Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Syria: what is accomplished by sticking one’s hand in a bee’s nest and trying to kill a couple bees?

Civilian casualties will likely go up:

syria

And this is only one scenario, under the Law of Unintended Consequences. What would happen to our reputation in the area is up for grabs. What would Israel do if we bomb Syria? would they jump in? what would happen then? what would Iran do? What would al Quaeda do? what would happen to Americans at home and abroad?

President Obama should defer to the international community on these issues, not to mention the American people (I hesitate to suggest that he consult with the craziness that is our Congress).

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NSA: “EVERYONE !!”

Seems the NSA can, without a warrant, snoop on anyone within three degrees of someone that they may have some suspicion about.

…the rather startling news that came out of yesterday’s House Judiciary Committee on the NSA spying programs: NSA Director John Inglis revealed that the FISA Court permits the government to do three jumps from an initial number tied to a phone number reasonably believed to be tied to terrorism (or relevant to Iran, though that search criteria didn’t get mentioned at all in the parts of the hearing I watched).

Three degrees of separation!

Remember, some years ago, every single person in the US could be connected via six degrees — the old Kevin Bacon game. There’s some evidence that that number has become smaller — perhaps as small as 3 (I’ve seen more scientific numbers that say it is 4.5 or thereabouts).

In any case, if the US is using the excuse of terror to get three jumps deep into US person associations, then this program is even more intrusive then they’ve let on.

I imagine that would include everyone in our government, the Israeli government, the Palestinian authority, every head of state, every law enforcement officer, everyone who has ever been abroad, everyone who has ever interviewed a foreign person, everyone who knows anyone who knows anyone in:

Greenpeace,

the Quakers,

any demonstration of any kind,

anyone who has written a letter to an editor,

any person of color,

anyone who signed a petition, and

so on.

It’s basically EVERYONE. and what will they do with it? Wait til Karl Rove or one of the Cheneys gets back in power and you’ll see in short order. Or just some NSA guy who’s curious about who his ex girlfriend in dating. Or some NSA girl with a grudge against oh, well, ANYONE!

We have a constitution; that used to mean something.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

When basically the entire population is legally suspect, doesn’t that mean we’re doing something wrong?

 

video: Gary Oldman, in “The Professional.”

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Barack Obama will be remembered only because he got elected.

Barack Obama gave a speech today, the subject of which was his program for limiting carbon dioxide emissions. No television networks televised it (well, OK, the Weather Channel). Did he show some leadership? enough that he can claim that he did something. But it isn’t important, because it won’t change the ultimate result. It does not include a “veto” of the XL pipeline. This veto would be an essential part of limiting carbon dioxide emissions. But he will not do it. A hundred years from now, our grandchildren will be living in a very different world, and Obama will be part of the cause.
Extraction of the tar sands in Alberta will put the planet at the limit (one trillion tons) of carbon emitted into the atmosphere, that will put us at two degrees of global warming, at which scientists have estimated the effects will become truly awful (as if it isn’t already getting there). Stopping the XL pipeline will greatly impair the ability to develop the Alberta tar sands cost-effectively. But he isn’t going to do it.

It will be on him. What other legacy does he have? Drone assassinations worldwide, including U.S persons and citizens? Unprecedented surveillance of U.S. citizens?

Obama is a mixed race person, as we mostly all are, who has enough characteristics of a black man to be considered black. And he was elected president of the United States. That was historic and wonderful. That is what he will be remembered for, and that is all. Of course, his lack of accomplishments is not all his fault. The Republican Party, especially the real crazies and the financial criminals, created an economic mess, ran with the racism, and created enough confusion that the composition of Congress prevented much of anything meaningful on the legislative front. Further, the Department of Justice and the Supreme Court had been, shall we say, “re-purposed” under George W. Bush. Obama’s single claimed accomplishment, The Affordable Healthcare Act, was diluted into virtual nothingness, and will in the future be seen as nothing more than a nice thing for people with pre-existing conditions and unemployed children. He had a chance to reverse the sudden surge of militarism, illegal acts, spying, assassinations, and war crimes triggered by the events of 2001. Instead, after announcing “we do not torture,” he became the terrorist president, the only head of state in the world whose enunciated policy and personal activity is to select and execute without a trial, citizens of his own and other countries by sudden assault from the sky.  “War crime” is now an anachronism.  There is no such thing, in 2013. Similarly, so is the constitutional right to privacy.

