123 thoughts on “No words

  1. Another one Obama’s shrewd “diplomacy”.

    “Bill Richardson, a former US presidential candidate and currently governor of out-of-the-way New Mexico, grabbed world headlines over the weekend.

    He travelled to North Korea and, amid heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula, announced a wide-ranging deal with Kim Jong-il’s regime.

    At Mr Richardson’s persistent urging, the North said it would not retaliate against South Korea for conducting live-fire artillery drills on Monday.

    Earlier, it had threatened global nuclear war if Seoul decided to go forward with them.

    During the drama, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama’s special North Korea envoy Stephen Bosworth were nowhere to be seen.

    Also invisible was Washington’s Ambassador to Seoul, Kathleen Stephens. In short, America’s diplomats melted into the background as a “freelancer” took centre stage.

    What we know for sure is that he is having an outsized impact on developments.

    Mr Richardson went to Pyongyang at the invitation of Kim Kye-gwan, the country’s chief nuclear negotiator.

    The trip, according to the US state department, was “a private visit”, and the governor did not carry any official messages from Washington.

    Mr Richardson, whose bags are always packed for trips to such countries, seems particularly effective when it comes to getting things done in North Korea.

    In 1994 and again in 1996 he secured the release of US hostages in North Korea.

    But Mr Richardson is not the only unofficial hostage negotiator for the Korean peninsula.

    Last year, former US President Bill Clinton, as a private citizen, brought back two television journalists from North Korea after the state department worked out the terms of their release.

    Mr Clinton wisely stuck to the guidelines Washington gave him and largely avoided becoming entangled in nuclear negotiations.

    A very good read.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/mobile/world-asia-pacific-12058000

  2. A very moving ceremony for an end to another chapter of discrimination. BRAVO, Mr. President. I’m looking forward to 2011.

  3. Doesn’t get any better in terms of quality political leadership. I am so thankful to be making progress and I am not going to hesitate the man with the master plan who has proven over and over and over again that he is who he says he is, and can get done what he says will get done.

    Wonderful morning.

  4. It’s a good day for our country and the expressions on the faces in those photos shows it. Congratulations President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, Leader Reid, Sen Lieberman and all the many, many people who worked so hard and so effectively to get this done!

    And good morning to all of my fellow pragmati!

  5. I swear these guys are the biggest bunch of self aggrandizing douche bags alive.

    Today’s Lesson from the White House: Take Hostages

    By: emptywheel Wednesday December 22, 2010 5:38 am

    As we celebrate President Obama signing into law the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, I’d like to congratulate the activists who made it happen. This is the progressive high point of Obama’s presidency so far, and it came because of the hard work of a lot of people who relentlessly fought to win civil rights.

    May this civil rights victory lead to full equality for gay men and women.

    But I wanted to also note what this moment says about Obama’s system of governance: that the only thing he responds to is hostage-taking.

    FDL has written a lot about Obama’s serial capitulation to those — whether the Republican caucus or people like Joe Lieberman and Max Baucus — who hold legislation hostage.

    But this victory, the biggest progressive victory under Obama, is largely due to the fact that a number of men and women chained themselves — took themselves hostages, effectively — to the gates of the White House.

    And while I doubt the optics of environmentalists or housing activists chaining themselves to the White House (with their consequent arrest) will be so toxic to the White House, the lesson does seem to be that the only thing Obama (who bills himself a pragmatist and loves to claim he listens to all sides) listens to is hostage-taking.

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! Someone commit these people please.

  6. Looks like emptywheel needs to change his/her name to emptyhead, since it’s clear that there is no clear functioning brain inside his/her skull.

  7. Oh and the comments……..priceless.

    One in particular peeked my interest.

    wirerat1 December 22nd, 2010 at 6:54 am
    2

    It makes me sick that Obama signed that legislation. He did nothing to make it a reality. It just happened to fall into place. He screwed the LGBT community for years and only now as a final gasp to save his own sorry hide, does he make DADT a thing of the past.

  8. Yet if he didn’t sign the damn thing????? I mean, that whole site does nothing but move the goalpost every time an achievement is gained. They are closet right wingers.

