Posts Tagged ‘brilliant



18
May
11

pete souza: genius

President Barack Obama works as his motorcade arrives at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Conn., May 18, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

14
May
11

start it up!

Thank you theboysisters ;-)

Visit the Obama2012USA Youtube channel here – and subscribe!

03
May
11

‘obama has shown the world why it fell in love with him’

Matthew Norman (The UK Independent): He is not the Messiah, but he deserves to sleep easy in his bed, and leave the 3am angst to malevolent midgets like Donald Trump who will never trouble him again

…Obama is said to be a strong player in the tight-aggressive style, which means that he doesn’t play a lot of hands or bluff much; but that when the potential return justifies the risk, he isn’t scared to push all his chips in … This is what he did in Abbottabad…

He bet the lot – his presidency, re-election chances, and place in history … had it gone wrong, Obama would by now have been measured up for the Jimmy Carter One Term Memorial Shroud…

It did not go wrong, and so he finally became the President of the United States of America, rather than President of That Chunk Of America That Doesn’t Regard A Black Man In The Oval Office As The Cleaner Or An Imposter.

… Obama did more than quell the screechings of the wingnuts, chat-show rabble-rousers, the Birthers and those we should term the Placentas (the After-Birthers who have now progressed to post-certificate conspiracy theories to question his legitimacy). He reminded the world why it fell in love with him in the first place.

…People have criticised him for being “professorial” as well as arrogant. They will do so no longer. He pondered for months, studied the research, weighed up the evidence, and reached the right conclusion. This is one cool, tough prof, and the lesson he has taught by example won’t quickly be unlearnt. In asymmetric warfare against a stateless enemy, invading sovereign states and slaughtering civilians is not the way to go. You don’t punish the guilty by killing the innocent. You do so by killing the guilty.

….Let no one hear attempts to share Obama’s credit with Dubya without revulsion. He failed pitifully in this, as in almost every thing else … Obama hasn’t honoured on every promise, nor will. He is not the Messiah, although if the Kool Aid truck has redelivered at last, make mine an octuple. For tempering vengeance with mercy, by refusing to reckon countless civilian lives a price worth paying to safeguard himself, hedeserves to sleep easy in his bed, and leave all the sweaty 3am angst to Donald Trump and the other malevolent midgets who will never trouble him again.

Full article here

18
Apr
11

‘obama is now and will be a great president’

Frank Schaeffer: The “disappointed” left says president Obama sold out. The racist-laced Medicaid-mugging, billionaire-codling right staggers under the weight of terminal “birther” mythology … Meanwhile president Obama continues to bide his time and looks down the road to the post-2012 reality when his patience with an impatient country, his thoughtfulness in the context of a sound-bite-entertain-ourselves-to-death era of short attention spans and historical amnesia will be vindicated.

…President Obama has met the vile far right (and religious right lynch mob) and also met the disappointment of the shrill impatient left with a calm smile and good humor … he has also played chicken with each new crisis and – invariably – pulled last moment hair raising victory from what critics said would be defeat…

….Before he’d served a year president Obama lost the support of the easily distracted (bitter?) left of the Left and also became the target for the white hot rage of the hate-filled right of the Right. But some of us, from all walks of life and ideological backgrounds are sticking with our president.

….The disappointment on the left has apparently led some folks to concoct an alternate reality in which – in a mirror image of the loony embittered far right… no matter what president Obama does they dismiss it….

For instance here’s how blogger media personality and professional Obama-hater Glenn Greenwald describes president Obama:

“[Obama will] pay lip service to some Democratic economic dogma and defend some financially inconsequential culture war positions: that’s how he will signal to the base that he’s still on their side. But the direction will be the same as the GOP desires and, most importantly, how the most powerful economic factions demand: not because he can’t figure out how to change that dynamic, but because that’s what benefits him and thus what he wants.”

Think about Greenwald’s claim that what president Obama really wants is the same thing that the Republican leaders in congress want. He dismisses president Obama’s defense of stem cell research, a woman’s right to choose, gay rights, gays’ right to serve in the military et al as “inconsequential culture war positions.” Parkinson’s disease suffers waiting for a cure, women with unwanted pregnancies and gay men and women in the military might disagree that the costly stand the president has taken is inconsequential.

