Tales from the Trail

from Left field:

Baseball brings ‘em together: all 5 U.S. presidents

July 7, 2009

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It's one thing they can agree on... baseball. 

Major League Baseball is bringing all five living U.S. presidents together at next week's 80th All-Star Game.

No apology for CIA coup plotting? Well, how about a photo then…

June 23, 2009

President Barack Obama artfully dodged a request from Chilean reporters Tuesday for an apology for CIA meddling in Latin America, but he caved in to another demand.
 
“President Obama, can you take a photograph with the Chilean press, please?” one reporter OBAMA/asked at the end of an Oval Office statement by Obama and Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.
 
“A photograph with the press?” Obama asked. “OK, why don’t we go outside?”
 
The U.S. leader was less forthcoming on the matter of apologizing for the CIA’s long history of meddling in the affairs of Latin American governments.
 
The CIA has denied direct involvement in the overthrow and death of Chilean President Salvador Allende in 1973 but has acknowledged trying to prevent him from assuming the presidency three years earlier.
 
And it has acknowledged supporting the military junta that took control of country after the coup.
 
Bachelet, then a college student, was imprisoned and tortured following the coup, as was her mother. Her father, who had been an air force general in the Allende government, was imprisoned and tortured to death.
 
Asked if it was time for an apology for the CIA’s activities in Chile, Obama said, “I’m interested in going forward, not looking backward.”
 
“I think that the United States has been an enormous force for good in the world. I think there have been times where we’ve made mistakes,” he said. “But I think that what is important is looking at what our policies are today, and what my administration intends to do in cooperating with the region.”
 
That said, he did manage a chuckle at U.S. expense — over the old joke that there’s never been a coup in the United States because it has no American Embassy.
 
Someone else told the joke, Bachelet insisted after it was attributed to her.
 
“I just said it was a good joke,” she said.
 
“Yes, it is,” said Obama, laughing.
 
For more Reuters political news, please click here.

Obama in bed with the press?

June 20, 2009

President Barack Obama poked fun at his close relationship with the press on Friday and teased radio and TV correspondents their industry “was more relevant than ever,” despite more and more Americans turning elsewhere for news.

The First Draft: Obama recipe – take crisis-filled agenda, add one Iran

June 16, 2009

There is a new crisis on the agenda for President Barack Obama.

While trying to revitalize a nosediving economy, rebuild the collapsing auto industry, rein in North Korea’s unpredictable Kim Jong-il and overhaul the costly healthcare system, Obama now can ponder his response to an Iran reeling from a disputed election and the biggest street protests since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

The First Draft: Blank screens

June 12, 2009

BASEBALL/Millions of Americans could be staring at blank TV screens tomorrow, when broadcasters switch to digital signals.

The First Draft: From Gitmo to paradise

June 11, 2009

AUSTRALIABarack Obama and Joe Biden head to the Midwest today.

The Chinese Gitmo detainees are heading to paradise.

No, they’re not winging to heaven to enjoy the company of 72 virgins. The Uighurs, as they’re known, are being resettled in various beachy, tropical locales as the Obama administration seeks to empty the controversial Guantanamo Bay prison.

The First Draft: Hello, summer!

May 22, 2009

USA/It’s almost Memorial Day Weekend, the unofficial start of summer. No bottlenecks yet at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, the gateway to Maryland’s Eastern Shore beach towns.

The First Draft: Not in my backyard

May 21, 2009

USA/Former House speaker Tip O’Neill famously said that all politics is local, and President Barack Obama has encountered a phrase all too familiar to city councils and zoning boards: Not in My Backyard.

The First Draft: Navel gazers no more

May 20, 2009

USA/Republican Party chairman Michael Steele yesterday urged his fellow GOPers to stop “navel gazing” and go on the offensive against President Obama and his Democrats, and it appears they are getting right to it.

The First Draft: Obama and Netanyahu

May 18, 2009

OBAMA/ABORTIONBack from South Bend, Indiana, President Obama meets today at 10:30 with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.