Posts filed under ‘President Barack H. Obama and Co.’
My Tweet of the Day about a guy who’s been failing upward all his life:
My Tweet of the Day from Greg Sargent over at the Washington Post (he knows everything about everything that’s going on in D.C.):
Aye yie yie.
The American Civil Liberties Union was curious about warrantless government snooping on citizens’ text messages. So the group filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the Justice Department. Here’s what they got back:
Remember when Obama said he was going to have the most transparent administration ever? Yeah, me too. So much for that.
So, according to Republicans, Benghazi is the biggest political scandal in history. Now that’s funny and to their credit, most Americans disagree:
While voters overall may think Congress’ focus should be elsewhere there’s no doubt about how mad Republicans are about Benghazi. 41% say they consider this to be the biggest political scandal in American history to only 43% who disagree with that sentiment. Only 10% of Democrats and 20% of independents share that feeling. Republicans think by a 74/19 margin than Benghazi is a worse political scandal than Watergate, by a 74/12 margin that it’s worse than Teapot Dome, and by a 70/20 margin that it’s worse than Iran Contra.
And then there’s this bit of hilarity:
One interesting thing about the voters who think Benghazi is the biggest political scandal in American history is that 39% of them don’t actually know where it is. 10% think it’s in Egypt, 9% in Iran, 6% in Cuba, 5% in Syria, 4% in Iraq, and 1% each in North Korea and Liberia with 4% not willing to venture a guess.
I wish they’d asked respondents who think this is such a big deal if they actually know what Watergate or the Teapot Dome or Iran Contra were all about. I’m willing to bet they don’t. These are folks who watch Fox and who believe everything they hear there.
Wow. This is fantastic news, especially in light of the fact that I read something the other day about how President Obama is surrounded by pro-Keystone corporate types:
With President Obama preparing to return to California on June 6 for fundraising in the Bay Area, a crowd of major donors — including from California — have signed a strong letter urging his rejection of the Keystone XL Pipeline extension.
The letter comes in a week when it appears Vice President Joe Biden may have tipped his hand regarding his opposition to the pipeline.
On June 6, the President will travel to the Bay Area for a DSCC event in the evening, White House officials have said.
On June 7, the President will travel to Los Angeles for a DNC lunch event.
The letter on Keystone includes signatures of major California deep pocketed donors who regularly write big checks to the Democratic party — folks like San Francisco Democrat Susie Tompkins Buell, one of the Party’s most generous donors, Silicon Valley venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, and CREDO Mobile’s Michael Michael Kieschnick, among many others.
Click on “More…” immediately above to read the letter and to see the huge list of signatories. Fantastic.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz tweeted this out this morning ahead of President Obama’s visit to Texas today:
So cute huh? This from a guy whose party is set to hold its 31st+ vote on repealing Obamacare next week…not exactly creating jobs themselves. Geezus. What a dick.
Here’s my Tweet of the Day:
The moral of the story: Republican know if they just dig in, fold their arms across their chest, stick their nose in the air and walk away, Obama will cave. Then they’ll ask for more. Obama will say absolutely not but they’ll turn and walk away again; they’ll wait a few months until Obama cave and gives them all the new stuff they asked for.
As an aside, there’s this about Obama hosting a dozen Republican Senators for dinner at the White House tonight but as for progressive Democrats having face-time with him? The invitation has apparently been lost in the mail.
A few minutes ago MSNBC went live to a speech President Obama was giving about gun control. Yes, it was all lofty and sensitive — vintage Obama. MSNBC’s chyron read: “We will not walk away from promises we made.”
Yeah? This is Obama in January, 2011 clearly saying he will not cut Social Security benefits.
Fast forward to today, and this is the word on the street about the budget Obama will release on Wednesday:
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, Congressman Mark Takano and leaders of organizations that oppose President Obama’s anticipated assault on Social Security will go to the White House Tuesday to present petitions signed by more than one million Americans who reject the president’s proposal for “Chained CPI.”
The “Chained CPI” scheme would restructure cost-of-living adjustments in a way that cuts Social Security benefits for millions of seniors and veterans.
Obama knows exactly what to say to make people melt but his actions speak louder than his words. He better not only talk the talk when it comes to Social Security, he’d better walk the walk too.
If he doesn’t, I don’t think I can believe a word he says anymore.
This infuriates me:
Food, shelter, and clothing are often considered the three basic needs by humans and the actions by President Obama on Tuesday have now left millions of Americans across the land in shock as the very first tenet has been horrifically jeopardized by his signing the Monsanto Protection Act into law (H.R. 933) as mentioned on the Facebook page for Food Democracy Now.
