“Cornel West on Obama is no better than a birther”

Jonathan Capehart:

Anyone who knows me, and knows me well, knows that I have little patience for the “Blacker than thou” crowd. These are the self-appointed guardians of what it means to be black — a decidedly limited and ignorant perspective that has more to do with the accuser’s insecurities than the alleged transgressions of the accused. And the leader of the pack these days seems to be Dr. Cornel West. In an interview with the Web site Truthdig, the brilliant Princeton professor took off after President Obama in a manner that was myopic, offensive and embarrassingly petty.

I understand the policy disagreements West and many African Americans have with Obama. But they appear to wilfully disregard that Barack Obama is the president of ALL of the United States, not just black folks. That’s why I tear my hair out over their complaints and their misguided explanations for why the president hasn’t done what they want him to do. They think he has turned his back on the black community. They either think he has to present a “pro-black” agenda or that what he has done isn’t “pro-black” enough. They think this is happening because he has been co-opted by powerful forces.

// snip

At an opening reception for the new Washington offices of the National Action Network last night, the Rev. Al Sharpton addressed all this without mentioning West by name. “[I]f you’re trying to achieve something you’re strategic,” he said. “If you’re just trying to play to get some cheap applause then you just vent, holler, scream and go back home.”

Sharpton urged African Americans to hold Obama accountable but not in a way that undermines him. “I’ve seen this movie before,” he said. “We had the first black mayor of New York, David Dinkins. And we got mad every time he went to a non-black event and we pouted until some of us didn’t vote, he lost and we got eight years of Giuliani.” He went on to say, “We fought to have a real president,” Sharpton told me. “We want him accountable, but we don’t want him to be accountable to us any differently than anyone else so that it’d be used against him and us.”

“There are those that are not capable of getting their head around the fact that [Obama is] the president of the United States and that he has to deal with that and deal with every constituency group that way,” Sharpton continued. “Many of them are so caught in their own insecurities and egos, there’s no strategy. You’re dealing with a climate that [Obama’s critics] would even question his birth certificate, what would make you think that if he wrote out a ‘Black Agenda’ from him that they would accept that from him? That’s absurd.”

And what about the charge that Obama isn’t black enough? “First of all, who’s saying that? And who defines what is black enough?” Sharpton asked before rattling off a list of things Obama has done or is attempting to do in the areas of education, poverty and unemployment that have helped Americans, blacks in particular. “So, from black farmers to black colleges, a lot is being done,” he said. “More needs to be done. But, again, I think that there are those that have gone in the industry of being the blacks against Obama rather than trying to help the black community.

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*

politicususa: Depressed Republican Leaders Are Convinced Obama Will Easily Win Reelection

Republican leaders are now convinced that without a stronger candidate, President Obama will easily cruise to reelection in 2012.

A Politico story on Mitch Daniels today began with this sentence, “Top Republicans are increasingly convinced that President Barack Obama will be easily reelected if stronger GOP contenders do not emerge.”

I suspect that Republicans are begging Mitch Daniels to get in the race for no other reason than to at least give Mitt Romney a credible challenger. Daniels is as interesting and exciting as watching paint dry, but his candidacy would represent a serious upgrade to the current 2012 GOP field. The truth is that the dull Daniels won’t beat Obama, but at least he won’t embarrass the party.

//

Hurting the entire party is exactly what the GOP leadership is dreading with any of these current Republican candidates. Top Republicans are coming to the realization that the prospect of enticing a top tier candidate into the race is looking grim, so they are trying to find a candidate who can at least hold the base and not cost them anything more than the presidency.

// more

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178 thoughts on ““Cornel West on Obama is no better than a birther”

  1. His crowd is a group of sad people. I know that arrogance is behind it all, but I like to think that they (Tavis and the rest) would be better men. My thoughts betray me. This ignorance is why the President of the U.S. couldn’t win the house seat in Illinois.

  2. I used to admire Smiley & West but hhey’ve gone right over the cliff when it comes to PBO.

    I don’t agree with everything the President has done but that doesn’t keep me from admiring and respecting his intelligence and honour. He’s a fine man and an even finer President. The country is lucky to have him –and most people know it.

  3. Johnathan Capeheart hit the nail. I am so glad that AA is not letting these people define them and are speaking out. West is done !

  4. There everyone goes again getting sucked into these nontroversy vortexes. Therefore you achieve the goal of the right wing media which is to avoid talking about the real issues as much as possible. Especially now when we should all be basking in the glow of the big Obama admin win over Al Qaeda.

    All this does is encourage Rove etc. to find another nontroversy black rapper in the white house, Sherrod, Jones, or whatever. Take your pick. The list is long with examples and yet you people fall for it every single time. By you people I mean gullible lefties. Not blacks.

    People are so gullible for these shiny objects (on the right and left) that it is down right depressing.

  5. Cornel West is nothing more than one of the many carnival barkers the President speaks of.

    If these so-called “intellectuals” believe they could do a better job than Mr. Obama at running the country, then why don’t they step up and run for President?

    Oh that’s right, they’d probably suffer meltdowns a la Newt and it’s much easier to gain and garner attention from the sidelines masquerading as critics.

    Sort of off-topic, TalkingPointsMemo had a story yesterday about Russ Feingold ripping Dems for corruption. He was only targeting two, Claire McCaskill and someone else. And of course, the Feingold supporters were in full force, calling him the greatest since sliced bread and how we needed more Feingolds and less bluedog DINOs cotowing to corporations, yadda yadda yadda. Then I point out to a couple of them how Feingold LOST his Senate seat and asked them to name a single piece of legislation (other than McCain/Feingold) that he sponsored or co-sponsored that went on to become law, crickets.

    The UNprofessional left cares more about stoking their own egos and being bitter. They’re frustrated that President Bush isn’t in office and their rants have been rendered ineffective, save the 2010 midterms. At this point, it would be foolish and naive to be against President Obama, who has 60% approval ratings. The UNprofessional left are in as much desperation as the hard right to find any legit criticism against President Obama. I’m just surprised that a few of them haven’t jumped on the far right Common nontroversy and ranted and raved about President Obama inviting a rapper to the White House as opposed to focusing on the economy.

  6. Tavis, Cornell, Jon Stewart, and all the so called liberals have one thing in common. They wish they could be admired, loved, respected and be as successful as our President. Just look at the photos above, genuine love and respect from the people that count. This is what they are jealous of and could never get, our President is so far above them especially in his statesmanship, and this is why he is so liked even in the battleground states. I am sure the haters mentioned above read this blog and see these beautiful pictures.

    It is such a shame that those two AA never said anything to criticize Trump about the birther issue and about the President’s education, but they have something to say to criticize the President about this birther issue, I have a feeling they are being paid by the Koch brothers because what they are doing does not compute. They are trying to keep this conversation alive to embarass the president, and they are failing miserably.

    Just like Trump they will all flame out and get a hard fall.

  7. I’ve been railing against the “black than thou” (which is exactly what I call it too) mentality for years.

    It’s usually this limited, childish and ignorant view of what being “really black” is. And it gets elevated for public figures. With public figures it’s all about the comfort whites have with you. As in, if whites are comfortable with you, you aren’t “black enough”. In order to prove your black bonafides to the Black Enlightened like Smiley, West and Jesse, you have to be able to make whites uncomfortable. The easiest way to do this is what I like to call call “Crying The White Man Blues”.

    You see, even in 2011 there is a significant number of Afro-Americans that get almost a narcotic-like high from blaming the problems of the community on “The White Man” or simply “The Man”. You must do this in the most confrontational, controversial and indignant manner possible. By doing this, you prove that you’re not sellout and “looking out for the people”. Of course by blaming the myriad ills on our community on an entire race of people is not only ignorant, but not very popular from that same populace you hope to get votes from when running for office. Noone likes when a community doesn’t take ANY responsibility for their problems and they certainly don’t like to be made to feel guilty/responsible for it. But a lot of blacks love this type of red meat-tossing.

