Monthly Archives: May 2011

What a Week

President Obama at White House Correspondents DinnerDuring Friday night’s White House Correspondents Dinner, President Obama paused during his remarks, smiled thoughtfully and said, “What a week.” We had no idea.

In addition to his everyday duties, briefings, meetings with the National Security Team, the Attorney General, Defense Secretary,  Secretary of State, Congresspeople, Governors, etc., doing press interviews, hosting Crown Princes and Presidents, working to fix our immigration problems, manage a few a wars, and commemorating the 1968 Memphis sanitation strike, our President took time to do a few more things that made last week seemed pretty amazing.

It started out ordinary enough as he and the first family hosted the Easter Egg Roll. By Wednesday morning, he and Michelle were in Chicago doing Oprah, then to New York for a fund raiser and back to Washington. Thursday, he announced a new National Security Team and presented his long form birth certificate. Friday he and Michelle were in Alabama to view the storm damage, meet with Governor then on to Florida to meet with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and view the final space shuttle launch. Fortunately, the Endeavor  was aborted (still legal), so he could get back for the Correspondents Dinner and a relaxing weekend at the White House. All that was planned, was his Saturday address announcing a plan to end oil subsidies at this time of record oil company profits;  the special ops mission to take out bin Laden and a relaxing bipartisan dinner Monday night with leaders of both houses to informally discuss the budget and Republican plans to hold the nation hostage on debt ceiling. OK, that was eight days.

Recapping: Easter Egg Roll; Oprah; new National Security Team; long-form birth certificate; Libya; immigration reform; multi-state natural disaster; Correspondents Dinner; announce plans to end oil subsidies; take out bin Laden; host bipartisan dinner to talk about the budget; help kids with their homework. The reviews aren’t all in, but early reports suggest it was a pretty good week.

Monday:

Wednesday:

Thursday:

Friday:

Saturday:

Monday:

What on his schedule this week?

Southern governors (all but one, Republican), report the Federal response to the disaster has been almost perfect – Google “Bush Katrina” to be reminded of the political risk of natural disasters. This week and next, of course, he’ll also be dealing with the greatest flood surge along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers since 1927.

Celebrations have broken out evoking a sense of relieve and patriotism not seen in decades – Google “Carter Hostage Rescue” to be reminded of the political risk of precision military operations. Perhaps, we should also be reminded that it was during last week, that NATO missiles missed Gaddafi and killed his son and grandchildren – something that President Obama will be dealing for a while.

And then there is debt ceiling. Is it possible that Republicans, back fresh from two-weeks being yelled at by constituents for voting to end Medicare and Medicaid, stinging from watching a competent president succeed where others failed, and flushed with patriotism for the bin Laden mission, will do what’s important for our country and pass the debt ceiling? Or will they march as lemmings off a cliff and take the world’s economy with them? That’s something that President Obama has already started working on this week. The Washington Post reports that the Treasury Department has begun implementing some emergency measures that buys 25 more days than expected to solve the political issues – we have now until August 2nd before default. Stay tuned. The week has barely just begun.

Update 05.03.11: Reuters reports the Mississippi River dropped a foot within hours of levee detonation and the NY Times reports it saved Cairo, IL. Obama has more work to do, though, the Army Corp of Engineers warns the river may rise again and isn’t expected to crest in New Orleans until May 22nd.

Update 05.03.11: Newsweek/Daily Beast reports the week might not have been so good. In a survey just completed, President Obama got no post-bin Laden bump in approval ratings saying, “The clear reason: It’s the economy, stupid. Even after Bin Laden’s death, only 30 percent think the country is on the right track, and only 27 percent think the economy is on the right track.”

Update 05.03.11: Not so fast, the Los Angeles Times reports a survey released by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Washington Post, shows President Obama’s approval rating jumping nine points post-bin Laden to 56%; a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation showing a four-point bump to 52%; USA Today/Gallup poll finding “32% said they feel more confident in Obama as commander while 21% said they feel a little more confident;” and “Ipsos-Reuters poll said that their view of Obama’s leadership had improved in the wake of the raid.” The Times went on to say, “Overnight polls are notoriously fickle and often differ from each other on the questions asked and the numbers computed.”

Update 05.03.11: Over a drink together, Chris Matthews reminded me that on Friday, President Obama also gave the commencement address at Miami-Dade College (4/30/11), let’s watch:

Update 05.04.11: CBS News reports a “new CBS News/New York Times poll found that 57 percent of Americans generally approve of Mr. Obama in the wake of the raid in Pakistan. Two weeks ago, when bin Laden was still America’s most-wanted terrorist, the president’s overall approval rating was at 46 percent. A whopping 85 percent of those polled gave Mr. Obama high marks for his handling of the operation to find bin Laden.”

Update 05.04.11: Channel 6 News reports the Army Corp plans to blow additional sections of levees along the Mississippi in Mississippi County, MO; New Madrid, MO; and Hickman, KY. Tough decisions. Huge stakes in the lives of residents and politically for the Obama administration.

Osoma the stranger Osama reports

Map of Osama bin Laden's compound via Google mapsTechCrunch.com has reported that Google maps has been updated to show Osama bin Laden’s Compound in Abbottābad, Pakistan.

The New York Daily News reported that Osama bin Laden and Adolf Hitler were both declared dead on May 1st.

The Daily Beast reported Osama bin Laden’s death marked the 8th anniversary of Bush’s famous “Mission Accomplished” aircraft carrier speech.

The Daily Mail reports that Obama’s announcement knocked Celebrity Apprentice off the air.

The AJC reported a tweeter from @binladen that tweeted at 1am, “I’m not dead, just a little busy at the moment.”

The disposal of Osama bin Laden was, in a couple of important ways, a Southern thing.  The troops who killed him were members of Navy SEAL Team Six, based at Dam Neck, Va. Bin Laden was buried at sea from aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, named for the late Georgia congressman who chaired the House Armed Services Committee.

Fox 5 in Washington, DC reported that “President Obama, speaking from the East Room of the White House, telling the nation and the world that President Obama is in fact dead.” While Fox News’ web site ran the headline, “”Usama Bin Landen Dead Fox News Confrims.”

OpposingViews.com reported, “Fox News actually gave the president credit. I know, scary stuff. The anti-Obama network used words like “historic” and a “very great success,” which has my head spinning.  You know, maybe the Fox spinmeisters didn’t show up to work on Sunday — maybe they’ll arrive at work on Monday morning and say, “Wait a second, we gave Obama an ounce of credit?! Who authorized that?”

More from the tweetisphere via StreetBonersAndTVCarnage.com reporting :

Screenshot of tweets by @jessecannon

Screenshot from tweets by @croninwhocaresScreenshot from tweets by @kdn13Screenshot from tweets by @robhuebelScreenshot from tweets by @TheThomasonScreenshot from tweets by @NtrnetConfuciousScreenshot from tweets by @OsamaInHellScreenshot from tweets by @bobpowers1

And then coming via Buzzfeed.com reports there were the tweets from @ReallyVirtual (a Pakistani IT professional – click here for his blog) in real time as the attack took place:

Screenshot of ReallyVirtual's tweetsReaders are invited to add more as comments.