John Kerry

John Kerry Would've Liked to Go to Paris for the Unity Rally. Probably Better He Didn't

Dozens of world leaders showed up for the Paris unity rally but not Barack Obama, Joe Biden, John Kerry, or Eric Holder

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euronews

This weekend's Republican national unity rally in Paris and across France, the largest since the Allies liberated France during World War II, drew dozens of world leaders, including the German chancellor, the prime ministers of Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, and Turkey, the presidents of Benin, Gabon, Kosovo, Mali ,Niger, Romania, Senegal, Switzerland, Togo, and Ukraine, and the foreign ministers of Algeria, Lebanon, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates. The United States and China sent their ambassadors to France.

Secretary of State John Kerry became the first high-level U.S. government official to address criticism that he, another cabinet official, or even the President or the Vice President should have attended. Voice of America reports:

Speaking to reporters from India on Monday, Kerry called the criticism "sort of quibbling" and defended the Obama administration's handling of the situation.

"I don't think the people of France have any doubt about America's understanding of what happened, about our personal sense of loss, our deep commitment to the people of France in this moment of trial," Kerry said.

Kerry added that the U.S. "has been deeply engaged" and has been sharing intelligence with France from the moment the attack took place.

The top U.S. diplomat is on a long-planned trip to India and Pakistan. U.S. officials say he will stop by France on Thursday before returning to Washington.

"As everybody knows, I have been here in India for a prior planned event. I would have personally very much wanted to have been there, but couldn't do so because of the commitment I had here and it is important to keep these kinds of commitments," said Kerry.

Being on a trip planned months in advance is a good excuse.

Here's the explanation the White House gave CNN:

"Attorney General Holder—a Cabinet level official—is representing the United States at the security meetings in Paris today. He is joined by the DHS Deputy Secretary [Alejandro] Mayorkas. The United States is represented at the march by Ambassador Hartley," a senior Obama administration official said.

An administration official added: "As far as public signs of French solidarity from the U.S.—don't forget several public statements from the President, his call to [French President Francois] Hollande and a condolence stop to the French embassy."

On Sunday night a White House official who also asked not to be named added: "It is worth noting that the security requirements for both the President and (Vice President) can be distracting from events like this—for once this event is not about us!" The official did not address how other prominent world leaders were able to work around the security requirements.

Considering the target rich environment the row of world leaders gave any would-be terrorist, security must have been adequate. The president of the United States is undoubtedly a higher-profile target than most other world leaders but by the time there's as many in one place as there was this weekend in Paris it doesn't seem like it would make that much of a difference. Even the Washington Post's Paul Waldman admits he thinks the White House should've sent Joe Biden.

And the White House's explanation to CNN creates a new question—if Attorney General Eric Holder was already in Paris, why didn't he attend the rally? It may be out of character for the usual suspects to decline to attach themselves to such a highly publicized event, but the decision for neither Biden, Holder, nor some other more prominent representative than the U.S. ambassador to France to attend the Paris rally isn't necessarily the wrong one.

The U.S. has some of the most unfettered speech in the world, but the U.S. government is not immune to acting against it. The Obama administration has vigorously targeted journalists in an aggressive effort to crack down on whistleblowers and has been slammed for its lack of transparency with the media. The free speech records of the other governments that sent representatives aren't better, and are in many cases likely worse. Turkey sticks out but is not the only one. A surviving Charlie Hebdo cartoonist—for some reason he doesn't like going to staff meetings—said he "vomits" on the new friends who have supported his magazine, which has often targeted those same people mercilessly. I understand. Maybe the president wanted to avoid some well-deserved vomit.

NEXT: The President's Duty of Good Faith Performance

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  1. Has any event ever been the worse for John Kerry not being there?

    1. Hasn’t happened yet, but I’d classify Kerry’s funeral as an event which would be made more disappointing by the absence of Kerry’s corpse.

    2. I believe Vietnam is demonstrably better for Kerry not being there.

    3. To be fair, he did stumble the U.S. out of bombing Syria, at least for a while.

    4. nope – not that I can remember.

  2. my roomate’s half-sister makes $69 hourly on the laptop . She has been without a job for 10 months but last month her check was $15722 just working on the laptop for a few hours. why not look here………..
    ????? http://www.netjob70.com

    1. 57 hours per week. Sweet job.

  3. Can someone please explain to me why a rally allegedly opposed to religious authoritarianism included an appearance from the leader of the Palestinian Authority?

    http://jij.org.il/wp-content/u…..7.4.13.pdf

    ^ You know, the Palestinian Authority that advocates torture, tacitly accepts anti-Semitic attacks, and jails free speech dissidents?

    “In one case in October 2010, the Palestinian General Intelligence Service in the West Bank town of Qalqilya detained blogger Walid al-Husayin on suspicion advocating atheism and criticizing Islam and other religions through comments posted on a blog. Al-Husayin remained held at the end of the year.”

    Clearly these are exactly the sort of people who should be at a rally protesting the murder of journalists by fundamentalist Islamists.

    1. I thought it was kind of cool (if ironic in the worst sort of way) that the Palestinian dude was there.

      1. Abbas was himself a former terrorist if I recall correctly. I think that’s a prerequisite to become leader of either of the Palestinian territories.

        1. Abbas was a terrorist for the secular PLO (which included Christian Arabs).

          The Israeli government funded Hamas to try to preempt European leftist sympathy for the leftwing secular PLO by presenting their enemies as Islamofascist religious nutters.

          “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
          Gang aft agley,…”

          Somewhat like the Tories under Maggie Thatcher promoting global warming to shut down coal mines, get support for subsidizing nuclear power and nobble the miners’ union.

    2. Or why a “national unity” rally would explicitly not invite the National Front, one of the largest political parties in the country?

    3. Netanyahu said he was coming. France then said, please don’t, but Netanyahu insisted. Then France said they’d invite Abbas.

  4. Had I been the US President, I wouldn’t have gone because I felt it would have been Grandstanding, and I wouldn’t want my presence to be perceived as taking photo-bombing France’s tragic events. Which let’s face it, is pretty much 90% of what these world leaders are doing.

    The whole thing can become a kind of Band-Aid event before you know it.

    1. Sometimes grandstanding is a good thing.

      “That is the scale of the outrage in which we have all shared, and the fact that we are gathered here now?shocked, but composed and determined?is a sign not only that this attack has failed, but that all attempts to destroy democracy by terrorism will fail.[8]”

      —-Margaret Thatcher, the morning after the Brighton hotel bombing–from the Brighton Hotel.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B…..g#Defiance

      1. I’m not against a crowd showing up, but it can quickly go from a leader or politician showing support, to making the event about him (or her).

