138 thoughts on “Souza for the weekend

  1. Our President is a man who is living right. You can see it in his eyes and in his smile. What a beautiful man.
    Hip hip hooray Pete Souza!

  2. Great pictures…love the last one. When it’s time to laugh, he sure does do it right.

    Hope you’re doing well BWD!

  3. The Obama administration will seek to repeal $46.2 billion in subsidies for oil, natural gas and coal companies in the next 10 years, to fund renewable energy spending, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said.

    The plan is part of President Barack Obama’s commitment to lower dependence on fossil fuels and increase to 80 percent the share of U.S. electricity from “clean” sources by 2035. Cutting the subsidies will help pay for $8 billion in “clean energy” investments, Chu wrote on his blog yesterday. The president is scheduled to present the 2012 budget on Feb. 14.


    This should make you all happy!!!

  4. BlackWaterDog,
    Consider: how often, by the end of their second year in office, had we seen Bush43 and Cheney behaving toward each other, let alone their staff or visitors to the White House, with such open and friendly body language?

    How often had we seen either of them — or the First and Second Ladies, for that matter — genuinely smile?

    For that alone, I often find myself amazed at how much I like this President, the First Lady, and the Bidens.

    They’re genuinely *nicer* people, and it shows.

  5. I’m willing to bet it’s some remark VP Joe Biden made that caused President Obama to laugh so heartily!!!

  6. On Valentine’s day? Oy! I can see the blog titles now. You know there are going to be things in the budget that aren’t going to go over well with the left, right and middle.

  7. Or Gibbs. Gibbs is funny too and in a lot of pics with him and the prez, they are usually laughing.

    OR maybe he just heard that the GOP is working on a budget.

  8. I’m putting a marker down so that I can get e-mails from this superb post while I watch Il Divo in Barcelona and the news and the 2nd debate. Whew! busy evening here. Il Divo sang Bridge Over Troubled Waters and I thought of all of you. You all and BWD are my Bridge. Thanks.

  9. Joe is going to be the ones to put the republicans in there place. He has some good lines. I will never forget his remark about Giluani. A noun A verb and 911. That comment made people pay attention to how he was using 911 to try and win an election.

  10. Amazing. That last picture made me bust out in giggles. What a great thing, to have a human being in the Oval Office, an adult, a man who loves his family and loves his country.

    I never thought I’d feel blessed by our leadership again. This is wonderful.

  11. I just finish going thru all of these and the white house tweets. I loved the Sunday picture of him in the oval office greeting a family on tour. The red velvet rope told the whole story.

    I really resent the fact that he works so hard for us and the congress thinks they can work 2 wks and then take 1 wk off. They need to adjust their pay to part-time status.

  12. I was speaking with a Democrat who supported Hillary Clinton in our rural county. She seemed so full of resentment toward the President and told me pointedly how he was not experienced enough or capable enough to have the job. I told her that I thought she should pay attention to the relationships that the President has with the people around him, his respect for others, including Hillary, and how that makes for a kind of wonderful synergy of talents. You can see in the faces of those that work with him that the respect is mutual. Some people gain power by enlisting others into a kind of battle against a perceived enemy. Instead the President sees others as potential partners with their own marvelous talents and encourages teams and individuals to shine. Seeking to pit people against one another to gain the advantage is the worst kind of cheap anti-leadership. In our President we have true leadership. Measure him not only by his accomplishments but by how everyone else who truly engages with him is empowered.

  13. Yes, Gibbs is VERY funny 🙂

    And I think your latter theory is also highly plausible, LOL!!

  14. VP Biden is as sharp as a tack. And the MSM has tried to make him out as some clueless gaffe machine – and they have FAILED.

  15. I certainly like the idea of it. Actually repealing the subsidy is another matter, but if anyone can pull it off, it would be our President.

    This quote from that article cracks me up:

    “We do not seek and do not ask for any subsidies,” Bill Colton, vice president for corporate strategic planning at Exxon, said on a Jan. 27 conference call with reporters. “If somebody wants to take away incentives from us, we think they should be taken away from everyone.”

    If they don’t want the subsidies then give them back!

    Secretary Chu has submitted some interesting items to be cut from the Energy budget. I like eliminating waste. Alas, it will come at the expense of jobs, no doubt.

  16. John Huntsman has a HUGE Sarah Palin problem –

    (And that’s almost as painful as the Jindal SOTU rebuttal. Actually the Jindal Rebuttal should be referred to as a “John Huntsman moment, since the latter happened first)

  17. I’m always amazed by the people who just can’t let go of their candidate of choice and harbor grudges for YEARS after a loss. To this day I still encounter people smarting about the Kerry loss, or still wishing Edwards hadn’t shot himself in the foot.

    On the upside, though, I’ve also met many, many people who originally supported Clinton who hopped on board the minute then Senator Obama got the nomination. Spoke with one just last night…she ran the Clinton campaign for ours and two other counties and she hasn’t got a bitter bone in her body toward our President.

  18. Same here. It is so infectious even via the screen. Something must have been really, really funny.

    Great photos.

  19. I Googled: Bush and Cheney Oval Office and wow…for one thing, these people were not having a good time. The decor was somber, everyone is hyper-formal…at the risk of offending the photographer, the pictures didn’t look at all relaxed or candid…zero art there.

