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President Obama's Dallas memorial service speech
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Published Wednesday, July 13, 2016 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Jul 13 2016

Scripture tells us that in our sufferings, there is glory, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Sometimes the truths of these words are hard to see. Right now, those words test us because the people of Dallas, people across the country are suffering.

We're here to honor the memory and mourn the loss of five fellow Americans, to grieve with their loved ones, to support this community, and pray for the wounded, and to try and find some meaning amidst our sorrow.

For the men and women who protect and serve the people of Dallas, last Thursday began like any other day. Like most Americans, each day you get up, probably have too quick a breakfast, kiss your family goodbye, and you head to work.

But your work and the work of police officers across the country is like no other. For the moment you put on that uniform, you have answered a call that at any moment, even in the briefest interaction, may put your life in harm's way.

Lorne Ahrens, he answered that call. So did his wife, Katrina, not only because she was the spouse of a police officer, but because she's a detective on the force. They have two kids. Lorne took them fishing. And he used to proudly go to their school in uniform.

On the night before he died, he bought dinner for a homeless man. And the next night, Katrina had to tell their children that their dad was gone. "They don't get it yet," their grandma said. "They don't know what to do quite yet."

Michael Krol answered that call. His mother said, he knew the dangers of the job, but he never shied away from his duty. He came 1,000 miles from his home state of Michigan to be a cop in Dallas, telling his family, this is something I wanted to do.

And last year, he brought his girlfriend back to Detroit for Thanksgiving. And it was the last time he'd see his family.

Michael Smith answered that call. In the Army, and over almost 30 years working for the Dallas Police Association, which gave him the appropriately named Cop's Cop Award. A man of deep faith; when he was off duty, he could be found at church or playing softball with his two girls.

Today, his girls have lost their dad, for God has called Michael home.

Patrick Zamarippa, he answered that call. Just 32, a former altar boy who served in the Navy and dreamed of being a cop. He liked to post videos of himself and his kids on social media. On Thursday night, while Patrick went to work, his partner, Christy, posted a photo of her and their daughter at a Texas Rangers game, and tagged the department so that he could see it while on duty.

Brent Thompson answered that call. He served his country as a Marine. And years later, as a contractor, he spent time in some of the most dangerous parts of Iraq and Afghanistan. And then a few years ago, he settled down here in Dallas for a new life of service as a transit cop.

And just about two weeks ago, he married a fellow officer, their whole life together waiting before them.

Like police officers across the country, these men and their families shared a commitment to something larger than themselves. They weren't looking for their names to be up in lights. They'd tell you the pay was decent, but wouldn't make you rich. They could have told you about the stress and long shifts. And they'd probably agree with Chief Brown when he said that cops don't expect to hear the words "thank you" very often, especially from those who need them the most.

No. The reward comes in knowing that our entire way of life in America depends on the rule of law, that the maintenance of that law is a hard and daily labor, that in this country we don't have soldiers in the streets or militias setting the rules.

Instead, we have public servants, police officers, like the men who were taken away from us. And that's what these five were doing last Thursday when they were assigned to protect and keep orderly a peaceful protest in response to the killing of Alton Sterling of Baton Rouge and Philando Castile of Minnesota.

They were upholding the constitutional rights of this country.

For a while, the protests went on without incident. And despite the fact that police conduct was the subject of the protest, despite the fact that there must have been signs or slogans or chants with which they profoundly disagreed, these men and this department did their jobs like the professionals that they were.

In fact, the police had been part of the protest planning. Dallas P.D. even posted photos on their Twitter feeds of their own officers standing among the protesters. Two officer, black and white, smiled next to a man with a sign that read "no justice, no peace."

And then around nine o'clock, the gunfire came. Another community torn apart; more hearts broken; more questions about what caused and what might prevent another such tragedy.

I know that Americans are struggling right now with what we've witnessed over the past week. First, the shootings in Minnesota and Baton Rouge, the protests. Then the targeting of police by the shooter here, an act not just of demented violence, but of racial hatred.

All of it has left us wounded and angry and hurt. This is- the deepest faultlines of our democracy have suddenly been exposed, perhaps even widened. And although we know that such divisions are not new, though they've surely been worse in even the recent past, that offers us little comfort.

Faced with this violence, we wonder if the divides of race in America can ever be bridged. We wonder if an African American community that feels unfairly targeted by police and police departments that feel unfairly maligned for doing their jobs, can ever understand each other's experience.

We turn on the TV or surf the internet, and we can watch positions harden and lines drawn and people retreat to their respective corners, and politicians calculate how to grab attention or avoid the fallout. We see all this, and it's hard not to think sometimes that the center won't hold and that things might get worse.

I understand. I understand how Americans are feeling. But Dallas, I'm here to say we must reject such despair. I'm here to insist that we are not as divided as we seem. And I know that because I know America. I know how far we've come against impossible odds.

I know we'll make because of what I've experienced in my own life; what I've seen of this country and its people, their goodness and decency, as president of the United States. And I know it because of what we've seen here in Dallas, how all of you out of great suffering have shown us the meaning of perseverance and character and hope.

When the bullets started flying, the men and women of the Dallas police, they did not flinch and they did not react recklessly. They showed incredible restraint. Helped in some cases by protesters, they evacuated the injured, isolated the shooter, saved more lives than we will ever know.

We mourn fewer people today because of your brave actions.

"Everyone was helping each other," one witness said. And it wasn't about black or white. Everyone was picking each other up and moving them away.

See, that's the America I know. The police helped Shetamia Taylor as she was shot trying to shield her four sons. She said she wanted her boys to join her to protest the incidents of black men being killed.

She also said to the Dallas P.D., thank you for being heroes. And today, her 12-year-old son wants to be a cop when he grows up. That's the America I know.

In the aftermath of the shooting, we've seen Mayor Rawlings and Chief Brown, a white man and a black man with different backgrounds, working not just to restore order and support a shaken city, a shaken department, but working together to unify a city with strength and grace and wisdom.

And in the process, we've been reminded that the Dallas Police Department has been at the forefront of improving relations between police and the community.

