“If the president stays cool, he’s an emotionless Mr. Spock. If the president shows some fire in the belly, he’s ‘a dick'”


If you can watch the video, note how Halperin, ostensibly one of the nation’s most influential pundits, was smiling, with a smug satisfaction. It wasn’t a word he just blurted out in the heat of a larger discussion — Halperin thought about it, asked about whether the broadcast was on a seven-second delay, and then took his shot.

// snip

There are a couple of angles to keep in mind here. The first is that Halperin’s credibility as an objective observer of political events has long been dubious, at best, but this morning’s little stunt should remove all doubt. In candor, I don’t much care that Halperin sides with the right over the left, and takes cheap shots at Democrats. I care that Halperin is presented to the public as a neutral, even-handed expert, when that’s plainly not the case.

To this extent, the “dick” comment only helps bring an end to a thin pretense.

The other point that’s worth remembering is the larger dynamic. Forget Halperin’s choice of words, and instead consider the argument he and his “Morning Joe” colleagues were pressing. They were annoyed, apparently, because President Obama wasn’t docile and conciliatory during his press conference. He showed some backbone, and this seems to have troubled the political establishment to no end.

If the president stays cool, he’s an emotionless Mr. Spock. If the president shows some fire in the belly, he’s “a dick.”

What passes for mainstream political punditry in 2011 is too often a national embarrassment.


Yea, I know NBC suspended Halperin. I don’t care.




195 thoughts on ““If the president stays cool, he’s an emotionless Mr. Spock. If the president shows some fire in the belly, he’s ‘a dick'”

  1. I saw an interview with Gates where he said that he writes letters to the families of all the fallen……and that before the does that, he asks someone to bring him any info they can on the person – local clips in the hometown papers……anything that will help him get a sense of the person.

    I was really impressed by that.

  2. Joe Scarborough is MSNBC’s goldenboy – but he was egging on Halperin the whole time. He got exactly what he wanted, screwing over his buddy Halperin in the process.

    Mark Halperin is more that just a pundit of course, he’s the Editor-at-large and Senior Political Analyst at Time Magazine. Time, who tries to pretend to be a serious publication has a senior political analyst and editor calling the President of the United States a “dick” on television. Pundits say rude, vile garbage with regularity – Time Magazine is the one who really needs to act here.

    Also Politico and Joe Scarborough are trying to claim this was a gaffe – a flat out lie. A gaffe is saying something you didn’t mean to say – Halperin went on air today knowing exactly what he wanted to say and he said it. That is not a gaffe.

    Villagers are circling the wagons to protect one of their own it seems as well, so expect them to try and make Halperin out to be the victim, how he was suspended and that still wasn’t enough.

    Venting on twitter is great, but drop an email to Time Magazine.

  3. Secretary Gates gets a shiny little wooden plaque with his name on it? Wow. They hand out plaques like that to “Best Burrito Maker Of The Month” at Taco Bell 🙂

  4. Best wishes to Bob Gates and his family. That was a beautiful ceremony and the bonus was POTUS presenting Gates the Medal of Freedom!

  5. Robert Gates is an honorable public servant and we could use a whole lot more like him in government today. I have a lot of respect for the man and thank him for the years of his life he has dedicated to serving his country.

  6. I already did send emails to Time and MSNBC letting them know just how badly this incident reflects on their overall journalistic integrity. This didn’t happen in the heat of the moment. Halperin sat there smirking and talked about the 7 second delay while Joe and Mika egged him on to let loose with whatever vulgarity he was about to spew about how he felt about the President. Then they laughed like showing such blatant disrespect toward the President was just hilarious.That speaks to the atmosphere on the network, the attitudes of the hosts of the show and that they felt just fine with letting loose on the President. Time magazine continues to employ this man as a senior political adviser even though this isn’t the first time he has shown himself to be crude, tactless and lacking in basic journalism skills.

    We need to keep letting them know we have had enough. We want news that at least strives to be professional and objective and not sensational and crude. Have opinion shows but let them be fact based and respectful toward the other side. The rude, crude, incivility is not welcome and should not be tolerated by any professional organization.

  7. Back Bone Straight , uniform neatly attired, Index finger and Hand to Brow, I Salute You Mr. Gates, Thanks for your service and your investment in our nation. God Bless you Sir!

  8. That’s the Medal of Freedom in a frame not an employee of the month plaque. 🙂 They could use a more impressive frame and a nice shot of the medal for the pictures though. I’m sure there are many people thinking it really is just a cheap plaque.

  9. I remember the screams of outrage from the PL and the frustrati when the President announced that he was keeping Mr. Gates on as Secretary of Defense. Today, we can look back at that as an inspired choice, one that has led to many changes for the better in the military, and they wouldn’t have happened without him.

  10. I agree and just emailed Time. I tried to call and all operators were still busy after 5 minutes of holding.

    “Having watched [06/30/11] your employee [Mark Halipern] verify there was a delay on Morning Joe and then call the President of the United States “a dick” is beyond the pale. While MSNBC has taken action, TIME must also censure this despicable action by your Editor-at-large and Senior Political Analyst.

