05
May
13

The Ohio State Commencement Address

Ohio State University, May 5 (Pete Souza)

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Photo: Pete Souza

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THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Hello, Buckeyes! O-H!

AUDIENCE: I-O!

THE PRESIDENT: O-H!

AUDIENCE: I-O!

THE PRESIDENT: O-H!

AUDIENCE: I-O!

THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you so much. Everybody, please be seated. Thank you, Dr. Gee, for the wonderful introduction. I suspect the good President may have edited out some other words that were used to describe me. (Laughter.) I appreciate that. But I’m going to let Michelle know of all the good comments.

To the Board of Trustees; Congresswoman Beatty; Mayor Coleman; and all of you who make up The Ohio State University for allowing me to join you — it is an incredible honor.

And most of all, congratulations, Class of 2013! (Applause.) And of course, congratulations to all the parents, and family, and friends and faculty here in the Horseshoe — this is your day as well. (Applause.) I’ve been told to ask everybody, though, please be careful with the turf. Coach Meyer has big plans for this fall. (Laughter.)

I very much appreciate the President’s introduction. I will not be singing today. (Laughter.)

AUDIENCE: Aww — (laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: It is true that I did speak at that certain university up north a few years ago. But, to be fair, you did let President Ford speak here once — and he played football for Michigan! (Laughter.) So everybody can get some redemption.

In my defense, this is my fifth visit to campus in the past year or so. (Applause.) One time, I stopped at Sloppy’s to grab some lunch. Many of you — Sloopy’s — I know. (Laughter.) It’s Sunday and I’m coming off a foreign trip. (Laughter.) Anyway, so I’m at Sloopy’s and many of you were still eating breakfast. At 11:30 a.m. (Laughter.) On a Tuesday. (Laughter.) So, to the Class of 2013, I will offer my first piece of advice: Enjoy it while you can. (Laughter.) Soon, you will not get to wake up and have breakfast at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday. (Laughter.) And once you have children, it gets even earlier. (Laughter.)

But, Class of 2013, your path to this moment has wound you through years of breathtaking change. You were born as freedom forced its way through a wall in Berlin, tore down an Iron Curtain across Europe. You were educated in an era of instant information that put the world’s accumulated knowledge at your fingertips. And you came of age as terror touched our shores; and an historic recession spread across the nation; and a new generation signed up to go to war.

So you’ve been tested and you’ve been tempered by events that your parents and I never imagined we’d see when we sat where you sit. And yet, despite all this, or perhaps because of it, yours has become a generation possessed with that most American of ideas — that people who love their country can change it for the better. For all the turmoil, for all the times you’ve been let down, or frustrated at the hand that you’ve been dealt, what I have seen — what we have witnessed from your generation — is that perennial, quintessentially American value of optimism; altruism; empathy; tolerance; a sense of community; a sense of service — all of which makes me optimistic for our future.

Consider that today, 50 ROTC cadets in your graduating class will become commissioned officers in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. (Applause.) A hundred and thirty of your fellow graduates have already served — some in combat, some on multiple deployments. (Applause.) Of the 98 veterans earning bachelor’s degrees today, 20 are graduating with honors, and at least one kept serving his fellow veterans when he came home by starting up a campus organization called Vets4Vets. And as your Commander-in-Chief, I could not be prouder of all of you. (Applause.)

Consider that graduates of this university serve their country through the Peace Corps, and educate our children through established programs like Teach for America, startups like Blue Engine, often earning little pay for making the biggest impact. Some of you have already launched startup companies of your own. And I suspect that those of you who pursue more education, or climb the corporate ladder, or enter the arts or science or journalism, you will still choose a cause that you care about in your life and will fight like heck to realize your vision.

There is a word for this. It’s citizenship. And we don’t always talk about this idea much these days — citizenship — let alone celebrate it. Sometimes, we see it as a virtue from another time, a distant past, one that’s slipping from a society that celebrates individual ambition above all else; a society awash in instant technology that empowers us to leverage our skills and talents like never before, but just as easily allows us to retreat from the world. And the result is that we sometimes forget the larger bonds we share as one American family.

