Two Years Running, Michelle Shows 'Em How You Do It To It, Again 0 comments

Michelle Obama, not Cindy McCain, wins best dressed vote


Wednesday, July 30th 2008, 4:00 AM

Michelle Obama (l.) won Vanity Fair's fashion vote, while Cindy McCain got snubbed.

Score one for Michelle Obama.

The First Lady fashion fight continues as the Democrat White House wanna-be got the vote from Vanity Fair, which put her on its global best-dressed list for the second year in a row.

They praised her simple, chic style - calling her "our commander in sheath." Left off the coveted roster was Cindy McCain, who must've felt like, well, sheath, from the snub.

Clothes make the woman, after all. Like it or lump it, the personal style of each candidate's wife has become an important part in establishing individuality, likability and power.

Cindy McCain made news while getting a private peek at Oscar de la Renta's fancy fall line (her grumbling bodyguards, left to stand outside the designer's studio in the heat, gave the story away). But Michelle Obama, who has her own favorite high-end designers, has made sure to advertise her everywoman-frugality every chance she gets.

Women across the country bought the pitch - and the dress - when Obama announced she was wearing a $150 White House Black Market frock (she revealed she shops at Target, too).

It's down-to-earth versus fussbudget? Maybe, but McCain has been working to relax her rigid look - and her reputation.

Earlier this month she traded her rigid updo for a wavier, more carefree coiffure. Without saying a word, she let it be known she can cut loose.

A Hug for Obama, A Handshake for McCain 0 comments

New York Times article this morning about attitudes on Capital Hill among the two parties - encouraging.

World Writes Open Letter 0 comments

Excerpted from piece by Michael Bérubé - at Talking Points Memo

The entire world drafted an open letter to (That Old Guy) (R-Ariz.) today, asking him to drop out of the U.S. presidential race and concede the presidency to Senator Barack Obama (D-Illinois).

"Ordinarily we do not interfere in America's internal affairs," said a spokesman for the rest of the planet, "even when it has become clear, as in recent years, that American voters are about to elect ignorant, incoherent buffoons who will add immeasurably to our immiseration. But this time is different. We didn't think it was worth our while to step up for your Carter or Mondale or Dukakis or Gore or Kerry -- besides, we'd only be bombed or invaded for our trouble. But this time, I mean, come on -- you've got to be kidding me, right? Please tell me you're kidding."

Pointing to polls that show Obama leading McCane 94 percent to 6 percent everywhere on the inhabited globe except the United States, where most polls give Obama a narrow one- to three-point lead, the entire world suggested that Americans might not be sufficiently informed about the U.S. election. "Look, this isn't funny," said a world representative, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "You've got one candidate who has a reasonably sane and comprehensive foreign policy combined with detailed knowledge of American domestic affairs, and another candidate who isn't always sure which country he's talking about and whose domestic policy consists of telling people to stop whining. Why are you even throwing this open to a vote? Are you people out of your minds?"
Unfortunately, representatives of the McCane campaign reported that the candidate did not receive the world's missive, most likely because it was sent to the Senator via e-mail. "I assure you that the Senator is completely up to speed on new technologies and is aware of e-mail," said one staffer. "But he was shaking the laptop in order to get the mail to come out, and he wound up throwing it against a wall. We want to point out, however, that the Senator does not have a problem with his temper, that he is aware of the existence of the Goggle, and that the Internets suffered no permanent damage as a result of this event."

Only 100 Days Left Until Election Day 0 comments

That says it all, doesn't it?

There's no way I could add to that, so I won't even try.

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008.

America, be there or be L7.

Barack is Back 0 comments

(in Chicago)

Goal - 51% or more 0 comments

Since Abraham Lincoln was elected as the first Republican President in 1860, the only Democrats to win the White House with a majority of the popular vote have been Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Jimmy Carter.

Obama has already hit 48% in some polls. If he crosses 50 and stabilizes, we need to push him over the top!! He needs the Kerry states plus four more - Colorado, Virginia ..

Obama to Lama 0 comments

CLICK IT & it gets really BIG

This is beautiful to me, like poetry 0 comments

By Hélène, with an H... like in Barack ! Today at 12:16 pm EDT (Barack's blog)

Berlin experience...

