Barack Obama

President Obama's Friday Afternoon Press Conference

Expected to announce a national security transparency initiative


Friday afternoon is where news goes to die, but President Obama is holding a White House press conference at 3pm, where he's expected to announce a new transparency initiative for the NSA's surveillance programs, which were a secret until Edward Snowden's disclosures, for which he now faces federal charges of espionage.

You can watch the president put in one last hour of face time at the office before heading for his vacation, below, or follow our livetweeting at Reason 24/7.

In the interest of transparency, the White House embed code also came with a link to join a White House live chat, apparently via Facebook.


NEXT: Obama To Announce Transparency Initiative at 3pm ET Press Conference

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  1. Nine day vacation. And he just got back from another one. Isn’t there a stereotype about this?

    1. I voted to send him on a longer vacation last year.

      1. Snuf….cough….what? Who’s speaking today?

        Obama….meh! Wake me when something good is on!

    2. About rich people always being on vacation? I think so.

    3. I thought it was Mexicans who were supposed to be taking siestas all the time?

      I though Obama was Kenyan??

      1. Kenyans run 26 miles and 385 yards away from anywhere work needs to be done, and then play golf.

  2. And I have another two weeks before I head out on my vacation.

    Anyone ever been to Fort Ticonderoga? I’m considering it as my one-and-only excursion. The other option is the tractor pull at the Champlain Valley Fair.

    1. Try one of the lake cruises at Lake George. Or ride the excursion train between Saratoga Springs and North Creek.

      1. We’ll be in west-central VT, so NY excursions will have to be in reasonable proximity to the Champlain Bridge. I was thinking Ausable Chasm at one point, but that’s too far away. If I’m paying to rent a camp on the lake (Champlain), I’m damn well gonna stay in it most of the time!

        1. Have you ever been up Mount Marcy? It’s worth a two day excursion for the views.

          1. Naw…hiked Mansfield many a time, though. Views up there are pretty nice, too, and it’s a day hike! Or less than a day if you take the gondola in Stowe and rock scramble up the chin.

            1. Well that’s what I recommend if your in that area. I spent a few summer vacations in Plattsburgh visiting my mom’s family, always a fun time.

              My favorite memory was hiking the mountain and visiting Cooperstown (a five hour drive but totally worth it).

        2. The proper way to do a camp is to hit the Hannaford’s and stock up on food and booze and then spend all day drinking, getting stoned and swimming in the lake. Mine was just west of Augusta, ME. Fucking awesome. I loved it.

          1. That’s what I plan for 99% of the time. Have already arranged for certain “products” to be delivered (I don’t drive with it, especially with a gun in the car).

            1. That is wise. The one thing I’d actually leave the camp for other than supplies was to go shooting.

          2. My favorite place to do just that is Cumberland Island, Ga. The Outer Banks are nice, but CI has a better sub tropical vibe where you can pretend you are in the middle of that underrated Danny Boyle movie (mind blowing cinematography) with DiCaprio, The Island, without much effort.

            1. I only do tropical if someone else is paying.

              1. It’s Georgia! You want even need a passport, but this time of year, it strongly resembles islands a few hundred miles to the south of it. Spend a week on the island and then head towards Savannah for the weekends, nothing but love.

    2. It is pretty cool. Very pretty. It was never touched. So it looks just like it did in the 19th Century. If you like your military fortifications pre-Napoleonic, it is just for you.

      1. The squeeze likes that stuff a lot. I’m trying to woo him with all the wonderfulness of the Champlain Valley. I was thinking to buy tix for the nighttime cannon demonstration at the fort.

    3. Anyone ever been to Fort Ticonderoga?

      The Scottish military unit The Black Watch visited there in – I think it was the 1700’s? Didn’t go too well…

      Hope you have more fun than they did!