Obama’s last hope for significance is about to be wasted, as he will approve the so called Keystone XL pipeline. This project does nothing for the US. It deprives us of land. It simply enriches a few already rich persons. And it will inevitably spill toxic petroleum and additives into our soil and our water supplies. Most importantly, it enables the development and burning of a massive store of fossil fuel, a quantity so great that it essentially means “game over” in terms of limiting the increase in atmospheric CO2. It means our chance of preventing radical climate change is really gone. It means that the sea level rise will probably be more like 200 feet, displacing millions, and the interior of the US will become “desert-ified.” It means starvation on a worldwide scale, extinction of thousands of species of plants and animals, acidification of our oceans to the point of radically changing their nature. The realities of the situation are that we HAVE to make fossil fuels more expensive, and renewables/solar/wind less expensive, to eventually eliminate fossil fuels, BEFORE we reach a trillion tons of carbon emitted. Vetoing the XL pipeline will be a huge step in shifting the cost equation in favor of renewables. Obama has failed to do it, and the significance of that dwarfs anything he has done while in office.

Obama will have no positive legacy other than being elected the “first black president.” He will have ensured that by approving the XL pipeline. OTL,S! is hard pressed to understand why, other than personal enrichment, he would do so.  The majority Democratic Party has thus far watched his performance in rather slack-jawed amazement and (largely) silent anger, tempered by knowledge of the Republican tactics. But the XL pipeline is something that he can stop by his own action. With approval of XL, his support in the progressive base of the Democratic Party will collapse, and the party will begin to fragment.

Some dreamers have misinterpreted his statement today:

“Allowing the Keystone pipeline to be built requires a finding that doing so would be in our nation’s interest, and our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution,”….

‘This project” is just the pipeline itself.  This is a clear statement of the excuse Obama will use to approve the pipeline.  Pre-speech, there was no indication that he would even touch on it. He realized that without some statement about XL, his speech would be a ho hummer.  So he put in this ambiguous statement. The Wall Street Journal for 6/26 has it right:

Mr. Obama also said he would approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline later this year if it didn’t “significantly” increase net greenhouse-gas emissions.”

Clearly, He will claim that the tar sands will be exploited one way or another, and that the pipeline is the most efficient way of doing it. He will claim that the oil companies have purchased offsets. He will approve it. He has the power, and he understands what it means (one should also note that even his announced program is less aggressive than that in place already in California).

He has misled the public again. He has no shame. George W. Bush has for his legacy literally millions of dead, orphaned, widowed, and handicapped persons at home and in the Middle East, all because of his juvenile fantasies of being a war hero without actually risking his life.

Barack Obama’s legacy will be much worse. His results will be, in human/ecological/biological terms, devastating and permanent. In global historic terms, he is a failure. And, by this speech, he is shown to be a cynical one. And that will be his legacy. And why? what would motivate him? What is in the world would make him do this? OTL,S! knows of only a few big motivators of humans, and there is very very big money behind the XL pipeline. Until proven otherwise, one would assume that Obama is headed for a very very large payday in the future. His adolescent fantasy is, apparently, to be very rich.

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Montana judge sent dirty joke about Obama’s mother because he disagrees with Obama’s policies

guess he didn't have the guts to include the joke?

Hmmm.

The guy Richard Cebull is a Republican, I take the racism as a given.

