Portland welcomed President Barack Obama today, with Liberty Bells ringing from protestors across the street, and chants and cheers of all kinds ringing up and down Park Avenue outside the Portland Expo.
The clip, of course, that's making national headlines is not the substantive parts of his speech on health-care reform, or its potential effect on small businesses and young people.
We've all seen Barack Obama's smile. We've even heard him laugh as others poked fun at him, or as he poked fun at others.
But on Saturday, speaking to House Democrats on Capitol Hill in advance of the momentous health-care reform bill vote, his sense of humor was put to a higher purpose - and yet kept its genuine hilarity.
Speaking about his proposal, and about the debate that ensued, Obama called his supporters to his side and dismissed his detractors with a cleverly worded line.
Answering a question from Oprah recently, Barack Obama gave his performance in office so far a "solid B-plus."
The Phoenix has a different answer, and it's in this week's editorial.
You can read it here, and find out our thoughts on what Obama has accomplished, and what's left to be done.
Take a look, and comment at the end with your own grade of how Obama is doing for you.
Post-partisanship is dead already. A broad coalition of liberal and progressive groups is slamming Republicans in the US House of Representatives for failing to support the economic recovery package proposed by President Obama. (The plan itself is already under fire for a lot of problems, such as failing to protect reproductive health for the poor, its $1-trillion-plus actual cost, and pork
The New York Times reported yesterday that former US senator George Mitchell may be Barack Obama's special envoy to the Middle East. Could this be one reason Mitchell's company bowed out of the Maine State Pier project? Hard to say, but Mitchell has experience dealing with entrenched political opponents (see Northern Ireland) as well as uncovering unpleasant truths (see baseball).
The Take Back Barack effort (started by the Portland Phoenix's managing editor Jeff Inglis and staff writer Deirdre Fulton with this article) is on TV throughout January around the nation, thanks to Liberty News TV. (It's a non-profit progressive outfit based here in Portland, and they accept donations!)
Here's the clip - click here for a map to see where you can watch the whole show on your TV!
A Kittery native, Dennis Blair, is likely to be tapped as the Director of National Intelligence in the Obama administration, according to the New York Times and ABC News. Blair, a retired four-star Navy admiral, is a former commander of all US Navy forces in Asia and the Pacific. Sadly, according to the Nation, he made the US (more) complicit in the 1999 violence in Timor
Many of the comments about Take Back Barack
so far have been from conservatives shouting with glee, calling Obama a
"snake-oil salesman" and a "con man," and apparently suggesting I'm a
sucker for believing his promises. But it appears the progressive
community might be paying some attention. Early tomorrow morning (East
Coast time) - so early it's late at night Pacific time - I'll be on the
Phil Hendrie Show talking about the Take Back Barack effort.
If you've seen the latest issue of the Portland Phoenix, you know it's time to Take Back Barack. But you should also know that you can follow our efforts on a new blog, at thePhoenix.com/TakeBackBarack. Check it out!
Here's what the Obama campaign staff are really up to today, courtesy of UltimateImprov.com:
Todd Palin shows up in a GOP mailer sent to rural Maine...making Al Diamon's October 22 column even more relevant.
Jeff Inglis adds:
While the flier suggests that the next
president will have control over whether snowmobiling is allowed in
national parks, it's certainly difficult to argue that snowmobile
access is the most important decision the next president will make.
Portland Phoenix managing editor Jeff Inglis will be on National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation program this afternoon from 2:40 to 3 pm, talking about the importance of voting and taking calls from listeners.
Inspired by a piece I wrote about "RickeyPAC" (see "Who's Your Rickey?", October 17), and based on the effort of a group of friends of mine to convince another friend to vote, NPR is including our effort in their coverage of the run-up to the presidential election.
There’s an important use for the Obama campaign’s text-message database
that’s not being discussed, and it’s a way to help prevent the Republicans from
stealing the election.
We know that Barack Obama’s campaign has done a much better
job at getting people’s cell-phone numbers, from his various text-message
initiatives (including the contest at the DNC to see which state would send in
the most text