Chat Away

President Barack Obama writes a note for Alanah Poullard, 5, while visiting with Wounded Warriors in the East Room during their tour of the White House, Sept. 19, 2013. Alanah asked for a note to show her kindergarten teacher. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


Huge thanks again to Zizi for that absolutely wonderful post, completely honored to have it here.

Chat away – and happy birthday again, Dudette!

109 Responses to “Chat Away”

  1. September 19, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Wow that’s an amazing photo

    • September 19, 2013 at 10:04 pm

      Zizi, I’ve read your post so many times, it really is wonderful – you have an amazing talent, knowledge and insight. Genuinely honored to have you post here, I’m completely spoiled by the awesomeness of our blog tyrants!

      • September 19, 2013 at 10:14 pm

        Now Chica, stop it. No need for the excessive effusions. I just like to think out loud and when possible put keyboard to work. Helps keep my scatterbrain a little together.

        • 4 purpleshoesla
          September 20, 2013 at 12:19 am

          Zizi, thank you for your earlier post. So much food for thought; just spectacular. My mind’s spinning but in a good way. Bookmarked it to add it to the other bookmarks I created for your series of posts about Africa. I’m just a TOD bookmarkin’ fool!

          “I just like to think out loud and when possible put keyboard to work”. Please PROCEED! 🙂

    • 5 MightyPamela
      September 19, 2013 at 10:05 pm

      And YOU are amazing, zizi!

    • September 19, 2013 at 10:19 pm

      Congrats Zizi on 1st. I was on the last thread talking to you about your wonderful article only to realize I was talking to myself! But that’s ok, I’ll just read your article again – for the 3rd time 😀

    • 7 GGail
      September 19, 2013 at 10:33 pm

      zizi, that’s a great post! Now can you gather the children (Chuck, Tapper, Boehner, Turtle, et.al) and read it to them…very…slowly?

    • September 19, 2013 at 11:20 pm

      Good evening oh excellent and wonderful sage of foreign policy!

      I just finished reading your piece and one thought kept hitting more over and over again:
      Why the hell aren’t you on TV schooling the masses instead of the idiots the MSM inflict on us?

      • September 19, 2013 at 11:33 pm

        Cuz as Chuck Todd clearly told us yesterday, the media is not there to provide FACTS or correct lies. See what happened to PBS when Koch brothers stopped them from airing the documentary that showed them in critical light?

        We just have to maximize the electronic outlets available to us. Mistress Chips gets visitors from all over the world so this platform is far reaching, moreso than we imagine.

  2. September 19, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    GE Chips, TOD. Hope everyone is looking forward to the weekend? I sure am……… from the end of the last thread.

    The one-and-a-half-page letter, which the Iranian president answered with a letter of similar length, has kindled hopes that the international charm offensive Iran began after Mr. Rouhani’s election in June may produce a genuine diplomatic breakthrough. But the differing interpretations of Mr. Obama’s letter in Tehran and Washington are a reminder of the political hurdles and the legacy of mistrust that both sides will have to overcome in negotiating a deal.

    The American official said Mr. Obama had congratulated Mr. Rouhani on his election, and characterized the vote as an opportunity for change. But the official was adamant that Mr. Obama made no promises about immediate, or even quick, relief from the sanctions. The Iranians, he said, were inferring that from the president’s general pledge to resolve issues and move forward. And while Mr. Obama said he was open to direct talks, the official said, those talks would not necessarily be leader to leader.

    The Iranian reaction to the letter provides critical insight into a decisive and unexpected shift in strategy by the moderate new president as Iran struggles to restore vitality to its economy and undo years of hostile relations with most of the world under the former president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
    The overtures to the United States are part of a flurry of steps altering the trajectory of the Iranian state, including domestic liberalizations and the return of the politically powerful military back to the barracks — for now. Those concrete actions, along with the changed tone of its diplomacy, have convinced some analysts that the changes are more than cosmetic.

  3. 12 GGail
    September 19, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    Awwww, how cute is that!

    I love the color of the tie – it pops!!

    Congrats zizi on First 🙂

    I’ve missed so much today – must go back now and read your post zizi

  4. 13 vcprezofan2
    September 19, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    Hell-ooooo! I’m still trying to read the comments on Zizi’s post!

  5. September 19, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    For Top Gun fans…….. and another factor as to why the Iranians, are eager to come out from under the systematic, crippling, sanctions approach the Obama administration has implemented.

