Tag Archives: Obama

Pentagon investigates itself, finds no war crimes committed in MSF bombing

msf-protest-kunduz-apOver six months after a trauma hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, operated by Doctors Without Borders (MSF), “was hit by a series of aerial bombing raids at approximately 15 minute intervals” the US Central Command (CENTCOM) issued a 120 page report and a 5 page summary of its investigation.

The summary states, “The investigation concluded that the personnel involved did not know that they were striking a medical facility. The intended target was an insurgent-controlled site which was approximately 400 meters away from the MSF Trauma Center.” see more…

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SCOTUS hears immigration case

Members of CASA de Maryland participate in a immigration rally outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. The Supreme Court has agreed to an election-year review of President Barack Obama’s plan to allow up to 5 million immigrants to “come out of the shadows” and work legally in the U.S. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Members of CASA de Maryland participate in a immigration rally outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. The Supreme Court has agreed to an election-year review of President Barack Obama’s plan to allow up to 5 million immigrants to “come out of the shadows” and work legally in the U.S. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

In November 2014 President Obama issued an executive order deferring or preventing deportation for roughly 4 million people. According to Reuters, “those who have lived illegally in the United States at least since 2010, have no criminal record and have children who are US citizens or lawful permanent residents” will be allowed to get into a program that shields them from deportation and supplies work permits. see more…

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Cuba: The final front in the Cold War

The petition will appear on the March 14 editorial cover of Publishers Weekly, which is one of the signatories.

The petition will appear on the March 14 editorial cover of Publishers Weekly, which is one of the signatories.

Despite the renewal of diplomatic relations between the governments of the US and Cuba, there remains an embargo on, among other things, books and educational materials. There is now a call to lift those specific aspects of the embargo. Nearly 50 CEOs and top executives from the publishing industry submitted a petition on behalf of the publishing industry urging President Obama to “lift the economic embargo against Cuba as it pertains to books and educational materials.” After submitting the industry petition, a second public petition was posted on the White House website. see more…

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Snowden, Ulbricht and the myth of a fair trial

12734092_10208984413271784_2823709359653599643_nIt was the first official event hosted by the Free State Project after the February 3 announcement that the group had reached it’s goal of 20,000 signers on the statement of intent to move to New Hampshire to “exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of government is the protection of individuals’ rights to life, liberty, and property.” Liberty Forum 2016 was part celebration of all that has been accomplished over the past 15 years by the nearly 2,000 early movers, i.e. people who made the move to New Hampshire for the Free State Project prior to the move being triggered, and part conference on how to move forward. see more…

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Top 5 stories of 2015: a year in review

2015-YIR-coverAs 2015 comes to a close, it’s time to look back at some of the biggest stories of the year.

#5 Asset forfeiture halted!?
At the beginning of the year, Eric Holder made headlines when he announced a new policy prohibiting state and local governments from using federal civil asset forfeiture laws for most cases. The DOJ’s Equitable Sharing program has allowed thousands of local and state police agencies to have seized nearly $3 billion in cash and property since 2008. Using Equitable Sharing, a state or local police department or drug task force would seize property and then have that property adopted by a federal agency. The agency making the seizure would then be allowed to keep up to 80 percent of the value of the items confiscated. see more…

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Omnibus spending bill violates your privacy

web15-blog-cisa-1160x768Many headlines recently proclaimed that Congress averted another government shutdown. Fewer headlines proclaimed that the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill included several “useless provisions” and provisions that are not directly related to spending. see more…

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The state of Bill of Rights

billofrights-redacted-2013I recall being told as a child that the Bill of Rights was added to the US Constitution to ensure that people retained certain rights. The Bill of Rights Institute writes, the Bill of Rights were written “by James Madison in response to calls from several states for greater constitutional protection for individual liberties,” adding, “Federalists argued that the Constitution did not need a bill of rights, because the people and the states kept any powers not given to the federal government. Anti-Federalists held that a bill of rights was necessary to safeguard individual liberty.” see more…

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Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is the most recent victim of war crimes

MSF bombingEarly Saturday morning, a trauma hospital run by Doctors without Borders (MSF) in Kunduz, Afghanistan “was hit by a series of aerial bombing raids at approximately 15 minute intervals.” MSF reports, “The main central hospital building, housing the intensive care unit, emergency rooms, and physiotherapy ward, was repeatedly hit very precisely during each aerial raid, while surrounding buildings were left mostly untouched.” see more…

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US military has international assistance in “kill decisions”

Catholics protesting drone warsThe New York Times reports “When President Obama declared that the American combat mission in Afghanistan would end on Dec. 31, 2014, becoming a training mission instead, exceptions were made for two situations: counterterrorism and force protection. The counterterrorism mission was intended to continue hunting militants with Al Qaeda hiding in Afghanistan, and force protection would allow for attacks on Taliban insurgents if they posed a threat to American or NATO forces.” see more…

