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Posts Tagged "Barack Obama"

President Barack Obama one-ups the Queen of England and drinks a Guinness with his wife Michelle. 

That is unlike Queen Elizabeth of England who turned down a pint of the famous beer five days ago.

As the brewer placed the perfectly-poured pint on the bar, the sprightly prince, who turns 90 next month, quipped: “You’re selling it to me.”

All cameras were trained on getting the big shot but would the royal couple drink it?

International media watching a live feed roared on the Queen, shouting “Go on! Go on!”, then “Oh!” as if the monarch had missed a penalty in the football World Cup final as she walked away from the bar.

Her husband lingered as if he might have a sup, reviving the excitement.

However, he seemed caught in the age-old dilemma of a fresh pint on the bar and the wife leaving, and stuck with duty.

Obama was visiting his “ancestral home” of Ireland in Moneygall. His great-great-great grandfather on his mother’s side was born in Moneygall. Obama had to leave a night early because of the ash from an Icelandic volcano.

Some details of bin Laden raid emerge

The New York Times has some great reporting on the operation that the United States undertook to kill Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan Sunday.

Like the fact that, “In all, 79 commandos and a dog were involved.”

And that not everything went according to plan.

The tensest moment for those watching, he said, came when one of two helicopters that flew the American troops into the compound broke down, stalling as it flew over the 18-foot wall of the compound and prepared to land. After the raid, the team blew up the helicopter and called in one of two backups. In all, 79 commandos and a dog were involved.

President Obama considered other options that would have been less risky, like an airstrike, but ultimately opted to send in commandos because, Mr. Brennan said, “it gave us the ability to minimize collateral damage” and “to ensure that we knew who it was that was on that compound.”

Even a day later, not all of the details of the operation were known; some may never be. Officials did say that Bin Laden resisted arrest, but it was not clear, Mr. Brennan said, whether he opened fire himself.

In all, it took 40-minutes. And it was a 40-minute battle that the Pakistani government did not know about. Pakistan scrambled jets but the United States forces were apparently gone, with bin Laden’s body, before they arrived.

In addition, “the team removed a large trove of documents and materials from the residence.”

All of this went on while the President and his national security team monitored the raid from the Situation Room in the White House. 

“The minutes passed like days,” Obama’s counter-terrorism advisor John Brennan said at a briefing Monday.

P050111PS-0475 by The White House on Flickr.
The White House releases more behind-the-scenes pictures of the operation where Osama bin Laden was killed Sunday in Pakistan.
The description of the above picture by the White House is:

President Barack Obama talks with members of the national security team at the conclusion of one in a series of meetings discussing the mission against Osama bin Laden, in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011. Gen. James Cartwright, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is seen on the screen. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The full set is available on the White House’s Flickr page.

P050111PS-0475 by The White House on Flickr.

The White House releases more behind-the-scenes pictures of the operation where Osama bin Laden was killed Sunday in Pakistan.

The description of the above picture by the White House is:

President Barack Obama talks with members of the national security team at the conclusion of one in a series of meetings discussing the mission against Osama bin Laden, in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011. Gen. James Cartwright, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is seen on the screen. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The full set is available on the White House’s Flickr page.

Obama may have watched bin Laden op via helmet cam

Business Insider reported that President Barack Obama and the rest of his team watched live video of the Sunday night raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound — possibly via a soldier’s helmet cam. I posted a picture of Obama and his national security team watching the action earlier this afternoon.

President Obama watched live video of the raid on Bin Laden’s compound yesterday, a source tells us.

In operations like this, our source says, soldiers and pilots often carry helmet cameras, and screens in situation rooms can carry live images from all of them.

In a press conference this afternoon, head of counter-terrorism John Brennan said Obama’s reaction when Bin Laden was killed was “We got him.”

No, I don’t think that we’ll ever truly see the end of the gaffes that conflate Obama with Osama. The names are just one letter apart and people make verbal gaffes like this all the time — but when you do it with this, it blows up in your face like you see above. 

Also, Sacramento’s Fox 40 News had this chyron fail, caught by @KyleHudgins:

Obama Osama fail

Update:

I meant to put this in this post but forgot. Situations like this led the National Journal’s Aaron Blake to tweet:

Resolved: Referring to him as “Osama” will only lead to the inevitable “Obama” typo. ALWAYS refer to him as “bin Laden.”

11:35 P.M. EDT

 

     THE PRESIDENT:  Good evening.  Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.

 

It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history.  The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory — hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky; the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground; black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon; the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction.

 

And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world.  The empty seat at the dinner table.  Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father.  Parents who would never know the feeling of their child’s embrace.  Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.

 

On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together.  We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood.  We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country.  On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family.

 

We were also united in our resolve to protect our nation and to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice.  We quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda — an organization headed by Osama bin Laden, which had openly declared war on the United States and was committed to killing innocents in our country and around the globe.  And so we went to war against al Qaeda to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies.

 

Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we’ve made great strides in that effort.  We’ve disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense.  In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and al Qaeda safe haven and support.  And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of al Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot.

 

Yet Osama bin Laden avoided capture and escaped across the Afghan border into Pakistan.  Meanwhile, al Qaeda continued to operate from along that border and operate through its affiliates across the world.

 

And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.

 

Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden.  It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground.  I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan.  And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.

 

Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.  A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability.  No Americans were harmed.  They took care to avoid civilian casualties.  After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.

