Manning Protesters Sing to Obama: “We Paid Our Dues; Where’s Our Change?”

Protestors sang their displeasure to Pres. Obama at a Bay Area fundraiser. (via yfrog)

At today’s presidential fundraiser in San Francisco, several attendees sang a song to Obama protesting Bradley Manning’s treatment. (From the White House pool report)

Mr. Obama was in the middle of his remarks when a woman in a white suit stood up and said, Mr. President we wrote you a song. POTUS tried to get her to wait until later, but she persisted and the table of 10 broke into a song that pointed out they’d just spent $5,000 donating to his campaign and went on to protest the treatment of Pfc. Bradley Manning.

The woman stayed standing as they sang. Mr. Obama looked to Ms. Pelosi and asked, Nancy did you do this? Ms. Pelosi had a look on her face, as she stared at the singing group, that definitely said she did not.


The 10 singers then passed around 8.5×11 signs that said “Free Bradley Manning” or had a photo of him.

Then the woman in the white suit stripped off her jacket to reveal a black T-shirt that said Free Bradley Manning, with an image of him.

“We paid our dues. Where’s our change?” they sang.

USSS and WH staff had moved near the table at this point. The woman was escorted out. Two others left on their own. (The rest stayed and applauded at the end of POTUS’s speech.)

“That was a nice song,” a displeased Mr. Obama said.

“Now where was I?” POTUS asked.

As was indicated by that song, “Over the last 2 and a half years, change turned out to be tougher than we expected,” POTUS said.

Also, WTF? Why is Obama’s first instinct to blame Pelosi for this? Granted, Pelosi often takes stands in support of political prisoners, but to suggest a master fundraiser like Pelosi would embarrass the President at a fundraiser like this is just a real misunderstanding of her. (Even if it were only a lame attempt at deflection/humor, it is disrespectful and a tad dishonest.)

Not to mention the suggestion that people, particularly in liberal San Francisco, might not have the free will to craft a protest on their own.

Follow developments after the jump. . . .

    • Tominator says:

      Don’t forget he’s real arrogant too. Especially when things don’t go his way. He’s used to having his way. He’s the president after all. Don’t go questioning him either.

  1. Arbusto says:

    I think Obama’s Presidency could be stated as a real misunderstanding. That of course is giving he and his the benefit of the doubt whether he’s successfully carried out his own agenda for change.

  2. JTMinIA says:

    The liberal base does not exist as a living, breathing, thinking segment of the population. We are simply the 15 or so percent of the vote that Obama assumes that he gets for free. The only person present who actually counts as a person to Obama was Pelosi. So he looked to her, regardless of whether that makes any sense.

    ps. I’m aware that 15% is an overstatement, but I need to believe this right now so please don’t correct it

    • Mary says:

      Good answer – I’d also wonder if it is a bit of forcing her onto his side of the line drawn – of course she’s going to say no, and then that puts her “with” him.

      • JTMinIA says:

        If that’s why Pelosi said No, then I’m disappointed. Pelosi isn’t Feinstein. Pelosi has no reason to back the warmongering and security-state side of Obama, so the “forcing her onto his side” (which completely makes sense as his motive) should not have worked on her. I know that Pelosi is one of the best at being a politician, but this was a chance for her to help rescue a Democratic president by, effectively, saying No to him, instead of denying the protestors, and I wish that she hadn’t missed the opportunity. Put another way, Pelosi is one of the few people who Obama might listen to. She had his ear and whispered sweet nothings instead of the truth.

          • JTMinIA says:

            Oh, I know that the WH has been trying to undercut Pelosi, but that just goes to show that they know enough to take her seriously, which means that until they have succeeded in weakening her they will have to listen to her. Now, if you’re still drinking the 17-D-chess Koolaid that we were fed for the first 18-24 months, then you might say that the WH is weakening Pelosi as a favor, such that Boehner takes all the blame for what the House does, but I put my 17-D chessboard back in the closet more than a year ago, myself.

        • NorskeFlamethrower says:

          Citizen JTMinIA:

          “…but this was a chance for her to help resue a Democratic President by saying NO to him, instead of denying the protesters…”

          Patience Grasshopper…Pelosi is the best politician the Dems have left in elected leadership AND she has a history of allowing dissent at her town Hall meetings and public events. Obama is gettin hit now by campaign contributors and he won’t be able to “blame the hippies” or scapegoat other Democrats like Pelosi that he desperately needs when the shit hits the fan. He’s out there by himself on this one and if he doesn’t acknowledge the legitimacy of the protest he will turn out like LBJ.

