Both Siderist New York Times: Giving GOP Credit That Obama Deserves

“While it’s gratifying to see the authors call-out the ‘nativist fear’ mongering of Trump’s campaign swing in support of Republican candidates across the country, it’s hard not to flinch at the part about ‘the glowing report on the nation’s economy.’ As if that is any credit to the current POTUS or his policies. It’s particularly troubling to read this during the same week that President Obama, who in hard fact pulled the American economy out of a deep ditch in 2008 and placed it on a sustainable path Trump has not had enough time to fully destroy, is out there laboring.

44 is leveraging his earned leadership capital and personal charisma to articulate remarkable, abundant policy and humanitarian differences which divide 2018’s Democratic and Republican candidates. The Trump administration and his conservative sycophants have done all they can to erase the forward cultural and economic movement, the calls to basic decency, championed by President Obama. It’s galling when supposedly credible media sources assist that effort.

Deeper into their Times article, Herdon and Ember demonstrate an awareness that Republican ownership claims to a relatively stable economy are on a shaky foundation.”

Read the full post at Contemptor.

Reform Conservatives Wail As GOP Leadership Continues 2016 Suicide Mission

Reform Conservatives

“Other than scream ‘no’ to every Obama administration proposal while using local politics to assault women’s rights, voting laws and LGBT equality, the GOP hasn’t addressed the day to day concerns of struggling Americans. This reality (and not Obama) underpins the party’s modern revolt. The most disappointed Obama liberals draw comfort from pointing to a President who’s accomplished much of his agenda in spite of a perverse, do-nothing Congress. Toward what can 2016 Republicans gesture as a source of party pride?”

Read the full post at Contemptor.

Anderson Cooper and His Tight T-Shirt Get to the Gulf! (June 17, 2010)

anderson-cooper-tight-t-shirt-in-nyc

If Obama is still searching for a way to take the national temperature, to figure out “whose ass to kick,” as he famously said last week of his response to the BP oil spill and ensuing environmental crisis, he just needs to follow the biceps. Whenever trouble lurks, wherever humanity has taken a heartbreaking tumble, the “Silver Fox” and his field uniform of form fitting designer jeans and pec-stretched t-shirt will be. Apparently windblown hair and a serious face are the weapons of mass destruction needed to “keep them honest.”

President Obama is not a bad looking guy himself, and we know he keeps in shape – all that “Buff Bam” vacationing in Hawaii coverage. So it’s a wonder that in the midst of the PR mess his administration finds themselves in, accusations of being slow to respond to the Gulf catastrophe, not showing enough empathy and acting as the handmaiden to big business, Obama’s people have never thought to rip a page out of AC’s playbook.

As Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize winning author and presidential historian stated as part of a panel discussion on last Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” “President Reagan knew the value of photos.” She alluded to the idea that if the BP catastrophe had happened on his watch, the Gipper would have made sure he was documented in his work shirt, talking to the Gulf’s “real people” on a daily basis.

But Obama is a curious case. For a man who harnessed the viral powers of the Internet throughout his campaign in ways that other candidates could only envy, a man who seems to understand intuitively that listening to the people who put him office is vital to his success, he has a curiously arrogant and disdainful attitude toward the media. This is not serving him well. Reagan, who I revile personally, was however, inarguably cuddly with the press and the American people. Though his policies may have stuck a knife in the back of our nation’s future, he had this way of making you believe in a kindly, disinterested love of the regular guy.

America needs a little cuddling right about now. Unemployment rates are stuck, with no immediate hope of falling. People are worried and scared. The middle class American dream is in danger of slipping through the fingers of so many, and on top of that, our geographic treasures, such as the Gulf and the beaches of Pensacola are imperiled. Is anything sacred anymore? But instead of connecting with us, President Obama comes off as curiously truculent and annoyed. That may be reflective of the national mood but it is not what we need at this moment in history. Where is that decided, active hope?

I began this post by taking a good natured poke at Anderson Cooper, or “Old Smoldering Blue Eyes (OSBE),” as my good friend Diane calls him. But there is a reason I invoked his studly example. AC gets it. He understands that in the midst of a local or international crisis (Katrina, the Earthquake in Haiti, trouble in the Gulf), America wants to see a virile, somber visage, on the ground talking to people, raising awareness, and providing the televised appearance of making things happen. Sitting in the Oval Office on a Tuesday night asking the nation to pray just doesn’t fill that need. God doesn’t know how to fix this mess either. When did “Yes, We Can” become an inert heavenly plea?