    What’s ironic is that Al Sharpton, who used to be the preeminent authority on Crying The White Man Blues has finally learned that it doesn’t work to constantly be confrontational with race-baiting. He has become of the most wise and reasonable of go-to black leaders/commentators. But people like Cornel West still demand a showing from black public figures of the ability to make whites uncomfortable or they’ll go tell The People about your fake-not-black-enough-wannab-whiteness. Especially if they don’t get inauguration tickets.

  8. I agree that McCaskill appears to be lacking in the integrity department of late, and I applaud you for asking for evidence of Feingold’s success as a puritan in the Senate. Both – good points!

  9. Hello Team,
    We need to write in a letter to both these clowns atleast one a week. I began today. They need to know that they do not speak for anyone else except themselves and have no right to disparage the President. The Prez does not owe them a thing. He is the leader of the united States and the whole Free World.

  10. The best way to shut the crazy leftie up is by bring up his vote to stop civilian trials and the closing of Guantanamo along with his other pure buddy Bernie Sanders.

    And like you said he hasn’t done much in the senate and never challenged the GOP. Only Preident Obama and ome other Dems. Like I said good riddance.

  11. The sad thing is that they seem to want to define real blackness as being a victim and not having the ability to succeed and judged according to equitable standards against anyone else. What’s the point of trying to promote black college graduation rates, black representation the middle class and above, equality, etc., if we’re just going to accuse those same accomplishments as eliminating our blackness?

    People are born into their race – and they are also born into their talents, their personalities (to a degree) and some of the circumstances of their lives. But they also have choices about the person they will become and the opportunities they’ll take advantage of in the future. We don’t fit into neat little boxes. And we change as we grow. Why can’t we just be human beings, instead of labelled, defined and confined by circumstances – many of which are out of our control? It’s so limiting.

  12. Sorry, but as a Black woman who has been accused at different points in my life of “not being Black enough” or “trying to be White” because I liked to sit on the stoop and read a book instead of playing with the other kids on the block, speaking articulately, and *gasp* liking punk rock and country music this is way more than a shiny object as you call it.

    There is no one way to be a Black person in this country, and just as people begin to realize this, you have charlatans like West trying to put us back in a box. And considering the elitist circles that he runs in these days, West is the last person to question whether anyone is Black enough. West not only insulted President Obama with those comments, but all Black Americans.

    If you still think it is a trivial distraction, that is totally your prerogative, but don’t dismiss how comments like this affects minorities.

  13. The President looks really good in these pictures. Especially the one of him doing the Hawaiian symbol behind the podum.🙂

  14. Mitch Daniels is getting recruited hardest by GWB supporters – do they really have his best interest in heart of do they jut want Daniels to run now because it would be one less challenger for Jeb Bush in 2016?

    Also does America really want a President who needed to be heavily recruited to be lured into running?

  15. A hard fall, indeed. Don’t be surprised if Cornel West loses his professorship at Harvard. As we speak, his background is being vetted at the highest levels in preparation of his takedown. He must have forgotten the recent takedown of the Trumpster. He will be taken out!

    As for Tavis, a mortgage fraud investigation could be on the way.

    They’re both old-school clowns who still reside in the 60s and 70s. It has been obvious for quite some time that Cornel is jealous of Obama. You can hear it in his words and tone.

  16. Just like last weeks attack on the black rapper in the wh was insulting. An the manufactured nontroversy the week before that. And the one the week before that.

    Don’t you realize that the media is treating you like a kitten they are dangling a string in front of? By reacting this way every single time over and over you just encourage it which is the opposite of what you want.

  17. Thank you as always for the links and the pics. These are fantastic! Only those blinded by hate and hateful ideology cannot see this President and appreciate him, especially after 8 years of GWB.

  18. Bravo, MsKitty. Dismissing the valid concerns and feelings of liberals of color is not at all cool. And you are right, there is nothing “trivial” about Dr. West’s attack on this President. As Capehart wrote, this is birtherism from the extreme left, and it is just as ugly, racist, and SERIOUS as birtherism from the right.

  19. Yes—–President of the entire United States, all of us, all colors and creeds. President Obama has had to walk a fine line from the very first moments of his candidacy and it continues today—-is he too black? —-is he not black enough? It’s so ridiculous and small-minded to try to mold him into one’s own private self-serving personal President. Everything about President Obama is unique and pretty wonderful. He has given us a presidency for which we should all be thankful. He is a person of great intellect and impeccable character which we should all be celebrating. Some of these people can’t seem to look beyond themselves and lack understanding of what it means to be POTUS. It’s not attractive, or helpful.
    Great heart warming photos from the Coast Guard commencement!

  20. I am one of the many blacks that Cornel West does NOT speak for. Up to this point, I have had a lot of respect for him, but I just lost it behind this remark about the president being “no better than a birther.” In the first place, the birthers are a delusional bunch of racists and xenophobes who don’t want President Obama or any other person of color in the White House. Therefore, they have to try discrediting him. These facts make Cornel West’s statement all the more stunning in its stupidity.

    While I have had instances in which I have disagreed with Obama, I realize that he is the president of all Americans–not just blacks. Furthermore, I am sick and tired of the “blacker than thou” crowd who measure all of us African-Americans by a ridiculous litmus test that is extremely limited in scope. I have been called “not black enough” as well, because I use good English, and I never liked food such as chitterlings and hominy grits. With all the black folks on this planet, and Africans living in more than 50 countries at that, it is utterly ridiculous to pretend that we are monolithic.
    Any healthy appreciation of ourselves means that we have to accept our own diversity before we expect others to.

  21. I am again stating as earlier on the “Be Still my beating Heart posting”

    We are a witness to Historical Change in America that is showing us Racism and Prejudice will one Day be a thing of the Past. There will always be disagreements, but now the time is different, when we consider a discussion of How “Black” one is…..
    it is a discussion of disagreement amongst a culture, no longer a matter of exclusion !

    REJOICE We are making the changes, Do not anger at the Discussion, Welcome it and teach in every ability to the differences and honoring others in respect !
    My President is on this Job; Morning to Night Daily and does so with NO acknowledgement of it being there, Because he has the Ability to rise above it, leave it Behind, soon others in America will do the Same !
    I rejoice in Knowing this day will come to our Nation !

  22. Unfortunately, I’ve already done my Annual Giving contribution to Princeton. Next year the University is going to get a note acknowledging Dr. West’s political and academic freedom, but also asserting my own to withhold my contributions to the institution that employs him. Sad, sorry, small, man.

    Also, color me surprised (?) that I wholeheartedly agree with Reverend Al!

  23. Fred,

    What is your answer – to let this go unanswered/unchallenged? If that happens – no response – then that becomes the prevailing response and we know how and what the mainstream media does with race sensitive issues.

    Plus, your underlying condescension is demeaning on so many levels. I want to give you the benefit of the doubt but you published the same type of answer to Ms. Kitty – so I have to believe that you mean what you wrote. We (progressives – black progressives specifically) can’t allow ANYONE to speak for us any more than one person speaks for any group. West/Smiley no more represent black people’s thoughts than Hamsher/Walsh represent white women’s thoughts and so on and so forth.

    Being that this is BWD’s paradise, I won’t go into anymore detail but please show more sensitivity to this issue than you have so far.

    Neil

  24. Jonathan:
    Thank you for your column in defense of the president. The thing that really gets me is that the critics of President Obama who claim he’s not fighting hard enough (like LBJ or FDR, they say) seem to be totally unaware of the far larger majorities those prez’ had in congress and their trash talk drove down our turnout in 2010!

  25. I look forward to seeing the pictures on this site every day – they always make me smile

  26. Warning: serious rant coming.

    First, Bravo to Jonathan but two points that I disagree on. First, West is not brilliant. He’s an educated fool. A huckster with a Ph.D.

