Tag Archives | President Obama

Putin: ‘I Envy’ Obama’s Spy Program

Vladimir_Putin_12015And Vladimir, I envy your forthrightness, notably not a quality that Mr. Obama shares with you. USA Today reports on the Russian President’s latest unscripted statements:

Russia President Vladimir Putin says his government is not working with National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, and defended President Obama over his spying program — sort of.

“How do I feel about Obama after Snowden’s revelations? I envy him, because he can get away with it,” Putin said during a Thursday news conference in Russia.

Speaking a day after a White House advisory panel released a report recommending changes in NSA programs, Putin defended espionage in general.

He called it “one of the oldest professions in the world, just like some other well-known professions — we won’t mention them here,” an apparent reference to prostitution.

But Putin did say regulations, such as those envisioned for the NSA, are necessary: “On political level, it’s necessary to limit the appetite of special services with certain rules.”

As for Snowden — granted political asylum by Russia earlier this year — Putin said: “To speak in professional jargon, operatively speaking, we are not working with him, and we never worked with him…

[continues at USA Today]

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Jeb Bush’s Vatican-Obama Conspiracy Theory

Jeb Bush tweetIt’s hard to remember sometimes, sitting in New York, that Jeb Bush is still capable of engaging the media, but apparently CBS Miami still has a soft spot for him, right down to his latest musings about President Obama, Obamacare, and the closing of the U.S. Embassy in the Vatican:

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has not typically been one to repeat wild conspiracy theories in the past. But that’s exactly what he did this week when he repeated a wild story making the rounds on the fringes of the right wing.

“Why would our President close our Embassy to the Vatican?” Jeb Bush tweeted. “Hopefully, it is not retribution for Catholic organizations opposing Obamacare.”

There are several factual problems with the statement made by Bush, namely the United State isn’t closing its Embassy to the Vatican.

No foreign country has an embassy in Vatican City proper because there isn’t room.

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A Pre-Conspiracy Theory

Obama Nobel Peace Prize 2009 Harry Wad2Veteran journalist Dave Lindorff asks “What if our premature Nobel Laureate President’s having a ’63-style Kennedy moment?” at Counterpunch:

I’m going to engage here in a thought experiment which may make some readers a little queasy, but bear with me.

It’s been half a century since the wrenching experience of having a charismatic young president cut down by bullets in what most Americans apparently still believe was a dark conspiracy by elements of the US government unhappy with the direction he was taking the country in international affairs.

Certainly powerful people like ex-CIA Director Allen Dulles and some of the nation’s top generals, not to mention executives of what prior President Dwight D. Eisenhower had labeled the military industrial complex were outraged that in his third year in office Kennedy was trying to dial back the Cold War, to reduce or even end the threat of actual nuclear war, and that he was even thinking of pulling US troops out of Vietnam and of reaching some accommodation with Fidel Castro’s Cuba.

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Obama Will Launch a Huge Propaganda Blitz – and May Attack Syria Even If He Loses the Vote in Congress

Barack Obama meets Combatant Commanders in the Cabinet RoomGrassroots pressure has forced President Obama to seek approval from Congress for an attack on Syria. But Obama is hell-bent on ordering a missile assault on that country, and he has two very important aces in the hole.

The administration is about to launch a ferocious propaganda blitz that will engulf a wide range of U.S. media. And as a fallback, the president is reserving the option of attacking Syria no matter what Congress does.

Until Obama’s surprise announcement Saturday that he will formally ask Congress for authorization of military action against Syria, the impassioned pitches from top U.S. officials in late August seemed to be closing arguments before cruise missiles would hit Syrian targets. But the pre-bombing hyper spin has just gotten started.

The official appeals for making war on yet another country will be ferocious. Virtually all the stops will be pulled out; all kinds of media will be targeted; every kind of convoluted argument will be employed.… Read the rest

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Obama on Medea: “The words of that woman are worth paying attention to”

11.20.CodePink.WDC.8mar03Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin’s heckling of President Obama during his speech at the National Defense University gains her more notoriety than ever before. From Reuters:

“You are our commander in chief. Close Guantanamo Bay!” Benjamin shouted toward the end of Obama’s address.

“Why don’t you sit down and I will tell you exactly what I’m going to do?” Obama replied. “Let me finish my sentence.

