Letter to the Bernieland Fail

Obama gave a magnificent speech to the graduating class at Howard today, and I have embedded it so you can watch it. It’s everything I love about Obama- it’s smart, it’s witty, it’s hopeful, it’s realistic, it’s based in historical reality, it’s optimistic, and it’s a challenge to the audience to do better while convincing them that they can. Watching it made my heart ache, because even though he is just a man and he has obviously done some things that I really disagree with, I just love him and wish he would be our President forever.

It’s why even on the issues I strongly disagree with him, I don’t lose my shit, because maybe he has a bigger picture view of things that I do, and he has earned my trust. Plus, for a politician, he’s just so goddamned cool. It’s like a mad scientist said let’s take FDR and Lincoln, add in some Jay-Z and Idris Elba, a little MLK and and Ali and Poitier, and see what happens- Presto- Obama!

At any rate, enough of the gushing. The best part of this speech today is how it does all the things that should be done at a commencement speech, but also sends a clear message to the youth about the current political realities taking place within the Democratic party. To wit:

And finally, change requires more than just speaking out — it requires listening, as well. In particular, it requires listening to those with whom you disagree, and being prepared to compromise. When I was a state senator, I helped pass Illinois’s first racial profiling law, and one of the first laws in the nation requiring the videotaping of confessions in capital cases. And we were successful because, early on, I engaged law enforcement. I didn’t say to them, oh, you guys are so racist, you need to do something. I understood, as many of you do, that the overwhelming majority of police officers are good, and honest, and courageous, and fair, and love the communities they serve.

And we knew there were some bad apples, and that even the good cops with the best of intentions — including, by the way, African American police officers — might have unconscious biases, as we all do. So we engaged and we listened, and we kept working until we built consensus. And because we took the time to listen, we crafted legislation that was good for the police — because it improved the trust and cooperation of the community — and it was good for the communities, who were less likely to be treated unfairly. And I can say this unequivocally: Without at least the acceptance of the police organizations in Illinois, I could never have gotten those bills passed. Very simple. They would have blocked them.

The point is, you need allies in a democracy. That’s just the way it is. It can be frustrating and it can be slow. But history teaches us that the alternative to democracy is always worse. That’s not just true in this country. It’s not a black or white thing. Go to any country where the give and take of democracy has been repealed by one-party rule, and I will show you a country that does not work.

And democracy requires compromise, even when you are 100 percent right. This is hard to explain sometimes. You can be completely right, and you still are going to have to engage folks who disagree with you. If you think that the only way forward is to be as uncompromising as possible, you will feel good about yourself, you will enjoy a certain moral purity, but you’re not going to get what you want. And if you don’t get what you want long enough, you will eventually think the whole system is rigged. And that will lead to more cynicism, and less participation, and a downward spiral of more injustice and more anger and more despair. And that’s never been the source of our progress. That’s how we cheat ourselves of progress.

We remember Dr. King’s soaring oratory, the power of his letter from a Birmingham jail, the marches he led. But he also sat down with President Johnson in the Oval Office to try and get a Civil Rights Act and a Voting Rights Act passed. And those two seminal bills were not perfect — just like the Emancipation Proclamation was a war document as much as it was some clarion call for freedom. Those mileposts of our progress were not perfect. They did not make up for centuries of slavery or Jim Crow or eliminate racism or provide for 40 acres and a mule. But they made things better. And you know what, I will take better every time. I always tell my staff — better is good, because you consolidate your gains and then you move on to the next fight from a stronger position.

***

So that’s my advice. That’s how you change things. Change isn’t something that happens every four years or eight years; change is not placing your faith in any particular politician and then just putting your feet up and saying, okay, go. Change is the effort of committed citizens who hitch their wagons to something bigger than themselves and fight for it every single day.

That’s what Thurgood Marshall understood — a man who once walked this year, graduated from Howard Law; went home to Baltimore, started his own law practice. He and his mentor, Charles Hamilton Houston, rolled up their sleeves and they set out to overturn segregation. They worked through the NAACP. Filed dozens of lawsuits, fought dozens of cases. And after nearly 20 years of effort — 20 years — Thurgood Marshall ultimately succeeded in bringing his righteous cause before the Supreme Court, and securing the ruling in Brown v. Board of Education that separate could never be equal. (Applause.) Twenty years.

Marshall, Houston — they knew it would not be easy. They knew it would not be quick. They knew all sorts of obstacles would stand in their way. They knew that even if they won, that would just be the beginning of a longer march to equality. But they had discipline. They had persistence. They had faith — and a sense of humor. And they made life better for all Americans.

That’s as clear a message as Obama can give to Democrats without endorsing one candidate or the other, and it is a clear message to the Bernie or Bust folks who subscribe to the asinine notion that sitting out the election if Sanders does not win (he can’t win the nomination- why is that not clear? Oh, yeah. Because we’re too busy harassing math teachers for being swarthy than we are listening to them) will somehow help. There’s something to this Dylan Matthews piece.

God damnit. Just repeal the 22 amendment already. At least we will still have Obama campaigning for Hills this year and hammering Trump. We still got that.

247 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    Thanks for the link. I wanted to watch it later.

    Congrats on the Prairie Home Companion shout out.

    Get rid of the mobile site ads.

  2. 2
    Hildebrand says:

    It is a great speech – thoughtful, probing, and challenging.

    With Obama and Warren ripping Trump to shreds (Warren’s tweets this week were majestic), Clinton has a terrific one-two punch to keep Trump off guard from now until election day.

  3. 3
    John Cole says:

    @Baud: They are completely unobtrusive. Quit whining.

  4. 4
    Baud says:

    @John Cole:

    I don’t mind the placement. But they have slowed down the mobile site a lot. It hangs up all the time now.

  5. 5
    Miss Bianca says:

    It’s like a mad scientist said let’s take FDR and Lincoln, add in some Jay-Z and Idris Elba, a little MLK and and Ali and Poitier, and see what happens- Presto- Obama!

    Amen, John Cole. Right on. I will be so, so sorry to see this President leave. Nothing against HRC – I’ll love to see her back in the White House. But Obama so beautifully summed up exactly what makes his – and, not so coincidentally, made FDR’s and Lincoln’s – administrations work. The recognition that lofty ideals and soaring rhetoric are all very well, and very inspiring , and necessary, but that when push comes to shove you have to get opposing parties on board with your agenda, or nothing good is getting done.

    I remember my high school AP history teacher saying that the Republicans rammed thru’ the 22nd Amendment because they feared another FDR. But, she said, the laugh was on them because then came Eisenhower – and he could have been elected till his death, as well.

  6. 6
    p.a. says:

    Think what could have been accomplished with a rational, loyal opposition, and not a paddock of racist yahoos.

    Although given US history how much probability of a rational, loyal opp with a black pres was there, really?

  7. 7
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    And if you don’t get what you want long enough, you will eventually think the whole system is rigged. And that will lead to more cynicism, and less participation, and a downward spiral of more injustice and more anger and more despair. And that’s never been the source of our progress. That’s how we cheat ourselves of progress.

    My biggest beef with Sanders. I don’t think he’s running a con, as I think Kevin Drum put it couple of weeks ago, but I think he’s running an unintentional bait-and-switch on his mill-youngs and mill-youngs, telling them that it’s all easy, and we can have it all, if we just get past the Witch of Wall Street.

  8. 8
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Count the reference to the public option.

    Zero. That’s right.

    Won’t catch me voting for him again.

  9. 9
    WaynersT says:

    This is the most depressing year ever and it seems to get worse by the week. Bowie, Prince, Trump, Obama leaving ….ugh. Gonna need a fuck ton of ice cream.

  10. 10
    Baud says:

    @Davis X. Machina: He. Didn’t. Even. Try.

  11. 11
    rikyrah says:

    Thanks for posting the speech, Cole.

    I will miss this President too.

    At least I’m bright enough to know that.

    I feel for the shlubs who don’t realize what they’ve had the past 7 years.

  12. 12
    Ex Libris says:

    I’m old, older than Obama, and I have learned that people are always a disappointment. I am cynical. I do not put my trust in people, because they always disappoint. But, goddammit, I love that man.