    Second, can we please stop qualifying our support of the President by saying “well, it’s ok to disagree with the President’s policies?” The truth is, the President’s policies have worked. His management of the bank bailout earned the country it’s money back. He saved the auto industry. He’s made it possible for women to earn equal pay. He’s made it possible for millions to get health insurance.

    And of course, he kicked butt on foreign policy.

    We need to stop perpetuating the lie that his policies have not worked and stop allowing the PL and the media to dismiss the administrations accomplishments.

    This is so infuriating.

    West and Smiley and all the other jealous black racists (I’m black so I can call it like I see it) need to be — in their words — held accountable. They are spreading lies about PBO knowing he will not stoop to their level by responding.

    West claims he did 65 events for Sen. Obama in Iowa. Boo frickin hoo. I knocked on thousands of doors for two years because I believed in him and I wasn’t looking for a ticket to the inauguration or a job or a pat on the back. I was just happy he was elected and would lead this country down the right path.

    Many, many others worked even harder. Do you hear them boo hooing?

    It’s obvious, if West did indeed campaign for PBO, that his motives were not pure.

    West is using the same tactics Bobby Rush used when PBO ran against him for congress. Claimed he wasn’t black enough. And you know it was ok that PBO lost that race because God had something bigger in store for him. Now Rush has to call him Mr. President.

    (And speaking of West’s claims that PBO isn’t black enough, maybe someone should ask him what his being married to a non-white woman says about his blackness. I have nothing against interracial marriage; people should love who they wish. Just thought this attack is a bit hypocritical coming from a super black brother married to someone of another culture.)

    Isn’t it interesting how West levels this new attack and all the media is jumping on it as PBO is kicking butt on every level? His approvals are through the roof. The rethugs can’t find a candidate.

    Follow the money in West’s bank account and I bet you will find it originates with the republican party and the Koch brothers.

    As an aside, flipping the channels say that scum Dylan Rattigan was doing a panel on this with Jonathan so I paused to watch. Rattigan is an ass. His voice reeks with condescension when he mentions the President. And he keeps accusing the President of selling out to the banks. Again, let’s not be honest that the bailout was done under Bush and PBO managed it so well the U.S. got it’s money back. PBO can’t control bank profits or how they pay their employees.

    I’m finding Rattigan’s sponsors and will be boycotting their products.

    As a black woman who has a master’s degree, West and Smiley and all the other black fools that are attacking our President so that they can line their pockets do not and never will speak for me.

    They are pathetic. And we need to hold them accountable.

  27. Starkyluv, that’s a good way to phrase it “blacker than thou” crowd and pointing out that they like to make white people feel “uncomfortable”….I understand that we are sort of train to assign sports and music to certain groups BUT that is changing…..

  28. I find it joyful that we have a President who embraces all sides of his personal self. He takes pride in his blackness, his whiteness, his intellect and even his sense of humor and even silliness. This is the first President in many a year who is “of the people and for the people”

    Reading this blog and seeing the pictures over and over again convinces me that we just out and out LUCKED OUT! I am Caucasian, but reading today’s post it dawned on me. I don’t see this man as my black President, or even my black/white President. He is just MY President, and that means everything!

  29. I just wish someone;anyone would tell West that the Inauguration was 3 YEARS ago and that it was past time for him to GET OVER IT!

    Obviously by him letting that slip imo by mistake;he’s let the mask slip.

    Mr Obama did NOT become President of The United States of America thanks to West;Smiley and co yet they seem to believe in their hearts that he(Obama) owes them.

    As a biracial person;I’ve had to deal with racism from white folks AND black folks.

    I was NEVER “light” enough nor “black” enough to please either camps and I’ve had to deal with the likes of Cornell west a LOT more than I’d like to talk about and I can honestly say it’s beyond insulting;frustrating and down right infuriating!

    Mr West has to know since it seems he hasn’t been told that enough that he does NOT speak for me and a LOT of US;NEVER has and NEVER WILL.

    I despise Cornell West and Tavis Smiley more than I’d like to confess

  30. when is the normal timeframe for people to get in the race? Are they waiting to see what the “summer of hate” is going to be about this year…

  31. I just want these people to acknowledge that we have a house and senate and how bills become laws……

  32. This was definitely more than just a rant – it was an EXCELLENT repudiation of factless nonsense, lies, and other such garbage. Beautifully stated on all points. I completely concur. Wonderful!

  33. Nicely put! And I enjoyed POTUS at the Coast Guard commencement and the joy on the cadets and their family members. Well done POTUS. And to Rev Al – keep speaking the truth!

  34. Just think if all the smiling people in all these crowds of people to whom Obama speaks to, meets, greets, shakes hands… Day in and day out … If each person over 18 would register to vote and then go do it. Vote for the great man who just spoke to them! What a landslide win it could be!!!!!

    Register to vote. Get your family, friends, neighbors, coworkers to register to vote!

    Inform. Unite. Mobilize. Obama 2012

  35. Looking at those pictures, I just have one comment. Some politicans smile at events because they are supposed to, and that shows. But when you see the President smile you can tell the smile comes form deep with and is not just surface level.

    This is what wins people over when they meet him or see him in person. There is no huckster there trying to pick your pocket while smiling in your face. Never, and I do mean never, have we had a more genuine person leading this country.

  36. I’d like to clarify something if I may. The President did not make it possible for women to get fair pay. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act only changed the statute of limitations on how long a woman has to file a pay discrimination suit.

  37. MsKitty, It sounds like you have been through some rough times, and I am sorry for that. I am so happy that people like you identify with what the president goes through.

    I can’t, because I am not black. That does not mean I do not feel pain when the president is attacked ruthlessly by either side.

    We are just so lucky to have this site and other sites that truly support,admire and have full faith in who PBO is as a man and a president.

  38. *This* too.🙂 I really can’t remember pictures like these during any previous presidency. This man is so genuine, I think this it what scares so many people. They know that what they see is what they get, and deep inside they know that he’s all goodness. It kills them, poor souls.

  39. BWD, great info and pics. I realllllly enjoyed Jonathan Capehart’s piece.

  40. I’m going to pass by that steaming pile that is Dr. West’s (see, you can respect and criticize, Dr. West) ego driven tantrum and say one thing.

    I am so happy to see Republicans demoralized. I am thrilled to witness a juggernaut of a machine stuck in a holding pattern because there’s no coherent idea of who’s driving this thing. And when such people as the Teapublicans and the Corporate Slave Masters are busy drowning in their own rhetoric and ignorance, I can think of nothing better to do than toss them an anchor, or three. We need to use this time period to understand the ins & outs of new electoral laws, start spreading the word about registration for voters and general, be nimble & wise with our resources. Make no mistake, the modern conservative movement is like a zombie. Don’t think it’s dead because you got in a shot. Double tap and make sure it ain’t moving. We should keep them on the run and in disarray until November 3rd 2012. Keep the info coming BWD, I’ve been able to help educate a number of people who’ve in turn passed it on, thanks to you. Great work.

  41. President Obama will shut them up just like he did thee right. They are still scratching their heads. The left is next.

  42. President Obama has arrived in Boston for a pair of fund-raisers expected to raise more than $2 million for his reelection campaign.

    Air Force One touched down at Logan International Airport at 4:22 p.m. amid heavy fog. Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Governor Deval Patrick were on hand to greet him.

    About 15 minutes later, the president headed to the South End for a “small-dollar” fund-raiser at the Cyclorama. Tickets, and accordingly better access, sold for $500, $1,000, and $10,000 apiece.

    http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2011/05/obama_arrives_i.html?p1=News_links

  43. Thanks for the kind words. It was kind of a blessing in disguise to be a nerdy tomboy in that I had to develop a thick skin early on, and basically by the time I hit my teens I had the mindset of “this is who I am…take it or leave it.”