I'm French, from Paris. I went by train (plane expensive). Departure Wesnesday 8:45 p.m.. Share compartment with a man and another woman. Free advertising : told them I was going there to listen to Obama. The man : "Obama is interesting, different, intelligent, and, eh, with him, no risk of being a womanizer !"... The woman, from Istambul, travelling for business, wanted to know everything concerning Obama, even on Turkey (???).

I dremt in English I was blogging here (addict !).

Arrival 8:20 a.m.. I had my personal OIA (Obama Intelligence Agency), special agent Angelika, from Berlin (see profile). I knew how to go. Arrival at Brandenburg Door. WWF people, dressed in polar bears, were saying Yes We Can change politics on climate.

I walked along the avenue leading to Sieges Saule. I arrived here at 10:30 a.m. in 6th position (fence opening : 4:00 p.m.). I never succeed to reach such a position on a thread. With 200.000 persons, I did !

Police told me my city backpack won't be authorized. Went back to the station and the lockers by velo-taxi. Two hours later, there were 30 persons.

I started a discussion with my neighbours, inclued a guy who occasionally contribute to the Daily Kos. At 2 p.m., we went roasting under the sun near the entrance to keep our places. At 3:50 p.m., time to get mentally prepared.

At 8:58 p.m., noice of fence. At 4:00 p.m., GOOOOOOOO ! THE rush. I raaaaaannn. Volunteers were selling things : no way. Then, security like in an airport. Re-rush, re-run, trying to breathe, a turn, and... 100 photographs with huge objectives, looking at us, hilarious. A millisecond of surprise. There were only 15 favorised persons, who didn't queue. A nanosecond to choose a place. Second raw, just in front of the microphone.

Waiting. Standing. Sun. No water. Complaining, not flip-floping. People from America, Germany, England, Switzerland, Turkey, Cameroon... Less and less place. More and more pressure. Human central heating. Wind in plants near the podium, but couldn't feel it. Two persons failed.

At 7:25 p.m., a cry. HE was there, waving, saying thank you, smiling as you know. As if a friend or neighboor was coming, so natural he was.

Gorgious speech. "Obama", "Yes we can !".

Suddenly, HE was there, shaking hands. A tempest. My arm was not long enough of 20 centimeters.

In London 0 comments

Barack met with Gordon Brown, just as his opponent who I don't mention on this blog did last year, but unlike said opponent, Barack got not only tea and chocolate but a nice walk in the sun. Some people have class and some don't, no matter how old they are or how badly they and their party want to stay in power. As one commenter at WaPo (named "Dalai," by the way) titled his post, McC____ did not invent the Surge .. Perhaps he invented The Wheel."

Spit Take Of The Day 0 comments

Firefox crashed, and, when I relit it, the iGoogle fed me the following line:

McCain Meets With Dalai Lama as Olympics Near
Wall Street Journal - all 559 related »

Seriously, and shit, you can't make this shit up, even if you wanted to.

As my good pal Stan Lee once proclaimed....

'Nuff sed.


I just Hope 1 comments

I ordered 100 Obama bumper stickers from MoveOn and they accidentally sent an extra 100.
Obama is opening seven headquarters in my state on Saturday (Washington.)

Obama's Berlin Speech 0 comments

It is a joy to come home from a long day at a camp and see this video. Nyc, you rock for all the German coverage below.

I do (rock) indeed, just part of being the wonderfulnessness that is me.

Here's the whole speech, in Toto:

BERLIN, Germany, bitches, how you like me now? (CNN) -- Thank you to the citizens of Berlin and to the people of Germany. Let me thank Chancellor Merkel and Foreign Minister Steinmeier for welcoming me earlier today. Thank you Mayor Wowereit, the Berlin Senate, the police, and most of all thank you for this welcome.

I come to Berlin as so many of my countrymen have come before. Tonight, I speak to you not as a candidate for President, but as a citizen - a proud citizen of the United States, and a fellow citizen of the world.

I know that I don't look like the Americans who've previously spoken in this great city. The journey that led me here is improbable. My mother was born in the heartland of America, but my father grew up herding goats in Kenya. His father - my grandfather - was a cook, a domestic servant to the British.

