As most everyone knows, not because they watched it necessarily, President Obama was on the daily gossip fest known as The View. Ostensibly he appeared on that show since it’s the only one of its kind that Mrs Obama watches. ( Wonder if she will be able to watch it while she and one of her daughters are in Spain? Not to worry, surely someone will Tivo it for her.)
Not sure exactly why, but it just doesn’t seem to be the best venue for a presidential appearance. Why then might he make such a choice? Obviously, it has nothing to do with his wife’s viewing preferences. It doesn’t , right? Anyway, I have obviously not watched the program but I am a bit familiar with its approach and the ladies who are its hosts, its panel, it’s whatever. I happened to see a still photo from the set and was struck by how, pardon the expression, so ga-ga some of them looked, almost star struck. The exception seemed to be Barbara Walters who has interviewed world leaders before, when she did work closer to real news. The other two who come to mind are Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg.
Both of these individuals come from the far left side of the spectrum and seem inclined to say whatever comes to mind. Without repeating it verbatim, you might recall the extremely crude joke she told about George Bush at a Democrat function, at which then Senator Obama was in attendance. From watching CBS Sunday Morning I understand that Ms Behar now even has a show of her own. And just recently she had the time in her hectic schedule to bash Rush, even calling his wife ” Eva Braun”s sister. Of course, having called him a terrorist in the past what can one expect. I share these tidbits just to give you an idea of those lovingly crowded around the President.
Press Secretary Robert Gibbs official reason for Obama’s appearance was that it provides an opportunity to talk to people ( read women) where they are since they have busy lives. Or was it all a political show since his support among women voters has plummeted? Sounds much more plausible. Besides the show drew its biggest ever audience in its 13 year existence. Hard to believe it has been on that long. How could I have missed it? Guess that’s another reason for all the channels from which to choose.
From som eof the comments I read the opinion was divided on whether the appearance was beneficial to the President. One comment asked is he sacrificing the dignity of the office and answered their own question with a yes. They went on to say the even so the pluses would outweigh the minuses.
By the way, where was Oprah?
………. only in America.( Thank you Jay and the Americans for the song.) The quadrennial event known as the World Cup is ongoing in South Africa. As of this writing, the American team has just been eliminated by Ghana for the second consecutive time. Still advancing out of group play was an accomplishment for a team ranked about 15th in the world.
I’m no soccer expert and not much of a fan except when the Lady Tar Heels play. But I will admit to hoping the American team does well. That thought doesn’t hold true with some prominent American sportswriters, namely William Rhoden of the New York Times and Dave Zirin, sports editor of The Nation. Bet that’s a real shock about Mr Zirin. In a book I read recently about Calvin Coolidge, his magazine was even then gleefully bashing conservatives . But back to the soccer.
First Mr Rhoden who proudly admits to rooting for Ghana, the last African entry. He thinks that their success could be along-term psychological boost as well as ” continuing the push to keep this important giant( Africa) on track.” Perhaps he should tell the South Koreans, their next opponent.
Now Mr Zirin is a different story. He seems inclined to do a little America bashing as well as attacking Glenn Beck, etc. for using sports as an avatar for ” racism and imperial arrogance.” Translation, if we do not excel at a sport, it must be useless.
Lastly there is sportswriter and social commentator Bethlehem Shoals who sees American interest in soccer as a refuge for the shameful actions of our government, translation, the evil Bush and his cronies.
What a shame to miss the pure enjoyment of goalllllllllllllllllll. Bet all the Brazilian media types are rooting for their team.
The Gulf Coast is being inundated once again, but unlike Katrina from 2005, the culprit is oil and copious amounts of the stuff. The cleanup or more accurately, stopping the bleeding, is not going all that well. The party at fault, BP, maybe? They actually were the lessee of the oil rig that blew up, killing some 11 workers. At this stage, they are not actually admitting blame as the cause of the explosion is as yet undetermined. But, they have agreed to pay damages, but as to whom and how much, who can actually say.
