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I wouldn’t want to talk about Obama either

smell farts1

These days it seems like the sippy-kup kidz of the Kool-aid Kingdom only want to talk about Orly Taitz or Levi’s Johnson, or they show up here and demand we issue renunciations of a losing candidate we didn’t like but voted for out of protest.  But they sure don’t talk about Mr. One-derful very much anymore.  I can’t blame them.

From Glenn Greenwald at Salon:

The American Propsect’s Adam Serwer notes that, yesterday, Sen. Joe Lieberman successfully inserted into the Homeland Security appropriations bill an amendment — supported by the Obama White House — to provide an exemption from the Freedom of Information Act’s mandates by authorizing the Defense Secretary to suppress long-concealed photographs of detainee abuse. Two courts had ruled — unanimously — that the American people have the right to see these photographs under FOIA, a 40-year-old law championed by the Democrats in the LBJ era and long considered a crowning jewel in their legislative achievements. But this Lieberman amendment, which is now likely to pass, undermines all of that and — as EBay founder Pierre Omidyar put it today — its central purpose is to “legalize suppression” of evidence of American war crimes. (emphasis added)

Glenzilla goes on to describe how a historian would describe the first nine months of the Obama administration’s record on Bush-era war crimes:

In February, the Obama DOJ went to court to block victims of rendition and torture from having a day in court, adopting in full the Bush argument that whatever was done to the victims is a “state secret” and national security would be harmed if the case proceeded.  The following week, the Obama DOJ invoked the same “secrecy” argument to insist that victims of illegal warrantless eavesdropping must be barred from a day in court, and when the Obama administration lost that argument, they engaged in a serious of extraordinarymanuevers to avoid complying with the court’s order that the case proceed, to the point where the GOP-appointed federal judge threatened the Government with sanctions for noncomplianceTwo weeks later, “the Obama administration, siding with former President George W. Bush, [tried] to kill a lawsuit that seeks to recover what could be millions of missing White House e-mails.”

In April, the Obama DOJ, in order to demand dismissal of a lawsuit brought against Bush officials for illegal spying on Americans, not only invoked the Bush/Cheney “state secrets” theory, but also invented a brand new “sovereign immunity” claim to insist Bush officials are immune from consequences for illegal domestic spying.  The same month — in the case brought by torture victims — an appeals court ruled against the Obama DOJ on its “secrecy” claims, yet the administration vowed to keep appealing to prevent any judicial review of the interrogation program.  In responses to these abuses, a handful of Democratic legislators re-introduced Bush-era legislation to restrict the President from asserting “state secrets” claims to dismiss lawsuits, but it stalled in Congress all year.  At the end of April and then again in August, the administration did respond to a FOIA lawsuit seeking the release of torture documents by releasing some of those documents, emphasizing that they had no choice in light of clear legal requirements.

In May, after the British High Court ruled that a torture victim had the right to obtain evidence in the possession of British intelligence agencies documeting the CIA’s abuse of him, the Obama administration threatened that it would cut off intelligence-sharing with Britain if the court revealed those facts, causing the court to conceal them.  Also in May, Obama announced he had changed his mind and would fight– rather than comply with — two separate, unanimous court orders compelling the disclosure of Bush-era torture photos, and weeks later, vowed he would do anything (including issue an Executive Order or support a new FISA exemption) to prevent disclosure of those photos even if he lost again, this time in the Supreme Court.  In June, the administration “objected to the release of certain Bush-era documents that detail the videotaped interrogations of CIA detainees at secret prisons, arguing to a federal judge that doing so would endanger national security.”  In August, Obama Attorney General Eric Holder announced that while some rogue torturers may be subject to prosecution, any Bush officials who relied on Bush DOJ torture memos will “be protected from legal jeopardy.”  And all year long, the Obama DOJ fought (unsuccessfully) to keep encaged at Guantanamo a man whom Bush officials had tortured while knowing he was innocent.

CNN sure didn’t mention any of that when they were fact-checking Saturday Night Live.

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68 Responses

  1. “This is not the Obama they knew.”

    Frikkin idiots.

  2. The sad thing is that doing nothing would be better than what he’s actually done.

  3. “But he’s a much more popular president than Paris and Britney would have been.”

  4. OT: What a difference a year makes…

    In the two days since the National Republican Congressional Committee said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) should be “put in her place” for her comments on Afghanistan, not a single Republican female lawmaker has weighed in on the matter.


    cf. Pelosi in June ’08:

    “I’m a victim of sexism myself all the time, but I just think it goes with the territory. I myself find that I get a tremendous upside being a woman, and I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about sexist remarks that people make.”

    It’s GREAT that so many of Pelosi’s Democratic colleagues don’t think the hateful “put the woman in her place” language used against her by Republicans should “just go with the territory.” That’s the way it should be. Sadly, the Dem party as a whole didn’t think it was necessary to push back immediately against the use of this kind of rhetoric against a Democratic woman in a Democratic primary and against a GOP woman in a general election.

  5. So what the Obama admin and the DOJ seems to be saying is, “Nixon was right… it’s not a crime if the president does it.”