At the height of the Cold War, my father decided, like so many others in the forgotten corners of the world, that his yearning - his dream - required the freedom and opportunity promised by the West. And so he wrote letter after letter to universities all across America until somebody, somewhere answered his prayer for a better life.

That is why I'm here. And you are here because you too know that yearning. This city, of all cities, knows the dream of freedom. And you know that the only reason we stand here tonight is because men and women from both of our nations came together to work, and struggle, and sacrifice for that better life.

Ours is a partnership that truly began sixty years ago this summer, on the day when the first American plane touched down at Templehof.

On that day, much of this continent still lay in ruin. The rubble of this city had yet to be built into a wall. The Soviet shadow had swept across Eastern Europe, while in the West, America, Britain, and France took stock of their losses, and pondered how the world might be remade.

This is where the two sides met. And on the twenty-fourth of June, 1948, the Communists chose to blockade the western part of the city. They cut off food and supplies to more than two million Germans in an effort to extinguish the last flame of freedom in Berlin.

The size of our forces was no match for the much larger Soviet Army. And yet retreat would have allowed Communism to march across Europe. Where the last war had ended, another World War could have easily begun. All that stood in the way was Berlin.

And that's when the airlift began - when the largest and most unlikely rescue in history brought food and hope to the people of this city.

The odds were stacked against success. In the winter, a heavy fog filled the sky above, and many planes were forced to turn back without dropping off the needed supplies. The streets where we stand were filled with hungry families who had no comfort from the cold.

But in the darkest hours, the people of Berlin kept the flame of hope burning. The people of Berlin refused to give up. And on one fall day, hundreds of thousands of Berliners came here, to the Tiergarten, and heard the city's mayor implore the world not to give up on freedom. "There is only one possibility," he said. "For us to stand together united until this battle is won...The people of Berlin have spoken. We have done our duty, and we will keep on doing our duty. People of the world: now do your duty...People of the world, look at Berlin!"

People of the world - look at Berlin!

Look at Berlin, where Germans and Americans learned to work together and trust each other less than three years after facing each other on the field of battle.

Look at Berlin, where the determination of a people met the generosity of the Marshall Plan and created a German miracle; where a victory over tyranny gave rise to NATO, the greatest alliance ever formed to defend our common security.

Look at Berlin, where the bullet holes in the buildings and the somber stones and pillars near the Brandenburg Gate insist that we never forget our common humanity.

People of the world - look at Berlin, where a wall came down, a continent came together, and history proved that there is no challenge too great for a world that stands as one.

Sixty years after the airlift, we are called upon again. History has led us to a new crossroad, with new promise and new peril. When you, the German people, tore down that wall - a wall that divided East and West; freedom and tyranny; fear and hope - walls came tumbling down around the world. From Kiev to Cape Town, prison camps were closed, and the doors of democracy were opened. Markets opened too, and the spread of information and technology reduced barriers to opportunity and prosperity. While the 20th century taught us that we share a common destiny, the 21st has revealed a world more intertwined than at any time in human history.

The fall of the Berlin Wall brought new hope. But that very closeness has given rise to new dangers - dangers that cannot be contained within the borders of a country or by the distance of an ocean.

The terrorists of September 11th plotted in Hamburg and trained in Kandahar and Karachi before killing thousands from all over the globe on American soil.

As we speak, cars in Boston and factories in Beijing are melting the ice caps in the Arctic, shrinking coastlines in the Atlantic, and bringing drought to farms from Kansas to Kenya.

Poorly secured nuclear material in the former Soviet Union, or secrets from a scientist in Pakistan could help build a bomb that detonates in Paris. The poppies in Afghanistan become the heroin in Berlin. The poverty and violence in Somalia breeds the terror of tomorrow. The genocide in Darfur shames the conscience of us all.

In this new world, such dangerous currents have swept along faster than our efforts to contain them. That is why we cannot afford to be divided. No one nation, no matter how large or powerful, can defeat such challenges alone. None of us can deny these threats, or escape responsibility in meeting them. Yet, in the absence of Soviet tanks and a terrible wall, it has become easy to forget this truth. And if we're honest with each other, we know that sometimes, on both sides of the Atlantic, we have drifted apart, and forgotten our shared destiny.

