Not outstanding. Developing one of the largest grassroots organizations in the world? Nothing special. Becoming the first African American President of the United States? Good, but nothing to write home about.
ASU you are wrong. Totally wrong.
Arizona State University has handed out honorary doctorate degrees to pioneering scientists and college presidents, titans of oil and computer microchips, newspaper publishers and generous donors, a foreign communist educator and a successful movie director.
But others had much still to accomplish. Barry Goldwater received his honorary degree in May 1961, three years before his Republican nomination for president and only eight years into his three decades as a U.S. senator. Sandra Day O'Connor was similarly recognized just three years in her 25 years on the U.S. Supreme Court.
This is the President of the United States of America. While Pat Buchanan is faking rage on Obama receiving his honorary degree from Notre Dame in South Bend, ASU should be above this. If George W. Bush, who will go down as one of the worst presidents in history, can stand on podiums and receive honorary degrees from learning institutions all over this country, ASU should honor President Barack Obama the same.
HE DESERVES IT. ASU, YOU ARE FOUL.
This is the Edward Norton documentary movie that has tracked Obama since he was elected to the Senate in 2006. Sony Pictures purchased the rights. This movie will not be out immediately, but ups to Ed Norton who was mesmerized by the 2004 Obama speech at the Democratic National Convention in Boston and decided to capture the lighting in the bottle. He most certainly did.
First lady Michelle Obama and students from a public elementary school in Washington are planting the first fruits and vegetables in the new White House garden.
They helped break ground for the plot on the South Lawn last month.
Spinach, salad greens, herbs and berries are among the crops being planted.
The fifth-graders from Bancroft Elementary tend to a similar garden at school. They will return to the White House for the harvest and to help cook some of the produce in the White House kitchen.
Some of the crops also will be served at the White House and donated to a local soup kitchen.
Mrs. Obama said her family has discussed planting such a garden since they moved to the White House in January.
White House Garden Diagram
As we watch this president continue to put a check mark on the "to dos" of the Americans list, another checkmark is coming, IMMIGRATION.
Be careful what you wish for. And Republicans be careful what you say. This group is one that you lost because of your divisive rhetoric.
While acknowledging that the recession makes the political battle more difficult, President Obama plans to begin addressing the country’s immigration system this year, including looking for a path for illegal immigrants to become legal, a senior administration official said on Wednesday.
Mr. Obama will frame the new effort — likely to rouse passions on all sides of the highly divisive issue — as “policy reform that controls immigration and makes it an orderly system,” said the official, Cecilia Muñoz, deputy assistant to the president and director of intergovernmental affairs in the White House.
Mr. Obama plans to speak publicly about the issue in May, administration officials said, and over the summer he will convene working groups, including lawmakers from both parties and a range of immigration groups, to begin discussing possible legislation for as early as this fall.
Some White House officials said that immigration would not take precedence over the health care and energy proposals that Mr. Obama has identified as priorities. But the timetable is consistent with pledges Mr. Obama made to Hispanic groups in last year’s campaign.
He said then that comprehensive immigration legislation, including a plan to make legal status possible for an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants, would be a priority in his first year in office. Latino voters turned out strongly for Mr. Obama in the election.
“He intends to start the debate this year,” Ms. Muñoz said. read more here......
Watching morning joke or morning joe (Joe Scarborough) whine about everything Barack Obama does is a joke, in itself. Why do I watch as I get ready for the daily grind? Because we need to watch everything and listen to what is said.
Scarborough was attempting to argue John Ridley down, as soon as the video is available I will put it up later, about Barack Obama and the spending that is going on. Ridley was listening, but as Ridley repeatedly told Scarborough, we would not be in this position if it was not for George W. Bush.
Scarborough's rinse and repeat of Obama and his spending is the only thing he has to say. As Ridley pointed out, there are no more tax cuts available, that is all the Republicans have to offer. We have had everything cut to the bone for tax cuts by the Bush Administration and look where we are at? As Scarborough could not argue that, Ridley again pointed out, that Obama wanted to give the Republicans 400M in tax breaks for the stimulus bill, more than any president has ever given, again it was not good enough for the Republicans.