        I’m not saying anyone did that, but frankly, I have no problem with Kerry and Obama not showing up, security issues not withstanding.

        1. Well I do, and I think it matters to the alliance.

          I don’t think we would have won the Cold War the way we did without our allies accepting our missile emplacements as they did, making themselves a target for Soviet strikes, and the next time we ask the Europeans to be our wing-man, I think they’re going to remember that our president wasn’t willing to take the same risks their leaders did.

          They’re going to question why they should take the brunt of something on our behalf even more than they did before.

          It sent a bad message to the terrorists (that Barack Obama can be intimidated), and it sent a bad message to our allies and their constituents, as well.

          1. Meh. This seems a little overwrought.

            This was a semi-spontaneous event planned in less than a week. Most of the leaders who showed up are from local countries- such that they could get there in a matter of a few hours. And for once I agree with the administration. There is very little reason to doubt their solidarity with the French- they have been vocal in working with them.

            If I were Obama, I’d feel pretty bad that I missed what must have been an amazing event. (Since I am not Obama, I hate crowds and I’m really glad I didn’t make it.) But I can’t fault them for failing to take a trip overseas on the drop of a hat.

            1. Maybe it is overwrought, but DC to Paris is about 8 hours. That is hardly an excuse.

              1. But who wants to get fingerbanged by the TSA?

                1. It’s comments like this one that bring me to the Reason threadz every evening.

        2. much about politics is about showing up, about optics, PR, however you want to characterize it. Actions words. Is Obama’s hanging out with the NBA Spurs really a bigger deal, or any kind of deal?

          And security for Obama is no greater than security for the other heads of state. Bibi was there, for crying out loud. Tell me some Islamic would not like to have taken credit for that.

          1. This is actually not true. The US is notorious for how different their security is. We are one of the few countries in the world that refuses to let the host country run our security. Instead we require them to hand it over to the SS, which is a logistical nightmare in and of itself.

            1. The head of the PLO showed up.

              He probably had as much or more to worry about from the French crowd as anybody.

              1. I think the French crowd has more to worry about from the PLO than the other way around.

            2. when you think something is worth doing, you figure out how to do it.

        3. I don’t think the president should go anywhere ever, so I am fine with him not showing up.

          I don’t want the president to be a symbolic national leader and representative to the world. I want him to do the job required the head of the executive branch and commander in chief and nothing else.

          1. “I don’t want the president to be a symbolic national leader and representative to the world. I want him to do the job required the head of the executive branch and commander in chief and nothing else.”

            Barack Obama is an incompetent jackass. The last thing I want him doing is running the executive branch.

            The only thing he’s qualified to be is a symbolic national leader and representative to the world–and he can’t even do that right.

            1. The only thing he’s qualified to be is a symbolic national leader and representative to the world–and he can’t even SHOW UP for that!

            2. I still don’t want a leader or a representative to the world at all, period.

              Running the executive branch is easy. I’m sure he could handle it if he stopped making stupid speeches and traveling. He could get it all done in a few weeks each year and take the rest of the time off.

              My point is that the president should be just a job. It shouldn’t matter who does it. I don’t want him to set the agenda or lead anything. The idea that a nation needs a leader is just some backwards, left-over bullshit from when everyone assumed that to have a real country you need a monarch.

              1. Running the executive branch is easy.

                The degree to which it is “easy” is a consequence of how much the President has shirked his responsibility as the chief executive and representative of the people over the civil service bureaucracy.

                1. I’d say that is more the fault of the legislature (presidents bear some blame for not vetoing enough). There are too many laws and regulations for the executive to execute. One person simply can’t manage that. Even with a more appropriate and constitutionally sized government, most of the work of the executive would be done by civil servants. I’m fine with the president being the chief delegator of responsibility. You don’t expect the chief executive of any organization to manage every aspect of it.

                  1. You don’t expect the chief executive of any organization to manage every aspect of it.

                    I think you are conflating micromanaging with managing. Yes, an effective leader sets the objectives and then steps back a bit to let his subordinates figure out the details and get the job done.

                    However, an effective leader must also be on top of things. He must know all the pieces and how they fit together, he must be mindful of the political winds, he must take ownership of his purview. He has to know how to succeed and, when necessary, how to fail gracefully.

                    The man who is currently sitting in the White House actively sought out the office he holds. It is the most difficult job in the land, but it is never thrust upon anyone.

                2. He doesn’t want to be an administrator . . . he wants to be the king of the Congress.

    2. BS – that is what the President is supposed to do – represent the people of the United States.
      He just represents Himself, his party and the millions of greviance/welfare parasites that infest our country

  5. The point of the rally was to show that the West is not afraid of terrorism and won’t back down.

    The Obama Administration didn’t send anybody because they’re afraid of terrorism and will back down in the face of anything scary.

    It’s actually typical of the Obama Administration. It’s become pretty clear to me over the years that Obama doesn’t think average people should be allowed to take risks, and it’s pretty clear to me now that one of the reasons for that is because Barack Obama himself is afraid–and he doesn’t care who knows.

    That’s a terrible quality in a President. Seven years after assuming the Presidency, Barack Obama is still thoroughly unqualified to be our President.

    1. when you can barely call it terrorism, any navel-gazing over fear of it is irrelevant.

    2. Eh, I think it’s more that he didn’t want to offend terrorists.

    3. This administrations is afraid to call evil by it’s name.

      Hollande said France was at war with Islamic Terrorism, and when Holder was asked, he dithered.

  6. Kind of what Paul said. Part of me thought, “What a bunch of DICKS!” Then, I thought…”meh – rallies will make the world a better place! Or Not!” Who the fuck cares if the Pres or anyone else attended?

    I don’t recall that anyone came to the US and visited post 911? Maybe they did? I just remember the notes and speeches of support – “we’re all Americans – we’re with you” – all that bullshit. It was nice – but I don’t remember anyone visiting.

    This is maybe different cause it’s a planned “event” – but – someone was there from the gummint. So – fuck it.

    The End

    1. I don’t remember marches numbering in the millions post-9/11. Say what you will about the French, but they are very good at gathering in large groups.