In Europe, the view that America is part of what has gone wrong in our world, rather than a force to help make it right, has become all too common. In America, there are voices that deride and deny the importance of Europe's role in our security and our future. Both views miss the truth - that Europeans today are bearing new burdens and taking more responsibility in critical parts of the world; and that just as American bases built in the last century still help to defend the security of this continent, so does our country still sacrifice greatly for freedom around the globe.

Yes, there have been differences between America and Europe. No doubt, there will be differences in the future. But the burdens of global citizenship continue to bind us together. A change of leadership in Washington will not lift this burden. In this new century, Americans and Europeans alike will be required to do more - not less. Partnership and cooperation among nations is not a choice; it is the one way, the only way, to protect our common security and advance our common humanity.

That is why the greatest danger of all is to allow new walls to divide us from one another.

The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand. The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down.

We know they have fallen before. After centuries of strife, the people of Europe have formed a Union of promise and prosperity. Here, at the base of a column built to mark victory in war, we meet in the center of a Europe at peace. Not only have walls come down in Berlin, but they have come down in Belfast, where Protestant and Catholic found a way to live together; in the Balkans, where our Atlantic alliance ended wars and brought savage war criminals to justice; and in South Africa, where the struggle of a courageous people defeated apartheid.

So history reminds us that walls can be torn down. But the task is never easy. True partnership and true progress requires constant work and sustained sacrifice. They require sharing the burdens of development and diplomacy; of progress and peace. They require allies who will listen to each other, learn from each other and, most of all, trust each other.

That is why America cannot turn inward. That is why Europe cannot turn inward. America has no better partner than Europe. Now is the time to build new bridges across the globe as strong as the one that bound us across the Atlantic. Now is the time to join together, through constant cooperation, strong institutions, shared sacrifice, and a global commitment to progress, to meet the challenges of the 21st century. It was this spirit that led airlift planes to appear in the sky above our heads, and people to assemble where we stand today. And this is the moment when our nations - and all nations - must summon that spirit anew.

This is the moment when we must defeat terror and dry up the well of extremism that supports it. This threat is real and we cannot shrink from our responsibility to combat it. If we could create NATO to face down the Soviet Union, we can join in a new and global partnership to dismantle the networks that have struck in Madrid and Amman; in London and Bali; in Washington and New York. If we could win a battle of ideas against the communists, we can stand with the vast majority of Muslims who reject the extremism that leads to hate instead of hope.

This is the moment when we must renew our resolve to rout the terrorists who threaten our security in Afghanistan, and the traffickers who sell drugs on your streets. No one welcomes war. I recognize the enormous difficulties in Afghanistan. But my country and yours have a stake in seeing that NATO's first mission beyond Europe's borders is a success. For the people of Afghanistan, and for our shared security, the work must be done. America cannot do this alone. The Afghan people need our troops and your troops; our support and your support to defeat the Taliban and al Qaeda, to develop their economy, and to help them rebuild their nation. We have too much at stake to turn back now.

This is the moment when we must renew the goal of a world without nuclear weapons. The two superpowers that faced each other across the wall of this city came too close too often to destroying all we have built and all that we love. With that wall gone, we need not stand idly by and watch the further spread of the deadly atom. It is time to secure all loose nuclear materials; to stop the spread of nuclear weapons; and to reduce the arsenals from another era. This is the moment to begin the work of seeking the peace of a world without nuclear weapons.

This is the moment when every nation in Europe must have the chance to choose its own tomorrow free from the shadows of yesterday. In this century, we need a strong European Union that deepens the security and prosperity of this continent, while extending a hand abroad. In this century - in this city of all cities - we must reject the Cold War mind-set of the past, and resolve to work with Russia when we can, to stand up for our values when we must, and to seek a partnership that extends across this entire continent.

This is the moment when we must build on the wealth that open markets have created, and share its benefits more equitably. Trade has been a cornerstone of our growth and global development. But we will not be able to sustain this growth if it favors the few, and not the many. Together, we must forge trade that truly rewards the work that creates wealth, with meaningful protections for our people and our planet. This is the moment for trade that is free and fair for all.