          My bet is that there will be some immediate moves to try and difuse the Manning thing and if that happens the heat will just increase until he is forced to save face and get the military to courtmartial Manning with stockade time and a dishonorable…maybe even time served.

          • JTMinIA says:

            > “Patience Grasshopper”

            I’m sorry, but my patience is also back in the closet, next to the 17-D chessboard. You’re a step away from “let’s work to elect him a second time because this time he’ll be what he said he was because he won’t be looking forward to another election.” I ain’t buying that cr*p, either.

            • NorskeFlamethrower says:

              Citizen JTMinIA:

              “…You’re a step away from ‘let’s work to elect him a second time…'”

              Where the fuck do you get that from ANYthing I’ve said here. For the last 2 months I been bustin’ my sorry old hump learnin all over again what many of us learned from 1968 through 1975. The one thing I know for certain now is that we can’t build a movement that succeeds unless we build it off of real politics as the main course with protests and political theater as the desert. We make the politicians react to us and when they do we hit ’em again and again and again…we do that door to door and precinct by precinct.

          • Teddy Partridge says:

            The first time I heard Nancy Pelosi speak was when Democrats had not yet attained the majority, and she held a town hall meeting at Marina Middle School in SF. Code Pink and various other protesters were in the hall, and the not-yet-Speaker (much to her Secret Service detail’s chagrin) asked them all to gather at the foot of the stage, across the front of the assembly room, so that every single picture of her would include their signs and costumes.

            It was very classy, and served to put her on their side, disarming those of us inclined to support the protesters while wanting to hear our Congresswoman.

            So, yes, extremely skilled, extremely respectful to protest, and terribly unlikely to have organized this. But I bet she enjoyed the hell out of it, and out of Barack’s discomfort with it.

          • dcblogger says:

            Obama is like LBJ, except without Civil Rights or the Great Society. In other words, not like LBJ.

    • Cellar47 says:

      We exist — which is precisely why he’s doing his best to ignore us. In this he matches the “Mainstream media” which ignores grassroots protests against union-busting in Wisconsin, Iowa, et. al. yet can’t stop blathering about the astro-turfed and fast-fading “Tea Party.”

    • john in sacramento says:

      I think, if anything, the 15% is an understatement

      I think (could be wrong), in their mind they’re the ‘authority figures,’ albeit with a Democratic flavor, but still ‘authority figures.’ And, if you take everything into this context — Manning, Gitmo, three wars, destruction of the social safety net, Wall Street bailouts … everything — they see a few protesters as a bump in the road, and think it actually enhances their standing with the rest of the PTB (powers that be) and the MOTU’s (masters of the universe).

      If you look at most of the national politicians, no matter what flavor the party is, they’re all to some degree highly functional sociopaths, who use their party as a means to an end, and will use whatever topical wedge issues they can, to divide and conquer and gain more power

      They’re all aware of Stanley Milgram’s Obedience to Authority experiment, and Philip Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment

      65% of the test subjects in Milgram’s experiment gave the maximum voltage in shocks to the other test subjects because they were ordered to do so by ‘authority figures’

      And this is what they all count on

      I think you’re very safe in saying he takes the 15% for granted

      • Ironcomments says:

        I remember learning about that experiment in sociology classes. The kicker for me was that none of the participants questioned the “authority figure”. The figures just wore lab coats and a clip board while the participants where supposedly shocking the hell out of some unknown person on the other side of a wall and the figures never said anything just watched.

  3. Teddy Partridge says:

    Don’t you know that those Code Pink beeyotches and other troublesome protesters work for Leader Pelosi? After all, they camped out at her house for days on end. Why would she permit that if they weren’t best girlfriends? I mean, Nancy and Medea plot every night over their witches’ cauldron how to make Barack’s life hell. And that GetEQUAL shrew — Nancy bought her the handcuffs all those DADT protesters used at the White House fence! Best Frenemies Forever!

    What a piece of work this douchebag is.

  4. bittersweet says:

    I just have to say, “GO PROTESTERS!”
    I think this is fantastic. Bradley Manning gets transferred yesterday, but the his advocates keep up the pressure. If President Obama thought that a transfer would solve his problem, then he just got told it would not.

