Obama

Obama Says U.S. Will Retaliate for Russia’s Election Meddling - The New York Times

“We need to take action,” the president said. “And we will — at the time and place of our choosing.”

(via Obama Says U.S. Will Retaliate for Russia’s Election Meddling - The New York Times)

Does Trump see the trap here? If he ends the investigation and reverses the sanctions he will be sending a clear signal that he is Putin’s puppet. If he doesn’t then Putin will want to pressure him to reverse leading people to ask if he owns Putin something.

President Obama’s brutal assessment of the rise of Donald Trump

What is happening in this primary is just a distillation of what’s been happening inside their party for more than a decade. I mean, the reason that many of their voters are responding is because this is what’s been fed through the messages they’ve been sending for a long time — that you just make flat assertions that don’t comport with the facts. That you just deny the evidence of science. That compromise is a betrayal. That the other side isn’t simply wrong, or we just disagree, we want to take a different approach, but the other side is destroying the country, or treasonous. I mean, that’s — look it up. That’s what they’ve been saying.

(via President Obama’s brutal assessment of the rise of Donald Trump - The Washington Post)

Trump isn’t bringing them into the party. They were the party. They knew Trump because they were birthers. They knew Trump because he was a Fox talking head. They aren’t conservative because the party hasn’t been about conservatism for a long while. The party is about Fox News outrage, anger about political correctness and obsession with imaginary enemies.

The joke was that Obama wasn’t joking

The joke was that Obama wasn’t joking:

There are no jokes there. There’s just Obama saying what he has to say and Luther saying what Obama actually believes.

And what Obama believes is that the press is often sensational, trivial, and fearmongering. He thinks they hype negative stories for weeks on end and then refuse to admit their mistake when the horror fizzles. He thinks he gets the blame for catastrophes but little credit for solutions. He thinks the media has a deep bias toward negative stories (which, of course, we do).

Chris Rock on Obama and Bush

Chris Rock on Obama and Bush:

the liberals that are against him (Obama) feel let down because he’s not Bush. And the thing about George Bush is that the kid revolutionized the presidency. How? He was the first president who only served the people who voted for him. He literally operated like a cable network. You know what I mean? … He’s the first cable-television president, and the thing liberals don’t like about Obama is that he’s a network guy. He’s kind of Les Moonves. He’s trying to get everybody. And I think he’s figured out, and maybe a little late, that there’s some people he’s never going to get.

This is amazing. I think Chris Rock totally nailed it.

Obama Is a Republican

Obama Is a Republican:

Obama has governed as a moderate conservative—essentially as what used to be called a liberal Republican before all such people disappeared from the GOP. He has been conservative to exactly the same degree that Richard Nixon basically governed as a moderate liberal, something no conservative would deny today.

I would dismiss this as yet another attempt to recast a former president as centrist in the eyes of history. Almost every former president could be called centrist if you cherry pick. But this is a well written article and worth reading.

Obama to Call for End to N.S.A.’s Bulk Data Collection

Obama to Call for End to N.S.A.’s Bulk Data Collection:

Under the proposal, they said, N.S.A. would end its systematic collection of data about Americans’ calling habits. The records would stay in the hands of phone companies, which would not be required to retain the data for any longer than they normally would. And the N.S.A. could obtain specific records only with permission from a judge, using a new kind of court order.

So lets see if congress can demand and get proper oversight. This assumes they can take a brief pause from voting to repeal Obamacare and so something useful.

Tweets for 2014-01-29

  1. CNN decides that rather than fact check the #SOTU speech they would just ask a few people if they believed the president. #WTF
  2. Do the GOP congressmen upset about Executive Orders realize they can undo any of them via legislation?
  3. CNN decides that rather than fact check the #SOTU speech they would just ask a few people if they believed the president. #WTF
  4. Biden is as pale as the white stripes of flag, John Boehner matches the red stripes.
  5. Obama saying he will close GITMO this year, for the 5th time, is like listening to a 500lbs man promise he will lose weight this year.
  6. Is it just me of did #Obama make a case for paternity leave in the #SOTU #SOTU2014 ?

Tweets for 2014-01-28

  1. CNN decides that rather than fact check the #SOTU speech they would just ask a few people if they believed the president. #WTF
  2. CNN decides that rather than fact check the #SOTU speech they would just ask a few people if they believed the president. #WTF
  3. Biden is as pale as the white stripes of flag, John Boehner matches the red stripes.
  4. Obama saying he will close GITMO this year, for the 5th time, is like listening to a 500lbs man promise he will lose weight this year.
  5. Is it just me of did #Obama make a case for paternity leave in the #SOTU #SOTU2014 ?

