On Leadership and Manliness


by Japa (@deaconmill)

Okay, we have heard over and over and over again about how manly Putin is with all his bear wrestling and topless horseback riding (although his manboobs tend to detract from that image). And we have heard over and over again what a wuss and coward President Obama is.

And we have heard over and over again how Putin is such a great leader because he just does what he wants and gets others to do what he wants them to. And WE have heard over and over again how President Obama doesn’t know how to lead and instead gets led around by the nose by Putin and others.

Forget, for a moment that most of the people saying those things are also the same people who call President Obama a dictator and totalitarian despot, thus actually saying he is just like Putin and therefore contradict themselves time and again.

Instead, let’s focus for a little on just what it means to be a man (I know this is not politically correct and is somewhat gender specific, but I am trying to speak directly to the criticisms). At the same time, let’s also focus on what it means to be a leader.  And guess what?  The two end up being very similar in terms of what qualities either one requires.  And, for fairness sake, let’s drop the word “man” and insert the word “adult”.

Rudyard Kipling, for all that he represented colonialism and a sense of the Great White Uplifting of Inferior Peoples, did have some awareness of the difference between being an adult and being a juvenile. And the words he used to define the difference also tend to apply, to a great degree, to the concept of leadership. By that, I mean that one cannot truly be an effective leader without those qualities.  Yes there are other qualities that comprise being a leader and I will get to those later.

Righty now, I want to dissect one of his most famous poems “If” and see just what it says about President Obama and, perhaps, Putin and see who comes out on top. I will be doing this on a stanza by stanza basis, so bear with me.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

I have highlighted some specific points because they are critical. I know all of us here would definitely say that the President keeps his cool no matter what is happening and is definitely accustomed to being blamed for not losing his head, so to speak. He is patient, honest and tolerant. There have been times when some of us have wanted to see and hear him get angry and lambaste the opposition, but that isn’t him and I am grateful for that. Although I know the ladies here would say he looks mighty fine, I think Kipling was talking about something else. He was referring to not coming across as superior and intellectually better than others, and again, the President, despite what some on the Right say, doesn’t. He is a man of true humility.

Putin, on the other hand, is pretty much the opposite in almost every way, except for the first sentence. I think he does keep his head, but he refuses to accept any responsibility, lies, hates, and refuses to wait. In this sense he is the prototypical teenager who needs to have what he wants now. And he struts, oh how he struts.

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools;

Here is where we really see the differentiation between the President and the vast majority of people. He has dreams, great dreams. And those dreams are not about him, per se, but about what he wants to see happen in this country.  But he is not going to make his dreams the master, the end all, be all, of what he does. Obamacare is a perfect example. Deep down, I believe he would love to see a single payer system. He definitely wanted to see a public option. But he also knew that those dreams of his were not achievable at this time and he refused to hang on to them at the cost of getting nothing done. The same was true of DADT, same-sex marriage, and so many other things.

He hasn’t given up on his dreams, but he will decide the route to achievement, not have the dreams dictate his actions. And he does meet triumph and disaster the same. He won’t take too much credit or allow himself to wallow in guilt, although he will accept responsibility when appropriate. And although I can’t imagine him not being bothered by how the truth he speaks (“You didn’t build that”, “guns and religion”) he doesn’t whine about it.

Just to quickly point out that Putin is almost his complete opposite in all of this.

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

I didn’t highlight anything here, although it all is indicative of the President. Is he willing to take the risks? Of course.  Look at the bin Laden episode. He knew it was a risk. He knew what the ramifications of failure were. Yet he did it anyway. And if it had failed, he would have moved on, not looking back.

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

And this is what it all comes down to. Our President, more than any President in my lifetime, fits this description to a tee. He never has lost the common touch (and I am sure if he started too, Michelle would stop him immediately). It matters not where he is, who he is with, he is always him, a genuine person. He doesn’t play act, he doesn’t become aloof, yet he also has a strong belief in his belonging. He isn’t cowered or awed by his position, but nor is he arrogant about it. He is, in fact, the most adult President this country has had in decades.