But the fact that he hates Obama’s policies so much that he was willing to jeopardize his job, tells me that he shouldn’t be hearing cases that involve Obama’s policies. Obama is the president, and his policies and his law enforcement policies are important factors in many federal cases, if not all of them, particularly when such hostility is present. 

Oh wait, this guy is a federal judge.

Are we clear?

is he going to recuse himself from all federal cases? how would that work? all his cases are federal.

In the letter, he says he doesn’t know what more he could do, aside from referring the matter to his Republican pals who will obviously giggle and do nothing…Here’s what more he can do:
Step the fuck down, assclown. Get yourself a real job, like a good Republican who deigns to suck off the federal teat.

 

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Mitt, Mitt…. C’mon. ya lie like a rug about contraception. Good thing the bishops don’t seem to notice.

a reader at Andrew Sullivan observes:

Here’s an interesting question re: exposing the partisanship of the Bishops. So, at the most recent debate, Romney stated that it was completely voluntary as to whether Catholic hospitals in Massachusetts had to provide emergency contraceptives to rape victims. Yet, it appears that it isn’t voluntary, that there is no conscience exemption. So, this raises two important questions that speak directly to the partisanship of the Bishops, and in this case, specifically of Cardinal O’Malley in Boston:

Why would O’Malley not express the same outrage toward Romney’s policy in Massachusetts as he has toward Obama’s policy at the national level? And why wouldn’t O’Malley feel required to correct the public record re: Romney’s statement, since that statement leaves the impression with voters that it is Cardinal O’Malley who is choosing to provide emergency contraceptives?
It appears that he has done neither to date. It seems that there’s no answer to these two questions except the political partisanship of the Cardinal.

then there’s this:

Mitt Romney misled a voter in Shelby Township, Michigan about President Obama’s rule requiring insurers and employers to provide contraception coverage to employees during a town hall Tuesday afternoon. Romney grossly misrepresented the measure, claiming that under the new requirement, “the Catholic Church had to provide for insurance that provided contraceptives, sterilization, morning after pills to the employees of the Church.” But as Romney himself has previously admitted, both the original provision and the modified language specifically excludes houses of worship and nonprofit organizations that primarily employ people of the same faith from providing birth control coverage.

Commander in chief material? I don’t think so.

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The lengths to which Republicans will go to try to defeat Obama

Here's a guy you can trust with your reproduction

h/t The Rude Pundit.

That is Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, Connecticut. Despite the unfortunate photo, which looks like the last thing an altar boy sees before being taken into a booth for some private confessin’, Lori actually co-wrote the zero tolerance policy for child-f****** priests or, as it’s known everywhere else, “Wait, You Mean There Wasn’t a Zero Tolerance Policy for Child-******* in the Catholic Church Already?”. He’s also a warrior for all things churchy in this vile, depraved secular nation.

… yesterday Bishop Lori testified, as part of an all-male panel, before the House Oversight Committee during its hearing on the Obama administration’s continuation of a Bush-era policy, already passed in 28 states, including being signed into law by Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee when they were governors, that employers who provide health insurance for their employees, including businesses and institutions run by religious groups, with the exception of houses of worship, must include female contraceptive coverage.

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GOP, Iran, Obama and gas prices.

Juan Cole:

As prices in February hit a historic high for this time of year, presaging perhaps $5 a gallon gasoline this summer in the US, Iran is still sitting pretty. The fragile European and US economies, however, may take a hit from higher transportation costs (the US will likely see a fall in summer travel and internal tourism). The same Republicans who complain that President Obama hasn’t been hard enough on Iran are cynically planning to campaign against him on his having caused higher petroleum prices, ignoring the role of sanctions on Iran and tensions with that country in the price run-up! I hate to say it but I told you so.

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Obama: does he get it?

