Closing Thought–16Feb17

Obama Did It!

God knows that I was a staunch critic of Obama while president….but I will have to just laugh at the conspiracists have to say these days…..

One of the biggest jokes in the conspiracy queue is Alex Jones….I have a hard time taking anyone that cites him as a reliable source seriously….he is on the “shadow government” bandwagon…..

Furious about national security adviser Michael Flynn’s resignation, Alex Jones posted a video commentary this morning warning about the threats President Trump is facing from what Jones described as a demonic conspiracy out to destroy him.

While railing against a Foreign Policy article (which he misattributed to Foreign Affairs) about the Russian government’s view of Trump, Jones said that there is a plot to sabotage both Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin over their efforts to stop globalism.

Among the plotters, according to Jones, is Barack Obama, whom he accused of living in a “bunker” in Washington, D.C., where Jones believes he is personally directing and “recruiting with [George] Soros an army for a Bolshevik-style revolution.”

We all have seen the numerous protests that are sweeping the nation….anti-Trump protests that is….if you read any Right leaning websites then you probably already know that these protesters are getting paid or the better oner is Obama is behind them……

Fox News, fringe media outlets, and fake news purveyors echoed New York Post columnist Paul Sperry’s claims that former President Barack Obama is establishing a “shadow government” through his nonprofit organization Organizing for Action (OFA), with an “army of agitators — numbering more than 30,000” — to organize protests against, and to “sabotage,” President Donald Trump. Sperry has a history of pushing falsehoods, misleading claims, and anti-Muslim conspiracy theories. A similar claim about an Obama “shadow government” was also made on Fox by discredited author Ed Klein in December 2016.

Paul Sperry: Obama Creating “Shadow Government” To “Sabotage” Trump, And His Organization “Helped Organize Anti-Trump Marches … Some Of Which Turned Into Riots.” New York Post columnist Paul Sperry wrote that former President Barack Obama is creating “what will effectively be a shadow government” to “sabotage the incoming administration” with “an army of agitators — numbering more than 30,000.” Sperry claimed that “activists” involved with Obama’s nonprofit, Organizing for Action (OFA), had already organized “anti-Trump marches across US cities, some of which turned into riots.” From the February 11 column:

Source: Pro-Trump Propaganda Outlets Are Blaming An Obama Shadow Government For Massive Anti-Trump Protests

And now the Trump incompetency is all Obama’s fault….according to a Trump supporter……

The Trump White House is clearly leaking like a sieve, and right-wing apologists, like ex-Navy S.E.A.L. Carl Higbie continue to carry water for Trump by blaming the Obama White House staff leftovers. He was on with Stephanie Ruhle, who follows Morning Joe weekdays.

RUHLE: You think that maybe there’s people in there who are patriots saying, I have to figure out a way to get the truth out?

You’d think a Navy S.E.A.L. would expect a General to be tough, but not Carl Higbie, He is worried that people are picking on poor Mikey, the same guy from this appalling RNC Reichstag-style speech.

Higbie, by the way, is auditioning as a potential replacement for Sean Spicer, some say.

HIGBIE: Or people with crosshairs on Mike Flynn, you don’t know. we have enormous leaks coming out of the White House. this is indicative of politicos, Obama leftovers, we call them them we bes, we be here when you come and we be here when you go. The loyalists. Donald Trump needs to find out who is loyal, who is a political.

Source: Malcolm Nance Smacks Higbie Down: ‘We Swore An Oath To The U.S. Constitution’ | Crooks and Liars

Sorry I have a problem with all this bullshit.  I expect more from a group that demands accountability from others but not their president…..(there is a name for that)……

Americans cannot come up with an opposition on their own….they need someone to tell them what is wrong…..is that about it?

In 2008 there was the rise of the Tea Party…remember?

Was that a plan by the Bush2 group for a “shadow government”?

But there is a new kid on the streets……

Source: Pro-Trump Propaganda Outlets Are Blaming An Obama Shadow Government For Massive Anti-Trump Protests

This gets more humorous by the day and it has only been about 4 weeks since the new guy raised his hand…..gonna be a long 4 years….how much juvenile crap will the American people stand?

The Foreign Policy Legacy of Barack Obama

Barack Obama has left the building and in slinks the new lord and master…..and now he will set about to secure his place in history…but what will his legacy be?

When his rule began I told my readers not to expect too much change with his presidency…few listened and those then set about whining about the journey he laid forth for the country in foreign policy…..

