Video: President Obama’s Speech in Cairo, Egypt

Barack Obama gave a formative speech on the future of U.S. – Middle East relations today, focusing in particular on U.S. relations — both as perceived and purported — with the Muslim World. Initial feedback is that it was a powerful speech that went over well by most accounts. Watch and decide for yourself. For photos, transcripts in multiple languages, and more, check the White House blog here.

English transcript is below:

Continue reading “Video: President Obama’s Speech in Cairo, Egypt”

How Did Blagojevich Manage to Stay in Power so Long?

Guilty Rod BlagojevichWhat the whole world now knows about Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich comes as no surprise to Illinoisians and other observers. a quick search reveals that one of my earliest blog entries here, in Sept. 2005, mentions him as a criminal. Unbelievable?!? Hardly — Blagojevich is the fifth Illinois governor of the last nine to be indicted.

Of course, he got reelected, as Daley always does, because the machine wins — or else. And fortunately Obama made his run this year instead of waiting until the rest of the world got wind of the stench of corruption perennially consuming Springfield / Chicago politics. It always seemed Obama was careful to skirt the machine, with relationships that were chilly — at best — with Blago and Daley.

The real crime here may be at the hands of the Chicago Tribune. How long were they sitting on the story of Blagojevich’s jockeying to dump Tribune editorial board members who slammed him in exchange for working a sweet deal for the sale of the Cubs? Gotta love these quotes though:

“Unless I get something real good [for Senate candidate 1], shit, I’ll just send myself, you know what I’m saying,” Blagojevich was taped saying on November 3rd, the day before Election Day.

“[The Senate seat] is a fucking valuable thing, you just don’t give it away for nothing.”

Justice at last. Full coverage at Chicago Public Radio.

Click here for the full 76-page indictment (PDF).

Continue reading “How Did Blagojevich Manage to Stay in Power so Long?”

Small but Reckless Anti-Obama Media: How Do You Like Your Crow?

fox news loves joe the plumber hates israel

Campaign Coverage FAIL! FoxNews has been striking out all over the place in recent weeks, along with much of the so-called Conservative media. It’s enough for them to actually go and interview this Joe the Plumber hack again but to quote his admittedly racy and barely informed point-of-view in a headline?!? It looks funny. It looks straight outta the Onion. But it’s effective as another hollow strawman for anyone reaching reaching reaching for reasons to vote for McCain.

Now I don’t disagree with Jack Shafer’s assessment today in Slate, that journalists will have us all retching upon hyperbole and re-statement to the effect that “Obama’s candidacy is momentous, without parallel, and earth-shattering, so they can’t file garden-variety pieces about the ‘winds of change’ blowing through Washington.”

At least I won’t be as ill as I was in 2004, when I couldn’t sleep for days after Bush was crowned a second time, or in 2000, when I was overseas and left to make excuses for my country’s inability to select a winner in a national election in the world’s bastion of democracy. And then, weeks later, to hand the keys to the kingdom to The Imbecile.

But I digress. The GOP doesn’t appear to have an October surprise that will stick. Not in today’s 24-hour social media climate. McCain is literally cracking himself up on the campaign trail thanking his pundits for not eating up the Hall-Obama-ween candy. Muahahaha, he might add.

Here’s a sample of what’s been brought to the table by the ever-desperate anti-Obama minority — and yes, it is a highly-unbalanced minority — in recent days:

DrudgeReportLOLWTFBBQ: The site trumpeted a headline featuring audio that was edited to change Obama’s words in a 2001 interview on Chicago Public Radio’s midday program Odyssey (which, by the way, featured the all-time best NPR theme song, as written by OKGo for host Gretchen Helfrich). WBEZ promptly delved through the archives and posted the unadulterated audio on it’s web site, along with an article clearing up the smear.

There’s the continued attempt of McCain backers (and now, apparently, the campaign itself) to get the LA Times to release video of Obama at a party for Rashid Khalidi, a former University of Chicago professor but also — or so they claim in right blogistan — a former PLO operative.

Regardless of Obama’s alleged association with Khalidi, it is McCain who is on the record has having given more than just a hug to the Palestinian sympathizer, in a relationship that dates back to 1993, according to Seth Colter Walls in the Huffington Post:

A 1998 tax filing for the McCain-led group shows a $448,873 grant to Khalidi’s Center for Palestine Research and Studies for work in the West Bank. (See grant number 5180, “West Bank: CPRS” on page 14 of this PDF.)

I could go on and on and if I have the time, I will. For now, prepare to eat crow, and until then you might just want to hide your hands behind your back.