Putin? His arrogance is on display for all to see. He is, in fact, the high school bully who people who are insecure in themselves, deep down wish they were able to be.

So let’s briefly also look at leadership and how it ties into what has preceded this.

Leadership is, first and foremost, being an adult. A true leader does just that, leads. Whether by example or through words or through the ability to convince, he or she brings others along. He or she gets others to believe in his/her dreams, so to speak, if not fully, then at least enough to accomplish something.

Sometimes a nudge is necessary, or a little push. But a true leader doesn’t shove someone to a place they have no desire to be. A true leader is never a bully. Sure, the bully may get some things done more quickly, but the long term cost is high, as Putin is going to find out.

A true leader does listen to others, and takes what others have to say into account. But he/she also makes the decisions based not on expediency, or to place others, but rather because they are what he/she feels is the right thing to do. Sometimes they are wrong, but the leader accepts that. To make decisions based upon who shouts the loudest or based on a possible negative consequence is not leadership; rather it is being led by the mob.

What most of the President’s detractors, from both the right and the left, don’t realize is that he is a man (adult) of integrity who knows the danger of doing things just to satisfy specific groups of people and silence their howling. He is not afraid of them. He may well respect, at some level, many of them and their concerns and ideals. However, he also knows what is reasonable to achieve and what is not.  And that, ultimately, is the mark of true leadership, for that person will accomplish things with staying power.

Forgive this lengthy exposition, but in generations to come, I think that this is they way he will be perceived: a great leader who was able to achieve what he could and an adult dealing with a lot of children, both domestically and outside our country’s boundaries.

149 Responses to “On Leadership and Manliness”

  1. 1 vcprezofan2
    March 19, 2014 at 2:11 pm


  2. 4 Melanie
    March 19, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Oprah’s back in the endorsement game. Democrats are gonna need more like her to step up to the plate in 2014.

  3. 5 japa21
    March 19, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Just found out that PBO picked my alma mater to win it all. Shows just how incredibly intelligent this man is.

  4. March 19, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Japa, back in two minutes, the formatting in the post has gone bonkers and removed the parts of the poem you highlighted, working on fixing it.

    This is just wonderful, thank you so so much – gimme a sec.

    • 11 japa21
      March 19, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      I was going to stamp my feet and throw a temper tantrum, but decided against it.

      • March 19, 2014 at 2:33 pm

        My head is sore from banging it against the wall! I know I tried to fix this before, but can’t remember what I did – I think the default font for the blog is bold already, so that’s why your highlighted sections didn’t look different! I’ve underlined them instead, hope you’re good with that?

        Any way, what a simply beautiful piece, your use of Kipling was just perfect in the context.

        So many highlights, but I loved this:

        “He hasn’t given up on his dreams, but he will decide the route to achievement, not have the dreams dictate his actions. And he does meet triumph and disaster the same.”

        Japa? You’re a gem – thank you again for sharing this with us.

  5. 17 vcprezofan2
    March 19, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    My very favourite ‘man’ poem! Ever so often I forget its existence (and how it so perfectly describes PBO). Thank you for featuring it today, Japa.

  6. March 19, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    Howdy all you O’s!!! What a great getting up day again in TODdy town!! It’s raining in my neck of the woods and snow is forecasted for later, but I ain’t no way scurred a little snow. Uh uh, not me, I’ve already put my shovel away for the season and any snow just better melt, if it knows what best.

    Great pic pick of our guy Chips and wonderful article Japa.

  7. 19 GGail
    March 19, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    Japa – excellent!!!!
    Thank you

  8. 23 carolyn
    March 19, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Thank you japa for writing this. You have articulated something very important. The term “leadership” became corrupted completely in the first eight years of the 21st century. It was used to mean, swaggering, arrogance, not listening, acting from the gut, swaggering some more, and bullying. Not one of these is a quality of a true adult or leader. I have come to despise the word leader because it has become so corrupted.

    So many people call President Obama indecisive because he takes time to THINK about issues, to listen to all sides, then and only then making a considered decision. I cherish these qualities in him, and I hope, that as events bear out, others will see the worth of those qualities.