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DC Court of Appeals refuses to rule on NSA spying; may be forced to

nsa logo - ILLEGALThe US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia dealt a blow to a lawsuit challenging the NSA’s use of warrantless surveillance, claiming the plaintiff did not prove standing. The Washington Post reports, the court “ruled that public-interest lawyer Larry Klayman, the founder of Freedom Watch, has not proved that his own phone records were collected by the NSA — and so has not met a condition of bringing the lawsuit.” The ruling sent the case back to a lower court for further deliberation on the issue, and did not address the constitutionality or legality of the program. see more…

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“Drugs minus two” is not good enough

2015-07-26-115708_1366x768_scrotPresident Obama recently made headlines for commuting the sentences of 46 federal drug offenders. That represents less than one half of one percent of the total number of drug offenders in federal prison. During the ceremony Obama said, “in some cases, the punishment required by law far exceeded the offense.” see more…

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NSA spying ruled illegal; what’s next?

nsa logo - ILLEGALIn some ways, 2013 seems like it was yesterday, and in other ways it seems like 2013 was an eternity ago. On March 12 of that year, the US Supreme Court issued a 5-4 ruling in the case of Clapper v. Amnesty International USA that the plaintiffs lacked legal standing to sue the NSA. Justice Samuel Alito wrote in his opinion, the plaintiffs’ argument that they have the standing to challenge the program was based on a “highly speculative fear.” He also wrote they “have no actual knowledge of the Government’s … targeting practices,” and “can only speculate as to how the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence will exercise their discretion in determining which communications to target.” see more…

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Who in the world is the US killing with drones?

Predator_and_HellfireFor the last several years US government has not only attempted to cover-up the death toll of drone strikes, but often has no idea who is being killed. This may not come as a surprise to some, given that NBC News reported in 2013 that, “[a]bout one of every four of those killed by drones in Pakistan between Sept. 3, 2010, and Oct. 30, 2011, were classified as ‘other militants’… The ‘other militants’ label was used when the CIA could not determine the affiliation of those killed.” That figure does not include those killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, or any other country in which the US military, or CIA might feel the urge to kill people with unmanned aircraft. see more…

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A pardon for Edward Snowden

snowden-pardonFor the second consecutive year, Edward Snowden appeared at South by South West in Austin, Texas, and once again, he was not able to attend in person.

Snowden, again, appeared via internet stream, this time to a select group of people from the technology and policy world.

The Verge reports, “Sunday Yokubaitis, president of online privacy company Golden Frog, described as a ‘call to arms’ for tech companies to foil spying with better privacy tools.”

Adding that “Snowden said that as policy reform lagged, companies should adopt more secure technology that could block surveillance altogether or make it too difficult to pursue en masse. A big focus was end-to-end encryption, which would mean no one (including companies) could see the contents of communications except the sender and recipient.”

One topic not discussed was in regards to the former NSA contractor: the possibility of a fair trial. see more…

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GOP digs in heels on DHS and immigration funding

GOP amnestyMany Republican lawmakers are digging in their heels in the fight to defund implementation of what they see as an executive overreach by President Obama. They’re so entrenched in their position that they’re acting as though they’ll allow the Department of Homeland Security budget to not be adopted. Which in reality wouldn’t have much impact on DHS activities, as approximately 200,000 of the 230,000 DHS employees are considered essential. The Chicago Tribune reports, “Most training, hiring, research and purchasing would be suspended. Border security, disaster relief and cybersecurity programs would continue uninterrupted.” In other words, nothing will really change, except that “essential” DHS employees will work without a paycheck until a budget is adopted. see more…

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It doesn’t really matter if Congress declares war against TIS

Senate Swearing InLast week, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced a declaration of war against The Islamic State. US News reports, “Paul’s legislation would repeal the 2002 Iraq War authorization, an action the Obama administration supports, and would set a one-year timer on the 2001 anti-al-Qaida authorization, which the administration currently cites as allowing the war against the Islamic State group.” see more…

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Are the Ferguson riots justified?

54744b9f61e5b.imageRemember this headline? Cop involved in Ferguson shooting has fractured eye socket: report

Yeah, that’s right. The authority submissives reported Darren Wilson’s eye socket was damaged when this whole thing started, and the adherents to police authority on the right plastered this false claim and this photo was circulated:
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The Poison of Democracy

Fisher Ames quoteOver the years, especially as of late, I have heard many people from many different political sides and affiliations, argue their specific point, belief, notion, whatever, in the name of Democracy.

Republican party, Democratic party, Libertarians, Anarchists, Socialists alike, explaining that their points of view, and their ability to share them, are part of the fabric of the Democracy that makes America so great!

Just one problem…

America is NOT a Democracy. We are and always have been a Republic!

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Drone war cover-up: Now in Yemen, too!

The US government isn’t the only government trying to conceal the use of drone warfare which has expanded during the Obama Administration. The Washington Post reports of a drone strike in Radda, Yemen that killed 11 of the 14 people in the truck that was hit. The Post reported, “The Yemeni government initially said that those killed were al-Qaeda militants and that its Soviet-era jets had carried out the Sept. 2 [2012] attack.”

Jason Ditz of Antiwar.com reported, this “wasn’t the first time Yemen sought to cover for the US in a massacre, and it likely won’t be the last. But while the US has avoided blame in the international media, at least sometimes, there is little doubt in the minds of drone victims that the attacks are US policy.”

