Tag: Barack Obama (page 4)

Two Coups, and a Cuckoo Condemnation of Obama

The New York Times is currently hosting a thunderous editorial by Mark Weisbrot about Barack Obama's "failure" in Latin America. Obama has done "worse than Bush." Hopes have been dashed!

The occasion of this over-the-top indictment is the military coup which overthrew President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras on June 28, 2009. According to the Times editorial, President Obama should have condemned this coup immediately! Immediately!

Instead he waited almost a week.


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Obama/Gates/Crowley: Relevant Statutes, Case Law, and Model Code

The first stop on this road is the original police report, and this is the section that directly recounts the arrest.


There are several critical elements in this account which bring it into conformity with the "definition" of disorderly conduct, which comes in three layers:

  1. Statutes
  2. Case law
  3. Model code

The most important layer is the model code, which is likely to be totally unfamiliar to almost everybody, so we might as well start there.

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Obama Gets It Right, Where Condi Got It Wrong With Iran

Way back in May 2005, less than a month before Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected President of Iran, the barking idiot Condoleeza Rice was prancing around the Middle East and threatening Iran with the sort of "major changes" which the United States had already inflicted on Afghanistan and Iraq.

"The Iranians should not consider themselves immune from the major changes that are going on in the region, and we would hope that they would begin to engage in more stabilizing behavior," said Rice, speaking after a meeting with Kuwaiti's foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed al-Sabah.

Iranians voters, who were about to choose between the violently anti-American Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the much more conciliatory Mohammad Khatami, and the centrist Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, immediately understood that Condoleeza Rice was sending them a message!

"Elect that hard-liner Ahmadinejad and the biggest bully on the block will open a can of whip-ass on your sorry Islamic butts!"

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Obama, John Rawls, and a Defense of the Unreasonable

Cross-posted from ProgressiveHistorians

If you want to understand President Obama's soul, read his books.  But if you want to understand his beliefs, read John Rawls.  The Harvard academic, who died in 2002, was the most important philosopher of liberalism in the twentieth century, mostly because, in so many ways, Rawls' ideas describe the world we live in.  That has never been more true than today, when our President has, consciously or unconsciously, exalted Rawlsian ideas to the position of the greatest possible good.

Care to hear more about this explanatory model that is so central to Obama's thought, whether he acknowledges the influence or not?  Read on.

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Our Romantic President

Props to President Obama for taking Michelle out on a romantic date to New York last night.

It was exciting not just for the Obamas, but for the New Yorkers who got to view them, the restaurant chef and staff who served them, the diners in the restaurant who applauded as they left, the actors in the Broadway show they attended --- and the one that struck me the most, the surprised guy sitting next to Obama at the play. [More...]

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How Cheney and the Times Framed Obama

The Times supplies its story with a screaming headline...

Banned Techniques Yielded `High Value Information,' Memo Says

Torture works! Who knew?

The source of this garbage is Admiral Dennis Blair, who is deeply committed to giving everybody who tortured detainees a free pass.

"I like to think I would not have approved those methods in the past," he wrote, "but I do not fault those who made the decisions at that time, and I will absolutely defend those who carried out the interrogations within the orders they were given."

So it isn't exactly big news that this guy would claim his top-secret records prove that torture really works, and we're all so much safer because a few raggedy Arabs were (half) drowned, frozen, humiliated, beaten, kicked, suffocated, sleep-deprived, isolated, chained up like pretzels for days at a time and forced to poop and pee all over themselves, while their families were arrested, threatened, tortured, deported, and dispossessed.


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Our Consumer Plutocracy

 We Americans dwell in a consumer plutocracy, and the plutocrats don't even bother to be cute about it any more. Barack Obama, hailed by the geniuses of new media as a populist saviour, has surrounded himself with a team that was already bought and paid for by the financial services industry before they ever walked into the White House.

Larry Summers collected $5.2 million last year from his part-time job with a hedge fund.

$5.2 million for a part-time job!

One day per week!

"And just in case you ever get a big job in Washington, Larry, remember who your friends are!"

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Obama: Corruption We Can Believe In

Glenn Greenwald has recently posted a very abstract jeremiad about our corrupt "establishment," with multiple concurring citations from Atrios, Paul Krugman, Matt Taibbi, Armando, (Big Tent Democrat on TalkLeft), and even Eliot Spitzer, recently returned from the dead by a collective realization that he was right about everything.

Our "establishment" is corrupt, and public outrage about the AIG bonuses is a very good thing, because it scares the corrupt "elite," and fear is the only force that can control those monsters.

This is only half right, as far as it goes, but it doesn't go quite far enough, and stops at a politically safe distance from the Oval Office, which is exactly where the buck is supposed to stop, and where Barack Obama continues to enable and support the most corrupt financial "establishment" since exactly the same corrupt "establishment" produced the Great Depression.

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Obama: Gitmo Will Take Time to Close

During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama said he would close Guantanamo during his first 100 days in office. This morning, on ABC's This Week with Stephanopoulos, he backtracked:

"It is more difficult than I think a lot of people realize," the President-elect explained. "Part of the challenge that you have is that you have a bunch of folks that have been detained, many of whom who may be very dangerous who have not been put on trial or have not gone through some adjudication. And some of the evidence against them may be tainted even though it's true.

And so how to balance creating a process that adheres to rule of law, habeas corpus, basic principles of Anglo American legal system, by doing it in a way that doesn't result in releasing people who are intent on blowing us up."

Shorter version: It will close at some point, just not as soon as he promised.[More...]

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Obama on "This Week": Everybody Has to Give

President Elect Barack Obama will be on ABC's "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos this morning. What's hegoing to say?

[F]ixing our economy over the long term will require sacrifice from every American and scaling back some of his campaign promises.

Or in Obama's words:

"Everybody’s going to have to give. Everybody’s going to have to have some skin in the game," Obama said.

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Obama's Options for the Israel-Gaza Conflict

President Elect Barack Obama's support for Israel grew during the course of the campaign. This weekend he received briefings from Bush's Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice. In three weeks, he will be President and shortly thereafter, Hillary Clinton will be Secretary of State.

David Axlerod, on Face the Nation today, was asked what Obama's response to the crisis would be. He waffled a bit, noting that it would inappropriate for Obama to take a strong position while Bush was still President, but repeated what Obama had said when visiting Israel this summer:

“If somebody was sending rockets into my house, where my two daughters sleep at night, I’m going to do everything in my power to stop that,” he told reporters in Sderot, a small city on the edge of Gaza that has been hit repeatedly by rocket fire. “And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.”

So, what will Obama do once he is President? The New York Times lays out two options: [More...]

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Another Change You Won't See From Obama

From the time Sen. Barack Obama announced his candidacy, I wrote and wrote about his record on criminal justice issues, particularly with respect to our drug laws. I didn't like what I learned and said so repeatedly. While his policy positions and Hillary's were quite similar, the difference between them, I thought, was that he had spent a lot of time thinking about these issues and legislating on them as a state senator in Illinois. I felt, rightly or wrongly, that we least had a chance with Hillary to convince her on a few points since she hadn't paid a great deal of attention to these issues in the past, either as First Lady or as Senator. She'd be more of a blank slate. Of course, that's all water under the bridge. I only mention it because readers are bound to respond with, "Well Hillary wouldn't have been any better." It's beside the point.

On his website, Change.gov, Obama asked readers to ask a question about the policy change most important to them. The results: the number one question among 7,000 policy topics raised was legalization of marijuana. His response: No way. [More...]

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