Barack Obama Singing Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen – YouTube

via Barack Obama Singing Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen – YouTube.


Published on 4 Jun 2012

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Original Video:…
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Audio content is an instrumental beat made by Steve Shane (@steveshane) and Matty Trump (@mattytrump).

Barack Obama (US President) barack obama Call Me Maybe dub parody singing autotune Carly Rae Jepsen carly rae jepsen baracksdubs

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Obama’s Ugly Show of Presidential Petulance on

via Obama’s Ugly Show of Presidential Petulance on

by Jim Hightower

When the going got tough, Barack got in a huff, and then he got gruff.

President Obama has worked himself into such a tizzy over the TPP that he’s lashing out at his progressive friends in Congress. He’s mad because they refuse to be stereotypical lemmings, following him over this political cliff called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It masquerades as a “free trade agreement,” but such savvy and feisty progressive senators as Sherrod Brown, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have ripped off the mask, revealing that TPP is not free, not about trade and not anything that the American people would ever agree to.

It is a stealth power grab, written in top-secret negotiations by and for multinational corporations from the U.S. and 11 other nations. This raw deal effectively empowers these profiteering corporate giants to overrule actions by the governments of any of these countries — including ours — that protect consumers, workers, the environment and other interests from corporate abuse.

This gift to the Trans-Pacific Titans is going to expand the rules of trade deals of the past such as NAFTA, WTO and Korea FTA. A few examples of what we have to look forward to with this turd of a deal the president is trying to polish and force onto the American people are: more off-shoring of American jobs, which in turn leads to greater income inequality; higher costs for lifesaving and sustaining medicines; our environmental protections will be under threat of corporate attack; food and product safety regulations will be undermined; net neutrality will once again be challenged; Wall Street reform will be nothing but a memory; and say so long to Buy American initiatives.

Why an American president — especially a Democrat — would embrace this private usurpation of our people’s sovereignty is a mystery, but the great majority of congressional Democrats are not going along. So he’s been publicly scolding them (as though they’re disobedient children), huffily whining that they’re playing politics, “whupping on me” and making up “stuff” about how this deal allows corporations to challenge and even change American laws.

Yet, rather than offer any evidence that they’re making up stuff, Obama gruffly made up stuff about them.

By opposing the TPP, he prevaricated in a recent speech, the Democrats are anti-trade and want to “pull up the drawbridge and build a moat around ourselves.”

The president is on such thin ice with this ponderous giveaway to global corporate giants that his appeals for support have turned desperate, including this recent claim that TPP “is the most progressive trade deal in history.”

Wow, that’s a low bar! Does he mean more progressive than the thoroughly regressive NAFTA? Or maybe he’s comparing TPP to King George III’s East India Trading Company, which was such a bully that it sparked the American Revolution.

Indeed, Obama is doing some bullying of his own. He’s pushing the lie that such Democrats as Warren are lying when they point out that TPP would let foreign corporations sue the USA in corporate-run international tribunals to force our officials to weaken or kill laws that might pinch a corporation’s profits. “There is no chance, zero chance” of that happening, the president barked.

But, as he knows, it already has happened!

In April, under another trade agreement, his own administration was directed by a WTO tribunal to change — and essentially gut — a U.S. food-labeling law that dramatically reduced the killing of dolphins by commercial tuna-fishing fleets. Responding to public outrage over the mass slaughtering of the mammals, our Congress passed an effective dolphin-free law. But some tuna operations in Mexico complained that using dolphin-free nets hurt their profits, and the WTO ordered our sovereign nation to surrender our law to the dolphin-killing Mexican profiteers.

And just this past Monday, the WTO ordered the USofA to change its country-of-origin labeling laws, effectively saying our consumers do not have a right to know where the meat they eat is coming from.

By claiming that “no trade agreement is going to force us to change our laws,” Obama is either lying, or he doesn’t know what’s in his own agreement.

What a pathetic show of presidential petulance! It’s time for Obama to question himself — not his friends.


via – The Democracy Journal – Taking Action Against Escalation in Iraq & Iran.