Below is a wealth of links for those interested in the Obama foreign policy legacy…..read then you decide for yourself……

When Barack Obama became president of the United States, few would have guessed that he would be followed by an administration touting nationalism and protectionism. What happened? World Politics Review has compiled 24 articles that trace Obama’s foreign policy legacy and what it means for the Trump era.

Source: The Foreign Policy Legacy of Barack Obama

I was so critical in the early days that Daily Kos did everything but ban me from the site because I would not tuck my tail and follow them into the abyss….

I cannot wait until the Trump years are behind us and I can write about his legacy….that is if there is a world left to write about…..but that is a post for another day.

But guess what?  So far Trumpie boy is no different than the last 2 presidents…..

“Let me begin by saying that although this has been billed as an anti- war rally, I stand before you as someone who is not opposed to war in all circumstances,” Illinois State Senator Barack Obama said in 2002. Later in the same speech: “What I am opposed to is a dumb war.”

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.

Source: Trump’s Foreign Policy: Obama’s Third Term, Bush’s Fifth by — Antiwar.com

But the more I think about it….it may not be that difficult after all…..

Was Obama A Transformational President?

Some of the people I talk with think that Obama was a very transformational president….others think that the country went down the toilet under his leadership….me?

I do not think he was all that transformational…..his admin was very similar to that of Bush and that of the Clinton one…..he did give us a health care law….the problem as I see it is that it was too weak and controlled by the industry it was suppose to control…his signature trade deal, the TPP, was horrible in the vane of NAFTA…his financial regulations were weak at best…and thise are just the ones off the top of my head….

This all brought up an interesting thought….so I do what I always do….go looking for answers….and I found an article in the Politico that covers this question….

For weeks now, the impending departure of Barack Obama from the White House has inspired a run of paeans to his greatness, a flood of laments about how much he’ll be missed. Everywhere there are bouquets to his classy family, tributes to his avoidance of scandal, toasts to his decency, appreciations of his dry wit. Even his reading habits are cause for celebration: “Not since Lincoln has there been a president as fundamentally shaped—in his life, convictions and outlook on the world—by reading and writing as Barack Obama,” wrote the book critic Michiko Kakutani in a front-page New York Times story. (Really? More than Theodore Roosevelt, who read a book a day and wrote more than 30 himself? Or Woodrow Wilson, our only Ph.D. president and one of the leading political scientists of his era?)

Source: Was Obama a Transformational President? – POLITICO Magazine

Sorry but I do not see where anything got better for the people of this nation under the leadership of Obama…..well beyond the top 1% that is……

Now we move on and wait to see if Trump will be all that transformational…..so far it appears that it will not be so much….but it is early in his rule….we will just have to wait and see.

Be patient….we are told…..something we Americans are not that good at doing…..the country and the world are watching….

Obama Broadly Expands NSA Power

In the closing days of his presidency our president Obama has expanded the power of the NSA……and the chances of further abuses of our privacy…….a final shot, if you will…..

With just over a week left in office, President Obama has massive expanded NSA authority to share the personal communications swept up in their many warrantless wiretap schemes with America’s other 16 spy agencies.

The move aims to “relax” limits imposed by privacy laws by allowing the NSA to share raw data in a more or less limitless fashion with the other 16 spy agencies before the privacy laws are even applied to them. This is meant to get more eyes on the data collected.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who like Obama is out the door in about a week, defended the move, arguing that all the spy agencies will be bound by existing rules once they get ahold of and process the raw data. Privacy experts, however, note that the existing privacy protections aren’t great to begin with, and the expansion to so many different agencies just increases the risk of abuse.

(antiwar.com)

But there is more on this presidential move……

the Obama administration finalized new rules that allow the National Security Agency to share information it gleans from its vast international surveillance apparatus with the 16 other agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community.

With the new changes, which were long in the works, those agencies can apply for access to various feeds of raw, undoctored NSA intelligence. Analysts will then be able to sift through the contents of those feeds as they see fit, before implementing required privacy protections. Previously, the NSA applied those privacy protections itself, before forwarding select pieces of information to agencies that might need to see them.

Source: Why Is Obama Expanding Surveillance Powers Right Before He Leaves Office? – Defense One

Will any of this be overturned by the incoming president….or will these abuses be further extended?  All indicators point to the later.

The Obama Legacy

I have said all along that foreign policy would be the most important issue in 2016…..the problem is NO one of the candidates wants to talk about the issue seriously….instead we get platitudes, catch phrases and applause lines…..none of which really illustrates their knowledge of international situations.

Back in 2008 Obama was awarded the Nobel peace Prize because of his rhetoric…he had NOTHING as far as deeds but he talked a good game…..I said then that it was nothing but a PR stunt and that the commission would regret the awarding of the prize…..

