Friday’s mishmash

 Hi guys,

First, I want to thank all of you for flooding this place with news and information. It’s gotten to a point where almost all I need to do is collecting stuff from the comments and put it together. It’s a delight, it makes me proud and makes my life a bit easier. 🙂 Thanks.

Now, to the mishmash:

1. But why, Mr. president, why is it that so many people hates you???!!!

Detroit Free Press: Sandwich is a hit — and so is Obama

MARQUETTE — He declined the Obama burger — a third of a pound of farm-fed Escanaba beef topped with jalapeños, grilled onions and cheddar cheese — but President Barack Obama still took Donckers restaurant by storm Thursday.

He grabbed a club sandwich and some caramels before speaking at Northern Michigan University.

“It was overwhelming. I was on the verge of tears,” said Jennifer Ray, one of the owners of Donckers. “He was just so genuine.”

Obama ordered the D.J.B. — a club sandwich with three cheeses and three meats on three different types of bread — named for Danny Beck, an employee who died in a car crash last year.

Ashley Erickson, 24, of Marquette took Obama’s order and was struck by how cordial he was.

After signing some books and a few menus, the president paid for his own lunch and left for his speech.

“The suits came back and bought some chocolates,” Ray said, referring to Secret Service personnel. “They said he really liked the sandwich.”


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And, here’s PBO’s informative, optimistic and quite entertaining speech about the National Wireless Initiative, yesterday in Marquette.


2. But why, Mr. president, why is it that so many people hates you???!!!

Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh are losing fans in a key market

John Avlon on why listeners and station managers are sick of anti-Obama tirades—and who bucks the trend.


3. But why, Mr. president, why is it that so many people hates you???!!!

Fox News Poll: PBO at 51%


4. Yes we can come up with new catchy slogans:

A ‘Winning’ Slogan for the History Books?


5. No wonder that president Obama came from the “City that works”:

280 charging stations coming to Chicago

…The city has signed a $1.9 million contract with the company, 350Green LLC, to roll out the charging stations, which will give Chicago the necessary infrastructure to support automakers who want to sell their electric and plug-in hybrid cars here. Plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles include batteries that must be charged.

The cost to consumers using the stations has not been determined. 350Green will pay $8.77 million in upfront costs, and expects to receive $1.9 million of that back from grant money.

The money comes from federal stimulus dollars.


6. Perfecting our union:

Obama’s District Court Nominee to Be Sole Native American on Federal Bench


7. Please, give peace a chance:

India, Pakistan agree to resume peace talks


 8. West Wing Week:


9. Finally, non-related, but just spectacular. Enjoy the weekend!


141 thoughts on “Friday’s mishmash

  1. Marquette – it sounded strangely familiar.

    But I didn’t get that “Northern Michigan” meant the UP. Nobody calls it “Northern Michigan” over there.

    I know – I passed through it on my 1996 coast-to-coast bicycle trip

  2. Happy Friday Everyone.

    Looks like the idea to save GM was not so bad after all. Michigan, it appears is slowly getting back on its foot.

    There is a diary up at a place that shall remain nameless with a very interesting story about 1,000 plus jobs for engineers and IT folks.

    The announcement for the job fair is here:

  3. Good morning all! When I clicked on this site this morning, I saw that yesterday’s mishmash was up to 345 comments. Is it my imagination or is this site growing by leaps and bounds?

    Thanks, BWD. This place is a haven.

  4. Oh, thanks for this place, BWD. Love the interaction here and the new information one gleans with each passing day.

    Can’t wait to have more time on my hands to be able to come here more often.

  5. Of course I’m happy for MI. I just wish they would have realized last November that it was the Democrats and President Obama who were instrumental in turning things around. Instead, didn’t they vote out damn near all the Democrats?

    The question is now that MI is on its way to recovery, can it survive its Republican leaders?

  6. Thanks everyone for all the great news we get here. It is growing because we are all hungry for the real news and we get it here. Thank you BWD and this great family!

  7. Exactly. But I would hope that if they want to have any chance of keeping their seats, they will work to make sure this recovery continues.

    It is a shame that people, time and again, vote against their own interests in this country. Mind boggling to me.

    Go figure.

  8. Morning! Notice how Fox tried to bury the fact that PBO hit 51% in their own poll. Jerks.

    Observations: Isn’t Joe Biden just too cool in his shades? And PBO, sigh, what can you say. He’s just sooooooooooooo awesome.

    Happy Friday.

  9. BWD, I’m sure you’ve seen this one and maybe you’ve already posted it, but if not it’s really good:

    First paragraphs:
    Hosni Mubarak has still not grasped how fundamentally the old political order is changing in Egypt and the Arab world – but it seems Barack Obama has.

    In a forceful statement after the Egyptian president’s latest exercise in reality denial, Obama came off the fence following a fortnight of humming and hawing. If the choice is revolution or repression, democratic ideals and values or hard-nosed self-interest, then the US is officially on the side of the angels.

    This dramatic shift could in time have a bigger impact on the Middle East than the Egyptian uprising. In sharply criticising the Cairo government’s prevarications, demanding it respect universal values, and stressing that his administration stands shoulder to shoulder with the demonstrators in Tahrir Square, the US president dramatically changed the way his country does business in the region. This was, to all intents and purposes, the proclamation of an Obama doctrine.

