Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Obama Praises Himself for Courage

Heh

“I actually think that the issue that required the most political courage was the decision not to bomb Syria after the chemical weapons use had been publicized and rather to negotiate them removing chemical weapons from Syria,” Obama said in an interview with Jack Schlossberg, the grandson of President John F. Kennedy, which was published Monday.

That decision has come under renewed scrutiny following last month’s deadly sarin gas attack on Syrian civilians carried out by Syrian President Bashar Assad. President Trump subsequently ordered the bombing of a Syrian airfield and criticized Obama for not following through on a threatened military strike after Assad crossed what Obama had said was his “red line.”

“Now, we know subsequently that some [chemical weapons] remained, so it was an imperfect solution,” Obama said. “But what we also know is that 99 percent of huge chemical weapons stockpiled were removed without us having to fire a shot.”

Actually, we do not know that 99% of the chemical weapons were removed. We know nothing of the sort. What we do know is that Obama told us that 100% of the chemical weapons were removed and that hundreds of dead Syrians dispute Obama’s assertion.

Trump Accuses Obama of Tapping Trump Tower

That’s a serious allegation. Given that he has access to everything the federal government has done, is there evidence? Given the activities of the Obama administration, I certainly wouldn’t put it past them. After all, this is the same administration that used the IRS and Justice Department to go after political foes.

President Trump exploded on Twitter early Saturday morning, blasting former President Barack Obama for allegedly wiretapping his phones before the election. He provided no evidence to back up the claim.

“Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!”

“Is it legal for a sitting President to be ‘wire tapping’ a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!”

It wasn’t clear what, exactly, Trump was referring to as he raged against his predecessor, whom he labeled a “bad (or sick) guy!” He also said a talented lawyer could make a “great case” out of the situation.

Obama’s post-presidency office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Yahoo News on Trump’s accusation, and the White House did not immediately clarify from whom Trump had “just learned” this new information.

Obama’s lackey’s defense is weak tea.

But Ben Rhodes, who served as Obama’s deputy national security adviser, rejected Trump’s claim that his predecessor had ordered a wiretap of his New York City office.

“No President can order a wiretap. Those restrictions were put in place to protect citizens from people like you,” Rhodes tweeted

I seriously doubt that Obama would have been stupid enough to “order” a wiretap. That doesn’t mean that his employees, working on his behalf, didn’t do it anyway to benefit their boss and the Democratic Party.

Trump has played this rope-a-dope game before. My gut says that he’s got the goods on this. Then again, speculating on Trump’s tweets is like trying to speculate on Supreme Court decisions based on the oral arguments… you’re almost always wrong.

Obama Forgives a Traitor

Help me understand this… Obama rattles his war saber at Russia over information they allegedly gave to Wikileaks about the Democratic Party, but he forgives a traitor who released classified military information to Wikileaks? I agree with this:

Manning isn’t a woman in need of rescue. He’s a soldier who committed serious crimes. He wasn’t a “whistleblower,” as many of his defenders claim. He just dumped hundreds of thousands of classified documents into the public domain for the purposes of “worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms” without the slightest regard for the lives of others. There is no excuse. Manning is a traitor who pled guilty to a lesser offense to avoid the full penalty for his crimes. He has received too much mercy already. Obama’s commutation of his sentence is a disgrace.

U.S. Deploys Troops to Poland

President Obama sure is making a lot of dramatic, far-reaching foreign policy moves right before he leaves office. If you think this move isn’t motivated by Obama’s selfish political calculations, just think… would he have done this (or slap Israel; or change Cuba policy; etc.) if Hillary had won?

U.S. and other Western nations have carried out exercises on NATO’s eastern flank in past years, but the new deployment – which includes some 3,500 U.S. troops – marks the first-ever continuous deployment to the region by a NATO ally.

It is part of a larger commitment by President Barack Obama to protect a region that grew deeply nervous when Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and then began backing separatist rebels in Ukraine’s east.

If we were going to do this, we should have done it in 2014 when Russia invaded Ukraine. It might have had a deterrent effect to stem Russia’s advance at that time. It’s too late now. All it does is set up political landmines for the incoming president.

Here’s how this will go down… Trump will pull back these troops because their deployment to Poland serves no purpose and aggravates Russia for no gain. Then the Democrats and media will jump on Trump and accuse him of being pro-Russia, a puppet for Putin, etc. Domestic political posturing ensues.

Obama Forces Return Of Refugees Fleeing Tyranny

I thought we were supposed to welcome refugees with open arms? No borders and whatnot… never mind.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is ending a longstanding immigration policy that allows any Cuban who makes it to U.S. soil to stay and become a legal resident, a senior administration official said Thursday.

