The Most Successful Democrat Since F.D.R. – by David Leonhardt -The New York Times

“When Barack Obama ran for president in 2008, he understood, without quite saying it, that there had been no highly successful Democratic president in decades.

Bill Clinton made the country a better place, but his biggest legislative plans failed and he was beset by scandal. John F. Kennedy, though popular in retrospect, had his agenda stalled in Congress when he was killed. Harry Truman left office deeply unpopular. Jimmy Carter lost re-election.And Lyndon Johnson, despite grand domestic achievements, was driven from office. The chant “Hey, hey, L.B.J., how many kids did you kill today?” doesn’t exactly suggest progressive heroism.”

Obama on Climate Change: The Trends Are ‘Terrifying’ – The New York Times

“MIDWAY ATOLL — Seventy-four years ago, a naval battle off this remote spit of land in the middle of the Pacific Ocean changed the course of World War II. Last week, President Obama flew here to swim with Hawaiian monk seals and draw attention to a quieter war — one he has waged against rising seas, freakish storms, deadly droughts and other symptoms of a planet choking on its own fumes.

Bombs may not be falling. The sound of gunfire does not concentrate the mind. What Mr. Obama has seen instead are the charts and graphs of a warming planet. “And they’re terrifying,” he said in a recent interview in Honolulu.”

Warning. I think I already posted this piece back in September, 2016, when it first came out. Now, it is part of a 6 section extended review of Obama’s presidency, and Part 1 i worth reading. Haven’t read the rest yet.

Obama Bans Drilling in Parts of the Atlantic and the Arctic – The New York Times

“President Obama announced on Tuesday what he called a permanent ban on offshore oil and gas drilling along wide areas of the Arctic and the Atlantic Seaboard as he tried to nail down an environmental legacy that cannot quickly be reversed by Donald J. Trump.

Mr. Obama invoked an obscure provision of a 1953 law, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, which he said gives him the authority to act unilaterally. While some presidents have used that law to temporarily protect smaller portions of federal waters, Mr. Obama’s declaration of a permanent drilling ban on portions of the ocean floor from Virginia to Maine and along much of Alaska’s coast is breaking new ground. The declaration’s fate will almost certainly be decided by the federal courts.”


Here is one of many supporting comments: Edna Boston 10 hours ago

“Please, please, please, President Obama, sit Merrick Garland on the Supreme Court during the interval between congresses. His nomination should have proceeded normally, and that it didn’t is a travesty.
Garland probably won’t remain on the court for long, but it’s the principle of the thing that counts.”

Obama takes off the gloves, by David Leonhart, NYT

David Leonhardt: “Time and again as president, Barack Obama has chosen to use cautious language, at times frustrating both his allies and critics. His descriptions of corporate America’s misbehavior during the financial crisis sounded like cocktail-party chatter compared with Franklin D. Roosevelt’s jeremiads. Obama’s sporadic refusal to utter “terrorism” or “radical Islam” has become a Republican meme.

All of which highlights the bluntness and harshness of his attacks on Donald Trump on Wednesday night.

“Anyone who threatens our values, whether fascists or communists or jihadists or,” Obama said, pausing slightly, “homegrown demagogues, will always fail in the end.” Look at that list: A president notorious for his cool demeanor compared the opposing party’s presidential nominee to America’s two great 20th-century enemies and its bloodthirsty 21st-century enemy.”

Arguments, provocations and observations from Times Opinion writers.

President Obama and the Long March, NYT

God Bless America.

He took a long view in his convention speech, stressing Americans’ common bonds, consistent with the spirit that drove his historic presidency.|By The Editorial Board
David Lindsay

David Lindsay

Great Comments  after an excellent accolade to our president.