    Even so, it still infuriates me to no end when people try to downplay the effect words like West’s have on Black people. Just dismiss it out of hand. It’s like why not pat me on the head and say “there, there” while you’re at it?

    I have a 9 y.o. nephew that not only plays football and basketball, but also rocked the hell out of a violin solo at his recital last week. He should be free to realize all of his potential without having to resist being put in a box.

  44. “I hereby absolve all cadets serving restrictions for minor offenses.”

    A commencement speech and missed Air Force One landing behind him, President Obama was departing New London, Conn., this afternoon en route to two fundraisers in Boston and Brookline.

    The president had a more than hourlong drive to Bradley International Airport before flying on to Logan International Airport
    http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2011/05/obama_absolves.html

  45. this is exactly why I had to come here to regain my sainity, you said what I was thinking but you did it so much better than I would have. I especially questioned why people like Smiley and West continue to go after the president, but as you pointed out, follow the money, and of course devide and conquer

  46. The Justice Department announced Wednesday that Sheila Birnbaum, known in some quarters as the “queen of torts,” will administer the Sept. 11 compensation fund for first responders signed into law by President Obama in January.

    Birnbaum, a lawyer in the New York City firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, has mediated a $500 million compensation settlement for 92 families of the Sept. 11 attacks.

    “Sheila Birnbaum brings extensive experience, credibility and unique insight to this important role,”? Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement. “She has worked closely with, and won the trust of, the families of 9/11 victims with whom she worked. I know that under her direction, the fund will be administered in a manner that is sensitive and fair to those who have suffered so much from the September 11th attacks.”

    According to the Justice Department, Birnbaum expects to publish proposed regulations for the fund as soon as possible. Money appropriated by Congress in the James Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act is expected to be available by October and will reopen compensation for first responders and those who have gotten physical disabilities as a result of the attacks.

    http://www.politico.com/politico44/perm/0511/sensitive_and_fair_53a230c1-f250-4b58-9aad-0b0416bf1c30.html

  47. I’m still waiting for the so-called “Soul Patrol” to start a scholarship program for the down trodded youth they claim to be speaking for.

    But, I will be waiting forever because the only monies that these guys will be raking in are the money they collect from their book sells and their speaking engagements.

    Oh and someone need to tell Mr. West that the only person who’s shilling for their corporate masters is his boo Tavis Smiley who is sponsored by Walmart and Wells Fargo and other corporate sponsors.

  48. I just wonder when some “doodiedumdum” (got that one from my youngest Grandkiddo) will try to turn that into the infamous “fist bump” of the primaries.

    I thought it was charming, special and I learned something about Hawiian culture.

    The Prez did look good, not quite so tired. I think all those young people help to energize him.

  49. “Newt and I are considered political opposites, but I couldn’t agree more with what he said Sunday about the plan to end Medicare,” Schumer said. “He acknowledged that it is right wing social engineering.”

    …“He is the Republican canary in the coal mine,” Schumer said. “When that canary speaks truth, he is snuffed out. What Newt seems to realize is that it would be impossible to win the White House if they embrace the Ryan plan. If Republicans make endorsing the Ryan plan the standard in the Republican primary, it will make the nominee unelectable.”…

    “I feel for Speaker Gingrich,” Schumer continued. “ He’s entered the race only to find out that the Republican Party has been pushed considerably further to the right than the party he led in the 1990s. His party has turned him into a political outcast.”

    Politico-

  50. Time for some good news from Michigan.

    Michigan Embraces First Lady’s “Chefs Move to Schools” Initiative

    FLOTUS and POTUS are so smart to ask members of the community to pitch in on their program.

    President O asks sports team to work with him on service projects and Mrs Obama has Chef’s, physical fitness states and Beyone work on the Let’s Move and Healthy eating campaign. Such a smart lady.

    I included a video of her speaking in this story.

    http://www.whatisworking.com/2011/05/michigan-embraces-first-ladys-chefs.html

  51. Aside from the scariness of the guy tweeting from the secret service account while thinking he was on a personal account (i.e. glad it wasn’t something “secret” that he tweeted), this is hilarious! I wonder how Fox will try to spin this one.

    The truth is – it really is just a lot of blathering on that network. Glad that the Secret Service monitors what happens over there at that treasonous, inciteful network.

  52. Also, the MSM is just waiting for the GOP Mopefuls, to announce. They need more targets, it is what they do(tear you down). You see, for over two years, the MSM has trashed this President, and now it is the GOP turn… I love it!
    I will take some butter with that popcorn.

  53. Wells Fargo is owned by Berkshire, a Warren Buffett company. Someone in the WH should get him to call off the hounds. Seriously!

  54. You can be part of the problem or part of the solution. By hanging around blogs acting offended you can decide which side of that coin you are on.

    If that is patronizing then guilty as charged!

  55. You just put a big ole smile in Rove’s and Cornel’s face. Heck of a job. You should be proud.

  56. Dell profits were up, too. And gas went down 2 cents today, to 2.96 per gallon. Good day on Wall street, as a result.
    They told us that the jobs situation would be lagging behind the recovery, well, the companies that made mega profits the last few years, are starting to hire. (Albeit, the 1st quarter was a little slow).

  57. @ For Obama, I totally agree with your Rant…
    I submit to you though that by ignoring and not acknowledging a response does that not in itself mean by no response Mr. West and Mr. Smiley are dismissed… I see it that way.
    @ GramIam, your comment is exactly how I view the new America, no colors, only the “Character” of a Man !
    @ Jovie, thanks for always giving current statistics and keeping the fight for the rights of our children in nutrition ! And conservation, I enjoy your diligence of facts postings. Thanks !!
    GOP still stuggling to find a “Viable” nomination and wll all the way up to convention time, amusing and entertaining !
    PEACE To all, and Mr. President, I pray our Palestinian friends remain safe and that they can come to a compromise to an intense issue.
    I am glad we have forewarned Syria with sanctions. Assad should be ashamed of himself.

  58. Thank you for letting me know where you stand. No need to reply to me further as I’ve had enough condescension for one day.

    (Apologies BWD if I’m being out of line. I’ll try to be a better behaved guest in your house).

  59. Theo! Help. It was you who helped me before understanding something regarding energy? Yes?

    If so, maybe you can help me with this. I wrote to Secretary Chu to ask if science really has found the way to create simple sugars from cellulosic biomass (turning things like miscanthus Gigantus (sp?) into fuel. I keep reading that this is still science fiction and wanted to know if the way had finally been found to do this on an industrial scale. Here’s their response and I can’t make heads or tails out of it (except that they’re forwarding my question to another department).

    Your e-mail to Secretary Steven Chu was forwarded to the Department’s Biomass Program for direct response. There are several commercial enzymes that are available for use within the developing industry for the breakdown of cellulose to sugars. Additionally, the Program is currently supporting several projects addressing optimization of cellulose degradation including the development of cellulase enzyme systems. These projects support the Program’s goal to develop integrated process technologies that meet a modeled nth plant production cost of $2.15 (2007$) per gallon ethanol by 2012. The target of such projects is to reduce the enzymatic cost contribution to $0.34 by 2012.

  60. Gas dropped to a mere $3.59 here in Oklahoma,
    No Thanks to a subsidy voting senator Inhofe though, I get upset about his voting since it always sides with Oil and Gas Lobby and he is an Oil Millionaire, us little people in OK usually do not stand a chance for real support in the Senate !

  61. Coach, your comment touches on a thought I’ve been entertaining since I’ve started reading about this educated(?)’brother’s’ jealous rant. What kind of a professor is he? I’d hate to think that I’m paying hard-earned cash to send my child to an ‘ivy league’ university, to be exposed to his kind of UNRELENTING envy and narrowmindedness. I wonder how he evaluates students who do not espouse his point of view? He may be educated but I am not impressed by his intelligence, particularly as it does not seem to have alerted him to the folly of exposing his particular selfish and simplistic thought processes to the world at large. Fortunately for my view of Princeton, I have seen another of its professors on the airwaves who often ‘talks sense’.