  9. Oh God. The new battle line for progressives who want to primary the President. “Fuck DADT, he didn’t repeal DOMA. Oh that Republican House of Representatives doesn’t matter.”

  10. They live in their own delusional little world over there and continue to make themselves irrelevant with ridiculous postings like that. Sorry but people just don’t like being around people who are perpetual pessimists. In the face of a major victory for the president, and more importantly for the nation, they can’t bring themselves to say thank you. It is just laughable now. I bet if you polled the nation, not one in 100 people would be able to tell you that anyone chained themselves to the White House fence. But ask them about the military survey and what the president has said about DADT, that number would be magnitudes higher.

    I say let them live in their delusional misery. They apparently need to feel miserable for some reason. Their hate for the president is strong and unreasoning. I say ignore their rantings, everyone else does.🙂

  11. And neither do progressive communities. I’d like to thank each and every person who participates here and creates such an informative, reasoned, uplifting analysis of these truly remarkable and dynamic political times.

  12. What a pile of crap. Even Rachel Maddow now admits that this came about by President Obama’s working for the past two years to set up the proper scenario. Had these frustrati been in charge, nothing would have been set up, the best that they could achieve would be an executive order which is far stable than legislation. I am constantly amazed that people who have absolutely no concept of what it takes to accomplish anything within our cumbersome system actually believe they know more about what it takes than a man far smarter than they who has actually worked within the system and knows how it operates and on whom he can depend. Why should we pay any attention to them? No one in the real world is.

  13. I knew that this is the lesson which they would take when POTUS invited Choi to the signing ceremony. Instead of understanding that POTUS graciously reaches out to his detractors over and over and over again, giving them attention and attempting to persuade, power-based people automatically view the situation in a punish/threat/reward manner in their neverending search for evidence of their relevance.

    It is not lost on me that this person lies about President Obama’s actions here, creating a world of make-believe in which POTUS did not spend years creating a broad consensus for permanent DADT repeal; no, he was “forced” by the disgusting and vile rhetoric of abusive people.

    Fauxgressives will never learn. This is why they have so few accomplishments.

  14. Who cares about these people? They have no acumen and no power, and probably have no fun. Let’s move on to real discussion and real accomplishments.

  15. I am not going to mention anything about the complainers on this thread. This is too great a moment to let them or even talking about them diminish it.

    This, as well as most other things, was accomplished by everybody from President Obama down. Someday the whole story will come out about who spoke with whom, how many backdoor meetings there were, what arm twisting was done, how many were convinced to vote their conscience instead of the party line.

    The key is, this was done in a way that absolutely gives it legitimacy, which an executive order wouldn’t have done. Additionally, the military is able to feel that they were part of the process rather than just having it foisted on them.

    Finally, the process allowed the public to be part of the process. Although a majority of the public felt two years ago DADT should be repealed, it is now a supermajority. Every Republican that voted against it should be campaigned against, beginning today, as being against our national security and equality. No holds barred.

  16. Agreed. That piece represents a total divorce from reality.

    I think that Choi’s invitation to the signing ceremony was a bad idea because it legitimizes people throwing around the selloutprostitutionwhore rhetoric by giving them WH attention (Schultz also received an audience with POTUS after his days-long frothing at the mouth ranting). Thus, they have no incentive to stop. However, frustrati mistake this attention and graciousness for power (because they are power-based).

    It is completely fact-free to the point of ludicrous to claim that President Obama did not spend years patiently creating a working group and broad consensus that DADT must be permanently repealed. The “activists” who mistook abuse for grassroots pressure didn’t change anything material from my vantage point; it’s not as if POTUS took a material deviation from the course he outlined years and years ago. But he is so utterly gracious that I think that he would credit any and everyone for his own achievements.

  17. I agree. They have no real influence and obviously are delusional. Don’t give them the attention they so desperately crave. Let’s just stick with reality. Today is a good day. The President pulled this off with a lot of help and DADT is now history. START will be passed and the world is just a little better and a little fairer today. Let’s celebrate and not let whiners bring us down.

  18. I don’t know what it is about Bill Richardson. He seems to have a personal characteristic which just blows people away. Congratulations to him for yet another diplomatic success. I find this person intriguing.