    You captured him very well with your parsing of the poem. I think of this poem frequently when people are attacking him for being calm, for thinking, for considering others. I think the sure mark of an adult is how that adult treats others of less status and power, and this trait always shows what a true and kind adult PBO is. He is never condescending or patronizing, but always talks to people with respect.

    He is the best president of my long life, and I cherish being part of the Obama era. We will look back on these eight years with justifiable pride and thanksgiving as we see his policies come to fruition in the next decades, and realize the hard work he has put in to mitigate the harm done by the previous president.

  9. 25 vcprezofan2
    March 19, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Here we go again with those periods of nothingness when I fairly sure people ARE commenting! Liable to drive me bonkers.

  10. March 19, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Outstanding essay, John!!! Thank you!!

    HEADS UP – Starting in 1 minute

  11. 27 Nerdy Wonka
    March 19, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    This is super duper cool. The Obama Administration is all inclusive.

  12. 28 Nerdy Wonka
    March 19, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    • March 19, 2014 at 5:12 pm

      Thanks so much for your tweets, NW. This was such a great event. I loved PBO’s remarks.

      Julie sends out lots of emails and I had no idea she is Cesar Chavez’ granddaughter. This is just pure awesomeness. And I loved what she said about PBO.


  13. 32 japa21
    March 19, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    I just love the Gallup poll (yes I am being sarcastic).

    Yesterday, PBO’s ratings were 41% favorable, 52% megative. Today those numbers are 45/49, a swing of 7%. That level of swing says all you need to know about Gallup’s legitimacy.

    But is is somewhat enjoyable watching them float around as if they were somehow super special.

    • March 19, 2014 at 3:10 pm

      So basically what Gallup posits is that we’re a nation made up of people with mood swing disorders. Nice.

    • 34 Nena20409
      March 19, 2014 at 3:23 pm

      Excellent Post Japa21.

      The Polls in the 44th POTUS’ Era is simply MAGICAL.

      No POTUS has ever been Poll tested as much. No POTUS has ever had Gazillions of Media imposition….dedicated solely for Negative reporting. The saddest of it all, it is personal and truly racially motivated, period.

      Today foreign policy crisis and the difficulties are No Longer tabled at the edge of US borders. Heck in 2008, pres-elect Obama when asked numerous of times to engage when GW Bush occupied the WH……simply said: We have One POTUS at a time. Now Jay is asked about weakness charges by McCain and Co and Op-Eds by the lying Bishop.

      Pigmentation is an illness that severely affect those with racial issues.

  14. March 19, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    True story: I needed subtitles when watching that movie, because so much of the dialogue was in Mexico City slang that I couldn’t follow it.

  15. 36 57andfemale
    March 19, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Excellent piece, japa. It’s pathetic that the entire country doesn’t know the difference between children and adults.

    By their definition, a temper tantrum is a sign of leadership: the two year old doesn’t think, just acts, and bullies everyone into doing what he wants. Is that what we call ‘leadership’?


    • 37 EricFive
      March 19, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      Not the entire country, just the gop/msm and a few racist lefties.

      • 38 57andfemale
        March 19, 2014 at 3:34 pm

        Our side doesn’t make anywhere near enough noise. I haven’t seen a proactive robust delineation of true leadership and the obvious wisdom of clear, informed thinking and solving problems through communication. They’re all afraid of sounding ‘weak’.

        So they have ceded – yet again – the moral high ground to RWNJ’s.

  16. 39 jackiegrumbacher
    March 19, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    Terrific essay, Japa. People have often commented that Putin is of another time and does not realize that the world has changed since the days of the cold war. Those who admire his style are also set in an old mind set. Like many of the blustering Republican men we see, they so desperately want to return to old days of (white) male domination that they can’t fully live in the present day, nor embrace and enjoy the reality of a changing world. Yes, some women are afflicted by this backward view and suffer a kind of stockholm syndrome acceptance of a world in which their own merits are devalued. President Barack Obama is a man fully in the present with a clear vision of the future. He welcomes change, thrives on it and works to shape it in whatever positive way he can. He is MILES, even light years ahead of those, like Putin, who are trapped in their own narcissistic universes. To our president, the world is a rich and complex place where every person has the right to thrive, grow and determine his or her own destiny and where there are true, thoughtful leaders, not autocrats and masters.