    Earlier this year, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little, said that an IRIAF (Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force) F-4 Phantom combat plane attempted to intercept a U.S. MQ-1 drone flying in international airspace off Iran. One of the two F-4 Phantom jets came to about 16 miles from the UAV but broke off pursuit after they were broadcast a warning message by two American planes escorting the Predator.

    “He [the Raptor pilot] flew under their aircraft [the F-4s] to check out their weapons load without them knowing that he was there, and then pulled up on their left wing and then called them and said ‘you really ought to go home’”

    If the episode went exactly as Welsh described it, it was something more similar to Maverick’s close encouter with Russian Mig-28s in Top Gun movie than a standard interception.

    Our military is not to be messed with!

  6. 26 MightyPamela
    September 19, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    When is that champagne being served for Dudette?? Don’t want to miss it, but must eat some supper. BBL, you are all the bees knees, you know that? (here we go with knees again – sheesh). 😆

  7. September 19, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    Just say’n ….


    Yes WE MUST

  8. 33 anniebella
    September 19, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    Lovely little girl waiting for her school note from POTUS.

  9. September 19, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    LL was talking in the last head about what could have possibly motivated Ayatollah Khamenei to empower Rouhani. Here’s the money quote buttressing my argument:

    Ayatollah Khamenei had been growing concerned about the future of the revolution, with so many of its founders aging. In particular, he wants to settle the nuclear issue and ease tensions with the United States.


  10. 37 Anjo
    September 19, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    Hi Dudette, the wine is chilled and we await your presence on beautiful Nevis of the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis, 2 islands one paradise. Come on down to Nevis, 36 sq miles of heaven, birthplace of Alexander Hamilton, the parents of Cicely Tyson, Judge Constance Baker Motley and where Lord Nelson he of British fighting fame, married Fanny Nisbet and lots more history. Nevis Nice, no one is a stranger here, if you haven’t been to Nevis for a vacation you have not been on vacation, we are hard to get to and even harder to leave. See ya when you get here. Your birthday is even grander with this message and I don’t even work for the tourist office..I JUST LOVE THIS PLACE and YOU WILL TOO

  11. September 19, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    U.S. and Russian technical experts were doing preparatory work for ending Syria’s chemical-weapons capability for months before the two nations’ Geneva meetings began Friday.

    The initiative on Syria’s weapons capability had its roots in June 2012 talks between President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin about Bashar al-Assad’s arsenal. More talks between the two followed, as well as talks between Secretary of State John F. Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

    At a dinner meeting in May, Kerry and Lavrov talked about the possibility of using Libya as a model for removing Syria’s chemical stockpile under an international agreement. The two agreed that Russian and U.S. technical experts should begin quietly meeting on details, though there was little expectation that a program would be immediately needed

    • September 19, 2013 at 11:37 pm

      So then why did WaPo writers go on the “Putin saved Obama” spree? Ugh

    • 41 majiir
      September 19, 2013 at 11:40 pm

      If more Americans would read his books, they’d have a better understanding of PBO. He doesn’t revel in standing before cameras and schmoozing with journalists. He’d rather be focusing on accomplishing his goals. As more and more information about his negotiations with Putin over Syria is revealed, I think some Americans, on the left and the right, are going to feel mighty sh*tty about underestimating him, lp. They don’t know PBO the way they think they do. He always has a plan, always

      • September 20, 2013 at 12:03 am

        Well said, Majiir. Your comment reminds me of a news conference a few years ago…. where he said he is always looking for “North Star” and not worried about 24/7 echo-chamber when planning a path forward.

      • 43 nathkatun7
        September 20, 2013 at 12:27 am

        I agree with you 100%, majiir! Besides the “purity left” and the absolutely “insane right,” the U.S. media have contributed immensely to the misinformation/disinformation of the American people. The U.S. mainstream media (MSM) have totally failed the American people. First, they have such a visceral hatred of President Obama that they always find a away turning his positive achievement into negative failures. Second, they are always focused on hype and sensationalism.

  12. 44 carolyn
    September 19, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    I LOVE that picture! Two very composed people.
    zizi, I made my thanks and comments at the VERY END of the last thread. Your analysis and synthesis are absolutely correct.
    By the time I had read the piece, and all the comments, a new thread had started.
    One thing I said in that post, was that if the punditry and media blowhards would actually ever LISTEN to what the President says, they might begin to know and understand what he is doing. IF they had listened to his speech at Westminster Hall in 2011, they would have understood then that he totally reset American foreign policy in that speech. I’m thinking some of these world leaders mentioned in your article did listen, and they’ve learned to believe and trust him.

