Saturday’s mishmash

Hello everyone,

1. First, the crucial referendum in Sudan tomorrow. Some links for background, stakes and ways to follow:

NY Times Nicholas Kristof and president Jimmy Carter will answer questions on Monday.

The world’s eyes are focusing on Sudan, which on Sunday will hold a referendum on independence in the southern part of the country. The south, which holds more than 75 percent of the country’s oil, is expected to vote almost unanimously for secession, and that will start a process that could lead to the birth of Africa’s newest country. In the past, there had been a good deal of fear that the referendum might lead to renewed warfare, but so far the process has gone better than many had expected…

// more

NYT Editorial: Southern Sudan Votes

Sudan referendum: key dates in recent history

Obama envoy Scott Gration optimistic about Sudan referendum

Sudan referendum: after decades of war and millions killed, a new nation is born

Sudan referendum: southerners flood home to vote in post-war secession poll

Watching Sudanese elections from your computer


President Obama was very much involved in the entire process. This speech of his back in September was crucial, as was the constant involvement of the administration through Secretary Clinton and Senator Kerry.

The president also met twice with president Clooney 😉 who is very much committed to the issue of ending the genocide in Darfur.




2. President Obama’s weekly address:



3. Now the CoS SCANDAL!!!!!

Two very good reads about Mr. Daley:

Washington Post: In Daley, Obama gets change, not continuity

NY Times: Obama’s Top Aide a Tough, Decisive Negotiator

And couple of comments by Embee in yesterday’s mishmash:

…I have the advantage of knowing Bill Daley. He is not an ideologue. He is an superb manager, administrator, charming twister of arms for the benefit of whoever is writing his paycheck. He is pretty liberal personally, but doesn’t let that get in the way of getting the job done. He’s a perfect fit in this job at this time.

…Just so you know, Daley was never a Wall Street banker. He took the job the JP Morgan when they took over a Chicago bank BankOne mostly in a PR role. His job was to manage the transition. He was not involved in any way with the chicanery that caused the crash. Bill Daley is a fantastic manager who knows everybody in Chicago (think 2012) and Washington. His whole career has been about smoothing the way, twisting arms and getting things done for whoever has paid him to do it. He will now be President Obama’s arm twister who also has good relations with everyone in Washington.


This whole new SCANDAL!!!! is a chance for me to recommend on one of my favorite additions to the blogroll: p m carpenter who is just a brilliant writer:

…In short, the Daley choice probably means less than all its attendant commotion suggests, which is rather par for most any presidential-appointment course. He will likely talk less “bluntly” than Beltway Balz anticipates, but on the other hand he won’t auction White House advertising rights to Qualcomm — the latter of which, especially, will vastly disappoint progressive activists, who have yet to get anything right”.


4. Finally, isn’t that the *change* the professional left asked for before they were against it?

NYT: The Rule of Law

To keep the Defense Department running, President Obama was forced to sign a spending bill on Friday with a particularly harmful provision that bars spending to transfer detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to the United States for trial. As wrongheaded as this prohibition is, the president was right not to declare his intention to defy it in an accompanying statement. By doing so, he demonstrated a greater respect for the law than did President George W. Bush.


Despite his objections, Mr. Obama did not say he would defy the law and try to transfer prisoners anyway. That was the right position. As a candidate, he often objected to Mr. Bush’s cavalier use of signing statements to assert that his interpretation of the law trumped that of Congress and the courts. Mr. Bush routinely and contemptuously disregarded laws that he himself signed, most famously stating that he was not bound by the ban on torturing prisoners.


The American Civil Liberties Union argues that the bill only restricts the use of Defense Department money for transferring prisoners to the United States. The administration, it argues, is free to use funds from other departments. But such a cramped reading of the law would be seen by most Americans as a defiance of Congressional intent. Taking the high ground puts President Obama in a better position to argue for the rule of law.


145 thoughts on “Saturday’s mishmash

  1. Thank you for all the great coverage on Sudan. Those of us from Africa who have seen our own countries endured decades of war, are hoping for a peaceful resolution to this effort.

    I pray that all the factions will see the wisdom of ending the senseless fighting and endless loss of lives.

    Lord knows that there has been lots of bloodshed in this country and on this continent, often for reasons so difficult to phantom, it pains the soul.

    Let’s pray for, and keep an eye on the people in Ivory Coast, as well. Right now, they are in a struggle, which leaves the lives of millions hanging in the balance.

    As their own conflict rages on, hundreds of thousands of their countrymen are flowing into Liberia as refugees. Thankfully Liberians are there to receive and welcome them. In the 1980s, the Ivorians did the same for us when we were embroiled in a senseless civil war.

    Thanks, again, BWD for giving coverage to this subject. The issues of Africa are often covered in the MSM as an afterthought.

    Peace for Sudan!!

