Friday morning mishmash

Hi guys,

1. President Obama will attend the funeral service for Richard Holbrooke this afternoon (3pm EST) and deliver remarks. Poor baby, not a very happy week.

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2. One of the points some of us were trying to make, back when we still posted in, ah, “other places”, was that on things the president can control without having to deal with congress – He is going as far to the left as any president in history. We always brought up the EPA as the best example. Needless to say, it didn’t work. Oh well. Here’s another huge step the EPA is taking on behalf of the environment:

Obama administration cracks down on mountaintop mining

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3. The new “Obama found his empathy” BS memo is such, well, BS, i can’t even bring myself to deal with it. Thankfully, Chipstick over at The Obama Diary is much better than me.

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4. Yea! Bully Pulpit!!!!😉

Obama gets 31 million TV viewers in Tucson tribute

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5.  I love the West Wing Week, even their trailers are awesome, and I can’t wait for this specific movie:

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6. Few more very good reads, following the Tucson speech:

NYT: Girl’s Death Hits Home for Obama

WASHINGTON — President Obama is not known for showing a surplus of emotion in public, but toward the end of his speech at the University of Arizona, he paused for 51 seconds and appeared to gather himself.

The audience was on its feet. Mr. Obama had just laid down a stark and powerful gauntlet challenging the country to live up to the expectations of 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green, whose death on Saturday was an emotional punch to the gut for so many people across the country. Among them, apparently, is the president himself, whose younger daughter, Sasha, was born three months before Christina.

“I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined it,” Mr. Obama had just said. “All of us — we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children’s expectations.”

And then he stopped. After 10 seconds, he looked to his right. After 20 seconds, he took a deep breath. After 30 seconds, he started blinking. Then his jaw tightened. Finally, after 51 seconds of silence, he began to speak again, describing a book published after Sept. 11, 2001 — the day Christina was born — that included her picture and included simple wishes for a child’s life, including one inscription that read “I hope you jump in rain puddles.”

It was a stark moment for Mr. Obama, both as a president and as a father. This is a man who introduced himself to the nation with a memoir that explored how he was shaped by the absence of his own father, and it has been clear that he takes his role as a parent seriously.

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The president, friends said, was initially hesitant about calling Christina’s parents, Roxanna and John Green, after the shootings, saying that if it had happened to his daughters, he would not be capable of talking to anyone. He eventually did call the Greens, who buried their daughter on Thursday, and then met with them before his speech.

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Slate: How Obama’s Tucson Speech Elevated the Political Debate

The president memorialized the dead and celebrated the heroes. He could have stopped there. He could have decided not to tarnish their memory with politics. He made another decision, using just enough politics and the power of his office to build a memorial to their lives by calling the rest of us to live up to their example. That they are deserving of our good example. That was the message. He used that expression when talking about our children but it was his request of the country. “What, beyond prayers and expressions of concern, is required of us going forward? How can we honor the fallen? How can we be true to their memory?”

snip//

More than eloquence, the president also offered an argument, one he has been making for years. Aides say Obama stayed up all night working on the speech. We know that’s his way. But the speech wasn’t just the product of an all-nighter. It came from someone who thinks about children and the obligations of being a parent, who knows how it feels to be startled by your desperate love for a spouse whom you might have taken for granted in the rush of the day.
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more

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Obama and Palin, a Tale of Two Speeches

Wednesday was bookended by two remarkable — and remarkably different — political performances that demonstrated the vast expanse of America’s political landscape.

The day began at 5 a.m. when Sarah Palin osted a 7½- minute video statement that captured with precision the bubbling anger and resentment that is an undercurrent of the national conversation about our public discourse.

It ended with President Obama, whose plea for civility, love and compassion — for us to all be not just better citizens but better people — exposed for the first time the emotions of a leader who has spent two years staying cool and controlled for a nation beset by difficult times.

Where Ms. Palin was direct and forceful, Mr. Obama was soft and restrained. Where Ms. Palin was accusatory, Mr. Obama appeared to go out of his way to avoid pointing fingers or assigning blame. Where she stressed the importance of fighting for our different beliefs, he emphasized our need for unity, referring to the “American family — 300 million strong.”

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159 thoughts on “Friday morning mishmash

  1. Mountaintop Removal Story:

    The first link no longer works. Here is a very comprehensive article from “Coal Tatoo”

    “EPA’s final determination on the Spruce Mine comes after discussions with the company spanning more than a year failed to produce an agreement that would lead to a significant decrease in impacts to the environment and Appalachian communities …”

    http://blogs.wvgazette.com/coaltattoo/2011/01/13/breaking-news-epa-vetoes-spruce-mine-permit/

  2. I read the NYT article about the President and how this really “hits home”. Great piece.

  3. What a great mismash! I have never been more thankful and proud of our President. My heart has been so full of emotions this week it has been hard to express myself. Coming here and reading your thoughts and everyone’s words have been so meaningful to my. Thankyou Mr President, BWD and everyone here.

  4. You hit the nail on the head when you spoke about what he has done when he hasn’t had to go through Congress. But more importantly, he also had the wisdom to know what his limits were and what he absolutely needed to go though Congress for, even though his detractors on the left were angry at him for not bypassing Congress.

    Look at DADT. He could, as CIC, ordered that there be a stop to all discharges under the policy while it was being reviewed. He could have done an executive order dropping DADT while he is in office. These were the type of things done by Bush, so decried by those same people who were criticizing him for not doing them.

    Instead, he knew the only lasting way to get rid of DADT was to actually repeal the law. Let’s say he did either of the two mentioned actions. First of all, the military would have viewed him as being bullying (and ignore those people who mentioned Truman’s integration of th services). Secondly, it would only have left the policy in limbo, and any future President could have reversed what he did. Thirdly, what would have been the motivation for Congress to really act on it? They wouldn’t have needed to.

    Perhaps more of the nation is starting to see just how remarkable this man is. I fully expect 2012 to be an even bigger margin of victory. By doing what he does, the way he does, he is disproving all those claims of his being anti-American, Muslim (which shouldn’t make any difference but does) socialist, fascist, etc.

    That is why it is so important 31 million people watched him speak in Tucson. When people see him in situations like that, it is harder to believe the other crap.

  5. Bwd, we who support the President know that most of the meme(s) are media generated. And as a result have not basic in reality.

    Rather than informing and encouraging honest debate about his policies they create confusion with false equivalencies, outrage after outrage
    and muddy the water.

    I notice yesterday the emphasis iin the Media was on civility; which we need in our discourse, but no one in the MSM was talking about honest
    discourse

    I

  6. I remember when mountaintop diaries littered the wreck list at GOS. Then, when more news started filtering out about how the EPA was combatting it, you suddenly never saw them anymore. Hmmm…

  7. AWESOME!!

    I have friends who love deeply, who demonstrate that love in the careers they have chosen to pursue, but who have not always taken an active role in our political process. But for you BWD, I might have not been to exposed to the work of Chips nor found a way to so eloquently share with them the importance of each vote and of being politically informed/involved.

    I am technologically challenged but your site makes it so easy for folks like me to forward “Gems” from your site to those I love.
    Thank you,thank you. I am here every day, sometimes several times a day for the encouragement and information provided by you and other posters.

  8. I have been absent from making comments here for http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/arizona-shootings-benson-cartoons.html the past few days, but, as always, do manage to come to this place of solitude, and read all the powerful thoughts that have been left here. I wanted to show all of you some of the statements from our local papers “cartoonist”.Powerful stuff and spot on. Sorry, that wasn’t placed quite right, but you get the drift. I watched the tribute the other night, and was alittle surprised at the emotions that seemed to just pour out of me.I am a very emotional person by nature, passionate in my beliefs, but I was so taken by the entirety of it all…I sobbed like I haven’t in many years.12 years to be exact. The day my Mom died.I live in AZ as many of you know, and the constant drumbeat of hate and divisiveness is draining, there is no way to escape it.It was heartening to see a different tone taken here, and I hope an awakening.I wait, and hope, with bated breath that we have turned a corner here. I still believe in hope.