Will Benghazi Facts Penetrate The Right-Wing Bubble?

Will Benghazi Facts Penetrate The Right-Wing Bubble?:

An exhaustive New York Times investigation into the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, published on December 28, discredited the key elements of the right-wing campaign to politicize the attack — a desperate attempt to bring down the Obama administration and sink a possible presidential run by Hillary Clinton.

No, it will not enter the bubble. There are too many people who are convinced that the Times is a liberal media source and can not be trusted, unlike Fox which is fair and balanced. We are stuck with whitewater 2.0. 

Tweets for 2013-10-11

  1. I’m amazed at all the people who are just now discovering that shutting down the government means that government services are #shutdown
  2. #GOP popularity is plunging fast #Obama should be demanding concessions from them to reopen gov and raise the #debtceiling
  3. It is now totally safe to forget #AnthonyWeiner ever existed. He is auditioning to be the FoxNews token liberal punching bag.

Tweets for 2013-10-10

  1. #GOP popularity is plunging fast #Obama should be demanding concessions from them to reopen gov and raise the #debtceiling
  2. It is now totally safe to forget #AnthonyWeiner ever existed. He is auditioning to be the FoxNews token liberal punching bag.
  3. If you’re a democrat who wants the shutdown to continue because you think it will help in 2014; you’re being cynically partisan.
  4. That show was so bad the laugh track started to boo.

Yglesias: Obama's Five Percent Pay Cut Is Absurd

Yglesias: Obama's Five Percent Pay Cut Is Absurd

This business of President Obama giving himself a five percent pay cut in solidarity with sequester-ravaged federal agencies seems totally absurd to me. Who is better off thanks to this? It doesn’t seem to free up any budgetary funds for anything.

I usually refrain form calling out politicians for grand standing. It’s part of the job. As long as it isn’t too bad, you have to let it slide. But this is such silly grandstanding that it needs to be mocked. How exactly will Obama’s life be different after this 5% cut? Will he have to bring a brown bag lunch on Air Force one?

They [Republicans] say that their biggest priority is making sure that we deal with the deficit in a serious way, but the way they're behaving is that their only priority is making sure that tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans are protected," he (Obama) said. "That seems to be their only overriding, unifying theme.

They [Republicans] say that their biggest priority is making sure that we deal with the deficit in a serious way, but the way they're behaving is that their only priority is making sure that tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans are protected," he (Obama) said. "That seems to be their only overriding, unifying theme.
Is Obama finally figuring it out?

Kill lists? Dems don't want to know

Kill lists? Dems don't want to know

When first asked about why her party's presidential nominee flip-flopped on indefinite detention provisions in his National Defense Authorization Act, she refuses to answer the question by saying, "I didn't hear that as a subject at the debate." When subsequently asked about President Obama's notorious "kill list," in which he unilaterally executes those (including U.S. citizens) he accuses of terrorism, she insists, "I have no idea what you are talking about," then smiles and says, "I'm happy to answer any serious questions you have." When asked, "Why isn't that serious?" she shuts down the interview by declaring, "Because I have no idea what you are talking about."

Note to the white house, you are pissing off your base. Again. This is a two fold insult to the base. First, doing something widely unpopular and second, refusing to discuss it as if this should be above discussion.

In the four years since Obama took office, the stock market has gone up 54%, corporate profits are at all-time highs and taxes are at historic lows. America simply can't take much more of Obama's socialism.

In the four years since Obama took office, the stock market has gone up 54%, corporate profits are at all-time highs and taxes are at historic lows. America simply can’t take much more of Obama’s socialism.
Stupid Right-Wing Tweets | Crooks and Liars

Chris Hedges Why I'm Suing Barack Obama

Chris Hedges: Why I'm Suing Barack Obama

Attorneys Carl J. Mayer and Bruce I. Afran filed a complaint Friday in the Southern U.S. District Court in New York City on my behalf as a plaintiff against Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to challenge the legality of the Authorization for Use of Military Force as embedded in the latest version of the National Defense Authorization Act, signed by the president Dec. 31.