The murder rate here has fallen. Complaints of excessive force have been cut by 64 percent. The Dallas Police Department has been doing it the right way.

And so, Mayor Rawlings and Chief Brown, on behalf of the American people, thank you for your steady leadership. Thank you for your powerful example. We could not be prouder of you.

These men, this department, this is the America I know. And today in this audience, I see people who have protested on behalf of criminal justice reform grieving alongside police officers. I see people who mourn for the five officers we lost, but also weep for the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. In this audience, I see what's possible.

I see what's possible when we recognize that we are one American family, all deserving of equal treatment. All deserving equal respect. All children of God. That's the America I know.

Now, I'm not naive. I have spoken at too many memorials during the course of this presidency. I've hugged too many families who have lost a loved one to senseless violence. And I've seen how a spirit of unity, born of tragedy, can gradually dissipate, overtaken by the return to business as usual, by inertia and old habits and expediency.

I see how easily we slip back into our old notions, because they're comfortable, we're used to them. I've seen how inadequate words can be in bringing about lasting change. I've seen how inadequate my own words have been. And so, I'm reminded of a passage in John's Gospel, "let us love, not with words or speech, but with actions and in truth."

If we're to sustain the unity, we need to get through these difficult times. If we are to honor these five outstanding officers who we lost, then we will need to act on the truths that we know. That's not easy. It makes us uncomfortable, but we're going to have to be honest with each other and ourselves.

We know that the overwhelming majority of police officers do an incredibly hard and dangerous job fairly and professional. They are deserving of our respect and not our scorn

When anyone, no matter how good their intentions may be, paints all police as biased, or bigoted, we undermine those officers that we depend on for our safety. And as for those who use rhetoric suggesting harm to police, even if they don't act on it themselves, well, they not only make the jobs of police officers even more dangerous, but they do a disservice to the very cause of justice that they claim to promote.

We also know that centuries of racial discrimination, of slavery, and subjugation, and Jim Crow; they didn't simply vanish with the law against segregation. They didn't necessarily stop when a Dr. King speech, or when the civil rights act or voting rights act were signed. Race relations have improved dramatically in my lifetime. Those who deny it are dishonoring the struggles that helped us achieve that progress. But we know.

But America, we know that bias remains. We know it, whether you are black, or white, or Hispanic, or Asian, or native American, or of Middle Eastern descent, we have all seen this bigotry in our own lives at some point. We've heard it at times in our own homes. If we're honest, perhaps we've heard prejudice in our own heads and felt it in our own hearts. We know that. And while some suffer far more under racism's burden, some feel to a far greater extent discrimination's stain. Although most of us do our best to guard against it and teach our children better, none of us is entirely innocent. No institution is entirely immune, and that includes our police departments. We know this.

And so when African-Americans from all walks of life, from different communities across the country, voice a growing despair over what they perceive to be unequal treatment, when study after study shows that whites and people of color experience the criminal justice system differently. So that if you're black, you're more likely to be pulled over or searched or arrested; more likely to get longer sentences; more likely to get the death penalty for the same crime. When mothers and fathers raised their kids right, and have the talk about how to respond if stopped by a police officer- yes, sir; no, sir- but still fear that something terrible may happen when their child walks out the door; still fear that kids being stupid and not quite doing things right might end in tragedy.

When all this takes place, more than 50 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, we cannot simply turn away and dismiss those in peaceful protest as troublemakers or paranoid.

We can't simply dismiss it as a symptom of political correctness or reverse racism. To have your experience denied like that, dismissed by those in authority, dismissed perhaps even by your white friends and coworkers and fellow church members, again and again and again, it hurts. Surely we can see that, all of us.

We also know what Chief Brown has said is true, that so much of the tensions between police departments and minority communities that they serve is because we ask the police to do too much and we ask too little of ourselves.

As a society, we choose to under-invest in decent schools. We allow poverty to fester so that entire neighborhoods offer no prospect for gainful employment. We refuse to fund drug treatment and mental health programs.

We flood communities with so many guns that it is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than get his hands on a computer or even a book.

And then we tell the police, "You're a social worker; you're the parent; you're the teacher; you're the drug counselor." We tell them to keep those neighborhoods in check at all costs and do so without causing any political blowback or inconvenience; don't make a mistake that might disturb our own peace of mind. And then we feign surprise when periodically the tensions boil over.

We know those things to be true. They've been true for a long time. We know it. Police, you know it. Protesters, you know it. You know how dangerous some of the communities where these police officers serve are. And you pretend as if there's no context. These things we know to be true. And if we cannot even talk about these things, if we cannot talk honestly and openly, not just in the comfort of our own circles, but with those who look different than us or bring a different perspective, then we will never break this dangerous cycle.

In the end, it's not about finding policies that work. It's about forging consensus and fighting cynicism and finding the will to make change.

Can we do this? Can we find the character, as Americans, to open our hearts to each other? Can we see in each other a common humanity and a shared dignity, and recognize how our different experiences have shaped us? And it doesn't make anybody perfectly good or perfectly bad, it just makes us human.

I don't know. I confess that sometimes I, too, experience doubt. I've been to too many of these things. I've seen too many families go through this.

But then I am reminded of what the Lord tells Ezekiel. "I will give you a new heart," the Lord says, "and put a new spirit in you. I will remove from you your heart of stone, and give you a heart of flesh."

That's what we must pray for, each of us. A new heart. Not a heart of stone, but a heart open to the fears and hopes and challenges of our fellow citizens.

That's what we've seen in Dallas these past few days, and that's what we must sustain. Because with an open heart, we can learn to stand in each other's shoes and look at the world through each other's eyes. So that maybe the police officer sees his own son in that teenager with a hoodie, who's kind of goofing off but not dangerous.

And the teenager- maybe the teenager will see in the police officer the same words, and values and authority of his parents.

With an open heart, we can abandon the overheated rhetoric and the oversimplification that reduces whole categories of our fellow Americans, not just opponents, but to enemies.