First, Iraq. It would be a terrible mistake if any peace activists sit out the fight over whether Congress should authorize the next phase of the Iraq War. Currently many activists are insisting on a diplomatic resolution and are opposed to any Congressional authorization for the use of military force.

It’s better to support diplomacy while pointing out there is no military solution, while at the same time pressuring the Congress to clamp some constraints on an escalation, which threatens to get worse.

Citizen action matters when Congressional votes are close. Many members of Congress, haunted by memories of how voters retaliated for their earlier pro-war votes, are testing public sentiment before casting a vote this time around. As an example, consider retiring Senator Barbara Boxer, who now is expressing, “regret…for not doing more to rally opposition to the Iraq war,” and is feeling “discomfort” at the upcoming authorization. Boxer, on the one hand is a hawk that favors using the military against ISIS, but worries about an open-ended commitment which leads to the deployment of American ground troops. She can be swayed by voters in California.

House Democrats are worried about voter sentiment as well. They voted to train and equip the Syrian opposition by a fairly narrow margin of 114-85 when the president requested their support in September.

“No blank check” is the current mantra of the Democratic majority, even of superhawk Senator Robert Menendez, a chronic Obama foe. The internal divisions are intense, both within and between the two parties. A modest but organized initiative by the peace movement can help deny the president a war authorization or at least place serious constraints on escalation.

The worried White House says it’s even willing to change the language of its proposed Iraq War authorization. The core White House demand, in both military and political terms, is to show unity for its current bombing campaign against the Islamic State. Further, it wants to carve loopholes in its original proposal to prohibit American boots on the ground. That’s what worries wavering Democrats (and some Republicans), a possible replay of the “slippery slope” to massive escalations in Iraq, Afghanistan and multiple battlefields in the war on terror. The latest formulation from the White House, to prevent only, “enduring offensive ground combat operations,” has gained little traction in the deeply-divided Congress.

It’s at least possible that the authorization will fail, a historic reminder of the obstacles posed by the 1973 War Powers Act to an imperial presidency. In the more likely event that the authorization passes with certain restrictions on American combat troops, it may propel the Iraqi regime into an endgame. For example, the US is backing a “decisive” spring offensive to take back Mosul from the Islamic State, but is depending so far on largely-Shiite forces to defeat the Sunni-based IS, which includes large numbers of cadres from Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi armed forces of a decade ago. Saddam’s former forces are formidable veterans who are well-trained and know the territory. They are using IS for expedient reasons in their quest for a Sunni revival. [1]

The question is whether the US is prepared to re-occupy Iraq or pull out if Iraq plunges deeper into sectarian war. Can the US retreat from the disaster it previously set in motion by backing a sectarian Shiite regime in Baghdad to replace a sectarian Sunni one that ruled before? That depends on the second question looming over Congress…


Netanyahu’s divisive initiative to speak to the Republican Congress has divided American Jews and Democrats as never before. This is far more than a matter of protocols and politics, though it is that too. Netanyahu is deeply linked with Republican figures like the gambling magnate Sheldon Adelson who have contributed their private millions to vituperative, personal, and losing campaigns against Barack Obama for years. Conflicts within AIPAC and between AIPAC and the more liberal J Street are growing. But underneath the partisan quarrels are questions of war and peace.

Put simply, Netanyahu and Likud want to stamp out any sign of an Iranian nuclear power program, subvert the elected government in Teheran, and go to war with American backing to achieve their ends. If only because that war seems unthinkable, the Obama administration is trying to achieve a palatable diplomatic agreement that creates roadblocks to a nuclear Iran, eases economic sanctions on the regime, and saves the world from a regional war.


When Obama says he doesn’t want the US to become “the Shiite air force” in Iraq, he reveals the paradoxical connection between the two crises. The US has dropped 8,200 bombs on ISIS targets over the past six months, in furtherance of the agenda of Iran and Iraq’s Shiite militias. At the same time, Obama understands that the US is drawn into a proxy war between Iran and the theocratic kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with bloody consequences in Egypt and beyond. Like the Israelis, the Saudis are deeply worried about any rapprochement, even a de facto one, between the US and Iran.

The unspoken question is whether an arrangement is in the making in which the US and Iran move in parallel to both stabilize Iraq and reach a diplomatic settlement over nuclear enrichment.