  17. 40 vcprezofan2
    March 19, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    This was likely shared already, but what the heck, my computer is behaving so selfishly that I am not venturing around the village tonight.

    • 41 EricFive
      March 19, 2014 at 3:49 pm

      This whole love affair with Putin is as phony as the day is long. These people have the psychological need to see PBO bested by a white man, its as simple as that. Reagan cut and ran when the marine barracks in Lebanon was bombed. When China refused to return our spyplane and crew Gwb was not sabre rattling

      • 42 vcprezofan2
        March 19, 2014 at 3:54 pm

        Eric5, by now we all realize that everything the GOPs do is phony. It’s just embarrassing that they do not realize that we know.

      • 43 Paulita
        March 19, 2014 at 3:54 pm

        I have been thinking exactly this!! Thanks for making it plain.

      • 44 nathkatun7
        March 19, 2014 at 4:02 pm

        Absolutely spot-on. Eric!

      • 45 Sandy1110
        March 19, 2014 at 9:06 pm

        That’s exactly what it is. They line up behind anyone they think can take the uppity black president down a peg or two. That’s why some of them were rooting so hard for Snowden to get away clean and be as much of a pain in the administration’s ass as possible.

  18. 46 Paulita
    March 19, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    I loved every word of your essay Japa.. I appreciate that our President is one of the most well-rounded and balanced person; and I breathe a lot easier because he is competent, stable, and best of all – IN CHARGE!

    • 47 0388jojothecat
      March 19, 2014 at 4:03 pm

      Great post Japa. You have expressed what everyone who cares about PBO feels. Thank you so much. I learn more about what is going on in the world and in this country coming here that I don’t watch any of those newstainer shows with their air head talking heads.

  19. 48 vcprezofan2
    March 19, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    “If you CAN TRUST YOURSELF when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;

    Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you [ARE] a Man, my son!”

    President Obama will take the administration’s furious healthcare pitch to “The Ellen Degeneres Show” on Thursday, The Hill has learned.

    The president won’t be in-studio with the Oscars host, but rather will urge viewers to sign up on the new exchanges before the March 31 deadline in an appearance streamed live from the White House.

    Michelle Obama and Vice President Biden have also made the rounds of daytime and nighttime talk shows to push ObamaCare. The first lady was on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” last month, while Biden made appearances on “The View” and “Late Night with Seth Meyers.”


    • 49 carolyn
      March 19, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      Very timely that Joy Reid’s essay coincides with japa’s essay. Feels like many people have had enough of the phony “manliness” stuff. Can’t they remember the phony “leader” we had for eight years and the trouble he got the country and the world into…..otherwise known as “The Decider.” Vlad is just a C level actor as far as I’m concerned……

      • 50 EricFive
        March 19, 2014 at 4:43 pm

        Thankfully the msm/gop always push their bullshit too far and destroy any political gain the meme may have generated. I am grateful that PBO is strong enough to ignore these devils.

  20. March 19, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    “….Bryant was on Patrick’s show as part of the White House’s press to get basketball fans to sign up for health care during March Madness. Bryant said he got a call from White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough asking him to help out.
    Bryant also gave Obama another compliment — sort of — when Patrick asked if Obama could make his team, the Lakers. “Yes,” said Bryant, who said he was driving down the 405 freeway in Los Angeles and would otherwise be listening to “Magna Carta” by Jay-Z. “It’s more of a sign of respect of the skill that the president possesses.”

    Bryant told Ellen DeGeneres in 2012 that Obama “talks a lot of trash” on the basketball court. Obama and Bryant playfully tussled at a Boys and Girls Club in Washington when Obama, a die-hard Bulls fan, told Bryant that Bulls point guard Derek Rose might have Bryant’s number. “If he calls that number, I’ll be sure to pick up after the fifth ring,” Bryant told Obama.”

    Start around 9:00 minute mark to hear Kobe discussing the importance of having healthcare…..

