City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

3/20: Pres. Obama on Jay Leno

CREDIT: Gerald Herbert/AP

CREDIT: Gerald Herbert/AP

For the first time ever, a sitting president sat down for an interview on a late-night chat show: “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.”

Leno was not expected to be terribly tough on Barack Obama and he wasn’t. The conversation was congenial on both sides. This was not exactly Jim Cramer-Jon Stewart.

“I think Kevin [Eubanks] looks good in a suit,” Obama said as opener. “He could be Secret Service.”

He mused about how limiting it can be being President in terms of where he can do, what he can do, how big his motorcade is (”the caboose, the dogsled, the submarine.”). Leno opened with his first semi-serious question and it was a softball: “So much scrutiny. Is it fair to judge so quickly?”

“We are going through a difficult time,” Obama said. “I welcome the challenge. I ran for President because I know we needed big changes. I do think in Washington, it’s a little bit like ‘American Idol.’ Except everyone is Simon Cowell… that’s what makes this a democracy.”

“I do think the American people are in a place they understand it took us awhile to get us into this mess. It will take us awhile to get out of it. As long as I’m taking steps to deal with issues like health care and energy and education that mattered deeply to their daily lives, I think they’ll give us some time.”

Leno noted that Obama seemed angry about the AIG bonuses. Obama explained the whole derivatives problem that led AIG astray and how they were so intertwined into the financial system, the government couldn’t allow the company to liquidate. The bonuses, he said, spoke to a Wall Street “culture of entitlement.”

Leno did note that it’s a little scary if the AIG execs have their bonuses specially taxed away, couldn’t they do that to anybody? “That’s scary,” he said. Obama, after the commercial break, understood that Congress is reacting to public anger. In the future, the goal is to find ways to close the door before the horse is let out.

“Shouldn’t someone go to jail?” Leno asked.

“Here’s the dirty little secret,” Obama said. “Most of what happened was perfectly legal. That tells you how much we have to change the laws.”‘

He noted that there’s nothing wrong with innovation in financial markets but there needs to be more laws so “taxpayers after the fact aren’t taken advantage of.” He noted a lot of the economic growth in recent years was paper growth in the financial business, not real growth. More smart folks need to go into fields outside of financial systems that are more productive.

The talk-show host wondered where all the stimulus money is. Obama noted that banks are keeping the money because their balance sheets are so bad. “We’re doing a diagnostic test,” he said, “on each of the banks. What are their capital levels. Can they sustain lending?”

Leno asked where people should put their money. Obama said the banks are safe, don’t put cash in mattresses. He noted that demand will come back. He noted the replacement levels of car sales is 14 million a year; we’re annualizing only 9 million now. People will eventually have to buy new cars. “Our future is bright if we take some smart steps now,” he said.

Leno was far tougher on his own bosses at NBC. “A lot of people were surprised that the president came to NBC. You’d think by this time he’d be tired of big companies on the brink of disaster with a bunch of overpaid executives,” Leno said during his monologue.

Obama has been on a modest media campaign, picking March Madness teams on ESPN (North Carolina Tar Heels are his pick) and doing an interview with “60 Minutes” set to air Sunday.

On a lighter note, he thinks Air Force One is cool (while his daughters aren’t as impressed.) He’s worked on his bowling skills and reached 129. A basketball court is forthcoming, using the tennis courts at the White House. In terms of his game now, “I don’t get the hard fouls I used to,” he said.

8 comments Add your comment


March 20th, 2009
12:24 am

What did you expect? Did Pres BO use “Cue Cards” or his “joined at the hip” TELEPROMPTER???

I think the only CHANGE we’re going to see is what is in our pockets after The Messiah and his Congress get through taxing us into despair.

We can not be taxed into prosperity.

Just my .02 worth—see the CHANGE is helpful already!

Glenna Ruth

March 20th, 2009
2:32 am

I thought his offensive comment about the Special Olympics was a huge slap in the face to all handicapped Americans. Of course, the White House tried to cover it up by saying he did not mean to be offensive. Apparently, it was in his heart in order for it to come out of his mouth so easily! He also lied about not knowing about the bonuses. Of course, he was not “stunned”.

Grace Lester

March 20th, 2009
12:02 pm

Granny Lester’s Helps making Pres. OBama (make bailout money a success)
It is well known that whenever members of the family are in stressful situations like being out of a job, economy changes, death in a family where breadwinner dies that all go to “granny’s house” for advice, support family get-togetherness for encouragement to cope and go on in life.
Yet seniors because of fears of having their checks taken away support grand-children, children, without seeking outside help because then the bureaucracy of banks and the system find ways to take functional ways and means of the progeny of seniors to become solvent.
As long as the masses stay poor banks and loan officers charge whatever they want and the poorer get poorer and the backbone of America is destroyed. I.E. I have a health problem. My son has to live with me because doctors want someone their to “keep an eye on me”. My other children live close by. My son who lives with me has recovered from drugs, parole, jail time is unemployed and is getting his family together and still spends quality time with his daughters that the “family” has raised because of mother’s being addicted and children would of had endangerment as a constant part of their lives. I as a matriarch make sure that everyone has food, reasonable shelter, clothes even from thrift stores (when we took in other children at risk, even though they weren’t my line of sanguinity, this was successful (single daughter is raising them and cheer-leading programs, school programs cost money as well as time when sitting down at the table for homework is not enough) for my progeny to have time to stay off welfare and get on their feet.
The economy has changed to the point that I as a senior can pay for a house under $100,000 (needs repairs to which President Obama’s stimulation packages would work. I could finally have a house that would have more than 2 bedrooms (when other children get together from Alaska, Germany and their children come to visit and need time to recupriate from the military, jobs and etc) to where living is more comfortable. Right now the most assured money is Social Security money given to The People to re-invest quietly for future generations. Seniors and social security is the only secure means of distributing humaness, of functional, successfull distribution of money that is not pissed off into the Ocean. in 98% of cases a secure Senior is an umbrella of success for the nation. President Obama I’m sure is aware of this. There is no better secured money distribution system of money than Social Security even at a $1.00 a week payment on low interest loans.
I paid high interest (over 14%) on signature loans, auto loans for 10 years by having payment taken out every month on the 4th from direct deposit of Social Security deposits , never defaulted, never late (paid them off repeatedly) yet am denied low interest loans on home at same payment amount, to re-invest in America and the progeny of future Americans. Payment was secure for lenders.

