Tag Archives | Barack Obama

Top 15 Issues On Which Romney and Obama Are No Different

The unending War on Drugs and shift towards a prison-based economy, Wall Street bailouts, deregulation of telecom giants, pushing for further “free trade” agreements and outsourcing, drones strikes and extrajudicial killings overseas…all this is among what we can look forward to regardless of which party wins in November. Writing for Black Agenda Report, Bruce A. Dixon presents his 15 most important things on which Romney and Obama agree:

The 40 year war on drugs must continue, and even mention of the prison state is unthinkable. There are 2.3 million people in US prisons and jails today, a per capita total that beats the world. But as Michelle Alexander points out, if the US prison population were rolled back to say, only 1 million, the level it was about 1980, this would mean one million jobs, as contractors, sheriffs, cops, bailiffs, judges and functionaries of all kinds would have to go out and find real jobs.

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Ask The Democrats: Can We Trust Romney With Obama’s Kill List?

Were the GOP presidential ticket to triumph, could the American public count on Mitt Romney to properly order hush-hush drone killings of U.S. citizens as we now trust Obama? Last week Gawker's John Cook put this question to Democratic National Convention attendees (including DNC spokespeople, Senators Carl Levin and Chuck Schumer, and Newark mayor Cory Booker), eliciting some jumbled answers to the softball question of why Barack is the best man to choose whom to extrajudicially assassinate:
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Prominent Libertarian: Obama Is Gay, Was Secretly Married To Pakistani Man

New York Times-bestselling author and Tea Party activist Jerome Corsi, whose political analysis is featured at 1776 Nation and WorldNetDaily, delivers the election year bombshell. Unearthed photos from young adulthood show Barack Obama sporting a wedding band-style ring, the final piece in a puzzle which points to one thing: a hush-hush marriage to his male Pakistani roommate, with whom Corsi says Obama was suspiciously "chummy". Corsi also doubts that our president actually attended Columbia University, despite teachers' and students' recollections of his presence:
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The Choom Gang: Teenage Obama’s Mastery Of Marijuana

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Photo: Borogove (CC)

Long before he was unveiling presidential decrees, young Barack Obama displayed the spark of leadership with his pot smoking initiatives. The forthcoming book Barack Obama: The Story from the Washington Post‘s David Maraniss alleges that teenage Barry palled around in a smoke-filled van named the Choomwagon and invented new getting-high techniques such as “interceptions”, “roof hits”, and “total absorption”. Via Buzzfeed:

A self-selected group of boys at Punahou School who loved basketball and good times called themselves the Choom Gang. Choom is a verb, meaning “to smoke marijuana.” As a member of the Choom Gang, Barry Obama was known for starting a few pot-smoking trends. The first was called “TA,” short for “total absorption.” “Wasting good bud smoke was not tolerated,” explained one member of the Choom Gang, Tom Topolinski.

Barry also had a knack for interceptions. When a joint was making the rounds, he often elbowed his way in, out of turn, shouted “Intercepted!,” and took an extra hit.

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Around The World, Obama’s Presidency A Disappointment

Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th president of the United States.Reports Don Melvin and Rod McGuirk on the Associated Press:

In Europe, where more than 200,000 people thronged a Berlin rally in 2008 to hear Barack Obama speak, there’s disappointment that he hasn’t kept his promise to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, and perceptions that he’s shunting blame for the financial crisis across the Atlantic.

In Mogadishu, a former teacher wishes he had sent more economic assistance and fewer armed drones to fix Somalia’s problems. And many in the Middle East wonder what became of Obama’s vow, in a landmark 2009 speech at the University of Cairo, to forge a closer relationship with the Muslim world.

In a world weary of war and economic crises, and concerned about global climate change, the consensus is that Obama has not lived up to the lofty expectations that surrounded his 2008 election and Nobel Peace Prize a year later. Many in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America were also taken aback by his support for gay marriage, a taboo subject among religious conservatives…

Read More: Associated Press

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Barack Obama Is Our First Gay, Female, Hispanic, Asian, Jewish President (According to the Media)

First Gay PresidentBill Clinton only got to be America's first "black" president. Interesting take from Eric Randall in the Atlantic Wire:
Newsweek's cover this week declares that Barack Obama is the "First Gay President," playing on the reader's knowledge that Obama isn't himself gay, but his support for same-sex marriage earns him an honorary rainbow halo. The headline obviously calls back to 1998, when Toni Morrison declared Bill Clinton the first black president in The New Yorker, which at the time was edited by current Newsweek editor Tina Brown. "Clinton displays almost every trope of blackness: single-parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone-playing, McDonald's-and-junk-food-loving boy from Arkansas," Morrison wrote, laying out the formula for how to declare a President has attained the identity of someone else through actions and behaviors. Newsweek's cover has been called "controversial" and "pretty shocking," but it's merely the most recent in presidential firsts that weren't for the country's actual first black president.
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Noam Chomsky on President Obama’s Performance and Occupy Wall Street (Video)

The right-wing blogospere is having a field day with Chomsky saying, "I don’t usually admire Sarah Palin, but when she was making fun of this 'hopey-changey' stuff, she was—she was right. There was nothing there." However, he follows that statement with, "And it was understood by the people who run the political system. So it’s no great secret that the U.S. electoral system is mainly public relations extravaganzas...." which, one assumes, would apply to Sarah Palin as well. Watch the entire interview at Democracy Now! and full transcript here.
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The Creepiness Factor: How Obama and Romney Are Getting to Know You

Mitt Obama

Barack Romney or Mitt Obama?

Terrence McCoy writes in the Atlantic:

On a clear day in February 2001, a trim mid-career political analyst named Matthew Dowd landed in Washington, D.C., from Austin, Tex., and hurried into the White House for a meeting with Karl Rove. Inside a manila folder, he carried a sparsely-populated bar graph. The few numbers it had hit Rove like a bomb.

“Really?” Rove asked, snatching the document and glancing back at Dowd. “Man, this is a fundamental change.”

The truly independent voting bloc, Dowd’s data showed, had dissolved from one-fourth of the electorate in 1984 to just 7 percent. That meant the years of work leading up to the 2000 campaign and hundreds of millions of campaign dollars during it had focused on just 7 percent of voters — fewer than 8 million people. Everything next time, Dowd told Rove in his second-floor office, would have to be different.

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States of Depression

Reagan HopeHere’s an article from Paul Krugman in the New York Times about the state of the economy, and this quote pretty much sums up his verdict: “In fact, if it weren’t for this destructive fiscal austerity, our unemployment rate would almost certainly be lower now than it was at a comparable stage of the ‘Morning in America’ recovery during the Reagan era.”

Krugman, a Nobel Prize winner in economics, is about as “liberal” (whatever the hell that means in 2012) as the korporate media will allow at this point. He has often been highly critical of Barack Obama, especially during the 2008 Democratic Party race, when he was one of the few to note Obama’s economic policies were already in campaign mode decidedly to the right of both Hillary Clinton and John Edwards.

That said, Krugman provides the following evidence:

One way to dramatize just how severe our de facto austerity has been is to compare government employment and spending during the Obama-era economic expansion, which began in June 2009, with their tracks during the Reagan-era expansion, which began in November 1982.

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