‘a master of foreign policy must confront the march of the economic morons’

Robert Shrum: A master of foreign policy must confront the march of the economic morons to evade the 41st president’s fate

With the fall of Moammar Gadhafi’s evil kleptocracy, Barack Obama is arguably the most successful foreign policy president since George H. W. Bush. And we know what happened to him.

First, Obama’s successes: The restoration of respect for America abroad; the negotiation and ratification of the new START nuclear arms treaty with Russia; his resolve to wind down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by a date certain … relying on special operations and drones to counter the terrorist threat that infests the Pakistan–Afghanistan border, while skillful diplomacy with India has lessened the odds of a potential nuclear conflict on the subcontinent.

The promise of special ops was stunningly proven in the boldest decision of the president who, when he made it, surely realized that he had the loneliest job in the world … With a cool hand and no drama … Obama ventured a risky mission to capture or kill the elusive mastermind of 9/11. The mission was finally accomplished, but not with the bluster of Bush 43.

The president had already orchestrated American influence with the Egyptian army to secure the uprising there …. He took a similar approach in Libya in the face of withering and often opportunistic criticism from Republicans…..Predictably, Obama’s GOP adversaries now celebrate the outcome while refusing to give the president a scintilla of credit….

… The president doesn’t have the power here he wields in foreign affairs – and the tea-drugged Republican House and the filibuster-intoxicated Republicans in the Senate are bent on blocking whatever Obama is for … he has to contend with a march of morons that stretches from Capitol Hill to the summit of international policymaking.

….in the plain sight of the American people, the president can become the fighter for jobs and growth – and the GOP, to invert Obama’s own phrase, can be blamed for putting politics ahead of country. The Republicans are so overt in their obstruction that Obama won’t even have to say this explicitly; they themselves will pin the tail on the elephant.

….It’s time for this president to move on from the art of the possible to the art of persuasion. He was superb at that in 2008, and he can be again. The leader who so notably succeeded in foreign policy – and legislatively in health and financial reform – now has to recapture the nation’s imagination….

Full article here

139 Responses to “‘a master of foreign policy must confront the march of the economic morons’”

  1. 1 hopefruit2
    August 26, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Obama is not comparable to Bush 41 in anyway shape or form. Already on the domestic front, this President has done more than Reagan and Clinton, both of whom went on to receive a 2nd term. Affordable Care Act, DADT repeal, Stimulus, new investments in green energy, and many more.

    • 2 jacquelineoboomer
      August 26, 2011 at 6:30 pm


    • August 26, 2011 at 6:54 pm

      too bad we cannot get the doom and gloom emoprogs to wake up.

      • August 26, 2011 at 8:07 pm

        Chips, I forgot to mention the shadow on the name of the site. I like it. It gives it some depth–of which you have a ton girl.

        • August 26, 2011 at 8:13 pm

          Ah, thank you Dorothy! (Although, honest, I’m incredibly shallow!). I’m still trying to make things look and work better, so don’t get a fright if you see some weird (temporary) changes!

          • 6 GGail
            August 26, 2011 at 8:26 pm

            Shallow – YOU? PLUEEZE!!!! If you Chipsticks were shallow, you would not have tolerated us for this long! Not buying it, no sireee!!!! You would have gone on to other more self-pleasing things than this blog. And it’s tooo late to rethink your shallowness. We will charge you with abandonment in the Court of Obama. 😀

            • 7 Kasai
              August 26, 2011 at 8:38 pm

              I concur with everything you said GGail…and love your line of “We will charge you with abandonment in the Court of Obama”
              But I am thinking in how Obama is compassionate, He may just give her probation time being he first offense. Maybe 100 hours working at the People’s house sitting Bo…? LOL..don’t get any ideas now Chips:-)

              • 8 GGail
                August 26, 2011 at 8:48 pm

                Or his compassion could charge her with the responsibility of this blog for ETERNITY!!!!!! She would be sooooo old, that her fingers would forget how to put up mankini’s or gremlins, or ugly repugs to scare us. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

    • 11 proudmemberofglobalzero
      August 26, 2011 at 6:58 pm

      I find it really funny that President Obama had to spend the first two years fixing everything Clinton did. DADT, Wall Street Reform, both which Clinton messed up. Healthcare Reform….and too many things to count.

    • 17 jacquelineoboomer
      August 26, 2011 at 6:42 pm

      So glad this reminder of what real Disaster Preparedness 101 looks like is getting out there. Thanks, Josh!

    • 18 Ladyhawke
      August 26, 2011 at 7:02 pm

      Thanks for that link lamh34. That’s great.

      I agree, I think the Obama administration hurricane preparedness is just amazing. In preparation for hurricane Irene, I have received important information and instructions from President Obama, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, FEMA Director Craig Fugate, my district congressman, local radio and television, local and state websites. And on top of that, I just got a reverse 911 Alert with more details from the mayors office.

