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Archive for January 27th, 2010

State Of The Union 2010 (FULL TEXT): Read Obama’s Speech

HuffPo- First Posted: 01-27-10 07:06 PM   |   Updated: 01-27-10 09:21 PM | Updated: 01-28-10 08:33 AM

The full text of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address, as transcribed by the White House.

Madam Speaker, Vice President Biden, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:

Our Constitution declares that from time to time, the President shall give to Congress information about the state of our union. For 220 years, our leaders have fulfilled this duty. They’ve done so during periods of prosperity and tranquility. And they’ve done so in the midst of war and depression; at moments of great strife and great struggle.

It’s tempting to look back on these moments and assume that our progress was inevitable — that America was always destined to succeed. But when the Union was turned back at Bull Run, and the Allies first landed at Omaha Beach, victory was very much in doubt. When the market crashed on Black Tuesday, and civil rights marchers were beaten on Bloody Sunday, the future was anything but certain. These were the times that tested the courage of our convictions, and the strength of our union. And despite all our divisions and disagreements, our hesitations and our fears, America prevailed because we chose to move forward as one nation, as one people.

Again, we are tested. And again, we must answer history’s call.

One year ago, I took office amid two wars, an economy rocked by a severe recession, a financial system on the verge of collapse, and a government deeply in debt. Experts from across the political spectrum warned that if we did not act, we might face a second depression. So we acted — immediately and aggressively. And one year later, the worst of the storm has passed.

But the devastation remains. One in 10 Americans still cannot find work. Many businesses have shuttered. Home values have declined. Small towns and rural communities have been hit especially hard. And for those who’d already known poverty, life has become that much harder.

This recession has also compounded the burdens that America’s families have been dealing with for decades — the burden of working harder and longer for less; of being unable to save enough to retire or help kids with college.

So I know the anxieties that are out there right now. They’re not new. These struggles are the reason I ran for President. These struggles are what I’ve witnessed for years in places like Elkhart, Indiana; Galesburg, Illinois. I hear about them in the letters that I read each night. The toughest to read are those written by children — asking why they have to move from their home, asking when their mom or dad will be able to go back to work.

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Watch Obama Live: Streaming Video, Twitter Reaction

The Huffington Post
First Posted: 10-31-08 12:49 PM   |   Updated: 12-15-09 12:17 PM

Whenever President Obama is speaking publicly, you’ll find live streaming video on this page, along with latest Twitter commentary from reporters and pundits.

>>>FULL TEXT HERE<<<

>>>LIVE STREAMING VIDEO HERE<<<

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This isn’t the first column in which I’ve addressed this dynamic and it won’t be the last. So consider the following an overview or a recap of what I feel is the disconnect between President Obama and some vocal factions within the progressive movement.

Clearly there are progressives, most visibly in the liberal blogosphere, who have ventured well beyond the realms of being disillusioned with the president to being outright antagonistic and, in a broader movement sense, utterly self-defeating. I still believe that this is based upon a misreading of political reality and a misinterpretation of the president’s first year in office. In some cases, I believe this anger is genuine and fair, and many other cases, I believe it’s wholly unfair, misguided and, dare I say, wingnutty.

Stating the obvious by way of a preface, the goal of the progressive movement is to, of course, move government further to the left and thereby achieving progressive policies. The argument right now is about how best to achieve this goal in the context of the current political landscape. I’ve always thought that a successful progressive movement involved three things: an ongoing marginalizing of the far-right; arguing for progressive policies; and promoting and encouraging the careers of politicians and organizations that are best equipped to help pass progressive legislation.

With that in mind, one of the many reasons why I endorsed, voted for and still support President Obama is because I strongly believe that he’s perhaps the only American politician equipped to move the nation in a distinctly leftward direction from within the context of the Oval Office. But at no time have I ever held any delusions that he was some kind of progressive superhero — a Kucinich or Sanders or Dean with a better jump shot and Jon Favreau on the payroll.

While Barack Obama is, in fact, a liberal, he’s not necessarily a progressive who fits squarely into the progressive movement’s wheelhouse.

But he’s close.

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Obama State Of The Union Speech Will Focus On Economy

BEN FELLER | 01/27/10 09:49 AM | AP

WASHINGTON — Facing a divided Congress and a dissatisfied nation, President Barack Obama will unveil a jobs-heavy agenda in his State of the Union address Wednesday, retooling his message more than his mission.

His goal: Get the economy, the confidence of voters and his own presidency on surer footing.

Obama will offer fresh details about how he wants to salvage an overhaul of health care, rein in the national debt and help businesses hire again. He will call for education reform and more money for schools, take responsibility for mistakes in his first year and follow up his speech with a dash to Florida to announce $8 billion in awards for high-speed rail.