  9. I fully embrace all the good news that you give us day in and day out about what the Obama Administration is doing to better the lives for American citizens and those abroad as well. It is humbling, to say the least, to read all of the situations that are going on in the world and know that at home, we have an advocate in chief, Pres. Obama, working for us everyday even when people disagree with the good that he is trying to do for our democracy. Be grateful everyone that we have such a man as this fighting for us everyday. Thanks BWD.

  10. Terrific mismash. Like so many here, I was heartened, but not surprised, that POTUS delivered remarks which truly uplifted the nation and carried classic POTUS thematics: common ground, appealing to better angels, the priority of children as our future, and agreeable disagreement.

    What has confounded and at times upset me has been witnessing people who do not have even a sliver of this man’s character, not a sliver of his heart, not a sliver of his benevolence and not a sliver of his integrity, group together to trash and belittle this man, trash and belittle his speeches, trash and belittle his supporters, trash and belittle the historic steps that he has taken to make life better for others, such as HCR.

    Part of what this speech does for me, is to provide the comfort that POTUS might be skinny (lol), but his shoulders are wide and strong, and thus I need not be so upset watching the range of narcissists, ego-maniacs, and racists in denial (from all spots on the ideological spectrum) behave poorly. Because only someone of enormous strength and self-possession could have delivered these remarks.

    My hope is that people witnessing POTUS for themselves and without the filter of the malicious, can cause more scales to fall off of eyes and can help us all to face our shortcomings and strive to do better.

    Thank you for this space, BWD. I can’t say that enough.

  11. Very well-said, japa. POTUS is a consensus builder. This will confound and dismay people who prefer a more authoritarian means of governance, but that consensus building is most certainly a better route to lasting change. I love the fact that he chose to survey military servicepeople on the ground, soliciting their thoughts and opinions about DADT repeal. This not only yielded the positive news that large numbers of them had no problem repealing DADT, but it also let a core group of stakeholders know that their opinion mattered. Brilliant.

  12. My brother introduced me to you about a month ago.

    I really appreciate your site and how it provides me with news stories and insights that I did not easily find elsewhere.

    I have one comment. When you make comments like this “…back when we still posted in, ah, “other places”, …” It sounds like you are still processing your leaving. It, also, sounds self serving and weak rather than like a competent professional. You don’t need to continue to point out the weaknesses of the “other places” to justify the decision you made to leave.

    Thanks for listening.
    Phil

  13. Definitely a tough week for the President, but even tougher for those how have lost loved ones.

    Thank you for the mishmash.

  14. OMG, Nathan at thepeoplesview.net just made the best point, and I just have to share it here.

    It’s about the irony of President Obama’s empathy being described as “new” in the current media meme:

    Here is a man who stressed, during his search for Supreme Court nominees, that he wanted a Justice who was not only accomplished in law but also had empathy for the real problems that faced ordinary people.

    Does everyone remember all of the drama surrounding that? How POTUS was blasted during the Justice Sotomayor nomination and confirmation process for saying that a core component of his choices for the S. Ct. was empathy? So how is his emphasis on empathy, “new,” lol???

  15. I sincerely hope that someone compiles al list of ways PBO has shown empathy and willingness to work with others.

    He has reached out to Republicans, called for compromise, spoken abut how he wants to represent every American.

    It feels to me like this happens every week.

    There is a site called what the heck has Obama done for me lately.

    There needs to be a site how has Obama shown compassion and bi-partisanship.

  16. Obama is the leftest prez those at the shouting brigade ever gonna get, especially after the nasty way they treated him in the last two years. Their childish tantrums thrown from day one have made the ‘progressive left’ toxic to any pol who wants to get elected. It’d be really interesting to see how many dem pols really attend the next netroots meet.

  17. gn, above, just made the point I was about to make: President Obama has a deep capacity for empathy that is not universal among politicians, and it was treated as a weakness and a liability—even ridiculed–by some on the right.
    Then, when this empathy was so apparent at the memorial service, the cynics asserted that it was somehow new-found.

    I spend a lot of time at ‘that other site’ and I still find it invaluable. You might find a different tone there, if you visit.
    (And, BTW, there was a lot of discussion about EPA/mountaintop removal.)

    Thank you for a particularly fine mishmash.

    Joe

  18. After 4 years of Palin it was time to learn something about this person. It took hours reading about Palin’s rise to infamy, and this thought came to mind. Palin talks down to her supporters and they don’t know it. She is under the impression that the general public is ignorant, willing to be manipulated with the aggressive rhetoric that is her style. Starting with “her pregnancy” tale, she saw how anxious many in the public were/are for someone to lead their pent up anger into action and she is using that energy to her advantage; the Republican party is also using it through her. She lied about that pregnancy in 2008 (it’ll be interesting to read about it 20 yrs. from now that it was Bristols’ first baby), carried on about President Obama’s birthplace, his lack of political experience, ties to organizations, and on to death panels and the crosshairs, etc. The Hitler and Joker faces (evils) were an artistic touch to incite excitement, hatred and fear. She knows full well that emotion seizes reasoning. Common sense is halted. Her appeal is to an audience that has limited range and experience outside of their backyards.
    It comes to this, I guess. Palin has underestimated the intelligence of the average American. On the other hand, President Obama has overestimated the intelligence of the average American. As much as our POTUS tries to explain his policies, his Office, we don’t get much of it, and I wouldn’t miss a word of what he says. We are blessed with an Orator. What keeps me at President Obama’s side is the respect he shows when he talks to us. I take our POTUS on faith, that his words of Hope and Change, Yes We Can, come from a man who wants for us what we want for ourselves.

  19. Japa21 said:

    (Perhaps more of the nation is starting to see just how remarkable this man is.)
    —————————————–
    I hope you are right Jap21. The media firewall has been one of the biggest obstacles for President Obama from the beginning. But something wonderful is happening now. Websites like BWD “The Only Adult In The Room” are breaking through the firewall and getting the facts out.

    The Friday Mishmash is a case in point. A blog post chock full of amazing facts about President Obama and the accomplishments of his administration. Information is power. And BWD is working tirelessly to keep us up-to-date. What a treasure we have in BWD?

    On Wednesday night, because of the intense focus on the tragedy in Arizona, a lot of Americans who had previously been poisoned by hatred and negativity from the right got to see the remarkable human being that is President Obama. Essentially, there was a breach of the firewall that just may give some of the doubters a reason to give President Obama a second look.

  20. Now we as a people must do what the President ask. reject the negative rhetoric. Stop promoting the rhetoric on the right.stop watching Fox news even if its for the most outrageous rhetoric, we must show that it is coming from them, stop the visit to their web site. stop the tuning in to their radio stations. It will be reported, but the more interest they get the more they have a voice. You noticed how HP is reporting that Sean Hannity will have a interview with sarah Palin. Don’t tune in. Just like we weened ourselves away from that other place if you noticed our own civility has been much better we are able to see the real work of the president. This is how they win the messaging by saying the most outrageous things and people amazed that they would say something like that reads or tunes in to see if its true. Its sensationalism. we cannot feed the beast.

  21. Just completely spot on gn, thank you.

    What a great mishmash bwd, capping a pretty amazing week on so many levels. This EPA news is outstanding.

    Happy Friday one and All. Sad for POTUS however in that he must attend a funeral today- although Mr. Holbrook could be honored in no better way than to have President Obama speaking about him and his service.

  22. Happy Friday, sheri! Indeed, what a week. I hope that the first family has something enjoyable planned for themselves this weekend.