      1. Ahhh, yes! Here we are – from “Scottish Regiments”, The Black Watch…

        In 1756 the regiment was sent to New York to support British colonial settlements who were being threatened by the French and Indians. The regiment lost over half of its men in an assault at the strongly fortified French position of Fort Ticonderoga. The attack was launched without artillery support, and the regiment charged forward under deadly fire. 647 men out of a total of 1100 were lost.”

        So the Black Watch got to have their own little Gallipoli early in their existence. Good for them!


        1. Then Burgoyne’s one success in the Revolution came when his men built a road up Mt. Defiance and hammered the shit outta the fort.

          It was all downhill for Burgoyne from that point.

          1. I’ve never been to Ticonderoga. Seen Fort Henry, Fort Erie (Canada), obviously Mackinac (Michigander doncha know).

            Please let us know how you like it! Or, if you like it…have fun!

          2. Hey! What about Fort Edward? Don’t talk shit about Gentleman Johnny.

      2. You mean like this……..0012104966

    4. I got a tattoo there once…

    5. Minnesota State Fair!

    6. Once on a field trip. But I was like 8 so I don’t remember anything. I did swim over to the base of the cliff its on from a friends’ camp on the Vermont side of the lake a couple of years ago.

      1. did swim over to the base of the cliff its on from a friends’ camp on the Vermont side

        Good golly miss molly! Did Champ bite your ass?

        1. It’s not that far across at that point. Champ would have had a limited window of time in which to strike.

    7. Fort Ti is cool, but worth maybe an afternoon. You should try to go whitewater rafting on the Upper Hudson. It’s an absolute blast. You don’t think of the Hudson as having rapids, but in the Hudson gorge you can have as much fun as you might have outwest. The typical launch point is North Creek, NY. Probably an hour from the Bridge. Expect to pay maybe 75 dollars a person for the full day including meals.

  3. No thanks.

  4. Fuck the President in his most sensitive orifice — PRISM does not require more transparency; we already got transparency through the person of Edward Snowden. It needs to be shut down.

    1. No, no, these lies will seem so much more soothing than his previous lies.

  5. So is going to allow the members of the Court media to kiss his ring today?

    1. I believe he’s going to turn his back to the audience, drop his drawers, and ask them to, “Kiss my motherfuckin’ black ass.”

      Metaphorically speaking. Of course.

      1. And we all know that is what they are hoping for. Who gets to kiss his ass first? Do they do it by seniority or prestige of publication?

        1. Well, Helen Thomas died, so there’s a vacuum in the press room.

          1. I read where Helen Thomas used to call John Dean’s alchoholic, mentally disturbed wife to get stories during Watergate. Mrs. Dean apparently loved to get drunk and have someone to talk to. It was so bad that every other reporter in Washington stopped taking her calls because it was just exploitative. But not Thomas. She would talk to her and hear Dean’s daughter in the background pleading with her drunk and ill mother to put the phone down.

            Thomas was such an icon of good reporting.

            1. I dunno – I think that’s pretty awesome myself. If drunken Michelle Obama called me to tell me all the WH’s problems, I would call that a good day.

              1. True. But I doubt anyone would call that good reporting. It may be fun. But it is not exactly good reporting.

            2. I think you are referring to Martha Mitchell, the wife of Nixon’s Attorney General.

              I don’t recall Dean’s wife being in the news back then.

              1. Yes Cato. I lose track of my Nixon flunkies.

              2. And it’s Mitchell who used to call Thomas, not the other way around.

  6. This just in, at approximately 3:00 p.m. eastern standard time on Friday August 9th, 2013, there was a sudden and unexpected avalanche of bullshit.

    1. with an autoplay video!

      I couldn’t figure out where The Great Zero’s voice was suddenly coming from. Great fun at work.

  7. You can watch the president put in one last hour of face time

    No thanks, I have heard all that I need to hear out of that lying bag of hot air.

    1. I’ve despised presidents before, but he’s the first one who I can’t stand to listen to. I mean, I remember Clinton and Bush, for instance, telling the truth about something once or twice.

      1. This. I literally turn him off whenever he comes on. Cannot stand to hear his voice any more.

        Congratulations, Mr. President! You’ve joined such esteemed company as Sean Hannity, Rachel Maddow, Epi’s mom….