  19. Its a good day!🙂

    The next two years will be very hard, though. We all need to stick together in our support for the President. He’s facing unbelievable hate and obstruction, from both the crazy right and radical left.

    Thanks a million, BWD, for giving us this forum in which to meet and voice our support and appreciation for what we have. I’m also really happy to bookmark and read the other new blogs created out of necessity.

    Happy, happy holidays dear brothers & sisters!

  20. During the 8 years of President George Bush, I could count on one hand the number of times I visited whitehouse.gov Today, with President Barack Obama, whitehouse.gov is my homepage. I am interested in everything he does.

    I am amazed at the projects and initiatives being posted there everyday. I love the new features like West Wing Week, White Board Presentations and Photo of the Day. The site makes excellent use of the social networking tools. It is a wealth of information.

    The hard work of “governing” is finally getting the recognition it deserves with the end of the 111th “Do Something” Congress. I am thrilled to see all of the articles documenting the accomplishments. It’s long overdue.

  21. Of course, you and I appreciate President Obama’s graciousness for what it is: the action of a truly optimistic man who believes in extending the opportunity not to be an asshole to everyone equally. Meanwhile, these silly people couldn’t pass anything, not even wind after eating a huge Mexican meal. No wonder they are perpetually frustrated.

  22. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to criticize this administration. DADT is not one of them. I think the activists need to take a moment and be grateful they helped to elect this man who has made more strides towards gay equality in this country than any other President in our history. His courageous stand needs to be applauded and supported. Given a second term, we may even see marriage equality.

    President Obama was called a traitor, he’s been compared to Bush, he’s been called a homophobe and a bigot, and then this moment happened. People need to check their sense of entitlement to immediate gratification at the door and trust this man to make things happen, given time.

  23. Agree with Sheila and lilaf1. Don’t read the comments, or may I suggest, even click on the sites you know will be hateful. They’re pure rubbish – a waste of your time and not good for your blood pressure. As useful as reading teabagger blogs.

  24. I’m sorry for bringing this into this thread, but I just had to vent. This is such a glorious day and the picture underscores that fully. This President is the real deal.

  25. I completely understand the frustration, no problem. I fought the hate for a long time but finally realized I was wasting my breath.

    Yes, he’s the real deal. Those on the left who twist themselves into pretzels trying to undermine him are a hoot. I won’t give them any more attention than I would a teabagger.

  26. LOL! I have to tell you, Sheila, that I did take your sage thought posted the other night to heart:

    The mark of a truly enlightened person is extending the opportunity to be a better person to his or her opposition.

    Baby steps, but this thought has kept me from “going off” to the extent that I might have liked to about some recent events. So, to you, as an enlightened person, thank you for giving me the opportunity to improve, just as you noted that POTUS’ invitation did much the same for Choi.

  27. This is so true. Being ensconced in pragmati world has resulted in a much brighter outlook and much less frustration, anxiety, and elevated blood pressure.

  28. a number of men and women chained themselves — took themselves hostages, effectively — to the gates of the White House.

    Yes, sure, because the President hadn’t given DADT a single thought until a few people chained themselves to the WH fence. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  29. Jonathan Capeheart was a jackass today, too: only the ‘pressure’ from the gay community made it happen. A black gay man could not give this President his due.

    Who were you going to pressure to great success in a McCain administration, huh?

    This happened because of this President. It would not have happened without him. End of story.

  30. Sorry–I should have mentioned not to look at the comments.

    There is just no pleasing some people, and that must be a very sad existence.

    Today was a very good day!

  31. I agree, and i’m going to respectfully ask everyone to not bring here those stupid, pathetic and hateful comments from there. This thread is about an astonishing great day for America, for the president and for us. Please try to not stain it.

    Thank you.

  32. These words by Frank Schaeffer over at Huff Post say it all for me:

    “Before he’d served even one year, President Obama lost the “support” of the easily distracted, terminally impatient, American “Left” and engendered the white hot rage of the hate-filled Right.

    But some of us, from all walks of life and ideological backgrounds — including this white, straight, 57-year-old, former religious right-wing agitator, now progressive writer and, given my background as I describe in my book Crazy For God, the son of a famous evangelical leader, unlikely Obama supporter — are sticking with our president.