  2. BWD – didn’t get a chance in the Recovery Mishmash to say welcome back!!! Hope that cold is moving off fast!

  3. If u think that the Pres keeping yet another promise is gonna stop the left, u shouldn’t. I was kinda stupid when it came to what the left was. The are what the right defined them as. By the Pres refusing to issue signing statements, he is again keeping up with 2008 Pres. Again, it is a little disarming to hav a Pres who does what he actually said he would do. Man, I luv it. I cant believe it, but I luv it.

  4. For those who want better coverage on Sudan, I would recommend visiting, on-line some TV station websites with excellent and accurate reporting with no spin:

    Al Jazeera/English It is NOT a scary Muslim terrorist station and most reporters are out of London. Excellent on Middle Eastern and African issues


    RT out of Moscow

    My local Google server is down for the moment otherwise I’d give you the links

  5. Praying for Sudan. Thank you again bwd for all of your posts and for this blog. I’m not able to comment as much as I’d like due to time constraints, but I do want you and every here to know how much you’re appreciated. So much has changed in my life over the past month (separation, relocation, job searching, etc.), but this place has been, and is, a real true “oasis”. On the good news front, after three years of unemployment/underemployment, I am finally very close to obtaining gainful, sustainable work which I am absolutely ecstatic about.

  6. This site is very very helpful and informative on top of its positive perspective and supportive role. Every post has been appreciated. Also I am passing along many items as I am sure others are. Thank you for the work that it takes to do this and the initiative.

  7. Good Morning, pragmati! I’m in a good mood this morning. I’m off to our regional OFA training where I am opening the training with a “What we are, where we’ve been and where we’re going” introduction then leading three different breakouts. We have 90+ people signed up and in southeastern Michigan/Detroit, where they are having two more similar trainings, they have over 100 signed up for each.

    I am fascinated that, rather than being demoralized and pulling back, folks are rising up and wanting to get MORE involved. How totally awesome is THAT???!

    Have a great day, my friends.

    P.S. Something to consider.

  8. agree 100% with your comment cuphalffull. I get emails of these posts and forward just about all of them to my entire email list.

  9. It’s pathetic the way the cowardly congress critters tied the President’s hands reg gitmo closure. Great point about him following the rule of law.

  10. So nicely said, Africa.I will watch and pray for peace for Sudan. Thank you, BWD , for highlighting the importance of this day for them…as we all watch and wait. I have not seen much about this from the MSM. I guess you’re right, Africa…just an afterthought. Why would we expect any differently though…they don’t report 3/4 of the news here either…Peace for Sudan!

  11. Al Z is the best news outlet out there right now, even better than BBC. It’s run a professional newsman who retired from CBC. When compared to these real news stations, the american msm is a third rate joke.

  12. I have a request, BWD….can you keep that photo of the President and George Clooney up for a while, if you get my drift?! One great picture, a million little hot flashes….

  13. President Clooney is not a bad idea. Gonna pay attention to the voting tomorrow. I haven’t really been paying attention.

    That Tyra photo literally had me ROFLMAO!! I could not stop laughing – omg! too funny!

    As for Rule of Law: I find it interesting that the very groups who kvetched when W skirted/broke the law are always advising Obama to do the same.

  14. thoughtful…fingers and toes crossed for you!! Best of luck on this new journey. Things WILL be better this time. I know what all that feels like, and it’s very stressful. Similar situation at my house…husband got “pushed” out by evil, imcompetent boss,she got promoted, and husband got thrown under the bus…long story. Woefully employed again, but will take a few years to return to level of pay that he was making…now fighting the bank to modify mortgage they told us to default on before they would do anything…but you know what? He’s not working for that nasty big bank anymore, and is in charge of his own destiny…it’s all good! PMA..positive mental attitude. Believe. Things will get better for you. Can you feel it??? The struggle you went though, made you stronger.So happy to hear you are finally on your way…let us know!! Good luck to you:)

  15. I looked at that photo of Tyra, and at first I had no idea that was HER! Funny stuff…I want to know if the time difference in Sudan makes a difference as to when we start watching the coverage? Anyone?

  16. “dick” morris doesn’t know Bill Daley, yet trashes him anyway.

    Dick Morris today took a break from continuing his history of wildly inaccurate political predictions in order to make some wildly incoherent analysis. Discussing William Daley, Obama’s pick to replace Rahm Emmanuel for White House Chief of Staff, Morris compounded his normal stupidity by appearing to not know who Daley is, yet baselessly smeared him anyway.

    Right out of the gate, Morris boldly declared that Daley’s nomination is “going to hurt [Obama]. Because [Daley] is used to running a city. He’s used to executive experience, being a mayor.” Again, William Daley was never mayor. Strike one, Morris.

    Second attack: Daley has no “legislative experience and the main job of the chief of staff right now, these days, is to fight with the Congress and to lead the president’s forces in that battle. And Daley does not know Washington. He’s never been in Congress to my knowledge. I don’t think he has.” Clearly if Morris had known that Daley had been Secretary of Commerce for three and a half years–and not mayor of Chicago–it would pretty much kill the idea that he “does not know Washington.” Also, why doesn’t Morris know if Daley’s been in Congress? Couldn’t he be bothered to Google Daley before showing up on national television to trash him? Obviously not.