What Scarborough does not get is that as Obama has reached over to the Republicans in a bi-partisan way, more than any president, they rebuked him, it just was not good enough for them. I guess they have forgotten who actually won this election.
The Republicans are running around with a Pew Poll saying that Obama is the most divisive president ever (no one is listening or believe it), and Scarborough had the gall to quote an article by Karl Rove and his verbal garbage. Again, Scarborough the problem with quoting Rove is that the public understands he was one of the main divisive characters coming out of the Bush White House. What he says at this point carries no weight. As in, not the kind of weight the Republicans need to move people in the polling numbers.
Lastly, as Andrea Mitchell pointed out this morning to Scarborough during his whine and as he tried to pump the Pew Poll is this, the Republican brand or identifier as being Republican is the lowest it has ever been. Only 23% identify themselves as Republicans, which means the Independents and Democrats have Obama where he is at in the polling numbers. Suddenly, silence, not a peep or argument from Scarborough.
As I watched Ridley continue to ask Scarborough where is the Republican plan besides more tax breaks, not a peep or attempt to answer that question, because quite frankly, Scarborough can not. There is no plan. There is no ideas. There is nothing from the party of no, but rinse and repeat and hope something will stick.
As folks are reeling right now, saying Bush is not in office is not good enough. He is still there, we are dealing with his bad decisions for this country EVERY SINGLE DAY. We have not forgotten how we have got to this point in this country.
Now rinse and repeat that.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
.....and making him LOOK GOOD.....
President Obama, a well-documented basketball fan, didn’t wait until his plane touched down in Washington before calling North Carolina men’s basketball coach Roy Williams to congratulate him on the Tar Heels’ win over Michigan State in Monday night’s NCAA championship game.
Flying back from Baghdad, Obama called Williams from Air Force One to extend his congratulations and also thank the coach and his team for making the president look pretty darn hoop savvy.
Obama picked the Tar Heels to win the tournament in the much publicized bracket that he did with ESPN's Andy Katz.
"The President offered Coach Williams his congratulations and thanked him and his team for vindicating him in front of the entire country," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said. "The President told him he’d done a great job and asked the Coach to tell the players how proud he was of them and that he looked forward to seeing them at the White House soon."
This jackass, representing the gun owners, is totally on right-winged talking points and was on MSNBCs Hardball and got creamed. So, now he is hopping over to CNN, Sanchez puts dude on BLAST.
These type of characters are starting to pop up all over television. Anyone smelling 2010, yet?
And Ed Schulz calls Dick Cheney an "All American NOBODY"
AMEN on that one, Ed.
From the mouth of Michael Steele, RNC Chairman:
“Could you help a brother out? No more national conventions with 36 people of color in the room,” Steele told fellow Republicans on Monday, according to the Miami Herald.
Well, the problem is not helping a brother out, the problem is the Republican Party's platform and policies.
The platform and policies of the Republican Party were rejected in November, and not by a slither of a margin but resounding.
Jim Greer, the state's party chairman, added that the party would focus on increasing its use of technology to invigorate a younger generation of the GOP.
''We will not praise President Obama,'' Greer said, ``but we will learn from him.''
Steele said he wants to refocus the Republican Party's core message.
''A lot of people are losing their jobs right now and losing their homes,'' he said. ``What does the Republican Party have to say about that? That's what the people of Florida are waiting to hear.''
He added: ``We're beginning to set up an argument between creating wealth and creating opportunities versus what we feel the administration is doing, which is redistributing wealth and suppressing opportunities and relying more on government solutions as opposed to small business solutions.''
We will not praise him but learn from him? How dumb of a statement is that? The issue is that the GOP thinks they can throw a black man or a hispanic man on the stage and all of a sudden it is ok. The GOP thinks that they need that minority face to change the face of its party, that is not the problem with the GOP. The problem is their constant side of pro-business, especially Wall Street. Their problem is that they don't care about public education, but touts "No Child Left Behind", but damn sure did not fund it under their watch. It is not Barack Obama that is a problem, which they believe the country has just fallen under his spell, it is that the Republican Party policies are shitty.