But it’s out there, all the time, every day — especially when we need it most. Just look at the past year. When a hurricane struck our mightiest city, and a factory exploded in a small town in Texas, we saw citizenship. When bombs went off in Boston, and when a malevolent spree of gunfire visited a movie theater, a temple, an Ohio high school, a 1st grade classroom in Connecticut, we saw citizenship. In the aftermath of darkest tragedy, we have seen the American spirit at its brightest.

We’ve seen the petty divisions of color and class and creed replaced by a united urge to help each other. We’ve seen courage and compassion, a sense of civic duty, and a recognition we are not a collection of strangers; we are bound to one another by a set of ideals and laws and commitments, and a deep devotion to this country that we love.

And that’s what citizenship is. It’s at the heart of our founding — that as Americans, we are blessed with God-given talents and inalienable rights, but with those rights come responsibilities — to ourselves, and to one another, and to future generations. (Applause.)

Now, if we’re being honest with ourselves, as you’ve studied and worked and served to become good citizens, the fact is that all too often the institutions that give structure to our society have, at times, betrayed your trust. In the run-up to the financial crisis, too many on Wall Street forgot that their obligations don’t end with what’s happening with their shares. In entertainment and in the media, ratings and shock value often trump news and storytelling.

In Washington — well, this is a joyous occasion, so let me put it charitably — (laughter) — I think it’s fair to say our democracy isn’t working as well as we know it can. It could do better. (Applause.) And so those of us fortunate enough to serve in these institutions owe it to you to do better every single day.

And I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we can keep this idea of citizenship in its fullest sense alive at the national level — not just on Election Day, not just in times of tragedy, but all the days in between. And perhaps because I spend a lot of time in Washington, I’m obsessed with this issue because that sense of citizenship is so sorely needed there. And I think of what your generation’s traits — compassion and energy, and a sense of selflessness — might mean for a democracy that must adapt more quickly to keep up with the speed of technological and demographic, and wrenching economic change.

I think about how we might perpetuate this notion of citizenship in a way that another politician from my home state of Illinois, Adlai Stevenson, once described patriotism not as “short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.” That’s what patriotism is. That’s what citizenship is. (Applause.)

Now, I don’t pretend to have all the answers. I’m not going to offer some grand theory on a beautiful day like this — you guys all have celebrating to do. I’m not going to get partisan, either, because that’s not what citizenship is about. In fact, I’m asking the same thing of you that President Bush did when he spoke at this commencement in 2002: “America needs more than taxpayers, spectators, and occasional voters,” he said. “America needs full-time citizens.” (Applause.) And as graduates from a university whose motto is “Education for Citizenship,” I know all of you get that this is what you’ve signed up for. It’s what your country expects of you.

So briefly, I’ll ask for two things from the Class of 2013: to participate, and to persevere. After all, your democracy does not function without your active participation. At a bare minimum, that means voting, eagerly and often — not having somebody drag you to it at 11:30 a.m. when you’re having breakfast. (Laughter.) It means knowing who’s been elected to make decisions on your behalf, and what they believe in, and whether or not they delivered on what they said they would. And if they don’t represent you the way you want, or conduct themselves the way you expect, if they put special interests above your own, you’ve got to let them know that’s not okay. And if they let you down often enough, there’s a built-in day in November where you can really let them know it’s not okay. (Applause.)

But participation, your civic duty, is more than just voting. You don’t have to run for office yourself — but I hope many of you do, at all levels, because our democracy needs you. And I promise you, it will give you a tough skin. I know a little bit about this. (Laughter.) President Wilson once said, “If you want to make enemies, try to change something.”

