Posts Tagged ‘Le


A Word from Tien Le

I was out participating in the democratic process and then went out for some fun, so I arrived very late to TOD last night. This afforded me a chance to read through the comment sections rapidly and with detachment, rather than living the outrage moment to moment. Then I got to sleep on it. Refreshed, I discovered a new perspective on the comment made by Mayor Booker yesterday.

First I was struck by the use of the word “nauseating” to refer to the advertising taking swipes at Mitt’s time at Bain Capital. Put in context with the glee with which the Right exploited his comment as an attack on the President, I came to realize that this is a very visceral reaction. What that tells me is that this advertising strategy is highly effective. On some level Cory might realize that, but what some are calling his false equivalence to the Rev. Wright controversy, does have a parallel.

Both the time at Bain Capital for Mitt and the time as a parishioner of Rev. Wright for the President represent a part of their respective pasts that needed to be addressed as a part of the vetting process conducted by the media for the benefit of the American electorate. Cory might not agree that part of the process needs to happen, and long for a more substantive current issues-related debate to be reflected in advertising and media scrutiny. The fact remains it IS part of the process of vetting a President. The GOP didn’t get to use their advertising featuring Rev. Wright, and the President stepped up to confront the issue with his brilliant speech on race relations in this country. The roles are reversed now: the Democrats are using advertising highlighting Mitt’s time at Bain, and Mitt isn’t stepping up to address his behavior or belief system to the American public.

Let us not lose sight of the fact that the advertising is highly effective in a visceral way. And that effectiveness is part of why the response on the blogs and twitter were so intense yesterday. People don’t want to lose those ads, or at least what they represent, as a tool to use against Romney. Not even so much about Romney, but the whole idea of exposing vulture capitalism for what it is. To that I say it is only one tool in a very large box of tools that the Obama campaign possesses. It just happens to be the one they’re wielding right now. Also bear in mind that this is the part of the campaign cycle where the Obama campaign is working to define Mitt Romney before he can define himself. During this time the campaign puts out many types of advertising to see what resonates and what is effective and which ones can or cannot be effectively countered by the opposition. This is the testing phase, not the General Election. We’re not voting for a few more months (an ETERNITY in political terms).

Second, let’s talk about the very interesting man who is Cory Booker. The man who said this and we all hailed him for it:

“Before you speak to me about your religion, first show it to me in how you treat other people. Before you tell me how much you love your God, show me how much you love all His children. Before you preach to me of your passion for your faith, teach me about it through your compassion for your neighbors. In the end, I’m not as interested in what you have to tell or sell as how you choose to live and give.”

I wish he hadn’t made the comments he did yesterday; but I also wish that he hadn’t become the subject of a character assassination the way he was. I get it, TOD is the mama bear protecting her cub and comes out, claws and teeth bared, ready to protect the President at all costs. Cory Booker is just a man. He’s allowed to make mistakes. He clearly isn’t getting the best advice about how to express his opinions in the public forum. He shows the same weakness as his fellow Rhodes Scholar, Rachel Maddow. They’re both young-ish and have egos and probably don’t have someone like Michelle Obama to keep them grounded and humble. Probably neither of them had someone like Stanley Ann Dunham to raise them to be more intuitive than they are. And they both could use a good dose of up-side-the-head maturity and learn to think strategically. They both need mentoring from an adult like the President. Of the two, I’d guess that Cory Booker would be more likely to seek out and accept that kind of mentoring than would Rachel.

I’m not going to throw Cory Booker under the bus just yet. There is too much potential for good from that man, too much capability and inner strength and capacity for honesty. I dislike what he said, but I don’t believe the President was harmed in any way by it. The President and his team know how to run a campaign for the office of President. Cory Booker does not. What happened to Cory yesterday must have been viewed by the Right as a true victory. They are as afraid of Cory’s appeal as they are President Obama. If we handed them the ultimate destruction of Cory Booker’s political career based on one gaffe, then they must be celebrating right now. Frankly I don’t think Cory did that much damage to his career. If George Allen can survive the ‘maccaca’ incident (he’s running for office again, isn’t he?), then Cory can survive this. It is my hope Cory learns a profound lesson from this and seeks out some adult guidance on how to avoid such a misstep in the future.


forget st patrick, it’s tien le’s day

How did I miss this until now? 😳

Hope you’re having a perfect day, Tien Le!


Chat away, everyone


evening all


President Barack Obama, accompanied by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and Vice President Joe Biden, salutes as he departs the White House en route to Arlington National Cemetery, Dec. 12, 2011. The President and Prime Minister participated in a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns. An interpreter, center, walks with the group. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)




Don’t miss our good friend Tien’s brilliant post at The People’s View – here


Eugene Robinson: I guess I was wrong. I thought Republicans surely would have come to their senses by now. Instead, they seem to be rushing deeper into madness.

With less than a month to go before the Iowa caucuses, Mitt Romney, the candidate shown by polls to have the best chance of defeating President Obama, evidently remains unacceptable to most of his party. He has spent the summer and fall playing second fiddle to a series of unconvincing “front-runners” who fade into the shadows once their shortcomings become obvious.

The latest is Newt Gingrich, a man with more baggage than Louis Vuitton – and the taste for fine jewelry of Louis XIV, judging by his Tiffany’s bill. Be honest: Is there anybody out there who believes Gingrich would make it through a general-election campaign against Obama without self-destructing? I didn’t think so.

