Posts Tagged ‘barack obama’

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Obama On Letterman: Top Ten Reasons The President Agreed To Appear On The Late Show (VIDEO)

September 22, 2009

Okay- OKAY!!!! Here is the ACTUAL TOP TEN LIST-
Dave’s Ten Reasons The President Agreed To Appear On The Late Show. Cute Dave, cute.
10. Heard the lady with the heart shaped potato was gonna be here.
9. Thought it would be fun to watch someone else get heckled
8. Something to do with that whole cash for clunkers deal
7. Every president since Teddy Roosevelt has done it
6. Someone offers you 600 bucks you take it ladies and gentlemen
5. We told him Megan Fox would be here
4. Needed some time to hang out before check in time at his hotel
3. I have no idea
2. Said yes, without thinking, like Bush did with Iraq.
1. Wanted to congratulate Dave on the big Emmy win.

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Obama Back To School Speech: FULL TEXT

September 9, 2009

These are the prepared remarks for President Obama’s back to school speech, as released on the White House website. Just thought we should all pause and read what all the fighting is about.

Hello everyone – how’s everybody doing today? I’m here with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. And we’ve got students tuning in from all across America, kindergarten through twelfth grade. I’m glad you all could join us today.

I know that for many of you, today is the first day of school. And for those of you in kindergarten, or starting middle or high school, it’s your first day in a new school, so it’s understandable if you’re a little nervous. I imagine there are some seniors out there who are feeling pretty good right now, with just one more year to go. And no matter what grade you’re in, some of you are probably wishing it were still summer, and you could’ve stayed in bed just a little longer this morning.
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Our Safety And Our Ideals

January 30, 2009

dennis-trainor-headshotDennis Trainor, Jr • Operation Itch writer/ editor header
more in NEWS & ANALYSIS

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 expanded text below the break
  

The UpTake is opening up a call for Opinion/Editorial videos. To kick this off, I am happy to say, they have brought me in to provide regular video commentary for them. We do not have a name for the show yet, and look forward to hearing ideas for the show’s name from the audience (leave your ideas in the comments). We also hope that more people feel inspired to send us “video op/eds”. To do just that, follow these instructions:

1) Have something intelligent to say; 2) Record it on a video using your real name; 3) Upload it atwww.tubemogul.com using info@theuptake.org as your log in and uptake411 as your password; 4) Send an email to info@theuptake.org telling us about your video. 

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Obama vs. Labor: Vacillating on Card Check?

January 26, 2009

By DAVID MACARAY • CounterPunch more in NEWS & ANALYSIS   header

In the span of, literally, a few weeks—beginning with President-elect Obama’s nomination of Hilda Solis as Secretary of Labor, and ending shortly after his inauguration—organized labor has gone from a state of euphoria to one of confusion to one of resentment, then back to euphoria, and then back to resentment, before settling, finally, on something resembling Hindu fatalism. 

This emotional roller coaster ride was propelled by one question:  How hard will Obama push to get the EFCA (Employee Free Choice Act) passed?  In a nutshell, the EFCA would make it extraordinarily easier for America’s workers to join labor unions by doing away with the necessity of NLRB-sanctioned union certification elections. 

Under the EFCA, employees would merely sign cards saying they wished to join.  If a majority of them signed cards, presto!—they automatically become union members.  No more wildly biased management propaganda meetings, no more bureaucratic thickets, no more stalling tactics by company goons intent on torpedoing the organizing drive.  Known as the “card check” method, if fifty percent plus one says Yes, they have themselves a union.
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Holy Wars and International Lawlessness

January 26, 2009

alex wAlex W • Operation Itch Contributing Writer header

see all posts from Alex W
From Alex: A video containing my opinions on the relationship between current developments in the Israel-Palestine conflict and the international political climate and the long-lasting negative effects of the rhetoric and false logic used to justify American aggression and war crimes. Visual material is from a variety of different sources; these are current events portrayed in a manner I believe to be consistent with fair use. Update: Barack Obama, immediately following his inauguration, has started to reverse some of the illegal policies of the previous administration, but has not taken a stand against the use of white phosphorus or uranium “bunker busters” in civilian areas.