  13. 47 LadyTNT
    September 19, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    I had to make sure I was here in enough time to give one the coolest nerds in the world a birthday shout out! Happy Birthday Dudette! I hope you hada wonderfulday and I wish you many more!!!

    How adorable is that little girl and the man writing her an excuse note?!!!!!!

  14. 48 Jovie
    September 19, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    It might be educational to understand how the food stamp program and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children got started.) In the ’50s the government started buying farm and dairy products that the farmers and Agri-business couldn’t sell on the open market. It was called Farm Price Supports. The USDA had huge warehouses across the country bulging with food, because many farmers started “farming the subsidy”. It was more profitable to sell to the government than try the vagaries of the open market. If you wonder how the government got into the business of paying farmers not to grow stuff–it’s because they didn’t have storage for all the food they had promised to buy–so the Feds just gave them money not to grow stuff. Billions of pounds grain, meat, milk and cheese started going bad because the government couldn’t sell it in competition with the farmers. It was a scandal. Millions of people were starving. The solution was “Government Commodities” giving all that stored food to the poor. A big part of LBJ’s “War on Poverty” was to pass out (to the poor) the warehoused food that the government had already paid for. The War on Poverty was so successful at improving the nutrition of millions of poor people of all colors–more of them rural white folks than urban blacks and browns, that after the USDA’s warehouses were empty, the government continued the program with food stamps which was really a continuation of farm subsidies–because so much of our farming is subsidized by the government.

  15. 50 LDS
    September 19, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    I just love the picture of the little girl in that pretty blue dress. PBO is such a gentleman. Kind soul to take the time with children and really mean it.
    I know she will never forget that picture, that note and her President.

    I love coming here. There is so much knowledge and intelligence here.
    Love is the main ingredient. That is why the other closed mind, heart of stones folk will never get it. Their minds and hearts are fixated in their own hate. I thank God the world is listening.

    I can say honestly and truly say tonight Chuck Todd and his cronies are a small spectrum in this shift that is taking shape.
    They all brought it on themselves. If you are not standing on the word of truth. You will drown in your own lies.
    Thank you everyone here for keeping my eyes wide open.

    o/t: the only one who can be late for her own party is the DJ herself…..I like her style.
    When she arrives, hold on tight!

    • 51 MightyPamela
      September 19, 2013 at 11:07 pm

      LDS, thank you for the lovely note yesterday, I read it carefully, agree 1000% with alternative practices and staying away from toxic medications if possible. He sort of listened, but not really. Be well my friend.

    • 52 nathkatun7
      September 20, 2013 at 12:32 am

      “I love coming here. There is so much knowledge and intelligence here.”

      Thanks LDS, I feel exactly the same way as you do!

  16. September 19, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    The moment of truth is coming. All the optics from Tehran — even from Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei — indicate that Iran is gearing up for a new attempt at a nuclear deal. If a deal can’t be made in the next few months, it’s hard to see another opportunity when the chances would ever be this good again…

    And yet skepticism about the ability of Iran’s new president, Hasan Rouhani, to cut a deal is certainly warranted. Iranian presidents have much less power – especially on foreign and security affairs — than the supreme leader. And yes, Khamenei’s recent public statements remain full of suspicion and enmity toward the West. But even Khamenei seems to be signaling his desire to find an end to the nuclear stalemate. On Sept. 17, in a meeting with senior Revolutionary Guard commanders, he addressed them on the question of “flexibility”: “A wrestler can even show flexibility sometimes, but he does not forget who his rival is and what his main goal is.”

    Iran’s new president does not needlessly pick fights like Ahmadinejad did, whether with foreigners over the Holocaust or young Iranians over Twitter. Rouhani’s Rosh Hashanah greeting from a semiofficial Twitter account was just his style — crafted to impress foreigners, but also framed in religious terms that gave hard-liners eager to criticize little to grab on to. Rouhani’s book, National Security and Nuclear Diplomacy — which made the case that the deals negotiated with European powers in 2003 and 2004 preserved Iran’s options while forestalling international pressure — may serve as a blueprint for his current strategy.