    Third attack: “Listen, come on, [Obama’s] now picked two guys from the state that has one of the most corrupt politics in the United States. So how long is he going to skate by and be lucky not to be hit with scandal? Emmanuel at least was very wealthy and therefore, most likely one thinks fairly honest financially. Daley comes from a checkered past, shall we say?” No part of this makes any sense. Again, Daley, himself, isn’t a Chicago politician and has spent the bulk of his career working in the financial sector. His pick as Chief of Staff won praise from the conservative Chamber of Commerce and numerous Republicans. So this idea that he’s part of a “corrupt” Chicago machine is simply the ultimate guilt-by-association smear.

  17. Here are two great posts to enjoy this morning. The Democrats need to be blanketing the airways with this. I can just imagine the Republicans twisting themselves into pretzels trying to discount these facts. Let’s see how much play this gets with the Sunday talking heads.



  18. Thank you BWD for keeping us informmed. My whole mental aditude is so much better with this site and reading everyone’s comments. Good luck to everyone.

  19. Lord knows that there has been lots of bloodshed in this country and on this continent, often for reasons so difficult to phantom, it pains the soul.

    The wars in Africa are difficult to understand – at least for Europeans (and Americans of European descent) because “we” apply a rational explanation to our own wars that is bogus.

    Boiled down to the basics, the European wars of the 1st half of the 20th century were caused by the German tribes trying to usurp the Slavic and the Roman tribes.

    Once you put that part of history in this light, the African wars become much more “understandable”.

  20. While all the rethugs are parroting again and again the luntzian point of “HCR is a job killer”, PL including rachel, ko et. al. are jacking each other over his COS and economy advisor. Friggin’ (I have a harsher word in mind) morons.

  21. Meant to post this here…

    I understand that this long drawn conflict must stop but when in the 21 century where Europe is creating a union, South American is in the process to do alike, when South Korea and North Korea are still talking about a United Korea, slicing and diving a country to avoid conflict via secession is adding a much more long term social and economical blender to the nation of Africa. It is sad Africa continues to be a victim of tribal and ethnic divide created during the colony of Europeans. In the end, what one might think is a solution will continue to divide Africans however when 90% of the population is illiterate, the choice people make for secession is driven by hate for the other side and that is sad. Developed countries just play along in favoring of a quick fix to avoid a trickled down effect to their own self interest. The cycle continues.

  22. Check out this video on YouTube: Yes We Can by Willi.I. Am, reprising that speech in NH from 3 years ago today, 1/8/08. Our president outlined what we are fighting for (much of which he has made profess on), the opposition that would inevitably become more strident, and his certainty that we as a people will overcome and continue to perfect our union. Yes We Can!

    Sent from my iPhone

  23. I had pretty mixed feelings on what Obama should do regarding the issue of how Congress tied his hands on the Gitmo prisoners.

    Of course I would have hated to see him use a signing statement after the abuse of that kind of thing with Bush.

    But on the other hand, I was hoping for a challenge on the constitutionality of it all.

    Its so typical of Obama to take the high road though. And I do admire him for it.

    In other news, I guess I hadn’t paid too much attention to the Republican alternatives to health care reform. Who knew that what they’re proposing really IS a big government take-over of health care?

  24. Check out this video on YouTube:

    Sent from my iPhone

    Part 1 of New Hampshire 1/8/08 speech: 3 years ago today. In the face of defeat we never give up.

  25. Some of the “Lost Boys” are in the Sudan to participate in the referendum.
    I hope that internal diplomatic efforts and attention from other west African countries and the UN will resolve the situation in the Ivory Coast soon. Thinking of you, Africa.

  26. First, George Clooney and President Obama in the same space—should that even be allowed? 🙂 And why wasn’t I invited? More importantly, many, many kudos to Clooney for his tireless and determined efforts on behalf of justice in the Sudan. Here’s hoping all goes well.
    And the Daley appt. never scared me, as it did many on the fringey left. I understand a little about the reasoning behind it. Daley has connections in all directions and is respected by all who know him and have worked with him, regarded as a man of impeccable integrity. If he can soothe concerns and influence the business community to loosen up and start hiring, it’s all good. And he will be under the direction of President Obama, whose judgment I trust to the utmost. I also have always respected his brother, Mayor Rich Daley. He has not been without some bumps in the road and some controversies— that is par for the course—-but he has been devoted to the city of Chicago, making and keeping it a world class city when so many other big cities have struggled and deteriorated. The Daley boys do good work. Bill Daley will be an asset, a hard worker, devoted to Obama and the best interests of this administration.

  27. Wow! What an amazing mish mash for a Saturday morning. Tons of informative about the world. I would be thrilled if the situation in the Sudan could be resolved.