That’s why peace activists should pay close attention and intervene to oppose the military spiral of escalation on both fronts.

[1] An extremely insightful article in Foreign Affairs says that the emir of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, has two deputies: Abu Ali al-Anbari in Syria and Abu Muslim al-Turkmani in Iraq, both of them former generals in Saddam’s former army. Audrey Kurth Cronin, “ISIS Is Not a Terrorist Group”, Foreign Affairs, Mar.-April 2015, p. 87

What Obama Got Wrong In His State of the Union Remarks On Trade

via What Obama Got Wrong In His State of the Union Remarks On Trade.

JANUARY 21, 2015

The President briefly spoke about trade in his State of the Union speech. He admitted that “past trade deals haven’t always lived up to the hype” but then he called for doing more of the same. He called for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) — “Fast Track” — to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Here is what President Obama said about trade (from pre-released transcript):

21st century businesses, including small businesses, need to sell more American products overseas. Today, our businesses export more than ever, and exporters tend to pay their workers higher wages. But as we speak, China wants to write the rules for the world’s fastest-growing region. That would put our workers and businesses at a disadvantage. Why would we let that happen? We should write those rules. We should level the playing field. That’s why I’m asking both parties to give me trade promotion authority to protect American workers, with strong new trade deals from Asia to Europe that aren’t just free, but fair.

Look, I’m the first one to admit that past trade deals haven’t always lived up to the hype, and that’s why we’ve gone after countries that break the rules at our expense. But ninety-five percent of the world’s customers live outside our borders, and we can’t close ourselves off from those opportunities. More than half of manufacturing executives have said they’re actively looking at bringing jobs back from China. Let’s give them one more reason to get it done.


1) Exports are good for an economy, but exports and imports must be balanced. While our exports are up, our imports are up even more. This is why we have an enormous, humongous trade deficit. When imports are greater than exports it means jobs, factories and if the imbalance continues eventually the necessary pieces of industry ecosystems are lost. Our trade deficit is enormous and our trade has been out of balance since the 1970s.

Here is Paul Krugman, writing at his blog Monday,

The immediate problem facing much of the world is inadequate demand and the threat of deflation. Would trade liberalization help on that front? No, not at all. True, to the extent that trade becomes easier, world exports would rise, which is a net plus for demand. But world imports would rise by exactly the same amount, which is a net minus. Or to put it a bit differently, trade liberalization would change the composition of world expenditure, with each country spending more on foreign goods and less on its own, but there’s no reason to think it would raise total spending; so this is not a short-term economic boost.

Krugman also points out that current trade tariffs and protections are low, so a “trade” deal doesn’t really remove imposing barriers. He suspects that groups representing the giant multinationals, like the Chamber of Commerce, are really pushing this deal because it rigs the system in their favor and “will yield them a lot of monopoly rents.” Which leads to Obama’s next argument.

2) This idea that “we” should “write the rules” to “level the playing field” is interesting. Yes, China would like to write rules of trade in its favor. But it doesn’t follow from this that we should allow the giant multinational to write the rules in ways that rig the system against everyone but them. And this is exactly what TPP does. TPP is being negotiated in secret with participation of corporate representatives while representatives of labor, consumer, democracy, human rights, women’s, environmental and other “stakeholder” groups are kept away from the table. Only a small part of TPP is about “trade” at all, while parts of it elevate corporate rights above the rights of citizens in democracies to make their own laws. (For example tobacco companies can sue governments for profit-loss from anti-smoking campaigns. Under similar “trade” agreements this is already happening.)

And speaking of rigging the system …

3) Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) hardly “protects American workers.” Also known as “Fast Track,” TPA essentially pre-approves trade agreements before anyone even sees them. TPA pre-rigs the approval process by forcing an up-or-down vote with no amendments allowed within 90 days of anyone even seeing the agreement for the first time. This means the public doesn’t have time to fully comprehend what is in the agreement and rally opposition if opposition is warranted. Fast Track shifts the public and press focus to “will they kill the whole agreement” rather than on what is actually in the agreement. (This is how they were able to push Wall Street deregulation through the last “Citibank Budget” deal.)