  6. Oh yeah…they’re coming from everyone BUT them.

    • besides Glenn Beck endorsed Obama over McCain … now that says something

    • It’d be one thing if they were honest about Obama’s flaws and hadn’t gone scorched earth of all scorched earth. But they did. Obama wasn’t a deeply, deeply flawed candidate they preferred for whatever reason, he was the sun, the moon, the stars. You stake all your credibility on peddling this swill, you own that albatross around your neck. And now, no responsibility is taken. They blame Obama, McCain, Hillary. Look in the damn mirror, O Elect. You demanded followers, then take responsibility for leading us off the cliff.

      • I was over at DU a few days ago to see what they were saying. Haven’t been there in months and was dismayed that there were kidz saying he was the best president of their lifetime….lol

        • If those kids were no more than eight years old, then they were correct. :mrgreen:

  7. Even sadder, Obama’s fans have no way of knowing the things MYIQ has just revealed. They don’t read much you know. Just repeat what they are told to say.

  8. Interesting move by the O Dream (Nightmare) Team on HC legislation. They are calling Repubs outside the beltway and getting them to go on the record in support of HC reform. Good maneuver–divide and conquer. Unfortunately, I can’t tell whether anyone should be voting for the HC legislation or even what in the heck it really is.

  9. Although probably not done intentionally, I love how at the end of the fact-check they show the clip that says “if I see any more of this hateful rhetoric, I will have to take drasic action… nah not really” and then it comes back to the woman saying “we reached out to get the White House’s reaction on this, and they wouldn’t comment.”

    too funny.

  10. Every totalitarian regime since time immemorial has used state secrets and national security to cover up the abuse of human rights, torture, their gulag’s, imprisonment w/o the right to defend or appeal—perhaps O is a student of history.

  11. This is OT, but I hope everyone will find it amusing.

    MSNBC’s most credentialed “journalist,” education-wise, is Courtney Hazlett, their gossip columnist. She has a master’s degree from the Columbia University School of Journalism.

    Their Political Director and Chief White House Correspondent, Chuck Todd, doesn’t even have a college degree.

  12. I just want to weep uncontrollably every time I think about how all this came about, what we are stuck with, and what we lost out on.

  13. Unbelieveable. Oklahoma has a new law going into effect next month that requires every abortion to be reported on line, with details.


  14. You have to cut CNN some slack, they’ve had their collective heads so far up President Platitudes ass that if they pull out too quickly they’ll strangle themselves on his small intestines ….it’s going to take them a little more time.

  15. WTF???:

    Barack Obama, President
    Grade: A-

    Instantly comfortable and highly skilled at the hardest job in the world — proving his supporters’ contention that all the traits that made him a great candidate would serve him well in the White House: even temper, cool demeanor, boldness under pressure, shrewd facility for managing personnel, unfailing instincts about when to delegate and when to engage. A handful of public missteps (particularly on his international trips and on torture issues) and a failure to ameliorate the partisan divide are the only true blemishes so far. Has ably balanced the spectacle and the grindstone — allowing the public to feel an intimacy with his life and family, while retaining a formal distance as he handles business.

    I would hate to see what a “B” looks like.

    • That goes beyond brown-nosing. Richard Stengel has shoved his head neck-deep up Obama’s ass.

      I thought his hair looked greasy on Morning Joe today.

    • Considering the kind of standards Obama’s held to, I’m amazed it’s not A++++. “He’s absolutely mastered involuntary respiration. Even when he’s sleeping, he continues to take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide with amazing regularity. It’s like a poem.”

      • That reminds me of the low standard the media had for Bush when he debated Gore:

        “He didn’t shit himself, so he won”

  16. Fraudulent art in the White House?

    (if you turn a Matisse 90 degrees and change the colors is it a new original work?)

  17. It looks like we’re going to have some more deathless moments in Trump’s boardroom:


  18. Thank you for linking to my piece. I will continue to critique what I consider abuses of federal power no matter who is president,no matter which party they represent.
    However,after reading some of the comments here,I must add that despite my criticisms of Obama on FISA,Torture,etc., I do not for one second regret voting for him and believe a McCain presidency would have been disastrous for this nation.
    Many times in the past year, I have pointed out a quote from none other than Noam Chomsky(who did not vote for Obama,but for a third party candidate in Blue Massachusetts):
    CHOMSKY: Well, I would suggest voting against McCain, which means voting for Obama without illusions, because all the elevated rhetoric about change and hope and so on will dissolve into standard centrist Democratic policies if he takes office. However, there is a difference, and it’s been studied quite closely by political scientists. There’s a strong difference over time. You don’t see it in any particular moment, but over time the general population, the large majority of the population other than the very wealthy, tends to do considerably better under Democratic than under Republican administrations. And the reason is sort of what you said: they reflect different elite constituencies, and the differences are quite striking and very noticeable.”

    • Nobody here thought McCain was a good candidate.

      We’ve said repeatedly that the choice last November was between “bad” and “worse.”