  23. You know what, joe, I think that the ridiculing of empathy is part of fear-based thinking. If people are currently in an ego-first place, there’s a need to be in control and a fear of others “taking over.” Empathy might be seen as opening the door to that. I think that because POTUS is so strong in his belief system, stepping into other people’s shoes and understanding their thinking and beliefs is no threat to him. He has no fear in this regard. Very interesting to watch, witness, and learn.

  24. Earthgirl, I think unless you have sound evidence about SP’s and Bristol’s you should refrain from posting those rumors.

    You should probably rewrite your comment and remove the baby stuff and ask BWD to remove the first comment. Peace

  25. Respectfully, Phil, I think that BWD is beyond competent, and is even more striking because she is not seeking a place in the professional left; she deliberately chose to not involve money, not even accept subscription contributions, for this place. Thus a few quips here and there while detoxifying isn’t so bad. But I definitely understand your points, and how this reads to people who have no inkling of the backstory and find that backstory much less interesting than what BWD is offering now. Thanks for offering your thoughts!

  26. I know I will never get to the point where I will simply “expect” just the right tone to be set by President Obama in his remarks, because he speaks so eloquently and from the heart that it knocks me off my feet every time.

    But, media, come on. You take it too far. Tom Brokaw says that President Obama found his “Gettysburg Address” in Tucson? Oh, please. Tucson was not Gettysburg and vice versa. We don’t have to make this stuff up, media. If you can’t find the right words to describe President Obama, then please just don’t say anything.

    I grew up during JFK’s time and I get the same beautiful feeling about President Obama that I had when President Kennedy was in the White House, but I haven’t felt any need to say President Obama is “like JFK.” (He’s more like my sweet son now – lol.) They were and are different leaders for different times (and I’m glad I’m alive to have seen both).

    Media, President Obama is not having a President Lincoln moment, or a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., moment, or whatever (not to say he wouldn’t aspire to that). He is speaking from his heart, with depth and intellect and feeling, and each of us who appreciates that should not fall for the need to compare him with other great leaders of our time. Each of the great leaders in our country stands by himself or herself … or they wouldn’t be great leaders.

    Sorry, but when lesser beings (sorry, again) and small minds try to use the over-the-top comparisons because they just can’t give due credit to this man, standing alone, it takes away from the value of our current President to all of us. He’s here with us today, and he’s saying things we might want to think about – like living up to our children’s expectations going forward. I’m with him all the way to 2016 and probably beyond.

  27. Desertflower, I am glad you were comforted by the president’s message at the memorial, I too hope for change in our discourse throughout the nation.

    Those cartoons are wonderful and way funny🙂
    (:

  28. I just wish that rather than throwing things out there off the cuff, more time was taken to research and examine questions beforehand, and more skepticism was shown towards memes and narratives. It might sound clever to announce that POTUS is the second coming of Spock, but is it true? The country is depending upon people in the press, and I hope that as we are already seeing, more and more choose to deliver for us.

  29. So well said. And as we can unfortunately see, the outrageous and anything goes drama-laden, conspiracy theory-laden, environment is particularly disastrous and harmful for people with mental health disabilities, and those in their path. Tuning out of sensationalism is an enormously important component of creating a lasting change in the country.

  30. Gn, I think its just a big game to them. All in the name of entertainment, trying to be relevant and $$$$$$. $ first, of course

  31. I certainly take your points, but I personally have little to no problem with the media recognizing that POTUS’ remarks were indeed special, and epic, utilizing the shorthand and comparisons which they find appropriate. This is truly a historic time. But I think that your caution against overstatement is very wise; just not sure that I agree in this instance.

  32. I was watching Rachel last night and she irratated me. I am for gun control, but why make it a issue knowing, the president will not win. This is how the left cause controversy. She wants him to take a stance on something knowing that republicans control the house. Knowing this is exactly what the NRA so they can say see we told you he was coming after our guns. Once the battle starts they break away from and not support him just watch him get eat by wolves and then say he should have did this. President Obama knows how to pick his fights. Give him his second term, He will show you and all of his policies will be in place and the country will be in a good place.

  33. Jacquelineoboomer, the media needs to just stop talking.

    Rather that their instant analyst they should just replay the message and say no comment necessary at this time. Give themself a day or a few hours to digest the message and then comment. That would be more honest.

    Who am I kidding, what planet am I living on? As if this would ever happen.

  34. Hey BWD, I see that a poster is telling you what to say or not. I’d take that as a compliment. Looks like that so called “fair and balanced” thingy has come here to visit (I hope just very briefly)!

    Keep on keeping on just the way you are please.

  35. I wonder if Manchin will jump to the Republicans – I think he’s itching to do so and this would be a perfect opportunity. McConnell has reached out to him in the past, likely promising no primary challenge – and Manchin has to run in 2012.

    Will all this talk about rhetoric and violent imagry, it was Manchin who literally shot a bullet through the HCR bill.

    McConnell and the GOP are going to target the senate in 2012, figuring they can net four seats and have both Senate and House. Getting Manchin to switch parties would be a huge coup and get the target down to three seats – and Nelson and Tester are very vunerable.

  36. Its reported that 31 million people watched the speech. some of those 31 millions were republicans. The city of Tucson, might be democrat , but Arizona is republicans. When tradegy happens you do look inward to see if you helped or could you have been different. A child was killed. People reflected and ask themselves how well did they love. That speech talked to not only civility, but how we reflect in times of sorrow and President did just that.

  37. The site is a couple of months old, after years at DK, I’m sure a complete break will come in time.

  38. I don’t know what the baby thing is about, however Palin is a nonentity. She her small base and it’s not here.

  39. I think that as sheila noted, they have to fill a lot of time and produce a lot of content, something which lends itself to reactionaryism as well as inventing drama and excitement in the context of a presidency which is so utterly consistent that it might invoke boredom.

    But I’ve really detected an improvement in press coverage and I hope that it continues. The fate of this country truly depends upon this.

  40. Makesense4tulips, we know by now that Rachel cannot help herself. She has not changed since the presidental campaign. I don’t think she will be any diferent in the future. She will have days when we applaud her and other days like last night.

    I hear your pain. Peace

  41. Thanks for more empowering information, BWD! It helps keep me motivated and take action.

    I KNOW much of the MegaMedia is designed, on purpose, as a propaganda mill against anything even remotely Liberal. When people of good conscience ask, “Are they (Brian Williams, Chris Matthews, Katie Couric, etc.) really that dumb to not see that?!?” or similar questions, just know that it’s ON PURPOSE. Those people are doing exactly what they’re PAID to do by the people who print their paychecks.

    Has been that way for decades now. Entire generations of voters have grown up with the public discourse being so manipulated, and thereby voting against their own best interests. This deception was purposely created after the social upheavals of the 1950s and 60s in order to try to put a lid back on it. Notice how when there was an actual functioning “Press” that really did attempt to present information in an impartial way – the era of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite, or before with Ida Tarbell and Upton Sinclair – Democrats basically controlled Congress for approx 40 years! When people know the facts, most will take the proper actions, and that’s why what BWD and others are doing is important to me.

    If people just remember this simple fact, that it’s all on purpose for the reason above, everything will make more sense when the next fabrications-du-jour take over the public discourse.

    However, I’m becoming more and more confused by a lot of the so-called Liberal pundits online and in traditional outlets. Sure, it’s been obvious for years that Lanny Davis, Dick Morris, James Carville and so on are in the The Game (that’s why they’ve had such long careers in it), but I’ve been surprised in the last couple of years by big supposed Liberal blogs like HuffPo, or people like Ed Schultz, and how they handle certain issues, especially the half-term Quitta From Wasilla.