    Welcome back BWD.

  28. Decemeber was a miserable month personally (medical)for me as well. I cannot imagine not having BWN as a refuge. My sister is going through an ugly separation as well, BTW.

    I wish you all the best.

  29. Missed you lately, DF!

    Can you believe the auspicious timing of this blog. When so many of us needed the positive distraction, here it is!

    I admit to being an Obamabot AND a BWDbot!

  30. Outside of American, people want straight news to form their own opinions, and then move on to the rest of their day/evening. Americans watch hours of info-tainment and opinion shows to be told what to think.

    They’re basically brainwashing themselves. I guess it’s easier than thinking for themselves – have somebody else do it for you.

  31. It’s simply amazing that positive news about President Obama, coupled with an understanding of who are enemies are (newsflash: Not Obama) makes me want to work harder.


  32. I too applaud President Obama for his restraint. My interpretation of his statement is that he will try at first to negociate with Congress to resolve this.

    To think that two years ago there seemed to be a consensus for closing Gitmo. And then, for purely cynical political reasons, the GOP went back to fear-mongering. And then, democrats were too coward to push back. Now we have a situation where many elected officials know that closing the facility would be good for national security, but it has become politically almost impossible thanks to them. Jeezzz Bush prosecuted terrorists in the USA and now President Obama can’t ??? RIDICULOUS !!!

    I hope President Obama can obtain at least some adjustments when it comes to transfering detainees to foreign countries. I suspect those congress people will accept to do something as long as it goes under the radar. A little legislation with no publicity.

    For the long term, I wonder if President Obama will eventually go before the Supreme Court, to resolve this dispute between the legislative and executive branches.

  33. Peace for Sudan indeed – long overdue…

    BWD, please don’t forget Dr. Susan Rice our ambassador to the UN, who has worked tirelessly on this matter…

    (Glad to have you back BWD, hope you’re feeling a lot better…)

  34. I understand that this long drawn conflict must stop but when in the 21 century where Europe is creating a union,

    Don’t forget that in Europe, some countries were divided up in the aftermath of the end of the Cold War – peacefully. What matters is how it is done.

  35. Hope you’re feeling better, BWD.

    I concur that this is a great Saturday morning mishmash.

  36. I don’t think he has ruled out a constitutional challenge. He simply wants to try, at first, to convince Congress that they went too far and that they need to correct the situation.

  37. You are right@ amk for obama. The American msm is really a joke and it comes no where close to the professionalism of Al Jazeera English. But of coz as usual most Americans are hoodwinked into demonising anything foreign most especially arabic sounding. If I want to know the really news and facts with no spin and skewness, I go to Al jazeera, BBC and so forth. Guys try it out. Has anyone heard the so called msm cover the sudan referendum, apart from here on BWD and Obama diary? May be I am mistaken, but yet again, all I do these days is come here for news, to hell with the msm. I come from Africa too, Uganda, that is, and Sudan borders us in the north, so I know what they have had to go thru. Thanks to all of you on here that care what happens in Africa and as of now in the Sudan and Ivory coast. Wish them all the best.

  38. Indeed!! Great photos!

    Trying to spread the word myself this morning by posting the following on facebook, etc…as an attempt to change hearts and minds about Obamacare…seems like the conventional wisdom is changing ever so slowly…

    1. Great Forbes article about Obamacare working as planned….

    2. Ezra Klein’s article exposing the Republican’s charades…

    And finally, a devastating portrait of our new speaker..this is just plain out brutal about Boehner…..

  39. You go, eclectablog and thanks for all the hard work you are doing with both OFA and your informative blog. Keep us posted abt the OFA meeting.

  40. Hehehe, am wth you on the pic of potus and clooney. lol. Puuuuuuuuulize, BWD, am on my knees begging.

  41. dotster, regarding Clooney and PBO in the same space, that was exactly my first thought. Wowzers, that is quite a lot to process!

  42. It does, desertflower. Sudan is 8hrs ahead if you are on the east coast, 9hrs in the midwest and figure, 11 or 12hrs on the westcoast.

  43. The Democrats are finally, finally, FIGHTING BACK!!!

    The Republicans have big problems this 112th session of congress. First of all 61 seats that voted Obama 2008 are currently held by republicans. A lot of them by the skin of their chinny chin chin. 30 of the 61 seats were won by both KERRY and OBAMA. So a lot of them will flip back to the democratic hands so a lot of them are seatwarmers for 2 years. The democrats only need to win 25 seats in 2012 to get the house back in Pelosi hands.

    Here is where Obama, Pelosi and the democratic party can gain leverage on them. If they keep reminding some of these republicans that the seats they are currently sitting in will flip back if they are seen as OBSTRUCTIONIST and not working with this president to pass legislation. They also need to be reminded that their districts are PURPLE and if looks like they are voting lock stop with the tea party and john boerner their time in congress will be a distant memory in 2012.