    • September 19, 2013 at 11:13 pm

      “A wrestler can even show flexibility sometimes, but he does not forget who his rival is and what his main goal is.”

      Good comments, LP, and that’s an important quote, especially in the context of all that President Rouhani’s Wa-Po Op-Ed conveys.

      As I noted in the previous thread, President Rouhani’s exceptionally WaPo Op-Ed is exceptionally nuanced and has everything to do with an issue that is never addressed in ‘clear, concise & sincere’ terms.

      Fact is that if Israel did not posses a credible (though never officially recognized) nuclear deterrent during these past several decades, it’s highly likely that a wide war in the ME (much more extensive than 1967), and potentially catalytic of WWIII, would have already happened.

      Thus, my comment to zizi’s exceptional analytical essay:

      “Apart from lifting crippling sanctions against Iran, I’ll posit that eliminating the 10,000 ton gorilla in the region and securing a State for Palestinians are what President Rouhani wants, and what it will take for him to achieve those two objectives has never been discussed ‘clearly, concisely & sincerely.’

      The 10,000 ton (actually, several & possibly larger) gorilla is Israel’s nuclear arsenal.

      What it will take for President Rouhani to get what he wants is ‘clear, concise & sincere’ formal recognition by Iran, and all Arab States, of Israels right to exist, Iran’s full cooperation in effecting a 2 State solution for Israel & Palestine & standing down Hezbollah, as well as, a willingness by Iran to have totally verified inspections of its current and ongoing nuclear power program. Eliminating ALL WMD from the ME should be everyone’s win-win.”

      Only fools, and worse, try to pretend that at the core of the issue – for the Saudis, for Saddam, for the Iranians, for anyone with a clue – the imbalance, no matter how justified it might be (and yes, a couple thousand years of history suggest more than a few justifications for the imbalance), it is not sustainable and could well trigger an annihilation of a very big segment of humanity and herald centuries or more that would make the Dark Ages look absolutely shimmering.

      I have no doubt that our President Obama has a vastly more comprehensive understanding of the issues and has been effecting a strategy to change the situation in the ME well before Inauguration Day 2009.


      Yes We Can

      • September 19, 2013 at 11:26 pm

        I completely agree with everything you so eloquently summarized here, Bobfr. My looming concern is PM Netanyahu’s Sept. 30 visit to the White House. Will this be an Oval visit coming after a similar Wily-E Coyote UN presentation last year…with the AIPAC gathering, and the media’s already built in stipulation that President Obama is throwing Isreal under the bus for the 600th time? This is where I have no patience, and I have know clue if Bibi is planning a kamikazi mission.

        • September 19, 2013 at 11:48 pm

          But the total inability of AIPAC to mobilize congress to support the Syria military strike authorization exposed the shallowness of their support. Especially when push comes to shove to actually act on said handclap support.

          Netanyahu will be coming after the Rouhani blitz has blindingly impressed everyone. Remember the American public is all into diplomacy these days. Afterall PBO heard their war weary squeals just a week ago. If Bibi comes bellowing that we must bomb Iran everyone’s gonna look at him askance and treat him like “whatsup with him?”

          • September 19, 2013 at 11:56 pm

            I hope you are right……… but past is prologue. I don’t trust the built in media bias in deference to Bibi, and who knows what b.s. narrative they will try to establish, in contrast to the actual situation on the ground. I can already hear the cat calls from the peanut gallery on any perceived diplomatic setbacks, based on imaginary thresholds they decide are acceptable. I hope I am wrong.

          • September 20, 2013 at 2:22 am

            Yes zizi, that is one potential scenario and if Bibi plays it according to your script he will be even more discredited than he already is.

            But, the vastly bigger outcome of the dialogue between President Obama & Rouhani is forcing a ‘clear, concise & sincere’ conversation about what each ‘identity’ in the ME wants.

            Let’s face it, our President Obama is exceptionally well aware of all of Bibi’s games …. games Bibi LOST, big time, as a result of Americans re-electing President Obama.

            What is (rapidly) unfolding now, largely and ironically because of Assad’s use of chemical WMD, is that Israel is now on the spot to admit the blatant reality that IT possesses nuclear WMD.

            If Israel wants to be recognized by Iran and other Arab States as a Sovereign Nation it will have to admit that fact. BTW, for every Israeli citizen that would be the beginning of a new and very hopeful day.

            I have no doubt that President Obama is steering humanity to a way more hopeful, sustainable place than any other person on the planet is doing, or is even capable of doing.

