David Kirkpatrick

August 29, 2010

The size of Beck’s rally on the Mall

More from today’s Playbook, here’s two sources with two fairly different sets of numbers:

–CBS News commissioned aerial photos and put the crowd at 87,000:“AirPhotosLive.com based the attendance on aerial pictures it took over the rally, which stretched from in front of the Lincoln Memorial along the Reflecting Pool to the Washington Monument. … AirPhotosLive.com gave its estimate a margin of error of 9,000, meaning between 78,000 and 96,000 people attended the rally. The photos used to make the estimate were taken at noon Saturday, which is when the company estimated was the rally’s high point.”

–Beck has his own photos, telling Chris Wallace: “We’ll have aerial photography here shortly on the numbers, but I can tell you that it was in the hundreds of thousands. … [L]et’s be on the low end, 300,000, and it may be as it may be as high as 650,000. But there were hundreds of thousands.”

January 27, 2010

Obama’s State of the Union Address

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:13 pm

Didn’t catch the SOTU (late bit of work), but sounds like a solid, and sober, speech.

Sully and his underbloggers at the Daily Dish put together — as always — a great roundup of opinion from around the blogosphere.

Here’s one from the left:

538:

Obama is making a lot of arguments tonight that the WH should have been making for months now.

One from the neutral sidelines:

Ambinder:

Most remarkable: Secretary of Defense Bob Gates applauded Obama’s words [on DADT]. And Americans saw him applauding, thanks to the director’s cut-aways. Which means that, for the most part, the military is on notice: the policy is ending, and ending very soon. Said Obama: “This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are. Because it’s the right thing to do.” One note: the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the chiefs didn’t applauded. But that’s the protocol. They don’t applaud by tradition.

And one from the right:

Mark Levin:

I have watched many, many State of the Union speeches.  This is the most partisan, least presidential of them all.  His rhetoric, his glances at the GOP side, and his almost mocking tone at times — not to mention his over-the-top dissembling about the deficit, among other things — will not, I predict, improve his position with the public.  Nor should it.

Update 1/28/10 — Here’s a link to the full text of the speech.

December 2, 2009

Obama’s Af-Pak speech

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:56 pm

I don’t have too much of an immediate reaction other than to say it’s a good sign both political extremes are for the most part very unhappy with the plan.

Here’s the text of the speech:

Good evening. To the United States Corps of Cadets, to the men and women of our armed services, and to my fellow Americans: I want to speak to you tonight about our effort in Afghanistan–the nature of our commitment there, the scope of our interests, and the strategy that my Administration will pursue to bring this war to a successful conclusion. It is an honor for me to do so here–at West Point–where so many men and women have prepared to stand up for our security, and to represent what is finest about our country.

To address these issues, it is important to recall why America and our allies were compelled to fight a war in Afghanistan in the first place. We did not ask for this fight. On September 11, 2001, nineteen men hijacked four airplanes and used them to murder nearly 3,000 people. They struck at our military and economic nerve centers. They took the lives of innocent men, women, and children without regard to their faith or race or station. Were it not for the heroic actions of the passengers on board one of those flights, they could have also struck at one of the great symbols of our democracy in Washington, and killed many more.

(head below the fold for the rest … ) (more…)

May 21, 2009

Obama and Cheney, dueling speeches

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:23 pm

I’m betting many elected GOP figures just wish Dick Cheney would head back to a secret location — any secret location — and stay out of the news.

Obama gives a speech on national security outlining his plan to keep America safe:

President Obama kicked off the debate with a far-reaching speech about the expanse and limits of the office of the presidency, defending decisions he’s already made that reverse his predecessor’s policies and also those upholding others. Addressing critics from the right and left, Mr. Obama didn’t back down from his plans to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center nor did he shrink from his refusal to release more photographs of abused prisoners.