    President Obama may have good 2 years after all. hahahahaha

  44. Thanks for that info Chi. I beginning to hate the MSM even more. They can report garbage, but not life saving positive stories. This should have been on the front page asking everyone to watch. But instead the reports Sarah Palin tweets.

  45. This is a very moving video. It is a little hard to type because I teared up watching it. I had never seen it before.

    Thanks so much Taiping1 for sharing. This is the President I remember and would follow everywhere. I believe he is still 100% this man, he will never quit and this group won’t either.

    Ditto to all who have said how much this blog means to them. I visit several blogs each day, but when I come hear I feel like I am home.

  46. Nonie, so helpful. I wrote down the ones from California. Fortunately my district is represented by a strong Democrat, but I can still help these other areas with phone calls and web support.

    Good to see the Democrats getting organized.

  47. This is why I was never enamored of Rachel Maddow. I did try to watch her during the primary and general elections, but I just couldn’t take her chicken little attitude. I am completely unsurprised by what she’s doing now, because that’s how I’ve always seen her. I’ll watch the occasional video when someone posts it when she’s actually doing some investigative reporting that matters. But stuff like focusing so intently on stuff like the CoS pick when, like you said, the repubs are trying to dismantle healthcare reform just shows them for the cowards I always thought a lot of the PL was. Maybe Rachel not QUITE as much, but the PL always seem to find a convenient reason to go after the President whenever the right is on the attack.

    The PL had the perfect opportunity to help establish themselves as a credible force in politics, and they blew it. You don’t feel the administration is pushing they’re accomplishments enough? Then step in and do it! Think there aren’t enough progressives in Congress? Then go out into the community and talk to voters instead of just attacking what you have so that they’ll contemplate bringing in better ones. They’re used by the majors only when they want to have someone on from the ‘left’ attack the President, but otherwise NO ONE of importance in politics gives them much credence because of how they’ve conducted themselves. That’s how I felt that they hurt in 2010, because you can’t expect to spend 18 months attacking the President then a few months before the election be all, “Ok, let’s all work together despite the fact that we were no help whatsoever when it counted”. They were useless allies who had no influence on voters by that point, failing to try and work on the mood of the country, concentrating instead on their own infighting.

    I’m glad some of the congress critters have finally gotten it through their head that they need to be out their fighting instead of trying to placate that faction.

  48. Guys, I am very embarrassed to say I know nothing about this election, nor did I know or try to find out about why George Cloony was meeting with President Obama so much. I remember seeing those pictures of both of them at the WH and just swooning over them. Never taking the time to find out what was really going on and of course MSM never told me nothing.
    I have some internet friends that live in Accra and Lagos. I know the Continent is huge and those cites are far from this election, and our conversations are mostly light,frivolous, normal everyday things than lamentations about bad economics, poverty or any of the same old labels that Africa gets. I love hearing about their day to day lives and that they do normal stuff like we do here in the states.

    But this update and the one yesterday pertaining to the elections have hit a nerve with me. I feel like I should have been on this. 😦 I have told myself that this is the year I get serious and this info enforces that. I can’t believe I never heard this very important speech by our POTUS.
    Thank you BWD for bringing all this to my attention.

  49. Your eyes and ears are opened now. These are things this president is doing and our own media want report it. I am so anxious about this and greatful that President Obama and Clooney is working together to get this done. This will be the story of the year for me.

  50. This is why I love the idea that Boehner is forcing a vote on HCR reform that he knows doesn’t have a chance to pass the Senate or a Presidential veto. He’s putting his 60 freshman on record as being against HCR – so in two years time they’ll have to defend voting for recission, yearly and lifetime caps, pre-existing conditions, kicking kids off their parents plan, re-opening the donut hole etc.

    Also they’re giving up their vote to Rep. Ryan on budget issues. That could be another huge attack point. Boehner thinks it will take the pressure off of everybody to elevate Ryan as the decision maker – but that’s not how Congress is supposed to work – one rep one vote. The GOP reps who go along with this are essentially saying Rep. Ryan controls their vote, and not their district.

    It should also be easier to recruit top level candidates on the Dems side knowing they’ll be running in a Presidential year with President Obama at the top of the ticket. When the GOP will have to run on something, for something rather than just being against Obama.

    I’d like to see Dem candidates declare their intentions to run now. Really put the freshmen on notice that they will be held accountable for every vote, and that it’s not just a team sport they’ve been drafted to.

  51. Thank you for the fine round-up, blackwaterdog, and thank you, everyone, for all your fine and informative comments here about situations which get little coverage elsewhere. Saint Roscoe, I believe your comment succinctly states a, maybe the, primary problem for this country.

  52. The PL had the perfect opportunity to help establish themselves as a credible force in politics, and they blew it.

    This! Thanks, RInaX. The PL cannot move beyond the making information/the “story”/discussions/strategies about them and only them. How to bring the issue of tax break extensions to ‘red’ America? SIgn an online petition demanding that President Obama not “cave” to Wall Street! Come to my online site and agree with me! Smugly titter with me on my MSNBC show at 9 pm!
    What do the repubs have lined up for us this session? Dunno, but who’s this Daley anyway???!!!
    Meanwhile, we celebrate the President’s continued focus and steady success.