    Contrast our wonderful President and the very sophisticated decor and the relaxed atmosphere. Zero drama. And Mr. Souza…hello. Pure artistry.

  20. Thanks for the great posts and photos BWD, great to relax on a weekend and enjoy them!

    We are so lucky to have this president in the White House, his family, and all the talented people who surround him!

  21. I lasted a minute. I commented on the last thread that this guy has zero charisma and zero presentation skills.

  22. I got to 42 and couldn’t go on.

    He supports civil unions. He supports Sarah Palin in his clip. And he served in the Obama administration.

    How is he going to reconcile all of those choices in order to win a presidential nomination of Tea Party-flavored GOP?

    They recently heckled Orrin Hatch at CPAC for his TARP vote in 2008. Th current incarnation of the GOP doesn’t sound like a group that would embrace Huntsman.

  23. I don’t resent it at all. The less time those fools spend in Chamber, the better. Their work ethic simply cannot compare with the example set by Nancy Pelosi and the 111th. The 111th had already passed the Recovery Act before President Obama had even taken the Oath of Office.

    As long as the 112th are at home ‘helping their constituents’ they aren’t learning the craft of governing or the fine art of getting bills past. They’ve spent so long saying no to everything, they simply haven’t learned how to do the job they were sent to do.

  24. Everything this man has done since taking office has exceeded my wildest imagination. He’s been absolutely brilliant in handling one crisis after another. Absolutely. Brilliant. I didn’t think I could feel more pride, more admiration, more respect, more fealty, more security and more happiness in regards to this wonderful, exceptional president of ours.

    LONG LIVE BARACK OBAMA!!! The world is lucky to have him, too! 🙂

  25. Photo No. 3 is the answer to Bill O’Reilly’s stupid hate you question. They love President Obama. These mayors are like school kids who can’t wait to get their turn to shake the President’s hand or take a picture. Just look at the gentleman at the end of the line, peeking anxiously. Too cute.

    Think I’ll send it to the stupid, ignorant blow hard.

  26. You make a good point, Thien! Let them stay in the background. However, in this time of belt tightening it would be great to be able to cut their salaries, since they’ve cut their hours! Also, I do want the country to realize that they are not really working, so that they will be voted out when the time arrives.

  27. I take all the worry that I had back about Huntsman LMAO! *DEAD* that speech killed me. He needs MAJOR work and yes he is on the same level as Jindall. Sorry I “blame” Obama for raising and keeping the bar so high. That was painful to watch and hear.

  28. Looking at these pictures I feel like I did when I first saw the lolcats poster of BHO saying “chill the f– out, I’ve got this” we are in good hands and he will be president for 8 years! Yes he can

  29. Prepare to fall in love with four men all at the same time. Watched the women in the audience melting.

  30. Isn’t he adorable? I love to see him laughing like that. It warms my heart to see him happy. When he flashes that million dollar smile it just makes you weak in the knees.

  31. My God that was horrible. He didn’t even believe the crap he was saying. He is too fake and artificial, I think that will come across to most people. I never thought I would be saying this, but Mittens, and Tim Paw are more exciting then this man.

  32. On Saturday, insiders in Egypt gave The Associated Press an initial picture of what happened in the hours before Egypt’s “unoustable” leader of nearly 30 years fell. Some of them spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information.

    Their account portrayed Mubarak as unable, or unwilling, to grasp that nothing less than his immediate departure would save the country from the chaos generated by the protests that began Jan. 25. A senior government official said Mubarak lacked the political machinery that could give him sound advice about what was happening in the country.
    “He did not look beyond what [his son] Gamal was telling him, so he was isolated politically,” said the official. “Every incremental move (by Mubarak) was too little too late.”

    The military, meanwhile, was becoming increasingly impatient with the failure of Mubarak and Omar Suleiman, his newly appointed vice president, to end the protests. The unrest spiraled out of control Thursday and Friday, with demonstrations, strikes, sit-ins and even gunbattles engulfing almost the entire nation.

    Insiders spoke of fighting among Cabinet ministers over how great a threat the demonstrators posed, and of deliberate attempts by close aides, including Gamal Mubarak, to conceal from the president the full extent of what was happening on the streets….

    By Thursday, nearly everyone had expected Mubarak to resign, including the military.

    Hossam Badrawi, a stalwart of Mubarak’s National Democratic Party, met with Mubarak on Thursday and later told reporters that he expected the Egyptian leader to “meet people’s demands” — read that stepping down — later the same day. After Mubarak did not, Badrawi, who had been named the party’s secretary general a few days earlier, resigned in protest, according to two party insiders.

    Meanwhile, the military’s highest executive body — The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces — met without its chairman, commander-in-chief Mubarak, and issued a statement recognizing the “legitimate” rights of the protesters. They called the statement “Communique No. 1,” language that in the Arab world suggests a a coup was taking place.


  33. JoJoThecat,Where are the Il Divo going to be ?
    my wife just adore them LOL! and of course we love our President and VP they are a perfect match,

  34. I love Gibbs’ dry humor. Sorry to see him go.

    In y’day’s tie handing ceremony, did anyone catch him saying to the President, ‘you owe me 50 bucks’ ? But then PBO dealt the final ace and presented his tie, enframed.