    Why? Because he is, has been, and will continue succeeding. Obama’s critics from the Left and Right are being proved dead wrong, again and again.

    We Obama supporters trust our first impression of him as a great, good and uniquely qualified man to lead us. We also trust our belief that he is the smartest man in any room.

    Obama’s steady supporters have again been proved right. Obama’s Lefty critics will be remembered as the prematurely discouraged.

    His critics on the Right will be remembered as nothing but shriveled hate mongers who even after they “won” in the midterms were outsmarted by Obama, from repeal of DADT to extending unemployment benefits — not to mention reforming health care etc., etc.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frank-schaeffer/new-start-and-dadt-obama-_b_799532.html#

  33. i disagree, with the chaiIk to weight the joint chiefs. Those soldiers chaining themselves to the fence did not make it move faster. IMO It made the situation worse, becasue it lead to some unfair treatment and name calling of the President. Labels that was not warranted. IMO the real heroes was the ones working behind the scene with the president and not against him.

  34. A bit OT: It seems that the Dear Mr. Pres website is down. When I clicked on it I was taken to Go Daddy’s holder page.

  35. LOL, God bless them! One thing that I am loving about this period is that people *can* chain themselves to the WH fence and act the fool without having to worry about being locked in Cheney’s coffin. What a beautiful day.

  36. The press is on alert for an impromptu press conference with President Obama after the vote on the START treaty. Stay tuned!

  37. Weaning ourselves from the mirage that the frustrati deserve outsized influence takes time lol! I think we’re doing a pretty good job here actually.

  38. Two of my best friends are a committed gay couple. I will be “best woman” when they are able to get married. They did not vote in the midterms because they couldn’t get married yet. And not just in Illinois, but by some divine fiat of Obama.

    That’s what we’re dealing with. It’s insane.

  39. Very good polling news today: Obama’s approval is up and Republicans are down. A good sign: a good majority said Obama has done a lot to work with Republicans and the Republicans have done little to nothing.

    How the narrative plays out is critical. All progressives should pull together to make this a major talking point for the next few news cycles. This is how Republicans remade the ‘truth’ in their own distorted image. We HAVE the truth. Everyone from Keith on down should be pushing this narrative and the positive polling.

    We’ll see.

  40. emptywheel is a she: real name Marcy Wheeler. And, yes “empty” is an accurate assessment of her rhetoric.

  41. This quote is a pretty good summary:

    The president’s critics Left and Right all had one thing in common: impatience laced with little-to-no sense of history (let alone reality), thrown in for good measure. Obama critics’ ideological ideas defined their “reality” rather than reality defining their ideas.

    It’s so good to see this type of article appearing with more frequency these days. I think our voices are finally being heard and reflected.

  42. Sheila, I couldn’t agree more. I come here to avoid the angry mob with selective attention who only attend to and report upon negative attacks on the president. This is an historic day and no angry, ranting, manic-progressives can undermine it unless we allow them to do so.

  43. No words….my heart is full of hope today with the signing of the repeal of DADT…thank you Mr. President.

  44. Sorry again. I only linked to the story because I thought it was great that President Obama is already thinking ahead to DOMA/ENDA next. I should have clarified in my post.

    He cannot be stopped!

  45. The poor true progressive punching bags! Now the President wants to fail them by going after DOMA and ENDA. Has there been a fence chaining on these efforts yet–otherwise there’s clearly no chance of success🙂

  46. Faith, I think moving your homepage from DailyNO’s to whitehouse.gov will be a very pleasant change.

    The biggest concern I have is that so much good work is being done under the radar without fanfare. I often wonder how many Americans have a clue about the accomplishments being made on their behalf.

    As so many have said before, the next two years are going to require more disciplined, and effective messaging. The White House and the Democrats have got to find a way to circumvent the traditional media firewall.

  47. It would actually be really great to encourage people we know to do as BWD, you and others are doing and that is to add whitehouse.gov and/or OFA as their homepage, to their blogrolls or as part of their daily “internets”😉 check-in. In addition, to bookmarking the President’s Weekly YouTube address.