  21. 52 nathkatun7
    March 19, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Thank you, Japa, for this brilliant essay! It should be sent to all the MSM pundits who seem to think that bullying and belligerence, plus making rash decisions, equal leadership. By their logic, Adolph Hitler has to be considered the greatest leader of all times.

  22. March 19, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Ambassador Power excoriated Churkin and Russia during her statements at the UNSC (currently meeting). She also noted …

    • 58 carolyn
      March 19, 2014 at 4:33 pm

      Amb. Power just doesn’t miss a trick, does she, nor an action, nor a word on anyone’s part. Russia will not slide by as long as she’s at the U.N. She certainly was the absolutely right choice for this job!

  23. March 19, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Oh Japa, Thank you sooo much for this! I’m very disappointed in myself for not making the Kipling connection before, when PBO is the perfect embodiment of the true man and leader.

    “If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools…”

    I’m sorry, for the world’s sake, that there will always be far too many fools. We just have to outvote them.

  24. 60 donna dem 4 obama
    March 19, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Great piece Japa!

    Milt Shook nails it in this article.

    That’s it in a nutshell. While the GOP base is older, more racist and more bigoted, they can be counted upon to show up at the polls, en masse, to vote for their Party. Meanwhile, a significant part of the Democratic “base” doesn’t show up at all, because they’re waiting for a massive wave of ideologically pure candidates to magically pop up, en masse. What’s worse is, they also undermine the viable political party that is closest to them ideologically, and barely talks about the other one.

    And that’s the problem, Charlie. Much of the Democratic “base” simply isn’t their “base.”

  25. 63 57andfemale
    March 19, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Shit. Shit. Shit.

  26. 65 57andfemale
    March 19, 2014 at 5:00 pm

  27. 66 karen503
    March 19, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    About those “mom jeans”: Just to show how childishly stupid it was for Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity, the other talking heads at Fox “News”, and countless RW bloggers to repeat the reference over and over again a couple of weeks ago — cowboys, carpenters, truckers, and any number of working men wear loose-fitting jeans while doing their jobs, so that sitting astride a horse (like Putin himself), climbing ladders, sitting for hours in the cab of an 18-wheeler. The jeans these men wear aren’t CALLED “mom jeans”, but they fit exactly like the jeans POTUS wears when he’s pitching the first pitch for the Chicago White Sox, or calling Vlad on the phone in the Oval Office.

    Today’s “mom jeans” are so tight for both men and women that it’s a wonder they 1) don’t have an accidental orgasm every time they sit down, or 2) are exceptionally prone to thrombophlebitis and blood clots in the legs. And, of course, there’s the nearly-always-present “muffin top” visible above today’s fashionable jeans.

    Sarah Palin only has to look at her own daughters Bristol and Willow to see what THAT looks like.

  28. 71 dotster3
    March 19, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Just heard Ed announce that PBO, in one of his local interviews just now, made clear that “we will not get involved in any kind of military excursion in Ukraine.

  29. 73 57andfemale
    March 19, 2014 at 5:20 pm

  30. March 19, 2014 at 5:25 pm

  31. 79 Nerdy Wonka
    March 19, 2014 at 5:26 pm

  32. 80 Nerdy Wonka
    March 19, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    America Ferrera, Dolores Huerta, Nancy Pelosi, Rosario Dawson.

  33. 81 Ladyhawke
    March 19, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    Happening now …….

    White House Climate Data Initiative Launch


  34. 82 dotster3
    March 19, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    Another tragic example of an irresponsible gun owner whose first instinct was to shoot——woman fatally shot her next door neighbor, a Houston firefighter, thinking he was trying to break into her house. That’s the problem with guns—–they’re too handy. Firefighter dead.

  35. 83 Nerdy Wonka
    March 19, 2014 at 5:40 pm

  36. 85 HZ
    March 19, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Japa, thank you for this beautiful truth. Your words speak the truth to this great man’s core. Thanks for the truth and the respect, Japa. You are a wonderful writer. HZ

  37. March 19, 2014 at 5:51 pm


  38. 87 57andfemale
    March 19, 2014 at 5:55 pm

  39. 88 57andfemale
    March 19, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    • 89 Nena20409
      March 19, 2014 at 7:30 pm

      The MSM spent hundreds of hours on this when it came about in June of 2013. Now would the MSM spend One hour total correcting their original report? Nope.

