Archive for October 4th, 2014


Night Owl Chat – Thelonius Monk, Poland, 1966

Chat on, night owls!


A few thoughts on “not good enough”-ism

If you haven’t read The Obama Diary’s call out to Shaun King (here and here), you really should.

Shaun King has been passionate about the horrors occurring in Ferguson. I don’t fault him for that. I actually laud him for his efforts to keep a light shining on something too many Americans want to have swept under the rug.

The crux of Chip’s open letters to Mr. King was that his attacks on President Obama were not helpful to the larger cause. That they were shortsighted. That they were unfair. That they were, at heart, dishonest. They certainly seem to be done as a pro-forma exercise. Pres. Obama always has to be criticized, as not being “good enough”. (The book I’ve been hawking for 2 weeks, “Against Football” by Steve Almond, descends in its final chapter to such an attack on the President.)

It’s the “not good enough” which kills the progressive movement. It’s the “not good enough” which destroys social justice.

Another piece you should read is one by Twitter warrior ReignOfApril. President Obama Is Not Our Savior is a slap to the face of every disappointed lefty who feels that every “failing” by this president is a betrayal of deeply held hopes.

The problem is that these hopes were of their own making.

Continue reading ‘A few thoughts on “not good enough”-ism’


Another Word or Two

On This Day: President Barack Obama waves after addressing a large crowd at a campaign event at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, October 4, 2012


Update: I missed Shaun’s tweets from last night, having seen them now they just confirm to me that he has an agenda – for him, Ferguson isn’t about justice for Michael Brown, it’s an opportunity to attack the President. There are no words.


Morning everyone! I found this reply from Shaun King in pending this morning, so here you go:

Thanks for your thoughts. Do we know each other? I’ve been an enormous, ride or die Obama supporter for a decade. I volunteered for his campaign in Georgia, gave financially, and have defended him publicly and privately at great length.

I’m all for discourse, but you have a few errors here.

I never said that Ferguson was Obama’s Katrina. The tweet you quoted was over 45 days old. At that point, the President hadn’t sent Holder or the DOJ and the government was virtually silent and the ugliness of the police was growing worse daily.

When I wrote that tweet I meant it. Since then, though, the President has made a few remarks about Ferguson and sent Holder. It is not his Katrina.

Next, you suggest that I criticize him in everything I do. That is patently false.

In my most viewed posts on this, Obama is never mentioned ::

Finally, my argument today isn’t that Obama is responsible. That’s outrageous. Out of the 125 tweets I wrote he has almost nothing to do with them. Far from it. I was communicating that the politics of the entire situation are tricky on several levels, and they are. It’s a real mess on every level.

Finally, when did I say that he doesn’t know anything about racism? Also, don’t demean what I know and have experienced myself in my lifetime.

I respect the President. I’m friends with men and women who work for him now and worked for him in the past. He’s always open to critical thinking and particularly welcomes it from those who actually support him. That’s me.

Take care,




Thanks for your reply Shaun, appreciated.

A few things.

“I never said that Ferguson was Obama’s Katrina.”


“The tweet you quoted was over 45 days old. At that point, the President hadn’t sent Holder or the DOJ and the government was virtually silent…..”

Michael Brown was murdered on August 9, your tweet was on August 18, this was AG Holder’s statement on August 11:

“The shooting incident in Ferguson, Missouri this weekend deserves a fulsome review. In addition to the local investigation already underway, FBI agents from the St. Louis field office, working together with attorneys from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and US Attorney’s Office, have opened a concurrent, federal inquiry. The federal investigation will supplement, rather than supplant, the inquiry by local authorities. At every step, we will work with the local investigators, who should be prepared to complete a thorough, fair investigation in their own right. I will continue to receive regular updates on this matter in the coming days. Aggressively pursuing investigations such as this is critical for preserving trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.”

