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Itís Not Just About Obama
New York Times ^ | May 3, 2014 | by Thomas L. Friedman

Posted on 05/04/2014 7:37:46 AM PDT by Oldeconomybuyer

THERE has been a festival of commentary of late bemoaning the pusillanimous foreign policy of President Obama. If only we had a president who rode horses shirtless, wrestled a tiger or took a bite out of a neighboring country, we’d all feel much safer. Your Honor, I rise in — partial — defense of Mr. Obama.

Let me start by asking a question I’ve asked about other countries: Is American foreign policy today the way it is because Obama is the way he is (cerebral, cautious, dispassionate) or is Obama the way Obama is on foreign policy because America is the way America is today (burned by two failed wars and weakened by a great recession) and because the world is the way the world is (increasingly full of failed states and enfeebled U.S. allies)?

The answer is some of both, but I’d put a lot more emphasis on the latter.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: bias; failure; journalism; media
1 posted on 05/04/2014 7:37:47 AM PDT by Oldeconomybuyer
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To: Oldeconomybuyer

More “Squirrel!” action by the butt licking media. Obama IS the reason, and any ancillary blather and bleats about “is it because America is the way it is” crap.

Obama and his evil ilk before him have made America it is today, he’s now putting the icing on the cake.

Next question. Or do you not have the latest fax from the White House yet, Friedman?

2 posted on 05/04/2014 7:41:01 AM PDT by Gaffer (Comprehensive Immigration Reform is just another name for Comprehensive Capitulation)
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To: Oldeconomybuyer
This is not just about Obama.

I think his basic premise is that this is Bush's fault.

3 posted on 05/04/2014 7:41:45 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy
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To: Oldeconomybuyer

The writer of the article is not paying attention if is rising to defend obama and his administration or is money flowing to continue the charade? I do not know but the participants do and they normally never reflect reality in writings like this one.

4 posted on 05/04/2014 7:42:02 AM PDT by no-to-illegals (Scrutinize our government and Secure the Blessing of Freedom and Justice)
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To: Oldeconomybuyer

So the next time I haven’t got a clue what the answer to a problem is I can simply say that I’m being “cerebral”?

I wonder how well that will work. /s

5 posted on 05/04/2014 7:42:20 AM PDT by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To: ClearCase_guy

“I think his basic premise is that this is Bush’s fault. “

I stopped about a paragraph in as I don’t want to puke. But I suspect you’ve nailed it.

6 posted on 05/04/2014 7:43:08 AM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: rockrr
I work with a guy who has managed to rise to a very high level. He has no skills or ability that I can detect. He says a lot of very stupid things. And if you try to pin him down or actually move a discussion toward a solution of a problem, he cuts the whole things off by saying, "You're not listening to me ..." or "You're missing my point ..."

Yeah. He's government. GS-15.

He's the most cerebral guy I know.

7 posted on 05/04/2014 7:49:01 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy
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To: Oldeconomybuyer

“Is American foreign policy today the way it is because Obama is the way he is”

Nailed it.

8 posted on 05/04/2014 7:49:23 AM PDT by Rennes Templar
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To: Oldeconomybuyer

Wimp !

9 posted on 05/04/2014 7:49:54 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Rip it out by the roots.)
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To: Oldeconomybuyer

Obama is “cerebral”?

Obama is cereal. He’s one big flake.

10 posted on 05/04/2014 7:54:26 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: Oldeconomybuyer

“If only we had a president who rode horses shirtless, wrestled a tiger or took a bite out of a neighboring country, we’d all feel much safer.”
You think this must be the conversation in local NYC gay bars and bistros?

11 posted on 05/04/2014 7:54:27 AM PDT by BilLies (sharyl attkisson is alive and well HOORAY!!!!!)
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To: Oldeconomybuyer
I won't waste my time reading this POS rag.

It and the slobbering toads who write for it are one of the primary reasons we're all headed for a world of hurt.

12 posted on 05/04/2014 7:55:20 AM PDT by skeeter
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To: ClearCase_guy
My favorite heard phrase from those types of people was/is ... You are not seeing the big picture!

Once, in the neighborhood of one thousand times, was truly frustrated with being told the above phrase and asked if that person would explain the big picture to me. Needless to say I received no explanation. Must be sop for those on the top of the ladder when presented with a please explain. Having never made it to the top of the ladder, I was always left to figure it out all by my lonesome.

13 posted on 05/04/2014 7:56:33 AM PDT by no-to-illegals (Scrutinize our government and Secure the Blessing of Freedom and Justice)
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To: ClearCase_guy
I think his basic premise is that this is Bush's fault.

But dude, Bush was even longer ago than Benghazi...

