Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights


Meghan O’Sullivan: “how do we make it possible for the others to deliver on the agreement? . . . I don’t know if there was enough of that in the room this time.”

Sat 11 January 2014, 4:58pm

Tweet Whilst the Northern Ireland media continue to obsess over digest the parting shot from Richard Haass on the political parties’ failure to agree to his proposals (version 7), the co-chair of those talks, Meghan O’Sullivan, appears to have been delegated the task of addressing the media south of the border.  [Partitionists! - Ed]  ANYhoo.. […] more »

Vo Nguyen Giap, 1911-2013

Fri 4 October 2013, 3:41pm

Tweet The death has been announced in Hanoi of Vo Nguyen Giap, the self-taught general who drove the French out of Vietnam. His generalship at the pivotal battle of Dien Bien Phu, freeing the North from colonial rule and then later forcing the Americans to abandon their support for the various regimes in South Vietnam, was […] more »

Jobs and Freedom for Northern Ireland

Fri 30 August 2013, 7:45am

Tweet Sponsored by the US Consulate Belfast, the Washington-Ireland Programme and Politics Plus, Chris Lyttle MLA hosted a remembrance event at Parliament Buildings for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, with Martin Luther King Jr’s speech, “I have a dream”. Chris recalled his experience as a participant in the […] more »

Parliamentary Written Question of the Week…

Fri 21 June 2013, 8:40pm

Tweet Now that the US President is back home across the pond, it’s probably safe to note the latest candidate in an occasional series.  From the House of Commons written parliamentary questions 20 June. US White House Sir Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether the Government plans […] more »

The fate of peace: President Obama in Northern Ireland

Wed 19 June 2013, 3:37pm
20130617 Obama NI square

Tweet My marriage is a transatlantic union between a Midwesterner and a Belfast-born Northern Irishwoman. Fittingly, my wife and I were delighted to receive tickets to hear another Midwesterner, President Barack Obama, at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall. With DJ Pete Snodden playing music by American artists, and the 2,000+ crowd performing a Mexican wave, one could […] more »

“Adding more weapons to this volatile situation could destabilise the entire region…”

Sat 15 June 2013, 6:42pm

Tweet The Northern Ireland First and deputy First Ministers were in a sunny Downing Street garden yesterday, welcoming that suspect package, and extolling the virtues of demonstrating “peacefully, positively, constructively” [Is that with, or without, a Thompson sub-machine gun? - Ed]  Without, probably…  ANYhoo, on the same day Sinn Féin released the text of what appears […] more »

“As usual, few things are as unreliable as Obama’s speeches and rhetoric…”

Thu 30 May 2013, 6:52pm

Tweet At the Big G’s Comment is Free, Glenn Greenwald follows up on his excellent analysis of US President Barack Obama’s recent ‘war on terror’ speech to focus in on one of those domestic political problems I mentioned – “the serious threat posed by the Obama administration to press freedoms”.  From Glenn Greenwald’s post Outside of […] more »

“Obama may do things you progressives find distasteful, but at least marvel at how thoughtful and torn up he is about it all…”

Tue 28 May 2013, 2:48pm

Tweet With growing domestic political difficulties – the continued fall-out from Benghazi, the IRS caught targeting political opponents, the increased invocation of the 1917 Espionage Act against troublesome journalists, to name but three issues – US President Barack Obama is probably looking forward to his short June break at Lough Erne.  In the meantime, though, […] more »

OFMdFM: “as open and transparent as possible”

Sat 18 May 2013, 7:40pm

Tweet After much foot-dragging, the Northern Ireland First and deputy First Ministers have released the cost [to date - Ed] of their 12-day March junket trip to Brazil and the USA to “Develop and promote political, investment, trade, university and tourism links” – an eye-watering £155,509.  As Mark Devenport tweeted So were FM and DFM’s recent […] more »

Explosions at Boston Marathon Finish Line

Mon 15 April 2013, 8:48pm

Tweet The BBC are reporting that there have been two explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, three hours after the winners had passed the line.  That’s around 5 hours after the race start.  Currently the number of people injured is unkown.  Live coverage from the BBC here.  Adds Guardian live-blog here.  Update  According to […] more »