For those that are new to this situation, the Monsanto Protection Act is the name given to what’s known as a legislative rider that was inserted into the Senate Continuing Resolution spending bill.
Using the deceptive title of Farmer Assurance Provision, Section 735 of this bill actually grants Monsanto immunity from federal courts pending the review of any GM crop that is thought to be dangerous.
Under the section, courts would be helpless to stop Monsanto from continuing to plant GMO crops that are thought — even by the US government — to be a danger to human health or our cherised environment.
Oh my God! What. Is. Obama. Thinking?
The gun industry has immunity from the courts too. Look how well that’s workin’ out for us.
Unbelievable. Obama’s brain has been taken over by the corporatocracy.
It’s pretty unsettling that our new CIA Director, John Brennan, has so little respect for freedom of the press:
In 1980, a 25-year old graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin wrote a master’s thesis called “Human rights, a case study of Egypt.” In it, he argued that the aim of achieving and maintaining political stability justifies human rights violations by apprehensive governments— including crackdowns on unbridled journalists:
Since the press can play such an influential role in determining the perceptions of the masses, I am in favor of some degree of government censorship. Inflamatory [sic] articles can provoke mass opposition and possible violence.
Government censorship usually means not telling the citizenry about the nasty things it’s doing. “Inflamatory” [sic] articles” are usually ones that expose those things. If a government doesn’t want what it’s doing to be exposed, it shouldn’t do whatever it fears exposure of.
Freedom of the press is essential to a democracy. No one should head the CIA – or be a leader in our government — who doesn’t believe that in their heart and soul.
My Tweet of the Day a day late: Sarah Palin yesterday at the CPAC conference:
Republicans. They’re a laugh a minute.
I find it chilling that doing something like this would even enter Joe Biden’s staff person’s mind:
A staffer for Vice President Joe Biden demanded that a reporter delete photos he’d taken at an event in Rockville, Md., Tuesday. The vice president’s office later apologized to University of Maryland J-school Dean Lucy Dalglish after she complained about the incident in a letter.
Jeremy Barr, a reporter with the University of Maryland’s Capital News Service, was seated in a non-press section for the event, at which the vice president announced an anti-domestic violence initiative. Biden staffer Dana Rosenzweig approached Barr after the event and ordered him to delete photos.
“She said, ‘I need to see your camera right now.’” Barr said. The staffer called Barr’s presence in the non-press area an “unfair advantage” over the other members of the media at the event.
The staffer then requested to watch as Barr deleted the photos from his camera to ensure his compliance, Barr said.
After deleting the photos from the camera, the staffer asked Barr to show her his iPhone to make sure no photos were saved. Barr complied.
“Rockville is not a third-world country where police-state style media censorship is expected,” Dalglish said in her letter. Biden press secretary Kendra Barkoff apologized to Dalglish and Barr in phone calls but wouldn’t speak on the record to Capital News Service’s Lucas High.
Remember last week when everyone was saying President Obama needed to “reach out” to Capitol Hill and do some schmoozing in order to “lead” on the budget?
Fast forward to this week. Yesterday Obama met with House Democrats, today he’s meeting with House Republicans. But hey, now he’s (still) being a sleaze ball because this is all a faux “charm offensive:”
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan on Wednesday questioned whether President Barack Obama’s renewed effort to reach out to congressional Republicans is “sincere.”
“The question is he going on the campaign trail and campaign against us like he has been since the election?” Ryan (R-Wis.) asked on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” a few hours before President Barack Obama is set to visit with the House Republican Conference. “Was the so-called charm offensive a temporary poll-driven political calculation? Or was it a sincere conversion to try and bring people together and start communicating? I hope that is the case.”
This is getting so old.
Hey, all you pundits (which includes just about everyone in the D.C. media) read this and then we’ll talk about how President Obama should “reach out” to Republicans more:
For all the attention to President Obama’s new campaign of outreach to Republicans, it was four months ago — on the eve of bipartisan budget talks — that he secretly invited five of them to the White House for a movie screening with the stars of “Lincoln,” the film about that president’s courtship of Congress to pass a significant measure.
It takes two.
Holder Tells Senator That Obama Does Have Authority To Kill Citizens With Drones On U.S. Soil Without Criminal Charge or Conviction
Attorney General Eric Holder this week held out the possibility that the President could kill an American citizens with a drone attack on U.S. soil without any criminal charge or trial.