  11. The problem jerks like Halperin is that
    1. PBO is Black
    2. He’s in the White House
    3. Rinse, repeat.

  12. Sorry to be dense about this–and I think it was explained the other day–but I’m confused by the donor vs. donation clock. I thought a donor can only make one donation?

  13. Re: Mark Halperin’s Behavior

    To Whom it May Concern,

    From the time I was a child growing up in the segregated south, my parents enjoyed receiving their issues of Time Magazine. I too have delighted in reading it.

    Now, I want to know why someone like Mark Halperin, a writer for Time’s “The Page” felt it necessary to ask for a 7 second delay, and then deliberately say, “I thought he acted like a dick.” Referring to our PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

    Honestly, I don’t subscribe to this behavior from a so-called journalist. It’s unprofessional & disrespectful, and I would hope that you don’t subscribe to this type of behavior from your staff/associates.

    It is my understanding that Mr. Halperin apologized for his foul depiction of President Obama. Apology NOT accepted! Not from me, as Mark Halperin knew exactly what he was going to say. And regardless of whether he asked for a 7 second delay or not, I think his intentions were to say what he said about the president. My guess is Mr. Halperin, like so many white men draw on their assumed privilege. Please correct me if that is not the case.

    Perhaps it time, PUN intended, to provide Mr. Halperin with some coaching or time off to reflect on his behavior on a national cable network.



  14. Yes, there’s good economic news out there, but all I heard on the radio this morning was how the unemployment numbers didn’t go down last week. Well, I wish they would show us the seasonal trends over the past several years, because I’m sure we’d see that when school lets out, many more teens start looking for jobs. And also, when people see the economy improving, many more people get back into the job market, or start looking for jobs. Just showing a one-dimensional fact with no context really helps them with their efforts to mislead. There’s good news out there about the economy, and manufacturing picking up, and the stock market rebounding on good European news, etc. We just won’t hear about any of it from the media.

  15. Mark Helprin has been suspended, indefinitely, Per TPM at 10:35am ET.Mark Helprin has been suspeneMMMM

  16. A donor can make multiple donations which will all be counted in the donations count.

    The donation count shows the total number of contributions.
    The donor count shows the total number of people who have contributed.

  17. No of donors and no. of donations. Your first contribution goes to both counters and your second and subsequent contributions go to the second counter (no. of donations)

  18. And Milbank is probably one of the people who has called for PBO to use his “bully pulpit”.

    Listen, Nancy Pelosi liked the presser. She knows he wasn’t calling the Dems out.

  19. Of all the people that I was glad PBO kept from the Bush fiasco was Mr. Gates. The minute Bush put him in charge I thought, finally someone who is an adult and not another Bush toady.

    Thank you Mr. Gates for your service.

  20. Excellent Ametia. I hope they read this letter you sent and internalize it. One can only hope. Obama/Biden 2012!!

  21. Well said Ametia! I’ve always detested this punk Mark Halmperin ever since I saw him make a snide remark to then candidate Obama in Pennsylvania at a breakfast buffet. I can’t remember what he said but punk Halperin posted it on his dumb TIME blog that day with a little note about his “funny” remark. I think it was when the press was all worked up about whether or not Obama was eating an “elitist” breakfast. I’ll never forget how then Senator Obama looked at him and chose to not reply to his ignorant remark.

    I can’t believe TIME thinks this guy has ANY intelligence at all. He cannot write and is a legitimate dumb ass.

  22. If the general public can’t see this now then I don’t know what else can happen on these supposed news shows that will wake America up. Of course your post is SPOT ON!!

  23. Huh. Imagine that.

    While the lazy media conveniently ‘forgot’ about the supply problems that were predicted from Japan. And even with that, things were not as bad.

    Tornadoes, out-of-control forest fires, tsunamis and earthquakes. Gee, Karl Rove, President Obama must be real powerful to cause all of that. Because he couldn’t reverse 30 years of Reaganomics and the total destruction of the world economy by Bush by January 31, 2009.

    That, Mark Halperin, is what a dick is. Every Republican who doesn’t at least defend the office of POTUS, if not this President personally, is what a dick is.

    You dick.

  24. I think the GOP knows it’s going to pick up and know that they’re going to have to raise the debt ceiling so they want to credit the economy uptick for the cuts they “forced” – not the fact that they’re dragging the economy down now because of their talk. This is also the reason why they’re dead set against any revenues because when the economy upticks they don’t want the message to be “taxes were raised and the economy grew”.

  25. It was pointed out in the previous thread and I’m going to echo it here so we don’t forget. This Halperin stunt was orchestrated to change the subject. People getting pissed about the Dems not coming out to rant about Halperin are forgetting the pivot. The Dems need to stay on message about ending Medicare to fund tax cuts for the rich, and protecting Social Security checks being sent out instead of protecting the owners of private jets. If they come out angry about Halperin, the Republicans succeed in changing the subject. I say we support the Dems staying on topic and let them slide on circling the wagons for the President. We’re doing a perfectly adequate job of standing up to the media for the President.

  26. If anyone is interested, Press Secretary Jay Carney will be briefing the White House Press Corps (aka the jackals) momentarily.

