Some news agencies (eg Reuters) are reporting that he has died – but there is no confirmation yet.
Update: He’s dead.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama talk with staff while ordering pizza at Anna’s Pizza and Italian Kitchen in Hampton, Va., Oct. 19, 2011. The President and Mrs. Obama had lunch with four veterans during the stop, a part of the President’s three-day American Jobs Act bus tour. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Adam Serwer (Mother Jones): On Wednesday, I noted that Rush Limbaugh’s latest stereotypical race parody featured President Barack Obama as blaxploitation detective John Shaft, even though just about the only two things they have in common is that they’re both black.
Ta-Nehisi Coates observes that Michael Moore and Bill Maher, in expressing their disappointment with Obama, embrace the same basic idea.
Unable to limit their criticisms to Obama’s politics, on The View, Moore repeated Maher’s statement that “I went into the polls voting for the black guy, and what I got was the white guy.”
Coates writes: I know Michael Moore and Bill Maher think this is a great line…But it really isn’t. In fact, it’s racist, and Michael Moore would do well to stop repeating it. It really is no better than the Kenyan anti-colonial bit, and in fact is good deal worse ….
What Limbaugh, Moore and Maher all have in common is a common, reductive expectation of what a “black man” is supposed to be – aggressive, belligerent, intimidating – and Obama doesn’t fit the bill…..
…. If you’re president, though, it’s much easier to just brush your shoulders off—dealing with those kind of expectations when you’re an average person is considerably more difficult. Especially when the “liberals” are the ones saying stuff like this.
Steve Benen: Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham issued a joint statement last night on the developments in Libya … Remember hearing about the “blame America first” crowd? Well, say hello to the “thank America last” crowd.
McCain and Graham “commend” everyone except the United States military, and then, even while applauding the developments, take yet another shot at the Obama administration. These two just can’t bring themselves put aside petty partisan sniping, even when they’re thrilled by the fall of a dictator.
….. When the fear of Obama getting some credit for success is stronger than the satisfaction that comes with a tyrant’s fall, there’s a problem.
…. the fact of the matter is, the efforts of U.S. forces in are being cited as “a major factor in helping to tilt the balance after months of steady erosion of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s military.”
…. if McCain and Graham really want to complain about why “this success was so long in coming,” maybe they can talk more about their trip to Tripoli two years ago, when both cozied up to Gaddafi, even visiting with him at the dictator’s home, discussing delivery of American military equipment to the Libyan regime. Both senators shook Gaddafi’s hand; McCain even bowed a little.
I’m curious if McCain and Graham have simply forgotten about this, or if they’re just hoping everyone else has.
Politics Daily (August 2009): Sen. John McCain, visiting Libya this past week, praised Muammar Gaddafi for his peacemaking efforts in Africa. In addition, McCain called for the U.S. Congress to expand ties with Gaddafi’s government, according to Libya’s state news agency. McCain had a face-to-face meeting with Gaddafi, which he detailed on his Twitter page with the following message:
“Late evening with Col. Qadhafi at his “ranch” in Libya – interesting meeting with an interesting man.”
1991: … One of the new districts is in an overwhelmingly white, heavily Jewish swath of southern Brooklyn … Weiner jumps in the race … He also launches an ugly, anonymous attack at the last minute – a race-baiting mailer that links Cohen to the “Dinkins/Jackson agenda,” just days after the Crown Heights riot. Weiner ekes out a narrow victory and only then admits that he was behind the flier. He’s excoriated in a New York Times editorial….
2009: …. Weiner begins showing a sudden interest in congressional and national politics – and, more specifically, in talking about congressional and national politics on cable news programs. For producers, he’s a perfect guest – smart, glib, cocky and provocative. With the healthcare reform debate heating up, Weiner begins championing a single-payer system. It’s an issue he’s previously shown no interest in and that has zero chance of winning enactment …. In the summer of 2009, he becomes a genuine cable news all-star, attracting a new national fan base of liberal viewers. But there’s a clear New York angle: By championing their causes in the national media, Weiner makes a new, much more favorable impression on liberal voters in Manhattan and Brownstone Brooklyn – voters who, combined with his outer-borough base, could make Weiner unstoppable in a 2013 mayoral primary.
2010: Weiner’s hero status to liberal activists is affirmed by a House floor rant against Republican obstructionism on a healthcare bill for 9/11 workers …. several New York members had labored to craft the 9/11 bill and to win over Republican support, but Weiner had played no meaningful role before the floor debate. “He almost blew up the [expletive] bill,” one disgruntled New York member later tells the Washington Post … to his own colleagues, he’s a camera-seeking nuisance who’s interested in gaining publicity for himself – not in doing any substantive work.
National Journal: Daniel Bongino, a former U.S. Secret Service agent whose recent assignments included a posting to President Obama’s protective detail, has decided to run for the U.S. Senate in Maryland as a Republican.
At an agency that stresses the silence and political neutrality of its agents, Bongino’s announcement is raising eyebrows … the Secret Service frowns upon former agents who make sudden turns to politics….
Bongino is seeking the Republican nomination to take on freshman Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md. Bongino’s Twitter account calls him a “Conservative Republican Candidate for the U.S. Senate” and directs visitors to a campaign website that is offline.
In a press release announcing his candidacy, Bongino said that he left law enforcement “because of political leaders making decisions which are making America a follower and not a leader in the global economy.” ….The Secret Service declined to comment on Bongino’s planned candidacy.
The Carlow Nationalist: The imminent arrival of US president Barack Obama has prompted 96-year-old PJ Furey to let his creative juices flow ….he has written a poem in tribute to the US president, honouring his historic visit to Ireland…
Arise you friendly Irish folk, And give a rousing cheer,
For the President of America, And his wife are coming here.
They arrive in Dublin City, On the twenty-third of May,
And thousands will be greeting them, On this historic day.
Then Barack gives a timely speech, And clearly lets us see,
He is the man for creed and clan, For peace and liberty.
And so to Offaly they go, To give a special call,
To visit their ancestor’s place, In dear old Moneygall.
And the people of the village, So faithful and so true,
Will proudly greet them when they call, With a Céad Míle Fáilte too.
They will thank the noble couple, And their good friends one and all,
And wish everyone fond memories, Of their time in Moneygall.
Now young and old in Erin’s isle, Wish Barack and Michelle,
Success in all they undertake, And a very long life as well!