  13. 13
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Baud: and the Stimulus. If he had been willing to fight, or if he understood Keynesian economics, we could have had a Berniejiliion dollar Stimulus!

  14. 14
    trollhattan says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    or if he understood Kenyan economics,

    Fixerated.

  15. 15

    Obama’s problem was that his suits actually fit and his hair was cut right. Otherwise the bully pulpit totally would have worked.

  16. 16
    Shell says:

    8pm on TCM, one of the classics, ‘All About Eve’

  17. 17
    Suzanne says:

    Obama spoke at Mr. Suzanne’s graduation in 2009, and it was just unbelievable. He is so awesome. I have loved having Obama be my president, and the fact that I canvassed so much in 2008 and 2012 makes me feel extra-proud. I am not ready for him to be done. I like Bernie and I respect Hillary, but I can’t imagine feeling this way about either of them. Oh well. I think BHO is sick of us and has earned a great retirement. I eagerly await what he does with his post-presidency.

  18. 18
  19. 19
    Baud says:

    @Suzanne:

    Balloon Juice front pager.

  20. 20
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Baud: We can but dream. Hope…and dream.

  21. 21
    Baud says:

    @Miss Bianca: He’s already got the pets.

  22. 22
    opiejeanne says:

    @Baud: I missed the Prairie Home Companion reference, where was it?

  23. 23
    Baud says:

    @opiejeanne: It’s reported in the previous thread. I haven’t found a link yet.

  24. 24
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @opiejeanne: the Guy Noir sketch. Brad Paisley (I think) was talking about an internet addiction and rattling off a list of websites that are basically synonyms for blatherskyte, but a couple are real (Hot Air, Balloon Juice) so who knows….

  25. 25
    opiejeanne says:

    @Baud: Thanks. I’ll go back and have a look.

  26. 26
    HinTN says:

    @Baud: FWIW, not my ancient android.

  27. 27
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    I’m the same age as PBHO, but of entirely different background, capabilities and accomplishments.
    I feel like he’s MY President, in a way that I never did with W.J. Clinton. And it isn’t just the Midwestern city accent. So many differences, yet one of us.

  28. 28
    Mike J says:

    The coverage of this great speech?
    Jon Favreau ‏, referring to the Politico hed: “Garbage headline. Never mentioned Trump, speech had zero to do with Trump or 2016. But hey, clicks.”

    Here’s how they billed it: “Obama, wary of Trump’s rise, urges Howard grads to vote”

  29. 29
    Baud says:

    @HinTN:

    I have a fairly new Android, and it often takes a while for the page to load.

  30. 30
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Baud: Oh, well then – a few post-presidential musings, a few pics of Bo and his buddy – yeah. I could see it. Baud! and PBO reminiscing about their time on the campaign trail…

    Of course, the trolling would go thru’ the roof, at that point, alas.

  31. 31
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: is this Keillor’s last show? he’s sounding very valedictory

  32. 32
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @WaynersT:
    On the plus side, Fat Tony is still dead.

  33. 33
    Calouste says:

    @eemom: Why does the Bullshit Artist from Burlington want to be VP for someone he called unqualified?

  34. 34
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    Brilliant.

    Thanks for front-paging this, JC.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  35. 35
    opiejeanne says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Thanks, I found it. How funny that someone who writes for them must have seen the name of our blog somewhere.

    (I hope it’s not because of the skull-fucking a kitten thing)

  36. 36
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    A lot of Poitier, actually. (video)

    Handsome, high intelligence, dignity.

    watch a TCM marathon: “In the Heat of the Night”, “To Sir, with Love”, and “The Bedford Incident” and you think – “that’s Obama”.

  37. 37
    opiejeanne says:

    @A Ghost To Most: Proof that God does love us.

  38. 38

    @opiejeanne: we are an almost top 10,000 blog, after all.

  39. 39
    smintheus says:

    And democracy requires compromise, even when you are 100 percent right.

    No it does not; that almost sounds like Obama is fetishizing compromise. In politics you’re rarely 100% right and your opponents rarely 0% right. When it does happen, it’s usually a question of civil/human rights or constitutionally guaranteed rights. And it’s just plain wrong to encourage people to think that they need to compromise on basic questions of right and wrong. Did we need to compromise with the pro-torture crowd, just to engage with those who disagreed with us?

  40. 40
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Maybe if Cole made Taylor Swift a front pager we’d get to top 100.

  41. 41
    Steeplejack says:

    @Baud:

    It’s hit or miss on my Moto X: some pages load fine, some take forever to finish loading. I’m also getting error messages for WebGL, which I think is related. I’m wondering whether the problem is related to specific ads.

  42. 42
    JPL says:

    @opiejeanne: According to John’s twitter, it was Brad Paisley. Does this mean we have to behave?

  43. 43
    reality-based (the original, not the troll) says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    And Eisenhower for 12 years might have been a good thing. (I’m rather fond of Ike – not entirely because my grandfather was his French translator during WWII – my Beebah was a committed FDR democrat, but he loved Ike, too.

    And if not for the 22nd amendment, Bill Clinton would have been re-elected in a landslide – and that would have been a good thing, too!

  44. 44
    Keith G says:

    God damnit. Just repeal the 22 amendment already.

    No fucking way. An eight (okay, 10) year max is more than enough time. I think new eyes and new ideas are important – as well as getting successors with differing skill sets.

    I actually think that the Obama to Clinton evolution can (and probably will) give both the country and our party quite an awesome advantage of a one-two combo of punches. Neither is perfect and their mis-matched strengths compliment each other.

    The Obamas have provided exemplary service, a service made all the more sweeter by its brevity.

  45. 45
    debbie says:

    @Baud:

    I posted one for you there.

  46. 46
    MomSense says:

    I may need to put this speech on repeat. What a day.

    I am so proud of the time I spent working to elect Barack Obama and pass health care reform.

    And today I’m so emotional because of my friend’s cancer diagnosis. She didn’t have health insurance for years until ObamaCare. I can’t imagine what would happen to her family if this had happened when they were without insurance. At least we can focus on her and she won’t worry about her family losing everything to help her.

    Who we vote for matters. Voting every single time matters. Each of us doing what we can to make progress matters.

  47. 47
    Baud says:

    @debbie: Thanks!

  48. 48
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    @Baud: has to be a typo. Cole must of meant, “quit winning”.

  49. 49
    Mike J says:

    @David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch:

    Maybe if Cole made Taylor Swift a front pager we’d get to top 100.

    She’s too busy tweeting about internet security.

  50. 50
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    Grandma likes him. She just turned 99 and we’ll be taking her out to dinner tomorrow with Dad (78) to her favorite restaurant. Still reads the paper, though slowly, and likes the cut of that young fellow’s jib.
    Grandpa always voted GOP and I suspect her of canceling him out all those years.

  51. 51
    Keith G says:

    @smintheus:

    And it’s just plain wrong to encourage people to think that they need to compromise on basic questions of right and wrong. Did we need to compromise with the pro-torture crowd, just to engage with those who disagreed with us?

    Like the way Ike compromised with the fine citizens of Little Rock, Arkansas in 1954?

    Yeah, not the best choice of wording there by POTUS.

  52. 52
    AkaDad says:

    I’m slightly depressed.

    The thought of our Troller-in-Chief being out of office and also, the guy who delivered my pizza tonight called me “Sir.”

    The second reason is how mid-life crisis’ start.

  53. 53
    Keith G says:

    @AkaDad: Just wait til 1) A cashier at a counter asks if you want the senior citizens discount, and 2) Upon inquiring, you find out that you qualify.

  54. 54
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Calouste: At least he’s acknowledging that he won’t be President. That’s a step in the right direction.

  55. 55
    eemom says:

    @John Cole:

    I see the elitist kewl kids colored comments thing is back. To be fair though, you do look lovely in pale lavender. : )

  56. 56

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. That point about being right not always meaning you can get your way is a good point. Even when you’tr right, you still live in a world filled with people who are wrong. You have to live with them, and work with them, somehow.

  57. 57
    JMG says:

    1. The two-term limit may be tough on the country, but it’s the only humane way to treat our Presidents. Look what happened to the one President who went longer. FDR died younger than I am now and younger than most today.
    2. Obama is the only President of my lifetime I could imagine wanting to have as a friend or friendly acquaintance.

