Category Archives: Barack Obama

January 19, 2014, 1:03 pm

Department of Manuscripts and Archives: The Obama Library

Chicago

Should the location of a presidential library be a political decision or a travel decision? Photo credit.

It seems that national policy making may be more or less over until 2017 or beyond, so let’s turn to legacy: where should the Barack Obama Presidential Library and Museum be established?

Since it was Franklin Delano Roosevelt who began the tradition, by turning over his own home to preserving his legacy, this is a relatively modern problem: most presidents don’t actually have their own libraries. George Washington just got one last fall at Mount Vernon, his former estate in Virginia. Calvin Coolidge donated his collection to the Forbes Library in Northampton, MA, beginning in 1920, making it the only public library in the United States to be charged with preserving a presidential collection.

The…

Read More

October 9, 2013, 9:23 am

Talking Policy During the Shutdown: Obama Education Plan Part II

obama-nd-458x310Some of you may be starved for real policy conversations as we all wait to see if  Rep. Michelle Bachmann is correct that we have entered the Last Days.

Should the Last Days not be imminent, however, people will still need to go to college. Therefore, today we are delighted to post part II of a series on President Obama’s plan for higher education by guest blogger Judith C. Brown. The conversation began here on September 22 2013.

How to Combat Rising College Costs, Make College More Affordable, and Provide Better Information so Prospective Students May Decide What is Best Value for Them: Further Comments on President Obama’s Higher Education Plan

President Obama’s plan for higher education seeks to address very real challenges: the rising costs of providing a higher education, the decreasing ability of prospective students to afford it, and the inadequacy as well …

Read More

October 4, 2012, 9:08 pm

Things I Didn’t Tweet, And Questions That Were Not Asked, In the (Not So) Great Presidential Debate

When the Twitterati were peaking, Big Bird was getting 17,000 sympathetic tweets a minute.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that, in my view, what wasn’t talked about at the first Presidential debate last night was more remarkable than what was.

I’m not spinning it like my pals in the liberal media are — although I’m relieved and happy to see that the President’s energy has returned today. (Favorite admonishment? It’s from Rachel Maddow, after a superb presentation on the history of modern presidential debate: “As for the national bedwetting going on among Democrats today? C’mon! Buck up!”)

All right! But like many folks on the left who were Tweeting last night, I rocketed from unpleasant emotion to unpleasant emotion: boredom, fear, rage, anxiety are a few. I even became uncharacteristically…

Read More

August 24, 2012, 4:48 pm

Money Boys Got A Boo-Boo, Want Barack To Kiss It

In this week’s New Yorker, political reporter Jane Mayer unveils what we at Tenured Radical are not learning from those fifteen or sixteen robo-mails that come off the interwebz and onto our desktop: the Obama campaign is behind on its fundraising primarily because liberal-minded billionaires who floated the campaign in 2008 are unhappy.

“But they are billionaires, Radical!” you say — astonished. “Why are the billionaires unhappy?”

Apparently it has nothing to do with Obamacare or the tax code. It’s about parties. It’s about showing the love. According to his critics in the Hamptons, Malibu and Palo Alto, the President doesn’t call to schmooze, doesn’t drop them notes, and doesn’t send bar mitzvah cards.  He doesn’t do endless “grip ‘n grin photos” that donors spend 10K for so that they can pretend to their friends that they are Barack O’Buddies. He doesn’t call the…

Read More

June 19, 2012, 8:59 pm

It’s Summer: Let’s Tee Up Some History Shorts

Obama may have made history by being the first president to golf in cargo shorts.

Word has it that all of us will be wearing shorts on Thursday, as the temperature rises into the high 90s. So let’s start the chilling with a…

Cold War Cultural Revival. You thought that the membership of the American Studies Association, the Modern Language Association and the Organization of American Historians had collectively driven a stake through the heart of American Exceptionalism. But someone from the Republican National Committee fished your old copies of Frederick Jackson Turner and Lionel Trilling out of the book donation box at the local library.

