Found here. Short version: Barack Obama ain’t nobody special. At least, that’s what Democrats are now admitting.
This story via the New York Times is… this is one of those times when you have to take the long view, perhaps. “The White House will try to block the release of a handful of emails between President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, citing longstanding precedent invoked by presidents of both parties to keep presidential communications confidential, officials said Friday.” See, the problem here is that the White House has a point: Presidents from both parties have indeed long taken the position (I think, fairly) that they should be able to get unvarnished opinions from their advisers without having to worry about whether it’d be used for partisan purposes. After all, as the New York Times goes on to note:
President Bush has said that Karl Rove, his closest adviser, and Harriet Miers, his former White House counsel, among others, do not have to comply with Congressional subpoenas because “the president relies upon his staff to give him candid advice.”
This may well end up in a constitutional showdown. If it does, there is no question about which side should prevail. Congress has a right, and an obligation, to examine all of the evidence, which increasingly suggests that the Bush administration fired eight or more federal prosecutors either because they were investigating Republicans, or refusing to bring baseless charges against Democrats. The Supreme Court’s ruling in the Watergate tapes case, and other legal and historical precedents, make it clear that executive privilege should not keep Congress from getting the testimony it needs.
Ah, sorry: ‘conflict.’ That’s what we call wars when we don’t want to call them wars. It’s sort of a tradition, for Democrats: see Korea, Vietnam, and Serbia. At any rate: …and so it begins.
The White House will announce Friday that a small number of U.S. special operations forces will be sent into Syria, according to a senior U.S. official.
The senior U.S. official said that the forces will be stationed in northern Syria and work alongside groups with a proven track record of fighting ISIS. The move will be described as a “shift” but not a “change” in U.S. strategy against ISIS, the official added.
First, let’s set the scene.
The U.S. is killing far more people than intended in some drone strikes, according to a report likely to raise new questions about the Obama administration’s reliance on drones in its battle against Islamic terrorists.
The Intercept, in a wide-ranging set of articles on the U.S. drone program, reported that in one five month-period, nearly 90 percent of people killed by strikes in an operation in northeastern Afghanistan were not the intended targets. The news outlet reports documents detailing Operation Haymaker show that the campaign, that lasted between January 2012 and February 2013, killed more than 200 people, but only 35 were the intended targets[*].
Because that’s what State does, these days.
As the number of Israelis murdered during a streak of Palestinian terrorism continues to rise, the Obama administration sought to equate the sides and told reporters that, in its view, Israel is guilty of terrorism.
“Individuals on both sides of this divide are—have proven capable of, and in our view, are guilty of acts of terrorism,” State Department Spokesman John Kirby told reporters following questions about the spike in violence.
Now, I understand that people have different opinions on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). That’s all right. But what’s very important right now is that people not project their own opinions on this news:
Just days after the U.S. and 11 nations released a monumental trade deal that still faces a fight in Congress, Hillary Clinton says she does not support the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Speaking with Judy Woodruff Wednesday, the Democratic presidential candidate said that as of today, given what she knows of the deal, it does not meet her bar for creating jobs, raising wages for Americans and advancing national security.
Mind you, the Media is helping him here.
This is how a government official behaves when he knows, deep in his bones, that he will never have to answer for any sort of jackassery.
The U.S. Secret Service ordered hundreds of parents and their cancer-stricken children out of Lafayette Square on Saturday night, barricading the park for at least two hours and disrupting the group’s plans for a candlelight vigil to raise awareness of and research funding for childhood cancer, participants said.
[Quick note: they had a permit.]
Police officers and agents on the scene told some parents that the closure was necessary because President Obama had left the White House from an entrance near the square to address the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual gala.
Basically, the one where Obama told Biden that he’d support Joe’s running if Joe ran for only one term and had Deval Patrick as his running mate. It’s a great rumor – it’d start a three-way bloodbath in the Democratic party, for one thing – but I can’t buy it. The first part essentially screaming Hello, the Democratic party has lost all sense of higher purpose*; the second says Man, you’d think that the Democratic party would have more than two qualified black people to be Vice President. I’m just not feeling the oomph on this one, sorry.
*Which is true, yet not something you’d think that they’d admit.
It’s almost admirable, this ass-hattery.
Even when hosting the most ideologically sympathetic pontiff in his lifetime (climate change, Cuba), Mr. Obama cannot restrain himself. He cannot be civil and respectful, searching for common ground. No, he must include on the official guest list of those greeting the Pope at the White House, a transgender activist, an openly gay Episcopal bishop, and a nun who supported Obamacare despite its funding of abortion and contraception.
Not to mention, amazing. It’s like Barack Obama wants to never be able to take full advantage of his position. Or something like that. I understand that people think that President Obama will continue to have influence, once he’s no longer President; but I would note that the effective use of power is a skill. And Barack Obama is remarkably unskilled at anything except shutting up, and letting other people do the work.
American interventionism can have terrible consequences, as the Iraq war has demonstrated. But American non-interventionism can be equally devastating, as Syria illustrates.
Stop. Freeze-frame. Rewind. Look at those two sentences. Also look at that word ‘equally,’ which means that the author of this piece wants his readers to conclude that there are two separate military situations here, each one of which was, well, equally disastrous. (more…)
I’ve long held the opinion that this administration, when it wants to be competent in foreign affairs, actively attempts to imitate the last administration. Because – and this will come as a shock to the folks who have been drinking too deeply from the antiwar movement’s poisoned wells – the last administration actually was competent at foreign affairs*. Which would be great, except that this administration doesn’t actually know what the last administration is like – so it imitates the fever-dream version of the Bush administration, and then wonders why things keep turning to crud.
Case in point: “More than 50 intelligence analysts working out of the U.S. military’s Central Command have formally complained that their reports on ISIS and al Qaeda’s branch in Syria were being inappropriately altered by senior officials, The Daily Beast has learned.” Although contra the Daily Beast, this situation is not particularly like what happened in 2003. What happened in 2003 was, essentially, that George W. Bush decided to take no chances in trusting the good intentions of an uncontrollable dictator. What’s happening now is that the military cadre that interacts with the Executive Branch is too ready to tell the Executive Branch what it wants to hear, and the Executive Branch is collectively too arrogant – or just too stupid – to realize that this is happening. (more…)