  53. Thanks NLinStPaul for the link.

    And the irony is that it’s from 2009 when AikidoPilgrim at the end of diary asks progressives to ulitize the same tact that clearly Obama is using by asking the following 6 questions, that they clearly don’t bother asking — especially Question number 1 ;-):

    1). Who is my opponent?

    2). What are they really after?

    3). What are they scared of?

    4). Where are they weakest? Where are they strongest? How can I “take their balance”?

    5). What do we have in common?

    6). How can I protect them and still get what
    I need out of this?

    Again, great link, NLinStPaul.

  54. Sebelius is just a good choice for this job. Now dems is deciding to help the president fight.

  55. I’ve often thought that was one of the best diaries I’ve ever read on the internet. Not necessarily because its the best-written, but those six questions certainly stuck with me – both as a way to better understand Obama AND as a way to be more creative with conflict in my own life.

  56. My thoughts and prayers go out to the shooting victims including a Congressman from Arizona today. Very sad!

  57. Just saw that on another blog.

    Looks like CNN isn’t even on it yet.

    Looks like the report is that she was shot point-blank in the head. Doesn’t sound good.

    So sad!!!!!!!

  58. This is sad if this has anything to do with the negative rhetoric towards dems, by republican s we should be all over this.

  59. I haven’t watched American news in years. I get my news almost exclusively from Al Jazeera, France 24, and the BBC. US media is laughable in its focus on entertainment.

  60. I just saw that on Al Jazeera English. No news yet on who the shooter was or his motivation. This could be very bad.

  61. Don’t be embarrassed, Kelly. My intro to the situation was through a Law & Order, SVU ep about genital mutilation in some African cultures, a cultural event for the students at our school (Masai Warriors), the Middle Schools unit on Africa, and my sister’s volunteer work in Kenya. I found the continent fascinating, and it became one of my interests.

    I’m not a news junkie, but I ended up in the right place.

    Again, this site is brilliant. They may be covering it in Orange, don’t know, don’t care. If I had to wager, I’d bet their screaming about POTUS COC choice proves he loathed DFH’s or some such.

    BWD, your instincts about what to cover, which links to provide, which photos to post is perfect. (and I’m not even a Clooney person !)

  62. Sounds like the shooter was tackled and didn’t get a chance to kill himself.

    Shot point blank in the head? That is not good!

    Gabby was one of my favorites.

  63. Latest from Al Jazeera: The Congresswoman was shot point blank in the head. Gunman is in custody.

  64. Latest update on Congresswoman Gifford’s shooting:

    “U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was shot in the head while holding a public event in Tucson, National Public Radio reported Saturday.

    Other news agencies reported up to 11 other people had been injured after an unidentified gunman ran up and began shooting indiscriminately as Giffords addressed supporters.

    Giffords was shot point blank in the head, according to Fox News.”

  65. It was just a matter of time given the rabid hate that has become the primary broadcast message of right wing extremists and their corporatist sponsors.

    So very sad.

  66. God they make me ill with their inability to ever tell the truth about anyone or anything. How rotten to just make stuff up about someone, as if smearing them is just another breath of air. Forget the person being lied about is a human being, with loved ones and a life they’ve worked for, a reputation they are proud of.. forget they just got hired by the President of the United States- a moment of honor and pride- supposedly a mark of one’s achievements and integrity.. nope forget all that.. just make up shit and smear him and lie to the country about him.

  67. Watching Al Jazeera English right now, and they are covering the shooting. The difference between the way they cover the story and the way the US media would is amazing. Reporting facts — i.e., no motivation yet as to the shooting — but also noting the rancid atmosphere in Arizona towards elected Democrats.

  68. If this does turn out to be a politically motivated shooting, and not the result of mental illness, I wonder if anyone will take responsibility for fomenting the violence. (Short answer: no.)

  69. Well she was one of the people listed on Sara Palin’s bull’s eye map in the cross hairs. I would rather this be non political so I am trying not to rush to judgment. I mean but it seems hard not to consider not political because if this was just the work of a mental person who just wanted to kill random people, he could have done that anywhere.

  70. Excellent RinaX.. that is exactly how I’ve always seen them. This particularly:

    the PL always seem to find a convenient reason to go after the President whenever the right is on the attack.

    Precisely. They’ve always been a mob, ready to pile on WITH the republicans.. against the president.

  71. I literally feel sick right now. This is just awful. I am praying for Congresswoman Giffords the others who were shot. To think she was just doing her job holding a congress on your corner event to meet constituents. Unbelievable.

  72. True. A nut could shoot anywhere. The fact that he seemed to target the Congresswoman is telling. It’s just awful.

    Switched from Al Jazeera to BBC World Service. Will post more as it becomes clear.