Leadership means something these days. The Republican Party had it and got lost by their own personal greed. The divide in this country of rich vs. poor is staggering. Wages have not kept up and those who were rich, got mega richer. This country under the past 8 years have been starved of the basics, because the Republican Party did not feel it was necessary.
If the Republican Party really want to turn around, start with your message and be real about it. Folks are hurting now, but you are silent. People are losing jobs at rapid rates, but you have nothing to say. Folks are being thrown out of their homes, but you don't have a plan. Until you can convince folks that you actually care about THEIR ISSUES, you will continue to be a moot point.
I mean, this is like a Hollywood movie. This shit still happens? Pirates? Pay offs? Surreal.
The American crew of a hijacked U.S.-flagged ship retook control of the vessel from Somali pirates Wednesday but the captain was still being held hostage in a lifeboat, according to crew members.
U.S. officials said an American warship and a half dozen other ships were headed to the scene.
Kevin Speers, a spokesman for Maersk Lines Limited, confirmed that the crew had the Maersk Alabama and were unharmed but the captain was being held by pirates off the cargo ship.
"They're on another boat," he said. He gave no other details.
The second in command, Shane Murphy of Seekonk, Massachusetts, called his wife at 10 a.m EDT and told her that pirates had taken over the ship before dawn local time, she said.
Murphy said that pirates then had taken away the captain and he was now in charge, Serena Murphy, 31, told The Associated Press from her front doorstep.
Shane Murphy's father, Capt. Joseph Murphy, an instructor at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, told the AP that he was called by the Department of Defense and told the crew, including his son Shane, had control of the ship back from the pirates. read more, here....
When you have the highest polling numbers, the country behind you, now you become the most polarizing because the Republicans say so? Send that noise over to George W. Bush.
Who has been the most polarizing new president of recent times? Richard Nixon? Ronald Reagan? George W. Bush?
No, that honor belongs to Barack Obama. According to the Pew Research Center, the gap between Republican and Democratic approval ratings for Bush a few months into his first term was about 51 percentage points. For Obama, this partisan gap stands at 61 points. Obama has been a unifier, of sorts. He has united Democrats and united Republicans -- against each other.
Polarizing is when you have eroded support all across the board and this is not the case with Barack Obama.
Did anyone expect the Republicans to like everything he does? Hell, even Democrats? No. I heard morning joke, that is Joe Scarborough say this morning that he expected Obama to govern like Harold Ford, Jr. Are you gagging yet? morning joke don't understand that Obama was never a DLC'er, no he did not have issues with the participants, he just did not agree with many of their policies.
There is nothing different Barack Obama is doing that we don't know about because Barack Obama told us what he was going to do when he was running for President of the United States. He told us he was going to fight for the environment, energy, invest in education and healthcare. He told us he was going to close Guantanamo Bay, renew our standing internationally and work with the international community. He did not know, however, how destroyed the financial markets were, nor the whole story of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Being president is about editing. Meaning things may alter, change or become obsolete. Being president means you won't make everyone happy, either, but to try to tag Obama the most polarizing president is utter bullshit.
That tag, still belongs to George W. Bush. The real divider and not a unifier.
And morning joke, a continual gas bag is what he truly is.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
That is Joe Scarborough from morning joe. This man continues to put his foot in his mouth and continues to show us he does not know what the HELL he is talking about. h/t Daily Kos
Yes, while the daily morning gas bag is running his viagra mouth about Obama "never really worked", shit what has he done?
Hell, it seems like 'ole Joe himself didn't do much except go to law school, work briefly for a law firm, and then get elected to Congress. By this logic, I could certainly make the claim he's never earned a "paycheck", either. He's certainly never had to work a nine to five, or work two jobs to put food on the table for a baby girl, or wonder how you'll make the next mortgage payment.
Man, these shows really think that we are stupid.