  58. 58
    Aleta says:

    Michelle ma belle will always be my First Lady. Pres. Obama forever my love.

  59. 59
    Baud says:

    @David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch:

    Cole must of meant, “quit winning”.

    Done.

  60. 60
    RK says:

    Trump’s a Democrat who’s been snowing the GOP for the last 5 years (no, he isn’t a Birther) so sitting out and hoping he’ll usher in doom is fantasy. In fact, it’s quite possible that once in office Trump will in practice, if not in words, conduct, for all intents and purposes, a Democratic administration. In some respects Trump’s the last thing Democratic Socialists want because if he does govern from the center to center left and finds any bit of success he’ll move the GOP to the left which will not only bring sanity to the political process but potentially enough prosperity, or reasonable hope of same, that socialistic policies will no longer seem so enticing to so many.

  61. 61
    Emma says:

    @Suzanne: I would like him to teach a master class in Constitutional History that anyone can audit. I also want him to write frank memoirs of his time in the White House, just to see how many people walk around DC with wedgies…

  62. 62
    NotMax says:

    @Shell

    Speaking of TCM, 14 hours of Katherine Hepburn this coming Thursday, commencing at 6 a.m. Eastern:

    Little Women
    Stage Door
    Holiday
    The Philadelphia Story
    Woman of the Year
    Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
    Desk Set

    Also a reminder that each Friday this month is Robert Ryan Day on TCM. This coming Friday includes About Mrs. Leslie (10:15 p.m.) a two box of tissues tearjerker starring Ryan and Shirley Booth.

  63. 63
    Elmo says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: I actually remember him becoming the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review. CLS – Critical Legal Studies – was a big deal at the time, and I had just left Harvard so I was still paying attention.

  64. 64
    Jeffro says:

    It’s funny because I’m listening to it now via a news site and thought, “hey, I can listen to this in the background while I see what’s up at Balloon Juice and hey…whaddya know?”

    Excellent speech, clearly meant as a message to all Dems and a warm-up for his big finish year.

    I don’t even want to think about how much we’re going to miss him being in office. I sure hope he figures out how to continue helping steer this country in the right direction for decades to come

  65. 65
    patroclus says:

    Compromise Shrompromise! Like Washington compromised with the Brits, Lincoln with slavery, FDR with Tojo and Hitler!!

    (Uh, seriously, a very inspiring speech!)

  66. 66
    AkaDad says:

    @Keith G:

    I shouldn’t have laughed at that.

  67. 67
    EllenH says:

    I agree I will miss him, but it is the term limit that gave us NFLTG Obama. It wasn’t until after the 2014 midterms that he really got bold.

  68. 68
    Steeplejack says:

    @Keith G:

    Or the cashier goes ahead and gives it to you without asking. Had that happen at the movie theater a few months back.

  69. 69
    p.a. says:

    @Keith G: Got my first discount late last year, I was at the qualifying age, not well past it, I offered to show i.d. proof, and the ticket girl said: not necessary. Fuckin young whippersnapper…

  70. 70
    Aleta says:

    @NotMax: @NotMax: I dig completely how Stage Door has Ginger Rogers and Lucille Ball too.

  71. 71
    Mike J says:

    @NotMax:

    a two box of tissues tearjerker starring Ryan and Shirley Booth.

    I might have needed two boxes of tissues, but I never jerked it so hard I was in tears.

  72. 72
    p.a. says:

    @RK: … and a pony…

  73. 73
    Jeffro says:

    @reality-based (the original, not the troll):

    Eisenhower for 12 years might have been a good thing.

    Read The Brothers, about the Dulles brothers who ran the State Department and CIA under Eisenhower, and you might reconsider. Holy cow. These guys were mucking around and overthrowing third world governments right & left back then.

  74. 74
    Steeplejack says:

    @RK:

    I’d like to know what you’re smoking—not because I want some but because it’s obviously so potent and hallucinatory that it constitutes a public health emergency.

  75. 75
    p.a. says:

    @NotMax: no Bringing Up Baby?!!

  76. 76
    Miss Bianca says:

    @NotMax: Oh, damn…I love all those movies. You guys with your cable teevee and all! Taunting us with TCM!

    @Mike J: ohh…ouch!

  77. 77
    WaterGirl says:

    @AkaDad: Ah, yes. I remember the first time someone called me “ma’m”. I said “don’t call me ma’m, I’m not an old lady! (I said with a nice smile and a laugh) It’s all downhill from there!

  78. 78
    smintheus says:

    @Keith G: This didn’t used to be controversial: On things you can compromise about, find a workable compromise. On issues where there is no room for compromise, stand by your principals and voters will respect you.

    Obama doesn’t need to argue that everything is subject to compromise if he just wants to make the obvious point that there’s too little compromise in D.C., especially when Democrats have been willing too often to try to compromise with uncompromising Republicans.

  79. 79
    Prescott Cactus says:

    @AkaDad:

    “…the guy who delivered my pizza tonight called me “Sir.”

    The second reason is how mid-life crisis’ start.

    If you called him “Sonny-boy”, It’s already started…

  80. 80
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Mike J: okay, I laughed

    @p.a.: or The Lion in Winter! or Pat and Mike!

    I think Desk Set may actually be my favorite Tracy and Hepburn, though.

  81. 81
    Honus says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: @Jim, Foolish Literalist: @Jim, Foolish Literalist: brad Paisley is from Glendale, just down Rt 2 a few miles from Bethany.

  82. 82
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    Fat Tony is still dead.

    Pillow cases tell no tales.

    Ratko Mladić
    Osama bin Laden
    Adam Sandler
    Whitey Bulger
    Andrew Breitbart
    Bob Novak
    David Broder
    Dennis Hastertt
    FIFA
    Fat Tony

    Obama wasn’t joking when he swore to protect the country from all enemies, foreign and domestic.

  83. 83
    WaterGirl says:

    @eemom: People keep calling that lavender, but on my macbook air, that is clearly pale blue. We think we are all seeing the same Balloon Juice, but we are not!

  84. 84
    NotMax says:

    @JMG

    And it cuts both ways. Without it, Reagan might have been propped up to run again.

    Obama is the personification of “in Order to form a more perfect Union.”

  85. 85
    Elie says:

    @MomSense:

    Amen — and good thoughts for your friend. Our efforts, the labor of “bending the arc of justice” shoulder to shoulder, means so much! I love this speech.. It is deeply true — maybe his most important in some ways.

    I loved campaigning for him — going door to door in Va where I was living in 2012. People who I did not know welcomed me in and I was so pleased and wondrously surprised by how he was welcomed — in VA — the once cradle of the confederacy — The Ethiopian immigrant community – quiet, respectful, definitely doing what was necessary — registering, knowing what was what — a young white mother inviting me in to talk to her — her confidence in voting for him — a French immigrant of wealth and sophistication, and it did my heart so good to see VA go blue that election… I will never forget.

    We will need to bring our vision forward and find our leaders — maybe in unexpected people and leaders…. You don’t always know….

  86. 86
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: It’s certainly mine. Love story between a librarian and a computer nerd? Where the librarian triumphs over threatened job outsource? Anyone who asks, “why do we still need librarians when we have computers?” should be forced, *forced*, I say, to watch this movie. While being poked with the Soft Cushions.

  87. 87
    RK says:

    @Steeplejack: Trump’s a Democrat. Don’t believe me, believe him. Would you like a 2012 quote about the unfairness of deporting illegal aliens as well?

  88. 88
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    @WaterGirl: half the people say the dress is gold and white and half say it’s blue and black.

  89. 89
    cokane says:

    bernieorbust is a tiny tiny minority that probably wont even truly exist in November. Stop making it like it’s a thing. I think it’s fine for Sanders to stay in the race for now. Now that the R race is settled, it will give media coverage to two people talking about liberal issues. That’s not a bad thing.

  90. 90
    NotMax says:

    @p.a.

    Funny you should ask. Thursday, May 19, 6 a.m.

    @Mike J</a.

    Even as it was being typed, knew someone would, um, come up with that.

    ;)

    @Steeplejack

    Whenever a cashier is a stickler and insists on my digging out I.D. when I purchase booze, I respond with the following (while smiling):

    “If I were under 21 and looked like this, I’d need to drink!”