With an open heart, those protesting for change will guard against reckless language going forward. Look at the model set by the five officers we mourn today. Acknowledge the progress brought about by the sincere efforts of police departments like this one in Dallas. And embark on the hard, but necessary work of negotiation, the pursuit of reconciliation. With an open heart, police departments will acknowledge that just like the rest of us, they're not perfect. That insisting we do better to root out racial bias is not an attack on cops, but an effort to live up to our highest ideals.

And I understand these protests- I see them. They can be messy. Sometimes they can be hijacked by an irresponsible few. Police can get hurt.

Protesters can get hurt. They can be frustrated. But even those who dislike the phrase "black lives matter," surely, we should be able to hear the pain of Alton Sterling's family.

We should- when we hear a friend describe him by saying that, whatever he cooked, he cooked enough for everybody, that should sound familiar to us, that maybe he wasn't so different than us. So that we can, yes, insist that his life matters.

Just as we should hear the students and co-workers describe their affection for Philando Castile as a gentle soul. Mr. Rogers with deadlocks, they called him. And know that his life mattered to a whole lot of people of all races, of all ages, and that we have to do what we can without putting officers' lives at risk, but do better to prevent another life like his from being lost.

With an open heart, we can worry less about which side has been wronged, and worry more about joining sides to do right

Because the vicious killer of these police officers- they won't be the last person who tries to make us turn on one another. The killer in Orlando wasn't nor was the killer in Charleston. We know there is evil in this world, that's why we need police department departments.

But as Americans, we can decide that people like this killer will ultimately fail. They will not drive us apart. We can decide to come together and make our country reflect the good inside us, the hopes and simple dreams we share.

We also glory in our suffers because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character, and character hope. For all of us, life presents challenges and suffering. Accidents, illnesses, the loss of loved ones; there are times when we are overwhelmed by sudden calamity, natural or man-made. All of us, we make mistakes, and at times we are lost.

And as we get older, we learn we don't always have control of things, not even a president does. But we do have control over how we respond to the world. We do have control or how we treat one another.

America does not ask us to be perfect, precisely because of our individual imperfections, our founders gave us institutions to guard against tyranny and ensure no one is above the law. A democracy that gives us the space to work through our differences and debate them peacefully, to make things better, even if it doesn't always happen as fast as we'd like. America gives us the capacity to change.

But as the men we mourn today, these five heroes knew better than most, we cannot take the blessings of this nation for granted. Only by working together can we preserve those institutions of family and community, rights and responsibilities, law and self-government that is the hallmark of this nation.

It turns out we do not persevere along. Our character is not found in isolation. Hope does not arise by putting our fellow man down, it is found by lifting others up.

And that's what I take away from the lives of these outstanding men. The pain we feel may not soon pass, but my faith tells me that they did not die in vain. I believe our sorrow can make us a better country. I believe our righteous anger can be transformed into more justice and more peace. Weeping may endure for a night but I'm convinced joy comes in the morning.

We cannot match the sacrifices made by Officers Zamarippa and Ahrens, Krol, Smith and Thompson, but surely we can try to match their sense of service. We cannot match their courage, but we can strive to match their devotion.

May God bless their memory. May God bless this country that we love.


Categories: Barack Obama


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The United States of Amnesia
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Published Friday, January 22, 2016 @ 8:48 PM EST
Jan 22 2016

...we are permanently the United States of Amnesia. We learn nothing because we remember nothing.
-Gore Vidal

For those of you who say it's impossible for Bernie Sanders to be elected President, here's an excerpted article from the Wednesday, November 4 issue of the Daily Kos entitled Why Obama will never, ever be elected president. Click on the link for the full article.

In honor of the anniversary of Barack Obama's election, this diary presents quotes from various pundits and commentators who confidently predicted Obama's defeat in the presidential race. I've listed them in chronological order, starting in late 2006 and ending just before Election Day in '08.

Oct. 27, 2006: "[Obama] should run in '08. He will lose in '08. And the loss will put him irrevocably on a path to the presidency." For him to win in '08 would require a "miracle." -- Charles Krauthammer

Dec. 17, 2006: "Barack Obama is not going to beat Hillary Clinton in a single Democratic primary. I'll predict that right now." -- William Kristol

Dec. 22, 2006: "Obama's shot at the top will be short lived.... Hillary Inc. will grind up and spit out any Democratic challenger that gets in its way." -- Joe Scarborough

Mar. 19, 2007: "The right knows Obama is unelectable except perhaps against Attila the Hun." -- Mark Penn

Sep. 24, 2007: "Sen. Obama cannot possibly believe, and doesn't even act as if he believes, that he can be elected president of the United States next year." -- Christopher Hitchens

Dec. 24, 2007: "A Bound Man: Why We Are Excited About Obama and Why He Can't Win." -- title of book by Shelby Steele

Jan. 26, 2008: "The 'could we beat Obama?' conversation is purely academic. It's over. The Clintons have defeated him already, because he is leaving South Carolina as 'the black candidate.' He won't win another state." -- Michael Graham, National Review

May 7, 2008: "[Obama] has shown he cannot get the votes Democrats need to win -- blue-collar, working class people. He can get effete snobs, he can get wealthy academics, he can get the young, and he can get the black vote, but Democrats do not win with that.... He will lose big." -- Rush Limbaugh

June 3, 2008: "Obama can't possibly be elected." -- Dick Morris

Aug. 4, 2008: "The Molten Core of Barack: Why Obama Can't Win." -- Alex Castellanos

Aug. 11, 2008: "As I wrote last December, '[t]he pundits can talk until they are blue in the face about Obama's charisma and eloquence and cross-racial appeal. The fact of the matter is that Obama has no chance of being elected president in 2008.' I am more convinced of this conclusion than ever." -- Steven M. Warshawsky, The American Thinker

Aug. 15, 2008: "Most people think Sen. Obama has this election in the bag, but in reality he stands very little chance of reaching the presidency because of the simple fact that he is far too liberal for America." -- Russ Duenow, Fredericksburg.com

Aug. 31, 2008: "Mr. Obama is doomed to defeat.... Mr. McCain will win - and win big - in November." -- Jeffrey Kuhner, The Washington Times

