Archives for posts with tag: Barack Obama

I’m gonna insert three links.
They might be opened in any order, the link between them is evident, in all directions.

 “It’s a natural and powerful temptation to do unto them as they have done unto others. They have abused, reviled, and humiliated others: So let them be abused, be reviled, be humiliated. Yet if you go that way, you do not repudiate Trump. You become Trump.”

David Frum,
Michelle Wolf Does Unto the White House as It Has Done Unto Others,
The Atlantic, Apr 30, 2018

“It is particularly rich, too, to see a president who brags about his lack of political correctness and willingness to tell it like it is to be so thin-skinned he won’t even attend a party where he knows he’ll be roasted. It is revolting to see members of the press, who should have an adversarial relationship with the White House, comforting the press secretary and standing up for her honor when she is a chief architect of and apologist for these new political norms of idiotic crudeness, rank corruption, and unapologetic deceit.

Reporters allegedly expressed their sympathy to Huckabee Sanders after the dinner. This is insane. Reporters: Sarah Huckabee Sanders lies to you. She is a powerful and influential figure, and it is your job to be a check on her and the administration she speaks for – not to commiserate with her when a comedian makes some salty jokes, and certainly not to be her sympathetic friend.

Michelle Wolf ended her monologue by wishing the audience a good night, and then adding, “Flint still doesn’t have clean water.” “

Jill Filipovic,
The Bizarre Reaction to the WHCD Reveals We’re in Deeper Trouble Than We Thought,
Cosmopolitan, Apr. 30, 2018

Donald Trump is here tonight! Now, I know that he’s taken some flak lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the Donald.
And that’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter –- like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?
But all kidding aside, obviously, we all know about your credentials and breadth of
experience. For example — no, seriously, just recently, in an episode of Celebrity Apprentice – at the steakhouse, the men’s cooking team cooking did not impress the judges from Omaha Steaks. And there was a lot of blame to go around.
But you, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership. And so ultimately, you didn’t blame Lil’ Jon or Meatloaf. You fired Gary Busey.
And these are the kind of decisions that would keep me up at night.
Well handled, sir. Well handled.
Say what you will about Mr. Trump, he certainly would bring some change to the White House.”

Barack Obama,
2011 White House Correspondents Dinner.

George Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump are going for a job interview with God.

 

It so happens that I’m old enough to remember the original version of this joke…

Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Al Gore were in an airplane that crashed. In heaven, they found God sitting on the great, white throne. He addressed Al first. “Al, what do you believe in?” Al replied, “Well, I believe I won the election in 2000, but it was your will that I did not serve. I’ve come to understand that now.” God thought for a second and said, “Very good. Come and sit at my left.” God then addressed Bill. “Bill, what do you believe in?” Bill replied, “I believe in forgiveness. I’ve sinned, but I’ve never held a grudge against my fellow man, and I hope no grudges are held against me.” Again, God thought for a second and then said, “You are forgiven, my son. Come and sit at my right.” God then turned to Hillary and asked, “Hillary, what do you believe in?” She replied, “I believe you’re sitting in my chair.

Old enough to remember the political jokes Romanians shared among themselves before Ceausescu, the communist dictator, was toppled during a bloody uprising…

Can’t stop wondering about why so many people continue to make the same mistakes all over the planet…
And how come ordinary people’s initial reaction to arrogance always consists in jokes being thrown at the guy who proudly wears that arrogance!

bullshit

I’m not a Trump fan. How could I be? Just look at his face!

On the other hand….

“I call it the law of the instrument, and it may be formulated as follows: Give a small boy a hammer, and he will find that everything he encounters needs pounding.” Abraham Kaplan

Or, in this case, convince a journalist of something and he will ‘dress’ the facts to fit his new conviction.

As I said before, I don’t like Trump.
If I didn’t have a lot of trust in the overall resilience of the American democratic system I would be scouring for a big enough rock to hide behind if/when he might ascend to power.
Unfortunately the present most likely alternative isn’t any better.

But that’s another topic.

Let me go back to the present one.

What we have here is a news/opinion outlet which has a clear political option.
OK, I can live with that. I have some opinions of my own and I love to argue and defend them. In private as well as in public.

But I do believe that the quality of the arguments used in a debate are of paramount importance.

Let me analyze the four I mentioned above.

“Within 20 seconds at a press conference on Wednesday, actual Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump went from suggesting that Russian President Vladimir Putin had once called President Barack Obama the n-word to saying he hopes Putin likes him.”

The apparent implication here being that Trump has trouble maintaining logical consistency inside a rather short discourse and that he is rather gullible – “For the record, there is literally zero evidence that Putin ever called Obama the n-word. It’s hard to say where Trump got this idea, but he has a long history of naively restating things he heard from one person — even random people on Twitter.

Hard to argue against this, specially since there is ample video testimony that he really said it.

a shocked again trump

Well… after actually hearing him, things are not so clear anymore.