This is the moment we must help answer the call for a new dawn in the Middle East. My country must stand with yours and with Europe in sending a direct message to Iran that it must abandon its nuclear ambitions. We must support the Lebanese who have marched and bled for democracy, and the Israelis and Palestinians who seek a secure and lasting peace. And despite past differences, this is the moment when the world should support the millions of Iraqis who seek to rebuild their lives, even as we pass responsibility to the Iraqi government and finally bring this war to a close.

This is the moment when we must come together to save this planet. Let us resolve that we will not leave our children a world where the oceans rise and famine spreads and terrible storms devastate our lands. Let us resolve that all nations - including my own - will act with the same seriousness of purpose as has your nation, and reduce the carbon we send into our atmosphere. This is the moment to give our children back their future. This is the moment to stand as one.

And this is the moment when we must give hope to those left behind in a globalized world. We must remember that the Cold War born in this city was not a battle for land or treasure. Sixty years ago, the planes that flew over Berlin did not drop bombs; instead they delivered food, and coal, and candy to grateful children. And in that show of solidarity, those pilots won more than a military victory. They won hearts and minds; love and loyalty and trust - not just from the people in this city, but from all those who heard the story of what they did here.

Now the world will watch and remember what we do here - what we do with this moment. Will we extend our hand to the people in the forgotten corners of this world who yearn for lives marked by dignity and opportunity; by security and justice? Will we lift the child in Bangladesh from poverty, shelter the refugee in Chad, and banish the scourge of AIDS in our time?

Will we stand for the human rights of the dissident in Burma, the blogger in Iran, or the voter in Zimbabwe? Will we give meaning to the words "never again" in Darfur?

Will we acknowledge that there is no more powerful example than the one each of our nations projects to the world? Will we reject torture and stand for the rule of law? Will we welcome immigrants from different lands, and shun discrimination against those who don't look like us or worship like we do, and keep the promise of equality and opportunity for all of our people?

People of Berlin - people of the world - this is our moment. This is our time.

I know my country has not perfected itself. At times, we've struggled to keep the promise of liberty and equality for all of our people. We've made our share of mistakes, and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions.

But I also know how much I love America. I know that for more than two centuries, we have strived - at great cost and great sacrifice - to form a more perfect union; to seek, with other nations, a more hopeful world. Our allegiance has never been to any particular tribe or kingdom - indeed, every language is spoken in our country; every culture has left its imprint on ours; every point of view is expressed in our public squares. What has always united us - what has always driven our people; what drew my father to America's shores - is a set of ideals that speak to aspirations shared by all people: that we can live free from fear and free from want; that we can speak our minds and assemble with whomever we choose and worship as we please.

Those are the aspirations that joined the fates of all nations in this city. Those aspirations are bigger than anything that drives us apart. It is because of those aspirations that the airlift began. It is because of those aspirations that all free people - everywhere - became citizens of Berlin. It is in pursuit of those aspirations that a new generation - our generation - must make our mark on history.

People of Berlin - and people of the world - the scale of our challenge is great. The road ahead will be long. But I come before you to say that we are heirs to a struggle for freedom. We are a people of improbable hope. Let us build on our common history, and seize our common destiny, and once again engage in that noble struggle to bring justice and peace to our world.

I may rock, but Barack, man, does he roll, even without his O Force One.

Nas Delivers Fox News "Stop The Nationally Televised Racist Smears" Petition On The Colbert Report 0 comments

"Nothing says 'Thug Life' more than a clearly worded argument submitted in writing..." Stephen Colbert

After dropping off his petition for Fox News to stop its campaign of nationally televised racial smears against Mister Senator Barack Obama, his wife ,family,and millions of other Americans of color, a petition of 620,000+ signatures, (roughly the amount of viewers Bill O'Reilly gets on his show, and dropping), at Fox News's Midtown HQ at 6th & 46th Nas made his way west to meet with Stephen Colbert to discuss the petition and other matters.