    This person literally quits a governorship because what again….to become a TV pundit and have a reality TV show?!? Think about that. Quits governor for celebrity career. Her hypocrisy is unbelievable, and she shows over and over again how she literally brings nothing of value or substance to the table. Nothing but negatives. Yet, here she is years later, still controlling a lot of the public discourse. I was on the road a lot the other day and heard much of Ed Schultz’s show and he talked about HER, literally the entire time I had him on. He was asking every caller what they thought about Half-termer’s words. I’ve noticed many times on the HuffPoo frontpage that The Quitta, or one of her family members, has a 7-8 headlines with photos, even when there’s no actual news, just things such as, “Palin Disapproves Obama Plan” or some such thing. Few people care what she thinks about anything, except apparently certain self-proclaimed Liberal pundits.

    The motivations behind anyone who continues, years later now, to prop up The Quitta has very suspicious motivations in my opinion. Note how even here, in a link above in the main post, there’s an article comparing PRESIDENT Obama’s speech to her inane ramblings. WTF!?!? Seriously. Half-termer doesn’t care what people think about it, just that she’s elevated to the same plane as one of the best Presidents in world history. “Mission accomplished” in her book, and with the help of so many “Liberals.”

    Okay…I feel better now. Back to positive actions. We’ve elections to win in a couple of years!

  42. This is largely a decided issue – the NRA won. They used lazer focus on their issue and were bi-partisan in their support.

    At least a third of Dems in the House would not vote for any action, and I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t pass the Senate either. Manchin, Webb, Warner, McCaskill, Landrieu, Pryor, Conrad, Baucus, Hagan would all likely vote against any control.

    Not to mention I’m pretty sure Rep. Giffords was solid on gun rights, and the parents of Christina-Taylor have said they don’t want to be pawns in any political issue fallout.

  43. I dont think that I could speak to anyone either to be honest. My heart breaks for those parents

  44. I’m all for it, because keep giving her a public profile and she run for the Presidency. She has to make a decision soon, at least with an exploratory committee and get boots on the ground in the early states – Iowa, NH, SC and FLA.

  45. I know that BWD will take this as the complete compliment that I mean it as…

    With all due respect she is not a “professional” per se and that is one of best things about this space. Part of what she and all of us do here is highlight when the “pros” and the folks with a temporary megaphone do their work well and check them when they don’t.

    I think her very benign remark is just that. Further, with the nature of the internet and discussions that are bound to intersect, it’s only natural; to never hear a reference whether benign or heated would be a bit unatural to me.

  46. I agree with DCSandy, treat Palin as a nonentity. The most effective way to defeat Palin is not to argue against her, hate her, or try to tear her down.

    IGNORE HER. This will make her go away faster than anything else. She is like a child having a tantrum, yelling at her won’t work, put her in her room for a time out.

    She craves attention, don’t give it to her.

  47. I could’nt agree more.

    For too long, those who have supported this president voices have been drummed out by the so-called MSM and Web sites that I care not to mention.

    It’s sites like this one and others that help restore my faith in the fact that hate only exists because those on the right and left have given it a seat at the table of humanity.

    We are better than this.

  48. ‘bonkers’ – you certainly aren’t!!🙂 And, thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    The corporatist media, irrespective of any effort to distract everyone from the fact, have one objective – positive cash flow. For them, the cash would flow in torrents if Palin were to be the Republican candidate in 2012. They know it and they are going to continue doing everything they can to have it happen.

    The PL’s ultimate fantasy – their totally self-serving fantasy – would be a Palin v Obama Presidential campaign. They know it and they are already doing everything they can to have it happen.

    Perhaps I’m wrong – but that’s my summary of the situation.

  49. So energizing to read all the comments and links.

    This week I have decided to focus on the Affordable Care Act. Who knows how long the civility will last, while there is a bit of quiet and reason, let’s slip in some Health Care facts.

    Today I show a video from 2009 where President Obama tried to be a “myth buster” and lay out the facts for health care. I also include a brief video that explains what is in the bill, and a list of Myths and facts. Feel free to copy paste.

    I would appreciate recommendations for more videos & articles. The collective wisdom of this group is off the charts. Group hug.

    http://www.whatisworking.com/2011/01/obama-myths-and-morality-in-health.html

  50. It’s all good. I don’t mind criticism, as long as they’re respectable and constractive – which that comment was. I may not agree, but god forbid if I’ll start censor legitimate opinions just because I disagree. I learn that from the president.🙂

  51. You all are right, I was carried away with all that I read, most written by her supporters. The claims about the baby have not been substantiated. All avenues, from Bristol’s friends in hi school, to office staff, all the way to public records relating to this event were shut down, closed, made unavailable. That woman is getting to me and I truly apologize for getting sucked in. Sorry you all!

  52. Great roundup as usual BWD.

    I think our POTUS has found a new that untapped source of power, what we long to see in our leaders, and what we’ve known him capacble of, but out of respect for his privacy and for his temperment, know better than to exhort him to bare himself emotionally.

    This man knows better than that.

    We saw it in the pre-election day speech in VA after coming back from seeing his grandmother for the last time, and now this.

    That he spoke as a father on Wednesday night – Sasha and Malia’s father, and in a greater sense OUR father as well, something else clicked for him and all of us. Mostly us. Something we’ve known and felt all along that he has had all along, but reticent to use it. His true strength comes from his heart. His fire and deep maturity was so apparent Wednesday night.

    To me it was better than any speech he gave during the 08 campaign because it was no longer about theory. It was about practical, heart-breaking experience. He has more than risen to the occasion. He lifted all of us out and through to something greater.

  53. And even more, he shows his empathy without having to showcase it. He doesn’t have to say, like Clinton did, “I feel your pain.” Listening to him and watching him is evidence enough that he does.

    The thing is, the media has given so much credence to the whole “arrogant” theme, they can’t just come out and say that he has shown empath all aong.

  54. I thought she was right to talk about the need for at least a few controls on guns. She pointed out that the argument we have the Second Amendment is so Americans can go to war with their government means such an interpretation would require there be NO limitations whatsoever on gun ownership. She’s right to note that even many Republicans have supported some reasonable limitations in the past, including the ban of mega-magazines. It didn’t seem over the top to me at all.

  55. Agree with both of you. When people are allowed to see and hear Obama without the filter of the media and critics, they have the opportunity to see for themselves that this President does not deserve the harsh criticism and does not even come close to resembling the person of their accusations. All his sterling qualities—-intellect, compassion, generosity of spirit etc. etc. etc.— are on display for all to see.

  56. GN: This thought occurred to me while reading your post above, and it was reaffirmed with your next post ..’I’ve really detected an improvement in press coverage and I hope that it continues’ …
    – wonder what would happen if most of us made a point of remarking on/complimenting reporters on their blogs WHEN THEY PRESENT FACTS AND/ A BALANCED report/article? This seems like a good place in the national dialogue to reach out, and such an action multiplied by (hundreds/thousands of) positive people might just continue what the President started. I don’t necessarily mean just saying ‘good report/article’. I’m envisioning a more specific highlighting of one specific point in the article and a brief expansion on how that point enriches or enlightens the dialogue. Maybe if more of us continually let the media know how much we appreciate real and truthful reporting we may be able to exert some influence? Just reading the regular blogs reveals how easy it is for people to be negative, mean and spiteful. A concerted effort to praise and be encouraging WHEN IT IS MERITED would be bound to be noticed. I wonder if this is something worth trying? After all, it can’t do any harm, and nuggets of praise for doing the right thing might encourage more ‘right things’.

    P.S. GN – really liked the tone of your response to Phil above. Both his concern and your answer provide a model of sorts for me.

  57. The Obama Diary has a great video compilation of all his compassion and empathy which have been on full display from the moment he came on the scene—-known to all who have been paying the least amount of attention—-and obviously not known by those who haven’t. I know this has been a frequent false claim by Tweety. He heard it from somebody who heard it from somebody (Fineman?) who told somebody who told somebody else and on and on it goes—-an easily provable lie.

