Sunday, May 11, 2014

Why President Obama is a Dissapointment

"My administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration." 

Hollow words from an administration that enjoys press censorship and a president much different in theory than in practice. In 2008, the world wanted to believe him when he admonished President Bush and then Senator Clinton for authorizing the Iraq war. He once stated that the Bush administration " put forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we provide." Yet Americans find themselves nearly six years later, listening to Obama as he tells them they "can't have 100% security and also then have 100% privacy" and that "[t]here are trade offs involved," the same trade offs he once promised them refuge from. Deja vu...

When he was elected in 2008, the electorate was seeking a reprieve from unnecessary war, interventionism and the "Bush Doctrine", blind patriotism, "freedom fries", almost weekly be headings of contractors, terrible insurgent violence in Iraq, rising gas prices and a horrific recession. Obama turned out to be the same type of foreign policy hawk as Bush/ Cheney and to believe any different is willful ignorance. He did escalate the war in Afghanistan, authorized drone attacks in Pakistan, and Guantanamo remains open, even after he swore it would be closed a year after he took office. 

Obama proves to be just another president, but that wasn't supposed to be the case when your candidacy is predicated on "change". How is continuing what your predecessor started change to believe in? He has stated numerous times that he is fighting for the middle class, but median incomes are going down. Where are the infrastructure jobs, you know the "shovel ready" jobs to get America back to work? Oh that was in that turkey 2009 stimulus bill where there were not so many shovel ready jobs funded.  Here are my main issues with the Obama presidency and what I call his major failures.

Let's talk about his caver in chief leadership style. Obama's style is a mediator that likes to listen to both sides and find common ground to come up with a viable solution. It's the college professor in him, I suppose. Unfortunately, you have a bunch of idiots that love to thug their way to action and impose their will on the entire nation in order to get re-elected. Thanks to Professor Obama trying to negotiate with political terrorists, we got the sequester, the down grading of our credit rating, government shut down, 6 months of  debate of the ACA which cost democrats the Majority in the Congress and gave birth to the dumbest bastards on the planet, the TEA Party. What he needs are war time advisors much like Bush, to control messaging and not allow his enemies to control the story for a full 6 months before he addresses an issue. Obama and his apologists seem to forget the zero sum game tactics of Bush era politics that takes presidential destruction the singular goal. Especially when they tell you repeatedly that is their sole goal...

Another major issue is Obama's love and expansion of our surveillance state. 
Obama criticized Bush mercilessly over 9/11 post surveillance to spy on American citizens.  But after entering office, Obama has done nothing but ramp up all forms of surveillance, from meta data capture to wiretapping to recording phone log information of American citizens. Considering the man was a Constitutional Law Professor, somewhere he must have learned about our Bill of Rights. But like all Presidents before him, once Presidential authority has been given, it won't be given back, no matter the circumstances. 

Obama loves drones and his hypocrisy about using them. 
Remember why people voted for Obama? He didn't vote for the Iraq war, he wasn't elected then, but that's details. McCain and Clinton did. Obama showed disgust at their votes to authorize military action in Iraq and thus won the anti- war crowd. But years later, he has let the anti war people down, by expanding the drone war. Since elected, he has launched more than 390 drone attacks, 8 times more than Bush. Obama pledged transparency, drone attacks would increase and that they would only be conducted when there was a "near certainty" that civilians would not be killed. What his non stop drone attacks does is create a virtual, xbox, PlayStation mentality of killing. Plus, it's a great recruiting tool for the next generation of terrorists all the more willing to strike at the "great Satan".

