- At 1:10pm Cairo time (7:10am EDT), at Cairo University, President Obama gave his much-awaited speech on a new beginning with the Muslim world. The Muslim community in Cairo generally seemed delighted with the US president reaching out to them, and his call for understanding and alliances has gone over fairly well in the US press also. Inevitably, however, some frustration and skepticism will linger, based on what President Obama said... and didn't say. Mike Allen of Politico said already that the speech was "historic not so much for the delivery or even the words, but for the context, the orator, the moment."
- Today marks the twentieth anniversary of the Tianamen Square protests in China. Those who may wish to mark it in Beijing will find themselves impeded by police who are there to stop protests, but the thoughts of many regardless today turn to questioning the current level of civil and political liberties. Nicholas Kristof of the NYT was there in Tianamen Square 20 years ago, and has written a column remembering the event.
- President Obama indicated yesterday in a written letter to Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ted Kennedy (D-MA) that he is open to the idea of mandating health care-- although he has refrained from using that term. Health care reform is arguably a #1 priority on the table for the White House right now.
- NYT magazine has a feature on "The Mellowing of Bill Clinton," an interesting look at what the former president has been up to-- now that his wife is the Secretary of State.
- Politically speaking: The 2012 election speculation continues with an article from the WaPo on which Republicans are looking towards running for their party's nomination. Additionally: Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn is in a tight spot with the Sotomayor nomination. As a GOP member of the Judiciary Committee and the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, he basically has to provide an intellectual (conservative) argument (probably) against Sotomayor without undermining Hispanic support for the Republican Party in 2010.
- Speaking of important constituencies (and in light of yesterday's move by NH to allow same-sex marriage), gay rights groups are starting to get impatient with President Obama. They see the president dragging his feet on important campaign promises like repealing the Federal Defense of Marriage Act.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Reading List: Thursday 6/4
Another significant day in the news, starting around 7:10am EDT...