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?

The Obama Conspiracies

I close my posting day with a little humor….well humor for me…..but I am sure that there will be someone, somewhere that agrees with most of the stuff below……

Since the election of Obama in 2008 there have been a wealth of conspiracies pertaining to his presidency……hey, I love a good conspiracy like anyone else….but most of these from the Right are just plain moronic and pathetic……

But please go to the infograph below and pick your fave pathetic conspiracy…..or make up one of your own……there is always room for more of these types of waste of time…….after all….If there is something you do not like, then Obama did it!

If you had a hard time keeping up with all the accusations then I can help…..

 

Venn diagram of Obama conspiracy theories

A Contribution to the Debate on President Obama’s Mideast Policies

I admit it…I have been a dick when it comes to Obama’s foreign policy but to be truthful I have been a dick to every American president in the last 30 years over their foreign policy choices…..

The answer to every challenge has been a bigger bomb or a drone or as a last  resort….. troops……there seems to be no other options to consider these days……..

I have been especially critical of Obama’s policies…..none of them show the hope and change we were promised back in 2008……and his Middle East policies have been damn right abysmal……GW would be proud.

Did President Obama’s policy to refrain from plunging the US into the swamp of Syria’s civil war proved to be the right choice?

The problem with this question is that it focuses the attention on only one part of the issue. The issue here is the general strategy of the Obama administration in Syria. US military role, promoted or rejected, should only be one potential choice in the proposed components of any strategy. Discussing the prudence of policies related to one single part of an approach, torn out of its whole, is misleading and reveals a deep misconception about the role of military power.

Source: A Contribution to the Debate on President Obama’s Mideast Policies | Middle East Briefing

I would say that the next prez could do better….but with the crop we have now……change is highly unlikely……and will be more of the same…..

Any thoughts?

The Last SOTU

Alabama wins the national title….now that ought to bring peace and prosperity, huh?

We should be so lucky….nope it is the last State of the Union (SOTU) for Obama……

Tonight’s big event will nothing but a victory lap for the prez….he will pat himself on the back and probably not give mush of an agenda for his last year in office….I mean why?  He will NEVER get anything like a real issue through our Congress….so why bother?

But if you must know what will be said tonight then maybe this will help…..I was going list the topics that I thought Obama might touch upon in his speech……..but screw it!  Read what The Hill has to say on it instead…….

Source: What to watch for in Obama’s last State of the Union address | TheHill

May I suggest that if you do not want to be bored to death for about an hour and then the follow-up speeches from other wannabes….then watch “My 600 Lb Life” or “Axe Men” or that spiky haired freak on the Food network…..

Me?  I have 3000 books….I will be fine….but thanx for asking.