Speech open thread #1

Enjoy, guys. Play nice.

Good evening. Tonight, I’d like to update the American people on the international effort that we have led in Libya – what we have done, what we plan to do, and why this matters to us.

I want to begin by paying tribute to our men and women in uniform who, once again, have acted with courage, professionalism and patriotism. They have moved with incredible speed and strength. Because of them and our dedicated diplomats, a coalition has been forged and countless lives have been saved. Meanwhile, as we speak, our troops are supporting our ally Japan, leaving Iraq to its people, stopping the Taliban’s momentum in Afghanistan, and going after al Qaeda around the globe. As Commander-in-Chief, I am grateful to our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, and their families, as are all Americans.

For generations, the United States of America has played a unique role as an anchor of global security and advocate for human freedom. Mindful of the risks and costs of military action, we are naturally reluctant to use force to solve the world’s many challenges. But when our interests and values are at stake, we have a responsibility to act. That is what happened in Libya over the course of these last six weeks.

Libya sits directly between Tunisia and Egypt – two nations that inspired the world when their people rose up to take control of their own destiny. For more than four decades, the Libyan people have been ruled by a tyrant – Moammar Gaddafi. He has denied his people freedom, exploited their wealth, murdered opponents at home and abroad, and terrorized innocent people around the world – including Americans who were killed by Libyan agents.

Last month, Gaddafi’s grip of fear appeared to give way to the promise of freedom. In cities and towns across the country, Libyans took to the streets to claim their basic human rights. As one Libyan said, “For the first time we finally have hope that our nightmare of 40 years will soon be over.”

Faced with this opposition, Gaddafi began attacking his people. As President, my immediate concern was the safety of our citizens, so we evacuated our Embassy and all Americans who sought our assistance. We then took a series of swift steps in a matter of days to answer Gaddafi’s aggression. We froze more than $33 billion of the Gaddafi regime’s assets. Joining with other nations at the United Nations Security Council, we broadened our sanctions, imposed an arms embargo, and enabled Gaddafi and those around him to be held accountable for their crimes. I made it clear that Gaddafi had lost the confidence of his people and the legitimacy to lead, and I said that he needed to step down from power.

In the face of the world’s condemnation, Gaddafi chose to escalate his attacks, launching a military campaign against the Libyan people. Innocent people were targeted for killing. Hospitals and ambulances were attacked. Journalists were arrested, sexually assaulted, and killed. Supplies of food and fuel were choked off. The water for hundreds of thousands of people in Misratah was shut off. Cities and towns were shelled, mosques destroyed, and apartment buildings reduced to rubble. Military jets and helicopter gunships were unleashed upon people who had no means to defend themselves against assault from the air.

Confronted by this brutal repression and a looming humanitarian crisis, I ordered warships into the Mediterranean. European allies declared their willingness to commit resources to stop the killing. The Libyan opposition, and the Arab League, appealed to the world to save lives in Libya. At my direction, America led an effort with our allies at the United Nations Security Council to pass an historic Resolution that authorized a No Fly Zone to stop the regime’s attacks from the air, and further authorized all necessary measures to protect the Libyan people.

Ten days ago, having tried to end the violence without using force, the international community offered Gaddafi a final chance to stop his campaign of killing, or face the consequences. Rather than stand down, his forces continued their advance, bearing down on the city of Benghazi, home to nearly 700,000 men, women and children who sought their freedom from fear.

At this point, the United States and the world faced a choice. Gaddafi declared that he would show “no mercy” to his own people. He compared them to rats, and threatened to go door to door to inflict punishment. In the past, we had seen him hang civilians in the streets, and kill over a thousand people in a single day. Now, we saw regime forces on the outskirts of the city. We knew that if we waited one more day, Benghazi – a city nearly the size of Charlotte – could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.

It was not in our national interest to let that happen. I refused to let that happen. And so nine days ago, after consulting the bipartisan leadership of Congress, I authorized military action to stop the killing and enforce UN Security Council Resolution 1973. We struck regime forces approaching Benghazi to save that city and the people within it. We hit Gaddafi’s troops in neighboring Ajdabiya, allowing the opposition to drive them out. We hit his air defenses, which paved the way for a No Fly Zone. We targeted tanks and military assets that had been choking off towns and cities and we cut off much of their source of supply. And tonight, I can report that we have stopped Gaddafi’s deadly advance.

In this effort, the United States has not acted alone. Instead, we have been joined by a strong and growing coalition. This includes our closest allies – nations like the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Turkey – all of whom have fought by our side for decades. And it includes Arab partners like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, who have chosen to meet their responsibility to defend the Libyan people.

To summarize, then: in just one month, the United States has worked with our international partners to mobilize a broad coalition, secure an international mandate to protect civilians, stop an advancing army, prevent a massacre, and establish a No Fly Zone with our allies and partners. To lend some perspective on how rapidly this military and diplomatic response came together, when people were being brutalized in Bosnia in the 1990s, it took the international community more than a year to intervene with air power to protect civilians.

Moreover, we have accomplished these objectives consistent with the pledge that I made to the American people at the outset of our military operations. I said that America’s role would be limited; that we would not put ground troops into Libya; that we would focus our unique capabilities on the front end of the operation, and that we would transfer responsibility to our allies and partners. Tonight, we are fulfilling that pledge.

Our most effective alliance, NATO, has taken command of the enforcement of the arms embargo and No Fly Zone. Last night, NATO decided to take on the additional responsibility of protecting Libyan civilians. This transfer from the United States to NATO will take place on Wednesday. Going forward, the lead in enforcing the No Fly Zone and protecting civilians on the ground will transition to our allies and partners, and I am fully confident that our coalition will keep the pressure on Gaddafi’s remaining forces. In that effort, the United States will play a supporting role – including intelligence, logistical support, search and rescue assistance, and capabilities to jam regime communications. Because of this transition to a broader, NATO-based coalition, the risk and cost of this operation – to our military, and to American taxpayers – will be reduced significantly.

So for those who doubted our capacity to carry out this operation, I want to be clear: the United States of America has done what we said we would do.

That is not to say that our work is complete. In addition to our NATO responsibilities, we will work with the international community to provide assistance to the people of Libya, who need food for the hungry and medical care for the wounded. We will safeguard the more than $33 billion that was frozen from the Gaddafi regime so that it is available to rebuild Libya. After all, this money does not belong to Gaddafi or to us – it belongs to the Libyan people, and we will make sure they receive it.

Tomorrow, Secretary Clinton will go to London, where she will meet with the Libyan opposition and consult with more than thirty nations. These discussions will focus on what kind of political effort is necessary to pressure Gaddafi, while also supporting a transition to the future that the Libyan people deserve. Because while our military mission is narrowly focused on saving lives, we continue to pursue the broader goal of a Libya that belongs not to a dictator, but to its people.