I’d like to see more challenges to the NDAA related detention provisions. Why the ACLU is dropping the ball on this is a mystery to me.

The bill does not require military custody for American citizens suspected of membership with Al Qaeda or an allied group, as it more or less does for foreigners. (Note, by the way, that this is all about suspicion, not proof.) But neither does it prohibit military trial or detention of American citizens. It's stunning that the president is willing to sign a bill that might effectively turn the right of habeas corpus into a mere privilege-even for citizens.

The bill does not require military custody for American citizens suspected of membership with Al Qaeda or an allied group, as it more or less does for foreigners. (Note, by the way, that this is all about suspicion, not proof.) But neither does it prohibit military trial or detention of American citizens. It's stunning that the president is willing to sign a bill that might effectively turn the right of habeas corpus into a mere privilege-even for citizens.

Does the NDAA Apply to American Citizens? - NYTimes.com

What’s also shocking is that the guy was a constitutional law professor. He must have covered the 6th amendment and habeas corpus in class.

Obama's Rope-A-Dope

Last summer during the debt ceiling hostage crisis, Obama appeared to be the loser, but yesterday Republicans woke up to the reality that they lost Big Time—that we were going to get $1.2 trillion in deficit reductions, with 50% of the cuts coming from the military and none of the cuts from Social Security and Medicare. The Congressional water carriers for the Military Industrial Complex are in a panic. … President Obama immediately threatened to veto any attempt to undo the spending cuts. That means that Republicans would have to get a 2/3 rds majority to undo the first meaningful cutback in the Military budget in 60 years. In addition, if Obama also threatens to veto any attempt to restore the Bush Tax cuts in 2012 (they expire automatically on January 1, 2013), progressives will have totally changed the inequality dynamic, without having to pass a single piece of legislation.

So if this works Obama has managed to cut $600B from the defense budget and undo the Bush tax cuts while having to trim $600B from non-defense spending. It is also worth noting that while he promised to veto any attempt to undo the spending cuts, he made no such promise to block new spending that the Dems might pass.

Quinnipiac Poll: Obama Shows Marked Improvement

Quinnipiac Poll: Obama Shows Marked Improvement

"President Barack Obama seems to be improving in voters' eyes almost across-the-board," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute in a release. "He scores big gains among the groups with whom he has had the most problems - whites and men. Women also shift from a five-point negative to a four-point positive."
Good news, I think.

The Buffett Rule

President Obama on Monday will call for a new minimum tax rate for individuals making more than $1 million a year to ensure that they pay at least the same percentage of their earnings as middle-income taxpayers, according to administration officials. … Mr. Obama, in a bit of political salesmanship, will call his proposal the "Buffett Rule," in a reference to Warren E. Buffett, the billionaire investor who has complained repeatedly that the richest Americans generally pay a smaller share of their income in federal taxes than do middle-income workers, because investment gains are taxed at a lower rate than wages.

From NYT I’m looking forward to the explanation on why the GOP is for increasing taxes on the middle class but not for millionaires.

Carville's advice, Fire. Indict. Fight.

People often ask me what advice I would give the White House about various things," Carville wrote on Wednesday. "Today I was mulling over election results from New York and Nevada while thinking about that very question. What should the White House do now? One word came to mind: Panic." Carville said Democrats are "past sending out talking points" and said he would tell the president, "The time has come to demand a plan of action that requires a complete change from the direction you are headed." Carville's advice: "Fire. Indict. Fight.
James Carville: Obama should 'panic' - Mackenzie Weinger - POLITICO.com

Obama Changed Virtually None of Bush 's Controversial Programs

With a notable exception of the enhanced interrogation program, the incoming Obama administration changed virtually nothing with respect to existing CIA programs and operations. Things continued. Authorities were continued that were originally granted by President Bush beginning shortly after 9/11. Those were all picked up, reviewed and endorsed by the Obama administration.