  58. I was stunned by this speech, just stunned. And I have to disagree with a couple of posters here about whether the media was going overboard to call it a moment like ones experienced with Kennedy or Lincoln. This was a hallmark speech, one which will likely set the stage for his approach to the job for the next two years. It’s not a policy speech, but it gives us an insight into where his policies might go in the next two (let’s hope six) years. What he did, aside from bringing me to tears humanizing and eulogizing the dead, was issue a clarion call for a change in tone, and in fact I heard Bob Schieffer talking this morning and saying he thought it would have that effect. But it goes farther. The call is for moderation and listening to the other side and remembering that the politicians are there working for the people, that they are OF the people. I think he may be able to build upon this theme nicely in the next couple of years.

    I listened on C-Span to the speech and heard the call ins immediately afterward. Several Republicans called in and said they had voted against him in the election, but were really moved by the speech and felt that he looked – for the first time to some of them – Presidential and appealing. One woman said “I realize now that I have misjudged Mr. Obama (ya think?), and though I voted against him in the last election I see that he is a good man trying to do the right thing.” You can’t buy that kind of review.

  59. This is extremely well said. No one responds well to all negativity all of the time, and focusing on highlighting pieces which contribute to thoughtfulness and praising those pieces is a fantastic idea. I think that BWD has done this in the mismash, and that a deliberate, concerted effort to praise good reporting would be excellent!

  60. I think that you shared a really good insight here: Palin has underestimated the intelligence of the average American. I agree with everyone else that it’s a good idea to be careful with the CT no matter how tempting (I’ll be honest, I find Palin bizarre and I’ll leave it at that), but the rest of your comment contains some great thoughts.

  61. She has been irritating me for awhile now. I completely agree that we need sensible guy laws to keep those who are unfit from possessing them. My grandfather was a hunter, my father and brother now are hunters. My brother is a gun owner and he is very responsible cause my grandfather and father taught him to be. Rachel will can go off the dead-end sometimes.

  62. After all the other descriptions that have been thrown at Obama—fascist, Nazi, Hitler, terrorist, satan, illegitimate, scary secret Muslim, racist! etc.—-I didn’t mind the comparison to Lincoln at all. In fact, I welcomed it. The speech was extraordinary. I would add “historic”.

  63. Not over the top at all about the issue, but why bring up a policy that will lead to more division at this time. Give President Obama the tools to make the change and as you can see the country did not give him the tools they voted and made his job more difficult. So she should be point out the power of the vote and how who we vote for has consequences.

  64. Here’s another thing I’ve noticed—don’t know if everyone will like it or agree with it. But—every time there is good news about Obama, news of his approval polls rising, an uptick in compliments as has happened this week, the manipulative media springs into action to combat. They do it by asking controversial and not universally well liked figures to appear on certain TV programs to express the Democratic viewpoint, such as Al Sharpton being asked to appear on MTP this Sunday. It used to be Jesse Jackson. It’s on purpose to tamp down increasing support in the middle class. They tried similar tricks during the campaign, always inviting one of about 2 black Republicans to appear to demean and disparage Obama as they tried to peel off black support for him. It’s been a real eye-opener to observe.

  65. I agree with the three of you.

    This site is not just for looking at photos of this man Barack Obama, that we all love, but the site also provides a lot of information as to what is happening with out “the filter of the media and critics”. Thanks.

  66. What is working, I had trouble leaving a comment on your blog.

    I can’t think of any additional info right now, except that you should probably put in a link in to healthcare.gov

  67. I believe they equate “emapathy” with both weakness and females. Blogging and politics are macho sports. I’ve always believed that the screamers were often the “nerds” in high school. Now THEY are the BMOC (both men and women) It feels heady, and they are making up for lost time. Maybe the more thoughtful among them (MB, MAYBE) will begin to let some cracks in the armor, but many won’t. And the ones that are in it for money – another story.
    Democrats are seen as the party of the CARERS – how wimpy. And now we have a POTUS who exemplified this. How embarrassing. Clinton got a pass because his tomcattery offset thequivering lip.

    I so do not want to get my hopes up, but the speech might have signalled the beginning of a sea change. Again, I refer to a descriptive term Sheila used – that Pres Obama may well be a transformational figure in history, beyond being the first AA President. And, as I’ve personally attested to, THAT fact is deeply significant among my students of color – the generation POTUS cares so deeply about.

    BWD, your editorial instincts are impeccable. I need to refus on other peices of the agenda, and you are providing that, while never forgetting this past week.

    I predict, you will earn awards for this blog in time. (I know that is not the reason you do it ;))

    Hope this weekend is…BORING, LOL. I am going to an art exhibit opening tonight – wine and cheese🙂 Such good timing.

  68. dotster, Shultz had Jesse on yesterday, and another black radio announcer for Sirius, sorry can’t remember his name. I was kind of surprised, actually. I mean, why yesterday? Oh, he also had Clyburn on!!!

  69. I agree about the narcissism and the need for modesty. I think he’s getting to the principles.

    Alot of the narcissism we see today in our politics is a product of the selling of a candidate as a brand. A product. That falls right into the trough where money and politics has become a force, like dance competition shows on the networks. The telegenics and optics (as Samantha Bee lampooned on TDS last night) becomes more important than the issues or the events themselves.

    As for modesty, when we have nothing but a news cycle that frames the tit-for tat and every news network covering your last word, and your face is on 30 million television sets, who can afford to lose their media attractiveness by appearing unassuming–modest on camera? This is one of Mrs. Palin’s strengths, BTW.

    She has used her beauty queen looks to gin up the thin resume, and by God, its working. I bet she has high “metric” and “optics” amongst young men. But she also, as Brooks has outlined, no ability to admit she is wrong. No modesty. At least in terms of her opinions and her beliefs.

    She excludes and demeans others with whom she disagrees. That in one supposedly running for a leadership position is dangerous. Look at what she did to her former state trooper brother-in-law up in Alaska.

  70. I hate to view the eulogy through a political prism, but such are the times in which we live. As a piece of political theater, it was exemplary, the best speech he’s given in his two years in office. And it’s all the better political theater because it wasn’t intended as theater. Listening to it on the radio on the way home, I could hear the pain in his voice, as if he were the one needing consolation, but had to hold his emotions in check, to the best of his abilities, in order to offer comfort to those gathered, and to the nation. It was political because anything touching this president is assigned a political motivation. But it was perfectly political, most effective politically in its lack of political artifice. A report on NPR stated that his group of speechwriters had very little input on the speech; he wrote the bulk of it. Perhaps he was afraid that if he farmed it out, it would sound “political”, in a way he didn’t want it to sound. The speech had to come from him, from his own life experience, from his own, unfiltered beliefs,for it to be believable, for it to resonate as something other than a speech by a politician, even if that politician was the president. It succeeded because it spoke plainly, passionately, with an almost fervent desire to calm our demons and call out our angels; it wouldn’t have been nearly as successful if it had been written by committee. As such it was politically unpolitical, an acknowledgment of grief, a celebration of lives cut too short, and a plea for a more united country. Only time will tell if anything will change.

  71. I like the fact and Myths. I bookmarked you on my tool bar. congratulation on a wonderful site.

  72. Sorry to jump in here, but I’d really caution against thinking David Brooks has had some sort of revelation. He’s one of the more dangerous pundits, since he actually has some intelligence and wields it in order to be extra deceptive. His recent defending of the 3% tax cut for millionaires and billionaires was especially dishonest.

    He’s hardly “starting” anything. Rep. Giffords herself, and almost all Dems were strongly calling for more “civility” a year ago, going so far as to introduce legislation about it, which of course Repubs blocked. Wonder what Brooks said about that, if anything.

    He’s been doing this schtick for years where he’ll start out as a “uniter not a divider” (sound familiar?), yet 98% of the time on every issue that dominates the public discourse, he’ll eventually conclude on the side of the Repubs, no matter how ridiculous they’re being. I won’t even start on how he’s also a false equivalency fetishist.

