I love this man

May 1, 2011 • 6:05 am

Yeah, I know we’re gonna get some sourpusses objecting to my title, and even some who claim that Obama is just as conservative as the Republicans. And yes, he’s been a bit too pragmatic for my taste.  But on the whole I don’t care: the guy is infinitely better than John McCain, he’s enacted health care legislation, helped stave off financial disaster in the U.S., and even given a shout-out to atheists.  Much of his so-called “failure’ comes from his having been repeatedly stymied by Republican morons.  He’s funny and he’s smart, and you can see all that in his 19-minute speech from last night’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner:

There’s a slap at Michele Bachmann at 8:00.  And, as The New York Times reports, Obama zinged the odious Donald Trump time after time (the fun starts at 9:37).  The best lines:

“Donald Trump is here tonight,” the comedian in chief said, grinning. “Now, I know that he’s taken some flak lately, but no one is prouder to put this birth certificate to rest than The Donald. Now he can get to focusing on the issues that matter. Like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened at Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?”

And don’t miss the White House-made video, “The President’s Speech,” starting at 12:30, making fun of Telepromptergate.

98 thoughts on “I love this man

  1. I am not an American, but a Canadian. Tomorrow, we have an election, and I fear a conservative majority government. If this happens, then the shit will hit the fan.

    I’m voting as far left as I possibly can. Also, great video.

    1. Sometimes I think that’s the *only* good thing about Obama – he’s not McPalin. Otherwise I’m very disappointed. Health care reform? Come on, I was hoping for much better. The Guantanamo military prisons are still there, the “Stock Market” is still seen as a Good Thing ™ rather than being discussed seriously as the pyramid scheme that it is, inequity continues to rise and while we’re told to hunker down, many of the crooks who caused the global financial crisis are still wandering free and being rewarded for their behavior. Yep, it’s business as always – but at least McCain’s not running the show.

      1. Seriously? A pyramid scheme promises revenue that it can’t deliver (infinite return), a stock market doesn’t even promise.

        Maybe there is some analogy there, but not at the level of scheme.

        On the other end what would be the alternative to find financing? I don’t think I’ve heard of it; but it never hurts to ask.

        As democracy, a stock market seems to me to be making the best of a situation, not a flawless mechanism.

        1. Well, they oughtn’t be allowed to essentially steal billions, then get the money back, then give each other huge bonuses. This had to be one of the biggest heists in history, yet, not even the slightest sniff of an investigation, much less an arrest and trial (of ANYBODY). And they spent millions trying to impeach Clinton for dipping his noodle where it didn’t belong. (Xian values put naughtiness as more severe a sin than grand larceny!)

      2. He drops the public option, he laughs at the idea of legalizing pot, he refuses to close Guantanamo, he keeps us in 2 wars despite being the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (I wonder if the committee regrets that decision now?)…

        But yes, he’s very funny. I voted for him because he was funny…


  2. It’s nice to see The Donald take some knocks, but I’d rather see someone snatch that hairpiece and wax his eyebrows.

    1. Yes – someone needs to get to the root of the follicular matter. It is one of the strangest comb-overs in recorded history. I must dash off now & pray to the newly Blessed John Paul II…

        1. …it’s coming through now… can you hear me JP? …he says Trump has the hair of a straw man.

    2. He seem to like it, don’t begrudge him his fashion sense or non-sense.

      It would make me think twice about being Apprentice, tho’.

    3. Actually, it may be his “nom de plumage” [sic], his trade mark.

      In which case he gets great value out of bitching about his hair. (While some should worry about what goes on under it.)

  3. If you can’t support your neighbor, who can you support? He has some pretty good writers. Deliver is OK, but we’re not paying him to be a comedian. I go back and forth on his policies, but he has my vote next year.

  4. I am with you 100% Jerry. I’d like to have gotten a little more fight out of him on a few topics, but overall I have been extremely satisfied with our president. No buyers remorse here.

  5. I love this president, too. He has made some pretty grievous errors (mostly giving in to radicals) but he has made some heroic efforts to do things that simply haven’t gotten done by earlier presidents. And, for the record, his stimulus saved or created some hundreds of thousands of jobs (if you don’t believe me, just try to find a route to anyplace in the country over 100 miles long and see if you can find a way without road or bridge construction). He probably saved the American auto industry.

    He is smart, ambitious, at least as honest as any politician, clever, and mean funny.

    He needs to stand up to the lunatic fringe that has taken over the unhappy Republican party.

  6. That was “Daily Show” funny. I thought the video on “The President’s Speech” was really charming, too. It showed the human side of the president we rarely get to see in any administration.

