One of my favorite music shows on Palladia is “Live from Daryl’s House”, where Daryl Hall of Hall & Oates fame brings the great and the talented to his house in upstate NY for a jam session and some good food and drink.
One of his episodes had Joe Walsh of the Eagles. At one point, Mr. Walsh went on a rant that all modern music is “digital” and artificial and doesn’t have the warmth of human performance.
Daily Caller “reporter” Neil Munro …. shouted, “Why do you favor foreigners over American workers?” while reportedly identifying himself as an immigrant….
…. I’m not one to revere the imperial presidency, but it’s unbelievable how wingnuts treat this man with such unprecedented and bullying disrespect….
…. And for right-wingers who insist Democrats are too quick to cry racism: Really, what else explains this constant, in-your-face (literally) contempt for a president?
Certainly they disrespected President Clinton, too, but never with such in-person abuse. Clinton was impeached after a political witch hunt and treated poorly even by the so-called liberal media, but he was never stalked into the Rose Garden or congressional chambers and heckled, as Obama has been.
…. It’s no accident that Munro works for bow-tied, sexually anxious bully Tucker Carlson, who famously (but not believably) boasted of beating up a gay man who made a pass at him in a men’s room, and admitted that when he hears Hillary Clinton speak, “I involuntarily cross my legs” …. This is your modern Republican Party, folks. It only gets worse.
President Barack Obama signs legislation that will provide tax credits to help put veterans back to work during a ceremony at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. From left are, Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., Sen. Patty Murray. D-Wash., first lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden, Veterans Affairs Secretary Erik Shinseki and Vice President Joe Biden
Jason Hansman (WH): Today is a historic day for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. When President Obama signs the VOW to Hire Heroes Act into law, an entire generation of new vets will be provided much-needed practical support to transition from combat to careers. As an Iraq vet I am privileged to lead the membership team at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the country’s first and largest nonpartisan organization committed to our newest veterans. And I speak for all of us when I thank the lawmakers who worked so hard together, putting aside party, to get this bill passed. We also thank the President for his leadership on the issue – for acting so quickly on this legislation and for bringing national attention to the veterans’ unemployment crisis.
Michael Walsh (National Review): ….. the WaPo’s Chris Cillizza makes the same point I made …. You may think Obama is eminently beatable, but unlike Mitt Romney, he has a solid base that is a dead-certain lock to be there for him next year ….
…. Meanwhile, “electable” Romney stays moored at around a quarter of the GOP primary electorate, and as a “frontrunner” has been happily chucked overboard for every not-Romney flavor of the month, including Bachmann, Perry, Cain, and now Mr. Newt. Head-to-head with Romney next year, Obama will sink him handily.
….. Say-Anything Mitt has no home port and is unlikely to find one beyond the generic anti-Obama vote. Which, alas, will not be big enough or motivated enough to evict Cap’n Barry from the White House bridge …. Indeed, the campaign will begin and end with this photograph:
Sorry, but that’s the truth. Say what you will about Sarah Palin, but she would have brought a super-energized base of productive taxpaying citizens with her that might have competed favorably with the Obamabots. But she broke their hearts – and damaged herself – by teasing and then not running, leaving the GOP bereft of a candidate who could match BHO II’s charisma.
What can be done at this late date, I have no idea. And neither do the Republicans.
Jonathan Chait (NY Mag): …. Here is my explanation: Liberals are dissatisfied with Obama because liberals, on the whole, are incapable of feeling satisfied with a Democratic president …. they compare Obama with an imaginary president – either an imaginary Obama or a fantasy version of a past president.
…. His single largest policy accomplishment, the Affordable Care Act, combines two sweeping goals that Democrats have tried and failed to achieve for decades. Likewise, the Recovery Act contained both short-term stimulative measures and increased public investment in infrastructure, green energy, and the like. The Dodd-Frank financial reform, while failing to end the financial industry as we know it, is certainly far from toothless, as measured by the almost fanatical determination of Wall Street and Republicans in Congress to roll it back.
Beneath these headline measures is a second tier of accomplishments carrying considerable historic weight (see article for list)
…. Of the postwar presidents, only Johnson exceeds Obama’s domestic record, and Johnson’s successes must be measured against a crushing defeat in Vietnam. Obama, by contrast, has enjoyed a string of foreign-policy successes ….
