Entries in barack obama (11)


Thinking about Obama in Newtown

One of the most powerful paragraphs in anything he's ever said? Twenty first names of little children.

The context, according to the transcript from December 16, 2012:

"Let the little children come to me," Jesus said, "and do not hinder them -- for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven."

Charlotte. Daniel. Olivia. Josephine. Ana. Dylan. Madeleine. Catherine. Chase. Jesse. James. Grace. Emilie. Jack. Noah. Caroline. Jessica. Benjamin. Avielle. Allison.

God has called them all home. For those of us who remain, let us find the strength to carry on, and make our country worthy of their memory.

Read it. Better yet: Watch it. This part starts around 16:20.


Maraniss on Obama

From his biography from 2012:

When examining a subject's ancestry and early life it is important to draw a distinction between revelation and responsibility. No one wants to be judged or held responsible as an adult for how they behaved in their youth, or for how their relatives behaved. That should be neither the function nor the intention of a biographer. But there is an important difference between laying blame and searching for clues to a life, and many important clues come in the early years. The point in any case is to explore that  territory in search of understanding, not retroactive condemnation. It seems obvious, but it demands explanation in the modern American political culture, where facts are so easily twisted for politcal purposes and where strange armies of ideological pseudo-historians — predominantly, these days, on the irrational flank of the political right — roam the biographical fields in search of stray ammunition.


This week on the other blog

11 things I liked okay on The State You're In:

1. The mobile home of a man named Animal Kidd.

2. On Tuesday the quote of the day was the quote of the day mostly because of the surname of the person who said it.

3. 16 things I underlined in Steve Featherstone's Oxford American piece on Florida's Python Challenge.

4. The phrase poky Québécois.

5. Wednesday Sunshine: Yesterday, Democrat Alex Sink lost to Republican David Jolly in a political contest because of ... national affordable health insurance, which the president desperately promoted in an interview with a bearded comedian, video of which was posted on a website called Funny or Die.

6. You can't not read when the byline is Jeff Klinkenberg and the dateline is Micanopy is what I always say.

7. The most unsettling paragraph in Thursday's paper? Scene: Goth guy in platform boots sings, is terrible, begs celebrity judges to hand him a golden ticket to fame, and when they do not, he is devastated yet still eager to hug them. They are who he wants to be.

8. And the quote of the day that day? "I am the expert, the state and county expert on the Florida skunk ape, and have been for years."

9. Charlie Crist of St. Pete, former Republican governor of Florida, running for the same office as a Democrat. The chutzpah of it!

10. Manatees are threatening to sue the Florida Department of Health. Obviously.

11. 13 things I underlined in the coverage of the death of Reubin Askew in Friday's paper.


Since Newtown

Today on 1A:

A year ago, skinny, lonely, antisocial Adam Lanza woke up in the Newtown, Conn., house he shared with his mother and shot her in her head in her bed. He then drove his Honda Civic to Sandy Hook Elementary School and used a Bushmaster XM15-E2S .223-caliber semiautomatic rifle to shoot and kill the principal, shoot and kill the school psychologist, shoot and kill two behavioral therapists, shoot and kill two teachers and shoot and kill 20 children in two first-grade classrooms.

Two days later, President Barack Obama said, "This is our first task, caring for our children. It's our first job. If we don't get that right, we don't get anything right."


Who we are

"We can identify galaxies light-years away. We can study particles smaller than an atom," Obama said. "But we still haven't unlocked the mystery of the three pounds of matter that sits between our ears." Click.


Three things I learned today

1. Obama got 77 percent of the political contributions from IBM employees, 81 percent from Microsoft employees, 89 percent from eBay employees, 91 percent from Apple employees and 97 percent from Google employees.

2. Simon Fraser University, which is in Burnaby, B.C., is the one and only Canadian school in the NCAA. Its sports teams are called ... the Clan.

3. Wheel of Fortune is still on TV.


Listening to the 47 percent

Quick hit in today's Tampa Bay Times:

"It doesn't bother me," he said.

He said he's voting for Romney because he thinks government needs to be smaller.

But Romney in essence called him "dependent." He didn't find that insulting?

"No," he said. "I feel 100 percent non-dependent on the government. I don't care about any of the programs. I don't care about Social Security. I'd rather just do it myself."


New monkeys!

Researchers have identified a new species, cercopithecus lomamiensis, or “lesula” for short. The big-eyed, bearded primate was officially unveiled yesterday in an article in PLOS ONE, a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Click. Photo. Plus three things I've learned since the last three things I learned:

1. Nearly three in five Americans think Barack Obama would beat Mitt Romney in a fistfight. Which is interesting. Because the president is a wiry dude. That's not to say I don't concur.

2. Shocker. Not many people "won" the RNC. But the hotels did.

3. Johnny Weir, who has to be on the list of the top five most interesting current athletes, would like to know more about Honey Boo Boo.