  7. I’m glad he can deliver a smart funny speech. Now, could we get a little smart speech on why unemployment is horrible and we need to do more, even if the Rethugs prevent him? Also can we get on with firing Geithner before we have another meltdown (except we won’t on his watch, because the economy will suck so badly there’s hardly anything to melt down).

    I think if you were one of the many of 50+ who haven’t had a job for two years or more.. you wouldn’t feel such a happy rush over a dinner speech. Even if it takes Trump down.

  8. I’ll take issue here. He’s one of the worst of the presidents. I’ve lived through Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton and Bush II. Obama isn’t any different than any of the others. Health care reform? What have you people been smoking? Health care reform isn’t making sure children under a certain age get to stay on their parents policy, nor is it that there are no care limits. Health care reform is fixing a broken system ensuring that everyone has quality care, and that the care is rationed to care for those who are most viable.
    Obama is just as bad as all those other guys mentioned above. He panders to the rich and corporations. He hasn’t done a thing to recover this economy. Fixing bridges and roads is a short-term answer to long-term problems.
    I agree with you on most of the information you post on this website, but on this topic, I differ.

    1. Depressions are caused by a lack of cash flow. The folks who have the money (and were paid billions to help save the economy by investing it in the economy) are either keeping it or spending it elsewhere. The stimulus package saved not only public works projects, but tens of thousands of school teachers, cops. firemen, etc across the nation. I personally know of 10 teachers whose jobs were saved by a stimulus package. (members of various professional organizations I belong to).

    2. Terry wrote:
      He’s one of the worst of the presidents. I’ve lived through Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton and Bush II. Obama isn’t any different than any of the others.

      So, if he’s no different than any of the others, then from Roosevelt through Obama, they are all the worst presidents we’ve had? All the presidents who came before Roosevelt were better than this group? That sounds problematic.

      Fixing bridges and roads is a short-term answer to long-term problems.

      You think the crumbling bridges and roads aren’t part of a long term problem? And you could ask the hundreds of thousands of people getting a paycheck from this work whether having work and surviving another year is less important than pondering what you consider long term problems.

    3. I am not a US citizen but am slightly confused – you say “He’s one of the worst of the presidents” then you say “Obama isn’t any different than any of the others”, so how do the two relate? I wonder if your response is really based on a feeling rather that a real analysis? As it is I am not convinced that it is possible to compare politicians over a long span of time. They all have to meet different challenges don’t they? I would prefer to stand people against their peers to compare them, otherwise it is just a pub argument along the lines of what would win in a fight between a shark & a tiger…? I imagine you would not agree?

    4. Okay, so if you think Obama is the worst among all the Presidents, who among the candidates today do you think would be a TERRIFIC president?

      And the “what have you people been smoking?” comment was gratuitious.

    5. He panders to the rich and corporations. He hasn’t done a thing to recover this economy. Fixing bridges and roads is a short-term answer to long-term problems.

      He may have to compromise with realpolitik as all politicians, but “pander”? He has tried to push some things against “the rich and corporations” such as education support instead of tax cuts.

      Which I believe is what also was a part of his recovery effort, he did what we did in Europe and Asia. (Only with a slightly different and worse method of supporting old industry.) Recovery is for the short term. Unfortunately building for the future is the long term goal, and that will have to be postponed due to the conflict.

      You want to balance investment with debt financing. But no matter what you do, China will be the economical superpower of the world in merely 5 years (2016). It is downhill from here, and you own the shirt on your back to the new power already by own choice.

      Tough shit; maybe you should migrate to the new Frontier ( = China)? 😀

    6. So, by your estimation, McCain/Palin would have passed an equally bad health care bill?

      I would call you stupid but since it’s obvious you’re a Republican troll, I’ll just laugh.

  9. Furthermore, I thinks it’s an insult to all of us when we compare dolts like McCain, Bachmann and Palin to Obama.

    The only difference between these people is that Obama enjoys some liberal passes when he accepts money from the oil companies, just to name one source, and then pretends to care about the environment and global warming.

    1. It is hard not to be cynical about politicians generally & systems of government in particular, but, as I am constantly reminded by my colleague who studied history & politics, we live in a complex of societies & have to have some way of living together, & politics is a result of that. The answer is to get involved if you want to change the fundamentals of how these things work, though you might of course respond that there was a fat chance of any change.

    2. Terry wrote:
      Furthermore, I thinks it’s an insult to all of us when we compare dolts like McCain, Bachmann and Palin to Obama.

      I don’t see why anyone should be insulted. Those “dolts” are among the leaders of the Republican party, Obama is among the leaders of the Democrats. Why wouldn’t you compare them?