And then everyone starting noticing that it was ignorant to award it to Obama…..

In his 2008 campaign, Barack Obama was, if not particularly ideologically committed, quickly branded as the comparatively antiwar candidate. It wasn’t a hard case to make, with Sen. John McCain (R – AZ) running an intensely pro-war campaign.

But Obama’s dubious antiwar bonafides were quickly embraced internationally, where he was heralded as a peacemaker of historical proportions and, in 2009, awarded the Nobel Peace Prize just nine months into his first term in office. He hadn’t really done anything yet, and the prize was seen as an advanced award for the things he was expected to do.

Source: Despite Nobel Peace Prize, Obama’s Presidency Defined by Constant War — News from Antiwar.com

Meanwhile back to the election of 2016……

……..presidential debate is unlikely to have much substance. It’s nothing new—throughout the presidential election season, concerns over personality and character have trumped even the pretense of a focus on actual issues. Donald Trump’s tenuous relationship with the truth makes this a particularly acute post-truth election but it isn’t the first one. Neither is it the first post-issues election.

When it comes to foreign policy, it has been decades since there’s been any kind of substantive domestic electoral debate. In the 2008 presidential election cycle, then Senator-Barack Obama got a lot of mileage out of his opposition to the Iraq War, when he was a state senator representing Hyde Park, one of the most liberal constituencies in Chicago. His primary opponent, then-Senator Hillary Clinton had not only voted for the 2002 authorization of the use of military force in Iraq but had also become one of its most vocal proponents, helping to forge a now conveniently forgotten bipartisan consensus.

Source: Trump, Clinton Foreign Policy Nonsense a Reflection of the Obama Legacy – Hit & Run : Reason.com

No matter the winner in November the legacy of Obama will dictate that our foreign policy will change little and that war will be the rule of the day for years to come.

So much for the change we all are looking for…..right?

The ‘Socialist’ Obama

For 8 years there have been some that keep calling Obama a ‘socialist’….first of all these people would not know a socialist from a libertarian….these are the knuckle draggers that hear something they like and will repeat it ad nauseum…..second if one has the mental capability to look at Obama’s economics then they will see that he is more a free trader than Trump will ever be……

How many comments will there be based on the title alone?

Barack Obama’s presidency had an action-packed beginning. Stimulus plans! Bailouts! ObamaCare! Wall Street reform!

All of that — well more than $1 trillion of government spending and a sprawling thicket of new regulations — was enacted within Obama’s first year and a half. Republicans skewered this agenda as “big government.” Plenty of them branded it “socialist.”

But in this, the final year of Obama’s presidency, and a year in which a self-declared “democratic socialist” came surprisingly close to winning the Democratic presidential nomination, the “Obama is a socialist” chatter is a lot quieter. And rightly so. Because a clear-eyed view of Obama shows not some power-mad redistributionist, but a leader pushing the sort of pro-market economic reforms that the GOP’s own presumptive presidential nominee should be suggesting.

Source: Why ‘socialist’ Obama is more of a free marketeer than Trump

Bu6t none of this will stop the mentally challenged from using the term…..by now it is no longer frustrating at the lack of accuracy….now it is just pathetic.

Why Obama didn’t bomb Syria in 2013

Okay it is not ancient history….but still history and one of those perspectives that irritates so many……(they will get over it)……

There has been lots of speculation why Obama did not give the order to bomb Syria back in 2013….most of which is coming from the GOP side of the spectrum….they use his lack of action as a sign of his weakness in foreign policy….and now with the 2016 election creeping closer I am sure that we will hear even more of the accusations…..

I admit it….I also offered up my ideas of what the president was thinking and why he chose not to go through with the bombing of Syria…..

Source: Let’s Talk Syria – In Saner Thought

Does anyone have a good idea of why he hesitated in giving the order to “take out Assad”?

There is a pretty good analysis of the situation and a fairly good explanation from PressTV…….

US President Obama’s reasons for backpedaling from his 2013 threat to bomb Syria were based on pragmatic and political concerns, an analyst says.

Source: PressTV-Why Obama didn’t bomb Syria in 2013

Just in case you happen to like to know the truth or at least a good explanation into the actions of the president…..we may never know for sure until the president makes facts known after he leaves office…..by then NO one will care for the election will be over and the politicos will have moved on to a brand new issue from which to speculate…..

With  Russia pulling out of Syria and claiming success…..if they were truly successful then the question could be asked, would the US be able to claim success if they had started their campaign earlier?