But let me be clear: as a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country, and will not be treated differently by their government, is essential to who we are. The writ of our Founders must endure.
We must never forget those who we lost so tragically on 9/11, and we must always honor those who have led our response to that attack --from the firefighters who charged up smoke-filled staircases, to our troops who are serving in Afghanistan today. And let us always remember who we are fighting against, and what we are fighting for. Our enemies respect no freedom of religion. Al Qaeda%u2019s cause is not Islam --it is a gross distortion of Islam. These are not religious leaders --these are terrorists who murder innocent men, women and children. In fact, al Qaeda has killed more Muslims than people of any other religion --and that list of victims includes innocent Muslims who were killed on 9/11.
Full Text of the speech: read more »
[ #SOTU delivered Jan. 27, 2010, as released by the White House ]
Madame Speaker, Vice President Biden, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:
Our Constitution declares that from time to time, the President shall give to Congress information about the state of our union. For two hundred and twenty years, our leaders have fulfilled this duty. They have done so during periods of prosperity and tranquility. And they have done so in the midst of war and depression; at moments of great strife and great struggle.
It's tempting to look back on these moments and assume that our progress was inevitable – that America was always destined to succeed. But when the Union was turned back at Bull Run and the Allies first landed at Omaha Beach, victory was very much in doubt. When the market crashed on Black Tuesday and civil rights marchers were beaten on Bloody Sunday, the future was anything but certain. These were times that tested the courage of our convictions, and the strength of our union. And despite all our divisions and disagreements; our hesitations and our fears; America prevailed because we chose to move forward as one nation, and one people.
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Supposedly, it takes a lot for Rahm Emmanuel to be speechless. We've discovered what that could be: A Nobel Peace Prize for his boss. In Surprise, Obama Wins Nobel for Diplomacy - NYTimes.com
“There has been no discussion, nothing at all,” said Rahm Emanuel, the president’s chief of staff, in a brief telephone interview.
Mr. Emanuel said he had not yet spoken directly to the president, but that he believed Mr. Obama may have been informed of the award by his press secretary, Robert Gibbs. There was no official comment from the White House. However, a senior administration official said in an e-mail message that Mr. Gibbs called the White House shortly before 6 a.m. and woke the president with the news.
“The president was humbled to be selected by the committee,” the official said, without adding anything further.
You hear that? It's the collective sonic boom of republican heads exploding.
“We had to step in, it was the right thing to do, even though it is infuriating,” Obama said, explaining why the government needed to bail out the troubled banks.
“The same is true with AIG,” he said. “It was the right thing to do to step in. Here’s the problem. It’s almost like they’ve got — they’ve got a bomb strapped to them and they’ve got their hand on the trigger. You don’t want them to blow up. But you’ve got to kind of talk them, ease that finger off the trigger.”
Every week, President Obama gives an address to the nation in a tradition started by Franklin Roosevelt. What Roosevelt didn't have is YouTube.
Full text after the jump, and note the far sharper tonethe President employs when he talks about the failed policies of the last eight years.
Full text over the jump. read more »