President Barack Obama’s Farewell Address

Hello Chicago!

It’s good to be home!

Thank you, everybody!

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you so much, thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

It’s good to be home.

Thank you.

We’re on live TV here, I’ve got to move.

You can tell that I’m a lame duck, because nobody is following instructions.

Everybody have a seat.

My fellow Americans, Michelle and I have been so touched by all the well-wishes that we’ve received over the past few weeks. But tonight it’s my turn to say thanks.

Whether we have seen eye-to-eye or rarely agreed at all, my conversations with you, the American people — in living rooms and in schools; at farms and on factory floors; at diners and on distant military outposts — those conversations are what have kept me honest, and kept me inspired, and kept me going. And every day, I have learned from you. You made me a better president, and you made me a better man.

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President Obama’s Security Speech

Remarks by the President on the Administration’s Approach to Counter-terrorism

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release-December 06, 2016

MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Florida

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much! (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you so much, everybody. Thank you. Everybody, please have a seat. Have a seat. Well, thank you so much.

Good afternoon, everybody. I was just told that was going to be the last “Hail to the Chief” on the road, and it got me kind of sentimental. I want to first and foremost say thanks to all of you. Just before I came here, I was able to visit with some of the men and women from MacDill Air Force Base, Central Command, our Special Operations Command to thank them for their extraordinary service. And so to you and your families, and to the extended family of American servicemembers, let me say that our nation owes you an unbelievable debt of gratitude. We are grateful for you, and will be praying for you over the holidays. (Applause.)

As you know all too well, your mission — and the course of history — was changed after the 9/11 attacks. By the time I took office, the United States had been at war for seven years. For eight years that I’ve been in office, there has not been a day when a terrorist organization or some radicalized individual was not plotting to kill Americans. And on January 20th, I will become the first President of the United States to serve two full terms during a time of war. (Applause.) Now, we did not choose this fight, but once it came to us, the world saw the measure of our resolve.

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‘For Your Precious Love’ – Otis Redding

For your precious love means more to me
Than any love could ever be
For when I wanted you I was so lonely and so blue
For that’s what love will do

Darling, I’m so surprised,
Oh, when I first realized
That you were fooling me
Darling, they say that our love won’t grow

I just want to tell them that they don’t know
For as long as you, long as you are loving me
Our love will grow wider, deeper than any sea
And all the things in the world, in this whole wide world
Is just that you would say that you’d be my girl

whoa, lonely
That’s what love will do

For your precious love means more to me
Than any love could ever be
For when I, I wanted you I was so lonely and so blue
That’s what love will do

Songwriters: Nickolas Ashford / Valerie Simpson
For Your Precious Love lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Regent Music Corporation

“For Your Precious Love” is a song written by Arthur Brooks, Richard Brooks and Jerry Butler, and performed by Jerry Butler and The Impressions in 1958. It was released as a single on Vee-Jay Records and peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Best Sellers in Stores and Top 100 charts. The song was ranked #335 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time in 2010.

The song has been covered numerous times with many versions reaching the US charts as well, including a new version by Butler himself, who peaked at number 99 on the Hot 100 chart in March 1966.

The 1968 version in South Africa by Durban group, The Flames, reached the top spot on the local charts and has been considered a classic in the country ever since.

Other versions
Garnet Mimms (1963, Hot 100 #26)
Otis Redding covered the song for his album The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads in 1965. It appears at the beginning of the 2006 French thriller Tell No One by Guillaume Canet and on the film’s soundtrack album. The song can also be heard in the 2009 movie Mr. Nobody by Jaco Van Dormael.
Oscar Toney, Jr. (1967, Hot 100 #23)
Jackie Wilson and Count Basie (1968, Hot 100 #49)
Linda Jones as “Your Precious Love” (1972, Hot 100 #74)
The Rolling Stones covered it during their sessions for 1989’s Steel Wheels album. It was never released, but can be heard on YouTube.

‘The Cool, Cool River’

Moves like a fist through traffic
Anger and no one can heal it
Shoves a little bump into the momentum
It’s just a little lump
But you feel it
In the creases and the shadows
With a rattling deep emotion
The cool, cool river
Sweeps the wild, white ocean

Yes boss, the government handshake
Yes boss, the crusher of language
Yes boss, Mr. Stillwater
The face at the edge of the banquet
The cool, the cool river
The cool, the cool river

I believe in the future
I may live in my car
My radio tuned to
The voice of a star
Song dogs barking at the break of dawn
Lightning pushes the edge of a thunderstorm
And these old hopes and fears
Still at my side Continue reading “‘The Cool, Cool River’”

Republicans’ Frankenstein Monster

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) did something today that Democrats should have been doing everyday for the last eight years. He called out Congressional Republicans for their unrelenting obstructionism.

History will look back and note that the Republican Congress treated President Obama with unprecedented disrespect.

