Happy New Year, Mr. President. This is for you.

Hi Guys,

I’ve been doing this – whatever it is that I¬†do ūüėČ –¬†for two years now. Never ever,¬†I¬†was¬†more proud, happy and moved by any post, ¬†like the very long one you’re about to enter – And I didn’t even had to do anything but copy and paste.

Right under the cut you’ll¬†find what is – despite its¬†length – really just a sample¬†from¬†literally hundreds of comments that somehow were gathered on every corner of I’m Grateful post. Some comments were edited because they were too long, but overall I¬†left them exactly as they were posted, typos, caps lock¬†and what not.¬†The order is random, except for the choice of the last post.¬†Visual breaks provided by the¬†marvelous Pete Souza¬†and the rest of the WH official photographers (mouse-over for Pete’s¬†description of every photo).¬†

Usually¬†I¬†would not dream to hope that President Obama will even hear about this collection – let alone read some of these comments¬†– but after all that happened with “I’m Grateful” in just one month – I may just¬†start believe in miracles. Make yourself a nice cup of coffee (or two), and just enjoy. We are not alone. And neither is the¬†president.

Happy New Year, everybody.

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Best. Photo. Ever

Pete Souza:

¬†“Another snowstorm blanketed Washington for the second time in a few days. Because it was a Saturday, I hung around the White House thinking that the President might venture out in the snow with his daughters. Here they are playing in the Rose Garden in the midst of the storm.”

Using my bully pulpit…

Hi guys,

I¬†respectfully ask everybody to reduce¬†– as much as¬†possible –¬†the¬†attention that we give¬†to a very specific one other site.

I’ll explain:

1. Turn out that quite a few members of our community never even heard about that other site – can you believe it!? – and I¬†don’t want anyone who comes here to feel like they have no idea what the rest of the class is talking about.¬†

2. Taking shots at the¬†Professional Left is fine.¬†I do it all the time. It’s important to push back against the spins, lies and more than just a hint of racism coming from the self-appointed¬†“speakers” of the “base” – Because apparently¬†being a part of the 95% approval¬†the president has among Liberals,¬†still doesn’t mean that we are the base. (Not to mention many other parts of the Obama coalition – Moderates, Conservatives, all kinds).

Having said that – and understanding as well as anyone the need to vent about that¬†specific¬†place –¬†I¬†have no desire to elevate one blog (even one that is still somewhat influential¬†among the Keith¬†Olbermann¬†base) by making it a main discussion topic here. They really don’t deserve it.

3. Many of us – including myself – left that other place with no intention to ever go back. I think we’d like to hear as little as possible¬†about that depressing venue.

4. And most importantly: We are here to have the president’s back and celebrate a truly¬†amazing presidency in real-time. I’m not going to ban any topic, I’m¬†not going to censure¬†anything – but in the spirit that we created here, I¬†simply ask everyone to try to¬†stay focus on what this place is meant for: Spreading¬†the TRUTH about this great president.

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Two more quick notes:

1. Some people asked how they can get in touch with me and where to send¬†links. It’s easy: bmbday@gmail.com.

2. “I’m Grateful” sticky post¬†still brings amazing comments that can leave¬†me speechless – especially what’s going on under the photos. However, some comments¬†contained full home address and¬†phone number of the poster. I¬†edited these¬†posts and left most¬†details out. Please don’t publish¬†your full home address. This is the Internetz.¬†Be careful.

Thanks everybody. Happy New Year.

 

The Mishmash

1. Dude, look at this:

Unemployment benefit applications dropped 388,000, the fewest since July 2008

2. And this:

Pending Sales of U.S. Existing Homes Rose 3.5% in November

3. And how about this?

Business Activity in U.S. Grows at Fastest Pace in Two Decades

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4. When the president is back from Hawaii on Tuesday, he’ll have quite¬†a list of bills to sign –¬†which means¬†ceremonies and¬†photos and all that fun. ūüėČ Some of the bills:¬†

–¬†¬†The 9/11¬†first ¬†responders health care bill.

– The defense authorization bill.

– The food safety reform act.

–¬† The National Alzheimer’s Project Act.

 РThe America COMPETES Act. (bill aimed at increasing U.S. competitiveness in science and technology fields).

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5. Yesterday, in Hawaii, the president was busy:

President Obama Makes Six Recess Appointments & Signs 4 Laws In Hawaii

 

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6. You just know that this is the president’s top 10, right? ūüėČ

 
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7. I know that everyone probably saw this already, but this quote from Merle Haggard should be repeated:

 
 

It was also nice to meet Obama and find him very different from the media makeout. It’s really almost criminal what they do with our President. There seems to be no shame or anything. They call him all kinds of names all day long, saying he’s doing certain things that he’s not. It’s just a big old political game that I don’t want to be part of. There are people spending their lives putting him down. I’m sure some of it’s true and some of it’s not. I was very surprised to find the man very humble and he had a nice handshake. His wife was very cordial to the guests and especially me. They made a special effort to make me feel welcome. It was not at all the way the media described him to be.