    I think that it’s time that people really hear it from the horse’s mouth before following “PLs” or even the MSM off the ledge.

    It will enable people to balance what they see and hear, with what is being officially said by the president and the White House.

  48. Just reading them here made me so angry. I couldn’t help thinking those ungrateful ridiculous morons. I need to work on my forgiving nature and attain to the graciousness and patience of our President!

  49. The deal to pass athe 9/11 health bill is done, the Daily News has learned.

    Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand met with other senators’ staff and staff from Rep. Carolyn maloney’s offce until well after midnight, cutting a new deal and trimming the package to care for 9/11 responders to $4.3 billion, sources close to the deal said.

    They reached final agreement at about 11:30 this morning after the New York Democrats met for an hour with the prime GOP opponents, Sens. Mike Enzi of Wyoming and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. Majority Leader Harry Reid is said to have joined the talks at the end, and agreed to try for quick passage.

    The measure could be passed even before the START treaty is ratified.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dc/2010/12/911-deal-is-struck.html

  50. thanks LadyHawke.. I just set whitehouse.gov as my homepage also. I’ve been getting their daily email for quite awhile, but I like your homepage idea.

    Historically speaking.. and as an American.. imo, today is HUGE. Without President Obama today would not have happened, without enough members of Congress doing the right thing.. today would not have happened. I have never doubted this President.. and yeah he’d have to eat puppies on teevee prolly to lose me- because I like him, I respect him and that is because I believe in his good character..and I know he won’t be eating any puppies. Hes done nothing to disappoint me.. because I didn’t vote for him in hopes that he’d be my President.. I voted in hopes he’d be America’s President. He is.. even for the America that can’t see past their own fears and inadequacies. And whether the far right or those folks calling themselves “progressives” are thankful today or not.. means nada in the longrun, because their children and grandchildren- some of who will be gay- will be grateful for this day and since they will read about President Obama and this Congress in their history books.. they will know exactly who was looking ahead on their behalf.

    Just keep doing your job Mr. President, because you do it very well sir. I have your back.

  51. I like Tim Kaine, but I think it is time for him to go. The DNC should be all over a poll like this. There should be coordinated appearances on cable. Every Democrat should be on message saying the same thing over and over again.

    Democrats need to focus on making the facts the reality for the American people. Because the Republicans will do everything in their power to turn lies into conventional wisdom.

  52. Thank you much, BWD. I’m having personal problems now, and thought I’d take a break from your wonderful blog, because I was reminded too much of DK when I came here. And I’m guilty as well!

    Please, whoever started the DK topic, no more apologizing, it could have been any of us. It’s a hard habit to break. My first thought when seeing the lovely photo above, was I wonder what the godawful kossacks are saying, then, imaginary SLAP! Who TF cares – and we can guess with 100% accuracy anyway. They don’t exist. The Buddha says one makes the world with one’s perceptions. I choose not to include them.

  53. And, if I recall, those who chained themselves to the White House fence (I actually had dinner with one of them last Christmas Day; fortunately, she will be not be part of the gathering this year) insisted this be done by an executive order rather than in this more stable way, so they really did have nothing to do with it.

  54. I also rely on whitehouse.gov first and foremost. Please encourage individuals outside of this community to access it as well. One of the benefits, beyond the wealth of information, is the contrast it provides to the meme’s being supported in the MSM. It becomes very clear that the media is not operating without bias, whether intentionally or otherwise.
    There is great potential for Americans to become better informed and educated by encouraging people to access whitehouse.gov for reliable and useful information. Pass it on.

    Oh and a big middle finger to FDL….that will be the extent of my own personal nastiness on this historical day.

  55. Hey, GN, you and I have had a mutual admiration society for a long time, and I am glad to be able to communicate with you again, this time without the sound of perpetual rioters in the background.

  56. I would think it likely this was in the works from day one of Obama’s Presidency so it could be done via Congress and with the acquiescence of the military leaders, which is the only way to do it right.

  57. And I heard on the news that there is a deal regarding the First Responders legislation, cut down from $7 billion to $4 billion, but hey, better than nothing at all.