No one expected them to agree with everything that he did or tried to do. A day or two after president Obama was elected the first time, Republicans met here in Washington. All the Republican big names and they came to two conclusions.

No. 1, Obama will not be re-elected. They failed on that one, quite miserably.

But, No. 2., that they will oppose everything that President Obama tried to do and they have stuck by that without any question. President Obama is the first president to be denied a hearing on his budget; he’s the first president to be denied a hearing on his supreme court nominee. President Obama is the first president to be asked to show his birth certificate. President Obama is the first president to face over 500 filibusters.

The only thing that Republicans have done this year was to prove that they are the party of Trump. They are the party of Trump. They say that they are not the party of Trump but they are.

They would have us believe that Trump just fell out of the sky and somehow mysteriously became the nominee of the party. But, that’s not the way it is.

Everything that he’s said, stood for, done in this bizzarre campaign that he’s run has come, filtered up from what’s gone on with Republicans disagreeing with everything that the president wanted. They filibustered things that they agreed with just to slow things down.

Trump is no anomaly. He’s the monster Republicans built. He’s their Frankenstein monster. They own him.

You Say Vote

you-say-voteYou say vote and someone says:

“Democracy is a sham. Those people don’t speak for me. The system is rigged.”

You say vote. Someone says:

“Well, it doesn’t make a difference. This state is red. Another state is blue. This thing is already a lock.”

You say vote. Someone says:

“Hey, I’m making a statement by not voting.”

And, you say:

Well, I can’t hear it. This is not about the White House. This is about your house. If you’re not registered to vote, you can’t sit on that jury. You can’t choose your mayor. You can’t choose your city council. You can’t even choose your district attorney. You can’t decide which measures will help your family and community and which will put them at risk.

This government was designed to be changed.

You can either make that change or you can take what little they give you. Democracy is not a sham. It’s a job. Our job. And it took too goddamn long to get it to just let it slide.

You say vote because there are people who still don’t want you to.

Go to http://savetheday.vote to get more information.

Baby Bomber!

So, at the top of the 7th inning yesterday, the Yankees had scored a run to tie the Tampa Bay Rays at 2-2. There were two runners on base but also two outs and the Yankees’ sensational rookie catcher Gary Sanchez was ambling up to the plate, with Butler following him.

There was frantic discussion on the mound about what to do. If I remember correctly, in an earlier game at Yankee Stadium, a similar discussion had led to a directive to give Sanchez an intentional walk. But the pitcher got the pitch too close to the plate and Sanchez hit the ball very far into the deepest part of the stadium, which was the only reason it stayed in the stadium for a sacrifice fly. Last night, the execution of what was discussed went similarly awry with far more destructive results.

Rays relief pitcher Brad Boxberger’s off-speed pitch floated up to the plate and sat fat and juicy in the middle of the plate. Sanchez smoked it hard and far for a three-run home run.

I am Raw with Rage

Does it matter that we’ve been saying for a long, long time that there’s a systematic and continuing extermination of a people. Why do people refuse to see our trail of tears and outrage?

Keith Lamont Scott

Terence Crutcher

Philando Castile

Alton Sterling

Freddie Gray

Eric Garner

Michael Brown

Amadou Diallo

Mapping Violence

The Counted

The Guardian: At the beginning of 2015, the Guardian began a grim task – to record the death of every person killed by American police officers – for a simple reason: astonishingly, the United States government publishes no such record.

The New York Daily News: Ahmad Khan Rahami set off a bomb in New York City, injuring a couple of dozen people. He shot at cops and wounded officers at the time of his arrest. He was still captured alive.

Dunham’s Extraordinary Contrition

The brouhaha kicked up by the actress Lena Dunham complaining that New York Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr. failed to somehow objectify her is interesting to me because of American history.

The issue of black-male interaction with white females in American history has always been historically problematic—Emmett Till, may God rest his soul, paid for this offense with his life, as have many uppity black men who had to temerity to look at white women and sometimes even talked to them.

Dunham’s apology was as extraordinarily contrite as her initial reaction to Beckham’s apparent inattention to her was obtuse.

Lena Dunham at the 2016 Met Gala
Lena Dunham at the 2016 Met Gala

Dunham had published on her website Lenny Letter newsletter an interview with comedian Amy Schumer about an encounter with Beckham that did not go the way she would have wished.

The occasion was the 2016 Met Gala and Dunham and Schumer talked about feeling out of place there. Beckham, too, was there and it seemed that he ignored Dunham. This is how Dunham related the experience to Schumer:

You and I were literally sitting across from each other at the Met Ball, and it was so surreal to get to do that.

I was sitting next to Odell Beckham Jr., and it was so amazing because it was like he looked at me and he determined I was not the shape of a woman by his standards. He was like, ‘That’s a marshmallow. That’s a child. That’s a dog.’ It wasn’t mean — he just seemed confused.