      1. Read Randall Amster in HuffP, (yeah HuffP is fluff,) and you’ll see what I mean.

        A small quote,

        “It’s particularly telling that the major legislative achievement of his administration has been a sham healthcare bill that privatizes personal risks while socializing public profits into corporate hands. Did he end the war in Iraq? Sort of, unless you count all the private contractors and military bases still in operation there (not to mention the seamless shift of major fronts over to Afghanistan). Did he close Guantanamo? Only to the pursuit of transparency and justice. Did he save the economy with bailouts? Perhaps, but the economy he “saved” isn’t the one we ever actually wanted.”

        He’s actually worse than some prior presidents.

        1. That quote is pretty pathetic. Just out of curiosity, what do you think a president should have, and more importantly could have, achieved in two years in the current socio-economic-political environment?

          No doubt Obama could have done better, and it is our duty to criticize him. But – and I really am not trying to be offensive, I just can’t think of a different word to use right now – you sound a bit naive, or maybe you are letting your emotions take the lead.

  10. Obama had a pretty good climate and clean energy policy, but was forced to give nearly all of it up by the insanity of the entire Republican party in choosing to deny everything about climate change and the need for new and renewable energy.
    If he is such a good oil president, why did the Koch brothers spend so many millions of dollars buying a congress to try to stop him at every turn?

    As Foxy news likes to say, “Follow the Money”.

  11. You may love this president but I don’t. In fact I dislike him quite a bit and think that he’s bungled the greatest opportunity we’ve had to begin reversing the 30+ years of conservative misrule this country has been subjected to.

    On every front: employment crisis, economic justice, environmental issues, health care reform, national security and civil liberties Obama has not deviated very far from the Bush agenda. In fact, his ambition is apparently to be a better, more competent Bush.

    If all that recommends Obama is that he’s better than the insane, extremist idiots that represent the Republican Party and the gave us Mitt Romney’s health care plan on a national scale then that’s not setting the bar very high.

    1. roadrider wrote:
      If all that recommends Obama is that he’s better than the insane, extremist idiots that represent the Republican Party

      That’s a pretty big recommendation, since the choice will be between Obama and one of the extremist Republicans. As Dominic pointed out, you compare people to their peers, since those will be your choices, not to some idealized vision you have of the perfect president.

      1. The public’s willingness to accept those peers is part of the problem.
        The other part is the unwillingness of the opposition to move the Overton window “left.” We are forced to choose between right-wing extremists or those who will accommodate with them. Why is the same tact we approach the conflict between science and religion now unacceptable?
        BTW – the root of terrific is terror, that is that which is terrific inspires terror. Same with fantastic and fantasy. We had many fantastic and terrific presidents in my lifetime, from Ike to Obama, all have inspired fantasy and terror at one time or another.

    2. I totally agree. Next time I’m voting for Gandalf!

      On a side note, wtf is it about a science blog that seems to attract fantasists? If all that recommend Obama is empirical reality… Really? Do we need to debate this? Can’t you go wank off in some other forum where disconnection from reality is considered cool?

  12. If all that recommends Obama is that he’s better than the insane, extremist idiots that represent the Republican Party and the gave us Mitt Romney’s health care plan on a national scale then that’s not setting the bar very high.


  13. While he’s certainly a charmer, Obama has some nigh-unforgivable sins on his record that the Republicans had little or nothing to do with.

    By now, the last troops should have long since left Afghanistan. Instead, we have even more troops there than the Soviets ever did.

    The Guantanamo Gulag was supposed to be a fading memory, with the prisoners long since transferred to civilian custody and the last of the trials just now finishing up. Instead, new reports continue to surface that many of the people still held captive there were taken hostage on false pretenses.

    And it never would have occurred to anybody that Obama would be ordering the TSA to X-Ray and / or grope each and every air passenger — including preschoolers!

    Obama’s policies are far to the right of Nixon’s, and he enjoys executive powers Nixon probably didn’t even dare dream of. The worst abuses of the previous administrations — the warrantless wiretaps and extraordinary renditions — Obama has done nothing to abolish, and he’s added even worse — assaulting citizens and performing unwarranted searches on an historically-unprecedented scale — to the repertoire.

    The “Well, at least he’s not as bad as Palin!” rhetoric rings as hollow with me as the Republican comparisons of US human rights violations with China at the height of the press coverage of the torture scandals.


    I hesitate to make this comparison, because I don’t think Obama is in any danger of committing genocide outside the theater of war…but Hitler was quite the charmer, too. He was a rousing orator and an accomplished baby-kisser.

    We need evaluate politicians not on how pleasant they are to be around and not even on their rhetoric, but on how they vote and the policies they implement.