  58. Fine idea, blackwaterdog. Most of us have left there permanently because we did not enjoy the company, and we are here because we do enjoy the company, which should be true of all progressive blogging. If we want the world to be a kinder place through kinder legislation, we must be kind ourselves, and if we are in a place where we find this difficult, we should leave, which most of us have.

  59. So true thinkinoutthebox. Information is power. It is going to be up to us to push back on the lies and misinformation. As members of “The Pragmati” we have out work cut out for us.

  60. Perhaps some of the Republicans are actually looking at the polls, which might explain their sudden softening. I want them to continue this, and I do not want to succumb to the petty emotion of preferring them to look like fools than to actually compromising on some well-needed legislation.

  61. It is wonderful indeed! I was very pleasantly surprised when I read a turn of phrase a while ago and realized, “oh, I know her!” I hope to see your insights at weeseeyou as well!

  62. I so utterly feel you. I’m going to take BWD’s wise advice and refrain from additional thoughts about that mentality on such a momentous day. Are we surprised that joystealers are up to the usual? No. Just grateful for these vibrant alternative spaces!

  63. Yes, considering their desire for instant gratification, it makes one wonder if they bought their college degrees rather than earned them. I mean, four years is a very long time without the ultimate payoff.

  64. I believe it has moved, but the link hasn’t been updated. Last time I visited there through the link provided here, I had to click to be rerouted to the new location.

  65. Good news, but not surprising I think. Are we, hopefully, witnessing the beginning of a new narrative, more positive for the President ??

    I have to say… the whole saga of the tax compromise may end up to be a great political tool for President Obama and democrats. MANY americans now associate the “tax cuts for the rich” with Republicans. MANY americans understand very well that indeed, the republicans held the middle-class hostage to those tax cuts for the rich. Not good for the GOP in the long term.

  66. The whitehouse.gov site, the White House Youtube Channel have to be publicized at the grass-roots level. With Facebook, Twitter.

    And, obviously THIS wonderful site and other positive ones have to be publicized too.

    Yes we can.

  67. Today feels like election night to me. I imagine that seeing this law repealed is something that some thought they wouldn’t have seen in their lifetime, just like I didn’t think I would ever see a black man elected as President.

  68. g, we will all know we’ve made big strides forward psychologically when we no longer think of past prisons. We’re getting there.

  69. LOL, no! I can just read “voices.” Which is how I can tell if there are a bunch of zombies or sockpuppets gaming a space. Yours is fairly unique, meant as a compliment.

  70. Amen! And I think it’ll help us to get our friends, family, co-workers, etc. into a mindset of not believeing everything that they hear, read or see by the PLs and MSM.

    In addition, I think it lays the groundwork for us to start getting people into campaign/volunteer mode for 2012 at the local, state and federal level.

    My feeling (and I think of most of you here), is that while we know as engaged voters that we have to get going, it’s getting the casual, low-information voter “fired up, and ready to go.” That will be the key our success.

  71. And it only got better from there. May this be the beginning of us becoming a more tolerant, compassionate, peaceful nation. Happy season to everyone here. We will not rest until everyone has adequate food, clothing, shelter, acceptance, and meaningful work for a living wage.

  72. I just realized my last year’s dinner companion is the woman in the picture just beneath Barney Frank. She didn’t smile once during dinner. I hope she can begin smiling now.

  73. Thank you GN. I added W.E.E. see you to my bookmarks, though I probably won’t have time to comment there, as I’m already spending too much time online at these positive new blogs. Have a great season, whatever it means to you.

  74. Thanks, thinkinoutthebox, your comments are well-articulated also. Actually, we’re quite an amazing bunch of geniuses here.

  75. He was elected to do the impossible and slowly and deliberately he is doing just that..with little help from his party and total obstruction from the right..he is still winning for us!!!

  76. All I can say is this site has warmed my Christmas. Thank you from a lady all the way from sunny and blue skies Trinidad and Tobago who was/is so tired with the complaining, bitching and continued griping of this president who is ‘getting it done’ despite….! My psyche has become so disheartened with all the negativity levelled at him daily with even supposed sites that support him.
    So its greetings to all from this newbie, knowing that I will contribute to positive discourse from this day on.

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