  62. What is sad is that west’s rhetoric is of another era, in much the same way that gingrich and others date themselves when they speak. In fact I think the fundamental task for repubs is to chart out a public identity and language for the post cold war and post 80s racial dynamics (ie., welfare queens. Willie hortons etc).

    Black nationalist male pov has been thoughtfully and thoroughly dissected for at least 40 years.

    Too bad west has not grown…and I am not saying that post racial is the order of the day. I am just saying that 70s rhetoric is inadequate for 21st c racial complexities…

    Here’s the thing…it is possible to have a critique of income disparities, for example, w/out questioning the racial id of the president.

    Here’s the other thing: if I had as much mess rattling around in my personal history just waiting for someone to “tell it,” I would not be so free with my comments.

    Just a word to the wise, prof west.

  63. What a shame that Cornel West has gotten his little feelings all hurt because he can’t have access to President Obama. What he perceived is not what this president promised him. And so he lashes out in such a shameful way.

    The more I read about his tanturms, something he said to the reporter led me to think that his actions and comments were premeditated.

    In the article the author said that West let his “conviction” slip — telling the reporter to look out for the repetition of certain quotes on the blogs in the upcoming days. In other words he had planned to use those statements, knowing they would be inflammatory. I could be wrong but it’s just a thought.

    Here we go:

    “In explaining those remarks to Chris Hedges, West let his convictions go. You’ll see these two quotes on a lot of blogs this week. First come the remarks about Obama’s inevitable racism after having grown up in Kansas:

    I think my dear brother Barack Obama has a certain fear of free black men. It’s understandable. As a young brother who grows up in a white context, brilliant African father, he’s always had to fear being a white man with black skin. All he has known culturally is white. He is just as human as I am, but that is his cultural formation. When he meets an independent black brother, it is frightening. And that’s true for a white brother. When you get a white brother who meets a free, independent black man, they got to be mature to really embrace fully what the brother is saying to them. It’s a tension, given the history. It can be overcome. Obama, coming out of Kansas influence, white, loving grandparents, coming out of Hawaii and Indonesia, when he meets these independent black folk who have a history of slavery, Jim Crow, Jane Crow and so on, he is very apprehensive. He has a certain rootlessness, a deracination. It is understandable.”

    If you go to the article itself, you see another of his inflammatory statements, he planned to dump into the blogs.

    Such pettiness is so unbecoming.

    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2011/05/cornel-wests-continuing-feud-barack-obama/37842/

  64. WOW! This got the National GOP attention”

    The tightest mayor’s race in Jacksonville’s history isn’t expected to have a winner for at least two more days.

    Underdog Democrat Alvin Brown went to bed with the lead Tuesday night, but the race was far from over.

    Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland said today the counting of the provisionals and absentees today won’t be finished until Thursday.

    Read more at Jacksonville.com: http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2011-05-17/story/holland-says-counting-final-votes-brown-hogan-race-wont-be-finished#ixzz1MkIPqw6C

  65. Update:

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — After working late Tuesday counting 190,557 votes from 256 precincts, and as election officials were back at work Wednesday scrutinizing 1,600 absentee and provisional ballots, Democrat Alvin Brown widened his lead considerably over Republican Mike Hogan, putting him in position to become Jacksonville’s next mayor.

    After Hogan led in the vote totals all evening, when the last few precincts came in, Brown took a 603-vote lead. By 3 p.m. Wednesday, that number separating the two candidates dipped to 585, and at about 6 p.m. the number jumped to 1,627.

    Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland called it the tightest mayoral race in the city’s history. It appeared likely that the final margin would be less than one-half of 1 percent and require a recount — and another 48 hours — before a winner would be declared, but with the gap widening Wednesday afternoon, the margin was not within the realm to trigger a recount.
    http://www.news4jax.com/politics/27936364/detail.html

  66. WASHINGTON — The Senate has rejected a GOP bid to speed up and expand offshore oil drilling in the face of $4-a-gallon gasoline prices.

    A procedural vote failed Wednesday, 57-42, on a GOP bid to speed decision-making on drilling permits and force the government to conduct previously scheduled lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and off Virginia’s coast. The sales were suspended after the BP oil spill.

    The vote comes days after President Barack Obama directed his administration to ramp up U.S. oil production by extending existing leases in the Gulf and off Alaska’s coast and holding more frequent lease sales in a federal petroleum reserve in Alaska.

    Both parties say they want to allow responsible oil and gas drilling, but they appear far apart on details.

    Huff n Puff-

  67. I wonder is a strong GOP precinct will “find” 1600 ballots that they forgot to add in to their private yet official spreadsheet…

  68. I’m finding it hard to believe that Cornel West did 65 events in Iowa for Obama. What influence does West have in Iowa? Since when?

  69. Here is part of an interesting comment I copied from Andrew Sullivan’s blog yesterday. I thought it was so well said that I actually copied and saved it. Anyway, I won’t post all of it, just the bits that I found particularly good. Oh, and it was in response to Cornell West’s nonsense…

    “Obama, is what we call, a TCK—A Third Culture Kid. TCK’s grow up as the children of missionaries, or as military brats, or as the children of businessmen. It means that you grew up during your early developmental years in a culture outside of your parents’ home culture.”

    “TCK’s are usually unable to view the world in a simplistic dualistic way. On the contrary, they are usually over-achievers, get advanced degrees, and are infinitely curious about the world. They can accentuate different facets of their personality and experiences based on who they are talking to—and it’s not fake. This is the reason Obama really could connect and appreciate rural farmers in Illinois, fit in with the Harvard crowd, and work as an effective community organizer in Chicago’s South Side. Obama is the classic TCK. This is why he represents the new America so well—he is post-racial, globalized, and a great example of America’s own Third Cultural nature. It also helps to explain why he is so loathed by provincial Middle America.”

  70. Oh [really bad swear word], here we go again with the same cast:

    “WASHINGTON — In a challenge to President Barack Obama’s handling of the conflict in Libya, a group of US senators accused him Wednesday of violating a 1973 law aimed at curtailing the White House’s war powers.
    Conservative Republicans Rand Paul, Jim DeMint, Mike Lee, Ron Johnson, Tom Coburn, and John Cornyn wrote a letter to Obama charging that he had committed US forces “without regard to, or compliance with” the War Powers Act.
    The senators pressed Obama to say whether he would abide by a requirement in the law — ignored by several US presidents — that US forces start withdrawing from a conflict within 60 days unless explicitly authorized by the Congress.
    “Friday is the final day of the statutory sixty day period for you to terminate the use of the United States Armed Forces in Libya under the War Powers Resolution,” the lawmakers said in their letter…..”

    http://tinyurl.com/3deubfg

    BTW, Gadaffi’s wife and daughter have fled Lybia. No other information yet as to the why of it.

  71. Can we please STOP talking about West I do not know who is he sorry. and by the way I watched on the politicuusa blog the O’reilley vs JT interview unedited O’Reilly is a pice of Shit I think JS did just fine I think JS is with the President, but maybe Iam wrong.
    Let’s stay focus on the positive side PBO is doing a terrific job, and let’s not panic stay calm I do hve a lot’s of confidence on PBO Piece.

  72. President Obama should nominate Goodwin Liu for the next SCOTUS opening regardless. The GOP is obviously blocking him because he is a huge rising star not because he is unqualified – but they can do that here because it’s an off-the-radar appointment. They feel if they block him here, than they block him from SCOTUS – because if they can’t block him here his eventual nomination to SCOTUS would be a slam dunk confirmation.

    So if he’s blocked, nominate him for SCOTUS and let the GOP whine that he doesn’t have the requisite experience and then point out that it was the GOP that blocked him from the experience they now claim to desire.

    GOP might be better off allowing Liu to be confirmed, because then they could challenge any SCOTUS nominee by saying “he hasn’t had enough time/experience yet”.

