Different worlds. Different planets perhaps?
Ahmadinejad said today he was proud his denial of the Holocaust had enraged the West. Iran’s official news agency quotes him saying: “The anger of the world’s professional killers is (a source of) pride for us”.
On Friday, in a speech he questioned whether the “mythical” Holocaust was a “a real event.
On Wednesday in New York at the General Assembly of the UN Israel’s PM Netanyahu will be sitting just two seats away from Ahmadinejad, that’s if both watch Obama’s speech.
Will Netanyahu take the opportunity of disabusing his Iranian counterpart of his mythical ideas?
Obama is worried about the state of journalism and believes, like most, that good journalism is “critical to the health of our democracy”.
“I am concerned that if the direction of the news is all blogosphere, all opinions, with no serious fact-checking, no serious attempts to put stories in context, that what you will end up getting is people shouting at each other across the void but not a lot of mutual understanding,” he said in an interview where he also expressed that he would consider tax breaks for struggling news organisations if they were to restructure as nonprofit businesses.
The vicious hatred being voiced in America for President Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man.
Now, not even a year after he was elected president there is unhappiness with the bank bailout, the healthcare plan, the ballooning deficit, in fact with everything he plans to do… Think birthers, those socialist posters, Hitler comparisons – total madness.
Former president Jimmy Carter hit the nail on the head when he expressed that a lot of the opposition is really about Obama’s race. He was asked about Mr Wilson’s outburst in a meeting at his presidential centre in Atlanta. He said:
“I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man. I live in the South, and I’ve seen the South come a long way, and I’ve seen the rest of the country that share the South’s attitude toward minority groups at that time, particularly African Americans… And that racism inclination still exists. And I think it’s bubbled up to the surface because of the belief among many white people, not just in the South but around the country, that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country. It’s an abominable circumstance, and it grieves me and concerns me very deeply.”
Oh dear Barack Obama has inadvertently entered the Kanye Swift fray.
During a CNBC interview on Monday, Obama called the rap star a “jackass” after the singer’s unscheduled stage appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards. He rudely, and very amusingly for all of us, interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech on Sunday night.
Obama’s remark was an off-the-record one, but was immediately tweeted by an over keen reporter, Terry Moran who told his many followers that “Pres. Obama just called Kanye West a ‘jackass’ for his outburst at VMAs when Taylor Swift won. Now THAT’S presidential”.
The tweet was deleted. ABC apologised. And I’m wondering if Moran has a job today. (Listen to the podcast of Obama’s remark here.)
PS I am with the Guardian’s music blogger on this. The whole thing, I am sure was staged: “Swift comes out of this more vulnerable and loveable than ever, Beyoncé gets props for her grace and generosity after she brought Swift on to complete her speech later in the evening, Leno gets a boost to his brand new, five-times-a-week chatshow. And West? Well, it’s been hard for him. His mother died, and he hasn’t taken any time off. He’s a celebrity. And now he’s a little celebritier.” Agree?
Watch Kanye apologise again to Taylor Swift during an appearance on “The Jay Leno Show” last night:
As is the case when speeches in America are delivered at night and we are hours ahead of them, I missed Obama’s speech to Congress on his healthcare reform plans. What a cracker it was!
The highlight – never mind the content of the speech – was when Republican congressman from South Carolina, Joe Wilson shouted “You lie” while Obama was delivering his carefully scripted speech. Hardly reacting, Obama looked in the direction of the shout, said “It’s not true” and then went on with his speech. Obama had just tried to dispel the myth that the new plan would cover illegal immigrants.
Both Democrats and Republicans condemned the outburst. Gail Collins in her column today goes out “on a limb (to) say that it is not a good plan to heckle the president of the United States when he’s making a speech about replacing acrimony with civility”
The New York Times reports that Rahm Emanuel “immediately approached senior Republican lawmakers to encourage them to identify the heckler and urge him to issue an apology quickly. “No president has ever been treated like that. Ever,” Emanuel is quoted saying in the New York Times. Wilson apparently left the chamber in a hurry, and later last night, issued an apology, which Emanuel accepted. Unfortunately no fisty cuffs to report.
And more generally, most commentators say that his speech came months late. It should have been delivered in June. He has been too passive they say. By leaving the debate alone he has allowed the debate to get really ugly, and says Maureen Dowd when the other side is fighting dirty, you should get angry: ” Don’t let the bully kick sand in your face. The White House should have impaled death panel malarkey as soon as it came up.”
To read the transcript of Obama’s speech: Read More…
The first picture is of Obama’s daughter, Sasha, 8, hiding behind a sofa as her father reads briefing papers. In October 1963, and just a month before he was assassinated, the famous photograph was taken of John Jr under President Kennedy’s desk, while he too was reading briefing papers.