Tag Archives: Obama

Thinking Thursday (hilariously updated postscript)


Looking for a Hero by George Oswalt

You will find me at the JRB Gallery on the Paseo tomorrow evening. I can’t wait for this opening.

Tonight, I’ll be on lower Bricktown in front of the Harkins Theater from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. watching Cami Stinson. Watch this and you’ll know why I’ll be out tonight.


Daily Kos on Oklahoma’s 2d Congressional District election in wake of Rep. Dan Boren announcing he won’t seek re-election:

Yesterday morning, ex-Rep. Brad Carson emailed me to let me know that his plans have changed and he will not be seeking his old seat back in the wake of Dan Boren’s retirement. Fortunately, Democrats have a strong bench here despite the red hue of the district, and there are several other possible candidates, including ex-state Sen. Ken Corn (who previously said he’s “very likely” to run) and state Rep. Ben Sherrer. The Hotline also mentions state Sen. Josh Breechen as a possible GOP candidate.


When Ezra Klein at Washington Post looked at the deficit negotiations, he found the GOP rejected their own proposals and walked out. Who’s the dick?

So when the GOP’s economic policy team sat down to make the strongest case they could for growth-inducing deficit reduction, they recommended a mix (of) 85:15 (blogblah’s note: of spending cuts to tax increases), not a 100:0 mix. And then, when the Obama administration agreed to an 83:17 mix, the Republican leadership walked out of the room and demanded that taxes be excluded from the deal altogether. How do you negotiate with that?


Here’s a novel way to get past the debt ceiling crisis: rely on the 14th Amendment and just ignore it. According to CNN Money, it’s one of the answers to the puzzle proposed by the Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner.

The 14th Amendment states: “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.”


The chairman of the state legislative ethics committee in Indiana may have a slight problem, according to local reports.

a very attractive 26 year old woman who has connections to a strip club in Lawrenceburg, Indiana was in the car with 59 year old Republican State Representative Robert Mechlenborg at 12:08AM when he was pulled over by the Indiana State Police and subsequently tested positive for alcohol and Viagra.

Blogblah note: enjoy the schadenfreude my droogies.


Time magazine editor and MSNBC political analyst for the Morning Joe show Mark Halperin gets suspended and apologized for saying President Obama was “kind of a dick” during last night’s press conference. Obama should consider the source.


If you do nothing else today, please watch THIS VIDEO. Please, please please. DO IT! It’s the most inspiring thing I’ve seen in an age. It will change your attitude.


Post Script:
I haven’t really had much to say about the New York legislature passing gay marriage equality legislation because, well, I don’t know much about it. However, I couldn’t resist the video below. In it, Howard Zinn, a counter-historian (my formulation), introduces part of an oral history of the so-called Stonewall Rebellion and actor Tim Robbins reads (with such wonderful verve) the eyewitness testimony of Martin Duberman. This is just so good, it’s awesome sauce!

Tim Robbins reads Martin Duberman, “Stonewall” from Voices of a People's History on Vimeo.

December 10, 2009

I have a nasty cold. I tried hard not to catch it last weekend, and put it off until this week it seems but it finally caught up with me. I really do just want to have my body thrown onto the plague cart; “Bring out your dead!” I’m way too arrogant and self centered to believe I’ve got anything like a “common” cold. It has to be something special, you know?
Anyways, I’m using every scientific nostrum I can lay hands on. Chicken soup, check. Zinc cough lozenges, check. Heavy doses of Vitamin C, check. Blow nose, wipe nose, cough, repeat. And repeat. And repeat. I’ve reached that place where I no longer can wipe my nose, I have to blot since I’ve rubbed my upper lip raw.



YUK! I took a shower but kept my hair dry, and never put on clothes Wednesday, just bummed around the house in my PJs and robe. Like many American men, I’m a real crybaby about being sick. I had to stop writing this post here to heat up some Theraflu powder, which I used to slug down another 1500 mg of Vitamin C. Oh, how yummy. ::snark::
I want to say a word here about the politics of the health care debate in Congress.
Yes, I know all the papers and blogs and Fox talking heads can’t quit bringing you the latest breathless commentary. It’s bull. I mean it’s bull if it is coming from Hannity on the right or Jane Hamshire at FireDogLake on the left.
Here’s why: Continue reading

December 2, 2009

shut up, he explained

shut up, he explained

Obama’s speech at West Point yesterday left me with nothing, really, but cognitive dissonance. A Nobel Peace Laureate wants to put 100,000 American troops into Afghanistan to kill brown people for peace. Right. No, wrong. Uhm…

Just about 40 years ago today, I think I was carrying a sign that read “Killing for peace is like f***ing for chastity”. Obama said this isn’t like Vietnam and maybe he’s right, but some things sure seem to be the same.

The only thing I know for sure is that my Red State Republican friends who tell me they don’t like this president because they are birthers or some other form of craziness are going to be told by me that anyone who doesn’t support my president in a time of war is an unpatriotic traitor. Been waiting to do that for a while.

Do we know yet whether the troops that are going to Kabul will be troops we are pulling out of Bagdhad? Do we have any iron-clad guarantees that the wall of troops we will put in Kandahar will be part of a Pakistani effort on the other side of the border?

Sure hope that Rep. David Obey, who proposed a war tax on the superrich to pay for this, holds the GOP feet to the fire on what they want to cut to pay for this, etc., so at least we have some exposure of Republican perfidy.

What does the real presidential power think? You know, Sen. Joe Lieberman. Has he told us how the world is shaped yet?