  35. LOL. That was one of the best lines of 2008 campaign and the way Biden said it spoke of his contempt for ruddy rudy’s intellect.

  36. Man, what’s with all the chicken littling (thanks Al Giordano for that phrase) in the last mish-mash thread ?

    BBC reports that that tundra twit came in 9th with just 3% votes in the cpac. And she was 3rd last year. How far the stupid evil have fallen down this year even among other evils.

  37. Palin appears to to be a very vindicate person, and needs to always prove everyone wrong. With that said, I truly believe she is running, and she will go to hell and back to try to get the nomination! Unless the GOP nominates Obama himself, there is no one in the GOP that can stop her. These nuts who vote don’t give a damn that she is totally not qualified. I also believe that if she runs several people will not. None of these people wants to be defeated by Palin.

  38. The deflection will be that it’s because she didn’t speak/attend this year.

    Ron Paul won with 30%, Romney was second with 23%.

    The rest of the 15 polled –
    Gary Johnson – 6% (Fromer N.Mexico Governor, strong Libertarian)
    Chris Christie – 6% – said he’s not running in 2012
    Newt Gingrich – 5%
    Tim Pawlenty – 4%
    Michelle Bachmann – 4%
    Mitch Daniels – 4%
    Sarah Palin – 3%
    Herman Cain – 2% (Only declared candidate so far, Pizza magnate from ATL area)
    Mike Huckabee – 2% (likely not running, bought Fla mansion for $3.5M)
    Rick Santorum – 2%
    John Thune – 2%
    Jon Huntsman – 1%
    Haley Barbour – 1%

  39. OMG. Jon Huntsman in all his dorkiness.

    I agree now – if this is their best candidate, WOW.

  40. amk, I always loved it when Al would lead off a post with the Chicken Little character. And I agree with you.

    The 2012 election is for Obama to lose, not for a Republican to win.

    I was out most of the day and just read the mishmash thread. Between worry about Huntsman and worry about the Republcians shutting down the government there was just a teensy tiny hint of panic. Let’s cool it. The Republicans will raise the debt ceiling after some histrionics. The government will not shut down and Obama will be President until 2016. And no, I am not being complacent and will work my a** off to make sure he is elected and that my district gets back into the blue column.

    Now, just wanted to give links to 3 LTE’s that were in my paper today. In my opinion, they are all very sound LTEs, but the comments can get a little off key.




    I was trying to find another one which is not online, but in the print edition part of the letter said, in regard to HCR, “Thank you, Mr. President and all the hard working people in Congress, for helping to make this happen.”

  41. I lasted up to his stupid sarah chant. How is this guy considered to be an educated repub ? Just because he can speak chinese ?

  42. We are simply going to never ever see another man like President Barack Obama in the White House. He is one of a kind and I cannot believe I am living this. Thank you, BWD.

  43. That was an interesting article!! I wonder how much Wisener took in being a cowboy or how much was influenced by Hillary!!

    And the idiots on DFaux thinks that Hillary would have been more progressive???!!?? She would have sided with the military and kept us in Afganistan for another 10 years!

  44. An excellent piece by Booman. I thought only wisner had gone rogue. The shenanigans this President has to deal with every day including those from his own camp.

  45. Booman’s reply in this thread

    “I’d also like to point out that Obama is passionate enough about this that he made sure to set the record straight by leaking this stuff to New York Times. The result in Egypt and the fallout is uncertain, but he wants total ownership of this decision. He made sure Clinton doesn’t have ownership, but that opens him for criticism later if things get ugly. He believes in his decision.

    That’s the progressive mindset that I always had faith that he had, because of who he is, where he comes from, and his life experience.”

    Damn straight.

  46. Hello PrObama Family..!! 😀

    From my twitter timeline:

    RT @BorowitzReport: CPAC Straw Poll: Bachmann 21% Trump 17% Don’t Know How to Make an X with Pencil 62%

  47. I completely agree hopefruit2. VP Biden is smart, genuine, and a people person. The MSM’s determination to smear him has been a complete failure. Any one who gets a chance to hear him directly, without the media filters, knows that he is not only a very wise and well informed man, but he is also a genuinely down to earth person.

  48. So did Hillary get in trouble for that stunt? It takes some doing to make the President furious. Really really wrong of her to do that. SO SO glad she’s not President. Wow.

  49. It depends of if she gave Wisener his orders or not. Regardless sending the guy who was in the Iran mess was terrible optics regardless.

    She might just walk away if she feels so strongly the other was as well. However if sme resigned now, it would set off a shitstorm of “Will she primary Obama”.

    Sounds like Gates and Biden were in agreement with her.

    The decision ultimately is the Presidents and they ultimately have to carry out his decision even if they feel it’s completely wrong – and that can be hard.

    I wonder if it’s a case at all where Bill might have rendered terrorism suspects to Egypt for their special interrogations, we know Bush did, and Gates knows it. Gates was also CIA, likely worked hand in hand with Mubarak on issues.

    This could easily go very wrong.