      1. You know who else was good at gathering large groups to march….

        1. Louis Farrakhan in the 90s?

        2. Grateful Dead?

        3. Louis Armstrong?

        4. Any ‘When the Saints Come Marching In’ band?

        5. The UConn Women’s basketball coach?

      2. I also don’t remember anyone from the Palestinian Authority showing up either.

        1. They missed their flight….

      3. “Say what you will about the French, but they are very good at gathering in large groups.”

        You can say that about most countries ruled by nationalism.

        What America perceives as “Right wing” in Europe and Asia are actually a form nationalism. They hate immigrants / foreigners and actively promote their own culture.

        Otherwise, they’re ready made Democrats. 70% of them will vote for that party if they moved here. I want to laugh at people who think austerity and conservatives (in the sense of the word we use) are dominating parts of the world.

      4. France brought 3 million civilians to Paris. The US sent 30,000 soldiers to Afghanistan. Somehow I think our response was the more forceful.

    2. “I don’t recall that anyone came to the US and visited post 911? Maybe they did?”

      French President Jacques Chirac flew to New York on Sept 18, where he met with then President Bush and also flew over the WTC site.

      1. *twirls fingers in air*

        Whoopie do!

        So France got every Pres/Prime Minister EXCEPT the US. Seems like that’s an even deal.

        1. I wasn’t assigning any value to the act, nor placing comparison. I was simply responding to the question as to whether anyone came to the US.

          I will say that in one sense, I wish he’d gone – that would have been one less day he could attempt to salvage his “legacy” with BS moves like the community college giveaway speech.

  7. It is quibbling, but for an administration so obsessed with image, it is also surprising that a higher-up didn’t attend. They could have at least sent Hillary as president-in-waiting.

  8. No one of statue went because Obammy doesn’t give a crap. He was and still is a Muslim, he’s just closeted now. He’ll never do anything that might offend his Muslim brotherhood.

    1. like that whole drone campaign thing that hasn’t offended any Muslim anywhere on the planet, especially not in the places being bombed? where do these nuts come from?

    2. Yeah. And Dick Cheney is responsible for 911.

      I actually think it would be hilarious if it turned out that Obama was a secret Muslim. But unfortunately, that seems very unlikely.

      1. If Obama turned out to be some secret Muslim, he’d be some brilliant Machiavellian schemer rather than completely incompetent. Like all conspiracy theories it requires a level of competency that most politicians are incapable of.

        1. Yeah. That’s probably the biggest reason I don’t go in for conspiracy theories.

  9. Obama WANTED to go.

    Michelle wouldn’t let him.

    1. He let the wookiee win.

    2. “Oh, COME ON! Just this ONCE! PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE!?”

    3. Or Valerie wouldn’t let him. It might offend her Iranian masters.

      1. Valerie might have been born in Ira, but she is the commissar for the Chicago Communists

    4. She was afraid he’d have another selfie with that Norwegian broad.

  10. Well, showing some solidarity with other western leaders might not have been a bad idea. I suspect Obama got personally scared by some security assessments and chose not to go for that reason. Politically, it makes little sense to me.

    Contract this with Le Monde’s (translated) response (granted, not the government, but still) to 9/11 in their famous “Nous sommes tous Am?ricains“:

    In this tragic moment, when words seem so inadequate to express the shock people feel, the first thing that comes to mind is this: We are all Americans! We are all New Yorkers, just as surely as John F. Kennedy declared himself to be a Berliner in 1962 when he visited Berlin. Indeed, just as in the gravest moments of our own history, how can we not feel profound solidarity with those people, that country, the United States, to whom we are so close and to whom we owe our freedom, and therefore our solidarity?

    1. Is it OK if I say, “I’m not a fucking Frog, even after this terrible event, and I never will be”?

      I’ll just say it to myself – I don’t want to be rude…

      1. don’t have to like the French -just have to say that free speech is a natural right and the people that inflict violence on others to suppress it deserve to be killed.

        How is that?

    2. And, PS, yes – I was at Service Parts division when the planes hit. Still remember talking to our German counterparts…”Vee are so sorry…” Them, the Canucks, the Brasilians, the Mexicans, the Japanese – just superbly kind.

      It was the closest I ever felt to those motherfucking assholes…:)

      1. But we can’t even send Chelsea Clinton.

        1. She is too busy making money off of her last name – the only marketable aspect of her entire being.

          I doubt anyone would pay to have sex with her so that “skill” doesn’t apply.

          perhaps she can sell her body to science as a cadaver when she dies. Still would be more good than either of her parents did in their entire worthless lives.

      2. Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that the world isn’t full of complete dicks.

        1. Yeah. The Brasilians and Mexicans are just the best to work with anyway – just really nice people, uniformly.

          The fucking Germans and Brits? The WORST, in that order. Germans hate working with us cause we’re undisciplined lone wolfs who don’t follow orders. And we hate working with them cause they’re strict, rigid followers of the hierarchy.

          And we’re both right 🙂 The Brits? They’re just…dicks who think the sun still never sits on the remnants of their former empire….which, technically, it doesn’t (the remnants – not the actual “empire”…).

        2. Or that the dicks are actually good for something – even if it is marching in parade. Most of the time they do a pretty adequate job of screwing up everyone’s lives.

          Obama could be bothered to do the most basic part of his job – represent the US in ceremonial affairs. What a complete zero he is……..

  11. “In America, we put Heinz brand ketchup on our french fries.”

      1. In Amerika, sugar gets YOU! Yakov Smith

  12. Is anyone else a little put off by the rally itself?

    I mean, how many in that crowd in Paris were fine with Charlie Hebdo being sued for defamation or whatever stupid censor-related blasphemy laws they have in France a few years ago?

    I was pleased to hear that Hebdo wants to vomit over the whole “Je Suis Charlie” garbage. It has about the same effect as #saveourgirls. Which is none.

    Oh great you guys had a parade! Well that will stop the Islamists in their tracks that’s for sure!

    Fuck these people.

    1. That 3 mil people took to the streets is a good sign. But a row of presidents and prime ministers, and other heads of state linking arms there is a textbook case of hypocrisy. Ask Merkel if it’s okay to sport a swastika in Germany.

      1. Is it really that good a sign though? Millions of people marched against the war in Iraq and last I checked it ended up doing fuck-all to stop any activity.

        I fail to see how this march changes anything other than stroking the egos of those involved.

    2. Yeah. Modern Europeans are strong on pointless moral displays as long as there’s absolutely no real cost involved. Soft power, I guess.