  10. He spoke at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, that’s what the Northern Michigan was all about, not that he was in the UP. You are correct that the UP is called the UP and the northern part of the Lower Peninsula is just called “up north”.

  11. Good Friday Morning everyone! This has become the FIRST place I come to learn what is happening and what our President is doing. I agree with the comment above, that Michigan ushered in Republicans when it was the Democrats that saved them from complete bankruptcy. ALL the republicans wanted the auto companies to fail so what do they do? Vote in more republicans. It is disheartening that americans felt that this president HAD to turn things around in less than two years or they’re out. I looked at the job loss graph. Starting Jan 2008 companies started firing people by the thousands or they started shipping jobs overseas in record speed. It was a perfect storm with people losing their jobs and mortgages readjusting higher and people started losing their homes and no one was hiring in fear of who the next President would be. Since it was not another republican Corp’s continued to fire people to safe themselves and send a message.

  12. Michigan had the same kind of turnout as everywhere else – lots and lots of very motivated tea party types and average numbers of everyone else for a midterm – that led to lots of republican wins. The governor’s race was also not one that got people excited. Virg Benero was too hyper partisan for a lot of people, even Democrats. The people here are tired of angry yelling and just want someone who can get the state moving again. Rick Snyder is not a far right kind of republican and not a career politician. He probably greatly disappoints the tea party wing in many ways. So far, he has been relatively centrist just as he campaigned he would be. I hope he can put the brakes on the many crazy state reps that got elected. Michigan did not elect a governor that is crazy right wing like Wisconsin or Ohio.

    I still would have liked to see the state reward the Democrats for the help they gave but many people don’t see the state officials as part of that and just wanted to try the other side to see if that would help fix the terrible state of things here. You have to remember that most people are ill informed and vote based on party or whose name they are more familiar with or who sent the most brochures or knocked on their door. Overall this is not a state that likes hyper partisanship of the right or the left. Unfair as it may be, many people blamed the Democrats for the troubles in this state because the Democrats were in control for most of the last decade when the state just kept getting worse and worse. You can tell them that the problems came out of decisions made before that, and that they would be even worse without the programs and policies of the Democrats, but it’s a hard sell. All the people knew was things were bad and they wanted change. The easiest change was voted for the other guy and Benero wasn’t an inspiring candidate with any sort of coattails for others to ride.

  13. Good morning all here, and as usual thanks must be expressed to BWD for not only taking the time and effort to gather all of this information and keep this place running for us, but for embodying the spirit that makes this blog such a joy to keep coming back to. Anything that we can do to make your life easier is the very least that we can do to repay you for your efforts.

    It’s been a fairly hectic last few days for me, so I haven’t commented much recently, but with some of the strife settling down I hope to be able to remedy that.

    The part of me that is constantly fixated with ongoing developments in our nation’s political scene has been positively riveted over the course of this week by the fumbling, bumbling efforts of the GOP House Leadership in general, and John Boehner in particular, to effect their transition from opposition back into governing. While it is never wise to underestimate one’s opponents – especially not these opponents – if this amateurishness can hold out for the immediate future, then this could potentially bode very well for the upcoming war that is sure to take place over the implementation of a budget.

    If President Obama is able to compile a list of “things that they want” to bring to the negotiating table, it increases the odds all the more that he will be able to bring about a repeat of his December Miracle from 2010 and politick the legislature into a compromise (or series of compromises) slanted in the favor of his preferred policy line rather than theirs. Although hard-nosed engagement in the legislative process of this kind might infuriate the PL and their ilk, it is in fact the precise opposite of the “triangulation” strategy that gained such infamy in the 1990s. Whereas the political tack that was frequently adopted by Bill Clinton emphasized the co-opting of aspects of the Republicans’ agenda to match with small gestures in favor of his, Barack Obama has shown an ability to do something that no Democratic President since Lyndon Johnson has been able to: employ carrot and stick gestures to compel the opposition to comply with parts of his agenda. It is one of the highest aspects of the refined art of legislative politics, and while PBO is plainly still honing his personal style, and has yet to achieve full mastery of it, one senses that he is growing into it, like so many other aspects of the Presidency, more and more as time goes on.

    I have recently acquired a gem of a book that I would highly recommend reading to anyone who has the time and is able to get their hands on a copy: “The Audacity of Help: Obama’s Economic Plan and the Remaking of America”, written by John F. Wasik. It centers around a recounting of the opening stages of PBO’s Legislative Presidency – the strenuous efforts that he made in order to translate his numerous campaign promises and ambitious agenda into concrete legislation. If there is one thing that emerges as abundantly clear from the descriptions of the Obama Administration’s efforts to alternatively coerce and cajole both houses of Congress into enacting as much solid legislation as possible to have as great an effect as possible, it is that no matter what the naysayers might maintain, President Barack Obama is possessed of a vision and agenda that in its sheer scope, scale, and depth has probably not been equalled since the time of the Great Society, and surpassed possibly only by the New Deal. No generally accepted name has been found yet for PBO’s own agenda as a whole, but personally I loved the one that Wasik used: he summed up the President’s vision, only the tinest fraction of which has thus far been legislated into reality, as the “Green Deal”.