  91. 91
    WaterGirl says:

    @David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch: I feel like I should know what dress you are referring to. But I am on board with what you’re trying to say.

  92. 92

    @WaterGirl: consider yourself lucky you missed that particular… whatever it was.

  93. 93
  94. 94
    JPL says:

    @RK: Trump is a narcissist and a racist pig. I don’t care what party he aligns himself with, he will never get my vote.

  95. 95
    kdaug says:

    @Suzanne:

    I eagerly await what he does with his post-presidency.

    Justice Obama

  96. 96
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Emma: that is a book I am going to buy in hard cover

  97. 97
    Soylent Green says:

    @Keith G: Wait until you keep getting the same piece of mail inviting you to apply for a free cremation.

  98. 98
    reality-based (the original, not the troll) says:

    @Jeffro:

    Well, to be fair – my grandpa – long deceased, of course – was also mucking around with the Dulles boys, When WWII broke out, he was still a French Citizen ( orphaned in WWI, he was brought over here by a unit of American Doughboys, who he had translated for, became a linguist – – – after France fell in 39 , he became an American citizen, entered the US Army as a major, and was promptly snapped up by Wild Bill Donovan and the OSS – precursor to the CIA.
    He did all kinds of Casablanca-ish things during the war – including trying to make peace between Generals Giraud and De Gaulle, One cool thing about all this – you know who else worked in France for the OSS? Julia and Paul Child. I love imagining that Bebah was dining with julia Child in post-war France. (not that I have any proof that it happened, of course. )

  99. 99
    kdaug says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: last season. Don’t know if it’s the last show.

  100. 100
    Germy says:

    @kdaug: He said in an interview he has no interest in doing that. “Too isolating,” he said. He prefers to work with young people, teaching.

  101. 101
    Belafon says:

    @smintheus:

    No it does not; that almost sounds like Obama is fetishizing compromise. In politics you’re rarely 100% right and your opponents rarely 0% right. When it does happen, it’s usually a question of civil/human rights or constitutionally guaranteed rights. And it’s just plain wrong to encourage people to think that they need to compromise on basic questions of right and wrong. Did we need to compromise with the pro-torture crowd, just to engage with those who disagreed with us?

    Here’s something I believe is 100% correct: Everyone deserves to live without having to worry about food, housing, or health care.

    Here’s what I know: Any attempt to go down that road will require compromises that won’t get us there all at once or even necessarily at all.

    That’s what he meant by compromise. Notice that he hasn’t compromised on the rights of LGBTs. But, in terms of legislation that changes the priorities of the country, there will be compromise.

  102. 102
    Amir Khalid says:

    @eemom:
    Bernie would make Hillary a terrible Veep. He’d suck at everything that Joe Biden has been good at doing.

  103. 103
    Jeffro says:

    @reality-based (the original, not the troll): Yeah well, apparently in WW II they (the Dulles ‘boys’) did some good for the U.S. Post-war, um, they were an unbelievable pair of meddlers in other countries, at a tremendous cost in terms of lives and even in terms of our country’s security.

  104. 104
    Revrick says:

    @Davis X. Machina: I don’t understand the fetishes that some progressives have with the public option and Glass-Steagall. The public option being batted around at the time was almost public option lite, kind of like the coops that haven’t done so hot. And when Joe Lieberman said he wouldn’t support any public option, what leverage did the President have with him? He was re-elected as an independent with mostly Republican votes. And I’m sure he cared more about the opinions of Aetna, the Hartford, and Travelers than he did about those of any Democratic party official.
    As for Glass-Steagall, it was far from the cure-all that some imagine it to be. As a matter of fact, JFK’s Comptroller of the Currency was concerned by the obvious problems it was causing commercial banks that he made a ruling in 1963 undoing two of G-S’s provisions. The courts overruled him, but the trouble didn’t go away. In 1966, G-S rules caused the first of a series of credit crunches that plagued the economy throughout the 1970’s. And Congress made a series of attempts to undo G-S in the 70’s and 80’s often led by Sen. William Proxmire, because G-S was putting a severe strain on the commercial bank sector, which was getting squeezed by state banks, foreign banks, S&L’s and non-bank entities like Sears.

  105. 105
    JPL says:

    @Belafon: Great response. He was right that compromise can be the first step in achieving your goals.

  106. 106
    kdaug says:

    @p.a.: I’m late 40s, and still get carded for beer…

  107. 107
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Revrick: @Davis X. Machina: I don’t understand the fetishes that some progressives have with the public option and Glass-Steagall.

    the shiniest object becomes the Holy Grail

  108. 108
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    The post title is amazingly clever John Cole. The whole post is right on. Obama’s speeches leave everyone with such profound things to think about, that just ring true. We’ve been so blessed to have him.

  109. 109
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @JPL: Yes. People who expect quick and easy solutions to complex problems have obviously never worked in politics.

  110. 110
    Gravenstone says:

    @eemom:

    I say that makes him a sellout delusional

    Moar accuracy.

  111. 111
    Steeplejack says:

    @WaterGirl:

    The color is different on the desktop site and the mobile site.

  112. 112
    smintheus says:

    @Belafon: He hasn’t compromised at all on the rights of LGBTs? Maybe you forgot the period when he pretended to think that the gays had no right to marry, until public opinion had swung to the point where he felt safe endorsing their civil right.

  113. 113
  114. 114
    amk says:

    @smintheus: nice false equivalencies. get a life.

    cole, thanks.

  115. 115
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Belafon: And he said as much:

    And democracy requires compromise, even when you are 100 percent right. This is hard to explain sometimes. You can be completely right, and you still are going to have to engage folks who disagree with you. If you think that the only way forward is to be as uncompromising as possible, you will feel good about yourself, you will enjoy a certain moral purity, but you’re not going to get what you want. And if you don’t get what you want long enough, you will eventually think the whole system is rigged. And that will lead to more cynicism, and less participation, and a downward spiral of more injustice and more anger and more despair. And that’s never been the source of our progress. That’s how we cheat ourselves of progress.

    We remember Dr. King’s soaring oratory, the power of his letter from a Birmingham jail, the marches he led. But he also sat down with President Johnson in the Oval Office to try and get a Civil Rights Act and a Voting Rights Act passed. And those two seminal bills were not perfect — just like the Emancipation Proclamation was a war document as much as it was some clarion call for freedom. Those mileposts of our progress were not perfect. They did not make up for centuries of slavery or Jim Crow or eliminate racism or provide for 40 acres and a mule. But they made things better. And you know what, I will take better every time. I always tell my staff — better is good, because you consolidate your gains and then you move on to the next fight from a stronger position.

    Brittany Packnett, a member of the Black Lives Matter movement and Campaign Zero, one of the Ferguson protest organizers, she joined our Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Some of her fellow activists questioned whether she should participate. She rolled up her sleeves and sat at the same table with big city police chiefs and prosecutors. And because she did, she ended up shaping many of the recommendations of that task force. And those recommendations are now being adopted across the country — changes that many of the protesters called for. If young activists like Brittany had refused to participate out of some sense of ideological purity, then those great ideas would have just remained ideas. But she did participate. And that’s how change happens.

    […]

    That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t challenge them. Have the confidence to challenge them, the confidence in the rightness of your position. There will be times when you shouldn’t compromise your core values, your integrity, and you will have the responsibility to speak up in the face of injustice. But listen. Engage. If the other side has a point, learn from them. If they’re wrong, rebut them. Teach them. Beat them on the battlefield of ideas. And you might as well start practicing now, because one thing I can guarantee you — you will have to deal with ignorance, hatred, racism, foolishness, trifling folks. (Laughter.) I promise you, you will have to deal with all that at every stage of your life. That may not seem fair, but life has never been completely fair. Nobody promised you a crystal stair. And if you want to make life fair, then you’ve got to start with the world as it is.

    Results matter. Results depend on getting people who don’t agree with you in every respect to get on board. And incremental results is how progress happens. “Better is good!

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  116. 116
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @AkaDad:

    the guy who delivered my pizza tonight called me “Sir.”

    Could be worse, he could have called you mam(I’m short and have a higher pitched voice, it’s happened).