      I am so impressed with FEMA Director Craig Fugate. He makes me feel like we are in good hands. And the FEMA.gov website is chock full of good information and links. Also, the NOAA.gov website is invaluable to actually see the path of hurricane Irene and what to expect in my area. And of course, whitehouse.gove is just terrific.

      This is what smart and efficient government looks like. President Obama is making government cool again and it’s driving the Republican Party crazy. I know they will be working overtime to find something to criticize.


      • August 26, 2011 at 9:42 pm

        Well, there won’t be any “Heckuva job, Brownie!” moments with THIS President and THIS FEMA.

        Even though this storm is bad, there’s been a lot of prepping and the calls for evacuation were early. No last-minute nonsense.

        Now, all we can do up here is wait….and hope for the best.

    • 20 Eleroy
      August 26, 2011 at 8:23 pm

      I’ll take preparedness any day!!! Spot on!!!

      THANK YOU President Obama!!! You Sir, ROCK!!!

    • August 26, 2011 at 9:01 pm

      I wonder if Bloomberg will give Obama any credit.

    • 22 Uche
      August 27, 2011 at 3:00 am

      This is leadership at it’s best…being proactive rather than reactive. To think that the President was personally engaged in an exercise of this nature only further illuminates his character as a man with vision.

  2. 23 utaustinliberal
    August 26, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    Interesting article. Thoughtful and gives one a lot to ponder on. Reading about President Obama’s foreign policy accomplishments once again, just points out to me how churlish the “tea- drugged” (favorite phrase in the piece) republicans are in their refusal to offer a smidgen of credit where credit is due.

  3. 24 jacquelineoboomer
    August 26, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    That photo of President Obama practically pressed up against the window of the Midwest tour bus reminds me of my now-adult son, when he had the chickenpox as a young boy. He was contagious and we couldn’t leave the house. He would stare out of the window, with his nose pressed up against it, looking at his friends who were playing, and say, hourly, “Mommy, WHEN can I go out and play?” I’m sure PBO would have just loved to have hopped off the bus at every stage where there were friendly crowds, so he could go out and play with them. He’s such a people person that having so many security concerns holding him back must really frost him!

    • August 26, 2011 at 6:53 pm

      JBoomer, I also thought along those lines when I originally saw that picture.
      I remember him being asked once what does he miss most with his past life, and he responded that he most missed the anonymity of his former life. He said that he would like most to be able to go to the park he and Michelle and just sit on a park bench watching the people as they walked by.

  4. 26 dotster
    August 26, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Brand the Republicans with “Party Over Country”. President Obama used that a lot and the crowd nodded. It should be on every ad and shouted from the mountaintops.
    OT, but I just got a chuckle. Lester Holt is on NBC Nightly News reporting on the hurricane, and he’s wearing Obama’s blue checked shirt!!! The one that President Obama had on this a.m. and the one he wore on the bus tour and the one he’s worn on every dressy casual appearance since the Iowa caucuses and since he’s been president. I think it’s catching on. 🙂 Somewhere some enterprising bsns. is working overtime getting those blue checked shirts out into the marketplace. They’re hot!

  5. August 26, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    Great article, and the Anti-O crowd are out in force in the comments. So fucking sickening!

    • August 26, 2011 at 7:57 pm

      So Tally, like me you read comments. Left and right it would seem. Do you think the worse than Carter comments are from repug or lefties?

      • August 26, 2011 at 8:42 pm

        Who can tell the difference between the anti-Obama factions? Left/Right, who cares, it’s all baseless and vile. How does reading the comments enhance our ability to work hard to re-elect the President and give him the Congress he needs?

        • 34 jacquelineoboomer
          August 26, 2011 at 8:50 pm

          A couple of minutes of reading comments helps us to see the trends relating to what we’re fighting – in the long haul that will be the 2012 election. But, I agree, we need not waste more than a couple of minutes on the baseless and vile.

          • August 26, 2011 at 9:03 pm

            I agree….. and after reading far more reasonable comments on the Glenn Beck article, I am convinced The Week has been overrun by the RWNJs.

        • August 26, 2011 at 9:55 pm

          Huh…hard to tell in some cases. While I deplore the “they’re all the same!!” line, I have to admit that it applies to the anti-Obama factions, both on the Right AND the Left.

          When Glenn Greenwald or Chris Hedges start to sound like Sean Hannity or a FOX News pundit, you know something’s very, very wrong.

      • August 26, 2011 at 9:57 pm

        In this case, both sides do it. For real.

    • 38 Betsy
      August 26, 2011 at 8:46 pm

      I find the comments on so many sites so offensive. People hide behind the anonymity of the internet and say the most horrendous, racist things that they wouldn’t dare to say out loud. It’s awful and disturbing.

  6. 39 PhiDeltObama
    August 26, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    Unless there is a Ross Perot type 3rd party candidate then the comparison is dumb….Sorry, but only reason Clinton beat HW is cause of Perot.

    • 40 57andFemale
      August 26, 2011 at 8:17 pm

      Actually I don’t think that’s true. The meme that all the Perot votes came from HW has been debunked. Clinton and HW shared the votes pretty equally, I believe.