      Now, I guess you could some there may have been some risk in marching in a parade – a terrorist bomb or like.

    3. I agree it’s stupid. I’m sure all of those Islamists are sitting around thinking, “Man they marched in the street, surely we should give up our fight now.”

      It’ll be about as affective as those domestic violence commercials they have running now, the ones where some two bit actors stare at you and say nothing. Yeap that’ll really stop domestic violence I bet.

  13. “The U.S. has some of the most unfettered speech in the country”

    That’s for sure.

  14. It may be out of character for the usual suspects to decline to attach themselves to such a highly publicized event, but the decision for neither Biden, Holder, nor some other more prominent representative than the U.S. ambassador to France to attend the Paris rally isn’t necessarily the wrong one.

    Must…come…up…for air…before resuming dive into all those negatives while salvaging syntax.

  15. It’s being said that Obama’s absence is a sign of the USA not caring about free speech. But the US is one of the most free when it comes to speech. One country that isn’t so free is, to pull a country out of the hat: FRANCE:

    According to article R 625-4 of the French Penal Code, individuals who insult others based on their race or origin are subject to fines and trial in French court. French sources claim that while freedom of speech exists in France, “the limits are different than in the U.S., as far as insults, defamatory comments, or propagation of hatred are concerned.”

    In 2008 alone, there were “350 sentences for racial offenses, including for racial insults,” confirms a French official. How many more individuals were brought to Court after making an offensive comment that the Court ultimately determined to be unworthy of conviction?

    http://www.frumforum.com/franc…..eech-laws/

    1. The real unknowable is how much speech is chilled by the presence of these codes?

    2. Yeah, it’s pretty much a joke for any other country to accuse the US of not protecting free speech. I can’t think of any place that has better.
      For all of it’s failings lately when it comes to protecting rights, the US is still pretty damn good on free speech. Yes, there are restrictions on commercial and electioneering speech/press, but otherwise it is pretty damn free.

      1. Absolutely! Most of our universities have free speech zones. So there!

  16. Considering this is the guy who used the IRS to target conservative groups (read: speech) that he didn’t like, Obama staying home from the rally is probably the most honest thing he’s done in his entire presidency.

    1. Agreed. He is worse than ‘tricky Dick” ever was.

  17. Honestly, in and of itself, not showing up with anyone beyond the ambassador is not a huge deal. But, it does fit a broader picture. The President’s only remarks on the topic, if I understand correctly, were sandwiched in between pitches for his “free community college” initiative. Basically, what’s a big deal for our French allies got treated as “whatever”. For guys who pump their fists about what sophisticated diplomats they are, this is really amaturish.

    1. his only remarks on things like this tend to equivocate, to excuse or other wise rationalize the actions of obviously nasty people, and given the chance, to blame an event on some political opponent or convenient patsy (see: Lybia, video; IRS, tea type groups).

      Sometimes, the job requires things you may not want to do or think are great to do, but no one forced Obama or any other person to run for president.

    2. I think sending Biden, or Kerry at an absolute minimum, was required.

  18. This weekend’s Republican national unity rally in Paris and across France,

    Well, no wonder the administration didn’t send anyone.

  19. OK, fine. Lots of French folks marched.

    So, what will have changed after the march that makes more Islamic terrorist attacks, anywhere, less likely?

    That’s what I thought.

    1. If we just keep the focus on the tiny amount of terrorists and ignore the vast number of people supporting those terrorists, then the problem will go away. If there’s one thing that over half century of numerous and frequent terrorist attacks by Islamic extremists has taught us, it’s that Islam has nothing to do with any of it. /convenient narrative

  20. “Why the long face, Mr. Secretary?”

    “I couldn’t go to France.”

    1. “Why the long face, Mr. Secretary?”

      Don’t you ever say that again. Ever.

  21. I am generally sympathetic to the idea that the President showing up personally to feel everyone’s pain is an empty gesture and a waste of time and often counter productive due to the security requirements involved. My opinion, however, is not shared by most of the rest of the world. Right or wrong, these sorts of things matter to a lot of people. And any time the President doesn’t show up, it is making a political statement whether he intends to or not.

    Moreover, it is not like the Chocolate Jesus is above empty gestures and symbolism. Given that, his excuses about “it just wasn’t practical” ring hollow. Those concerns have never stopped him before now. He didn’t seem to care about those concerns when he was sharing a man hug with Fatso after that Hurricane or when he was having the beer summit with Henry Louis Gates and that Cambridge cop.

    1. Given Obama’s history and is obvious concern with such gestures in every other contexts and given the obvious optics of the situation, I see no reason not to conclude that Obama didn’t go to Paris or at least send someone important in his stead because he didn’t want to be there. It is really that simple. Why did he not want to be there? Only he knows for sure. I would, however, say, that saying he wasn’t there because he doesn’t want to take a stand against Islamic terrorism in this context and because he doesn’t think people should be free to insult and criticize Islam is a pretty good guess. Obama is the one who said in so many words, “the future cannot belong to those who slander The Prophet Muhammad”. I see no reason why I shouldn’t take him at his word and view his non appearance at this rally as entirely consistent with that view.

      1. I agree he just didn’t want to go. But the reason, I think, is that we would not be the focus of the event.

        1. not “we” — he would not be …

        2. That explains him not going. And it is never a bad guess with Obama to attribute his actions to his endless narcissism and childishness. That does not, however, explain why he didn’t send Biden or Kerry or send Holder over, who was in town.

          I would bet money that Holder if you water boarded him would admit he doesn’t have a problem with the murders. Holder really is that big of a scum bag. So maybe there wasn’t time to get anyone else there, he didn’t want to go himself, and he just couldn’t bear to make poor Eric have to spend the afternoon pretending he gave a shit or thinks Islamic extremism is much of a problem to worry about.

          1. My guess is that it has to do with security.

            The U.S. government’s security preps for a presidential visit are ridiculous and over the top and take a month or so to put in place.

            Obama would have to waive the traditional insistence that the U.S. president be protected as if he were Saddam Hussein visiting a town in the restive and rebellious south-west of Iraq to visit on such short notice.

            And this would set the precedent that the crazy security was not necessary.

            1. That is entirely possible. That, however, does not explain why he didn’t send someone. That was intentional and was done to make a statement. I don’t care what they claim now.

              1. “The United States and China sent their ambassadors to France.”