He called on Congress to lift the restrictions on detainee transfers and went on to discuss other steps toward closing the prison. He said he was lifting a moratorium on detainee transfers to Yemen.

“Release them today!” Benjamin shouted. “It’s been 11 years!”

“Let me finish,” Obama said. “This is part of free speech. You being able to speak, but also me listening, and me being able to speak.”

He was able to continue for a bit but then Benjamin demanded to know why a teenager had been killed by a U.S.

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Matt Drudge, Alex Jones & Barack Obama Entangled In The Great Ammo Conspiracy

Bullets 270 SierraGrace Wyler dissects the conspiracy theory about federal ammunition hoarding for VICE:

Last month, conservative blogger Matt Drudge tweeted that he predicts 2013 will be the “year of Alex Jones,” the conspiracy theorist extraordinaire who most recently made headlines by suggesting that the Boston Marathon bombings were a “false flag” attack perpetrated by the FBI.

Drudge has a point. As the leading purveyor of New World Order conspiracies, Jones has a growing Internet following of casual fearmongers who see nefarious government intrigue in the most mundane bureaucratic chores (e.g. water fluoridation), and believe it’s only a matter of time before we are all living in FEMA concentration camps.

To the average person, this looks like lunacy. But is it all just conspiratorial blather? Or is there any truth to what Alex Jones and his fanboys are selling?

Mostly, the ideas are just nuts. But the most recent conspiracy theory du jour—that the government is stockpiling ammunition for an eventual showdown with the American people—has been surprisingly resilient.

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Obama in Plunderland: Down the Corporate Rabbit Hole

Zuckerberg meets ObamaThe president’s new choices for Commerce secretary and FCC chair underscore how far down the rabbit hole his populist conceits have tumbled. Yet the Obama rhetoric about standing up for working people against “special interests” is as profuse as ever. Would you care for a spot of Kool-Aid at the Mad Hatter’s tea party?

Of course the Republican economic program is worse, and President Romney’s policies would have been even more corporate-driven. That doesn’t in the slightest make acceptable what Obama is doing. His latest high-level appointments — boosting corporate power and shafting the public — are despicable.

To nominate Penny Pritzker for secretary of Commerce is to throw in the towel for any pretense of integrity that could pass a laugh test. Pritzker is “a longtime political supporter and heavyweight fundraiser,” the Chicago Tribune reported with notable understatement last week, adding: “She is on the board of Hyatt Hotels Corp., which was founded by her family and has had rocky relations with labor unions, and she could face questions about the failure of a bank partly owned by her family.… Read the rest

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Obama: I Want To Close Guantanamo

Looks like the Guantanamo hunger strikers have caught the attention of US President Obama. From USA Today:
President Obama said Tuesday that his administration would re-engage Congress on closing the U.S. military-run detention center at Guantanamo Bay, calling the facility a "recruitment tool for extremists" and suggesting it is undermining U.S. security. "It needs to be closed," Obama said at a White House news conference marking the first 100 days of his second term. "I'm going to go back at this." Obama's comments come as military officials say that as many 100 prisoners at Guantanamo are engaged in a hunger strike. With the situation getting more difficult, the Pentagon in recent days dispatched 40 additional Navy medical personnel to Guantanamo to deal with the hunger strikers. They bolstered a staff of about 100, said Lt. Col. Samuel House, a base spokesman...
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The Growing Campaign to Revoke Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize

Obama Nobel Peace Prize 2009 Harry Wad2The Nobel Peace Prize that President Obama received 40 months ago has emerged as the most appalling Orwellian award of this century. No, war is not peace.

George Carlin used to riff about oxymorons like “jumbo shrimp,” “genuine imitation,” “political science” and “military intelligence.” But humor is of the gallows sort when we consider the absurdity and tragedy of the world’s most important peace prize honoring the world’s top war maker.

This week, a challenge has begun with the launch of a petition urging the Norwegian Nobel Committee to revoke Obama’s Peace Prize. By midnight of the first day, nearly 10,000 people had signed. The online petition simply tells the Nobel committee: “I urge you to rescind the Nobel Peace Prize that was awarded to Barack Obama.”

Many signers have added their own comments. Here are some samples:

“It is with very great regret that I sign this petition, but I feel it is morally the right thing to do.

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