Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Hidden Hammy Hand

According to a puff-piece by Peter Baker in yesterday's New York Times, President Obama's perceived weakness and helplessness at the dawn of his second term is only a mirage. Behind the scenes, the latest spin has it, Barack is strong-arming the critics and facing various crises using something called the "hidden hand" approach. This is apparently a pivot from the first term's Leading from Behind propaganda that excused drone strikes, and is not to be confused with Adam Smith's Invisible Hand of the Free Market -- although as a New Democrat, Barack is every inch the Wall Street-friendly neoliberal. According to Baker, Obama  is now channeling Dwight Eisenhower -- who during his time in office was perceived as being a hands-off, bland kind of guy, but whom history later revealed to have been full-bore dynamo! If we only knew about Obama what Obama knows about himself, then all would be well with the world. So shut up.

I guess the White House and Peter Baker don't realize that "The Hidden Hand" is also a theory beloved by Illuminati conspiracists, as well as a schlocky movie about aliens taking over the government. Given the recent NSA revelations, you'd think they could have come up with a better metaphor.

Of course, it's also just a coincidence that the White House fed Baker the Hidden Hand malarkey only a day after the George Zimmerman verdict had evoked only a tepid response from the president. It was translatable as "The jury has spoken. Everybody needs to get along."

 Even though it would be unseemly for a sitting president to weigh in strongly on a case under investigation by the DOJ, the Obama administration still felt the need to proffer a self-serving excuse to stifle criticism his chronic radio silence on race. It is a fraught issue, one that the president was letting his AG, Eric Holder, address instead.

Until yesterday, that is. In a nationally televised interview with Univision, Obama actually did dog-whistle on the subject of race by effusively praising that uncrowned king of racial profiling, New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. The president all but nominated the architect of the city's onerous Stop and Frisk campaign against minorities to head up Homeland Security. Via Emptywheel:
Univision: Mr. President, New York Commissioner Ray Kelly has been floated for the next DHS Secretary. What is your take on it?
 Obama: Well, Ray Kelly has obviously done an extraordinary job in New York and the federal government partners a lot with New York. Because obviously our concerns about terrorism oftentimes are focused on big city targets. And I think Ray Kelly is one of the best there is. So he’s been an outstanding leader in New York. We’ve had an outstanding leader in Janet Napolitano at the Department of Homeland Security. It’s a tough job. It’s one of the toughest jobs in Washington. She’s done an extraordinary job. We’re sorry to see her go. But you know, we’re going to have a bunch of strong candidates. Mr. Kelly might be very happy where he is. But if he’s not I’d want to know about it. ‘Cause you know, obviously he’d be very well qualified for the job.
 Coming as it did mere weeks after Kelly reportedly expressed outrage at AG Holder for filing a brief in the civil rights lawsuit against him, and only days after the George Zimmerman verdict has brought the scourge of racism to the forefront of the national conscience, Obama's "hidden hand" turned into a gigantic hunk of ham in a New York minute. For a guy whose handlers are paranoid about him raising the hackles of critics if he dares speak out on sensitive issues, Obama not only spoke out, he stuck his big foot in his big mouth. In effusively praising Kelly, he broadcast the awful truth that he tacitly supports the institutional abuse of black and brown people. There is simply no other explanation for his homage to the odious Ray Kelly. None.

Come to think of it, the schlocky Hidden Hand movie does mesh perfectly with the sci-fi specter of Ray Kelly leading Homeland Security. The man is a walking paranoid cartoon, as David Sirota cogently lays out in a piece for Salon.

Making the first black president's admiration of Kelly all the more stunning was the testimony of New York State Senator Eric Adams at the recently concluded civil trial:
“He (Kelly) stated that he targeted and focused on that group because he wanted to instill fear in them that every time that they left their homes they could be targeted by police,” Adams said under questioning by attorney Jonathan Moore, representing the plaintiffs in a class-action suit on the controversial practice.
“I told him that I believe it was illegal and that that was not what stop-and-frisk was supposed to be used for,” Adams said.
He said Kelly’s response was, “How else are we going to get rid of guns?”
How else is George Zimmerman going to get rid of Skittles?