Most Recommended:

Lakshmi Sunder Palo Alto, California 10 hours ago

“I am an immigrant from India and I love this country. My president’s speech today made me cry and feel joyous about why I love this country and what it means to be an American. After listening to months of hate filled speeches, feeling alienated, and wondering if I belong here, this president explained what makes America great. MY president described a country and its people that I fell in love with when I was sixteen. The kindness, the generosity, the ingenuity, the optimism, and the diversity is what makes America great. Watching the video describing the accomplishments of this president in the last eight years made me proud to be an AMERICAN. This speech will forever remind me why America is a beacon of light to the rest of the world.”

Obama’s Gorgeous Goodbye As he prepares to exit, the president makes a final plea about cooperation and common purpose.|By Frank Bruni

Frank Bruni soars in his admiration of Barack Obama. One example, he writes: “At Howard, Obama insisted that change “requires listening to those with whom you disagree, and being prepared to compromise.”

“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,” he continued. “So don’t try to shut folks out. Don’t try to shut them down, no matter how much you might disagree with them.”  ”

As he prepares to exit, the president makes a final plea about cooperation and common purpose.|By Frank Bruni
My favorite comment:
James Tynes Hattiesburg, Ms 4 hours ago

“Mr. Bruni is exactly right. All politicians have their faults, but few have the insight to pinpoint the dilemma that our nation currently faces with the poisoned rhetoric over thoughtful debate as Mr. Obama has because he’s been through his own trial by fire with a opposition Congress that was motivated by some members that have no reservations about stoking hate, not only for the democratic process and government itself, but for Mr. Obama personally.
There may have been uglier episodes in the history of the Republic, but not
in my lifetime have I seen a Congress so determined to sabotage a president
at the expense of the nation itself.
It’s a sign of how our technology has enabled people to nurture rage over
solutions by creating an infinite feedback loop of their own opinions without
having to listen and understand others. This internet age seems to have
banished the ability to seek common ground at the expense of the common
good. A current battle cry ‘I want my country back’ ignores the fact that
America belongs to every American but no one in particular, the nation
as it is will always be ‘our country’ rather than ‘my country’ alone.
I doubt that we’d have the country we claim as America if the founders
simply blogged their discontent rather than seeking solutions for
their disagreements.” ”

462 Recommended

Obama Says Thought and Compromise Are Key to Bringing Change The president, in a commencement speech at Howard University, told the next generation of black activists that passion and outrage were not enough.|By Michael D. Shear

Michael Shear: “WASHINGTON — President Obama told America’s next generation of black activists on Saturday that passion and outrage would fail to bring about the change they seek — unless it is accompanied by strategic thinking and tempered by a willingness to compromise.

Addressing the class of 2016 at Howard University, but speaking broadly to African-American youths who have fueled a new civil rights protest movement during his presidency, Mr. Obama urged them to adopt a more disciplined form of activism that goes beyond indignant rhetoric and uncompromising demands.

“Change requires more than righteous anger. It requires a program and it requires organizing,” Mr. Obama, the country’s first African-American president, told the graduates at Howard, one of the country’s oldest historically black universities. “Passion is vital, but you have got to have a strategy.”

That strategy, Mr. Obama told the graduates, must include listening to those with whom they disagree and compromising when necessary to achieve their goals. The message appeared to be aimed at Black Lives Matter activists who have expressed frustration and impatience with the slow pace of change by those in power.

“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,” the president said, adding that such an approach leads to “a downward spiral of more injustice and more anger and more despair, and that’s never been the source of our progress.” ”
““And you don’t have excuses,” he said. “You don’t have to guess the number of jelly beans in a jar or bubbles on a bar of soap to register to vote. You don’t have to risk your lives to cast a ballot. Other people already did that for you.”

He also urged them to infuse their activism with knowledge, saying that raising awareness about problems is not enough. They must educate themselves enough to hold the right people accountable, he said.

“If you care about better policing, do you know who your district attorney is? Do you know who your state’s attorney general is? Do you know the difference?” he asked. “Find out who they are, what their responsibilities are, mobilize the community, present them with a plan.” ”

The president, in a commencement speech at Howard University, told the next generation of black activists that passion and outrage were not enough.|By Michael D. Shear