Of all the verbiage on the internet today (and there is a ton of it) one article by Gene Robinson of the Washington Post stands out as the quintessential statement of Barack Obama’s second innauguration. Four years ago today I stood a a couple of hundred yards away as Obama took the oath and the cannons boomed (scared me a lot). On that day it was like watching the Civil War come to an end. Almost two million people stood with me in the freezing air and watched the earth move. Today I watched it on TV. The earth didn’t move today. It just rolled on as it always does and Barack Obama was President again. Nice speech. Good poem. Four years ago I watched and cheered as George Bush flew into history as one of America’s worst presidents. Today I watched Barack Obama take his second oath as one of the best. Bush stayed home…
The Black President No Longer
Eugene Robinson | Washington Post | 20 Jan 13
President Barack Hussein Obama’s second inauguration was every bit as historic as his first — not because it said so much about the nation’s long, bitter, unfinished struggle with issues of race, as was the case four years ago, but because it said so little about the subject.
Reflect for a moment: A black man stood on the Capitol steps and took the oath of office as president of the United States. For the second time. Meaning that not only did voters elect him once — which could be a fluke, a blip, an aberration, a cosmic accident — but then turned around and did it again.
The title of Lawrence O’Donald’s program on MSNBC is ‘The Last Word’. I seriously doubt this clip is the last word we will hear about the obscene speech delivered yesterday by the spokesperson for the NRA but it is certainly one of the best commentaries on the subject you will ever hear…
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The following article appears on a blog called The Anarchist Soccer Mom. The writer chooses to be nameless but describes herself as “a total nerd who loves my Steinway, my four kids, and my fancy design software, not necessarily in that order.” She is also an incredible writer…
Thinking the Unthinkable
In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.
The Anarchist Soccer Mom | 14 Dec 12
Three days before 20 year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother, then opened fire on a classroom full of Connecticut kindergartners, my 13-year old son Michael (name changed) missed his bus because he was wearing the wrong color pants.
“I can wear these pants,” he said, his tone increasingly belligerent, the black-hole pupils of his eyes swallowing the blue irises.
“They are navy blue,” I told him. “Your school’s dress code says black or khaki pants only.”
“They told me I could wear these,” he insisted. “You’re a stupid bitch. I can wear whatever pants I want to. This is America. I have rights!”
“You can’t wear whatever pants you want to,” I said, my tone affable, reasonable. “And you definitely cannot call me a stupid bitch. You’re grounded from electronics for the rest of the day. Now get in the car, and I will take you to school.”
I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me.
“Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein
Gun Control Reform Is Long Overdue
Peter S. Goodman | Huffington Post | 14 Dec 12
After the shock and the horror comes the speculation: Why did an obviously disturbed young man enter an elementary school in Connecticut and gun down scores of people, many of them children?
We will root through his background for clues: Who raised him? Was he in the military? Did he play video games? Was he in a cult? Did mental illness take him to this dark place, and did we miss the warning signs along the way? We will piece together an approximation of a workable narrative that somehow inevitably ends with this man going into a school and doing what he did — because the ending is the one part we can get fully right.
But there is really only one fact that makes such violence comprehensible: This man woke up in a country in which virtually anyone can purchase weapons — with little more effort than is required to put gasoline in the tank of their car — that give them the power to murder people.
Political reporter and Pulitzer Prize winning author Thomas Ricks offers a candid and accurate assessment of Fox News’s absurd excuse for journalism…
Thomas Ricks on Fox News
Thomas Ricks | Fox News | 26 Nov 12
________________________________________________________________________________ Thomas E. Ricks writes on defense topics. He is a Pulitzer Prize winning former reporter for the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.
President Obama won the election yesterday but the American people won a struggle that goes back twelve years to the election of George Bush. Since that ugly and divisive day, when the Supreme Court trumped the voters of this country and everyone just went along, we have seen a campaign by the republican party and their radical tea party partners to dismantle the social achievements of the past century and disable the federal government in the process. They came frighteningly close to doing it. Had Obama lost yesterday it’s a safe bet that the New Deal, the New Frontier, the Great Society, and the achievements of Clinton and Obama would all be dismantled. Wall Street and the Banks would once again be free to write their own laws. Women would lose the right to own their own bodies. And the Supreme Court would render it all legal. We won yesterday. Now all we have to do is keep it…
The Republicans’ 1950s Campaign
Eugene Robinson | Washington Post | 7 Nov 12
I’ll wait for President Obama’s apparent victory to be confirmed before trying to express what it means. For now, it’s much easier to get my head around the Republican Party’s comprehensive failure.
The Editorial in this week’s NewYorker magazine is a compelling recitation of why this country should reelect president Barack Obama. The contrasts between the candidates are spelled out with precision. The difference in values and purpose between the political parties is stark. Anyone who thinks there is really no difference here, that all politicians are corrupt and the system is bankrupt, is sadly mistaken. This election is just as important as 2008, maybe more so. This editorial explains why, clearly and definitively…
Editorial | The NewYorker | 29 Oct 12
The morning was cold and the sky was bright. Aretha Franklin wore a large and interesting hat. Yo-Yo Ma urged his frozen fingers to play the cello, and the Reverend Joseph E. Lowery, a civil-rights comrade of Martin Luther King, Jr.,’s, read a benediction that began with “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the segregation-era lamentation of American realities and celebration of American ideals. On that day in Washington—Inauguration Day, January 20, 2009—the blustery chill penetrated every coat, yet the discomfort was no impediment to joy. The police estimated that more than a million and a half people had crowded onto the Mall, making this the largest public gathering in the history of the capital. Very few could see the speakers. It didn’t matter. People had come to be with other people, to mark an unusual thing: a historical event that was elective, not befallen.
If you watched the infamous Romney video last week (posted here in its entirety) and then his performance on 60 Minutes last night you saw a clear and disturbing example of the total disconnect between Romney the candidate and Romney the person. The video revealed Romney as a glib, self-absorbed elitist who views himself as the representative of an extremely narrow band of rich and privileged people. The entire presentation was a rare view of into a world of exclusion and snobbery. The public good, to these people, is a mechanism by which they justify their inordinate wealth. Charity is the inconvenient requirement for a tax deduction. Welfare is the cousin of Communism. This is the real Romney, folks. Take a good look…
The Most Damning Line in the Secret Romney Video
David Corn | MotherJones | 24 Sept 12
In the week since I made public the secret video of Mitt Romney at a private Boca Raton fundraiser denigrating almost half of America as moochers and victims, I’ve been repeatedly asked what I consider the most damaging—or damning—portion of Romney’s remarks. I’ve noted that the great thing about this story is that people can watch the video for themselves—7 million people went to this site or YouTube in the first days of the video’s release and did that—and reach their own conclusions.
This is exactly the kind of smug, country-club crap that Romney personifies. We had four years of it with Bush Sr and eight more with his nitwit son. Isn’t that enough? Can’t these people come up with something better?
Romney Makes Birth Certificate Joke
Luke Johnson | Huffington Post | 24 Aug 12
Mitt Romney made a joke about his birth certificate at a rally in Commerce, Mich. on Friday.
Speaking about his Michigan roots, he said, “No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised.”
The joke was received with hearty applause by the audience.