        1. She’s still bugging me! Fucking call her already!

      2. huh. I haven’t been able to stand to listen to any President since Clinton, about a year into his second term.

        I even kind of liked George II for about 6 months after he was elected, but still winced every time he talked.

  8. Friday afternoon is where news goes to die, but so therefore President Obama is holding a White House press conference at 3pm


  9. Obama, you are so cool. Tell us about your golf game. What about the girls? What books are you reading?

    /The White House Press Corps.

  10. Let me be clear…

    1. “My fecund Americans. . . .”

    2. Maybe that means, “I’m about to tell you a bald-faced whopper…” in Chicagoan.

  11. Nice audio you got there, White House.

  12. /Yawn. Any good Steam sales going on?

    1. The Swapper is 50% off, thinking of picking it up myself.

    2. Haven’t seen any good ones for a while. Just looked and didn’t see anything of interest. I loaded up pretty good during their summer sale though, plenty of gaming to last me a while.

    3. The Humble Bundle Weekly sale includes Prison Architect:

      Build and manage a maximum security prison in the top-down prison management sim Prison Architect. It’s entirely your choice when it comes to building the most horrifying prison or the most luxurious penitentiary ever. Currently in alpha development, the Prison Architect pre-order will get you early access and the full game upon its release, DRM-free and on Steam for Windows, Mac, and Linux!

      What more could a libertarian want from a computer game?

  13. Autoplay of “Ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states” just scared the crap out of me.

  14. Woo, building a better bargain for the middle class.

    Bargain? I don’t want no fucking bargain with you, asshole! I want you to fuck off!

  15. “Given the history of abuse by governments…”

    WHAT? IMPOSSIBLE!! Government is the only thing we all belong to, it can’t abuse things!

  16. Why does this keep autostarting after I stop it?”


    1. It will do that every time you post, because the page refreshes. Annoying, is it not?

  17. Matt Damon. MATT DAMON!

  18. “We’re going to be more transparent about these programs! Applaud for us!”

    Pauses for Applause

    Holds up Hand to Stop Applause

    “Let’s take a short break to cut away to show you the hanging of the person who originally told you about these programs. Applause for me, hanging for thee! Yah bitches!”

  19. The current headline on Slate is “Watch as President outlines NSA reforms”.

    You just have to laugh to keep from crying.

    “Watch as Bill Clinton outlines Oval Office blowjob reforms”

    “Watch as Ronald Reagan outlines secret arms deals to Iran reforms”

    “Watch as Richard Nixon outlines politically motivated break in reforms”

    This whole NSA thing is not a scandal. It is just another thing for Obama to reform. Barf.

    1. Yeah, thank the stars we finally got someone in office who can address the executive overreach and general fuckery of the previous four years…

    2. Hear me! I am your new president. From this day on, the official language of San Marcos will be Swedish. Silence! In addition to that, all citizens will be required to change their underwear every half-hour. Underwear will be worn on the outside so we can check. Furthermore, all children under 16 years old are now. . .16 years old!

      1. “For many years, I have waited for this day, but now I am the state.”

        1. See, he’s totally free, and he perfectly represents our will. Therefore, we’re all totally free.

          1. Obama is KORROK?

            1. He’s every god you need him to be.

              1. +1 Living Color

                1. Who knew music videos could come to life?

                  1. Those guys from A-ha?

            2. *I* am Kirok!


      2. Wait, did some nutjob musician who is too poor to live in Austin just declare himself dictator of San Marcos?

        “First, TSU will now be renamed to Southwest Texas State, as is only mete. Second, all coeds will submit to my inspection. Third, half of all fees charged for tubing the Guadalupe will be remitted to me. Fourth, weed is totally legal. And molly for me and any coeds who pass the test.”

