The West Point Speech


as seen through Wordle

The West Point Speech according to Wordle

A lot of people are hurrying to strike a position either pro or against the troop escalation and the plan as it was presented by the President at West Point. Some had made that position clear even before the speech was delivered. Others seek to score cheap political points off this tragic situation.

I am struck by the enormity of the challenge and the unpalatable alternatives. I don’t know what the best solution should be or if the one proposed tonight will work.

I pray that it does. For us, for the people of Afghanistan and especially for the troops and their families.

Still Bullish on “The One”


Sully is

He’s taking the usual slew of tactical hits as his opponents try every single line of attack and pound every day, squeezing every ounce of agitprop from the news cycle. His numbers are gliding downward (although not by much), his foreign policy gains are structural and have as yet no tangible results, a critical Mid-East ally, Israel, is doing all it can to destroy his credibility with the Muslim world, his health insurance reform is still not passed, the debt is simply staggering (and the GOP’s willingness to blame it all on him is as shameless as it can be convincing to those who know nothing and think less), etc etc.


One Step Forward, Two Steps Back


Yoani Sanchez, Generacion Y, Cuban Blogger
Cuban-based blogger Yoani Sanchez

Yoani Sanchez interviews President Obama. Here’s the NY Times take:

In what seems like one step forward for freedom of expression on the island of Cuba, on Wednesday a blogger in Havana named Yoani Sánchez has published President Obama’s replies — in Spanish and English — to seven questions she put to him on relations between their countries.

Ms. Sánchez explained on her blog, “Generación Y” (the English-language version of site is “Generation Y“), that it took a while to set up the exchange: “After months of trying I managed to send a questionnaire to the American president, Barack Obama, with some of the issues that keep me from sleeping.”

And here’s the full interview

Meeting the President at Arlington



and the Daily News:

ARLINGTON, Va. – He didn’t introduce himself. He didn’t have to.

President Obama simply stuck out his hand and asked for my name as he stepped toward me amid a bone-chilling drizzle in the Gardens of Stone.

This was Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery. I wasn’t there as a reporter, but to visit some friends and family buried there when Obama made an unscheduled stop – a rare presidential walk among what Lincoln called America’s “honored dead” – after laying a Veterans Day wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

What I got was an unexpected look into the eyes of a man who intertwined his roles as commander in chief and consoler in chief on a solemn day filled with remembrance and respect for sacrifices made – and sacrifices yet to be made.

I’m sure the cynics will assume this was just another Obama photo-op.

If they’d been standing in my boots looking him in the eye, they would have surely choked on their bile.

There’s more…

Sullivan’s Feeling Free at Last


and I’m sure he’s not the only one:

The president just announced that as of Monday, the ban on HIV-positive visitors, tourists and immigrants will formally come to an end. There are 60 days before the new rule comes into effect. But after that, people with HIV will be treated in exactly the same way as any other person with a serious illness – according to science, not politics, and following the logic of reason, not fear.

The ban has been in existence for 22 years, pioneered by Jesse Helms, resisted by the first Bush, signed into law by Bill Clinton, legislatively repealed by George W. Bush and now administratively ended by Barack Obama. In an age when bipartisanship is out of fashion, the repeal was led by Gordon Smith and John Kerry, with backing from many Republicans and Democrats.

Jesse Helms, now, there’s a scary name. Around Halloween or any other day of the year.

Continue reading Free at Last

The Dangerous Opposition

President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama

The Secret Service can’t keep up with it, according to the Boston Globe:

WASHINGTON – The unprecedented number of death threats against President Obama, a rise in racist hate groups, and a new wave of anti-government fervor threaten to overwhelm the US Secret Service, according to government officials and reports, raising new questions about the 144-year-old agency’s overall mission.

There’s more…