Tomorrow, Wednesday, thousands of teachers associated with South African Democratic Teachers’ Union around the country are expected to strike.
The strike which Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga’s department has called illegal, is part of the campaign to have the minister and her Director-General Bobby Soobrayan removed from office.
The union’s website says that the marches are meant to increase the pressure on Motshekga and Soobrayan to resign from their incumbent positions in defense of collective bargaining and promotion of quality public education.
Anyway, while teachers prepare to march tomorrow, Barack Obama has delivered a speech at the US Teacher of the Year Event.
I am sorry Obama had a “crushing setback” yesterday. I hope that he takes the lessons he may learn from this and turn those angry tea partiers into supporters of his reform programmes. It’s not impossible. There are another two years to go before the next election.
In the meantime it’s lovely to have images of Obama gracing our pages again.
And to millions of others. He has contacted his 2008 supporters begging them to vote. Polls are predicting a bad election for the Democrats. So if you’re in the USA and can vote do so. Now.
Tomorrow, you can help determine not just the outcome of this election, but our country’s future.
You made the difference in 2008. Now, once again, you can defy the conventional wisdom that says you can’t overcome the cynicism of our politics; you can’t overcome the special interests and the big money; you can’t tackle our biggest challenges. Read More…
He’s leaving the White House. He’s leaving Obama to the devices of a new and yet to be announced chief of staff and he’s moving to Chicago where he hopes to become the mayor. If he does, I’m moving too.
Did you see this?
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There is a news story go here. But here’s the transcript.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you, everybody, please have a seat. Have a seat.
Well, good afternoon, everybody.
AUDIENCE: Good afternoon.
THE PRESIDENT: Welcome to the White House, and welcome to the United States of America. And that includes even our friends from Ghana, who beat us in the World Cup. (Laughter.) Where are you? Over there? That’s all right. It was close. We’ll see you in 2014. (Laughter.)
It’s my great privilege to welcome all of you to this Young African Leaders Forum. You’ve joined us from nearly 50 countries. You reflect the extraordinary history and diversity of the continent. You’ve already distinguished yourselves as leaders —- in civil society and development and business and faith communities —- and you’ve got an extraordinary future before you. Read More…
“President Obama is worried about that one,” Claytus Kanyie, a Nigerian official in the Niger Delta region said to the New York Times, about the gulf spill, while he reportedly stood among dead mangroves in ‘soft oily muck outside Bodo’ in Nigeria. “Nobody is worried about this one. The aquatic life of our people is dying off. There used be shrimp. There are no longer any shrimp.”
Oil spills in the Niger Delta where crude oil, of the best-quality oil in the world, is pumped from underground, are a regular occurrence. Whilst BP’s Deepwater Horizon’s spill has received international condemnation and been the subject of front page splashes, the Nigerian oil spills generally don’t get much attention at all.
Obama and Netanyahu met in Washington today. Here are the remarks to the press afterwards. Obama acknowledges that there’s “still tensions and issues there that have to be resolved”. Not about much about settlements except in question time, and then the answers are very unsatisfying.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I just completed an excellent one-on-one discussion with Prime Minister Netanyahu, and I want to welcome him back to the White House. Read More…
I got this in my inbox this morning – a pool report on what Joe Biden’s said yesterday at a fundraiser:
… With former Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D- Md) in attendance, he said, “I would have never made the faux pas I made the other day if you [Sarbanes] were still around.” He said all he could think after he learned the comment had been picked up was “Thank God my mom’s not …”; the rest of comment was drowned out by laughter.
He said Obama said at the morning presidential briefing: “You know what the best thing about yesterday was? Joe’s comment.” He also said Obama told him that he attempted to have a t-shirt made with his remark emblazoned on it but couldn’t get it in time. Read More…
In America an historical moment is treated as a mad left-wing socialist plot by mad right-wingers. Days after the house of representatives voted in favour of the Senate-passed bill, and after Obama signed off the bill, which will see to it that most Americans will be covered by health insurance, some house Democrats are receiving death threats.
Decent affordable health care for everyone is something developing and third world countries can only dream off… Why the resistance? Government too big for America? I think in this instance, health care, big government isn’t a bad thing. And this is possibly the first time that economic inequality in the US is being addressed in a very long time. Obama said as he signed that this bill enshrines “the core principle that everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their health care.” The New York Times said that the bill …is the federal government’s biggest attack on economic inequality since inequality began rising more than three decades ago.
Biden captured what a momentous occasion this was when he said: “Mr. President, this is a big f#$%*&^ deal.” After this whispered comment was spread across the internet, the White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, sent out a message over Twitter: “And yes, Mr. Vice President, you’re right.”
The day is almost over, and I’ve only just realised that it’s Ash Wednesday – the day Catholics, and some others, give up something for Lent. It’s the traditional 40-day period of fasting, prayer and penitence before Easter – that weekend we spend hunting for chocolate eggs in our gardens.
I was reminded about Lent because of this statement issued by Barack Obama:
Michelle and I join Christians here in America and around the world in observing Ash Wednesday. We mark this solemn day of repentance and promise, knowing that Lent is a time for millions to renew faith and also deepen a commitment to loving and serving one another.
Will he be giving up something? And what will it be? I’ve tried giving up chocolate – fairly easy for me, and then I tried giving up alcohol – a lot harder. This year I thought of giving up driving, but somehow I don’t think that’s possible. But ultimately, as a lapsed Catholic I feel let off the hook. I won’t give up anything.