    My friends, we are indeed living in the time of a giant – one whose name and repuation are going to stand tall in the ongoing history of the American Republic.

  14. I love this great man!! We are very lucky to have Prez Obama at the helm right now!!

  15. I want to key in on something that came form the report on the sandwich shop and expand from it to a comment I made yesterday.

    The quote form the woman who took care of the President is “He was just so genuine.”

    This is something we here all know, but the rest of the country is starting to figure out. Despite the fact that Marquette is a university town, it is not like, say Madison, WI or Ann Arbor, MI, bastions of liberal thinking.

    Obama did win the area in 2008, but I think his ratings have probably dipped since then.

    The point of this is that by going into areas of the country that are not always noted as being liberal strongholds, he is presenting himself to people who may have a preconceived notion of him based upon what they see on, for example, Fox News.

    Then he shows up. He talks to people. He doesn’t come in, meet with a carefully selected group of people and rush away. He interacts. He is genuine and sincere.

    He is covered on local television and people see him and listen to him.

    What people see in real life does not seem to go with what they have heard about him. Some, perhaps, think he is a sham, but many, like this woman, recognize the genuineness of this man.

    The phrase I used yesterday is that he is winning the trust and support of the people “one person at a time.”

    And you can believe this woman is going to tell neighbors, friends and family about him and she is going to win some people over to him as well.

    Yes, he is a politician, but he is one of those rare ones that doesn’t come across as a used car salesman (the stereotype only).

  16. Your comment, as usual, fills me with awe. I truly appreciate your ability to draw from the past, connect to the present, and expand on it in such a comprehensible manner.

    After I read one of your comments, I frequently say to myself, “Gee, that clarifies things so much.”

    Thank you.

  17. I agree, japa. Axrendale is a true asset to any site. Far more erudite than I and able clearly-articulate complex ideas that anyone can understand.

  18. I second your praise of axrendale, japa. I LOVED the video. In regard to rightwing lunatics losing their audience due to demographics, I have always thought this would be the case, though their last dying gasp is so prolonged, punctuated with inexplicable spikes, that I sometimes fear I am wrong.

  19. I Hope Michigan know that it was the democrats who brought the state out of ruins. Michigan stabbed this president in the back and he still fights for them. I hope all his efforts will not be turned around by these republican now in control. Michigan made a big mistake.

  20. Ha that Fox poll article is too funny. You have to read through half of the article while they try and spin everything they can as a negative before they get around to mentioning that the President’s approval rating went up from 48% approval to 51% approval in the last month.

    I know I’m stating the obvious but they are such a right wing propaganda machine over there at Fox and they don’t even try to hide it.

  21. The governors race killed it for down ticket Dems. Rick Snyder isn’t an ideologue, seems like a pretty moderate, likable guy. Don’t know if that was just marketing but it worked. He ran as a moderate in the GOP primary and won because AG Cox, Rep. Pete Hoekstra and sheriff Mike Bouchard all ran to the right and split the vote.

    Snyder won with 37% of the vote in the five way race. Hoekstra got 27%, Cox 24%, Bouchard 12% – there wasn’t much politically different between these three, just personality and ego. Also a lot of Dems crossed over to vote for Snyder in the GOP primary.

    Dem candidate Virg Bernero, the angriest mayor, was mayor of Lansing Michigan and ran as a hyper-partisan. Snyder ran as the “one tough nerd” and as a consensus builder executive rather than a partisan. Now he is a Republican by feliefs, but not one that plays politics as a team sport. The man Virg Bernero beat in the Dem primary, Andy Dillon, is Snyder’s treasurer for one example.

    The Snyder/Bernero race hurt a lot of down ticket Dems, which lead to them getting routed in the State houses. And might have effected some Congressional races, but congress is every two years anyways.

    With it a Presidential and Senate year in 2012 for Michigan I think the Congressional seats could be right back up for grabs. Mitt Romney is the only GOP presidential candidate that polls within 5% of President Obama, because he was born in Michigan and his father was a onetime Governor. Saving the auto industry will be a huge campaign issue for Michigan, given the GOP is strongly on record wanting to have let it die.

  22. I hope I am not breaking protocol here, but I posted this remark in yesterday’s mishmash thread, but I believe everyone has moved on from that, so I am reposting it, as I think it is something we should think about:
    I agree with everyone here in regard to what the President has accomplished, and I firmly believe he cares very much about the poor and the plight of African Americans. I am appreciative of all the positive information regarding what he has done for the poor and I have no arguments with any of it. Working within a deeply-flawed system, he has had remarkable results. However, Ms. Preer is speaking from a situation which most of us probably do not share, and I think we are being too hard on her. She sees what she sees and we should be tolerant about her expressing it. Ideally, it would be great to have a site where even rightwingers could comment now and then in a civil manner (I know, they are hardly ever civil), with a lively give-and-take discussion that fosters mutual respect even though our ideas may be very different. We speak often of spreading the word, but until the various sides can learn to trust one another personally, we won’t get very far.

  23. You are, as always, most welcome. 🙂

    I am, as you have no doubt gathered, a person who has a consuming passion for both American history and the American political, its impact upon the socio-economic scene of the nation, and upon the world.