…Maybe there are some on the left who (besides selling anti-Obama screeds) suffer from some sort of psychological problem of denial and are unable to deal with the reality of what America has become and actually is: A place where progressive ideas are routinely crushed beneath the weight of the corporate state and entrenched bigotry. But THAT reality is where president Obama must function.

…We Americans are very lucky people. A sane and compassionate president is in charge. Over an 8 year period he will change American history for the better. Only president Obama’s dimwitted and/or hate-filled opponents are unlucky: they are betting against a political genius who also happens to be a very good human being.

Read the full magnificent post here

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There’s a brilliant post too at Alternet about “professional Obama-hater Greenwald” – see here (Thank you Dorothy)

17
Apr
11

character

Rick Ungar (Forbes): …What the speech (last week) really did was reinforce what I continue to believe is this president’s most valuable asset – character. It is a trait of Barack Obama’s that is too often forgotten by progressives and conservatives alike … he has shown, time and again, that his decisions reflect a willingness to do what he believes is right while taking the political hits that come with courageous decisions.

This reality was never brought into sharper focus than last December when Obama elected to suffer the slings and arrows fired at him by his own supporters by swallowing hard and agreeing to the extension of the Bush tax credits.

Anyone who truly understood what was at issue in that fight – and the incredibly difficult choices available to the President – understands that Obama chose to pay the political price in order to ensure that millions of Americans who are out of work would continue to get their unemployment benefits. He was willing to take the hit from those who are supposed to be his friends so that he could protect the already suffering middle class from having to pay for the President’s political safety in the guise of the tax increases that were threatened for those who could least afford them.

That took character.

I was angry with progressives for their willingness to put someone else’s money where their mouth is .… it’s awfully easy to demand that the President stay true to his progressive roots and go to the mats with the Republicans as you sip a fine glass of wine with your friends inside a cozy bistro. Meanwhile, as you enjoy the conversation and drinks, you don’t even notice that poor fellow outside the bar who is offering to shovel driveways to make a few bucks so he can put a cheap dinner on the table for his children. He’s the one who lost his job and, if progressives had their way, would have been cut off from the only financial lifeline he had – all so that the liberals could feel more righteous in their willingness to battle the GOP using the snow shoveler’s money – not their own.

That is not progressive behavior – that is elitist behavior.

The wine drinkers were not the ones on the President’s mind last December. It was the cold guy on the outside who was the focus of Obama’s attention – and that is precisely as it should have been.

…I think the majority of Americans will agree with the President’s approach to our financial problems. Why? Because they know that character and clarity counts in a President … (last week’s) speech revealed that Obama has more than enough of both.

Read the full article here

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Thank you for sending me the link cat48, you’re a star – I adored this article

16
Apr
11

‘the emotional, intellectual nourishment we’ve been craving’

Hendrik Hertzberg (The New Yorker): One of the mysteries of the Obama Presidency has been Obama’s inability – or disinclination, I’m not sure which – to give sustained emotional sustenance to a certain slice of his supporters. I don’t mean the “Democratic base” … I don’t mean the disillusioned left, which is easily, almost perpetually disillusioned because it has such an ample supply of illusions.

(A lot of lefties, notwithstanding their scorn for “the system”, seem to have an implicit naive faith in the workability of the mechanisms of American governance. Hence their readiness to blame the disappointments of the Administration’s first two years mainly on Obama’s alleged moral or character failings – cowardice, spinelessness, insincerity, duplicity, what have you.)

Mainly, I guess, the slice I’m talking about is of people like me: liberals who continue to respect and admire Obama; who fully appreciate the disaster he inherited and the horrendous difficulty of enacting a coherent agenda even when your own party “controls” both Houses of Congress; who think his substantive record is pretty good under the circumstances; who dislike some of the distasteful compromises he has made but aren’t sure we wouldn’t have done the same in his shoes … but who are puzzled that our eloquent, writerly President seems to have done so little to educate the public about his own vision and to contrast it with that of the Republican right – which is to say, the Republicans.