And this was the President’s statement on August 12:

“The death of Michael Brown is heartbreaking, and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family and his community at this very difficult time. As Attorney General Holder has indicated, the Department of Justice is investigating the situation along with local officials, and they will continue to direct resources to the case as needed. I know the events of the past few days have prompted strong passions, but as details unfold, I urge everyone in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the country, to remember this young man through reflection and understanding. We should comfort each other and talk with one another in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds. Along with our prayers, that’s what Michael and his family, and our broader American community, deserve.”

So, to suggest that by the time you made the Katrina claim that the Obama administration was “virtually silent” on Ferguson, and was doing nothing, was just plain wrong. And dishonest.

Michael was murdered on a Saturday, the FBI arrived in Ferguson on the Monday after. That soon. And AG Holder, presumably at the President’s direction, was vocal and involved from the start – for example, if I remember correctly, the day before your Katrina tweet, he authorized an additional autopsy of Michael Brown by a federal medical examiner. Remember the abuse he got from the right? Remember how the President was berated for ‘involving’ himself in the case?


“Next, you suggest that I criticize him in everything I do. That is patently false.”

Where did I suggest that? I didn’t. I asked why you were tweeting stuff like the Katrina comment and remarks like this:

Again, you bring the President in to it. And the Democratic Party, as a whole, not just local Democrats culpable in this. That’s puzzling, to me.

You’ve become a powerful voice on Ferguson, but you use it to direct people’s sense of injustice in entirely the wrong place.

Why do you do that?

While the case is ongoing, and the Grand Jury is sitting, what more can the President do – other than what he has done already?

He is restricted in this by his position and the law. He is not free to march or protest or tweet or emote. He is the President.

He could use his powers to involve the AG, DoJ and FBI in this.

And he has done all that.

Can he sit in on the Grand Jury deliberations and urge them to ensure Darren Wilson stands trial?


So, tell us, what more could he do at this point?


“Finally, when did I say that he doesn’t know anything about racism?”

You didn’t, but implicit in your tweets about the President is the notion that he is indifferent to what has happened and continues to happen in Ferguson, the root of which is racism.

Shaun, only someone who has never experienced racism could be indifferent to it.

And implicit in your Katrina comment was the notion that the President cares as much about the people of Ferguson as Bush did about the people of Louisiana and elsewhere, and that he has been as unresponsive to the situation as Bush was.

I don’t even know where to start with that, so I won’t.

But I remain baffled as to why you targeted the President so personally, and with no justification.


“Also, don’t demean what I know and have experienced myself in my lifetime.”

I didn’t. I don’t know anything about you. I just asked that you consider that the most public target of racism on this earth might be familiar with the experience, as he has been through every step of his life.


“I respect the President … he’s always open to critical thinking and particularly welcomes it from those who actually support him.”

He does Shaun, but he also welcomes honesty. Try it some time.




Early Bird Chat

President Obama in Madison, WI, October 4, 2012 (Photo by Scout Tufankjian)


MoooOOOooorning – Happy Saturday!







Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.



RSS Obama White

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS WH Tumblr

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Steve Benen

  • Joe: Indictment could be something that had to be done and we have crossed a line that could be dangerous
  • The effort to defend Trump is very haphazard, says former federal prosecutor
  • Ari Melber: Jack Smith hasn’t said a word and he has the whole country listening 
  • A look back to 2019: Predicting Trump could run for re-election to shield himself
  • Neal Katyal: Indictment makes clear no person can brazenly disregard the law without consequence
  • Rep. Raskin: Trump has transformed Lincoln's party; he runs it like a religious cult
  • Republican lawmakers react to Trump's indictment predictably
  • Joe: Trump will now find out you can't bully federal judges or the feds themselves
  • Ibram X. Kendi: When we assess structural racism, we are talking about groups not individuals
  • Women are still pessimistic about the U.S. economy, polling shows



Blog Stats

  • 43,366,818 hits

WH Flickr