              2. I guess Billie Jean King wasn’t available… 😉

            2. “My guess is that it has to do with security.”

              But who has lost more lives to terrorism in the last 15 years? France or the US??? I say let’s give Biden a satellite office in Paris — he’d be safer there.

        3. Nah, he probably had scheduled himself some me time with the NFL playoffs.

      2. “the future cannot belong to those who slander The Prophet Muhammad”

        I still can’t believe he fucking said that without massive condemnation from all sides. What the fuck is that even supposed to mean? There is no doubt that Obama is the worst president of my lifetime (which started in the Carter administration). Fuck that guy.

        1. The more I think about it, the more I can’t believe he said it either. Either Obama really is some secret Muslim Manchurian Candidate or he is the dumbest, most shallow person ever to hold the office. And of course both is always a possibility.

          How in the hell could anyone have thought saying that was a good idea? It is also possible that he really is President Ron Burgundy and the secret Muslim is writing his speeches.

          “Understand, if you put it on the teleprompter, Obama will read it, no matter what it says”.

          1. I would have preferred Ron Burgundy – he reminds me of Bill Clinton – a dumbass horndog but a relatively harmless one unless you count the sexual harassment and rape charges….

        2. I don’t know, that phrase was couched within one of Obama’s strongest defenses of free speech, the kind of defense I would have liked to hear from him recently. Given his audience and that I don’t fault him for it so much.

          1. Here’s the text of the entire speech where it appeared:

            http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-…..l-assembly

          2. Except it also contained this quote:

            ‘It’s time to heed the words of Gandhi: “Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.”‘

            Intolerance is itself a form of violence. Yeah, really stirring defense of free speech.

            1. Plus, there’s the wonderful prognosticating ability we’ve come to expect from Obama:

              ‘So let us remember that this is a season of progress. For the first time in decades, Tunisians, Egyptians and Libyans voted for new leaders in elections that were credible, competitive, and fair.’

              How’d those elections in Egypt and Libya turn out?

            2. A silly quote, but consider the preceding sentence: “Let us condemn incitement against Sufi Muslims and Shiite pilgrims.”

            3. The tolerance/intolerance question is interesting. If you take the meaning of the word very literally, intolerance sort of is (or at least often is) violence. If you are not tolerating something, then that must mean that you are trying to stop it somehow. Whether you are going out and stopping it yourself, or lobbying a government to do it for you, there is at least a great potential for violence.

              A problem is that too many people think tolerance means acceptance. There is nothing intolerant about insulting someone’s religion, appearance, race, etc. I can say that you are a dumb-ass drunken fucking Mick and all your ideas are stupid and your face looks like a turd (nothing personal, just an example based on your handle). Unless I’m trying to force you to go away or kill you or something, I’m still tolerating you.

          3. Bo,

            There is no context that could have been uttered in that makes it any less offensive and stupid. Strictly speaking, every Christian and Jew slanders Muhammad by virtue of denying his position and every atheist does the same thing by denying the existence of God. We are all slanderer’s of Muhammad.

            It also of course manages to be offensive by calling Muhammad not just a “prophet” but “the prophet”, as if not only is his claim legitimate, he is the only one. It is just appalling thing for a non Muslim leader of a non Muslim country to say.

            Moreover, whatever he said about free speech before that sentence, he contradicted it when he made that statement. We can’t have free speech and also say that everyone has a duty to ensure the future doesn’t belong to anyone who is not a Muslim or recognize the dignity and sanctity of Muhammad.

            1. You also can’t slander someone who’s been dead for 1100 years.

              “Moreover, whatever he said about free speech before that sentence, he contradicted it when he made that statement. We can’t have free speech and also say that everyone has a duty to ensure the future doesn’t belong to anyone who is not a Muslim or recognize the dignity and sanctity of Muhammad.”

              Yep. And he also said we must stop people from desecrating Christian symbols.

              Fuck that. Desecrate away. If you want to burn a copy of the Constitution while you’re at it, that’s your right. There’s also the minor issue that Obama in that very speech tried to use the Innocence of a Muslim video as a scapegoat:

              “That is what we saw play out in the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world. Now, I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity.”

              Hey guys! Sorry a random loser in my country exercised his free speech rights!

              1. Irish, don’t you think given the context of the speech he was talking about how Islamic extremists were destroying Christian icons and symbols that belonged to Christians and their churches?

                1. Well, if that’s the case then it’s awfully weird that a sentence about property destruction followed an attack on the right to ‘slander’ a mythic religious figure.

                  One of these things is not like the other, so if he was talking about destroying the property of Christians, then he was drawing a false equivalence between vandalizing property and merely offending Muslims.

                  That sentence cannot be defended, Bo. He was giving tacit approval to the idea that people shouldn’t be allowed to blaspheme.

                  1. The entire speech was aimed at the Muslim community, and it was intended to point out the double standards there. He starts with a lot of ‘the future must not…’ comments critical of the Muslim world. The future must not belong to those who target Christians. The future must not belong to those who would keep girls from education. Etc.

                    Then it turns to the topic of Muslim violence against speakers seen as offensive to Islam. So he starts, as many speakers would, with a branch to his audience ‘the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.’ He recognizes how upsetting that is to his audience and says ‘I’m with you that people should not slander your religion.’ But then he builds on that, quite a lot, by saying essentially, ‘look, while this is wrong, responding to it with violence is awful, and if that’s wrong, then you have to recognize all the awful hate speech rife in your community.’

                    Look, I’m not a fan of Obama. His much needed defense of free speech in the wake of this recent attack has been pathetic. But his speech at the UN was one of his better, most in your face critiques of what’s wrong in the Islamic world. I’m not going to dump on him for that because he stuck in such a line sympathetic to his audience’s values.

                2. From the speech: “But to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see in the images of Jesus Christ that are desecrated, or churches that are destroyed, or the Holocaust that is denied. “

                  1. “But to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see in the images of Jesus Christ that are desecrated, or churches that are destroyed, or the Holocaust that is denied. “

                    So no one has any right to criticize any religion. YEah Bo, Obama is really affirming a commitment to free speech there.

                    1. Again, given the context where he condemns the use of force (and by governments too) against speech and the lines about ‘churches are destroyed’ I don’t think he was saying that.

                    2. Condemning =/= outlawing or censoring.

            2. “Strictly speaking, every Christian and Jew slanders Muhammad by virtue of denying his position”

              Very strictly and literally speaking…

              “everyone has a duty to ensure”

              Did he say that? Look at the speech, John.

