• Explosions in Kabul hours after Obama leaves: Violence erupted in a diplomatic area of Kabul on Tuesday, just hours after the departure of President Barack Obama from Afghanistan. There were three explosions, followed by sporadic shooting, in the eastern part of the Afghan capital, Afghan officials told the Associated Press. A Taliban spokesman has claimed responsibility for the attack. [politico/DONOVAN SLACK/01 May 2012]
• President Obama target of Kabul blasts: Taliban – Three huge explosions have hit the Afghan capital Kabul with Taliban claiming that US President Barack Obama was the target of the attacks.
• Why the GOP’s Really Afraid of a “Cool” Obama – Lately Obama has been raising the ante, asking which candidate would you like to share a song with, and the GOP considers this to be some kind of dirty trick.: But as you watch the two ads above, it becomes clear that it’s not only Obama acting like a celebrity that has the GOP’s nose out of joint. He’s also “acting black”–in fact, he’s rubbing their faces in it, just like he did when he sympathized with Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. for getting arrested in his own home. And that gleams like troll gold to Republican strategists.
Obama has dared to be a cool black man more often lately. First, in January, he sang, “I—I’m so in love with you” at a fundraiser at the Apollo Theater, with Al Green in the audience, a totally engaging moment the Rove ad doesn’t fail to sneer at. (As Maureen Dowd wrote, “For eight seconds, we saw the president we had craved for three years: cool, joyous, funny, connected.”) Then, for a Black History Month celebration in the White House, Obama sang a few bars of “Sweet Home Chicago” with B.B. King, once again looking terrifically comfortable in his own (black) skin.
By March, the right was criticizing Obama for acknowledging, of Trayvon Martin, that “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.” Newt Gingrich called that comment “disgraceful.”
At some level, much of the GOP base still believes that Obama’s race is somehow disqualifying for the Oval Office, and they can barely keep themselves from overtly attacking him for it. But the demographics are daunting, and their professionals know it. To see a white guy like Jimmy Fallon acting black—doing a silly Barry White impression with Obama and Roots vocalist Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter behind him—reinforces the fear among some on the right that the hip youth culture is increasingly a black culture and that it’s inexorably taking over. [The Nation/Leslie Savan/01 May 2012]
• Man Down in Power City: Why is the snap resignation of Mitt Romney’s openly gay foreign policy spokesman so damaging? The Obama campaign has spent days hammering the claim that Mitt lacked the fortitude to make the risky choice to launch a commando raid to kill Osama bin Laden. Either it was that he said it wasn’t sufficiently important or that he said he wouldn’t violate Pakistani sovereignty to launch such an attack. In either case, the core message was ‘I was right; he was wrong.’ But as I’ve argued, the ferocity of the attack itself was meant to diminish Romney as weak and helpless, a man unable to properly defend himself. This is “bitch slap politics” at its best or its worst, depending on your measure. Through the day, Romney struggled to find a way to say that the President deserved credit for his decision but that anyone else would have done just the same thing. Against that backdrop, the sudden resignation of Romney’s new foreign policy spokesman Richard Grenell came at just the wrong time since it told just the same story about Romney as the Obama campaign has been telling all week: Romney is weak. [talkingpointsmemo/Josh Marshall/01 May 2012]
• Richard Grenell hounded from Romney campaign by anti-gay conservatives: Richard Grenell, the openly gay spokesman recently hired to sharpen the foreign policy message of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, has resigned in the wake of a full-court press by anti-gay conservatives. [/Jennifer Rubin/01 May 2012]
• Forward: Fox News And Conservatives Have Totally Lost Their Friggin Minds
• You know who else used the word “forward” in a presidential campaign ad? Ronald Reagan.