Here's Nas being interviewed by Stephen:

Then Nas went on to perform "Sly Fox" from his "Untitled" album, note his Mix Master's T-Shirt that he's wearing behind the decks, how cool is that?:

German Media Go Nuts (Part Deux) 4 comments

Der Spiegel, (The Play), is the source of film-maker, and Sofia Coppolla's former husband, Spike Jonse's vast fortune.

It's also the German equivalent of the American magazines, Time, Newsweek and US News and World Report, only bigger and more influential.

Today they went all out for Mister Obama's visit and....

LIVE-BLOGGED that bitch.


Only, of course, being Germans they couldn't help themselves and called it the "Obama Live Ticker".

Speaking as a German, I'm speechless.

Here it is in all its live internets four color glory, God Bless America:

All articles



'America Has no Better Partner than Europe'

US presidential candidate Barack Obama started his much-anticipated trip to Germany on Thursday, and the expectations are massive. SPIEGEL ONLINE is following his every move through Berlin with its Live Ticker.

++Over 200,000 Throng to Listen to Obama++

8:00 p.m.: Police estimate that at least 200,000 people turned up to listen to Obama's speech.

++ Obama Says He Loves America ++

7:47 p.m: Obama says that he loves America and that the US speaks to aspirations shared by all people -- "to live free from fear."


Click on a picture to launch the image gallery (28 Photos)

++ Obama Calls on the World to Support Iraq ++

7: 45 p.m.: "This is the moment when the world should support the millions of Iraqis who seek to rebuild their lives, even as we pass responsibility to the Iraqi government and finally bring this war to a close," Obama says, drawing thunderous applause.

++ Obama on Afghanistan ++

7:40 p.m.: "There is too much at stake to turn back now" on Afghanistan.

++ Obama Calls on Europeans and Americans to Fight Terror Together ++

7:38 p.m.: Obama says: "True partnership and true progress requires constant work and sustained sacrifice ... Requires allies who will learn from each other, listen to each other and most of all trust each other." Obama says: "America has no better partner than Europe." He called on Europeans and Americans to work together "to defeat terror and dry up the well of extremism that supports it."

++'We Cannot Afford to be Divided' ++

7:33 p.m.: Obama says "We cannot afford to be divided. On both sides of the Atlantic we have drifted apart and forgotten our shared destiny." Obama calls on people to "tear down new walls" between races, countries and religions.

++ Obama Speaks of Berlin's Cold War History ++

7:26 p.m.: Obama says: "This city knows the dream of freedom." He says: "People of the world look at Berlin."

++ Obama Arrives at Victory Column ++

7:21 p.m.: Obama takes to the podium to cheers of "Yes, we can."

++ Obama Makes His Way to Victory Column ++

7:02 p.m.: Obama leaves his hotel to make his way to the Victory Column, where he is to give his speech. Around 100,000 people are reported to be awaiting him there.

++ Pop Concert for Obama Fans ++

6:33 p.m.: The tens of thousands of Obama fans are being entertained as they await the senator. The reggae musician Patrice kicked things off, followed by the rock band Reamonn.

++ Fan Mile Fills Up ++

6:14 p.m.: An hour to go before Obama's speech and tens of thousands of people have already made their way to the Fan Mile. The visitors have to empty their bags and go through metal detectors similar to airport security checks.

++ Wowereit Lauds Obama ++

6:01 p.m.: Berlin's mayor sings Obama's praises after their meeting. "He is a very charming and determined man, who has a vision for America and the whole world," says Klaus Wowereit after meeting with the senator.

++ Obama Praises Merkel ++

5:51 p.m.: Obama's top advisor Robert Gibbs says the senator applauds Chancellor Merkel's leading international role on the issue of climate change and her ability to solve regional conflicts. Gibbs says that Obama also appreciates Europe's efforts to end Iran's nuclear program.

++ Obama Ahead in the Polls ++

5:42 p.m.: The latest opinion poll to be released in the US shows that Obama is leading his Republican rival John McCain by 6 percentage points, with 47 percent of those polled saying they would vote for Obama in November compared to 41 percent who would vote for McCain. The poll was conducted for the Wall Street Journal and NBC News.

++ Hold-Ups as Visitors Throng Fan Mile ++

5:08 p.m: The huge amount of people hoping to gain entry to the Fan Mile is causing big hold-ups. It is currently taking around half an hour to gain entry to the area.


