The President and First Lady joke with the Vice President and Dr. Biden in the Blue Room of the White House before the National Governors Association Dinner.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
(Chips: Eric is one of my very, very, very, very favorite people on the Twitter machine, so I DM’ed him and said ‘Oi, you! Would you like to put together a post for TOD on your most memorable moments from 2013?’
If he’d any sense he’d have replied: ‘Go away, it’s holiday time, I’m chillin’, shoo’, but he didn’t, he said he’d love to. See? That’s why he’s Exceptional Excellent Eric.
I’m against hierarchies, so these are in no particular order, in spite of the placement.
The moment Barack Obama gave Congress back its testicles
Ah, remember when the Syrian drums of war were beating? When all the talk was about “red lines” and “consequences”? When the beltway media was sure, just sure, that the bombs would start flying soon and were ordering up snazzy new graphics? Fun times.
And then a weird thing happened. President Obama interrupted my Saturday morning Premier League football match (damn you, Obama!) and did something no president since Franklin Roosevelt had done. He averred that on his own he had the authority to strike against Syria for using chemical weapons against its civilian population; but then he pivoted, and gave the braying Congress what it said it wanted: a voice in the decision. There would be no strike against Syria unless approved by Congress. In one press conference, he moved to undo the Imperial Presidency, where presidents could send the legions anywhere by fiat.
Suddenly the cries were of “weak” and “Neville Chamberlain” and “leading from behind”. But, another funny thing happened: it worked. It spooked Vladimir “The Impaler” Putin enough to push legacy hire Bashar al-Assad to join him in a rousing rendition of “Uncle”. Syria joined the convention against chemical weapons. Inspectors went in. And in the new year, all of the regime’s chemical stockpiles will be destroyed. All because, as Ride or Die Joe would say, Obama waved his big stick. No trillions spent, no dead Americans, no new quagmire in the Middle East. And the sight of emoprog dudebros licking authoritarian Putin’s nethers served for signal entertainment and revealing psychology.
The spy who went into the cold
He’s one of Barbara Walter’s “Most Fascinating People of 2013”. He was short-listed for Time’s “Person of the Year”. (Instead the Marxist Pope won. More on that anon.) Bus ads thanking him have been taken on Washington D.C.’s Metro. He’s Edward “I spilled state secrets and all I got was exile in Moscow” Snowden!
The NSA revelations which have dripped out in a steady stream since the summer rank among the top ten political stories of 2013 if only because said revelations expose a rather dark seam of Obama Derangement Syndrome. I’m old enough to remember when US intelligence agencies were doing much worse under G.W. Bush—and doing it without writ of warrant or law—and the media, at first, ignored said malefactions. Eventually the crimes were covered, in the manner of pulling hen’s teeth, with the attitude that “Yes, we should have some safeguards, but it IS a dangerous world in which we live, remember.”
The same policies, now under firm legal strictures under Obama, were leaked by, well let’s not mince words, the spy Edward Snowden. Emotarian dudebros who routinely divulge the most secret of their personal information to multinational conglomerates in order to get the shiniest new toy were suddenly aghast that the government was doing much less in the name of, yes, securing the country in a world which is still every bit as dangerous as before Barack Obama took office in 2009. And as someone who’s worked with millions of metadata records in a past life, metadata will reveal that you called a phone sex line; it won’t reveal if your kink tends towards sheep love.
But, 0f course, the black president is an autocratic shredder of the Constitution eleventy billion times worse than Bush because Stop and Frisk now applies to libertarian dudebros. Except, of course, it doesn’t, as communications originating within the US aren’t monitored.
And grand poobah of all things emotarian Glenn Greenwald dialed his Obama hatred to 11, to the point where he became even more of a parody of himself. The likes of Charles Johnson of LGF and Bob Cesca and Joshua Foust had detailed refutations of Greenwald’s screeds within minutes of him posting them. But, beating up on Obama was good for Greenwald’s bottom line; he was able to parlay his outrage into securing a billionaire sugar daddy into funding his new project. Which leads one to wonder if all this wasn’t just some snowjob by Greenwald, using a dupe like Snowden, in order jump charge a career which had quite frankly stalled. I’m sure Snowden is wondering what he’s getting out of the deal as the winter freeze sets in Moscow and he struggles with Russian lessons.