It will be difficult for people to find someway, as in the past, to blame this policy on Republicans. The kill list policy of Obama belongs to him. As I discussed in earlier columns [...] it is astonishing how citizens, including so many liberals and civil libertarians, have remained relatively silent in the face of a classic claim of authoritarian power. The relative silence over this latest development shows just how passive the country, and particularly liberals, have become in challenging Obama on his aggregation of executive power. It also is the latest evidence showing Obama’s evisceration of the civil liberties movement in this country. There is little observable movement left after it was divided over loyalty to Obama in the first term. A president has previously said that he can kill U.S. citizens on his own authority. It was then revealed that the citizen does not actually have to be involved in an imminent terrorism attack. Now he claims the right to use that authority in the U.S. The response at every stage has been a collective and prolonged yawn from a people growing comfortable with a burgeoning security state and an imperial president.
Remember civics class? Innocent until proven guilty?
Remember the right to be formally charged with a specific crime and to know what those charges are? Remember the right to a lawyer? Remember the right to be presented with all the evidence against you? Remember the right to question those who present evidence against you? Remember the right to present evidence in your defense and to challenge that presented against you? Remember the right to a jury of your peers? Remember the right to be judged guilty, or not?
Constitutional lawyer Barack Obama has tossed those apparently trivial (to him) rights out the window. He, and he alone, can now decide if you’re guilty of whatever. And he, and he alone can execute you. We the People have no right to a trial by jury anymore.
I’ve lived my life resting in knowing I had the right to due process. Knowing that if I faced charges of any kind I was guaranteed a trial by jury. I’d have my say in court; I could defend myself.
That’s gone. Obama has decided he can kill me without any of that if that’s what he wants to do.
Bob Woodward has gone over to the dark side. This would be him last night on Sean Hannity’s show:
Critics also noted the chumminess between Woodward and Hannity. After the Fox News host cricitzed the press for not looking into President Obama’s associations with Bill Ayers, Woodward said, “I agree with that.” He also lavished praise on Hannity, saying, “You let me say what I want. You dig into things. You — there is no bleep-out button.”
There’s no “bleep button” Bob because you’re on Hannity’s show criticizing President Obama. Are you kidding? That’s Fox gold. Start ripping someone like George Bush apart and they’ll pull out the bleep button alright, or better still, you just won’t get invited on.
The kids of the beltway punditocracy are all atwitter this morning over a supposed “threat” the White House made to Bob Woodward:
Bob Woodward said [last night] on CNN that a “very senior person” at the White House warned him in an email that he would “regret doing this,” the same day he has continued to slam President Barack Obama over the looming forced cuts known as the sequester.
CNN host Wolf Blitzer said that the network invited a White House official to debate Woodward on-air, but the White House declined.
“It makes me very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters, ‘You’re going to regret doing something that you believe in,’” Woodward said.
“I think they’re confused,” Woodward said of the White House’s pushback on his reporting.
What’s with Bob Woodward? The guy is a media whore who apparently can’t get enough attention because when you read the actual email he’s talking about, it isn’t threatening — in the way he implied — at all:
From Gene Sperling to Bob Woodward on Feb. 22, 2013
I apologize for raising my voice in our conversation today. My bad. I do understand your problems with a couple of our statements in the fall — but feel on the other hand that you focus on a few specific trees that gives a very wrong perception of the forest. But perhaps we will just not see eye to eye here.
But I do truly believe you should rethink your comment about saying saying [sic] that Potus asking for revenues is moving the goal post. I know you may not believe this, but as a friend, I think you will regret staking out that claim. The idea that the sequester was to force both sides to go back to try at a big or grand barain with a mix of entitlements and revenues (even if there were serious disagreements on composition) was part of the DNA of the thing from the start. It was an accepted part of the understanding — from the start. Really. It was assumed by the Rs on the Supercommittee that came right after: it was assumed in the November-December 2012 negotiations. There may have been big disagreements over rates and ratios — but that it was supposed to be replaced by entitlements and revenues of some form is not controversial. (Indeed, the discretionary savings amount from the Boehner-Obama negotiations were locked in in BCA: the sequester was just designed to force all back to table on entitlements and revenues.)
I agree there are more than one side to our first disagreement, but again think this latter issue is diffferent. Not out to argue and argue on this latter point. Just my sincere advice. Your call obviously.
My apologies again for raising my voice on the call with you. Feel bad about that and truly apologize.
Check out this chart:
The 26% who approve of how congressional Republicans are “handling federal spending” (i.e., holding the country hostage on behalf of no new taxes on corporations and the rich) is the same 26% who think Obama is a closeted Muslim who’s plotting to take over the country on behalf of his Kenyan buddies.