Despite the success of our efforts over the past week, I know that some Americans continue to have questions about our efforts in Libya. Gaddafi has not yet stepped down from power, and until he does, Libya will remain dangerous. Moreover, even after Gaddafi does leave power, forty years of tyranny has left Libya fractured and without strong civil institutions. The transition to a legitimate government that is responsive to the Libyan people will be a difficult task. And while the United States will do our part to help, it will be a task for the international community, and – more importantly – a task for the Libyan people themselves.

In fact, much of the debate in Washington has put forward a false choice when it comes to Libya. On the one hand, some question why America should intervene at all – even in limited ways – in this distant land. They argue that there are many places in the world where innocent civilians face brutal violence at the hands of their government, and America should not be expected to police the world, particularly when we have so many pressing concerns here at home.

It is true that America cannot use our military wherever repression occurs. And given the costs and risks of intervention, we must always measure our interests against the need for action. But that cannot be an argument for never acting on behalf of what’s right. In this particular country – Libya; at this particular moment, we were faced with the prospect of violence on a horrific scale. We had a unique ability to stop that violence: an international mandate for action, a broad coalition prepared to join us, the support of Arab countries, and a plea for help from the Libyan people themselves. We also had the ability to stop Gaddafi’s forces in their tracks without putting American troops on the ground.

To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and – more profoundly – our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are. Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as President, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.

Moreover, America has an important strategic interest in preventing Gaddafi from overrunning those who oppose him. A massacre would have driven thousands of additional refugees across Libya’s borders, putting enormous strains on the peaceful – yet fragile – transitions in Egypt and Tunisia. The democratic impulses that are dawning across the region would be eclipsed by the darkest form of dictatorship, as repressive leaders concluded that violence is the best strategy to cling to power. The writ of the UN Security Council would have been shown to be little more than empty words, crippling its future credibility to uphold global peace and security. So while I will never minimize the costs involved in military action, I am convinced that a failure to act in Libya would have carried a far greater price for America.

Now, just as there are those who have argued against intervention in Libya, there are others who have suggested that we broaden our military mission beyond the task of protecting the Libyan people, and do whatever it takes to bring down Gaddafi and usher in a new government.

Of course, there is no question that Libya – and the world – will be better off with Gaddafi out of power. I, along with many other world leaders, have embraced that goal, and will actively pursue it through non-military means. But broadening our military mission to include regime change would be a mistake.

The task that I assigned our forces – to protect the Libyan people from immediate danger, and to establish a No Fly Zone – carries with it a UN mandate and international support. It is also what the Libyan opposition asked us to do. If we tried to overthrow Gaddafi by force, our coalition would splinter. We would likely have to put U.S. troops on the ground, or risk killing many civilians from the air. The dangers faced by our men and women in uniform would be far greater. So would the costs, and our share of the responsibility for what comes next.

To be blunt, we went down that road in Iraq. Thanks to the extraordinary sacrifices of our troops and the determination of our diplomats, we are hopeful about Iraq’s future. But regime change there took eight years, thousands of American and Iraqi lives, and nearly a trillion dollars. That is not something we can afford to repeat in Libya.

As the bulk of our military effort ratchets down, what we can do – and will do – is support the aspirations of the Libyan people. We have intervened to stop a massacre, and we will work with our allies and partners as they’re in the lead to maintain the safety of civilians. We will deny the regime arms, cut off its supply of cash, assist the opposition, and work with other nations to hasten the day when Gaddafi leaves power. It may not happen overnight, as a badly weakened Gaddafi tries desperately to hang on to power. But it should be clear to those around Gadaffi, and to every Libyan, that history is not on his side. With the time and space that we have provided for the Libyan people, they will be able to determine their own destiny, and that is how it should be.

Let me close by addressing what this action says about the use of America’s military power, and America’s broader leadership in the world, under my presidency.

As Commander-in-Chief, I have no greater responsibility than keeping this country safe. And no decision weighs on me more than when to deploy our men and women in uniform. I have made it clear that I will never hesitate to use our military swiftly, decisively, and unilaterally when necessary to defend our people, our homeland, our allies, and our core interests. That is why we are going after al Qaeda wherever they seek a foothold. That is why we continue to fight in Afghanistan, even as we have ended our combat mission in Iraq and removed more than 100,000 troops from that country.

There will be times, though, when our safety is not directly threatened, but our interests and values are. Sometimes, the course of history poses challenges that threaten our common humanity and common security – responding to natural disasters, for example; or preventing genocide and keeping the peace; ensuring regional security, and maintaining the flow of commerce. These may not be America’s problems alone, but they are important to us, and they are problems worth solving. And in these circumstances, we know that the United States, as the world’s most powerful nation, will often be called upon to help.

In such cases, we should not be afraid to act – but the burden of action should not be America’s alone. As we have in Libya, our task is instead to mobilize the international community for collective action. Because contrary to the claims of some, American leadership is not simply a matter of going it alone and bearing all of the burden ourselves. Real leadership creates the conditions and coalitions for others to step up as well; to work with allies and partners so that they bear their share of the burden and pay their share of the costs; and to see that the principles of justice and human dignity are upheld by all.

That’s the kind of leadership we have shown in Libya. Of course, even when we act as part of a coalition, the risks of any military action will be high. Those risks were realized when one of our planes malfunctioned over Libya. Yet when one of our airmen parachuted to the ground, in a country whose leader has so often demonized the United States – in a region that has such a difficult history with our country – this American did not find enemies. Instead, he was met by people who embraced him. One young Libyan who came to his aid said, “We are your friends. We are so grateful to these men who are protecting the skies.”

This voice is just one of many in a region where a new generation is refusing to be denied their rights and opportunities any longer. Yes, this change will make the world more complicated for a time. Progress will be uneven, and change will come differently in different countries. There are places, like Egypt, where this change will inspire us and raise our hopes. And there will be places, like Iran, where change is fiercely suppressed. The dark forces of civil conflict and sectarian war will have to be averted, and difficult political and economic concerns addressed.

The United States will not be able to dictate the pace and scope of this change. Only the people of the region can do that. But we can make a difference. I believe that this movement of change cannot be turned back, and that we must stand alongside those who believe in the same core principles that have guided us through many storms: our opposition to violence directed against one’s own citizens; our support for a set of universal rights, including the freedom for people to express themselves and choose their leaders; our support for governments that are ultimately responsive to the aspirations of the people.

Born, as we are, out of a revolution by those who longed to be free, we welcome the fact that history is on the move in the Middle East and North Africa, and that young people are leading the way. Because wherever people long to be free, they will find a friend in the United States. Ultimately, it is that faith – those ideals – that are the true measure of American leadership.

My fellow Americans, I know that at a time of upheaval overseas – when the news is filled with conflict and change – it can be tempting to turn away from the world. And as I have said before, our strength abroad is anchored in our strength at home. That must always be our North Star – the ability of our people to reach their potential, to make wise choices with our resources, to enlarge the prosperity that serves as a wellspring of our power, and to live the values that we hold so dear.

