Tag Archives | President Obama

White supremacist convicted in plot to kill Obama with ‘death ray’ device

ObamaKKK death ray devices?!? Read on via the Guardian:

A New York white supremacist was convicted by a federal jury on Friday of plotting to use a remote-controlled radiation device he called “Hiroshima on a light switch” to harm Muslims and President Barack Obama.

After less than three hours of deliberation in US district court in Albany, New York, the jury unanimously found Glendon Scott Crawford guilty of all three charges against him.

Crawford, 51, wearing a gray suit and eyeglasses, showed no emotion as judge Gary Sharpe read the verdict.

He was convicted of use of a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to build and use a radiological dispersal device. He was also convicted of distributing information with respect to a weapon of mass destruction.

“Glendon Scott Crawford was a terrorist who attempted to acquire a weapon of mass destruction and to use it to kill innocent members of the Muslim community,” said Richard Hartunian, US attorney for the northern district of New York.

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How ‘Thanks, Obama’ Explains American Politics

Nona Willis Aronowitz explains the “Thanks, Obama” meme writing at Medium:

Barack Obama, slumped like a sullen teen, attempts to dunk a cookie in milk, only to realize with chagrin that the edges scrape haplessly against the cup’s rim. His snack game thwarted, the president mutters with a click of his teeth:

“Thanks, Obama.”

thanks obama

These few seconds of a Buzzfeed video, which has been viewed more than 55 million times since February, signaled the moment when the one of the most malleable, morally complex political memes of our time arrived at its logical conclusion. It was a meta, sarcastic take on a phrase whose very humor and power lies in sarcasm, uttered by the very man it seeks to either lambast or defend, depending on whom you voted for. The “Thanks, Obama” meme was first used six years ago, and has ricocheted from deep-red backchannels to liberal talk shows and back again: in an Instagram caption for a shattered beer bottle, in a Facebook post from an incensed conservative, in a nonsensical, racist Reddit post, in a tweet from a teenage boozehound bemoaning her underage status.

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Jon Stewart & Obama Meetings Ethics Debate

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President Obama’s administration used Jon Stewart as a “useful prod.” Stewart was often summoned to the White House before big announcements. A debate about the ethics of the TV host rages on.

Jackie Salo via International Business Times:

President Barack Obama summoned television host Jon Stewart to the White House on several occasions before he made major announcements, according to a Politico article that revealed the secret connection between “The Daily Show” host and the president. News of the private meetings surfaced Tuesday as Stewart prepares to end his tenure as host on Aug. 6.

Some have questioned Stewart’s ethics because he did not disclose his connection to Obama. “The summoning of Stewart to the White House validates the belief that the comedian is more influential on the public discourse than any journalist,” said a Minnesota Public Radio article Tuesday. “But do the rules of journalism apply to a comedian who doesn’t consider himself a journalist even as the people watching consider him one?”

While still at the White House, former Obama advisor David Axelrod kept in touch with the host by phone and email.

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Charleston and the Age of Obama

There’s so much to say about the Charleston atrocity and no shortage of commentary throughout the media. One of the most perceptive analyses we’ve found is from David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker:

Between 1882 and 1968, the year Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated, three thousand four hundred and forty-six black men, women, and children were lynched in this country—a practice so vicious and frequent that Mark Twain was moved, in 1901, to write an essay called “The United States of Lyncherdom.” (Twain shelved the essay and plans for a full-length book on lynching because, he told his publisher, if he went forward, “I shouldn’t have even half a friend left down [South].”) These thousands of murders, as studied by the Tuskegee Institute and others, were a means of enforcing white supremacy in the political and economic marketplaces; they served to terrorize black men who might dare to sleep, or even talk, with white women, and to silence black children, like Emmett Till, who were deemed “insolent.”

Dylann Roof's Facebook photo with jacket showing  the flags of Rhodesia and apartheid South Africa

Dylann Roof’s Facebook photo with jacket showing the flags of Rhodesia and apartheid South Africa

 

But the words attributed to the shooter are both a throwback and thoroughly contemporary: one recognizes the rhetoric of extreme reaction and racism heard so often in the era of Barack Obama.

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Obama Says Palestinians Deserve ‘An Independent, Sovereign State’

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Photo: Steve Jurvetson (CC)


In his first interview with an Arabic-language newspaper, US President Barack Obama tells Asharq Al-Awsat that the Palestinians deserve “an independent, sovereign state,” which should stoke things up nicely ahead of a key summit with Gulf leaders:

Q: There was much appreciation for your initial efforts to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine and have a two-state solution. And yet those efforts have been met by obstruction from various sides. Have you given up on reaching the two-state solution before the end of your presidency, and if not, how can you change the dynamic?