So, yo, Republicans, you might want to think twice about that bad ass strut you’re strutin’.
Republicans are out with new spin on the sequester today: Where’s Obama? He’s supposed to lead.
And here’s the perfect response to that:
Here’s a brilliant take-down of the (ridiculous) Obama-should-lead argument.
Think about this for a minute:
Jack Lew’s Golden Parachute
Treasury secretary nominee Jack Lew’s original employment contract at Citigroup included a bonus guarantee if he left the bank for a “high level position with the United States government or regulatory body,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
So, the thinking apparently is if Lew got a “high level position” he’d be able to influence the making of laws and policy such that they would benefit Citigroup. If this isn’t illustrative of how government is in bed with corporations I don’t know what is.
And to think a guy — Lew — who came from that culture has been nominated Treasury secretary. Citi must be jumping for joy.
Geezus. President Obama takes a three day weekend which, understandably, includes not having any contact with reporters, and Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen over at Politico throw a temper tantrum:
Obama, the Puppet Master
The frustrated Obama press corps neared rebellion this past holiday weekend when reporters and photographers were not even allowed onto the Floridian National GolfClub, where Obama was golfing. That breached the tradition of the pool “holding” in the clubhouse and often covering — and even questioning — the president on the first and last holes.
Gee. I didn’t hear anything about the Bush press corps “nearing rebellion” after they realized the Bush administration lied to their face about WMD in Iraq but Obama not letting the kids into a golf club in Florida? That pushes them over the edge.
Uh oh. Republicans are undoubtedly seething and probably working the phones behind the scenes trying to get one of these posthumously awarded to Ronald Reagan:
On Israel Trip, Obama to Get Medal
(CNN) – When President Barack Obama visits Israel next month, he’ll be awarded the Presidential Medal of Distinction, Israeli President Shimon Peres’ office announced Monday.
Obama, the first sitting U.S. president to receive the recognition, will be awarded the medal for making “a unique and significant contribution to strengthening the State of Israel and the security of its citizens,” according to a release announcing the news.
He’ll receive the award at a dinner at Peres’ residence in Jerusalem, slated to be attended by senior figures from Israeli public life and the Obama administration. The award is given to “private” individuals and organizations that have made “outstanding contributions to bettering the world.”
Remember NASA’s “Mohawk Guy?”
It’s been quite a six months for Bobak Ferdowsi, the NASA flight director on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity mission, whose aggressively mohawked hair — and otherwise charming appearance — first attracted attention last summer. Now, he is going to be a guest of First Lady Michelle Obama in her box at President Obama’s State of the Union address.
“I found out less than a week ago, honestly, that I’d been invited to the State of the Union,” he said. “I freaked out for a few minutes, just needed a moment to gather myself. It’s really cool, I’m really excited, yet again, to represent NASA and JPL and all of the work that everybody here does. It’s really amazing to me. Sometimes I feel unworthy in some ways to do all this. I think there’s so many talented and fun and amazing people on the project that I worked on, but all across our place. I just feel very lucky to get to do stuff like this.”
As for what he is most excited about, he told BuzzFeed, “I’m really excited to get to represent NASA. I’m excited that people have been excited and watching and paying attention. I am excited to — like anyone would be — to meet the First Family. A little giddy with excitement there, I don’t think I have to hide that. It’s really cool.”
The hair colors Tuesday night will not be missed. Bright red and blue streaks run along the top of his freshly coiffed mowhawk [sic].
Republicans are going to hate this because — SCIENCE — but what better way to say it’s cool to be smart?
And I can’t wait to hear what Fox does with it: OMG, there’s one of the Obama’s hippy Muslim friends!
Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, John Bolton, Lindsay Graham and Erick Erickson Praise Obama’s Drone Plan/Kill list
They’re all warmongers so if they love it, I don’t!
To wild GOP crowd cheers, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachman vehemently defend Obama’s assassination policy.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) will offer a resolution next week commending President Barack Obama’s use of drones and the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki.
We no longer have to transport ourselves to a magical alternate reality to ponder what a love child between Richard Nixon and Dick Cheney would look like. Given a Justice Department memo obtained by NBC News, we can conclude that child would look like none other than President Barack Obama.
“Just kill the terrorists before they kill us.” Land of the free and home of the brave? No. When I saw folks tearing up at the Super Bowl over those words I gagged.