So, if Obama is the most successful liberal president since Roosevelt, that would make him a pretty great president, right?
So, how many articles have we read recently that claimed the President is losing African American support? No, not the support of Maxine Waters, Cornel West and Tavis Smiley – African Americans living in the real world.
I know, too many to count.
Take GOPolitico. For months they’ve promoted the line that the President is disproportionately losing Jewish support, much to the amusement of serious commentators – because the polls repeatedly contradicted their claims. (See here, here and here)
That didn’t work too well, so now they’re pushing the ‘African Americans Desert Obama’ line.
In a piece today they talk about the President’s “relationship with African-Americans (being) complicated from the beginning by questions about whether a mixed-race senator born in Hawaii was “authentically black” enough to win their support”.
Seriously, almost three years after he was elected, GOPolitico is still wondering if he’s black enough. (The author, who has written three similar pieces in the last month, is African American, so that’s okay).
The most critical quotes in the piece are from two ‘sources’ “speaking under condition of anonymity”. GOPolitico really do love their anonymous sources, especially when they give them quotes that neatly match their agenda. Whether they are real people or not, hey, who knows?
But if their thesis is true, that African-Americans are rising up against the President, how come they need to quote people anonymously? Surely if there was that much anger out there they could find someone other than Waters willing to lash out publicly?
The President isn’t losing the support of African Americans living in the real world – in fact, that support is increasing.
GOPolitico and most other outlets – including supposedly ‘progressive’ ones – love quoting Gallup polls when their findings aren’t good for the President.
The latest Gallup poll? They’re not mentioning that much.
Because it shows that African American support for the President is up five points to 87%.
Considering how the struggling economy has impacted on his figures across most groups, and bearing in mind how African Americans suffer disproportionately in terms of unemployment, that 87% figure is remarkable.
But still we’re told that Waters, West, Smiley and Co speak for African Americans. Well, clearly they don’t for 87% of them.
Just like that other media darling, Dan Choi, doesn’t speak for the entire gay community, most of whom appreciate the work this administration has done – and is trying to do – to promote equality.
That GOPolitico produces this kind of dishonesty is, of course, no surprise at all – it’s their area of expertise. But, as we all know, the Firebagger crew – especially at Salon – are relentlessly spreading the lie too. Rather than mentioning that 87%, they persist in claiming that Waters, West and Smiley speak for African Americans.
Of course, Salon’s Joan Walsh doesn’t have much time for that 87%:
After all, only those who oppose the President represent the base, right?
I see Gene Lyons at Salon has described Melissa Harris-Perry as “a left-wing Michele Bachmann, an attractive woman seeking fame and fortune by saying silly things on cable TV”. That was the level of his response to her thoughtful article on white ‘liberal’ racism. “A photo negative of KKK racial thought,” he wrote.
Chicago Tribune: Congressman Joe Walsh fielded some tough questions this morning from a high school government class in Mundelein, with students asking why he plans to boycott a jobs speech by President Barack Obama and how he’s handling his ex-wife’s lawsuit alleging he owes child support.
…. When asked about the money he allegedly owes in child support, Walsh responded the same way he has in other public venues:
“It makes me sad that my ex-wife did what she did,” he said. “I am going to fight it because it just isn’t true. … I am going to fight it privately and legally because anything I say can be held against me.”
His ex-wife, Laura Walsh, is seeking $117,437 in unpaid child support and interest in a case filed in Cook County Circuit Court. The couple has three children and divorced in 2004.
… When asked about the Tea Party and its beliefs, Walsh first turned the question back to students, asking them what they think when they hear the term “Tea Party”.
Students’ responses included: “Republicans,” “reducing taxes” and “Fox News.”
Self-proclaimed liberal Samuel Cruz, 16, described the Tea Party as “a small group of people who are insane and out of touch with reality.”
Well, this snippet of news today made my heart sing….
Formerly Popular Sites that Are Dying:
“One of the oldest online magazines, Salon.com, has sunk like a rock lately, losing about one million regular visitors over the past year, per Compete.com, a 37 percent decline.”
37 percent! And Salon chuckles at the drop in the President’s approval ratings!
Poor Joan ‘I resent African Americans who say THEY are THE BASE’ Walsh. There she was on Twitter tonight, frantically dismissing the story because she said it came from Fox. Except the stats quoted weren’t from Fox, they were from Compete.com, as some truly heartless Twitterers pointed out.