The Newt is an old trick that Cantor is pulling in congress. Embarrass, offend, bully new freshmen democrats on the floor and make them look ridiculous. This is an old trick that Newt Gingrich played when he was in congress, back in the day. Well, guess who is Eric Cantor's mentor? Newt Gingrich. So, now Eric Cantor is whipping Republican house members to march onto the house floor and pounce on freshmen democrats with questions on how they have voted, while the democratic house member is addressing the floor. This crap is like trying to turn the house floor into the Republicans right wing talk show, full of Republican talking points. It is pathetic. Ed Schultz calls the Republicans out on this tactic, but it takes Keith Olbermann to tell it like it is.
I won't go there, but did we really want this in the White House? Yes, this really could have happened!!! Sorry, advocating abstinence? Calling pot!!! Calling kettle!!! It takes Rachel Maddow to call it what it is.
When you have nothing good to say, and if you said all the negative, eventually you have nothing to say. That is the D.C. Republicans. No matter how they attempt to spin it, the European trip of Obama and ending in the Muslim country of Turkey is or was a hit. For people who understand why this trip was important, let's start with the hatred that Europe and the Muslim world had of former President George W. Bush. This trip was a reintroduction of the United States of America to these regions. Obama had to do it, the distrust that the international community had of Bush can not be understated. The Bush Administration destroyed our international standing, period. Obama has started to clean it up. Simple as that. And this country approves of how Obama is doing, just that.
As President Obama concludes his well-publicized trip to Europe, Americans are more positive about the respect accorded to a U.S. president than they have been in years, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll.
Sixty-seven percent say world leaders respect Mr. Obama, while 18 percent say they do not respect the president. That's a sharp contrast to the response when this question was asked about Mr. Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, in July 2006: Just 30 percent then said the president is respected by the leaders of other countries.
Mr. Obama's overall approval rating, meanwhile, has hit a new high of 66 percent, up from 64 percent last month. His disapproval rating stands at 24 percent. Nearly all Democrats and most independents approve of the way the president is handling his job, while only 31 percent of Republicans approve.
While some in the media have tried to spin that Obama is polarizing, don't listen to the psycho talk. If you look at the polling data, many are not identifying themselves as Republicans, which throws many more in the pile of the independents. Remember, this is the same group that abandoned the Republican Party in November and we saw what happened.
Most Americans - 60 percent - agree with the argument articulated by the president at the G20 summit last week that the United States needs to work with other countries to fix the problems facing the global economy in order to fix the economic problems back home.
Thirty-seven percent disagree with the argument that the United States should be working with other countries to fix its economy. (Click here for poll data on Americans' views on trade with other countries.)
Americans remain concerned that the United States may lose its position as the world’s economic leader. Nearly eight in 10 are at least somewhat concerned, including 40 percent who are very concerned.
Still, the percentage of Americans who are very concerned is down 10 points from last July.
Again, Obama has not even hit the 100 day mark, but for all those haters out there, this is just the beginning.
Read more, here and full poll metric, here.
I know, we don't like to read this, but it is what it is. We live in a world of crazy folk, here and abroad. Never think al-qaead is not alive and well, THEY ARE.
US authorities confirmed that Turkish police have arrested a man who claims to have plotted to kill US President Barack Obama when he visited Turkey.
The Secret Service in Washington said Monday night that Turkish National Police arrested the man last Friday in Istanbul. Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said the president was never in any immediate danger, as Obama arrived in Turkey on Sunday, two days after the man's arrest.
As standard procedure involving a threat against the president overseas, the Secret Service is following up with Turkish authorities regarding the case and is not releasing any information about the suspect, Donovan said.
On Monday, the Saudi daily Al Watan reportedm that Turkish security services has arrested a man of Syrian descent who was planning to assassinate Obama during his trip to Turkey.
According to the report, the man, who was arrested on Friday, was carrying a press card identifying him as an employee of Al Jazeera. He reportedly confessed to his intention to stab Obama with a knife and said that he was aided by three accomplices.
The report stated that Turkish authorities were still unsure as to whether the press card was a fake or whether it had actually been issued the man by the Qatari news network.