I must confess that I have thought about this disaster and the federal response as compared to that which occurred when Katrina wreaked havoc. Wait, just a minute, EPA head Lisa Jackson is not calling it a disaster or rather a catastrophe but rather a “huge environmental challenge.” Glad we got that clarified.
So, what else is going on with the feds? Obama arrived on Sunday, some 11 days after the explosion and after Robert Gibbs said on Friday he would not be going this weekend. Hmmm!! More Gibbspeak, this courtesy of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. We are going to keep the “boot on their throat,” in reference to the pressure on BP. Think for a moment of what imagery that phrase brings to mind? Not a very good one , I presume. Oh, the operative talking point coming from virtually every one from the federal government, including the President is day one. We have been on this from day one, in action from day one, mobilizing from day one, etc.
Don’t know about that. If it is the case, why have staunch Obama allies including the New York Times, the Sierra Club and Bill Maher had such unflattering things to say? Maybe they forgot they weren’t criticizing Bush. Who knows?
There is a line from the theme song to the television series, Monk, that says, ” hey, who’s in charge here? ” Sure hope someone is and Godspeed to their efforts.
PS: Hope you don’t own any stock in BP!
If you’re President Barack Obama, things are looking rather good these days. That is, other than the really low approval ratings ( which would have been great media fodder if it were George Bush, wait a minute, it was media fodder), high unemployment numbers, a growing budget deficit, etc.
Your health care bill is now the law of the land. Although I would not express it the way blue-collar Joe said, it is a big f…ing deal in ways that we as yet do not know.You have just negotiated an arms reduction deal with the Russians and you are showing Netanyahu and Israel who’s the boss.
As a result we seem to be seeing the return of Obama the perpetual campaigner. And, the Democrat base has got to loving it. He ‘s in the face of the Republicans verbally and otherwise. Try the recess appointments of 15 individuals featuring Craig Becker as an example. And today, Obama will sign the health care fixes bill. One tiny little jewel in that bill will decimate the private student lending business by in essence, federalizing the student lending program.
Oh and the Democrats, via Henry Waxman, are sending a message to those companies warning of higher health care costs. Hearings begin April 21. The elections, in case you have forgotten, are in November.
Just finished a bio of Harry Truman, the plain-spoken one from Missouri. It is hard to summarize such a lengthy book(641 pages) and do it justice. I thought the author, Alonzo Hamby did a good job with what was probably a tremendous amount of material. For this reader, the book improved as it progressed. I didn’t much care for all the attention paid to Missouri politics, but it did go along way towards making Truman what he was. For both and bad, his political actions reflected much of those days.
We all know some basics. He was most definitely a plain-spoken man, a trait that never really let him. It even brought him some grief while in the Oval Office. Of course, we know about the atom bomb, the firing of McArthur,; which I actually agreed with when I read the account and the Korean stalemate. But there was so much more. He was much involved with the establishment of Israel, the impetus behind the Marshall Plan, a stalwart foe of Soviet expansion and of course was the original comeback kid in 1948. “Give ‘em hell Harry” came from the dead to defeat Dewey and establish a lasting photo-op among other things.
He was a devoted family man to Bess and daughter Margaret although he could and did hold deep seated grudges. He retained an almost visceral dislike of newspapers and due to a poor speaking style did not do well at speechmaking. He served at the onset of the media age, which he probably did not like so much. Sort of the opposite of Roosevelt in many ways.
He came unprepared, by and large,to the Presidency and obviously had no transition period. He probably was at best, a compromise choice as running mate for Roosevelt.
When one examines his 7 and 3/4 term, one is nearly overwhelmed at the major things that either happened in their entirety, were begun or were consummated. The bomb, the Korean War, the Marshall Plan, the birth of Israel, the major expansion of Social Security, a steady but slow advance in civil rights legislation, the Berlin Airlift, the United Nations and so it goes.