 

For over two decades, bin Laden has been al Qaeda’s leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies.  The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda.

 

Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort.  There’s no doubt that al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us.  We must –- and we will — remain vigilant at home and abroad.

 

As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not –- and never will be -– at war with Islam.  I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam.  Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims.  Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own.  So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.

 

Over the years, I’ve repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was.  That is what we’ve done.  But it’s important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding.  Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well, and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people.

 

Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts.  They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations.  And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates.

 

The American people did not choose this fight.  It came to our shores, and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens.  After nearly 10 years of service, struggle, and sacrifice, we know well the costs of war.  These efforts weigh on me every time I, as Commander-in-Chief, have to sign a letter to a family that has lost a loved one, or look into the eyes of a service member who’s been gravely wounded.

 

So Americans understand the costs of war.  Yet as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed.  We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies.  We will be true to the values that make us who we are. And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda’s terror:  Justice has been done.

 

Tonight, we give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who’ve worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome.  The American people do not see their work, nor know their names.  But tonight, they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice.

 

We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country.  And they are part of a generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day.

 

Finally, let me say to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores. 

 

And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11.  I know that it has, at times, frayed.  Yet today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people. 

 

The cause of securing our country is not complete.  But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to.  That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place. 

 

Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are:  one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

 

Thank you.  May God bless you.  And may God bless the United States of America.

         

                        END               11:44 P.M. EDT

Orange County Republican sends out racist email about Obama

Jeez. You would think that we, as a society, would be beyond this sort of thing by now. But apparently not.

OC Weekly has a racist email sent from an Orange County Republican Party central committee member and tea party activist that depicts President Barack Obama as an ape.

Under the words, “Now you know why no birth certificate,” there’s an Obama family portrait showing them as apes.

(Donald Trump must be elated to finally have an explanation about Obama’s true birth circumstances.)

Here’s the image attached to the email:

President_Obama_Monkeys.jpgThe image attached to an email distributed among Orange County Republicans and Tea Baggers.

Reached by telephone and asked if she thought the email was appropriate, Davenport said, “Oh, come on! Everybody who knows me knows that I am not a racist. It was a joke. I have friends who are black. Besides, I only sent it to a few people—mostly people I didn’t think would be upset by it.”

Unfortunately for Marilyn Davenport, the e-mail sender, some of the people who received the email were, to their credit, upset by it. Disgusting.

Update: 

Here’s a longer explanation from Davenport which basically a longer, just as ridiculous version of the above. This is an e-mail she sent to her colleagues that The Orange County Register received a copy of:

"I’m sorry if my email offended anyone, I simply found it amusing regarding the character of Obama and all the questions surrounding his origin of birth. In no way did I even consider the fact he’s half-black when I sent out the email. In fact, the thought never entered my mind until one or two other people tried to make this about race. We all know a double standard applies regarding this President. I received plenty of e-mails about George Bush that I didn’t particularly like yet there was no "cry" in the media about them. One only has to go to YouTube or Google Images to see a plethora of lampooning videos and pictures about Obama, Bush and other politicians. That being said, I will NOT resign my Central Committee position over this matter that the average person knows and agrees is much to do about nothing.

"Again, for those select few who might be truly offended by viewing a copy of an email I sent to a select list of friends and acquaintances, unlike the liberal left when they do the same, I offer my sincere apologies to you – the email was not meant for you.

"For any of my friends or acquaintances who were the recipients of my email and were truly offended, please call me so I may offer a sincere verbal apology to you. Sincerely, Marilyn Davenport"

Ken Tremendous, aka Michael Schur, wrote on Twitter his version of her explanation.

"Sorry if you dummies found my racist email offensive. And hey, Bush got made fun of too, which is the same as racism."

And:

"P.S. Also it *can’t* be racist, because I only meant for my friends to see it. So, point: me."

Identity of man who elbowed Obama in pick up game revealed

The Secret Service revealed that Rey Decerga, the Director of Programs for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute is the guy who elbowed President Obama in the face while playing basketball. 

Decerga released a statement: “”I learned today the president is both a tough competitor and a good sport. I enjoyed playing basketball with him this morning. I’m sure he’ll be back out on the court again soon.”

Right now, there are only three mentions of “Ray Decerga” and “basketball” on Google, though I expect that to change pretty quickly with this news.

And for late-night talk show hosts to  that Decerga has to fear for his job.*

*Yes, this changed from what I wrote in the earlier post.

At a pick up basketball game today, President Barack Obama left the game with a busted lip after catching an elbow. 
Obama ended up needing 12 stitches to close the cut.
Now all the late-night talk show hosts can make jokes about whoever did this to Obama will have to avoid CIA hit teams.  
Somehow, I’ve gone through my entire life without getting my lip busted so much that I need stitches, despite getting elbowed many, many times while playing soccer. In fact, the only time that I’ve needed stitches is when someone threw a rock and hit me in the head when I was five.
Photo by Getty, via.

At a pick up basketball game today, President Barack Obama left the game with a busted lip after catching an elbow. 

Obama ended up needing 12 stitches to close the cut.

Now all the late-night talk show hosts can make jokes about whoever did this to Obama will have to avoid CIA hit teams.  

Somehow, I’ve gone through my entire life without getting my lip busted so much that I need stitches, despite getting elbowed many, many times while playing soccer. In fact, the only time that I’ve needed stitches is when someone threw a rock and hit me in the head when I was five.

Photo by Getty, via.