But let us also remember that for generations, we have done the hard work of protecting our own people, as well as millions around the globe. We have done so because we know that our own future is safer and brighter if more of mankind can live with the bright light of freedom and dignity. Tonight, let us give thanks for the Americans who are serving through these trying times, and the coalition that is carrying our effort forward; and let us look to the future with confidence and hope not only for our own country, but for all those yearning for freedom around the world. Thank you, God Bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.


175 thoughts on “Speech open thread #1

  1. I like the idea that it’s in front of an audience. He just doesn’t look comfortable from the Oval Office.

    I hope it takes us right to the top of the hour to give the pundits no time to blather –
    I’d love for it to be “The Obama Doctrine” speech but I doubt we’d get anything like that because every situation is different and he wouldn’t want to box himself in on a situation down the road (I.e Iran).

  2. Well, that is exactly what the Obama doctrine is. Analyze every situation on its own merits. Understand that the same response is not appropriate in every situation. Realize that the world is not black and white. Of course, that is too nuanced for a lot of people.

  3. The author to that fantastic blog that BWD featured will be joining us soon this evening. I just got a message from her asking for instruction on how to signup 🙂

  4. Randi is off this week and Nicole Sandler is filling in. Talk about the whining and complaining about everything President Obama does…these people will not let up!
    Who needs the right wing to knock the president; the professional left does a great job on their own.

    Suffice it to say, I will not be tuning into Randy’s show until she gets back. I hope it’s soon.

    PS Ed Schultz has been supportive, which totally shocked me. 😕

  5. If BWD isn’t around tonight, they might have their responses left hanging “awaiting moderation” as I believe all new accounts are as well as posts with links in them.

  6. Good she has made everyones day. Thank you for introducing her to the site.

  7. I see tweety was’nt on his show tonight im wondering who will take his place . I hope its not cenk

  8. That would be wonderful! Do you have time to send an email to bwd alerting her of this? I wouldn’t want her to miss out on the live blog because her comments aren’t getting through moderation. I’m assuming that you guys plan to be in the pundit-free space?

  9. I love this now I can have 2 threads to watch. I am so glad BWD is doing this for us. I will be here!

  10. Part of me wants to tune out the punZits for one day but I don’t think I’ll be able to. I think I’ll be periodically checking out this thread.

  11. Yes, I am. I’m came home read comments from you guys and sat in silence for a while. Now I am ready to hear our amazing President take all these fools to school, once again. Thank you for asking.

  12. I am watching Iron Chef America squid challenge whetting my appetite while I wait to see PBO. Certainly a more productive use of my wait time. Yum. And it has my favorite Iron Chef on: Masaharu Morimoto

  13. For the record: Twenty-five years ago this spring, a fleet of 100 U.S. warplanes staged a nighttime air raid over Libya, targeting numerous facilities associated with Muammar Gaddafi’s deadly regime. Two hours later — while some of the planes were still in the air — President Reagan was explaining his rationale to the American people in a televised, prime time Oval Office address.

    Reagan noted that Gaddafi had brutalized its own people, assassinated Libyans living abroad, and launched terrorist bombings, including one against off-duty U.S. soldiers in a German disco. “Self-defense is not only our right,” Reagan proclaimed, “it is our duty.”

    “I have no illusion that tonight’s action will bring down the curtain on Gaddafi’s reign of terror,” the president added. “But this mission, violent though it was, can bring closer a safer and more secure world for decent men and women.”

    Reagan certainly had the first part right: A generation later, Gaddafi is still in power, and still slaughtering Libyans who oppose him. And now, another U.S. commander-in-chief has unleashed American military force on Libya, this time in an attempt to end Gaddafi’s rule once and for all. But even though President Obama’s intentions are much more ambitious than Reagan’s, the current president has not even attempted to be the Great Communicator.

  14. This totally sucks. I’m at the library with no headphones so I can’t hear diddly squat. Now I have to race home before he starts his Libya speech.

    And as I was typing this the speech started and I can’t hear anything still.

  15. If you are on Twitter, Chuck Todd wants people to tweet him your reaction to PBO’s speech. @chucktodd
    Fill his Twitter timeline up. Let’s support our President!

  16. Quite a speech. I am disappointed in C-Span when they were spanning the crowd and showing his monitors. Now you will hear about his telepromters.

  17. Oh good grief I missed the WHOLE darn speech.. I got so caught up in the townhall, that I didn’t realize it was taped and not live, lol.. I kept thinking: how the heck is he gonna be ready for this speech if he’s going straight from this townhall?? Its just not right to put POTUS on live and taped at the same time!! 😉

  18. Hey, if you can stomache it, you can still watch the pundits and report about who got it, and who simply didn’t lol.

  19. And the idealists on Huff and Puff posts are imploding… they can’t stand that no matter how much they want it, President Barack Hussein Obama is NOT like former President George W. Bush!

  20. The teleprompter poke is one of the lamest attacks that only the GOP/Teabagger true believes eat up.

  21. Sawyer and Stephanopoulus(sp?) had about a minute to discuss the address before returning to regularly scheduled programming and they seemed to like it from what they were saying.

  22. Good comment on The Site that Must Not Be Named:

    “Republican wars are manly and must never be questioned.

    Democratic wars cost money and lives, and we must wring our hands and fret about whether it’s worth it.”

  23. Oh gn, I have no guts for that… I literally have not watched tv at all since the primaries in 2007.. seriously. methinks I’ll just be patient and wait until the speech is put up on whitehouse.gov archives, lol. I’m fearless about lots of things, but watching pundits lie just ain’t one of those things, lol. 🙂

  24. I’m not so sure I want to tune into loudmouth Ed tonight, I’m sure he’ll rant and rave about how President Obama is George W. Bush’s third term and how Obama is beginning World War III!

  25. That was a helluva good speech!
    Well done, President Obama! 😀
    I’m so proud of him!

  26. Interesting change of tune, seeing as just two weeks prior Weiner was saying that POTUS had no values.

    I still don’t trust him, actions speak louder than words.

  27. Weiner is now saying that he wishes Congress had been consulted, on principle, but he thinks Pres Obama has made a good case – seems like he’s totally on board.

  28. Is anyone looking at Kucinich making a fool of himself? Tony is trying to make up for his past transgressions.. Kucinich will not get a penny from me.. And Tony has alot of ground to gain to get a dime.. hes still in my doghouse

  29. Teleprompter = technical progress. Those who prefer to live in the past don’t realize that some have evolved from paper notes, to electronic notes. I’m so sick of the teleprompter nonsense.

  30. I’m watching it now and am shocked.
    Of curse Kucinich is on comparing Pres. Obama to Bush.
    I’m sure Fox will have him on their shows soon enough.