The repeal of the “wet foot, dry foot” policy is effective immediately, according the official. The decision follows months of negotiations focused in part on getting Cuba to agree to take back people who had arrived in the U.S.

[…]

The official said the Cubans gave no assurances about treatment of those sent back to the country, but said political asylum remains an option for those concerned about persecution if they return.

Yet another handout to a tyrannical regime in return for nothing. A lot of Cubans yearning to breathe free will pay the price for Obama’s love of this Communist regime.

Obama Dismissed Political Appointees

So, there’s this

The incoming Obama administration has notified all politically-appointed ambassadors that they must vacate their posts as of Jan. 20, the day President-elect Barack Obama takes the oath of office, a State Department official said.

The clean slate will open up prime opportunities for the president-elect to reward political supporters with posts in London, Paris, Tokyo and the like. The notice to diplomatic posts was issued this week.

Obama To Release Terrorists

Americans will die for Obama’s ego.

One of the other recommended transfers, Bostan Karim, is accused of running al Qaeda’s improvised explosive devices (IED) operations in Khowst, Afghanistan, which targeted US soldiers.

Some of the recommended transfers have also vowed to return to jihad if they are ever released, according to reports from US military officials. They have also threatened to assassinate the U.S. president, kill American citizens, and attack other world leaders who are allied with the West.

Muieen Abdal Sattar, an accused al Qaeda member who fought in Tora Bora, has been at Guantanamo for 14 years and 11 months. While there he has ‘incited mass disturbances, assaulted and threatened to kill [Gitmo] personnel and made motivational speeches to ‘fight against infidels’ and to kill all Americans to include men, women, children, and babies,’ according to US military officials.

Officials claimed he has also issued several ‘fatwas’ encouraging other detainees to engage in hunger strikes and suicide attempts, and once threatened to cut off a guard’s head.

Others have vowed to ‘martyr’ themselves if released, and even while in Guantanamo, according to official military reports. Accused al Qaeda member Mohammed Bawazir reportedly agreed to be ‘a voluntary suicide operative’ in a suicide attack inside Gitmo, planned with two other detainees.

It is unclear where the detainees will be transferred. Obama has previously transferred ‘recommended’ Gitmo detainees to countries that agree to accept them, sending nine prisoners to Saudi Arabia last spring and another to Italy in July.

Some released detainees have gone back into terrorism. Four of the senior leaders in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) are former Guantanamo Bay detainees that were transferred to Saudi Arabia or Sudan.

Death throes of a presidency

My column for the West Bend Daily News is online. Here you go:

President Barack Obama is leaving office in the same way he governed for most of his tenure — in a classless spasm of petulant partisanship. Despite the fact that he was graciously welcomed to the White House with a smooth and inclusive transition by his predecessor, President George W. Bush, Obama is determined to frustrate President-elect Donald Trump at every turn.

Since the election of Trump, Obama has been on a spree of executive actions designed to ram through as much of his leftist ideology as possible. He has escalated his effort to undermine the law by commuting the sentences of another 232 federal inmates and outright pardoned another 78 convicts. Most of these folks were rightly convicted, but Obama disagrees with the laws under which they were convicted.

Obama has also been rapidly filling the bureaucracy with loyal leftists. Since Election Day, he has appointed more than 100 people to senior civil service jobs in everything from the Amtrak Board of Directors to key oversight panels.

Last-minute commutations and appointments by a lame-duck president are relatively common and have happened since President John Adams rammed through judicial appointments on his last day in office (including the famous William Marbury of Marbury v. Madison fame). Where Obama is showing his extremism is in unilaterally making sweeping changes to American domestic and foreign policies.

After 7 and 11/12 years of letting Russia kick him all over the globe, Obama chose now to poke the bear by expelling diplomats and imposing sanctions for allegedly meddling in our election. Irrespective of the validity or effectiveness of Obama’s actions, his decision to act now and let Trump deal with the consequences is appalling. There was no reason that America could not wait three weeks for the incoming administration to evaluate and enact a response to Russia, if necessary. There is no impending event that demanded immediate action. The only reason Obama acted now was to create political minefields for the incoming president.

Obama also reversed decades of American policy by stabbing our ally Israel in the back. The U.S. had long protected Israel from the anti-Semitic actions of the United Nations by vetoing anti-Israel resolutions. Obama abstained and allowed the U.N. to pass a sanction condemning Israel for their settlements and then sent out his Secretary of State, John Kerry, to issue a long-winded nonsensical justification for the betrayal. Obama’s action has laid a foundation for decades of attacks on Israel by people who cannot bear to see a democratic Jewish state exist in the Middle East.

