Kid President meets the Real President.

Kid President (recently seen on In My Head giving you a pep talk) was invited to the White House for the Easter Egg Roll. Here you see him on the Truman balcony, greeting the crowd with the Obamas – who are, it  must be noted, gigantic.

https://twitter.com/whitehouse/status/318929050259300352

h/t @WhiteHouse, and if you want to see more cute pictures from the egg roll, go here.

And here’s Kid President meeting the Real President and taking a wee tour of the Oval Office. I may or may not have gotten a little dust in my eye at the 2 minute 34 second mark.

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Honest to Pete man: Disagree with this President on policy, question the wisdom of a comment or a speech, doubt his ability to achieve the goals you most want to see achieved – but how can you not like him?

Obama on gun control: “I can’t do it alone. I need your help.”

Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association put on a dog and pony show today in which he blamed everything on Earth for gun violence, other than actual guns (including, but not limited to, a shortage of guns). While he was doing this — literally, as Wayne LaPierre was talking — three people were killed and three wounded by a lone shooter in Pennsylvania; the injured were all armed state troopers; the assailant is also dead.

Earlier today, President Obama responded to the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have signed We the People petitions calling for sensible gun control (video below). He said:

I can’t do it alone. I need your help. If we’re going to succeed, it’s going to take a sustained effort from mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, law enforcement and responsible gun owners, organizing, speaking up, calling their members of Congress as many times as it takes, standing up and saying: Enough, on behalf of all our kids. That’s how change happens. Because of committed Americans who work to make it happen. Because of you.

Please call your US Representative and your Senators - here’s that number again: 202-224-3121 – and tell them that you support sensible gun control legislation. I just called my Republican Senator a second time (my Democratic Senator and Democratic Congressman are among the legislature’s most progressive members, so I’ve only called them once) and the very friendly and helpful staffer asked me what I meant by “sensible gun control.” Here’s what I mentioned:

  • An automatic weapons ban
  • A limit on magazine capacity
  • Background checks
  • A national gun registry

These things strike me as straight-up common sense, which is what I said on the phone. It just makes sense to say to someone “I’m going to do a background check on you before I sell you this deadly weapon.” I made a point of saying that I have no issue with responsible gun owners, hunters and so on, people who use and store their weapons in a responsible manner, and when I was done, the staffer said “Thank you very much. The Senator will get this message this afternoon.”

As the President said: This is how change happens.

Please, please, please – CALL THEM: 202-224-3121

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A couple of useful resources:

1) from Mother Jones: Do Armed Civilians Stop Mass Shooters? Actually, No.

2) from the Washington Post:  Ten-country comparison suggests there’s little or no link between video games & gun murders.

President Obama addresses the shootings in Newtown.

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Please make these calls, please tell the President and Congress that we need good gun legislation.

White House: 202-456-1111

US Representatives & Senators: 202-224-3121

Bill Kristol and the Emergency Committee for Israel – liars, or very forgetful?

Very quickly:

Yesterday, the Emergency Committee for Israel — a rather unsavory amalgam of Israel hawks, general neo-conservatives, and Evangelical Christians — released an ad attacking President Obama on his Iran policy:

The ad comes as the next round of nuclear talks with Iran will take place in Moscow next week, discussions that have yielded little in the past. The Obama administration has maintained that it has instituted the toughest sanction’s yet on the country, though ECI, citing the International Atomic Energy Agency, says that in the meantime Iran has enriched enough Uranium to build five nuclear bombs.

“President Obama has spent four years talking, Iran has spent four years building,” the narrator says ominously. “Obama is still talking, and Iran has enough fuel for five nuclear bombs…Talking isn’t working. It’s time to act — before it’s too late.”

But here’s the funny thing:

Exactly one month ago today, Bill Kristol, Republican/neo-conservative/Israel hawk and chairman of the Emergency Committee for Israel, said the following, while sitting with a kipa on his head in a synagogue, not two yards from J Street’s Jeremy Ben-Ami:

I’m happy to sit here and agree with President Obama [on Iran] to a considerable degree, at least as the policy has moved in the last two or three years.

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So, yeah. Very, very forgetful? Or liars?

Or maybe, just possibly, playing politics with very little concern for the fall-out for genuine security needs of both Israel and the US? Hmm.

