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Hype AM: Obama’s Era of Good Feelings, “Bubs” Williams, Boehner’s Boner, Streakers & More

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Slade Sohmer


By Slade Sohmer on January 13, 2011


Well, that didn’t take long: The Era of Good Feelings Redux that President Barack Obama tried to usher in on Wednesday night with his nonpartisan can’t-we-all-just-get-along speech at the memorial for victims of the tragic mass shooting in Arizona lasted all of maybe 30 seconds. Do yourself a favor and stay very far away from website comments sections today. They’re, as usual, bitter, ugly places today.

President Obama made it clear that “what we can’t do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on one another.” The president stood up there with no partisan political agenda, no axes to grind, no blame to place, no scorn to dish out, and he reminded everyone that the focus should be on the victims’ lives and their families, that we should have conversations worthy “of those we have lost. Let’s make sure it’s not on the usual plane of politics and point scoring and pettiness that drifts away with the next news cycle.” It’s President Obama unintentionally making the case again that he’s the last rational man in politics. Full text is here. Video right here. It comes highly recommended:

One of my favorite activities, in a Political S&M way, is to check out the comments section of certain websites to see their reaction to President Obama’s speeches. They never fail to disappoint, or to miss the point. Here are four gems that might just make you chuckle at the absurdity of it all:

“It took Obama four days to respond and four days of being called murderers and being marginalized. He could have said at the beginning of day two STOP. Do you have any doubt that he wouldn’t have for any group EXCEPT conservatives. Remember this. Remember what your president thinks of you. T-shirts for sale and a photo op on a dead 9-year-old and the elderly. So f*ck your calls for civility. I never asked for any and I doubt many here have. They know the cost of easing up.”

“I have never felt less like a part of this country than right now. His lectures about civility after this week. He hates all of us. He is a monster. And he is the leader of my beloved country. And he hates me. He allows people to call me a murderer. Please don’t re-elect this monster or his irreverent party back power. Have they ever attended a church in their lives? Don’t they understand how to honor the dead. How to feel anything? Don’t they feel? Is it all politics to them? Don’t they have normal sorrow for the dead? How can they cheer and applaud like that? Can’t they be reverent?”

“Make no mistake, this speech was as carefully designed to exploit this incident, to blame the right, to protect his base, to take advantage as anything done in recent days.”

“More like it was seen as a fine launchpad for Oblowmore to start stumping for his next attempt to further ruin our lives. Give me a break. The community doesn’t need a phony baloney blow hard waxing eloquent for his own sake. Anyone of you dirt bag liberals that thinks otherwise are just as sick and demented as your inglorious leader. Stop the train, the loony liberals are getting off at loonyland station.”

It’s likely that most people in this country received his memorial address better than the commenters on HotAir.com, RedState and FoxNews.com. But there’s something just off about listening to a leader decry finger-pointing and hyper-partisan blame and then watch him get trounced for doing so. Let’s look at the bright side: We’re back to normal after the shooting!

[THE Moment] President Obama played preacher, he played peacemaker, and he played a bit of ER doctor with good bedside manners. And in an electrifying moment, he revealed that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who had opened her eyes for the first time shortly after his hospital visit.

[A Tale of Two Speeches] The New York Times today makes an obvious point about the difference in tones between political celebrity Sarah Palin’s “accusatory” blood libel speech and President Obama’s “soft and restrained” address in Tucson that book-ending Wednesday. It’s an easy piece, and truthfully, while it seeks to do the opposite, it unfortunately elevates Palin to Obama’s level. And it’s not right. The president’s address should not be discussed in the same article, let alone the same headline, as Palin’s. The beauty of President Obama’s speech, objectively, is that it stands alone. It’s unlike anything else we heard this week. Don’t muck it up with obvious comparisons. Just let it breathe. Let it bleed. Let it be.

[Boehner's Boner] Let’s say Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House turned down an offer to ride with President Obama to Arizona to attend a partisan DNC fundraiser back in Washington DC. How do you think talk radio would respond to that? Twenty-four hours worth of irate hosts and callers slamming her decision? Absolutely. And partially justified. Well, that’s just what Speaker John Boehner did last night — he said no to Obama’s ride and went to endorse a candidate and raise some money. We’ll be listening to see whether the similar level of outrage hits the airwaves today.

[Bubbles] Does anyone have an odder attributive title than Ted Williams? In every article he’s referred to as “golden-voiced homeless man.” Strange. Yet awesome. Williams, though, has lived a lifetime in just the past eight days — he’s gone from homeless signholder to Internet sensation to gainfully employed with several companies to detained by the LAPD…and now he’s headed to rehab. He talked with Dr. Phil:

[Mexico's Drug War] We’ve written extensively about the all-out drug war unfolding south of the border. Some new figures have been released, and they’re higher than we even thought possible: “A total of 34,612 people have died in drug-related killings in Mexico in the four years since President Felipe Calderón declared an offensive against cartels shortly after taking office, officials said tonight. Killings reached their highest level in 2010, when there were 15,273 deaths, up from 9,616 the previous year…The office of federal security spokesman, Alejandro Poire, said the four-year figure included 30,913 execution-style killings, 3,153 deaths in shootouts between gangs, and 546 deaths involving attacks on authorities.” Granted, many of those killed are in the drug cartels and gangs — but think about that figure for a second: NEARLY 35,000 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN MURDERED IN FOUR YEARS.

[Clearly We Need a Comedy Interlude] Too serious. Let’s let a streaker help:

[Sinner of the Day] Tsk tsk, train conductor: “A Caltrain conductor is accused of trying to solicit sexual favors from ticketless passengers — including a 16-year-old girl — in lieu of a citation. Ricardo Arias Cano, 60, of South San Francisco, allegedly made the offer to the underage girl on Nov. 27 as she boarded a southbound train near Palo Alto, said Dave Triolo, head of transit police.”

[2000 Flushes] The Supreme Court is hearing a case in which police heard the toilet flush and thought someone behind the door was ridding a house of contraband. Sounds kinda hinkey, but it’s actually a really important case for search and seizure and the Fourth Amendment. Check it.

If you enjoyed this daily edition of Hype AM, please feel free to pass it on, recommend it, like it, share it. And if you’ve got a story for us, even a tall tale, email us at tips@hypervocal4.wpengine.com.

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