Sep. 22, 2008: "John McCain will win the presidential election, Kellyanne Conway, one of the country's most respected Republican pollsters, tells Newsmax." -- Ronald Kessler

Oct. 9, 2008: "I have received numerous emails from Republicans and Democrats alike, asking whether I still think Obama will lose the election. Yes, I do. But what about the polls, they ask? The polls show that Obama is winning. No, they don't, as I will explain." -- Steven M. Warshawsky

Oct. 25, 2008: "[T]here are real signs pointing to a McCain victory this year, whether or not the mainstream media wants to acknowledge them." -- Steven M. Warshawsky

Oct. 28, 2008: "The Seven Reasons McCain-Palin Are a Lock to Win." -- Dan Perrin

Nov. 2, 2008: Obama will win the popular vote but lose the election -- Fred Barnes

Nov. 3, 2008: "I think John McCain will win a squeaker over Barack Obama." -- Ed Morrissey

Nov. 3, 2008: "Throw out the polls. All of them.... The fact is that no pollster truly knows what is going on this election cycle, because this election is unlike any other in the nation's recent history.... The final Electoral Vote tally will be 275-263 for McCain." -- Mark Impomeni, Politics Daily

Nov. 3, 2008: "The media could be the real mid-wife of the November 4th victory by Senator McCain and Governor Palin." -- Dan Perrin

What's amazing is not that Obama won, but that these predictions from the enlightened pundit caste are not remembered.

Bernie can win this. Hell, Trump can win this. Ignore the pundits and pollsters. Do your own research and vote for the person you want.


Categories: Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, Politics


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Quote of the decade:
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Published Saturday, June 27, 2015 @ 12:17 AM EDT
Jun 27 2015

History can’t be a sword to justify injustice or a shield against progress. It must be a manual for how to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, how to break the cycle, a roadway toward a better world.
-Barack Obama


Categories: Barack Obama


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Quotes of the day: Barack Obama
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Published Sunday, August 04, 2013 @ 7:18 AM EDT
Aug 04 2013

Barack Hussein Obama II, born August 4, 1961, is the 44th and current President of the United States, the first African American to hold the office. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney in Chicago and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law school from 1992 to 2004. (Click for full Wikipedia article.)

-----

Americans... still believe in an America where anything's possible- they just don't think their leaders do.

Cutting the deficit by gutting our investments in innovation and education is like lightening an overloaded airplane by removing its engine. It may make you feel like you're flying high at first, but it won't take long before you feel the impact.

Even when folks are hitting you over the head, you can't stop marching. Even when they're turning the hoses on you, you can't stop.

I miss being anonymous.

I miss Saturday morning, rolling out of bed, not shaving, getting into my car with my girls, driving to the supermarket, squeezing the fruit, getting my car washed, taking walks.

If we aren't willing to pay a price for our values, if we aren't willing to make some sacrifices in order to realize them, then we should ask ourselves whether we truly believe in them at all.

In my first term, we passed health care reform. In my second term, I guess I'll pass it again.

It may make your blood boil and your mind may not be changed, but the practice of listening to opposing views is essential for effective citizenship. It is essential for our democracy.

Look, when I was a kid, I inhaled frequently. That was the point.

Many of you know that I got my name, Barack, from my father. What you may not know is Barack is actually Swahili for "That One." And I got my middle name from somebody who obviously didn't think I'd ever run for president.

Money is not the only answer, but it makes a difference.

My job is not to represent Washington to you, but to represent you to Washington.

My parents shared not only an improbable love, they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation. They would give me an African name, Barack, or blessed, believing that in a tolerant America your name is no barrier to success.

The elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short term gains over lasting achievement displays a poverty of ambition. It distracts you from what's truly important.

The fact that my 15 minutes of fame has extended a little longer than 15 minutes is somewhat surprising to me and completely baffling to my wife.

There a few things in life harder to find and more important to keep than love. Well, love and a birth certificate.

There's not an action that I take that you don't have some folks in Congress who say that I'm usurping my authority. Some of those folks think I usurp my authority by having the gall to win the presidency.

We live in a culture that discourages empathy. A culture that too often tells us our principal goal in life is to be rich, thin, young, famous, safe, and entertained.

We need to internalize this idea of excellence. Not many folks spend a lot of time trying to be excellent.

We've got a story to tell that isn't just against something but is for something.

What Washington needs is adult supervision.

When our government is spoken of as some menacing, threatening, foreign entity, it ignores the fact that in our democracy, government is us.

You can question somebody's views and their judgment without questioning their motives or patriotism.


Categories: Barack Obama, Quotes of the day


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Photo of the day
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Published Friday, June 07, 2013 @ 5:31 AM EDT
Jun 07 2013


Categories: Barack Obama, Fourth Amendment, Internet, Photo of the day, Snrk, Verizon


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Riiight...
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Published Monday, May 06, 2013 @ 11:55 AM EDT
May 06 2013


Categories: Barack Obama, Cartoons, Second Amendment


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Presidential rim-shots
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Published Sunday, March 10, 2013 @ 4:23 PM EDT
Mar 10 2013

President Obama's one-liners from the 2013 Gridiron dinner:

Now I know that some folks think we responded to Woodward too aggressively. But hey, when has- can anybody tell me when an administration has ever regretted picking a fight with Bob Woodward? What's the worst that could happen?

Of course, maintaining credibility in this cynical atmosphere is harder than ever- incredibly challenging. My administration recently put out a photo of me skeet shooting and even that wasn't enough for some people. Next week, we're releasing a photo of me clinging to religion.

And in the words of one of my favorite Star Trek characters- Captain James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise- "May the force be with you."


Categories: Barack Obama, Politics, Star Trek, Star Wars


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Well played, sir...
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Published Saturday, March 02, 2013 @ 9:09 AM EST
Mar 02 2013


Categories: Barack Obama, Politics, Star Trek, Star Wars


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Quote of the day
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Published Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 9:33 AM EST
Feb 13 2013

The greatest nation on Earth cannot keep conducting its business by drifting from one manufactured crisis to the next.
-President Barack Obama


Categories: Barack Obama, Politics, Quotes of the day


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Gun control insanity
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Published Friday, January 18, 2013 @ 3:44 AM EST
Jan 18 2013

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart hits another one out of the park.


