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Sun Apr 29, 2012, 07:07 PM

"The Obama Conundrum" (A Global Profiling President) Tom Englehardt...

Tomgram: Engelhardt, A Global-Profiling President
Posted by Tom Engelhardt at 5:55pm, April 29, 2012.

The Obama Conundrum

This, then, was what Barack Obama inherited on entering the Oval Office: an expanding, but not yet fully expansive, commander-in-chief presidency, which, in retrospect, seemed to fit him like a... glove. Of course, he also inherited the Bush administration’s domestic failures and those in the Greater Middle East, and they overshadowed what he’s done with that commander-in-chief presidency.


Once upon a time, American presidents didn’t consider micro-managing a permanent war state as a central part of their job description, nor did they focus so unrelentingly on the U.S. military and the doings of the national security state. Today, the president’s word is death just about anywhere on the planet and he exercises that power with remarkable frequency. He appears in front of “the troops” increasingly often and his wife has made their wellbeing part of her job description. He has at his command expanded “covert” powers, including his own private armies: a more militarized CIA and growing hordes of special operations forces, 60,000 of them, who essentially make up a “covert” military inside the U.S. military.

In effect, he also has his own private intelligence outfits, including most recently a newly formed Defense Clandestine Service at the Pentagon focused on non-war zone intelligence operations (especially, so the reports go, against China and Iran). Finally, he has what is essentially his own expanding private (robotic) air force: drones.

He can send his drone assassins and special ops troops just about anywhere to kill just about anyone he thinks should die, national sovereignty be damned. He firmly established his “right” to do this by going after the worst of the worst, killing Osama bin Laden in Pakistan with special operations forces and an American citizen and jihadi, Anwar al-Awlaki, in Yemen with a drone.

At the moment, the president is in the process of widening his around-the-clock “covert” air campaigns. Almost unnoted in the U.S., for instance, American drones recently carried out a strike in the Philippines killing 15 and the Air Force has since announced a plan to boost its drones there by 30%. At the same time, in Yemen, as previously in the Pakistani borderlands, the president has just given the CIA and the U.S. Joint Operations Command the authority to launch drone strikes not just against identified “high-value” al-Qaeda “targets,” but against general “patterns of suspicious behavior.” So expect an escalating drone war there not against known individuals, but against groups of suspected evildoers (and as in all such cases, innocent civilians as well).

This is another example of something that would be forbidden at home, but is now a tool of unchecked presidential power elsewhere in the world: profiling.


MUCH MORE of this READ at.....


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Reply "The Obama Conundrum" (A Global Profiling President) Tom Englehardt... (Original post)
KoKo Apr 2012 OP
cali Apr 2012 #1
tibbiit Apr 2012 #2
Liberal_Stalwart71 Apr 2012 #3
ProSense Apr 2012 #4
saras Apr 2012 #5
KoKo May 2012 #10
Tarheel_Dem Apr 2012 #6
lamp_shade Apr 2012 #7
Quantess Apr 2012 #8
xchrom Apr 2012 #9

Response to KoKo (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 07:11 PM

1. whatever. I'm still voting for Obama and I don't buy that Mitt would be powerless


that's bullshit if Mitty has a repuke Congress- which, btw, is not unlikely.

There's no conumdrum here for me.

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Response to cali (Reply #1)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 07:16 PM

2. me too cali

I want Obama to be reelected. Republicans can NEVER EVER be trusted at all. Everything else is pale by comparison of Repubs winning.

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 07:23 PM

3. OBAMA-BIDEN 2012!! Yes!!! :)


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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 07:38 PM

4. Really?

"Since the passage of his embattled healthcare bill, he has, in a sense, been in chains, able to accomplish next to nothing of his domestic program."

Really? Do these people actually believe the crap they write?

What about Wall Street reform (http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002579118) and these:

What Do Americans Think Of Obama's Performance As A President?

