Patterico's Pontifications


In Praise Of Open Mics

Filed under: General — Stranahan @ 12:51 pm

[Guest Post by Lee Stranahan]

CBS released open mic audio of Barack Obama talking about the budget process.

In what he thought was a private chat with campaign donors Thursday evening, President Obama offered the most revealing behind-the-scenes account to date of his budget negotiations with GOP leaders last week.

CBS Radio News White House correspondent Mark Knoller listened in to an audio feed of Mr. Obama’s conversation with donors after other reporters traveling with the president had left the room.


Forget about policy for a moment — this is the way I prefer to hear politicians speak. I’d like both sides to start actually saying what they mean.

Is there any way we can force this? Perhaps some sort of constitutional amendment the politicians be required to wear a wire at all times with a separate Internet radio station for every representative, senator, cabinet secretary, the president and the vice president? Yes, you would have to suffer through listening to their personal lives and bodily functions but eventually they have to go about their business and we would have the same level of transparency that we’ve come to expect from Snooki.

All the pussyfooting around has consequences. During last week’s budget battle, the Republicans were especially weak on this. The Democrats were out there saying Republicans were trying to kill women, and Republicans were saying – well, nothing really. I don’t remember what they said.

– Lee Stranahan

63 Responses to “In Praise Of Open Mics”

  1. I’ve often dreamed of a constitutional amendment that would deprive elected officials of the right to remain silent when asked questions about their work on official business.

    An elected official should not be able to answer a question from a reporter with “no comment” or with silence. It is OUR business they are doing, they are our representatives. When we ask them what they are doing with the power we granted them, they should be REQUIRED to answer.

    Gregg (117bcc)

  2. Except its what’s said to supporters at a fundraiser, so Obama’s comments aren’t necessarily truthful. Jerry Brown has been known to remark at fundraisers something along the lines of “get out your checkbooks and tell me what you want me to say.” He meant it as a joke of course, but the point still stands.

    bskb (3a53fe)

  3. Gregg,

    that’s probably the most frustrating thing in the world. Someone claims I don’t have the right to know some aspect of what my government did.

    The recent ATF silence is a great example. How dare someone tell the American people that we don’t get to know what our government did? Unless it’s James Bond’s secret operation to save the world, we have to know.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  4. Even supposing this was a good idea in so far as relations with the citizenry are concerned, it would kill our ability to lie to the leaders of the other nations of the earth. I doubt that we are emotionally, philosophically, or financially ready to pursue a foreign policy based on telling everybody exactly what we really think of them.

    C. S. P. Schofield (8b1968)

  5. Lee – Obama is still using dishonest talking points in most of that conversation.

    Two wars that weren’t paid for: Total cost so far approx. $1 trillion. Current level of Dem spending is $1 trillion per annum higher than Bush’s and not paid for as evidenced by projected trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see.

    Last deficit under Bush before Dems took over Congress was $160 billion. What is Obama really contending is not paid for – his party’s spending.

    Bush tax cuts were for everyone. Largest percentage cuts were for middle class. Leaving them in place, largest benefit will go to middle class.

    He can’t help himself.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  6. I didn’t say he was being honest — but at least it’s not covered in a layer of BS…

    I agree with the comments about officials not being allowed to remain quiet, too. Drives me nuts.

    Lee Stranahan (708cc3)

  7. Wow. I can honestly say I’m surprised at this.

    CBS released it? Someone’s going to lose their job…

    ROFL (1db6c5)

  8. We don’t need such a law. We need to fire politicians who lie to us or refuse to answer. As long as we let them do it to us we have only ourselves to blame.

    As a people we have the government we wanted and voted for. That is the most frightening and disturbing thing about our situation. We are not dealing with a usurper who can be kicked out so right and justice can return, we have what we wanted and there is little reason to think we would or will replace them with anyone better.

    The ruling class seems to have a lock on power with the Praetorian guard of the dependent class to wield in elections. It seems the next couple of elections will determine if we have another generation or just a few nasty years before economic collapse. What comes out of that will certainly not be anything we would recognize as our Republic.

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  9. Who says Obama is telling the truth when he talks to his donors??