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(VIDEO) Continuing Bush Policies in Israel and Afghanistan

January 26, 2009

Glenn Greenwald    more in NEWS & ANALYSIS header

us-israelBy all accounts, the U.S. is suffering extreme economic woes.  We continue to borrow trillions of dollars simply to prevent financial collapse.  Our military resources are spread so thin that the establishment consensus view blames the failure of our seven-year (and counting) occupation of Afghanistan, at least in part, on the lack of necessary resources devoted to that occupation.  And a significant (though not the only) reason why we are unable to extricate ourselves from the endless resource-draining and liberty-degrading involvement in Middle East conflicts is because our one-sided support for Israel ensures that we remain involved and makes ourselves the target of hatred around the world and, especially, in the Muslim world.

Despite all of that, the Bush administration, just days before it left office,entered into yet another new agreement with Israel pursuant to which the U.S. committed to use its resources to prevent guns and other weapons from entering Gaza.  That agreement cites “the steadfast commitment of the United States to Israel’s security” and “and to preserve and strengthen Israel’s capability to deter and defend itself,” and vows that the U.S. will “address the problem of the supply of arms and related materiel and weapons transfers and shipments to Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza.”

Speaking about that new U.S./Israeli agreement on her show late last week, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow (in the course of aggressively questioning an absurdly evasive Sen. Claire McCaskill on the wisdom of Obama’s plans to escalate the war in Afghanistan and noting the cadre of Bush defense officials on whom Obama is relying — video below) observed that the Obama administration has enthusiastically expressed its full support for the new Israeli agreement entered into in the last days of Bush’s presidency.  Maddow said (h/t Antiwar.com):

Also, not particularly change-like, then-President Bush made a deal in his final day in office with Israel about the terms of Israel’s relationship with Gaza. I’m sorry – it wasn’t his last day in office. It was within his last few days in office — my mistake.

The U.S. under President Obama is bound by that last-minute agreement between the U.S. and Israel. And a statement from Press Secretary Robert Gibbs today says that President Obama supports the agreement fully.

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Excerpts from My Obama/Lost Fan Fiction

January 23, 2009

Meg Favreau/ 23/6     see more posts in Humor header

 

EXT – THE ISLAND – DAY

BARACK OBAMA, HURLEY, and CLAIRE are running through the jungle. All are sweating, out of breath, and wide-eyed. Obama leads the group, determined.

OBAMA: Come on!

The group crashes through the trees and brush, frantic. Finally, we see what is chasing them: the smoke monster.

HURLEY: What is it? What is it?

Obama stops and turns to look at the monster. Close up on his face.

OBAMA: It’s the economy.

CUT TO title: LOST

***

EXT – THE BEACH – NIGHT

All survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 are standing on the beach, talking and surrounding Barack Obama, who is lit dramatically by torch light.

SAWYER: You need to get us off this stinkin’ island, Obama!

SAYID: Does anybody even remember that the Others stole all our children?

LOCKE: This island has powers! I have a knife!

OBAMA: Look…my fellow survivors. I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed on me. That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every survivor, that we have duties, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

ROSE: Are you telling us that we need to build another boat?

OBAMA: Yes. And don’t let it catch fire this time.

***

INT – THE HATCH – DAY

An alarm is going off. BARACK OBAMA sits in front of a computer, typing.

OBAMA: John, I need to know what the numbers are!

CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS: 4, 8, 23…

OBAMA: 4, 8, 23…

CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS: Er, 4, 8 ,15, 16, 23…

OBAMA: 4, 8, 23, 15, 16…

The hatch explodes. Title: LOST.

End episode.

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The Fifteenth Round, A Bucket of Tears and Losing a Home

January 16, 2009

kevinby Kevin Egan • Operation Itch Contributing Writer   header 

 more  in Arts & Culture      read all posts by Kevin Egan
 

I promised myself when Dennis asked me to contribute to Operation Itch that I wouldn’t write about politics, considering almost everything on the site is political in nature.  I also can not express myself politically as well as people like Dennis so I usually write about what I know best: music and film.  I do, however, plan to take this next week to let out my final gasps of frustration at what has happened over the last eight years.  I just want to get in a few more final jabs before the bell rings, ending the fifteen round.  I’m well aware that nothing I write will cause the knockout I wish it would.  Obviously, my opponents are too powerful to be punished for their sins but like Rocky Balboa in the original Rocky film, after he realizes he can’t beat Apollo Creed, I just want to know I went the distance and I did my best and got a good few shots in before the end of the fight.  Although, the truth be told, the damage done over the last eight years will be echoing throughout the world for years to come, much like the brain damage Rocky suffered after going the distance against Apollo.