Oh dear, looks like Salon’s Greenwald-fuelled firebaggery isn’t paying off.
There was a time I avoided reading him, in a life’s-way-too-short kind of way, the guy’s interminable hysteria and bitterness zzzzz-inducing. Truly, the king of vitriol had become a parody of himself. There were times – and forgive me for this – that I actually felt sorry for him. He made Dan Choi seem like a well-balanced, chilled-out kind of dude.
Now, though, I read him occasionally because the entertainment levels are just fantastic!
Yes, it usually takes him about 10,000 words to make a single point, when really five would do: “I hate Obama, like totally”. But there are so many laugh-out-loud moments in his tirades it’s like you’re reading The Onion.
Today he was attacking Michael Tomasky for his “this may be a truly great foreign-policy president in the making” post on the Daily Beast (here), while also sneering at Ezra Klein and Steve Benen for pieces they had written recently that acknowledged the President’s achievements and the depth of opposition and obstruction he faces.
Greenwald’s narcissism, as we know, won’t tolerate any one disagreeing with his point of view, and the fella pretty much needs to be sedated when supposed fellow ‘progressives’ (*) refuse to join him in spitting bile all over the President. So, we can expect more of these ‘Oh My God! Tomasky, Klein and Benen are, like, totally brainwashed Obot sheeple, besotted with the exotic Dear Leader’ tantrums. Lots more.
(* Greenwald is not and has never been a ‘progressive’ – see his views on immigration below. He’s a part-time Libertarian, but generally this privileged white boy sits on the sidelines and sneers at the efforts of any elected representative who tries to change things for the better, even if, thanks to the political system, that change can only be incremental.)
The highlight of today’s screeching session?
“Gadaffi certainly wasn’t worse than Saddam.”
No, seriously, that’s what he said (I won’t link his excrement, just trust me). So, Gadaffi tortured and murdered marginally fewer folk than Saddam, so he’s a fluffy harmless Obama-persecuted bunny?
Hey Glenn, tell that to this Libyan kid, I’m sure it’ll comfort him enormously:
(Sky News, August 25)
(What? It’s tacky to use a child in an argument? Okay, but tell that to Glenn ‘Obama slaughters babies’ Greenwald).
We can only hope a brighter day will come for that boy, and all Libyans. If it does, as Tomasky (no friend of the President) argued, it will be partly because of the President’s response to the uprising in the country.
But, Greenwald is still insisting that President Obama’s foreign policy is as morally depraved as Dick Cheney’s. Ah, but remember when Cheney’s name was celebrated around that part of the world? No? Okay.
But why, exactly, has Greenwald upped his vitriol?
It could be that he sees no credible GOP candidate emerging who could beat the President next year. Let’s face it, his beloved Gary Johnson and Ron Paul have as much chance of winning the GOP nomination as Bernie Sanders.
Or maybe it’s the President’s “humane immigration policy” (Steve Benen) that has incensed him.
After all, this is the King of the Progressives who wrote:
“….illegal immigrants have poured into the United States by the millions … The parade of evils caused by illegal immigration is widely known, and it gets worse every day. In short, illegal immigration wreaks havoc economically, socially, and culturally; makes a mockery of the rule of law; and is disgraceful just on basic fairness grounds alone.“
“There already is a “closed sign on the border” when it comes to illegal immigration. It’s called the law. The problem is that the “closed sign” isn’t being enforced because the Federal Government, which has its interfering, power-hungry hands in virtually everything else, has abdicated its duty in one of the very few areas where it was actually meant to be: border security.”
No, honest, that wasn’t Rush Limbaugh, it was Greenwald (see here)
Note the aggression and venom in the language. No one, I think, would argue that illegal immigration isn’t an issue that has to be dealt with – hopefully with a revived DREAM Act – but a “parade of evils”? What? People, often desperate for a new and better life for their families, who enter America illegally, are a “parade of evils”?
But look, maybe it’s Salon’s sinking traffic and the firebaggers’ funding going through the floor (here and here) (remember, he once profited handsomely from his collaboration with Jane ‘Grover Norquist’s best buddy’ Hamsher), that has driven him over the edge?
“One of the oldest online magazines, Salon.com, has sunk like a rock lately, losing about one million regular visitors over the past year, per Compete.com, a 37 percent decline.”
…. won’t lighten Glenn’s mood. Seems like fewer and fewer folk care to read his bile.