    Saying “he doesn’t have th necessary experience/resume we blocked him from getting in the first place” hopefully would come back to bite them.

  73. I’m with you on that,Theo! That’s the one that jumped out at me:)Love him.Good job today, Coasties!!!

  74. Experimental Endeavour on a Pillar of Flame: Space Shuttle Rises with Ambitious Technology Aboard
    Submitted by Charles Rousseaux on May 17, 2011 – 5:15pm
    A flash and a flame . . . a rush and a roar . . . a bright white bird booming into a deep blue sky: Few science experiments ever begin in such spectacular fashion.

    Yet the Space Shuttle Endeavour, which lifted off on its final mission Monday, did exactly that, starting a new science experiment that should tell us more about the universe in the years ahead.

    Specifically, Endeavour was carrying the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) experiment, supported by the Department of Energy Office of Science. The experiment is led by Dr. Sam Ting, a Nobel laureate from MIT, who is supported by the Office of Science. When installed to the outside of the International Space Station, the AMS experiment will sweep the sky for cosmic rays. Despite their exotic name, cosmic rays are basically broken up bits of atoms – protons, electrons and atomic nuclei – which fly across the universe at near-light speed, driven by natural accelerators such as the enormous explosions known as supernovas. Since the earth’s atmosphere absorbs and blocks most cosmic rays, it’s necessary to position a detector in outer space to capture the rarest of them.

    In addition to measuring how cosmic rays flow and what they are made of, the AMS will also search for cosmic rays made of a special form of matter known as antimatter. Antimatter is like matter, but with generally the opposite charge. For example, a proton has a positive charge, and its antimatter opposite is the antiproton, which has a negative charge.

    http://blog.energy.gov/blog/2011/05/17/experimental-endeavour-pillar-flame-space-shuttle-rises-ambitious-technology-aboard

  75. The liberals are all two-faced, Jovie. This is a President who took down the greatest criminal this Country has ever known (aside from the slaveowners and the putrid Wall Street giants). For the past two weeks, they couldn’t praise Obama enough. Now it’s back to business as usual. I don’t watch Jon Stewart, Bill Maher or any of them, anyway.

    As far as him voting Republican, go for it. He can afford to financially, racially and every other way. Most of us cannot.

  76. You know that and I know that and they know that, but the Beck crowd will always believe what the repugs are saying.

    On a happier note:

    President Obama told a revved up crowd in Boston this evening that he needs to be reelected next year because “we’ve got more work to do.”

    At the first of two fund-raisers in Massachusetts, he said, “Change is hard. Change takes time … We’ve got more work to do!”

    He said that to-do list includes immigration reform.
    The president also told the audience that during his 2008 campaign, he said the road before him would be difficult and steep.

    “It’s turned out to be a little steeper than we expected,” he said.

    The president added that while he supported deficit-reduction efforts, “I will not sacrifice our future.”

    Before concluding, he said, “I ran for this office to make sure everyone in America gets a fair shake.”….More

    http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2011/05/obama_arrives_i.html

  77. I watched the entire Coast Guard commencement this morning and it was wonderful. So proud of them and they (and families) were clearly having a wonderful time mugging for cameras and POTUS.

    As to the Fox Poll that is too hilarious. Of course they wanted to bury it. 55% on a Fox poll?

    As to Cornell West I will say what I have been saying for weeks. The only reputation he will have left if he continues down this path is a bad one. What a bitter old man.

  78. Me too. Funny we never saw any reports on this. Time to use Google. If anyone has any info on these so called events let us know.

  79. Jon Stewart was praising President Obama and trashing republicans for the past two weeks. Why did he suddenly due a 180 degree turn? I am confused. He was courageous to make that decision and get rid of the Number one terrorist leader as promised in his campaign. What does Jon mean he has not been working as hard as he should have in office?

  80. Speaking of Donald Trump, he may have flamed out, but his fall may yet be coming.

    Color of Change will be passing out flyers suggesting a boycott of The Donald’s hotels tomorrow at noon in front of his NYC building on 61st St.

    I will be there. Things will never change until people see that it matters. A group of regular folks handing out flyers in front of that building at lunchtime tomorrow might make a difference.

    As for the rest of them, our voices do get heard, I think — and so many people pay no mind to any of that anyway. The majority of people know that this president is a good man.

  81. Gram: AS my ‘Texas’ Dad would say, “Ain’t that the truth!’

  82. You know, Obama’s speeches are so advanced and so multi-layered, you sometimes have to listen to them more than once to get the meaning. I have listened to some many times and each time, I gleaned something new!

    Today as I agonized about Cornel West and Tavis Smiley, I went back to Obama’s Convention Speech in 2004. Then it hit me just how provincial Tavis and West are. Note, may not quote verbatim but here goes:

    There is no Black America and no White America; there is no red America and no blue America, there is only the United States of America. Some of us in Blue States have gay friends in Red America and those of us in Blue States coach little leagues in Red America…

    Did Cornel and Tavis hear this? I did but it never hit me until now that Obama actually saw this narrow-minded attack on him long before he even declared his candidacy for the Presidency!

  83. If Cornell West says “plutocrat” or “oligarch” one more time… He’s been pimpin’ that same crap for 30 years “my brothers and sisters.” Sheesh.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, trashing Barack Obama is big money. Saying something against the president will guarantee every shill and carnival barker in town a guest stint on somebody’s show. By the way, doesn’t Dr. West have young minds to mold (twist) in the classroom?

  84. He is the Class of 1943 University Professor at Princeton University, where he teaches in the Center for African American Studies and in the Department of Religion.

    I’m not sure how much he actually teaches. I do remember seeing a piece about him and Professor Robert George (who happened to be my thesis advisor) teaching a seminar together. Professor George is very conservative and was the “right” to Dr. West’s “left” in a sort of crossfire format. Pretty interesting concept.

    I heard him lecture at Bard College years ago on his “Race Matters” book tour. Very interesting speaker and much more accessible in the spoken word than written word.

    Again, it’s sad that he’s proven to be so small-minded and petty and props to Reverend Al for his well-reasoned position and support of the President.

  85. I think it makes sense that West is a topic in this thread since there is a featured article about him at the top of the thread.

    I am convinced that we can multi-task. We can talk about and dismiss the distractions du jour, like West and Trump, as well as contribute to the President’s re-election campaign, comment on positive developments in the economy and discuss strategy.

  86. Does anyone get the sense sometimes that instead of looking for ways to govern meaningfully, these GOP guys/gals spend their time searching for possible controversy? They have NO interest in creating the ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’ they campaigned on! SIGH! I CAN’T UNDERSTAND WHY THE MEDIA ACT AS IF THEY HAVE ANY CREDIBILITY.

  87. He is so petty and small-minded, he is lucky he is tenured. Those young minds would have fired his ass long ago. He is insulated, he can’t get voted off the Island as it were…

  88. OT …. but wanted all of you to know because it’s unlikely CNN or anyone else is going to be informing you at this point …. but over the past hour gunfire has been reported to have erupted throughout Tripoli. Apart from a troll or two, you can follow those posting comments here:

    http://blogs.aljazeera.net/africa/2011/05/18/libyas-forgotten-frontline

    Recent comments:

    “An attack with heavy portable armed weapons is on now against G’s compound in Tripoli from 2 sides. It’s still continuing now.

    Freedom_isPeace: RT @libya_Horra: apparently @LibyanStateTV has gone nuts, this can only mean one thing, #Tripoli is in full throttle! #Libya #Feb17

    Most importan to me at the moment is Tripoli breaking out all over. State tv says commotion on compound is celebratory but few seem to agree. Aisha and her mother have been confirmed arriving in Poland (on way to Russia?) so i would say the G and Co know it is all over very soon.”

  89. ‘By the way, doesn’t Dr. West have young minds to mold (twist) in the classroom?’