      • 41 57andFemale
        August 26, 2011 at 8:19 pm

        But let’s be clear on one thing: Democrats do not vote reliably and in big enough numbers. If they are ‘disappointed’, or buy into ‘they’re all the same’, they happily stay home and bitch about the results. So when there is a split with a third party, Democrats are more likely to either vote for the other guy or not vote at all. It’s an issue.

      • August 26, 2011 at 8:21 pm

        Steve Kornacki agrees with you 57:

        Next up: Ross Perot and 1992. Easterbook argues that George H.W. Bush lost because the Texas billionaire “siphoned off conservative votes.” False.

        The endurance of this particular myth, regular readers will recognize, is particularly bothersome to me, and I’ve written about it several times. Easterbrook is hardly the only one who’s still pushing it. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard someone matter-of-factly make this claim in the past few years. Generally, it’s from conservatives who like to pretend that Bill Clinton’s ’92 victory was a fluke, but there are liberals who still fall for it too.

        Instead of recounting all of the details of the ’92 race here, I’ll simply refer you to one of my previous posts on the subject. If you want the Cliff’s Notes version it goes like this: (1) Economic anxiety was high, causing Bush’s poll numbers to drop to poisonous levels — by the fall of ’92 he was not an incumbent who, on paper, should have won reelection; (2) Not a single public opinion poll from the middle of July (when Perot dropped out the race) through the end of September (when Perot returned) gave Bush a lead over Clinton — not even in the immediate wake of the August ’92 GOP convention. In fact, Clinton’s average lead in this period was double-digits — and the race was not tightening at the time Perot jumped back in; (3) A comprehensive national exit poll found that Perot voters were divided almost evenly on their second choice and that Clinton — in a two-way race — would still have beaten Bush by 5.8 million votes (his actual margin was 5.3 million in initial ’92 tally).


      • 44 nathkatun7
        August 27, 2011 at 1:50 am

        You are probably right, though I am not entirely satisfied with many of the studies that supposedly debunk the myth that Perot took more votes from GHW Bush than he did from Bill Clinton. But the fact still remains that Bill Clinton only received 43% of the vote in 1992, and slightly over 49% in 1996. The fact that people who might have voted for President Clinton chose to vote for Perot, in two elections, is quite telling. I also happen to think that in 1980, if it weren’t for John Anderson –who took about 5% of the vote, mostly from liberals– President Carter might have pulled out a win. People forget that in 1980, President Reagan’s popular vote was slightly over 51%, though he had an electoral landslide. As it turned out, Congressman Anderson hurt Jimmy Carter more than he hurt Ronald Reagan. The Presence of 3rd party candidates always complicates election outcomes as was the case with Ralph Nader in 2000.

    • 45 bonkers
      August 26, 2011 at 8:45 pm

      I long felt that too – that Perot running helped Clinton win – but I’ve since seen some analysis suggesting otherwise.

      Doesn’t apply to 2012 though anyway. President Clinton ran the exact opposite kind of campaign than President Barack Hussein Obama does. The DNC at that time was very top-down and were pushing their “swing state” strategy where they put all resources into a few states they thought would swing the election. They were literally shutting down offices in some states to do this, and that strategy continued for many years later, leading to horrendous results for Dems in Congressional races; the Presidential in 2000 and beyond.

      President Barack Hussein Obama changed all this. He has run the exact opposite kind of campaign that Bill Clinton ran. Any weird Perot-style surprise will get squashed. Any Perot nuttiness from the Left will barely be a blip on the radar, and any nuttiness from the Repub side will decimate the Repub candidate. We’ll be fine no matter what. It’s all about getting back the House and strengthening the Senate. Let’s move.

  7. 46 Ladyhawke
    August 26, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    It is really pathetic that the White House has to spend time responding to such dreck from Speaker Boehner. Facts are ignored. Up is down, black is white. There is no seriousness of purpose. Just lies, hot air and posturing.

    The Facts About Regulations

    Lately, there has been a great deal of inaccurate information about the Obama Administration’s record on regulations. I wanted to take the opportunity to clear up the facts, particularly in view of a letter sent by Speaker Boehner to the President today.


    • August 26, 2011 at 8:13 pm

      Ha Ha Ha and BIG smiles. The two links about storm preparations (esp. for NY City) and the link about regulations……THANKS for sharing them. I just read both of them to my Republican husband…..some of you know the one that says PO isn’t a leader and that the reason businesses aren’t hiring is because of all the regulations. I’ve decided I’m going to start doing what I did tonight. He’ll never know about these things any other way….you know, our “liburul media” won’t talk about things like this.

      • 48 L3
        August 26, 2011 at 8:48 pm

        Have you ever thought of just leaving your husband be? If he does not like the President or Democrats, that is his prerogative. I for one know I could never marry a Republican so I applaud your ability to separate your love for him from your political views. However, one of the many stereotypes that dog women is that we marry men and then try to change them. Leave him alone; but, if he comes to you with questions about the President or wants more information about his policies then he’s opened the door and that’s your chance to try to win him over. Just a suggestion.