  31. You can tell it was a good speech – B O’R on Fox is interviewing someone about Sharia law in Libya :d

  32. Mine too. He’s too much of an attention loving hothead. But at least tonight he offered reasoned arguments instead of the knee jerk bash Obama.

    Kucinich had better not send me an email asking for money. I’m done with him.

  33. “Realize that the world is not black and white. Of course, that is too nuanced for a lot of people.”

    You get the gold star for this. Spot-on.

  34. So when is Kucinich going to meet up with Darrell Issa and work on impeaching the President?

    What a fool, I can’t believe people actually look up to him like a hero. The only decent thing he’s done was voting FOR HCR, and that was only because he rode Air Force One.

  35. Was Weiner listening to the President’s speech? He clearly said that he consulted with a bipartisan group of Republican leadership before making a move. They want to perpetuate the lie.

  36. No kidding. haha. Kucinich needs to go sit in time out.

    Awesome speech by Mr. President! W00T! 🙂

  37. They need time to spin it and dig for ways to discredit it. I’m sure Frank Luntz will be working overtime on that.

  38. He must have received those emails telling that there will be no donations unless he stops disrespecting the President in the MSM!

  39. Hmmm…even if they close their eyes and wish very, very hard, huh?

    Yeah, you’re right–I’m tired of them, tired of their refusal to just see that the guy is NOT Bush’s third term, and jamming their heads into the sand (or up their @$$es) and missing the forest for the trees.

    Screw ’em. They don’t even represent “the base”, no matter how they scream and yell about it.

  40. I am so glad to hear what all of you are saying so I don’t listen to what they are saying. I will never listen to Kucinich(?) or Weiner again they have totally lost it.

  41. If congress had been consulted all of the 700,000 citizens of Benghazie(?) would be dead now. The tanks were entering the city.

  42. What I liked was the fact that he specifically spelled out the differences between Libya and Iraq. It also seemed, to me at least, to rebuke Bush.

    He also appeared to rebuke the PL and the far Right too.

  43. The Republicans are going to have a cow over this:

    To be blunt, we went down that road in Iraq. Thanks to the extraordinary sacrifices of our troops and the determination of our diplomats, we are hopeful about Iraq’s future. But regime change there took eight years, thousands of American and Iraqi lives, and nearly a trillion dollars. That is not something we can afford to repeat in Libya.

    I just love the fact that President Obama went there. Too many pundits have been obsessing about regime change and not making the connection to the quagmire in Iraq. Nothing like getting a bit of truth and a reality check from the CiC. Awesome.

  44. Please do; we’ve got a pundits thread specifically for going in on the professional left. Let em have it!

  45. Heh heh…I joked once that if Darrell Issa started impeachment proceedings against Obama, Glenn Greenwald would come running up with a list of ideas.

    I never expected that Kucinich would be right behind Glenn.

  46. I don’t think they ever had it, both are hotheads who project a lot of things through emotion, like Weiner’s rant on the Congressional floor last fall I believe it was?

    And Kucinich has always been a “holier than thou liberal” who “clings to his principles” but gets NOTHING done. He hasn’t gotten past the Presidential primaries because he REFUSES to open up and be tolerant of ideas other than his own. He’s not even a real liberal, he just uses and abuses the label, which is the main reason why “liberal” is considered a dirty word in politics.

    Most actual liberals probably haven’t heard of Kucinich and if they have, they don’t care what he says and consider him to be just as much an out of touch radical as the teabagger Republicans. I’d like a world where we weren’t at war and everyone had single payer healthcare as well, but just like the tooth fairy, it’s just a fantasy.

  47. I’d love to say that I can’t believe it, but I very well can. What the hell does Sharia law have to do with that speech?

  48. On the contrary, I think Ed will be supportive. He likes it when President Obama speaks “tough”.

    He likes “Daddy” presidents.

  49. And where was ALL of this concern from Congress when George W. Bush and the MSM were beating the wardrums for Iraq?

    You didn’t see any of the Republicans or the Democrats stand up to President Bush. They all folded and voted to go to Iraq, except the few like Pelosi and yes Kucinich in the House.

    But it’s telling how many on both political sides want to treat Libya like Iraq 2003. They know how bad the PR was for them with that costly blunder.

    These politicians and pundits just want attention and fame, they’re no different from Charlie Sheen or Lindsay Lohan except that Sheen and Lohan aren’t elected. These politicians actually legislate laws and should know better… and pundits, who cares what any of them think? Why do we need someone on TV giving us the ideas we should be able to come up with on our own?

  50. If you didn’t see Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on Meet The Press last Sunday, I highly recommend reading the transcript. They were great. They didn’t take any guff from David Gregory.

    He asked SoS Clinton about some criticism coming from congress. Here is an excerpt of her reply. I was very surprised to hear this.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think it’s perfectly legitimate for members of Congress and the public to ask questions. The President is going to address the nation Monday night. A lot of these questions will be answered. But I would just make a couple of points.

    First, on March 1st, the United States Senate passed a resolution calling for a no-fly zone. That was a bipartisan resolution. There were a number of people in the House, including leadership in both the Republican and Democratic parties, who were demanding that action be taken. The international community came together, and in an unprecedented action, the Arab League called on the Security Council to do exactly what the Security Council ended up doing.


  51. So exactly what did Kucinich say tonight everybody? I got the gist of it, but not the full story.

  52. I have a theory that Kucinich is trying to curry favor with Republicans who have the fate of his congressional district in their hands by showing that he can be an attack dog use to them.

    Kucinich losing his district is of help to Dems actually, because if he kept it he’d surely lose it to whoever his Republican challenger was in 2012.

  53. I sent him an email and told him I would be donating to the “no values” President. Hope my email was read and digested.

  54. Kucinich only won re election by 9 points last November, which is a HUGE decline from the 18-20 point margins he was winning by in previous elections.

    he’s in trouble, and he knows it. Attacking President Obama should be the last thing he should be doing… looks like Kucinich is going to go the way of Alan Grayson next year.

  55. Rachel is back on. She is making the point that his stance now is entirely consistent w/his Nobel speech.

  56. Sullivan, who has been pretty condmning of the intervention gave it overall a good review. He does state he isn’t totally convinced by the speech, but it is obvious he was swayed to some degree. His final comment went:

    “It wasn’t Obama’s finest oratory; but it was a very careful threading of a very small needle. That requires steady hands and calmer nerves than I possess. But this president emerges once again as a consolidator and adjuster of the past, not a revolutionary force for the future. And one hopes that the notion that he is not a subscriber to American exceptionalism is no longer seriously entertained.”

  57. Oh sully yes he is a revolutionary force for the future. Baby steps, but Sullivan really is not there yet. He needs to listen to that speech again.