If you’re curious: Israel’s intelligence community largely agrees not with Bill Kristol circa June, but with Bill Kristol circa May — and, not incidentally, with President Obama’s general policy. So, there’s that.

The simple truth is that I fear for the President’s life.

Lately, I’ve been slacking off.

Was a time, I worried constantly about the President’s safety. This President’s safety. The safety of Barack Hussein Obama, our first African-American Commander in Chief. Indeed, I’ve been worried about him since he declared his candidacy — particularly after I wrote a letter to the editor in support of said candidacy and got in return for my trouble a letter threatening both my life and his.

But, you know. One gets lulled by the Secret Service’s success at keeping the President alive. A little numb to the endless drumbeat of hate. There’s a constant hum of noxious rhetoric, but if one were to be constantly attuned to it, one would lose one’s mind. So one has let down one’s guard.

But you know what? Guard? Back up.

It was Arizona governor Jan Brewer who did it for me, by announcing to the world that she felt “a little bit threatened” by the President when he visited her fair state the other day. Because at a certain point, you realize that they’re not even using dog whistles anymore — they’ve moved on to fog horns and disco balls.

Add up enough “skinny, ghetto crackhead” comments, enough voters yelling “string him up,” enough judges still open to the idea that the President isn’t eligible to be the President, enough “food-stamp President” pronouncements, enough tiny little white ladies saying they felt “threatened” (not to mention enough audible, shared glee when another successful black man is “put in his place“) — well, add all that up and throw in all the other horrible, nasty, brutish racism that has been on display with greater regularity in the past few months, and you’ve got a situation where it is simply far too easy to imagine someone with access to a gun getting the notion that maybe it’d be a good thing to use that gun on the uppity black man who’s running around threatening Jan Brewer and the Statue of Liberty.

I remind myself that this President has the best, deepest Secret Service protection ever received by any American leader. I remind myself that they are talented, trained, and far more aware of the threats than I am. I remind myself that worrying avails neither me nor the President anything.

And then I remember that back in 2009, the Secret Service was already reporting that “threats against the president’s life [are up] by 400 percent from his predecessor,” and I start to worry again, if for no other reason than that I have a very hard time believing that the number of death threats has decreased in the meantime.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and her ilk may have gleefully moved on to fog horns and disco balls, but I do wonder if they have any real grasp of the fact that people need only be a little bit unhinged to respond to the rhetoric with violence. That a man who yells “string him up!” at a campaign event might later decide to try to put Barack Hussein Obama in his place, too. Like, I don’t know, maybe one of the guys seen in a photo posing with guns and a bullet-riddled image of the President’s face just the other day, and posted to the Facebook page of an Arizona police officer.

And then I wonder what will happen to this country if the Secret Service slips up, just once.

Fox News shocked – SHOCKED – by own failure to destroy President’s re-election chances.

So it turns out that endless attempts to lie, cheat and smear the First Kenyan in Chief into oblivion and/or a muslin madrassa have apparently been a tale of fail.

Fox n’ Friends don’t know how to take the news that Americans expect President Obama to be re-elected. Watch with me, won’t you?

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Clearly, Gretchen Carlson, Steve Doocy, and The Guy Who Isn’t Steve Doocy have not been following the Chronicles of The Angry Black Lady.

h/t BuzzFeed

 Crossposted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles.

Notes from the post-Republican underground – Dear Democratic base, part II.

The following was just too good to leave buried in my comments, and so I present it to you here: The wit, the wisdom, the flat-out fury of former Republican Paul Wartenberg (a regular commenter at Ta-Nehisi Coates’s place, and the keeper of these two fine blogs: The Amendments We Need and Witty Librarian).

Dear Democratic Base:

I’m not a registered Democrat. I’ve never been a Democrat. I have, in fact, been a registered Republican as far back as 2002… although I will admit that I haven’t voted for a Republican since the 2000 Primary when I voted McCain over Bush.

I consider myself today a no-party affiliate moderate. Except I admit to the truth that I am in fact a bitter ex-Republican who’s soured on a party that’s gone batshit insane on me.

And I am here to tell you one thing about your disappointment with Barack Obama:

ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR DAMN MINDS?

(more…)

Dear Democratic base.

It has come to my attention that the Democratic base is disappointed in their President.