• U.S. defends drone strikes as legal: Washington (UPI) May 1, 2012 – U.S. President Barack Obama’s top counter-terrorism adviser publicly acknowledged the administration’s use of drone strikes against suspected terrorist targets and defended them, vociferously, as legal and effective tools to protect the United States. John O. Brennan, assistant to the president for homeland security and counter-terrorism, said drones “apply with all applicable laws, including the laws of war.”[Medill News Service/Andy Matarrese/01 May 2012]
• Israel’s links with Egypt steadily worsen: Tel Aviv, Israel – Israel’s relations with Egypt are steadily deteriorating following the downfall of President Hosni Mubarak and the countries’ historic 1979 peace treaty is growing increasingly tenuous. Amr Moussa, Egypt’s former foreign minister and the leading candidate in the May 23-24 presidential election, declared Sunday during a campaign rally that the U.S.-brokered Camp David Accords should be considered “dead and buried.” In Israel, former Defense Minister Binyamin “Fouad” Ben-Eliezer, a retired army general who fought the Egyptians in three wars, was quoted by the liberal daily Haaretz Monday as saying, “We must be prepared to for the possibility of a confrontation with Egypt.” [UPI/01 May 2012]
• Video: Amendment 1 pastor gives parents ‘special dispensation’ to use violence against LGBT kids!!!: TRANSCRIPT: “So your little son starts to act a little girlish when he is four years old and instead of squashing that like a cockroach and saying, “Man up, son, get that dress off you and get outside and dig a ditch, because that is what boys do,” you get out the camera and you start taking pictures of Johnny acting like a female and then you upload it to YouTube and everybody laughs about it and the next thing you know, this dude, this kid is acting out childhood fantasies that should have been squashed.
Can I make it any clearer? Dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up. Give him a good punch. Ok? You are not going to act like that. You were made by God to be a male and you are going to be a male. And when your daughter starts acting to Butch you reign her in. And you say, “Oh, no, sweetheart. You can play sports. Play them to the glory of God. But sometimes you are going to act like a girl and walk like a girl and talk like a girl and smell like a girl and that means you are going to be beautiful. You are going to be attractive. You are going to dress yourself up.”
You say, “Can I take charge like that as a parent?”
Yeah, you can. You are authorized. I just gave you a special dispensation this morning to do that.” [goodasyou/Jeremy Hooper/01 May 2012]
• Conservative Justice Prosser Suggests He Merely Breached ‘Etiquette’ When He Allegedly Choked A Colleague: Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser allegedly grabbed fellow Justice Ann Walsh Bradley around the neck during argument in her chambers last June. Even Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) called the allegations against Prosser a “serious matter of grave concern,” and the Wisconsin Judicial Commission sought an investigation into whether Prosser’s actions violated his ethical obligations as a judge. Prosser, however, has a very different take on the situation, suggesting that his alleged assault on a fellow justice is nothing more than a breach of “etiquette” [thinkprogress/Ian Millhiser/01 May 2012]
• Florida Lawmakers Claim ‘Stand Your Ground’ Is Pro-Woman, Despite Exemption For Domestic Violence: A father/son duo in the Florida state legislature is working hard to bring gender politics into the debate about Stand Your Ground laws. In a letter to the editor that ran in the News Herald, Sen. Don Gaetz (R-FL) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) argued that calling for the repeal is anti-woman. The letter was also distributed by the National Rifle Association, and specifically by Marion Hammer, former NRA president and current Florida NRA lobbyist, to push back on calls for repeal of Stand Your Ground. The letter’s strange claim is rendered all the more unbelievable because Florida’s Stand Your Ground law actually exempts the overwhelming majority of female victims from its so-called protections — the law does not apply to domestic violence cases. [thinkprogress/Annie-Rose Strasser/01 May 2012]
• Minnesota Senator Who Sponsored Vetoed Anti-Abortion Pill Bill Calls Viagra A ‘Drug For Life’: [A] Democratic state senator asked why RU-486 should be regulated instead of erectile dysfunction medication. Sen. Paul Gazelka (R), the bill’s sponsor, said Viagra is a “wonderful drug” that “helps create life.” [thinkprogress/Amanda Peterson Beadle/01 May 2012]