 Okay.  That being said…

 I was a lone man, sunk in the middle of my couch, crying like a child.  President-elect Obama was on the television accepting the Democratic Party’s nomination for president.  Although, there were parts of his speech that were moving, I was not crying because I was touched by what he had said.  I was well aware that he was a politician, an expert on rhetoric, knowing just what buttons to push to tug at our hearts and minds.  It was an historic nomination but that was not what brought me to tears. 

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Wall Street Robber Barons Ride Again

January 14, 2009

By Robert Scheer  • see more in NEWS & ANALYSIS     header

Why rush to throw another $350 billion of taxpayer money at the Wall Street bandits and their political cronies who created the biggest financial mess since the Great Depression? And why should we taxpayers be expected to double our debt exposure when the 10 still-secret bailout contracts made in the first round are being kept from the public?

We don’t have time, President-elect Barack Obama’s key economic adviser, Lawrence Summers, insisted in a letter to Congress on Monday, promising that the new infusion would not be squandered as was the first installment. But given that Summers is personally as responsible for this meltdown as anyone, why should we trust him on this? Yes, it sounds wonderfully bipartisan that Obama is backing President Bush’s request for spending the money now, short-circuiting congressional inquiry, but it was just that sort of bipartisan politics that created this nightmare.

How insulting that we must now accept Summers’ assurance that the Obama administration will “move quickly to reform a weak and outdated regulatory system to better protect consumers, investors and businesses.” This from the guy who, as President Bill Clinton’s treasury secretary, pushed the deregulation legislation making the subsequent financial crimes of Wall Street legal. The “toxic derivatives” that we taxpayers are now forced to purchase from the Wall Street hustlers were deliberately shielded from all government regulation, thanks to the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which Summers got Congress to pass in the closing days of the Clinton administration with the same urgency that he now pushes for the new Wall Street handout.
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The Punk Patriot • “LEAVE OBAMA ALONE”

January 10, 2009

asherThe Punk Patriot Operation Itch Video header   

The Punk Patriot got a little package in the mail from MoveOn.org. Have you gotten yours yet?

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On January 20, everything will be illegal

January 9, 2009

from 23/6   see all posts in HUMOR  

header

Planning to go to Washington for the inauguration parade? Might as well just handcuff yourself and put yourself in jail, because security measures for the event are going to be the tightest ever for an inauguration. Among the prohibited items on the parade route: chairs, coolers, backpacks, umbrellas, strollers and aerosol cans (which means no Silly String or hairspray). Restrictions are being placed on posters, and the police presence will be in the thousands.

Still want to check it out? We’ve put together a map showing the parade route, along with some of the security checkpoints and hotspots. Memorize it, and leave the umbrellas at home.


KEY:

1. No pepper spray. Also, no pepper. Also, no Dr. Pepper. Also, no doctors allowed. We don’t need some fancy M.D. giving out unwanted diagnoses that might panic a crowd.

2. Satellite-jamming tower will block parade viewers from sending cell phone pictures of the event to their friends.

3. Because bicycles are prohibited from the parade route, a police cordon will be established around Chinatown to prevent restaurants from dispatching any delivery guys.

4. Pennsylvania residents will be barred from the parade route for fear that unbridled state pride regarding the name of the avenue will cause Pennsylvanians to riot.

5. Undercover Navy Seals dressed as civilians will infiltrate the crowd and subdue anyone who appears “fidgety.” Obviously, that is because they are nervous about their assassination attempt, and not because it’s 10 degrees out and there are no bathrooms.

6. Snipers perched on Superior Court building ordered to shoot and kill anyone holding a can of Silly String. WHO’S SILLY NOW, BUCKO?

7. All observers will be issued canaries as an early warning system in the event of toxic gas in the area.

8. Inauguration ceremony itself will occur in windowless, reinforced-steel room, without video cameras or other recording devices. President-elect will take oath from inside sealed, sterilized chamber surrounded by rottweilers.

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The Punk Patriot • White Guilt

January 5, 2009

asherThe Punk Patriot • Operation Itch Video Contributor    header
see more in NEWS & ANALYSIS   see all videos from The Punk Patriot


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Barack Obama: the United States of America’s forty-forth, and last, President?

December 31, 2008

dennis-trainor-headshotDennis Trainor, Jr • Operation Itch writer/ editor header
more in  NEWS & ANALYSIS 

“I’m figgering
On biggering and BIGGERING and BIGGERING and BIGGERING, turning MORE Truffula Trees into  Thneeds
 which everyone, EVERYONE, EVERYONE needs!”