  27. Exactly. It’s like in corporate America… when you’re Black and “assertive”, you have a “chip on your shoulder” or you’re “arrogant”. But when you’re White and “aggressive”, you’re a “real go-getter” and “an enviable example for all”.

    Take Chris-py Kreme Christie, GOTP Governor of New Jersey for example. An arrogant, loud-mouthed, fake gangsta wanna-be of a politician who insults and bullies his own constituents. He’s “revered” in GOTP AND Media circles and touted as “straight-forward” and “presidential candidate material” for his arrogance and candor. Meanwhile, PBO, the President of the United States, Leader of the Free World, and probably the most patient, introspective and gracious President we’ve ever had, is called a “D*ck” just because he told a lazy Congress to get the work done that they’re SUPPOSED TO do for the American people.

    There’s no ambiguity about it… it’s a racial double-standard thing, it’s a racist thing, it’s an “American thang”… and it MUST BE called out at every opportunity.

  28. Exactly that is the GOP strategy SR. They want to claim credit for the improving economy by not eliminating taxcust for the RICH and all their cuts to social programs. They really believe the majority of the public will not give PBO any credit after being in the Whitehouse for 3/4 years. Yet they expect us to blame him if the economy stays sour. BRILLIANT!!! Obama/Biden 2012!!

  29. Nice commentary Electric. We definately still live in a racist society.

  30. Well, the meme has been established with the jackals. Two reporters so far are questioning President Obama doing a fundraiser today after the press conference yesterday. Jay Carney reminded the reporters of all of his involvement since the budget talks. And again he let’s the reporters know the president can talk an chew gum at the same time.

    Just astonishing. Again carrying water for the GOP.

  31. markknoller Mark Knoller
    by theonlyadult
    If Senate GOP wants to restate opposition to any tax component of deficit redution, “thats not a conversation worth having,” says Carney.

  32. Need to add I read the Milbank piece and liked it, except for this:

    “,,,shelving lawyerly rejoinders in favor of basketball trash talk.”

    I truly do think Milbank could have thought of a better descriptive (or maybe I’m giving him too much credit). It wasn’t basketball trash talk. It was straight-up telling truth about the Republican leaders.

  33. And to think that at the start of the week we were worrying about whether we’d reach the original 350K mark. Why do I get the feeling that PBO timed yesterday’s press conference to get the troops fired up? Brilliant.

  34. markknoller Mark Knoller
    by theonlyadult
    Carney says Obama doesnt need a meeting to hear Republican opposition to tax code changes as part of deficit reduction.

  35. Gave them the longest rope to hang themselves. Love that carney is not taking crap from WH children anymore. Th real WH children are setting an example to these tantrum throwers.

  36. They latch onto anything negative. It’s gotten tot he point where one week housing is bad,the next week it’s breaking records. One week stock market is plummeting to lowest levels since four days ago, the next minute it’s the largest rebound (and it’s never due to the President’s actions). One minute the government needs to create jobs, the next minute – why do we need a jobs bill because the government doesn’t create jobs. hard to keep track of the current point of outrage and disappointment. The unemployment number is easy for them because it’s the last thing to recover and ticks up ever so slowly. That one time that it moved four points – the media quickly disregarded it. Oh well…

  37. Ding, Ding, Ding – 475,033 / 610,085

    That’s it. It’s all done folks. Both goals reached with plenty of time to spare.

    Woot, woot, woot.

    Let’s keep going.

  38. And now it’s time for my favorite movie quote of all time, which I’ll whip out every once in a while over the next 18 months. It’s from John Boorman’s “Excalibur”.

    That’s it… and look upon this moment. Savor it! Rejoice with great gladness! Great gladness! Remember it always, for you are joined by it. You are One, under the stars. Remember it well, then… this night, this great victory. So that in the years ahead, you can say, ‘I was there that night, with Arthur, the King!’ For it is the doom of men that they forget.

  39. I frankly don’t have a problem with tying this around Republicans’ necks.

    Is there one Republican who has stood up for the Office of POTUS?

    I understand your point. We can pivot back and should. But this is yet another example of Republicans caring about their party first, and not the country. I would like the American people to see it.

  40. 2starshine
    I would be honor to take that two edge sword of the Word Of God and give them Hell.
    I am getting ready to tweet it now.

  41. Oh, I am so glad, I am tearing up!!

    Although I feel like such a heel. I am still job hunting, and can’t even afford a freaking tiny amount to donate. But congratulations to everyone for your hard-won fight to reach this goal.

    I promise as soon as I find and start work I will do my part financially to move this campaign forward.

    Thank you, thank you all!!

  42. We’re at 475,100 doners and 610,176 actual donations and we still have over 10hrs to go before deadline. O_O! Astounding!! Back on Tuesday I thought we would have difficulty reaching the original 450,000 doner goal. Thank God for PBO’s presser he has awaken the Obamabot masses. HALLELUJAH!! 🙂

  43. The campaign is hiring. Maybe you should apply if you have what they’re looking for.

  44. Don’t know your area of expertise or if the move to Chgo would be impossible, but did you see the Obama campaign job openings listed on TOD yesterday?