“processing it through their stunted, trivial prism of partisan loyalty…”

Sun 10 March 2013, 7:47pm

Tweet At the Guardian, Glenn Greenwald makes a number of important points about the reaction to US Senator Rand Paul’s 13-hour filibuster against John Brennan’s nomination as head of the CIA.  From Glenn Greenwald at Comment is Free Last week’s 13-hour filibuster of John Brennan’s confirmation as CIA director by GOP Sen. Rand Paul was […] more »

Weekend White House memes…

Sat 2 March 2013, 4:41pm
OBAMA "I am not a dictator"

Tweet After US President Barack Obama mangled his sci-fi/popular culture references with his “Jedi mind-meld”, the White House twitter feed doubled down on the confusion… [The Farce is strong with this one - Ed]  Meanwhile, also via the Professor, his critics are having fun with the latest in an occasional series of Presidential denials. Heh. more »

King 1963: I have a dream. Obama 2013: I have a drone

Mon 21 January 2013, 11:54am

Tweet In 1963 Martin Luther King Jr stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., and gave his famous “I have a dream” speech. Today, fifty years on, in tribute to the great civil rights leader, the US marks Martin Luther King Jr Day with a federal holiday in his name. Today […] more »

“But today, identity seems more central to politics than ever before.”

Thu 22 November 2012, 5:17pm

Tweet Brian’s noting of the advice from Richard Haass to the Israeli government reminded me that there are other places, and administrations, who have received similar ‘lessons’ from The Process™ here.  Afghanistan, for example.  Of course, it always helps to have well-placed friends [writing your speeches! - Ed].  And it’s worth noting that Richard Haass’ role […] more »

A historic vote just took place in the USA. Oh, and Obama won too…

Wed 7 November 2012, 10:55pm

Tweet I’ve no idea how this flew under the radar, but the outside world (bar the BBC) has largely ignored the most historic American plebiscite since the 1950s. Obama’s re-election, important though it is in itself, might find itself eclipsed by what just took place in Puerto Rico – a clear popular vote in favour […] more »

The [animated] view from Taiwan… Redux

Fri 5 October 2012, 12:40am

Tweet Everyone’s favourite Taiwanese animators have neatly summarised last night’s first 2012 US Presidential debate.  Ouch!  Via the Professor’s stand-in team.  And with the incumbent heading for a more comfortable platform on which to revise his debating points after the fact, there’s this for true believers to consider. The fact is that Mr Obama has a […] more »

“Obviously, people are never going to be seized by the exact same patently bullshit sense of destiny they were last time around…”

Wed 5 September 2012, 10:31pm

Tweet The Onion reports, prematurely it would appear, from the Democratic Party’s National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.  From the Onion slice. According to sources, none of the students in attendance appeared to be discussing proposals for college debt-relief with quite the same degree of unthinking, asinine fervor as they did in 2008, nor did […] more »

The US Presidential Election: For what we are about to receive…

Sat 1 September 2012, 11:08am

Tweet Reading  Glenn Greenwald’s piece in Pete Baker’s previous post  will reinforce in the minds of many their negative views of the American political process and the Presidential elections, and that’s even  before we start getting personal about US presidents with our own favourite stories about their stupidity and iniquity. This  negative coverage will increase exponentially […] more »

US Presidential Election: “the process is the ultimate deceit. And the ultimate distraction.”

Fri 31 August 2012, 10:32pm

Tweet Something for Mick’s late night panel to consider, perhaps…  The Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, had a reasonably successful convention in Tampa by most accounts, and has followed up by stealing a march on the current president.  But I’d tend to agree with most of Glenn Greenwald’s take on the US presidential election process. […] more »

Boston College: “No pledge of privacy nor oath of secrecy can avail against demand for the truth in a court of justice.”

Sat 7 July 2012, 2:14pm

Tweet The Boston Globe reports on the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruling in the PSNI/HET’s attempt to access some of the material in the Boston College Belfast Project archive.  The project director, Ed Moloney, and researcher Anthony McIntyre had been trying to head the US Government off at the pass.  And they’ve already opened […] more »

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