– Dr. Seuss, THE LORAX

Istanbul was Constantinople/ Now it’s Istanbul, not Constantinople/ Been a long time gone, Constantinople/ Why did Constantinople get the works?/ That’s nobody’s business but the Turks”  – Lyrics from “Istanbul”/ They Might Be Giants

It is hard to resist the pull to join the growing bandwagon of pundits, analysts, soccer moms, and plumbers offering their advice to Barack Obama as he prepares to become the forty- third president of the United States. Not that I am hesitant to share my opinions. After all, it was this time last year that I found myself, by virtue of sharing my opinions in a few YouTube videos, sitting on the Dennis Kucinich campaign bus across from the man running for president just days before the New Hampshire primary getting paid to offer my opinions on all matters related to politics. Dennis Kucinich, with all of my help, took 1% of the vote in New Hampshire. So I don’t delude myself into thinking that Rahm Emanuel will be presenting the president elect with the cliff notes of the advice that is to follow.

The U.S. in 2010?

The U.S. in 2010?

Amid all the hoopla of the campaign mixed with the sober realities of the never ending war(s), a recession that is on the eve of a global depression and the ever increasing possibility that I will never get a job writing for The Daily Show comes the question: what if Barack Obama is not only the next president of the United States, but the last president of the United States?

Andrew Osborn, in his December 29th article in the Wall Street Journal, sheds some light on Russian academic Igor Panarin, who predicts that the United States has seen her last presidential election cycle.

Ever. 

Panarin is even getting requests to scribble his John Hancock (will anyone remember him?) on this map (pictured here) he created. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Obama’s Black Widow

December 29, 2008

Nat Hentoff • Village Voice header
Read more in NAT HENTOFF      see more in  NEWS & ANALYSIS

Thanks to Bush and Obama, the National Security Agency now knows more about you

Barack Obama will be in charge of the biggest domestic and international spying operation in history. Its prime engine is the National Security Agency (NSA)—located and guarded at Fort Meade, Maryland, about 10 miles northeast of Washington, D.C. A brief glimpse of its ever-expanding capacity was provided on October 26 by The Baltimore Sun’s national security correspondent, David Wood: “The NSA’s colossal Cray supercomputer, code-named the ‘Black Widow,’ scans millions of domestic and international phone calls and e-mails every hour. . . . The Black Widow, performing hundreds of trillions of calculations per second, searches through and reassembles key words and patterns, across many languages.”

In July, George W. Bush signed into law the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which gives the NSA even more power to look for patterns that suggest terrorism links in Americans’ telephone and Internet communications.

The ACLU immediately filed a lawsuit on free speech and privacy grounds. The new Bush law provides farcical judicial supervision over the NSA and other government trackers and databasers. Although Senator Barack Obama voted for this law, dig this from the ACLU: “The government [is now permitted] to conduct intrusive surveillance without ever telling a court who it intends to spy on, what phone lines and e-mail addresses it intends to monitor, where its surveillance targets are located, why it’s conducting the surveillance or whether it suspects any party to the communication of wrongdoing.”

This gives the word “dragnet” an especially chilling new meaning. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Proselytizing In The Military Likely To Continue Under Obama

December 28, 2008

 Jason Leopold   • The Public Record  see all posts in: NEWS & ANALYSIS header

Barack Obama’s decision to have the evangelical megachurch leader Rick Warren conduct the invocation at next month’s presidential inauguration proves that fundamentalist Christians still wield enormous power within the federal government and will likely continue to be a dominating force under an Obama administration. 

Nowhere is this  more apparent than in the U.S. military where, for the past several years, in apparent violation of the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution, chaplains have openly proselytized to thousands of active-duty soldiers and, in some cases, have tried to convert Iraqis and Afghans to Christianity.

The U.S. Military is barred from enacting or supporting policies that advance, promote or endorse religion. Prayer  sessions in the military “must have a secular purpose; the primary effect  of the prayer must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion; and  finally, the prayer must not foster an excessive government entanglement with religion,” according to a 2003 U.S 4th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that struck down meal-time prayer at the Virginia Military Institute as a violation of the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.   

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Will Barack Obama Strike the Last Nail in the Coffin of the American Labor Union?

December 23, 2008

alex wAlex W • Operation Itch Contributing Writer header
more posts from Alex

The executive branch went forward with the automaker bailout without Congress’s approval. The Republicans in Congress demanded that union wages, benefits, and pensions be reduced in exchange for bailout money, and the United Auto Workers refused to cooperate.

large_mark_madden

The executive branch gave the same requirements, but instead of being a prerequisite, it’s a vague requirement they have to meet by the end of March. They have to prove to the Obama administration that they have made the necessary changes to return in time to profitability, and if he uses George W. Bush’s criteria, the necessary changes are reducing union wages, benefits, and pensions to match the foreign automakers with U.S. factories. Barack Obama has left it unclear what he plans to do, stating that he agrees with and respects the president’s decision, but also saying that the brunt should not be exclusively on the workers. Read the rest of this entry ?