  58. Nothing.

    It’s just that the fear of muslims will be one of the tools in the 2012 republican campaign. They’ve been on it for a few weeks now. Be prepared to hear that kind of talk over and over again.

  59. Great Symmetry11. Happy to hear that you took some time to relax. Now enjoy your evening. We care too much about you to have you complicate your health. I just had a nice serving of banana pudding.

  60. The very fact that Libya has been handled the way it was without the whole cowboy mentality and with a true understanding of the sovereignty of that country and its people is…you know…revolutionary in its scope. Obama’s Mid-East policy is helping to completely reshape the entire region. If that’s not revolutionary, then what the heck is?

  61. Wow! That was the point made here just days ago by BWD. Did she read this blog last weekend? I sent Rachel the link Anybody else?

  62. I hate these damning with faint praise kind of commentaries. It’s like they simply refuse to give credit where it’s due and have to temper it with some “fault.”

  63. I agree. President Obama IS a revolutionary figure. Yeah he’s compassionate, careful, incrementalist. But revolutionary, no mistake about it.

    The global elite are VERY aware of this. That’s why they’re so scared of him.

  64. I did also BWD!!! I wanted to jump up and throw myself into the tv and jump up and down and hug him!! I know that the Secret Service would have taken me off to jail in a blink of the eye. But that was priceless. He does know how to put you on notice in such a sweet and gentle manner, BUT “Do Not Mess With Me, Ok. I have had enough of you clowns chattering all day and for weeks.” I love my President.

  65. Yes he did we invited our neighbors to watch the speech and they all liked it and some of the did not voted for him. So we had champagne
    we served Dom Perignon 1998 yes we live in the wine country, and we love our Preisident
    So Bravo Mr president yes you can.

  66. That’s because President Obama is the adult in the room, and these are just “middle schoolers” with the attention span of a gnat, so they frequently miss what he is saying.

    I thought the President was very clear, and cogent. It was so nice to hear such intelligence on display.

  67. Richard Engel just mentioned on the NBC Nightly News that the speech was greatly welcomed in Benghazi, and that when the President spoke of mass graves, those graves would have been filled with the bodies of the people of Benghazi.

  68. I just read the speech and look forward to watching it when I get home….

    I just wanted to say how glad I am to have this site to come to for some much needed sanity! I’ve nearly despaired of saying anything complimentary towards our President around my friends– who have bought into the neo-leftie frustrati idea that anything Obama does is necessarily opposite their ideological puritanical agenda(s) and that they should treat him as the “enemy” at all times.

    I got an email from Dennis Kuscinich today asking me to donate to his re-election campaign and I unsubbed from his e-list and sent the message that I would no longer support him because he is trying to split the Democratic Party by constantly attacking President Obama. I hope more people will do the same.

    Anyway–I’m very glad to be here!

  69. It’s a mistake to think that cspan is still a neutral media outlet anymore. Just take a look at the books/authors they push on the weekends.

  70. Nice surprise to see Weiner sticking up for The Prez. Kucinich needs new talking points. Bitching about something in 2003 isn’t exactly relevant to put it mildly.

  71. Seriously, when was the last time we saw a “Thank You” rally in an muslim country in response to our actions? I think too many people did not see his Cairo Speech for the call to revolution that it has turned out to be.

  72. Actually congressperson Barbara Lee was the only person to vote NO for Operation Enduring Freedom on 9/18/01. Lee based her objection on the fact that the bill gave Bush too much power to wage war without Congressional oversight. She stood by her principles and was scorned. She was proven right years later when Bush used those powers to wage war in Iraq. Kucinich voted YES for Bush, but now wants to impeach Pres. Obama.

  73. Great point, Nellcote. Hopefully historians will give Obama’s Cairo Speech the credit it deserves in sparking a revolution. Pres. Obama’s actions and words show that he meant what he said in the Cairo Speech. Pres. Obama truly is a revolutionary figure, a world changing figure.

  74. Everybody knows their limits. They sometimes adhere to them 🙂 I love listening to this man, feeling pivileged to experience his greatness. Then I watch DWTS. I am upbeat and ready to work for his reelection and other worthy causes. I’ve signed up for three Relays for Life. FOR me, it would only hurt, not be beneficial in any way to slice and dice and bemaon the lies the MSM spews. For those that do attend so that they may respond appropriately, I thank you.

    And finally, I’m merely 1/1000 or whatever of the membership here, and usually just lurk, but I would probably particpate more if there were less angst. Regardless, I’m going back to work, got to split blogging time all over the damned place, so damn the baggers, full speed ahead and stay healthy!

  75. My Republican friend on FB commented “just watch he’ll find a way to blame Bush” and then her Republican friends responded “OMG I HATE him…”, see he’s blaming Bush..Can’t wait til 2012!”.
    I had to delete her post, it really upset me. I don’t agree with hatred anywhere.. it always shakes me up.
    I feel bad that I didn’t have the courage to respond.

  76. He was supportive, but then he had Sestak on, and Sestak was saying Obama was good, BUT and then said a bunch of things that made no sense so I turned the channel. Ed was very supportive as well.

  77. I am so grateful for this site. I Tivoed the speech and watched it. I turned the tv off right afterwards but still have the political shows recorded and after coming to this blog and seeing all of the support for out PBO I can now watch the shows, atleast Rachel’s show knowing we all are in his corner.

    I like the maturity of actions we see from our President. So many trolls and pundits just do not get PBO’s actions. PBO actually has made his vision more clear in both writing and speeches as compared with anyone I have seen in the office before him. The opposition seems to hesitate in believing what he says I guess due to no other politician seeming to mean what they say.

    I have learned to have faith that PBO will do what I expect as I feel after reading his books, listening to his speeches and following his actions in these last two years I see a breathtaking consistency that I admire greatly. He puts me at ease during a time of crisis and upheaval. I am so grateful he is our President.

  78. Was reading huffington post among other media outlets and going through Chris Mathews as well as Ed Shultz. So far I’m rather appalled by the media in general. I don’t care much for any of them and feel in my mind at least that Obama did his best in telling people that this isn’t what Libya is about.

    I’m very reluctant to watch Maddow although I usually like her but I’m afraid to be disappointed yet again.

  79. Fired up ready to go!

    When I am 100 years old there will still be a faded but proudly displayed Obama picture in my house.

  80. I agree with Joe…I’m very confused about these unflattering comparisons between President Obama and Republican showboats.

  81. The top thread is for folks like you, g. This is deliberately trying to carve out a space for people who are tired of the pundits. There are a few comments here and there which slipped in, but the thread is largely a positive reflection and analysis of President Obama’s speech, with only a few off-topic conversations about the professional left or the mighty mouth contingent of detractors.


    I personally hope that we keep this up, and get even better at bifurcating this content.

  82. God made a funny (h/t weeseeyou):

    Trump fails to produce birth certificate

    Donald Trump made headlines earlier today when he provided what he said was a copy of his birth certificate — but a quick check reveals it’s actually not an official document.

