Posts filed under ‘President Barack H. Obama and Co.’
Uh oh. It looks like Fox and Limbaugh and all the rabid wingers who go out of their way to make even the slightest blip having to do with Barack Obama an impeachable offense have something new to sink their teeth into today:
Sunny Obama, the second Portuguese water dog the Obamas adopted in August, was part of a minor incident in which she caused a 2-year-old White House guest Ashtyn Gardner to fall over.
Sunny jumped up on the toddler during the 2013 White House Holiday Press Preview, in which First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled the White House’s holiday decorations with families of military service members. Ashtyn was there with her father, John Gardner, a member of the Navy who later said that Ashtyn was fine.
Both Sunny and Bo, the Obama’s other Portuguese water dog, remained in the room afterward and there were no other incidents. Sunny apologized right after the incident by licking Ashtyn’s face.
How long will it be before this becomes, “Obama’s dog mauls sweet, little, innocent 2-year-old girl?”
I want to say this is tongue-in-cheek but hey, I wouldn’t put it past them.
Obama set a new precedent last month when it comes to making his presidency a king-like thing. Obama banned photographers from taking pictures inside the White House. Photos will now be released by the “official White House photographer,” Pete Sousa.
Translation: The White House will only release photos that show Obama in a good light. A rawer translation: We’re talking propaganda. Obama will look good no matter what.
The below news outlets think that’s wrong and bravo to them. Again, Obama works for us, we pay his salary, he lives in our house so what’s the deal Mr. Constitutional Lawyer? HUH?
A coalition of press organizations, including ASNE and APME, delivered the following letter to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Nov. 21 as a way to protest the limits on access currently barring photographers who cover the White house.
November 21, 2013
Jay CarneyPress SecretaryThe White HouseVIA HAND DELIVERYDear Mr. Carney:We write to protest the limits on access currently barring photographers who cover the White House. We hope this letter will serve as the first step in removing these restrictions and, therefore, we also request a meeting with you to discuss this critical issue further.Journalists are routinely being denied the right to photograph or videotape the President while he is performing his official duties. As surely as if they were placing a hand over a journalist’s camera lens, officials in this administration are blocking the public from having an independent view of important functions of the Executive Branch of government.To be clear, we are talking about Presidential activities of a fundamentally public nature. To be equally clear, we are not talking about open access to the residence or to areas restricted, for example, for national security purposes.The apparent reason for closing certain events to photographers is that these events have been deemed “private.” That rationale, however, is undermined when the White House contemporaneously releases its own photograph of a so-called private event through social media. The restrictions imposed by the White House on photographers covering these events, followed by the routine release by the White House of photographs made by government employees of these same events, is an arbitrary restraint and unwarranted interference on legitimate newsgathering activities. You are, in effect, replacing independent photojournalism with visual press releases.All of the following events, with the exception of the McCain-Graham meeting, were reported as “read-outs” by the White House with “official” White House photo(s) attached. They illustrate the troubling breadth of the restrictions placed upon newsgathering by the White House to record governmental activity of undisputed and wide public interest:• On July 10, 2013, the President met with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.• On July 11, 2013, the President met with the Co-Chairs of the U.S. – China Strategic and Economic Dialogue.• On July 29, 2013, the President met with former Secretary of State Clinton (White House photo also distributed via Twitter).• On July 30, 2013, the President and Vice President met with Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.• On August 26, 2013, the President met with African-American Faith Leaders.• On September 2, 2013, the President met with Senators McCain and Graham.• On October. 