      • 50 Sue in Minnesota
        August 26, 2011 at 9:22 pm

        Atta Girl!

  8. August 26, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    You know really, The American People should be paying close attention on what’s happening to our Country Politically. American People need to KNOW that the RePublicans are NOT our Friends! That American People need to know by now, and especially come November 2012, that to vote Republican, Is sending us straight to Hell. The American People need to know especially come November 2012, EXACTLY who they’re going to vote for. The American People should not have to wonder and ponder on who to vote for. Really, the American People need to know who our Enemies are, People like Cantor, Boehner, Bachman, Perry, McConnell, Romney and many others are out to hurt us big time. Wake up America It’s Sink or Swim. We have been hit In the Head with a sledge Hammer, so It’s high time that we put In to Office, People who are thinking of the working Class. So Wake up, no more sleeping and weeping, It’s time to get serious about electing People who are caring and not the Greedy, and all for self People.

    • August 26, 2011 at 7:50 pm

      I think people see what’s going on but they tend to think that Republicans wouldn’t target them. Look at how certain Unions reacted to Wisconsin. So many members were in shock that Republicans would do that to THEM. Never mind that the GOP has been going after Unions for decades, as long as they didn’t touch you or yours then whatever. Now they see that Republicans are willing to throw them under the bus as well.

  9. 53 Judy Fardig
    August 26, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    I think we will have to struggle for every vote, especially because of all the new vote suppression tactics Republican legislatures have instituted, and because of the avalanche of corporate money from Koch, Rove’s group, Armey’s group, and all the other shady super PACs. These will finance extremely negative attack ads on TV.

    Democrats have got to wake up and stick together. Let the Tea Party be the ones to splinter Republican votes via a 3rd party ticket (I suggest Palin/Trump). Progressives need to get on President Obama’s bus and stop the second-guessing!

  10. August 26, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Can anyone get Benen’s blog to load? Wonder where that server is and how bad the weather is already?

  11. August 26, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    NM – FInally loaded.

  12. 56 utaustinliberal
    August 26, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Chipstcicks are you messing with us again in terms of changing the font of the website or has my astimagtism gotten really really bad. Oh crap… don’t tell me I have to schedule an appointment with the eye doctor.

    • August 26, 2011 at 7:53 pm

      Hiya UT, cripes, no, it must be your eyes. 😦
      Okay, I’m lying! I was playing again 😆

      • 58 utaustinliberal
        August 26, 2011 at 8:00 pm

        Hahahaha. 😆 😆 Good one Chips. Before I saw the “Okay, I’m lying! I was playing again” quote, I was like crap! crap! crap! Don’t mess with me again Chips or you know who I’ll send your way to hunt you………… yep; Mankini Newt.

        ps: I found out the other day that “Mankini” has officially been accepted into Oxford’s or Webster’s Dictionary and I immediately thought that maybe the folks at Oxford and Webster have been hanging around here and decided to pay homage to your creative use of the word Mankini and the accompanying image. 😉

        • August 26, 2011 at 8:11 pm

          That was way too cruel of me 😆

          That’s hilarious about the mankini, I just hope the dictionary people didn’t put that pic of Newt beside the entry – gulp.

          • 60 hopefruit2
            August 26, 2011 at 9:40 pm

            🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 Here’s a nice visual for you Chips. Mankini on the runway modeling Summer ’12 latest fashions in the Mankini industry.

  13. 61 Rita
    August 26, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Chip – one of my favorites, Jonathan Alter, has a great article: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/ten-miles-square/2011/08/you_think_obamas_been_a_bad_pr031810.php . Take a read.

    • 62 nathkatun7
      August 27, 2011 at 3:16 am

      Thanks Rita for sharing Jonathan Alter’s commentary. He is by far one of the most fair and reasonable MSM pundit.

  14. 63 Left-Indie
    August 26, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    The comparison to Bush 41 is understandable. The two presidents hand smart ways of going about foreign policy and demonstrated sucess doing things with Nato and such. The other leg of that comparison comes from the fact that even though you might be great oversees, the bread and butter issues drive the votes. The economy is tough and that is that. What is irritating is how many people don’t see that the rethugs are strapping dynamite to the foundation of the house as Obama is busy rebuilding it. It is his job and the Dems to make the average american be glaring aware of this. So far not good. As the compaign heats up, I hope they do better. Better at walking up a lot Americans to the reality of complete GOP rule.

    • 64 Sue in Minnesota
      August 26, 2011 at 8:28 pm

      How do you think they have fallen short? What do you think the should and can do differently? What role do you think the MSM plays in this? I’ld really like to hear your suggestions.

      Personally, I think Americans are not holding up their end of this arrangement. I also think the MSM is an enormously negative force and largely an opposing force to this administration. I think the President has made a herculean effort….but if it is failing as you suggest, then reality has to be accepted, and adjustments made. What would you do differently? I’ld really like to hear your perspective.

