Mere Rhetoric posts "highlights, lowlights, links and updates as the Green Revolution tries to get back on its feet, from the Mere Rhetoric Twitter stream" --
“Severe clashes” in Tehran, “total chaos,” tear gas fired http://is.gd/dYUlfw
Khomeini and Khamenei pics stepped on and set on fire – http://youtu.be/Uasp1xgyFzw
Isfahan rally – “marg bar diktator” – http://youtu.be/UpDAe4gJagI
RT @BreakingNews: 1000s of protesters on streets of Tehran being met by 1000s of government militia on motor bikes beating people
RT @EliLake: Video of crowds beating and kicking Iranian Basiji http://youtu.be/hiUWmwrc5ok
US intel – of “totally missed Tunisia and Egypt” fame – now super-sure Iran hasn’t made decision to build nukes http://is.gd/L5kaae Reassuring!
This Iran update brought to you by J Street, which worked with Soros-funded NIAC to push Iran engagement http://is.gd/QJewNL
Meanwhile, back at the White House:
"China should overtake the US to become the largest economy in the world by 2020, then be overtaken by India by 2050" (CNBC)
WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House reverberated like a long-ago basement sound studio in Detroit on Thursday as the likes of John Legend, Seal, Jamie Foxx, Nick Jonas and Sheryl Crowe channeled their inner Motown before Michelle and Barack Obama. Musical pioneers Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder joined in for the celebration of all things Motown.
Obama called it "the soundtrack of the civil rights era," and credited Motown's tight lyrics, catchy melodies and deep soul with helping to "blur the line between music that was considered either black or white."
Foxx, Seal, Legend and Jonas launched the East Room concert celebrating the Motown sound with a high-energy medley in which the four took turns as backup dancers, complete with some smooth dance moves to the likes of "Get Ready,""The Way You Do the Things You Do,""Can't Get Next to You" and "Ain't Too Proud to Beg."
Not to be outdone, the trio of Natasha Bedingfield, Jordin Sparks and Ledisi took a Supremes-esque turn singing "Stop! In the Name of Love." Legend delivered a soulful rendition of "Heard It Through the Grapevine" ....
Obama and the singers paid homage to the genuine Motown greats in the lineup: Robinson and Wonder. And Motown founder Berry Gordy was in the audience to hear Obama recount his record label's modest beginnings in a basement on West Grand Boulevard in Detroit, decorated with a banner outside that read "Hitsville, USA."
"At concerts in the South, Motown groups literally brought people together - insisting that the ropes traditionally used to separate black and white audience members be taken down," Obama recounted.
Robinson teamed up with Crowe to sing one of his earliest hits, "You've Really Got a Hold On Me." And then he turned the stage over to "another guy who was here right from the beginning" - Wonder.
Wonder said he'd really just come to watch, but couldn't resist, performing "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" and kicking off the finale that brought all the artists back on stage for "Dancing in the Street."
Earlier Thursday, Legend and Jonas performed before cheering teenagers at a workshop in the State Dining Room that served as a tutorial on the history of the genre.
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama speaks at "The Sound of Young America" student workshop at the White House in Washington, February 24, 2011. Also attending are (L-R) musicians John Legend, Smokey Robinson, Motown founder Berry Gordy and The Grammy Museum's Executive Director Bob Santelli.
Michelle Obama told the young people that the color-barrier-shattering music of her youth "was so much more than just a soundtrack. It was a heartbeat."
"As Motown rose, so did the forces of change in this country," she said. "During that time, it was the time of King and Kennedy, it was a time of marches and rallies and groundbreaking civil rights laws" . . . .
. . . . Fans who didn't make the guest list for the concert can see it Tuesday on PBS: "The Motown Sound: In Performance at the White House."
A couple of things about this are mildly interesting. One, neither the president nor his wife were even born yet when Berry Gordy founded Motown. And two, Motown may have "brought people together" as Obama claims, but celebrating Black History separately from the rest of American history... does not.
And of course there's the issue of WTF is he doing having a party at a time like this?