Assessment of President Obama

I think with this description of the detention powers that the Obama Administration claims it has, I can definitely say that, as an Obama supporter, I'm definitely of the "Cafeteria Catholic" variety. I think some of the stuff our President has done has been wonderful, specifically his Iran policies, his administration's attitude towards Missile Defense and his economic stimulus policies, but I have absolutely no respect whatsoever for his War on Terrorism policies (Yeah, he's retired that term, but has kept the substance of those policies). Even a right-winger who supports Obama's WOT policies

... policies of indefinite detention and denial of due process...

is uncomfortable with the idea of keeping prisoners locked up even after they're declared innocent of all charges

...there is something Orwellian about this administration's attempt to have it both ways -- to get the credit for putting detainees on trial only to disregard the outcome if they don't like the verdict.

In the same post, the NPR Ombudsman demonstrates that, while discussing the question of the torture of prisoners, she suffers from complete and utter obliviousness. Essentially, the US is "good" and can therefore never perform any act as unequivocally awful as torture. Our enemies and countries we're not interested in defending are all "bad" and so are perfectly capable of committing the terrible, morally indefensible act of torture. Is torture a bad thing? Wel-l-l-l, that depends on who's doing it.

I agree with this assessment that these administration statements on the stimulus are puzzling, especially because they're so completely unnecessary

In other news, in answer to a question about whether the stimulus was adequate, Biden also said that everyone had misread how bad the economy was back in January, which I think is nonsense. Everyone knew that the economy was in very, very deep trouble. It was politics that made the stimulus inadequate, not imperfect knowledge.

I understand why he would say it, but I don't think it rings true considering all the talk about the "worst economy since the Great Depression" at the time. Plus, I think it's a weak play. They knew that even the best stimulus would take time to kick in --- they said so then --- so they should just stick to their guns. "No one could have predicted" excuses are lame in most cases, but especially lame in this one.

Seems to me the stimulus policies are good, but the administration appears to be defending the Blue Dog Democrats who weakened the stimulus by bellyaching about the cost and stripping it of many needed billions of dollars. It's especially a source for grim humor that Republicans are whining and crying about how long the stimulus is taking to work. Remember that virtually no Republicans voted for it, so it's not like they can claim any credit for it if it does work.

Obama's policies on health care? Good grief, don't ask! With his Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel going all wobbly on whether he supports the "public option" (American citizens prefer Single Payer, but Public Option is a reasonable substitute). So I'm not sure I can put any faith into that team on their major domestic priority.

Update: The Inky ran a piece today (July 10th - Page A7) on the Obama Administration defending how the Presidential administrations briefed/briefs Congresspeople on what the intel agencies are up to. As the blogger emptywheel points out, the current briefings to Congress are a hopelessly broken mess that require deep and serious reforms.

In order to maintain proper separation of powers and to ensure that intel operations are legal and effective, the briefings must be seriously reformed.

1 comment:

jacksmith said...


It’s official. America and the World are now in a GLOBAL PANDEMIC. A World EPIDEMIC with potential catastrophic consequences for ALL of the American people. The first PANDEMIC in 41 years. And WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES will have to face this PANDEMIC with the 37th worst quality of healthcare in the developed World.


We spend over twice as much of our GDP on healthcare as any other country in the World. And Individual American spend about ten times as much out of pocket on healthcare as any other people in the World. All because of GREED! And the PRIVATE FOR PROFIT healthcare system in America.

And while all this is going on, some members of congress seem mostly concern about how to protect the corporate PROFITS! of our GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT NATIONAL DISGRACE. A PRIVATE FOR PROFIT DISGRACE that is in fact, totally valueless to the public health. And a detriment to national security, public safety, and the public health.

Progressive democrats the Tri-Caucus and others should stand firm in their demand for a robust public option for all Americans, with all of the minimum requirements progressive democrats demanded. If congress can not pass a robust public option with at least 51 votes and all robust minimum requirements, congress should immediately move to scrap healthcare reform and request that President Obama declare a state of NATIONAL HEALTHCARE EMERGENCY! Seizing and replacing all PRIVATE FOR PROFIT health insurance plans with the immediate implementation of National Healthcare for all Americans under the provisions of HR676 (A Single-payer National Healthcare Plan For All).

Coverage can begin immediately through our current medicare system. With immediate expansion through recruitment of displaced workers from the canceled private sector insurance industry. Funding can also begin immediately by substitution of payroll deductions for private insurance plans with payroll deductions for the national healthcare plan. This is what the vast majority of the American people want. And this is what all objective experts unanimously agree would be the best, and most cost effective for the American people and our economy.

In Mexico on average people who received medical care for A-H1N1 (Swine Flu) with in 3 days survived. People who did not receive medical care until 7 days or more died. This has been the same results in the US. But 50 million Americans don’t even have any healthcare coverage. And at least 200 million of you with insurance could not get in to see your private insurance plans doctors in 2 or 3 days, even if your life depended on it. WHICH IT DOES!

If President Obama has to declare a NATIONAL STATE OF EMERGENCY to rescue the American people from our healthcare crisis, he will need all the sustained support you can give him. STICK WITH HIM! He’s doing a brilliant job.



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