        1. Yeah, Ricardo Montalb?n’s brother finally got deposed.

          1. Would that be…Retardo Montalban?

            1. I’ll hear nothing bad said about the Hermanos Montalb?n.

    3. Lol! heartily at that list. It’s a dead on perfect description of the absurdity of the Slate headline and the mentality that went into creating it.

  20. Oh the humanity. If I want to refresh comments I have to pause the stupid video each damn time.

    1. Get NoScript. Ahhh, sweet bliss

      1. I like NoScript, but like Reasonable more. Anyone know a good NoScript equivalent for Chrome or have a FF port for Reasonable?

        1. I regularly check and/or ask around for either of those things, but they seem to not exist.

          1. I’ve checked a few script blocking options for Chrome, but none of them stack up to NoScript. I’d love a direct port so I could share config files across everything at home and work.

        2. FlashControl extension for Chrome, you’ll like it.

    2. The mute stays in effect, even upon refresh.

      1. You’re a lifesaver!

    3. This is my world on every thread with Chrome and reasonable.

  21. “we show a restraint that many governments refuse to show”

    All call records to and from all verizon phone numbers for the past three months, please. We’ll ask for the next 3 months in 87 days.

    1. “we show a restraint that many governments refuse to show”

      We’re not as bad as North Korea or Saudi Arabia, so sit down and be quiet you ungrateful serfs!

      1. “we show a restraint that many governments refuse to show”

        Because transparancy, Bitches!

      2. You have powers that only few other governments can afford to possess and you abuse those powers as well. So how can you claim to be better than others? If America is, it isn’t from anything you did that got us footing on the moral high ground.

    2. “we show a restraint that many governments refuse to show”

      Hey, we could just shoot your dog, kick in your door…oh…I mean…FREE HEALTHCARE! WHOOPEEE!

  22. What an asshole. He has zero credibility since there wouldn’t be a debate on this issue if it weren’t for Snowden.

  23. Why the FUCK is that an autostart video?

    1. Mute is your only friend.

      1. My wife shrieks and grabs the remote to press
        Mute whenever she sees his face.

    2. 1. Chrome
      2. FlashControl extension
      3. Bliss.

  24. One of the good things about Reason in comparison to a lot of other sites is that the videos never play automatically when the page loads.

    Until now.

    What’s the deal? Is some incompetent intern responsible for this, or was it actually someone who should know better?

    This is the sort of thing people should get fired over.

    1. I’m assuming it’s the embed code that’s to blame. although the play parameter seems set to false in by default.

      1. That code is coming to your smartphone some day soon.

      2. NSA controls your auto-start, they control your e-mail account, your phone, your mail, in fact, they control your very thoughts…

        1. There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set.

          1. From the inner mind to the Outer Limits…

            1. Oh, we’re there. I’d not be complete shocked to wake up tomorrow to learn this was a strange dream induced by some bad paneer.

  25. Obama is so fucking shallow. “Putin needs to understand that it is possible for us to work constructively and not competitively” — I’m sure the thought never entered his mind in what has been nearly a lifetime of working as part of the Russian government. I’m sure that Putin is sitting in the Kremlin in his underwear scratching his balls, thinking in amazement “you mean that cooperating with the US all this time was an option? GENIUS!!”

    1. What would Obama know about “work”?

    2. He is a fucking moron. I have no idea how anyone ever thought he was smart.

      1. Moslty because the people who think/thought he’s smart are morons, too.

    3. Putin is laughing, but only about how easy it is to put POTUS in the defensive.

      Think about the next time the US presses Russia on press reforms.

      Additionally Putin is wondering what he did to get so lucky to be able to outplay, anytime he wishes, two US Presidents in a row (recall Bush knew he was a good guy because he “saw his soul” or whatever goofy crap it was).

      1. first sentence: but *not* only… preview..

  26. So…anybody doing anything exciting this weekend?

    1. I’m going to Disneyland!

    2. Work party. Trying to remain reasonably sober for a work party.

      This press conference is driving me to *really* want to drink hard.

