Happy Anniversary Mr. & Mrs. Obama…
President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama went out to dinner on Saturday night to celebrate their 19th wedding anniversary.
According to a White House pool report, they ate at Restaurant Eve in Alexandria, Va. The restaurant, described as “quaint yet sophisticated” on its website, sent out this tweet after the Obamas’ visit: “Love people who have great palates and dine with us… especially uh… THE PRESIDENT AND HIS BEAUTIFUL WIFE!!!”
The first couple’s anniversary is on Monday.
Proponents of the last administration are trying their best to undermine President Obama’s foreign policy successes. Cheney is the latest in a long line of pundits and ex-Bush administration officials trying to give Dubya credit for his foreign policy programs which enabled Obama’s latest foreign policy coup.
I realize that Dick Cheney is basically a troll these days, but I’m going to go ahead and feed him a little for this one.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney applauded the U.S. drone strike that killed American-born al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki but added that President Obama now owed the Bush administration an apology for claiming they “overreacted to 9/11.”
Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Cheney said Obama was inconsistent for criticizing the former administration’s approach to terrorism while also using “some of the same techniques the Bush administration did.”
“We developed the technique and the technology for it,” said Cheney of the drone strike that killed Awlaki.
Cheney sounds a lot like Dubya, who basically took credit for killing bin Laden. But reports indicate that al-Awlaki was killed by a Predator (introduced during the Clinton administration) armed with Hellfire missiles (developed during the Reagan administration) — so it’s not clear what Cheney is talking about here.
“The thing I’m waiting for is for the administration to go back and correct something they said two years ago when they criticized us for ‘overreacting’ to the events of 9/11,” said Cheney. “They, in effect, said that we had walked away from our ideals, or taken policy contrary to our ideals when we had enhanced interrogation techniques.”
Most Americans agree that setting up torture gulags all over the world, illegally spying on Americans, creating a sprawling new department of the federal government and launching a preemptive, unrelated war of choice that killed half-a-million people — was an overreaction.
But is Cheney claiming that the Obama administration found Awlaki through torture? If so, that’s news.
Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that’s happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. This week, the President announced reforms to No Child Left Behind, traveled to California to hold a town hall on job growth at LinkedIn, spoke on what the American Jobs Act could mean for America’s schools and gave his third annual Back To School address.
The week’s top quotes in politics:
“This is my golf.” — Texas Gov. Rick Perry talking about shooting sniper rifles.
“Time is money and I don’t waste mine.” — Donald Trump tweeting about why he won’t meet with Jon Huntsman.
“See, I knew you couldn’t resist.” — Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich getting frustrated with a reporter asking about his fundraising.
“It’s extraordinarily flattering.” — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on the push for him to run for president.
“I guess you could say, with all due respect, he’s the flavor of the week.” — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin taking a shot at Herman Cain.
“That is bullfeathers!” — 2012 hopeful Herman Cain getting upset about people who dismiss his campaign.
“Just relax.” — First lady Michelle Obama on how to act during a dinner with the president.
“This is going to be a titanic struggle.” — Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod talking about the reelection.
“Not sure if he saw the movie?” — GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romneyresponding to Axelrod’s remark.
It is a cruel irony in American politics that just as young people across the country – indeed around the world – think their votes don’t count in the political process, voter suppression tactics are all too alive and well.
As the non-partisan Brennan Center for Justice points out, in the last few years there has been an aggressive effort to restrict voting as legislators around the country have been pushing bills that make sweeping changes to their election codes to limit the voting rights of students and movers, reduce early voting days, and restrict voter registration and “get-out-the-vote” mobilization efforts.
In this month alone, the Colorado secretary of state tried to block Denver voters from receiving absentee ballots lawsuit while his Maine counterpart wrote to students advising them that they could face legal prosecution if they maintained out-of-state drivers licenses and in-state voter registration cards.
Couple these efforts with voter ID laws that the DNC’s Voting Rights Institute reports affect 11 percent of Americans — approximately 23 million citizens of voting age, the vast majority of whom are low-income, disabled, minority, young, and older voters — who lack proper photo ID and the Federal Elections Commission finding that over 20,000 polling places are inaccessible to people with disabilities http://smlr.rutgers.edu/fact-sheet-on-disability-and-voter-turnout-in-2010, and we are looking at millions of Americans who could be disenfranchised.
That’s a whole lot effort to suppress a vote that doesn’t count! If there is an effort to restrict voting, the forces doing the restricting must think the ballot counts – and you voters should too.
So my advice to a wary voter is this; the next time you think your vote doesn’t count, think of all the efforts going on to restrict your right to cast it. That alone should tell you how powerful a force each and every voter can be. Remember the boomerang effect that the despicable 2010 “don’t vote” ads had on Latino voters who turned out and voted in pro-voting pro-immigrant candidates. Believe that making your elected officials accountable begins with the civic sacrament of voting, hold your candidates to a simple test: does she want me to vote or not? and when given the choice, vote for the people who want you to vote.