Is President Obama Tone Deaf??

On another site the other day, I posted my concern about how horrible it looked for President Obama to give the press conference on James Foley and then immediately go out golfing and be photographed laughing and having what appeared to be a great, carefree day. My concerns were not shared, to say the least. But the NY Times appears to have caught up with what I had noticed in many papers, including the NY Daily News, which is friendly to Obama:

But as soon as the cameras went off, Mr. Obama headed to his favorite golf course on Martha’s Vineyard, where he is on vacation, seemingly able to put the savagery out of his mind. He spent the rest of the afternoon on the links even as a firestorm of criticism erupted over what many saw as a callous indifference to the slaughter he had just condemned. – NY Times

I am not criticizing President Obama for taking a much-needed vacation or playing golf, which he obviously loves. I am actually not criticizing him at all. What I am surprised at is his inability to understand, or worry about, the optics of his press conference juxtaposed with his immediate golf game. And other Democrats are worried and uncomfortable, also:

But the criticism went beyond the usual political opponents. Privately, many Democrats shook their heads at what they considered a judgment error. Ezra Klein, editor in chief of the online news site Vox, who is normally sympathetic to Mr. Obama, wrote on Twitter on Wednesday that “golfing today is in bad taste.” …

“As a general rule, I think that he’s right that you can’t be held hostage to the news cycle — the man deserves a bit of downtime,” said Jim Manley, a longtime Democratic strategist. “But in this particular instance, I think a lot of Democrats flinched a little bit.”

Great Britain’s PM David Cameron didn’t help matters when he cancelled his vacation because of the British accent of the killer. His action made him appear concerned and back to work, determining who did this terrible thing.

I think that as a rule, Democrats are more sensitive to this type of issue, and don’t make as many PR mistakes as Republicans. I also think Obama’s PR team has been pretty good at their jobs. But that the President ignored the firestorm and hit the golf course again Thursday signals to me that he just doesn’t care much what anyone thinks at this point, which worries me about the rest of his presidency. Perhaps I am reading too much into this; I hope that I am.

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What unions have done for you

Like your weekends? Thank a union. Some things unions have given us:

An 8 hour day and a 40 hour work week – because of what union members in the past fought and some died for.

Weekends off – because of whatuUnion members in the past fought and some died for.

Overtime pay – because of what union members in the past fought and some died for.

Medical leave – because of what union members in the past fought and some died for.

Holidays off – because of what union members in the past fought and some died for.

Clean air and water – because of what union members in the past fought and some died for.

Safe working conditions – because of what union members in the past fought and some died for.

Fair pay – because of what union members in the past fought and some died for.

Unions may have their flaws, but if they could, corporations would roll back most of these hard-won worker rights real FAST if the bargaining power of unions was destroyed.

RIP Robin Williams

The suicide of Robin Williams stunned and saddened me. I’m surprised at how much I felt over this. My first memory of him was when I was a teen and he was in Mork and Mindy, followed by a movie I loved, “The World According to Garp.” I show “Dead Poets Society” to my students every year. Five viewings each year, and I still cry at the end. I’ll be crying a lot more this year.

I always thought that perhaps Robin Williams was too manic for it to be healthy. And that to live with his warp speed mind must be exhausting. But this still stunned me. I never saw depression in him. His money troubles must not have helped, but I doubt that is the real reason he killed himself. Same explanation by the media and same exact way L’ Wren Scott killed herself.

I worry that this takes away hope from others struggling with addiction and depression. We who survive either illness need to speak out to give those in the darkness real hope. Neither addiction nor depression need to end up this way. Millions get through these illnesses.

Peace and blessings to you, Robin Williams. Your light burned so brightly, but went out way too soon.

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