He’s not conceited. He’s very humble about being the President of the United States, especially in comparison to some presidents we’ve had who come across like they don’t need anybody’s help…..

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8. See? this is what I¬†mean. Look at this great¬†link I¬†just got in the mail. This is the sort of stuff we need to chase and publish. There’s a whole world of¬†progress¬†that no one knows of. (I’m not sure¬†if the senders wants¬†me to credit them, but if you do – please let me know).¬†

EPA details ‘historical’ bay plan

RICHMOND — The Environmental Protection Agency outlined a plan Wednesday to restore the Chesapeake Bay, calling the 64,000-square-mile water pollution control project the largest ever undertaken in the United States.

The restoration plan involves individual agreements with six states and the District of Columbia to sharply reduce the flow of pollutants and sediments that have choked the bay and crippled it environmentally. The states and the district are part of the bay’s watershed, which includes 17 million people.

The goals are to be achieved by 2025.

With the backing of President Barack Obama, the EPA is shepherding the restoration plan because of the lack of progress throughout the years by the individual states to protect or restore the bay

// much more

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9. Better late than ever, credit where credit due: Thank you, evonnc, for finding this wonderful video I posted yesterday:

Marty Nesbitt’ best friend

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10. Check out this excellent post from TiMT:

Poverty, Health Care, Corporatism, Class, Pragmatism & HOPE!

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11. I still remember Mike Bloomberg criticizing president Obama’s respond¬†to the¬†BP oil spill. Yea, Karma is a bitch.

Krugman: Bloomberg’s Katrina

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Beautiful

Behind The Scenes:¬†signing¬†the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Prepare some tissues.

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And here’s a link to a terrific video from¬†January 20 2009, that I’ve¬†never seen before. This was¬†posted as a comment here yesterday (my apology for not remembering who deserves the credit. Please, let me know).

Enjoy.

Obama’s Circle Of Friends

The NYT praises President Obama on Guantanamo

As you¬†know, an executive order is being prepared these days for the president¬†to sign, regarding the fate of 48 Guantanamo¬†detainees who are too dangerous to be released, but can’t be tried due to the actions of the idiot who occupied the WH for the previous 8 years, and his evil VP.

As the professional¬†left and¬†the rest of¬†la-la-land are ready with¬†their predictable “Obama = Bush” bullshit¬†memo, it was heartening to read this editorial coming from¬†what¬†considered to be the beacon of the “Liberal media” – not only appreciating¬†the president’ effort to restore the rule of law, but also laying¬†the blame for Guantanamo¬†still being open exactly where it should be¬† – Congress.

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A Step Toward Fairness

This country continues to pay a high price in both security and reputation for the Bush administration’s many violations of international law at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. After more than a year of review, the Obama administration is preparing an executive order intended to resolve the situation of four dozen prisoners in the prison there who are caught in a legal limbo: they cannot be freed because they are considered a potentially serious terrorist threat, and they cannot be tried because the evidence against them is classified or was improperly obtained, often through torture.

The proposed order could give these prisoners a form of legal representation and a system to review their cases. It would not remove the tarnish to the American justice system of holding prisoners without trial. But it could represent a significant step forward in dealing with these cases and possibly reducing their number.

The order, which could be signed by the president as early as next month, would require periodic review of each prisoner’s case by a kind of parole board drawn from agencies throughout the executive branch and not just the military.

This board would regularly assess whether a prisoner still represented a danger to public safety or was safe enough to release. The prisoners would have access to an outside lawyer, if they requested one, and would also be allowed an advocate within the system ‚ÄĒ a change from the Bush administration‚Äôs policy of allowing them only a ‚Äúpersonal representative,‚ÄĚ who was unable to help them make the case for release.

President Obama‚Äôs plan to close Guant√°namo ‚ÄĒ thwarted by Congress ‚ÄĒ had always recognized that there would be a small core of prisoners who could not be tried because of the nature of the evidence against them or the illegal way that evidence was obtained. (Others could be tried by a civilian or military court, or sent to another country or simply released.) These endless detentions clashed with the most basic legal protections of the Constitution. But judges have upheld them because of the public-safety issues involved.

The Obama administration deserves credit for trying to come up with a realistic legal process for these 48 prisoners, particularly after the Bush White House seemed content to hold them indefinitely with only a thin whitewash of due process. President Obama has rightly barred coercive interrogations and other forms of torture for new prisoners, and the administration needs to ensure that any future detainees are held only on admissible evidence.

Unfortunately, Congress seems determined to stymie every effort to close Guant√°namo and begin dealing with its remaining prisoners in court. Last week, Congress passed a defense authorization bill that prohibits spending money to transfer a prisoner from Cuba to the United States, or to buy any prison facility in the United States that might hold the 48 in-limbo detainees.

To continue with military operations, the president will probably have to swallow his objections and sign the bill. Over the next year, he must work harder to persuade Congress not to interfere with the work of bringing fairness to the justice system at Guant√°namo. As Mr. Obama rightly argued when discussing the detentions last week, ‚ÄúWe have these core ideals that we observe ‚ÄĒ even when it‚Äôs hard.‚ÄĚ

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