So if Ray Kelly gets the Homeland Security job, will Stop and Frisk become the law of the land, debuting near the new militarized Southwestern border should immigration "reform" pass? Even if Shira Scheindlin, the presiding judge in the civil case, puts an end to the practice in the Big Apple, Obama and the Kelly Gang could always appeal to the FISA court to get one of those "special needs" secret rulings to keep on "Essing and Effing".

Stop and Frisk has everything to do with intimidation and very little to do with stopping crime (except that it makes it easier to jail minority youths for pot possession.) According to the American Civil Liberties Union, stops under the Michael Bloomberg/Ray Kelly regime have been rising sharply --  from 160,851 in 2003 to 685,724 in 2011. About half of the 2011 stops resulted in physical searches.

 NYPD records show that police conducted more stops of black males between the ages of 14 and 24 than the total number of young black males living in New York City. Less than two percent of the street arrests turned up concealed weapons.

If you want to know how severely and permanently Ray Kelly's abusive practices damage his targets, be sure to read an op-ed titled "Why Is the NYPD After Me?" by Nicholas Peart, one of the plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit. You can also watch Chris Hayes interviewing Peart here.

It's all about Security State control, keeping the downtrodden down, and the powerful protected. That's the real Hidden Hand. Reach, meet Grasp. Nothing exceeds like excess.

Yesterday, Eric Holder recounted a conversation he once had with his father about the safe and proper way for black men to interact with cops, and how he was forced to have the same conversation with his own son. I think maybe he should be having a conversation with his boss.  


007 said...

I see a hand - the iron hand in the velvet glove. Edward Snowden and the rest of the world sees it too.

Zee said...

The personal account of "stop and frisk" by Nicholas Peart is both terrifying and heartbreaking.

And that our President and Attorney General should tacitly condone this is truly outrageous.

Fred Drumlevitch said...

In today's newspaper, and on TV, a dangerous Tucson cop:

Not New York, and he might only represent a minority of cops, and not an official policy such as stop-and-frisk, and he was arrested and fired --- but still, it makes one wonder about the mentality of people attracted to policing, and the adequacy of vetting applicants and supervising those who hold such jobs. And if that gas station security video hadn't been available, it'd just be the word of the clerk vs. that bad cop and his friend.

My point with regard to bringing up this case in a discussion of NY stop-and-frisk is that the actual formal laws, the official policing policies, the supervision, and the mentality of the law enforcement officers are all important if abuses of power are to be avoided.

pete v said...

Karen writes: Stop and Frisk has everything to do with intimidation and very little to do with stopping crime.

Replace the words "Stop and Frisk" and "crime" with "The drone program" and "terrorism," and Obama's praise of Brute Kelly makes all the sense in the world.

What a world.

p.s. - kudos to Marcy over at emptywheel, her "weedy analysis" and KG's scathing wit are an awesome combo.

007 said...

14 Characteristics of Fascism from

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread
domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.

9. Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

10. Labor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

James F Traynor said...

The Gandhi approach doesn't work with guys like this and neither would it have worked against the brown shirts, the SA. They were very effective, and I see definite elements of that here. It must be a big temptation to the 1 and 5%. I wonder how it will all turn out; not well, I imagine.

Denis Neville said...

“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty or democracy?” - Mahatma Gandhi

Two former CIA employees’ Kansas City suburban home was raided by a SWAT team armed with assault rifles and wearing bulletproof vests and a drug-sniffing dog without a warrant last year because of their purchase of hydroponic equipment to grow a small number of tomatoes and squash plants in their basement. It was a hydroponic garden on the level of a school project. During the raid, their children—a 7-year old girl and a 13-year old boy—were seated with their mother while their father was held face down with his hands on his head while a deputy with an assault rifle stood over him.