    Patterico (c218bd)

  10. Oh. I see that was covered above by one of Lee’s comments. Let me then alter my question:

    Who says what he says to donors is not covered in a layer of B.S.??

    Patterico (c218bd)

  11. Gregg / Lee,

    Regarding requiring the answer to questions, have a look at the Prime Minister’s “question time” in the UK. It’s compelling.

    carlitos (00428f)

  12. I think the trend here is the opposite, isn’t it. We have had people arrested for asking an embarrassing question at a town hall meeting or for filming public employees in the performance of their duty.

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  13. Carlitos — I LOVE Question Time!

    Lee Stranahan (708cc3)

  14. Lee, by reports, though, they are not releasing the whole audio. they should do that, at least on the web.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  15. er, let me qualify that. unless there is a plausible national security issue or something like that, then they can hold it back.

    but that seems unlikely to apply here.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  16. Aaron – great point…

    But they never do that, really, do they?

    Lee Stranahan (708cc3)

  17. He acts like the HealthCare Bill is coherent. He is a moron when it comes to spending political capital. He spent political capital and didnt have the staff expertise to read the damn thing and insert the severability clause. If he wasn’t getting a pass from Congress the Bill would be getting repealed without debate just based on lack of constitutional merits alone. President Snow Job is going to get his head handed to him. The fact this video got out of CBS is signaling the outside world that someone has knocked over the Kool Aid jar and its wearing off. I think the white media in this country will get as much jolly out of sacking the first “black” president as they did getting him elected. Libya was a mistake and now NATO is really turning it into a coital fest with herdable animals. The debt ceiling debate amongst Republicans is either going to sack Boehner and make Ryan the new majority leader (as Boehner retires to spend more time with his family), or it is going to put President Snow Job in a corner and his mask is going to slip all the way off on TV—– and he’ll lose his 46 per cent entitlement holder voter base because they figure out this clown has lied to them with all of this quintillion dollar spending he’s been doing…at great political cost and being nickled and dimed (the GALL!) by Republicans. He is vile and nauseating. He is the Joker.

    Barry's Mom Has Jungle Fever (dbb15c)

  18. “I didn’t say he was being honest”

    Lee – I did not claim you did. I forgot to mention the ObamaCare claim of saving $1 trillion. Where is that asspull coming from? The Medicare actuary says no savings. It sounds like he is still using the phony double counting that has been assumed and pretending no Doc Fix will occur any year. Complete BS.

    The reason I mentioned dishonesty is this is either not an example of the mask slipping in a private moment, as it was with donors in San Francisco talking about bitter clingers in 2008, or an indication there is a possibility he really believes the crap he is spewing. I favor the former possibility, in which case, this is unfortunately a non-event.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  19. Bitter clingers moment, as Daley noted.

    JD (318f81)

  20. “In Praise Of Open Mics… Is there any way we can force this? Perhaps some sort of constitutional amendment the politicians be required to wear a wire at all times with a separate Internet radio station for every representative, senator, cabinet secretary, the president and the vice president?”

    ROFLMAOPIP Been there, done that, fella.

    “Between February 1971 and July 1973, [Republican] President Richard Nixon secretly recorded 3,700 hours of his phone calls and meetings across the executive offices. These recordings played a leading role in the resignation of our 37th president on August 9, 1974.” source:

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  21. Yep, Nixon sucked. Most statists do.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  22. Obama waives it off as “That’s tough” adding

    So, the total amount of tax cuts that we passed [last December] to boost the economy this year…

    Barcky admits that the “tax expenditures” ie maintaining the Bush tax rates boosted the economy. Yet he vows to get rid of them.

    JD (318f81)

  23. You are an imbecile, IMP.

    JD (318f81)

  24. That is a great catch, JD.

    It’s hard to imagine anyone doesn’t recognize that high taxes limit investments and can harm the economy. We can argue over how much, with whom, but the principle that low taxes stimulate, and have even increased government revenue, is just a fact every honest person recognizes.