The federal government has even tried to cover-up these attacks. The New York Times sued for disclosure and on January 2, a federal judge rejected their bid to force the US government to disclose more information about its drone war.

The Obama Administration made Yemen a front in the “war on terror” and ramped up attacks after the announcement of Osama Bin Laden’s death. In fact, Yemen is only one of at least six countries in which drone warfare has been used as part of the endless war which began under the Bush Administration.

Estimates report approximately 2,000 people killed by drone strikes in Pakistan, approximately 1,000 in Yemen and untold numbers of people have been killed by drone strikes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Somalia.

Most of the people killed in these attacks are civilians who posed no threat to the American government. However, the continued presence of American military around the world is actually creating enemies! Nasser Mabkhoot Mohammed al-Sabooly, the truck’s driver said, “If we are ignored and neglected, I would try to take my revenge. I would even hijack an army pickup, drive it back to my village and hold the soldiers in it hostages. I would fight along al-Qaeda’s side against whoever was behind this attack.” And Abdul Rahman Berman of Yemen’s National Organization for Defending Rights and Freedoms warns that the drone policy is a losing proposition, noting that “if the Americans kill 10, al-Qaeda will recruit 100.”

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Obama batting diplomatically against Turkey

August is largely considered a slow news month in political circles, so it’s interesting that the biggest story is about a photo of Obama holding a baseball bat while talking to Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan (yeah, that guy is so getting his Google love on right now).

Here’s the photo causing so much heartache among pundits:

From CNN: “White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked about the photo on Tuesday and promised get some answers but so far nothing.”

“The photo is getting quite a bit of attention in overseas publications wondering about “hidden messages” or the “symbolic meaning” of the president holding the baseball bat.”

A variant of the story has been circulated by most major news outlets, but the White House remains tight-lipped as always as this is obviously a nice way to let the Chicago-bred politician have a meaningful prop for the media to speculate over… instead of how many “official” trips were made on Air Force One during July that also doubled as fundraising or campaign trips on the taxpayer’s dime (this is called “the real issue” folks, look it up).

I don’t see the problem here. I short, we should be happy he’s making $10 phone calls to handle the office — baseball bat in hand — instead of flying out to Turkey and realizing there was no chicken dinner fundraiser on the way.

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For Obama, almost a free lunch

A Father’s Day photo op for President Barack Obama went sour after the tab had to be settled. Here’s the flowery notice by ABC pre-fiasco:

The “Fatherhood Buzz” campaign is designed to “reach out to dads with positive information through barbers and barber shops as a part of the administration’s longstanding Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative,” according to the White House.

“The more information we’re getting out there to folks about how they could take responsibility for their kids, make sure that they’re in their child’s lives, help support their mother even if they’re not living with the mother, makes a huge difference,” the president told the men over heaping plates of barbecue.

Explaining his administration’s efforts to support families, the president said that children with involved fathers are “are less likely to do drugs… girls are less likely to get pregnant.”

“That message is something that we want to make sure gets out there,” he said.

The president delivered brief remarks to the press before diving into a platter of ribs, collard greens, black eyed peas and rice and a corn muffin.

“We’re going to eat in peace now,” Obama said as the cameras were escorted out.

Aww, make sure you get the good political parts on camera before the one-on-one pandering gets going. Such a great politician we should all emulate.

Later ABC posts a new story that between Obama and at least those two (not to mention the entourage of security, government staffers and press) they managed to leave behind an unpaid bill of $55.58.

Apparently Obama keeps trying to prove that he actually can eat a free lunch.:

Amid the bustle of President Obama’s surprise stop for barbecue Wednesday the White House apparently overlooked one key detail: the bill.

[…] The bill for the president and his four guests was $55.58, but was left unpaid at the point of sale, according to pool reports.

The White House corrected the oversight and settled up the tab by the end of the business day.

Which means the owner probably called the White House and press to complain. I imagine it was a bit awkward.

“YEESH OBAMA, THIS IS HOW YOU TREAT A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER IN THIS ECONOMY?” Or something along those lines. After all it’s a BBQ joint, we know they work hard for every dollar and have to look at ugly fat customers with sauce on their faces all day long.

I would have called to confirm a quote like this, but I have no idea which one of the Google results is the actual restaurant. If you’re bored, feel free to call them all and ask them for free food and see how that works out.

Well, no free lunch for you on Father’s Day or any other day Obama. Please stop trying to steal from hardworking small businesses.

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Obama campaign logo in a beer

Spotted at the Washington Examiner:

Eric Reif, Senior Advertising Manager at Obama for America reposted the photo to his tumblr blog and wrote, “Witnessed this happen. It was magical.”

Beer consumed in massive quantities does make people stupistitious, which is ultimately great branding for Obama/Biden because he’s going to need lots of drunk and stupid people voting against their neighbor’s and own recreational drug interests a second time. The message is loud and clear: Keep drinking, democrats.

I’ll remind the Obama staffers that perhaps if their boss didn’t so rudely discriminate against a cousin of the Hop then their jobs would be so much easier when not posting silly beer photos.

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