From Balloon Juice:

The Stakes

by John Cole

It is probably worth pointing out that wishful thinking aside, if Coakley loses tomorrow, thirty million or more Americans will remain one slip on the ice and broken shoulder away from bankruptcy, with the alternatives being seeking more expensive and less thorough emergency room care with no follow-up rehab and costs passed on to all of us, or no treatment and debilitating injuries and pain in perpetuity.

You and I might think that is a big deal, but if you read enough left-wing blogs, it really is no big deal. If the bill fails, we can take Taibbi’s advice and just try again in 6-8 years. I mean really, the republicans aren’t much different from the Democrats, I’ve been told. Besides, won’t you feel better knowing that you didn’t sell out to immoral insurance agencies like Feingold and Sanders and the rest of the corporate whores?

No one said having firm principles was without pain, you know.
….

A Sullivan classic

by DougJ

I know Andrew Sullivan is a controversial subject here, but I love it when he dials the gloom up to 11:

I can see no alternative scenario but a huge – staggeringly huge – victory for the FNC/RNC machine tomorrow. They crafted a strategy of total oppositionism to anything Obama proposed a year ago. Remember they gave him zero votes on even the stimulus in his first weeks. They saw health insurance reform as Obama’s Waterloo, and, thanks in part to the dithering Democrats, they beat him on that hill. They have successfully channeled all the rage at the massive debt and recession the president inherited on Obama after just one year. If they can do that already, against the massive evidence against them, they have the power to wield populism to destroy any attempt by government to address any actual problems.

This is a nihilist moment, built from a nihilist strategy in order to regain power … to do nothing but wage war against enemies at home and abroad.

What comes next will be a real test for Obama. I suspect serious health insurance reform is over for yet another generation.

[....]

And so one suspects that this is a profound moment in the now accelerating decline of this country. And one of the major parties is ecstatic about it.

I guess I can’t be so pessimistic, given the demographic trends that favor Democrats. I do think, though, that without non-white voters, we’d probably be a military dictatorship by now.

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Insurers Spending $700K a Day to Kill Healthcare Reform

and how easily they manipulate the ignorant sheep/teabaggers into making idiots of themselves.
healthdoll
[lifted from Dkos; by mcjoan]

Wow, that could be providing a helluva lot of healthcare.

Washington, D.C. – A campaign finance watchdog’s analysis of insurance and HMO political contributions and lobbying expenses found the industries spent $126,430,438 over the first half of 2009 and $585,725,712 over the past two and a half years to influence public policy and elected officials. The group, Public Campaign Action Fund, found that in the first part of 2009, the industries were spending money at nearly a $700,000 a day clip to influence the political process and that the monthly pace of political spending this year has increased by nearly $400,000 over the average spent per month in the previous two years.

In addition to PAC contributions to our “public servants,” that’s funding 875 registered lobbyists for the insurance industry, and 920 for the HMOs. Which really is hardly a drop in the bucket for the industry, when you take into consideration their CEO compensation, which ranges from $3 million to $24 million.

Nice to know what our premiums are paying for, huh? We could cut out the middleman here. We could start giving all the money we’re spending on premiums directly to our representative and Senators. Maybe then they’d listen to us, the people who hired them, when it comes to vote.

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Will CNN stop sponsoring the egregious racist Republican assault on President Obama?

racist-obama-pin
This is the most disgusting display of partisanship and racism in recent American history, and it is being sponsored by our media.

After giving Mark Williams, one of the leaders of the Tea Party movement, weeks of free publicity, CNN finally took the conservative activist to task on Monday, calling him out for describing President Barack Obama as a “racist-in-chief” and “an Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug.”

Williams, who is vice-chairman of Our Country Deserves Better, the group organizing the Tea Parties, and whom CNN has described as “the showman” of the Tea Party organizers, defended the statements, which he made on his blog.

The blog posting in question appears to have been removed.

During a panel discussion on AC 360 Monday, host Anderson Cooper asked Williams: “Do you believe [the president is] Indonesian? Do you believe he’s a Muslim? Do you really believe he’s a welfare thug?”

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