    Of course, almost every time he mentions a tax increase, he explains he just thinks that’s fair, or someone has earned enough, rather than saying this will improve anything else.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  25. Barry’s Mom Has Jungle Fever

    Holy Carp. Really?

    carlitos (00428f)

  26. No carlitos Barry’s mom was a master baiter.

    DohBiden (6655ba)

  27. Dustin – he is still being mendoucheous, as he claims a tax cut when all he did was maintain the status quo.

    JD (318f81)

  28. Barry’s mom was a master baiter.

    I’m ambivalent about gratuitous insults to the President’s mother, but that username freaked me out. It’s not even a sockpuppet Friday thing. Weird.

    carlitos (00428f)

  29. I’m picturing some nice RNC campaign ads using the concept of Obama’s issues with the truth, his tendency to break promises, and a Pinocchio nose. I do not believe that would be racist would it, JD?

    elissa (2efb8b)

  30. Th pinnacle of racisty behavior, Elissa. Big median from yesterday would gt the vapors.

    JD (318f81)

  31. Sorry if i wasn’t PC.

    DohBiden (6655ba)

  32. Racist and anti-marrionnette! Why do you hate puppets?

    carlitos (00428f)

  33. How am i racist?

    I know your kidding.

    DohBiden (6655ba)

  34. Sorry if i wasn’t PC

    Ambivalent. Do not care. Relax.

    carlitos (00428f)

  35. My kidding what?

    carlitos (00428f)

  36. Puppets are only a degree worse than midgets and clowns, or midget clowns on Shetland ponies.

    JD (318f81)

  37. Am i really racist against puppets?

    DohBiden (6655ba)

  38. I think they’re responding to me, Doh.

    elissa (2efb8b)

  39. What I get by actually hearing the audio. He’s not very smart and extremely self centered.

    Douglas (7913e2)

  40. he is still being mendoucheous

    Yeah, I hate to be like those people who just can’t see any good in Bush, but that’s how I feel about Obama. He just can’t say the truth… he has to inject and spin some politics in every damn thing. If he says something nice about America, that’s only so he can then compare or contrast it to prove he’s right or the GOP is wrong.

    So if he says he did a tax cut to stimulate, even then he’s just trying to spin. He’s relentlessly douchey.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  41. Lee- Another Pigford? IRS paid over 500 million in undeserved homebuyer credits.

    Your tax dollars at work: More than 1,000 taxpayers claiming $7.7 million said they purchased first homes while they were incarcerated in prison.

    elissa (2efb8b)

  42. Holy Carp.

    Gefilte fish?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  43. I’ve got a good carp vid.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  44. Flying carpses!!!!

    JD (2da347)

  45. I don’t think one can trust what Obama says no matter when he says it or to whom. Obama recorded when he doesn’t think he is may be more interesting and useful on occasion than when he knows he is being recorded, but I believe that the only thing you know for sure about what Obama says is that he said it, and he said it thinking he is manipulating you the way he wants. Beyond that, who knows, including Obama.

    What is needed are 3×5 glossy photographs (color this time) with writing on the front of each one illustrating the truth vs. Obama’s lies. Graphs, pie charts, lists, all over You tube and where ever else. If we can’t clearly document how dishonest he is, we don’t deserve to govern.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  46. The dangerous flying Carp are in the Chicago River, right??

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  47. MD – This vid was on the Wabash.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  48. Obama likes Carpsemen.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  49. Anyone see Barcky’s signing statement?

    JD (2da347)

  50. daley- Did you take it yourself?

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  51. MD – No I did not. Patterico and A.W. now have it if they are interested.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  52. After thinking for a long time that the President is probably a smart guy who did not realize his compelling oratory could not translate into a cohesive governance, I know now I was wrong.

    I have seen it before, and I, indeed, was in a similar place when I was younger.

    He does not what he’s doing. He has no life experience to prepare him for the job, so his every move is to punt and hope someone else takes up the slack so he can take the credit.

    In other words, he exactly what the left said W was. Except he really is a vapid poser depending on polls and sycophants to order his day.

    Ag80 (177d8e)

  53. _________________________________________

    The Democrats were out there saying Republicans were trying to kill women, and Republicans were saying – well, nothing really. I don’t remember what they said.