  73. From NPR: “Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and six others died after a gunman opened fire at a public event on Saturday, the Pima County, Ariz., sheriff’s office confirms.”

  74. I’m both sickened and filled with rage. If this was politically motivated, those who’ve been creating this rancid climate should be charged with inciting murder.

  75. CNN is now reporting that Congresswoman Gifford has died. That she and 12 others were shot by a young suspect apprx 20 years old. This is what happens when the hateful, vitriolic rhetoric of the right wing fringe is allowed to go unchecked. My prayers are with Mrs. Gifford’s family and the families of the other 12 people that were also shot.

  76. Wow; Giffords was newly married to an astronaut and has stepchildren; can’t believe this. 7 people killed.

  77. I have a hard time separating an act like this from mental illness – no matter what fed it.

    That doesn’t mean I’d dismiss political motives if they arise.

    But this – by definition – is mental illness.

  78. My thoughts and prayers go out to the the people in Africa that are fighting for their freedom. I hope the Sudan election is peaceful and successful.

  79. A commenter on the Daily Beast said that Cong. Giffords was a moderate who worked with Republicans “to get stuff done”, so it could just as easily have been a “left-wing loon” who shot her. And so it begins.

  80. This is extremely upsetting and I pray for the family and loved ones of the congresswoman and the others killed/wounded. One of the CNN eyewitnesses ascribed this heinous incident to the extreme anger stoked by what he describes as the “rabid right” of the political spectrum.

    Palin & Bachman, take note. MSM, you too.

  81. Okay, I was upset on hearing the news that she was shot, now that she apparenly has died, I am crying… First, my prayers to Rep. Giffords family.

    Second, my rant.

    It has finally happened. The rhetoric of Beck, Hannity, O’Reilly, Limbaugh, Angle, Brewer, Teabaggers, Fox News, et al, has finally driven someone to do this to a DULY-ELECTED federal legislative representative.

    And now we’ll see them spin like O’Reilly did with respect to Dr. Tiller’s murder, that it wasn’t what they said, it was this lone crazy person, etc.

    That said, let’s see what Boehner, Cantor, McConnell, Graham, have to say now. What will McCain and Kyl say as part of her state congressional delegation?

    It’ll be interesting, because as has been noted in other threads here and blogs elsewhere, at some point the GOP was going to put themselves in a bind cultivating this type of mindset, and they’d have to backtrack on it, if something went awry — and here we are…

    I am horrified that this has happened. Horrified. Especially knowing the dicey make-up of Rep. Giffords’ district, it appears that she purposley didn’t vote for Pelosi as Speaker to keep out of that controversy, and voted for John Lewis instead as a gesture of moving toward civility, etc. And this is what happens to her anyway.

    And I know I’m preaching to the choir when I say this — we all know we have got to work hard to get Congress and the White House back in 2012, we can NOT, let the GOP win again, because this new version of Republicans brings nothing but crazy with them.

    And right now, I am extremely angry, not only with what has happened to Rep. Giffords, but knowing that allowing the GOP to regain control of the House to enable such an atmosphere to exist where Rep. Giffords would be shot and killed, occured because too many Democrats and like-minded independents stayed home, being turned-off by the Citizens United funded ads, and listening to the PL/frustrati. Just as conservatives came out to vote based on Citizens United funded ads, and listening to Limbaugh, et al.

    And while I know that mid-terms always have a lower turnout, the PL/frustrati whining didn’t help. And as someone noted in another comment, you can’t bitch and moan for nearly two years about Obama and the Democrats, and then a few months before the mid-terms, say, “okay, let’s support them, because they’re really not as bad as we said, we’re just mad we didn’t get our pony right away. And they are really better than the alternative…” Yada, yada, yada…

    We. Can. Not. Lose. 2012.

  82. I used to live in Tucson, this was several years ago.. but at that time it was in no way a bastien of equality or of folks getting along. I did not stay long.

    I am so so sorry about this awful event. What it could possibly take for one human being to walk into a crowd of people, innocent human beings enjoying their saturday- and take that all away from them.. it is beyond me. I would like to hear him explain this. this loss of life is heartbreaking, all my condolences to the victims, to their poor families.

  83. Thank you bwd for providing such an excellent list of news for us today. and to all the commentors for adding to the informing of all of us. I appreciate it all so much.

  84. Liberal Librarian, I get your clearly wanting to bring balance to it could be a “left wing loon.” But I would be shocked, because over the last two years since Obama’s election, what left wing loons have threatend violence — to anyone? It’s all been teabaggers, militia, Beck-Limbaugh-Hannity-Fox News lovers, etc.

    “Left wing loons” (which are not LaRouchers, Libertarians, etc.) may shoot off at the mouth, yes, but advocate violence — and against a Democract? Not seeing that, and if it’s out there, please provide a link, because we all need to address that immediately.

    And as much as the PL/frustrati get on my nerves, I’ve never seen them advocate violence either.