11, 2013, the President and family members met with Pakistani human rights activist Malala Yousafzai, a person of great public interest.While certain of these events may appear “private” in nature, the decision of the White House to release its own contemporaneous photograph(s) suggests that the White House believes these events are, in fact, newsworthy and not private.The right of journalists to gather the news is most critical when covering government officials acting in their official capacities. Previous administrations have recognized this, and have granted press access to visually cover precisely these types of events, thus creating government transparency. It is clear that the restrictions imposed by your office on photographers undercut the President’s stated desire to continue and broaden that tradition. To exclude the press from these functions is a major break from how previous administrations have worked with thepress.Moreover, these restrictions raise constitutional concerns. As the Supreme Court has stated, the First Amendment protects “the public and the press from abridgment of their rights of access to information about the operation of their government,” Richmond Newspapers Inc. v. Virginia, 448 U.S. 555, 584 (1980). The fact that there is no access whatsoever only heightens those concerns. As one court has noted in considering a similar restriction: “The total exclusion of television representatives from White House pool coverage denies the public and the press their limited right of access, guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.” Cable News Network, Inc. v. American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., et al. 518 F.Supp. 1238, 1245 (N.D. GA 1981).The organizations and individuals signing this letter strongly believe that imposing limits on press access, as your office has done, represents a troubling precedent with a direct and adverse impact on the public’s ability to independently monitor and see what its government is doing. We consider this a most serious matter and urge you to provide appropriate access for independent photojournalists to all public governmental events in which the President participates.Again, we see this letter as the first step toward restoring full press access to these events. Accordingly, we request an immediate meeting with you in order to resolve this very serious situation. We ask that you contact Steve Thomma, President of the White House Correspondents’ Association, and Sam Feist, current television pool chair, to set up the meeting.Thank you.ABC NewsAgence France-PresseAmerican Society of News EditorsAmerican Society of Media PhotographersAssociated PressAssociated Press Media EditorsAssociated Press Photo ManagersAssociation of Alternative NewsmediaAssociation of Opinion JournalistsBloomberg NewsCBS NewsCNNDow Jones & Company, Inc.Fox News ChannelGannett Co., Inc.Getty ImagesLee Enterprises, IncorporatedThe McClatchy CompanyMcClatchy-Tribune Information ServicesNational Press ClubNational Press Photographers AssociationNBC NewsNew England First Amendment CoalitionNews Media CoalitionNewspaper Association of AmericaThe New York Times CompanyOnline News AssociationProfessional Photographers of AmericaRadio Television Digital News AssociationRegional Reporters AssociationThe Reporters Committee for Freedom of the PressReutersSociety of Professional JournalistsTribune CompanyThe Washington PostWhite House Correspondents’ AssociationWhite House News Photographers AssociationYahoo! Inc.
You mean to tell me we’ve spent how many lives and how many bazillion dollars in Afghanistan and the most optimistic thing its president has to say lo these many years on is that they won’t stone people to death anymore?
This is progress?
Stoning Will Not be Brought Back, Says Afghan President — Hamid Karzai’s government backs away from reintroduction of brutal punishment after outcry
Afghanistan’s government has backed away from a proposal to reintroduce public stoning as a punishment for adultery after the leak of a draft law stirred up a storm of international condemnation.
The president, Hamid Karzai, said in an interview that the grim penalty, which became a symbol of Taliban brutality when the group were in power, would not be coming back.
“Karzai’s government,” meaning Karzai at the very least approved it, proposed “reintroduce public stoning as a punishment for adultery.” (I bet 99.9% of the people stoned would be women.) In other words, the guy the Bush administration installed as president there wants stoning to be brought back, but that caused “international condemnation” so he back down?
That means it’ll happen but the government will look away.
Gee. Things are going swimmingly there, huh?
Remember back in 2001 when the Bush administration said we were “only” going into Afghanistan to “dismantle al Qaeda” and get “the people who hate us?” Oh, and that we’d be out of there in six months?
Twelve years on here’s the latest news on that:
US-Afghan Agreement Would Keep Troops in pPace and Funds Flowing, Perhaps Indefinitely
While many Americans have been led to believe the war in Afghanistan will soon be over, a draft of a key US-Afghan security deal obtained by NBC News shows the United States is prepared to maintain military outposts in Afghanistan for many years to come, and pay to support hundreds of thousands of Afghan security forces.
The wide-ranging document, still unsigned by the United States and Afghanistan, has the potential to commit thousands of American troops to Afghanistan and spend billions of US taxpayer dollars.
Osama bin Laden wins. His goal was to spur the United States to bankrupt itself by neglecting its internal needs in favor of military spending.
You might be dead Osama but you read us right. You win. We lose.
Oh, and h/t to Obama for telling us he’d end the war but not quite getting around to it.
Our tax dollars at work.