And that’s precisely what the Founders left us — the power, each of us, to adapt to changing times. They left us the keys to a system of self-government, the tools to do big things and important things together that we could not possibly do alone — to stretch railroads and electricity and a highway system across a sprawling continent. To educate our people with a system of public schools and land-grant colleges, including The Ohio State University. To care for the sick and the vulnerable, and provide a basic level of protection from falling into abject poverty in the wealthiest nation on Earth. (Applause.) To conquer fascism and disease; to visit the Moon and Mars; to gradually secure our God-given rights for all of our citizens, regardless of who they are, or what they look like, or who they love. (Applause.)

We, the people, chose to do these things together — because we know this country cannot accomplish great things if we pursue nothing greater than our own individual ambition.

Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems; some of these same voices also doing their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave and creative and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.

We have never been a people who place all of our faith in government to solve our problems; we shouldn’t want to. But we don’t think the government is the source of all our problems, either. Because we understand that this democracy is ours. And as citizens, we understand that it’s not about what America can do for us; it’s about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but absolutely necessary work of self-government. (Applause.) And, Class of 2013, you have to be involved in that process. (Applause.)

The founders trusted us with this awesome authority. We should trust ourselves with it, too. Because when we don’t, when we turn away and get discouraged and cynical, and abdicate that authority, we grant our silent consent to someone who will gladly claim it. That’s how we end up with lobbyists who set the agenda; and policies detached from what middle-class families face every day; the well-connected who publicly demand that Washington stay out of their business — and then whisper in government’s ear for special treatment that you don’t get.

That’s how a small minority of lawmakers get cover to defeat something the vast majority of their constituents want. That’s how our political system gets consumed by small things when we are a people called to do great things — like rebuild a middle class, and reverse the rise of inequality, and repair the deteriorating climate that threatens everything we plan to leave for our kids and our grandkids.

Class of 2013, only you can ultimately break that cycle. Only you can make sure the democracy you inherit is as good as we know it can be. But it requires your dedicated, and informed, and engaged citizenship. And that citizenship is a harder, higher road to take, but it leads to a better place. It’s how we built this country — together.

It’s the question that President Kennedy posed to the nation at his inauguration. It’s the dream that Dr. King invoked. It does not promise easy success or immediate progress — but it has led to success, and it has led to progress. And it has to continue with you.

Which brings me to the second thing I ask of all of you — I ask that you persevere. Whether you start a business, or run for office, or devote yourself to alleviating poverty or hunger, please remember that nothing worth doing happens overnight. A British inventor named Dyson went through more than 5,000 prototypes before getting that first really fancy vacuum cleaner just right. We remember Michael Jordan’s six championships; we don’t remember his nearly 15,000 missed shots. As for me, I lost my first race for Congress, and look at me now — I’m an honorary graduate of The Ohio State University. (Applause.)

The point is, if you are living your life to the fullest, you will fail, you will stumble, you will screw up, you will fall down. But it will make you stronger, and you’ll get it right the next time, or the time after that, or the time after that. And that is not only true for your personal pursuits, but it’s also true for the broader causes that you believe in as well.

So you can’t give up your passion if things don’t work right away. You can’t lose heart, or grow cynical if there are twists and turns on your journey. The cynics may be the loudest voices — but I promise you, they will accomplish the least. It’s those folks who stay at it, those who do the long, hard, committed work of change that gradually push this country in the right direction, and make the most lasting difference.

So whenever you feel that creeping cynicism, whenever you hear those voices saying you can’t do it, you can’t make a difference, whenever somebody tells you to set your sights lower — the trajectory of this great nation should give you hope. What generations have done before you should give you hope. Because it was young people just like you who marched and mobilized and stood up and sat in to secure women’s rights, and voting rights, and workers’ rights, and gay rights — often at incredible odds, often at great danger, often over the course of years, sometimes over the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime — and they never got acknowledged for it, but they made a difference. (Applause.)

And even if their rights were already secured, there were those who fought to secure those same rights and opportunities for others. And that should give you some hope.

Where we’re going should give you hope. Because while things are still hard for a lot of people, you have every reason to believe that your future is bright. You’re graduating into an economy and a job market that is steadily healing. The once-dying American auto industry is on pace for its strongest performance in 20 years — something that means everything to many communities in Ohio and across the Midwest. Huge strides in domestic energy, driven in part by research at universities like this one, have us on track to secure our own energy future. Incredible advances in information and technology spurred largely by the risk-takers of your generation have the potential to change the way we do almost everything.

