Obama Begins His Overture to the Middle East, GOP's Sotomayor Scrutiny Dies Down

Bloggers begin covering Obama's trip, Sotomayor's in the Senate, and proof that humans are benevolent.

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Obama Watch: POTUS in the Mideast

Everyone and their mother is talking about Obama's olive branch trip/speech to the Muslim world. Here's a taste of the questions people are asking: Will Obama go too far in acknowledging America's faults? Can a big speech from a modern university in Cairo really do anything? Did Brian Williams really bow to Obama? OK, so we threw that last question in—a question that, believe it or not, is gaining traction in the blogosphere as we speak. Speaking of traction, there's a right-vs.-left war taking place over Obama calling the U.S. a partially Muslim country. Don't understand why this is controversial? We don't really either, but conservative Andy McCarthy makes the case. Moving on to the speech itself: Conservative David Frum thinks the whole idea is dangerous. Liberal Marc Ambinder thinks there's a world of opportunity in the president's speech. He wonders: "Does it sound perfunctory? Does he use the occasion to speak truth to power? Will he address human rights issues by country? Will he use his political capital overseas to be as honest about the Muslim world as he is about America's intentions and history?" One conservative blogger doesn't think Obama gets it—the Muslim world is oppressed by authoritarian governments, he writes, which means that "public opinion does not matter as much as the opinion of the oppressors." Others are happy that the taboos just keep falling. Tired of reading about Obama's speech? Watch bloggers argue about it here.

Sotomayor Makes Her Rounds

Supreme Court justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor spent the day making courtesy calls in the Senate, and as Jay Newton-Small 'writes, "It's already apparent that her visit has been tougher on Senate Republicans than it has been on her." Look no further than Newt Gingrich's apology for calling Sotomayor a racist. Here's Newt's apology: "The word 'racist' should not have been applied to Judge Sotomayor as a person, even if her words themselves are unacceptable." Karen Tumulty isn't buying it. Neither are liberals Steve Benen or Ryan Powers. Jeffrey Toobin writes on the significance of diversity on the court: "With the distance of history, this evolution looks almost inevitable, but the patterns of Supreme Court nominations reflect larger struggles in American life, and many of the confirmation fights were bitter." Conservatives Will Cain and Jay Nordlinger talk racialism (video). And conservative Mary Kate Cary thinks Sotomayor offers a big opportunity for the GOP. "The party cannot afford to look anti-Hispanic or anti-woman in any way right now," she writes. "No matter how much they disagree with her ideologically, they should applaud her accomplishments."

... Meanwhile ...

Something strange is happening in Iran... The first Bruno lawsuit of the summer is filed... Stephen Colbert will guest edit the June 8 issue of Newsweek... And finally, the media picks up on a story that proves the benevolence of human beings.

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