Categories: Barack Obama, Daily Show, Founding Fathers, Fox News, Jon Stewart, Second Amendment


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Meet the New Year, same as the old year...
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Published Tuesday, January 01, 2013 @ 3:01 AM EST
Jan 01 2013

KGB Report welcomes you to 2013: May this arbitrary, transient point in your solipsistic sense of the space-time continuum delineate the initiation of a series of random events which trend in a manner which you perceive to be favorable.


Categories: Barack Obama, Cartoons, Elections, History, Holidays, Mass shootings, New Years, Photo of the day, Politics, Second Amendment, The Big Bang Theory, U.S. Constitution, WTF?


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A republic, if you can keep it...
(permalink)

Published Sunday, November 18, 2012 @ 12:00 AM EST
Nov 18 2012


Categories: Barack Obama, Twinkies


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Photo of the day
(permalink)

Published Saturday, November 17, 2012 @ 8:31 AM EST
Nov 17 2012

They are Not Impressed.


Categories: Barack Obama, McKayla Maroney, Photo of the day


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Miscellany
(permalink)

Published Saturday, November 17, 2012 @ 2:19 AM EST
Nov 17 2012

I think America might just have spent all day obsessing over loss of Twinkies. This is why we're not getting a greatest generation book.
-@pourmecoffee

What if the Mayan calendar ends in 5105, and we've just been holding it upside down?
-Aaron Karo

Hostess will sell the rights to all their snack cakes, and Twinkies will once again pour off the production line of a different company. I wouldn't be surprised if several years' worth of Twinkies aren't already stockpiled in a warehouse somewhere. I mean, It's not like they're going to go stale or anything...

A blonde walks into a bar and asks the bartender for a double entendre. So he gives it to her.

This new thesaurus isn't just terrible, it's also terrible.
-Justin Shanes

Viagra can cause sight loss. So, you can go blind either way.


(YouTube video: The Big Bang Theory Flash Mob!)

James Bond beat Abraham Lincoln at the box office. Boy, it's really been a lousy week for Republicans, hasn't it?
–David Letterman

No hurry- take all the time you have.
-The Covert Comic

Isn't the Twinkie too big to fail? Where's the bailout, Obama?
-The Beachwood Reporter

If you were born in or after April 1985, you have never experienced a colder than average month. If you've lived in Pittsburgh during that period, you've experienced the highest and lowest temperatures on record as well as the greatest 24-hour rain and snowfall totals. So if grandma or grandpa start to tell you how bad the weather was when they were growing up, tell them to stick a sock in it.

It's also interesting to note that in April 1985 Coca-Cola changed its formula and released New Coke.

Post hoc, ergo propter hoc?


Categories: Aaron Karo, Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama, Climate change, Coca Cola, Covert Comic, David Letterman, Drugs, James Bond, Mayans, Miscellany, Observations, The Beachwood Reporter, The Big Bang Theory, Twinkies, Video, YouTube


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"I reject your reality, and substitute my own."
(permalink)

Published Thursday, November 08, 2012 @ 3:00 AM EST
Nov 08 2012

That famous quote by Mythbuster Adam Savage is, simply, the reason why the Republicans were handed their lunch on Tuesday.

Here are two essays which address the issue in a sane, rational manner. The videos that follow, from last night's Daily Show, are a bit more... bombastic.

-----


Ohio really did go to President Obama last night, and he really did win. And really was born in Hawaii. And he really is legitimately President of the United States. Again. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not make up a fake unemployment rate last month. And the Congressional Research Service really can find no evidence that cutting taxes on rich people grows the economy. And the polls were not skewed to over sample Democrats. And Nate Silver was not making fake projections about the election to make conservatives feel bad. Nate Silver was doing math. And climate change is real. And rape really does cause pregnancy sometimes. And evolution is a thing. And Benghazi was an attack on us. It was not a scandal by us. And nobody is taking away anyone's guns. And taxes have not gone up. And the deficit is dropping, actually. And Saddam Hussein did not have Weapons of Mass Destruction. And the moon landing was real, and FEMA is not building concentration camps. And UN election observers are not taking over Texas. And moderate reforms of the regulations on the insurance industry and the financial services industry in the country are not the same things as Communism.

Listen. Last night was a good night for Democrats and liberals for very obvious reasons. But it was also possibly a good night for this country as a whole. Because in this country we have a two party system in government. And the idea is supposed to be that the two sides both come up with ways to confront and fix the real problems facing this country. They both propose possible solutions to our real problems. And we debate between those possible solutions. And by the process of debate, we pick the best idea. That competition between good ideas from both sides about real problems in the real country should result in our country having better choices, better options, than if only one side is really working on the hard stuff. And if the Republican party and the conservative movement and the conservative media are stuck in a vacuum-sealed door-locked spin cycle of telling each other what makes them feel good, and denying the factual lived truth of the world, then we are all deprived as a nation of the constructive debate between competing feasible ideas about real problems.

Last night the Republicans got shellacked. And they had no idea it was coming. And we saw them in real time, in real humiliating time, not believe it as it was happening to them. And unless they are going to secede, they are going to have to pop the factual bubble they've been so happy living inside... if they do not want to get shellacked again. And that will be a painful process for them, I'm sure, but it will be good for the whole country, left, right and center. You guys, we're counting on you. Wake up. There are real problems in the world. There are real knowable facts in the world. Let's accept those and talk about how we might approach our problems differently. Let's move on from there. If the Republican party and the conservative media are forced to do that by the humiliation they were dealt last night, we'll all be better off as a nation.

And in that spirit, congratulations everybody.

- Rachel Maddow

-----

If You're Surprised By The Election Results, You're The Reason You Lost, Or: A Plea for Useful Republicans.

Dear Republicans:

I know the despair you feel this morning, and sympathize, because I've been there. In 2004 my stiff, robotic millionaire lost to a President he should have soundly thumped, and I was so hurt I took a week off from the Internet afterwards. I am completely sympathetic with that slow terror that the country is now in the hands of an incompetent, and the voters don't even know it.