We’re a scared bunch of sheeple. We stood by while almost 60,000 Americans were killed in Vietnam because our leaders told us the commies were coming to get us. Ten years ago yesterday, Colin Powell lied his face off in front of the United Nations Security Council and as a result, we invaded Iraq because they (I’m gagging again) supposedly had WMD and were ready to send a mushroom cloud over the U.S.
None of that was true.
Yet, again, we’re so scared of the lies we’ve told ourselves, all in the name of kill them before they kill us.
Defense spending — our tax dollars! — has doubled since 2001.
Ten years ago there was no such thing as the Department of Homeland Security but now we’re dumping untold billions dollars into that agency because it’s supposedly keeping us “safe.
And now we have drones — millions going to defense contractors for their new toys that we’re paying for — AGAIN, out of our tax dollars that — and President Obama’s kill list predicated on his supposed authority to kill Americans without their Constitutional right to be charged and tried by a jury of their piers.
They tell us these drone strikes are keeping us safe. But they aren’t: “Drone attacks are doing nothing but inciting more hatred” say Pakistani protesters. Google it yourself. There’s a whole bunch of info out there about how drone attacks are actually making us less after
So when will be again become the land of the free and the HOME OF THE BRAVE and when will we stop being scared little people who sacrifice their future for defense contractors and politicians who want to enrich them?
Glenn Greenwald — legal thinker extraordinaire, imho — has penned a blistering take down of a “white paper” prepared by Obama’s Department of Justice justifying his supposed power to assassinate Americans without due process. The document (pdf) was posted online last night by NBC’s Michael Isikoff.
The last two sentences pretty much say it all:
[W]e have the current president asserting the power not merely to imprison or eavesdrop on US citizens without charges or trial, but to order them executed – and to do so in total secrecy, with no checks or oversight. If you believe the president has the power to order US citizens executed far from any battlefield with no charges or trial, then it’s truly hard to conceive of any asserted power you would find objectionable.
Read the whole thing here.
I think this move by Obama is very bad; an extremely dangerous road to go down. To think that every single American is no longer guaranteed the right to be charged and to have the opportunity to defend him or herself before a jury of their peers is shocking. That’s something that has comforted me all my life. The thought of living in a country where the ruler can pick off citizens at will is foreign to how things have work around here since the country was founded and against our system of laws that make us great.
That a “constitutional scholar” would seize this power takes my breath away. It’s tremendously depressing. Obama has basically carried out a drone attack on the law.
I have a good friend who lives in Ohio and she says everything Governor John Kasich does is self-serving:
John Kasich’s Obamacare Flip Burns Conservatives
Conservative groups wanted to stop the march of Obamacare expansion at ground zero: the states.
But one of their best hopes just caved.
John Kasich, the fiercely conservative governor of Ohio, announced Monday that he’s going to expand Medicaid dramatically using federal money — a 180-degree turn from what conservative groups swore their allies in governors’ mansions would do when the Supreme Court gave them an out last year.
That leaves Kasich, who built his political identity arguing for smaller government, at odds with the same movement conservatives who propelled him to victory in Ohio and have eyed him for a presidential run in 2016.
“I think it’s definitely going to weaken him with the conservative base,” said Chris Littleton, the Ohio director for American Majority Action.
Yeah, it probably will “weaken him with the conservative base” — as in the 26%ers – but it will help with independents, moderates and who knows, maybe even some Democrats, so this move sure points toward him eying a run for prez.
Now it’ll be interested to see what the wackos do.
Now I know why Barack Obama shot that gun. He wants to kill our right to due process:
Justice Department Memo Reveals Legal Case for Drone Strikes on Americans
A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force” — even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S.
Last I knew, every American is entitled to and guaranteed a trial by a jury of his or her peers before he or she is sentenced to anything, much less death.
Now we have the “liberal” Constitutional lawyer Barack Obama’s Justice Department obliterating that for what will probably be forever.
Blows my mind.
We’re “goin’ down” huh?
I should turn on the TV and watch me some Fox “News.” Wonder how they’re splanin’ this.
I like the plain truth President Obama told Steve Kroft in his 60 Minutes interview tonight:
You know, Steve, I gotta tell you, the — you guys in the press are incorrigible. I was literally inaugurated four days ago. And you’re talking about elections four years from now.”
And I like the plain truth he told The New Republic too:
One of the biggest factors is going to be how the media shapes debates. If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News or by Rush Limbaugh for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you’ll see more of them doing it.
Memo to Obama and all Democrats: Keep it up, hammer away at it, drive it home and for God’s sake, don’t let up!