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Old 06-03-2012, 08:04 PM   #1
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Thumbs down The Official "Criticize Obama from the Left" Thread

There’s a Cancer on the Presidency, Called Barack Obama

by ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Never trust a president who claims he reads himself to sleep with the help of Marcus Aurelius. That was Bill Clinton, who claimed this thundering imperial bore never strayed far from his hand.
Most certainly view with profound suspicion a president who professes to be guided in his conduct in grave moral matters by Augustine and Aquinas, two very different characters. Just as civilization would have profited if the rope lowering St Paul to the ground from that tower in Damascus had broken fifty feet up, a death in the cradle for Augustine would have spared humanity much horror from his poisonous doctrines on original sin and other matters.
Aquinas was a different matter. A jovial fellow, among other things he loved fresh herring, and when he was dying he asked for some. At this point a fishing boat in the Mediterranean hauled an unprecedented netful of herring and the unexpected catch was slated for a while as the second miracle required for Thomas’ canonization.
The excellent, astounding New York Times story by Jo Becker and Scot Shane published on May 29 and vigorously discussed on this site by Ralph Nader, says that Obama decided to take personal control of the White House’s secret and unconstitutional death list after reading Augustine and Aquinas. “A student of writings on war by Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, he believes that he should take moral responsibility for such actions. And he knows that bad strikes can tarnish America’s image and derail diplomacy.” Notice how the paragraph devolves rapidly from moral duty to pr.
Aquinas, using Augustine, defined a just war thus:
First, war must occur for a good and just purpose rather than for self-gain or as an exercise of power. Second, just war must be waged by a properly instituted authority such as the state. Third, peace must be a central motive even in the midst of violence.
Does the following suggest itself to you as a properly instituted authority:
Every week or so, more than 100 members of the government’s sprawling national security apparatus gather, by secure video teleconference, [to] pore over terrorist suspects’ biographies — PowerPoint slides bearing the names, aliases and life stories of suspected members of Al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen or its allies in Somalia’s Shabab militia — and recommend to the president who should be the next to die.
Then the baton passes to Obama poring over terrorist suspects’ biographies on what one official calls the macabre “baseball cards” of an unconventional war. When a rare opportunity for a drone strike at a top terrorist arises — but his family is with him — it is the president who has reserved to himself the final moral calculation.
See St Thomas in action:
Then, in August 2009, the C.I.A. director, Leon E. Panetta, told Mr. Brennan that the agency had Mr. Mehsud in its sights. But taking out the Pakistani Taliban leader, Mr. Panetta warned, did not meet Mr. Obama’s standard of “near certainty” of no innocents being killed. In fact, a strike would certainly result in such deaths: he was with his wife at his in-laws’ home.
“Many times,” General Jones said, in similar circumstances, “at the 11th hour we waved off a mission simply because the target had people around them and we were able to loiter on station until they didn’t.”
But not this time. Mr. Obama, through Mr. Brennan, told the C.I.A. to take the shot, and Mr. Mehsud was killed, along with his wife and, by some reports, other family members as well, said a senior intelligence official… When a rare opportunity for a drone strike at a top terrorist arises — but his family is with him — it is the president who has reserved to himself the final moral calculation.
Obama makes moral decision-making easier on himself:
Mr. Obama embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties that did little to box him in. It in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.
We’ve had accounts of presidents dooming people to death: LBJ or Nixon thumping the maps and shouting Bomb them back to the stone age. There’s an altogether different, chill timbre to the account of Obama as maestro of the death list. It clearly disquieted many in the host of on-the-record sources mustered by Becker and Shane.
Dennis C. Blair, director of national intelligence until he was fired in May 2010, said that discussions inside the White House of long-term strategy against Al Qaeda were sidelined by the intense focus on strikes. “The steady refrain in the White House was, ‘This is the only game in town’ — reminded me of body counts in Vietnam,” said Mr. Blair, a retired admiral who began his Navy service during that war….
And Mr. Obama’s ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron P. Munter, has complained to colleagues that the C.I.A.’s strikes drive American policy there, saying “he didn’t realize his main job was to kill people,” a colleague said…
Mr. Hayden, the former C.I.A. director and now an adviser to Mr. Obama’s Republican challenger, Mr. Romney, commended the president’s aggressive counterterrorism record, which he said had a “Nixon to China” quality. But, he said, “secrecy has its costs” and Mr. Obama should open the strike strategy up to public scrutiny.
“This program rests on the personal legitimacy of the president, and that’s not sustainable,” Mr. Hayden said. “I have lived the life of someone taking action on the basis of secret O.L.C. memos, and it ain’t a good life. Democracies do not make war on the basis of legal memos locked in a D.O.J. safe.”
Of course the more you get used to consigning human Power Point Cards to incineration, without constitutional review, the slightest form of check or balance, the stronger the psychic mechanisms of self justification come into play:
But the control he exercises also appears to reflect Mr. Obama’s striking self-confidence: he believes, according to several people who have worked closely with him, that his own judgment should be brought to bear on strikes.
The larger picture? The entire policy is insane. Every time a drone lands on a suspect al Quaeda leader and kills him and his entourage, the recruitment basis for Al Qaeda widens, the loathing of America deepens..
There’s a “growing cancer” in the White House, John Dean famously advised Richard Nixon. Beyond doubt there’s a “growing cancer” now, settled in the Oval Office, studying his Power Point Death list every week.
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:26 PM   #2
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Default Re: The Official "Criticize Obama from the Left" Thread