    3. Nope. I’m having whatever the opposite of exciting is. Chore-filled and productive with interludes of drunkeness? I think I’ll get some decent tequila and ginger beer and drink Mexican mules while I paint and assemble furniture and test-drive mom cars with my fiancee.

      1. What brand of ginger beer? I can’t ever find any that is as spicy as I want it.

        1. Reed’s. I’m sure there’s better but this does me fine. I can’t remember what the other hippie stuff I like is called, but its harder to find.

    4. Going to Bend, OR.

      1. Or what? Break?

        1. No, he’s just going on a Bend-or.


          1. Don’t get lost and end up in Boring, OR.

            1. Is that near Deadford?

              1. I dunno, it’s here

        2. Or what? Break?

          Bend or Bust!

          Wow, that might actually sell as a tourist bumper sticker!

      2. Great microbrews! Just completed the Bend Ale Trail a couple of weeks ago. Would move there if I could, it was so good.

      3. will you be doing one the three sisters?

    5. Is squatting exciting?

      1. Are you paying a visit to Warty’s house basement this weekend?

        1. How can I pay a visit to the place I’m already at?

      2. Hanging at the backyard pool. Watching the press conference got me a head start on the drinking.

    6. More. Fucking. Insane. Motorcycling.

      Bonus: Shooting “Tyrannopuppeh versus Megakitteh” with my pets using my GoPro.

      “RRAWWWERRR” “Oh noes! Trannnnnnpuppeh tacks Megakitteh! Megakitteh not fyt in teh swamp wif Trnnnnnnpuppeh – watr? NO WAI! Fyt on dry grownd wher u will be PWND kthxbai LOL!”

      [pan to wading pool in back yard]

      1. What are you drinking? Because I’ll drink that this weekend instead.

        1. Need a new brew available in Michigan. Had done the locals to death. Any suggestions? Not crazy about IPAs.

          1. Does Cigar City distribute there now? I know they expanded their distribution big time after they bought the canning factory.

            1. I’ve never heard of it. I don’t think so. Checking their website now.

        1. Hmm, the sidebar is full of animal mating clips. Something you want to tell us, buddy? You’re safe here, we respect your right to love anything that consensually loves you back. Except the rapesquatch. He doesn’t want your consent.


          2. So let me get this straight. If I consent, he’ll leave me alone? Seems sort of risky.

        2. You’re doing it all wrong. Next time you see Nikki in a thread drop it directly in her path.

      2. I have no idea what the fuck you just said, but it’s more interesting and has more meaning, probably contains more truth, than anything our fearless leader has ever said, who remains on mute.

    7. I’m going to make some fresh salsa here in a bit, get some beer, then cook some ribeye and other stuff on the grill.

      Tomorrow we are going to some Cirque Italia thing cause the wifey likes stuff like that.

    8. And the winner is…Almanian! As I, too, will be motorcycling.

      Honorable mention goes to Epi, because I can’t tell if he’s talking about the exercise, or just sitting on his haunches at the side of the road like some Korean housewife over a pot of kimchee.

    9. Going to try hang gliding out at Lake Conroe tomorrow.

      1. Really? Where do they offer that?


          Guy I work with was really big on hang gliding. He convinced me to take a discovery flight after I told him how much fun I had skydiving. According to him, hanggliding isn’t really a rush, but more like a satisfying chess game or puzzle. You have to really concentrate and make strategic moves to stay in the air as long as you can.

          1. Awesome. Wish they’d had that (or I’d known about it) when I was a bored kid in TW 15 years ago.

  27. He do like to go on, don’t he?

  28. Stand up straight you grimy slouch!!!

  29. His hand gestures really are a tell.

    1. That he’s reaching for your wallet… to fix his ‘revenue’ problem?

    2. I thought his tell was whenever his lips are moving.

  30. Did he really just say have a discussion with libertarians? Or did I mishear that?

    1. “civil libertarians”

      1. Sorry, I’m way past civil.

  31. In the interest of transparency, the White House embed code also came with a link to join a White House live chat, apparently via Facebook.