He accused some critics of fear-mongering, of stoking the public’s anxieties over terrorism and without mentioning names, castigated officials of the previous administration for an “anything goes” mindset that permitted torture and a vastly broad view of executive authority. He relied in words and visual imagery on the historical documents displayed around him – the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.

Immediately following Obama’s speech looking toward the future and outlining a clear plan of action that represents a return to a United States once again walking softly, but carrying a big stick, Dick Cheney hits the airwaves looking not to the future, but the past. September 11 to be exact, reminding the world that the worst terrorist attack on the domestic U.S. happened under the Bush 43 watch.

He’s clearly scrambling, but he’s certainly not helping his party and he’s undermining the sitting president in ways I’m guessing he’d consider actionable if it were occurring when he and Bush were in office. The hypocrisy is not lost on the American public.

Cheney’s reputation is in shambles, he is more likely than not to face war crime charges in either U.S. or international courts and he is basically taking a large dump on the tattered remains on the Republican Party. The leftover rump might take it and ask for a little more, but every time Cheney attempts to defend the Bush 43 regime a few more holdout center-right voters turn their backs on the GOP.

From the same link above:

In line after line, Mr. Cheney drew upon the horrific imagery of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 as though they had occurred just yesterday. While commending Mr. Obama for a new Afghanistan war strategy, he accused the president of faulting and mischaracterizing Bush practices. Indeed, Mr. Cheney added as a prelude to his lengthy speech, so much so that Mr. Obama “deserved an answer.” Mr. Cheney continued to insist that the harsh interrogation methods now opposed by the president were successful in thwarting more assaults against the United States. And he argued that “seven and a half years without a repeat is not a record to be rebuked and scorned, much less criminalized. It is a record to be continued until danger has passed.”

Here’s links to both speeches — The Obama transcript. The Cheney transcript.

March 30, 2009

Prison reform …

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 7:55 pm

… is a long-overdue topic for Congress to take on. Jim Webb introduced “The National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2009″ to address the issue, and here’s a PDF of his Senate floor speech introducing the legislation.

From Webb’s speech:

Let’s start with a premise that I don’t think a lot of Americans are aware of. We have 5% of the world’s population; we have 25% of the world’s known prison population. We have an incarceration rate in the United States, the world’s greatest democracy, that is five times as high as the average incarceration rate of the rest of the world. There are only two possibilities here: either we have the most evil people on earth living in the United States; or we are doing something dramatically wrong in terms of how we approach the issue of criminal justice.

These numbers are simply shameful. All Americans ought to be embarrassed when reading this graf from Webb’s intro speech. I hope something tangible comes from this bill.

March 17, 2008

Obama announces major speech tomorrow

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:53 pm

Obama is planning a speech tomorrow to cover the flap over his ex-pastor and on the issue of race in this campaign. If nothing else a speech directly addressing race should undercut the Clinton strategy of quiet, assumed racism.

As a political team the Clintons’ are certainly compiling quite the track record. In the 90s they completely sold the gay and lesbian community down the river. Now in the late-oughts, they are giving the black community the same treatment.

Anyone who wants to argue the Bob Johnson, Ferraro, et. al., comments were not sanctioned from within the Clinton camp and were not clear statements of racism must be either working for the campaign, be phenomenally deluded, or may just be a tad soft in the head.

From the link:

Barack Obama will give a major speech on “the larger issue of race in this campaign,” he told reporters in Monaca, PA just now.

He was pressed there, as he has been at recent appearances, on statements by his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright.

“I am going to be talking about not just Reverend Wright, but the larger issue of race in this campaign,” he said.

February 17, 2008

Cthulhu worshippers rejoice

Filed under: Arts, et.al., Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:57 am

For all those H.P. Lovecraft fans out there, here’s a (obviously ficticious in case anyone isn’t clear) campaign speech by a follower of Cthulhu Worship defending the religion, a la Romney and Mormonism.

A funny read made even better if you’re familiar with the Esoteric Order of Dagon.

(Hat tip: Hit & Run)

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