    • 65 hopefruit2
      August 26, 2011 at 8:44 pm

      No, the comparison to Bush 41 is NOT understandable. It is rather perverse.

      Show me the level of opposition from Dems that Bush 41 had that is comparable to that which Obama is getting from the Repubs. Show me the amount of “cleaning up” of his predecessors’ messes that Bush 41 spent his first 2-3 years in office doing. Bush 41 had a relatively smooth sailing presidency during his first 2-3 years with 70%+ approval ratings to show for it.

      I would say that Bush 41 actually was the opposite of President Obama in terms of the chronological dynamics of his Presidency. He had a relatively smooth first 2-3 years and a rough last year, with the emergence of a relatively young, charismatic and INTELLIGENT Democrat by the name of Bill Clinton. President Obama has had a challenging 2-3 years (while accomplishing A LOT both on the Domestic and Foreign policy front), with a very sad and uninspiring group of Republicans all clamoring to be President but without the intelligence, skills or work ethic to be one.

      • 66 nathkatun7
        August 27, 2011 at 3:32 am

        Thank you hopefruit for for your excellent comment. Bob Shrum made many good points, but the presidency of Barack Obama is not comparable to that of any other President in my lifetime. No president, in his first two years in office, faced such determined hostility from the opposition party as well as determined hostility from the wing of his party. Just focusing on Presidents in my lifetime, I just cant recall a president who, from day one, was viciously under attack from the opposition party and a faction of his own party. I defy any historian to show me a comparable treatment of all the modern Presidents in my lifetime, from JFK to George W.Bush, by the opposition party and by self anointed guardians of of the purity of his own party.

    • 68 jacquelineoboomer
      August 26, 2011 at 8:56 pm

      Left-Indie – It’s also our job to make the average American aware. I’m in!

    • 69 GGail
      August 26, 2011 at 8:59 pm

      Left-Indie, what suggestions do you have for us Dems (we the people) to help the President get the message out?

      • 70 Left-Indie
        August 26, 2011 at 10:41 pm

        First, yes, I’m in, regardless. The comparison to Bush 41 is only in general terms in foreign policy and economic difficulty, though that recession was not nearly as bad. I think folks here, Chips, BWD, Carpenter and others are God sent. The ball drops with dem congress folks. I have never seen them collectively sustain an effective attack for any period of time. They seem easily swayed off their points when on tv, as I watch and hope that they would pivot back to drive THEIR own points home. So, ok, the MSM doesn’t invite us as often, but when they do, we better have our bullets in the chamber. Take the idea: “Rethugs are willing to bring down the US economy just to defeat Obama.” We here on this site and elsewhere were talking about this for a longtime. This should have been a relentless point driven by the democratic leadership until the average non-political American gets it. We have plenty of examples to back it up. The President doesn’t wanna go there. Maybe that is to be above it all. Maybe that is effective in “he’s the grown man in the room” sense. All I know is that a lot of Americans don’t see the Rethugs hand in this distruction. And here’s another: “where’re the jobs bill Bonehead?” That should have been a t-shirt worn by all dem congress criters. This same type of line is what they beat us up with so effectively. Yet another was “the bikini graph” that Rachel used to show, showing how we Dems dug the economy from a deep hole. Its a great graph that should be flown like a flag on a pole. Again, it’s campaign season, lets hope they get it together. Debbie is already doing better than that Tim Cain, my former governer. And somebody please bring back Jennifer Granholm back to the TV. The women kick ass. I’m a dude and I can admit.

    • 71 bonkers
      August 26, 2011 at 10:22 pm

      Your analogy about the house foundation is good. The other stuff…well, not so much.

      Any foreign policy comparison between King Bush the 1st and President Barack Hussein Obama is not “understandable.” If this is your proof – “…doing things with Nato and such.” – may I suggest you study up a little more.

      President Barack Hussein Obama and most other Dems have constantly been doing what you suggest. They are CONSTANTLY making “the average american be glaring aware of this.” I’ve been to some of President Obama’s events, and when we watch the “news” coverage later that evening, it seems like they were at a completely different event as they spew their usual false storylines that hurt Dems and prop up Repubs, with almost no mention of what President Obama actually said. You can see this clearly if you ever watch one of his event, especially a townhall, online and unfiltered. Even before the 2010 midterms, President Obama was pounding the “Repubs drove the car into the ditch so don’t give the keys back” theme almost to the point of overdoing it. Yet, so many “true progressives” were caterwauling about how he NEEDS TO use the bully pulpit?!?!

      I’ll assume you’re sincere and suggest you focus your blame and disgust at the correct target – the MegaMedia and the small handful of MegaRich who own them – instead of sewing discontent amongst Democrats using false arguments.