    An almost scary thought, eh? Except that I’m going with the hope that the young people in his lectures will see him for the bitter, biased, narrow mind he displays, when juxtaposed with Prez O. and his positive vision for our youth.

  90. OT 1: Faith, kasper remains in my prayers; you are a wonderful person. I don’t even like dogs but I’m praying my heart out for yours.

    OT 2: bwd, please have a look around and take note of how the community which you built with your wonderfulness is able to take on the most supposedly “delicate” of subjects and handle myriad opinions; this space is up there alongside weeseeyou in terms of the sophistication and ability to pioneer new thought about complex subjects; take a bow or for God’s sakes at least take a day off and allow us to compliment you for the good you’ve done

    On to the main subject: I value everyone’s opinion here yet I don’t agree with them all.

    1. Al Sharpton’s turning pointing actually wasn’t the seating of President Obama. It was the shooting of Amadou Diallo. That’s where in my observation it really hit home for him that this is not a hustle or a game: black parents told kids for years and years to stay off the streets past a certain time of day, don’t linger in the parks or the subway. But when it got to a point at which one could not be black and in the vestibule of their apartment homes in safety, the Rev. Al got serious. I can’t pretend to have agreed with everything he’s done since then (endorsing Gillibrand, cough, lol) but that was his turning point. His common sense towards President Obama flows from that moment of realization.

    +

    2. To starky: I hear you, but black people do not generally spend lives blaming white people for anything or behaving like a caricature. We know that white privilege is real, but far more prevalent than this so-called “blame whitey” caricature are the people like MY ancestors who were more inclined to save nickels and dimes to educate, and when white supremacists (who are still with us btw) started to hang self-starting black folks from trees in the south, my grandmother and her family made tracks and came to the northeast, no use arguing with foolishness or getting necks stretched out when opportunities even in equally racist NYC and NJ were to be had; they could be smart without being killed for it, just degraded. Please do not ever forget the sacrifices which got us here and the institutionalized racism which still keeps us stunted.

    3. To Corny: I have little opportunity to connect with my dad who passed on when I was a toddler, so I thank you and your excesses for helping me to appreciate my father now. Because by all accounts my dad, who was a feminist, a revolutionary, and real race man, predicted that people like you would grandstand on the efforts of people like him and selfishly make careers by acting as a soul patrol. In 1969, my dad predicted you and your afro weave and not-about-shit-ness. You make me feel close to someone I didn’t have the privilege of knowing, so thank you.

    Wishing a wonderful night to the entire bwd community.

  91. I think the same thing. I’ve also never seen this genuineness in any president, and the response of people who actually meet him.

  92. There is a reason why [racism] exists, (racist white people), and there is a reason why [racism] is prevalent, (so-called, black people). My skin color could [never], qualify me as being a black person, that, could only be my [“BLACK” PRIDE].

  93. Exactly. A genuine person from real middle class doing the right things that needed to be done despite 24×7 bashing from the wingnuts from both ends as well as middle of political spectrum.

    I am glad that useful idiots like west and tavis are getting heat for their puerile nonsense.

  94. Hi Everyone
    I have some sympathy for Fred’s position. It does feel like we are always fighting some brush fire and the really important issues do not get discussed and the public does not get educated and we do not force the MSM to hear out voices.

    There could be a great deal to say about Hedges, West and Smily and Wickham’s need to “dump on the President”. But I think that is what they relish, that is what gets them appearances on the MSM for a fee. Corny is even on Aljazeera broadcasting his venom to the Arab world. Now why do they need to do that? I think it is much bigger than ego. They want to wound him, damage him, help the repugs break him. He is too dangerous to their image of themselves to allow him to be what!!!!! President of the World!! I don’t think so. So I think their illness is not healed by our discussions but enhanced. They want this conversation! If only we could ignore them! I do not think the President wants or needs our defense of him. If ever there were 2 people who are comfortable in their skins it is President Obama and his incredible wife Michelle.
    That is my 2 cents. Thanks for letting me vent.

  95. Excellent news africa. Even the right wingers are now getting the picture.

  96. I think you’re right BWD…it is a trap for Mitch Daniels if the GWB crowd is pushing him. I think they want him out of the way in 2016 for Jeb because Mitch will be trounced by PBO. I heard on one of the shows that Mitch Daniels wife and kids DO NOT want him to run..I wonder what’s up with that? Remember when Colin Powell said he would not run because of his wife too?

  97. Without seeing it, do you think he was actually sarcastic, and kind of mocking Bill O’Reilly? I can’t bring myself to watch it.

  98. Have you guys seen this? When I went through the site earlier it wasn’t mentioned, and I’m too sleepy to check now.

    http://kochblocked.com/

    If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth viewing.

  99. This is good news. Trump needs to learn that there are consequences to his actions. He can’t just declare bankruptcy and skip on to the next venture. He needs to experience, in terms that mean something to him, the same pain he caused for so many. What he did was wrong.

  100. If Stewart votes for a repub for president (and that repub wins the WH) and the repubs take over the senate my child will lose her health insurance (she has a preexisting condition) and meanwhile Stewart will be on TV making millions of dollars a year…..he is a shallow man, not ever considering that change takes time and happens in baby steps in Washington. What Obama has done in just over 2 years is HISTORICAL in terms of how Washington works (and considering that Obama has had to deal with a 24/7 fillubuster and DINOs in congress). He also likes to over and over again blame Obama for not closing down Gittmo. He never blames congress who refused to fund the closing of Gittmo. Does Stewart think that Obama is wealthy enough to fund the Gittno closing? It takes money and Congress will not give Obama the money to do it even though Obama has repeatedly asked Congress for the funds. So why does Stewart blame PBO and not congress, especially Dems in the House and Senate?

  101. Thank you Chip Shirley for reminding people of the historical context FDR and LBJ operated in. By the way, it is also important to remind people that the achievements of these much admired presidents may look good in hindsight, but they were all a result compromises. They had to continuously be improved on by future generations. Take for example FDR’s most praised achievement is Social Security: in 1935, in order to garner the support of Southern segregationists, FDR agreed to exclude Agricultural and Domestic workers from the Social Security mandates. Nevertheless, 1973 and 1980, Congress passed laws that eventually included these two segments of the working class, respectively. In the case of LBJ, the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and the 1965 Voting Rights Act, were passed during a period of intense and unrelenting Civil Rights protests, led by courageous people who were in the streets, many sacrificing their lives, to bring about these changes. With the massive protests putting pressure on the government, LBJ found cover to push through congress Civil Rights Bills.

    I would have a great deal of respect and admiration of these Obama bashers, if they wee out in the streets, mobilizing people to push all segments of government, but particularly Congress, to enact pure progressive legislations. Then if President Obama failed to go along I would join them in criticizing him.

    What I utterly detest are privileged people who viciously bash the President while sitting behind their computer key boards, or appearing on television. They never lift a finger to do any practical and concrete thing to bring about the changes they claim to be for. Yet many of them continue to make tons of money while pretending to speak for the poor.

    In contrast, the President keeps on keeping on, trying to get things done against a vicious unified Republican party in Congress that is determined to defeat every thing he tries to do; as well as an ideologically fractured Democratic party.

    And how do these so called Progressives (Black, Brown, White or in between) respond to what the President is doing? Instead of going out to organize people they claim to speak for, so as to put pressure on the government to focus on solving their problems, thereby giving the President cover and support, they sit behind their computers, or appear on t.v. to spew their venom and hatred of the President. Then they go back to their comfortable lives feeling smug, and self important, for being the voice of real progressives who are standing up for principles.

    In the meantime, the rabid right wingers, emboldened by the teabaggers, who are financed by rich people like the Koch brothers, keep on consolidating power vowing to undo everything that the so called progressive hold dear. The only force preventing them from doing that is the President and the Senate still in the hands of majority Democrats. And yet all the attacks, coming from the holier than thou Progressives, are aimed at the President.