14 posted on 05/04/2014 7:57:42 AM PDT by trebb (Where in the the hell has my country gone?)
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To: Oldeconomybuyer

First thing I looked at was the source....

15 posted on 05/04/2014 7:59:31 AM PDT by oldtech
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To: Oldeconomybuyer
Can't you see - Obama is the victim of white America's capriciousness?

16 posted on 05/04/2014 8:00:16 AM PDT by Iron Munro (Malaysia Flight MH370 Black Box signals reported in Bermuda Triangle)
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To: Oldeconomybuyer

Except for dark humor, I don’t read Friedman articles. I assume somewhere down there Fox News and W are to blame.

17 posted on 05/04/2014 8:03:28 AM PDT by ModelBreaker
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To: Oldeconomybuyer

Obama is ‘cerebral’??????


18 posted on 05/04/2014 8:05:42 AM PDT by Gumdrop (~)
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To: Oldeconomybuyer

He’s the pRresident, Tommy boy. The buck stops with him now. No more blaming everybody but him.

19 posted on 05/04/2014 8:37:08 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government." --Tacitus)
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To: Oldeconomybuyer

Approval Ratings:
Obama: 41%
Putin: 82%

20 posted on 05/04/2014 8:40:57 AM PDT by tcrlaf (Q)
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To: ModelBreaker

Yout close..with Friedman is global warming causing every problem ever. Why bother reading?

21 posted on 05/04/2014 10:07:41 AM PDT by Blackirish
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To: Oldeconomybuyer
The validity of Friedman's "cerebral, cautious, dispassionate" description of the current President must be evaluated, one might suppose, by Friedman's own "cerebral" abilities which qualify him to make such an assumption.

At any rate, one might also contemplate how he might evaluate two of our former Presidents' own descriptions of their roles as President of the United States, as evidenced in their Inaugural Addresses.

The Oath of Office requires a President's fidelity to the Constitution by which the Executive and other elected officials serve in their posts. Such fidelity means that a President's Administration will not become what Bob Woodward described as "a rat's nest of concealment and lies."

The second President of the U. S., John Adams, the most fierce advocate for the Declaration of Independence, and a signer of the Constitution, in his First Inaugural's closing paragraph, laid out his understanding of the qualifications for the Office of President.

Inaugural Address of President John Adams

- (Excerpted & reformatted final words)

Philadelphia, March 4, 1797

“. . . as something may be expected, the occasion, I hope, will be admitted as an apology if I venture to say that

- if a preference, upon principle, of a free republican government, formed upon long and serious reflection, after a diligent and impartial inquiry after truth;

- if an attachment to the Constitution of the United States, and a conscientious determination to support it until it shall be altered by the judgments and wishes of the people, expressed in the mode prescribed in it;

- if a respectful attention to the constitutions of the individual States and a constant caution and delicacy toward the State governments;

- if an equal and impartial regard to the rights, interest, honor, and happiness of all the States in the Union, without preference or regard to a northern or southern, an eastern or western, position, their various political opinions on unessential points or their personal attachments;

- if a love of virtuous men of all parties and denominations;

- if a love of science and letters and a wish to patronize every rational effort to encourage schools, colleges, universities, academies, and every institution for propagating knowledge, virtue, and religion among all classes of the people, not only for their benign influence on the happiness of life in all its stages and classes, and of society in all its forms, but as the only means of preserving our Constitution from its natural enemies, the spirit of sophistry, the spirit of party, the spirit of intrigue, the profligacy of corruption, and the pestilence of foreign influence, which is the angel of destruction to elective governments;

- if a love of equal laws, of justice, and humanity in the interior administration;

- if an inclination to improve agriculture, commerce, and manufacturers for necessity, convenience, and defense;

- if a spirit of equity and humanity toward the aboriginal nations of America, and a disposition to meliorate their condition by inclining them to be more friendly to us, and our citizens to be more friendly to them;

- if an inflexible determination to maintain peace and inviolable faith with all nations, and that system of neutrality and impartiality among the belligerent powers of Europe which has been adopted by this Government and so solemnly sanctioned by both Houses of Congress and applauded by the legislatures of the States and the public opinion, until it shall be otherwise ordained by Congress;

- if a personal esteem for the French nation, formed in a residence of seven years chiefly among them, and a sincere desire to preserve the friendship which has been so much for the honor and interest of both nations;

- if, while the conscious honor and integrity of the people of America and the internal sentiment of their own power and energies must be preserved, an earnest endeavor to investigate every just cause and remove every colorable pretense of complaint;