      Dems should demand for that. But they will not and just many days ago when Issa rudely terminated the Mic for rep Cummings all the News Media with a few exception later on MSNBC parroted the lies claiming that the IRS targeted Conservative Tea Party groups.

    • 90 MightyPamela
      March 19, 2014 at 7:35 pm

      Please can he go to jail now?

      • 91 Nena20409
        March 19, 2014 at 7:45 pm

        Jail is too good for him.

        If CA can stop re-electing this wicked idiot, then Issa would Cry and Weep as he did in 2003 when Arnold became the GOP front-runner for the gubernatorial seat. This fool paid for the re-call of Gray Davis.

      • 92 57andfemale
        March 20, 2014 at 12:42 pm

        We can dream…….

  40. 93 57andfemale
    March 19, 2014 at 5:58 pm

  41. 94 57andfemale
    March 19, 2014 at 6:00 pm

  42. 95 Ladyhawke
    March 19, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    MARCH 19, 2014

    U.N. Security Council Meeting on Ukraine


    The U.N. Security Council held a meeting on the Russian intervention in Ukraine. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power participated in the discussion alongside her counterparts from Russia and Ukraine.


    NOTE: Ambassador Samantha Power’s remarks start around the 47:00 mark.


    • March 19, 2014 at 6:20 pm

      She will be forever remembered for looking straight at Churkin and saying ‘a thief can steal property but that does not confer right of ownership on the thief.’


    • March 19, 2014 at 6:22 pm

      Be sure to listen to the French, UK & Lithuanian UN Ambassadors ….

      • March 19, 2014 at 6:33 pm

        Oh, and of course, the Ukrainian UN Ambassador!!

        • 99 nathkatun7
          March 19, 2014 at 10:46 pm

          Bob, Ambassador Power, was brilliant! And so were the Ambassadors from Ukraine, France, UK, Lithuania, Australia, and the President of the Security Council. I also liked the brief statements from the ambassadors of South Korea, Chad and Argentina. The Russian Ambassador is an incoherent bully! He reminds me of right wingers in this country. He sat there and spewed blatant lies, that can be easily refuted, without any shame.

    • 100 nathkatun7
      March 19, 2014 at 11:06 pm

      Ladyhawk, thank you so much for sharing the C-span video on todays U.N. Security Council meeting on Ukraine ! You and others here do such a great service for some of us who do not have cable T.V. I am so impressed with Ambassador Samantha Power. Once again, she gave such a powerful speech that left the Russian guy sweating and mouthing off gibberish in his response to her. Now I know why my nephew, a law professor and a Board member of Human Rights Watch, was so elated when President Obama selected her.

  43. March 19, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    This essay is a gem – thanks Japa. And thanks Chip for front-paging. I have nothing more or better to add. Japa has articulated pretty much everything I’ve been tweeting, posting, thinking about this whole Obama-Putin issue…

  44. 102 Vicki
    March 19, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    ACA says private health insurance signups now over 6 Million!!!
    Charles Gaba the site’s owner also cautions that the GOP will only be looking at another metric which is lower.
    I don’t care what the GOP is telling itself to try to get through this enormous good news for our country. They are the group still counting the votes in Ohio.

    I celebrate for every person and family whose lives will be permanently improved by the President and all who worked for this result.

  45. 108 carolyn
    March 19, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Perhaps a last word on the “leader” “manliness” nonsense being spewed by neocons. We all need to remember when this nonsense got started, and it was with GWB. He said he was the decided; he landed on the USS Abraham Lincoln in his unearned flightsuit strutting to declare Mission Accomplished; he decided to blow Iraq to kingdom come without any reason; he bragged and strutted around, signed executive orders that would give the neocons hives today if PBO did that; lied, lied, lied; looked into Putin’s eyes and saw his soul! told the press to watch his swing when he tired of answering what would have been important questions……and the press and the neocons encouraged Americans to adore this sham.
    It is taking a while to get out of that groupthink; it’s almost as if people had taken Soma for eight years, and it’s taken six years to begin go wake up.
    This is a false portrayal of leadership and manliness, and we must fight back on it. Japa got a good start today. The whole performance was a charade by GWB.