Chris Weigl, Screenwriter and Political Consultant

A friend of mine put together an awesome handwritten sign outlining why she’s voting for President Obama this year, I think it says almost everything you need to know:


In case you needed a few other examples of what President Obama has accomplished I put together a list below:

  1. Extended child tax credits and marriage-penalty fixes

  2. Created an Advanced Manufacturing Fund to invest in peer-reviewed manufacturing processes

  3. Required economic justification for tax changes

  4. Implemented “Women Owned Business” contracting program

  5. Changed standards for determining broadband access

  6. Established a credit card bill of rights

  7. Expanded loan programs for small businesses

  8. Extended the Bush tax cuts for lower incomes

  9. Extended the 2007 Alternative MinimumTax patch

  10. Closed the “doughnut hole” in Medicare prescription drug plan

  11. Expanded the Senior Corps volunteer program

  12. Required insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions

  13. Gave tax credits to those who need help to pay health premiums

  14. Required large employers to contribute to a national health plan

  15. Required children to have health insurance coverage

  16. Expanded eligibility for Medicaid

  17. Expanded eligibility for State Children’s Health Insurance Fund (SCHIP)

  18. Required health plans to disclose how much of the premium goes to patient care

  19. Established an independent health institute to provide accurate and objective information

  20. In non-competitive markets, forced insurers to pay out a reasonable share of their premiums for patient care

  21. Eliminated the higher subsidies to Medicare Advantage plans

  22. Expanded funding to train primary care providers and public health practitioners

  23. Increased funding to expand community based prevention programs

  24. Reinstated executive order to hire an additional 100,000 federal employees with disabilities within five years.

  25. Increased the Veterans Administration budget to recruit and retain more mental health professionals

  26. Expanded the Veterans Administration’s number of “centers of excellence” in specialty care

  27. Appointed a special adviser to the president on violence against women

  28. Fully funded the Violence Against Women Act

  29. Directed military leaders to end war in Iraq

  30. Began removing combat brigades from Iraq

  31. Created a military families advisory board

  32. Ended the abuse of supplemental budgets for war

  33. Made U.S. military aid to Pakistan conditional on anti-terror efforts

  34. Opened “America Houses” in Islamic cities around the globe

  35. Allocated Homeland Security funding according to risk

  36. Created a real National Infrastructure Protection Plan

  37. Increased funding for local emergency planning

  38. Extended monitoring and verification provisions of the START I Treaty

  39. Appointed a White House Coordinator for Nuclear Security

  40. Initiated a grant and training program for law enforcement to deter cyber crime

  41. Improved relations with Turkey, and its relations with Iraqi Kurds

  42. Launched an international Add Value to Agriculture Initiative (AVTA)

  43. Created a rapid response fund for emerging democracies

  44. Granted Americans unrestricted rights to visit family and send money to Cuba

  45. Restored funding for the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne/JAG) program

  46. Established an Energy Partnership for the Americas

  47. Expanded the Nurse-Family Partnership to all low-income, first-time mothers

  48. Required new hires to sign a form affirming their hiring was not due to political affiliation or contributions.

  49. Provided affordable, high-quality child care

  50. Recruited math and science degree graduates to the teaching profession

  51. Reduced subsidies to private student lenders and protect student borrowers

  52. Encouraged water-conservation efforts in the West

  53. Increased funding for national parks and forests

  54. Increased funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund

  55. Encouraged farmers to use more renewable energy and be more energy efficient

  56. Expanded Pell grants for low-income students

  57. Pursued a wildfire management plan

  58. Removed more brush, small trees and vegetation that fuel wildfires

  59. Expanded access to places to hunt and fish

  60. Pushed for enactment of Matthew Shepard Act, which expands hate crime law to include sexual orientation and other factors