Over the objections of local officials and residents, Obama unilaterally declared 1.65 million acres of Utah and Nevada to be national monuments, thus making it off limits to private development and resource exploration. In an admission that his action is unpopular and unjustified, Obama is already claiming that Trump could not legally reverse his declaration. It is un-American to think that a president would be given unilateral and arbitrary authority to perpetually wall off vast swaths of American land. Nowhere do we allow a single man that much power in our Republic.

Not to be restricted to terrestrial matters, Obama also unilaterally enacted an indefinite ban on drilling for vast swaths of the Artic and Atlantic Oceans. It is another swipe to try to shore up Obama’s radical environmentalist legacy for the sake of his ego while kneecapping our economy one more time before retiring to the lavish existence our presidents have come to expect. Once again, Obama and his lawyers are already insisting that the law does not allow future presidents to reverse his decision, and once again, nothing is more hateful to Americans than the notion of an omnipotent potentate issuing eternal decrees.

The silver lining is that the cause for Obama’s reckless and destructive behavior is that his tenure is coming to an end. Before the month comes to a close, Obama’s presidency will be over and we can begin to repair the damage.

Obama Sanctions Russia

You know, for all of the bluster and bustle, I’ve yet to see what the specific accusations are or any evidence to support them.

(CNN)President Barack Obama took unprecedented steps Thursday in issuing an executive order against six Russian individuals and five Russian entities in relation to what the Treasury Department said was to address “Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities.”

This is the first time the names of Russian officials involved in the hacking have become public on the sanctions list.
Obama also said in a separate statement that 35 Russian diplomats have been ordered to leave the country, and 2 Russian compounds are being closed under Thursday’s actions.
A White House statement described the consensus from the Intelligence Community that Russia’s meddling in US elections via cyberhacking as “unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
“Russia’s cyberactivities were intended to influence the election, erode faith in US democratic institutions, sow doubt about the integrity of our electoral process, and undermine confidence in the institutions of the US government,” the statement said. “These actions are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
The only accusation that I’ve seen was that Russia may have been involved in hacking the DNC, but the government has not presented any evidence of that for public scrutiny. But let us assume that that is true and Russia was involved… the DNC is a private organization. It is not a public entity, nor does it administer our elections. So at the very most, you could say that Russia hacked a private entity and dumped that information in an effort to influence the election.
OK, so that wouldn’t be cool, if it were true, but does that warrant the knee-jerk diplomatic break that Obama launched? And if it were true, would it be any less effective for Obama to leave it to the incoming administration to handle since they are the ones who will be tasked with managing it?
No, this was a crass political move by Obama designed to undermine the legitimacy of Trump’s electoral victory. Obama is doing more to, “erode faith in US democratic institutions, sow doubt about the integrity of our electoral process, and undermine confidence in the institutions of the US government” than Russia did.

Obama’s Massive Land Grab

Another FU from our president on his way out the door.

President Obama protected two massive areas in the American West on Wednesday, including a swath of southern Utah that has been at the center of a contentious battle over land protections for years.

The areas newly protected from development and various activities are the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah and the Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada. Both areas are owned by the federal Bureau of Land Management.

The actions further cement the aggressive conservation legacy of Obama, who has protected more land and water than any other president under the Antiquities Act.

But the designations are among the most controversial undo Obama, with strong opposition among local and state leaders.

Obama said in a statement that the designations “protect some of our country’s most important cultural treasures, including abundant rock art, archeological sites, and lands considered sacred by Native American tribes.”

“Today’s actions will help protect this cultural legacy and will ensure that future generations are able to enjoy and appreciate these scenic and historic landscapes,” he continued.

Obama created the designations using his unilateral authority under the Antiquities Act, acting with just about three weeks left before President-elect Donald Trump takes office.

Obama Reverses American Policy to Slap Israel on Way Out of Office

He is trying to leave as much wreckage as possible before he exits the White House.

The resolution reflects an international consensus that the growth of Israeli settlement-building has come to threaten the viability of a Palestinian state in any future peace deal.

It is a view strongly shared by the Obama administration, and for that reason the US reversed its policy of vetoing any UN Security Council criticism of Israel.

It is a decision that was taken after months of debate within the administration about whether and how President Obama might be able to define his position on a two-state solution before leaving office.

But his successor Donald Trump has made clear he intends to strongly support Israeli government positions, even making a highly unorthodox intervention before the vote by publicly urging Mr Obama to veto the resolution.

Egypt Delays U.N Vote After Trump Comments

The real story here is that Obama was reportedly going to stick his thumb in Israel’s eye on his way out by allowing the vote to happen. Trump’s action actually upheld America’s long-standing policy of sticking up for Israel in the antisemitic U.N.