  5. Arbusto says:

    That’s got to get to NoDramaObama, having people in his face over his handling of, in effect, the rule of law, especially in the hallowed halls of insiders/big donors. Hah!

    P.S.: I wonder, did the DNC pay for use of Air Force 1 for this political event, or did BO manage to cram in the Countries business in his fund raising tour?

  6. jodo says:

    Obama’s campaign message in San Francisco; I’m powerless, we suck less, and the Republicans are to be feared.

  7. storyofo says:

    Excellent. They could have sung Pink’s “Dear Mr. President” to him and barely changed a word.

  8. sfmikey says:

    I never really expected Obama to be primaried, but as I’ve posted, along with some others, I hoped he’d face protests along the way. Great. Hold him acoountable for a record of failure and the shame of his duplicity.

    He said he feels the frustration, but compromise is necessary. Change comes slowly, he says, and bipartisanship is necessary to make government work. And so he asks for another term. Who can believe this?

    I hope there are more such protests, and I’m pleased San Francisco might be a source of inspiration along with the Badger Uprising.

    • NorskeFlamethrower says:

      Citizen sfmikey:

      “I never really expected Obama to be primaried, but…I hoped he’d face protests along the way.”

      Indeed, Brother sfmikey, this is just the beginning and the protests over Manning and the war(s) are only gunna increase from INSIDE the base of the Democratic Party as well as from without. All of the protests are gunna leverage off of political actions takin’ place in places like Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio etc. and the base for those protests is real grassroots politics that is electing local officials and folks that Obama is gunna need when the primaries come around in all those states. There are a number of ways to “primary” a sitting President without puttin’ a sacrificial lamb out and wastin’ money on a national campaign…protest votes with “favorite son” candidates in individual states (Feingold in Wisconsin for instance) can create a situation where Obama will hafta accomodate the opposition with ACTIONS as well as promises and if he doesn’t he will turn out like LBJ. The road to Charlotte is bein built door to door and precinct by precinct already and you can bet it ain’t lost on the corporatists in the White House and in Chicago.

      • cbl says:

        personal o/t

        per your comments the other day about the Socialists triangulating . . . I’ll be go to hell if I didn’t see it for myself that very day on the question of Wisconsin – hoo hoo I had me some “fun” in that thread

  9. BMcGarth says:

    Why is Obama’s first instinct to blame Pelosi for this?

    That’s par for the course….he never takes responsibility for anything.

  10. osage says:


    Establishment Republicans can’t get elected without the votes of gullible and intellectually dumbed-down irrational teabaggers…..AND UNLESS LIBERAL/PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS STAY HOME!

    Establishment Democrats can’t get elected WHEN LIBERAL/PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS STAY HOME!

    Obama won the presidency BECAUSE liberals/progressives voted FOR him and AGAINST Bush Republicans. Democrats were defeated in the midterm elections because liberals/progressives STAYED HOME; not because Republicans were MORE POPULAR or because there are more Republicans than Democrats. Had President Obama not alienated liberal/progressive Democrats, Democrats would not have lost or diminished their respective House and Senate majorities.

    Fortunately, for our nation, liberals/progressives are the fraction of voters that most determine who DOES and DOES NOT get elected. When they decide to vote, DEMOCRATS win. When they decide to stay home, Republicans win. When teabaggers vote AND liberals/progressives vote, DEMOCRATS win because there are more Democrats than Republicans.

    Republicans like Scott Walker, Jan Brewer, Rick Scott, John Kasich, Rick Snyder, Chris Christie, Rick Perry, Michelle Bachmann, John Kyl, Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Haley Barbour and Rick Santorum ARE making it IMPOSSIBLE for liberals/progressives to stay home in the 2012 presidential election no matter how much President Obama disappoints them.

    These Republicans have openly shown their black hearts AND liberals/progressives are going to be HIGHLY MOTIVATED to vote AGAINST their DESTRUCTIVE INSANITIES!

    • mattcarmody says:

      A lot of us voted in 2008. Are you aware of how that’s been going?
      Trying to convince people to vote after how badly we’ve been fucked over, imho, is just gonna piss people off.

      PS – I ain’t voting for the first time since ’72.

        • AitchD says:

          Screw Obama, impeach Clarence Thomas.

          If that happens and Obama gives us back ‘our’ 5-4 and 9-0 SCOTUS, I’ll vote for the dude in ’12.

      • dcblogger says:

        Why not vote for an emergent party candidate? The Greens or the Social Democrats or someone is bound to have a ballot line, why not vote for that candidate?