- if an intention to pursue by amicable negotiation a reparation for the injuries that have been committed on the commerce of our fellow-citizens by whatever nation, and if success can not be obtained, to lay the facts before the Legislature, that they may consider what further measures the honor and interest of the Government and its constituents demand;

- if a resolution to do justice as far as may depend upon me, at all times and to all nations, and maintain peace, friendship, and benevolence with all the world;

- if an unshaken confidence in the honor, spirit, and resources of the American people, on which I have so often hazarded my all and never been deceived;

- if elevated ideas of the high destinies of this country and of my own duties toward it, founded on a knowledge of the moral principles and intellectual improvements of the people deeply engraven on my mind in early life, and not obscured but exalted by experience and age;

and, with humble reverence, I feel it to be my duty to add, if a veneration for the religion of a people who profess and call themselves Christians, and a fixed resolution to consider a decent respect for Christianity among the best recommendations for the public service, can enable me in any degree to comply with your wishes, it shall be my strenuous endeavor that this sagacious injunction of the two Houses shall not be without effect.

With this great example before me, with the sense and spirit, the  faith and honor, the duty and interest, of the same American people pledged to support the Constitution of the United States, I entertain no doubt of its continuance in all its energy, and my mind is prepared without hesitation to lay myself under the most solemn obligations to support it to the utmost of my power.

And may that Being who is supreme over all, the Patron of Order, the Fountain of Justice, and the Protector in all ages of the world of virtuous liberty, continue His blessing upon this nation and its Government and give it all possible success and duration consistent with the ends of His providence.” - John Adams, First Inaugural

Then, there is Thomas Jefferson's First Inaugural:

1801 Inaugural Address of Thomas Jefferson

(Excerpt) "Let us, then, with courage and confidence pursue our own Federal and Republican principles, our attachment to union and representative government. . . possessing a chosen country, with room enough for our descendants to the thousandth and thousandth generation; entertaining a due sense of our equal right to the use of our own faculties, to the acquisitions of our own industry, to honor and confidence from our fellow-citizens, resulting not from birth, but from our actions and their sense of them; enlightened by a benign religion, professed, indeed, and practiced in various forms, yet all of them inculcating honesty, truth, temperance, gratitude, and the love of man; acknowledging and adoring an overruling Providence, which by all its dispensations proves that it delights in the happiness of man here and his greater happiness hereafter—with all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people?

"Still one thing more, fellow-citizens—a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.

"About to enter, fellow-citizens, on the exercise of duties which comprehend everything dear and valuable to you, it is proper you should understand what I deem the essential principles of our Government, and consequently those which ought to shape its Administration. I will compress them within the narrowest compass they will bear, stating the general principle, but not all its limitations.
- Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political;
- peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none;
- the support of the State governments in all their rights, as the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns and the surest bulwarks against antirepublican tendencies;
- the preservation of the General Government in its whole constitutional vigor, as the sheet anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad;
- a jealous care of the right of election by the people—a mild and safe corrective of abuses which are lopped by the sword of revolution where peaceable remedies are unprovided;
- absolute acquiescence in the decisions of the majority, the vital principle of republics, from which is no appeal but to force, the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism;
- a well disciplined militia, our best reliance in peace and for the first moments of war, till regulars may relieve them;
- the supremacy of the civil over the military authority;
- economy in the public expense, that labor may be lightly burthened;
- the honest payment of our debts and sacred preservation of the public faith;
- encouragement of agriculture, and of commerce as its handmaid;
- the diffusion of information and arraignment of all abuses at the bar of the public reason;
- freedom of religion;
- freedom of the press, and freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus, and
- trial by juries impartially selected.
These principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and blood of our heroes have been devoted to their attainment. They should be the creed of our political faith, the text of civic instruction, the touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust; and should we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety."
- Thomas Jefferson

Many scholars and others who have studied the lives of America's Founders, Presidents and other leaders have commented on their "cerebral" or intellectual abilities. For instance, there is a story that President John F. Kennedy made the following comment at the beginning of a White House dinner on April 29, 1952, honoring a gathering of Nobel Prize winners:

" Ladies and gentlemen:

"I want to tell you how welcome you are to the White House. I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."

We might remember that at Age 33, Jefferson was chosen to author our Declaration of Independence--the philosophical foundation upon which the Constitution of the United States was formed.
22 posted on 05/04/2014 11:33:01 AM PDT by loveliberty2
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To: Oldeconomybuyer

If by “cerebral” you mean commie pussy, I agree.

23 posted on 05/04/2014 12:38:53 PM PDT by slouper (LWRC SPR 223)
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To: slouper

Well said.

24 posted on 05/04/2014 1:06:01 PM PDT by Oldeconomybuyer (The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.)
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