The vibe was very much like, ‘Do I want to fuck it? Is it wearing a … yep, it’s wearing a tuxedo. I’m going to go back to my cell phone.’ It was like we were forced to be together, and he literally was scrolling Instagram rather than have to look at a woman in a bow tie. I was like, ‘This should be called the Metropolitan Museum of Getting Rejected by Athletes.’

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The Trials of Hope Solo

I am still trying figure out what was wrong with what Hope Solo said about how Sweden played in the Rio Olympics soccer quarterfinals.

No, let me back up. I was shocked when I read what she had said. Then, I chucked it to Hope being true to herself. Her team lost a frustrating match. She said what her more tactful teammates felt but wouldn’t say.

Sweden, now coached by former USWNT coach Pia Sundhage, decided to ‘park the bus,’ as the saying goes, essentially playing with as many players behind the ball as it could and only making counterattacking forays. It’s a legitimate tactic to deploy against a team with superior talent but it does not make for scintillating soccer.

Solo called the Swedes “a bunch of cowards.”

Hope Solo answers questions after the USWNT against Canada on 9/22/11 from Chris Singer on Vimeo.

Calling your opponent “cowards” at the end of gut-wrenching loss was, at the very least, ugly, classless and unsportsmanlike. It is also one of the more benign things you could call an opponent in any competition, especially in the cesspool that is the world Olympics movement. Don’t forget this is the same Olympics that featured Ryan Lochte and Justin Gatlin, drugged-up athletes from at least Russia, the same Olympics where an official was arrested for scalping tickets.

The games themselves, all of it, were a disgrace, purchased as they were by scarce resources that should have gone to taking care of Brazil’s much impoverished population.

Continue reading “The Trials of Hope Solo”

Trump on Clinton’s Bigotry: Pot Calling Kettle . . .

One thing is clear.

Donald Trump does not have a plan to win the office of President of the United States. His intention is to win every news cycle by saying the most outrageous things that occur to him at that given moment.

A short time ago, it was encouraging gun owners to make sure a President Hillary Clinton never gets to appoint a justice to the United States Supreme court who could interfere with their 2nd Amendment rights.

He denied it later but by then it had been covered and covered as breathlessly as possible. I don’t remember which came first, that or that President Obama is the founder of ISIS, with Clinton as a co-founder and the president receiving award from ISIS as their most valuable player.

Again, saturation coverage.

So, why wouldn’t Trump come out and say that “Hillary Clinton is a bigot”?

And this is all part of his outreach to African Americans, people about whom he could care a whit, about whom he has no ideas and very little interest in engaging.

A Tough Time to be Fans of Arsenal FC

It is the start of another English Premier League season, the beginning of another European Champions League campaign and the Arsenal Football Club is in a familiar spot woefully undermanned and bereft of ideas how to solve problems.

Chelsea and especially the two Manchester clubs have replenished and rejuvenated their teams. The only thing those clubs are doing in the summer transfer market, if anything, is to find complementing pieces to round out their squads.

Chelsea Football Club resolutely recruited Michy Batshuayi and now can be seen in a two-striker set with Diego Costa. N’Golo Kanté has been poached from last season’s EPL champion Leicester City FC to add steel to their midfield.

Manchester City F.C. added German speedster Leroy Sané, Nolito from Spain and another German İlkay Gündoğan. And, any day now, Claudio Bravo will be in City colors.

The much hated Stan Kroenke, who owns the controlling shares in Arsenal F.C.
The much hated Stan Kroenke, who owns the controlling shares in Arsenal F.C.

Don’t even get me started with Manchester United FC. Zlatan Ibrahimović, arguably the best striker in the world, sturdy defencer Eric Bertrand Bailly, and midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan were added. Then, for good measure, Man U added the world’s most talented midfield player in Paul Pogba.

I haven’t mentioned Tottenham Hotspurs and Liverpool who also have designs on wresting the title from Leicester or, at least, finish in the top four.

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Another Dangerous Trump Idea

Donald Trump, the GOP nominee for President of the United States, proves daily that he is not in the race to win it. But he aims to cause as much havoc as he can on the way to not winning the presidency.

How else do you explain his efforts to recruit poll watchers in order to combat “cheating” by the Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party nominee?

Trump is the first candidate for President of the United States to use overtly racist appeals and he has now drafted as his campaign director Stephen Bannon, CEO of Breitbart News, who boasts that his news website is the propaganda “platform for the alt-right.”

Trump's Pledge

What proof does Trump have that Hillary Clinton is somehow planning to steal the election? None but then he’s never needed any to launch charges. His only evidence seems to be that the courts won’t allow some of the various GOP vote-suppression gambits to continue. At least some courts are willing to put a stop to those immoral efforts.

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