From Top CIA Official: Obama Changed Virtually None of Bush's Controversial Programs


He should get a little credit for ending torture but this has been a major disappointment. Its been two years and very little has changed.

there's also no modern precedent for the out-of-power party being as widely loathed on Election Day as the GOP now is. And there will be many more opportunities in the next 15 months for congressional Republicans to inflict even more damage on the GOP brand. It's enough to raise the possibility that the very forces that set out to destroy Barack Obama's presidency from the moment it started could end up being the reason he gets a second term.

there’s also no modern precedent for the out-of-power party being as widely loathed on Election Day as the GOP now is. And there will be many more opportunities in the next 15 months for congressional Republicans to inflict even more damage on the GOP brand. It’s enough to raise the possibility that the very forces that set out to destroy Barack Obama’s presidency from the moment it started could end up being the reason he gets a second term.
Could the Tea Party actually be Obama’s salvation in 2012? - War Room - salon.com

Romney Irked By Democrats' Prepared Attacks

“It is disgraceful that President Obama’s campaign has launched his re-election with the stated goal to ‘kill’ his opponent with an onslaught of negative and personal attacks,” Romney said in a statement.

From Romney Irked By Democrats’ Prepared Attacks


No fair, he is fighting back! Googling “romney attacks obama” returns 57k hits. “obama attacks romney” just 417 hits.

Blame Obama Please

Remember when Obama negotiated with the GOP over an extension of the Bush tax cuts and allowed the GOP to take the budget hostage? This phony debt ceiling crisis is directly related to that. If he let the tax cuts expire we wouldn’t be in this mess as the GOP would have been discouraged from further hostage taking.

That warm Irish reception is going to get icy cold once they figure out his name isn’t spelled O’Bama.

Obama's Bid to End Oil Subsidy Revives Debate

When he releases his new budget in two weeks, President Obama will propose doing away with roughly $4 billion a year in subsidies and tax breaks for oil companies, in his third effort to eliminate federal support for an industry that remains hugely profitable.

From Obama's Bid to End Oil Subsidy Revives Debate - NYTimes.com

So, who is going to come out in favor of giving oil companies taxpayer money? Anyone want to bet if this gets an anonymous hold?

The liberal backlash that isn't

with the release of a new Washington Post/ABC News poll — conducted late last week and over the weekend, as the supposed liberal backlash against the deal was at its peak — that shows Obama’s approval rating with liberal Democrats sitting at 87 percent. That’s essentially where it’s been all year; it represents a statistically microscopic decline from where he stood with liberal Democrats in the last WaPo/ABC survey, taken about six weeks ago. Among all Democrats, Obama’s approval rating in the new survey sits at 79 percent — again, pretty much exactly where it’s been all year. As has been the case throughout his presidency, Obama’s problem among Democrats — to the extent he has one at all — is with self-described moderates and conservatives in the party.


From The liberal backlash that isn’t - War Room - salon.com


There is a major disconnect between people claiming to be the liberal base, and actual liberals.

The liberal backlash that isn't

with the release of a new Washington Post/ABC News poll — conducted late last week and over the weekend, as the supposed liberal backlash against the deal was at its peak — that shows Obama’s approval rating with liberal Democrats sitting at 87 percent. That’s essentially where it’s been all year; it represents a statistically microscopic decline from where he stood with liberal Democrats in the last WaPo/ABC survey, taken about six weeks ago. Among all Democrats, Obama’s approval rating in the new survey sits at 79 percent — again, pretty much exactly where it’s been all year. As has been the case throughout his presidency, Obama’s problem among Democrats — to the extent he has one at all — is with self-described moderates and conservatives in the party.


From The liberal backlash that isn’t - War Room - salon.com


There is a major disconnect between people claiming to be the liberal base, and actual liberals.

The Big Lie

It seems to me that the last year or so in America’s political culture has represented the triumph of untruth. And the untruth was propagated by a deliberate, simple and systemic campaign to kill Obama’s presidency in its crib. Emergency measures in a near-unprecedented economic collapse - the bank bailout, the auto-bailout, the stimulus - were described by the right as ideological moves of choice, when they were, in fact, pragmatic moves of necessity. The increasingly effective isolation of Iran’s regime - and destruction of its legitimacy from within - was portrayed as a function of Obama’s weakness, rather than his strength. The health insurance reform - almost identical to Romney’s, to the right of the Clintons in 1993, costed to reduce the deficit, without a public option, and with millions more customers for the insurance and drug companies - was turned into a socialist government take-over.


From The Big Lie


This hits the nail on the head.

Nobody Cares About Process, except Democrats

If Obama had used fancy footwork and 2 AM sessions to pass a big public works program, and this program had brought unemployment down, Republicans would be screaming about the process - and Democrats would have comfortably held control of Congress. Remember the voter backlash against the way Medicare drug benefits were passed? Neither do I.

Oh, by the way - nobody cares about the deficit, either.