  45. I watched the lead in to that entire fiasco at 6:00 this morning and it was intentional with that entire panel…Mika was giggling before she even started the narrative about our President;s press conference. A mere 7 second delay wouldn’t have hid their game.

    I assumed it was meant as a another diversion (the media making the news instead of reporting it…ala Rachel Maddow) but I sure hope it backfires on them…big time!

    They all enjoyed themselves immensely and in any other honest, working environment, they would have been immediately fired …all of the morning crew from MSNBC (Joe, Mika, Willy, Ford Jr. and Halperin) and also, Hallperin from Time Magazine.

  46. I say we all challenge ourselves to find a couple of friends, neighbors or family members who haven’t yet donated to hop on the bandwagon, doesn’t half a million donors sound like a nice even number?

  47. Yay, maybe they can get up to 500 000? That’s people they can tap again and again over the election cycle.

  48. Obama Admin and Dems know they have a winning issue here – that the GOP is holding the economy hostage over tax breaks for corporate jet owners, big oil and millionaire and billionaires in general.

    I certainly don’t think the Bush Tax cuts are on the table here though – President Obama probably wants to end those himself heading into the general election in 2012, and wants them to be a major issue during the election.

    That lame duck deal looks pretty damn sly in that the unemployment insurance extension expires next February – just as the GOP primaries start voting. So it will be a major issue in their debates and all will have to go all in that they should be ended and why. Then the same candidate will have to completely defend the Bush Tax Cuts that is blowing up the deficit after being so ardent now 9 months before about ending UEI extensions.

  49. BooMan nails it.

    On this whole debt limit deal, the White House seems to be supremely confident that they’ll get something done and that it will be the Republicans who will blink. That’s not to say that there won’t be some ugly concessions made, but when it comes to facing their respective bases of political support, it’s the Congressional Republican leadership who will be getting the worst beating.

    The reasons are fairly simple. John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are not teabaggers, and the people they answer to want no part of a default, or even the threat of a default. Moreover, the White House feels that they’ve framed this extremely well and the Republicans have screwed themselves by pushing the Ryan plan, and by walking away from table in support of tax loopholes for multimillionaires’ yachts and private airplanes. In short, the White House thinks the Republicans have an awful political argument and that they know it. Finally, and crucially, John Boehner has an incredibly difficult task. He must get a bill passed in the House that can also pass in the Senate, which is still controlled by the Democrats. Everyone knows that Boehner can’t do this by relying on his own caucus. And he won’t be able to attract any Democrats for anything remotely resembling what he’s led his base to expect. To even get a bill on the table, he’s going to have to back down and craft something widely acceptable to Democrats. It’s not unlikely that he’ll wind up in a bind where he actually pushes a bill that has more Democratic support than Republican.

    And I don’t think the White House plans on giving him a whole lot. Maybe some cost savings on Medicare, but no reduction in benefits. Certainly not a balanced budget amendment. And there will be an elimination of significant tax loopholes.

    The thing I am still worried about is that Boehner won’t be able to figure out how to get this done. It’s basically a suicide mission, as I can’t imagine him surviving in a leadership position if he passes a Democratic-majority debt limit bill. But it doesn’t appear he has any other choice. The White House just isn’t buying his threats. They know his masters expect a deal, and soon.


  50. They’re looking for smart, dedicated articulate people. I think you fill the bill.

  51. I did Dotster. In fact I got an e-mail from them a couple of days ago, but I don’t have what they are looking for right now. I just became an MSW, graduated in April. I couldn’t relocate anyway, due to my son just going to high school and disabled hubby.

    Thanks for the heads up. I am looking hard in my town, pray something comes my way.

  52. Then Boehner should have set the tone for his leadership position in January and not empowered these idiots. All freshmen need to be schooled. I’m sorry there aren’t enough brain cells amongst them to fill a thimble, but he gave them the power over the entire U.S. Congress.

  53. I stated the same thing, that it was orchestrated, at TPV this morning as I watched the entire fiasco unfold at MSNBC at 6:00 this morning. Mika was already giggling when she started the narrative. That entire crew needs to be fired at MSNBC and Halperin from the Times but that won’t happen because they are doing their corporate owners bidding for their hefty paychecks..

  54. Thanks to you both, Faith and LL. If I didn’t have to relocate due to family issues, I probably would apply. Thanks, for the encouragement.

  55. PS: In my deep red district, I wish they were hiring for people to work in their home areas. Nevertheless, I am going to volunteer in every way I can for this campaign. Because I worked for a newspaper the last time, we were not allowed to participate in the campaign. This time around, I AM IN.

    Last time around, the only thing I could do was wear my T-shirt and cap to private functions and sport a bumper sticker.

    This time around, I doubt there will be anything to stop me from being as active as ever.

  56. You know, call me crazy, but I think the Halperin thing was 75% a set up. Joe egging him on, H’s shit eating grin, Joe lying about setting him up. Nothing is ever a story to the media unless it is “man bites dog”.