Obama: I will never give up on the hope for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and the United States will never stop working to realize that goal. As I said when I visited Ramallah two years ago, Palestinians deserve an end to the occupation and the daily indignities that come with it; they deserve to live in an independent, sovereign state, where they can give their children a life of dignity and opportunity.

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President Obama Interview Reveals He’ll Risk All For TPP

Speaking of Democrats’ opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, “I understand the emotions behind it,” President Obama tells Matt Bai, “but when you break down the logic of their arguments, I’ve got to say that there’s not much there there.” The interview for Yahoo News was remarkable for just how willing Mr. Obama appears to be to make enemies of people he’s supposed to be friends with just to pass the TPP:

“She’s absolutely wrong,” Barack Obama said, before I could even get the question out of my mouth.

He was talking about Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts senator and populist crusader whom Obama helped elevate to national prominence. Warren generally reserves her more acid critiques for Republicans and Wall Street, but in recent weeks she’s been leading a vocal coalition of leftist groups and lawmakers who oppose the president’s free-trade pact with 12 Asian countries.

This past week, as I had just reminded Obama, Warren launched her heaviest torpedo yet against the trade deal, alleging that some future president might use it as an excuse to undo the reregulation of Wall Street that Obama signed into law in 2010.

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Obama’s 9/11 Conspiracy Theory

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N G Chernyshevsky

So this is a weird twist on 9/11: Jeff Lipkes claims that for President Obama “it’s the Russians who are to blame — specifically, Nicolai Chernyshevsky,” who he (not entirely accurately) credits as the founder of nihilism. From American Thinker:

Conspiracy theories about 9/11 still flit across the blogosphere like fruit bats after dusk.  For the truthers, it was an inside job.  The CIA detonated explosives planted in the buildings earlier in the year, with a little help from Dick Cheney and Louis Freeh.  Many in the Arab world, along with American neo-Nazis, are convinced the Israelis were responsible.  Several hundred Jews didn’t show up for work that morning, doncha know, because they’d been warned by Mossad.

For Barack Obama, it’s the Russians who are to blame — specifically, Nicolai Chernyshevsky.  He was the founder of Nihilism, and the nineteen terrorists were all nihilists, according to the President in his 2004 introduction to Dreams From My Father, written years before he was considered a presidential contender.

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Mr. President, It’s Our Moment of Truth

John Wellington Ennis

John Wellington Ennis

Dear Mr. President,

From the heartlands of America to our city centers, there are too many folks who don’t believe our system works. When citizens are under-served by their leaders, an apathy is fostered that enables corruption and prevents accountability. Despite the historic struggle to vote, the dream of democratic elections is at risk when the public does not take voting seriously. In cities, states and at the national level, campaigns have become a cynical game that shuns voters, and lets those with millions to spare dominate the debate and decide who runs. This has to change.

I have been inspired by the people I have met across the country who are working hard in their community to limit the influence of money in politics. They have told me in one way or another how they came to realize that until we reform how money is spent in elections, we can’t confront the biggest problems facing us.… Read the rest

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President Obama’s State of the Union Sale

State Of The Union (201501200003HQ)In President Obama’s State of the Union address last evening, he mentioned many subjects that are integral to our country and our lives (for Americans reading this, that is, but most of the issues affect everyone – like drone strikes). Many of those key topics are reflected in our award-winning library of documentary films.

We think everyone needs to see these films while the country considers President Obama’s agenda, so we’re giving you a chance to purchase them at 40% off the list price (just use the coupon code “StateofUnion at checkout)

Here’s what the president had to say and why our films are so relevant:

“As Americans, we respect human dignity, even when we’re threatened, which is why I’ve prohibited torture, and worked to make sure our use of new technology like drones is properly constrained.” – President Obama 1/20/15

Related films:

UnmannedUnmanned: America’s Drone Wars: A film by Robert Greenwald that takes a hard look at the impact of American drone use in Pakistan.… Read the rest

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United States Ends Decades of Hostility to Cuba

You have to hand it to President Barack Obama, he’s not buying into the lame-duck presidency forecast for him in the wake of Republicans taking control of Congress. This time he’s re-opening diplomatic ties with Cuba. CNN reports on the breaking news:

President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced plans to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba and ease economic restrictions on the nation, an historic shift he called the end of an “outdated approach” to U.S.-Cuban relations.

Obama said he’s instructed Secretary of State John Kerry to immediately begin discussions with Cuba to re-establish diplomatic relations, and that the U.S. will re-open an embassy in Havana. The administration will also allow some travel and trade that had been banned under a decades-long embargo instated during the Kennedy administration.

“Neither the American nor Cuban people are well-served by a rigid policy that’s rooted in events that took place before most of us were born,” Obama said.

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