              1. If the “future MUST NOT BELONG” to them, that means we have a duty to ensure it doesn’t. I know you are not big on logic or language, but which part of MUST and what is it about the imperative that you do not understand?

                1. “I know you are not big on logic or language”

                  My goodness, the projection!

                  Must means ‘should’ just as much as it means ‘obliged.’ The future should not belong to those..

                  http://www.oxforddictionaries……glish/must

                  1. Do you even read your own links?

                    Be obliged to;

                    Must is not “should”. It is in fact the opposite of “should”.

                    We use must to express a stronger point of view. “We need to…” “We have to…” The modal must also expresses opinion, one person’s point of view.

                    Should expresses advisability, a suggestion. “It is advisable to…” or “This is a suggestion? ” It is weaker than must. Should is followed by a plain form verb.

                    http://www.grammar-quizzes.com/modal3.html

                    Are we actually reduced to having to explain to you the difference between “should” and “must”? Really Bo? Are you that dishonest or do you possess that poor of a command of the English language?

                    1. I do read them, here is the first part:

                      MODAL VERB (past had to or in reported speech must)

                      1 Be obliged to; should (expressing necessity)

                      As in ‘The future SHOULD not belong to X.”

                    2. I mean, talk about dishonest, you actually cut and past the “Be obliged to;” and left out the immediately following “should”

                    3. The future “should not belong” is not what he said. He said it “must not belong” which means “we have to” make sure it doesn’t.

                      Must versus should is a big fucking distinction. If you don’t understand that, then there isn’t much anyone can do to help you.

                    4. Your argument, John, seems to be with the Oxford English dictionary.

                  2. My goodness, the denial!

          4. Still, saying that “the future must not belong” to some particular people is pretty strong. Suppose it starts to look like the future will belong to those people (in some ways the future will almost definitely belong to those people). What do you do if you believe what the president said? Start killing the slanderers? Or just send them to reeducation camps?

            1. He uses that same line about a dozen times about a dozen things in the speech.

              1. He still said what he said and it is still wrong.

                “The future should not belong to those who do violence against other people or their property” would have said it all very nicely. I don’t give a shit if it is a church or a Justin Bieber fan club.

            2. If I just go out and say Muhammad was, based on my interpretations of the Quran and the Hadith, a pedophile, warlord, slave owner, whatever, but it doesn’t really affect my attitudes towards Muslims because their faith is separate from Muhammad’s actions: why am I suddenly denied a say in ‘the future’? The only real reason is the forced acceptance of a religious interpretation of Muhammad’s life and the suppression of opposing interpretations that criticize their religious figurehead in any way.

              1. I think you’re taking his comment way, way too literally. I imagine what he was getting at was two things: 1. letting his target audience know that he, too, shared their disapproval of ‘slander’ of their religion (notice he said ‘slander’ which implies an untrue or unfair criticism) and 2. the usual leftist focus on and overriding concern about ‘prejudice’ about a group (and here he was thinking of people who slander Muslims by slandering their religion).

                I seriously doubt he was talking about shooting people who criticize Islam, especially given the rest of the speech which was, for Obama, pretty good about condemning violence (and even government violence) against speakers.

                1. Except what constitutes ‘slander’ of Muhammad in the context of Islam? Things that are legitimately part of Islamic religious texts (i.e. the warlord stuff, the underage marriages) is framed as ‘slander’.

                  letting his target audience know that he, too, shared their disapproval of ‘slander’ of their religion He was not letting his target audience know he was against the ‘slander’ of their religion, he was letting the target audience know that he was against the ‘slander’ of their Prophet. That’s a massive distinction that begins with a deliberately religious interpretation of Muhammad. Note that when he continued on about the targeting of churches and Christian iconography he never once (despite stating his Christian belief) makes a statement that directly supports inherent religious concepts in Christian theology. It’s a completely and unnecessary phrase that grants Islam a special ‘credit’. He could have just said “The future must not belong to those who oppress the followers of Islam or deny them freedom of religion’. Instead he said that the future must not belong to people who engage in blasphemy as defined by Islamic tenets.

                  1. It would be like someone speaking to the Catholic League and saying “The future must not belong to those who slander Mary. But those who react to that with violence must be condemned. And how can you support the desecration of Islamic figures while condemning the slander of Mary?”

                    To walk away from that thinking ‘man, that guy really folded to those Papists with that line about how the future must not belong to those who slander Mary’ would be bizarre.

                    1. And it would have made sense if the leader of the Islamic League had said what Obama said. But instead it was said by the supposed leader of a country that is supposed to be the best in terms of free speech and free religion. You can’t be for freedom of religion if you aren’t for protecting the rights of people to tell others that their religion sucks and their prophet is a pig-fucker.

                    2. Sorry, I slightly misread what you wrote.

                      If someone supposedly representing the US said that to the Catholic League I would find it just as unacceptable. The future will belong in part to people who slander Mary, Mohammed, Christ, Buddha and every other fictional character out there. And that is good.

                    3. Well, first of all, Obama’s actual actions haven’t supported his speech at all. There was a lot of grumbling about the White House ignoring ‘Piss Christ’ while going on about ‘Innocence of Muslims’. That’s one factor separate from it.

                      Was Obama speaking to a majority Islamic group? Is Obama Islamic? No, he was speaking to the United Nations. Again, everything else in that speech in regards to religion was about freedom of religion. Only for Islam did Obama start with an inherent acceptance of their theological position. The fact that such a distinction is there is very telling.

                    4. This is not terribly relevant. But I think it is funny how often Piss Christ is cited as an example of art offensive to Christians.
                      Except maybe for the title, there is really nothing blasphemous or offensive about the image (unless you consider putting a crucifix in a jar of urine inherently disrespectful or something). And Serrano considers himself a Christian. I’m sure he expected some controversy about the title, but it is far from clear that it was intended to in any way slander or denigrate Christianity.

                    5. I don’t really consider Piss Christ all that seriously anyway, and unless you’re an iconoclast there’s not really an issue with it. I’m just using it as a example of the distinction between how this White House responds differently to ‘Christian’ controversy and ‘Islamic’ controversy. If it were up to me I’d just tell everyone to complain as much as they want but to suck it up.

                    6. And I am not saying that Obama folded to the Islamists. I am saying that that is a completely fucked up and wrong thing for the president of a supposedly free country to say in any context.