Egypt’s resolution called for Israel to stop building new settlements, which it said breached international law.

It was to have been voted on in the UN Security Council on Thursday, but Egypt withdrew it hours before the meeting was due to start.

The United States, which holds a veto at Security Council, has traditionally sheltered Israel from condemnatory resolutions by voting them down.

“Israelis deeply appreciate one of the great pillars of the US-Israel alliance: the willingness over many years of the United States to stand up in the UN and veto anti-Israel resolutions,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier.

“I hope the US won’t abandon this policy.”

But there had been speculation that the Obama administration might change that strategy in the president’s final month in office and allow Egypt’s resolution condemning Israel to pass by abstaining from voting in the Security Council.

Earlier on Thursday, Mr Trump had urged the Security Council to defeat the resolution.

Obama Jabs One More Knife in America’s Economy Before Leaving

Gee, thanks, Obama. Way to confirm America’s reasons for rejecting Clinton.

Outgoing US President Barack Obama has permanently banned offshore oil and gas drilling in the “vast majority” of US-owned northern waters.

Mr Obama designated areas in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans as “indefinitely off limits” to future leasing.

The move is widely seen as an attempt to protect the region before Mr Obama leaves office in January.

[…]

Reacting to the Arctic declaration, Friends of the Earth said: “No president has ever rescinded a previous president’s permanent withdrawal of offshore areas from oil and gas development.

“If Donald Trump tries to reverse President Obama’s withdrawals, he will find himself in court.”

However, the American Petroleum Institute said “there is no such thing as a permanent ban,” and that it hoped Mr Trump’s administration would simply reverse the decision.

I’d have to side with the API here. This is the law that the president cites in this action:

1341. Reservation of lands and rights

(a) Withdrawal of unleased lands by President: The President of the United States may, from time to time, withdraw from disposition any of the unleased lands of the outer Continental Shelf.

Do you see anything in there that allows one president to prohibit all future presidents for all time from reversing Obama’s decision?

Me neither.

Of course the Lefties will sue when President Trump reverses Obama’s decision. As we have learned in Wisconsin, that is what the Left does now. They will sue over every law or decision they don’t like. I suspect that Obama knows that he will be reversed too, but this allows him to feed some red meat to his supporters while he still can.

“We can do stuff to you”

And people whine about Trump’s level of discourse?

“Our goal continues to be to send a clear message to Russia or others not to do this to us, because we can do stuff to you,” Obama told reporters at his final press conference of 2016.

Obama’s Conservative Beliefs

Ha! This from a man who routinely, and often unconstitutionally, used regulations and executive orders to bypass Congress when he didn’t get his way. Methinks his newfound love for institutional stability and lethargic Democracy is a hangover symptom from the election.

“I have not changed Washington the way I wanted to change it,” Obama said. “And what I worry about in our politics is people getting impatient with the slowness of democracy, and the less effective Congress works, the more likely people are to start giving up on the core values and basic institutions that have helped us to weather a lot of storms.”

The president added that while he believed in political reform, institutional stability was key to maintaining a functioning democracy.

“The one thing I’ve learned in this job is that I have really progressive policy beliefs but I’m more conservative when it comes to our institutions,” he said. “I’ve seen enough around the world when it comes to the results of complete revolution or upheaval that it doesn’t always play out well.”

Obama’s Legacy

Let’s hope this is part of the 20% of Obama’s legacy that he thinks Trump will reverse.

At Upper Cutz, a bustling barbershop in a green-trimmed wooden house, talk of politics inevitably comes back to one man: Barack Obama. Mr. Obama’s elections infused many here with a feeling of connection to national politics they had never before experienced. But their lives have not gotten appreciably better, and sourness has set in.

“We went to the beach,” said Maanaan Sabir, 38, owner of the Juice Kitchen, a brightly painted shop a few blocks down West North Avenue, using a metaphor to describe the emotion after Mr. Obama’s election. “And then eight years happened.”

All four barbers had voted for Mr. Obama. But only two could muster the enthusiasm to vote this time. And even then, it was a sort of protest. One wrote in Mrs. Clinton’s Democratic opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. The other wrote in himself.

“I’m so numb,” said Jahn Toney, 45, who had written in Mr. Sanders. He said no president in his lifetime had done anything to improve the lives of black people, including Mr. Obama, whom he voted for twice. “It’s like I should have known this would happen. We’re worse off than before.”

[…]

“He was real, unlike a lot of liberal Democrats who are just as racist” but keep it hidden, he said, his jaw slathered with shaving cream. “You can reason with them all day long, but they think they know it all. They want to have control. That they know what’s best for ‘those people.’”