    At the time when Obama first errupted so unexpectedly onto the National Stage, I found myself at the time, watching him, to be filled with a strange certainty that this man, improbable as it might seem, was going to have an important, even transformational, effect upon for all of these.

    Since then that certainty has not faded one bit – on the contrary, the more that President Obama’s political odyssey progresses, the stronger it gets.

  24. Your use of the word “transformational” is on target. We all remember when Obama admitted to admiration of Reagan as a person who transformed the American political stage. Although he was attacked as if he was saying he admired Reagan’s policies, we knew he was talking about style and approach to politics. And, I think it would be fair to say that he didn’t necessarily agree with the style and approach. Reagan’s use of the state’s rights dog whistle being one of those things.

    While I think Reagan did create a transformation, although not always a positive one, on the domestic scene, I think we are witnessing one of those rare moments where one man serves as a trigger for a transformation not just in our country, but in the world.

    I won’t be around in fifty years to see how the history books will look back on this time in out history, but I do believe this period will be viewed as a watershed moment in not just American history but also in world history.

  25. I’m beginning to see what the Republicans narrative is going to be for the 2012 election.

    I have been reading some articles and I saw some of that focus group that Luntz did with the Fox viewers and it is becoming clear now that their plan is to paint Democrats as haters of America.

    I read some of the speeches at the CPAC and this seems to be the constant theme. I think they plan to try and sell to the American people that Democrats are ashamed of America.

    They are counting on the amnesia that the country witnessed in November when they quickly forgot how the Republicans got us into the economic mess the President found waiting for him when he entered the Oval Office.

    They are going to try and say that America needs to be respected (by their use of the Iron Fist) not by mutual understanding of the World in the approach that the President has taken.

    Listen to how they frame Dems and the President and you will see what they have in store for us in 2012. It will be interesting to see what David Plouffe does to counter this.

  26. That’s what makes my blood boil — the depression of the vote on our side aided and abetted by the PL and the frustrati. Defeating the tea party was less important than sending Obama a ‘message’. Here’s the message they sent: our side will not vote reliably, like Republicans do.

    I can’t forgive any of them for doing that, when the vast majority of them should have known better.

    This President had every right to expect us to have his back. It infuriates me.

  27. “My friends, we are indeed living in the time of a giant – one whose name and repuation are going to stand tall in the ongoing history of the American Republic”

    He is a giant of a President already in just 2 years. Imagine what it will be like in 6 more.

    If you lined up the pictures of all the Presidents and made the ones for the men who hardly made a difference very small, and the ones who made a big difference large, PBO’s would already be among the large ones. I am so happy I have been able to live long enough to see this man working to make the world better – the world, not just the US.

  28. Sheila, I think I had stopped reading that thread by the time you posted it, but I agree with you completely. If we all agreed on everything, there really wouldn’t be any point to having a discussion.

    At one of the stages of my life a worked as a relationship counselor (my phrase althoguh generally I worked with married couples). One of the things I tried to stress is that disagreeing was part of what helped a relationship grow. But if people viewed disagreement as a form of rejection of the self, it became destructive.

    Disagreement challenges all of us to reassess our built in opinions, beliefs and prejudices. Once we accept our way of thinking as the only correct one, we become paralyzed and all growth stops.

    And by all means, I see no problem with repeating a comment from a prior thread. Not all of us have the ability and time to go through each thread over and over.

  29. Good information St. Roscoe, I was wondering what happened to Virg.

    Virg lost, and it was all Obama’s fault.

  30. One last comment before I have to get back to my project as to the campaign slogan. Yes, we can was positive and inclusive. The Winning one doesn’t do it. Perhaps, “Yes we are”? [doing it] [winning] [getting it done] [making a difference].

  31. Question I’d like to ask Bill Oreilly: Do you have any idea just how much I hate and despise you?

  32. I see that Kucinich thinks the president should get a primary challenger (Not that he’s going to run against him, of course).
    Oh well, this will give the kids something to celebrate over the weekend.

  33. Thank you, japa. I am always highly appreciative of your informed comments. I would just like this site to be tolerant in a way other sites have not been, though I do agree that rude people should be shut out as much as possible. But if we want a better world (and I know that everyone here does), we must begin by being as kind as possible to those we meet.

  34. Interesting stuff. Thanks for that. I always like to hear from constituents on the ground in a particular state.

  35. Jim – I can’t tell you how much I needed that laugh, even though you may not have meant to amuse. It just hit me so funny!

    I’m trying … really trying … not to hate and despise these losers like O’Reilly whom I currently hate and despise. I’m trying to save my energy to support President Obama’s agenda!


  36. Though I agree with many of Kucinich’s positions, I would think someone who has been in Congress for as long as he has been in Congress would have at least a primitive understanding of the political situation in Washington and how this government has worked for decades. Ideas like this make me question his intelligence. Members of the House seem particularly insulated from the rest of the culture because they need only appeal to a narrow constituency, but they should have better insight into national politics, which, like reality, is nonlocal.

  37. Unbelievable. I’m so happy for the Egyptian people, even though their future is a little troubling (what will happen next, etc.). Hopefully, they can all pull it off. At least they have cause for celebration right now.

  38. President Obama already headed this off to an extent in the SOTU. He talked about American exceptionalism, about being the example, about “winning the future”.