                    7. Pretty much the same position here. If he had said what I said above (“The future must not belong to those who oppress the followers of Islam or deny them freedom of religion”) there would be no problem with it. The problem comes from a leader of a supposedly secular country presenting any religions’ concept of blasphemy as a serious consideration. Hell, I get pissed off as ‘In God We Trust’ on American money.

        3. It’s seen by those who screech ‘Islamophobia’ and ‘racists’ as how the future cannot belong to bigots. They cannot understand how it is actively supporting the concept of treating Islam’s definition of blasphemy seriously. Of course, if say, Bush said something about how ‘the future cannot belong to those who slander Jesus Christ’ those same people would be screeching about a theocracy.

          1. OF course. If Bush had ever said that, they would have had a heart attack. And it would have been appalling for Bush to say something like that. We are not a theocracy. The President stands on the side of the country and the law, not on the side of this or that religion and its followers.

          2. Usually I try to avoid the “if Bush had said this” or “but Bush was worse” type arguments. But in this case, I think it is a very good illustration. Substitute Jesus for Mohammed in there and most of the left would freak the fuck out.

            1. What if Bush said that to a crowd of conservative Christians, and he followed it and preceded it with criticisms of the kind of things those people do?

              1. “The future must not belong to those who slander Jesus Christ”

                Well, I already thought that Bush was an awful president who didn’t give too much of a crap about free speech. But had he said that, I would have thought so even more.

                1. Even if he followed it by scolding the audience for trying to squelch speech using force (governmental and not)?

                  1. Yes, because the future will and should belong to everyone including people who slander and blaspheme against Christ and Mohammed.

                    It would be one thing if the Pope said that. It is quite another when a secular politician does.

        4. Well, one key problem with it is that there is an ominous undertone, some sort of implied threat. “The future does not belong to” could certainly just mean that such people will not triumph, such attitudes will fade, etc. But note that is explicitly directed against the people who slander, not the slander itself. As such, it could also be taken to mean that people who slander the prophet have no future. As in, they will be dead, or least imprisoned for life.

        5. You mean the worst president EVER!
          There has never been anyone this bad – including our illustrious Jimmy Carter. At least Carter didn’t DOUBLE the national debt, or turn the health care system into a socialist redistribution scheme. Or pronounce executive orders directly contradicting existing laws.

          Nope Carter was just a bumbling naive idiot surrounded by other idiots and corrupt people. Obama is a scheming Alinsky-ite communist who wants to destroy America.

    2. You know which other world leaders didn’t show up to solidarity rally in France?

      1. A lot probably. But none of them were of the importance and stature of the President of the United States.

        1. I heard Putin was there, shirtless and riding a buffalo.

          1. If Obama had showed up shirtless and on a buffalo, I might have had to start liking the bastard.

        1. He is in the hospital. Apparently he was in a horrific cycling accident that required him getting a titanium right elbow. He may not be able to play the guitar anymore, which since he is a singer is not that big of a deal but might make it harder to write songs.

          1. Oh! Yeah! I heard about the cycling incident.

            See – I was right! He WASN’T there! HAH!

          2. I chuckled (I’m a bad person) when the headlines quoted him as saying he may never play guitar again. My response was, “he plays guitar?”

      2. Kim Jong #Un?

  22. Oh, now Michael Savage is on the local radidio station going on, and on, and onnnnnnn about what a dick The Bamster is for not attending the French Easter Parade (or whatever they called it).

    What a tool. And by that, I mean both the President? (PBUH?) AND Michael Savage.

    1. Just imagine the kittens the media would be having if Bush had not gone to something like this when he was president. If Bush had done anything short of marching shirtless with no security yelling “come on take your best shot”, they would have called him a coward.

      So, even if you agree this is no big deal, you still should enjoy the schadenfreude of watching his sorry ass held to the same standards the media holds everyone else.

      1. Did Bush go to the demonstrations following, say, the Madrid bombing? Was he criticize for not doing so?

        1. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH! Yeah, those demonstrations were nearly as big a deal as this.

          Nice Botarding, Botard.

          1. Er, did you not see it was John who brought up the comparison to Bush?

            As for how ‘big a deal’ the Madrid demonstrations were:

            Demonstrations

            Total: 11,400,000 demonstrators
            (28% of Spanish population)

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R…..n_bombings

            1. But how many world leaders showed up? Can you make an honest comparison or analogy just once? Just to show that you understand what one looks like?

              1. I don’t know, but unless you can show me pictures showing no leaders, we have to assume it was a lot, right 😉

        2. No. But there never was anything approaching this. There were no demonstrations involving world leaders like this.

          The reason why think you are a lefty troll is because you do things like this. Sometimes one side really is worse than another. Yet, you will forever try and spin things to make the Democrats look better or at least not worse no matter how hard you have to reach to do it.

          Just stop it already.

          1. Yet, you will forever try and spin things to make the Democrats look worse or at least the same no matter how hard you have to reach to do it.

            1. yes you will. What is the point of bringing up something about Bush, and a totally inapt and stretched analogy at that, then to do that?

              Start giving unqualified criticisms of both sides once in a while instead of doing your usual “yeah but…” routine whenever a Democrat is involved and you won’t get called a lefty troll.

              And before you say otherwise, I give unqualified criticism of Republicans all of the time. I totally called them out for Jim Thune wanted to raise the gas tax just to give one recent example. What I didn’t do is come back with “but yeah, Clinton raised it a lot”, as if that excused Thune, which is what you do every single thread concerning Obama and the Democrats.

              1. John, YOU brought up Bush!

                John|1.12.15 @ 3:22PM|#

                Just imagine the kittens the media would be having if Bush had not gone to something like this when he was president. If Bush had done anything short of marching shirtless with no security yelling “come on take your best shot”, they would have called him a coward.

                1. You brought it up, not me. I only responded because I don’t care much for the whining the right does about how the meanie media is always picking on them. I think that’s exaggerrated and used as a crutch for the right, just like ‘those mean old corporations outspent us’ is used for the left.

                2. Yes, I did. And not as a way to excuse Bush but to point out the idiocy of the media. And you of course have to immediately jump in and say something stupid and make a weak analogy because you just can’t ever have unqualified criticism of the Left. Everyone sees through what you do. Do it better and more subtly or give it up.

                  1. I’m not responding to your unqualified criticism of the Left, I’m responding to your whining about how the mean old media treats the Republicans so unfairly. You made the weak analogy to begin with, to start this entire conversation, I merely pointed out your analogy was, in fact, inapt because we have instances of huge counter demonstrations against terrorism where Bush also did not attend and there was no criticism of him you can recall.