4) There is nothing in past or upcoming trade agreements that will incentivize bringing manufacturing and other jobs back to the US, which the President promised. On the contrary, TPP includes Vietnam which boasts a minimum wage of 30 cents per hour and has a terrible record on labor rights. This tells us what we need to know about the incentives for manufacturers to bring jobs back.

5) One of the biggest factors in American job loss is currency manipulation, but TPP does not address currency manipulation. (TPP is being negotiated in secret but leaks and other indications tell us that there is nothing to address currency manipulation.) Jared Bernstein wrote about this in a January 9 NY Times op-ed, How to Stop Currency Manipulation, saying,

“… there’s one thing the administration can do that will both win over some opponents and address one of the biggest issues in global trade: add a chapter on currency manipulation.

… In a compelling argument for including a chapter in the Trans-Pacific Partnership to restrict currency manipulation, C. Fred Bergsten of the Peterson Institute for International Economics estimated that America’s trade deficit “has averaged $200 billion to $500 billion per year higher as a result of the manipulation” by the rest of the world, resulting in the loss of one million to five million jobs.

The loss of 1-5 million jobs to currency manipulation is a lot of jobs, yet this isn’t even in the agreement!

6) The President said that “past trade deals haven’t always lived up to the hype.” Please see last week’s post What You Need To Know When Obama Talks Trade for a breakdown of what has happened with previous trade agreements. Also see the Public Citizen report, Prosperity Undermined: Fast-Tracked Trade Agreements’ 20-Year Record of Massive U.S. Trade Deficits, American Job Loss and Wage Suppression for a more comprehensive look at what these trade agreements have cost US workers, our manufacturing ecosystem and our economy — just so that a few executives and billionaires can get even wealthier.

Boost Wages Or Trade Agreements — But Not Both

The President wants to address income inequality. But these trade agreements have been a major driver of income inequality. American worker wages have been frozen for decades as workers were threatened with their jobs being moved out of the country. A few at the top have pocketed this wage differential for themselves. Trade deals that pit American workers and the “costs” — higher wages, environmental protections, etc — of democracy against non-democracies where people don’t get good wages and the environment is not protected work against the President’s stated goals.

Josh Bivens writes at the Economic Policy Institute blog, Trade Agreements or Boosting Wages? We Can’t Do Both,

To put it plainly, if policymakers—including the President—are really serious about boosting wage growth for low and moderate-wage Americans, then the push to fast-track TPP and TTIP makes no sense.

… the most staid textbook models argue precisely that for a country like the United States, expanded trade should be expected to (yes) lift overall national incomes, but should redistribute so much from labor to capital owners, so that wages actually fall. …

Also see Obama vs. Obama: The State of the Union’s Self-Defeating Trade Pitch at the Eyes on Trade blog for “a side-by-side analysis of how Obama’s push to Fast Track the TPP contradicts his own State of the Union agenda.”

A Few Other Reactions

At a Wednesday press conference with Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and other House Democrats, Rep. Slaughter said, “The president said last night that previous trade deals had not lived up to the hype. That may be the understatement of the century. We will fight this tooth and nail, and I believe we are going to win.”

Also at the press conference, Rep. Pete DeFazio (D-OR) said, “Fast track is designed to embed into these so-called free trade agreements a bunch of things that are detrimental to the American public.”

Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) “The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) advocates a new direction in trade policy focusing upon balanced trade, a comprehensive US competitiveness strategy, and producing more of what we consume here. We oppose Congress ratifying the past, wrongheaded trade strategy which produces trade deficits, job loss, and incentives to offshore manufacturing for re-import into the US.”

Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM): “By ignoring the concerns of industry, workers, and majorities of the House and Senate, he’s not only putting the TPP at risk, he’s putting a whole lot of auto jobs in the US at risk, too.”

Communications Workers of America (CWA):

“…[W]e cannot stand with the President in his alliance with Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Business Roundtable to send more U.S. jobs offshore, undermine U.S. communities and weaken U.S. sovereignty under the guise of “free trade.” The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has much more to do with protecting the investment of multinational corporations and maneuvering around China than lowering trade barriers.