    Anyway, I’d thought I’d share an excellent quote in the comment section in the NYT after the press conference:

    “Job 1 for the Republicans — as they early announced through Senator Mitchell — is to make President Obama a one-term President. Bear in mind that their assumption of this job was BEFORE any real period of Presidential performance; it was a foregone conclusion that the foremost job of Republicans would be to unseat the President. Damn the country, damn the economy. Job 1 — no cooperation with the President. Make him fail.

    At least the Republicans have a job.” (of course, he meant McConnell)

  57. And he’s brilliant, smarter than they all are combined, handsome, way too cool under the pressume that they themselves apply to him, has a gorgeous family and fans worldwide. Incorporate your items 1-3, rinse and repeat.

  58. BWD said it for me. Don’t get mad, get even. Another donation.
    Also, carrots and sticks. I will let NBC know they did the right thing.

    Just one comment before my BP blows: they would never have done this to a white man.

  59. MSNBC needed an excuse to fire the Incompetent Halperin

    “I don’t care what Halperin calls Barack Obama. But for the record, President Obama did not really act like a dick yesterday, which is unsurprising, because Mark Halperin is a horrible political analyst who is wrong about everything. (Also for the record, it takes one to know one.)

    This is a great excuse for MSNBC to fire Halperin, though! I mean if they won’t fire him for being incompetent at understanding and explaining politics they now have an opportunity to fire him for being disrespectful and vulgar. (Ed Schultz was suspended over as much.)

    Being a professional observer of the “horse race” is bad enough, but Halperin doesn’t even understand the horse-race element of politics. He fails at being a hack. He’s too dumb to correctly parrot conventional wisdom. He is pretty sure Sarah Palin and Donald Trump are 2012 front-runners. He thought “suspending his campaign” to fix the economy and not knowing how many houses he has were both huge messaging victories for John McCain. He wrote a book about how to win in 2008 that predicted everything Hillary did, but in his world it all worked. He thought Bush’s political comeback would come any day now throughout the entirety of the years 2006-2008. He can’t interpret polls or see through the spin of GOP consultants who are much smarter than he…..


  60. Nato ‘kills senior Haqqani militant in Afghanistan’

    Nato forces in Afghanistan say they have killed a senior militant they suspect of involvement in the attack on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul.

    Ismail Jan died in an air strike in the eastern province of Paktia on Wednesday, the alliance said.

    BBC correspondents say he is a leading commander in the Haqqani network, which is linked to the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

    Nato and Afghan intelligence believe Haqqani members helped mount the hotel attack, which left 22 people dead.

    The Interior Ministry says nine attackers were killed as well as 11 civilians and two police.

    There has so far been no independent confirmation of Ismail Jan’s death.


  61. Just donated to OFA and under BWD’s TOAITR.

    I am so proud of our President and being a Democrat. I am especially proud to be associated with this group and your support of this President. I thank all those that are being proactive and your inspiration to us all.

  62. Good job people. You met the goal ahead of the deadline, got Halper ass kicked and–Carney just reported that he called Halper’s bosses and gave them his mind! No wonder msnbc dropped him that fast!
    Good job all of you…thank you.

  63. So when Joe Scarborouh going to resingn? Joe pushed Halperin fot the Dick comment
    and it was planed amoung themselves, Joe is as much to be blame. So Joe go Chenney yourself. We should insist that Joe gets FIRED.

  64. One of their own.No wonder ethugs fell in line.

    BTW, kos is concern trolling about the halperin fiasco and how the real ‘incivility’ goes unchecked. Gave him a piece of my mind.

  65. I agree with BWD. Don’t get mad, get EVEN. I just made ANOTHER donation to the President’s re-election campaign.

    Come on guys. Give another $5 or $10. We blow that on a sandwich from Subway or some other fast food joint. Lets show these people who they’re screwing with by showing them how much we want the President re-elected. Money talks in this political system.

  66. Limited use of force in Libya resolution objected by the GOP.
    And after begging for the trade acts to come to the floor they objected to that too.

    Who is the dick?

  67. Great Article LadyHawke

    So.. at the risk of being pesty. Please contact your elected officials.

    This is one of those rare times when having Republican representation is a good thing. You have more leverage, they are the ones on the spot.

    So… please respond to my posting if you have emailed, called, written a letter, posted on Facebook or tweeted your elected officials. I want details, I want numbers, this is NOT about Halperin, it is about Republicans holding the country hostage over corporate jets.

    This blog has tremendous power, lets flex it.

    This is what I tweeted
    Obama is fighting for the middle class, Repubs fight for wealthy, contact Congress support President http://tinyurl.com/5uslcgh

    This is what I put as a comment on Lynn Woolseys Facebook account (also went to Senators boxer and feinstein.)
    Obama is fighting for the middle class, Repubs fight for wealthy, Lynn do all you can to hold Republicans accountable and encourage Dems to stay on message.

    Today I am going to the store and buy stationary, if a handwritten letter gets more attention then lets write them.

    Today I called woolsey, boxer and feinstein, I am sorry to say they picked up right away. These phones need to be jammed, I want a busy signal!!

    Let’s get on this..

  68. I missed the video (today I have low-speed intermittent internet, as opposed to what I’m paying for), but when I read the transcript I didn’t think Halperin was calling PBO a dick, I thought he was mocking the Republican outrage machine. Is it different if you actually see him talking?