    But either way, it’s a horrible thing… And we have to fight hard for 2012.

  85. I’m sorry, I wasn’t appropriately snarky. I think the idea that it was a “left-wing loon” laughable. Anything’s possible, but I highly doubt it. The left hasn’t been ginned up to a frothing boil of hate and paranoia like the right. If it was a political act, I would bet dollars to donuts that the assassin is a rightist. I’m just too filled with rage and shock to make my points as clearly as I usually do.

  86. Feel so sad for the Congresswoman, her family and her supporters. Such a tragic waste. Reminds me of my childhood when they took the Kennedies, and MLK.

    Have been reading the comments at MSNBC

    “While I disagree with the immigration policies of the Democratic party I strongly disagree with violence. We have the ballot box for change. This isn’t some third world country”

    “This is just awful, what is this country coming to? The hatred from all sides has got to stop if we want to keep this country.”

    This is a tragedy no matter how you look at it. However it may also be a wake up call to those who listen to the extremists on both sides of the aisle.

    If we can keep our composure and speak clearly our voices may now have a better chance of being heard over the din. Stay Strong.

  87. A frriend of the Congresswoman just said she talk to her and she actually talking. But there are some fragmentes of the bullet in her head and that the doctors are takencare of that right now.

  88. God, I hope she pulls through. No one in this country–or anywhere–should have to die for a political belief.

  89. Latoria just posted this on her blog (Dear Mr. President):

    President Obama’s statement:

    This morning, in an unspeakable tragedy, a number of Americans were shot in Tuscon, Arizona, at a constituent meeting with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. And while we are continuing to receive information, we know that some have passed away, and that Representative Giffords is gravely wounded.

    We do not yet have all the answers. What we do know is that such a senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society. I ask all Americans to join me and Michelle in keeping Representative Giffords, the victims of this tragedy, and their families in our prayers.

  90. President Obama’s first statement:

    This morning, in an unspeakable tragedy, a number of Americans were shot in Tuscon, Arizona, at a constituent meeting with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. And while we are continuing to receive information, we know that some have passed away, and that Representative Giffords is gravely wounded.
    We do not yet have all the answers. What we do know is that such a senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society. I ask all Americans to join me and Michelle in keeping Representative Giffords, the victims of this tragedy, and their families in our prayers.

  91. Excellent statement from Sam Stein of HuffPO:

    Somewhat lost in the horrific and chaotic news over the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords on Saturday is reports that an aide to the congresswoman was killed during the violence.

    The name of the aide isn’t known. And he or she will all but certainly be overshadowed in the days ahead as coverage of the event focuses on Gifford. But among those on the Hill and in Democratic circles the death is reverberating at deeply emotional level.

    One Democratic operative who has worked in Arizona circles emailed The Huffington Post: “It is unspeakable. He killed my friends.”

  92. Anytime that anyone mentions the word “tribe” I get an uneasy feeling. We all know that Hitler was wrong, but using the “tribe” word does not progress things in a justly manner.

    “Once you put that part of history in this light, the African wars become much more “understandable”.” – Toon Moene

    No, I fail to understand what you are saying. Perhaps it was your usage of the word “tribe” that threw me off? We are all people with the basic understanding of what is human rights, no matter our beliefs, our creed, or where we came from.

    I send you all my love.

    InJapan HeartSurgeon Number1 SteadyHand

  93. Lovepolitics2008,

    I hope that you understand that this is a highly complicated subject. It’s not so easy as simply closing down Gitmo. Where shall the incarcerated be sent, and what be the reasons for sending them somewhere else? I think what we want is fair and just treatment of prisoners (in accordance to law), especially if they have not yet been found guilty in any court of law.

    But you have to understand that simply closing Gitmo does not nescessarily get us closer to that lofty goal. What we need to focus on is how to deal with the accused in an honest and fair manner. GWB completely messed that up by proactively obfuscating well-known laws. And now, what we face is how to deal with this obfuscation.

    It is not about Gitmo (I still remember the pictures portraying previous treatment), it is about how to move forward in accordance to the law.

  94. LOL. Well, I don’t care who you are, Clooney & Obama is a beautiful picture. I respect them, as I do Michelle and Elisabetta.

  95. Whoa is me. I did not see this until you commented about it. I’ve been too busy haphazardly reading comments here. Here is a good article about it –

    This brings tears to my eyes and gives me wonders of all of my fears. I am speechless.

    God rest your soul, Congresswoman Giffords. You will not be forgotten.

  96. Well, I was wrong (thankfully), and thank God that Congresswoman Giffords is hopefully recovering. May she make a full recovery.

    My prayers are with her this eve.

  97. Whatever the outcome of the referendum in South Sudan, it will be crucially important for the USA to work closely with African allies when dealing with African issues.
    If the South Sudanese vote to secede from Sudan, they – along with the rest of Africa – will be in need of a lot of help. The same will be true if they vote not to secede.

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