Get thee to an Abercrombie & Fitch, Barack!

The Ship’s Going Down: Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em! (February 9, 2010)

ship

Ah yum, the familiar taste of egg on our faces. Too bad I don’t care for eggs, but to be a resident of Illinois, you’d better learn to love that chicken born protein, because as long as you are a voting adult of this State, one humiliation after another is to be your lot.

It almost seems like a farway dream that a man named Obama: classy, intelligent, thoughtful and competent, could have ascended the ranks of the political mire we crawl through in the Land of Lincoln. But it did happen, a once in a lifetime gift, and enjoy it folks, because it looks more and more like that’s all we’re going to get.

Because no sooner did the primary polls close last Tuesday night, then we found ourselves in familiar territory:

http://www.suntimes.com/news/elections/2036963,CST-NWS-cohen09.article

A pawnbroker, a repeated domestic violence offender, consorter of admitted prostitutes and SuperBowl party killjoy (did you SEE that mess as he withdrew from the Lt. Governor’s race in a teary press conference, in the middle of a pub, as innocent people attempted to watch the Saints march to victory?) I would ask, fair citizens, what we have done to deserve this nightmare, except we, or at least the Democratic ilk of us, actually voted for this loser. Let this be a cautionary tale to those who think their vote couldn’t possibly matter. When you achieve a paltry 25% turnout, you get Joey Buttafucco as your candidate.

I didn’t vote for Cohen, but no matter. I am again ruined through guilt by association. And now that Cohen has quietly (ha!) exited the race, where do we go from here? Are there any good choices? It seems some would like Dan Hynes, the Democrat who just lost the nomination for Governor to incumbent Pat Quinn, to step forward. But surprise, surprise, he seems a little reluctant to fill the shoes of a man who will let his morbidly obese son weep with heartbreak next to him on national TV.

http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2010/02/hynes_not_interested_in_illino.html

Between this crap and the blizzard, I need a drink already. It’s gotta be noon somewhere…

State of the Union (January 28, 2010)

obama-state-of-the-union

I listened to every moment of the President’s address before the joint houses of Congress (and a very dour and censured looking Supreme Court) last night. In many respects, I thought Obama did a great job. He said a lot of tough things that needed to be said, that most of us are aware of, but rarely hear come from the mouths of our elected leaders. Such as the fact that he has increased deficit spending in the last year, but felt that given the choice of two evils: letting America go belly up or adding to our long term monetary problems, he had no option but to go with the latter. He also reminded us, as God I have wanted Obama to do so many times in recent months, that a great reason everyone is so panicked about the deficit is because of the fine legacy of fiscal “conservative” George W. Bush.

In general, I thought our President came off as committed and firm, aware of his mistakes, but ready to get out there and keep trying, because damn it that’s what we elected him to do and America has some serious problems that need fixing.

As one of my young co-workers eloquently stated over happy hour beers last evening, “I don’t trust government, but I do trust Obama.” I think that about sums it up for me too, so while I felt somewhat re-energized after the President’s address, I felt the keen sense that his commitment to change is only as good as the worthless Congress whose help he requires to get things done. I am as liberal as they come, but I would be remiss here if I lay the blame solely at the feet of the minority Republican coalitions in the House and Senate.

In fact, the ironic feature of Obama’s address last night was that we could not, for one visual moment, get away from the symbol of Democratic incompetence and arrogant gamesmanship – that would be House Leader Nancy Pelosi. This woman is as guilty of anyone else on the Hill of misleading, disappointing and delaying the life improvement of so many Americans. As much as I wanted to let go and get into the rhythm of the diverse messages the President was disseminating (are we REALLY near the end of the hateful “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?”), it was hard to do with the constant presence of the elected official who failed to pass anything of strength or importance in the House this last year, despite the benefit of an overwhelming majority.

In fact I found that I was more attuned to the resurgence of hope that Obama was trying to engender when I left the room to fold my laundry and ready my things for the next work day. Eddie always watches the TV at top volume, a habit that normally irritates the beejesus out of me. However, on this occasion, Eddie’s hearing loss enabled me to take most of it in from the opposite side of the house, free of Nancy’s mystifyingly smug and empowered visage.

Joe Biden is pretty useless too. His penchant for foot in mouth PR gaffes has relegated him to status as the 21st century’s answer to Dan Quayle. However, it is his very lack of being able to affect anything that renders his image benign. Let him stand behind Obama and smile like the Ed McMahon to his Johnny Carson. But for the next State of the Union, can we find another seat for Pelosi?