Two themes will underpin the entire address – reassuring millions of Americans that he understands their struggles and convincing people that he is working to change Washington even as he finds himself working within its old political ways.

Yet for all the new wrinkles he offers, Obama’s moment will be measured largely by how well he reconnects with the public.

“In this political environment, what I haven’t always been successful at doing is breaking through the noise and speaking directly to the American people,” Obama conceded to an interviewer last week. This is his chance – speeches like this one can draw 30 million to 50 million viewers, sometimes more.

The White House knows the 9 p.m. EST address has enormous stakes. Obama rode a tide of voter frustration into office and now is getting smacked by it himself.

Change is working against him.

MORE HERE

>>>FULL TEXT HERE<<<

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The Corrs & Bono – When the Stars Go Blue (Live 8)

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CIA Man Who Claimed Waterboarding Worked Admits He Was Wrong

TPM Muckraker

Rachel Slajda | January 27, 2010, 9:33AM

In his new book, the former CIA operative who made the bombshell — and thoroughly debunked — claim that a terrorism suspect was made to talk after one waterboarding session has admitted he was wrong.

John Kiriakou made waves, and supplied the pro-torture crowd with ammunition, when he told ABC News in December 2007 that al-Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah gave information that prevented dozens of terrorist attacks after being waterboarded once, for about 30 seconds.

The claim was full of holes, and ABC admitted so, quietly. For one, Zubadayah was actually waterboarded at least 83 times, according to a Justice Department memo. And Kiriakou, the head of the man’s capture team, was not present for his interrogation and instead relied on reports.

Kiriakou admits he was wrong on the second-to-last page of his new book, titled “The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA’s War on Terror,” according to Foreign Policy.

“What I told [ABC reporter] Brian Ross in late 2007 was wrong on a couple counts,” he wrote.

“I suggested that Abu Zubaydah had lasted only thirty or thirty-five seconds during his waterboarding before he begged his interrogators to stop; after that, I said he opened up and gave the agency actionable intelligence,” he wrote. But “I wasn’t there when the interrogation took place; instead, I relied on what I’d heard and read inside the agency at the time.”

“Now we know,” Kiriakou goes on, “that Zubaydah was waterboarded eighty-three times in a single month, raising questions about how much useful information he actually supplied.”

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Glenn Beck’s Gestapo Tactics — Assailing Obama and Progressives with Holocaust Imagery

Beck uses his Fox News perch to preach stunningly irresponsible history, and organize a movement dedicated to destroying progressives and Obama.
AlterNet / By Eric Burns
Eric Burns is the president of Media Matters for America.
January 27, 2010 |

When Glenn Beck aired an hour-long documentary titled “Revolutionary Holocaust: Live Free or Die” last Friday, it marked a major turning point in the annals of television.

The film, narrated by Beck himself, purported to reveal “really disturbing and shocking stuff,” specifically the “dirty little secret” that progressive political beliefs led inexorably to “some of the most horrifying outcomes in history.” With help from interview subjects like Jonah Goldberg, author of the book Liberal Fascism, Beck linked the progressive political movement to such nightmares as China’s Cultural Revolution and Hitler’s gas chambers. Beck alternated images of the emaciated, tortured bodies of the victims he blamed on progressivism with archival footage of Goebbels, Stalin and Mao.

Behold, America, the future of conservative media.

There was a time when such stunningly irresponsible and historically dubious assertions were the province of isolated individuals holding homemade signs at rallies — but no longer. “The Revolutionary Holocaust” was watched by nearly four million Americans. And it was broadcast by one of the world’s largest media conglomerates, News Corporation, which made no effort to disassociate itself from the program’s content.

Partisan media — even rabidly partisan media — has existed in America for as long as our nation has. Vicious attacks against perceived political opponents aren’t anything new, either, and in that way, Glenn Beck is merely the latest polemicist willing to assault his enemies — as well as basic logic — in order to make a buck. (And he makes plenty.)

But never before has such commentary been hitched to the star of a multinational media conglomerate, one capable of beaming the resulting invective into hundreds of millions of homes in real time. Never before has a company as influential as News Corp. been willing to back a host like Beck in the face of mounting pressure from advertisers.

Even after 80 different sponsors announced they would no longer advertise on Beck’s show, News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch was still willing to personally defend the host, offering his own nonsensical defense of Beck’s infamous accusation that our nation’s first African American president harbored “a deep seated hatred for white people.”

“Even if you think I’m wildly irresponsible,” Beck said a few weeks ago, “you have to know that News Corp. is not stupid. It’s a company worth billions of dollars. Do you really think this corporation would risk everything on an irresponsible crazy guy?”

MORE HERE

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