  50. Herman Cain (born December 13, 1945) is an American newspaper columnist, businessman, politician, and radio talk-show host from Georgia. He is best known as the former chairman and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. He is a former chairman (1995-96) and deputy chairman (1992-94) of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Cain’s newspaper column is distributed by North Star Writers Group. He currently lives in the Atlanta suburbs.

    (from his wiki)

  51. Blacksheep1, What an insightful comment. It is true, they all respect each other, and the most important thing is that they trust each other.

  52. meta – Good evening! And once again, I agree with you on this point. We are so lucky.

  53. It is a risk that could cost him re-election. Things go bad in September and somebody anti-West is elected and it could be a real problem.

    I mean ultimately this isn’t America’s issue in that it doesn’t seem that America started it. The Obama Cairo Speech might have been a small spark, but it was also a challenge to Mubarak to change – and if he would have changed then, the revolution probably wouldn’t have happened.

    And if America backed Mubarak, it would have been a huge glaring example seen by the rest of the world that America, and the hope outsiders have in Obama, backs autocrats who are friendly to them.

    So Mubarak who has been a staunch ally in trying times, is sort of sold out. It’s largely his own fault as he allowed for corruption and lost the faith of too many of his people, and I’m pretty sure that words from Obama would have stopped the revolution anyways, might have just given a crack in the window for Mubarak to turn the military on the protesters.

    How do other friendly to America autocrats feel about Obama now? There will be fall out, and there is a helluva lot of uncertainty. I believe President Obama made the right choice but I understand where Clinton et al were coming from. They’ve known Mubarak for years, and how he’s been a staunch ally.

    Then this could all be good cop/bad cop kabuki, letting the other allies know that Clinton, Gates and Biden are friendly and the ones they can still trust.

  54. “How do other friendly to America autocrats feel about Obama now? There will be fall out, and there is a helluva lot of uncertainty. I believe President Obama made the right choice but I understand where Clinton et al were coming from. They’ve known Mubarak for years, and how he’s been a staunch ally.

    Then this could all be good cop/bad cop kabuki, letting the other allies know that Clinton, Gates and Biden are friendly and the ones they can still trust.”

    These are all good questions. I always thought that during the whole 18 day drama, that the White House was treating Mubarak with as much respect as possible and imploring him to do the right thing for the sake of his people, because they knew that similarly situated regimes were in the region and they were watching this dress rehearsal of how they would be treated when democratic revolution comes to their countries.

  55. Here’s my take on this:

    The whole Wisner and co going off the reservation is likely about AIPAC’s and Netanyahu’s behind the scenes shenanigans to slow down the Mubarak exit. After all Netanyahu has been livid about Pres. Obama supposedly “abandoning” a staunch ally blah blah blah.

    It is likely SOS Clinton was caught between a rock and a hard place having to field many of these Netanyahu and his proxies’ rants and chose Wisner to smooth things over, hoping to bide for time while monitoring to see which way the demonstrations would head.

    Pres. Obama’s fury seems less targeted towards SOS Clinton herself per se as it seems to be a shot across the bow at Netanyahu.

    The whole Egypt equation is ultimately Pres. Obama’s savvy move to counteract Netanyahu’s outsize ability to stall the peace process and coral congress behind his back while thumbing his nose at our Pres. So Pres. Obama brings in Kerry and this NYT leak to put Netanyahu on notice.

    Pres. Obama’s message to Netanyahu ‘You’re gonna deal with me on a front of my choosing and you’re gonna do it because I will have the Arab street aligned with me whether you like it or not! Checkmate!!

    As for SOS Clinton? No problem, Pres. will resolve matters with her.

  56. Oh, dear, you’re so naive. He’s not for subsidies, but he’s for incentives. That’s different, don’t you see?


  57. The idea that Hillary is a progressive is patently ridiculous. She’s a DLC Democrat, even more so than Bill, I think. She played a ‘progressive’ to try to get nominated. But let’s also remember that even though race was a big part of it, Hillary was very comfortable running to the very Right of Obama in places like Pennsyl-tucky. She was comfortable there.

  58. Whoa. I just read the Booman piece. We have an image of what a President Hillary would have been.

    I know it’s popular to praise Hillary because she was — at long last — a loyal Democratic soldier after the brutal primary. But I think Hillary’s in over her head. This was the SoS’s ‘3:00 a.m.’ moment as well, and it is possible that what angered the Left about Obama was actually Hillary.

    The idea that she is more progressive than Obama is patently ridiculous and always has been. Here’s how I see it: if Obama had had a real majority and not the faux majority he actually had to work with which was full of conservadems, he would have happily been more progressive and he could have gotten that legislation passed. He wanted a bigger stimulus, he didn’t want all the tax cuts, and yes he wanted a public option until it became clear that he couldn’t get these things past the conservadems. It was never about courting Republicans — it was the back stabbers in his own party that he had to placate.

    Hillary would have been completely comfortable leaning right. Obama courts big business because it’s his job to form some partnership with them to get Americans working again. Hillary would have courted big business because she was comfortable with them.

    Ultimately the envoy chosen to go to Egypt is Obama’s fault. Wisner was a bad choice and sent a bad diplomatic message. Hillary blew it. Her instinct was not to use complex thinking and weigh how to support an ally, the implications for the Middle East, how to be on the right side of history. How to assess the new dynamics and forge an even stronger ally out of this extraordinary moment in history.