Public opposition to “fast track authority” and the TPP is strong, and growing more vocal everyday. Consumer groups, workers, environmentalists, people of faith, students and more have united to stop this attack on U.S. jobs and communities. Conservatives, who do not believe that nations should relinquish their sovereign power to secret tribunals, also are on board.

Over the past 20 years, millions of U.S. jobs have been lost. The jobs U.S. workers had been promised over those years of course never materialized. In fact, just two trade deals – NAFTA and the Korea Free Trade Agreement — have resulted in the loss of nearly 800,000 jobs. The promoters of the TPP are again promising job gains through growth in U.S. exports. But we can do the math. Any new jobs will be dwarfed by the flood of jobs that go offshore.


Wingnuts And The State of the Union

via Wingnuts And The State of the Union.

JANUARY 21, 2015

President Obama’s State of the Union Address, complete with a “mic drop” moment,” couldn’t have annoyed Republicans more if he’d entered to the theme from Rocky, and exited to “How Ya Like Me Now.”

Obama’s “Mic Drop” Moment

If Republicans in Congress expected to see and hear a chastened and contrite President Obama, they got a big shock on Tuesday night. Maybe getting a hug from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg — one of his “favorite people” — emboldened the president as he made his way to the podium. Perhaps Obama’s bounce in the polls put a bounce in his step.

After the midterm elections, The Grio’s Luvvie Ajayi had this advice for the president:

I think the President just needs to get real petty. He has nothing to lose as a lame duck President, so who gon check him? He better use that to his advantage to make things happen. This is why I want #PettyBarack to happen. The time of being polite and working with overgrown children with too much power is done for. Just show out!

Tuesday night, it looked and sounded like the president got the message loud and clear. Even before the State of the Union, the White House had a little fun rattling wingnut cages, with a fake-out tweet that suggested the president might don his infamous “tan suit” for the occasion.

President Obama’s suiting up for the big speech. Watch at 9pm ET →

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 21, 2015

The fun just getting started. President Obama lured Republicans in with a rhetorical rope-a-dope for the record books.

If Barack Obama were a rapper, that’s when he would have “dropped the mic” and walked away.

Twitter loved it.

Laugh now, cry later… #SOTU RT @HollywoodJuan: Obama Too Real: “I know because I won both of them.” *beat drops*

— Daryl Bjoraas (@dbjoraas) January 21, 2015

“I have no more campaigns to run…I know because i won both of them.” #POTUSmixtape#TWIBSOTU #SOTU15

— Elon James White (@elonjames) January 21, 2015

I have no more campaigns to run, I know because I won both of them…” #POTUS

— CreateLex (@CreateLex) January 21, 2015

“I know, because I won both of them” ✌️ #sotu #BarackObama #respect

— LoveKeke (@TakeyraKekeLove) January 21, 2015

President Obama had a few more memorable moments:

  • With a Latina climate scientist watching from the First Lady’s boxPresident Obama jabbed at the right with “I am not a scientist” caucus:

    I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists; that we don’t have enough information to act. Well, I’m not a scientist, either. But you know what  — I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and NOAA, and at our major universities. The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe. The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. We should act like it.


Instead of giving the concilliatory speech that the GOP wantedPresident Obama took a victory lap,served notice to a Republican Congress that he’s done trying to appease them, and left to take his message right to the Republican heartland. (Including Kansas, where Republican tax cuts have left the state into a “smoking ruin”.)

Republicans complained that the president ignored the meaning of the midterm elections, but seem to misunderstand the results themselves. As crazy as it sounds, Republicans may have won a majority in the Senate, but the Democratic minority got 20 million more votes than the GOP majority. (The same thing happened in 2010, when House Democrats got more votes than House Republicans.) Thanks to gerrymandering and Senate deck stacked in favor of small, less populated states, a majority does not a mandate make.

Republicans are left to face that they’re dealing with a man who has nothing left to lose, and hasopened the door open for the GOP to blow it.