    • I refused to vote for either of them. It was the first time in my 40 years that I ever abstained in a federal election.

      I would have thought you recognized the possibility of Obama being a Trojan Horse for the continuation of Dubya’s policies after the FISA 180. On the issues most dear to you, that has certainly proved the case.

      I can’t speak for everyone here, but many of us recognize that the political divide–the fight for power–isn’t so much right v. left anymore. It is the moneyed classes v. the working class. Obama, like Bush and McCain, is on the side of the former. He is completely in thrall to big business and the Wall Street crowd. He doesn’t give a fuck about working people.

      I will say a couple of good things for the prospect of McCain having won the election. The congressional Democrats would have had to work to at least maintain the image of an opposition party. Now they can vote for the same things they would have opposed and justify by it saying they support their President. We would also have the hope of getting a good Democrat–preferably Hillary Clinton–elected in 2012. As it stands now, there is next to no possibility of having decent leadership in this country until at least 2016, when we’ll be in a much bigger hole.

    • I’m having difficulty understanding how some one whose leadership is turning independents back to voting for Republicans for congress and Senate is a positive thing. McCain would’ve been thwarted at every step and we’d have had another chance for real leadership in 2012.

      As it is now, anything remotely liberal will be rejected again. I’d rather have 4 years of McCain now than 8 years of Bobby Jindal or worse starting in 2012.

      That’s coming from some one who just voted McCain as a protest vote and no other strategy but that. The Obama presidency is even worse than I imagined.

    • There was a time when I would have believed that–ironically, back when Chomsky never would have suggested it, he was throughly spooked by Bush. I don’t anymore. I’m through with the Talmudic hair splitting involved in trying to parse the lesser of two evils. As we know here in MA, the magical powers of the letter D do not a Democrat make. And as we watch a made-for-TV corporate shill make a mockery of everything we stand for and laugh at us, it seems increasingly futile to continue going down this path hoping for miracles. At this point, it’s probably impossible to reform the Democratic Party. I hope that Obama is so throughly repudiated that an actual second opposition party arises to replace the useless shell of a center-right second wing of the Republican Party we have now–but as long as we settle for crumbs and illusions and frightening hypotheticals, I pretty much doubt it.

    • BTW Glenn,

      Stop by again. We’ll leave the light on.

    • I’m just not understanding how $800 billion (or is it gazillion?) worth of welfare to the wealthy is “considerably better” for us schmucks in GP. Chomsky is a chump. I am sick and tired of these blowhard “lefties” and their blathering BS.

      Somebody needs to start a “We want our money back” party.

    • I echo Dakinikat’s comments also.

      • Exactly. Obama is moving public discourse further to the right by declaring war on his own party. Granted, as Obama moves right the Republicans will move further to the right to outflank him, but not acnowledging the role he’s playing in moving this along is silly. Noam’s seen all kinds of Democrats, but he’s never seen anything like the Axlerod axis. Other Democrats, as inadequate as most of them are, at least have some core belief.

        • as far as I can tell, the only one’s doing well with an Obama presidency are the Obamas, insurance companies, and Wall Street investment bankers

          • Maybe Dems and Repubs used to represent different elite constituencies–but Obama would like to change that. There’s more $ on their side and he seems to be making a good run at it.

          • “And the reason is sort of what you said: they reflect different elite constituencies, and the differences are quite striking and very noticeable.”

            There are not different elite constituencies anymore. Are we really supposed to believe the financial channels are divided by a clean partisan divide? Follow the money–it’s all publicly documented, where Obama got his billion dollar campaign fund, and no, the majority did not come from “small donors” as they crowed.

            His behavior since taking office only confirms what we said all along. Summers and Geithner are protecting the average American? Only if your neighbor is an investment banker.

          • It’s like old school politicians–yes, they were crooks, but for every $10 in payola for themselves and their cronies, they’d devote $1 to public projects to keep up a good image in the community. Obama doesn’t even need to do that much because his voters don’t expect anything from him whatsoever, or if they do they’re in the overclass that’s getting results.

          • That summary is bad enough when I think it, but when the resident economist says it, it’s really depressing!

    • Problem: Chomsky was wrong.

  19. If McCain had been president, liberals would have correctly identified what was going on and called it by it’s proper name instead of having to defend it because it’s Obama. The shit they are calling healthcare reform would be called a K-Street handout to the insurance industries. Torture would be called torture. War would be called war.

    • Ding ding ding ding ding

      Granted, Congress is pretty much useless, but there was a chance they would fight McCain. There was no chance they’d ever do anything but rubberstamp Obama.

      • Our democrats in congress fight a President McCain?
        No a chance when there is K Street money to be had.

  20. I had my greatest laugh of today in the last post when DianaC demanded a FP post about McCain “defending” KBR. Apparently, DianaC didn’t watch the primary debates when Obama thought it was a GOOD idea to allow these controversial mercenaries to continue their nasty little enterprise. I forget now- how much are we paying for these thugs? OBAMA is defending his cousin Cheney’s dirty dealings. Maybe she/he should take it up with Obama.

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