The answer to that question is: No way Jose. The only way Fox Business would cheer a huge milestone in the Dow like this is if a Republican was in office.
Tell me if you think we’d ever see an article like this about a guy. Or, this is how sexist and petty the D.C. media is:
Somebody Spot Janet Yellen Some New Threads
Whether Janet Yellen, President Barack Obama’s latest pick to head the Federal Reserve, proves to be the financial genius our sputtering economy so desperately needs, remains to be seen.
At least we know her mind won’t be preoccupied with haute couture.
Here’s the black-on-black ensemble she sported last month when President Barack Obama officially nominated her:
And then the bored-out-of-his-mind moron who thinks this is important news goes on to show a photo of Yellen in the same outfit today when she appeared on Capitol Hill for her confirmation hearing.
Imagine someone saying the same thing about a guy wearing the same suit during two appearances a month apart. It would never happen.
If this isn’t clear evidence that the “liberal media” will pick at anything, ANYTHING, having to do with the Obama administration, I don’t know what is.
Not only that, Yellen is arguably going to be one of the most powerful people on the planet if she’s confirmed. Is nitpicking about her clothes what immediately comes to mind here? Really?
Yes America. You’re being dumbed down big time.
Don’t get me wrong. Given the Obama administration’s expertise at utilizing the Internet to mobilize volunteers and target voters during the 2008 and 2012 election, I think it’s astonishing that it has flubbed the Obamacare website roll out.
That said, complicated systems do tend to take time to work themselves out:
I’m trying to be understanding but I still think what happened is inexcusable.
One of the images that is seared in my brain is that of President-elect Barack Obama walking up the stairs of conservative columnist George Will’s Georgetown D.C. brownstone in January, 2009 — after he was elected president but before he was sworn in — “to dine with a host of right-wing luminaries.”
At the time I thought wow, this is not good. Obama won by a huge margin but the first group he courted were wingers? He didn’t meet with those who made his win happen?
Fast forward to 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Obama and his White House staff continued to freak the f**k out about what Republicans wouldl think or say about them and voila, we have the mess that is the Obamacare rollout.
Obama and his BFFs weren’t puffed up and proud about what they were doing; confident that it was right and good. They were cowed and intimidated and scared about what Republicans would think or say: HealthCare.gov: How Political Fear Was Pitted Against Technical Needs.
Just think: One man’s insecurities can change the direction of a country (or a world for that matter). What we needed in Obama, imho, was a strong man who called out the Republicans as the paper tigers that they are, but no. He doesn’t have it in him.
Remember when Republicans were having a fit about the Obama administration trying suspected terrorists in Federal court?
– March 12, 2013, US News and World Report: Terrorists Shouldn’t Be Tried in the Same Courts as U.S. Citizens.
– July 11, 2011, Senator Mitch McDonnell (R-KY) on Fox News: Sen. McConnell: We Can’t Trust Courts To Try Terrorists Because Casey Anthony Was Acquitted Of Murder.
– The Hill, February 2, 2010, No Terror Trials in Civilian Courts.
– The Wall Street Journal, October 9, 2009, Civilian Courts Are No Place to Try Terrorists.
That said, this happened today:
A Libyan charged in the deadly 1998 al Qaeda bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa has pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges in New York.
Abu Anas al-Libi entered the plea Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan 10 days after he was captured during an Oct. 5 military raid in Libya.
As WCBS 880′s Irene Cornell reported, al-Libi’s steps were slow and shuffling as he was led into the courtroom. He is over 6 feet tall, 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported.
Al-Libi, who has a thick gray beard, kept his hands folded on his lap as the judge read the charges Tuesday. He entered his plea through his attorney. He was handcuffed and led out of court after the judge ordered him detained as a flight risk.
I guess the wingers are so busy getting their rocks off trying to drown the government in a bathtub they let this slip by.
P.S. Good on the Obama administration for respecting our civilian courts’ ability to handle the case of someone like Abu Anas al-Libi. I never understood the winger argument against trying them there other than to suspect wingers wanted us to think of folks like al-Libi as super-human monsters who we had to be very, very afraid of and thus not let on American soil because THEY MIGHT KILL US!