“Putin has said things over the last year that are really bad things. He mentioned the n-word one time,” Trump said from his resort in Doral, Florida.
“I was shocked to hear him mention the n-word. You know what the n-word is, right?” Trump continued. “He has a total lack of respect for President Obama.”
Putin doesn’t like Obama, Trump told reporters.
“I think he’s going to respect your president if I’m elected, and I hope he likes me,” Trump said.
Earlier in the news conference, Trump claimed he had never met the Russian leader.”

Not a trace of either ‘gullibility’ nor of any logical fracture here. So why not call Trump for what he really is – a callous manipulator – instead of using convoluted makeshift allegations?

normal versus anormal

Absolutely impossible not to agree with everything written here, right?
No matter what side any of us belongs to…but wait!

“The Democratic Party’s convention was a normal political party’s convention. …”
“The Republican Party’s convention was not a normal political party’s convention….”

A new cleavage in American politics: normal versus abnormal

America’s main political cleavage is between the Democratic and Republican parties. That split has meant different things at different times, but in recent decades it primarily tracks an ideological disagreement: Democrats are the party of liberal policies; Republicans are the party of conservative policies.

But in this year’s presidential election, the difference is more fundamental than that: The Democratic Party is a normal political party that has nominated a normal presidential candidate, and the Republican Party has become an abnormal political party that has nominated an abnormal presidential candidate.

No, I’m not going to take sides here. Not only because I’m not an American citizen so I’m not entitled to vote. But simply because Democracy relies mostly on mutual respect. You cannot refuse to the other party the very right to exist yet still call yourself a democrat. Pretending that your opponent is ‘abnormal’ means that you’re convinced that your opponent should not exist at all.

The way I see it ‘America’s main political cleavage is indeed between normal versus abnormal’ only it seems that both the  Democratic and Republican conventions, if not the parties themselves, belong to the realm of the ‘abnormal’.

But wait, things are getting even more juicier.

When women speak, people tend to mentally turn up the volume

Women, and women leaders in particular, often get criticized more for how they say something than for what they actually say. They have to walk a difficult line of being assertive but not too aggressive, likable but not too much of a pushover.

Even though women are interrupted more often and talk less than men, people still think women talk more. People get annoyed by verbal tics like “vocal fry” and “upspeak” when women use them, but often don’t even notice it when men do.

The same mental amplification process makes people see an assertive woman as “aggressive,” which gets in the way of women’s personal and professional advancement. Women are much more likely to be perceived as “abrasive” and get negative performance reviews as a result — which puts them in a double bind when they try to “lean in” and assertively negotiate salaries.

These kinds of implicit biases are sexist, but having them doesn’t make someone “a sexist” — or if it does, it makes all of us sexists. It doesn’t matter how smart you are or whether you are a man or a woman; everyone has some implicit biases against women.

And that may be one reason why this is the first time a woman has ever won a major party’s nomination.

OK, so what should people do? Vote for Hillary Clinton simply because she’s a woman?

And no, I don’t have any implicit biases against anybody. I cannot vouch for anybody else but I cannot see myself as ‘abnormal’ so I expect there are others in my situation.
Hence I strongly believe that candidates should be evalued ‘all around’, without any biases based on their gender.

Or race.
Hey Trump, this one is specially for you.

barack is not the cause

I’m afraid that Dara Lind, the author of the article I just quoted above, has got her ‘butterfly’ wrong.
It’s not Obama that inadvertently caused any hurricane.
Do you remember the intensity of the birther campaign that had swept across America both before and after Obama was elected President?

And while it’s clear that Trump was one of the most vocal ‘birthers’  do you know who started the whole thing?

“You know who started the birther movement? Do you know who questioned his birth certificate, one of the first?” Trump asked.

“Hillary Clinton, she’s the one who started it. She started it years before it was brought up by me.”

Trump said he no longer talks about the issue because it always breeds controversy but promised to “raise it against” Clinton in a general election.

OK, we don’t have to take Trump’s word on this, even if he’s quite an authority on the subject – given his passion about the issue.

The last quote is from an article published on the CNN site. Click on it if you want more specifics.
OK, so where does all these leave us?
Scratching our heads while trying to figure out what went wrong around the ‘deep well of anxiety about America losing its culture and values’?
Or rather staring at those who drew from deep within this well and used the proceedings to stoke people’s emotions in order manipulate them? One way or the other?
It seems the he wasn’t the only one. Wannabe presidential candidate and ‘racial provocateur’.
So why keep on hoping that by choosing the ‘lesser evil’ we’ll ever reach the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’?
Why keep on trying to manipulate people one way or another instead of finally calling both ’emperors’ for what they are?

cruzmeme

“That was done by somebody named John Fugelsang, who somehow thinks he’s funny. At least he has the courage or naivete (you decide) to own up to such stupid overgeneralizing, of a company-line liberal sort that panders to a sycophantic gaggle of Cruz-hating left-wing foamers. [I’ve hosted the image locally in case the creator sees this essay and tries to delete it from his social media out of shame and embarrassment…sorry, man, too late–it’s on the record now!”