There is not another country on Earth that would not gladly change places with the United States of America. And that will be true for your generation just as it was true for previous generations.

So you’ve got a lot to look forward to, but if there’s one certainty about the decade ahead, it’s that things will be uncertain. Change will be a constant, just as it has been throughout our history. And, yes, we still face many important challenges. Some will require technological breakthroughs or new policy insights. But more than anything, what we will need is political will — to harness the ingenuity of your generation, and encourage and inspire the hard work of dedicated citizens. To repair the middle class, to give more families a fair shake, to reject a country in which only a lucky few prosper because that’s antithetical to our ideals and our democracy — all of this is going to happen if you are involved, because it takes dogged determination — the dogged determination of our citizens.

To educate more children at a younger age, and to reform our high schools for a new time, and to give more young people the chance to earn the kind of education that you did at The Ohio State University, and to make it more affordable so young people don’t leave with a mountain of debt — that will take the care and concern of citizens like you. (Applause.)

To build better roads and airports and faster Internet, and to advance the kinds of basic research and technology that’s always kept America ahead of everybody else — that will take the grit and fortitude of citizens.

To confront the threat of climate change before it’s too late — that requires the idealism and the initiative of citizens.

To protect more of our kids from the horrors of gun violence — that requires the unwavering passion, the untiring resolve of citizens. (Applause.) It will require you.

Fifty years ago, President Kennedy told the class of 1963 that “our problems are manmade — therefore, they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants.” We’re blessed to live in the greatest nation on Earth. But we can always be greater. We can always aspire to something more. That doesn’t depend on who you elect to office. It depends on you, as citizens, how big you want us to be, how badly you want to see these changes for the better.

And look at all that America has already accomplished. Look at how big we’ve been. I dare you, Class of 2013, to do better. I dare you to dream bigger.

And from what I’ve seen of your generation, I’m confident that you will. And so I wish you courage, and compassion, and all the strength that you will need for that tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.

Thank you. God bless you, and God bless these United States of America. (Applause.)


150 Responses to “The Ohio State Commencement Address”


  1. 1 cookemom
    May 5, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    wuh?

  2. 12 vitaminlover
    May 5, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    President Obama rocks!

  3. 14 donna dem 4 obama
    May 5, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    A Facebook friend posted this open letter and I want to share it here. Not everyone has access to Facebook so I am going to share the entire letter for your review. Forgive me it is long but well worth the read.

    https://www.facebook.com/tom.robinson.1654/posts/10151556048946544

    Open letter to President Obama haters:

    To your distress, for most of the rest of your life, you will bear this: That Barack Obama, will always be President. He will always be the man from a mixed race background that became the President of the US, he and his wife will be welcomed throughout the world by nations and their leaders, the most influential members of the arts and sciences will be their acquaintances and companions. He will be regarded and honored as the President who entered office during a deep recession and two wars and turned the country around.

    But you;

    You will always justify your lack of achievement on the unfairness of every system, your lack of success on the government or regulation, your failure to accomplish anything in a country where impoverished immigrants with limited language skills are succeeding around you on the liberals or the communists or the elites.

    The small satisfaction you garner while spouting derisive comments here only exists in your self-delusion and is a pale comfort compared to the reality that exists around you. You can try to salve your bitter existence with theories of international Kenyan plots or document fraud, whatever. But that is your future. Your world will always be limited by your small-mindedness, your associates will always consist of those that are just as poorly adapted to the world around them too. Your accomplishments will be non-existent and your life a bitter existence. It’s time to move on. In your journey into denial, you’ve already sacrificed your conscience and whatever claim to character you had.