I don’t know how many people watched Obama’s speech (on Wednesday) but those who did, and who share my general outlook, got a dose of the emotional (and intellectual) nourishment we’ve been craving.

…Obama spoke powerful words, and spoke them with real feeling. As we all know by now, our President doesn’t “do” anger … (on Wednesday), though, he did sternness; he did dignified exasperation; best of all, he did argument.

…By the time the President got to his own four-step proposal, which calls for higher taxes on the rich … the Republican alternative was a smoking ruin. Given the position his own reluctance, until now, to stake out a clear ideological divide had left him in, Obama succeeded in constructing a reasonably solid fortification for the fiscal battles to come. Even Paul Krugman was pleased. Me, too.

Full article here

13
Apr
11

reaction: ‘a spirited defense of a progressive vision’

President Barack Obama reviews his fiscal policy speech with advisors in the Oval Office. Pictured, from left, are: Rob Nabors, Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs; Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner; National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling; Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew; and Director of Speechwriting Jon Favreau. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Steve Benen: …. As heartening as it was to hear President Obama’s full-throated condemnation of the House Republican budget plan – he didn’t pull any punches – what made his remarks this afternoon especially satisfying was his defense of the progressive vision.

…along the way, the president made a point of reminding his audience that government, the institutions of the modern welfare state, and the modern social compact are worthy of a spirited defense. Indeed, to hear Obama tell it, the progressive vision is the American vision.

See here for extract

There’s a word to summarize this approach to government. It’s called “liberalism.”

Jonathan Bernstein put it this way: “Liberals have wanted a full-throated affirmation of why government is a good thing? Obama delivered, with perhaps his strongest case for a liberal vision of government that he’s given so far during his presidency.”

The “sellout of the left” this wasn’t. What we saw today was an unapologetic defense of a progressive vision of government, cased in terms that were equal parts moral and pragmatic. America doesn’t hear it often enough, and Obama delivered it with passion and conviction today.

Read the full post here

Steve Benen: The President’s rousing rejection of Republican radicalism …. President Obama’s speech on the nation’s fiscal future was one of my favorites in a long while. It was exactly the sort of spirited defense of government and progressive values the nation desperately needed to hear right now.

…Last week, when the White House was criticized from the left for not having said more about the GOP vision, I wrote about my expectations for this week’s message: “I want to see a forceful, unapologetic response. I want a hearty defense of government. I want officials explaining why Paul Ryan’s plan is dangerous and ridiculous.”

This afternoon, in Obama’s address, I got all of those things …There were concerns among some of my fellow progressives going into this speech that the president may accept parts of the GOP plan or express some sympathies for the Republican vision. The opposite happened – this was a full-throated condemnation, not just of the radical Paul Ryan plan, but of the far-right goals it intends to pursue.

I know many hoped to hear this message from the White House last week, but from where I sat today, it was worth the wait.

Full post here

Greg Sargent (Washington Post): Obama made the moral case for what it means to be a democrat … For some time now, a bunch of us have been wondering when – or whether – Obama would step up and make a strong case for an expansive vision of Democratic governance … it’s fair to say Obama delivered.

Sure, the speech had flaws …but Obama did offer perhaps the most ambitious defense he may have ever attempted of American liberalism and of what it means to be a Democrat.

Crucially, right at the outset, Obama cast the battle with the GOP as one over whether we are going to maintain the social safety net and the national social contract as we’ve understood it for decades — and cast this question as central to our national identity. He used a key word — “commitments” — to describe Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment insurance, insisting: “We would not be a great country without those commitments.” In other words, the social safety net and the liberal social contract are indispensable components of America’s greatness.

…We cannot know right now whether the steadfastness of Obama’s rhetoric in defending core liberal and Democratic ideals will be matched by equal resoluteness in practice when the battles heat up and the temptation to make deals and jettison core priorities intensifies. But Obama did tell us in clear and unequivocal moral terms what he thinks it means to be a Democrat, and those who have been waiting for him to do so should be quite satisfied by what they heard.

