Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Obama makes first post-presidency public appearance

Source: USA Today

"Three months after leaving the White House, former president Barack Obama stepped back into the spotlight Monday to encourage young people to become civically engaged while lamenting the increasing polarization of American politics. And he did it without uttering the words: Donald Trump. In his first post-presidency public appearance, Obama — while expressing concern that the current political environment is turning off Americans — notably managed to steer clear of critiquing President Trump and stick to the tradition of former presidents giving their predecessors space in the early days of an administration. … In the lead-up to Monday's forum, aides to the former president said Obama’s intent was to discuss issues with the students based on his own views and priorities that shaped his presidency. During the more than hour-long appearance, Obama spent most of the forum quizzing the young panelists about their ideas for getting fellow young Americans more engaged in politics and shaping policy." (04/24/17)


Greenwashing the Obama climate legacy

Source: Niskanen Center
by David Bookbinder

"The first Obama Administration’s climate policy was largely indistinguishable from George W. Bush’s and it fought having to regulate greenhouse gases almost as hard as its predecessor. Only after the 2012 election did it show any appetite for actual emissions regulation, and by then it was mostly too little, too late. As I previously noted, the low priority Obama gave to climate issues makes his policy legacy fragile. While his second administration took some steps to reduce emissions, only about half of it will matter — and, as discussed below, even that may be outweighed by their mistakes." (04/11/17)


SCOTUS: The nuclear option is not enough

Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

"Chief Justice John Marshall was nominated to his position on January 20, 1801. The Senate stalled, declining to confirm Marshall and pushing president John Adams to substitute someone else. The matter dragged on … for seven whole days before a vote. Marshall took his seat on the court less than two weeks after Adams asked him to serve. Two weeks in 1801, when news traveled at the speed of horse. Fourteen months in 2016-17, when news travels at the speed of light. What's wrong with this picture?" (04/02/17)


Goodbye, Obama

Source: Cato Institute
by Gene Healy

"As Obama's tenure comes to a close, it's clear his has been a presidency of enormous consequence. But his most lasting legacy will be one few — perhaps least of all Obama himself — expected. He will leave to his successor a presidency even more powerful and dangerous than the one he inherited from Bush. The new powers he's forged now pass on to celebreality billionaire Donald J. Trump, a man Obama considers 'unfit to serve as president' — someone who can't be trusted with his own Twitter account, let alone the nuclear launch codes. Perhaps only those incorrigible 'cynics' Obama regularly chides from the bully pulpit could have predicted this would come to pass." (03/01/17)


Auction brings $20-million-plus book deal for Obamas

Source: United Press International

"Penguin Random House announced it will publish the memoirs of former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama. The announcement Tuesday came at the end of an auction among multiple publishers bidding for the right to publish the books. Although financial terms were not disclosed, the New York Times, citing industry executives with knowledge of the bidding, said the opening offers for Barack Obama's book alone were between $18 million and $20 million." (03/01/17)


Trump's foreign policy: Obama's third term, Bush's fifth

Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L. Knapp

"Although elected president at least in part on his image as 'the peace candidate,' Obama owned eight years of constant war. He waffled on then partially reversed the withdrawal from Iraq negotiated by his predecessor. He stretched the eight-year Afghanistan war to 16 years and counting. He began or expanded operations in Pakistan, Libya, Syria, Somalia and Yemen, escalating even to extra-judicial assassinations of American citizens. On foreign policy, Obama served George W. Bush's third and fourth terms. Now Donald Trump looks set to serve Bush's fifth term and/or Obama's third."


Hypocrisy on executive orders

Source: USA Today
by staff

"Remember when Republicans were dead set against sweeping executive actions? Remember when they called Barack Obama an imperial president, and worse, for issuing a string of executive orders, presidential memoranda and national security directives? That was so yesterday. In his first 10 days in office, President Trump issued 20 executive actions, more than any incoming president in the modern era. And for the most part, Republicans have adopted a position of silence or support, conveniently forgetting their past practice of denouncing executive decrees as a threat to constitutional governance. Obama, for his part, issued 18 president actions (executive orders, memoranda, national security directives and proclamations) during his first 10 days in office. Obama's actions included measures on government ethics, waterboarding and a move to close the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (an action he was never able to complete during his eight years in office)." (02/04/17)


No comeback for torture — it's never gone away

Source: Empire Burlesque
by Chris Floyd

"Donald Trump used his first nationally televised interview as president to declare his firm belief that 'torture works.' … Gosh, it sorta makes you wish there had been some magical way for somebody — say, the most powerful man on earth — to have prosecuted American torturers during the last eight years, setting a clear, public example that such blatant evil would never again be tolerated in a civilized society. It's just so unfortunate that the White House and Justice Department were left empty from January 2009 to January 2017, and there was no one around to, you know, actually uphold the law. Darn the luck, eh? But of course, there WAS someone in the White House during those years — and he and his minions used torture on an extensive scale. " (01/26/17)


Obama's Cuba doctrine … and why Trump should keep it.

Source: The American Conservative
by Philip Peters

"Reagan praised private organizations that promoted citizen exchanges, declaring that 'civilized people everywhere have a stake in keeping contacts, communication, and creativity as broad, deep, and free as possible.' Government best contributes to this, he said, 'by not standing in the way.' He decried Soviet action in Afghanistan and repression at home, but argued that 'we must be careful in reacting to actions by the Soviet Government not to take out our indignations on those not responsible. And that's why I feel that we should broaden opportunities for Americans and Soviet citizens to get to know each other better.' For this, Reagan became the hero of the Cold War. And for following this same playbook when he took relations with Cuba out of the deep freeze two years ago, President Obama won the support of three in four Americans. He leaves in place a sober, realistic strategy that President Trump would do well to keep." (01/26/17)


Obama regime sent $221 million to Palestinian Authority in final hours

Source: Washington Post

"Officials say the Obama administration in its waning hours defied Republican opposition and quietly released $221 million to the Palestinian Authority that GOP members of Congress had been blocking. A State Department official and several congressional aides said the outgoing administration formally notified Congress it would spend the money Friday morning. The official said former Secretary of State John Kerry had informed some lawmakers of the move shortly before he left the State Department for the last time Thursday. The aides said written notification dated Jan. 20 was sent to Congress just hours before Donald Trump took the oath of office." (01/24/17)