    Your pretense at a deity derived morality is mocked by your myopic hatred of the ‘other’. Your concept of patriotism is waving a child’s flag on the sidelines as others defend your liberty. Bush 41 and spouse are living into their nineties, the Obama’s will too. You’ll see them at the inaugurals, your TV will tell you of their lives and that of their daughters, of their successes and their trips and the books they write and their accolades.

    Make it easy on yourself. Take a deep cleansing breath and just let go, make the best of your situation. He will always be the 44th President of the US, and your children and their children will read of him in their history books, the first black man elected president of the US. And when he leaves office, he will be healthier and wealthier than he is as President, and he will be remembered as a person who was always willing to make sacrifice’s for you and your children; even though you hated him. Future generations will always love him for his uncanny ability to put up with people like you and your bullshit. But for now, just remember that you still live in a free country made more safe and prosperous by your President, and he, the First Lady and their children will always have you in their prayers.

    THIS!!!! Is just another example of those endless supplies of paint.

    • 15 vitaminlover
      May 5, 2013 at 7:35 pm

      Spot on!

    • 16 cookemom
      May 5, 2013 at 7:36 pm

      “The cynics may be the loudest voices – but I promise you, they will accomplish the least.” – President Obama at the 2013 OSU commencement.

      He summed it all up right there.

    • 17 a4alice
      May 5, 2013 at 7:51 pm

      well said Donna – thanks for sharing this. Not on facebook so wouldn’t have seen it!

    • 18 utaustinliberal
      May 5, 2013 at 7:54 pm

      Fantastic.

    • 19 Betsy
      May 5, 2013 at 7:54 pm

      Beautiful post. Thanks for sharing Donna Dem.

    • May 5, 2013 at 8:00 pm

      A very beautiful post. Thank you, Donna.

      I know we will spend many days in reflection after our beloved President Obama leaves office. We will think about his legacy and the inordinate and unfathomable resistance to his outsized abilities to lead and to change the world. But we all know how this will end. Despite all odds, he will be considered among the very greatest Presidents our nation has ever known. He will be celebrated for his keen mind, his warm heart, his humor and his desire to carry out the highest values of our founding. And we will all rest on this truth.

    • 24 aquagranny911
      May 5, 2013 at 8:02 pm

      Great share! Verdad!

    • 25 nathkatun7
      May 5, 2013 at 8:03 pm

      Thank you so much Donna for sharing this beautiful letter, filled with nuggets of TRUTH, with people like me who are not on facebook.

    • 26 globalcitizenlinda
      May 5, 2013 at 8:16 pm

      thank u so much for sharing! will pass on to a few O-haters

    • 27 Roberta in MN
      May 5, 2013 at 8:51 pm

      Thanks Donna, posted this on my FB page.

    • 28 Eveingeorgia
      May 5, 2013 at 9:01 pm

      Thank you, Donna foe sharing this!

    • 29 jackiegrumbacher
      May 5, 2013 at 10:09 pm

      Perfect! Thank you, Donna, for sharing this.

    • 30 theo67
      May 5, 2013 at 10:21 pm

      This is absolutely brilliant , Donna – thank you for sharing it here. They say that living well is the best revenge, and that’s basically what this author was saying in their post. The haters will never be able to change reality – the real reality – and that must make them fill up with bile every time they think of it. It’s the most delicious part of their hatred, the fact that they will never be able to change the fact that President Obama won two terms, and achieved remarkable things with his time as President, while all they did was hate. I love it. And it’s all true.

    • 32 donna dem 4 obama
      May 5, 2013 at 7:33 pm

      Happy Happy Birthday Barb!!!

    • 33 hopefruit2
      May 5, 2013 at 7:41 pm

      Happy Birthday Barb! Hope you enjoy this lovely cake baked and delivered directly from the WH :)

      • May 5, 2013 at 7:46 pm

        *Cough* Baked and delivered in the TOD kitchens, then – and only then – delivered to the White House. Sheesh. :roll:

        • 35 hopefruit2
          May 5, 2013 at 7:59 pm

          I apologize (down on bended knee) my dear Chips !!!!