Obama mentioned that there will be support civilians also going to Kabul, but do we know how many and of what kind?

One thing that does seem to advance the ball from the Bush Administration is a clear committment by us to withdraw on some timeline from both Iraq and Afghanistan, I’m just not sure that the getting out part is as clear as the getting in deeper part.

I know this: when the enemy is stateless, attacking any nation is just an illusion. Somehow, the warlords in Waziristan, the Northwest Territories of Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen and other “failed” states, all have to get the idea that it’s a bad idea to let Al Qaeda have a place to rest their heads. I don’t think it takes 100,000 Marines to get that idea across, but we seem too stupid and clumsy to figure that out.

Colbert seems similarly confused:

<td style='padding:2px 1px 0px 5px;' colspan='2'U.S. Army Chain of Command
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November 11, 2009

Today, President Obama spoke at a memorial at Ft. Hood. Of those killed, wounded, and those who ran to help in the emergency, he said:

“We need not look to the past for greatness, because it is before our very eyes.”

Here is John Dickerson’s summary of Obama’s speech in Slate online:

It was a song of America’s values, sung by a man who has been questioned, since the Democratic primaries, for being, as Hillary Clinton’s strategist Mark Penn put it, “not fundamentally American.” During the campaign, he had to make television ads insisting he shared American values. As president, he has contended with opponents who compare him with Hitler because of his … health care plan. Today’s speech is unlikely to mollify his most ardent foes, and it won’t make health care reform any easier. But it should make it harder for anyone to question his patriotism.

Marc Ambinder at The Atlantic Online thought it was “Best Speech Obama’s Given Since … Maybe Ever”:

Today, at Ft. Hood. I guarantee: they’ll be teaching this one in rhetoric classes. It was that good. My gloss won’t do it justice. Yes, I’m having a Chris Matthews-chill-running-up-my-leg moment, but sometimes, the man, the moment and the words come together and meet the challenge. Obama had to lead a nation’s grieving; he had to try and address the thorny issues of Islam and terrorism; to be firm; to express the spirit of America, using familiar, comforting tropes in a way that didn’t sound trite

If you have not heard or read his 15 minute address, I believe it will be a speech quoted and read for decades to come. It brought tears to my eyes.

October 11, 2009



Harry Truman integrated the armed forces with a stroke of the pen and Obama could do the same for gays in the military. Instead, he gave his 2007 campaign speech to the Human Rights Campaign dinner last night, once more promising he would do something great, but just not now, just not yet, wait some more.
The fierce urgency of the end of my projected second term, you might say.

* * *
In a column in today’s New York Times, Frank Rich writes about a topic that’s been really bothering me lately: why the hell are the discredited neocons — who have been consistently wrong for more than a decade about everything foreign policy — still on the Sunday talk shows?
When does Stephanopolous look William Kristol right in the eye and say: is this like when you said the Iraq war would be over in 6 weeks? Is this the same as when you told us we’d be greeted as liberators in Baghdad? Is there any part of the “robust” assertion of American military power you advocate that has actually succeeded in doing good for us?
And, yes, I would include Sen. McCain, who has a foreign policy that is based on nationalistic fighter pilot chutzpah and not any serious and in-depth study of global issues, and who, I will remind you, lost the presidential elections rather badly.
They aren’t foreign policy experts, they just play one on TV. Continue reading

October 10, 2009

For some people, Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize will never be as good as the one Bush deserved after invading Iraq.
There was an incredible amount of commentary on the event in the punditocracy today. Look at Memorandum and be amazed. Josh Marshall gathered up the sleaziest and Andrew Sullivan looked for the most witty.
I Twittered a little bit about it, as you can read on the right hand column of my feed.
I had a personal reaction to news he won the prize: I felt like all of us had won it by turning our backs on the past four years of the neocons. It’s a big reason why I voted for him.
You had to know that his election with his proletarian background and Muslim name would make the world see us as more grown up and less like trigger happy cowboys. People who care about peace worldwide must have breathed a sigh of relief at his election. Think about it. He may not yet have ended the two wars he was handled, but he’s darn less likely to start any elective wars and that must seem like a blessing from Norway’s point of view. Continue reading

May 31, 2009 updated at 3 p.m., 5 p.m., midnight

(last update) THIS is very cool. Move your cursor! Thanks to Megan B!

The New York Times reports that a Wichita, KS, abortion doctor was shot and killed while attending his church Sunday morning.

(2d UPDATE) I found some “conservative” reactions to the above at Andrew Sullivan, and they are really shocking in their calloused view of this event, in my opinion.
Continue reading

May 30, 2009

Ben Smith at Politico had a short mention of President Obama going to a burger joint, 5 Guys, in D.C. The anti-Obama spin on the event is that he met a guy who works for the government in an agency, NGIA, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, and Obama asked him what the agency and the individual does. The story is neither here nor there to me. What DID get my attention was this comment among the many nasty, right wing comments that used race and tried to call the president dumb:

where will obongo’s dealy plaza be?

Posted By: cuthean | May 29, 2009 at 09:02 PM

Shocking and horrible.


February 5, 2009



Do you remember the line from Desiderata: “Avoid loud and aggressive people”? King Solomon in his Proverbs and the Tao and others all warn against people who are quick to anger.
I have to admit that sometimes I’m that guy.
I have a temper. I frequently must apologize for things I say when I’m mad. Even worse, as some of the women who’ve dated me will testify, are the things I write in letters and emails when I’m pissed off and mad.
Continue reading