    The paper that Trump released says “Jamaica Hospital” on top and lists the date and time of what he says was his birth to “Mr. and Mrs. Fred C. Trump.” The piece of paper has a seal at the bottom.

    But after several New York City-based readers contacted POLITICO’s Maggie Haberman, her call to city officials revealed that an actual birth certificate, which is issued by the Department of Health, would have the agency’s seal and also a signature of the city registrar – neither of which the Trump document has. Officials said the city Health Department is the “sole issuing authority” of official birth certificates in New York, and that the document would clearly say so, and “city officials said it’s not an official document.”



  83. He spends too much time reading blogs like DK and thinks that they represent the base. He’ll be finding out soon enough that they don’t when he gets way less campaign money than ever. The more he attacks the president and other democrats the less money he will see coming in.

  84. That is too funny, gn. Thanks so much for bringing that here. Trump is such an idiot. Guess that’s what a “long form” birth certificate is – an unofficial one, lol.

  85. This is from Crooks and Liars (karoli — 3/28/11 6:22pm)

    “So starting from that square, the question is: Why even bother?”

    “I think he answered that question. I think it could have been a disaster for Egypt and Tunisia if Gaddafi had continued to strafe his own cities.”

    “I am not a fan of any action there, nor am I willing to send out a blanket condemnation or call him Bush lite. It’s been difficult for me to actually sort out how I do feel, but the one thing I will say is this: The idea of that batshit-crazy dictator strafing people in his own cities with his air force was absolutely repugnant and disgusting to me, and yes, I do think it should have been stopped if we had the ability to stop it.”


  86. I personally think that he’s merely full of s*it. He just so happens to have a reality show which he’s promoting as he’s supposedly contemplating another run at the WH.

    I don’t believe for one freaking second that he’s being serious about this birther garbage. He truly gets my go sit down award for the week. Not because he’s been the most ridiculous (although clearly he’s behaving like a fool) but because the performance is so disingenuous and clearly attention-seeking.

  87. This is from Prospect.org – Chris Cassidy:

    “President Barack Obama, in his address to the nation, tried to reassure an ambivalent, inattentive public and a skeptical press corps about American involvement in NATO’s no-fly zone over Libya. The president’s speech sought out a middle ground, couching his administration’s approach as measured but decisive in the campaign against loyalists to Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi.”


    “The president[‘]s challenge was two-fold this evening. First, critics seemed almost desperate to ignore facts inconsistent with their criticisms, apparently either rejecting or ignoring recent event on the ground.”

    “And second, the president[‘]s disavowal of directly effecting regime change opened him up to questions about whether seeing Qaddafi deposed was consistent with his well-worn platform as the anti-Bush.The president faced a tough task tonight considering the arguments for the no-fly zone that had already been rejected or ignored by skeptics, even while acknowledging that our recent history has made Americans wary.”


    “There is no doubt in the mind of the president, nor in those of his critics, that enormous challenges lie ahead for Libya, both leading up to and in the wake of deposing Qaddafi. As was the case in Egypt and Tunisia, celebrating an all-out victory prematurely — before Qaddafi is removed from the power, the power-vacuum is filled, and reforms are implemented — would be to embrace false comfort.”

    “Gargantuan though these challenges may be, certainly some degree of solace can be taken in how effective, decisive and measured President Obama’s leadership has been in this international crisis.”


  88. Kucinich only won re election by 9 points last November, which is a HUGE decline from the 18-20 point margins he was winning by in previous elections.

    he’s in trouble, and he knows it. Attacking President Obama should be the last thing he should be doing… looks like Kucinich is going to go the way of Alan Grayson next year.

    You hit the nail on the head, Nin, well said and so true. And this next time, Dennis will be running with the President at the top of the ticket. People will be showing up at the polls to vote for the President. If he keeps bashing President Obama, people may leave the space blank next to his name or vote a protest vote against him. Or someone could primary Dennis, ie a real Democrat who supports the President has a good shot at his House Seat.

  89. What the … is going on with Sestak ? Trying to make a name for himself ?

    Just asking because I don’t remember: was he supporting Hillary in the primaries ??

  90. This is from Mother Jones – David Corn:

    “In characterizing President Barack Obama’s message on Libya hours before his scheduled speech on the matter, Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, essentially said this: it’s complicated.”


    “With that in mind, I asked Carney the following question:

    Critics on the left or right and voices in the media have talked about there being some confusion in the public over the President’s aims and the goals and intentions of this mission. Do you believe that from the very start the White House has communicated effectively with the public about what the President is thinking regards to the Libyan action?”


    “In other words, there has been some confusion—due to the complexity of the issue. Carney might have a point. The mission is not a simple one, as in, do everything possible to get Qaddafi. The mission is to do what is possible, in conjunction with NATO allies and a few Arab partners, to block Qaddafi from butchering Libyans opposed to his rule—hoping (or intending) to create a set of circumstances that just might lead to the dictator’s downfall. Tripoli or Bust this ain’t. This is a military action of nuance.”

    “I followed up Carney’s reply:

    Mitt Romney has attacked the President for being nuanced… Do you think that having a policy that has these different levels is just hard to explain in a hyper-media environment?”

    Carney answered, “we’ve tried to explain it and I think—when it’s explained well and clearly, that it is understandable. And the President has done that on a number of occasions, and again the American people will hear him speak to it tonight.”

    “With critics on the right and left assailing Obama and the media echoing trumped-up accusations of confusion, Obama might need more than a single speech to ensure his policy is understandable throughout the land.”


  91. Nothing’s really complicated about his policy…unless one is simple-minded. I love this thread, because I feel like I can go all-in on the f-ing stupidity without feeling guilty about offending or upsetting people who are sensitive to this negativity.

    Again I say, this is only “complicated” to the simple, the willfully simple.

  92. This is from Bob Cesca’s Awesome Blog “The Plan to Pull Out” – JM Ashby

    “No, that’s not the title of a new Catholic romance novel, its the plan for Libya.”

    (Reuters) – The United States is planning to gradually remove some of the vessels it has in the Mediterranean now that NATO is taking command over the air strikes in Libya, a U.S. military official said on Monday.

    “There is planning out there to do that … it will be more gradual than sudden,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

    “Wait, weren’t we suppose to be stuck in Libya forever just like Iraq? Wasn’t this suppose to be the 3rd war? If you’ve been listening to the collective pants-shitters out there, you may have thought so.”

    “In reality — the U.S. Navy launched cruise missiles to take out the ground-based air defenses belonging to Gaddafi so the aircraft of other allies could immediately move in, and move in they did. Now the Navy is going to pull back and go about its business while other nations, including Arab nations, endure the burden of enforcing the no-fly-zone.”