      • 72 nathkatun7
        August 27, 2011 at 3:45 am

        Bravo, Bravo, Bonkers! Thank you for expressing so well my sentiments about the disconnect between what President Obama has been saying and doing from what is reported in the MSM or covered by the PL blogs. I am an oldie. I have witnessed many Presidents and I think President Obama is one of the best communicator of all the Presidents I’ve known, from LBJ to G.W. Bush. The problem is that MSM either ignores and refuses carry his message, or finds a way to filter and distort it. On top of that, we have the self-serving “holier than thou” progressives who hate the President and continually lie and help the MSM in their distortion of the President’s message and actions. One of the reasons I finally gave up on watching the MSM on t.v. was the way they continually distorted the President message that he delivered in some of his town halls I attended.

      • 73 FactPlus
        August 27, 2011 at 8:10 am

        Excellent Comment. Thank you!

  15. 74 57andFemale
    August 26, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    I’m no expert, but I have a few questions. I was just flipping channels and saw Bernie Sanders on Countdown. He said that the President HAS said he would raise Medicare age. He said other things that Obama has said but I admit I changed the channel.

    Did Barack Obama ever say that that we can cite? Not the rumors, not the deficit commission. But Barack Obama. Can Bernie Sanders show me where Barack Obama has said that in so many words?

    I’m honestly asking. I don’t want a litany on ‘don’t watch that stuff’ because if we don’t know what’s being said, we can’t fight it. I want an honest answer. Not innuendo, or rumor or ‘sources’ but Barack Obama, on record, saying he wants to raise the Medicare age.

    I await anyone’s answer that can enlighten me.

    • August 26, 2011 at 8:26 pm

      No. There was a “report” that Obama discussed it with boehner or put it on the table. There is no quote from Pres. Obama on raising the age for Medicare or SS or any program.

    • August 26, 2011 at 8:32 pm

      You know what gets my goat? Sanders is a member of the Senate. Most of these Democrats complaining about Obama are in Congress yet they complain as if they have no control and no vote. If Obama were to come out with a quote and said that he wants to raise the Medicare/SS age, all these Democrats can stop it because THEY are the ones that get to vote on such a proposal.

      • August 26, 2011 at 9:52 pm

        That’s bugged me too. I have a great deal of respect for Senator Sanders, but it’s been wavering lately–from the support of a primary challenger to the President to saying that the President put Medicare and Social Security on the chopping block when no such thing happened.

        I dunno what to make of it, I admit…

    • 78 COS
      August 26, 2011 at 9:26 pm

      I hate to say it, but Bernie Sanders has worn out his welcome with me. I am not going to give him any more excuses. I noticed that he was going to be on countdown and I always fastforward thru his appearances. He makes my head hurt repeating the same old thing, over and over. His Obama bashing has gotten old.

  16. 79 Sue in Minnesota
    August 26, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    This picture is so poignant.

  17. 82 Kasai
    August 26, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    I am so worried about these Republicans with all their propaganda in changing voting rights laws.

    I am starting to feel like Simpson…LOL


    • 84 GGail
      August 26, 2011 at 9:02 pm

      Thanks for the laugh kasai. Let’s do what we can so this doesn’t happen in Ohio, Fla, WI, etc.

      • 85 Kasai
        August 26, 2011 at 9:11 pm

        Thanks for the link Desertflower….I read throught it…So does this mean that Eric Holder will have a chance to reverse?? Or is still going through legal process.

        I posted a link in previous blogs..Gail, that ..Perry in Texas doesn’t consider a Vet ID is good enough for voting…
        This madness…We must and we shall continue to fight and keep our eyes wide open…I pray to God these idiots are all out of office come 2012.

        • 86 GGail
          August 26, 2011 at 9:17 pm

          Then Eric Holder has to hear from us that we want a spot light placed on these States that are trying to make voting difficult.

          • 87 Kasai
            August 26, 2011 at 9:20 pm

            I sure hope so Gail…I am hoping that OFA, is being trained to monitor..but most importantly Eric Holder needs to get States that are trying to implement these laws before the elections dismissed or reversed….It’s very important that they’re on top of it..If not we need to make our voices heard.

        • 89 desertflower
          August 26, 2011 at 9:26 pm

          To be honest, Kasai…I have no idea what the hell the idiots that run this state are thinking, except to say that we have a lot of Hispanics here (a lot less since the ugly, racist SB1070…) but ANYTHING that would keep those folks from voting for Dems, is great for the Republicans in this state…people around here, sorry to say, are rather slow when it comes to learning lessons and wanting to understand about voting against their own best interests. Tom Horne is the TP lite Atty General…before that, he was the Superintendent of Public Instruction for AZ…as usual, effed that up royally….as a side note about this guy, was banned from the SEC for LIFE….oh, please read the laundry list of idiots that have snowed the people of AZ…again and again. I told you, the folks here are alittle “thinck in the head” sometimes…or maybe they just think whatever these yahoos do won’t effect THEM.
          Regardless, the Atty General of this state thinks the VRA is UNCONSTITUTIONAL! This proclamation from someone that has not a shred of understanding about much of anything. It’s MORE than frustrating. I hope that Holder can put a muzzle on this guy and tell him to STFU and do hiS real job, part of which is making sure that no one that is legally able to vote is disenfranchised!