    I keep harping on people like Brooks because I think what they do is extra harmful. They keep the public narratives so muddied that it takes so much time and effort to get the average citizen, who doesn’t spend hours a day reading detailed reports, to see which arguments are more sound than others. Until the influence of people like David Brooks is diminished, we’ll just be playing catch up to the carefully constructed deceptions that influence how most people end up voting.

    Yet another reason though that I admire President Obama so much. His actions and results speak so much louder than the words of people such as David Brooks. Onward and upward!

  73. I totally agree with you tulips. The words sanctimonious and purist come to mind.

    Rachel is starting to get on my one last nerve again with her constant handwringing. What she is really saying is why hasn’t President Obama fixed the gun control issue yet.

    I had stopped watching her show for a few weeks and decided to check her out again. But lately I am not impressed. I am glad to know it’s not just me.

  74. I agree with you – Pawlenty is already making noises about reinstating DADT if he becomes President. How easy would it be for him if there was just an Executive Order to undo, versus actually having to sell it to the public and then get the majority of Congress to vote against their constituents’ wishes? Very smart move by President Obama, and much more serving of those who need it to be permanent.

  75. That’s why I call them the lazy, media stenographers. They are like sheep. They don’t do their homework. They just regurgitate what the other guy said. It’s pathetic.

  76. I have been giving thought to what the short and long term impact of all of this will be. I agree with GN above that the media is showing some signs of turning around. I don’t know how long it will last, but is light light gets through now, it may be harder to recreate the darkness.

    But what I think is more important is that people who do go overboard (and yes on both sides) there may well be a backlash. And anybody who uses violence oriented rhetoric is going to be in trouble. We don’t know for a fact that Lougher was in any way motivated by an of the hetoric, but we would be totally stupid if we were to say that none of the extreme violent acts over the past 2 years were triggered in part by the rhetoric.

    And I think Americans are starting to realize that. Oh, I don’t expect the Limbaugh’s, Becks and Levins of the world to tone it down, but I do think that any politiican that enters that territory, except in the most conservative areas of this country, will be in trouble.

    PS, I think Obama will win Arizona next year.

  77. Very good article. thanks for the link.

    The problem is the GOP realizes they have to keep the electorate “outraged”. They have nothing else. Imagine if there is no anger, no name calling (Obama is _____ ) no “you lie!!!”, what will GOP do?

    It helped them solidify their base, garner independents, and rallied the far left to embrace this same outrage meme toward the president. Too many people have too much invested in the “anger” discourse, imo. I am bracing myself for the same old same old. But the efforts that some are making is very commendable.

  78. Is anyone following the Republican Reorganization today? I know little about it other than what I read two years ago when I was so surprised by Michael Steele pulling out the win and thinking he probably has a gift for persuasion that the others lack.

  79. fe1955, I think when we start a honest discourse, our country will move along in order to meet our challenges.

    It needs to start among our elected official, and all public figures. If we work towards that, then I thing we can move this country forward.

    I thing blogs such as BWD and others will be instrumental in that aim. And echoing what ✸ VCprezofan2 ✸says up ahead, in a comment (please go back and red it if you have not do so yet), about contacting media personnel and giving them feedback on how a particular part of their report was effective etc. I know some folks already do that I am going to try and start doing so. ♡

  80. Oooh Boy, the fringe left is going to hate this – a hardcore DLC’er, more than that one of the braintrusts of the DLC –

    “Reed is the keeper of the flame for the Third Way technocracy that flowered in the Clinton years. He was chief executive of the Democratic Leadership Council, head of the Domestic Policy Council in the Clinton White House and executive director of the fiscal commission. He’s known as one of the smartest policy minds on the center-left, but “center-left” should really be in bold type in that sentence: He’s not just a policy wonk, but a policy entrepreneur, and his long-term project has been persuading Democrats to chart a more centrist, market-friendly approach.”

  81. You’re so right. If “liberal” shows would ignore the right wing tantrums and lies, and focus instead on how people’s lives are being renewed and improved, or discuss rationally the options for legislation that can actually get passed in Congress, or next steps for improving legislation or extending legislation to cover more or do more – then we would see a national change in priorities and acceptance. Sensationalism would get a tiny voice in the public domain, and real facts and truth would prevail. I feel cynical, but hopeful. Leave the right wing

  82. Bonkers, I know what your are saying about DB, and although I do not read his opinions regularly, occasionally I find his opinion useful, and this was one of those times.

    Thank you very much for jumping in with your comment ♥

  83. I would not be too concerned about the so-called “fringe left” in these situations. After all, they were screaming about Secretary Gates (before he helped to repeal DADT), Senator Gillibrand (before she became their newly admired senator), and even Rep Giffords (two days before she was wounded by gunfire.)

    Obama’s New Chief of Staff who was the talk of the town just two weeks ago, is hardly being mentioned these days.

  84. A bit OT, but I see that Ron Reagan Jr.—whom I like very much by the way—-has a bombshell in his new book, “My Father at 100”, which is due to be released soon. He confirms what I have been saying for years, that Reagan had alzheimers, or at least increasing signs of it while in office, in fact by the 3rd year of first term. He mentions his very confused debate performance with Mondale for his 2nd term. Ron Jr. said it was something he had feared for a long time. He lets his dad off the hook, saying if anyone had confirmed it he felt his dad would have resigned. He said it wasn’t confirmed till he was bucked off a horse while in Mexico a yr. out of office—-the media hushed it up saying it resulted in some minor bumps and bruises—-but in fact he was flown to Mayo Clinic, had part of skull removed, a la Giffords, to allow for brain swelling, and drs. noted signs of Alzheimers. I knew something was happening—he did seem increasingly confused, needing Nancy to whisper in his ear every move and every answer to reporters’ questions. Of course, it was all swept under the rug. (Raw Story)

  85. LOL. You have to get a grip on yourself Electablog. Every time I hear someone say Obama’s finished I just look at them and ask who have the Republicans got. They can never answer the question. We have a strong, attractive, well-liked President who is slowly but surely building his reputation as a man who marks his own course and steers it without kowtowing to either the left or the right. This quiet, steady leadership will be ripe and ready to point to for the next election cycle.

  86. No big surprise there. When he left office and received a diagnosis shortly thereafter I remember people saying sardonically that it must have been that “sudden, instant onset” of Alzheimers. It was clear to anyone watching Reagan through his second term that there was something wrong, and it got worse and worse as he went along. Makes one wonder how much of his accomplishments were actually behind the scenes compromises and proposals put together by a loyal cadre of his wife and closest aides effectively running the country with him as a figurehead a la Woodrow Wilson.

  87. I think many people suspected that. Whatever happen to the daughter, you never hear anythng about her anymore

  88. Welcome Phil.

    I understand your comment but you should be made aware that BWD does this work and built this site for love, not for money, fame or glory for herself.

    A lot of us here are still processing what happened on a site where many of us posted and lurked for years. It was all very ugly and hurtful, so from time to time you may see references to this in a diary or in someone’s comment. Please just ignore them if it bothers you. I am sure we will all move on in time.

    I hope you will continue to come and enjoy BWD’s wonderful work and that you will share in the comments. Your thoughts and ideas are much appreciated. This is a kind and respectful site and I can see from your comment that you are a civil and thoughtful person.

  89. via The Hill

    The payroll tax cuts President Obama negotiated and signed into law during the lame-duck session went into effect on Friday, and the White House wants to make sure the millions benefiting know it.

    Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Friday that for the tax cuts to have a stimulative effect, the public needs to be aware they’re getting more money in their pockets.

    More than 159 million families will benefit from the $112 billion in tax cuts, part of a broader package agreed to by Obama and Republicans that extends all the Bush-era cuts.

    Under the payroll tax holiday, the average worker will see an annual paycheck increase of about $700, and the average family will see an increase of more than $1,000, Geithner told reporters at a White House briefing Friday afternoon.

    Economists estimate the U.S. is likely to see economic growth of 3 percent to 4 percent in 2011, and the White House hopes that the tax package will increase that.