Al-Jazeera's Ankara bureau chief, Yussef al-Sharif, told the paper that news of the suspected assassination plot had come as an utter surprise to the network's staff in Turkey, adding that all of Al-Jazeera's employees in the country claimed that they were not acquainted with the suspect.
Sharif said that the ID card had "most certainly" been forged.
He said that Turkish authorities knew all of the employees of Al-Jazeera's Ankara offices.
The official, who is close to police operations in Turkey, said police detained the suspect — a Turkish national — on Friday after receiving an anonymous e-mail which even gave the suspect's address in Istanbul. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of rules that bar civil servants from speaking to the media without prior authorization.
"There was nothing serious. Police released the man and said he was mentally disturbed," the official said. "The tip turned out to be a hoax. The IP address from which the e-mail was sent was traced to the United States."
U.S. Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said Monday the president was never in any immediate danger. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, who was with Obama in Istanbul on Tuesday, declined to comment on the incident.
Obama did not arrive in Turkey until Sunday, two days after the man's arrest.
"There was no threat to Obama's life," the Turkish official said. "But the police naturally took such a tip seriously."
Monday, April 6, 2009
I am glad Ed Schultz got a show because I catch his radio program, when I can. He puts Gingrich on blast, as he should be.
This video needs to be seen. I happen to see it live as I got home. The Glenn Becks, Hannitys, Rush Limbaughs, Bill O'Reillys are dangerous. Why? They continue to stir right wing rhetoric with no backing of facts. We saw some of this during the campaign, but the hate train is out in full force. Fox News should be ashamed of themselves to allow this nonsense on their stations, but hey they don't care as long as it brings in ratings and money. In other words, fact and truth, need not apply. h/t jed lewison from Daily Kos
The distrust of the Muslim region after George W. Bush is not hard to understand, so Barack Obama's visit is vital and may be the most important of his European trip. Muslims all over the world are watching this trip very closely and many are hoping the beginning of something new after the former President George W. Bush.
President Barack Obama paid tribute to the memory of modern Turkey's founding father on Monday as he reached out for help to wind down the war in Iraq and bring stability to the Middle East.
He is also counting on the only major predominantly Islamic member of NATO to remain a steadfast ally in the Afghanistan conflict.
"I'm honored to pay tribute to his name," Obama said at wreath-laying ceremony during a morning visit to the tomb of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
Obama's visit is being closely watched by an Islamic world that harbored deep distrust of his predecessor, George W. Bush.
Obama was spending two days in Turkey as he wraps up an event-packed, eight-day international trip that also saw stops in Britain, France, Germany and the Czech Republic.
He arrived in Ankara late Sunday. He was to meet with Turkish leaders and speak to parliament. He will then go on to Istanbul for events on Tuesday.
In his inaugural address in January, Obama pledged to reach out to the Muslim world.
Americans remain unsure of what to make of Islam even as most people in the United States think Obama should seek better relations with the Muslim world, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll. About 55 percent of Americans say they lack a good, basic understanding of the religion, the poll found, and 48 percent have an unfavorable view of it.
Obama's trip to Turkey, his final scheduled country visit, ties together themes of earlier stops. He attended the Group of 20 economic summit in London, celebrated NATO's 60th anniversary in Strasbourg, France, and on Saturday visited the Czech Republic, which included a summit of European Union leaders in Prague.
Turkey is a member of both the G-20 and NATO and is trying to get into the EU with the help of the United States.
"Obama starts with a great advantage because his name is not George Bush," said Bulent Aliriza, director of the Turkey Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank.
While Bush was extremely unpopular in Turkey and the Islamic world, "there's a sense of goodwill toward the United States — and particularly toward President Obama. And the entire Islamic world will be watching" Monday's speech to the Turkish Grand National Assembly, Aliriza said.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Less than a week after the White House asks the CEO of General Motors to step down, we go live to Detroit to speak with the new CEO, Fritz Henderson, about his plans to fix the American auto icon. Plus, Obama on the world stage. Our roundtable weighs in: Fmr. speechwriter to Pres. Bush, Michael Gerson; CNBC's John Harwood; BBC's Katty Kay; author Joshua Cooper Ramo; and Fmr. Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Labor, Dr. Bill Rodgers.