    But it is the old Rove tactic to try and make a strength into a weakness. So trying to make the fact that the world likes Obama more will be spun into the world likes him only because he is a pushover. They’ll use the Egyptian outcome, whatever it is, to try and cement this. If Mubarak stays they’ll say “See Obama abandoned a staunch ally to try and please some rag tag protesters and meddled in their affairs”, if he goes it will be the same “He abandoned an ally and the new Egyptian government is less friendly to America”.

  39. Isn’t this the same crap they tried in 2008 with the flag lapel/hand over heart thing? They tried this before. Can’t wait for the Lee Greenwood Republican Convention.

  40. Yes, overseas granny. I have many friends who are very supportive of President Obama, but who are not nearly as upbeat about his policies and his accomplishments as are we on the site. Whether one does or does not believe in consciousness-created reality, a thought, however tenuous, does project energy out into the world, and I believe it is far better to project positive energy than negative, but that is not always easy to do, and some are more naturally inclined to that than others due to temperament and background. We do not help negative people become more positive by being negative about them, however. That being said, I realize a blog is not a training site for saints, though it need not be a boxing ring either.

  41. What a fantastic triumph for the Egyptian people and what a fantastic triumph for a peaceful revolution. An example for the entire world. I suspect the most difficult is to come, however, though given the determination and nonviolence of the protesters, one expects them to be up to it. Being a pacifist, I am always a bit uncomfortable with military power of any sort, but there seems to be a trust between the people and the military, so I have hope that the process toward a democracy, though it may be long, will end well. Remember the Bush zeitgeist? President Obama’s zeitgeist is now underway, though I suspect, given the quality of our media, it won’t always be televised unless it is to be criticized.

  42. Well done Egyptians for setting an excellent example of people’s power.

    Well done Mr President for ignoring the critics and doing the right thing.

  43. What the media don’t uderstand is that diplomacy is not populous talk, diplomacy is patience. This is where I admire President Obama, he knew that he will get Muburak to resign that it just took time.

  44. tweety quote. For once he is right.

    “Look at them! These are ordinary people, they’re business people, college kids, they used the same text books in school we used. They want what we have. And no one pulled a gun out! Americans with their crazy second amendment rights stuff ought to take a good look at this. This is how change is made!”

  45. Yes, Amk, people power!! As an African, I am so happy to see this day. People want to determine their destiny without being told that we can’t or are not ready for democracy.

    The notion from some quarters that if Mubarak left chaos would ensue, is different from the picture we are seeing now.

    No doubt in the days and months to come, we will be watching as the Egyptian Army honor the people’s wishes. But today is a great day.

    Fear turned on its head today.

  46. Msnbc. Brian Williams has always said it was the President Cairo Speech that planted the seed. Chris Matthews seems to think that President Obama last statement was tough and a complete break that made Muburak resign.

  47. I now see why jamie Rubin was on last night bashing. The old guard in the administration ( clinton people) was having with The Change guard(Obama). The President went with the change and gave that tough statement last night and Muburak knew he was gone. Lawrence Odonell had this on last night.

  48. Yes, this is truly a historical day for both Africa & africa. 🙂

    I think Egyptian army more people friendly and I wish the Egyptians the same freedom that many of us enjoy.

  49. He managed to do this where the US is not the ones being blamed for meddling, no threats, he sat back and let the people decide, he kept harm away from them. President Obama came out strong from the start telling the military not to use force on the protester. President Obama waited patiently. He gave the people the confidence to challenge their government while he offered diplomacy, protection and a non violence protest. This is why he got that Peace Award.

  50. Bingo. Comment of the day, tulips. From day one, PBO has been preaching the Gandhian mantra of No violence at both parties publicly but more importantly to mubarak & co privately. His last statement about immediate change was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

    The fauds of saudi better watch out now.

  51. Lol! Last week I said something big was going to happent and they will have to give him his due.

  52. The site is growing, I see new names on the postings everyday. I wanted to respond to BWD’s quote

    “First, I want to thank all of you for flooding this place with news and information. It’s gotten to a point where almost all I need to do is collecting stuff from the comments and put it together. It’s a delight, it makes me proud and makes my life a bit easier.”

    I have a confession to make, my job is getting easier too. I used to spend hours looking for positive stories, now I just come here. It’s almost like cheating, only no worries about getting caught because it’s OK to help each other.

    Working as a group gives us tremendous power. Thanks BWD, you built it and we come.

  53. Yesterday was a crushing disappointment for those of us looking from the outside who wanted democracy for the people of Egypt. We thought Mubarak was setting up the conditions where he’d force the protesters to turn to violence, and thus legitimize a crackdown. But the people didn’t give up. They kept peaceful, but the force of their will was unstoppable. We are witnessing a history as momentous as the fall of the Soviet Union — more so, I think, as the ME has been as soaked in blood and tyranny as Europe was for most of its history. Look around, friends; things are changing beyond our comprehension.

  54. Awesome news for the people of Egypt!!! Seriously, they’ve been kicking more butt than Chuck Norris this year.

  55. I’m starting to wonder if Mubarak was just looking to punk the drama-loving sensationalist media on his way out the door. I too wondered yesterday whether he was trying to force the situation and am sooooo glad to have been proven wrong.