According to Radley Balko, author of “Rise Of The Warrior Cop,” SWAT teams violently smash into private homes more than one hundred times per day. American policing has become a system of volatile, adrenaline-fueled tactics, where “shoot first, ask questions later” is all too often the norm. The more stuff you put on a cop's belt - the more options of force you give him - the less likely he is to rely on talking and nonviolent persuasion.

The numerous killing of pet dogs without provocation by cops is another indicator of the battlefield approach that so many warrior cops have.

Because Democrats love spending money on cops and Republicans are tough on crime, the police-military-industrial complex has mushroomed. The sheer scale of this militarization is staggering.

Citizens sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

“If you can feel that staying human is worthwhile, even when it can't have any result whatever, you've beaten them.” - George Orwell, 1984

“I have seen that it is not man who is impotent in the struggle against evil, but the power of evil that is impotent in the struggle against man. The powerlessness of kindness, of senseless kindness, is the secret of its immortality. It can never by conquered. The more stupid, the more senseless, the more helpless it may seem, the vaster it is. Evil is impotent before it. The prophets, religious teachers, reformers, social and political leaders are impotent before it. This dumb, blind love is man’s meaning. Human history is not the battle of good struggling to overcome evil. It is a battle fought by a great evil, struggling to crush a small kernel of human kindness. But if what is human in human beings has not been destroyed even now, then evil will never conquer.” - Vasily Grossman, Life and Fate

James F Traynor said...

Re: Vasily Grossman

To the strains of kumbaya.

The people are still terrified, the dogs are still dead. I wish people like him well, but what a load of bullshit.

pete v said...

The meek shall inherit nothing. ~ Frank Zappa

Denis Neville said...

James F Traynor said [to the strains of kumbaya] .... “I wish people like him [Vasily Grossman] well, but what a load of bullshit.”

We can destroy ourselves by cynicism and disillusion, just as effectively as by bombs and guns, James.

Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate is an encyclopedia of the complexities of life under totalitarianism. No one better articulates how difficult it is for a person to withstand its pressures.

It is a vast epic covering Stalingrad, Stalinist oppression and the Soviet Gulags, Nazi death camps, even following people into a gas chamber. It encompasses some of the most grotesque and nerve-shattering events in a century that had more than its fair share of unspeakably horrendous events. Grossman, as a Russian war reporter, witnessed all of this firsthand.

An elderly Jewish woman living in Ukraine knows that the invading Nazis will murder her, and all Jewish people in the region. On her last night of life, she writes a letter to her son, hoping that, somehow, the letter will reach him. This letter in his novel is the letter Grossman imagined his mother writing to him. Grossman’s own mother was amongst those many slaughtered by the Nazis.

Hells don’t come more hellish than Treblinka.

During the train ride to the Nazi death camp, a childless woman physician adopts a small boy. She sacrifices her life by not responding when the Germans order doctors and surgeons to step forward. She and the boy die together in the gas chamber:

“This boy, with his slight, bird-like body, had left before her. “I’ve become a mother,” she thought. That was her last thought. Her heart, however, still had life in it: it contracted, ached and felt pity for all of you, both living and dead; Sofya Osipovna felt a wave of nausea. She pressed David, now a doll, to herself; she became dead, a doll.”

I’ve never read anything as devastating as Vasily Grossman’s report from Treblinka, written just days after the Red Army took possession of its remains. He conveys the enormity of it all without reducing the victims merely to statistics. This required writing of the very highest quality. Grossman’s report formed part of the evidence presented at the Nuremberg trials.

We can read historical accounts of such events, but to understand how individual human beings felt and behaved in the midst of such events, that is Grossman’s genius. Coleridge once defined imagination as “the power to disimprison the soul of fact.” Grossman shows a degree of moral and imaginative courage that is beyond comprehension. The thesis of “senseless kindness,” written by one of Grossman’s characters, who goes to the gas chamber, is the expression of Grossman’s beliefs.

Only individuals can keep this kernel alive.

Vasily Grossman died on September 14, 1964, on the eve of the twenty-third anniversary of the massacre of the Jews of Berdichev in which his mother had died.

What a load of bullshit?