Click on a picture to launch the image gallery (5 Photos)

++ Obama Extends his Berlin Trip ++

4:59 p.m.: Obama seems to like the German capital. He is to stay longer on Friday than he had originally planned, delaying his departure for Paris by two hours to just after noon. According to his team, however, these plans can change at any time.

++ Obama Takes Time to Work Out ++

4:49 p.m.: Obama enters the luxury Ritz Carlton hotel wearing a T-shirt, black sweatpants and white trainers -- apparantly to work out in the hotel's gym. He kept up the campaigning on the way there, smiling and waving at tourists and other onlookers.

++ Obama Signs Berlin's Guest Book ++

4:33 p.m.: The meeting between Obama and Wowereit lasts 20 minutes, during which the Berlin mayor asks the senator about integration strategies in the US. Obama then signs the city's guestbook, which Wowereit has brought with him to the Hotel Adlon. He writes: "Thank you so much for this open-hearted welcome. Berlin is a symbol for the victory of hope over fear and that it is impossible to separate people in their pursuit of freedom."

++ Americans Throng toward the Fan Mile ++

Dozens of Americans wearing Obama buttons swarm from Berlin's Central Station in the direction of the Fan Mile.

++ John McCain Has His own Berlin Moment ++

4:30 p.m.: Republican Presidential Candidate John McCain is not leaving Berlin to his Democratic rival. The Republicans are airing anti-Obama radio ads in Berlin on Thursday. Not in Berlin, Germany but in the city's namesakes in the states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and New Hampshire. The audience reach may be tiny, but the 60-second ads which accuse Obama of voting against allocating money to military troops, shows that the Republicans can have a bit of fun at Obama's expense.

++ Kick-Off for the Onlookers ++

4:04 p.m.: Onlookers run down the broad avenue towards the stage in front of the Victory Column where Obama will give his speech in a few hours. The first visitors have now been allowed to enter the area and are searching for the best vantage points. They want to be able to hear exactly what the US politician has to say to the Germans.

++ Wowereit Arrives at the Hotel Adlon ++

4:01 p.m.: Berlin's Mayor Klaus Wowereit, a member of the center-left Social Democrats, arrives at the Hotel Adlon for his meeting with Obama. The senator is expected to sign the city's guest book.

++ Paris Left Cold by Obama Visit ++

3:30 p.m.: While Obama's Berlin visit has caused a stir, hardly anyone is interested in his trip to Paris on Friday. There are hardly any French media reports on the eve of his visit. There is merely some grumbling about the extensive itinerary for his trip to Berlin. "A speech in Berlin, five little hours in Paris," writes French daily Le Monde.

++ Steinmeier Very Pleased with Meeting ++

3:16 p.m.: Immediately following his meeting with Senator Obama, German Foreign Minister Steinmeier announced: "The atmosphere was open and trusting. We built on our telephone conversation from mid-April." Steinmeier said he detected parallels in their philosophy of foreign policy. "Cooperation instead of confrontation -- that is also his foreign policy aim." Steinmeier said it had been a good conversation.

++ Obama Leaves the Foreign Ministry ++

3:04 p.m.: With blue lights flashing and traveling in a long convoy Obama leaves the Foreign Ministry after just about an hour.

++ Onlookers Wait for Access to Victory Column ++

2:57 p.m.: Hundreds of people wait in the sunshine in front of the barriers at the Brandenburg Gate, hoping to be some of the first to enter the Fan Mile. The area around the Victory Column where Obama will hold his speech is still sealed off. Visitors will be allowed entry starting at 4 p.m.

++ More Commitment to the War on Terror ++

2:37 p.m.: Obama wants to urge the Europeans to increase their role in the war on terror during his speech this evening, says an Obama advisor. He will call on Europe to contribute more troops.

++ A Reception at the Foreign Ministry ++

2:14 p.m. CET: German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier greets Obama in the inner courtyard of the German Foreign Ministry, where dozens of staff and about 70 journalists are waiting for his appearance. After a brief handshake, the two go back into the building.