In April 2011, your favorite Radical twigged you to a Sarah Palin speech in which she explained that her appearance at the Iowa State Fair was intended, not…

Read More

January 10, 2012, 4:36 pm

Go Ahead New Hampshire and Iowa, Have All The Fun

In Connecticut we wait and wait, but the candidates don't come. (Photo Credit: the Guardian)

We in the Nutmeg State follow primaries in other states with great eagerness.  Why? Because presidential candidates don’t campaign for our votes here, and we almost never see them, either in the primary season or during the general election.  In the last cycle, Obama held a big rally in Hartford and another in Bridgeport. But given the fact that he has done little for cities, including not having an education policy, my prediction is that Obama won’t go farther north than Westport for this year’s campaign. Just like in Iowa, during the “Fairfield County caucuses,” ordinary Americans in our wealthiest suburbs gather democratically in each others’ living rooms and huddle in the corners.

Unlike Iowa, however…

Read More

August 4, 2011, 5:36 pm

As President Obama Turns (The Clock Back On Women’s Rights)

Is President Obama now starring in Ronald Reagan Theater?

In case you think nothing good came out of the Congressional budget free for all negotiations that ended at the beginning of this week, think again. You will be cheered to know that Secretary of  Health and Human Services Kathleen Sibelius seized the moment. While everyone was distracted by the Tea Party and the President taking political a$$hattery to a new low, Sibelius slipped a major reform enacted under the Affordable Care Act over the transom:  no co-pays for insured women seeking gynecological care.  As WebMD reported: “Health care reform requires new insurance plans to fully cover women’s preventive care, which now will include free birth control, yearly wellness visits, breastfeeding counseling and equipment, and screening for…

Read More

February 24, 2011, 1:15 pm

Every Little Queer Vote Matters: Reflections On The Demise Of DOMA

“Oh my G-d, he’s marrying another man!”

Now that Rahm Emanuel has gone off to work his magic on Chicago, it seems that everyone in the Obama White House has gone a little light in the loafers, as my Dad used to say.  Clinton-era palliatives to the right wing that beat back the gays, while Republicans reorganized to elect a president who would send our money and our jobs abroad, are dropping like flies. First the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell received a timetable for withdrawal, and yesterday Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Department of Justice will not defend the Defense of Marriage Act because it is unconstitutional.

In both cases, the Obama administration is holding out an olive branch to liberals who have been in an impatient “show me” mood.  But looked at another way, one of the things we know about conservatives is that they are increasingly less persuaded, as a…

Read More

November 9, 2010, 12:50 am

Department of Uniquely Tacky Political History Gifts

Seriously? Chia Obama? I saw this on TV tonight and couldn’t wait to run upstairs and log in.

The good news is that Chia Obama is part of the “Proud To Be An American” series that includes Chia Washington, Chia Lincoln and Chia Statue of Liberty.  If you go to this part of the Chia Products website, you will see that Chia Washington has his green hair neatly trimmed colonial style, whereas Chia Lincoln, Chia Obama and Chia Liberty all have a neat ‘fro.

We are living in amazing times. I don’t think a sitting President has ever been honored with his own Chia, come to think of it. So buy one now — for that historian who has everything. For a limited time only. $19.95 + $7.95 shipping and handling. Free shipping with two or more. Buy Chia Obama for the whole American wing of your department. It’s never too soon to start thinking about the holidays.

August 20, 2010, 12:10 am

Annals of American Ignorance: Or; The President Prays Every Day, And So Should We All

It’s all over the news lately that, according to a new poll conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, nearly one in five Americans is dumber than a rock — er, I mean, thinks that Barack is a Muslim (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) The increase in those who believe that Obama sneaks off to the mosque behind our backs — seven percent since last spring- is accompanied by a “sharp decline” of 14% in the number of Americans who think Obama is a Christian.

In May 2009, LiveScience reported that one out of five Americans admit that they pee in the swimming pool. The Centers for Disease Control reports that one out of six Americans has genital herpes, one out of five Americans infected with HIV do not know they have it, the American Dental Association reports (gag!!) that one out of five Americans surveyed do not brush their teeth twice a day, and the National…

Read More