                    1. He is right…. the media pounded on Bush trying to make him look like a idiot when the truth is he is merely inarticulate. Idiots don’t generally have 2 Ivy league degrees and successfully run businesses.

                      Bush would have been there but he didn’t want to show up a sitting president. He has too much respect for the office – unlike the current inhabitant

  23. Off topic! I read Krugman so that you don’t have to. Today’s (Monday) column includes the following “observations”. Emphasis is mine.

    “Building Keystone XL could slightly increase U.S. employment. In fact, it might replace almost 5 percent of the jobs America has lost because of DESTRUCTIVE CUTS IN FEDERAL SPENDING, which were in turn the direct result of Republican blackmail over the debt ceiling.”

    “You can’t consistently claim that pipeline spending creates jobs while government spending doesn’t.”

    1. Jesus, that is some derp.

      Thanks for doing the Derpetologist’s work!

    2. We all know that that money comes from magic keynesian elves who live in the Feds basement. It is not like it is borrowed or printed or anything.

      That said, the debt ceiling deal, judging from the screams of horror about federal spending actually coming down to 20% (yes 20 freaking percent) of GNP, appears to have been a better better than previously thought.

    3. He is right in one regard. It’s idiotic to argue that Keystone will ‘create jobs’ through the infrastructure building since those are all temporary.

      However, it will allow oil to move more freely which is a tremendous boon to economic growth, as we’ve seen in the last quarter when oil prices plummeted and the economy immediately picked up.

      The pipeline is a boon because it will provide us with resources and the jobs attendant to those resources are actually productive jobs, as opposed to the wildly unproductive, wasteful spending that Krugman adores so very, very much.

      1. Apparently some wags at the Mises Institute were mooting inaugerating an annual award called “The Broken Window Award” that would be given to the economist who had published the most egregiously bad variant of the broken window fallacy.

        Then someone asked, “What happens when Krugman runs out of shelf space?” and that killed the idea.

        1. That’s too funny.

      2. As one of my heroes (Don Boudreaux at George Mason U. and cafehayek.com) pointed out recently, the creation of jobs is a COST of the pipeline, not a benefit. I continue to learn things from Boudreaux, and he continues to publish simple, easily understood, logical statements on economics.

    4. Because supporting the allowing of private initiatives means you must support public ones!

    5. Creating jobs is neither good nor bad. What matters is what the jobs are created for.

      I can solve the unemployment problem right now by dividing the unemployed into two groups and give them both shovels. One group digs a hole on the day shift, the second group fills in the hole on the night shift. They are doing work, and the government could pay them for it.

      But it doesn’t yield anything in the future. What’s said below about jobs being a COST of the pipeline is correct. The difference is that you pay money for labor now, in order to generate a net gain later.

      All jobs aren’t created equal.

    6. Krugman is a worm – and couldn’t find his ass with both hands when it comes to economics…. or nearly anything else. Anyone who reads him and believes anything he says is a complete fool as well.

  24. for once I don’t care that Obama was absent again because marches are useless they are as effective as gun free zones.

  25. Damned if you do, Damned if you dont.
    This administration couldnt catch a break if it fell off a roof.
    They (France) dont need our hugs or tears or salutations, and they probably dont want it.
    What they do need and want is our intelligence, satelites and firepower, and thats what we can and do provide when we can.
    I do think though, and it may start with the French, were being a muslim in any “western” nation could be hazardous to your health, when people get so sick of it, they turn. It will happen. They will be tired of hearing about the “good” muslims and be more angered at civilians dying than any PC need to make Islamists feel good.
    Then, the fireworks will begin.

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  27. The terrorists must be laughing their collective ass off. Rallies! This is what the leadership of the industrialized countries think is “action”.

    They should have called this the Le Neville Chamberlain-Petain Pride Parade.

  28. The Prime Minister of ISRAEL was there in the first row. He’s the world leader in the most danger from Muslims. Yet he, a former soldier as all Israelis are, was not afraid to stand up and show solidarity.

    At least Obozo stayed in the White House and watched Sunday NFL game and didn’t fly to Florida to golf.

  29. The US is a leading hypocrite in countless areas. That’s never stopped them from participating in anything before. You are cluelessly bloviating to hear the sound of your own voice.

  30. According to the left side of the internet, France was and is apparently some “right wing” country, and now the right wingers there no love limited government and fiscal discipline will not storm back into power.

    That’s why Obama didn’t go. France is too right wing.

    1. Your first sentence needs some work.

      Since I am not sure what you are saying, I will just point out that “Right wing” means something different in Euroland than it does in the US.

      The “far right” party in France (and those in a lot of Europe) have been gaining in popularity recently. But it is folly to assume that the European Right has much interest in small government, individual rights or sane economics.

      1. true – I don’t think the Europeans have a clue as to what the phrase “limited government really means.

        I think that libertarianism is a purely American construct- comes from never having a “king” on the continent just ruled by proxy.

  31. Teenage girls take fewer selfies than this administration. RG3 is quiet bordering on taciturn compared to the White House. Wherever there’s more than one national media outlet you’ll find some clown from the administration weighing in, and yet this one time they just happen to be totally unable to figure out how to get a representative of the US government into a march in Paris? Bullshit.

    This was either a calculated (and extremely poor) decision, a blatantly incompetent oversight, yet another illustration of this administration’s eagerness to dump old allies in order to look pro-Muslim, or the administration was specifically asked by the French government not to come.

    This has got to be the worst administration in terms of foreign policy we’ve ever had. Yes, Bush destabilized the ME, but he had enough foreign policy savvy in his administration to keep it from completely falling to pieces. He had a plan. A terrible one, yes, but a plan. Obama doesn’t even have a motif, for Christ’s sake. He’s managed to weaken America’s image abroad and exacerbate ME instability far beyond what Bush did with absolutely nothing to show for it. I challenge anyone to name one significant foreign policy improvement that Obama’s administration can call their own.

  32. Isn’t this why God created Vice President’s? What the hell else does Uncle Joey do? Besides act creepy at swearing in ceremonies.

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  35. Disagree. At Paris the SecState (or better, VP) could have taken the opportunity to “buttonhole” each head of state to set up various deals favoring both parties, or at least improve relations. One at a time. That does require considerable work, though. He missed the chance.

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