    I voted for Obama, full of hope that he would turn us away from the authoritarian imperialistic path his predecessor had set us on. Instead, he’s staying the course, pedal to the metal.

    Take a moment to re-read the Declaration of Independence and ask yourself how many of the crimes King George perpetuated upon the Colonies are now being perpetrated by the government upon people the world over. Re-read the Bill of Rights and ask yourself how many of those rights you still enjoy.



    1. Ben Goren wrote:
      Obama’s policies are far to the right of Nixon’s, and he enjoys executive powers Nixon probably didn’t even dare dream of.

      Another one who wants to compare different eras. Nixon was a racist homophobe, typical of the times, who cared nothing for the law. His dreams of executive power were no doubt along the lines of a king.

      Re-read the Bill of Rights and ask yourself how many of those rights you still enjoy.

      All of them?

    2. I don’t see that Afghanistan is a US responsibility as such any longer, ISAF was established by UN against terrorism and cleared the US/British war initiative FWIW. It is more a problem for Afghanistan, since it may arguable be the best that external forces withdrew.

      Guantanamo is a US and international problem, and this is the one point I think Obama severely disappoints in. He could easily stop and persecute US torture. Its continuation puts him as responsible for any ongoing torture as much as Bush.

      [I’m also disappointed that the CEV was readopted back into the NASA programs. But again minor point, compromises, yadda yadda.]

    3. Yep. (Well, except for the Godwin.)

      I put in a small amount of time for Obama’s campaign, and I am sorely disappointed. Especially on:

      -Wholesale continuations of Bush-era policies (especially the afghanistan war, caving to tax cut extension)

      -Caving. Obama is the worst negotiator ever. Heath care? Tax cuts? Guantanamo? He starts in the center and caves.

      -He’s at best center-right. He was elected and supported by progressives and non-racist moderates, but he’s completely ignored half his base.

      -In bed with wall street just as much as the republicans are.

      -His tepid, hypocritical response to the revolutions in the Middle East, and his continuance of the dangerous US policy towards Israel.

      -Declared Bradely Manning guilty before trial.

      Is he better than McCain? Only because his veto pen is *somewhat* of a bulwark against the worst republican social initiatives. A republican-tea party government would be unmitigated disaster. Obama is just lame.

      1. Abbie wrote:
        Is he better than McCain? Only because his veto pen is *somewhat* of a bulwark against the worst republican social initiatives.

        That’s the only difference you see? If McCain had replaced the two liberal Supreme Court justices who retired, do you think the Court might look a little different? Given that during his campaign he said he would seek out Supreme Court appointees along the lines of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, we could expect to see a lot less civil liberties and a lot more push for creationism in schools. Among other disasters.

        1. Excellent point. There is absolutely no doubt that McCain would have appointed two more conservatives, and that would have tained the court for decades to come. It’s just a pity that Scalia, Alito, and Roberts are so young. . . .

        2. Since I often criticise Obama, I should praise him when he does something right: like appoint somewhat progressive (or at least non-regressive) justices to the Supreme Court.

          1. Agreed- I was happy with his SC nominees, and that was somewhere McCain could have done damage.

            This whole thread seems hopelessly out of date, in light of tonight’s events!

    4. What is supposed to happen with Guantanamo? When attempts were made to transfer prisoners to the US and get them trials, many on the left joined the right and blocked it. The liberals bought in to the conservative fear mongering and refused to let him move on that promise. Am I wrong on this? Did I miss something?

      1. That was my take on it too. Both Obama and Eric Holder wanted them tried in the U.S., but political opposition from both New York State and the Republicans was too strong.

        1. I’m sorry, but “political opposition” isn’t sufficient grounds for denying people their Constitutional rights.

          Even presidents don’t have the right to hold people indefinitely without charges just because there is fear that the captives might do something bad if released.

          If, for whatever reason, a person cannot be given the right to a fair and speedy trial, the only legal option is to release the prisoner.

          If the case against the captives at Guantanamo is so weak that a grand jury will not indict them, they never should have been kidnapped in the first place and they must be immediately released.

          And if the case against them is as strong as we are to believe, why have charges not been filed?

          Where is the writ of Habeas Corpus? Where are the witnesses offering testimony supported by oath or affirmation? Where is the evidence?

          Only tyrants kidnap people and insist that we must trust their judgement of how evil the people are. If Obama loved justice more than he loves power, he would have long since either handed them over to the FBI (with or without their consent) or flown them anywhere in the world they wanted with enough cash, etc., to get back on their feet. Or he could even give them to the Hague.

          Would the Republicans make lots of hay from either course of action? Who gives a fuck?

