Welcome to the musings and notes of a Cadillac, Michigan based writer named Micah Holmquist, who is bothered by his own sarcasm.
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Barack Obama gave his first formal presidential press
conference last night. I didn’t watch it as, in an effort to reduce the level
of stress in my life, I am abstaining from watching or listening to whole
presentations by Obama till at least March 1.
Nevertheless, I read the transcript and was pleasantly surprised
by the quality of questions asked. Sure there was a question about Alex
Rodriguez but none regarding Michael Phelps, but these are reporters questiong
the president and therefore any question that does not include “you are great
Mr. President” is something of a victory.
For Obama’s part, calling out reporters by name, as he did,
does expose the myth that these are freewheeling affairs, but mostly he spilled
out the same talking points that journalists could have already obtained by
There was this somewhat interesting exchange:
OBAMA: Sam Stein, Huffington Post --
where's Sam? Here.
Q Thank you, Mr. President. Today Senator Patrick Leahy announced that he wants
to set up a truth and reconciliation committee to investigate the misdeeds of
the Bush administration. He said that before you turn the page, you have to
read the page first. Do you agree with such a proposal, and are you willing to
rule out right here and now any prosecution of Bush administration officials?
OBAMA: I haven't seen the proposal, so I don't want to express an opinion on
something that I haven't seen.
What I have said is that my administration is going to operate in a way that
leaves no doubt that we do not torture, and that we abide by the Geneva
Conventions, and that we observe our traditions of rule of law and due process,
as we are vigorously going after terrorists that can do us harm. And I don't
think those are contradictory; I think they are potentially complementary.
My view is also that nobody is above the law, and if there are clear instances
of wrongdoing, that people should be prosecuted just like any ordinary citizen;
but that generally speaking, I'm more interested in looking forward than I am
in looking backwards. I want to pull everybody together, including, by the way,
the -- all the members of the intelligence community who have done things the
right way and have been working hard to protect America, and I think sometimes
are painted with a broad brush without adequate information.
So I will take a look at Senator Leahy's proposal, but my general orientation
is to say, let's get it right moving forward.
My theory is that Team Obama has no intention of ever
prosecuting members of the Bush Administration or exposing what they did and
that political expediency is why they do not come out and say this. The Sean
Hannity’s of the world would not give them any credit for taking prosecution
off the table while doing so might upset the likes of Keith Olbermann.
Obama and friends, I believe, expect that the liberals who
want charges will eventually forget about it if the issue keeps getting pushed
off. I expect this tactic will work as it is similar to how the Bush
Administration did not acknowledge missing WMDs in Iraq until everyone had
already concluded this was the case and therefore the admission caused few