          Yes indeed, you have been slaving away all night and day to produce this masterpiece which you personally handed in a box to PBO so that he and FlOTUS could then present it to Barb. :)

        • May 5, 2013 at 8:05 pm

          It looks like a cheesecake. It’s a treasure, Chips!!

          • May 5, 2013 at 8:08 pm

            Thanks Meta, I’ve just ordered myself one of these:

            I’m pretty awesome now at this cake-baking thing :cool:

            PS It’s a Cheesy Puff cake, actually, but you were close.

            • May 5, 2013 at 8:13 pm

              LOLz!!!!!!!!!!!!

            • 39 vcprezofan2
              May 5, 2013 at 8:24 pm

              Wow!
              CanadaBarb, Happy Birthday! You have timed your day beautifully to partake of the new ‘ I’m pretty awesome now at this cake-baking thing’ reality in TOD village! And to have Chips’ output delivered by POTUS and FLOTUS – WOW!!!! This has got to be part of the crowning of your day. Enjoy!

    • 40 a4alice
      May 5, 2013 at 7:53 pm

      Ha! Lovely Cake you baked there Chips – and how did you get it to PBO and FLOTUS so quickly???? You must have some serious connections! ;-)

      Happy birthday CanadaBarb!

    • May 5, 2013 at 8:02 pm

      CanadaBarb, are you with us?? Very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you!! I know you’ve made the most of your day and will continue to enjoy it to the fullest. CHEERS!!

      • 44 canadabarb4obama
        May 5, 2013 at 9:08 pm

        yes, Meta, I’m here….had a few challenges with my computer, so I’m late at getting to this thread. I am still curious whether you actually made the cake for Chips? Cheesy-puff-not!!!!

    • 45 nathkatun7
      May 5, 2013 at 8:09 pm

      Wow! What a cake! And look who is delivering it. Happy Birthday Canadabarb! I hope it was filled with love. Chipsticks, like our beloved president, always keeps her promises.

    • 60 jacquelineoboomer
      May 5, 2013 at 8:18 pm

      Beautiful, Chips! Your cake was lovely enough to be presented by the First Couple of these United States of America.

      Happy Birthday, again, CanadaBarb, dear friend!

    • 61 canadabarb4obama
      May 5, 2013 at 9:04 pm

      OMG……look how healthy that cake looks!!|!|!|!| Please, everyone, dig in.
      Thank you Chips; just wondering if you talked Meta into making that?

  4. 69 anniebella
    May 5, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    When is Sasha Obama’s birthday? I thought it was this month, but is it in June or May?

    • 70 vitaminlover
      May 5, 2013 at 7:41 pm

      June 10 I believe. She will be 12.

    • 71 hopefruit2
      May 5, 2013 at 7:42 pm

      June 10

      • 72 anniebella
        May 5, 2013 at 7:56 pm

        Malia July 4th, she will be 15. Look POTUS next commencement speech will be May 11th at Morehouse College in Atlanta. And FLOTUS suppose to speak at Eastern Kentucky, when is the date?

        • 73 anniebella
          May 5, 2013 at 8:06 pm

          FLOTUS will speak May 11th at 7:30pm at Eastern Kentucky. POTUS will speak at Morehouse College May 11th. Just as long as they are not speaking at the same time. When FLOTUS came to North Carolina A&T last year she was outstanding. Hopefully I can catch POTUS early in the day, then I can listen to FLOTUS that evening.

  5. 74 desertflower
    May 5, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Happy Birthday, CanadaBarb:) Many, many more

  6. May 5, 2013 at 7:42 pm
    • 77 99ts
      May 5, 2013 at 7:57 pm

      GM from my world Ms Chips – that is perfect – just perfect. I ranted on the last thread – the US could have led the world recovery – if the GOP cared even one iota for the people it supposedly represents. What the President has done, amid the opposition of the congress and the Supreme Court is amazing – he will always be loved and remembered – but this congress – will be decimated by history – decimated – as they should be.

      • 78 theo67
        May 5, 2013 at 10:40 pm

        Indeed – these right wingers and their media puppets have wasted so much time and energy. If they really loved this country, they would have spent some of it trying to make things better.