Really, really shortsighted:
The United States is loosening controls over military exports, in a shift that former U.S. officials and human rights advocates say could increase the flow of American-made military parts to the world’s conflicts and make it harder to enforce arms sanctions.
Come tomorrow, thousands of parts of military aircraft, such as propeller blades, brake pads and tires will be able to be sent to almost any country in the world, with minimal oversight – even to some countries subject to U.N. arms embargos. U.S. companies will also face fewer checks than in the past when selling some military aircraft to dozens of countries.
Critics, including some who’ve worked on enforcing arms export laws, say the changes could undermine efforts to prevent arms smuggling to Iran and others.
Secretary of Agriculture: Why Do We Value Our Rural Farmers? Because They Send Their Kids to the Military!!!
A friend just sent me this mind blowing and sadly discouraging tidbit from mid-August. Does a militaristic mindset permeate the brain of every upper level government official?
Why do we need more farmers? What is the driving force behind USDA policy? In an infuriating epiphany I have yet to metabolize, I found out Wednesday in a private policy-generation meeting with Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McCauliffe.
It was a who’s who of Virginia agriculture: Farm Bureau, Va. Agribusiness Council, Va. Forestry Association, Va. Poultry Federation, Va. Cattlemen’s Ass., deans from Virginia Tech and Virginia State–you get the picture.
But I digress. The big surprise occurred a few minutes into the meeting: US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack walked in.
Are you ready for the shoe to drop? The epiphany? What could the US Secretary of Agriculture, at the highest strategic planning sessions of our land, be challenged by other leaders to change this figure, to get more people in rural America, to encourage farming and help more farms get started? What could be the driving reason to have more farmers? Why does he go to bed at night trying to figure out how to increase farmers? How does the President and other cabinet members view his role as the nation’s farming czar?
What could be the most important contribution that increasing farmers could offer to the nation? Better food? Better soil development? Better care for animals? Better care for plants?
Here’s the bombshell:
Are you ready? Here’s his answer: although rural America only has 16 percent of the population, it gives 40 percent of the personnel to the military. Say what? You mean when it’s all said and done, at the end of the day, the bottom line–you know all the cliches–the whole reason for increasing farms is to provide cannon fodder for American imperial might. He said rural kids grow up with a sense of wanting to give something back, and if we lose that value system, we’ll lose our military might.
So folks, it all boils down to American military muscle. It’s not about food, healing the land, stewarding precious soil and resources; it’s all about making sure we keep a steady stream of youngsters going into the military.
I was left speechless after reading this and I still am. SMDH.
Judicial Watch founder Larry Klayman…
wrote Monday that the president had been indicted Sept. 18 by a citizens grand jury in Ocala, Fla., and convicted by a people’s court of defrauding voters by using a false birth certificate to prove his eligibility for office.
Klayman said Obama waived his right to a jury trial by failing to plead a response to the indictment, thus “thumbing his nose at We The People.”
“Of course, Obama will not willingly obey the law of the people,” Klayman wrote. “He will attempt to hide behind the iron fences of the White House, perhaps cowering under his desk for fear that the people will rise up and demand his ouster.”
Klayman said that day could be Nov. 19, when he’s calling on “millions of Americans who have been appalled and disgusted by Obama’s criminality – his Muslim, socialist, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, anti-white, pro-illegal immigrant, pro-radical gay and lesbian agenda — among other outrages” to march on Washington and demand the president resign or face prison time.
What sad lives these people lead.
The official name of “Obamacare” is the Affordable Care Act or ACA. That said, it’s about time a pollster asked this question:
29 percent of the public supports Obamacare compared with 22 percent who support ACA. Forty-six percent oppose Obamacare and 37 percent oppose ACA. So putting Obama in the name raises the positives and the negatives. Gender and partisanship are responsible for the differences. Men, independents and Republicans are more negative on Obamacare than ACA. Young people, Democrats, nonwhites and women are more positive on Obamacare.
I’m so old I remember when the cable “news” networks said they were giving Republicans more coverage than Democrats because Republicans were in office.
Democrats have been in office for five years.
Fool me once, shame one me. Fool me twice, you’re a lying SOB:
Love how the righties scream about the “liberal media.”