  117. 117
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @RK: Trump believes in nothing, except himself, and will say anything that he thinks people want to hear or that just crosses his mind. His stated tax plan was to the right of most of the other 2016 Republican candidates’; no soak-the-rich there.

    As President he would probably hire some grand vizier types to tell him what to do, and at this point, those guys would be hard-right Republicans. His policies would be some combination of that and random shit he thought up on the spur of the moment.

  118. 118
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @cokane:

    it will give media coverage to two people talking about liberal issues.

    It would be nice if Sanders would do that. I hope he starts soon.

  119. 119
    Steeplejack says:

    @RK:

    And a quick check of the Google reveals that the outfit behind that YouTube video, TrumpQuestions.com, is a GOP ratfucking operation. Thanks a ton!

  120. 120
    Gravenstone says:

    @RK: I’ll have whatever you’re smoking, son. Better make that a double.

  121. 121
    opiejeanne says:

    @WaterGirl: There were somewhat scholarly discussions of what the eye really sees, blah blah blah. The initial photo was a very badly washed out/skewed color photo of a dress that made what was really white with gold trim look like it was blue with black trim. Some people saw a good photo of the dress but not the bad photo and vice versa, hence the discussion.

  122. 122
    WaterGirl says:

    @David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch: Wow. That’s amazing. It’s clearly blue & black! (kind of a brownish black, but still black.) Wow again.

  123. 123
    smintheus says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: So Obama’s point was actually ‘democracy requires compromise, even when you are 100 percent right…except sometimes when you’re totally right’? Thanks, that clarifies things.

  124. 124
    Miss Bianca says:

    @smintheus: You know, it’s possible he *did* think that, with no pretense. I remember my own thinking undergoing an evolution on that point – and he is a bit older than I. You may think that that is even worse – that he had had an honest, genuine change of heart on the subject – I don’t know.

  125. 125
    WaterGirl says:

    @Steeplejack: Aha!

  126. 126
    Luthe says:

    @smintheus: I think Obama is speaking to the purity ponies as well as social movements like Occupy and Black Lives Matter. He isn’t advocating for crappy compromises (like anything the GOP in Congress want), but for foundational ones. Like the ACA, which is nowhere near perfect, but which serves as something to build on in the future. Social Security, Medicare, and even the Civil Rights Act were imperfect compromises, yet they were the bases for the systems we have today.

  127. 127
    kdaug says:

    @Germy: The SS detail is going to keep him out of a traditional classroom. But it’d be badass if he’d do a Khan/Code Academy thing. Make it free and available to everyone…

  128. 128
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    @opiejeanne: for levity.

    also too he’s had more silver screen bombs than an iraqi roadside.

  129. 129
    WaterGirl says:

    @opiejeanne: I would love to see the washed out version of the photo, then, because I clearly saw it as blue and black (after being the link provided above.) So interesting!

  130. 130
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @WaterGirl: Here we go! 20 TBoggs!

    ;-)

    People see different things in the (same) picture. Color perception is complicated.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  131. 131
    trollhattan says:

    O/T The massive Canadian fire is spreading to another province and shutting down perhaps a quarter of the country’s oil output. It’s no stretch to predict the US awhl industry will use this as a pretext to jack fuel prices, but far more relevant is whether this is a precursor to yet more enormous fires in Canada, Alaska and other countries with arboreal forests (esp. Russia).

  132. 132
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @smintheus: You’re ridiculous. Thankfully, I’m glad that there are grown-ups doing the hard work that are making people’s lives better.

  133. 133
    opiejeanne says:

    @WaterGirl: But if you see a good photo of the dress it’s not blue and blackish. Here: The dress

  134. 134
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @smintheus: I can’t tell if you’re sincere or trolling. If it’s the latter, good job! ;-)

    Our Constitution isn’t perfect and wasn’t perfect when it was adopted. But it is and was better than the Articles of Confederation.

    Politics is all about compromise. That doesn’t mean one has to compromise (it’s unfortunate that the same word can mean “coming to an agreement with others” and “sell-out one’s fundamental beliefs for venal reasons”) one’s fundamental belief that, say, everyone is entitled to equal justice under law (even if all the existing laws don’t fully reflect that principle).

    My $0.02.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  135. 135
    opiejeanne says:

    @David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch: I think he views making a movie as an excuse for a vacation with his buds, paid for by the studio.

  136. 136
    Matt McIrvin says:

    You know, I’m temperamentally inclined to agree with Obama, but then I remember Larry Kramer. Kramer thinks this kind of compromise talk is complete bullshit. When ACT UP was trying to get action on AIDS research, whenever he wanted somebody to do something, he had activists mob the guy and scream at him and call him a Nazi and a genocide until he came around.

    It was obnoxious and unfair, and it worked. We have effective HIV treatments today probably because politicians and directors at NIH wanted Larry Kramer to stop calling them Nazis.

  137. 137
  138. 138
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Thank you, John. I just watched the entire speech, beginning to end, and it was–unsurprisingly–moving and wonderful and inspiring.

    I really love this President. In one way, of course, I will be devastated when he leaves office (even though, as I hope and expect, he’ll be handing over the keys to Secretary Clinton). But in another way, I am really excited to see what he does with his post-Presidency. I think he can do domestically something on the order of what Jimmy Carter has done globally. And Michelle’s role will be huge, again as a really involved former FLOTUS like Rosalynn Carter (perhaps I’m wrong, but I don’t know of any big initiatives coming from Nancy Reagan or Barbara Bush or Laura Bush since they left the WH). But first, POTUS and FLOTUS need to write some amazing memoirs of their White House years. “Tell-all” is probably asking too much, but “Tell-some” should be quite do-able, yes?

  139. 139
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    It’s like a mad scientist said let’s take FDR and Lincoln, add in some Jay-Z and Idris Elba, a little MLK and and Ali and Poitier, and see what happens- Presto- Obama!

    I’ve said it before, John, and I’ll say it again here: you are a goddamned fucking POET!

  140. 140
    smintheus says:

    @The Thin Black Duke: Since you’re the clever one here, please explain to me what his point was then. Grand rhetoric is one thing, but flat out contradictions from one paragraph to the next?

  141. 141
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @opiejeanne: Most of the sources I’ve looked up say the actual, physical dress was blue and black, according to the manufacturer. E. g. here:

    http://www.cosmopolitan.com/st.....and-black/

    What you see depends entirely on what your brain is assuming about the lighting in the scene. Those same pixel values could equally well correspond to a blue and black dress under washed-out, yellowish lighting, or a white and gold dress in the shadows with indirect bluish lighting. But the actual photo was apparently of a blue and black dress.

  142. 142
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @opiejeanne: Ah, but that’s not the issue. Yes, the picture was messed with and the “real” color is (mostly) unambiguous in a “correct” picture.

    The question was: “What color is this dress” in the messed-up version. People looking at the same image on the same monitor were mostly (but not exclusively) in “blue/black” and “white/gold” groups. They were reporting what their brain told them the color was.

    J was in the white/gold group. I was in the blue/black group.

    What you saw depended on how your brain was interpreting the visual clues (Was it telling your brain that it was in shadows? In reflected light? Something else?)

    There are lots of other visual puzzles that can seem impossible. Like the shadow on a checkerboard. Squares A and B are exactly the same shade of gray, but your brain will tell you that they’re different because it’s adjusting for the fact that it interprets B as being in a shadow.

    Our eyes and brains aren’t cameras and photographic film. Lots and lots of unconscious processing is going on that we don’t normally recognize. That’s why people saw completely different colors for the same image.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  143. 143
    smintheus says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: Nobody of sense disputes that there has to be compromise in ordinary politics; that’s a truism except among right-wing crazies. Obama is creating a straw man, at best, by arguing that compromise is necessary even when you’re 100% right. It’s a disingenuous if not dangerous idea.

  144. 144
    gwangung says:

    @smintheus: No. But you’re the one trying to pry exceptions in there.

    Yes, there principles you cannot yield on. But solutions for those principles? The tactics you use to achieve them? Well, that’s another story. And folks remember you MUST play the long game here….because your opponents most certainly do.

    @smintheus: Actually, no. It is most certainly not disingenous. You’re dead wrong here.