  56. AJE is intimating that he snookered the military and the US by making the speech that he made yesterday. The military seems to have made it clear that they were no longer behind him. Again, it will be years before we know what happened behind the scenes. But that’s as it should be. While I somewhat admire Wikileaks’ campaign for transparency, their scattershot approach to unveiling state secrets destroys the ability of states to conduct effective diplomacy. Some things need to be kept opaque in order for pressure to be exerted efficaciously. (Plus, I think Assange is about Assange, and not about “the truth”.)

  57. In the first days of the uprising, Brian Williams said it was in the DNA of the president’s Cairo speech.

  58. I hope that is what they go with because it won’t work. It is too at odds with reality to sway any but the most partisan right wingers. They really don’t have anything do they?

  59. He isn’t the most politically sophisticated person. I appreciate his stances on most issues and I respect his convictions but he is pretty much tone deaf on selling his positions. This is just one more example. Luckily in this case, he has very little influence over the rank and file of the Democratic party.

  60. Hi! We just watched a masterful PBO answering the 3AM call. He won the Nobel Prize for a very good reoson, handling the Egyptia crisis it’s prizeless. WOW.

  61. My two cents: The average voter isn’t going to be picking apart the President’s policies during those two weeks before they go to the polls. They’re going to be asking themselves if their lives are better now with him at the helm. Their going to be asking themselves if they want to change course from where the President has taken us. If job numbers improve, and the economy continues to improve between now and then, a risk averse electorate will make a simple choice.

  62. TiMT has news of Murbarak stepping down. He has left the area. The crowds are amazing. the happy faces.

  63. People that support Assange do so as long as what comes out serves their purposes. The minute he “leaks” something that puts them in a bad ligght, they will rise up against him.

    Transparency is something you want the other gut to have, not you.

    The only positive that came of the diplomatic cables leak was that it showed how more professional our diplomacy is under Obama than it was udner Bush. And you are right, diplomacy should never be done in a totally open way.

  64. That’s what I heard too. That Mubarak had agreed to step down yesterday and that his surprise announcement really angered the military leaders and they refused to serve him by threatening to join the protesters if he didn’t step down. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more details in days and years to come. President Obama has been close contact with the military leaders as well as with Mubarak throughout this whole thing and I’m sure that the military knew they had the US’s support which helped give them the courage to stand up to Mubarak.

  65. I agree – Saudi Arabia has ended up on the wrong side of President Obama and history. It will be interesting to see what happens next.

  66. Respectfully, sheila, I disagree, I think that your empathy and tolerance is beyond commendable, but I’m not sure that it’s a wise idea to have a space which, similar to the one which several of us abandoned, entertains nonstop the types of debates which we engaged yesterday.

    I think that Ms. Preer made a number of really ignorant, borderline offensive, statements, yet was largely respectfully engaged and provided with enough facts to enable anyone of fair or open mind to revise mistaken beliefs or misunderstandings. As far as I was able to detect, she conceded not a single one of those facts, instead, continuing to flood the thread with the “he’s done nothing for poor/black people {two groups which she continued to conflate despite repeated admonitions that not all black people are poor and not all poor people are black}” narrative.

    As sheri noted, there’s a lot to be gained from threads of that type because it elicited so much information, yet on the other hand, when dealing with people who are here to spread narratives and are immune to factual corrections, it seems less a conversation and more a game, about scoring points rather than sharing ideas. I’d rather not go down that road again, and I’d rather that this space entertain a far more elevated style of conversation and idea-sharing.

  67. I think the people do know and appreciate the national Democrats for their help and especially the president. He is still very popular here. But he wasn’t on the ballot in 2010 and like in many states that meant lower turnout for the Democrats than in 2008. Many people don’t think about the national level of politicians when voting in midterms. The election was primarily a governor’s race and the Democratic candidate was not a good choice. Bernero was too angry and too partisan to appeal to the general public – he is sort of an Alan Grayson type. Snyder on the other hand, went out of his way to present himself as pretty non-partisan, interested in working with both sides of the aisle and a centrist who just wanted to get Michigan back on its feet. While the people here really, really appreciated the auto bailout, our state is far from out of the ruins yet. We are still teetering on the edge of a knife of complete destruction. Without the bailout we would have fallen off but even with it we still have a long way to go to be stable here. Its hard to imagine for those who live in states where the recession just began in 2008 just how bad it is when the recession here has been going on since 1998 or so. I am quite confident that 2012 will see the state firmly back in the blue column.

  68. “Some things need to be kept opaque in order for pressure to be exerted efficaciously. (Plus, I think Assange is about Assange, and not about “the truth”.)”

    LL, I agree with you to a point. No matter how opaque, when exposed to the light of day, ‘diplomacy exposed’ should never be shameful. Assange is exposing some pretty rotten stuff that should be exposed.

    Assange has little control over what he receives, so there is no way he can do anything that is not a scattershot. He does release everything he gets. His ego in doing so is another matter.

