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Posts Tagged ‘President Barack Obama’

Why Trump Only Goes Out In Public To His Own Rallies

Last night (27 October 2019), President Trump attended Game 5 of the World Series in Washington, D.C. between the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros.  When introduced, the President was first booed by the crowd and then while pointing in his direction, the crowd began chanting “Lock him up!” repeatedly.  While politicians getting booed at baseball games (and other sports events) is nothing particularly newsworthy, it is notable (and a bit saddening) that Trump has so shamed the office that a crowd would chant to have him incarcerated on a televised event being seen around the world.
We can draw a line from Reagan’s line:  “Government is the problem!” to Joe Wilson’s:  “You lie!” at President Obama’s 2009 State of the Union Speech to a crowd shouting to “lock up” a sitting President.  When the general public is encouraged to disrespect the government and our elected officials, “We the People” all become a little less civil and a little less secure in our own liberties.
While I personally believe candidate Trump did conspire / collude with the Russians to influence the 2016 election and while I believe President Trump has continued to commit crimes (obstruct justice) and violate his Oath of Office, I am more dismayed “the Office” has been brought down in public opinion this way and is now subject to ridicule in front of the world.  If Trump is not impeached and subsequently removed from Office between now and November 2020, I hope the next election provides our nation with a President who can both bring respect back for the Office and (more importantly) give us “a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
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On This Day In:
2018 And Flights Of Fancy
Dodgers Lose 2nd Consecutive World Series!!
2017 By Their Acts Thy Shall Know Them
2016 Remembering
2015 One
2014 Sure Experiments And Demonstrated Arguments
2013 Irrational Complacency
2012 Why Criticize?
Giants Sweep 2012 World Series With Game 4 Win (4 To 3)!!!
2011 Saying Just Enough
2010 Giants Win Game 2 Shutout of Rangers – 9 to 0!!!

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In Charlottesville, Americans were forced to reckon with the reality that we live in a country where white supremacists can parade openly, and without condemnation from the White House.  We allow for the slaughter of unarmed black children and the mass incarceration of people of color.  A black President who had to be publicly perfect for eight years was followed by a white President who is habitually dishonest.  So many Americans were lulled into complacency by the progress that Obama’s presidency signaled, and the symbol he represented.  Yet all gains can easily be lost, particularly in a society stacked against anyone who threatens the dominant order.  Lee has been trying to tell us this for more than 30 years.  He’s hoping we’re ready to listen.
  —  Rembert Browne
From his article: “Spike Lee Wants You To Wake Up
Which is a review of Spike Lee’s recent (2018) movie:  “BlaKkKlansman
The article appeared in:  Time Magazine
Dated: 20 August 2018
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On This Day In:
2017 No Progress, But Still Unreasonable
2016 Notes Unsaid
2015 Still Seeking (Believe It Or Not)
2014 Guidelines For Bureaucrats
2013 Failing At Normalization
2012 Are You An Expert?
2011 Joy!

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Dear Mr. President –
Congratulations on a remarkable run.  Millions have placed their hopes in you, and all of us, regardless of party, should hope for expanded prosperity and security during your tenure.
This is a unique office, without a clear blueprint for success, so I don’t know that any advice from me will be particularly helpful.  Still, let me offer a few reflections from the past 8 years.
First, we’ve both been blessed, in different ways, with great good fortune.  Not everyone is so lucky.  It’s up to us to do everything we can (to) build more ladders of success for every child and family that’s willing to work hard.
Second, American leadership in this world really is indispensable.  It’s up to us, through action and example, to sustain the international order that’s expanded steadily since the end of the Cold War, and upon which our own wealth and safety depend.
Third, we are just temporary occupants of this office.  That makes us guardians of those democratic institutions and traditions — like rule of law, separation of powers, equal protection and civil liberties — that our forebears fought and bled for.  Regardless of the push and pull of daily politics, it’s up to us to leave those instruments of our democracy at least as strong as we found them.
And finally, take time, in the rush of events and responsibilities, for friends and family.  They’ll get you through the inevitable rough patches.
Michelle and I wish you and Melania the very best as you embark on this great adventure, and know that we stand ready to help in any ways which we can.
Good luck and Godspeed,
BO
[Former President Barack Obama’s hand-written letter to his successor – President Donald Trump.  Unfortunately, I fear for the seed, for the ground was rocky and the soil was shallow…  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2016 REDs
2015 Cities
2014 Still
2013 Dare = Hope
2012 Check My Math
2011 Just Asking