He dealt with Stalin, Churchill, McArthur, Eisenhower, McCarthy,Stevenson and many more who were not so famous at the time. Try Dean Rusk, Clark Clifford and Sam Rayburn, just to name a few.
He made some quite unpopular decisions that proved with hindsight to be the best choice. Perhaps that was why he had very low poll numbers his last couple of years, much akin to Bush.
So why is he celebrated and claimed as an example /inspiration by most if not all of his successors, even Obama?
Hamby may have summed it up best in the final paragraph of his book, A Life of Harry S Truman, Man of the People.
” Americans…see him as an ordinary man ( who tried, failed and kept going) who fought for the interests of their own kind, made great decisions, cared about their welfare, and demonstrated their potential… It was not what he did that made Harry Truman an American icon, but who Americans believed him to be.”
P.S. He dearly loved the veto and used its power with gusto, both in word and action. Over his terms there were 250 some cases, more than anyone but Roosevelt . He prevailed all but 12 times. The buck did stop with him, did it not?
A couple of days ago, I shared a slightly tongue-in-cheek poem about our good friend Al ( protector of the environment) Gore. So, we and others wonder, where is the goracle these days? I assume most,if not all, of the snow has left Washington and he was not located in a makeshift igloo. So, where might he be?
Granted, this may violate top-secret government information guidelines, but I think I know where he is or at the least where he is headed. It would be the desolate regions near the Pakistan/Afghanistan border to meet up with his compatriot and climate change brother in arms, Osama bin Laden.
Yep, bin Laden is now part of the Gore team. Some weeks ago bin Laden declared on al-Jazeera that he deplored climate change. He went on to condemn the United States and other developed countries for causing climate change, even including an obligatory criticism of George Bush junior. He went on to compare United States politics to the Mafia (Chicago maybe?) and calling Americans the true terrorists.
What had to warm algore’s heart though was his assertion that his was a message to the whole world about those responsible for climate change and its repercussions. He added, “speaking about climate change is not an intellectual luxury-the phenomenon is an actual fact.” Who knows, Gore may have even helped him write the statement. Sounds Gore-like does it not?
James Buchanan? Yep, the 15th president of these United States, known for little more today than being Lincoln’s predecessor and dithering his way through a sorta lame 4 year term as the country hurtled towards Civil War. So, what about the linking of these three? The first two have been widely connected by many,including yours truly. I had not seen a link to Buchanan until today.
The article is by David Reilly in Bloomberg and it is just fascinating. Even the title is great.Man up, Obama or Make Way for President Palin. That is also the first time for that last phrase, but I digress. In the interest of full disclosure, financial blogger Eric Salzman made the Buchanan comparison.
One more log on the fire of criticism. former Virginia governor Douglas Wilder thinks Obama needs to fire some people, including DNC Chair Time Kaine, also a former Virginia governor. Wilder also thinks a number of the Chicago people need to go. No names, but think Emanuel, Jarrett and Axelrod. What Wilder neglects to mention is that the President himself is one of the Chicago people. Alas, yet another digression.
Back on topic for a moment. Reilly even suggests Obama could draw some inspiration in dealing with things from, gasp!!, Richard Nixon, George Bush and even Dick Cheney.
Specifically, learn from Clinton (veto) , don;t fear the banks and clean house; parroting Wilder a bit, bye-bye Emanuel ,Geithner and Summers among others.
In so many words, he tells the President get tough or ……………
I thought it was a great article and will doubtless be ignored.
Some quite interesting comments today from vice-president Joe Biden. First, a bit of history using Biden’s own words. This from September 9, 2007 in response to a positive assessment of the Iraq situation by Gen David Petraeous. Any security or tactical gains that have been made have no bearing on a stable government existing in Iraq. Prior to that date, Biden had even opposed the troop surge that Bush announced. Biden said that the surge would actually make things worse and not better. Besides, he said, no one thought the surge would work except Petraeus. In fact, Biden went on to say that even 100,00 more troops would not help. This mirrors what his fellow senator Barack Obama said.