        • mattcarmody says:

          In ’72 I was newly returned from Vietnam assigned to Quantico. I signed up to work for McGovern, registering voters. Got in trouble with my first sergeant for working for McGovern and had to get my congressman involved to get them to lay off.

          In every election after that I voted either CPUSA or Socialist Worker or Green. In 2008 I voted for McKinney.

          At this point, I’m done. No Social Security COLA increase as everything around me is going up and even the wives of thieving bankers are getting multi-million dollar payoffs from the government. I’ll wait for the revolution and then contribute my experience.

      • greengiant says:

        Hah, I registered Republican in 72 just so I could vote against Nixon twice. Ashbrook took down 10 percent in the California primary.

        • Mauimom says:

          Wasn’t it John Anderson?

          That’s what I recall, because I too changed my registration so I could vote for him in the primary.

    • PJEvans says:

      You might get more positive attention if you weren’t yelling so much. Remember that a lot of people here remember 2000 and 2004, and we were hoping for better results last time.

  11. wendydavis says:

    Five grand is a hell of a lot of scratch to pay for a protest song. Just sayin’.

    Obama may a little bit narcissistic at this point to get an exhibition of rage; he may sincerely believe his own press.

    • Acharn says:

      Yeah, “captured.” The first warning sign was when Glenzilla pointed out John Brennan was Obama’s main “security adviser,” back during the campaign. So he was captured even back then. So his Bush III behavior should have been foreseeable, and I didn’t foresee it.

      My question is, if the Democrats are pushing to cut Social Security too, why should I care if Republicans are elected? Obama hasn’t “moved to the center,” he started out center-right, and he’s moved to conservative. Meanwhile, the Republicans have moved to… Lord, I don’t know. Berzerkistan?

      • thatvisionthing says:

        My hope is that if Rs get elected, the NEXT election means a shove to the left where the voters are — Democrats won’t be running as incumbents. That was the wave Obama caught, even if he forgot it once he was in office. We’re still us, we’re still here.

  12. bluewombat says:

    This is just terrific. You can run, Barry, but you can’t hide.

    More change we can believe in: The Secret Service and White House staff menacing U.S. citizens peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights.

    Whoever the people involved in pulling this off are, they deserve the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Maybe Barry can give it to them.

  13. workingclass says:

    I salute these protesters courage and ingenuity. Rub Manning in his face everywhere he goes. Obama and Manning must be like Bill and Monica.

  14. cbl says:

    btw, noticed the official line among the ‘bots has changed from concern trolling Bradley’s innocence to calling the matter “a distraction”

  15. Ironcomments says:

    Yes, the nugget of truth of this story is Obama’s response. Directly confronted for his lack of leadership and outright violation of human rights, he decides to ignore it and make a joke of it. The Enabler has become Bush the Turd all he lacks is the awful giggle/chuckle/shoulder hop, Shrub would use when guffawing at his own ignorance.

    True leadership would recognize that if a person or persons spent 5 grand to get a message across, then that should be something taken seriously and not a joke. But I guess that is just a mere pittance to the corporate masters that Obama is really beholden to. True leadership does deflect from issues or complain about “how hard it is to accomplish anything in Washington.” True leadership just doesn’t just inspire, but also directs action. The Enabler is showing more and more why he is just a sock puppet.

    • Twain says:

      Obama should have used this as an opportunity, dropped his canned speech, and spoken directly on a number of subjects, not just Manning. He could have made some friends but, no, he doesn’t speak off the cuff. Might say something truthful.

    • NorskeFlamethrower says:

      Citizen Ironcomments:

      “True leadership would recognize that if a person or persons spent 5 grand to get a message accross, then that person should be taken seriously…”

      I don’t believe for a moment that this guy and his capos and apparatchiks aren’t takin’ this seriously as we speak. He is beginnin’ to understand that Rahm and the Daley boys played ‘im when they convinced ‘im that the opposition could be bullied and humiliated without payin a political price. The answer to the question about Obama’s political future lies in how fast he learns the facts of life here and what he does and how fast…but protesting and political theater are only as good as the political organizing behind them. Door to door and precinct by precinct…

  16. kall says:

    Obama ceased caring about these people as soon as they sang the line “We’ll vote for you anyway, what choice do we have?”