    You’re playing the long game here; you don’t achieve a goal and stop. You achieve the goal AND KEEP ON DEFENDING. Because the other side is continuing to bring it back.

  145. 145
    CaseyL says:

    The dress! The dress Has Returned!!

    …I don’t recall it being a matter of differences in color perception; more a matter of a lousy picture. I first saw the “washed out” photo, couldn’t understand what the excitement was all about, because the dress was obviously white and gold.

  146. 146
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    This is a post to bookmark for posterity. Like the Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

  147. 147
    RK says:

    @Steeplejack:

    And a quick check of the Google reveals that the outfit behind that YouTube video, TrumpQuestions.com, is a GOP ratfucking operation. Thanks a ton!

    Who cares who compiled that video; it’s his own words in context.

    @Matt McIrvin:

    As far as I know, Trump’s Democratic positions have been pretty consistent until he decided to run as a Republican. And he already seems to be walking away from his tax plan with regard to cuts for the rich. I agree he’ll need to lean on advisors but it’s undetermined how that will play out. I think he can drop a lot of the Republican act once in office and frame it in a way that will be palatable to his voters. Of course, and I’ve shaken my head about this for the last several months, it’s possible he’ll feel forced to continue his act and thus govern (at least in some areas) counter to this true positions.

    I’m off for now.

  148. 148
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    @Matt McIrvin: I doubt the cold ossified hearts of Ronald Reagan and Barbara Bush where affected by protests. What moved the issue was the children of rich republican fundraisers were dying. It’s all about the Tubmans. .

  149. 149
    otto says:

    Gotta say that Obama looks amazingly well. He has aged so well during his presidency.

    Bush is hiding in a bathtub somewhere with some pastels, but I’m excited that Obama is going to be active in politics of some sort for a long time after this.

  150. 150
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: More like a digital camera produced JPEG, as opposed to a RAW file from the camera.

  151. 151
    smintheus says:

    @Miss Bianca: I’m older than Obama, and I never understood even as a child why anyone would think that gays did not have the same legal rights as straights. Could be that Obama changed his mind about the principle of equality before the law, but I just don’t think he ever sounded credible when he claimed that he was opposed to gay marriage.

  152. 152
    Baud says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: The dress is infrared!

  153. 153
    debbie says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Monitor calibration (or not) was also a factor.

  154. 154
    Emma says:

    @Matt McIrvin:But Kramer wasn’t the President of the United States. Look at the Congress we have. Do you think any amount of screaming from Obama would turn them to the Light?

    Citizens can use the Kramer tactics. The President can’t.

  155. 155
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @RK: You say Trump is really a Democrat? St. Ronnie was a Democrat.

  156. 156
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud: Heh, then you’d be able to see through it.

    ETA: You can see through some fabrics with infrared, you may remember the Sony video camera with night vision in the early 2000’s.

  157. 157
    Baud says:

    @Emma: When I scream at Cole, he usually complies.

  158. 158
    Prescott Cactus says:

    Was going to just listen to it, but decided to watch it too. Incredible. He got us out of a ditch and got us headed in the right direction.

    Hope. We have better health care options and those with pre-existing coverage are covered. That is amazing.

    Change. Better is good.

    Thanks for the front page on this. I’d have never have caught it on my own.

  159. 159
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud: Even Cole knows the POWER of the Baud! nation.

  160. 160
    gogol's wife says:

    @MomSense:

    Remember Obama talking about his mother, and how she had to struggle with insurance companies when she had cancer? He knows.

    I love him so much. I feel so blessed to have been able to shake his hand.

  161. 161
    🚸 Martin says:

    I think post-presidency Obama will look very different from post-presidency Bush.

  162. 162
    gbear says:

    @RK:

    Trump has said that he will outsource the selection of Supreme Court justices to Jim fucking DeMint and The Heritage Foundation. Get real.

  163. 163
    WaterGirl says:

    @opiejeanne: Crazy – when I click on reply it keeps opening the link to the dress! The article David Koch linked to said the dress was actually blue and black, but it looked gold and white to some people. Seems like you are saying the dress was actually gold and white. I can see how blue could look white or white could look blue under certain lighting. But how black could look gold under certain light is beyond me.

    Color is complicated!!!

  164. 164
    Baud says:

    Can’t we compromise and say that the dress was gold and blue?

  165. 165
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud: Blue and Gold, works for me!

  166. 166
    Baud says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Why isn’t this tech more widespread? College dudes would pay a fortune for it.

  167. 167
    seaboogie says:

    @Baud: @John Cole:

    I don’t mind the placement. But they have slowed down the mobile site a lot. It hangs up all the time now.

    Baud, the ads don’t slow the site down for me, but I have found that the combination of vertical social media links followed by an ad when viewed in portrait format always goes to the link for the app (for me its Lyft and Uber, as I am in SF Bay area). I found that if I view the site and scroll down in landscape format, there is enough white space to permit scrolling and skip the ad/app links.

  168. 168
    amk says:

    @RK:

    If you’re trying to campaign for donnie dreck, at least fucking know your fucking audience.

  169. 169
    Baud says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Done.

    Next up, Israel/Palestine.

  170. 170
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: I can’t wait to see the patented Baud short and sweet, pithy summary of your Israel/Palestine position.

  171. 171
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    @Baud: Wisdom of Solomon.

  172. 172
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud: It is, night vision demo; they’re just too busy takin’ bong hits and playin’ XBOX.

  173. 173
    Baud says:

    @WaterGirl: While I could release my plan for bringing about world peace now, I feel I need to hold something back for the next run. The math just isn’t there at this point.

  174. 174
    gbear says:

    @Mike J:

    The coverage of this great speech?
    Jon Favreau ‏, referring to the Politico hed: “Garbage headline. Never mentioned Trump, speech had zero to do with Trump or 2016. But hey, clicks.”

    Here’s how they billed it: “Obama, wary of Trump’s rise, urges Howard grads to vote”

    Next headline: “Obama makes student stand and cry at her own graduation ceremony!”

  175. 175
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: McCain knew where Bin Laden was, you know, or how to find him, or something.

  176. 176
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    @🚸 Martin:

    I think post-presidency Obama will look very different from post-presidency Bush.

    Obviously. Obama is a far more talented painter.

    Though you have to give it to Bush, he can paint an entire apartment in one afternoon – 2 coats.

  177. 177
    Miss Bianca says:

    @smintheus: I think we’re probably talking past each other here. But sure…if you wish to maintain that Obama’s change of position was all a result of political calculation, go ahead.

  178. 178
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: This is a sad moment. Is this the first public acknowledgement that the math just doesn’t work? If so, we need a moment of silence.

  179. 179
  180. 180
    Baud says:

    @WaterGirl: No, I’ve acknowledged it before. Been working on my concession speech. Trying to figure out the right time to deliver it. Maybe after California, to help drive turnout for down-ballot races.

  181. 181
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud: You could also see that in the picture of the lovely Jinsun that I took on our hike to Echo Mountain and Inspiration Point(just the mirrored sunglasses becoming see-thru part).

  182. 182
    NotMax says:

    @WaterGirl

    And if McCain had only had him over for golf and drinks, all differences would have been ironed out.

    ;)

  183. 183
    Jeffro says:

    @🚸 Martin:

    I think post-presidency Obama will look very different from post-presidency Bush.

    It’d almost have to, wouldn’t it? The Disaster vs the Clean-Up Crew? Someone who believes in little if anything, vs someone who believes in our basic civic institutions, our responsibilities to each other, a better future as a nation?

    The only thing keeping me from being depressed that he’s leaving office is that he appears to be motivated to keep going, meaning that once he’s out of office, he might feel even more free to lay into obstructionist forces and those who display anti-American values.

  184. 184
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @JMG:

    FDR died younger than I am now

    Fully ten years younger than I am. I don’t think I realized that until I looked up his birth date just now.

  185. 185
    Mike J says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    Blue and Gold, works for me!

    I went to Mizzou, couldn’t we say black and gold? Cole and his Steeler hordes would probably agree.

  186. 186
    Suzanne says:

    @kdaug:

    Justice Obama

    A girl can dream.