Just as Sofya Osipovna’s heart contracted, ached and felt pity for all of us, both living and dead, so would Grossman’s “on behalf of those who lie in the earth.”

James F Traynor said...

And if the Jewish leaders at the time had not ignored the facts perhaps less of their people would have died - or at least had the opportunity to die fighting. No, I don't buy the argument.

pete v said...

On a comment thread a few posts back (Propaganda, Inc.) @annenigma remarked -- in a conversation that had once again veered toward a favorite topic in this forum -- the following:

Personally, I won't be led silently and obediently into a courtroom, prison cell, railcar, or gas chamber just because the PTB has total control and overwhelming power. I'll go kicking and screaming and making big noises so they won't be able to keep that as just another of their many secrets. Government secrecy is insidiously evil and MUST BE STOPPED.

This was after citing Gene Sharp and providing a link to a list of 198 non-violent methods to protest and persuade.

Her caveat about not simply laying down to die while humming kumbaya refers to the full range of protections that kernel of human kindness deserves.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Outsida said...

Karen's comments section has devolved into the 4M Club: Male Mutual Mental Masturbation Club.

No wonder so many females are gone and so few remain.

Much of the pleasure and success of blogs is the enjoyment readers get from a gifted blogger such as Karen, but clearly the rest comes from reading comments from a variety of people. Unfortunately, the guys in the 4M Club have dominated this comments section for so long with their intellectual competitiveness and mutual ego stroking that non-club members are simply tuning out.

Please guys, do it in private!

Fred Drumlevitch said...

@Zee (and @all):

Off-topic with regard to the primary focus of this thread, but still relevant here via the Radley Balko thesis of the links between policing and militarism (as well as relevant to the comments by both Zee and myself about Napolitano's appointment to head the University of California system, on a previous thread), is a new CounterPunch article I want to call attention to:

Will said...

Outsida is right. Let's hear from a variety of voices. So what if Jay only wants to read non-personal comments loaded with links & multiple sources, etc. What is this, fucking graduate school? Don't get me wrong--I love the writings of Denis & the rest of the big brain brigade, but people shouldn't be cowed into silence if they didn't ace their S.A.T.'s. We're the 99%, remember? If you got somethin' to say, then say it.

Zee said...

I would hope that nothing that I have said in this forum would "cow" anyone into silence.

I agree with Outsida and Will that a variety of perspectives should be--and are--welcome here, with or without supportive quotes and links.

When I have disagreed with Karen or another commenter, I know that I have a tendency to rely heavily on supportive quotes and links in an effort to support my position, which is part and parcel of my scientific/scholarly training.

But I hope that I have generally stated my case civilly and respectfully, and in the spirit of educating people instead of criticizing or bullying them.

Zee said...


Thanks for the link to the CounterPunch article.

I have contacted Prof. Newfield and provided him with a copy of my e-mails to UCD Chancellor Katehi and UC President Yudof in which I pledge to "disinherit" UCD if Napolitano is confirmed as President of the UC system.

pete v said...

"The privacy issue has really been taken off the table," Ray Kelly said. "I don’t think people are concerned about it. I think people accept it in a post-9/11 world."

Shit is fucked up and bullshit.

Zee said...

"The privacy issue has really been taken off the table," Ray Kelly said. "I don’t think people are concerned about it. I think people accept it in a post-9/11 world."

(Thanks for the telling quote, pete v.)

What BS!

The world has always been a dangerous place in which to live; only the details of the danger change with time, even “post-9/11.”

What has changed on a grand scale is the American peoples' increasing willingness to trade liberty for security, and the eagerness of the likes of Ray Kelly and Barack Obama to take Americans up on this Faustian bargain.

“Protect us, protect us!” we cry.

“In return for protection, we will surrender every remaining civil liberty to you!”

“What matters mere liberty if we are dead?”

“My freedom in exchange for an i-Phone and FaceBook and a tracking device on my car which reduces my insurance rates? (And all of which you are monitoring 24/7/52? ) Sounds good to me! Where do I sign up?”

We have become wimps, indeed.

