The Wednesday Read: Barack Obama & Jeff Sessions

Wisdom begins at the end. – Daniel Webster

These items caught my attention for this edition of The Wednesday Read:

  • Obama’s Farewell Address
  • Sessions’ Confirmation Hearing

Obama’s Farewell Address:

With our country coming up on the last week or so of the Obama Administration the song by The Doors called “The End” kept playing in my mind yesterday and during Obama’s farewell speech:

This is the end, beautiful friend
This is the end, my only friend
The end of our elaborate plans
The end of ev’rything that stands
The end

I’ve seen several administration changes in my life and I know that the Trump administration won’t be as great as they contend they will be or as bad as the other side says they will be. One thing for sure – there will be changes.

I also know that during the first couple of years of the Trump administration, everything that is wrong will be Obama’s fault.

Just about the time a new President is elected in this country we stop thinking about the current President. The outgoing President will spend the 70 or so days between Election Day and inauguration day in this “lame duck” period trying to be significant. Obama tried to do that last night during his emotional farewell speech.

Obama is a great speaker. Last night’s speech won’t go down in history as one of his better speeches, but he was able to put a period on his eight years as President of the United States. You can read a transcript of the speech HERE.

There were two sections of his speech that I really liked. The first part was about a threat to our democracy:

For too many of us, it’s become safer to retreat into our own bubbles, whether in our neighborhoods or college campuses or places of worship or our social media feeds, surrounded by people who look like us and share the same political outlook and never challenge our assumptions. The rise of naked partisanship, increasing economic and regional stratification, the splintering of our media into a channel for every taste – all this makes this great sorting seem natural, even inevitable. And increasingly, we become so secure in our bubbles that we accept only information, whether true or not, that fits our opinions, instead of basing our opinions on the evidence that’s out there.

The section of his speech where he talked about his family was moving:

Michelle – for the past 25 years, you’ve been not only my wife and mother of my children, but my best friend. You took on a role you didn’t ask for and made it your own with grace and grit and style and good humor. You made the White House a place that belongs to everybody. And a new generation sets its sights higher because it has you as a role model. You’ve made me proud. You’ve made the country proud.

Malia and Sasha, under the strangest of circumstances, you have become two amazing young women, smart and beautiful, but more importantly, kind and thoughtful and full of passion. You wore the burden of years in the spotlight so easily. Of all that I’ve done in my life, I’m most proud to be your dad.

It will be years before we know how Obama stacks up against the other Presidents. Some things are better; some things are worse.

Sessions’ Confirmation Hearing:

Yesterday morning during the confirmation hearing for U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General (AG), there were so many protesters popping up in the hearing room it was like a whack-a-mole game.

I am not that excited about Sessions being the next AG. There are just too many issues in his past that came up during a failed bid to be a U.S. District Court Judge back in the 1980s, but he will be confirmed by the senate and probably pretty easily.

If you use medical marijuana or recreational marijuana Sessions’ testimony yesterday left the door open to prosecute marijuana users. So “Pot Heads” beware! See the Huff Post article HERE.

Politico reported in December that Sessions:

…has called marijuana reform a “tragic mistake” and criticized FBI Director James Comey and Attorneys General Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch for not vigorously enforcing a the federal prohibition that President Obama has called “untenable over the long term.” In a floor speech earlier this year, Senator Sessions said: “You can’t have the President of the United States of America talking about marijuana like it is no different than taking a drink… It is different….It is already causing a disturbance in the states that have made it legal.”

There are limited federal resources to investigate and prosecute people using marijuana for medical and recreational purposes. Pro-pot people should push to have a federal law passed to legalize pot.

In the past eight years, we had the “right-wing wackos” believing that President Obama was going to take their guns. Now we’ll have the “stoners” thinking that President Trump is coming to take their bag of pot. Stoners really don’t need the added paranoia in their lives…

 

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3 thoughts on “The Wednesday Read: Barack Obama & Jeff Sessions

  1. The part of the speech you quote about the threat to democracy I find hyper hypocritical on President Obama’s part. He set the stage for “the threat” when he excluded R’s from the ACA crafting process and forced a vote before anyone had a chance to read and digest it, as admitted by Pelosi. He has a history of only entertaining salutes and boot clicks followed by “yes sir” rather than embracing the forging fires of real debate.

    • Craig –

      Thanks for commenting. When the Democrats and the Republicans have the votes they are good at excluding the other side. The ACA was a good example on the Democrat side. Preventing a vote on a new SCOTUS is a good recent example on the Republican side.

      Just wait until after January 20 when the Republicans will control the House & Senate & White House. Those on the right have a great chance to change things – but they may end up imploding.

      Thanks again,

      -JmB

      • Jackie, true enough. But the teary eyed speech….. compared to how President lead throughout his presidency. Ruled by imperial fiat executive orders in addition to crafting major legislation in the dark of the night. Only after 8 years of doing so he now sees a threat to democracy? More like a threat to whatever his legacy fashioned in the genuflection of his fragile ego.

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