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The Political Sandbox — 5.10.10

President Barack Obama gives Solicitor General and Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan a kiss as Vice President Joe Biden stands at left, during an announcement in the East Room of the White House in Washington on Monday. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

  • The daily Political wild card is now in play …

Obama Picks Non-Judge For High Court

It’s Kagan! Why is President Obama choosing his solicitor general, Elena Kagan, as his second nominee to the U.S Supreme Court? By all accounts, Obama wants someone who can serve as a counterweight to the intellectual heft of Chief Justice John Roberts. Regardless of how strong a liberal Kagan would prove to be, as a former dean of Harvard Law School, Kagan practically defines legal gravitas. She’s also a female, which adds to the court’s gender diversity. She’s young, at 50, which means she could be on the court for a quarter century. And she’s never been a judge, which gives her a quality that Obama is known to have been seeking: someone to bring a different sensibility to a court that’s currently dominated by judges/Michael D. Shear, Washington Post. More here. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh: Barack Obama and Elena Kagan)

Question: Are you comfortable with President Obama’s choice of a person for the U.S. Supreme Court who has never been a judge?

The Political Sandbox — 5.4.10

 President Barack Obama shakes hands with the U.S. Naval Academy’s 2009 football team as they are honored with the Commander In Chief Trophy for victories over academies, in the East Room of the White House in Washington on Monday. The Midshipmen have won a record 15-straight service academy games dating back to the 2002 Army-Navy game.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • You can talk about Navy dominance in service academy football games during the past decade. Or any political issue you want by climbing into today’s Sandbox …

Don’t quit your day job, Mr. President

President Obama jokes around at the Washington Correspondents dinner, gets some laugh, could use a bit of work on delivery in spots.

Itron CEO and workers meet with Obama in White House ceremony

President Obama on 2010 GDP Numbers

Itron CEO Malcolm Unsworth, along with other representatives of U.S. energy companies, met with President Barack Obama today (April 30) at the White House. (Associated Press photo found on www.whitehouse.gov)

Unsworth, who became CEO last year of metering-system powerhouse Itron last year, stands to the left of the president in this shot from a meeting in the Rose Garden. With Unsworth were two Itron manufacturing workers at the event, James Morris and Carla Reysack (far left).

The event saluted companies using federal stimulus money to help improve the country’s energy infrastructure.  A transcript of the proceedings is here.

The Political Sandbox

President Barack Obama meets with Billy Graham, 91, at his mountainside home in Montreat, N.C., Sunday. Obama concluded his North Carolina vacation with his first meeting of the ailing evangelist, who has counseled commanders in chief since Dwight Eisenhower. (AP Photo/The White House, Pete Souza)

Wild Card: You can discuss evangelist Billy Graham’s amazing ability to be a spiritual adviser to decades of presidents, Republican and Democrat alike, or any political topic you’d like in today’s Political Sandbox …

Arizona Birthers Seek Certificates

Arizona Rep. Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix, left, and Warde Nichols, R-Gilbert, confer during a special session at the Capitol in Phoenix. Arizona lawmakers who still aren’t convinced President Barack Obama was born in the U.S. are pushing a bill through the Legislature that would require the president to show his birth certificate to get on the state’s 2012 ballot. “We’re becoming a national joke,” Campbell, a Phoenix Democrat who opposes the measure, said today. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Question: Forget about the Birther claim re: President Barack Obama for a minute. Is this legislation that a state should pursue?

Obama To Limit USA Nuclear Use

Item: Obama limits when U.S. would use nuclear arms/New York Times

More Info: Under the new plan, the U.S. promises not to use nuclear weapons against countries that don’t have them. The policy would not apply to states like North Korea and Iran, however, because of their refusal to cooperate with the international community on nonproliferation standards. Obama’s plan would lessen the role nuclear weapons play in America’s defense planning.

Question: Is Obama disarming America, as conservative critics claim? Or is he trying to lead the world away from nuclear confrontation?

Obama: Zags will lose in first round

President Obama is predicting that Florida State will beat Gonzaga in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Obama released his NCAA picks today. He also expects Michigan State and Texas A & M to make it out of Spokane into the Sweet Sixteen.

He says Kansas will beat Kentucky in the National Championship game.

Today’s fun video: White rapping about Obama’s election prospects

A group calling itself One Term President (because that’s what it wants Obama to be) has a music video making the rounds on YouTube and other sites.

After watching it, please talk among yourselves to decide:

1) The words aren’t much but it’s got a good beat, I can dance to it. I give it an 89, Mr. Clark.

B) Powerful message, let’s play it at the next Tea Party gathering or

Third) Perhaps the sequel to White Men Can’t Jump will be White Folks Can’t Rap.