  187. 187
    Ruckus says:

    @Keith G:
    The other day I got told that I was being given the senior discount without asking. First time someone said they were giving it to me without me asking or them checking my age. Didn’t quite know if I should be glad or offended. Either way I took it of course. Told her thank you, I’ve earned it by lasting this long.

  188. 188
    🚸 Martin says:

    @Jeffro: No, I think Obama’s post-presidency may look *very* active by all historical comparison. More than Carter and Clinton.

  189. 189
    Suzanne says:

    Black and blue, HELLO.

  190. 190
    Ruckus says:

    @gwangung:
    Thank you for this. End goals you don’t compromise on. How you get there, how soon you get there, that you have to compromise on unless you can convince enough of the opposition that it’s in their best interest to agree with you 100%. But that’s a pretty tall order in politics and it happens almost never. And right now we have an opposition that uses the tantrum as a style. It’s – No, I’m not going to eat my vegetables, no matter how good they are for me, and you can’t make me.

  191. 191
    J R in WV says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:

    Your explanation is pretty accurate, but you left out the tremendous variation between computer screens/monitors. Two people in the same room can have vastly different color rendering on their laptops/big screen monitors.

    An acquaintance was an industrial designer, but then became a dealer in mineral specimens, mostly via the internet. If you’re selling an expensive aquamarine mineral specimen, the actual color of the gem crystal is of critical importance in setting a fair price for the object. He provides downloads of software that can help one reset a computer system’s monitor to work more accurately, so he will get fewer returns because the color in hand is so different from the color on a customer’s monitor.

    Setting the Gamma correctly is half the battle in adjusting a monitor to accurately represent a well-captured set of colors from a work of art or a photo or video via computer networks and digital equipment. The other factor is color depth, how many bits are being used to encode colors, and how well the camera works with that data.

    Here’s a moderately technical explanation, with links to the real technical stuff… http://www.cgsd.com/papers/gamma.html

  192. 192
    satby says:

    @NotMax: They need to start streaming on Roku, even if it’s with a subscription like Netflix.

  193. 193
    Mai.naem.mobile says:

    I told my niece to appreciate Obama because.he’s about as good as it gets. Her response was a ‘yeah yeah,whatever’ and I tried telling her she has no idea how bad it can get because Obama’s the only president she’s had since she’s been old enough to understand the concept of a presidency. Obama’s just quietly competent like a really workhorse car that basically doesn’t give you any major problems.

  194. 194
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Suzanne:

    Black and blue, HELLO.

    School of Hard Knocks?

  195. 195
    NotMax says:

    @satby

    I believe TCM is still available via Sling on Roku (small subscription for Sling) but I’ve read that the service can be iffy. Might be better by now.

    BTW, finished up Gran Hotel Quite a ride. Talk about a ready-made group of consumers for tranquilizers. :)

    The coda after the credits of the final episode was tres bittersweet.

  196. 196
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @J R in WV:

    Two people in the same room can have vastly different color rendering on their laptops/big screen monitors.

    Yes, that can happen, and it’s certainly the case that monitor calibration varies a great deal. But in the case of me and J, we would each look at the same monitor/screen (we each looked at her Mac and my PC laptop). We were perceiving the same image differently. It’s a brain thing, too.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  197. 197
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @Mai.naem.mobile:

    I think that it will be impossible to overstate how consequential his presidency has been, which will only be understood after all is said and done. He let all the sound and fury just break around him while he kept pushing without much help, and got a whole lot of progressive shit done to no one’s respect or gratitude – just criticism – in this racist as fuck country. He’s made it look so easy.

    ETA: His criticisms in the speech of people who didn’t vote in the off year elections was so right on. Like he said, it would have made all the difference if the non-voters voted.

  198. 198
    seaboogie says:

    What a truly wonderful and inspiring commencement speech – thank you for sharing it, JC. And a hearty “hear, hear” for all of the reasons that you love him too while also recognizing that there are areas of disagreement. I am absolutely certain that Obama would be totally chill with that. President of a lifetime.

  199. 199
    Mike in NC says:

    Nice title, as the BernieBros will do all they can to elect president Drumpf, a petty fascist imbecile most concerned about finding his next trophy wife. Maggots.

  200. 200
    different-church-lady says:

    If you think that the only way forward is to be as uncompromising as possible, you will feel good about yourself, you will enjoy a certain moral purity, but you’re not going to get what you want.

    Unless, of course, what you want is to bitch about how everything is fucked up. I mean, seriously, I think that’s the only goal for a lot of people.

  201. 201
    seaboogie says:

    @Mai.naem.mobile: Yeah, well – the youngs, they know everything – it is their biological imperative. There are things you cannot know until you live them. Not your niece’s fault. But per Obama in this speech that he gave, there is an opportunity for you there to engage in a dialogue and really listen to her. And then to offer stories and history that gives context that is then meaningful to her.

  202. 202
    satby says:

    @NotMax: yeah, it was a great series. And I really appreciated those little follow up scenes.

    Edited to add: tried Sling and the volume on the TCM channel was always barely audible, even with my TV volume turned up to the max.I lived in fear of blowing the speakers if I forgot to turn it down before changing channels.

  203. 203

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    I’ve said it before, John, and I’ll say it again here: you are a goddamned fucking POET!

    That explains a lot. I don’t understand poetry, either.

  204. 204
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    The meme last year got quickly old:
    Blue and black, or white and gold?

    I hoped it never would come back:
    White and gold, or blue and black?

    Some viewers just don’t have a clue:
    Gold and white, or black and blue?

    You see it wrong, I see it right:
    Black and blue, or gold and white?

  205. 205
    benw says:

    Obama is awesome. And I’m not even talking about Barack!

  206. 206
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Not again the icky dress!
    Thought of it gives me distress!

    J said, “Something is wrong with you!”
    “Nobody sees it black and blue!”

    ;-)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  207. 207
    daves09 says:

    @trollhattan: Lack of people and of satellite coverage makes it hard to be sure but best estimates are that about a million acres of the Siberian boreal forest burn every year.

  208. 208
    WaterGirl says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: No one can top that! Off to bed.

  209. 209
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:

    👏👏👏

  210. 210
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @satby:

    You can stream movies from the TCM site. There’s a link on the home page.

  211. 211
    WaterGirl says:

    @trollhattan: Photos of the fires from the highway are terrifying. We are not going to like the climate change we are creating, and it’s on us already. I would say that mother nature is really pissed and is going to be continue sharing her displeasure with us. We are indeed fiddling while Rome is burning.

    And with that happy thought, I really am going to bed.

  212. 212
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @efgoldman:

    I’m going to ask Anne Laurie to send you my e-mail address. I’d be happy to host you and the missus for lunch next week while the grandkid is in daycare.

  213. 213
    BR says:

    This was truly a magnificent speech. I really felt the thread from when he was a senator in 2007 talking about the long history of change in America. This one brought me back to that feeling — the magical days of 2007 and 2008 — and reminded me that we’re still in those magical days — that each day can be and is special not because of its extraordinariness but because of the thread that is being woven with it.

  214. 214
    nellcote says:

    @smintheus:

    On things you can compromise about, find a workable compromise. On issues where there is no room for compromise, stand by your principals and voters will respect you.

    A point he makes further on in the speech which you would know if you bothered to watch it.

  215. 215
    tinare says:

    Words cannot express how much I love and appreciate that man. I cannot believe that 8 years have gone by already, and I dread the end of his Presidency. The only consolation is that he is young and I’m sure he is not going to retire. I look forward to seeing what he does after he leaves office. I bet he can rock the world even harder.

  216. 216
    Cain says:

    Every time I go back and look at the old videos, especially the 2008 ones and I keep thinking.. wow, what a wonderful political time it was. It was the biggest emotional coaster I have ever been on. I will never forget it. This man, this amazing man became president. Best president in my life time. I don’t know if we will ever see another one like him again.

  217. 217
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    Dying thread, but I want to leave this before I hit the sack.

    Brad DeLong points us to: Aristotle – On Trolling.

    Well said. ;-)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  218. 218
    rikyrah says:

    @NotMax:
    Thank you 😊 for the Hepburn marathon notice.
    Sigh
    I love Katharine Houghton Hepburn.
    Love ❤ her.