          No, really. If Obama places a higher priority on his own political power and ambitions than he does on defending and protecting the Constitution, he has no business in the Oval Office. Seeing justice done when you’re the only one who can do it is more than worth a few harsh words and crocodile tears from Rush Limbaugh. It’s even worth being a one-term president to do such a thing — or, for that matter, being impeached.

          Of course, the reality is that his actions in continuing to hold hostage these kidnap victims is itself more than ample grounds for impeachment and conviction; indeed, it is exactly such crimes for which impeachment was envisioned. And, had he done the right thing, true American patriots would have flocked to his political defense.



          1. If you haven’t noticed ‘true american patriots’ has been the call of the tea party for the last few years. Those are the people that have been motivated and active. Evidence for this was shown in the last election. The group is now losing strength as they were too dumb to hide some of the more unsavory factions. American politics is as much about timing as anything else. Sadly, we’ll have to wait and see if there’s a re-election before Obama can think about bucking the current system too much. Pragmatism isn’t always pretty, but it can be effective. Idealism can get your ass handed to you in our system.

          2. Do foreigners have Constitutional rights?

            And I rly don’t like Gitmo either, but you’d have to have lost ur damn mind if you’re seriously proposing giving Khalid Sheik Mohammed (sp?) some cash and a free plane ride…

    5. I hesitate to make this comparison, because I don’t think Obama is in any danger of committing genocide outside the theater of war…but Hitler was quite the charmer, too. He was a rousing orator and an accomplished baby-kisser.

      You’re really getting ahead of yourself here. Where is Obama’s Mein Kampf? Who are the people Obama blames for every little niggling problem eating away at the USA? There isn’t one and there aren’t any. There isn’t anything comparable between him and Hitler other than the fact that he is a damn good, sometimes Machiavelian, politician, which they all strive to be.

    6. WTF! Gulag? To the right of Nixon? A Hitler comparison? Really? Glad to see you “don’t think Obama is in any danger of committing genocide outside the theater of war…” Gosh let’s hope you are right. Get a grip man!

      And thanks for the advise to read again the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. While we’re at it, why not the entire US Constitution?

      And, in answer to your question, ALL.

      1. Yes, to the right of Nixon.

        In his first couple years in office, Nixon withdrew more troops from Vietnam than the total number we currently have deployed in Afghanistan.

        He indexed Social Security to inflation, thereby ensuring the real-world stability of benefits. Obama has deeply cut the Social Security tax, a move all but guaranteed to bankrupt the program long before I’ll be eligible to draw funds from my account.

        Nixon created the EPA and OSHA and gave us the Clean Air Act.

        He gave us Title IX and campaigned for the Equal Rights Act.

        He created the Space Shuttle program that Obama is now dismantling without replacement.

        He gave us SALT I and the ABM treaty.

        So, yeah. By modern standards, Nixon would be an unelectable radical “socialist,” perhaps too “liberal” for even the extremes of the Democratic party.

        Don’t let the labels and the relative positions fool you. The American Democratic party is, globally and historically, a hard-right ultraconservative political party. Their economic policies — especially their unabashed corporatism — are pretty close matches for the most radical ones of history, including the Nazis.

        The Republicans aren’t merely hard-right ultraconservatives; they’re fucking batshit insane supermegaultraconservatives. It’s only in their shadow, by not being quite so far out there, that they can pretend to be “liberal.”

        And, just for your enjoyment, here’re some choice lines from the Declaration and the Bill of Rights:

        He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

        That’s the problem with the Guantanamo Gulag in a nutshell.

        He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

        Again, each and every hostage in Guantanamo can make that exact same complaint.

        For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

        The highest-ranking officer to have charges brought after the Abu Ghraib murders and tortures was a lieutenant colonel. He was acquitted and given a reprimand. The highest-ranked soldier to be convicted was a staff sergeant.

        And the financial meltdown? The one that’s driven countless Americans from their homes and into poverty, hunger, and even death? Madoff sure wasn’t alone in perpetuating the fraud, so why is he the only one ever to have charges pressed? And why were millions, if not billions, in public funds given to the perpetrators of the crimes in the form of “asperformance bonuses”?

        For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

        For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

        For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

        Guantanamo, Guantanamo, Guantanamo. And extraordinary rendition.

        He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

        He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

        Afghanistan, and Iraq / Bush before Obama.

        Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

        Good luck getting a permit to protest in a “free speech zone” a mile from the political party convention sites, and even the gods can’t save you if you draw a cartoon of a buxom sixteen-year-old engaged in a sex act or snap a pic of your toddler in the tub. You might be able to talk your way out of photographing a bridge, if you just happen to have your professionally-bound industrial photography portfolio with you when the cops swarm on you.

