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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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Arrow 10 replies Author Time Post
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:

[ol][li]Extended child tax credits and marriage-penalty fixes

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

[li]Required economic justification for tax changes

[li]Implemented “Women Owned Business” contracting program

[li]Changed standards for determining broadband access

[li]Established a credit card bill of rights

[li]Expanded loan programs for small businesses

[li]Extended the Bush tax cuts for lower incomes

[li]Extended the 2007 Alternative MinimumTax patch

[li]Closed the “doughnut hole” in Medicare prescription drug plan

[li]Expanded the Senior Corps volunteer program

[li]Required insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions

[li]Gave tax credits to those who need help to pay health premiums

[li]Required large employers to contribute to a national health plan

[li]Required children to have health insurance coverage

[li]Expanded eligibility for Medicaid

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

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

[li]Established an independent health institute to provide accurate and objective information

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

[li]Eliminated the higher subsidies to Medicare Advantage plans

[li]Expanded funding to train primary care providers and public health practitioners

[li]Increased funding to expand community based prevention programs

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

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

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

[li]Appointed a special adviser to the president on violence against women

[li]Fully funded the Violence Against Women Act

[li]Directed military leaders to end war in Iraq

[li]Began removing combat brigades from Iraq

[li]Created a military families advisory board

[li]Ended the abuse of supplemental budgets for war

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

[li]Opened “America Houses” in Islamic cities around the globe

[li]Allocated Homeland Security funding according to risk

[li]Created a real National Infrastructure Protection Plan

[li]Increased funding for local emergency planning

[li]Extended monitoring and verification provisions of the START I Treaty

[li]Appointed a White House Coordinator for Nuclear Security

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

[li]Improved relations with Turkey, and its relations with Iraqi Kurds

[li]Launched an international Add Value to Agriculture Initiative (AVTA)

[li]Created a rapid response fund for emerging democracies

[li]Granted Americans unrestricted rights to visit family and send money to Cuba

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

[li]Established an Energy Partnership for the Americas

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

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

[li]Provided affordable, high-quality child care

[li]Recruited math and science degree graduates to the teaching profession

[li]Reduced subsidies to private student lenders and protect student borrowers

[li]Encouraged water-conservation efforts in the West

[li]Increased funding for national parks and forests

[li]Increased funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund

[li]Encouraged farmers to use more renewable energy and be more energy efficient

[li]Expanded Pell grants for low-income students

[li]Pursued a wildfire management plan

[li]Removed more brush, small trees and vegetation that fuel wildfires

[li]Expanded access to places to hunt and fish

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

[li]Repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy

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

[li]Reformed mandatory minimum sentences

[li]Created a White House Office on Urban Policy

[li]Fully funded the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)

[li]Established program to convert manufacturing centers into clean technology leaders

[li]Established ‘Promise Neighborhoods’ for areas of concentrated poverty

[li]Worked toward deploying a global climate change research and monitoring system

[li]Funded a major expansion of AmeriCorps

[li]Created a Social Investment Fund Network

[li]Bolstered the military’s ability to speak differentlanguages

[li]Appointed the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer

[li]Provided grants to early-career researchers

[li]Worked to overturn Ledbetter vs. Goodyear

[li]Created a national declassification center

[li]Appointed an American Indian policy adviser

[li]Created new financial regulations

[li]Increased funding for land-grant colleges

[li]Banned lobbyist gifts to executive employees

[li]Signed a “universal” health care bill

[li]Created new criminal penalties for mortgage fraud

[li]Required 10 percent renewable energy by 2012

[li]Released oil from Strategic Petroleum Reserve

[li]Raised fuel economy standards

[li]Invested in all types of alternative energy

[li]Enacted tax credit for consumers for plug-in hybrid cars

[li]Asked people and businesses to conserve electricity

[li]Required more energy-efficient appliances

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

[li]Created job training programs for clean technologies

[li]Required states to provide incentives for utilities to reduce energy consumption