    That’s even more obvious when the Teleprompter president had the gall to say the following…

    AFP, April 15: US President Barack Obama accused Republicans of wanting to turn the United States into a “Third World” country as he rallied support for his reelection campaign.

    If people (on the right in particular) don’t see the rich, laughable irony in such a statement — from an ultra-liberal like Obama, who are experts par excellence in dumbing down societies to the point of “Third Worldism” — than they really are asleep at the switch.

    Mark (411533)

  54. This has got to be the most embarrassing thing Boehner has done since he wet his bed last week.

    How can these guys have been in Washington, DC THIS LONG and learned NOTHING?

    These people are pathetic! They ALL need to GO!

    WarEagle82 (2ca889)

  55. Ag80–
    The cartoonist who did THE FAR SIDE used to make me laugh when he’d draw a person in an utterly improbable or messed up situation, or performing a nonsensical task–and then use the caption, “unclear on the concept”

    That phrase sort of seems to apply to the Pres., IMO. He really does seem like a misfit, not quite like regular Americans. He’s a person who has a great deal of power but much of the time he just seems—-unclear on the concept.

    elissa (2efb8b)

  56. I suspect that a great many people are starting to understand over-the-top rhetoric for what it is.

    I mean, seriously, trying to rein in collective bargaining by public servants is somehow anti-American? Give me a break.

    Ag80 (177d8e)

  57. “AFP, April 15: US President Barack Obama accused Republicans of wanting to turn the United States into a “Third World” country as he rallied support for his reelection campaign.”

    Democrats are usually doing what they accuse Republicans of doing. On this score Barcky is way ahead of the game.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  58. Elissa, Daley:

    Well, killing old people and autistics kids is a small price to pay for balancing the budget.

    What is the point of arguing anymore?

    Ag80 (177d8e)

  59. You had me right up until Snooki.

    Hoystory (d0fa8a)

  60. The tax cuts were for all.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  61. The Huffpo has an article whose (misguided) title is:
    Arizona Birther Bill Is Unconstitutional, Legal Scholars Say
    Dated: 04-15-2011


    However …. (sorry “Legal Scholars”) …
    From Wikipedia:


    The PFP’s first national convention to nominate candidates for President and Vice President was held in Ann Arbor, Michigan on August 17-August 18, 1968. Eldridge Cleaver was nominated for President over Richard C. “Dick” Gregory by a margin of 161.5 to 54. Cleaver, a convicted felon and Black Panther spokesman, was technically not eligible to run since he was only 34 years old at the time. Due to the needs of the state parties to collect signatures, the party fielded several different vice presidential nominees, including Chicago activist Peggy Terry, activist Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales, radical economist
    Doug Dowd, and Judith Mage, who had been nominated at the national convention. Cleaver personally preferred Yippie leader Jerry Rubin. Gregory formed a competing Freedom and Peace party and ran separately. Two states (California and Utah) refused to list Cleaver on the ballot, although each state listed the Presidential Electors and candidates for Vice President (Terry in California and Gonzales in Utah).



    It’s interesting to see how all of Obama’s minions are scattering and fluttering around like chickens with their heads cut off, worried about the effect of Arizona’s law. Why? Is it that Obama really doesn’t have a long-form birth certificate? I guess not. Because why else would Obama’s followers even worry? Obama has a birth certificate. Right? Or, NOT.

    If Obama does not qualify by refusing to send his long-form birth certificate to Arizona, then what does that say to the American public about who he really is, or isn’t? There are at least 13 states also considering a law in their states similar to Arizona’s law (that is supportive of and upholds the Constitution of the United States); perhaps there will be at least 7 or more passed. Obama perhaps thinks he can do without those states; and with what people will think is the reason he does not send in his birth certificate.

    AdrianS (accc54)

  62. As I’ve commented in the other blog –

    “One has to recall that there was this Jerusalem’s Western Wall incident where Obama’s prayer was intercepted and was later published. It seems to me, this “you think we’re stupid” remark that was supposed to be a private one is of the same MO.”

    Trosp (692208)

  63. Trosp – Obama relies on the media and his base remaining stupid or not asking too many questions about the BS and false choices he spews in his speeches. The Emperor truly has no clothes, but if nobody notices, it doesn’t matter.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

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