But I noticed a weird difference between the way Republicans and Democrats reacted to a losing candidate. In 2004, when the polls turned against Kerry and it was obvious he was going to lose, the Democrats asked "How can we fix that?" Oh, they asked in their glum, incompetent way, but when I personally talked to other Democrats both in real life and online, we were all pretty cognizant of the fact that Kerry was the underdog.

The Republicans of 2012, however, became increasingly convinced that Romney was going to win.

Everywhere I looked on Twitter and Facebook, I saw my Republican friends- not straw men, but actual people- talking about how terrible Nate Silver's methods were, how these Rasmussen polls showed Romney's real strength, and eventually you got the travesty of UnSkewedPolls.com, which cherry-picked the data and even today has their prediction of not just a Romney win but a landslide, Romney 311 to Obama 227. (Actual result: Obama 332, Romney 206.)

It all crystallized for me when my friend Brad Torgerson said, "Liberals and Democrats have Nate Silver and his 538 blog. Conservatives and Republicans have the U of CO guys. It's an epic cage match of predictive numbers geekery!"

Look there. Right at that post- one not too dissimilar from a thousand other dismissals of Nate Silver and the other aggregated polls. See what Brad did there? The way the guy bringing you news he didn't like was automatically assigned a partisan bias, and the only rational solution was to get a guy on your side with better numbers? As if reality was merely a function of getting enough guys on your side?

That's why you lost.

Stop confusing hard reality for partisan opposition.

It's time to step out of the bubble, dear Republicans, because we fucking need you. I don't trust the Democratic party to run the country single-handedly. I want a Republican party I can rely on for real solutions- and you've become lazy, voodoo-like, dismissing any data you don't like as partisan opposition.

Jay Lake is fond of saying, "Reality has a liberal bias." That's not because reality inevitably verifies liberal thinking, but because the Republican response to anything that challenges them is now to write off the data.

And let me repeat: we need you. I want a counterweight to Democratic power, not a deadweight that refuses to acknowledge the issues. I want a Republican party that will look at the numbers for climate change and not go, "I don't like what those scientists are saying, so I'll call it a silly liberal bias!" but say, "We're business experts, we know how to motivate rich people to do what we want, how do we fix this?" I want a Republican party that will realize while yes, we're spending far too much and should cut down, the results of thirty years of trickle-down theory and tax cuts won't actually provide enough revenue, because we are at the lowest effective tax rates we've had in thirty years.

And yes, you can argue all my statements here. But in that, smart person, you're like a driver with an SUV in Alaska. A person with a car in Alaska is going to get stuck in the snow eventually; that's a fact. But if you have an SUV, you're gonna get stuck way the heck out in the woods where no one can get at you, because you have the strength to do it and won't stop when common sense tells you to. I had a ton of Very Smart friends dissecting all the reasons why Nate Silver was wrong, why his methodology sucked, why these pollsters who said what they liked over here had better ways of slicing the data- and all that flurry of so-called "facts" amounted to was an elaborate justification of personal biases that had no basis in reality.

It's time to stop fighting the obvious. It's time to stop assuming that anyone who presents contradictory data is out to get you.

You should have won, guys. You had a President with an economy in the doldrums, a guy who'd lost a lot of his electoral mojo in the realities of politics. But instead of rising from the grave, you chose a candidate who never actually gave us firm numbers on what expenses he'd cut to fix the economy. You chose a candidate who said he'd get rid of Obamacare, but never actually named the parts he'd destroy. You chose someone who, though all politicians lie, lied a lot more than almost any modern Presidential candidate.

You had a guy who should have sliced Obama to ribbons- and he lost, in large part, because he said, "Trust me" instead of giving us a plan. And you let him get away with it.

You let him get away with it because you're indulging in a great deal of magical thinking. You let him get away with it because facts have ceased to matter; as long as someone tells you something you want to hear, you'll find a way to justify it with pseudo-science and trust and spit and baling wire. You don't like to hear how bad a candidate Mitt was, because you came so close this year, but it's true; the problem is that so much of the country has abandoned listening to reality that you can get massive votes and never touch a fact.

If you can't be honest today, in the aftermath of this great defeat, then you're never going to see the truth.

If you seriously thought that Romney had a good chance of winning, then you're part of the problem. Wake up. I implore you: learn from this. Look at your deepest beliefs, and see whether the numbers support them. Start thinking, maybe those people with data I don't like are right.

If you think the lesson to be learned is "We weren't conservative enough," then you're handing me a great victory in 2016. I want to have a real choice then.

Love,
T.F. (The Ferret)

---

Megyn Kelly teaches Karl Rove the power of scientific gobbledygook.

"If only President Bush could have been so lucky as to have a massive hurricane on his watch, then... oh, right..."

It's just arithmetic.


Categories: Barack Obama, Bill O'Reilly, Chick-fil-A, Daily Show, Elections, Fox News, Hypocrisy, Jon Stewart, Karl Rove, Megyn Kelly, Mitt Romney, Nate Silver, News Media, Politics, Rachel Maddow, Sarah Palin, The Ferret, YouTube


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Exchange of the day
(permalink)

Published Saturday, November 03, 2012 @ 5:51 PM EDT
Nov 03 2012

(From Facebook)


Categories: Barack Obama, Facebook, Holidays, KGB Opinion


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Observations of the day
(permalink)

Published Friday, October 26, 2012 @ 9:06 AM EDT
Oct 26 2012

Experts say the entire 2012 election could come down to just eight states. The states are: confusion, dismay, depression, apathy, shock, disbelief, despair, and anxiety.
-Jay Leno

After the debate... experts agreed that President Obama won on substance and I thought: Well, big deal, Lance Armstrong won on several substances.
-David Letterman

In fairness to Sarah Palin, "shuck" and "jive" are just two of the many thousands of words she doesn't know the meaning of.
-Andy Borowitz

One week after Election Day, the banks will be closed and the military will be marching in the street.
It's called Veterans Day.