  69. I always appreciate what you write, gn, and know that it will be well-thought-out and well-articulated; my admiration for a fellow blogger could not be higher. And I agree that I would hate to see this site deteriorate into the kind of place some of us used to (irrationally) frequent. But it seemed that conclusions were reached which were not quite warranted by what Ms. Speer wrote. Having been accused of being someone I wasn’t elsewhere because I questioned tactics of some purported “progressives”, I am a bit wary of doing it to someone else. I think if we are to remain a positive site, we should welcome people who express a different view and attempt to engage them constructively. Of course, it will not always work. As for Ms. Speer, if what she wrote about her own situation was true, she and her family have had a difficult time which is probably not conducive to a more rosy scenario. I live a good and easy life and can look at the President and believe he is a force for positive change, but were I in Ms. Speer’s situation, I don’t know what I would feel or how long I could wait after having waited so long, Expectations about this President have been way too high and unrealistic since the beginning of his candidacy, I admit, but I have no concept of what it is like to live in a difficult situation in a troubled community without being impatient for immediate improvement.

  70. I agree, lila, but how long has he been in Congress? Shouldn’t he be a bit more sophisticated by now? Anyway, I would vote for him were he in my Congressional district (I have Senselessbrenner, brrr . . .), but he would do well to become a bit more realistic and a bit more supportive of the party leader, who is doing a far better job than anyone else could under the circumstances.

  71. Don’t get me wrong, sheila, I’m glad that you’re raising this issue and cautioning against being too quick to label or assume nefarious motives. I hope that I don’t need to tell you how much I value your insights and trust what you say. My view is that Preer was pretty extreme yesterday, and I’d really dislike seeing this blog flooded with the sorts of false narratives and careless memes masquerading as fact or criticism which make other sites unreadable. Although, while, again, I can’t help but admire your great degree of empathy, I don’t think that’s about privilege versus poverty: there are plenty of people here who don’t have a lot of money and are some of the most factual, logical commenters on this site, while there are plenty of frustrati who are well off {if not filthy rich like Arianna Huffington, lol} who can always be counted on to say something hostile and/or absurd.

    I personally am not going to spend as much time as I did yesterday engaging that type of back and forth, but if people come here with that, I think that they should expect that at minimum, there’s going to be a comments section full of people who are going to point out glaring factual and logical inaccuracies, as well as point out statements such as “I think a white president would talk about the poor more” are beneath both the commenter and the readership here.

    That said, I definitely take your points, well-made as usual, I just think that some of the statements which Anita made yesterday were over the top. Were I to catch the frustratus virus and make comments of that type, I’d actually hope that people would be just as vigorous in fact-checking and logic-checking me as well.

  72. I must admit, japa, I never understood Reagan’s personal appeal. He seemed to be one of those insincerely-jovial types with little substance, and he always looked like he had been dipped in paraffin.

  73. Well-said gn, and as you stated elsewhere, the thread did bring forth a wealth of positive information which can be used in future discussions. Having a mainly-positive site is far more informational and inspirational and far less repetitive and uniform than one might think it would be, but how can a positive attitude be contagious if we don’t allow the uninfected to join in? Slightly-tongue-in-cheek. At any rate, I am glad YOU are here. I am presuming you are a writer of some sorts, as your prolific and well-crafted comments roll so easily from your keyboard.

  74. I’m not a writer, just a loudmouth, lol. 🙂 We’ve got several less rosy people here which is beyond terrific, but those people stick to the facts, and their less rosy outlooks or opinions are still hinged to facts. That’s distinct from the type of back and forth in which one participant has decided that facts are optional or secondary to a preformed narrative.

    For example, I remember an exchange with someone during the Sherrod drama, in which an otherwise factual person grabbed onto a narrative that the WH reached out and treated this woman poorly because she was black, allowing no facts or reality to interfere with this (I’m sorry, frustrati-created and opportunistic) narrative (the WH did not in fact do this, POTUS was unaware that she was being {wrongly} fired, and as a result of the firing, POTUS personally apologized to her and told his people to stop jumping the gun).

    It ends up being a waste of time to devote all day engaging it at some point, and it exhausts participants and creates a very negative energy. No one has to sign a loyalty oath to post here, and people explicitly stated yesterday that they were not trying to run her off, but people who want to come here with that type of content really should expect to be challenged facts-wise and logic-wise, as there’s such a high standard of conversation at this space.

    As usual, beyond lovely having discussions with you, and I can’t say how glad I am that YOU are here also! We can agree to disagree, friend.

  75. And sheila, I swear I would agree with every single thing that you just said here, except that last night I saw the following comment, late in the exchange:

    I don’t pass anything but hope on to my students. The President said he wanted to be President of all the people, that includes black people, and poor people. I think what he did the last two years is commendable. I am talking about NOW< the lead up to the 2012 election. Cuts in programs for the poor is a really bad idea. Besides going to one job training facility, he has not been visiting inner city communities. Or those really on the bottom. It is the truth, nothing to run away from And it is true, that when he speaks to a black audience, they get a lecture, like as not, on how to be better parents. Even the obesity campaign is targeted at inner city kids. I am not criticizing what I see as a good thing. But these kids are already lacking self-esteem. To say, you are lazy,you are violent, you are bad parents, you are fat, you don't try hard enough in school…I mean, I think a white President would be talking about the poor more,ironically.

