Slate makes a compelling case.

It’s not that “A More Perfect Union” was insincere. Far from it. That speech captures the essence of Obama’s beliefs and his rhetorical posture, which centers itself on the essential unity of all Americans, on our common hopes and aspirations. It reflects his “unyielding faith in the decency and generosity of the American people” and his faith in the institutions of the United States. And while the speech didn’t foreshadow any of the events of the next eight years, it offered a guide to how Obama would generally approach controversy and tackle obstacles: with generosity, political ecumenicism, and good faith.

It’s a civilized approach for a civilized time. But now, unfortunately, is not a civilized time. As Obama leaves office, he confronts a new president who seeks to cast him aside as an almost monstrous imposition on a so-called “real America.” Who stoked racial, religious, and misogynistic hatred to win power, who represents a profound threat to our liberal, pluralist democracy, a harbinger of authoritarian nationalism. In this precarious moment, Obama’s approach isn’t enough.


Indeed, you can feel the inadequacy in how Obama has approached the transition to Trump, treating him as a normal political figure with the same basic respect for process and norms. In his final press conference of 2016, Obama stressed that he would continue “cooperation” with the president-elect, and that concerns over hacking should be a “bipartisan issue,” which he hopes will be a focus in the Trump White House. “My hope is that the president-elect is going to similarly be concerned with making sure that we don’t have potential foreign influence in our election process,” Obama said. It’s true some of this is strategic, a deliberate attempt to normalize Trump and impress on him the constraints of the office. But that, in turn, reflects Obama’s belief in institutions and process, despite the real chance those institutions and processes will fail to constrain Trump’s will to power.



I had thought of Trump more as a Lex Luthor villain, but then Luthor wouldn’t write obsessive Twitter messages. Charles Koch is Luthor.

“Illegals is not a noun.”

Redwood Times reports.  Now it goes to the Board of Supervisors.

I was there of course.  The room was packed with supporters – people were trying to hear from all the way out into the hallway, where some kids played.  Amazing the broad community base of supporters.  All ages.  All demographics.  Really amazing!

I counted seven rezone opponents.

In the end it was unanimous on the Commission.  It was fun to see Lee Ulansey and Noah Levy take unified action together.

Trump parties with a gangster on New Years Eve.  Where is the media?

tnt-photoLast night’s TNT wasn’t just a great show, but a powerful experience. I feel really privileged to be teamed up with these women who are not only talented, but deeply passionate. Unfortunately Yana couldn’t be there, but thank you for the invitation Linda, and thank you Lorna and Brenda. Thanks also to Katie who did an awesome job engineering – a bit of a challenge last night.

I’d like to do more team-ups in the future!

If you missed it, the archive is ready.

And no, Clinton doesn’t count. She was never investigated for wrongdoing for either Benghazi or the private server. The Republicans in charge went out of their way to make it clear that they were simply “fact finding.” The distinction is their’s, not mine, so take it up with them.


TNT 2016 retrospective – Linda will be hosting with Brenda, Lorna, and myself as guests to talk about our shows of the past year, with some clips. Unfortunately Yana cannot be there. It was brought to my attention a few months back that since Kevin left I am the only male member of the TNT pantheon. I also want to note that if there were four male hosts and only one female, nobody would have bothered to notice. Anyway, join us at 7:00. Should be fun.

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When Obama came to office we were losing over 800,000 jobs per month and the economy was in free fall. It isn’t hard to measure the economic success of his Presidency.  And he did it, unfortunately, with monetarist stimulation rather than the fiscal stimulation which had pulled us out of every recession since the Depression.  Republicans know this which is why Trump is pushing for a trillion dollar stimulus package and the Freedom Caucus is buckling under pressure.

Thing is, we have over 3 percent economic expansion and unemployment, which had reached double digits at the beginning of Obama’s time in office is now at 4.6 percent.  And, for what it’s worth, stock prices are breaking records.

Trump has tweeted that he should have credit for it, which is stupid and petty, but he has to do it politically.  Because as of this time next year he will have been expected to improve those numbers.  He has to deliver lower than 4.6 percent unemployment, and higher than 3.2 percent economic expansion.

And he has to do it without generating too much inflation, which looks like it may become a factor such that the Federal Reserve is going to up interest rates.  Sure, he can blame the Fed for it, which will play well to his base, but not to the Wisconsin and Michigan voters who expect him to bring industry back to the rust belt, and quickly.

So, this time next year, let’s see how he’s performed.  I’ve said that about local officials as well.

Hey, by the way, how about that General Plan Update?  You know, the one which was supposed to be finished three years ago after a conservative majority came to power in 2012 and was going to get things done?  How’s that going?

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