Did you know Barack Obama proposed marriage to a woman before he married Michelle? For quite a few years, Obama’s love was Sheila Miyoshi Jager, now a professor at Oberlin College.
.. In early 1987, when Obama was 25, she sensed a change. “He became. . . so very ambitious” quite suddenly, she told Garrow. “I remember very clearly when this transformation happened, and I remember very specifically that by 1987, about a year into our relationship, he already had his sights on becoming president.”
… Discussions of race and politics suddenly overwhelmed Sheila and Barack’s relationship. “The marriage discussions dragged on and on,” but now they were clouded by Obama’s “torment over this central issue of his life…race and identity,” Jager recalls. The “resolution of his black identity was directly linked to his decision to pursue a political career,” she said.
In Garrow’s telling, Obama made emotional judgments on political grounds. A close mutual friend of the couple recalls Obama explaining that “the lines are very clearly drawn. . . . If I am going out with a white woman, I have no standing here.
.. “When it comes to fulfilling his campaign promise to appoint strong, principled judges, Trump is knocking it out of the park.”
Planning for the wall should have begun on Nov. 9, and a spade should have been put into the earth to begin building it the day after Trump’s inauguration. Now, it’s 100 days later, and we still don’t have the whisper of a prospect of a wall.
Moreover, this isn’t one random bill funding Planned Parenthood (which this bill does). This is the budget deal. There won’t be another one like it until next October.
.. It’s theoretically possible that Trump could still build a wall, but he’s just massively lengthened the odds of ever prevailing. Sure, you can let the other team build a 20-point lead in first half and still come back to beat them, but it’s a lot easier if you don’t go into halftime 20 points down.
… Remember? There would be so much winning, we were going to get “sick and tired of winning,” and beg him, “Please, please, we can’t win anymore. … It’s too much. It’s not fair to everybody else.”
We’re not winning. We’re losing, and we’re losing on the central promise of Trump’s campaign.
What separates “we’re not assimilating new immigrants as fast and as well as we should” from “I don’t want immigrants”?
Neo-reactionary unease with mass immigration is exacerbated by what they see as the administrative state’s shift from belief in a “melting pot” model in which all immigrants assimilate to a common American culture to the multicultural model, where the government, business, and society recognize different languages and celebrate ethnic diversity over national unity. [National Security Council staffer Michael] Anton notes that America is now “a country in which Al Gore mistranslates e pluribusunum as ‘Out of one, many’ and in his error is actually more accurate to the spirit of our times.” The problems of ethnic division are further compounded by the view growing among the elites that America itself is at root a racist white construction, and that “assimilation” is therefore an inherently bigoted idea.
.. Again, a lot of these debates come down to where you draw the line. Back during the big NR debate about nationalism, Rich and Ramesh wrote, “The country’s founding ideals, history, and institutions barely enter into [Trump’s] worldview… The elements of American nationalism that Trump scants are moderating influences on it” — and I thought, “that’s a pretty big deal!” That element could very well be the dividing line between a force that is constructive and a force that is destructive.
.. His magnum opus — “An Open Letter to Open-Minded Progressives” — is an alternately chilling and entertaining assault on almost everything educated Westerners hold to be self-evidently true. His critique of our present is not that we need a correction to return us to traditional notions of national culture and to unseat the administrative state and its elites; it is that we need to take the whole idea of human “progress” itself and throw it in the trash can. Things didn’t start going wrong in the 1960s or under the Progressives. Yarvin believes that the Western mind became corrupted during the Enlightenment itself. The very idea of democracy, allied with reason and constitutionalism, is bunk: “Washington has failed. The Constitution has failed. Democracy has failed.” His golden era: the age of monarchs. (“It is hard not to imagine that world as happier, wealthier, freer, more civilized, and more pleasant.”
I Think He Missed a Memo
Are you noticing a pattern in President Trump’s statements?
“I loved my previous life. I had so many things going,” Trump told Reuters in an interview Thursday. “This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.”
When discussing health care in February: “Very complicated issue…. I have to tell you, it’s an unbelievably complex subject. Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.”
After the House GOP canceled the vote on the American Health Care Act: “We learned a lot about the vote-getting process. We learned a lot about some very arcane rules in obviously both the Senate and in the House.”
Discussing North Korea with Chinese president Xi Jinping:
Mr. Trump said he told his Chinese counterpart he believed Beijing could easily take care of the North Korea threat. Mr. Xi then explained the history of China and Korea, Mr. Trump said.
“After listening for 10 minutes, I realized it’s not so easy,” Mr. Trump recounted. “I felt pretty strongly that they had a tremendous power [over North Korea], but it’s not what you would think.”
Earlier this week, discussing NATO:
“I was on Wolf Blitzer, very fair interview, the first time I was ever asked about NATO, because I wasn’t in government. People don’t go around asking about NATO if I’m building a building in Manhattan, right? So they asked me, Wolf … asked me about NATO, and I said two things. NATO’s obsolete — not knowing much about NATO, now I know a lot about NATO — NATO is obsolete, and I said, “And the reason it’s obsolete is because of the fact they don’t focus on terrorism.”
If only someone had told him!
Do You Care about President Obama’s Speaking Fees?
Should conservatives care that former president Barack Obama is scheduled to be paid $400,000 check from Wall Street when he delivers a speech in September at a health-care conference run by Cantor Fitzgerald, a trading and investment firm?
.. Jill Abramson, former executive editor of the New York Times, lays out why so many Democrats are cringing at the early omens of Obama’s post-presidential life:
The habitual kowtowing of senior Democrats to the billionaire class has left their party close to morally bankrupt. Bernie Sanders was right to hammer Hillary during the primaries for her speaking fees from Wall Street. Even her most ardent supporters found these speaking fees indefensible. They were certain to be fodder for her opponents.
It was misguided of Obama to have signed on with the same D.C. speakers’ bureau as the Clintons, the Harry Walker Agency. For sure, it’s easy money. This giant of the speaking circuit has enriched the Clintons to the tune of $158 milion. During her campaign, Hillary explained that she took all that money because “it was what they offered”.
But do the Obamas really need the effortless lucre? One of the most attractive things about having Barack and Michelle Obama in the White House was the absence of ethical conflicts. They seemed to have impeccable moral judgment and real family values. And, thanks to a $65 million book deal with Penguin Random House, and a pot of money from the former president’s previous books, they are not in bad shape financially.
.. The two hallmarks of almost every major figure in the Democratic party over the past quarter century are 1) being much wealthier than the average American and 2) denouncing the greed of “the rich” and “corporate America” as the root of all of the country’s problems.