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Part of the problem that we’ve seen is that our general commitment as a society to basic research has diminished.  Our confidence in collective action has been chipped away, partly because of ideology and rhetoric.
The analogy that we still use when it comes to a great technology achievement, even 50 years later, is a moon shot.  And somebody reminded me that the space program was half a percent of GDP.  That doesn’t sound like a lot, but in today’s dollars that would be $80 billion that we would be spending annually … on AI.  Right now we’re spending probably less than a billion.  That undoubtedly will accelerate, but part of what we’re gonna have to understand is that if we want the values of a diverse community represented in these breakthrough technologies, then government funding has to be a part of it.  And if government is not part of financing it, then all these issues that Joi has raised about the values embedded in these technologies end up being potentially lost or at least not properly debated.
I was a sucker for Star Trek when I was a kid.  They were always fun to watch.  What made the show lasting was it wasn’t actu­ally about technology.  It was about values and relationships.  Which is why it didn’t matter that the special effects were kind of cheesy and bad, right?  They’d land on a planet and there are all these papier-mâché boulders. [Laughs.]  But it didn’t matter because it was really talking about a notion of a common humanity and a confidence in our ability to solve problems.
A recent movie captured the same spirit — The Martian.  Not because it had a hugely complicated plot, but because it showed a bunch of different people trying to solve a problem.  And employing creativity and grit and hard work, and having confidence that if it’s out there, we can figure it out.  That is what I love most about America and why it continues to attract people from all around the world for all of the challenges that we face, that spirit of “Oh, we can figure this out.”  And what I value most about science is this notion that we can figure this out.  Well, we’re gonna try this — if it doesn’t work, we’re gonna figure out why it didn’t work and then we’re gonna try something else.  And we will revel in our mistakes, because that is gonna teach us how to ultimately crack the code on the thing that we’re trying to solve.  And if we ever lose that spirit, then we’re gonna lose what is essential about America and what I think is essential about being human.
Star Trek, like any good story, says that we’re all complicated, and we’ve all got a little bit of Spock and a little bit of Kirk [laughs] and a little bit of Scotty, maybe some Klingon in us, right?  But that is what I mean about figuring it out.  Part of figuring it out is being able to work across barriers and differences.  There’s a certain faith in rationality, tempered by some humility.  Which is true of the best art and true of the best science.  The sense that we possess these incredible minds that we should use, and we’re still just scratching the surface, but we shouldn’t get too cocky.  We should remind ourselves that there’s a lot of stuff we don’t know.
President Barack Obama
Discussing A.I., Star Trek and the future in an interview in Wired Magazine
The interviewer is: Scott Dadich
I read this in the November 2016 issue of Wired Magazine
The article is: “The President in Conversation With MIT’s Joi Ito and WIRED’s Scott Dadich
The link to the article:  https://www.wired.com/2016/10/president-obama-mit-joi-ito-interview/
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On This Day In:
2016 Just Enough
2015 Bourne Bond
Springs Eternal
2014 Brains First
2013 Not Listening Anymore
2012 At Your Marks!
2011 We Are Not Alone
Underlying Rationality
2010 Is the Obama Administration Failing?
In Other Words…
Quite Please!
In A Hostage Situation…
Are We Done Yet?
In Order…
Flip-flopping…
Proof of Choice…
On “Leading” A Democracy To War…
Actually, It’s All About Me…

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The world we want for our kids — one with opportunity and security for our families; one with rising standards of living and a sustainable, peaceful planet; one that’s innovative and inclusive, bold and big-hearted — it’s entirely within our reach.  The only constraints on America’s future are the ones we impose on ourselves.  That’s always been the case with America — our destiny isn’t decided for us, but by us.  And as long as we give our young people every tool and every chance to decide the future for themselves, I have incredible faith in the choices they’ll make.
  —  President Barack Obama
From the new section in Time Magazine: Motto – Words To Live By; (and also on the web):  http://motto.time.com/4199637/barack-obama-daughters/
Feb 22-29, 2016 edition
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On This Day In:
2015 Something That You Love
2014 Not Really At All
2013 Listening And Deserving
2012 I’m Still Not Certain
2011 True, False And Useful

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After turning the question around by asking whether supporters of the Second Gulf War had it right about weapons of mass destruction or the ease with which democracy would take root in Iraq, Paul said something pretty remarkable:
“And what’s going on now, I don’t blame on President Obama.  Has he really got the solution?  Maybe there is no solution.  But I do blame the Iraq War on the chaos that is in the Middle East.  I also blame those who are for the Iraq War for emboldening Iran.  These are the same people now who are petrified of what Iran may become, and I understand some of their worry.”
  —  Rand Paul Throws Obama a Lifeline on Iraq, Spars With Dick Cheney (22 June 2014)
[Available from multiple sources / sites on the web.  I believe I got this from The Huffington Post, but I don’t really remember and I failed to make a note of the location.  Apologies.  I promise to be more diligent in the future.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2013 What Have You Done Lately?
2012 B8
2011 I’m Definitely Not In Control

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Hope is not blind optimism.  It’s not ignoring the enormity of the task ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path.  It’s not sitting on the sidelines or shirking from a fight.  Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and to work for it, and to fight for it.  Hope is the belief that destiny will not be written for us, but by us, by the men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is, who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.
  —  President Barack Obama
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On This Day In:
2012 Minor Gifts
2011 I Love It When A Plan Comes Together…
2010 Eloquence
Cleaning the Chalk Board

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I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.
   —    President Barack Obama
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On This Day In:
2012 Like Mike
2011 Flawless Or Candid
2010 Browning…

 

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