    The Republicans are so funny to me. They can say any damn thing they want, and preen and pat themselves on the back, and then they have the wrinkled little gonads to complain because Barack wasn’t nice to them? Seriously, if his daughters can do a better job completing projects with a deadline than Congress can manage, they probably deserve a little slap on the wrist.

    Here’s what I think the real problem is: the media, the Republican Lie Machine, and the PL have created a Barack Obama who is cold, emotionless, intellectual, and too weak to lead, and they’ve missed every indication that that’s just not true (ask Paul Ryan, Donald Trump, etc). I think he throws them for a loop every single time because they just love their narrative and won’t let it go. And please God, let them stay stupid – he comes out looking fantastic every time this happens, and they look stupider, meaner, and more incompetent. Which is as it should be.

  69. Good action call, WIW. The other day, I read at Cole’s BJ, one of the reasons that the right wingers are able to forward their agenda is because they shout the ears of their congress critters. The left has to do the same.

  70. Thanks for reminding me…totally putting stationary on my list for shopping tomorrow! Yes, indeed, the written word.

  71. Senator Demint just called the president the addict in chief, on the senate floor.

    The rhetoric is just all hate!

  72. How many times has the GNOP refused meetings with the President? Too many to count…now the shoe is on the other foot. This time, they have the hot foot because the President gave them their marching orders and Harry Reid is putting on the pressure.

    The Boner and his lazy crew have gone home. I hope they get an earful from their constituents.

  73. This, Halpern, msnbc”s anti Obama crap is appearing to be a coordinated effort by the gop and media to push back at PBO for calling them out yesterday. Remember, members of congress, their corporate masters, and the clowns in the msm are all multi-millionaires. This is what we are going to be subject to until the 2012 election.

  74. If so, they greatly misjudged the public mood. They seem to believe their own propaganda that PBO is the most unpopular president ever. They should take a look at the OFA donation page to see how “unpopular” he is.

  75. The GOP sabotage issue continues to go mainstream. Senator Chuck Schumer is broaching the subject again and he is not mincing words.


    “[W]e need to start asking ourselves an uncomfortable question — are Republicans slowing down the recovery on purpose for political gain in 2012?” Schumer said. “Sen. McConnell made it clear last October that his number one priority, above everything else, is to defeat President Obama. And now it is becoming clear that insisting on a slash-and-burn approach may be part of this plan — it has a double-benefit for Republicans: it is ideologically tidy and it undermines the economic recovery, which they think only helps them in 2012.”


  76. I honestly believe that they do believe their own propaganda. They are all living in their own bubble and can not see what is happening in the real world. They acted this way during the 2008 campaign and totally missed what OFA was doing on the ground.

  77. That’s a joke coming from Kos when his blog is such a swamp. Like the pot calling the kettle black. Now back to focusing on the real issue: jobs, the things that Congress can do right now (patent, trade, infrastructure, payroll taxes), and a balanced approach to the deficit. The Halperin episode shows the power of a rapid pushback; let’s keep pushing the GOP. They are like a jihadi with a bomb strapped on, ready to blow the US and world economy up. No interest in the common good.

  78. He was just re-elected and is in a pretty blue State and I’m sure banksters don’t like the games the GOP is playing here and obviously don’t want a default so his base is in support of what he is saying.

    Schumer, Coons, Whitehouse, Klobuchar would be my go-to messagers from the Senate.

  79. Also social media: no one comes close in number of FB and twitter supporters. He’s in a class all by himself which we all know. No matter how much the media trashes our President when he goes on the road the people (and the babies!) know that he is OUR president and we love him.

  80. Hi people. I was over at Salon ( i know yuck) but there are a couple of good pieces over there about the Helpern thing. Anyway, I was reading comments and this one just totally cracked me up! It is spot on, but warning: “mature audiences only”

    posted by “Swan”

    Dicks and Weiners

    “It is devastatingly depressing that our political culture is so childish.

    The President gets political and calls out a bunch of do-nothing Republicans who would rather see the country and the world sink into an economic depression than see Obama win a second term, and that makes him a dick?

    And speaking of dicks. I’m glad we’re all over the whole Anthony Weiner debacle. What a waste of time.

    If Obama was smart, he’d get a good hard-on, use a sharpie to write “no medicare cuts” on his erect member, and tweet it to Halperin.

    Weiner should do the same with “Impeach Thomas” written on his cock.

    Repeat as needed with other issues of substance.

    Maybe then we’d get some discussion of THE ISSUES, rather than a bunch of gossip.

    Memo to Pundits and Politicians: I don’t care if you are a dick. I don’t care if you tweet your dick. I DO care about the economy, jobs, wealth disparity, health care, and a host of other issues that have real life consequences for real people.

    Congratulations Mark Halperin! You’re the epitome of everything that is foul and disgusting in American political commentary.

    —The Swan

  81. Agreed mjd55. It was another diversion by the lamestream pundits, particularly after PBo gave the GOP & congress that ass whooping yesterday. They’re mad, because the POTUS brought his big ole Switch & Smile to the presser and lawdy knows they can’t take the big, bad, black, potus, givin’em an ass whoopin’

    Halperin just said what he and other journalist, pundits, righwingers, lefties, and Obama haters feel and think.

