In political news, US Senator Barack Obama spent the week giving speeches about America. Christopher Willis (AP) explains why:
First came questions about why he doesn't wear a flag lapel pin. Obama said he thinks true patriotism is demonstrated by a person's actions, not his lapel.
Then came a wave of e-mails with a picture that supposedly showed him refusing to put his hand over his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance. Obama said the picture was actually taken during the national anthem, and he was singing.
More recently, and more seriously for Obama, his wife was quoted as saying the country's response to his campaign had made her proud of America for the first time. And his pastor was seen criticizing the country in endlessly repeated video excerpts of sermons criticizing government racism.
"Not 'God Bless America' -- G** damn America!" said the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who also called the country the "U.S. of KKK-A."
By the way, can someone explain why that article was at the Los Angeles Times website for three hours and then suddenly pulled at 5:15 a.m. this morning (that's Pacific time)? In the meantime, let's all notice the fact that, no, it hasn't gone away. When you spend a weekend playing Snoopy in the tank, it's not gone away. And it's not going to.
Lynda notes "HUBdate: Hillary in the West" (HillaryClinton.com):
Recapping Yesterday: In Oregon, Hillary described her plan to create a thriving green energy industry that would "create millions of new jobs" to an "enthusiastic" crowd. Hillary later spoke at the Montana Democratic Party’s annual Metcalf-Mansfield Dinner in Butte, MT. Read more and more.
Previewing Today: Hillary hosts a "Solutions for America" town hall in Missoula, MT.
Eugene, OR: Hillary "wowed a packed South Eugene High gym" yesterday "with her vows to keep fighting for working families" in a "speech that was jam-packed with proposals." Read more.
Part of History in OR: It was "pitch black outside" when Hillary supporters began to gather outside Liberty High School in Hillsboro, OR. Said one supporter: "I’m thrilled to be a part of history." Read more.
Count Every Vote: Hillary continues to push for the voices and votes of Florida and Michigan to count. "Some say their votes should be ignored…Well, I have a different view...The question is whether those 2.3 million Democrats will be honored and their delegates seated." Read more.
Worth Fighting For: Hillary told a crowd yesterday that this race "this nomination is worth fighting for and I’m going to fight for it." The NYT writes "the crowd rewarded her with a standing ovation." Read more.
PA Women for Hillary: A supporter in PA tells the Altoona Mirror about Hillary’s candidacy: "I didn’t think this was going to happen in my lifetime." Read more.
Hoosiers for Hillary: Several Muncie, IN officials agree that Hillary’s "experience and professed dedication to bringing back manufacturing jobs to the United States were key factors" to their support…one said, Hillary has "a whale of a lot of experience." Read more.
Tar Heels for Hillary: North Carolinians followed the grand openings of campaign offices in Charlotte, NC and Raleigh, NC this week with the opening of the new Fayetteville headquarters yesterday, signing up volunteers and supporters across the region.
Lynda notes that went up Sunday and this article at Third about your online campaign site being your office. I'll try to either add that to Third this morning or see if someone else can.
Meanwhile Kim Gamel and Bushra Juhi track longterm effects of violence in "Nearly a million widows in wake of Iraq violence" (AP):
The car exploded near a popular ice cream parlor, sending flames and shrapnel through the busy square and killing 17 people.
It was another deadly explosion quickly forgotten by the outside world. But Aug. 1, 2007, changed the life of 28-year-old Maysa Sharif. It was the day she became one of nearly a million Iraqi women who have lost husbands as the country has suffered through three wars and Saddam Hussein's murderous regime.
Such vast numbers of widows would tax any society, and all the more Iraq's. With virtually no safety net and few job opportunities, most widows have little choice but to move in with their extended families and depend on their largesse.
Sharif was five months pregnant and preparing breakfast for her children when the blast shook their house in central Baghdad. She ran to the scene where her 39-year-old husband, Hussein Abdul-Hassan, ran a cigarette kiosk, and saw him on the ground. "Shrapnel hit his body and his head was cracked open. His eyes and mouth also were open," she said.
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