David Remnick (New Yorker): …In September, 2001, Obama was an obscure state senator from Hyde Park … little more than a week after the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade towers, Obama’s local paper, the Hyde Park Herald, published a series of reactions to the events … in his brief article, Obama … talked about “the more difficult task of understanding the sources of such madness.”
“The essence of this tragedy, it seems to me, derives from a fundamental absence of empathy on the part of the attackers: an inability to imagine, or connect with, the humanity and suffering of others,” he wrote. “Such a failure of empathy, such numbness to the pain of a child or the desperation of a parent, is not innate; nor, history tells us, is it unique to a particular culture, religion, or ethnicity….”
“…..we will have to devote far more attention to the monumental task of raising the hopes of embittered children across the globe – children not just in the Middle East, but also in Africa, Asia, Latin American, Eastern Europe, and within our own shores.”
It was precisely that kind of talk that was branded as “soft” in the wake of 9/11 and throughout the Bush years, straight through the 2008 election campaign. It was precisely that sort of attempt to talk not merely in the register of prosecution and military aggression, but also of understanding root causes, whether at an anti-Iraq war rally in Chicago or at a Presidential speech in Cairo, that left so many wondering if Barack Obama would have the strength to “go after” Osama bin Laden.
Politicususa – Barack Obama: The Man Who Got Osama Bin Laden
Collective closure of our national 9/11 wound has finally come to America, as President Obama announced that the US military has killed, and is in possession of the body of Osama Bin Laden.
… The death of Osama Bin Laden is a cathartic moment for nation has never forgotten the horrific events of 9/11, but when the CIA took out Bin Laden on Obama’s order it did something else. It shattered the conventions of post 9/11 politics.
Obama has destroyed the GOP’s tough on terror talking point. George W. Bush may have swaggered and told the nation that Bin Laden was wanted dead or alive, but it was the calmer, less flashy Obama who actually got the job done.
…In 2008 John McCain vowed to pursue Bin Laden to the ends of the earth, but it was Barack Obama who made sure that there was no escape for one of history’s most famous mass murders…
…For the rest of human history when the story of 9/11 is told after pictures of that tragic day are shown, the face and words of America’s first African-American president will be forever etched into history as they announce the death of Osama Bin Laden.
Politically, everything has changed.
Barack Obama will now and forever be known as the president who got Osama Bin Laden.
Steve Benen: The amount of work that went into tracking down and killing Osama bin Laden is pretty extraordinary. It took years, and involved military, law enforcement, and intelligence agency officials, most of whom we’ll never know and won’t be able to thank.
And while many patriots made this happen, it’s President Obama who’ll get much of the credit – and given the circumstances, he’ll deserve it. Slate’s John Dickerson had a good piece overnight (see below) on how Obama’s “focused, hands-on pursuit of Osama Bin Laden paid off.”
…Dickerson’s description of the president’s efforts as “hands-on” seems especially apt given what we know. It was Obama who instructed the CIA to make targeting bin Laden a top priority, breaking with his predecessor. It was Obama who oversaw five national security meetings to oversee plans for this operation. It was Obama who chose this mission, made final preparations, and gave the order.
There’s a difference between talking tough and being tough, just as there’s a difference between chest-thumping rhetoric and getting the job done.
John Dickerson (Slate): …..Obama’s critics have said that he is a weak leader in general and in particular does not understand what must be done to combat terrorism. “They are very much giving up that center of attention and focus that’s required,” said former Vice President Dick Cheney in March 2009, in a typical remark. Yet what emerges from the details of Bin Laden’s killing … is that from early in his administration Obama was focused on killing Osama Bin Laden and that he was involved in the process throughout.
In June 2009, Obama directed his CIA director to “provide me within 30 days a detailed operation plan for locating and bringing to justice” Osama Bin Laden…
….The president went to sleep to the sound of cheering outside the White House. At Ground Zero in New York and towns across the country, people gathered to sing the national anthem and chant “USA! USA!” It was a flicker of the post-9/11 unity that the president had referenced in his remarks earlier in the evening.
In his remarks announcing the operation, the president sought to rekindle that feeling … All in all, it was a good night to be president.