Yep - so much for change we can believe in

It's not just signing off on the attacks on individuals

A year ago the Obama administration unveiled its "International Strategy for Cyberspace." The document said, among other things, that "aggressive acts in cyberspace" may be viewed by America as acts of war. "When warranted, the United States will respond to hostile acts in cyberspace as we would any other threat to our country," which may mean the use of "military force." The U.S. "has no intention of sitting quietly while corporate and governmental computer systems are attacked with impunity."

Thanks to reporting by David Sanger in Friday's New York Times, we now know that President Obama, when he signed that document, had already "secretly ordered increasingly sophisticated attacks on the computer systems that run Iran's main nuclear enrichment facilities, significantly expanding America's first sustained use of cyberweapons." This was the famous Stuxnet computer virus, developed in collaboration with Israel.

To fully appreciate the hypocrisy, you need to read the more high minded parts of that 2011 cyberspace manifesto: "The digital world is no longer a lawless frontier ... It is a place where the norms of responsible, just and peaceful conduct among states and peoples have begun to take hold." Cyberspace must be "built on norms of responsible behavior."

So even as Obama was issuing a clarion call for a global norm against the use of cyberweapons, he was seeing to it that America violated that norm in spectacular fashion. Or, as Jason Healy of the New Atlanticist puts it, "The arsonist wants to legislate better fire codes." ...


Healy notes that hypocrisy isn't exactly a new thing in the affairs of nations. But, as he also notes, there are times when the exposure of hypocrisy is particularly costly. One is when you face the dawn of a new technological age and you're trying to establish rules of the road that will benefit countries like yours in particular. A reasonably effective global norm against cyberwarfare wasn't an impossible dream, but thanks to President Obama, it may be now.

According to Sanger, Obama "repeatedly expressed concerns that any American acknowledgment that it was using cyberweapons -- even under the most careful and limited circumstances -- could enable other countries, terrorists or hackers to justify their own attacks." I guess he gets credit for having the concerns. He'd get more credit if he had shown the wisdom to act on them.


http://www.theatlantic.com/internati...ttacks/258016/

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/01/wo...pagewanted=all

This will work out just fine as long as the U.S. has a monopoly on drones and cyberweapons - good luck with that
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:42 PM   #3
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Default Re: The Official "Criticize Obama from the Left" Thread

Lawd ha' murcy, you gone done and did it.

This thread will be something to watch.
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:56 PM   #4
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Default Re: The Official "Criticize Obama from the Left" Thread

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Lawd ha' murcy, you gone done and did it.

This thread will be something to watch.
not really. it will be EXATLY like rehashing threads from 4 years ago.
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: The Official "Criticize Obama from the Left" Thread

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Old 06-03-2012, 11:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Official "Criticize Obama from the Left" Thread

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not really. it will be EXATLY like rehashing threads from 4 years ago.
Not exactly

One player from that 2008\ season is mo longer a big fan of his old team

Whar was Steelers-Ravens for me in 2008 is a lot closer to a Pats-Ravens match-up today

Some of us thought the days of the unitary executive doing what Zeus deemed best were going to wind down - guess again
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Old 06-04-2012, 05:48 AM   #7
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Default Re: The Official "Criticize Obama from the Left" Thread

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Not exactly

One player from that 2008\ season is mo longer a big fan of his old team

Whar was Steelers-Ravens for me in 2008 is a lot closer to a Pats-Ravens match-up today

Some of us thought the days of the unitary executive doing what Zeus deemed best were going to wind down - guess again
Exactly. The fellow who wrote the article I posted, Alexander Cockburn, has long viewed the role of the Democrats as pushing issues that Republicans cannot push any further for electoral reasons... in this case the Unitary Presidency. He predicts - and I can't reasonably disagree with him - that privatizing Social Security and completely militarizing the borders are responsibilities that will ultimately fall to the Democrats. Obama does not strike me as someone fundamentally opposed to either action.
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:07 AM   #8
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Exactly. The fellow who wrote the article I posted, Alexander Cockburn, has long viewed the role of the Democrats as pushing issues that Republicans cannot push any further for electoral reasons... in this case the Unitary Presidency. He predicts - and I can't reasonably disagree with him - that privatizing Social Security and completely militarizing the borders are responsibilities that will ultimately fall to the Democrats. Obama does not strike me as someone fundamentally opposed to either action.
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:45 AM   #9
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Default Re: The Official "Criticize Obama from the Left" Thread

Wayne Allen Root's perspective...

Town Hall Alerts

Most political predictions are made by biased pollsters, pundits, or prognosticators who are either rooting for Republicans or Democrats. I am neither. I am a former Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee, and a well-known Vegas odds maker with one of the most accurate records of predicting political races.