I'm tired of every Republican politician being a medical supergenius on vaginas. I want to hear gynecologists talk about the national debt.
-Bill Maher

This campaign has dragged on so long Newt Gingrich is abandoning it for a younger, hotter, healthier campaign.
-John Fugelsang

Karl Rove said the Tea Party is “not sophisticated;” which is sort of like saying the Jonas Brothers are “not black.'
-John Fugelsang

I have never been more ashamed for a candidate, Politicizing fallen Americans is pitiful and unacceptable.
-Colin Powell

Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama. Makes sense. They're both moderate Republicans.
-@Indecision

There's something wrong with our politics if we can't even agree about rape anymore.
-Andy Borowitz

I’ll be glad when this election’s over so I’ll know for sure whom I should have voted for.
-Steve Martin

The audience at the debate was instructed to turn off their cell phones because they might interfere with Mitt Romney's circuitry.
-Triumph, The Insult Comic Dog


Categories: Andy Borowitz, Barack Obama, Bill Maher, Colin Powell, David Letterman, Elections, Jay Leno, John Fugelsang, Sarah Palin, Steve Martin


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Political joke of the day, Presidential edition
(permalink)

Published Thursday, October 25, 2012 @ 7:59 AM EDT
Oct 25 2012

(YouTube video: President Obama answers Jay Leno's question, "What's this thing with Trump and you?" )


Categories: Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Elections, Jay Leno, TV, Video, YouTube


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Quote of the day
(permalink)

Published Tuesday, October 23, 2012 @ 9:10 AM EDT
Oct 23 2012

‎Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military has changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines. And so, the question is not a game of Battleship where we're counting ships, it's “what are our capabilities?”
Barack Obama


Categories: Barack Obama, Elections, Mitt Romney, Politics, Quotes of the day


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Observations, Debate-a-Palooza Edition
(permalink)

Published Monday, October 22, 2012 @ 11:39 PM EDT
Oct 22 2012

From social media, collected in real time during the debate:

Elayne Boosler:

“Boca Raton.” Mouth of the Rat. Just sayin'.

Maybe Mitt could fire Iran.

Mitt: “Gender equality for the middle east.” But not for American women.

Wait. Is this a rerun?

He's gonna ask his parents for the money.

Blame the tumult of the middle east on Obama, because it started only four years ago.

Tumult, that's three! Can meshuga be far behind?

We owe China billions. They've kept us afloat. Let's threaten them!

Mali just declared war on Appleton Wisconsin.

Forget the flag pins. They should have worn squirting carnations.

---------

Albert Brooks:

Romney won the coin toss so the line between them is white.

Romney can see Russia from two of his houses.

Even Syria is bored with this debate.

Romney's expression says “The afterlife is going to be so tough for you.”

The Pentagon just turned to Monday Night Football.

A half hour in. What have we learned? They both don't like war and like peace. Wow.

I don't know who's winning but Iran has just gone to Def Con 4.

Okay. We're back home again. They couldn't talk foreign affairs for more than 30 minutes. That scares me.

Romney keeps bragging about the Olympics. I saw him. His figure skating was embarrassing.

This Christmas Neiman Marcus is selling maps without Israel.

Get tough on China. Make Walmart close at six.

If Romney sweats any more, I get a royalty.

Romney will call China a currency manipulator. China will laugh and sell him another flag pin.

Romney needs a binder full of kleenex.

---------

John Fugelsang:

It's unfair to say Mitt Romney is politicizing the tragedy of Benghazi when he's actually exploiting it.

“The only way to deal with your enemy is to make him your friend.” Abraham Lincoln, appeaser.

“We can't kill our way out”- Mitt Romney. “We need to kill them.”- Mitt Romney, two minutes later

“We have to help these nations build civil societies”- Mitt Romney, previously opposed to Nation Building.

If Iran develops a nuclear weapon Romney/Ryan would respond with the strongest possible tax cuts.

Barack Obama just said the debate table was round & Mitt Romney said it's actually flat.

Mitt Romney will stand up to Iran, Syria & Putin and is also afraid to go on The View.

”Attacking me is not an agenda“ Mitt Romney, whose foreign policy plan has consisted of attacking the president on Benghazi.

Romney strongly supports gender equality in middle east; and will get back to you with his opinion on Lily Ledbetter act here.

It's fitting that Mitt Romney resembles Reed Richards from Fantastic Four as his magic power is superhuman stretching.

Mitt just said we should've been more involved in Syria & also been less involved. Those Bush aides were worth every penny.

Mitt Romney believes our government has to solve problems in Syria while letting the Free Market solve problems here.

Romney is clearly winning on making the foreign policy debate not about foreign policy

Mitt Romney just found a way to bash teachers' unions during a foreign policy debate.

I want Bob Schieffer to grab Romney by the lapels and scream “WHERE'S THE MONEY, LEBOWSKI?!”

Mitt wants to repeal Obamacare and increase the Pentagon budget to defend Israel's right to universal (health) care.

Mitt just mentioned how he balanced the budget for the Olympics, leaving out the millions in government earmarks that balanced it.

Non millionaires who voted for Bush and support Romney deserve presidents like Bush and Romney.

Hey, Mitt- If you hate our tax system and want a religious conservative government with no abortion or gay marriage, Iran is waiting for you.

Mitt Romney is ahead on impersonating Albert Brooks' flop sweat from Broadcast News.

“The tightest sanctions must be tightened.”- Mitt Romney. He said that.

Obama took out bin Laden but wait til President Romney takes out Oscar the Grouch

Somewhere in Hell Richard Nixon is embarrassed over Mitt Romney debate sweat

GOP blaming Obama for the slow recovery is like Lucy blaming Charlie Brown for missing the football.

---------

Andy Borowitz:

Romney: “No one has more experience abroad than my money.”

Romney: “I would bring all female troops home in time to cook dinner.”

Both candidates' use of the numbers 1 through 5 underscores the importance of keeping Sesame Street.

If he loses, Mitt Romney has a bright future as a Clipart character.

Romney: “Across the Middle East, women are being kept in binders.”