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The Clinton Conflict: The former president’s fundraising invites trouble.

December 22, 2008

Washington Post • See more in: EDITORIAL

THERE IS no getting around the uniquely difficult issues posed by the dual roles of Hillary Rodham Clinton as future secretary of state and former president Bill Clinton as the head of a foundation that raises money from foreign governments. Mr. Clinton’s foundation does valuable work around the world on issues such as HIV/AIDS, climate change and economic development. Foreign governments provide critical support; Australia, Ireland, Great Britain, Sweden, Canada, France, Denmark, Norway and the Dominican Republic, among others, support the foundation’s HIV/AIDS initiative, while Australia contributes to the climate change program. But Mr. Clinton’s good works also fall squarely within the future domain of Ms. Clinton, and his commitment to continue to raise money for these programs while his wife is in office presents inevitable opportunities for conflict of interest and other difficulties down the road. Ms. Clinton and the future Barack Obamaadministration would be better served if Mr. Clinton were to direct his prodigious energies elsewhere for the duration of her service. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Hilda Solis: Obama’s Labor Secretary

December 19, 2008

AP          more in: NEWS & ANALYSIS    GREEN    top

Democratic Rep. Hilda Solis of California will be Barack Obama’s pick for labor secretary as the president-elect fills the last open positions in his Cabinet, a labor official told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Solis, who is the daughter of Mexican and Nicaraguan immigrants, has been the only member of Congress of Central American descent. She just won a fifth term representing heavily Hispanic portions of eastern Los Angeles County and east LA.
Obama planned to announce Solis’ selection on Friday along with his selection of Republican Rep. Ray LaHood of Illinois for transportation secretary. The official spoke on conditions of anonymity because an announcement has not been made yet. A call to Solis’s office was not immediately returned.

Solis, in 1994, was the first Latina elected to the California Senate, where she led the battle to increase the state’s minimum wage from $4.25 to $5.75 an hour in 1996.

In Congress, she wrote a measure that authorized $125 million for work force training programs in areas such as energy efficiency retrofitting and “green building” construction.

Andy Stern, president of the 1.9-million member Service Employees International Union, the 51-year-old praised Solis for her deep roots in the union movement. He recalled marching with her in Los Angeles — well before she was elected to Congress — to seek higher wages and benefits for janitors.

“We were with her fighting for the rights of people who work from the beginning and we’re so proud that she’s been chosen to be the labor secretary,” Stern said.

More high praise for Solis in statements from SEIUUnite to WinAmerican Rights at Work, andChange to Win.

Here’s video of Solis speaking on the House floor about the Employee Free Choice Act, a top legislative priority for the labor movement.


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The Nine Year S*%T Storm

December 17, 2008

America for Kids • Operation Itch Video 
 For the kids, so they know what kind of hell we’ve been through over the past nine years. “He who does not know the past…etc., etc..” 

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How the American Health Care System Got So Sick

December 16, 2008
Scott Olson / Getty Images) 

 

Activists protest Wal-Mart's health care coverage. More and more workers are struggling with inadequate employer-based coverage. (Photo: Scott Olson / Getty Images)

by: Jeremy Brecher, Tim Costello and Brendan Smith, t r u t h o u t | Perspective

As Americans respond to President-elect Obama’s call for town hall meetings on reform of the American health care system, an understanding of how that system came to be the way it is can be crucial for figuring out how to fix it. The American health care system is unique because, for most of us, it is tied to our jobs rather than to our government. For many Americans, the system seems natural, but few know that it originated not as a well-thought-out plan to provide for Americans’ health, but as a way to circumvent a quirk in wartime wage regulations that had nothing to do with health.

    As far back as the 1920’s, a few big employers had offered health insurance plans to some of their workers. But only a few: By 1935, only about two million people were covered by private health insurance, and on the eve of World War II, there were only 48 job-based health plans in the entire country.

    The rise of unions in the 1930’s and 1940’s led to the first great expansion of health care for Americans. But ironically, it did not produce a national plan providing health care to all, like those in virtually all other developed countries. Instead, the special conditions of World War II produced the system of job-based health benefits we know today.
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