Cammo Heels and Immigration

Rep. Joni Ernst, one of the wingnuts elected to office in November, gave the GOP response to the State of the Union. Given her penchant discussing the intricacies of hog castration, and waxing on about her “beautiful little Smith & Wesson, 9 millimeter,” Washington waited to hear what outrageousness Ernst would utter.

Past Republican responses lowered the bar considerably for Ernst.

Ernst played it safe, instead. A pair of cammo heels were the only nod to her campaign trail fiestiness, in a speech that was long on Ernst talking about the hardships of her youth, and short on empathy for the hardships Republican policies will inflict on millions of Americans.

The most controversial response was the Republican’s attempt at Latino outreach, with a Spanish language response to the State of the Union, by Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida. It might have gone unnoticed, except that Mother Jones magazine reported that Rep. Curbelo would read a Spanish translation of Ernst’s speech, rather than deliver his own remarks. (Ernst’s “English only” advocacy added further irony.) Republicans scrambled, and edited the press release that originally said Curbelo would read a translation of Ernst’s speech.

Curbelo’s speech turned out to be slightly different from Ernst’s speech. His included a plug for immigration reform. Hers didn’t.

Cruz Crashes And Burns

Sen. Ted Cruz (R, Texas) attempted to record his own response, flubbed it, posted it to YouTube anyway, and then removed it.


Rep. Steve King (R, Iowa), won “worst tweet of the night” and coined a new phrase — “deportable” — when he slammed the President for inviting a DREAMER to watch the SOTU.

#Obama perverts “prosecutorial discretion” by inviting a deportable to sit in place of honor at#SOTU w/1st Lady. I should sit with Alito.

— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) January 20, 2015

Justice Alito stayed away. Maybe King should have done the same.

Member of the Wedding … Not!

Speaker John Boehner (R, Ohio) didn’t think much of President Obama’s State of the Union address, and it showed.

That was especially true when when the president plugged marriage equality.

What can we expect from a guy who spent $2.3 million defending the Defense of Marriage Act,unsuccessfully?

One Of The Most Immoral Things You Can Do”

According to Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), closing loopholes and reforming tax code that allows heirs to inherit huge amounts of wealth tax-free is “one of the most immoral things you can do.”

Here’s President Obama: “Let’s close the loopholes that lead to inequality by allowing the top 1 percent to avoid paying taxes on their accumulated wealth.”

Here’s Rep. Chaffetz: “It’s one of the most immoral things you can do, is try to steal somebody’s inheritance, to steal it away from their family.”

Worse than cheating on your spouse? Worse than shooting an unarmed person? Worse than rape and murder? Really?


Want to know just how much Obama overreached on executive power?

via Is it the executive order legal? Probably, yes…..

— Want to know just how much Obama overreached on executive power? Wait for America’s next ‘king’ | Scott Lemieux | Comment is free | The Guardian


Is it the executive order legal? Probably, yes. Separation-of-powers arguments do not involve mechanical precision, and it’s not impossible to argue that Obama’s actions violate the Constitution. But the arguments will be necessarily weak. As Ben Wittes explained at the Lawfare blog, Congress gave the executive branch discretion over when to issue deportation orders and it didn’t require the attorney general to issue deportation orders for everyone who is theoretically eligible for deportation. Obama’s more systematic refusal to deport people eligible for deportation might violate the spirit of the law, but it doesn’t violate the letter. Discretion in law enforcement is inherent to executive power, and in the case of immigration enforcement, Congress did not even try to eliminate it. Claims that Obama’s refusal to deport people makes him a lawless tyrant are, to be charitable, overstated….

Does using executive privilege to achieve immigration reform set a dangerous precedent? Well, long before Obama even ran for elected office – as Erwin Chemerinsky and Samuel Kleiner observed at the New Republic – Ronald Reagan “took executive action to limit deportations for 200,000 Nicaraguan exiles” and the first President Bush did the same for some Chinese and Kuwaiti citizens. At most, Obama’s actions differ only in degree, not kind.

In a more general sense, presidents have been pushing the limits of their constitutional authority since the beginning of the republic. If you had asked Thomas Jefferson in 1799 if the Louisiana Purchase was constitutional, he would almost certainly have said no – but we aren’t giving the land back….

