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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:

Extended child tax credits and marriage-penalty fixes

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

Required economic justification for tax changes

Implemented “Women Owned Business” contracting program

Changed standards for determining broadband access

Established a credit card bill of rights

Expanded loan programs for small businesses

Extended the Bush tax cuts for lower incomes

Extended the 2007 Alternative MinimumTax patch

Closed the “doughnut hole” in Medicare prescription drug plan

Expanded the Senior Corps volunteer program

Required insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions

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

Required large employers to contribute to a national health plan

Required children to have health insurance coverage

Expanded eligibility for Medicaid

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

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

Established an independent health institute to provide accurate and objective information

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

Eliminated the higher subsidies to Medicare Advantage plans

Expanded funding to train primary care providers and public health practitioners

Increased funding to expand community based prevention programs

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

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

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

Appointed a special adviser to the president on violence against women

Fully funded the Violence Against Women Act

Directed military leaders to end war in Iraq

Began removing combat brigades from Iraq

Created a military families advisory board

Ended the abuse of supplemental budgets for war

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

Opened “America Houses” in Islamic cities around the globe

Allocated Homeland Security funding according to risk

Created a real National Infrastructure Protection Plan

Increased funding for local emergency planning

Extended monitoring and verification provisions of the START I Treaty

Appointed a White House Coordinator for Nuclear Security

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

Improved relations with Turkey, and its relations with Iraqi Kurds

Launched an international Add Value to Agriculture Initiative (AVTA)

Created a rapid response fund for emerging democracies

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

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

Established an Energy Partnership for the Americas

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

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

Provided affordable, high-quality child care

Recruited math and science degree graduates to the teaching profession

Reduced subsidies to private student lenders and protect student borrowers

Encouraged water-conservation efforts in the West

Increased funding for national parks and forests

Increased funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund

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

Expanded Pell grants for low-income students

Pursued a wildfire management plan

Removed more brush, small trees and vegetation that fuel wildfires

Expanded access to places to hunt and fish

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

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

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

Reformed mandatory minimum sentences

Created a White House Office on Urban Policy

Fully funded the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)

Established program to convert manufacturing centers into clean technology leaders

Established ‘Promise Neighborhoods’ for areas of concentrated poverty

Worked toward deploying a global climate change research and monitoring system

Funded a major expansion of AmeriCorps

Created a Social Investment Fund Network

Bolstered the military’s ability to speak differentlanguages

Appointed the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer

Provided grants to early-career researchers

Worked to overturn Ledbetter vs. Goodyear

Created a national declassification center

Appointed an American Indian policy adviser

Created new financial regulations

Increased funding for land-grant colleges

Banned lobbyist gifts to executive employees

Signed a “universal” health care bill

Created new criminal penalties for mortgage fraud

Required 10 percent renewable energy by 2012

Released oil from Strategic Petroleum Reserve

Raised fuel economy standards

Invested in all types of alternative energy

Enacted tax credit for consumers for plug-in hybrid cars

Asked people and businesses to conserve electricity

Required more energy-efficient appliances

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

Created job training programs for clean technologies

Required states to provide incentives for utilities to reduce energy consumption

Supported high-speed rail

Supported airline service in small towns

Invested in public transportation

Equalized tax breaks for driving and public transit

Considered “smart growth” in transportation funding

Shared environmental technology with other countries

Doubled federal spending for research on clean fuels

Provided grants to encourage energy-efficient building codes

Increased funding for the Environmental Protection Agency

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

Extended unemployment insurance benefits and

temporarily suspend taxes on these benefits

Supported network neutrality on the Internet

.Reversed restrictions on stem cell research

Killed Osama bin Laden

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

Included environmental and labor standards in trade agreements

Created an international tax haven watch list

Made permanent the Research & Development tax credit

Required automatic enrollment in 401(k) plans

Required automatic enrollment in IRA plans

Created a consumer-friendly credit card rating system

Created a $60 billion bank to fund roads and bridges

Required full disclosure of company pension investments to employees

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

Invested in electronic health information systems

Phased in requirements for health information technology

Required that health plans utilize disease management programs

Required providers to report measures of health care costs and quality

Held hospitals and health plans accountable for disparities in care

Implemented and funded proven health intervention programs

Prevented drug companies from blocking generic drugs

Allowed Medicare to negotiate for cheaper drug prices

Worked with schools to create more healthful environments for children

Improved recruitment of public health workers

Mandated insurance coverage of autism treatment

Fully funded the Combating Autism Act and Federal Autism Research Initiatives

Doubled federal funding for cancer research

Increased participation in cancer-related clinical trials

Fully funded the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Required employers to provide seven paid sick days per year

Streamlined the Social Security disability approval process

Expanded Veterans Centers in rural areas

Established standards of care for traumatic brain injury treatment

Made the Veterans Administration a national leader in health reform

Reduced the Veterans Benefits Administration claims backlog

Instituted electronic record-keeping for the Veterans Benefits Administration

Expanded housing vouchers program for homeless veterans

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

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

Fully funded debt cancellation for heavily indebted poor countries

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

Launched robust diplomatic effort with Iraq and its neighbors

Provided $30 billion over 10 years to Israel

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

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

Fully and properly equipped troops

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

Included humanitarian international missions in long-term budgeting

Reviewed weapons programs

Modernized ships and invested more in small vessels

Set standards for when the government should hire defense contractors

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

Created a system of incentives and penalties for defense contracts

Establish a Global Education Fund

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

Organized successful Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in 2010

Expanded federal bioforensics program for tracking biological weapons

Developed a comprehensive cyber security and response strategy

Mandated standards for securing personal data

Required companies to disclose personal information data breaches

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

Seek to negotiate a political agreement on Cyprus

Restructured and streamlined USAID

Increased the size of the foreign service

Urged China to stop manipulation of its currency value

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

Created a public “Contracts and Influence” database

Required Cabinet officials to host Internet town hall meetings

Conducted regulatory agency business in public

Promoted more pre-school education

Expanded Early Head Start and Head Start

Reformed No Child Left Behind

Doubled funding for Federal Charter School Program and require more accountability

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

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

Expanded teacher mentoring programs and provide incentives for more planning time

Promoted innovative ways to reward good teachers

Simplified the application process for financial aid

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

Created incentives for tree planting and promote carbon sequestration

Improved water quality

Regulated pollution from major livestock operations

Strengthened federal environmental justice programs

Increased funding for organic and sustainable agriculture

Partnered with landowners to conserve private lands

Created a community college partnership program

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

Supported wetlands protection

Promoted economic development in Mexico

Supported repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

Vigorously pursued hate crimes and civil rights abuses

Signed the Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act into law

Supported regional innovation clusters

Helped low-income areas get phone and Internet service

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

Increased the supply of affordable housing throughout metropolitan regions

Invested in transitional jobs and career pathway programs

Fully funded the COPS program

Improved emergency response plans

Capped interest rates on payday loans and improve disclosure

Expanded public/private partnerships between schools and arts organizations

Improved climate change data records

Supported improved weather prediction program

Offered prizes for advances in consumer technology

Encouraged contests and programs to interest students in science

Increased research opportunities for college students

Strengthened the levees in New Orleans

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

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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