++ Talks with German Foreign Minister Steinmeier ++

2:12 p.m.: With a slight delay, Obama arrives at the German Foreign Ministry, where he is to meet with Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. As with Chancellor Merkel, he plans to spend one hour with the foreign minister.

++ Visit to US Military Bases Cancelled ++

1:42 p.m.: SPIEGEL ONLINE has learned that Obama has cancelled a planned short visit to the Rammstein and Landstuhl US military bases in the southwest German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. The visits were planned for Friday. "Barack Obama will not be coming to us," a spokesperson for the US military hospital in Landstuhl announced. "I don't know why." Shortly before the same spokeswoman had announced a planned visit by Obama.

++ Bomb Threat Lifted at Hotel Adlon ++

1:24 p.m.: A bomb threat at the Hotel Adlon in Berlin where Barack Obama is staying is cleared. The suspicious package that had been discovered had been found to be "harmless," a spokesperson said. The package had apparently just been books that had been mailed to the luxury hotel.

++ Merkel's Spokesman Praises Talks ++

1:18 p.m.: The first-ever meeting between Illinois Senator Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel "was a very open and deep discussion in a very good atmosphere," said German government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm. The spokesman said the politicians had conducted detailed discussions about foreign policy issues as well as climate change and economic issues.

++ Bomb-Sniffing Dogs Deployed in Adlon ++

1:09 p.m.: The lobby of the Adlon Hotel where Obama is staying has been cleared following a bombscare. Explosives experts and bomb-sniffing dogs are investigating a package. A police spokesman said a taxi driver had delivered the package to the hotel.

++ Breaking News: Suspicious Package Found in Obama's Hotel ++

1:03: Breaking news: A suspicious package has been found at the Hotel Adlon in Berlin where Barack Obama is staying.

++ Obama Takes a Break at the Hotel Adlon ++

12:30 p.m.: Obama has arrived at the Hotel Adlon. Hundreds of spectators are gathered in front of the hotel, but he has decided to use the back entrance to the underground parking garage.

++ Obama Criticized for Death Penalty Stance ++

12:06 p.m.: German Green Party politician Volker Beck criticizes Obama's position on the death penalty. From a "European perspective," he says, it is "absolutely unacceptable. Even the Russian Federation has abolished the death penalty."

++ Obama and Merkel Meet ++

12:03 p.m.: A meeting between German Chancellor Merkel and the US senator continues. The issues discussed: the trans-Atlantic relationship, climate change, the latest negotiating round of the World Trade Organization and NATO deployments.


Click on a picture to launch the image gallery (28 Photos)

++ Merkel Greets Obama ++

11:06 a.m.: German Chancellor Angela Merkel greets Obama at the Chancellery. It's the first time the two politicians have met. The German leader meets Obama in the "Skylobby" of the Chancellery office. They shake hands and pat each other on the shoulders. Merkel quickly shows him the view of the Reichstag across the street, which is home to Germany's parliament.

++ Tourists Gather to See Obama ++

10:58 a.m.: A few hundred tourists gather in front of the Chancellery hoping to get a glimpse of Obama as he arrives for his planned meeting with Angela Merkel. They succeed: When he steps out of his car, the Democratic Party presidential candidate waves to the crowd.

++ 700 Police are on Duty to Provide Security for Obama ++

10:30 a.m.: In order to provide protection for Obama, the Berlin Police Department has deployed an additional 700 police. Direct bodyguards for Obama are being provided by the US Secret Service. With a motorcade of more than 20 vehicles, Obama begins the short journey to downtown Berlin.

++ Obama Lands in Berlin ++

9:55 a.m.: The charter jet carrying presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama arrives at the military section of Berlin's Tegel Airport. The aircraft's livery is painted with the campaign slogan: "Change we can believe in." From Tegel, Obama is to travel to the Chancellery, where he plans to meet with German leader Angela Merkel.

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Obama to run ads during the Olympics 0 comments

Barack Obama is going for the gold.

The Democratic presidential contender has decided to buy $5 million in national advertising on NBC during the broadcast of the Olympic games, an NBC spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday. The ads will appear on network and cable channels.

The ad purchase was first reported Wednesday on the Web site of Advertising Age, a magazine that covers the industry.