Both the second Bush administration and the actions of Republicans in Congress make it abundantly clear that the next Republican in the Oval Office is going to push toward – and probably beyond – the limits of his legal authority, no matter what Obama does. (For instance, George W Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program, established by executive order, contradicted a statute outright, which Obama’s order does not.) If hypothetical president Rand Paul wants to refuse to enforce the Civil Rights Act, he’s not going to be dissuaded because Obama refused to act on immigration.

via dendroica

via realworldnews


An October Surprise No One Is Expecting

via An October Surprise No One Is Expecting.

SAT OCT 04, 2014

by zenbassoon

No, not this one:


But wouldn’t it be grand if the President called for a National Address, walked out into the East Room, stood at the podium, and said:

“My fellow Americans,

The recent diagnosis of an American in Texas with ebola has sparked a lot of news stories, wild speculation, and questions all over the country. Our doctors and scientists are doing great work in not only making sure that anything is contained, but that you have all the information. However, with so many sources of information the media is drawing from–the CDC, the National Institutes of Health, doctors at the various hospitals, and so on, it becomes important to have a national figure to help coordinate all of this and to present it to you with as little confusion as possible.

That job belongs to the Surgeon General of the United States.

However, currently there is no one in that position because Republicans in Congress, spurred on by the National Rifle Association, have refused to confirm my nominee for the position.  Now, more than ever, it is important we have this voice in place for the safety and security of all Americans.

Therefore, using the power granted to me under Article II of the Constitution, I am immediately recalling Congress to vote and immediately confirm my nominee to the post of Surgeon General. And they will stay in session until a Surgeon General is confirmed.

Thank you, and may God bless America.”

Drops mic and walks off

8:03 AM PT: I added the NRA to the text. How do you think invoking the NRA also would play in such a speech?




Cornel West: Barack Obama is nothing more than ‘the Black face of American empire’

via Cornel West: Barack Obama is nothing more than ‘the Black face of American empire’.


05 OCT 2014

Philosopher, author, social critic, and activist Cornel West emphasizes a point during a press conference (Shutterstock)

Philosopher, author, social critic, and activist Cornel West emphasizes a point during a press conference (Shutterstock)


dropped p1ublic intellectual Cornel West is once again criticizing President Barack Obama, according to the excerpt from his new book published by Salon today.

West claims that Obama co-opted “the grand Black prophetic tradition,” and in doing so “made it more difficult for Black courageous and radical voices to bring critique to bear on the U.S. empire.”

Obama is the embodiment of a shift in “Black leadership from the voices of social movements to those of elected officials in the mainstream political system.”

“This shift produces voices that are rarely if ever critical of this system,” he writes. “This shift is part of a larger structural transformation in the history of mid-twentieth-century capitalism in which neoliberal elites marginalize social movements and prophetic voices in the name of consolidating a rising oligarchy at the top, leaving a devastated working class in the middle, and desperate poor people whose labor is no longer necessary for the system at the bottom.”

West also blames the president for helping to silence the “prophetic voices” that would otherwise be able to lead the country out of its current predicament.

“The central role of mass media, especially a corporate media beholden to the U.S. neoliberal regime, is to keep public discourse narrow and deodorized,” West writes. “By ‘narrow,’ I mean confining the conversation to conservative Republican and neoliberal Democrats who shut out prophetic voices or radical visions. This fundamental power to define the political terrain and categories attempts to render prophetic voices invisible.”

Because of this, “the state of Black America in the age of Obama has been one of desperation, confusion, and capitulation. The desperation is rooted in the escalating suffering on every front. The confusion arises from a conflation of symbol and substance. The capitulation rests on an obsessive need to protect the first Black president against all forms of criticism.”

“The Obama presidency,” he continues, “has been primarily a Wall Street presidency, drone presidency, mass surveillance presidency unwilling to concretely target the new Jim Crow, massive unemployment, and other forms of poor and Black social misery. His major effort to focus on poor Black men was charity and philanthropy — not justice or public policy.”


“Being on the wrong side of Dick Cheney is being on the right side of history”

via “Being on the wrong side of Dick Cheney is being….

“Being on the wrong side of Dick Cheney is being on the right side of history”   .. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid