Friday morning mishmash

Good morning guys,

1. Today’s schedule:

9:30 AM

PBO and VPB receive the presidential daily briefing.

10:00 AM

PBO meets with senior advisers.

11:00 AM  
12:00 PM  
1:00 PM  
1:30 PM

Gibbs briefs the press; Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Austan Goolsbee and Director of the National Economic Council Gene Sperling also attend.

2:00 PM  
2:10 PM

PBO holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Harper of Canada.

2:30 PM

PBO holds an expanded bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Harper.

3:00 PM  
3:10 PM

PBO and Prime Minister Harper hold a joint press conference.


2. A truly awesome West Wing Week. 3:58 is just to die for.


3. I’ve been thinking a lot about PBO’s speech at the National Prayer Breakfast yesterday. I’m not a religious person, I’m actually quite the skeptic, but at the very least, this guy is affecting my whole approach to spirituality. I watched that speech again, quietly, last night, and it just blew my mind. Seems like I’m not alone. If Mark Halperin (!) can say something like this, following that speech, then anything is possible. If you didn’t see the speech, please make time and watch it over the weekend.


4. I can still remember those who said that PBO won’t let Elizabeth Warren to be independent. How he appointed her just to throw a bone to progressives. Oh well, wrong again.



5. Finally, a personal note: I want to thank all those who voted for me over at Daily Kos. Not really going to give them the click and i can hardly remember that specific diary – It seems almost like a different lifetime – but I’m deeply moved by the thought of people actually voting for something I’ve done such a long time ago, in a place that chased me away.

So thank you all. I love you. Have a great weekend.

214 thoughts on “Friday morning mishmash

  1. This isn’t about any specific post today. Hope it’s okay to reach out. You don’t have to put this up. I was watching coverage and discussion of the protests in Egypt this morning on the Maddow Show footage from last night. I see so many parallels between the euphoria of the possibility of change, the kind of change the President’s election represented and the first days of Eygpt’s demonstrations. I kept having flashbacks to the national mall at inauguration. Since then, the anti Obama rhetoric has felt very personal and a violation, not like normal push back, just like the thuggery going on in the streets of Cairo. Everyone who has worked for positive change has been labeled some ridiculous thing or just erased by the right as if we don’t exist. (“America is against health care reform”) Then there has been the real thuggery, like at Rand Paul’s event or Joe Wilson’s handcuffing of a journalist for asking a question. Then the assassination attempt. Watching the outrageous coverage from the right about Caliphates and the President being in league with the Muslim Brotherhood, it seemed completely parallel to the slandering of the journalists and the protesters in Egypt. Then there was the discussion of how much staying power do ordinary people have to keep up the protests day after day when they have lives to lead. That made me think of how much work is required to organize against the organized attempts to repress positive change in our own country and how to make it sustainable. I guess my heart is breaking and I am taking heart from the Egyptians and realizing what a long road ahead there is, how important it is not to allow ourselves to be divided or to allow our voices to be drowned out.

  2. BWD the best revenge is success. Just keep doing what you are doing because I love what you do.

    Thank you and now I can start my day and you have a great weekend.

  3. BWD, I so agree with you about Mark Halperin on Chris last night — I could have keeled over when he said there is NO Republican who can touch what President Obama is capable of. I’m actually hearing some complimentary things about our president these days, not enough to balance out the craziness of course, but it’s good to have SOME good out there (other than this site which is the best of all). Just have to listen and read selectively so I can keep my blood pressure under control!

    A million thanks for all you do here every day.

  4. What a wonderful quote! The president shows us how to live in dignity every day. Those who spew lies about him and his millions of supporters prefer to foster a brutish society where people suspect and turn against each other. A divided country is easier to manipulate, conquer and control. A leader who can help unite the country’s divisions and inspire us to reach out to each other has to be despised and destroyed.

    At the prayer breakfast the president revealed his soul and deep seated goodness. Anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear would understand this, unless their vision was clouded by the vicious and relentless lies against him.

    I wish I could ask some of those Mama Kay prayer groups to pray that people’s eyes finally be opened to this good man.

  5. Here’s some fascinating medical good news I ran across:

    This is a messy UK Telegraph article:

    “A prototype medical device that literally sprays skin cells onto burn victims to re-grow skin.

    The spray-gun which fires stem cells on to the damaged skin has already been used successfully on a dozen patients.

    Rather than sheets of skin being laboriously grown over a period of a month and applied to the patient, stem cells are harvested from a small patch of healthy skin, put into a solution and sprayed back on to the affected area.

    The process takes only 90 minutes, said Dr Jörg Gerlach, of the University of Pittsburgh’s McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. And burns can heal in as little as four days.

    It eliminates a major flaw of existing burns treatment, the time taken to grow new layers of skin in the lab, during which time patients can die from infection.

    Dr Gerlach said the skin gun was “like paint spraying, you just need a more sophisticated device”….more

  6. Unemplyment down to 9%, but only 36,000 jobs were created. I’m too ignorant to even try and make sense of it. But i do think that when it comes to perception, the falling rate is psychologically good news, and i do know that psychology has a lot do with the economy situation.

  7. This is extremely well said.

    That made me think of how much work is required to organize against the organized attempts to repress positive change in our own country and how to make it sustainable.

    Kind of puts things in perspective, doesn’t it? All we’re having to do is send a relatively small amount of money, make some calls, and knock on some doors. In light of what’s taking place in Egypt, this commitment of time and resources for change in the US seems really modest.

    The ability to think these things through without the distractions of people claiming that the base is fractured (untrue) or that making that commitment for our own future is unseemly (“you’re in a cult worshiping dear leader”) is why I can’t thank BWD enough for this space. I don’t have to worry about her waking up tomorrow and calling FLOTUS classless, or POTUS weak, or any number of highly inconsistent and distracting themes present elsewhere in the new media. Thank you everyone!

  8. Its good news. Morning Joke was trying to make lite of it, but if that .4 got jobs then its good he has to chip away and thats whats hes doing. I loved the speech at Penn State. He told the youth to get up and be innovative and thats where things will move.

  9. They were saying him and President Obama and Secretary Clinton was not being a friend to Mubuarak. In my opinion he has done what was needed. Murburak human right issues came to light. and Israel has to defend itself, if they cannot work with the president on helping with the palestined, situation then what do they expect. its time israel stand on their own and give some consession on their own fate. They cannot have it all and give nothing.

  10. OK, this might explain it:

    AP: More than a half-million people without jobs found work

    WASHINGTON — The unemployment rate dropped sharply last month to 9 percent, the lowest level in nearly two years. But the economy generated only 36,000 net new jobs, the fewest in four months.

    The January report illustrates how job growth remains the economy’s weakest spot, even as other economic indicators point to a recovery that is strengthening..

    Friday’s report offered a conflicting picture on hiring. Unemployment fell because the Labor Department’s household survey determined that more than a half-million people without jobs found work. The department conducts a separate survey of businesses, which showed tepid job creation. The two surveys sometimes diverge.

    Severe winter weather likely reduced the number of jobs created. Harsh snowstorms last month cut into construction employment, which fell by 32,000, the most since May.

    In one bright spot, manufacturing added 49,000 jobs, the most since August 1998.

  11. Great mishmash and congrats, BWD! I saw Morning Joke and the clowns at CNBC and they made me want to barf. I’m no economist, but the fact is, we are consistently creating job rather than shedding hundreds of thousands of them every month like we did under Bush. That’s a fact! But the msm wants to ignore the consistent progress and find ways and reasons to spin it negatively.

    Why? Because they know every proposal PBO put in place has worked despite the republican efforts to sabatoge them at the expense of Americans. It’s quite disgusting to watch them.

    Matthews was on MJ and had the nerve to say again unemployment has to go down to 8 percent in order for PBO to get reelected. Who is he to say? When are these idiots going to realize they have no say in this? They can’t dictate to the people who to elect based on one number?

    Watch, when it drops to 8 (which it surely will), Matthews will grab some other number out of his butt.

    They make me want to barf.

    OT: regarding Egypt and the MSM being attacked. No one wants to see this happen, but they all rushed over there to make themselves part of the story. I’m sick of hearing about them and what’s happening to their friends. This is not about them. It’s about the Egyptian people and what they want for their country.

  12. Again congratulations to you both, BWD and Eclectablog, and thank you so much for your progressive and positive voices in the blogosphere !

  13. And at first they were saying why wasn’t PBO moving quickly to make Mubarak step down. Why wasn’t he being stronger in his statements? Now, he’s not being a friend and ally.

    They’re soooooo stupid.

  14. The problem is that our banks are still NOT lendng! They feel that the financial crisis was caused by the consumer! It was not! It was caused by bankers placing a bet on your mortgages, on whether or not they would fail!
    That is how they made money!
    And when the system crashed, they did not have thge money to back up their BETS!
    These bankers are ruiining America!
    And btw: Tweety is pathetic, he is going after POTUS on this mubarak thingy! Takingt the fox news talking points, saying POTUS is abandoning his friends(the isrealis are lobbying the American Press again). BS!!! All of it!

  15. Great comment I read at gos about newt gingrich, the serial married man and the most corrupt rethug, comparing how raygun would have handled Egypt so well.

    “Reagan would have studied how to cut and run. Like he did in Lebanon.

    Or maybe he would have studied on how to built a militia of radical Muslims who would one day attack us. Like he did in Afghanistan.

    Or maybe he would have made a deal with radical Muslim clerics in order to get elected and make money so he could wage an illegal war in Central America. Like he did with Khomeni in Iran.

    Or maybe he would have sent Donald Rumsfeld to sell them chemical and biological weapons so that they could kill other Muslims in another country which he was selling weapons to as well. Like he did with Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

    Great fucking strategies there Newt. Because they ALL worked out so fucking well for us.”

    This comment from Disnoir36 nailed it.

  16. From my twitter timeline:

    RT @Dima_Khatib: Al Jazeera: there are more than 1.5 million protesters in Tahrir Square and surrounding streets right now #jan25 #egypt

  17. There were/are DK members who valued you tremendously. But sadly, the site was highjacked by others. Maybe someday, the Daily Kos will appreciate our POTUS. I won’t hold my breath, thank heavens you created THIS site.

    I had read that the negativists will find the .4% worthless. I’m no mathmetician, but isn’t .4 a decent percentage of the whole?

    Pundits are useless.

    BWD, win or lose a DK contest, you are a winner with us. Punto.

  18. Congratulations to both of you. You both have voices that many appreciate, even at places where the hostile voices do all they can to drown out the supportive ones. Thanks to both of you for all you do.

  19. “Mind-blowing” does indeed seem to be the perfect word to describe President Obama’s latest rhetorical triumph with the National Prayer Breakfast. That he gave a great and moving speech is not in itself very surprising – this is Barack Obama after all – but what does give it a special force is its deft and eloquent handling/exploration of the topic of faith, and the President’s own faith.

    Invocations of and references to religion pepper political rhetoric today just as they have since before the founding of the Republic. As PBO himself noted in The Audacity of Hope, America is nothing if not a vibrantly religious country. Political speeches concerning religion as a topic in and of itself tend to be something of a third rail however – with the seperation of Church and State enshrined as one of the greatest constitutional foundations of the nation’s governing system, and the views and approaches that people take to this, it is highly unlikely that it will ever be otherwise. Although there is no shortage of such speeches, the ones that rise to become recognized as truly great are few and far between. One thinks of the famous address given by John F. Kennedy, and some of FDR’s more religiously-themed orations. For the most part however, great rhetorical flourishes from political figures on the subject of religion are far more rare than other great enduring questions – which probably is as it should be.

    I don’t know if this particular speech is going to be remembered as one of PBO’s standout, great ones, but I view the favorable response to it (when I saw the Halperin clip I almost fell out of my chair) as being one more sign that the connection between the President and the People is a developing relationship that is now strengthening almost every day. Not all Presidents who establish a “great connection” with the people do so right from day one. Some, like Franklin Roosevelt or John F. Kennedy, forge an unbreakable bond with the citizenry from the very beginning, but with other “great communicators” it takes more time. Abraham Lincoln stands as a prime example of a President who in his early years seemed to fail to communicate himself, his policies, or his vision with the people of the Union that he was struggling to hold together (at the risk of drawing parallels, radical abolitionists (the Professional Left of the day) despised Lincoln as a “compromiser” and “moderate” “sell-out”, almost as much as the conservatives distrusted him as a “radical”. In 1862, Lincoln’s party sufferred a “shellacking” in the midterms which were a sore political setback for him). It was only as time went on, as Lincoln’s eloquent writings and speeches began to seep into the public consciousness and he found his firmer and firmer footing as President that they learned to trust, respect, and even love him as a leader. I believe that it will be the same with President Obama.

    On a side note, congratulations BWD and Eclectablog for your well deserved triumphs! 😀

  20. [blush]

    I’m still in disbelief, actually. But, honestly, what you have going here is far and away more impressive than anything I have going on. You are reaching an amazing number of people and you’ve done it in a very short time, relatively speaking. THAT’S heroic.

    Kudos and then some.

    By the way, did you hear TARP program has almost broken even and that it’s expected to make a $20 billion profit. It is:

    TARP program nearly breaks even, expected to turn $20B profit

  21. I am thrilled about this. Burns are devastating. I would never have what it takes to work with these patients. I’ve read that even professionals consider burn units to be the most soul searing, challenging medical work.

  22. I do think Halperin is right. There is a reason no Republicans have announced a bid for the nomination yet. President Obama is a formidable opponent. He was formidable in 2008 when he was much more unknown, and to some degree untested. Now he has all the qualities that led him to election then backed up with 2 years of successes, tests, challenges, and growth in his abilities to lead and inspire the nation. The biggest attack the right had on him in 2008 was inexperience. That attack is now gone. What is left is nothing but conspiracy theories and twisting of facts to make up appear to be down and inside appear to be outside.

    The crazies like Bachmann and Palin might jump in but those who are serious would much rather wait until 2016 when they won’t have to face off against President Obama. Eventually, the powers that be in Republican circles will convince someone to throw their hat in the ring. I think the Republicans are also faced with a big dilemma. The “stars” on the right are the loonies who can never win a general election. Those with any chance at all in a general election can never make it past a republican primary where the loons are fully in charge. They may find themselves stuck with a full out crazy candidate or a rebellion and two candidates – a tea party backed lunatic and a more moderate conservative, which would only further doom any chance of any republican, looney or sane, of winning. When all you’ve got is charismatic loons and uninspiring mainstream candidates to run against President Obama, you are a party in trouble in 2012.

  23. You know, I heard Ann Curry mention the 500,000 people finding work, and I honestly thought that she’d misread her cue card and that 500,000 people had actually fallen off the rolls due to them having stopped looking for work. So it sounds like she was reading the correct info, which does make the report confusing. But hey, if 500,000 people actually found work and that contributed to .4 falling off the unemployment rate, awesome! I don’t think even many of us here anticipated that! 🙂

  24. I need to memorize this, amk for obama, because I know for the next week I will hear about the sage words of Newt!

  25. There are multiple reasons for this. First is the seasonal adjustments taking effect. Just as possibkle, though not in a positive sense, is that a lot of people have fallen off the end, meaning they are no longer being counted. Unemployment is based upon a figure based on how many people want to work and are looking for work. To some degree, this is a hypothetical number and if a lot of people have given up on getting a job, the basic pool drops.

    I am not an expert, but to me, a more accurate number is percent of people who are working. When that number goes up, good things are happening.

    That being said, I agree that perception is important here and people will pay more attention to the 9% figure than the 36,000 gain.

  26. Love your comment and very moving. If people would just watch and listen with an open heart to our President they would respect him just as much as we do.

  27. From my twitter timeline:

    RT @sharifkouddous: On a balcony now with birds-eye view. Tahrir is an ocean of people. This is simply massive. #Egypt

  28. Because worrying about it gives them the “conflict” narrative that drives ratings. They have to have a horserace. There is no credible candidate to run against him now. There is no candidate, period, willing to jump in so they must say something to keep the suspense going and get the ratings up.

    They are remembering 4 years ago, when the Democratic primaries were just getting going and the ratings on cable news were beginning to surge. They want that back and if the real world won’t provide it, they will create it themselves. Once the republicans decide to actually start campaigning in a primary fight or two, the focus will shift to them. Horseraces between two or more actual candidates are a lot easier to hype than hypothetical ones between the President and some generic republican opponent.

  29. From my twitter timeline:

    RT @KA_OM: I’m an #Egypt ian, I’m Proud, I did something I developed I conquered FEAR and Injustice Now I’ve a new Birth date #jan25 #Tahrir

  30. I agree with you. President Obama doesn’t have a failure to communicate, he has an audience where half the people refuse to even tune in let alone listen and where a segment of those who do tune in only listen for key words and phrases and ignore the broader message. That’s why there is continually a reaction of “surprise” when a speech finally makes it to the people’s ears, like the Tucson speech. There is no surprise to those who have always listened but to those who have refused or have only heard what others had to say about what he has said rather than listening for themselves, there is surprise that the actual man is nothing like they have been told he is. Each time it happens it chips away at the number of people who are susceptible to the lies though so while it may be discouraging to have to listen to talk of how the president is now somehow “different”, when it is obvious to see that he his message has been remarkable consistent, just remember that each voice touting the “new” message reaches more people who will perhaps listen for themselves for the first time and each one who does is one less person who will react with automatic hatred and suspicion the next time.

  31. Congrats to you BWD, and Eclectablog on the dkos wins.

    I’m so sorry you were chased from the site, blackwaterdog. There are a few positivists who aren’t tearing down our President, but the other, more shrill voices often drown them out. I miss your photodiaries and commentary, but can understand your reticence about posting there anymore. Not having your diaries is a big loss for the site. I agree with Eclectablog that you are doing a bang-up job with this site, but wish you were also back on dkos.

    When I received the FLOTUS’ letter about contributing to the 2012 campaign, I jumped on board. It is going to take money and effort to overcome the mindless negativity of those screaming ‘socialist’ and ‘liberal’ and ‘where’s the birth certificate’.

    The programmed defiance towards our president has elements of racism and deliberate planning on the part of his opposition. Some voters seem to forget so easily how hard PBO worked to get where he is today. His opposition is working overtime to overcome perceptions about his many accomplishments for our country.

  32. I wouldn’t take the January numbers seriously. We learned that snow storms keep people from filing claims, so I’m not going to get excited about the unemployment rate going down. The low job creation is weather-related.

  33. Did you go look at the gadget?! It’s so small and looks like something one could easily take to the scene of a fire or on an ambulance, starting treatment immediately! What blessings stem cell research is bringing.

  34. Hi Amk! 🙂

    Yes, the Professional Left does indeed have a long history – they are in their own rather bitter way quite possibly the least successful unoffical political institution dating from the Founding of the Republic. The term “Professional Liberals”, from which the modern term is derived, was originally coined during the 1960s by none other than President John F. Kennedy, who was driven to great frustration by the sheer bad attitude of the liberals who should have been his natural allies – they shared most of the same goals after all – but who instead preferred to complain and criticize him for “compromising too much” and “being too friendly with big business” (the PL get very low marks for originality). JFK offerred a very astute insight into the mentality of the Professional Liberal: “They [the PL] would rather go down in flames than compromise to get most of what they want. I suppose that’s why so many of them see Adlai Stevenson as the Second Coming.” (substitute Bernie Sanders for Stevenson and you can pretty much say the same thing today). Kennedy further speculated that at a basic level, liberal ideologues almost seem to fear the very idea of actually being in power, and having the responsibility to govern in a moderate manner so as, yet again, to achieve most of their objectives, even if this means sacrificng ideological purity.

    Every time in American history that there has been a successful progressive President, he has been assailed by the contemporary version of the PL, who inevitably lambast him for compromising too much, making the wrong sort of appointments, appeasing the opposition too much, etc, etc. Thomas Jefferson was attacked for using Federalist-style powers to effect the Louisiana Purchase. Andrew Jackson was assailed for failing to create a democratic paradise or adhere strictly to the dogma of some of his more extreme supporters. Abraham Lincoln as we have seen above was scorned by the radical abolitionists, who viewed him as too weak in moving against Slavery, and regarded even the Emancipation Proclamation as a “pathetic half-measure”. Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson both recieved similar treatment from the far left wing of the progressive movement, and from the socialist movement: their achievements were based on too much compromise and not enough ideological purity for the tastes of the PL of the early 20th Century (it probably didn’t help that TR coined the phrase “lunatic fringe” to describe them). It was the same story with the Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal – the leader of the Socialist Party, upon hearing that the Social Security Act had been ratified, sniffed that The President has carried out the Socialist agenda… on a stretcher!” – with John F. Kennedy, and with Lyndon Johnson (who thought that JFK’s phrase “Professional Liberals” was far too polite – he preferred to describe them simply as “f*cking crazies”.

    It is something of an irony that all of these figures are today held up by the PL as heroes worthy of emulation, pressing modern day liberal and progressive politicians to be “more like them”. Give it a few decades, and you will find that the professional left of the future will lambast some future liberal president by saying: “He’s compromising too much and not getting enough done! Why can’t he be more like Barack Obama? He was a president who knew how to get things done!”

    The Professional Left do of course make in their own way invaluable contributions at times to the liberal movement. They have played an active role in many of the great social causes of history, from Abolitionism to Civil Rights. Still, it is very hard not to agree with Franklin D. Roosevelt when he said:

    “I am not bitter, and nor am I a cynic. But I do wish that some people would show a little bit more maturity in their political thinking.

  35. Exactly! As David Axelrod noted after the State of the Union, nothing that Obama said in there was particularly new for him – almost all of it you could trace back to statements that he had been making since 2004 and even before. But because so many had failed to pay attention to those earlier moments, they were caught by surprise.

    Still, more and more of them seem to be not only starting to like what they are hearing from the President, but to realise that what they like about him is not new – it has always been there, they just didn’t appreciate it properly before.

  36. Me too. During Bush/Cheney we we’re losing jobs and manufacturing the whole time yet unemployment was around 4 and 5%. Starting in 2009 unemployment jumpted to almost 10%. I need someone to explain how could we have lost jobs all through Bush administration but unemployment remained at 5%?

  37. Another eloquent post, Axrendale. I have to say the connection between President Lincoln and President Obama is fascinating.

  38. Agree. Ax’s historical perspective of things is educative. Thx ax.

    I am disappointed to see that over the years, the liberals have had the right ideas but also had too wrong a strategies and tactics to make their ideas popular.

  39. My thoughts on the job numbers. Good news that unemployment going back down, now 9% (obviously not enough but I will take downward than up) and yay 36,000 Americans got jobs, not lost jobs, last month but WTH those hiring numbers do not match the economic info we have been seeing over the last month. So many improvements in so many different parts of the economic indicators all exceeded expectations. Yet the official numbers are low. I feel like the data needs to catch up with the reality of what is happening irl. I see a major disconnect and I am starting to feel like its being done on purpose.

    I am praying for the 9% to go down to match the indicators data we see with our own eyes soon.

  40. BWD & Eclectablog. What a great honor to know both of you! Eclectablog, I found out yesterday I am friends with your wife on Facebook. I hadn’t put the two of you together until she announced you have won. I love her work. The two of you are amazing.

    BWD, what you have given to us over the years has been amazing, but what you are doing now is beyond words for so many of us out here. For the first time in awhile I do feel positive.

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

  41. Oh I keep forgetting to congratulate BWD and Eclectablog. There was no doubt this is well deserved. Keep up the fantastic work both of you. ❤

  42. I wonder if Americans watching Egyptians praying during a revolution want to understand islam instead of believing their media & extremists?

  43. Wonderful quote, Carol. As for congratulating blackwaterdog and Eclectablog, I do not know what it is for, but I definitely think they both deserve congratulations for doing what they do, so join mine to the rest.

  44. So Gibbs knows his history, huh? I can now picture him and Obama sitting around and discussing the history of Professional Liberals and then came up with Professional Left while laughing at that group.

  45. jovie, a poem for you from D. H. Lawrence:


    The mosquito knows full well, small as he is
    he’s a beast of prey.
    But after all
    he only takes his bellyful,
    he doesn’t put my blood in the bank.

  46. BWD a huge hug and oodles of happiness over your win.

    They tried to take you down, but you just kept fighting. Your desire to provide positive information and lots of pretty pictures, lead to the creation of this site. Every who reads here is a winner. The nasty ones must be livid.

    Do you get an DK oscar? Perhaps a new car?

    PS-The unmasked Halperin was FANTASTIC!!!!!!

  47. Yep. He has been incredibly consistent. On policy. And everything else.

    Since we’re talking about speeches, I want to mention his commencement speeches, who all have been outstanding. I think my favourite is the one at Notre-Dame, in 2009. Using the search engine of the White House Youtube Channel, I was able to watch it again a few weeks ago. The second half is a thing of pure beauty.

  48. What a wonderful post,axrendale. I learned a great deal that I did not know before. Thank you so much for your very informed, well-articulated, and thoughtful comments.

  49. One of the biggest challenges of President Obama this year will be to counter the islamophobia and fear-mongering that the far-right is already ramping up.

  50. Cuphalfful – I too was shocked and discouraged by the actions of the past 2 yeas.

    anti Obama rhetoric has felt very personal and a violation, not like normal push back

    It felt personal to me too. For me, doing something is the only thing that makes it feel better. I spent 2 years waiting for the MSM to change, now I put all my energy into doing what I can to make change. It feels good.

    This blog is a big part of that “action plan” along with posting positive comments at MSM articles, signing online petitions, making calls, on and on. I feel like there is tremendous power from the folks in this blog and as we continue to grow and organize there are endless possibilities.

  51. There was a story several weeks ago that got very little press. It was after a Christian church had been bombed in Egypt, and I think for Orthodox Christmas (I’m not sure about that) Egyptian citizens, Muslim and Christian and anything else, protected the churches from further violence saying, “We’re all Egyptians”.

    I really forget where I read it but I know it wasn’t covered in the MSM at all. God forbid we should see Muslims acting moderately and protecting everyone’s religious freedom. Instead there is the scary reporting of the Muslim Brotherhood everywhere on the news. I’ve heard from experts that they are not radical. Yes, the founder of Al Qaeda had been a member, but left over 30 years ago because he was radical and they were not.

    So you have an actual, factual story about Egyptians banding together to protect their citizens, and a factually-challenged innuendo that gets full coverage. Despicable.

  52. Yup. The cable teevee news pundits, pox news and rw hate radio will be right along with them cheerleading them all the way.

  53. Well said and I really think that your “cup runneth over” with great thoughts. Thank you for sharing that.

  54. Thanks for sharing this. It’s really interesting to me especially since a young boy was badly burned here over the weekend when he poured gasoline on a chimenea fire.

  55. The program under the $700-billion financial bailout package that pumped money into banks moved closer to break-even Wednesday as another large financial institution repaid its cash infusion.

    More Good News!!!

    The Treasury Department announced that Fifth Third Bancorp had fully repaid the $3.4 billion it received from the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The Cincinnati institution received the money on Dec. 31, 2008 — some of the $245 billion dished out under TARP’s Capital Purchase Program to stabilize the U.S. banking system.

    With the check from Fifth Third Bancorp, total repayments under that program have reached $243 billion, Treasury said. Programs that bailed out banks are now estimated to turn a $20-billion profit.

  56. Hey, BWD all I know is that after 15 months out of work my son got a job and started this past Monday.

  57. Happy happy Friday.. thank you for a wonderful mishmash BWD… and Congratulations to Eclectablog & BWD for your wins!! OOHRAH!!

    I too have not listened to the Prayer Breakfast speech yet.. but will listen today, am more than a skeptic- but I do believe in the good and even the spiritual good of human beings (though I’m not sold on Mark Halperin in any way ;)- particularly the good of President Barack Obama.

    I noticed a couple of days ago that one of my facebook ‘friends’ has been posting your blog BWD.. I began posting it to facebook to my friends back when you began it.. and it looks like he nows does the same.. and he has hundreds of friends- and I’m sure he’s not the only one. Your blog will be huge by election time.

    Two things: I am very excited about the whole ‘start-up America’.. and all the possibilities that the President is pushing for innovation in business, etc.
    And I’m really concerned about the violence in Egypt- and what happens if Mubarak continues there, but what happens if he leaves?

  58. Thanks for the history axrendale. Very informative. Please write more often. It would be nice if you had yr own space to write diaries because one could learn a lot from yr knowledge of history and yr easy writing style. Thanks!!

  59. Phenomenal writing!

    Human nature being what it is, I am not surprised to see that the PL of today so closely resembles the PL of yesterday. Same issues, same personality traits.

    That’s why I always laughed when certain commenters at a certain site would hold up FDR and LBJ as the ultimate progressive models. There was a lot of revisionist history going on about those presidencies, and they were too blind to see that if they had been around in FDR and LBJ’s days, they would have been bitching and moaning, and looking for third party candidates just like they’re doing now with PBO.

    The ability to blindly hold onto political dogma, the unabated anger, and the unwillingness to compromise for the greater good shows they have a tremendous amount in common with the far right — and their paths lead to the same place: futility.

    Keep writing. I greatly enjoy reading your posts!

  60. Congrats to BWD and Eclecta! You had my two votes :-).

    Your work is making an impact in cyberspace. Keep it up!

  61. On the National Prayer Breakfast address:

    I’m an atheist, I’m gay, and The Family, the group behind the NPB, is deeply evil.

    And I loved Obama’s address to them.

    I was raised in the Christian faith and I understand its coded messages, and so let me translate some of what the president said to this group into my own blunt talk.

    Obama saluted Mark Kelly and spoke of Gabrielle Giffords to remind this crowd of the violent consequences of their hateful rhetoric.

    Obama reclaimed faith for liberalism by linking his own spiritual path to the “social justice” wing of Christianity, his work for the churches as a community organizer, and how it informs his understanding of the role of government in completing the work of people of faith by extending their power to help the poor and downtrodden, a direct rebuke to the false gospel of prosperity poisoning the people in many of the megachurches.

    He said that while he and Tom Coburn are both Christians, Coburn is getting it wrong and isn’t listening to God hard enough, though he holds out hope that Coburn will see the light.

    He said that he needs the power of prayer to counteract all the messages of hate members of the audience and Fox News are directing at him and his family.

    I’m just in awe. This was actually very similar to Obama’s “question time” with the GOPers at their retreat. The vocabulary, tone and language were tailored perfectly to this audience, many of whom knew they were being called out by this charming man with a gentle smile on his face.

  62. The pressure is mounting….

    EU leaders call for transition in Egypt to start now

    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders called on Egyptian authorities to meet the aspirations of their people with “reform not repression” on Friday and said the transfer of power to a broad-based government must begin immediately.

    EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton is expected to head to Cairo in the coming days to meet Vice President Omar Suleiman and examine how Europe can support the transition process, including preparations for free and fair elections.

    “The European Council is following with utmost concern the deteriorating situation in Egypt,” the bloc’s 27 leaders said in a joint statement issued during a summit in Brussels.

    “All parties should show restraint and avoid further violence and begin an orderly transition to a broad-based government,” the statement said.
    “This transition process must start now.”

  63. Regarding the issue of “far-right” fear mongering. Let’s help with that. When I follow tigerfish’s links and see images of the Egyptian people, I feel no fear, only empathy. I think most Americans feel the same way.

    We need to keep those faces in the public eye. When a story is written in MSM about the terrible “Muslim Brotherhood” or the danger from an Islamic government, we need to comment and link to images, articles, etc.

    I know for many of you MSM is an “icky place” and you don’t want to go there. I would respectfully ask you to reconsider your boycott.

    My motto is – get in, get out, and feel good all day.

    When I write a post on a CBS article about Health Care Reform I feel powerful. Even if my comment is wedged in between negative wackos. My voice was counted. Someone who feels like I do will feel encouraged because they read my post, MAYBE they will feel strong enough to add their own.

    From 2008-2010 I sat home and “silently stewed”. When someone called to poll my opinion I hung up, I stopped watching the news, and felt it was hopeless.

    When I started my blog it felt better, even though I had no clue about what I was doing. When I found this place it felt much better.

    Now when the phone rings for a survey I answer even though the questions can take forever and some of the answers are ridiculous. I go CBS, ABC and MSNBC and post positive encouraging comments on articles that I disagree with. I am learning to do this without being upset or frustrated. (it gets easier with practice)

    I understand that for some of you there are deep resentments toward MSM and I respect those feelings. I would simply suggest that when we turn away from MSM we allow other voices to dominate the conversation.

    Many of us recently went to the orange place, we got in, we voted for BWD and Eclectablog, got out and felt good all day. We won.

    We could do it again, let’s all hold hands and click.

  64. Very insightful post. I totally agree that the propaganda and tactics of the Right and their Media hounds is identical to those of these dictactorial regimes who are desperately trying to keep power. The Right has decided that the Nov 2008 election results were illegitimate, but we’re supposed to take the Nov 2010 election results as the gospel truth. They’ve decided they speak for the people, and polls are only right when they support their positions. The Right aren’t afraid to call for violence and revolution, and then claim that they shouldn’t be held responsible. The Right claim to have religious and spiritual superiority, despite being the exact opposite of what those values espouse. And their tactics are all aimed to break down the spirit of the optimistic and hopeful in this country, no matter what that takes.

    You’re absolutely right – there is so much at stake, and it is imperative for us to not give up and not become apathetic.

  65. “If there is one problem that the US and Egypt have in common, it’s “jobs.” Only in Egypt the problem is far, far worse. Egypt has far more unemployed and unemployable young people as a proportion of its population. They see money flowing into the government, into the military, and none of it coming their way. On the other hand, the biggest employer in Egypt is the government, the security services, the bureaucracy, the military (pop 450 million). These are people (particularly the security services) who see revolution and democracy as a threat to their own job security. These are the people that Mubarak can call on to go out in the streets and take the government back from the revolution, or else they’ll be out on the street in a different way. Can a democratic government create all the jobs the people want? It can’t. For the simple reason that the birth rate is growing at a faster rate than the economy can absorb. Freeing the economy from bureaucracy can help, but it won’t produce an economic miracle.”

    It’s educated population need jobs 5 million Egyptians have college degrees, 13 million are children. They want food, not war.

  66. I can’t thank you enough for the high educational value of your commentary. Just incredible. So given your wonderful historical analysis, I guess the issue is simply one of human nature: left-wing fundamentalists and ideologues do indeed provide invaluable insights and ideas, particularly when the left is out of power, yet when it comes to governance, they are less useful at best, counterproductive at worst: inclined to diminish achievements, utilize hyperbole, ignore context, and imagine that a left wing authoritarian would be able to “force” reforms on the country if she or he were so willing, thus, failure to do so signals a character defect or secret hostility to liberalism.

    It is what it is; thanks for the insights—my conclusion is that the Professional Left is safely ignored when they go off the rails and into counterproductive territory yet they do an awful lot to help progress when they’re not in “I’m betrayed” mode.

  67. Or perhaps he could even contribute a special guest column here every once in a while; agreed that his comments are just fantastic.

  68. Allan,

    I share some of your background – raised in a rightwing christian fundamentalist family and community myself and now an agnostic when it comes to organized religion (I’d aspire to be more like Obama’s mother).

    With that said, you did a great job of describing the effect of Obama’s speech. As I watched it – I was most interested when they showed faces in the crowd. I’d like to have seen more of that – but I suspect that he caused an awful lot of cognitive dissonance for many people.

    I must admit that I got a little uncomfortable when he talked about accepting Jesus as his lord and savior. That’s about my own stuff so I’ll own it. But the reason it was hard for me is that it is such familiar language for me…its how the folks I grew up with talk.

    I assume Obama was being completely genuine when he said that. AND when he then went on and talked about what his faith means to him, it was consistent with what the Bible says, but VERY distant from how most conservative christians see their faith.

    So he bonded and then veered into a much more authentic connection to the teachings so many of them want to avoid…masterful!

  69. This beautiful story should be told again and again. I wouldn’t be surprised if President Obama uses it some day in the near future in a speech.

  70. You too? A ‘C’ in statistics ruined my 4.0GPA but I was profoundly grateful that I passed that class. I don’t have a math brain.

  71. McCain has already said he is not supporting any candidate for 2012 and plans to keep quite and out of it all. Interesting,no.

  72. There are a few snippets of news coming out of Egypt that continue to give me hope and inspire.

    This picture at The Obama Diary is an example.

    It reminded me of a story I read about Egypt that happened a couple of weeks before the protests and during all the division and finger-pointing happening here after the Tucson shooting (before Obama’s amazing speech).

    I wrote about it here. But to summarize, Muslims in Egypt gathered as human shields to protect Coptic Christians in celebrating their Christmas eve.

    None of this lessens the potential brutality of Mubarak or the military. To me it simply speaks to the strength and wisdom of the Egyptian people. I believe that with those qualities, they will prevail…eventually.

  73. The way the mind works is odd. When I was a child, I could draw very well. Then as I got older, and became more enamored of words, and began writing stories and poetry, my ability to draw vanished bit by bit. Likewise with math: I was a whiz at it in grammar school, and for algebra and geometry. Once it was time for trigonometry I was knee deep in literature, and I just never recovered my knack for mathematics. Foolishly, I was trying for a computer science degree my first year at UCLA. Once I nearly flunked calculus and physics in the same quarter, I think I made the wise choice and switched to English as my major.

  74. That’s very telling. Of what, I’m not sure, but still quite interesting that a camera-hog like McCain is keeping quiet about 2012.

  75. Not to denigrate small, rural colleges; they do a great service in trying to educate a population that wouldn’t have access to any higher learning otherwise. But, really, why does a small-town, small-college history teacher think he has some special insight into the conflicts going on around the world? I mean, if Newt is the closest to an “intellectual” that the GOP can get, then the party is in more dire straits than I thought.

  76. Wow – So yopu’re the guy everybody is talking about 🙂

    A pleasure to meet you. I have been too distracted lately to concentrate on the longer posts, but today I did. WONDERFUL! Are you a writer, teacher? Were you on DK? How did you find your way here? You are under no obligation to reply, LOL!

    I believe we need to throw one more fact into the current PL MO. BHO is Black.

    Your writing is like his, IMO. Not designed to show off (although I’m sure you could) but to communicate. Thank you! Our blog is without a doubt, “exceptional.”

  77. Breaking from the BBC:

    CNN Breaking Newslink tweets: “Security force with “thugs” storms website office of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and makes arrests, group say.”

    Ramy Yaacoub tweets: “It seems that blogger Wael Abbas has been arrested by the army.”

    Wael Abbas seems to confirm his own detention, tweeting: “Arrested by the army!”

  78. Oops, I hadn’t seen your comment yet Faith when I wrote one about this below. But there are some links to the story if anybody wants to read more about it.

    I am truly inspired by the people of Egypt!!

  79. Excellent! Bravo! We do need to speak out even if only one other person responds to that.

    “I am only one but I still am one. I cannot do everything but I still can do something.”

  80. Interesting points. I’ve watched the speech for the second time this morning and I’m definitely blown away by it. It’s a profoundly personal and spiritual speech while, at the same time, a very effective speech from a political point of view. Pure genius.

    By talking about himself, President Obama is preaching to others, especially his opponents. I saw a clip of Senator DeMint listening. I wonder if he, and other people like Congressman Issa, are hearing the message. Or, at least, are realizing how their strategy of witch-hunt is going to back-fire…

  81. A little bit of ancient history: Egypt was the breadbasket in ancient times for Rome, and then after Rome fell for Constantinople, until it was conquered by the Arabs. How did they get from that to relying on the US for 25% of its food supply?

  82. More: The Muslim Brotherhood has released several statements alleging their members have been beaten and abducted, one statement saying two of their online staff were “ruthlessly assaulted by the militias of the security services and some of their thugs on Thursday evening”.

  83. Hi Bonnnie
    I was on DK for five years, and am 100% satisfied with BWD and our sister blogs. I missed the LOL Cats, but Norbrook posts them 🙂

    My husband just received a substabtial bonus. (he deserved it, she proudly stated :)) Part of it will be allocated toward the relection.
    (cancer research, animals in need, the hospital I volunteer at…I will pretend i’m a really poor, but really generous Paris Hilton)

  84. Sorry I didn’t say this earlier but congratulations to our dear BWD and Eclectablog. You have made us all proud and proven that the positive beats the negative even at DK.

    I toast you both, CHEERS! ♥

  85. I hadn’t read your comment before posting mine below. Thank you for articulating, in a much more accurate way, how the words of President Obama may have affected some of his opponents in the audience.

  86. Re: Elizabeth Warren, the “professional left” always claims Obama is throwing “demographic x” a bone when he does something right. That way they can still appear “relevant” with their predictions. A certain “professional leftist” by the initials “BS” has been predicting that a Double Dip Recession is on it’s way. He’s only been predicting it for the last year or so. If it doesn’t occur, he or his followers will probably claim Obama threw the Economy a bone or something.

  87. I am one of those that detests ou American media and has boycotted them since 2008.. with that said, your comment and suggestions- What is Working- make a great deal of sense.. and I will give them much thought and consideration. thank you.

  88. Chris Matthews can drive me crazy. All of these pundits who come up with a story line that is nothing more than a figment of their imaginations. After all, we know they are so brilliant. Not.

    I think we all know that unemployment numbers will make a difference in 2012, but we have a year to try to get at least close to 8% unemployment. If the numbers keep edging down, the president will be fine.

    If Mark Halperin says it will be nearly impossible for a republican to beat Obama in 2012, then I am going with him. Go Halperin

    Keep the Faith!

  89. I read that he met with John Huntsman during the holidays about starting a PAC for him to run for president.

    I hope you are right Aquagranny.

    Feeling any better?

  90. What’s interesting about Halperin’s remarks is that he’s one of the prototypical Villagers. If he’s saying that the GOP has very little hope of unseating Obama, then that may just become an unstoppable meme, much like the GOP sweeping the House was in 2010.

  91. Another one here recovering from a childhood in fundie Christianity. Your post is spot on. All I can say is Amen!

  92. You really speak for me g! Apologies in advance to people who are really over the dkos meta and dramas, but I have to say something. Speaking only for myself, I knew I couldn’t continue to consume dkos as a media product weeks before the election and was on my way out. There are of course still some wonderful, wonderful people there and I’m glad they chose to acknowledge the superlative work of bwd and eclectablog, but I just no longer feel invested (I think I’m banned or suspended there anyway; I tried to reply to that horrific comment by arthurpoet, the first time I felt any sort of inclination to say anything there in months, and couldn’t, which is ultimately for the best—he’s not even close to the only racist there either; when I was in the process of leaving, I was engaged by two bigots, one of whom has written some really racist content, like accusing one of her many online enemies of “being hip to the negro groove”). I’m sorry if this offends anyone as again, there are some wonderful people there, but that is a space which is toxic for African Americans in particular; this is my opinion.

    So at the end of the day, it’s terrific to be able to discuss the current political times without that sort of constant ridiculousness, nonsense and drama, and without having to subject my voice to the editorial whimsy of people who have not been consistent with regards to acknowledging all of the good which the WH has produced.

    My view is, why not invest all of this energy in supporting this space and several others which provide consistency and positivity, rather than worrying about whether dkos sounds good this week, bad next week, etc. etc.? The loud minority at dkos (which IMO includes the site owner and most of the front pagers) isn’t the Democratic or liberal base and their opinions are just that: their opinions. I just have no inclination to put a lot of stock to that space. These people banned BWD! I’m just over it, and I couldn’t be more content that some wonderful people have organized alternative sites to which people like me have happily migrated. 🙂

  93. You guys are awesome. So glad to see people like you, TIMT, and BWD fighting the good fight and making sure the good news about this administration gets out there beyond the doom and gloom echo-sphere.

  94. Me too, I did fine with numbers but when they started that x,y,z stuff in algebra, they left me at the gate. I did enjoy geometry but I am very visual and measuring stuff was cool. Trig was a nightmare I would rather forget! But using a slide rule was kind of fun, lol.

    It’s funny how brains work. My Sis has an advanced math degree and I believe she thinks in numbers which would give me a major headache.

  95. Perhaps we could start a sub-group…recovering fundies for Obama.


    By the way, if any of you who would be a part of that group haven’t read the series Sara Robinson did over at Orcinus several years ago titled “Cracks in the Wall,” I highly recommend it. To find it, click on the Orcinus link and scroll down looking on the left side bar for the listing of series by Sara.

  96. Better today and I just love my furnace people! Julie, the office manager called me this morning to check on my health and how the furnace was working, bless her. So many good people in this world.

    PS: Think I have a home for another of my cats keep good thoughts for me.

  97. Hubby calls all those people “quacking ducks” because he says: “Have you ever watched ducks in a pond swim around quacking at each other but none seem to be listening?”

  98. LOLOL. What an arresting image. They really are just in love with the sounds of their own voices, regardless of whether any sense is coming out.

  99. I’m not sure what it means either. Maybe he is mellowing. I know he is tired and maybe he would like to look just a tad better in the history books. Quien sabe? Maybe he wants his soul back.

  100. One more thought on that speech…

    His comment to Colborn was just like his reference to Boehner’s roots in the SOTU…ruthless empathy. The personal strength that requires takes my breath away sometimes.


    “Egypt’s Muslims attend Coptic Christmas mass, serving as “human shields”

    Muslims turned up in droves for the Coptic Christmas mass Thursday night, offering their bodies, and lives, as “shields” to Egypt’s threatened Christian community

    Yasmine El-Rashidi , Friday 7 Jan 2011

    Egypt’s majority Muslim population stuck to its word Thursday night. What had been a promise of solidarity to the weary Coptic community, was honoured, when thousands of Muslims showed up at Coptic Christmas eve mass services in churches around the country and at candle light vigils held outside.

    From the well-known to the unknown, Muslims had offered their bodies as “human shields” for last night’s mass, making a pledge to collectively fight the threat of Islamic militants and towards an Egypt free from sectarian strife.

    “We either live together, or we die together,” was the sloganeering genius of Mohamed El-Sawy…”

  102. Afternoon to all…

    Thanks, once again, BlackWaterDog for all you do for us!

    Although I may not always post, I love readin’/doin’/watchin’ all these wonderful, insightful, informative comments/suggestions/vid clips comin’ from my ‘BWD’ family! ::Hugs::

    Btw, BWD, here’s that ‘Yes We Can, Too’ pic link: 😉

    Protest sign: “Yes We Can TOO” – photo via @Musiccitygal h/t @Tx4Obama

    I want to congratulate you and Eclectablog on your Koscars wins!!!

    And, PHBO IS one in a million…OBAMACARES4US!!! 🙂

  103. One that I wish you had edited for language. I have a preference for this place being G-rated.

  104. Hey there
    For me it is a matter of not rewarding bad behavior. Half my life in social work, the other in teaching. Goes against evert instinct. If I could contribute something of substance there, like TIMT or EB, it would be different. Me, ijust got into fights, LOL. Utter waste. I know about the instances you refer to. That girl is bigot. God knows why but she is. And her friends either are as well, or tolerate it. I won’t.

    Have my presort exam. Gotta go.

  105. It does not matter where a great mind is nurtured. Some rural colleges produce excellent students and some celebrated universities graduate dreck. That lizard is dreck and it wouldn’t matter where he originated. He has neither soul nor character.

  106. Okay that just went into a word document on my hard drive to use as reference when dealing with these people. THANK YOU!

  107. I saw that Mark Halperin item on Hardball yesterday and made sure I watched the speech. In this agnostic’s opinion, the Prez comes closer to living Christian principles (not to mention those of any other religion) than any Gooper in the land, esp. the wingnuts in the Family’s frat house on C Street.

    Halperin’s encomium was surely an amazing sight. 🙂

  108. Have a good one, g, and apologies again to people who very understandably are not interested in discussing dkos.

  109. You are both heroes to me. I was drawn to your diaries at that other place, and I always knew why. Your diaries were always chock full of important information that I could use! That’s why I made it my business to vote for both of you. Congratulations!!!

  110. I think there is a small group on both the right and the left who are perpetually unhappy. They like to complain and they like to stir things up. Those people will never be satisfied because they don’t want to be. They are a very small minority. But, in times of great economic stress they gain converts from those who are scared and feeling angry but don’t know who or what they should be angry about. They just know that they are scared and worried. The perpetual complainers step right in and give them their scapegoats. It makes them important in their own minds. They feel they are finally making progress in getting others to listen to them and join their perpetual outrage. For the converts it gives them a sense that they are not alone in their fear and anger and gives them a sense that if they can understand what is really going on, they can fix things or at least know who to blame their troubles on.

    For the right, the perpetual complainers are Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Glen Beck, et al. They have perfected the art of victimhood and resentment politics. For the left, the frustrati and the professional left fill that void. They, unfortunately, aren’t savvy enough to point their followers at their political opponents and instead point at their own political allies more often than not.

    The tea party is kind of a combination group. They listen to the perpetual ranters of the RW media and adore the most well known, and oldest middle school mean girl, Sarah Palin, but they also like to point fingers at their own side and go after Republicans who don’t join them in every way and on every issue.

    As the economy continues to improve, the whiners and complainers on both sides will lose influence and audience. Most people don’t want to be victims and don’t need to have an “enemy” at all times. The fear and anxiety caused by the recession will continue to fade and so will the interest in doom and gloom predictions. It is already happening. Beck has lost 1/3 of his audience, DK has had a huge dropoff in readership. People are feeling less anxious and more hopeful. The message of “be afraid”, no matter which side of the spectrum is spreading it, is not resonating with as many people. Maybe those who have pushed the “sky is falling” narrative the past two years will undergo a change of heart but their first reaction is likely to be to dig in harder and push more and more gloom and doom and endtimes scenarios first. And of course, the weirder and wilder and more out of whack with the public’s experiences they get, the more people will tune them out and soon they will be back to preaching to their very small core audience.

  111. If people who voted for Obama had read his books, they would understand the philosophy and soul of Barack Obama.

  112. I’ve been preaching since 2007 that we need to learn from Republicans on how to win elections. And yes, we can do it with the truth. If they can do it with lies, it should be a piece of cake for our side, right?

    Not as long as with every piddly little disappointment, the Left bails. They quit. They demoralize the base. And most important, THEY STAY HOME on Election Day unless everything is Perfect by their definition of Perfect.

    Republicans vote. They vote all the time. Does anyone honestly believe that Peggy Noonan thought Bush was the rhetorical giant she said he was, just because he found the podium without tripping up the stairs? No — but Republicans know how to stay united and how to change perception by their unity. Can you imagine if Bush had passed a health care bill? Even if everything in it was anathema to Republicans, they would have cheered. All of them. With one voice. And then marched their minions to the polls with yet another promise that Roe v. Wade would be abolished — just give us one more chance.

    Instead, the loony Left whines and ‘sends a message’ by not voting. What’s the message? The Left doesn’t vote reliably. 2008 should have been a turning point — we had so many new people voting who normally don’t vote. The Left should have led the way. These new voters didn’t know how to stay in the game, and the Left gave them every reason to leave. We blew yet another golden opportunity to march this country back to progressive values.

    It’s not over. I know that. But the battles we fight with the Big Orange should never have been necessary. Of all places, kos should have understood the stakes of 2010 and how to build a progressive majority, one step at a time. Shame on all of them.

  113. IMO, PBO’s Christianity is the type that Jesus endorses in the NT. Christianity should be personal, not something that is used in a public manner as the republicans are wont to use it. A Christian is supposed to watch what he/she says. Jesus said that what comes out of a person’s mouth is what is in his/her heart. I have been saying for quite some time that the republicans are faux Christians (CINO) since they follow only the mandates of Christianity that they like and ignore the others. A true Christian would find it most difficult to lie constantly and feel good about it. He/she would not hate the poor, revere the rich, ignore the sick, or ignore the plight of the millions of impoverished kids in our country. I stopped listening to them and taking them seriously long ago because they don’t reflect any of the values Christ exemplified in his teachings. What bothers me most is the fact that they are able to get so many other Christians to believe that they are the real thing when, according to my Bible, they are not.

  114. Think Progress carried the story if anyone here would like to read it. I’m sure it could be found in their archives.

  115. Oh gn I am so sorry that you had to even be subjected to such racist bs over there.. that is what drove me away as you’re aware.. but still it hurts to read that such hate was/ is written on a supposed ‘liberal’ blog.

    I agree so much with what you and g have written in regards to that place, and have stayed away, although I miss some folks, I’ve been unable to even go back to read TIMT, CIK or Black kos since the ArthurPoet filth. I feel bad for that, as I want to support those folks.. but just logging in at that place makes me feel disloyal to my own beliefs.

  116. Excellent analysis, Allan! Thanks!! As my dearly departed parents used to say, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.” No harm intended for cat lovers as this is figurative language, and one of the cutest little kitties in America owns me. LOL. I think the president meant to put something in the minds of those who claim to be Christians but have abandoned the principles of Christianity. Good for him. IMHO, it’s past the time that they were called out for their continual b@$tardization of Christianity for their own personal and political purposes.

  117. That’s exactly how I feel sheri. I’m just glad to have access to so many wonderful voices here and in the other emerging spots. As others have said so well, I didn’t even like who I was becoming blogging-wise there and feel much more like myself being away from it. I certainly understand, appreciate, and admire people who view the situation differently and want to create more of a connection between this space and dkos, but I just can’t co-sign it. Looking to 2012, it’s going to be so crucial to have new media alternatives which are 100% and unapologetically supportive of President Obama’s reelection, and which seek to elevate the progress made rather than focus disproportionately on the areas of disagreement or disappointment. My political outlook has brightened considerably with the emergence of spaces of this type, and I’ve happily just sent my first check to OFA for the 2012 effort.

  118. At the risk of being so darn agreeable – I agree with every word you wrote.. 😉

    I started giving to OFA also.. and will be ready with bells on to knock on doors and make phone calls… although I will be far happier knocking on doors in Maryland.. than I was knocking on doors here in ND.. woohoo~

  119. Interesting.
    Have you ever considered becoming a polisci professor?

    Jimmy Carter was not thought well of by the pl, either.

  120. OFA/DNC called me a few minutes after the SOTU to hit me up for a donation. I’m doing the $10 a month plan through the 2012 election. If everyone who voted for the Dems in 2008 would do that, Citizens United might just be a moot point.

  121. I heard Elizabeth Warren on Bill Maher a few weeks ago and she had nothing but praise for this President. The loony Left went nuts. Once she got into the job, she realized the forces working against her and this President. And she has been no shrinking violet with criticism in the recent past.

    She made it clear how much she respects this President and that his goals are the goals we all share. She just now better realizes that achieving those goals is a marathon, not a sprint.

    When the Loony Left starts attacking Elizabeth Warren and Howard Dean if they have anything positive to say about this President, then they are truly, well, loons.

  122. Oh I agree 100%.. I too am giving the 10/mo to OFA and started in January. Even on my disability it’s fairly affordable and doable.. and I think it will ultimately help.

  123. Tigerfists88, me too…

    Now, BWD can display it w/’OFA’ pride! ::whistling::

    Today (Day of Departure), may the Egyptian people get their deserved wish(es)…

    GO OFA/EGYPT #JAN25 GO!!! 😉

  124. The GOP is in more dire straits then you thought.

    Although, quite possibly, there are true intellectuals within the GOP who are to intimidated to speak truth. Sad state of the GOP.

  125. Your summary is my summary, lila.
    We cannot forget that the political is always personal, except in incredibly evolved humans like out POTUS. I got to know the loudest of the frustrati well. Some info I picked up confidentially. I cannot name one of Shoutlouders whose personal worldview, whose psychodynamic issues and history did not affect their “reality based” Land of Illusions. Read about how embittered certain posters were because of their situations, see them act out and displace on a blog. You can feel their self loathing through the pixels. Therefore, OBVIOUSLY it is all BWD and her supporter’s fault because we are relatively content. But, I’ll bet it would be ratcheted down by at least 25-50% if POTUS were Caucasian. IMO the causes of the dysfunction are psychological, sociological, patterns continuing over time (about which I am learn a great dealing from Ax…and bigotry.)

    The need to blame is reflexive. THAT I learned in the classroom. You ask to speak to a disruptive student. Before they even know what their offense is, or even if there is one, they are screaming, “OBAMASU…” Whoops, I mean, “the other kid started it.”

  126. A lot of jobs were temp or contract jobs. If you are a temp or on contact, you were counted as employed. Plus a lot of jobs were construction jobs or real estate jobs. Needless to say, in a downturn temp jobs vanish.

    Also unemployment has a ripple effect. When these people were laid off, they spent less money and other people who depended on the money also had to be laid off as well.

  127. ♥ GN plus lots of hugs. So happy you have “migrated” with so many of us. We call our migrants “snowbirds’ here in AZ. Maybe we should call DK migrants “blue birds” because we are so happy to be gone from there.

    Consider that the votes that BWD got and Eclectablog got were not just a reflection of supporters here and there but a real vote of all the people who read, saw and appreciated what they both did there.

    Maybe those people didn’t comment or got run out by the flames and nasty, but a really great amount of people recognized the positive words….and they voted!

    This is just such a positive thing. I will embrace it and it gives me HOPE!

  128. BWD: Back in your DK days, I wrote an open letter to you, asking that yo come back. I was wrong. I like you better on your own site.

    This site gives me hope everyday, and I could use a little now.

  129. I agree that the president’s race is a factor in the heated rhetoric against him, especially all the personal nature of so much of it. Some is no doubt from racism and bigotry of an overt nature. Some is that because he is African American it is societally “allowable” to attack him in ways that wouldn’t be considered publicly acceptable for a president who was white. They may have thought the same sort of things about white presidents in the past but felt constrained by societal norms not to say them. I think that is where many who resent having their criticism called racist are coming from. They are saying things they thought about other presidents in the past and don’t see it as anything different or being based on race at all. But, what they fail to acknowledge is that there is still a facet of racism in that they feel freer to voice those types of personal criticism and unfounded attacks on the president’s character that than they did when the president was white. I’m not sure I’m making myself clear, but I do think that this is a factor in why accusations of racism in some of the criticism get people so heated. Their dissatisfaction isn’t rooted in racism but their voicing of it often is, even though the racism is more of a societal nature and not something just limited to themselves.

  130. Cuphalfful: All I can say is what a wonderful post! It is indeed a wake-up call for all of us who are dedicated to change to redouble our efforts in trying to convince Americans not to buy into the voices of cynicism and negativity. Thank you for calling us to action.

  131. Jovie:

    Thank you for going to the heart of the matter: “The msm waits for Potus to take a position and then they take the opposite!” This is so true. This approach worked so well, for the past two years, and helped drive down the Presiden’s approval ratings in the polls. Recently, however, the MSM has been fighting an uphill struggle in their determination to denigrate, or cast in negative terms, everything the President says or does. The national imperatives forced the “msm” to broadcast the President’s Tuscon speech, and his SOTU speech, without being filtered through the “know it all” mainstream media pundits. The result: The majority of Americans liked what they saw and heard in the President’s speeches; and they overwhelmingly approved the President’s message.

    I also believe that, if every member of BWD community helps spread the importance of this site, to as many people as he/she can, we can continue to blunt, and undermine, the “msm’s” negative portrayal of President Obama. I am not a religious person, but, “Oh God,” I really love this site! In such a very short time, BWD has managed to attract some of the most sane, talented, thoughtful, positive and visionary people who are deeply anchored in reality.

    A job well done BWD!

  132. Maybe the other Christians who believe they are the real thing are themselves living similar christian lives, and are out of touch with the Bible? It’s very easy to support someone who thinks as you do, after all.

  133. That was also what I heard as well, but I had to listen twice in order to truly hear.

    The first time I watched it I had such a knot in my gut, I think because I felt like our good President was in many ways, entering into the lions den. My discomfort was with the hypocrites in the room, those “Christians in name only” whose voices we hear so loudly coming from our legislative halls, and whose efforts are so antithetical to Christian values. I loved that he mentioned Tom Coburn. Ouch…I hope Tom is absorbing the import of his remarks. My own instinctive discomfort was distracting me from the potency of President Obama’s speech.

    I had to listen to it twice, to fully appreciate it’s resonance. Truth to power, courage to fear, authenticity to hypocrisy, magnimity to pettiness, unity to separation, his message was clear. Thank God for the strength, conviction and leadership of our President.

  134. You know, I do believe that each individual in a community/family has a distinctive role/strength. Thank you, again, WiW for your very practical, action-oriented approach to supporting the President. I remember deciding to write a positive or complimentary note below articles that presented the President fairly and objectively after one of our group discussions that you initiated here a few weeks ago. I did so once or twice, then forgot. 😦 Thanks for the reminder. I’ll try again. I can’t tolerate negative blogs, but I can try harder to remember to encourage objective writers, or journalists.