        The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

        The TSA doesn’t even pretend that they’ve ever even heard of the word, “warrant.” Obama is continuing the Bush policy of warrantless wiretaps. And now we learn of portable X-Ray machines being used to surreptitiously search crowds and even solitary drivers from unmarked vans.

        No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

        Guantanamo, extraordinary renditions, and Customs at border crossings. I’ve even been a victim of that last bit the last time I travelled; the TSA confiscated a small bottle of honey I had in my bags and didn’t even pretend to offer compensation for it.

        In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

        Guantanamo, Guantanamo, Guantanamo. And extraordinary renditions.

        Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

        Guantanamo, Guantanamo, Guantanamo. And extraordinary renditions.

        So, you see, you live in a country with a lovely Constitution that isn’t worth the goddamned piece of paper it’s written on. It’s much the same situation as the Soviets faced when I was young.



        1. There you go again with Soviets and Nazis. Man you are pompous, and clearly like reading yourself. You must be a windbag in person. You suggested re-reading our founding documents, you should re-read your comments. You’re sounding like a loon! Again, get a grip! Obama isn’t Nixon or Hitler. Guantanamo isn’t the Gulag. The US has not morphed into the Soviet Union. You sound like Donald Trump!!!

          1. Though I too question some of the claims of Ben’s claims as bordering on hyperbole, there’s no need for the ad hominems. Ben hasn’t insulted anyone here and is an established regular as I understand. Why not address his claims instead turning this into a childish flame war? Just saying.

          2. Well Utakata, I too have been reading and commenting on this site from its beginning and I’ve never attacked anyone personally either, until today. Some of Ben’s attacks are just obscene. Address his claims? Hitler was responsible for the murder of millions of innocent people. The Gulag held millions of prisoners. Nixon was a criminal, a Republican, and on the political right. And the US hasn’t eroded into the Soviet Union. Now what any of this has to do with Obama, or how any of this can be compared with the Obama administration, is beyond me. There isn’t anything to argue about because the comparisons are absurd.

            At least Obama has a sense of humor. You can’t say that about Hitler, Nixon, or the Soviet Union.

          3. If it’s so obvious that I’ve gone off the deep end, it shouldn’t be hard coming up with some facts of your own to rebut my points. What policies and actions of the Obama administration would Nixon have rejected as being too liberal? Where in the Constitution is the President granted the authority to order soldiers to seize people outside of American jurisdiction and indefinitely detain them in severely austere conditions in a forward military base in a hostile third country while denying them access to the judicial system? You know, that sort of thing.

            Or, if you prefer, I can offer you some advice on alternative orificial insertion angles for oxidized photographic equipment — that does, after all, seem to be the level of discourse you’re seeking. Our host generally frowns upon such acrobatic urethral exhibitions, but perhaps we can beg his indulgence for an exception.



          4. Ben, I normally love your comments, but Godwin: It’s the Law!

            Comparing autocratic dictatorships like Mao’s and Hitler’s to a representative republic like the U.S. is hyperbole to the extreme. It’s also inaccurate and, I think, unhelpful to furthering the debate. People get all bothered, you know. Holocaust and whatnot.

            I’m not saying Obama’s a saint, but I wouldn’t go so far as to characterize Nixon as teh devil either. Charlie Manson is concerned about global warming, just cuz he’s a dick doesn’t mean the deniers are right… Just cuz of Watergate doesn’t mean Nixon couldn’t have done some good things…

        2. Not being American, I don’t have a strong right to speak, but for all Obama’s intelligence and charm, I have found him disappointing. And I agree quite a bit with Ben about Nixon – a perfectly horrible individual, but a politician who actually pushed through and achieved some very important things.

          1. Tim, Ben wasn’t arguing about the quality of Nixon’s achievements. He was arguing that Obama is to the political right of Nixon. And you’re right, Nixon was a horrible individual.

          2. Yes, and there was also Vietnam, the bombing of Cambodia, etc to put on the debit side.

        3. A few quick thoughts:

          Nixon’s policies toward the Vietnam War were deeply conflicting. He escalated conflict at the same time as he withdrew troops, and in many ways these policies caused a lot of harm. I don’t think that these questions lend themselves easily to a left/right division, anyway, and they are filled with complex geopolitical issues.

          I’m pretty sure that the SS payroll tax cut is temporary. Saying that it will bankrupt the program seems overblown, and SS will have to undergo minor reforms anyway.