    The position that said that Mubarak was the proper road to reform is a safe, unimaginative choice.

    Hillary blew it. She was out of her league when the 3:00 a.m. phone call came. I’m not pleased with her at all.

  59. Me too. I hadn’t seen the Ode to Palin, and after sitting through just over a minute before leaping to safety, I think this guy is done before he begins.

  60. Anyway, these whole NYT article and whatever the media is saying in this case or in general, I do not trust. HCR, Mr Biden and Mr Gates are all friends of the President and I think they will be always friends. To suggest otherwise is not true. They have their own beliefs and thought process and that is fine, but ultimately the Pres. will decide at the end always. So, please do not believe what ever you read from anywhere including NYT. You think for yourself and understand what is happening without outside people thinking for you or telling you whatever it is!

  61. This LA Time’s article paints a similiar picture as the Booman piece. Looks like Wisner and Clinton did go off message.

    Money quote:

    “But on Feb. 5, Wisner spoke during a security conference in Munich and said that Mubarak needed to stay in power to help guide the transition to democracy. With the crisis deepening, that was a departure from the message the U.S. wanted to convey, the administration official said.

    The following day, Clinton, in an interview, said that countries evolve “at different paces” and that it was not unusual for the U.S. to have dealings with governments it does not especially like, which observers saw as a signal that the administration was advocating a go-slow approach.

    In combination, the two statements suggested that the U.S. was getting too far out of step with the protesters’ demand for Mubarak to leave.

    The Wisner statement, in particular, was “a low point,” the administration official said, creating “a perception of our policy that wasn’t true.”

    In an e-mail message Saturday, Wisner responded: “I beg to differ.” He declined to elaborate.

    For the next two days, the White House worked to clarify its message and speak with one voice. It made public the details of a phone call in which Biden spoke candidly with his Egyptian counterpart, Suleiman, whom the U.S. viewed as key to the transition.”


  62. I just love VP Biden and especially will miss Gibbs a lot who would straighten out the cynical or sarcastic individual so succinctly! Hope the Carney fellow will do justice. On another note,I am still laughing heartily at a Huffpuff commenter’s apt line on the CPAC speakers, ‘Strange you can believe in’. Too funny and so true and… just right!

  63. Faith – Perhaps the jury is still out on this one – I don’t know.

    But, for now, I second everything you wrote.

    I tried real hard not to feel any of my past resentment for Secretary Clinton (or for President Clinton during the campaign or his agreeing now to let MSNBC call him President of the World, which sounds ludicrous to me). “You can come home; all is forgiven,” and all that … I tried. But I also saw how she flipped out against candidate Obama during the campaign and can’t dismiss the undercurrent that she might bring into diplomatic negotiations when the situation is still dynamic, as it was during the Egypt crisis. I don’t believe she has President Obama’s skills. Period.

    I promise to eat these words if the back story changes. Or at least go back to putting trust in her and her minions not to go rogue.

  64. Exactly. The right simply has no one who is ready to compete with President Obama. I think it will be only the lunatics, like Bachmann and Palin, who jump in to the primaries because the saner types don’t want to get beaten that badly. 2016 will see them all come out of the woodwork early but 2012? I just don’t think so. It’ll be the loons and the guys who always run, like Romney, but never make it past the primaries.

  65. I told ya so, ‘this guy just ain’t ready’! He may look the part, and can speak fluent mandarin, but the ‘IT’ factor is not there. Plus apart from being disloyal to your ex-boss, which tells the sort of person he is and where his ambitions lie, he is also going to pander, waffle and be disingenous bigtime to get to where he wants to go. That is what they do in GOP land, as brazen and brassfacedly as they can get away with, much to chagrin of John Public.

  66. Wow. Very interesting. I can’t wait to hear more of how this unfolded. I am anxious to hear more of how this played out also in the West Wing.

    Very interesting historic stuff.

    Thanks for the link.

  67. She exhibits some narcissistic qualities. They will have to offer her something big, like money to keep her off. And it will have to be a LOT, because she loves to see herself, hear herself and she loves the adoration.

  68. Yes, that kind of worrying is contagious and not good for us. I see a lot less of it lately than in the past couple of years though. I think most of us are feeling much more optimistic and positive these days and that’s good for the President as well as for us.

    I’ve even seen more positive LTE’s lately and fewer of the really crazy ones. I’m really not worried about some hitherto unknown Republican superstar emerging from the primaries to put up a serious challenge to the president. There just isn’t one out there. And even if there were the republican voters wouldn’t want him/her because he wouldn’t be far right enough for them. They like Palin and Bachmann, for heaven’s sake! This isn’t even 2008 when McCain made it through, they have gotten crazier since then so whoever they pick will likely be considerably to the right of McCain and there’s just no way that will appeal in a general election. Plus the idiots in the house keep doing stupid, divisive stuff that further alienates the all important independent voters. They won’t refuse to raise the debt ceiling either. The Tea Party caucus types won’t vote for it, but all those republicans who aren’t really crazy, but just play crazy for TV, will not risk ruining the credit of the country for no reason like that. They will play it up for a while though to raise the anxiety level of the people in hopes it will cut into the President’s rising approval rating. Anxious people aren’t happy people and are much more likely to want to change leadership after all.