When Romney is listening he looks exactly like my dad did when I told him a lie.

We are now discussing the most pressing foreign policy issue facing America today, the reading tests of fourth graders.

Romney: “There's no place more important to me than Israel except Ohio.”

Romney: “If the Prime Minister of Israel called me, I would do what I do whenever someone talks to me: interrupt him.”

Romney: “Not only do I believe in drones, I am one.”

Romney: “The greatest threat to the world is nuclear powered women.”

---------

Beachwood Reporter

Suddenly every schmo on Twitter is a foreign policy expert.

“That's a perfect segue into the next question which neither of you will answer.”

“And now, a ridiculous question that allows each of you to dispense talking points to your base.

---------

Bill Maher:

Trouble already: Mitt says he wants to impose sanctions on ”Romnesia“.

“Kill our way out of this mess” is the theme of every American movie not about talking animals or weddings.

Aside from talking points, Mitt doesn't know his Assad from a hole in the ground.

Mitt, you do know that most of America thinks Mali is one of Obama's daughters, right?

It's good they agree armed Americans should be involved with everyone, everywhere. We loved armed intervention like Paula Dean loves butter.

Aside from talking points, Mitt doesn't know his Assad from a hole in the ground

Mitt's entire debate strategy: What he just said, but from a white guy.

That's an amazingly specific number Mitt keeps pulling out of his ass, 12 million new jobs. But fellas, this is the foreign policy debate!

Jobs, teachers, education - gentlemen, please, can we get back to killing foreigners?

Bob Scheiffer, could you ask about what's IN the military budget? If people knew specifics,”I wouldn't cut nuttin'” wouldn't sound so good

I like hearing Mitt say how great he was for Massachusetts, the state that will never, ever, ever vote for him.

I can't be the only one who's surprised to find out Buster Posey is a white guy. Sorry, flipped to the game.

I've seen wider ideological differences between Jehovah's Witnesses.

Oh no he din't- Romney said his ultimate BubbleFact, “Apology Tour” right in front of the guy who NEVER WENT ON ONE.

To clarify, Mitt is for moving heaven and earth, but only in regards to mining.

You're losing, Mitt- bring up the fact that we have fewer knives and rocks than we did during the French and Indian War.

Shorter version of Romney: Me strong. Obama weak. Hulk smash.

OK Mitt, one more try: we have fewer catapults and barrels of boiling oil than we had in the crusades.

First debate, all agreed, Obama lost; second one, i say he won, but Romney not trounced. But this one? Only bubbledwellers can say Mitt won

Mitt keeps taking issue with being criticized tonight - did they tell him this is a debate?

OK, one last try: We have fewer Andrews Sisters and Ritz Brothers than we did in 1944. So glad we're done with THAT!

---------

Wonkette:

“The audience has taken a vow of silence.” But not celibacy, one hopes.

We are debating during the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis. This is very important, because we are painfully aware that neither of these men is a Jack Kennedy.

Cutting Obamacare, which the CBO has projected will reduce the deficit, will save money, because MAGIC.

Mitt is in favor of crippling sanctions like the ones Barry has put in place. If elected, he will have the Doctor take him back to the Bush administration to put them in place sooner, and more crippling-er.

Mittens, again with the “tumult.” Why does it sound like Yiddish when he says “tumult”?

You know all about shipping jobs overseas, don’t you Governor? BOOM!

Mitt is pretending that he can feel empathy... Brent Spiner pulled this off a lot more convincingly.

---------

Various fact checkers:

Politifact rated the claim that the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force are smaller than in 1917 and 1947 “pants on fire.”

Romney wants to add $2 trillion to defense that it didn't ask for it. True.

Obama 'promised' 5.4 percent unemployment? Mostly False.

---------

The Onion:

Romney Pledges To Replace All Foreign Policy With Jobs Right Here In America


Categories: Albert Brooks, Andy Borowitz, Barack Obama, Bill Maher, Elayne Boosler, Elections, John Fugelsang, Mitt Romney, Observations, Politics, The Beachwood Reporter, The Onion, The Wonkette


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Boom!
(permalink)

Published Friday, October 19, 2012 @ 2:48 PM EDT
Oct 19 2012

(YouTube video in which The President of The United States offers hope to those suffering from "Romnesia")


Categories: Barack Obama, Elections, Mitt Romney, Politics, Video, YouTube


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Mister Romney's Neighborhood
(permalink)

Published Wednesday, October 10, 2012 @ 11:48 AM EDT
Oct 10 2012


Categories: Barack Obama, Jimmy Fallon, Mitt Romney, Video


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Happy birthday, Star Trek!
(permalink)

Published Saturday, September 08, 2012 @ 7:39 AM EDT
Sep 08 2012


President Barack Obama and Nichelle Nichols (Uhura)

The good news? Star Trek aired for the first time 46 years ago today.

The bad news? I remember watching its premier as a seventh grader, 46 years ago.

Live long and prosper, indeed.


Categories: Barack Obama, History, Nichelle Nichols, Photo of the day, Star Trek, TV


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Real fake news is better than fake real news...
(permalink)

Published Wednesday, September 05, 2012 @ 7:37 AM EDT
Sep 05 2012

... and today's youth know the difference...


Categories: Barack Obama, CNN, Colbert Report, Daily Show, Fox News, Jon Stewart, Mitt Romney, MSNBC, Politics, Stephen Colbert


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End of the week clearance
(permalink)

Published Saturday, September 01, 2012 @ 8:55 AM EDT
Sep 01 2012

Stuff that caught my eye this week:

Of course, the new Eastwood meme:

Other politics:

Family:


My son Doug and my daughter-in-law Angela

Cute animals:

Family and cute animals::


Bella keeps a stiff upper lip as she prepares to watch my granddaughter Leanna depart for the first day of fourth grade.

Miscellany:


The Jet Propulsion Laboratory Curiosity Mars Lander Team visits the cast of The Big Bang Theory:


Categories: Animals, Barack Obama, Clint Eastwood, Dogs, Hypocrisy, KGB Family, Mitt Romney, NASA, Politics, WTF?


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