Last night Barack Obama told us to watch the videos of people dying in Syria after being gassed by President Assad and he said if the United States doesn’t lead in the area of humanitarianism — as it supposedly always has — who will.
What a bunch of crap.
Show me another country who’s launched significant
humanitarian military actions roughly every 40 months over the last 40 years starting in 1964 with the invasion of Vietnam, veterans of which we’re still caring for and victims of which are still suffering from birth defects from our use of the chemical weapon, Agent Orange.
I’m listening to a “liberal” radio talk show and the people who are calling in are astonished to learn that the United States isn’t the beacon on the big high hill they’ve been led to believe. I mean, they’re as bad as this guy.
Beyond what we did in Vietnam, below is the reality. Oh, and how about we start wars every couple centuries instead of every 40 months for god’s sake:
- 1965-1973: Cambodia. We dropped more bombs on the tiny country than had been used in all of World War II.
- 1965: Dominican Republic. President Johnson sent 22,000 troops to prevent communists from taking over.
- 1983: Grenada. In the comically named Operation Urgent Fury, we invaded the tiny island nation to stop the commies.
- 1986: Libya. After two Americans are among those killed in a terrorist bombing of a disco in Germany, President Reagan ordered the bombing of facilities controlled by Muammar Gaddafi.
- 1989: Panama. In Operation Just Cause, we invaded the country and deposed its leader, Manuel Noriega.
- 1991: Kuwait/Iraq. Operation Desert Storm.
- 1992-1995: Somalia. Operation Restore Hope. Didn’t end well.
- 1994: Haiti. President Clinton sent 20,000 troops to restore the government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
- 1995: Bosnia. US and NATO forces intervene in the civil war with a large bombing campaign.
- 1999: Kosovo. We bomb the Serbians to help the Kosovars.
- 2001: Afghanistan. Still going!
- 2003: Iraq.
- 2011: Libya.
- 2013: Syria
Here’s my Tweet of the Day. I would say something like yowzers but this is pretty much par for the course when it comes to how ahem, knowledgeable Tea Partyers are:
This is shocking:
Twelve years after the worst terrorist attack in American history, President Obama yet again extended his predecessor’s Declaration of National Emergency for another year. The declaration, which was originally put into place on September 14, 2001, was renewed on Tuesday.
“The terrorist threat that led to the declaration on September 14, 2001, of a national emergency continues,” wrote President Obama. “For this reason, I have determined that it is necessary to continue in effect after September 14, 2013, the national emergency with respect to the terrorist threat.”
The powers provided to the executive branch by President George W. Bush’s declaration include the ability to “detain enlisted members of the Coast Guard beyond their terms of enlistment,” “order any enlisted member of the Coast Guard on the retired list to active duty” and “increase the number of members of the armed services on active duty beyond the number for which funds have been appropriated,” according to a report [PDF] by the Congressional Research Service.
So disappointing. I was hoping Obama would undo some of the Bush administration’s hysteria.
Per Amazing Maps, this is the current military situation in the Mediterranean:
So, we’re just going to drop a few bombs, huh? Looks to me like we’re pretty darn worried that won’t go so well.
Don’t do it Obama!
Now that the United States is considering missile strikes on Syria, Iraqi Shiites like Abu Mohaned say they see history repeating itself — even if across a border — and they are prepared to once again take on a familiar adversary. If the United States strikes Syria, Iraqi Shiites will see it as their fight, too, and pour across the border to assist Mr. Assad, many people here said.
“No honorable man will accept what the Americans want to do in Syria,” Abu Mohaned said, reflecting the view of Iraq’s Shiite majority who see any threat to Mr. Assad as an intervention on the side of a Sunni-led, Al Qaeda-aligned rebellion.
Here’s a photo of John McCain playing poker on his iPhone during John Kerry and Chuck Hagel’s testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today on bombing Syria, via the Washington Post’s Melina Mara:
I guess the “debate” was just a side show to ol’ John. But no doubt, we’ll see him on the “news” shows a million times in the coming weeks / months because he’s supposedly such a serious person when it comes to war(s).