  17. endtimesgal says:

    Obama is the worst thing to ever happen to anyone liberal/really a Dem. And anyone that votes for him again only deserves whatever they get. If they last three years haven’t told you enough-then you deserve more of his bullshit. He doesn’t believe in civil liberties-he doesn’t believe in helping the middle class/poor. All he cares about is further entrenching the status quo precisely as Glenn Greenwald has so expertly written about. I’ll contribute to FDL once the dog and pony show is over-in other words as long as this site is NOT in full opposition to Obama it is just as bad as any other damn site-KOS or the rest. No one should be voting for Obama again or sending him a dime. (and of course Emptywheel is the best thing on FDL most of the time-but I don’t understand why there is no clarity of people here not advocating against Obama-nothing as been clearer to me since the damn day before he was even in office and Obama was picking John Brennan) Obama will never do anything good but trash the name of all liberals and what is left of anyone that is a real Democrat.

  18. hcgorman says:

    GW Obama really does not take criticism well. back when he was just my junior senator and before he threw his hat in the ring I spoke to him at a small fundraiser luncheon…I was ready for the opportunity to tell him what I thought of his first year and a half or so in the senate and I had the opportunity. When I told him he should be ashamed- as a civil rights attorney and constitutional law professor (I didn’t realize he was only an instructor!) for voting for the 2005 detainee treatment act he shot back “it was going to pass anyway” and I shot back and said “oh, so that’s your standard now?” There was more said…mostly by me. Before he left he walked to every table and shook hands with every single person in the room-except me….and as I stared at him walking out of the room he turned and looked at me and said “and don’t forget to send me an email with your other concerns….” I said “yeah right…” I had worked on his senate campaign and I was surprised at the fact that he was unable to handle criticism.

  19. Larue says:

    Thanks Mz. Wheeler for the report and tweets above.

    Thanks to comments too, they were a delight to read and absorb.

    Teddy P, great Pelosi story thanks . . .

    Norske it’s great to see you with such an upbeat POV . . . please keep sharing your thoughts as they help buoy us all.

    At times in the past few months it’s all gotten unbearable to suffer, and I find myself withdrawing from it all, so your points help keep me smilin as much as I can.

    Pups rock!

    • NorskeFlamethrower says:

      Citizen Larue:

      I feel ya,Brother Larue, we been beat up pretty good around the Norske household the last several months…Mrs. Norske has been forced to take early retirement after 32 years and it’s gunna cost $12,000 for the last 4 months of this year, money that she was countin on for us to take a trip through Europe when she retired. But that’s what politics is for, you’d be surprised how many folks in your neighborhood are in that foxhole with ya, Brother.

    • Cynthia Kouril says:

      $50K is just a drop in the bucket, he needs to raise hundreds of millions.

      The singers won,and won big. If Obama becomes afraid of his own donors….

    • Knox says:

      True. But the sellout weasel should still have to hear from as many of us as humanly possible. He doesn’t like it when people he thinks are supposed to be adoring him don’t shower him with adoration.

  20. bell says:

    time for another ross perot, or a 3rd party… wow… manning defines obama and right now it ain’t pretty…

    • thatvisionthing says:

      Just wondering, if Bradley Manning ran for president from prison (Debs did it) — does that automate protections for him? I would be happy to write his name in but even happier if he was on the ballot.

  21. Knox says:

    As was indicated by that song, “Over the last 2 and a half years, change turned out to be tougher than we expected,” POTUS said.

    It’s been a lot tougher than we expected because the guy who promised to deliver change, Mr. President, turned out to be a huge obstacle blocking that change rather than a fighter working to bring it.

    You’re a sellout and a liar.

    If you really care about change, you’d get out of the way.

  22. Frank33 says:

    Hopefully those war pigs in the White House will read this Post so they have an idea what we think of corporate shills. It needs to be repeated. Whatever “classified secrets” Bradley may have revealed, were war crimes by the neo-cons who control the USA Police State.

    We need to discover who Obama’s torturers are. The Torture Team Obama uses to punish Manning, are probably some of the worst thugs and assassins. Maybe they are part of the team that assassinated Pat Tilman. Since assassinations are now outsourced to Lockheed or Blackwater, these goons have the freedom to torture or murder anyone in the government or out, who reveals the neo-con crimes.

    Obama, go to hell. Then you will be with your friends.

  23. dhfsfc says:


    Imagine how incensed Obama would be if he were held in indefinite detention, stripped naked, and in solitary!

  24. themalcontent says:

    More like this, please.