We cannot impose a military solution in Iraq and no military expert that I have spoken to thinks it is possible. That was in January, 2007. By February, 2009 Obama had changed his tune and was applauding the military gains and the reduction in violence.
Ok, now to Biden on Larry King. Last night he strongly suggested that some 90,000 troops would be coming home by the end of the summer and that Iraq would be one of the greatest achievements of the Obama administration. .
Today, an intrepid reporter questioned Press Secretary Gibbs about that statement. What made the question even cooler is that he included the qualifiers that Obama opposed the surge and that Biden wanted to divide the country into 3 sectarian units. Unbelievable response from Gibbs. I don’t know how he said this with a straight face. Gibbs first said that the achievement would be getting the troops home. The reporter countered with the comment that said agreement to carry out this was signed before Obama took office. Gibbs responds with this quote that is freaking unbelievable. ” The vice-president been deeply involved in fixing the political process there so that elections can be held and our troops can, uhhh, come home as scheduled, uh, this summer.” So, now we learn that Biden fixed Iraq. What an amazing guy. That is what has been doing when he travels to Iraq.
What may be the scariest thing of all is if Obama and Biden,et al actually believe this stuff. And maybe Iraq will be” their” greatest achievement, except it won’t even be their achievement. Truly amazing. As a fellow blogger likes to say, ” good freakin grief!”
…..wasn’t it supposed to be over and done by now? Something about December and deadlines and agreements and how Russia has smoothed it all over and wasn’t all the Arab world going to fall in love with us? You remember the speech in Egypt that was so great, do you not?
And just the other day, Defense Secretary Gates held out hope for the sanctions to work. And now Hilary has given an interview that kinda says Iran is not the real problem since they don’t have a bomb,yet.
Don’t I remember somebody using the phrase “axis of evil” and being roundly condemned for it. Why that cowboy diplomacy that makes the world hate us,how dare he!
And yet, today I read that Iranian President Ahmadinejad has told his atomic agency to significantly enrich the country’s stockpile of uranium. And German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg referred to the farce being played out just like in the past. “The outstretched hand of the international community has not only been taken but pushed back.”
What did Herr Guttenberg mean do you think? We will agree with the UN plan maybe says Iran. If more sanctions were imposed it would a 4th round, if you’re counting, and neither Russia nor China seems all that excited about it.
I just feel that I have written all of this before and yet here we are again. Wonder what Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israel think about it all? Are they watching closely?” Bet your sweet bippy” they are. In fact he is in Russia as we write on a “long-planned trip.” Wonder what they will discuss?
Meet professor Chris Edley, the president’s Harvard law school professor. Dr Edley is now Dean of the law school at the University of California. That’s the school located in Berkeley which should trigger all sorts of liberal connotations. That shall wait for another day. The professor was also a member of the Clinton and Carter Administrations, so his Democrat bona fides are in order.
He has some interesting things to say about Obama, according to an article in The Times, reported by Giles Whittell. The professor is quite critical of senior White House staff, in particular Rahm Emanuel. Edley thinks that a sense of complacency has set in and staff is not pushing nearly hard enough to get the President’s programs established. In fact, Edley has already intervened in a similar situation on Obama’s behalf. In the latter days of 2007, the professor was called in by then Senator Obama and promptly dismissed poicy positions drawn up as mediocre. He also pushed for Obama to be given more time to tink.One gets the impression that he would quite willing to repeat that intervention.
He even says or seems to say that there has been too much reliance on Obama’s personality as a method to persuade and even longs for good ole fashioned LBJ arm twisting. One thing I missed in the article. There seemed to be no criticism of the President. It is his staff that is not serving him as they should. Two quick comments about that. It is Obama’s staff, he picked them- duh! And is nothing ever the President’s fault? No, of course not. How silly of me, the fault is always with Bush. In fact , that was re-iterated when the budget was announced. Anything bad about it is due to the last decade of errors. Wait, was Bush president for a decade? Guess I missed that.
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