  46. 109 Layla
    March 19, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    It’s snowing!!!! argh!!!!!!

    • 110 MightyPamela
      March 19, 2014 at 7:40 pm

      We have an interesting mix of rain, sleet or corn snow, maybe, I suppose it could be tiny little hailstones, noisy buggers! But earlier I was out driving with the windows down and the sun shining!! Enormous black sky was hurtling down the Fraser Valley, and BOOM, hit our place just as the garage door came to a close! Awesome…

  47. March 19, 2014 at 6:46 pm

  48. 112 Linda
    March 19, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    Scott Brown Awkwardly Finds Out That Obamacare Is Also Helping Republicans


    oops….It left him speechless.

  49. March 19, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    Admirable efforts to reform Ukraine’s Interior Ministry underway ….

  50. March 19, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    • March 19, 2014 at 7:35 pm

      FYI, Yuriy Sergeyev is Ukrainian Ambassador to the UN. His statements during the several UNSC meetings on Russia’s aggression and occupation of Ukraine are memorable.

      • 116 Ladyhawke
        March 19, 2014 at 7:45 pm

        I’m watching the UN Security Council Meeting on Ukraine now. It is riveting. Very powerful statements dispensing a bit of truth about the situation in Ukraine.

      • 117 nathkatun7
        March 19, 2014 at 11:44 pm

        Bob. I especially loved he would switch to speaking Russian whenever he wanted to expose Churkin’s lies.

  51. 118 isonprize
    March 19, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    🙂 🙂 😆 😆 I haven’t been on nearly as much as I used to, but know that Philadelphia is KICKIN’ ASS!!! in getting folks signed up for Obamacare!! 🙂 🙂 😆 😆

  52. 129 andogriff
    March 19, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    Good evening Ms Chips and everyone! Great post Japa, have always loved the Kipling poem… and it sounds as though it was written with our president in mind. Congrats on first vc, hope everyone has had a good day.

    • 130 vcprezofan2
      March 19, 2014 at 7:27 pm

      Hi, Andog, & TY. “If” has been a favourite of mine for decades, but PBO brought it to life for me. It’s been a while since our paths have crossed. How are you?

  53. 131 yardarm756
    March 19, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    At the risk of incurring anyone’s wrath. Has anyone heard from DWS? I want to know what her plans are for 2014.

    • 132 hopefruit2
      March 19, 2014 at 8:04 pm

      Yes – I recently posted one of her messages to RNC chair here… I’m reposting. I think she means business:

  54. 134 vcprezofan2
    March 19, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    Lord, these politicians are plainly heartless, and have been for …..all their lives?

  55. 135 a4alice
    March 19, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Hey TOD how’s it going? Guess tomorrow is? Just the International Day of Happiness


  56. 141 Nena20409
    March 19, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Here’s Jay’s Presser at the WH Today 3-19-14

  57. March 19, 2014 at 7:44 pm

  58. 143 dotster3
    March 19, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    In Illinois primary yesterday——record low turnout in Cook Co.—–Chgo and near suburbs——16%—– and in Repub stronghold of DuPage Co.——-18%. Dems didn’t have many exciting contested races——but even Repub voters who had the big contested race for gov.——the great majority of voters didn’t bother. You don’t get to comment or grumble on blogs and twitter etc. about politics unless you make the minimum effort to show up and vote. Hope we can get Dems a little more energized to vote in the midterm—-geez—-it’s so critical.


  59. 144 Dudette
    March 19, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    Outstanding post Japa! Well done,

  60. 145 Dudette
    March 19, 2014 at 7:53 pm

  61. 146 Nena20409
    March 19, 2014 at 7:57 pm


    Obama assured that finding the plane is a “top priority” right now and the U.S. government is cooperating with the Malaysian government to find it.

  62. 149 sjterrid
    March 19, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    Thanks for this Excellent essay, Japa! I’m so glad Chips front paged it.

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