Full post here

07
Apr
11

‘the liberal whine-o’-meter’

Mark Morford (San Francisco Chronicle): And suddenly we come to the crux of the problem: What shall we do about Barack in 2012? ….This is apparently now how it works in American politics: You are allowed no more than 2.4 years of impossibly difficult service as redeemer president, shouldering the overwhelming burden of failure foisted on you by your pathetic predecessor, before you have to start … all over again.

….liberals are, as they say, up against it. Many are fidgeting and fussing, puling about the fact that, while they grudgingly admit Obama has mostly been a fine, articulate, highly regarded president who has passed a huge amount of progressive legislation and returned America to a place of relative honor in the international community, turns out he’s not been nearly fine enough.

Just the opposite, in fact. To the sneering disappointment of the puritanical left, Obama has turned out to be pretty much exactly what he said he’d be during his ’08 campaign…

In short, Obama has failed. He has not at all been the delicious chocolatey superjesus of radical sociopolitical transformation most on the hard left hoped, prayed and sacrificed precious Prius bumper ad space he would be.

…Let us now check the liberal Whine-O’-Meter…. (see here)

…Sure, the extremely difficult Iraq drawdown is going brilliantly, on time and on target. Sure, the economy is recovering, a little. Sure Obama saved GM and a million jobs. Sure he’s great on women’s rights, unemployment and housing aid, college loans, science, high-speed rail, all sorts of non-sensational but still hugely impressive triumphs that never make screaming 300-point headlines in HuffPo, TPM and Politico.

… Obama has a sense of the long view like no president in our lifetime. He seems to understand that his true positive impact will be felt cumulatively, over time, way down the road (your kids will love him). He thinks not egomaniacally, not insta-gratifyingly, but historically. This alone makes him one of the most remarkable politicians of any stripe, now or ever….

… while libs can whine all they want about Obama’s imperfections and so-called failures, the instant you turn it all around and look at the alternatives, and then hitch them to the current GOP-led House’s plans to gut the budget and spew hate on women and gays, the arts and the poor, promote Islamophobia and kowtow to the rich, well, suddenly Obama shines all over again like the gleaming savior we all want him to be.

Suddenly all the complaining turns into nitpicking. Suddenly that vague dissatisfaction is instantly overshadowed by this shuddering, sour tang deep in the gut that just about screams OMFG, thank God Obama’s there, how much worse off we’d be without him, how much good he’s actually accomplished, how blessed his articulate intelligence, how proud we are every time he travels abroad – please, please, please don’t ever leave and sorry we complained in the first place and oh my God please don’t leave.

…So count your presidential blessings, libs, for while they may be tattered and rashy and often pinch and ride up, they are, on the whole, still plentiful and hugely impressive and just shockingly better than any alternative you can name, much less vote for. And you know it.

Full article here

Thank you Eleroy, this article is magnificent!

23
Mar
11

‘how the u.s. pulled off a major freeze of libyan assets’

Washington Post: The Treasury Department team had been working nonstop on a plan to freeze Libyan assets in U.S. banks, hoping they might snare $100 million or more and prevent Moammar Gaddafi from tapping it as he unleashed deadly attacks against protesters who wanted him gone.

Now, at 2:22 Friday afternoon, Feb. 25, an e-mail arrived from a Treasury official with startling news. Their $100 million estimate was off — orders of magnitude off. The e-mail said there was in “excess of $29.7 Billion — yes, that’s a B.” And most of the money was at one bank.

It was a piece of extraordinary good fortune for the Obama administration at a crucial moment in the efforts to address the bizarre and deadly events unfolding in Libya.

Never before had U.S. officials so quickly launched economic sanctions affecting so many assets of a targeted country.

The frenetic 72 hours leading up to the Executive Order 13566 illustrate how a process of identifying and freezing assets — something that customarily has taken weeks or months — has become one of the first tactical tools to employ in the midst of fast-breaking crises.

It also shows that government officials have learned from other recent economic sanction efforts, including against Iran and North Korea. Instead of being a secondary measure, as in the past, economic sanctions have become a centerpiece of national security policy.

Full article here

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Thank you so much for this link, Majii – the article is absolutely fascinating, and shows just how damn smart the Obama administration is.




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