  69. ‘Pres. Obama’s message to Netanyahu ‘You’re gonna deal with me on a front of my choosing and you’re gonna do it because I will have the Arab street aligned with me whether you like it or not! Checkmate!!
    As for SOS Clinton? No problem, Pres. will resolve matters with her.’
    ZIZI: I vote with you on this one. Weeks ago I read an Andrew Sullivan commentary on the Netanyahu/Prez O interaction that resonated with me. IMO it implied what you have stated above (‘on a front of my own choosing’), plus the idea that the President is giving Netanyahu a lot of rope to hang himself. One reason I liked his analysis was the obvious fact (to me) that the President does seem to wait for his moment while allowing his adversary a lot of room to grandstand, or whatever.

    I don’t know WHAT happened in this instance, and I personally don’t need to know. However I do know that the President watched, informed himself, waited, then acted [in what I believe he reasoned was the best interest of Egypt, America, and the world**]. I also know that being who he is, he will stand behind his actions – whatever the fallout. If negative, he’ll reassess, then act, still with the same motive, AND he will not ‘pass the buck’. THEREFORE, I do not need to wait and see who says what about who did what. This man has my support, ALWAYS! (He has more than earned it.)

    ** This is the very first President/political leader I’ve encountered who exudes a really strong desire for world peace, a rock solid belief that people have a right to freedom and self-expression, AND seems determined to work towards achieving this end. Yes, many others have mouthed the words over MY decades, attempted an action here and there, but this president seems to me to have a ‘plan’ and to be deliberately going after this, step by step. And IMO when you have a plan, it’s easier to walk a path, even if you occasionally stumble.

  70. I want to gag every time I see that “President of the World” promo on MSNBC. That is a joke. They’re trying so hard to rewrite Clinton’s presidency. Yes, he forged some good international relationships, but no one — NO ONE — is more loved and respected AROUND THE WORLD than President Obama.

    Re HRC: it’s so obvious that we democrats made the right choice for president. President Obama has the right instincts and skills to handle anything thrown at him. This is what has folks like Jamie Rubin and the other former Clinton staffers. They just can’t get over that President Obama was and is the man to lead our country. That is just a fact.

    So they snipe and try to undermine him at every turn. So sad they care more about their petty feelings than helping their country. In this they are no better than republicans.

  71. His comments about corporate media are very insightful. This is why I am so thankful for the space you’ve created, BWD, and the other pro-President Obama / pro-Liberal sites that we now have. Yours is the place where we can get the unvarnished and unfiltered truth that we will never get from corporate media.

    Thank you again for all you do.

  72. It could all be Kabuki to reassure Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan etc that America is still an ally. If the story was “all agreed with the decision” then the ME autocrat allies and Israel would really be worried.

    It could be good cop/bad cop – however SA, Jordan, Israel will see Obama as the bad cop but still be able to trust Biden, Clinton and Gates.

    I don’t think we can discredit stories completely because we might not like them. That’s picking and choosing your facts.

    Biden, Clinton and Gates have relationships with Mubarak that goes back decades – it’s to reassure the allies “Listen we were still with you, but the facts on the ground made it impossible for President Obama to act otherwise.”

  73. I just hope President Obama and Lew realize that it’s a starting point in negotiations with the GOP House so they set their desired numbers a little higher to give them wiggle room to negotiate down to meet the GOP and show compromise.

    It’s a tightrope to walk, they need to show that they are serious about the deficit while showing the GOP desired cuts are draconian.

  74. The Wisner Affair bothers me and puzzles me. Let us remember that Bill tried to make peace and failed. HRC got into big trouble when she met with a woman’s group there and was accused of disrailing the whole peace process. And I have to add that Bill has been known to take very large donations from foreign countries, like the
    -stans. The Clintons failed to get health care passed. There is a lack of judgement there that may have carried over this time as well. I wish more would come out because I really don’t trust the Clintons at all.

  75. Doesn’t take much for that to happen. One miniscule cut to one program they like and they’ll go ballistic.

    To some degree, that has always been the problem for the left (meaning all th left, not just the PL). People seem to be focused one a single issue and when that one issue is not stasfied, they go ballistic.

    The ability to see the whole picture is, unfortunately, not all that common on either end of the spectrum, but specially on the left at this time in history..

    Regarding the uprorar further upthread regarding the Booman piece. I suprted Obama through the primaries but, to be honest, I would have had no problem supporting HRC if she had won. And I think she has done a magnificent job as SoS. Whether or not she agreed with Obam on the approach to Egypt is irrelevant. I don’t want Obama, and neither does he, surrounded by a lot of yes people. That approach is so 2001-2008.

    It was well known that Biden was strongly against the Afghanistan policy Obama adopted, but I din’t see him get as savagely castigate as some people are doing to HRC.

    The full story about what happened here will not be known for years, if ever. One thing I do know, is that Obama listens to all opinions respectfully. He may end up disagreeing, but you can be sure that Gates, Biden and Clinton all know that they were listened to and not run roughshod over.

  76. Thanks tiger

    This is a great read about “How Mubarak finally fell”


    snip #

    Field Marshall Tantawi, then Defence Minister, now the head of the Higher Military Council which is running Egypt, finally went to see President Mubarak on Thursday night to tell him the time had come.

