Friday, April 3 – Sunday, April 5, 2009
| For 18 years, in a practice begun by George H.W. Bush, the government has banned the media from providing coverage of returning war dead.
At President Obama’s request, the Pentagon has now lifted the ban, although permission from the service member’s family is required. “The arrival of the remains of Staff Sgt. Phillip A. Myers, a 30-year-old supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, at Dover Air Force Base at 11 p.m. today [ipd note: Sunday, Apr. 5] marked the first time that the transfer of any of the nearly 5,000 U.S. troops who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan was open to the media. The transfer of the flag-draped casket was carried out with great dignity, for the seven family members present.” source
| The Obama presence in Europe has not only achieved much, it has improved America’s standing in the world, which was badly damaged during the last 8 years of the Bush presidency. Too much has occurred for me to go in to detail in a news summary, so I will hit some of the highlights in the form of headlines/links from around the web. I am personally filled with pride over Obama’s strong presence at the summit, and over what he has accomplished by being such a master of diplomacy. Must be all that community organizing. :)
- Obama In France: Sarkozy Pulls Out Red Carpet For President's Arrival
- G-20: $1 Trillion and a Plan
- G-20 Leaders To Give $1 Trillion To IMF, World Bank
- G-20 Accomplishments Beyond Expectation
- Obama Breaks Up 'Heated' Spat Between Sarkozy, Hu Jintao
- Obama, Hu Agree To 'US-China Strategic Economic Dialogue' (VIDEO)
- Sarkozy to Obama: Je T'aime
- President Obama Exercises Diplomacy, Helps Avert Mess (Again)
- France -- And Its President -- Go Gaga Over Obama
- Jeffrey Sachs: G-20 Accomplishments Beyond Expectation
| In defiance of international warnings, North Korea launched a rocket yesterday into the Pacific over Japan. The rocket is feared to have been a long-range missile test, and the UN met today for an emergency session to discuss new sanctions, but could not come to an agreement. Today, President Obama spoke in Prague about his goal to to drastically cut the world atomic arsenal.
| On Friday, it was revealed that during a March 11 meeting between John McCain (R-AZ), John Thune (R-SD), Mel Martinez (R-FL) and a group of Hispanic business leaders, the collegial atmosphere with the Republicans trying to woo Hispanics to the dark side, became something else entirely when McCain purportedly lost his oh-so-infamous temper. When Hispanic leaders apparently indicated that they were unhappy with the slow pace of immigration reform, McCain rebuked the Hispanic leaders, saying “ ’You people’ -- you people made your choice. You made your choice during the election ”. < Personally, I am so happy that we finally managed to get a national election exactly right. >.
| Minnesota still does not have 2 senators representing it in Washington due to the ongoing election dispute between former Sen. Norm Coleman and the Democratic challenger, Al Franken. Although, Al Franken is ahead by 225 votes, Coleman keeps throwing up legal challenges, which he also keeps losing. His losses have not deterred him, and they are now waiting for a ruling from the MN Supreme Court. Senate Republicans are urging Coleman to take it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court , with Senate Republican Conference Vice Chairman John Thune (R-SD) saying “This is about protecting the rights of voters ”.
Excuse me while I gag as I recall the 2000 and 2004 elections. The actual truth is that the GOP does not want to give Democrats their 59th vote in the Senate.
| Conservatives in both Congress and in the media are holding up a number of key appointments to the Obama administration, using their votes and/or influence to keep people from being confirmed for strictly partisan reasons. This past week, they managed to do this with at least 4 different nominations. Ya gotta wonder what they could be thinking, considering the state of extreme urgency that we are living in. They clearly are not thinking about what is good for this country or their constituents. Read the full story here, and watch Rachel Maddow as she takes on Sen. Burr (R-NC) over his efforts to block Tammy Duckworth's appointment to the Dept. of Veteran’s Affairs.
Could someone please, please remind the Wingers that they LOST the election???
| On Thursday night, both the House and the Senate passed President Obama’s 2010 Budget Plan with ZERO Republican votes. See how your senators voted. And your representatives in the House.
Fox Faux News needs to enroll in some remedial math classes apparently.
On Friday, American’s Newsroom claimed that Pres Obama’s $3.6 trillion fiscal year 2010 budget is "4x bigger than Bush's costliest plan." However, President Bush submitted a $3.1 trillion budget for FY 2009. For FY 2008, Bush submitted a $2.9 trillion budget. Do the math.
| In a unanimous decision on Friday, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that limiting same-sex couples to civil unions violates the Equal Protection clause of the Iowa Constitution.To it’s credit, Iowa now joins with Massachusetts and Connecticut in permitting same-sex marriage. Related post.
| With the March job loss figures that were released on Friday, the U.S. has now lost a total of 5.1 million jobs since the recession began in December of 2007, and unemployment is at 8.5% nationally.
A bright spot: workers should now be seeing a slightly larger paycheck due to the tax cuts which were part of the Stimulus Package, and were scheduled to begin showing up in paychecks on April 1. __________________________
| MEDIA MATTERS log, Friday, March 30 – Sunday, April 5, 2009 and April 6 - April 12, 2009
Image of John McCain – AP Photo
Image of Norm Coleman courtesy of the MInnesota Monitor.