Next President to Inherit Obama’s Failed Russia Policy

Like I said earlier, there are some real issues out there that are being intentionally ignored during this election. Remember that it was Clinton who was Obama’s Secretary of State during the “reset” with Russia. Well, it worked. We’ve reset it to about 1961.

The next U.S. president will inherit an increasingly fraught relationship with Russia in which Washington’s attempts to deter Putin have mostly failed. Moscow’s decision this month to pull out of a landmark agreement on disposing tons of weapons-grade plutonium, coupled with reports last week that Russia deployed new nuclear-capable missiles to Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea, underscore how Putin is flexing Russia’s power in new and often unpredictable ways.

U.S. and European officials are increasingly alarmed over Putin’s willingness to risk military confrontation and threaten to use his country’s nuclear arsenal over issues the West sees as unrelated and separate. That makes it devilishly difficult for the United States and its European allies to find an effective response to Putin’s audacious tactics that in recent years range from Russia’s annexation of Crimea, to its air war in support of the Syrian regime, to Moscow’s suspected hacking of America’s presidential election.

“It very much feels like we are entering a very troubled and dangerous phase in this bilateral relationship,“ said Julianne Smith, a former senior Pentagon official who oversaw NATO policy and a former senior advisor to Vice President Joe Biden. “The next president will face some big strategic choices,” said Smith, who now advises Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Europe and Russia.

President Barack Obama’s successor will have to choose from a range of unpleasant and risky options when it comes to handling a resurgent Russia, current and former officials said. A more conciliatory stance, aimed at cutting a grand bargain with Russia focused on Ukraine, would defuse tensions in the short term but at the cost of ultimately emboldening Putin. A more hawkish line — like the one championed by Clinton, who is leading nationwide polls — would risk escalation, with the chance of a military showdown in Syria or the Baltics.

 

Obama Signs Bill Mandating Changing Stations in Men’s Bathrooms

He does seem a bit obsessed with our bathroom business in his final year in office, doesn’t he?

This month, President Barack Obama signed the Bathrooms Accessible in Every Situation Act, or the BABIES Act, which requires diaper-changing facilities in male and female restrooms in public federal buildings, such as Social Security offices, courthouses and post offices. If these restrooms do not have changing tables, hallway signs must direct parents to the nearest facilities, the act states.
The law doesn’t cover restrooms that aren’t in public buildings, such as restaurants or retailers, and those in buildings that can’t safely support changing facilities.
Mounting more changing tables in restrooms seems like a small task, but the policy suggests a step forward in gender equality, enabling all parents to take part in child care.
Wait a minute… if gender-specific bathrooms are now taboo and it is perfectly acceptable for men to go in the ladies’ room and vice versa, why do we need a changing table in each bathroom? Wouldn’t it be OK for men to go into the ladies’ room to change their kid’s diaper?
Honestly though, I changed a lot of diapers with my kids and I don’t recall this ever being an issue.

Race Relations Worse Under Obama

This is indisputable, isn’t it?

Overall, 54% say relations between blacks and whites have gotten worse since Obama became president, including 57% of whites and 40% of blacks. That’s up sharply compared with last June, when 43% said things had gotten worse shortly after a racially motivated shooting at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Obama Faces First Veto Override

agree with Obama here.

Defying a seemingly united Congress and risking a public backlash, President Obama will veto legislation allowing relatives of the 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia in U.S. courts, the White House confirmed on Monday. Obama’s rejection of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act will trigger what seems likely to be the first-ever successful congressional vote to override his veto.

“The president feels strongly about this, and I do anticipate that the president will veto the legislation when it’s presented to him,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at his daily briefing.

The legislation never explicitly mentions Saudi Arabia, which was home to most of the 9/11 hijackers, but that American ally is widely understood to be the main target. The bill would change federal law to allow lawsuits against foreign states or officials for injuries, death or damages stemming from an act of international terrorism. Current law recognizes “sovereign immunity,” which protects governments and government officials from civil cases.

The White House has argued that eroding the legal principle of sovereign immunity could lead other countries to change their laws to permit their courts to try cases against the U.S. government or its diplomats and military personnel.

With all of the House and a third of the Senate on the ballot in November, it’s not surprising that all of them support a bill packed full of so many emotions, but it is bad law. Just think of all of the millions of people in other countries who argue that Americans engage in terrorism every time one of our highly-sophisticated precision weapons misses and kills a bunch of innocent folks. Do we want those nations suing our military personnel or our nation? Sure, they can do it now, but we can rightly cling to international law. We lose that grip if we do it ourselves.