“The Candidate is a natural born citizen by virtue of being born in Canada/(Hawaii) to his mother who was a U.S. citizen at the time of his birth,” the board said, explaining Cruz/(Obama) met the criteria because he “did not have to take any steps or go through a naturalization process at some point after birth.”

Wow… That settles it… Both are indeed ‘natural born citizens’ so the only relevant thing here is the manner in which people relate to a ‘delicate’ subject.
Some tend to let themselves be driven by sentiment rather than reason while others change their minds according to their most immediate interest.

September 9, 2015, at a rally in Washington against the deal with Iran:

“Despite being rivals for the Republican presidential nomination, Cruz and Trump enjoy an unusually cozy relationship. Cruz, who invited Trump to the rally because he would bring the spotlight, praised the real estate mogul as “my friend” and the two men embraced on stage.”

“I hear it was checked out by every attorney and every which way and I understand Ted is in fine shape,” Trump told ABC News just before speaking at a Capitol Hill rally blasting the Iran nuclear deal.

Fast forward to January, 2015.

“Donald Trump doubled down on rival Ted Cruz’s citizenship Monday night, again questioning whether the Canadian-born Texas senator is eligible for the presidency.
“My new battle is with a gentleman named Ted Cruz,” the billionaire real-estate mogul said at a rally in Farmington, N.H. “The Canadian, the man from Canada.””

“But Trump has begun to raise an issue that could have deeper resonance. He criticized his principal GOP rival as trying to portray himself as “Mr. Robin Hood — he’s gonna protect you from the horrible Wall Street bankers,” when he took a loan from Goldman Sachs, his wife’s employer, for his Senate campaign, which he didn’t fully disclose.”

“Cruz noted that Trump in September said Cruz’s Canadian birth did not disqualify him for the White House since his mother was an American citizen. Now, he has changed his mind.
“Now since September, the Constitution hasn’t changed,” Cruz said, “but the poll numbers have.”
Trump acknowledged as much, saying that Cruz didn’t seem like a threat before, but now is neck-and-neck with him in the Iowa polls.”

perspective09

During this exchange Cruz brought back into the limelight an almost forgotten movie:
cruz jumping the shark

“That’s the scene that brought into our parlance the use of the term “jumping the shark” to signify that someone’s relevancy had reached it’s zenith and was in decline.”

Prophetic words?
For which one of them?

Anyway, my ‘democratic conundrum‘ is still unsolved.

Gov. John Kasich, maybe?

kasich, the underdog

f_dc_obama_crying_160105-nbcnews-ux-1080-600

 

” But when you look closer at the picture, when the illusion of power gives way tot the reality of pain the world at which this woman sits, our world, that is a world which is torn by war, destroyed by hate, devastated by despair and devastated by distrust. The world on which she sits is on the very brink of destruction. Famine ravishes millions of the inhabitants of this world in one hemisphere while feasting and gluttony are enjoyed by inhabitants of another hemisphere. A time bomb ticking is the world on which she sits with apartheid in one hemisphere and apathy in the other hemisphere and enough nuclear warhead scientists tell us to wipe out all forms of life except for cockroaches and that is the world on which this woman sits. A world which cares about more bombs for the enemy than it does about bread for the hungry. A world that is still more concerned about the color of skin than it is about the content of character. A world more finicky about the texture of hair or what is on the outside of your head than it is about the quality of education or what is on the inside of one’s head. That is the world on which this woman sits. You and I think of being on top of the world as being in heaven, but when you look at the woman on Watt’s painting a little closer what you discover is that this woman is in Hell. And that artist Watt dares to entitled the painting “Hope.” 
“with her clothes in rags, her body scarred and bruised and bleeding, her harp all but destroyed and with only one string left, she had the audacity to make music and praise God … To take the one string you have left and to have the audacity to hope… that’s the real word God will have us hear from this passage and from Watt’s painting.” (Jeremiah Wright, The Audacity To Hope)

 

08obamaexecpwr_v1

What happened during his tenure that made him change his attitude so drastically as to resort to administrative measures in order to effect the ‘change we can believe in’?

I still remember the joy I felt when he was elected. I hardly knew anything about him, of course, but the way he talked made me hope he was going to behave differently than the one before him.
Even more important than his personality was that I had seen his election as an about-face of the American political scene. I presumed that by electing Obama to the Oval Office the American People was sending a powerful signal.
That they wanted to tell everybody, politicians included, that they had understood how much damage had been done by the constant bickering and extreme mutual distrust that was plaguing the political establishment. And that they had enough of it.

Could it be that Obama’s tears of yesterday were shed for the fact that he didn’t really deliver? That from the height of his position he had got an even clearer picture about the State of the Union than he one he had before becoming President yet he wasn’t able to do anything meaningful about it? Precisely because the Union is even more divided than before?

About almost everything?

Why have we allowed our respective ideologies separate us to the tune of making us see two different realities where there is only one?

Why do we have to get down to a ‘single string left on our harp’ before understanding that?

george-frederic-watts-hope-1340051296_b

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