    IT’S A TRAP!!! /Adm. Ackbar

  32. Fuck. I made the mistake of listening to a bit of that. What a crock of shit. Worse than his lies is the fawning press softballing everything to him.

    Goddammit I wish I still drank.

    1. I volunteer to drink more for you, since you can’t drink for yourself.

      You’re a Reasonoid – it’s the least I can do for you.

      Believe me when I say that…

      1. I’ll pitch in and help Suthenboy in drinking also. If Libertarians can’t volunteer to help out our comrades, then what is this world coming to?

    2. I made the same mistake, briefly.

      It astounds me that people can still listen to this guy without breaking out in hives.

    3. “Mr. President, aren’t you just saying all of this because you got caught violating any number of civil liberties? Can you explain to the American people why you haven’t resigned yet? From the looks of things, you’re worse than Nixon. No more questions; I’ll sit and listen to your bullshit nonresponse.”

      1. -“Mr. President, aren’t you just saying all of this because you got caught violating any number of civil liberties?”

        Well said. A comedian I once saw made a joke to the effect that when a seller comes out with a new and improved version of something it had been selling us it was essentially admitting it sold an inferior product. In saying he is going to look at important reforms to a program he has been in charge of for five years, Obama concedes he had no issue with what he now concedes needs reform, until he was caught.

  33. Obama says “that it is right to ask questions about surveillance”

    But if you want any answers, you can die in a fucking fire!

  34. Jesus fucking Christ – he’s STILL talking! Not listening, but I can see…he’s still talking.

    It’s been about 50 mins, dude. SHUT. THE. FUCK. UP.


    1. They’re just big fat meanies who hate sick 24 year olds!

  36. He’s literally just standing up there rambling.

    1. Maybe the teleprompter software got stuck in a loop. It’s not like he’d notice or anything.

      1. Remember how I said he was Andy Kaufman, goofing America? I take it back. Kaufman is the guy running the teleprompter.

  37. He seems to be implying that Obama-care makes health carpets affordable. Every study on it thus far says billabong.

  38. The NYT comments show a surprising amount of sanity, although one bootlicker had to play the “nothing to hide” card.

  39. There’s supposed to be a big Keystone pipeline protest at my workplace Monday. Since it’s enviro-activists, they plan on “civil disobedience”. I’m sure the DC popos and Diplomatic Security cops will spend the weekend testing their pepper sprays and bean bag guns, too.

    Thank Zod it’s one of my telework days!

    1. But you’ll miss the chance to sucker punch a hippie!

    2. OMG, hippies and cops fighting! I feel like Henry Kissinger about the Iran-Iraq war: can’t we fix it so they both lose?

      1. “can’t we fix it so they both lose?”
        Arm the hippies?

    3. The suckiest thing about the NAP is we are not allowed to beat hippies.

  40. Sure, most American would prefer a fully-informed debate about our national security policy. What we got was a choice between knowing nothing about what was going on behind the veil (let alone what might need elimination or prosecution) and waiting for someone to inform us on his own initiative. Well, I know which of those I prefer.

    1. It is remarkably disingenuous for him to try to slide into his ‘I would like there to be a discussion and debate’ mode when he kept the topic secret. It is like a man caught in bed with his mistress telling his wife ‘well, I have been meaning to have an open and honest discussion with you about our relationship.’

      1. ‘I would like there to be a discussion and debate’

        Did anybody actually have the chutzpah to ask Obama why he didn’t just reveal the existence of the program himself if he wants a debate on it? After all, it’s not treason when the president does it.

        1. You know what? Maybe Congress should have the sole authority for deciding whether something’s classified or not. The sole, undelegatable authority.

        2. No, nobody went that way by the time I lost my patience.

  41. I flipped on the TV for a few seconds to hear Obama whining thatt the Republicans apparently don’t have a plan to provide health insurance for everybody. Or some shit like that.

    1. Well, they do not have a plan to provide health insurance for everybody.

      And for that reason they would likely do less damage to our health care system.

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