    The President had just given his fateful broadcast, in which he said that, while handing over some powers to his Vice President , he would nonetheless remain in post until elections in September. This was against the advice of the head of his National Democratic Party, Dr Hossam Badrawi. It’s believed that his son Gamal was amongst those who thought he could, and should, hang on.

    “Field Marshall Tantawi met him for a couple of hours, maybe three hours and at the end of that discussion Tantawi convinced President Mubarak to step down,” said General Elyaza

    “President Mubarak was convinced to stay until September by his assistants and, I think, his son, he was listening to them,” said General Elyazal. “But when things came differently and people went everywhere, not just Tahrir Square but to the Presidential Palace, where he is, when the discussion came from Field Marshall Tantawi, the advice came that it was right time to do that for everybody, for him and the country, I think he listened to that.”

    So the decision was apparently made after that meeting, which went on into the small hours of Friday morning. Then the President apparently talked to his family, packed, and left for Sharm el Sheikh. At 6pm on the evening of Friday February 11th, then Vice President.

    Dude was delusional and out of touch with his own people

  77. I would have had no problem supporting HRC if she had won. But she didn’t. She is also a different breed of politician than President Obama, and I also believe I would not have been so in sync with her, had she won.

    All of that, I left behind in 2008. My bottom line now is to support President Obama 100%. First, because I believe in his presidency with my whole heart. Second, because the alternative is what we saw in the 2010 elections.

  78. Oh, and, BTW, I have no trouble understanding why long-time HRC supporters still stand up for her. I have thought often of Al Gore and 2000, with a heavy, heavy heart.

    But if we Democrats don’t get to acceptance all around of our current situation, and rally fully behind President Obama, I’m afraid the White House, Senate, and House of Representatives are all going to slip out of our grasp, sooner rather than later.

    Just my take, along with my other takes. I think I’ve had too much coffee this morning.

  79. Holy cow, Faith. Are you speaking to me? I know the difference between subsidies and incentives. I’m saying that just because our President *wants* to repeal the subsidies doesn’t mean he will succeed in the current climate.

  80. uugghh. Boorish thuggery with uninhibited racism and sexism seems to be the bread & butter of wingnuts.

  81. let’s remember the God-awful advice JFK got as well. Knowing his own mind and heart kept us from the brink of disaster during the Cuban Missile crisis.

    I have been guardedly optimistic about Hillary since she became SoS. I am not replaying the primaries but she is Obama’s SoS and that means we have to discuss her performance and her qualities. That unfortunately brings me back to assessing her performance during the primaries.

    I for one even trust our President more if he takes a case-by-case course of action in foreign policy. It will not win Obama support — it’s just way too complicated for the anchor-idiots and the pundits. But it continually shows me that this President is more interested in governing than a popularity contest.

    Hillary revealed herself as a small person during the primaries. I even had begun to question how truly intelligent she was, after believing in her for so many years. How to maneauver through the chaos in Egypt these last three weeks seems to have been either beyond her capabilities, and/or she was truly more comfortable with a Mubarak, albeit with reforms.

  82. “Biden, Clinton and Gates have relationships with Mubarak that goes back decades – it’s to reassure the allies “Listen we were still with you, but the facts on the ground made it impossible for President Obama to act otherwise.”


    Saint Rose, I do not understand how you can imply that SOS Clinton has forged long-term relationships at the international level with the likes of Egyptian leader Mubarak. Her tenure as SOS is just entering its third year under President Obama. I am not aware of her international dealings from a strategic/diplomatic standpoint when she was First Lady other than with Bosnia (and we all remember how that went based on what came out in the 2008 primaries). Nor am I aware of any significant international involvement on her part when she was a U.S. senator.

  83. Hi Mel,

    I took her last year when they were performing in SoCal. I checked google and they don’t have a USA scheduled tour yet. I am sure my Mom will let me know when they’re in town again. The tickets wer expensive.

  84. Breitbart got served at CPAC.

    Lawsuit Over Video

    Andrew Breitbart, the owner of several conservative Web sites, was served at the conference on Saturday with a lawsuit filed by Shirley Sherrod, the former Agriculture Department employee who lost her job last year over a video that Mr. Brietbart posted at his site biggovernment.com.

    The video was selectively edited so that it appeared Ms. Sherrod was confessing she had discriminated against a farmer because he was white. In the suit, which was filed in Washington on Friday, Ms. Sherrod says the video has damaged her reputation and prevented her from continuing her work.

    Mr. Breitbart said in a statement that he “categorically rejects the transparent effort to chill his constitutionally protected free speech.”

  85. I totally agree. Her behavior during the primary is still part of who she is and even if ‘forgiven’, cannot be ignored and informs how we judge her.

    I am 60 years old and I literally remember conversations about politics in my home as early as the 1956 election when I was six years old. I don’t remember a time where being a good citizen and the politics that go with that mindset wasn’t part of who I am.