          Nixon gets credit for the EPA, but what does that have to do with Obama? Certainly Obama is committed to the preservation of the EPA’s powers, powers that go above and beyond what was ordained upon its creation, and, in addition, he attempted to expand green technology and limit greenhouse gases, even if he has been stymied in some of these endeavors. Furthermore, I don’t see how Obama is any less progressive on civil rights (one can argue about his speed, but he has certainly chipped away at laws limiting gay rights, and he also signed into law the fair pay act).

          The space program I don’t think has much to do with left/right divisions.

          Finally, Obama has at least abided by Keynesian economic principles. One can argue about whether that’s truly “left”, but it’s about as much as any administration has ever done through countervailing policy to stave off economic disaster.

    7. I have to defend the Hanoverian monarch here – “the crimes King George perpetuated upon the Colonies”!? He was hardly to blame personally, & he was the ruddy King at the time. If you like, he was the Tripoli to Washington’s Benghazi perhaps!

    8. So… Obama = Hitler.

      Hey, two can play at this game:

      Ben Goren = Republican troll.

      If you think Obama is to the right of Nixon, then where, pray tell, do you think McCain, Palin, the Tea Party, and a voting majority of the nation are?

      Those new members of the House didn’t put themselves there. Your fellow citizens did.

      Maybe they voted for Republicans because after listening to tools like you, they couldn’t tell the difference.

      Well done, Republican troll. Well done.

    1. But even better IMHO was the velvet-gloved smackdown at the birth certificate press conference – that we have more important things to do than be distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers. That probably went right over the heads of most of Trump’s minions, tho.

  14. Wow, Obama pulled a Colbert! Awesome.

    May God bless the United States of America.

    Gotta hate this part. At the very least, why not God bless everyone?

    1. Yeah… what was that silly noise he made at the end of the speech about some “>Godd fellow “blessing” America?

      Who the fuck is this Godd-fellow, anyway, Mr. President?

  15. Let’s not forget this is his first term! Do we have any doubts that he’ll come out swinging in his 2nd term?

    1. So far Pres. Obama has been acting like a lame duck president in the 2nd half of his term. His swinging will depend on recapturing Congress for the Dems.

  16. The invisible but unmistakable hand of Jon Stewart. He or his writers or both obviously had a strong influence on these gags.

    This is also the perfect counterexample to accomodationists who decry “tone”, and a textbook case why Jefferson called for “nothing but free argument, raillery & even ridicule” as the only effective weapons against religious nonsense.

    1. Ironically, I think Jon Stewart has been a bit of a tone warrior- I was actually turned off by the whole Rally Againist Sanity because of its false equivalency between the “two sides”. No, only one side is dangerous crazy racist reactionary morons.

      1. I agree on that event but have mostly forgiven him. He’s done an enormous amount of good otherwise.

  17. I like him too.
    Sure I’d like to see a more liberal agenda, but where were the votes in the Senate supposed to come from? Many of his party were elected in states or districts that John McCain carried…

    also remember that he appointed competence in science areas (Chu, Collins…yeah, I know about Collins strange religious views but he is still a good scientist)

    1. Collins strange religious views but he is still a good scientist

      Unfortunately the position needs more than a scientist, it needs a deft politician, and visionary administrator, and a competent bureaucrat. Collins has single-handedly setback basic research to the 1970’s. The concentration, nay exclusive demand for “translational science,” means in 10 years their will be nothing to translate as we will have no foundation. The lack of results will entice a hack political class to cut funding even further.
      Chu was a good choice, but Collins is exemplary of Obama’s kow-towing nature.

      1. Translational science could be a social boon though – stem cell applications, cancer research, malaria medicines.

        But you don’t want to cut off your feet while saving your nose.

    1. I had the worst time googling that.

      As I gathered it some looneytunes claimed that if you use a teleprompter anything can be said, and nothing may be of the prez production. That Bush et cetera used them doesn’t matter, see? I mean, Obama being black and all that.

      But please fill me in too, the “article” I found looked like one of those loons wrote it.

  18. I too have many issues with Obama, but I’ve got to him credit to him for really handing it to Trump. And I don’t think Trump was a happy man either after getting that public spanking. 🙂

  19. Love the line about Matt Damon in the Adjustment Bureau as well. Damn, that was a funny speech. Maybe, he should consider comedy after he has had enough with politics.

  20. Is it just a coincidence that Barack Obama interrupted Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice with the news that Osama bin Laden is dead? Obama trumps The Donald again!

  21. Wow…



    I’ve been reading some of the comments in this thread and… it’s interesting how anyone who doesn’t heap praise onto Obama is jumped on as a “republican troll”.

    So let me set the record straight:

    I am, as far as I know, a liberal.

    I really want single-payer health care, but a public option is a decent compromise.