            #Trust Barack

            Yes WE CAn

      • 60 nathkatun7
        September 20, 2013 at 12:37 am

        Very well said Bob! You brilliant analysis, along with many of your brilliant comments and tweets is one of the reasons I love TOD so much.

  17. September 19, 2013 at 10:49 pm

  18. 72 amk for obama
    September 19, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    If 15 repubs joined the dems to vote against funding cut of snap, how the f..k did it pass the crazy house by 217 to 200? Did some boneless abstain?


  19. 75 amk for obama
    September 19, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Loony left willl ove this.

    putin may stand for fourth term as president of russia.


  20. 76 utaustinliberal
    September 19, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    Freaking awesome POTUS!

      • 78 LDS
        September 20, 2013 at 8:32 am

        Came back and saw this. And had to add this thought that came to me:

        That witch in that state who goes around calling herself a governor, had the audacity to point her finger at POB while Michele was not around will probably try to find a way to pass a law while everyone is sleeping with her sneaking cronies watching to proclaim Judge Diane J. Humetewa an immigrant.

  21. 79 utaustinliberal
    September 19, 2013 at 11:06 pm

  22. 81 dotster3
    September 19, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    Late to the zizi party. Want to add my praise and appreciation for an excellent piece of writing and analysis!

  23. 82 Dudette
    September 19, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    Alright, guess I need to work my way backwards! Where da party at? 😀

    • 83 jacquelineoboomer
      September 19, 2013 at 11:36 pm

      Some of us have been celebrating your birthday for nearly 24 hours! And we’re still going! How was your evening out?

      • 84 Dudette
        September 19, 2013 at 11:45 pm

        Okay, then! 🙂

        Had a blast hanging with fam. Stage 2 of the month-long extravaganza is now complete!
        On to stage 3… let’s ROK it TOD! Woooot!

        • 85 jacquelineoboomer
          September 19, 2013 at 11:47 pm

          Ha! Read back for all the comments about ya, that people made all day long … waiting for you to join the party. I think some wore themselves out early, or are eating late dinners! The stage 3 people should be arriving soon. 🙂

  24. 87 99ts
    September 19, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    Good to see the GOP can multitask in congress – while voting to starve 15% of the population they are also having hearings on Benghazi – as for looking out for the interests of their constituents – well – no.

  25. 89 Anjo
    September 19, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    Zizi a wonderful and informed article, reminds me of when I read the paper and listened to the radio (BBC, VOA) as a preteen, views put together by great journalists who listened to and visited other lands, had an appreciation for what was happening around us and the ability to put it in concise and intelligent paragraphs that the everyday man in the street could relate to. That was what great journalists did. Today everyone is a 10 second expert, everything including a good education is reduced to a 10 second feel good moment. We need more good articles like this every day, every week every month, articles that are not only educational but make you think long, deep and way outside the box. Thanks for reminding us all of the importance of a good education that allows one to not only be knowledgeable but think.

    • 91 nathkatun7
      September 20, 2013 at 12:49 am

      “Thanks for reminding us all of the importance of a good education that allows one to not only be knowledgeable but think.”

      This a million times!

      Thanks Anjo for expressing so well the experience of some of us who grew up reading papers, and in-depth op-ed pieces, written by great journalists whose goal was to make us learn and think and not to purposely inflame our blind passions through hype and sensationalism.

  26. 92 Dudette
    September 19, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    I came here thinking there was gonna be some music blaring.
    Are y’all gon’ make me DJ my own birthday party? Sheesh! WTH? 😀

  27. 99 Dudette
    September 19, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    Well fine then… 😎

  28. September 19, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    I know there are only night owls left, but had to share my bowling update.

    Bowling update: I bowled better than my average for at least 2 frames. And I finished close to my avg on the last frame. I’m still the lowest on my team, but I did better than I expected. I need a better follow through and better form.

    I joined late so I had to pick up 2 games. I stayed after regular tournament tonight, with just me and the other newest bowler and I did twice my average the first frame & I went at least 20 pins over my avg for the final 2 frames.

    I feel accomplished…lol

  29. 105 amk for obama
    September 19, 2013 at 11:44 pm

  30. 107 purpleshoesla
    September 19, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    Par-taay… It’s gonna be an all night thangg

  31. September 19, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    Ok Dudette. Lets party! Can you come with us?

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