    And I never in my life saw a Democratic candidate treat a Democratic candidate the way Hillary treated Obama. It was unprecedented on the national stage. When a Democrat, and that Democrat is a Clinton, opens the door to that kind of disrespect and courts the racist element and the question of illegitmacy — that was the invitation to the Republicans to do what they did. Sure, they would have been totally awful anyway; but I remember high level Republican consultants say that they didn’t know how to run against this guy. There was still a line of decency and yes, political correctness, that they didn’t think they could cross.

    Until Hillary crossed it. And Bill crossed it. They opened the door and Republicans didn’t need to be constrained at all. Instead of the birther b.s. staying on the fringe, they could embrace it and make it a national issue.

    Hillary just wanted to win. I truly believe she thought she was the only one who could do that job. That kind of insular thinking is dangerous.

    I hate that I feel this way about Hillary. Had she won the nomination I would have supported her wholeheartedly; although even early on, knowing the hatred the Clintons inspired in Republicans, I thought it would be more patriotic for her not to run and clear the field. What I saw during the primaries shocked me beyond belief.

    We will know more about Hillary’s performance during the Egyptian crisis, and much work still needs to be done. I support her, I support our President. I want what’s best with as little drama as possible. But the Booman piece, if proven to be accurate, confirmed by earlier misgivings. I think Hillary is better at implementing policy than she is at making it. If the direction is now made clear I think she can do a good job going forward.

  86. What was ultimately accomplished by Obama is truly amazing and history is going to be very kind to him on this one: that the military interim government is honoring all of its treaties is immensely significant. And I’m pragmatic enough to totally understand why many government officials are still in their jobs — in order to get Egypt running again as quickly as possible.

    What Obama deftly understands is that you cannot leave a vacuum where government once stood. And God knows, the last thing we needed was for the U.S. to fill that void. That is exactly what happened in Iraq — Bush/Cheney creating a little regulation-free utopian experiment with no idea as to who our friends would be and how to foster new alliances in everyone’s best interests.

    The Egyptian people did it themselves — they are responsible for the change that is coming. They are the masters of their own fate. The United States did not dictate their path to democracy. So they start this new phase having earned the respect of their nation and the world. Obama monitored it all so carefully as to not get stuck in a box either way. An astounding achievement.

  87. Not nearly as stong as Bidens and Gates, but I do give her some credit for the Clinton Administration years, even if she was just First Lady at the time. I tend to think the relationships of ones Husband somewhat carries over to the wife (and vice versa). For example if my spouse has known somebody for years and I first meet them, it’s not the same as meeting a stranger. I think some of her initial credibility as SOS came from knowing the players both through the Clinton Presidcency and her six years she was on the Armed Services Committee in the Senate.

  88. Faith, thank you for saying this. You are speaking to my heart and that is exactly how I felt. The disrespect that the president is getting now, starting with her, her husband and the democratic party not putting a stop to it. I will never forget it and I will never trust them. They pulled the race card – both black and white and finally, she pulled the trump card – assassination when she linked Bobby Kennedy to the president in May/June. They are not going to re-write history as long as I am here. I am a young and the women with no children in my family lived to be in their 90’s…50+ more years for me..hehe

  89. Like the Bush/Cheney Iraq decision to ban Republican Guard, top military and any Baathists from having an active role in the post-Saddam era.

  90. Not Social Security. It will not be cut. Are any of us here surprised?

    President Obama covered it in his weekly address yesterday. There will be cuts but also ‘investments’. I’m expecting everyone to go crazy on the Right and the frustrati on the Left. I think at least 2/3 of Americans are going to see it all as common sense.

    Hoping it works this way: the Repubs may be walking into Obama’s trap. You want cuts? You want people to be more hungry, less able to buy a bus pass to find work? And you’re STILL not willing to close a few tax loopholes? Seriously, Republicans?

  91. Souza is an amazing artist. I would love to have a book of his photos of this Presidency. That would be an incredible keepsake for my grandchildren. I really appreciate you sharing this with us here, BWD.

    I have every confidence that our Prez will be reelected but I will be boots on the ground for him just like I did in ’08. The Repubs have no one to touch PBO. But I agree with those who have said we shouldn’t get complacent.

    I think more likely we see trouble from the Frustrati who keep shooting themselves in the foot before sticking it in their mouths. However, any Democrat who would even think to primary President Obama would, imo, have to be worse than totally “batshit” crazy.

    We just need to keep positive, support our Prez and help him get the message out.


    About two weeks ago, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, working under the assumption that spending cuts aren’t nearly as popular as Republicans might think, launched an interesting ad campaign.

    The DCCC targeted 19 GOP House incumbents, nearly all of whom represent districts won by President Obama in 2008, blasting their support for a spending-cut plan that would “cut education” and “cut science and technology research,” which would in turn cost jobs. Soon after, some of the Republicans facing the heat felt a little defensive.

    In other words, the ads had the intended effect. GOP lawmakers in competitive districts wanted to be seen as cutting spending, but started getting nervous when Dems told their constituents about the breadth of the possible cuts.

    That was two weeks ago, and the DCCC was riffing off an outline released by the Republican Study Committee, which hadn’t necessarily been endorsed by the chamber’s leadership. Now, however, House GOP leaders have presented the details of their plan, and it’s not pretty.
    Republicans are convinced the public will reward them for gutting the budget, cutting services, and putting more Americans out of work. I have a hunch their confidence is misplaced.


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