From Nobody Cares About Process, except Democrats


Krugman is right about this.

the spending freeze

In his State of the Union address Wednesday night, President Obama will unveil a three-year freeze on non-military discretionary spending, according to a senior administration official.

The spending freeze is exactly what the GOP has been asking for. So what do you think are the chances that they will be positive about this? What are the chances that this will lead to some tiny bit of bipartisanship? I’m going to guess zero. This spending freeze will be spun to attack Obama on something. Probably something trivial, irrelevant or flat out hypocritical.

Lessons not learned in the health care debate

One of the meme’s going around is that if Obama didn’t waste time on health care reform and instead spent that time doing something else, that seat in Massachusetts wouldn’t have been lost. Absent from this theory is any list of things that Obama might have worked on that the GOP wouldn’t have tried to block simply to deny him the victory.

Conspiracy theory: Could the president take over the Internet?

Could President Obama, in the event of a massive cyber attack against government computers, be given the power to bring Internet traffic to a stop?
From: Scientific American: Could the president take over the Internet?

More here: Actually, Obama Doesn’t Want to Take Over the Internet

Can we now resign this to the meme dust heap with Cell Phones kill bees and Vaccines cause X?

Al-Qaida deputy insults Obama

In a new audio message, in fact, Ayman al-Zawhri, Osama bin Laden’s number two, has some harsh things to say about the president-elect. Obama is “the direct opposite of honorable black Americans” like Malcolm X, al-Zawhri says in the tape, according to the Associated Press.
Al-Zawhri also uses an old racial slur to describe Obama, as well as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her predecessor, Colin Powell, calling them “house negroes.”
Al-Qaida deputy insults Obama - War Room - salon.com

Looks like there was one group of people not fooled by the right-wing smear campaign linking Obama to terrorists. Actual terrorists.

It’s one thing to say that about President elect Obama. Or Secretary Powell. Or Secretary Rice. But I double-dog-dare al-Zawhri to say that about Oprah. Go ahead Mr Al-Qaida tough guy…say something about Oprah. See what happens. I triple-dog-dare you.

Change.gov

It took them very little time to get Change.gov up. Looks like they are going to make a lot of the transition public. This is a welcome change from the past eight years of opaque government.

Black Man Given Nation's Worst Job

WASHINGTON-African-American man Barack Obama, 47, was given the least-desirable job in the entire country Tuesday when he was elected president of the United States of America. In his new high-stress, low-reward position, Obama will be charged with such tasks as completely overhauling the nation’s broken-down economy, repairing the crumbling infrastructure, and generally having to please more than 300 million Americans and cater to their every whim on a daily basis.
From Black Man Given Nation’s Worst Job | The Onion - America’s Finest News Source

First joke of the Obama age? I’m looking forward to political humor that isn’t based on the president being a rube who can barely speak english.

Hitchens Unjumps Shark

It therefore seems to me that the Republican Party has invited not just defeat but discredit this year, and that both its nominees for the highest offices in the land should be decisively repudiated, along with any senators, congressmen, and governors who endorse them.
From Vote Obama - By Christopher Hitchens - Slate Magazine

Hitchens’ well written take down of McCain reminds me of why I read him the first place.

Biden

I kind of like Joe Biden. I think Biden would make a perfectly good VP. I think he would be an amazing Secretary of State. His problem is that sometimes his mouth runs out of words so his ass has to finish his thought for him.

Obama/Kennedy vs. McCain/Goldwater

If John McCain is running for George W. Bush’s third presidential term, as Democrats have suggested, Barack Obama is campaigning for John F. Kennedy’s second term.
Obama/Kennedy vs. McCain/Goldwater | Salon

Normally this is the type of political article I despise. Debate by analogy mixed with historic revisionism and a touch of baseless speculation. But sometimes, a really good writer can make it work. This is one of those cases. I see more Goldwater in McCain than JFK in Obama. The comparison seems to work pretty well. Well worth the read.

Clinton, Obama and McCain on WWE

Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton and John McCain will appear on World Wrestling Entertainment’s live “Monday Night Raw” (8-11 p.m. EST on cable’s USA network) but instead of smacking each other down, they separately will deliver some wrestling-themed stumping in taped messages before Tuesday’s Pennsylvania primary.
The Associated Press: Clinton, Obama and McCain on WWE’s `Monday Night Raw’

Just one of those days where the AP reads like the Onion.