Ignoring “Manifest Destiny” and its past, dire implications for Native Americans for a moment, what happened to America's risk-taking, pioneer spirit, constantly penetrating a hostile wilderness in search of a better life at risk of life and limb, until we reached the Pacific Ocean?

Or even the courage of those who plunged into the unknown and crossed the Atlantic Ocean to “discover” North America?

(Yes, yes, I know that once the “pioneers” arrived at their destination, they begged for protection from the Federal Government, but still, they risked much to get there.)

Can you imagine anyone from today who would load his/her family into a covered wagon and head West, perhaps in the company of a few others also in search of a better life and armed with only the weapons common to the period? And accepting total responsible for their own fates?

Unlikely, at best.

Today, we risk-averse moderns expect the government to be totally responsible for our safety and—increasingly—our welfare.

And so we surrender all.

I'm not saying that a beneficent government—meaning you and me—should not assume responsibility for the welfare of our most vulnerable citizens.

But we seem to be ignoring that “communitarian commitment” whilst at the same time ceding all responsibility for our safety—and liberty—to the federal government.

And we will get exactly what we deserve: 1984, just a little later than Orwell predicted.

Cirze said...

Well, it's time we all got used to the idea that Obama's not black. Not hardly. Or at least he doesn't think so.

Making the first black president's admiration of Kelly all the more stunning was the testimony of New York State Senator Eric Adams at the recently concluded civil trial:
“He (Kelly) stated that he targeted and focused on that group because he wanted to instill fear in them that every time that they left their homes they could be targeted by police,”

I'm still chuckling at your depiction of his and their madness. Thank the goddess for reporters like you, Karen.

I try to stay focused on the big issues and pay little attention (usually) to the intentionally distracting daily coverage of tabloid-type events, but your writing is so stellar and nuclear strike dead-on that I can't help saying, please, never quit.


We need you. And you never disappoint. NEVER.

Heck, everyone needs your clear-eyed, heart-stopping truth telling.

only days after the George Zimmerman verdict has brought the scourge of racism to the forefront of the national conscience, Obama's "hidden hand" turned into a gigantic hunk of ham in a New York minute

Pearl said...

Interesting 'from the heart' extemporaneous speech from President Obama. When he mentioned that things are improving, he stated that he could see how his daughters interact with their contemporaries as proof. They are not the young jobless
black men and boys from the low income areas who don't attend elite schools if at all. And he left without allowing any questions. One of which could have been, ' Mr. President do you think that the lack of jobs for young black men could have something to do with the unrest in the nation among other
indignities they face daily?' And what are you planning to do about this static,unresolving situation?

He also felt it should not involve the political sphere, but communities, churches, etc.But how can anyone do anything without the involvement of the politicians
including the president who refuse to vote for any meaningful change?

I am waiting for a national march to Washington, passing by the White House.

Zee said...


Can you provide a link to the “extemporaneous speech” to which you refer?

Your observations are quite correct. The “contemporaries” with whom Obama's daughters interact are in no way representative of the world at large. They will never be stopped and humiliated for the “crime” of “driving while black,” and when walking with their significant others in Manhattan, the latter will never be violated by “stop and frisk.”

They will reside in safe and secure cocoons—secured by wealth—for the remainder of their lives. And so, their “life experiences” will be in no way representative of black America at large.

As a black member of my congregation once said to me, You wake up in the morning with a sense of optimism, or at least, 'neutrality or indifference.' I wake up in the morning and wonder, 'What's going to happen to me today? '”

I seem to recall that once upon a time, Obama was a so-called “community organizer,” and presumably “rubbed elbows” with Chicago's poor and opressed, trying to empower the powerless. Now, he hobnobs only with the rich, the famous and the powerful. Obama would never even meet with you or me to hear our complaints, let alone Mr. and Mrs. XYZ from the South Side of Chicago, whom he once tried to “organize,” unless there was some political advantage in it for himself.

How quickly the newly-annointed “Masters of the Universe” forget their past. In Obama's case, his “past” was merely a carefully crafted “narrative,” purpose-built to get him from Point A to Point B to Point...and then, on to the Presidency, so his artificial past never held any meaning for him at all.