Full article here


Media Matters – thanks Linda




Steve Benen: What’s worse than Fox News’ attempts at reporting? Fox News’ attempts to convey information through images.

Media Matters’ Zachary Pleat highlights this doozy from the Republican news network today, which intends to show the fluctuations in the unemployment rate over 2011 to date.

…. the truly amazing this about the image is that it (a) shows no change between 9% unemployment and 8.6% unemployment; and (b) tells viewers that 8.6% unemployment is higher than 8.8% unemployment.

….. There’s a very good reason Fox News viewers are so confused, so often, about so much.

Full post here




Washington Post: Michelle Obama now holds part of a world record.

The first lady announced in an email Monday that her October bid to break the record for the most people doing jumping jacks in a 24-hour period succeeded. Mrs. Obama says 300,265 people participated, shattering the old record.

In order to achieve her goal, Mrs. Obama led about 400 elementary and middle-school students from Washington in jumping jacks on the South Lawn of the White House. Other jumping jacks events were held around the world on Oct. 11.

The effort was organized by National Geographic Kids magazine in support of the first lady’s Let’s Move! initiative to promote physical fitness and healthy eating for children.


CBS: Republican presidential frontrunner Newt Gingrich – who has acknowledged marital infidelity in the past – pledged in a written statement to an Iowa social conservative group to “uphold the institution of marriage through personal fidelity to my spouse and respect for the marital bonds of others.”

More here



from the archives….

“An Intimate Conversation with Michelle and Barack Obama” was conducted in 1996 for a book about American marriages …. the interview took place only four years after they married and two years before their oldest daughter Malia was born.

ABC and The New Yorker (extracts):

Michelle Obama: “It was strange, that excitement over this first-year student,” then-32-year-old Michelle recalls when describing the buzz about a new summer associate at the law firm Sidley and Austin. “So smart, so good-looking, so intelligent, everyone was talking about Barack. I’m more of the skeptical kind, I was thinking, ‘Yeah, he’s probably an idiot, whatever.’

…then on the first day, he showed up late. He was late because it’d been raining! And then he walked into the office and we got along right away because he was charming and very good-looking, at least I found him good-looking. I think we were attracted to one another because we didn’t take ourselves too seriously, like some others did. He liked my dry humor and my sarcastic comments. I thought he was a good man, interesting, and I was fascinated by his personal story, so different from mine… our relationship was first a friendship. It took off from there.”

…Barack has helped me loosen up and feel comfortable with taking risks, not doing things the traditional way and sort of testing it out, because that is how he grew up. I’m more traditional; he’s the one in the couple that, I think, is the less traditional individual. You can probably tell from the photographs — he’s just more out there, more flamboyant. I’m more, like, “Well, let’s wait and see. What did that look like? How much does it weigh?

….There is a strong possibility that Barack will pursue a political career, although it’s unclear. There is a little tension with that. I’m very wary of politics. I think he’s too much of a good guy for the kind of brutality, the skepticism.

When you are involved in politics, your life is an open book, and people can come in who don’t necessarily have good intent. I’m pretty private, and like to surround myself with people that I trust and love. In politics you’ve got to open yourself to a lot of different people. There is a possibility that our futures will go that way, even though I want to have kids and travel, spend time with family, and like spending time with friends. But we are going to be busy people doing lots of stuff. And it’ll be interesting to see what life has to offer.”

Barack Obama: “All my life, I have been stitching together a family, through stories or memories or friends or ideas. Michelle has had a very different background—very stable, two-parent family, mother at home, brother and dog, living in the same house all their lives. We represent two strands of family life in this country—the strand that is very stable and solid, and then the strand that is breaking out of the constraints of traditional families, travelling, separated, mobile. I think there was that strand in me of imagining what it would be like to have a stable, solid, secure family life.

Michelle is a tremendously strong person, and has a very strong sense of herself and who she is and where she comes from. But I also think in her eyes you can see a trace of vulnerability that most people don’t know, because when she’s walking through the world she is this tall, beautiful, confident woman. There is a part of her that is vulnerable and young and sometimes frightened, and I think seeing both of those things is what attracted me to her.

And then what sustains our relationship is I’m extremely happy with her, and part of it has to do with the fact that she is at once completely familiar to me, so that I can be myself and she knows me very well and I trust her completely, but at the same time she is also a complete mystery to me in some ways. And there are times when we are lying in bed and I look over and sort of have a start. Because I realize here is this other person who is separate and different and has different memories and backgrounds and thoughts and feelings. It’s that tension between familiarity and mystery that makes for something strong, because, even as you build a life of trust and comfort and mutual support, you retain some sense of surprise or wonder about the other person.”

(Lovely blog post on the top photo here)


holiday reading

NYT: Can you judge a president by what he is reading? As has been reported, President Obama’s vacation reading includes a Lou Cannon biography of Ronald Reagan, another president who was confronted with a divided Congress. But the White House said today Mr. Obama also brought two novels: “The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet” by David Mitchell, a well-reviewed historical romance about a Dutchman in Edo-era Japan; and “Our Kind of Traitor,” by the spy novelist John Le Carre.







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: There is no post-truth world when it comes to the court system
  • Former Labor Secretary warns of banking dangers and recession possibility
  • Air Mail: George Santos, Boris Johnson, Restoration Hardware and Putin 
  • 'White supremacist genius': GOP resort to anti-semitic, racist attacks to defend Trump prosecution
  • The paradoxical relationship between America and poverty



Blog Stats

  • 43,345,248 hits
March 2023