          • 90 GGail
            August 26, 2011 at 9:41 pm

            desertflower – do you know if our Atty Genl Holder has a twitter account? Or maybe we could send his office emails from all of us, especially those of us in these states where evil is trying to take root and let Mr. Holder know that we want FAIR PLAY regarding voting rights. I’m from the Civil Rights era and this makes me weak in the knees with fury!

            • 91 jacquelineoboomer
              August 26, 2011 at 10:00 pm

              Here’s the website of the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Voting Section:


              • 92 jacquelineoboomer
                August 26, 2011 at 10:03 pm

                Twitter account:


                • 93 desertflower
                  August 26, 2011 at 10:15 pm

                  Thanks so much,jb…if everyone that reads that post could pass along their thoughts to AG Holder and the justice dept…that would be great! This kind of reckless behaviour must not stand! R’s engage in this kind of behaviour because when people KNOW, and they WILL,less and less people will vote for them….we HAVE to make all of their antics known to America this time….people ARE listening…I know, because finally after many years, in fact, all my adult life, my Republican father is FED UP with his party and he is paying attention! If he is, there are others.

                  • 94 GGail
                    August 26, 2011 at 10:23 pm

                    thanks jb and desertflower. armed with information and contact info – we the people should let our voices be heard. thank you, I’m going to do my part.

            • 95 desertflower
              August 26, 2011 at 10:16 pm

              jb hooked us up! See below:)

            • 96 Sue in Minnesota
              August 26, 2011 at 11:46 pm

              I’ve e-mailed the DOJ, twice recently. Go to their website

  18. 97 desertflower
    August 26, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    What’s wrong with these people? Does “Grover” mean “Dick” in Sesame St. language?

  19. 98 hopefruit2
    August 26, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    Hello Everyone,

    This is Hurricane Irene just popping in to say hi to Chipsticks & the TOD family. I notice that the Republicans are trying to make me “Obama’s Katrina.” I will not be Katrina. So far, people don’t seem too mad at me although one person on Old Orange called me “stupid” because I will disrupt his beer-tasting party in Brooklyn NY over the weekend. Oh well, he can always taste beer in the safety and privacy of his own home while I’m in his area. I’m now hitting the shores of NC but will be making my way up North soon. Then I go out to sea where my home is. If people heed warning and take precautions, I’ll try not to cause too much damage. But I can’t help it – my nature is destructive. Nothing personal. Meanwhile be safe wherever you are and keep the loved ones close.

    Hurricane Irene

    • 99 utaustinliberal
      August 26, 2011 at 9:11 pm

      Hahahahahahahahaha 😆 😆 😆 😆 hopefruit2 you made me almost spit out my drink and almost choke simultaneously.

    • 100 gcwp1
      August 26, 2011 at 9:14 pm

      PS – I’m a Storm-Obot. Go Obama/Biden 2012!

    • 101 GGail
      August 26, 2011 at 9:19 pm

      Thanks Hurricane Irene, I’m your sister, GGail Force Winds and I say…..OBAMA/BIDEN 2012 from SEA to Shining SEA!!!!

    • 102 jacquelineoboomer
      August 26, 2011 at 9:47 pm

      H. Irene – Please keep those progress reports coming!

      And – if you’re good and go out to sea, sooner rather than later, you can take the honorary title of “Obama’s Irene.” But only if you’re good.

    • August 26, 2011 at 10:24 pm

      😆 😆 😆

      Thanks for the heads up, Irene! Now, if you wouldn’t mind taking a crop of Teapublicans with you, I would so appreciate it. Don’t hurt ’em or anything, just sweep them out to sea and maroon them on a deserted island somewhere — let them put their libertarian, every-man-for-himself beliefs to work.

      I’m a little pissed at you because I was looking forward to the MLK Memorial dedication this weekend, but I’ll forgive you if you get yourself out to sea quickly. Okay? Thanksbye!

  20. 104 Kasai
    August 26, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    LOL Hope..I mean Irene…hehehehe thanks for the warning:-)

  21. 105 COS
    August 26, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Saw this witch from Politico on The Last Word responding to a statement from Chris Hayes about PBO returning to Washington. She attributed it to the fact that PBO’s folks have looked at the polls and see how folks are saying he is not connected to the feelings of folks in the country, and decided that they had better return to WA to prevent criticism. She pulled that response out of her a$$.

  22. August 26, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Well… my area is having a mandatory evacuation.
    I’m doing some laundry and sorting out some things to bring with me, then staying with relatives further inland.

    I really hate this. 😦

    I’ll be off-line from tomorrow until I don’t even know when. Long Island is dicey when it comes to getting the power back on. I just hope the house (and my computer 🙂 ) gets through it OK. There was already water damage from the last windstorm. I think the drywall is going to need replacing.

    • 110 MsKitty
      August 26, 2011 at 9:37 pm

      Good luck and be safe.