More fun video: Stewart does the Health Care summit

The Daily Show had its take on the Health Care Summit last night. It’s worth watching, particularly for those who OD’d on C-Span Thursday.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Bipartisan Health Care Reform Summit 2010
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorVancouverage 2010

Fun videos: Views of Obama’s first year

If you think Obama is the greatest thing since sliced bread or sign that the Apocalyps is near, theres’s a video for you.

Think it’s a disaster? You’ll like this clip:

Think he’s great? This one’s for you.


In case you’re wondering about health care claims

With the president and leaders of both house of Congress from both parties at the Summit on Health Care, you had to know there would be filibustering with claims being made.

So how to determine who’s telling the truth? PolitiFact has an ongoing tally of claims from all sides. You can see how they keep score by clicking here.

Obama speech reax: Bipartisan support for now

A generation after serving in Vietnam, Rep. Walt Minnick sat in the auditorium at West Point Tuesday surrounded by men and women in cadet gray uniforms being told by a president their lives could be sacrificed in another Asian country.

“It was an honor to be here, a generation later,” said Minnick, an Army veteran who was one of seven members of Congress asked to attend President Barack Obama’s speech on raising troop levels in Afghanistan. “There was rapt attention in that room. Their futures are on the line.”

For more reaction, or to leave a comment, go inside the blog.

Trick or treat at Glenn Beck’s house…

Good morning, Netizens…

David Horsey takes a close look at what would happen if Barak Obama and some friends were to go trick-or-treating at Glenn Beck’s house with what some might observe to be predictable results. Of course this is only a cartoon. Can you imagine what would happen if the same intrepid trio were to visit Rush Limbaugh’s real-life house in costume?

One has only to wonder at whether or not Bush or Limbaugh has the nerve to return the favor, ie., show up at the East Portal of the White House in costume. Can you imagine a weary set of Secret Service officers looking at a pair of unknown trick-or-treaters in costumes at the White House? Gee, I cannot help but wonder what treats they might find in their bags, should such an improbable event ever take place.

Of course there has to be an unspoken set of Secret Service rules to prohibit such a fanciful Halloween from ever taking place, much the same as Beck and Limbaugh probably do not allow trick-or-treaters, regardless of who they say they are in real life.

However, I’ll bet all of us commoners see a lot of faux Barak Obamas tonight.


On the Web: Heckling’s Top 10

Rep. Joe Wilson may be having his 15 minutes of fame for yelling “You Lie” during President Obama’s speech, but he’s not the first person to heckle a president during a speech. (And based on the direction political discourse is headed in America, he won’t be the last.)

But Buzzfeed has compiled a list of presidential speech interruptions, complete with video, that reach back to Ronald Reagan. While none of the others happen during an address to a joint session of Congress, they do show that heckling can happen at inopportune times.

Click here to see the list.

And for those of you who’d like to change the direction of discourse in this country, there’s this site, where you can plug in your own words to shots from the speech.

Obama reax from WA & ID delegations

When a president talks, congresspersons listen…and then they talk, too.

Such was the case Wednesday night when Barack Obama talked about health care reform, and members of Congress talked about Obama’s talk.

Go inside the blog to see what the honorables who represent the Inland Northwest had to say.

Watching with a crowd

Democrats apparently like to watch President Obama in groups.

The Democratic National Committee, through the Organizing for America campaign operation,  is organizing “watch parties” around the country to view Obama’s address tonight to a joint session of Congress tonight, including one in Spokane.

It’s at Toad Hall, 1427 W. Dean, starting at 5 p.m.

(An earlier version of this post said the speech started at 6 p.m., but that was incorrect. White House Web site says 8 p.m. Eastern, 5 p.m. Pacific.)

Luna: Obama back-to-school speech was ‘appropriate and timely’

Idaho state Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna watched President Barack Obama’s back-to-school speech today with a classroom full of 8th graders at Fairmont Junior High School, and afterward Luna called the president’s speech “appropriate and timely.” He said, “I thought the message was very similar to messages that we hear public officials give to students often - it’s definitely something that I say every chance I get in front of students, that students need to be responsible for their education, they need to come to school every day ready to learn.”

Luna said the kids he watched with paid attention and took notes, then answered questions from both their teacher and him afterward. “I had a number of kids tell me that they were going to try a little bit harder this year … that even if they encounter obstacles or challenges, they were going to keep trying and do a little bit better every day.” Luna, a Republican, said he was puzzled by the outcry from some quarters over the president addressing school kids, “because I remember when I worked for the Bush Administration … the president was always at a school the first day talking to students. That’s why he was at a school Sept. 11 reading to students, because it was the first day of school in Florida.”