It was all just a show. And, once elected, Obama asked himself the same question that Senator Bill McKay—played by Robert Redford in the movie “The Candidate”—asked himself at the end of the movie.

“What do we do now? “

Obama never found an answer to that question.

Zee said...


And speaking of questions, I asked one of pete v. at the tail end of the previous thread, in response to his “sideways” suggestion that what America might really need is a “Basic Income Guarantee,” or "BIG," which, as I understand it, everyone would receive.

I don't know if the thread simply “ran dry,” or if none of you took my question seriously, Zee being who he is, after all.

But I really am curious as to how such a system would work, e.g., what constitutes a living wage for an individual or a family of size x, whether or not some form of work—or other social commitment—would be required in return for the BIG, etc.

There are some potential benefits for people like myself, who would still presumably strive to “achieve above the BIG” and pay higher taxes to provide the BIG to others.

Would we see a reduction in crime in exchange for a Basic Guaranteed Income?

If the recipients of the BIG used some of their money to educate themselves and their offspring, would we narrow the educational gap of those currently living in poverty?

Would recipients of the BIG be better parents because the security allows them to?

If EVERYONE receives the BIG, should there be enhanced “penalties” for those who seek to augment their “income” by criminal activity?

Could we change the course of America in the span of two or three generations with the implementation of a BIG?

Even Conservatives can be persuaded of the long-term benefits of a short-term, pragmatic approach to social problems.

Well, here I am, asking questions at the end of a thread, again.

Zee said...


We have just had the most amazing rain in recollection! We could only watch it from indoors, as the rain--and marble-sized hail--were propelled virtually horizontally, rendering our backyard porch uninhabitable until afterwards.

From the front view, the streets ran wild with runoff, jumping the curbs at every opportunity!

God, how we need this rain!

Still, we adjourned to the patio after the worst had passed, and I cannot begin to describe how sweet the smell of rain and hail was to us.

And after the downpour, our neighbors' children were immediately out in their respective backyards, playing.

As people who were not able to have children of our own, it's surprising how delightful the sound of small children--carried over our divisive cinder-block walls--can be.

Still, I suppose we'll have to wait until they are all teen-agers until we see how this "sorts out."

(Just the pessimist in me.)

annenigma said...

Obama's surprise speech today "without a teleprompter!" was, I suspect, actually prompted by his plummeting approval ratings and opportunity to talk about himself and win some sympathy and support.

It only took him a full 6 days after the Zimmerman verdict. Well, we know he couldn't do it on Tuesday because that's his Kill List day, and he has all those drone wars to oversee too. To bomb or not to bomb, that is the question.

His press stenographerss did their part, gushing about how heartfelt and historical it all was. Of course it was - it was about him. I suspect we will be hear and seeing a lot more of the new-and-improved empathic and compassionate Obama in the future. He certainly needs better polling if he wants any coattails left for the 2014 Congressional elections.

The one good thing about low ratings is that he might actually make an effort to improve it by doin' somethin' good for the li'l folks, but I'm not holdin' my breath.

p.s. Merci, Jay

Will said...

For around the last 3 years or so, I've gone out of my way to NOT hear the sound of Obama's voice. It's without a doubt the best thing I've done for my health since quitting cancer sticks.

P.S. Zee: Wish we could get some of that sweet, sweet rain in my neck of the scorched woods! You can keep the hail and those future teenagers, though. :)

annenigma said...


Thanks for the link to Live Science.

I too have blocked Obama's face and voice from my tv for years. When I recently commented in the NYT that most people I know have done the same thing, a commenter named Doug Terry ripped into me viciously, calling me a racist and a hater. He went ballistic. And I voted for Obama (once), donated to him campaign (once) and talked him up to everyone (once). What a fool I was. At least I can admit my mistake.

Obama's current starring role in 'I Am Trayvon Martin' is truly disgusting. Whoever nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize (thanks a lot, David Axelrod) should nominate him for an Oscar as well.