    “Meanwhile, Republicans are still on a mission to literally suspend Democracy, so how about a little a focus from those out there on the Professional Left who chose to inflate Libya to heights that it was never going to be taken anyway just to further their own careers.”


  93. Oh no! I’ve been submitting positive critiques from other websites about the POTUS’ speech to the wrong thread.

    Sorry about that everyone!

  94. HZ – You hit it – that’s exactly what he was saying:

    “Do Not Mess With Me, Ok. I have had enough of you clowns chattering all day and for weeks.”

    A slap in the face to the clowns on both sides of the issue!

  95. This was one of my favorite read. I think Obama, as the saying goes, killed two birds with one stone. First, he exposed the hypocrisy of the Republican tebaggers who are shouting about the military cost as a result of President’s action on Libya. Second, he exposed the idiocy of the PL/Frustrati who are arguing that there is no difference between what Bush did in Iraq and what Obama is doing about Libya.

  96. Money talks and BS walks.

    Good for all the folks who called in to Weiner’s office to let him know he gets ZERO financial support for trash talking the President.

  97. Ed is an ass and plays to whatever will bring him viewers.

    He can’t be taken seriously. He is as fickle as they come.

  98. Obama consulted/informed the leaders of Congress about his decision to participate in implementing a U.N. Resolution. The United States ratified the U.N. Charter thereby making it part of American laws. The President is required, by his oath of office, to ensure that the Constitution and the laws of the United States, including ratified treaties, are faithfully executed. The President does not have to consult congress before implementing a law, such as the Patriot Act, enacted by congress. Likewise the President does not have to consult congress before enforcing a treaty, such as the U.N. Charter, ratified by Congress.

    The only time the President needs congressional approval is in cases, like Iraq 2, when the President was taking a unilateral action that was equivalent to a Declaration of War. Obviously, it is good politics that Presidents should inform congressional leaders when ever they decide to involve the U.S. military in enforcing international law. Bush Sr. did so with regard To Iraq#1. But the President is not legally obligated to do so. By the way, Other Presidents have taken military actions against foreign countries without the U.N. authorization or Congressional authorization: Reagan in Lebanon, Grenada; Bush Sr, in Panama and Somalia and Clinton in Bosnia, Somalia and Haiti.

    It is true that the War Powers Act puts restrictions on how long the President can commit U.S. troops without Congressional authority. But I don’t think President Obama intends on prolonging the military action he ordered beyond the 90 days, after which he may be required to obtain congressional authorization.

    This whole issue about Congressional approval is just an excuse to bash the President as there is absolutely no such requirement when the President is engaged in fulfilling international treaty obligations.

  99. The talking heads on MSNBC were actually astonishingly well behaved tonight – at least during the brief period when I was tuned in. It was Lawrence O’Donnell and Rachel Maddow who appeared immediately after the speech. Lawrence is very supportive of the Prez – I got the sense that Rachel would have liked to do a little Obama bashing but Lawrence was pretty aggressive in not giving her the opening.

  100. I agree with you Joe. And, by the way, Ronald Reagan used that evil machine the tele-prompter. But you know what, when it comes to President Obama, the right wingers, the MSM, and the holier than thou progressives, all chime in refusing to give him any credit for any thing he does well. I’ve seen the President answer questions forcefully and intelligently in his Press Conferences. Reagan was never able to do that once you took him off the scripted talking points.

  101. My grandma used to say: “God don’t like ugly” The fact that Trump has embraced the “birthers” is clear evidence that money can’t buy you every thing; especially brains.

  102. Hi Gn, Thanks for sending me the links. Unfortunately I was still not able to get the full text of Minister Farrakhan’s speech but I got the gist of it. Like you I think Minister Farrakhan, despite all the demonization, he endured had important things say to help improve the lives of African Americans. But in this situation, I think Minister Farrakhan is completely missing what is actually going in North Africa and West Asia. What is going in the region we call the Middle East has very little to do with the Arab/Israel conflict as the Minister seems to imply. This is all about Arabs revolting against oppressive Arab regimes that run the entire spectrum of ideologies from those who are anti west (Qaddafi) to those who are pro west (Mubarak).

    It is really sad to see Black leaders like Minister Farrakhan attack the President for trying to save people in Libya. I am really sick and tired of the so called Black leaders who look the other way when Africans and Arabs are being slaughtered by their own leaders. Qaddafi, who has been in power for over forty years, does not equal Libya. The Libyan people want change and people who believe in freedom should be supporting them.

  103. So where the hell is Kucinich and the right wing nut jobs gettting the idea that Congress was not consulted???

  104. Chris Cassidy said:


    There really does seem to be an awful lot of willful ignorance going on in our political discourse. The problem for the critics is that President Obama is very pragmatic and will always come down on the side of common sense. Invariably, this makes his critics look unhinged when they criticize him for doing the right them.

  105. by Juan Cole
    President Barack Obama in his Monday evening address to the nation on Libya outlined an effort of limitations. The US could not intervene everywhere, but it could intervene to good effect here. America is acting in concert with the Arab League, the United Nations and NATO, not striking out unilaterally. The most important US contribution will be up front, after which the Pentagon will turn the endeavor over to NATO. There will be no effort led by ground troops to overthrow Qaddafi. It is up to the Libyans to deal with him once his armor is neutralized (presumably in the way that the Romanians dealt with Ceausescu and the Serbs dealt with Milosevic). The US simply doesn’t have the wherewithal to do more trillion-dollar Iraq-style operations, Mr. Obama said– another limitation.

    Despite the close and elegant moral reasoning tempered by a steady pragmatism, the speech was full of genuine feeling, including empathy and outrage. It strikes me as among the better speeches President Obama has given since taking office.

    In fact, the same awareness of limitations combined with honoring obligations to allies should reinforce Obama’s determination to withdraw from Iraq by the end of 2011, in accordance with the bilateral Status of Forces Agreement concluded between the Iraqi parliament and the Bush administration.

    Whether one agrees with President Obama or not on the Libya issue, he was clearly well-informed and in control of the facts and analysis. His fabled intelligence and cool-headedness were on display.

    It is a sad commentary that American political discourse is so cheapened and debased by demagoguery promoted by sly billionaires like Rupert Murdoch and the Koch brothers that the responses to Obama from the other side of the aisle were sometimes comical in their ignorance.

    Potential Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was interviewed afterward on CNN by Piers Morgan. Trump alleged that the rebels in Libya might be connected to Iran, and that there was a danger that the US intervention might end up turning the country over to Tehran.

    Dear American politicians: Please note that while the Libyan liberation movement beseeched the West to intervene, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei roundly condemned the US action in Libya, accusing Washington of seeking a toehold in that country. In other words, bringing up some sort of alleged link of the Benghazi provisional government, which has reached out to Washington, and Iran is about the stupidest thing anyone could say about the situation.