I think I listened to every hearing and every speech anyone ever gave in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq and I’m telling you, listening to John Kerry and Chuck Hagel “testify” before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this afternoon has been like a dagger to the heart. Are we really going to do this again?
This isn’t child’s play:
I never thought I’d agree with Erick Erickson on anything but this is exactly my fear, i.e., what happens the day after? If we send missiles into Syria to “punish” Assad it’s just that — punishment — but if he retaliates will we see that as punishment for what we did? Hell the f**k no. It’ll be full-blown war:
Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb
There will be no British support for a punitive strike against Syria:
British MPs have voted to reject possible military action against the Assad regime in Syria to deter the use of chemical weapons. A government motion was defeated 285 to 272, a majority of 13 votes.
Prime Minster David Cameron said it was clear Parliament does not want action and “the government will act accordingly”. It effectively rules out British involvement in any US-led strikes against the Assad regime.
Gee, how civilized. They aren’t going to let their Prime Minister go off half cocked without letting the people speak.
Mr. Constitutional Law Professor Barack Obama won’t grant we Americans that privilege — because we would probably say no too insofar as I saw a poll the other day showing only 9% of us want anything to do with Syria — but maybe he’ll do something like this:
Here in the good ol’ US of A Congress is supposed to declare war and, ahead of the administration “punishing” Syria for supposedly using chemical weapons on its own people, many think the Obama administration should wait for congressional approval before he makes any moves. By taking the issue to congress, the administration would effectively be getting the approval of We the People — or not — through the folks who represent us in D.C.
That’s the way it’s supposed to work anyway but over the last 20, 30 years, presidents have circumvented that pesky, democratic rule because they might not have gotten what they wanted and Obama’s prepared to do the same.
And now we learn that the White House is “livid” that British Prime Minister David Cameron had the temerity to take the issue of the military involvement of his country to the representatives of the people of Britain because well, because Obama’s a constitutional law expert who apparently doesn’t have much regard for the Constitution. Ours or Britain’s:
Barack Obama could take military action against Syria without waiting for British support, senior Obama administration officials said, as David Cameron faced waiting until next week for a Commons vote sanctioning any air strikes.
The abrupt halt in British momentum towards military action left the diplomatic choreography in chaos and US officials “livid” with the British, according to Western diplomatic sources at the United Nations in New York.
“Britain is important diplomatically, but not required, and not required militarily. The White House could move ahead without the British,” Mr Pavel added.
Mr Obama’s dilemma over whether to act without direct British support follows Mr Cameron’s embarrassing climb-down on Wednesday over whether a Commons vote would be required to sanction UK military involvement.
“The Americans are livid with us,” said one Western diplomat, who added British officials were astonished that the Prime Minister could have made such an “enormous miscalculation” amid such high stakes.
Bravo to Cameron and shame on Obama. We the People are going to have to pay for the strike and We the People will be sent to fight and die in a war if things get out of hand. We should be allowed to weigh in. Cameron did the right thing and Obama’s a dick for being pissed.
I want to break — as stop it dead in its tracks — the pattern of presidents saying “Trust me” as a reason to attack another country. It’s bad enough that Obama apparently isn’t going to consult congress and have them declare war; the least he, and future presidents need to do is give We the People a “clear and unambiguous explanation” as to why we’re doing what we’re doing and spending who knows how many billions of dollars doing it, when we don’t even have enough resources here at home to oh, say, fight wildfires.
My Tweet of the Day:
The citizenry wants us to stay out of this conflict. And there is no legislative majority pushing for intervention. A declaration of war against Syria would almost certainly fail in Congress. Yet the consensus in the press is that President Obama faces tremendous pressure to intervene.
hen there are all the stories about how Obama’s credibility depends on him striking Syria. Isn’t that something? A president’s credibility hinging on him doing something just 9 percent of Americans want him to do! It only makes sense if the unwritten thought is, “His credibility among people who matter.” D.C. people, who inflate the importance of rhetoric and looking tough. If Obama doesn’t intervene in Syria, his credibility among the American people won’t suffer at all.
Were the will of the people given its due, there would be more pressure on Obama to refrain from intervening.
Imaging this headline: President Obama Faces Mounting Pressure to Stay Out of Syria