Neither Obama nor Romney are my horses in the race. I believe both Republicans and Democrats have destroyed the U.S. economy and brought us to the edge of economic disaster. My vote will go to Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson in November, whom I believe has the most fiscally conservative track record of any Governor in modern U.S. political history. Without the bold spending cuts of a Gary Johnson or Ron Paul, I don�t believe it�s possible to turnaround America .

But as an odds maker with a pretty remarkable track record of picking political races, I play no favorites. I simply use common sense to call them as I see them. Back in late December I released my New Years Predictions. I predicted back then- before a single GOP primary had been held, with Romney trailing for months to almost every GOP competitor from Rick Perry to Herman Cain to Newt- that Romney would easily rout his competition to win the GOP nomination by a landslide. I also predicted that the Presidential race between Obama and Romney would be very close until election day. But that on election day Romney would win by a landslide similar to Reagan-Carter in 1980.

Understanding history, today I am even more convinced of a resounding Romney victory. 32 years ago at this moment in time, Reagan was losing by 9 points to Carter. Romney is right now running even in polls. So why do most pollsters give Obama the edge?

First, most pollsters are missing one ingredient- common sense. Here is my gut instinct. Not one American who voted for McCain 4 years ago will switch to Obama. Not one in all the land. But many millions of people who voted for an unknown Obama 4 years ago are angry, disillusioned, turned off, or scared about the future. Voters know Obama now- and that is a bad harbinger.

Now to an analysis of the voting blocks that matter in U.S. politics:

*Black voters. Obama has nowhere to go but down among this group. His endorsement of gay marriage has alienated many black church-going Christians. He may get 88% of their vote instead of the 96% he got in 2008. This is not good news for Obama.

*Hispanic voters. Obama has nowhere to go but down among this group. If Romney picks Rubio as his VP running-mate the GOP may pick up an extra 10% to 15% of Hispanic voters (plus lock down Florida ). This is not good news for Obama.

*Jewish voters. Obama has been weak in his support of Israel . Many Jewish voters and big donors are angry and disappointed. I predict Obama's Jewish support drops from 78% in 2008 to the low 60�s. This is not good news for Obama.

*Youth voters. Obama�s biggest and most enthusiastic believers from 4 years ago have graduated into a job market from hell. Young people are disillusioned, frightened, and broke- a bad combination. The enthusiasm is long gone. Turnout will be much lower among young voters, as will actual voting percentages. This not good news for Obama.

*Catholic voters. Obama won a majority of Catholics in 2008. That won�t happen again. Out of desperation to please women, Obama went to war with the Catholic Church over contraception. Now he is being sued by the Catholic Church. Majority lost. This is not good news for Obama.

*Small Business owners. Because I ran for Vice President last time around, and I'm a small businessman myself, I know literally thousands of small business owners. At least 40% of them in my circle of friends, fans and supporters voted for Obama 4 years ago to �give someone different a chance.� I warned them that he would pursue a war on capitalism and demonize anyone who owned a business...that he�d support unions over the private sector in a big way...that he'd overwhelm the economy with spending and debt. My friends didn�t listen. Four years later, I can't find one person in my circle of small business owner friends voting for Obama. Not one. This is not good news for Obama.

*Blue collar working class whites. Do I need to say a thing? White working class voters are about as happy with Obama as Boston Red Sox fans feel about the New York Yankees. This is not good news for Obama.

*Suburban moms. The issue isn�t contraception�it�s having a job to pay for contraception. Obama�s economy frightens these moms. They are worried about putting food on the table. They fear for their children�s future. This is not good news for Obama.

*Military Veterans. McCain won this group by 10 points. Romney is winning by 24 points. The more our military vets got to see of Obama, the more they disliked him. This is not good news for Obama.

Add it up. Is there one major group where Obama has gained since 2008? Will anyone in America wake up on election day saying �I didn�t vote for Obama 4 years ago. But he�s done such a fantastic job, I can�t wait to vote for him today.� Does anyone feel that a vote for Obama makes their job more secure?
Rights
Forget the polls. My gut instincts as a Vegas odds maker and common sense small businessman tell me this will be a historic landslide and a world-class repudiation of Obama�s radical and risky socialist agenda. It's Reagan-Carter all over again.

But I�ll give Obama credit for one thing- he is living proof that familiarity breeds contempt.
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Old 06-14-2012, 03:14 AM   #10
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Default Re: The Official "Criticize Obama from the Left" Thread

Obama would have to pick Jerry Sandusky as his veep to lose this race. Ain't gonna happen. There's only one way for an incumbent president to lose reelection, and that's to raise (or even just maintain) taxes on corporations and the wealthy. Bush Sr. was the last one reasonable... oops!, I mean stupid enough to try that. Won't happen again. Obama is a corporate wh0re for a reason.

That, and anyone who posts articles that refer to Obama as a socialist clearly doesn't understand the purpose of this particular thread. You can do better than this Vinny.
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