DC: Rammell’s One Sorry Guy

There was a time back in my naive younger days of journalism when the imbecilic behavior of politicians would confound me. “How can these so-called leaders be such embarrassing clods?” I would ask myself. As I grew older and wiser I realized the truth. Silly me. I had been holding politicians to a totally unreasonable standard, namely normal behavior. But politicians aren’t like you and me. These are deeply flawed human beings we’re talking about. That’s why they lie so much and toe-tap strangers in airport toilet stalls. That’s why Rex Rammell keeps digging himself into a deeper and deeper hole/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Are politicians a cut above your average citizen? Or a cut or two below?

The question of Obama’s citizenship…

Good morning, Netizens…

I am certain few would argue with me when I say our country has a diversity of opinion nearly unequalled anywhere in the World. That is probably because we are a sum of the mixing pot, that undefined melange of races, creeds and colors of people who have decided to join us in our exercise of Democracy, that big-breed animal we take out of its cage every once in awhile and walk it proudly through the neighborhood. Unfortunately Democracy is like any large pet— you have to be responsible for its care, maintenance and feeding.

For many months now I have been listening to the endless discussions of Barak Obama’s birth certificate, his somewhat uncertain lineage and the continuous assertions that he is NOT a certified, dyed-in-the-wool American citizen and thus should not be President of the United States. I’ve been listening, and to some degree, have posed a few questions of my own about whether the presidency of Barak Obama adheres to the law.

This morning, cartoonist-to-the-world David Horsey has assumed the laurels of that particular discussion, thus relieving me of any further involvement in the argument, and I believe he has it pegged just about right. Sure, we all have the right, if not the obligation to question those things we personally find particularly objectionable or questionable. However, we should always look at the sources, those illy-defined “authorities” who have fueled our questions to begin with.

Authorities, authorities. There are so many authorities these days. Anyone who has Internet access can become an authority with less effort than they normally would reserve for answering nature’s call. However, with just a smidgen of perusal, one is left with the dominating question: who are the people who are questioning Obama’s birthplace?

That probably should be the question we are asking before we question the legitimacy of Obama’s birth certificate. Our version of Democracy voted for this Obamanation of Democracy, didn’t we?


Thurs. fun video: Stewart on birth cert. story

The Obama Birth Certificate “controversy” is getting more and more attention from the news media this summer. Apparently they have run out of stories telling people that Michael Jackson is still dead.

So much attention, in fact, that Jon Stewart weighed in last nigh, with clips of Lou Dobbs, Orly Taitz, Chris Matthews.

Wonder which way he comes down on the issue? click to see.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Born Identity
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJoke of the Day

Weekend fun video: Can Obama pass nerd test?

John Hodgeman administers the ultimate nerd test to Barack Obama at the Radio and TV Correspondents Dinner. Can the president pass?

Palin: I Can Outrun Obama

This May 2009 photo provided by Runner’s World magazine shows Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in a yoga pose near her home in Wasilla, Alaska. Palin says she’d come out ahead if she went one-on-one with fellow jogger President Barack Obama in a long run, according to an interview published online Tuesday. (AP Photo/Runner’s World, Brian Adams)

Question: Do you think Sarah Palin could beat President Barack Obama in a foot race?

Tues. fun video: Turn off the phone

When they tell you to turn your phone off, or at least put it on vibrate, it may be a good idea to listen…especially if you’re listening to the president.

Obama Gets Personal w/Fathers

In this Aug. 12, 2008, file photo, then Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. walks down Kailua Beach in Kailua, Hawaii, with his daughters Malia, 10, left, and Sasha, 7, during their vacation in Hawaii.  (AP Photo/Marco Garcia, File)

Item: Obama to fathers: Be involved in your kids’ lives/AP

More Info: Growing up without a father left a painful hole in his heart, President Barack Obama told boys at the White House Friday in a remarkably personal Father’s Day weekend message. He implored fathers everywhere — and the kids when they’re a bit older — to be involved in the lives of their own children.

Question: Was your father involved in your life?

Obama cast in stone?

When President Obama was in Egypt last week, he came across this hieroglyphic that looked like, well, like him.

Uh oh. If the folks trying to prove Obama can’t be president because isn’t a U.S. citizen because he doesn’t have a real birth certificate find out about this, they’ll have a whole new line of inquiry to set up. See, it turns out he doesn’t have a birth certificate because he was really born in ancient Egypt. They’ll need to check out the papyrus records under the name Kar.

The photo comes courtesy of Anderson Cooper’s AC360 blog on CNN .