"I trust him. I don't need guarantees. I trust him. I trust his word. And I trust his intelligence," Sarkozy said of Obama.
This came from President Sarkozy of France.
This is the statement that President Barack Obama of The United States of America will walk away from his European trip.
There is much concern trolling on Obama's trip to Europe. The what did he get or the what he did not get.
Fair criticism. He did not get, nor was he going to get, everyone to agree with him from the economic strife that is hitting every nation to the muddled mess of Afghanistan. But what he did get was the tag, "A new sheriff in town for the United States of America."
I don't care what anyone says, Barack Obama's energy and enthusiasm was infectious and all over the place. Can anyone ever imagine former President George W. Bush holding a town hall meeting in France? No, you can't. Over 25,000 invaded Prague to hear President Obama's speech today. Would or could former President Bush bring a crowd to listen to him and the American platform? No, he would get that many to protest his very existence in their town. Yes, we know this is true.
President Obama's main job was to restore our image to the Europeans. He needed to let Europe know that we want to work with them, not against them. He had to listen and absorb their concerns. Not to grandstand or give the "you are with us or against us" speech. That single statement from former President George W. Bush did more harm than good for this country and our international standing. A statement this country is still paying a price for.
The economic and international mess is one that former President George W. Bush created. It was the arrogance of that administration that killed his presidency in the end. He could not pick up any phone to ask for any help, he killed all the pragmatic thinking and good will to these European countries and they watched him and this country go downhill.
President Obama's speech at the town hall in France is one of the best he has given. He pointed out all our faults, as well as Europe's faults and pointed that it is time to try a different approach and direction. He is right.
The United States of America is not the police of the world, but former President Bush pinned that tag on us by invading Iraq. We have a lot of work to do and this trip was a beginning. We have to reach out to the Middle East and let them know we are still here and we want to work out the peace in that region. We need to remove ourselves from Iraq, permanently. We are responsible for what has happened to that region and we need to do as much as possible to make it right, but it starts with Iraq taking care of Iraq. Afghanistan is a problem and more troop involvement will not change it, history speaks for itself, but we must make Pakistan take responsibility for protecting al-qaeda terrorists, as they continue to take aid from the United States of America.
We are going through some very difficult times here domestically, but much what is happening is also tied internationally. I trust Barack Obama to do the very best that he can. He will make decisions that I will not always agree with, but I rather have him at the helm than imagining John McCain there. Sorry, for one, McCain would not have been able to keep up. For real.
Finally, I have to post a clip by JedReport from CNNs Cristiane Amanpour's push back of the right-winged criticism of President Barack Obama and WHY Gitmo needs to be condemned and CLOSED. Anyone with intelligence will get it.
COSTELLO: Well, but some people might say that President Obama is giving the French some of what it wants and other European leaders like the closing of Guantanamo Bay and supposedly we’re moving the troops from Iraq very soon. These are things that Europeans wanted.
COSTELLO: I’m being devil’s advocate because some critics say, you know, President Obama is giving too much away, he’s deferring too much.
AMANPOUR: Can we just be counter-devil’s advocate? Obama is not closing Guantanamo for the Europeans; he’s closing it because it has caused the single biggest anti-American sentiment around the world and because it violates America’s principles, its morals, its rules of law and all of the rest of it. He’s not doing it for the Europeans, he’s not bringing the troops out of Iraq for the Europeans. He’s making his own considered judgment on the war Iraq for American reasons, those happen to be shared by the Europeans and that will help in that way, but he’s not outsourcing American foreign policy for any other country. It’s national interest and it happens to be one that converges with one of the rest of the world.
Obama, Sarkozy Press Conference
Obama's Town Hall Meeting in France
Prague Spring, photos by Al Rodgers
cross-posted @ Daily Kos
List of other pictures, videos of the Obamas European trip here
Note: First Lady Michelle Obama will leave Prague, Czech Republic for Washington, D.C., today while President Obama will continue to Turkey and return to Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.