    I not only think marijuana should be legalized, but I think we should be allowed to grow our own. Of course, that would make it notoriously difficult to tax, so maybe they could have you apply for a license, but I don’t think you should have to have some kind of reason for growing it to get the license (like medical or business). Of course, certain things, like driving stoned, skipping a certain amount of school and/or work (more than your average sick days, and without any extending issues like “I have a cold” or “I’ve just been diagnosed with cancer”), etc would likely get that license revoked, something which I *would* agree with, but still…

    I think having a market withOUT regulation is akin to leaving kindergarteners alone without adult supervision: way beyond stupid.

    Corporations should *never* have been classified as “persons” by the Supreme Court. They very simply are not. I know people get offended by the use of this term, but, with apologies, it is the only word which works here: this decision by the Supreme Court was, quite simply, retarded.

    In the 2008 election, a baby with a cabbage-patch kid as her VP-candidate would have been better than a McCain/Palin ticket.

    I sincerely hope that in 2012, the Republicans are kicked squarely out of office and out of power completely.

    However, I hate the Democrats almost as much. I see Dems and Repubs as two sides of the same coin, folks. Hungry for power, paid for by lobbyists, and ultimately out for #1: themselves. There is no such thing as a politician who cares for anyone *not* paying for their campaign in any significant way. I know that’s a harsh little truth I just threw down, but it’s true.

    I voted for Obama and, while I can’t say I regret that decision (it’s hard to regret *not* voting for McCain/Palin), I’ve a bit disappointed so far. I didn’t expect much. I certainly didn’t expect the messiah-like miracles many were claiming he’d perform. I knew he would never close Guantanamo, even though I wanted him to. I knew he would not be able to keep many of THE promises he made. But for the first two years of his term, he didn’t just have a Democratic majority; he had a Democratic SUPER majority! And with that, they couldn’t get a public option passed? Are you kidding me? Obama should have been able to do whatever he wanted those first two years!

    What happened?

    Even worse, I’m probably going to be forced to vote for him again because I wouldn’t vote for a Republican if you paid me, and the third-party options this time around are, if possible, worse than they’ve ever been in my memory (and voting for third-party is about as useful as voting between Coke and Pepsi, anyways… in fact, the latter may actually have more use in the long run). So I’m stuck between Obama, writing in Jon Stewart and/or Stephen Colbert, or just not voting at all, and everybody is warning me off the last two options (though I don’t see why).

    Don’t get me wrong. He’s done some great things, too. His picks for the Supreme Court are to be hailed and praised by every sane, rational person alive. Even though I pretty much opposed health care reform personally when the public option got dropped, the fact that it passed is great, and it has been helpful… if only partially so. Despite the unseeming references to God at the end of his speech about Osama (wow that ticked me off), he has done more than most presidents to bridge the gaps not only between the different religions, but between the religious and irreligious (the fact that he even recognized us is a start!) in this country. His stimulus plan did do some good things, like saving jobs in education and creating clean energy jobs. I loved how he use the recovery act to leverage government resources. His Credit Card Reform Act may not have done everything, but it was a great first step to reforming credit card companies and forcing them to be honest. He also signed into law the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.

    For me, this was the thing that made me hate Repubs the most: the way they consistently blocked this. How cruel, uncaring, and pathetic do you have to be to block a bill like this? Obama, however, signed it immediately, because he is not cruel, uncaring, or pathetic. Unlike those Repubs, Obama actually has a heart.

    So I don’t think he’s been a total waste. Again, I don’t regret voting for him, and it really isn’t *just* because his opponents were John McCain and Sarah Palin.

    You know what the catch-22 of politics is, folks? The people who want power (like the politicians campaigning for it) shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near it. But the people who *deserve* power want absolutely *nothing* to do with it.

    So what do you do in this situation?

    I guess I should also point out that, politically, there is no such thing as *liberal* in the USA. The Democrats are, at *best*, moderate. Most US-Americans wouldn’t know liberalism if it bit them in the ass, and that goes doubly-so for the politicians.

    1. A super majority isn’t a promise of anything. Rather than being a homogenous voting block, 60 Senators is a fractious group. Many of those who were labeled the deciding votes were from Republican states. One cannot expect them to reliably vote for government programs. And ultimately, it was Lieberman who killed the public option; I believe he’s from a state that thrives on the private health insurance business. There are plenty of legitimate leftish critiques of Obama. But if we design our system to act as a straight jacket, then how much can we really blame a president who is caught in it? Maybe you can make the argument that an expert politician should be able to keep 60 Senators together. I’m not so sure. The climate at the moment is beyond any one man’s ability to control. The anti-government rhetoric is stronger than I can ever remember.

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