Obama failed to change the political culture in Washington.
I thought that was comical when he uttered those words about change back in 2008. The throngs of people fainted and swooned, some listened to his speeches as one would listen to a song on their Ipod. He promised during his election campaign to turn the page on ugly partisanship politics and pass an agenda that works for all American people.  On another occasion, he declared that "the time has come to move beyond the bitterness and anger that’s consumed Washington….To build a coalition for change that stretches through red states and blue states….We’re choosing unity over division." We can blame a few people for this...Republicans for just being implacable from the get go, but Obama did not say, "I will change the culture, if the Republicans let me." Second, Obama's promise was impossible and a delusional wish, to think that he can get people with political agenda's beholden only to their constituents for the next election cycle to work for the good of everyone is insane. That's not politics, that's benevolence from Mother Theresa. Third, Republicans claim Obama did not reach out to them in the beginning when he was pushing for a stimulus package at the beginning of his presidency. True, he really didn't have to consult them because he had control of the house and congress, but still, it caused an atmosphere of rancor, distrust and political poison. When the Democrats lost one chamber, it made passing any legislation near impossible. 

Obama handles Scandals badly. 
The IRS review of political orgs, Justice seizure of the AP's phone records, and surveillance of the NSA are a few examples. The white house gave inconsistent and shifting explanations. Sure we can say it's not him directly, but once he knows about it, his explanations are just plain dumb. 

Obama isn't a liberal or moderate, he is a conservative. More like a neo- con to be fair to actual conservatives. There are several examples, such as rights to habeus corpus to detainees, torture, the Patriot Act, etc...I will compare what Bush did to what Obama did. 

 Bush suspended terrorism suspects’ right to habeas corpus. By branding them “unlawful enemy combatants” and by imprisoning them in Guantánamo Bay, his administration argued that they are not protected by the Constitution or by the Geneva Conventions, and can be imprisoned indefinitely without evidence or charges. The Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that Guantánamo Bay detainees do have the right to habeas corpus.

Candidate Obama said...

A constitutional scholar with a law degree from Harvard, Obama argued strongly against the Bush administration’s disregard for civil rights, calling them “the essence of who we are”: “As a parent, I can also imagine the terror I would feel if one of my family members were rounded up in the middle of the night and sent to Guantánamo without even getting one chance to ask why they were being held and being able to prove their innocence. … By giving suspects a chance – even one chance – to challenge the terms of their detention in court, to have a judge confirm that the government has detained the right person for the right suspicions, we could solve this problem without harming our efforts in the war on terror one bit.”

President Obama did...
Shortly after assuming office, Obama appealed a district court ruling that granted prisoners in Afghanistan the right to challenge the legality of their detention, adopting the legal argument straight from the Bush DOJ. This was well before his political opponents exerted public pressure to this effect. There is little or no evidence against a significant portion of U.S. detainees held on suspicion of terrorism, and many are known by the administration to be innocent.  In May 2010, Obama won the case in a DC Circuit Court of Appeals. 
Standing in front of the original Constitution at the National Archives in May 2009, Obama introduced a staggering new expansion of executive power: In addition to using military tribunals, the administration would now retain the right to indefinitely hold detainees deemed dangerous, even if they were known to be innocent of any crime, without charges, and without their day in either a court or a military tribunal. This was the first time in U.S. history that the executive branch asserted the right to imprison people indefinitely on suspicion that they might commit a crime in the future.
In 2006, Bush and many high-ranking officials in his administration stated publicly that they want to close down Guantánamo. The facility had become a PR disaster for the U.S., due to torture, homicides, and its very reason for existing, which was to escape legal oversight. There was, however, never any backtracking by the Bush administration on the legality of the practices in Guantánamo.

One of Obama’s first executive orders was to shut down Guantánamo (which Bush had also promised to do), along with secret CIA prisons abroad.  Obama’s strategy from the start, however, was to move Guantánamo detention practices elsewhere while continuing to argue for their legality. He was denied funding by the Senate to transfer Guantánamo detainees — into continued indefinite detention without legal rights — to a prison complex in Illinois, dubbed “Gitmo North.” The administration was more successful with the Bagram Detention Center: In May 2010, Obama won his case at the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, making Bagram – infamous for its own cases of torture and homicide – a new legal black hole for the administration.  This prompted eight major civil liberties and human rights groups to sign a joint letter opposing the entire closure. Guantánamo has still not been closed, long after Obama’s self-imposed deadline of January 2010. On March 8, 2011, Obama issued a new executive order, formally codifying the permanent role of the Guantánamo Bay facility in the administration’s policy of indefinite detention, and as the location for military tribunals. 