  61. Repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy

  62. Restored funding to the EEOC and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs

  63. Reformed mandatory minimum sentences

  64. Created a White House Office on Urban Policy

  65. Fully funded the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)

  66. Established program to convert manufacturing centers into clean technology leaders

  67. Established ‘Promise Neighborhoods’ for areas of concentrated poverty

  68. Worked toward deploying a global climate change research and monitoring system

  69. Funded a major expansion of AmeriCorps

  70. Created a Social Investment Fund Network

  71. Bolstered the military’s ability to speak differentlanguages

  72. Appointed the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer

  73. Provided grants to early-career researchers

  74. Worked to overturn Ledbetter vs. Goodyear

  75. Created a national declassification center

  76. Appointed an American Indian policy adviser

  77. Created new financial regulations

  78. Increased funding for land-grant colleges

  79. Banned lobbyist gifts to executive employees

  80. Signed a “universal” health care bill

  81. Created new criminal penalties for mortgage fraud

  82. Required 10 percent renewable energy by 2012

  83. Released oil from Strategic Petroleum Reserve

  84. Raised fuel economy standards

  85. Invested in all types of alternative energy

  86. Enacted tax credit for consumers for plug-in hybrid cars

  87. Asked people and businesses to conserve electricity

  88. Required more energy-efficient appliances

  89. Created a ‘Green Vet Initiative’ to promote environmental jobs for veterans

  90. Created job training programs for clean technologies

  91. Required states to provide incentives for utilities to reduce energy consumption

  92. Supported high-speed rail

  93. Supported airline service in small towns

  94. Invested in public transportation

  95. Equalized tax breaks for driving and public transit

  96. Considered “smart growth” in transportation funding

  97. Shared environmental technology with other countries

  98. Doubled federal spending for research on clean fuels

  99. Provided grants to encourage energy-efficient building codes

  100. Increased funding for the Environmental Protection Agency

  101. Raised the small business investment expensing limit to $250,000 through the end of 2009

  102. Extended unemployment insurance benefits and

  103. temporarily suspend taxes on these benefits

  104. Supported network neutrality on the Internet

  105. .Reversed restrictions on stem cell research

  106. Killed Osama bin Laden

  107. Doubled funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a program that encourages manufacturing efficiency

  108. Included environmental and labor standards in trade agreements

  109. Created an international tax haven watch list

  110. Made permanent the Research & Development tax credit

  111. Required automatic enrollment in 401(k) plans

  112. Required automatic enrollment in IRA plans

  113. Created a consumer-friendly credit card rating system

  114. Created a $60 billion bank to fund roads and bridges

  115. Required full disclosure of company pension investments to employees

  116. Provided easy-to-understand comparisons of the Medicare prescription drug plans

  117. Invested in electronic health information systems

  118. Phased in requirements for health information technology

  119. Required that health plans utilize disease management programs

  120. Required providers to report measures of health care costs and quality

  121. Held hospitals and health plans accountable for disparities in care

  122. Implemented and funded proven health intervention programs

  123. Prevented drug companies from blocking generic drugs

  124. Allowed Medicare to negotiate for cheaper drug prices

  125. Worked with schools to create more healthful environments for children

  126. Improved recruitment of public health workers

  127. Mandated insurance coverage of autism treatment

  128. Fully funded the Combating Autism Act and Federal Autism Research Initiatives

  129. Doubled federal funding for cancer research

  130. Increased participation in cancer-related clinical trials

  131. Fully funded the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

  132. Set a national goal to provide re-screening for all 2-year-olds for developmental disorders

  133. Commissioned a study on students with disabilities and their transition to jobs or higher education

  134. Set goals and timetables for implementing Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act

  135. Created a best practices list for private businesses in accommodating workers with disabilities

  136. Launched educational initiative for employers on tax benefits of hiring employees with disabilities

  137. Reduced the threshhold for the Family and Medical Leave Act from companies with 50 employees to companies with 25 employees

  138. Provided a $1.5 billion fund to help states launch programs for paid family and medical leave

  139. Required employers to provide seven paid sick days per year

  140. Streamlined the Social Security disability approval process

  141. Expanded Veterans Centers in rural areas

  142. Established standards of care for traumatic brain injury treatment

  143. Made the Veterans Administration a national leader in health reform

  144. Reduced the Veterans Benefits Administration claims backlog

  145. Instituted electronic record-keeping for the Veterans Benefits Administration

  146. Expanded housing vouchers program for homeless veterans

  147. Launched a supportive services-housing program for veterans to prevent homelessness

  148. Expanded the Family Medical Leave Act to include leave for domestic violence or sexual assault

  149. Fully funded debt cancellation for heavily indebted poor countries

  150. Created a fund for international small and medium enterprises (SME)

  151. Launched robust diplomatic effort with Iraq and its neighbors

  152. Provided $30 billion over 10 years to Israel

  153. Limited Guard and Reserve deployments to one year for every six years

  154. Ended the “Stop-Loss” program of forcing troops to stay in service beyond their expected commitments

  155. Fully and properly equipped troops

  156. Created a Civilian Assistance Corps that would organize private sector professionals to help in times of need

  157. Included humanitarian international missions in long-term budgeting

  158. Reviewed weapons programs

  159. Modernized ships and invested more in small vessels

  160. Set standards for when the government should hire defense contractors

  161. Restored the government’s ability to manage contracts by rebuilding our contract officer corps

  162. Created a system of incentives and penalties for defense contracts

  163. Establish a Global Education Fund

  164. Strengthened the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) aimed at stopping spread of weapons of mass destruction