    We must pave the campaign trail with demonstrations like this, on every issue which this man and the UniParty have sold out to their military and corporate benefactors. And that would be ALL OF THEM.

    Way to go, San Francisco!!

  25. harpie says:

    Glenn’s Update II:

    Reuters Reuters Top News

    FLASH: Obama has approved use of armed drones in Libya, missions are starting -U.S. Defense Secretary Gates

    • dhfsfc says:

      If the Greens, or another Third Party I can get behind, are on the ballot, I’ll come out and vote! Promise.

  26. rosalind says:

    The Obama Fundraising Tour is on its way to L.A. now to screw up my life. I was caught up in last year’s gridlock from hell, and of course have an event on the Westside tonight to attend. Maybe he’ll travel by helicopter, maybe not, best the officials will say is “stay off the roads”. Yup, cause we citizens can just cancel our lives for the day so Obama can hoover up cash from the rich and famous.

  27. Ro-Man XP47 says:

    “…change turned out to be tougher…” than you expected? How would you know, since you’ve offered up zero force for it? How were you planning to effect change when you hired the likes of Summers, Geitner and Salazar (oh, so sorry you couldn’t get Judd Gregg on the team)? Didn’t any of your genius law profs at Harvard ever warn you about the pitfalls of promising more than you could deliver? Now watch that budget speech of last week just vanish like a puff of smoke. Useless.

  28. bailey2739 says:

    I will NOT stay home in 2012, I WILL do everything I can to defeat Obama – he’s a disgrace! How flippant can a President educated in constitutional law be to the pre-trial treatment Manning has received? Obama has NO moral character. I’d love to hear what Harry Belefonte thinks of Barry’s performance as President, that would be a fun audio.

  29. earlofhuntingdon says:

    How funny. The right-center Obama claims that he can’t impose all the change he wants in just his first administration. He needs another four years. With change agents like Barack Obama – a committed proponent of any status quo he comes across – progressives don’t need enemies.

  30. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The only people Mr. Obama respects are those who oppose him and bully him into compliance. That model has worked well for the GOP for two years. Why should progressives not use it?

    • bluewombat says:

      The only people Mr. Obama respects are those who oppose him and bully him into compliance. That model has worked well for the GOP for two years. Why should progressives not use it?

      Give the man a kewpie doll.

    • stevo67 says:

      The only people Mr. Obama respects are those who oppose him and bully him into compliance

      I disagree with your assessment, earl. He actually doesn’t disagree with the republicans. Obama admires them (Reagan)and believes in their vision. Its us DFH’s that Obama actually hates and views as the enemy.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Mr. Obama responds to external pressure. Like a balloon, press in here, he bulges out there. Don’t press, and he retains his pleasant shape. Politics is all about where to press.

        Mr. Obama may agree with many things Republican, be they Eisenhower’s now defunct vision of a cooperative America or the current rightwing’s ruthless Randian vision of “I’ve got mine, screw you”.

        Fundamentally, I don’t think he cares. He cares where the pressure is coming from. He’s not playing eleventy dimensional chess so much as responding to the stilleto heel pressing hard on his toes and the steel-toed wingtip kicking his shins.

  31. kspopulist says:

    serves him right! hope the checks bounce!

    • waynec says:

      Thanks a lot!
      From previous two posts, I have milk and oatmeal, and Pepsi and Cheese-Its (hot & spicy) imbedded in my laptop.
      Now I have half chewed Hot Tomales all over my screen!

    • bgrothus says:

      I think writing a check for $5K that bounces might be grounds for legal action, but that idea is funny. I would not be surprised if the checks bounce that the Law goes after these folks.

      That said, I hope this sort of action continues just so that O gets some wake-up on what is going on in the country. He’s living in a bubble.

      • manys says:

        Cynical people might even wonder if the $5000 amount is chosen so that it would be a felony to renege.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Bouncing a check is when you knowingly write a check, that is, create a negotiable instrument that appears to have value, when you know and and intend that there not be sufficient funds to redeem it for cash when it hits your bank. It’s possible to issue one in error, too.

        The bigger issue is for what purpose did you give someone a check. The underlying contract is what counts; the check is only partial performance of it.

        If you stop payment on a specific check, you are withdrawing from a promise to give someone money. The most common reason is that the underlying contract has gone bad: the car is a piece of junk, the hotel made you sleep with a gazillion bed bugs, all the bread and milk from Safewhey was rotten but sold as fresh. Those are breaches of contract. Stopping payment takes the bank out of the equation and puts the problem solving back between the parties where it belongs.