  219. 219
    eemom says:

    @Steeplejack (phone):

    Us locals would be honored by your presence at Teh Meetup, also. Jussayinzall.

  220. 220
    Steeplejack says:

    @eemom:

    Will try to make it if I can. Seem to remember that efgoldman has a pretty tight window for an evening meet-up—May 15-17.

  221. 221
    LAC says:

    A proud (and tired) mom who watched her little boo graduate from Howard today. President Obama was everything! And a shout out to cicely Tyson, another honorary degree recipient. Just a great day!!

  222. 222
    Steeplejack says:

    @LAC:

    Congratulations to the boo and to you!

  223. 223
    No One You Know says:

    @eemom: That’s the winner’s offer to make…and more than a little presumptuous of him to do so.

  224. 224
    Loviatar says:

    It’s why even on the issues I strongly disagree with him, I don’t lose my shit, because maybe he has a bigger picture view of things that I do, and he has earned my trust. Plus, for a politician, he’s just so goddamned cool. It’s like a mad scientist said let’s take FDR and Lincoln, add in some Jay-Z and Idris Elba, a little MLK and and Ali and Poitier, and see what happens- Presto- Obama!

    Kind of makes me wonder what John was gushing about Reagan in the 80s.

  225. 225
    TriassicSands says:

    And they made life better for all Americans.

    That whole excerpt is beautifully said, but somehow I think there might be one or two pinheads in Alabama and South Carolina who would disagree with the last sentence.

    Which brings us to 2016 and Donald Trump, who, somehow, after a life of privilege and excess feels the pain of poorly educated white racists throughout the US.

  226. 226
    J R in WV says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:

    No question that color perception is both an eyeball / brain thing as well as a big technical problem When I worked in TV and photography I had the pleasure of working with color slide film. Ektachrome and Kodachrome (that Paul Simon sang about). The two films had different color balances, Ektachrome was a little hazier aI nd just a bit bluer, while Kodachrome was as warm and sunny as a sunset ending a perfect day.

    Then I realized that my eyes were also a little different – one was more Ektachrome, and the other was more Kodachrome. I could squint one eye closed and then the other, and select a film stock based on how the picture would look. I think it would be a fine thing if top-end digital cameras would have a setting for Ektachrome color and one for Kodachrome.

    Kodachrome was a really great film, with great definition and detail (really fine grain!) and wonderful color values. I miss it still, even though the new photography technology is great. My first digital camera was a Nikon CoolPix that had two units – one with the lens and sensor, and the other with the viewer and selection tools, and they rotated so that you could hold the camera on the ground to shoot a tiny flower, and stand there looking down at the camera to aim and compose the shot, just wonderful industrial design.

  227. 227
    Groucho48 says:

    Listened to the speech. Didn’t read many of the comments, but, WOW, we are all lucky and blessed that this man was President in our lifetime! I am in awe of him as a person and as a speaker and as a leader.

  228. 228
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: @SiubhanDuinne:
    Once again it is the dress
    I’ll look at it under duress

    Why is it back, why this bad luck
    What colour it is, who gives a fuck

  229. 229
    evodevo says:

    Yes. I got so tired of that. IT’S THE SAME DRESS, UNDER DIFFERENT CONDITIONS, normal light and shade. And the photo of the dress in the shade originally was NOT that blue – someone photoshopped it or something. I can’t believe people spent so much time and effort on …. oh, wait, never mind, I can.

  230. 230
    satby says:

    @Steeplejack (phone): It asks for your cable provider. Or it did when I last checked.😖

  231. 231
    Cleos says:

    @Keith G:

    Just wait til 1) A cashier at a counter asks if you want the senior citizens discount, and 2) Upon inquiring, you find out that you qualify.

    No, it’s not that. It’s when they give you the senior discount without your asking.

    Next step: you start to expect it. Old age ain’t fer sissies.

  232. 232
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Ruckus: The best part about turning 60/62/65 is getting the senior discount–it’s your reward for having lasted that long. The worst part about it is that you usually have to remember to ask for it–& I usually don’t. Remember. (Pause while I try to remember what it was I needed to remember. Keeping in mind that it isn’t Alzheimer’s if you eventually do, it’s only Oldtimer’s…. Oh. :D)

  233. 233
    Cleos says:

    @Emma:

    But Kramer wasn’t the President of the United States. Look at the Congress we have. Do you think any amount of screaming from Obama would turn them to the Light?

    Citizens can use the Kramer tactics. The President can’t.

    That’s what I was thinking.

    Well, that and “I don’t care about that damn dress.”

  234. 234
    LAC says:

    @Steeplejack: thank you! And good morning to you and happy Mother’s Day to all moms out there!!

  235. 235
    D58826 says:

    Excellent post John and I think we should suspend the 22nd for as long as Obama wishes to serve Michelle might have a different opinion however.

  236. 236
    D58826 says:

    @Ruckus: I’ve used this metaphor before on other threats but what Obama is saying is sometimes you have to settle for getting the entire loaf one slice at a time. And yes I think that was a gentle shot in the direction of the Bernie or bust folks.

  237. 237
    cleek says:

    @different-church-lady:
    in some people, the everything-is-fucked-up pose seems to be a justification for not wanting to get involved, or not wanting to take responsibility for electing someone who might make a bad decision later on. by pretending it’s all hopeless, you get to throw your hands up and say “oh well, guess there’s nothing i can do about it!”

  238. 238
    Rob says:

    This is what it’s come to. Progressives gush over a Democratic president who is essentially Republican lite. I won’t deny he’s done some good, but in the end, he’s made no efforts to stop our drift to the right. HRC will be worse. Plus, I fear she and her chum Bibi will have us in another war in the Middle East.
    And now we have to choose between a shit sandwich or a shit sandwich with a little sugar. No. No way.

  239. 239
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    We can only hope…

    Been listening to APHC since the mid 80’s when I worked at an NPR affiliate. I liked the show a lot for 25 years, but now I am sooo tired of his ponderous, wheezy delivery. Your mileage may vary.

  240. 240
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @Steeplejack</a@Steeplejack:

    SOP conservative stratagem: when one of your own disappoints or embarrasses, just deny he was on your side anyway! Bush? He was no conservative! Nixon? Why, that liberal created the EPA!

    Easy-peasy.

  241. 241
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): is it your sense that the music has changed in the last couple years? Seems to me it’s all Andrew Sisters wannabes these days. Didn’t he used to have on the likes of Emmylou and Sam Bush more frequently?

    @Rob: why don’t you go out in the yard and run really fast in circles to see if the propeller on your beanie makes you fly

  242. 242
    smintheus says:

    @nellcote: So why does Obama contradict himself? Either you think everything is subject to compromise, or you don’t. His audience shouldn’t have to parse every word of his entire speech to figure out for themselves that Obama doesn’t actually mean what he’s arguing.

  243. 243
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    I do think Keillor sings waaay too much regardless of who the guest is. Norah Jones is not improved by Garrison’s croony accompaniment. Yes, the variety of his musical guests may be less as you suggest.

    His voice has not aged well, IMO. I am bored by the way he reads poetry (Writers Almanac). It is just so predictable now… Low and wheezing and meaningful here, long, ponderous pause there… Ugh.

    His monologues feature irksome repetition, too. “Marvin Nystrom was at the Chew and Chat Cafe. He felt lonely. So lonely. So alone. And yet, he said he was happy. Said he felt good, that life was good…”

    Sorry, I know this is an utterly subjective rant. GK just makes me feel stabby to my own ears.

  244. 244
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Rob: It’s a shame St. Ralph isn’t running this year, huh.

    (roll-eyes)

    Better is good! – Obama.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  245. 245
    Troublesome Carp fka Geeno says:

    @David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch: I would love it if Cole could convince Taylor Swift to do even a nominal FP. That would crack me the F up. A quick post endorsing Hillz say.
    I’ll retire to my fantasy land chuckling now.

  246. 246
    marv says:

    Coming out of a well-deserved lurkerdom to say, John Cole, you da man with this post.

  247. 247
    psycholinguist says:

    Don’t fret Cole, Obama’s just moving on to bigger and better things – like being Hillary’s first Supreme Court nominee.

Comments are closed.