I hear the base feels that elected Democrats have shown contempt for the base since 2008, and is really tired of a lot of things: Being taken for granted, for instance, and Democrats doing stuff that the base doesn’t want them to do — not least, President Obama becoming more and more, as they say, “like Bush.” And so, I’ve been told, the base might just abandon the President (and his party) — and will certainly fight him tooth and nail, tear its hair and gnash its teeth — what with having being thrown so unceremoniously under the bus. And all.

I just have one question.

If y’all are “the base” — what the hell am I?

I have spent my entire adult life working on social justice causes, whether professionally or on a volunteer basis. I believe that every single person on earth deserves fully equal rights, by virtue of their very humanity, and I border on the socialist in terms of what I think the State should be responsible for. I like unions, I hate torture, and I really wanted single-payer health care.

Moreover, I’m a life-long Democrat. I’ve never knowingly voted for a Republican, and I don’t believe I ever knowingly will. I volunteered with the Democrats in 2008 and 2010, and I will do so again in 2012. I’m not sure that the following is anything to brag about, but the simple fact is that I make all of my personal political choices — all of them — based on what will or will not help the Democratic Party. Why? Because like it or not, we have a two-party system, and I want the party that best represents my ideals and philosophy to have an upper hand.

But please note: I said “best represents.” I may be a life-long Democrat, but I am no fool.

I have many disagreements with individual elected Democrats (ask me about Anthony Weiner. Not to mention Chuck Schumer), and with the party as a whole. I have been disappointed by the current President, his positions and policies, on well more than one occasion.

For instance – Gitmo.

I don’t think that Obama is entirely responsible for Gitmo still being open (Congress really did tie his hands), but I do think that he likely could have led with greater conviction in order to convince Congress to do the moral thing. It pains me enormously that we elected a constitutional scholar, yet he appears to be kind of ok with indefinite detention.

And then there’s Israel/Palestine, where Obama came in saying all the right things, and then turned around and commenced to let the Israeli government lead his government by the nose, just like every other President before him.

On health care, I wish the messaging in the lead-up to and during the reform fight had been much, much better — because then the eventual legislation would have also been much, much better than it wound up being.

And I’m not quite ready to let Obama and/or the rest of the party off the hook for losing the House to the damn Tea Party.

I believe that all these matters (and others, no doubt) should be brought before our elected officials. We should advocate for our beliefs, and when Democrats make what we believe to be mistakes, we should tell them so, honestly.

AND YET.

The simple truth is that President Obama has advanced more progressive causes than any President since FDR (not least: health care reform). He ran for the job knowing it would be challenging, and then the job got exponentially harder before he even took office. He is genuinely loathed and feared by millions of Americans — whose fears and loathing are daily ginned up and fortified by people who make their living off of making the President’s job as difficult as humanly possible — and the opposition party has not, as far as I can tell, enjoyed a single day of responsible legislative behavior since he stepped into the Oval Office.

In short: Obama is attempting to do an extraordinarily difficult job under even more extraordinarily difficult circumstances.

I don’t expect him or the rest of his party not to screw up. Nor do I expect them to always agree with me, or read my mind. I expect them to stick as close as they can to the general outline of the party platform, and maintain an even-keeled pragmatism that allows them to recognize when a hill is worth dying on, and when it’s not.

And after eight years of the Bush Administration’s scorched earth policies and contempt for both reason and the American people, I remain grateful that we have a President who acts like an adult, and treats the American people as adults. He’s not perfect — but Obama is pretty good.

So, “base”? Shut up.

You do not get to speak for me, nor do you get to speak for the vast majority of the actual Democratic base — 90% 80%* of whom think Obama’s doing pretty ok, thanks for asking.

There are much greater things at stake here than our personal feelings of pique or individual dreams of instantaneous world improvement. Remember the last time y’all said a Democrat was “just like Bush”?

It was eleven years ago, and Al Gore lost by a hair and a stolen vote.

How’s that working out for you?

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*Update: To my very real chagrin, it was called to my attention that I had initially linked to some very, very old approval numbers — my only excuse is that I saw the date on the webpage and then must have gotten distracted. I am very sorry for my error. The corrected statistic (80% Democratic approval) reflects Gallup Poll statistics from March28-April 3, 2011.

Crossposted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles.

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