Thursday, August 28, 2014

Strategy

One thing's for sure. George W. Bush would never say we don't have a strategy yet. Nope, GWB always had a strategy. So what if it was a bad strategy, one that involved unnecessary invasions, thousands of American lives lost, torturing prisoners, and hundreds of billions of dollars in expense. At least it was a strategy. And so what if that strategy had to be revised when other nations would not support us; or if we had to do a 180 degree turn from our strategy when the occupation of Iraq started going really poorly; or if we finally had to fire the Secretary of Defense and others responsible for that terrible strategy; or if we had to admit that we had all the facts wrong that justified that strategy. Hey, in those days at least nobody would ever admit that we didn't have a strategy.

Now we have a more cautious president. One who believes in consulting with allies before embarking on reckless wars. One who is committed to not sending in ground troops unless absolutely necessary. One whose motto around the White House is "Don't do stupid shit." And people are complaining about that? Before they do that they should be required to come out and explain what they would do instead. Because I'm not sure Americans would be ready for a third invasion of Iraq, or for starting a war with Syria, if that's what the critics have in mind.

I for one am pretty happy we have a president courageous enough to acknowledge that we are still developing a strategy, rather than rushing half-cocked into another foreign adventure without any sort of thought-out plan.




And by the way, what's wrong with the tan suit? It's still summer, and the president is just back from vacation and settling into the office routine again. Give the man a break.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Obama video wins an Emmy!

President Obama, who already has two Grammys (and the Nobel Peace Prize) to his credit, picked up an Emmy last night for the Funny or Die video interview he did with Zach Galifianakis earlier this year. Thanks to the Television Academy for recognizing the President's pitch perfect performance, and also recognizing how brilliantly effective this video was. The video not only caused enrollments at healthcare.gov to skyrocket, it also caused the heads of many right wing pundits to explode.



All President Obama needs now is an Oscar and a Tony, and he can join the ranks of EGOT winners.

(Technically, it was the producers of the video who won the Emmy, not President Obama, but still, where would they be without the president?)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Hillary

If I were giving political advice to Hillary Clinton right now (she hasn't asked me), I would tell her to spend her time traveling the country supporting whatever Democratic candidates might want her help campaigning in midterm elections this fall. This would build some good will for her. It would be inclusive. It would be useful. It's so obvious that this is what Hillary Clinton should be doing right now, that she's probably already doing as much of it as she can schedule, and my advice is unnecessary.

So I guess what I would really be telling Hillary Clinton is what she should NOT be doing right now. And that is giving interviews to the Atlantic magazine on foreign policy disagreements with the Obama administration. Because that is divisive. That only helps remind a lot of Democrats why they preferred Obama to Clinton in 2008. And that kind of negative talk only ends up tarnishing the president, and therefore only helps Republican candidates in the midterms. And causes Hillary to have to walk back some of her comments and have to make up with President Obama, and I'm sure that wasn't pleasant for her. So please Hillary, don't do that anymore. Wait until after the midterms, and then you can start your 2016 campaign if you want.

I get that Hillary Clinton probably wants to show that she is her own person, and that she has some disagreements with the Obama administration's foreign policy decisions. Fine, she's entitled to those disagreements. But is it necessary for her to air them right now? There's plenty of time before the 2016 campaign gets going. But even if the 2016 campaign were already upon us, how helpful would that strategy be? In 2000, Al Gore made a point of distinguishing himself from Bill Clinton, and that wasn't particularly helpful to his campaign. Al Gore was not running against Bill Clinton. Assuming that  Hillary Clinton is planning to run for president in 2016, she won't be running against Obama either.

Meanwhile, midterm elections are important. We should have learned that lesson from 2010. This year, control of the Senate is at stake. And these midterm elections are not really about Obama. They're certainly not about Hillary Clinton. They're about the direction we want to take as a country. Let's focus on that, and if you're a Democrat, that means we should all be trying to pull in the same general direction.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Ferguson

Ferguson, MO yesterday:



Ferguson, MO today:


Cheers to Governor Jay Nixon for calling in the state highway patrol to replace the local police force. The new force promptly JOINED the demonstrators, so that everyone can now be marching together.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Missouri