Now that I’ve shown you what I mean let me tell you how to implement bail out money successfully”

Force banks that are getting bail out money to make redundent/fire lenders in banks that have gotten greedy….loaned to multimillion corporations and seize their hidden money and assets, which started the banking chaos, crisis along with the politicians of every board of supervisor, Assembl, Congressman….to which debt was written off, for self interests and ignored the back bone of Americans who would borrow lower amounts, were charged more for interest, catered to charging above 20% for credit card holders, and made easy to charge, charge, charge to this system of fiducieary slavery. Specific lenders, realtors, politicians gladly redirect money for their purposes even as I write this, because the same lenders that loaned billions and ignored the rest are still in.
The motto of Chinese and Oriental bankers is :

The President Obama must diplomatically get rid of bank presidents and lender committees that get the money but re-direct it to their own bankers or interests. Committees that are formed by local politicians “to investigate” are designed quietly to take the power of attorney of the masses for their own use by placing their own specific people on these committees under color of law, positions of power posturing “for the good of the People”. President Obama has a real job of politely, politically getting rid of these scabs and bums of society.

***Bank of America originator broke the legs of people who swindeled and didn’t pay but was more understanding of steady, hard working people who borrowed less, but bought more equity in the community whose progeny continued to borrow at steady pace for generations to come. Making a fast buck does not promote security but knowing that a steady flow of money as backup even at a dollar each is success.

1. Even at 2% loans given to lower income masses secure the economy of a nation because payments are affordable, and easy.
2. Money stays in motion because the steady dollars or yens from millions of People successfully paying on loans without defaul in the long run make more money by encouraging entrepeneurship of the lower income People.
3. Ideas, inventions can and are put into action a lot faster, encouraging hope for the future progeny and future of a nation.
4. When and if a family member defaults on any of this kind of outlook someone in the family can take up payments because they would be affordable.
5. again the ethics of a steady dollar from the masses ensures more money for the future of a nation is working. The American economy depends on Main street People but banks/King Georges of our time have stressed and created so much chaos of fining, feeing, over-taxation (higher priced houses for bigger commissions to cronies and politicians in office) that again America is faced with a Revolution very much like in 1776 and the STAMP ACT OF KING GEORGE TO THE COLONIES.

Grace Lester, P.O. Box~ 106, Yucaipa, Ca. 92399


March 20th, 2009
12:12 pm

So far, the biggest “change” I’ve seen is the President of the United States being a guest on a late night talk show. Seriously??????

BTW…there was a simple solution to the AIG bonus problems. Let the frickin company go into bankruptcy and the contract, with all it’s bonuses, is voided. How do you think Delta got the nearly 50% pay reductions from the pilots?

Bankruptcy for some of these companies would be a GOOD thing! The gov’t is lying to you! AGAIN!!!!

Grace Lester

March 20th, 2009
12:23 pm

I hope my message is recognized by someone who knows that the jurisdiction of judges,bankers, law enforcement, DMV, and other corporations of government have lost their jurisdiction of matter and personal juridiction because Crimes against the Free People are not excused. They have lost their jurisdiction to foreclose, over-tax, over-fee use their collection agencies by the courts to search and seize, children, vehicles,homes, private personal property, by using DMV as a means of penalizing the People. California is a Republic we never signed over our rights to become slaves of the STATE, BANKS,DMV, COURTS AND ETC. Peace Officers (cops) are here to keep the peace not to be an army for the preditors of society which includes bankers and corporations theirof. Law enforcement code citations under color of law and positions of power when a violent crime has not been committed are against the rithts of the People because they are design to waiver Constitutional Rights of the People. DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLE CODES AND STATUTES IS NOT LAW. WAYS AND MEANS RATIFIED BY BANKS, JUDGES AND GOVERNMENT CORPORATIONS IS NOT LAW, BECAUSE THEY PUNISH THE MASSES BY THE COURTS. Let’s not have another Revolution of King George’s time. Will this message get through?


March 20th, 2009
3:35 pm

The message got through Grace, and that message is you’re crazy.

Shaniqua McNugget

March 20th, 2009
5:41 pm

Uhh yall quit hatin’ on Pres O! you white folks just jealous we be in charge now. We gots a black president we gots a black president! Go AKS somebody baby!

Equality 7-2521

March 21st, 2009
6:08 pm