Opinion

Anthony De Rosa

President Obama hangs out on Google+

Anthony De Rosa
Jan 30, 2012 23:39 UTC


A social media first occurred this evening when President Barack Obama held a Google+ Hangout to take live questions from five Americans and a few people who were taped beforehand, including a homeless veteran and an Occupy protester.

He answered questions about the economy, job creation, small business, and the use of drones in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama referenced a New York Times story on the use of drones, which he called “overwritten,” and said that the use of drones had not resulted in an unusual number of civilian casualties. Asked about the anti-piracy legislation that set the Internet on fire, Obama said, ”When SOPA came up on the hill, we expressed some concerns about the way the legislation had been written.”

Almost as fascinating as the Hangout itself was the discussion of the Hangout on Twitter.

Many wondered who chose which questions were posed to the president from the more than 130,000 submissions. Alex Howard, who covers “open government” for O’Reilly Media, said Steve Grove, head of community partnerships at Google+, picked the questions.

Was it a campaign stunt, an ad for Google, a great opportunity for citizens to connect with the president, or all of the above?

Republican candidates seem to live in an alternate reality

Anthony De Rosa
Dec 12, 2011 22:37 UTC

There is plenty that GOP candidates could use as fodder to attack Barack Obama. An unemployment rate of 9 percent for much of his presidency seems like awfully low-hanging fruit. So why in the world are they bothering to question the president on things that have little basis in reality?

Take Mitt Romney, for example. Speaking at the Republican Jewish Coalition Forum last week, Romney said, ”This president appears more generous to our enemies than he is to our friends. Such is the natural tendency of someone who is unsure of America’s strength — or of America’s rightful place in the world.”

But, in fact, Obama’s foreign policy has taken a such a hard line that he has been likened to his predecessor, George W. Bush, much to the dismay of many progressives in his own party.  He has not closed Guantanamo, after promising he would; he has continued to perform renditions and moving suspects into airspace or locations so the government can perform interrogations he couldn’t attempt elsewhere; he’s used drones in lieu of putting American troops in danger.

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