  7. May 5, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    Thank you BobFR for your invaluable Twitter timeline.

    Your comments and RTs are sooooooo much more enlightening than the mostly worthless MSM twitter feed. I’m seriously thinking of unfollowing most MSM until… I don’t know when.

    Sent you a tweet, asking if Bibi is being two-faced about visiting/conspiring with China (behind the U.S.’s back?) while accepting millions in foreign aid and other support from us. Maybe this is a stupid or naive question, but the thought crossed my mind.

  8. May 5, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    Because some things you MUST SEE, then share with everyone you know.

  9. 84 criquet
    May 5, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    This is where I borrow Bobr’s apt comment- Trust PBO, he has earned it.

    U.N. has testimony that Syrian rebels used sarin gas: investigator

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/05/us-syria-crisis-un-idUSBRE94409Z20130505

    • 85 hopefruit2
      May 5, 2013 at 8:05 pm

      This is how the MSM responds to this news..it’s almost as if they’re disappointed….

      • 86 criquet
        May 5, 2013 at 8:12 pm

        So true Hf.

        It really is a travesty that they do not do their jobs and just play a game it seems of – how to blame PBO? Not that they refer to him properly and respectfully often.

        And they get paid very well for this betrayal of their profession.

      • 87 globalcitizenlinda
        May 5, 2013 at 9:07 pm

        disgusting how everyone seems to “know” more than PBO and very giddy about the prospects of another US invasion of another country.

        evaluating facts before sending other people’s kids into battle is a sign of a great CIC – not a sign of weakness

  10. 89 Betsy
    May 5, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    Awesome pictures and speech! Thank you Chips:)

  11. 94 forus50
    May 5, 2013 at 7:51 pm
  12. May 5, 2013 at 8:03 pm
  13. 102 yardarm756
    May 5, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    Another crazy e-mail that kinda fits the rwnj’s.

    FACTS
    are not decided by how many people believe them.
    TRUTH
    is not determined by how loudly it’s shouted.
    ___________________________________________________________
    Ole is the Pastor of the local Norwegian
    Lutheran Church and Pastor Sven is the minister of the Swedish Covenant
    Church across the road.

    One day they are seen
    pounding a sign into the ground, which
    said:

    DA END ISS
    NEAR!

    TURN YERSELF AROUNT
    NOW

    BAFOR IT ISS TOO
    LATE!

    As a car speeds past them, the driver leans
    out his window and yells, “Leave

    people alone, you
    Skandihoovian religious nuts!”

    From the curve they heard screeching tires
    and a big splash.

    Shakin’ his head, Rev. Ole says “Dat’s da
    terd one dis mornin’.”

    “Yaa,” Pastor Sven
    agrees, then asks, “Do ya tink maybe da sign should yust say, ‘Bridge
    Out?’”

  14. May 5, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Evening Chips, thanks so much for transcribing the commencement/pictures (missed it)…..been working on my paper and wanted to drop by. Happy B-day Canadabarb! On a sidenote, for those just reading the UN report, some context on the credibility of the assessment.

    Cant wait to see the media blowhards, cheerleading another war for tv ratings, pull this one back…. OK, will try to say hello later…If not hope everyone has a wonderful week!

    • 108 nathkatun7
      May 5, 2013 at 8:43 pm

      Thanks for sharing this LP! Our media, with the help of GOP, will probably try their best to discredit the UN report. Thankfully, the MSM no longer have a monopoly on news because of blogs like TOD. Good luck on your papers. I also hope that your father is feeling much better.

    • 111 prettyfoot58
      May 5, 2013 at 9:06 pm

      Instead of Praising and thanking God for PBO….AND his hand of restraint!

  15. May 5, 2013 at 8:20 pm
  16. 113 prettyfoot58
    May 5, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    Standing Ovation for such magnificent and powerful words

  17. 114 prettyfoot58
    May 5, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    MsChipsssssss…thank you for posting his speech

  18. May 5, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    So, on our way to dinner, we were waiting at a light to turn left. We were behind a car which had a derogatory bumper sticker towards PBO. I just laughed, because my thought was “Yeah, and he’s STILL President.”