  82. Now Geithner is signalling he’s going to leave soon as the debt ceiling is settled. Good luck at getting his replacement though the Senate.

  83. Theo I’ve noticed the same thing. If there’s one bad metric, it gets all the attention, no one mentions the 40 that are positive. If PBO cured cancer and Sarah Palin cut her finger, which do you guess would get all the media attention? The sad thing is that we already know. And the firebaggers would bitch because he hadn’t cured cancer in 1950.

  84. That’s the problem – it was straight up truth telling, and Republicans never look good when Americans hear the truth about what they’re doing. 😉

    That was the most fun I’ve had watching PBO since the correspondents dinner. You really have to figure that people who think he’s cold and emotionless are smoking something that numbs their brains. I know he can hardly get airtime, but i manage to see a lot of his wit, his fire, and that lovely iron fist in the velvet glove.

  85. Tien, you never miss! Now it makes sense to me, I just wasn’t getting it before. I’d love for the Dems who get press time to accidentally forget to talk about Halperin and sorta stumble into the truths about the budget. If Obama’s people are orchestrating as much as I suspect they are, this will probably be the case.

  86. With 620 000 donations, if each averages 20-25 dollars, that’s already around 12-15 million from small donors alone. Does all the DNC fundraising that President Obama’s been doing count?

  87. After that arse kicking press conference yesterday, comes a suggestion for weekly prime time fireside chats to keep up the pressure and provide the facts about GOP lies.

    Obama Attempts To Shame Republicans Into Negotiating Honestly


    It was refreshing to see the President take Republicans to task for their refusal to compromise or negotiate a budget deal, but unfortunately, it will take more than a stern lecture. President Obama should hold weekly fireside chats during prime time on every television network when teabaggers and Republican supporters are sitting on their couches eating potato chips and swilling beer and soda to inform them of the facts about Republican’s lies and assertions. Republicans have not changed their talking points for 30 years about taxes killing jobs or that rewarding the wealthiest Americans will help the working class, and they will continue until the truth is beaten into their supporters greedy, thick, Neanderthal skulls. It is still supremely curious why any idiot making under $35,000 a year would fight tooth-and-nail to give wealthy people making a minimum of $250,000 for an individual more tax cuts. It is also unbelievable why teabaggers making Social Security retirement wages protest raising taxes on corporations and the oil industry that pay little or no taxes on billions of dollars in record profits every single quarter.


  88. And I really hope someone on here wins the dinner lottery. You never know..

  89. Of course it was a set-up. All that oooh naughty word…giggle giggle


  90. Text of e-mails sent to Cornyn and Hutchison

    Dear Senator Cornyn –

    I’m going to need your home address, as I’ll be moving in with you if my SS check doesn’t arrive August 3. I’m calling some friends who are in the same position, and will contact you August 2, unless the debt ceiling issues are handled, to let you know how many to expect to house and feed.

    Some of us will need medical care and hospice assistance, so I thought I should give you a reasonable amount of time to get things into place.

    If you see Governor Perry, would you ask him to buy cribs, bassinets, formula, baby food, and have some Pediatricians on standby for the start of the next Legislative Session? We’ll be bringing some infants and toddlers to their new home, and they’ll need a lot of attention, and probably a lot of medical care. Now that so many programs have been cut, women who aren’t able to end problem pregnancies have no backup to help them support infants with grave medical and developmental issues. It seems reasonable to ask the Legislature to take care of all those babies after they’ve shown such a powerful commitment to make sure they’re born.

    BTW, I wouldn’t worry about having to manage more than 20 or 25 people – some people don’t depend on SS for survival, but those of us who do really have no where else to turn.

  91. I watched the ceremony for Sec. Gates, and I thought that it was a lovely and very moving ceremony for a good and decent man who gave his life for the good of our country. Thank you Sec. Gates for your service, and for serving this President and this nation. Enjoy your well deserve retirement.

  92. This is great. I know we’ll be hearing a lot more of this kind of thing from other Dems, and the Republicans will freak out, and it’ll all get airtime. No matter how the media tries to spin it, people still respond positively to economic messages from Dems. They may vote stupidly, believing those Republican lies that jobs are #1, but they’re noticing and they’re pissed that jobs haven’t even hit the top 50. The polls keep pointing out that PBO is far more trusted on economic issues than Dems are usually trusted, and the Republicans have lost their shine for more and more people.

  93. God, Joe and Mika are such slitherey slimes. I had hoped that Mika would be a forward thinking voice for women, or even A THINKING woman, but she just sits there and is EASILY LED and has nothing much to offer!

  94. My continued meme is that they still can’t get over ‘the black man in the White House syndrome’. Colonialism/slavery mentality is still well and alive.Their racial demons surface when they least expect it-subconscious racism at work!.

  95. Pawlenty is rumored to be really low – around $5M which would be brutal for him. Romney will self fund a silly amount if he has to – I have no doubt about it, this is his last chance and you can’t be buried with your money.