[li]Supported high-speed rail

[li]Supported airline service in small towns

[li]Invested in public transportation

[li]Equalized tax breaks for driving and public transit

[li]Considered “smart growth” in transportation funding

[li]Shared environmental technology with other countries

[li]Doubled federal spending for research on clean fuels

[li]Provided grants to encourage energy-efficient building codes

[li]Increased funding for the Environmental Protection Agency

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

[li]Extended unemployment insurance benefits and

[li]temporarily suspend taxes on these benefits

[li]Supported network neutrality on the Internet

[li].Reversed restrictions on stem cell research

[li]Killed Osama bin Laden

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

[li]Included environmental and labor standards in trade agreements

[li]Created an international tax haven watch list

[li]Made permanent the Research & Development tax credit

[li]Required automatic enrollment in 401(k) plans

[li]Required automatic enrollment in IRA plans

[li]Created a consumer-friendly credit card rating system

[li]Created a $60 billion bank to fund roads and bridges

[li]Required full disclosure of company pension investments to employees

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

[li]Invested in electronic health information systems

[li]Phased in requirements for health information technology

[li]Required that health plans utilize disease management programs

[li]Required providers to report measures of health care costs and quality

[li]Held hospitals and health plans accountable for disparities in care

[li]Implemented and funded proven health intervention programs

[li]Prevented drug companies from blocking generic drugs

[li]Allowed Medicare to negotiate for cheaper drug prices

[li]Worked with schools to create more healthful environments for children

[li]Improved recruitment of public health workers

[li]Mandated insurance coverage of autism treatment

[li]Fully funded the Combating Autism Act and Federal Autism Research Initiatives

[li]Doubled federal funding for cancer research

[li]Increased participation in cancer-related clinical trials

[li]Fully funded the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[li]Required employers to provide seven paid sick days per year

[li]Streamlined the Social Security disability approval process

[li]Expanded Veterans Centers in rural areas

[li]Established standards of care for traumatic brain injury treatment

[li]Made the Veterans Administration a national leader in health reform

[li]Reduced the Veterans Benefits Administration claims backlog

[li]Instituted electronic record-keeping for the Veterans Benefits Administration

[li]Expanded housing vouchers program for homeless veterans

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

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

[li]Fully funded debt cancellation for heavily indebted poor countries

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

[li]Launched robust diplomatic effort with Iraq and its neighbors

[li]Provided $30 billion over 10 years to Israel

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

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

[li]Fully and properly equipped troops

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

[li]Included humanitarian international missions in long-term budgeting

[li]Reviewed weapons programs

[li]Modernized ships and invested more in small vessels

[li]Set standards for when the government should hire defense contractors

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

[li]Created a system of incentives and penalties for defense contracts

[li]Establish a Global Education Fund

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

[li]Organized successful Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in 2010

[li]Expanded federal bioforensics program for tracking biological weapons

[li]Developed a comprehensive cyber security and response strategy

[li]Mandated standards for securing personal data

[li]Required companies to disclose personal information data breaches

[li]Worked to persuade the European Union to end credit guarantees to Iran

[li]Seek to negotiate a political agreement on Cyprus

[li]Restructured and streamlined USAID

[li]Increased the size of the foreign service

[li]Urged China to stop manipulation of its currency value

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

[li]Created a public “Contracts and Influence” database

[li]Required Cabinet officials to host Internet town hall meetings

[li]Conducted regulatory agency business in public

[li]Promoted more pre-school education

[li]Expanded Early Head Start and Head Start

[li]Reformed No Child Left Behind

[li]Doubled funding for Federal Charter School Program and require more accountability

[li]Addressed the dropout crisis by giving schools incentives for more dropout prevention

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

[li]Expanded teacher mentoring programs and provide incentives for more planning time

[li]Promoted innovative ways to reward good teachers

[li]Simplified the application process for financial aid

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

[li]Created incentives for tree planting and promote carbon sequestration

[li]Improved water quality

[li]Regulated pollution from major livestock operations

[li]Strengthened federal environmental justice programs

[li]Increased funding for organic and sustainable agriculture

[li]Partnered with landowners to conserve private lands

[li]Created a community college partnership program

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

[li]Supported wetlands protection

[li]Promoted economic development in Mexico

[li]Supported repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

[li]Vigorously pursued hate crimes and civil rights abuses

[li]Signed the Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act into law

[li]Supported regional innovation clusters

[li]Helped low-income areas get phone and Internet service

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

[li]Increased the supply of affordable housing throughout metropolitan regions

[li]Invested in transitional jobs and career pathway programs

[li]Fully funded the COPS program

[li]Improved emergency response plans

[li]Capped interest rates on payday loans and improve disclosure

[li]Expanded public/private partnerships between schools and arts organizations

[li]Improved climate change data records

[li]Supported improved weather prediction program

[li]Offered prizes for advances in consumer technology

[li]Encouraged contests and programs to interest students in science

[li]Increased research opportunities for college students

[li]Strengthened the levees in New Orleans

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

[li]Shook loose federal money for rebuilding the Gulf Coast [/ol]- 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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