    The last couple of sentences pretty much did it for me in terms of a caricature of FLOTUS’ Let’s Move campaign, another misguided statement accusing POTUS of confining his remarks to black people to lectures or not visiting African American areas (this just isn’t true), and ending with an assertion that a white President would be better in this regard. There’s no real way to reason with this sort of thinking IMO. This isn’t like the polite disagreements/exchange of ideas and information which we all enjoy at this site.

  76. I just heard a guy from MI on Thom Hartman. Doesn’t sound like your moderate governor is really moderate. What a surprise, for a Republican.

  77. We’ll take your ‘cheating’ any time, BWD. After all, you started a place where we can come and celebrate what this administration is trying to accomplish, and to discuss solutions for our problems.

    I seem to recall that only a few weeks ago, we’d get about 30-50 comments on a mishmash. Now, we’re just flooded with such intelligent commentary.

    Thanks again, from the bottom of my heart.

  78. My only quibble: Obama is not ‘hem and haw’. Obama walked right up to the line and wouldn’t cross it. That’s statemanship, not weakness.

    I work for people who come from Egypt. It was a happy place to be today. They have been fighting tirelessly for the rights of Christians in Egypt. They are good people.

  79. ‘My friends, we are indeed living in the time of a giant – one whose name and repuation are going to stand tall in the ongoing history of the American Republic.’

    This is what gives me the (good)shivers! The fact that I’m indeed alive to see this leader’s sense of purpose, his determination, – his genius, inspires me. The fact that he has a clear vision for the country, and that that is evident to so many, moves me. It is so easy to make wild promises – like the GOP’s did last election – and not quite as easy to put feet to them, as they are finding out. I am glad to be alive at this time in history, and I thank you for sharing here. I’m going to check for that book next time I stumble into Chapters/Indigo. Hopefully it’s written for the non-economics minded to read and understand – hopefully 😉

  80. Thom Hartman today very simply said, “turn it back on them.” They are the haters of America, who want the rich to be healthy and the middle class to lose their homes to illness. They want to take your hard-earned money that pays for Social Security so they can gamble it away. They are the ones who want to deny you clean water and safe drugs so they can make more profit.

    There was an interesting series of calls about Democratic messaging. Thom rightly pointed to the right’s vast media infrastructure (thanks so much for that, Bill Clinton!) but people correctly pointed to the fact that we seem to be incapable of conflating our goals and achievements with Big Ideas, like freedom.

    I would like to be “free” to afford health care. I would like to not be stuck in a dead end job because of employer health insurance. They’re starting to do that now, but we should be better at it. Hell, we have the truth on our side, and they’re better at selling lies?

    Why doesn’t the DNC or the Obama Administration hire George Lakoff, fer Christ’s sake?

  81. Kucinich thinks that by wanting the right thing it will automatically happen. He is completely inept and understanding political reality.

  82. I assume I’m not the only one who is finding Lawrence unwatchable. And I used to have such respect for the guy. He has filled his show with Obama-bashers. Shame on him.

    I guess Rubin was at it again today only even more offensive: that GW wanted freedom for Egypt and Obama propped up Mubarak. Now, that is Jane Hamsher PUMA territory. Rubin now looks like the idiot that he is. It takes some serious Fox-like thinking to make Obama the sole reason for Mubarak’s power. God, Jamie. You should hang your head in shame.

  83. From my Egyptian friend with family still in Egypt: EVERYONE thought Mubarak was going to resign yesterday. EVERYONE was shocked at his arrogance

  84. ‘I personally am not going to spend as much time as I did yesterday engaging that type of back and forth,…’

    ‘Thank you, GN’ that you did yesterday. I came in somewhat late to the site and was extremely impressed with how the discussion was handled. There was nothing I could think of to say other than ‘Whew!’ Today however, I would like to say ‘kudos’ to all who participated. After reading MS Preer’s initial comment my first reaction was ‘Oh boy! Now we’re going to have an acrimonious discussion. I HATE those.’ From Donna D’s first and second answers and ALL the others that followed I saw evidence of adult restraint and patience, and a real desire to ‘educate’/share facts. I guess hanging out (as we do) with ‘the only adult in the room’ is realistic repercussions ;). I know I’m only a cousin several times removed, but I was tremendoudly proud of my BWD Family yesterday! 😀 😀 Thank you ALL (with special thanks to visionary BWD) for the space you are creating here where adults of all stripes can meet and share ideas!!

  85. I missed that sentence, gn, and I admit it is fairly offensive. Perhaps I am feeling so conciliatory because I am practicing for my husband’s softball team’s semi-annual party? I do try to divert the political arguments (I think the men actually enjoy them) into safer channels, like “Do animals have souls?” but that particular one caused such conflict between husbands and wives (“You don’t think our dog has a soul, Bob?”) that I was nostalgic for politics. By the way, I think they do.

  86. I skip over the silly people on O’Donnell’s show, but I agree, O’Donnell himself has been unnecessarily critical lately, beginning with the “If the President does not address gun control in his SOTU” line in the sand.

  87. gn you have my profound gratitude for all that you’ve written above here… I can say I was feeling exactly what you’ve articulated.. but could no way have stated them so well. Thank you, I so appreciate what you’ve said, because you have to know what was written last night pretty much put me in the mind of no way will I engage in this any further. So, again, my friend, thank you.

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