  165. Organized successful Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in 2010

  166. Expanded federal bioforensics program for tracking biological weapons

  167. Developed a comprehensive cyber security and response strategy

  168. Mandated standards for securing personal data

  169. Required companies to disclose personal information data breaches

  170. Worked to persuade the European Union to end credit guarantees to Iran

  171. Seek to negotiate a political agreement on Cyprus

  172. Restructured and streamlined USAID

  173. Increased the size of the foreign service

  174. Urged China to stop manipulation of its currency value

  175. Pressed China to end its support for regimes in Sudan, Burma, Iran and Zimbabwe

  176. Created a public “Contracts and Influence” database

  177. Required Cabinet officials to host Internet town hall meetings

  178. Conducted regulatory agency business in public

  179. Promoted more pre-school education

  180. Expanded Early Head Start and Head Start

  181. Reformed No Child Left Behind

  182. Doubled funding for Federal Charter School Program and require more accountability

  183. Addressed the dropout crisis by giving schools incentives for more dropout prevention

  184. Created Teacher Residency Programs that will send teachers to high-need schools

  185. Expanded teacher mentoring programs and provide incentives for more planning time

  186. Promoted innovative ways to reward good teachers

  187. Simplified the application process for financial aid

  188. Increased the number of high school students taking college-level courses

  189. Created incentives for tree planting and promote carbon sequestration

  190. Improved water quality

  191. Regulated pollution from major livestock operations

  192. Strengthened federal environmental justice programs

  193. Increased funding for organic and sustainable agriculture

  194. Partnered with landowners to conserve private lands

  195. Created a community college partnership program

  196. Increased funding for progams that conserve lands and habitat for select species such as the Osceola turkey

  197. Supported wetlands protection

  198. Promoted economic development in Mexico

  199. Supported repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

  200. Vigorously pursued hate crimes and civil rights abuses

  201. Signed the Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act into law

  202. Supported regional innovation clusters

  203. Helped low-income areas get phone and Internet service

  204. Created a Homeowner Obligation Made Explicit (HOME) score for mortgage comparisons

  205. Increased the supply of affordable housing throughout metropolitan regions

  206. Invested in transitional jobs and career pathway programs

  207. Fully funded the COPS program

  208. Improved emergency response plans

  209. Capped interest rates on payday loans and improve disclosure

  210. Expanded public/private partnerships between schools and arts organizations

  211. Improved climate change data records

  212. Supported improved weather prediction program

  213. Offered prizes for advances in consumer technology

  214. Encouraged contests and programs to interest students in science

  215. Increased research opportunities for college students

  216. Strengthened the levees in New Orleans

  217. Directed revenues from offshore oil and gas drilling to increased coastal hurricane protection

  218. Shook loose federal money for rebuilding the Gulf Coast
- more -


16 million: number of Americans who become eligible for Medicaid under the health care law

In case you missed it: Good moves by the Obama administration

BREAKING: Obama Administration To Establish Strong Carbon Pollution Limits For New Power Plants

Barack Obama's Had a Pretty Damn Good Presidency

Obama-Biden 2012!

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:25 PM

5. One of these days, someone will shoot drones back. That will be a game-changer


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Response to saras (Reply #5)

Fri May 4, 2012, 06:55 PM

10. I don't know why we Americans think we are "Insular" with Technology. We Train all kinds of Foreign

Students in our Best Universities.

Do we really think these people will be "Puppets" and not find their own TECNOLOGY...to defeat the Drones we now send all over the world?

What would WE DO...What have WE DONE to Defend our Ownselves.

We tend to be very myopic thinking we are still the HEROes who Saved the World from Hitler.

We have Educated so Many..

We are not the Smartest in the Universe. And, if we keep flying over sovereign countries and killing innocents we will pay a price very harsh...one day down the road. Our children, grandchildren will pay that price for "PRIDE!"

"Pride Goeth Before the Fall!" (My old Grandma used to say that a lot to us) when we kids were boasting and got out of hand in our squabbles.

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:38 PM

6. Wow. You may as well have posted the article in its entirety. Do the old rules no longer apply?

Do you have permission to post so much of someone else's work, or is this yours?

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 05:22 AM

7. Oh... it's you.

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 06:46 AM

8. He is better than Romney.

Not much else we can do about it.

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 07:54 AM

9. Du rec. Nt

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