The U.S. PATRIOT Act, signed into law by Bush after the September 11 attacks and widely criticized as unconstitutional, gave the president unforeseen powers to monitor phone conversations and email exchanges, and to access personal files such as medical and financial records. It also gave law enforcement and immigration authorities greater powers to detain and deport immigrants at their own discretion. The PATRIOT Act also vastly expanded the use of “national security letters” by the FBI (and reportedly also the CIA and DOD). These are documents that can be issued by the agency without the approval of a judge, mandating the recipients to submit data and records pertaining to other individuals (such as clients or patients), and barring them from disclosing to anyone, including their lawyer, that they received such a letter.

In October 2009, Obama joined the GOP in pushing for the renewal of key provisions of the PATRIOT act, and of the law as a whole in 2010. After getting rid of the existing, inadequate protections of civil liberties included in the bill, and rejecting all proposed reforms aimed to protect civil liberties, the Senate Judiciary Committee, including nearly all of its Democrats, voted to pass the law at the express urging of the president. Many Democrats had vehemently condemned the law during Bush’s presidency. In July 2010, the Obama administration began to pressure Congress to rewrite the PATRIOT Act so as to give the FBI the right to access any individual’s Internet activity records without court oversight. In May 2011, a bipartisan effort by the leadership of both parties pushed through another 4-year extension of the law. The effort was spearheaded by Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, both vocal opponents of the law during Bush’s presidency. Meanwhile, some Democratic senators have voiced concerns about the administration’s interpretation of the PATRIOT Act, which they claim contradicts the letter of the law and further expands its scope, based on a legal theory which the White House insists is “a secret” from the public.

Bush hiked the nation’s military spending back to Reagan-era levels, and took the country into two catastrophic wars, one of them under false pretenses and in violation of international law. In a historically bad economic situation, incomparable to that of 2002 , Obama has surpassed Bush and and Reagan in defense spending, with the largest combined budget for the military since World War II. These hikes have been accompanied by constant, misleading statements about “cuts” in the Pentagon’s budget. Meanwhile, Obama has signaled imminent cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid  Obama has hiked the spending on, and use of, Special Operations forces, secretly deployed them to 75 countries, and extended de facto “secret wars” to Somalia and Yemen.

He extended Bush tax cuts through 2012, that benefited the wealthiest 95% of the country in order to extend unemployment benefits. Hardly a fair trade..He said that the tax cuts would create jobs, he was against NAFTA before he was for it and a crackdown on whistle blowers and journalists. Let's not mention he continues to use the ridiculous "state secrets privilege" started by Bush, which basically is a request to exclude certain evidence if it can be harmful to national security. The Bush legal team introduced a radical reinterpretation of this evidentiary rule, making it serve to bar any legal action against the Government, throwing out entire cases involving torture, arbitrary detentions, and warrantless spying on Americans. Immediately after Obama took office, his administration and the DOJ under Eric Holder adopted exactly the same legal arguments that the Bush administration had made, and have used them to discard unwanted cases against the Government. Obama has successfully continued to use the state secrets privilege to block any scrutiny of torture, arbitrary detentions, warrant less spying on Americans, extraordinary renditions, or of his assassination program.

I could literally go on and on about this...but you get the point...

With our permanent war on terror that gets pushed to the side due to Kimye, Beyonce', Jay-Z, which ignorant whore got kicked in the face on __________(fill in the blank reality show),  and now Dre's Beats by Dre nonsense, the Constitutional lawyer that sits in the oval office has expanded on the worst of the Bush administration and he has no one to blame for his failures but himself.

For all that drank his kool aid, he failed you and he should apologize every day. Life is like a box of chocolates, either it's full of cherry cordials that you won't eat, or someone has already eaten the candy and all you have is the aroma of chocolate. That is  the Obama Presidency, an empty box full of the aroma of what could have been.