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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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.”
Last night the White House held a state dinner – the biggest social event since Barack Obama’s inauguration. Obama reserved the glamour of his first state dinner for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India, in a bid to show his commitment to the world’s largest democracy reports AFP. More than 300 guests arrived including film director Steven Spielberg.
This pool report by the Politico reporters is worth a read. Firstly the excitement about the “fabulousness” of the various outfits is delightful. And the reported random uttering about one of the guests is too funny for words, if not a little a lot rude: Oh my god, a real housewife!
Pool Report: Read More…
A friend in Cape Town has resisted the growing trend in South Africa to celebrate the Halloween holiday. My children were out and about last night eating treats, while her son was with his gran, not minding a bit that he was missing out. I’ve just gone with the flow on this one. I would fail dismally if I tried to discourage my children from getting caught up in the hype of this funny eccentric festival.
Here is Halloween in America:
Trick or treaters are gathered for a Halloween celebrations at the White House, Saturday, in Washington. The first family welcomed more than 2,600 children from Washington, Maryland and Virginia schools, and their families, for the Halloween trick or treating at the North Portico of the White House. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Never mind her arms, have you ever wondered why Michelle Obama has such a good waist? It’s not the first time I’ve noticed the connection between a good waist and a hula hoop. In fact, I recently bought a bright yellow one, hoping to achieve a similar relationship between waist and hoop.
While my babies cavort around my garden, I have been practising my swivels. I have increased the number of swivels from one to two. Not bad. That’s a 100% increase in swivels. The children find this exercise hilarious. It’s not often they watch as a parent learns something from scratch.
But watching the pro on the hoop makes me feel ashamed. Here is a woman who did 142 swivels. That’s damn fine going.
Michelle Obama was at a healthy kids fair on the White House South Lawn promoting healthy eating and exercise for America’s children.
Eva Longoria seen here arriving at Capitol Hill before this evening’s Fiesta Lantina concert, one in a series of concerts hosted by the Obamas in the White House. It will be streamed live here.
Others performing include Marc Anthony, Jimmy Smits, Pete Escovedo, Gloria Estefan, José Feliciano, George Lopez, Thalía, Tito “El Bambino”, the Bachata music group Aventura, and the Chicano rock band Los Lobos, with Sheila E. leading the house band.
A photograph taken by an embedded AP photographer, Julie Jacobson, on August 14th, showing a dying Lance-Corporal Joshua Bernard, 21, being tended to by fellow soldiers has caused a furore in the US. Bernard was hit by a grenade during a fire fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan. He died of his wounds later the same day.
Against Bernard’s family’s wishes and against the White House’s request not to, AP released this picture (see it after “continue reading”). The picture is powerful. It was published in 20 US newspapers on Friday. None used it on the front page.
Our picture editor, Robin Comley says she would have used the picture, in the US, once the family had been informed of the circumstances of his death. For her it represents the reality of war, and the waste of a young life. This is the side of war which authorities don’t want the public at large to see, and it’s our duty as press to show it. We published the picture today in The Times.
According to the New York Times, Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, had to phoned AP to beg the agency to withhold the picture to spare the feelings of the soldier’s family. He subsequently sent a letter to AP writing “The American people understand that death is an awful and inescapable part of war”. But publishing this photo, he said, goes against the wishes of the family and thus would mark an “unconscionable departure from the restraint that most journalists and publications have shown covering the military since Sept. 11.”
AP defended its distribution of this picture. NYT reports that the editors said they made the decision only after careful review and after sharing the pictures with the family. The AP said it decided “to make public an image that conveys the grimness of war and the sacrifice of young men and women fighting it.”
In the US, the publication of such dramatic and graphic images is rare.
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.