    • 112 gcwp1
      August 26, 2011 at 9:38 pm

      Good luck, Layell. I’m in CT (midstate) We just got a robocall from Emergency Preparedness, telling us where shelters were located and to expect flooded basements. I’m now going downstairs to bring up anything important. Also did a load of laundry.

      I hope all will be well when you return to LO. I have relatives there, as well as in the city. Familiy’s from NY.

      • 113 jacquelineoboomer
        August 26, 2011 at 9:42 pm

        Good luck to all of you. Check back in, when you can.

      • August 26, 2011 at 9:55 pm

        We don’t have a basement and the house is built with a hill-like area that has protected it from flooding before they built a pumping station. Unfortunately there is an inlet within eyesight of the house, that’s the thing I’m worried about. The computer I use is downstairs, and moving it is borderline impossible.

        Basically, I’m crossing my fingers. We lost a tree in the last wind storm, but luckily it fell away from the house. I looked up at the trees driving home, they have NOT been cut away from the power-lines… some of those trees are going down and it’s going to be a mess.

    • August 26, 2011 at 9:42 pm

      Oh, i’m so sorry. Please take good care and heed all the warnings.

    • 116 Doris
      August 26, 2011 at 9:43 pm

      Stay safe Layell.

    • 117 hopefruit2
      August 26, 2011 at 9:44 pm

      Be safe Layell and hope your home other valuable belongings remain okay.

    • 118 desertflower
      August 26, 2011 at 10:20 pm

      Be safe. My girl friend just bought a house on the beach in CT….I will call her tomorrow and make sure that she’s ok.

  23. 119 N
    August 26, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    This is a pretty neat interview w/ Pete Souza about the photos he took of President Obama and his foreign policy team during the OBL mission.


    • August 26, 2011 at 9:48 pm

      AWESOME!! Thanks so much, N.

      • 121 utaustinliberal
        August 26, 2011 at 9:59 pm

        Thanks for this N. The mini article was a great read. Love, love, love Pete Souza. Plus, according to the article, I just learned he’s a democrat. Woot! Woot! Another vote for President Obama in 2012.

    • 122 GGail
      August 26, 2011 at 9:49 pm

      Bravo Pete Souza on the photo’s, the interview, and the discretion. A loyal & trusted member of the Obama camp!

      • 123 Me4obama
        August 26, 2011 at 9:50 pm

        I love Pete Souza so much. I can’t wait for his book to come out.

      • August 26, 2011 at 9:54 pm

        Yes. Ever since I saw that fantastic documentary on PBS about him, I’ve been so very impressed with all those qualities he has in spades. He says just enough to intrigue but does not cross the line. I don’t think he’s interested in being a celebrity. Just a first rate guy and an incredibly talented artist. I’ve seen him up close and he was constantly working and in motion angling for the right shot and he looked very tired. LOVE him.

  24. 127 Sosena
    August 26, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    Mitt Romney – Hurricanes are people !

  25. 130 hopefruit2
    August 26, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    I see that many of our TOD friends on Twitter are pushing back on Mark Knoller with his specious comparisons of GWBush and PBO before hurricanes Katrina and Irene. I say Bravo to them!

    • August 26, 2011 at 9:50 pm

      I couldn’t believe what he started fresh out of the gate back from his vacation!! Unreal.

      • August 26, 2011 at 10:59 pm

        Knoller needs to hang it up. I’ts not going to do him any good to keep screaming on Obama. When Obama, and Bush make their appearance together for the 9-11 anniversary, people will look at the two men, and it will be plain to see that Obama suceeded where Bush II and the cowardly media failed. All of the hit pieces in the world aren’t going to change that.

  26. 133 COS
    August 26, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    Nate Silver sure has changed his image. He no longer wears those thick glasses. He looks a lot different than his first appearance on Countdown. I hate to say it but I think Keith gave him his first 15 minutes. 🙂

  27. 134 Doris
    August 26, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    COBRA health-insurance subsidy to end

    With little fanfare, the federal COBRA subsidy program that has helped millions of the recently unemployed afford to continue health insurance will expire next week.

    In many respects, the end is symbolic since the program’s enrollment ended in May 2010. Extensions stretched the subsidies out for 15 months and now the last of those eligible will lose that benefit Sept. 1.


  28. 135 jacquelineoboomer
    August 26, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Here are Attorney General Holder’s remarks at yesterday’s MLK Civil Rights Luncheon:


  29. 136 Michael
    August 26, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    President Obama and his family left their Martha’s Vineyard vacation home at 9:08 p.m. Friday, about 12 hours earlier than originally planned, arriving at the island airport about 9:20 p.m.

    He, first lady Michelle Obama, Sasha and Malia boarded Marine One, according to pool reports, for the short journey to Cape Cod.

    The first family are traveling to Washington D.C., ending their vacation early as Hurricane Irene bears down on the East Coast.

  30. August 26, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    Is it just me? It sounds like President Obama is a Master of Foreign Policy. Didn’t that used to be Rethug domain?

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