    • 122 theo67
      May 5, 2013 at 11:29 pm

      Those words bring me joy every day. I work in a fairly red city, and still see Romney signs everywhere – and each time I laugh at their foolishness in broadcasting their support for a loser, and for the fact that every time they see that foolish bumper sticker broadcasting their foolish support for that loser – they have to remember that their guy lost and President Obama is still the President.

  19. 123 anniebella
    May 5, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    Which of the war idiots were on the Sunday shows today? Where was Lindsey and McCain at today?

  20. May 5, 2013 at 8:51 pm
  21. May 5, 2013 at 8:52 pm
  22. May 5, 2013 at 8:54 pm
  23. 128 jacquelineoboomer
    May 5, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    More targets sold at the NRA convention:

  24. May 5, 2013 at 9:03 pm
  25. May 5, 2013 at 9:04 pm
  26. 141 carolyn
    May 5, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Thank you Chips for posting the transcript of the president’s speech, and also, for this academic, for posting the pictures of his hooding as he received his Doctor of Laws. If anyone ever deserved that honorary degree, it is him.
    Also, thank you Donna for posting the facebook letter. Every word in that letter is so true. The haters only make their worlds smaller and meaner. They don’t hurt the president; they diminish themselves.
    This is a lesson haters never seem to learn…….that their hating does not diminish the object of their hate, it hurts only them.
    Tonight we watched Bill Moyers (replay from last night) and his guests were two parents from Sandy Hook. (I am so glad Bill Moyers is back!) These two parents, the parents of Ben, spoke to this very thing in a way. They said that we need to overcome our culture of fear and hate, and the only way this can happen is love, because love does cast out fear. The father said that we have constructed a culture of fear in the last years, and we have to change culturally if we are going to change the laws. From what he said, I think we can say that this gun madness is a symptom of the culture of fear, and yes of hate, that has been stoked.
    President Obama just will not succumb to that culture, no matter how much trash is written about him, and I believe it drives the haters nuts. They would like nothing better than to have him strike back in hatred, but his strength through his attitude is, as the Bible quotes: Greater than an army with banners. The gun nuts and the haters do not understand this, but he is following the example of four historical people: Christ, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Mandela.
    Light drives out darkness, and love overcomes fear…..I believe that, and have seen that happen in my long life, both societally and personally. Trust that.

    • 142 nathkatun7
      May 5, 2013 at 9:41 pm

      Thanks Carolyn for this beautiful comment!

    • 144 Lovepolitics2008
      May 5, 2013 at 11:19 pm

      I’m probably alone in this thread because everyone has moved to the next one, but I just had to post a comment on carolyn’s post. This is so beautiful, so moving, and most of all, so TRUE.

      President Obama lives by the motto “BE the change”. Light against darkness. Indeed.

      • 145 HZ
        May 6, 2013 at 1:02 am

        Carolyn, your speak so beautifully. Thanks so much for your comments. Your words are always so touching to my heart. Thank you my love,(((((((Special Gift))))))))HZ

  27. 146 amk for obama
    May 5, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    phew. what a crowd. any head count ?

  28. May 6, 2013 at 12:12 am

    What a beautiful speech! He saying plainly what his agenda has been all along, to remind us that as citizens we have the power to change the things we don’t like if we take action. I’m so glad he called out the voices of cynicism which are so very damaging to our country and to the world. Great cynics have never accomplished anything; people of great hope have accomplished so much. I can’t even express how much I love and honor this president. I always thought of Winston Churchill as having been fitted and formed to take command when his coulntry had need of his exact talents. I feel the same way about President Obama. His character and life experiences formed him to be the man we need at this time and THANK GOD the people had the sense to elect him twice.

  29. May 6, 2013 at 2:36 am

    Breathtaking speech. Inspired!!! Thank you Mr. President!


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