        Gifts are not ordinarily enforceable promises to pay. The traditional exception was gifts made to charities, who spent money and made commitments based on pledges.

        Last I looked, political parties were not charities; they are big businesses. When they fail to make good on their promises, and you can still withhold or claw back your gifts, it seems worth a shot. Withdrawing support is the only leverage you’ve got.

        • thatvisionthing says:

          Can’t we just think of donor checks as “campaign promises”? No one really expects they’ll be kept, right?

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            I vote for that. Just don’t write a big check without ever expecting there to be money in the bank to pay for it. Political parties and TBTF banks might get away with such games, but not the hoi poloi.

      • PJEvans says:

        I’d bet that the checks were deposited long before the lunch – they’d mostly have been paid some time before, because this wasn’t a spur of the moment lunch.

  32. transparait says:

    Allergic to rudeness. Sounds like control issues to me, wasn’t that why the obamabots tried that little astroturf coffee party thing? Real lefties are better seen and not heard and all that. Amusing!

    • bluewombat says:

      Allergic to rudeness. Sounds like control issues to me

      If that’s how it sounds, you may be due for an earwash. I didn’t tell NSF what to say or not say, but cheap and intemperate rhetoric among ourselves is useless and counterproductive.

  33. billyc says:

    I pray that Obama’s serenader isn’t disappeared into America’s gulag, repeatedly tortured, labeled a national security threat, and held indefinitely with no access to lawyers, which is what most of our right-wing government would love to do.
    Love this gal! Wish all pols would be greeted this way over the next 2 years!

  34. hektor6766 says:

    If he thinks change has been tough, he’d better get ready for the next Presidential election. That’ll be harsh. Too bad Pelosi didn’t say, “No, but I wish I’d thought of it.”

  35. thatvisionthing says:

    Video up at Huffington Post — woman in white is Logan Price:

    Dear Mr. President we honor you today sir
    Each of us brought you $5,000
    It takes a lot of Benjamins to run a campaign
    I paid my dues, where’s our change?
    We’ll vote for you in 2012, yes that’s true
    Look at the Republicans – what else can we do
    Even though we don’t know if we’ll retain our liberties
    In what you seem content to call a free society
    Yes it’s true that Terry Jones is legally free
    To burn a people’s holy book in shameful effigy
    But at another location in this country
    Alone in a 6×12 cell sits Bradley
    23 hours a day is night
    The 5th and 8th Amendments say this kind of thing ain’t right
    We paid our dues, where’s our change?

  36. thatvisionthing says:

    And front paged at Michael Moore:

    “Free Bradley Manning. I hope I don’t get tortured in jail.”
    – Naomi Pitcairn as she was led away

    God I love San Francisco!

  37. speakingupnow says:

    Wow. I said that people need to start “getting in the Presidents face” at town hall meetings and pin him down with tough questions. Didn’t consider the “fundraisers”…good idea.

  38. thatvisionthing says:

    Just looked for how this was playing on Daily Kos — actually I don’t see it on the Rec list, and the President Obama Spoke To Friends in San Francisco diary scrolling through below was about an event last night for folks who paid $25 a ticket:

    Just before 9pm, David Plouffe took the stage and gave the crowd some hearty encouragement. And moments later, the commander and chief entered the stage to thunderous applause and more than a few cat calls. “Sexy” must have been screamed out five times.

    …Next, the President addressed his supporters that have become dissatisfied. Someone screamed out “singlepayer.” He sort of separated the disenchanted into two categories. Some he kind of shrugged off as expecting too much. He said that “everyone’s a political consultant now.” And there were people who believe that “if we had just phrased it like this, we’d have gotten healthcare done in two months. You know who they are.” But mostly he empathized with those that were frustrated by a lack of progress. He said it really bothered him too and sometimes… ::he paused:: he really felt ::searching for a word:: burdened by the fact that even though things are going better, it’s not enough for so many people. He recounted the letters that he receives from children who’s parents’ homes are being foreclosed upon. It was a really emotional moment, and it seemed like it was one of the major messages he wanted to get out there. The idea that change is difficult, and he knows we haven’t gotten everything we wanted, and that frustrates him too.