    Obama around $60M could be spun both ways – I mean he would have got most of his maxed out donors already, whereas the GOP are still splitting donations to 5-6 candidates, and if you max out for Pawlenty you can then max out for Mitt still down the line. Basically compare Obama haul to combined GOP candidate haul.

  96. Yes, I just watched It also, It was nice and a tear jerker for me. I enjoyed Secretary Gates telling how he and becky met, so sweet 🙂

  97. I heard that hand-written letters take a lot longer to reach the congress person because they have to go through screening. Email needs local zip code usually. I tend to call and now tweet.

    I’m in CA, in Jane Harman’s district, and Senators are Feinstein and Boxer. No repubs here!

  98. I very rarely watch Morning Joe as it just annoys me so much but due to the great press conference yesterday I thought I would check out all the reporting – the disrespect paid to the President is just disgusting!!

  99. This is a brilliant email. Absolutely brilliant, and very sad, because it’s not far from reality.

  100. They are so childish. The President called them out, fairly, for not doing their jobs, and potentially doing more harm to the US. They retaliate by calling him names? Really? It’s so pathetic and infuriating.

  101. You idiotic Obama Bashers must waste a lot of toilet paper on all those holes in the ground!

    The healthcare bill PO pushed through will grow and grow and is already destined to go down in history as one of the top 3 Progressive accomplishme…nts in USA History! FDR couldn’t do it and LBJ couldn’t do it and Clinton just sent our jobs to China and did nothing else and you all still brag about him just because he was good at pissing off conservatives with his penis!

    Nobody ever did the progressive xhit Barack has done with such slim majorities…HEY, VOTE #60 WAS NEOCON LIEBERMAN WHO CAMPAIGNED FOR MCCAIN! COME ON!



  102. Expect Romney to win the GOP nomination. It is just a matter of time. He has the funds, the Koch, Rove, Army backing. It will be Romney and Obama going toe to toe folks. Gear up!!

  103. Halperin has been Fridges beard for years now. He should have been stripped of any semblance of career solely for his ads kiss hack reporting during the Emperor has no clothes Bush years.

  104. For me it is reality. It’s not a grim, horrible life, I just can’t keep up with gas prices and food prices. I’m 100 short every month, and I live cheaply. If I was alone and isolated I’d go crazy, and there have to be people who are, and who live in abject fear. That pisses me off, when we’re giving subsidies to oil companies, and to corporate farms, and the most able don’t pay their fair share and don’t even feel guilty about it.

  105. Amen Ametia! That was a wonderful letter you sent Time Magazine.

    In my 60+ years in this life, I’ve never seen a President so openly, and blatantly, disrespected by both the MSM and members of Congress.

    Like you, I absolutely I do not accept Mark Halperin apology. This was not a question of him mis-speaking! This was a deliberate effort, by a so called journalist, to disrespect the President, simply because he disagreed with the President’s policies. In my opinion, this is was quite similar to Congressman Joe Wilson’s yell “You Lie” during President Obama’s State of the Union speech. Both of these actions were deliberate. They were aimed at denigrating, and de-legitimatizing President Obama. They delivered the red meat to their constituencies. Subsequent apologies, notwithstanding, these insults of President Obama, are calculated to convince Americans that President Obama is not worthy of being accorded the same institutional respect as all the other 43 Presidents before him.

    So far as I am concerned, If both TIME and MSNBC do not completely server ties with this guy, I will never again look at them as sources of legitimate news. Thankfully, I stopped watching MSNBC news about a year ago, after Rachel Maddow delivered that holier than thou speech, pretending to be President, while denigrating President Obama’s speech on Shell-BP Oil leak and the efforts the government was taking to contain it. The funny thing is, no one says any thing more about that because the Obama Administration really did an excellent job managing that crisis.

    I am really proud of all the people on this site, as well as those on the other pragmatic sites, like TOD, for strongly pushing back against the people intent on disrespecting and de-legitimizing President Obama. People like Mark Halperin need to be reminded that a majority of Americans (over 65 millions) voted for President Obama. As a matter of fact more Americans voted for him than they did for any of his previous four predecessors.

    It is really heartbreaking to see President Obama being treated more respectfully by foreign leaders, and the people of other nations, than he is being treated here by members of Congress and by members of the so called Press.

  106. SaintRoscoe, I think you nailed it! I believe most people in the media who cover the economy also know what’s going on, but they are so intimidated by the right wing noise machine that they dare not speak the truth. By the way, It should be emphasized that all the cuts Republicans are seeking have absolutely nothing to do with raising the debt ceiling which is all about paying for everything Congress has already approved.

  107. Tien Le, I totaly agree. While It was appropriate to push back on Mark Halperin, It’s important not to loose sight of the real issues. Halperin does not make policy. We need to keep the focus on exposing the Republican agenda which is aimed at benefitting the rich at the expense of the middle class, seniors, workers, students, and the poor. We should especially focus on exposing the central Republican agenda which is aimed at derailing the economic recovery for the purpose of defeating President Obama for re-election. While there is no doubt that Halperin disrespected the President, he should not be the central focus of our concern. Honestly, if you think about it, he is really not that important.

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