    BWD: Unlike some people here, I’m not at all sorry you had to leave your old site. Never having spent any time there, I would never have met you, AND that would have been a great loss for me! Sometimes when we stumble while traversing life’s highway, we actually have our eyes opened to a different, and better, path. I would wager your scope for reaching out with a positive message has been widened remarkably! Thank you and congratulations once more! {I did venture to that other place to vote, but I hurried ‘home’ quickly – no lingering for me.)

  135. Well said G! In my book BWD is a winner! She is fierce in her convictions, she is relentless in her pursuit for truth and, like the President she supports, she is kind, considerate, and focused on doing “Great Things.” It is no wonder her blog has attracted some of the most informed and thoughtful people.

    Equally important is BWD’s firm belief, which I share, that we have an exceptional President who is accomplishing great progress, in spite of all the people who constantly bash him. Moreover, rather than surrendering to the culture of negativity, about this President, BWD set out to challenge and debunk the falsehoods employed by those who constantly demonize and trash President Obama by highlighting the President’s impressive accomplishments, in just two years.

    Personally, I am very happy that two of my favorite bloggers: BWD and Eclactablog won honors and recognition for their incredible work at dailyKos. For some one who has followed these two impressive people, I sincerely believe that they not only deserved the honor, but they also deserve an apology, (and especially BWD), from those who constantly attacked them simply because they published truthful information about the positive things that President Obama was doing. As Dr. King was found of saying: “No lie Can live forever.” Through the selfless work by BWD and Eclectablog, more people are beginning to reject all the lies, from both the right and the left, about this President. For all their work in promoting truth, I am very thankful.

  136. Axrendale,

    Thanks for this brilliant commentary. I am especially glad for your reference to the relationship between President Lincoln ( who is now mythically regarded as the “Great Emancipator”) and the abolitionists. By the way, FDR and JFK were not immune to criticism, or mistrust, from the left. The only difference, even in the case of Lincoln, is that the left never viciously demonized them. I offer as an Example Frederick Douglass who was very critical of President Lincoln for being “tardy” in abolishing slavery but who also gave him credit for the Emancipation Proclamation, even though it was a limited document, prompted by military considerations, which did not free all the slaves. Similarly, many people, especially African Americans, were critical of FDR’s New Deal Programs, such SS, FHA, AAA, and others, that continued racial discrimination. In fact, many people in the African american community called the New Deal the “Raw Deal” so far as blacks were concerned. Yet, African Americans recognized the positive aspects of the flawed New Deal Programs by their massive political shift from supporting Republicans to supporting Democrats. Likewise, JFK’s cautious support of Civil Rights, because he feared loosing the support of the Dixiecrats, was severely criticized by many in the Civil Rights camp. Nevertheless, people in the Civil Rights movement, though they put pressure on JFK, never viciously denounced him as being no different from the right wing segregationists.

  137. Because of you, I watched the prayer breakfast speech twice. I do not think I knew this President very well until I heard this speech. It is as if he laid his psyche bare in some sense, yet in great dignity–humility without embarrassment.

    I understand his faith better now, and I understand what he does with it and I am comfortable with that. I did not want a President who prayed to help us beat up on some other country. I want one who asks God to help him do the right thing in governance, the right thing for his people.

    Bravo, BWD. You are one of the highlights in my life because of your website that you alert me to by email each day. I usually go to your website first. Or if I am in a gray mood, I go last knowing I will feel better after I have been there and I want that feeling to last a while.

  138. Thank you Nathan for adding your tremendous insights. Seems like this President, while making far fewer concessions, has been treated far worse. It has not been lost on so many of us that he has NOT received his well-earned due in some portions of the media, both national and new.

  139. Bravo amk for Obama: I think people like Newt Gingrich think that we are all stupid that we can easily buy into the mythical Reagan, hero to right wingers. Ironically, many current right wingers would probably regard Ronald Reagan as a RINO. After all, by the time he left office he he had accumulated the largest Federal budget deficit in history. Moreover, he had also engineered the largest tax increase. I am just so sick of these mythical Presidents that are proffered by those on the right and the left to bash President Obama. For the right it is Saint Ronnie Reagan who could do no wrong. Never mind the massive Federal deficit he left his successors. Never mind the massive tax increases he engineered to try to get a handle on that deficit. And, above all, never mid the Iran-Contra scandal. As for the left, their heroes are FDR and LBJ. We are constantly reminded that Obama is not a true progressive as these icons of progressives. To buy into that meme, one has to forget the fact that FDR sent Japanese Americans to internment camps simply because they were Japanese. One also has to ignore the fact many of the New Deal Programs, such as Social Security, FHA, AAA, discriminated against blacks. Not only that, one has to overlook the fact that Roosevelt did not support anti-lynching bills, and presided over a segregated military. I am also certain that people, who valorize FDR, have never heard of A. Philip Randolph who threatened a protest, amidst World War II, to force FDR to allow Blacks to work in government sanctioned Defense Industries. Nor are these admires of FDR honest enough to admit that it took World War II, almost nine years after FDR was elected, to finally take the country out depression-especially with respect to employment.

    Likewise, LBJ, who is now the hero of those who believe in presidential “bully pulpit,” is believed to have, single handedly forced congress to pass the Civil Rights Bills. This myth completely neglects the context of the times that worked to LBJ’s benefit: The assassination of JFK who actually is the one who initiated Civil Rights legislations; the massive Civil Rights Movement and especially SNCC’s 1964 Freedom Summer which resulted in the killing of three Civil Workers in Mississippi; the relentless struggle for voting rights symbolized by the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery March. I was a college student in the 1960’s, and this is why I find it quite amusing when I am told that it was primarily, if not exclusively, LBJ’s presidential “bully pulpit” that brought about the passage of Civil Rights Laws. It is true that both JFK and LBJ engineered the passage of Civil Rights bills but that is because they were responding to the mass protest in the streets. Contrast that to the supporters of single payer or the Public option in Health Care. Did any one see any mass mobilization in the street to put pressure on both the Congress and the President to enact these legislations. Ironically, it was the opponents of Health Care reform-the teabaggers- who massively took to the street to oppose health care. The fact that the President and the Democratic Congress passed a major health care bill, in the midst of a very vocal and angry public opposition, attests to their courage.

    I think compared to the other Presidents, President Obama is doing a magnificent Job. Like all human beings he is not perfect. But then again, neither were the mythical presidents invented by right wingers like Newt Gingrich, or the “Professional Left.”

  140. I shall indeed reply, and it is a pleasure to meet you as well. 🙂

    Although I occaisonally visited DK, I never became an active poster there. I posted sporadically for a while on Democratic Underground, but eventually abandoned the site in disgust at the toxic atmosphere of the place (nor was I alone, that site is another one that has sufferred something of an exodus in recent times). The great bulk of my writing has tended to be on History Forums – as many have no doubt picked up history, especially political history, is a particular passion of mine. I find them to be excellent places to spiritedly debate online not only the past, but also the present as well, but what I had been missing for some time was a place to come to communicate with people who were on the whole of a like-minded with me on a number of subjects, most particularly the President.

    I stumbled upon this magnificent blog of BWD’s by a most fortuitous accident. I was seeking to punctuate a point in a political debate on another forum with a cartoon I remembered seeing of PBO as “the only adult in the room”. To find it, I did a quick google search, and the first link led me here. After reading for a bit, I knew that I had stumbled upon something very special.

  141. Writing often is the least that I can do to repay the people here for brightening up my day as much as they do. 😀

  142. No he was not, but I did not include Jimmy Carter in my least of examples because unlike the others, there was genuine reason for the liberal base to be deeply dissatisfied with him. President Carter had many excellent, even visionary policy ideas, but the simple trouble was that he was a terrible politician, and a woefully ineffectual Chief Executive, which meant that even though his ideas were great, he got very few of them translated into concrete accomplishment.

    It was only in his post-presidential career that the “American Gandhi” truly came into his own as one of the great figures of American political history.

  143. Indeed. Although I do not think that PBO will end up in quite the same category of Presidential Greatness as Lincoln, Washington, and FDR, I have a feeling that he will be very close behind them at the end of the day.

  144. To an older person like me, the internet age and the social media evolution have been mind changing, but I did not realize how much it has truly changed the world thus far until I heard an interview of Kissinger by Charlie Rose last evening. Kissinger made an insightful statement that knocked me back for the world of imagination it opened. He said something to the effect of “It used to be that governments talked to each other. Now the people of the countries talk to each other.”

    He stopped there and so will I and let you use your imagination of where we might be heading and what might be the future role of governments in this brave new world.

  145. I have to disagree slightly; I think he will end up in that category! I think that because of the media noise, even his strongest supporters might not quite understand the magnitude of the changes which he’s ushering in.

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