    Michelle Bachmann, according to Think Progress, said

    “I have been very reluctant to see the United States to go into Libya. For one thing, we haven’t identified yet who the opposition even is to Qaddafi. We don’t know if this is led by Hamas, Hezbollah, or possibly al Qaeda of North Africa. Are we really better off, are United States, our interests better off, if let’s say Al-Qaeda of North Africa now runs Libya?” [03/24/11] ”

    Hizbullah is a Shiite movement of southern Lebanon. There are no Shiites in North Africa, where almost all Muslims are Sunni. Hamas is a Palestinian movement and does not have a branch franchise in Libya. The people of Benghazi and Misrata, together amounting to 1.3 million, the backbone of the liberation movement, are not al-Qaeda, which is not a mass movement. In fact, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb is like a few hundred guys and is an Algerian organization. I know, I know, pointing out that Michelle Bachmann has said something uninformed is like pointing out that Lady Gaga has done something outrageous. But we are told that Bachmann made a positive impression among possible Republican voters in Iowa recently, and the world in which we live has such persons as potential presidential candidates.

    Sarah Palin wants the US military to go into Libya, kill Muammar Qaddafi and then get back out. Palin doesn’t seem to realize that 110,000 US troops on the ground took 8 months just to find Saddam Hussein after they had invaded and occupied Iraq, and that at that point were were bound by Pottery Barn rules per Colin Powell– we had broken the vase and had now owned it. That vase cost about a trillion dollars all told, as Obama pointed out tonight, along with thousands of US and Iraqi lives. Palin lives in a magical world where she can wave her wand and Sarah suddenly gets her way.

    Newt Gingrich was for the intervention before he was against it.

    And Mitt Romney is all for invading Libya, but thinks the United States should have done it all by itself without consulting allies and apparently should bear all the costs of doing so. Romney alleged that the US ‘followed France’ into Libya, though in fact the US fired 110 Tomahawk missiles at Qaddafi’s anti-aircraft batteries as the engagement was beginning, making it safe for the French pilots to fly missions there.

    Our temporary good luck is that we have a president who knows what he is talking about, knows how to assemble a complex international alliance, and has the moral vision to do the right thing even if it is unpopular. It wasn’t so long ago that none of those things was true, and you can’t count on them being true much longer.


  106. Do you think this will become a movement to kick “Mr. Sour Grapes” out of office?

  107. I asked Randi to let Hal Sparks fill in sometimes; I can’t listen to Nicole she has the ability to suck the joy out of your day.

  108. Wow, I just heard Congressman John Conyers seriously trashing President Obama on the Bill Press radio show. Conyers basically said that the president broke the law with his actions in Libya and he also directly implied that the humanitarian effort was trumped up by Obama so he could act like Bush. So according to Conyers, the whole mass slaughter thing was an exaggeration or a ruse just to set up a no-fly zone. Unbelievable. He was also seething with anger so I think this is about more than just Libya. With friends like Conyers who needs enemies? I believe this is all because President Obama didn’t go and kiss their rings before taking action. And I’m sure some of the old guard doesn’t much like Mr. Obama anyway. I hope Conyers gets voted out of office for this disgusting attempt to smear the president.

  109. Randi Rhodes’ silky terrier, Simon, died over the weekend. RIP, Sweet Simon…….

  110. On Ed Schultz’ radio show today (before the speech obviously), was Mike Pampantonio (sp?) who was totally against the Libya intervention and the President “had his work cut out of for him” defending the action.

    Yes, we’re war-weary. Yes, “if we can’t intervene everywhere for any reason then we shouldn’t intervene at all” is a straw man argument. To critically discuss military intervention is a reasonable conversation to have (I am progressive after all). But I’m also an adult and sometimes it’s necessary (I’m talking to YOU, Dennis Kucinich. I wonder how many people would have to suffer in your name for Peace).

    Then Pampantonio said, “We could have passed on this one.”

    Mark my words: had Obama “passed on this one” that same Mike Pampantonio would be screaming “RWANDA!” at the top of his lungs.

  111. Dennis Kucinich wasn’t personally consulted or given veto power over POTUS’ actions as Commander in Chief.

  112. If that’s what he’s thinking, then he really needs to join his UFO friends on Mars.

    Does he honestly think Republicans are going to do anything for Dennis Kucinich short of pummeling him into the ground? Seriously?

  113. “Mitt Romney has attacked the President for being nuanced… Do you think that having a policy that has these different levels is just hard to explain in a hyper-media environment?”

    Let me get this straight: because Americans who can spend a gazillion hours watching basketball playoffs can’t take 10 minutes to find out what’s going on the world, the POTUS should tailor his actions to Americans’ skewed values?


  114. I wish these fools would jump on Boehner and demand “where are the Jobs?” They leave these republicans to form the narative everytime. Conyers could not even arrest Rove, whatever happened to that?

  115. He’s lost in space on this one, that’s for absolute certain. I disagree with Farrakhan *a lot* although I refuse to totally demonize him because, as you said, he has articulated some things for African Americans. But he could not be more wrong at the moment, and he’s been very wrong before as well. Thanks for your comment, Nathan.

  116. Best believe that it’s about more than Libya. Conyers is becoming a humongous disappointment.

  117. Just wanted to add from gn’s post about Trump

    Trump’s mother, it should be noted, was born in Scotland, which is not part of the United States. His plane is registered in the Bahamas, also a foreign country. This fact pattern — along with the wave of new questions surrounding what he claims is a birth certificate — raises serious doubts about his eligibility to serve as President of the United States.


  118. That’s it exactly, Faith. Dennis Kucinich wanted to make the final decision.

  119. Thanks for the link creolechild. JM Ashby is always spot-on in many of the posts I’ve read on bobcesca’s blog. I think Ashby really nailed it in this piece.

  120. WOW! Thank you so much Donna for sharing this brilliant article by Prof. Cole. This should be required reading for journalists and other political commentators.

    I especially liked his last paragraph:

    “Our temporary good luck is that we have a president who knows what he is talking about, knows how to assemble a complex international alliance, and has the moral vision to do the right thing even if it is unpopular. It wasn’t so long ago that none of those things was true, and you can’t count on them being true much longer.”

  121. I used to respect Congressman Conyers but I’ve now completely lost all respect. I never once heard John Conyers attack President Clinton for his use of force in Bosnia, or when he sent the military to Haiti, at the urging of people like Conyers, to prevent bloodshed. May be it is indeed time for John Conyers, who has been in Congress almost as long as Qaddafi has been in power Libya, to go.

  122. Thanks guys for your replies. I feel a bit better now but I was livid listening to his B.S. on the radio this morning. Honestly, he sounded like a crazy old coot who forgot his morning meds. I understand now that Conyers has an antiObama agenda and this is about politics so it’s not worth getting too upset over.

  123. I never listen when Nicole fills in, she whines and complains about as much as the mooks on stephanie Miller show.

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