It all started with an email invitation. My reaction after opening this message swung from excitement and serious tingling, to disbelief and suspicion. I could not imagine what I had done that was wonderful enough to earn an invitation to the White House for a party. Our team had an event every week, I faithfully listened to briefing calls from our state and national leaders, we had been involved in some innovative projects – but a holiday party at the White house was over the top.
I had fantasized about meeting the President, when he was in the SF area, shaking his hand, mumbling something coherent and trying not to pass out. Going to Washington DC, being able to attend an event at the White House with the President and Mrs. Obama was way beyond anything I had ever imagined.
Then that dark voice that lives in my head began to emerge. I kept looking at the part of the invitation that asked for my social security number and date of birth. Was this just a clever scheme to steal my identity? Drats… I called the number on the invitation but it was an answering machine. I wrote to my Regional Field Organizer asking her if she knew anything about it – Nope. I wrote to another volunteer asking if she had received an invitation, Nada…
As someone who has a big sister and knows how trying that relationship can be at this age, I LOVED this one.
9 A Wise and Empathetic Latina on the Supreme Court
This year Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor published her book “My Beloved World.” I read it immediately. It moved me beyond words to think that we have someone on the Supreme Court who has lived her life. During her book promotion tour, this happened (see here):
“At her Wednesday night book talk here, Justice Sonia Sotomayor glided through her audience of 700, dispensing homespun wisdom through a cordless microphone, interrupted by impromptu applause.
When the moderator read a question from Tabbie Major, age 7, about which books Justice Sotomayor loved as a child, she found the girl, locked her in an embrace, held on while reminiscing about Nancy Drew mysteries and then called out for a photographer to capture the moment. “
8 The Evolution of Mom-Dancing
Nuff said. FLOTUS pulls off the comedy gold of the year!
7 Marriage equality spreads like wildfire
This is how we celebrated in Minnesota.
6. Those red shoes!
We all know what happened that day. Wendy Davis showed us how its done. We’ll all love her forever for that!
5 The day Antoinette Tuff “stood up, spoke out, and got in the way.”
10. President Obama explains the lipstick on his collar at a White House reception for Asian American Heritage Month. Don’t worry Mrs O, the culprit was auntie of Jessica Sanchez.
“Look at this!”
“Look at this!”
“I do not want to be in trouble with Michelle. That’s why I’m calling you out right in front of everybody.”
9. The adorable Kid President receives a personal tour of the Oval office from President Obama.
8. Malia photobombs Sasha trying to get a picture of their mom and dad kissing because she’s awesome.
7. Sunny Obama, the diva puppy, is welcomed into the Obama family! I’m sure she is the source of much of President Obama’s new gray hairs.
6. President Obama speaks directly with Iranian President Rouhani. It was the first direct contact between U.S. and Iranian presidents since 1979. Yeah, I’d say that was a BFD.
5. During his commencement speech at Morehouse College, President Obama went off-script to acknowledge gay Morehouse men. As a recent graduate of a prominent HBCU, I found this moment to be of great significance.
4. After George Zimmerman was found “not guilty” for murdering Trayvon Martin, many of us in the African-American community expressed pain, doubt, and an overall sense of hopelessness.
The First Family step from Air Force One upon their arrival for their vacation in Honolulu, in Hawaii December 20
MoooOOOooorning everyone! Okay, I think yesterday was the first day since forever that I didn’t get near my computing machine, having told UT that my worky thing would be over afternoon-ish and I’d be back then :oops:
So, a gazillion gazillion gazillion thank yous to the legend for all the wonderful posts yesterday – and for even posting my Early Bird Chat when I was AWOL.
You. Are. The. Best.
Happy Saturday everyone, soooooo thrilled the First Family are in Hawaii.
First Lady Michelle Obama talks with a young patient during a visit to the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, December 16. The First Lady read the book “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” before greeting the children along with Santa Claus and presidential dogs Sunny and Bo
President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and their daughters, Sasha and Malia, pose for photographs alongside children dressed as elves, who are or were patients at Children’s National Medical Center after they presented donated gifts to the Obamas to give to children at the hospital, as they attend a taping of TNT’s Christmas in Washington at the National Building Museum in Washington on December 15