  102. I couldn’t resist changing my avatar when I saw all the wonderful images from the cadet commencement today. I just can’t recognize my comments anymore…🙂

  103. His wife and kids know he’s going to be skewered not only for being the budget director (under GWB) who supervised the transformation of a surplus to an extreme deficit – but he’ll also be led through the fire because of his wife strangely leaving him and their four children to marry a man in California, and then return several years later to live a life of luxury with Daniels. Very strange, and lots of intrigue. I feel sorry for the kids, and if he really wants to protect them from a lashing that he can’t possibly avoid, he should not run. The kids have been through enough.

  104. Proud of Obama, Thank you for this wonderful rant! Sometimes you’ve got to call them as you see them. While I do think that any one has a right to criticize the President, I do resent people who claim to speak for all Black people when they unleash ugly attacks on the President.

    Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley have a right to voice their views about the President. At the same time you and I have a right to criticize their b.s.; especially when they lie or resort to pettiness. They claim that they are holding the President accountable. I am glad that you also emphasized the importance of holding them accountable for their lies and divisive tactics that accomplish absolutely nothing for the people they claim to speak for.

  105. Hi Tien Le – I think I might have answered a question before about energy, but there are a couple of other people on this blog who actually work with the science and are better equipped than I to answer. I have to admit, I haven’t done much reading on the new biofuels, so I can’t add anything intelligent here.

    Hal Sparks was talking about alternative energies this morning on the Stephanie Miller show. He might have a write up on his blog.

    The whole thing sounds fascinating, though. Please bring back the answer if you hear from the department. Sorry I can’t be more help.

  106. Thank you Peter M for this very astute comment. I totally agree with you that people do not take time to listen to this brilliant politician who, as people used to say of Dr. King, is speaking with ” a new voice.”

    I really hope that comments like yours will awaken people to listen and pay attention to President Obama’s politics that strives to end our petty differences, while preserving our personal, regional, and cultural, diversity.

    What he is saying is that one can be a proud American without at the same time being anti-somebody, because of their race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, party affiliation, ideology or the region they reside in.

    In my humble opinion, everything President Obama has done since he became President has reflected his core belief of trying to forge a one America that values and respects all the people.

  107. “By the way, doesn’t Dr. West have young minds to mold (twist) in the classroom?”

    You know what dcsandy, I think Dr. West may be having trouble molding the lives of the students attending Ivy League Schools. Many of them are not easily swayed by b.s. They want to see real practical solutions.

  108. GN, It is always a treat to read your thoughtful and well written commentaries! You are one of the treasures, among all the special people on this site, that BWD has given us.

    Thank you for all your wise and fearless contributions!

  109. Cornel West is a professor at Princeton – he left Harvard some years. He has tenure at Princeton and will be difficult to take out but, on a very basic level, he lacks intellectual integrity regardless of his tenured status . .

  110. MsKitty, thanks for telling it like it is. I’m not AA but, hearing a birther argument from Cornel West (Jonathan Capehart nailed that one), is just sickening and hardly “trivial” as it is all about reinforcing Republican talking points on Obama’s “otherness.”

  111. And there was Feingold’s refusal to vote for cloture on Fin’l Reg Reform because it was not pure enough for Feingold, forcing the Dems to water the bill down to get Scott Brown’s vote. Way to be pure, Russ!!!

  112. Crazy, isn’t it, that the Rev Al has become the voice of reason and sanity.

  113. Ratigan is one of the biggest fakers going – It’s insane that he is allowed to wrap himself in the mantel of populism. Not that long ago (before the crash), he was a taking head on CNBC where he spent the day hyping stocks to the poor deluded CNBC viewers. And now we are supposed to believe he is a populist?

    Great post, BTW.

  114. Tyler was attacked by Spike for stereotyping black males. I think any feuds by our notables are serving the Globalists. Right now, they want blacks to fight amongst themselves — Cornel West beating up on Obama. What’s up with that? Neoconservative globalists love that.

  115. Thank you Nathan! Just wanted to note that West’s misbehavior has an upside for me personally, because me and the 1969 version of my dad are >>>>>>>here<<<<<<< when it comes to the Soul Patrol. Thanks Corny!

  116. I concur. I do a double-take every time I see the new you above your name. 😉 Of course, I wish I knew how to add an avatar, but my ‘duh-ness’ always gets in the way when I try. After 3 different attempts I gave up, but I do look longingly at some of the neat ones I see, and feel ‘envious’ when you experts change yours. 😦

  117. Mr. Capehart, I’m sorry but you and your pitiful following are wrong. There’s lots of truth to Dr. West’s criticisms of Obama’s policies and corporate bed-buddies. He hasn’t done enough for for the poor, working class, and blacks. He hasn’t picked up the mantle of King’s Poor People’s Campaign despite all his efforts of evoking King sonically in some of his rhetoric. If it were whites suffering at the same unemployment rates, would White America stand for it? No. You’re not willing to admit and challenge this contradiction because you’re too comfortable sipping chai teas on Morning Joe and buying $100 ties at male boutiques in SOHO. As much as you want to deracinate and perch yourself on some liberal pedestal with a bunch of other dandies, you need to step back and see that you’re still on the precipice with the rest of Black America. With all your fawning over White middle-class values, you would do well to read more Baldwin and Rustin. They were stalwarts in the struggle for justice and equality for all people.

    I don’t agree with the professors personal attacks on Obama, but the core of his argument reveals some truth. Obama has been a great President for America. But that isn’t really saying anything special. West and others are questioning when will blacks get a President that they voted overwhelmingly for to respond to the plight of black people instead of kow towing to AIPAC, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Council of Foreign Relations.

    Lastly, running underneath Sharpton’s umbrella will only serve you today. Remember the same people that disagree with West, mostly despise Sharpton. You can and will be next. You’re way down the road, but not that far.

  118. Your mistake is that you imagine that this is about Capeheart and his “following.” Many of us who applaud his piece addressing West disagree with him in plenty of other areas. This is a nuance which is lost to those who are currently consuming the stridency of folks such as West.

    The pretense that the unabated disgust and hatred thrown towards President Obama and his supporters has anything to do with helping people is just gone with these latest remarks. More like cloaking venom in faux-righteousness.

    I’d love Mr. West to ask himself whether he is himself serving as a “mascot” to a small group of virulent and hateful members of the new media whose disdain for President Obama is such that they don’t care at all about empowering the GOP. It doesn’t get much more counterproductive to his stated aims than that.

    The pretense is over.

  119. gn, this is exactly about Mr. Capehart’s “following.” I can see all of you now in a circle, locked-arms, looking fish-eyed at anyone who dares question your solidarity with White bourgeois values instead of with the progressive, radical purusits of DuBois,Dellinger, Randolf, Shabazz, and King (e.g. people like your father).

    There’s no pretense here. This is, in fact,validation for many sentiments that have been simmering even before Obama was elected. Like Dr. West, I and many other radical minds suppported Obama despite some concerns about his ability or willingness to deliver substantive structural change. You would have known this if you had an ear to the ground and a space among the people. Failure to see this stems from a bizarre acceptance to dally as the sole token in the company of your many White friends: a comfortable dynamic for both sides. This is no critique of you personally, just a summation of a stock character that’s time-worn and thread-bare.

    In challenging Obama, I don’t see a connection with the errant ideas of the GOP–they are of no consequence. The problem now is that the Democratic Party is now lurching in the same direction. Oddly, Professor Steele was right when he wrote Obama cannot win: White Liberals and the corporate elite will want to control him in perpetuity if he wants mainstream likeability; blacks will force him to make a decision that’s akin to staying underground or going pop–leaning left or staying right of center to appease middle America. Either way he looses. The choice is rather Faustian. But the latter option shores-up his base and guarantees his place in the pantheon among Paine, Henry, Douglass, Thoreau, Roosevelt, Evers, and King.

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