Marc Ambinder (The Atlantic): Bin Laden’s Death: A Pivotal Victory for Obama, U.S. Intelligence …. The president silences his national-security critics heading into 2012, and the CIA stands tall after the damage of 9/11
The death of Osama Bin-Laden is a transcendent moment for the country and a pivotal one for President Obama…..Now the CIA stands much taller. Its intelligence helped pinpoint Bin Laden, but so did its patience
…Bin Laden’s death is an undeniable success for an intelligence community that missed the connections that might have prevented the attack. It coincides with the unofficial kick-off of the 2012 re-election cycle, where the incumbent, President Obama, has had his credentials as commander in chief repeatedly questioned by opponents and his citizenship mocked. Having scored the victory that remained beyond the grasp of George W. Bush – who graciously congratulated the president tonight – Obama’s military bona fides will be harder to attack.
Whatever flaws the president’s national security policies may have, and however infrequently Obama may have mentioned bin Laden, history will record that, when it came to getting Bin Laden, Obama got the job done and his predecessor, George W, Bush, whose entire presidency was tormented by bin Laden’s actions on 9/11, did not despite Bush’s claim that he would capture him “dead or alive.”
There is ample reason to feel relief that Osama bin Laden is no longer a threat to the world … however, somber relief was not the dominant emotion presented to America when bin Laden’s death was announced. Instead, the Washington press corps – helped by a wild-eyed throng outside the White House – insisted that unbridled euphoria is the appropriate response. And in this we see bin Laden’s more enduring victory – a victory that will unfortunately last far beyond his passing.
For decades, we have held in contempt those who actively celebrate death…. but in the years since 9/11, we have begun vaguely mimicking those we say we despise …this isn’t in any way to equate Americans who cheer on bin Laden’s death with, say, those who cheered after 9/11. Bin Laden was a mass murderer who had punishment coming to him, while the 9/11 victims were innocent civilians whose deaths are an unspeakable tragedy. Likewise, this isn’t to say that we should feel nothing at bin Laden’s neutralization, or that the announcement last night isn’t cause for any positive feeling at all – it most certainly is.
But it is to say that our reaction to the news last night should be the kind often exhibited by victims’ families at a perpetrator’s lethal injection – a reaction typically marked by both muted relief but also by sadness over the fact that the perpetrators’ innocent victims are gone forever, the fact that the perpetrator’s death cannot change the past, and the fact that our world continues to produce such monstrous perpetrators in the first place.
When we lose the sadness part – when all we do is happily scream “USA! USA! USA!” at news of yet more killing in a now unending back-and-forth war – it’s a sign we may be inadvertently letting the monsters win.
Joan Walsh (Slate): …..After years of Catholic school, I am constitutionally unable to feel joyous about anyone being killed, but I got close tonight with bin Laden. He killed thousands of innocent people – and again, it was that incomparable American tableau: Muslims, Jews, Catholics; waiters, firefighters, investment bankers; gays and straights; mothers and fathers of every race….
….I wish this achievement could mean we get our country back, the one before the Patriot Act, before FISA, before rendition and torture and Guantanamo; before we began giving up the freedom and belief in due process that makes us Americans, out of our fear of totalitarians like bin Laden. It won’t happen overnight, but I’m going to choose to think this could be a first step.
Frank Schaeffer: …. This morning I got up at 4 AM to walk across the street to congratulate my Marine son (now home safe with his wife and two little children after 5 years service and war) on having been a small link in the chain of service that hunted down and killed bin Laden. I wanted to thank someone who wore the uniform of the US military. I also sent up yet another “up yours!” to the so-called “Real American” conservative critics of our president; those liars like Donald Trump, Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin et al who have nurtured the racist-motivated attacks on our first black president.
Was the SUCCESSFUL hunter of bin Laden a “secret Muslim”? Was he “born in Kenya”? Was he “soft on terrorism” or as far right religious leader/birther Franklin Graham put it giving radical Islam a “pass”?
…While the war-loving “neocons” pontificated on American “exceptionalism” and power and went to parties in Washington DC hosted by the defense industry I stayed up at night worrying while my son was shot at. He came home safe, but no thanks to Fox News and the other perpetual war shills who talk “patriotism” while other people’s children – mine for instance – do all the heavy lifting.
…I know who the people are who aren’t “Real Americans” they are the unpatriotic liars wrapping themselves in the flag my son fought for and that they use to sell books, reality TV shows and their racist ideas with.
Today the American right wing phony patriots look smaller than ever, about as stupid as Trump’s hair.