    Geithner said the White House expects 1.5 million jobs to be added to the economy because of the package.

    The more people know about the tax package, Geithner said, “the more power it’s going to have in getting Americans back to work.”

  90. Benson is taking a real beating for his cartoons on that web site but so many that post at azcentral.com are nasty in the extreme.

    Personally, the ones showing Gabby with “thumbs up” and the eagle from the presidential seal embracing Arizona made me cry. They were beautiful.

  91. I agree with you. But I also think we have to have sort of a 3 pronged approach.

    Some people will be spurred to action by the Maddows of this world. We need them. But overall we have to learn to stop fighting the culture wars. Especially using the language and the frames that Lobbyists have spent millions of dollars to indoctrinate people with.

    They worked really hard to make sure this messaging took hold in our culture. No matter how much they are mocked or ridiculed or reasoned with this is no match for the meme of self reliance, preservation of self, and cultivated fear. Yet, we keep walking into this trap, thinking it’s a winnable debate using the same language with an opposite view point.

    The point of culture wars is to divide us. These are the wedge issues that political fly Venus fly taps designed to slow progress by forcing votes along what seems like fundamental difference, but that in reality are carefully cultivated issues designed to enrage/embue with power/strip of power/create apathy.

    As long as we keep agreeing with the terms of this argument, we’ll lose it.

  92. Beautiful, gn.

    The President and his Lady brought some healing to us here in AZ. Bless them, as parents this must have been extremely painful for both of them.

  93. If they want everyone to know, then why did they discuss it on a Friday afternoon? Isn’t that the ‘take out the trash day?”

  94. I do and I also remember how Sotomayor was also blasted for her “wise Latina” comment.

    Trite but true: “They can’t win for losing” First the poohheads require robots and now they want emotional emoting.

  95. If the media did their job, it wouldn’t matter what day of the week it was discussed. But, since we know that they wont do their job, it is really important that we make sure to get the word out via social media, word of mouth etc…..

  96. Interesting indeed! If I was running for office, I would keep totally away from that whole bunch. They are untrustworthy, fickle, and sometimes “toxic”.


  97. Personally, the ones showing Gabby with “thumbs up” and the eagle from the presidential seal embracing Arizona made me cry.

    BWD, if you think the following is inappropriate, I would surely appreciate it if you would remove it.

    The integrity of this blog is more important to me than anything I utter.

    The Eagle embracing AZ made me choke up too, after I’d seen Jan Brewer (who won’t have friends on the left, or center, whatever) being embraced by the President.

    What will end the Religious Right is another Jew returning from the dead – one they haven’t learned to box in with their petty grievances.

  98. I think POTUS probably learned empathy and openmindedness at his mother’s knee. Consider the men she married and the work she devoted her life to.

    I will also credit his grandparents who seemed to accept and love him unconditionally despite their cultural conditioning.

    “Our roots ground us and our wings set us free”

    These good people raised an exceptional man. It does grieve me from time to time that none of them are here to see him now.

  99. Michelle is truly the “Mother” to our nation. What a great and inspiring Lady.

  100. George HW Bush was President for eight years – last four years of Reagan’s presidency and his own four year term.

    I wonder who really had the nuke codes in RR’s second term. I mean what if he was having a “bad day”?

  101. Paul Krugman doesn’t have much hope for America:

    On Wednesday, President Obama called on Americans to “expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together.” Those were beautiful words; they spoke to our desire for reconciliation.

    But the truth is that we are a deeply divided nation and are likely to remain one for a long time. By all means, let’s listen to each other more carefully; but what we’ll discover, I fear, is how far apart we are. For the great divide in our politics isn’t really about pragmatic issues, about which policies work best; it’s about differences in those very moral imaginations Mr. Obama urges us to expand, about divergent beliefs over what constitutes justice.
    But then, if he did, he wouldn’t be able to write the things he does and remain as popular. Doom and gloom is profitable, after all.

  102. It’s just getting started. He’ll write another book, maybe challenge Sen. Cardin who is up for re-election in 2012, or even run in GOP Presidential primary.


  103. I completely agree that we need sensible guy laws to keep those who are unfit from possessing them.

    I agree, The best thing would be for those who keep guys to drop the love of guns🙂

  104. Just read the article, thanks so much starm. What struck me was that the article points out, if criticism is given with civility and mutual respect both parties win and ideas are improved.

    Reading this article reminded me that I watch David on PBS. That is the MSM news program I find to be the most helpful. David debates with a Democrat whose last name is Shields. They disagree every week, but it is always respectful and they always find areas on which they agree.

    I usually end up yelling at the TV on CBS or ABC with these guys I just nod or shake my head, it’s much easier on the blood pressure. :->

  105. That’s what I was saying in another part of this thread. I was amazed at just how many people called in to C-Span saying they were Republicans and hadn’t thought much of Obama, but his speech made them realize that he wasn’t so bad after all. He really turned around some attitudes and you’re right, it is a LOT harder to demonize and vilify someone who seems to you to be a good man just trying to ease the people’s pain. He seemed so human and you could hear it in his voice (which changed the way it does when you’re trying not to cry), and you could see it in the earnest way he talked about wanting to honor Christina and the victims by being the best he can be.

  106. And PBO has been consistent before and throughout his presidency in being civil toward his political opponents. He first displayed this civility during the presidential campaign when he refused to engage in the same kind of dirty tactics that McCain/Palin used. This tells me civility is an enduring principles/qualities that he applies to every circumstance he finds himself in. Those who have to be asked/reminded to be civil come across to me as being opportunists who have no enduring qualities/principles to rely on and are not to be trusted.

  107. Quite the juxtaposition from Christina-Taylor to Richard Holbroooke, and then maybe not really.


  108. With all this Obamafail lately I’m surprised he hasn’t just resigned😉

    Don’t give him ideas – how would you like a job writing “remarks” for memorials and funerals for people whose service you adore day after day …

  109. Well – let’s get the word out ourselves. We can all email our friends, talk about it at work, in fact put up a sign in the lunch room. Put up a note on Facebook, tweet it (is that how you say it?). Every blog needs to put up something about this.

    Tomorrow I will do a health care story AND a payroll tax story.

    Feel the power!!

  110. I agree with you, Catzmaw. Rachel Maddow can sometimes be somewhat dense in her criticism of the President, but I cannot argue with her desire to see some reasonable gun control restrictions, as it is healthy for the entire culture. If those on the left don’t push this, who will? I still believe we need to ask deep questions about the American psyche and why so many more of our mentally unstable turn to violence than in other developed countries, but since we know this is true and the problem is very thorny and will take a long time to remedy if it is ever addressed, regulating guns seems at least a first step to lessening the violence.

  111. Please, please, take the advice to ignore, the more we talk about her the more she talks. Hopefully, some day she will be just an annoyance like Newt.

  112. It’s a great idea. I don’t know who John McCain is trying to fool though, as one of the co-sponsors.

    I think he has designs on forming another “Gang of 14” to try and control the Senate.

    I’ve very interested in the SOTU in eleven days. I suspect the debt/deficit commission will be a major part of it – I think it’s an issue he is ready to tackle, even if unpopular decisions have to be made.

  113. BWD, just can’t get used to the excellence of The only adult. Also, the way it is growing is incredible. You have undying gratitude from many, many people. It is amazing to find so many had begun feeling just as I had. Your hard work is doing so much good! Bless you!

  114. So Mr. Priebus wins the race for RNC Chair. In the spirit of civility, I say, “Congratulations, sir.” I hope he steers the party toward a less divisive course.

  115. Good. This will be their first test of their supposed change of heart re: civility. I gave them a week to revert. I give FDL/and similar 24 hours.

    What is more significant than anything that comes out of their mouths, are the reports above about Republicans looking differently at POTUS. That is what should be cultivated.