  39. orionATL says:

    the obama presidency just died.

    the president’s monumental disregard for the well-being of americans disadvantaged by power,


    bradley manning,

    or the 100’s of thousands whose homes have been stolen from them by citibank, et al.,

    or those whose liviliehood was taken from them by bp’s sysyematic, profit-pointed lack of concern for safety,

    or the cia, nsa whistleblowers,

    has finally bitten him in the ass.

    this is a fitting end for the board-room-boy-wonder who had no business running for president because of his colossal inexperience,

    but who managed to con the american electorate in a major way.

    hey voters,

    them shiney, board-room, black patent-leather shoes should have been a tip-off.

  40. orionATL says:

    [email protected]

    this is an extraordinarily informing comment.

    it is consistent with my observation of the man.

    his face, particularly around the mouth, reveal a lot about the personality inside the brain.

  41. hotdog says:

    Nice song, now where was I?

    In the same place you’ve always been, Mr. presididn’t: in the back pockets of big defense, big finance, big agra, big insurance, big pharma, and big oil.

    I guess when you’re playing eleventy dimensional chess, you can be in 6 places at once, but you sure do smell like a whole lot of ass.

  42. orionATL says:

    how to destroy an uncaring, egotistical, power-loving prez?

    ” we paid our dues, where’s our change?”

    “we paid our dues, where’s our change?”

    jane hampsher had a long-time presence in s-fran,

    if i were obama, i would not be looking at nancy pelosi.

    speaking of looking,

    in gauging the damage to the keel of hms buttercup obama,

    look to see if david plouffe and dick daily and secdef gates show up all over teeveeland.

  43. orionATL says:

    [email protected]

    right on the money!

    right smack on the f—— money!

    “make me do it”, indeed!

    that’s what the man told progressive groups in 2009,

    and that’s what the bradley manning supporters have done.


    how about a march of the several thousands of homeowners who have been unfairly forced out of their homes,

    while our would-be prez looked the other way.

  44. potsdam602 says:

    Actually, the singing protester should have been given a refund when escorted or thrown out by the Obama SS. The responsibility is on the Obama campaign.

    I will be one of many to write in another name if no one runs against Obama.

    Why did Obama act like such a stellar conservative when he had the House and Senate? His ‘bipartisan’ bend-overs made me ill. The GOP’s extreme right positions were/are too severe for Obama to attempt to bargan for middle ground and our survival. Half way between the GOP wanting to squash or kill the middle class and Obama’s bipartisan bend-overs is still in the GOP extreme area of harming the middle class and most Americans. He needed to retort far, far to the left to get out of the dangerous territory. Jeeeez, a second grader knows how to bargan better than Obama. My kids knew early on to ask for the stars in order to get the moon–which was their original objective in the first place.

  45. dustbunny44 says:

    Anyone have a link to either the lyrics or a video of the song itself (if intelligible) ? I’d like to know what they were saying in the song, if President O actually listened and replied with “nice song”.

  46. mzchief says:

    RT.Com posts “Manning will never step out of prison” – analyst (Apr. 20, 2011) yet just 15 minutes ago:

    The United States said it will hold hold human rights talks with China in Beijing next week, amid a Chinese crackdown on government critics that has drawn US condemnation.

    The “discussions will focus on human rights developments, including the recent negative trend of forced disappearances, extralegal detentions, and arrests and convictions,” the State Department said in a statement on Friday.

    Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Michael Posner will head an inter-agency delegation to Beijing April 27-28 for the recurring US-China Human Rights Dialogue, the statement said.

    (excerpt “US, China to hold human rights talks” (Yahoo! News, Apr. 21, 2011)

    Yo, do we have to send Posner to have talks about Bradley Manning with the other part of the USG that is supposedly under civilian control?

  47. milesscott says:

    Right now he lower than a snake and it has it belly against the ground. His polices would stink in a deep freezer. I Believed he owed them their 5,000 back and an apologia for lying like a rug. He say he trying to raise a billion dollars for his reelection. I hope he not trying to shacked down any more old people this time around. You know the small donors.I sorry guys I out of adjectives and adverbial phrases.

  48. michtom says:

    People talking about the wonderfulness of Nancy Pelosi: “impeachment is off the table.”

    People with progressive positions far out number their representatives. Poll after poll shows people want out of the wars, want taxes on the rich, want single payer health care, etc.

    Obama isn’t compromising with the right. Those are his positions. Did he threaten the Blue Dogs about making the HCR more corporate the way he did the Progressive Caucus when its members were going to refuse to continue funding the wars?

    Let’s not only get a clue … let’s remember it.