  116. No surprise. Nobody likes being umbilically tied to a loser. And that is what The Weeper will look like, especially compared with POTUS.

  117. In reading the comments below the Arizona cartoonists collection, the impression I get is that one reason for our course public debate i the unmoderated comment thread. Like an editor who selects Letters to the Editor for relevance and not for the string of capitalized swear words, a blog or website needs to have standards in what is permitted as part of debate. Otherwise, we have a public square that sounds more like a schoolyard fight.

    I am very grateful to BWD for her efforts in keeping this public square free of Political Tourette’s. The task she bears without fanfare every day is one of the unheralded gifts to us as we visit this site and yearn for adult conversation and respectable discourse.

    President Obama has tasked us with listening to our better angels. Part of that is insisting that only adults sit at the big table.

  118. I am souring on our friend Mr. Krugman. As a modern day economics Cassandra he seems to have no good news on any subject. I suspect he has too much invested in being “right”. I’ve actually got to the point of just ignoring him now. We need ideas for the future, not lectures on what we did wrong. There is a difference.

  119. New clown, same circus. I am not convinced there is enough left of the old guard GOP to keep control of their own party. Michael Steele was a symptom of that. The candidates for GOP chair last time and this are a reflection of the lack of talent in their ranks. No wonder Palin the Tea Party scare them so much, they really don’t have the power to resist them. Their problem is that you really cannot run a country, a state or even a local homeowner’s association on white hot rage and paranoia.

  120. I suspect this tax cut, holiday, whatever, is really a gift to the states more than workers. Every state aching for income will see the federal tax holiday as an opportunity to raise some tax revenue “painlessly”. I applaud the president’s efforts and I started to receive my extra income with my paycheck today. We recently elected a right-winger Republican. I chided a conservative colleague at work “Hey, looks like Obama gave us a tax cut and now Susanna Martinez is going to take it away”.

  121. Not to mention that with each passing month Obama is getting closer to harvesting what he had sewn in the earlier days of his term. December is just the most visible example.

    This speech in Tucson is part of a more difficult but longer term vision. That we as a nation are better than we are acting right now. Love and Hope do not happen because we demand it. We do not fight for it. We love because we do the hard work of uprooting hate, resentment and fear from our hearts. We maintain Hope because we know that Love is where we want to live, even if we can’t see the shoreline yet.

  122. The fringe-left has no purpose but to throw tantrums. If any of them actually got into government they would find out that ideological purity does not feed the bulldog. The Tea Party is about to learn that lesson over the next two years.

  123. Sending you hugs G.

    I don’t post/comment much, but I do come to this blog on a daily basis and read all the comments. Like Japa21 mentioned upthread, I agree that this is a community. In a way I feel as if I have gotten to ‘know’ some of you.

    Hope everyone has a good weekend.

    Perhaps, after 2016, PBO would move to Canada and he can be our leader for as long as he likes, I don’t believe we have term restrictions (not a hundred % sure).
    🙂

  124. Here, here! It makes all the difference to one’s perspective and peace of mind to know that you can join with others for discussion and debate, without being subjected to abuse from the willfully ignorant or obtuse. Thank you BWD, and all others who have moderated blogs that seek to educate and provide safe haven and secure our collective sanity!

  125. Absolutely agree! I am really appalled that any one who has listened to President Obama, for the past three years, can, with a strait face, accuse him of not having empathy, or for not reaching out to Republicans. After seeing that reporter, whose name escapes me, grilling Robert Gibbs about the President’s new found empathy, I finally concluded that many of the MSM reporters are determined to undermine and destroy this president, by peddling lies. Unfortunately, because of the volume of news that American people have to try to digest, it is not easy for many of us to remember things said and done in the past, unless they are continuously repeated.

    That is why I like your idea of a site focused on “how has (President) Obama shown compassion and bi-partisanship.” Frankly, I think a talented documentary producer could put together an effective video exploring President Obama’s emphasis on the need for empathy, and the need to respect people with different views. A recent example that supports your contention is his speech, which was posted on this site, after he lost the New Hampshire primary. Of course a more compelling example is his brief speech nominating Justice Sonia Sotomayor. As GN has ably stated above, the Republicans on the Senate Judicially committee went into tizzy because the President listed empathy as one his criteria for selecting a Supreme Court Justice. Somehow, everything this President says or does seems to disappear in a memory hole. But thanks to BWD, TPV, BWV, and other sites, many of the people who post on these blogs are keeping faith, refusing to accept the lies and revisionism about this uniquely gifted President.

  126. Dear gn:

    Thanks for your gracious compliment. I am a very big fan of yours! I truly value your commentaries, both here and on TPV. I especially appreciate your fearlessness in rejecting the calim that the people Robert Gibbs called the “professional left” represent President Obama’s base.

  127. I agree with you completely. I also think that the media confuses backslapping with emotion. In MHO this president is both compassionate and disciplined. He also continuously displays a great deal of humility. Remember how he was viciously attacked by the right for showing respect for the cultural traditions of Japan and Saudi Arabia? Remember, also, how he is relentlessly attacked by the so called left for his continuous search for bipartisanship? It is his emphasis on the need for bipartisanship that has been at the center of the venom heaped on him by the so called left. His call for bipartisanship is constantly attacked as a sign of weakness. How quickly do reporters, in the so called MSM, forget that, just barely three weeks ago, they were hounding him, for lack of principled values, because of his tax compromise with Republicans? A compromise, which, by the way, was prompted by his commitment to see that the unemployed people would not suffer, and the middle class would not see their taxes rise. Is that not concrete evidence of his deep empathy? Any one hear remember the question about him drawing “a line in the sand?” It seems to me that for the MSM, the right wingers, and unfortunately, the so called leftist, President Obama could do nothing right, no matter what he does. I feel that if they asked him to flip a coin, their answer would still be: heads you loose and tails you loose. Of course, the tragedy for the vast majority of American people is that they are only able to evaluate him through the filters of MSM, right wing media, and what people here call the “frustrati” media. Our challenge is to find ways to remove these filters. This site is doing a wonderful job in stepping up to that challenge. I feel really blessed for finding this blog and all the wonderful people who post here.

  128. You are absolutely right Aquagranny! Any one who has read his “Dreams for My Father” knows the source of his empathy.

  129. earthgirl,

    I appreciate you analysis, but I must respectfully disagree with this assertion: “President Obama has overestimated the intelligence of the average American. As much as our POTUS tries to explain his policies, his Office, we don’t get much of it….” I feel the problems is with all the filters that make it difficult for people to receive his message. The President ably communicated with Americans during his campaign, as is evidenced by the vast numbers who turned out to hear him. Unfortunately, ever since he took office, he has had to communicate through the filters of the media. The reason I stopped watching T.V. is that whenever the President gave a speech, they only showed small parts of it while spending most of the time telling us how the President failed to communicate. Fortunately, visiting the site that has now become toxic, I would now and then run into the diaries written by BWD where she posted full speeches of the President, as well as reactions of the people listening to him. It was BWD’d diaries that opened my eyes about how the MSM was depriving the American people real exposure of what this President was saying, doing, and accomplishing. So, in my humble opinion, the President never “overestimated the intelligence of the average American.” Rather, the “average American,” who for the most part is very busy with the complexity of daily life, has been fed crap by the MSM, right wing media, and the so called left media, that he is confused about what to believe about this President. Any way, that is my take, though I appreciate many of the other points you covered.

  130. I didn’t see the show, so I am hoping that you are right that Rachel Maddow did not flame this correctly. However, I still think, that in the wake of this tragedy, the issue of controlling specific guns, such as assault weapons, can be revisited, intelligently, without causing “more division.” I also think that your political instincts are right because I cannot envision the current crop of Republicans, and some Democrats standing up to the NRA lobby. Nevertheless, I do think that the President has an obligation to try to convince Congress to enact sensible laws to try to ensure that what happened in Arizona would not be repeated.

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