Dec 27, 2016
In case you missed it amongst all your holiday plans and revelry, the other day the UN Security Council passes what is basically an “anti-Israel” resolution which reads, in part:
Condemning all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, including, inter alia, the construction and expansion of settlements, transfer of Israeli settlers, confiscation of land, demolition of homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions,
Expressing grave concern that continuing Israeli settlement activities are dangerously imperilling the viability of the two-State solution based on the 1967 lines . . .
Essentially, the resolution wants Israel to pull back to the 1947 boundaries instead of the ones negotiated in 1967 after Israel was attacked and defended itself to the point where a negotiated peace was made.
Initially, the resolution was put forth by Egypt but they withdrew it for a day and then the resolution was passed. Voting for the resolution were for of the rotating member countries on the Security Council of New Zealand, Venezuela, Senegal, and Malaysia. Other permanent members of the Security Council voting for the resolution were China, France, Russia, and the United Kingdom.
The United States abstained from voting.
A “nay” vote from the US would have killed the resolution, but instead, the US stepped aside and decided to abstain.
The resolution does not carry the weight of law, but it can be used to condemn Israel in international tribunals and in other court cases. This is not some “who cares?” type of thing.
Jan 8, 2016
The other day, President Obama gave a speech outlining his proposals for gun control. Often ignoring the law and the Constitution, he plowed ahead to the point where he started to tear up and cry. He said that he got emotional when he thinks of all the people killed by gun violence. People have commented on this and frankly, we were disturbed by the optics of the tears.
It was darned near impossible for us to imagine George Bush crying after 3000 Americans lost their lives on 9/11. It it impossible to think of Johnson crying after the assignation of John F. Kennedy. It is difficult to imagine Kennedy himself crying in public. We certainly did not see Eisenhower cry during the Korean conflict. There was no wavering in FDR’s voice as he asked Congress to declare war on Japan. Even Abraham Lincoln, who seemed to allow the deaths of every soldier in the North and South to rip apart his heart and soul never shed a tear.
It is not something that we expect of our leaders.
That’s our opinion on how it looked, and you are free to disagree with that opinion.
AF Branco of Comically Incorrect, takes a more direct approach to lack of logic and critical thinking behind those tears. As usual, he does it with devastating effectiveness.
Nov 12, 2014
The Obama administration puts its own special spin on the Taylor Swift hit.
Aug 30, 2014
Obama in 2008:
“I taught constitutional law for ten years. I take the Constitution very seriously. The biggest problems that we’re facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all, and that’s what I intend to reverse when I’m president of the United States of America.” (Townhall in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, March 31, 2008).
“I am going to be working with Congress where I can to accomplish this, but I am also going to act on my own if Congress is deadlocked. “I’ve got a pen to take executive actions where Congress won’t, and I’ve got a telephone to rally folks around the country on this mission.” (White House, January 14, 2014.)
Jul 11, 2014
A group of 38 journalist organizations sent President Obama a letter talking about the lack of transparency in the administration.
The 38 are part of the Society of Professional Journalists:
The letter outlines other specific examples of the excessive information control, considered by some as a form of censorship:
• Officials blocking reporters’ requests to talk to specific staff people;
• Excessive delays in answering interview requests that stretch past reporters’ deadlines;
• Officials conveying information “on background,” refusing
to give reporters what should be public information unless they agree not to say who is speaking.
• Federal agencies blackballing reporters who write critically of them.
Here’s the letter:
President Barack Obama
The White House
July 8, 2014
You recently expressed concern that frustration in the country is breeding cynicism about democratic government. You need look no further than your own administration for a major source of that frustration – politically driven suppression of news and information about federal agencies. We call on you to take a stand to stop the spin and let the sunshine in.
Over the past two decades, public agencies have increasingly prohibited staff from communicating with journalists unless they go through public affairs offices or through political appointees. This trend has been especially pronounced in the federal government. We consider these restrictions a form of censorship — an attempt to control what the public is allowed to see and hear.
Jun 2, 2014
A few days ago, State Department spokesman Jen Psaki claimed ” “I would argue the President doesn’t give himself enough credit for what’s he’s done around the world.”
That statement was met with some open laughter from the assembled press corps.
JEN PSAKI: I would argue the president doesn’t give himself enough credit for what he’s done around the world, and that’s how the secretary feels too. We would not be engaged in comprehensive negotiations with Iran, which is where the program is stalled and is rolling back, if it were not for the role of the United States, along with the P-5 plus one partners, certainly. Ukraine, we’ve been engaged more or as much as any other country in the world in supporting the elections process and supporting the government and supporting their efforts moving forward. Yes, there’s more work that needs to be done. The point is, we need to continue to stay at it.
Q: But isn’t this a potential mission accomplished situation?
PSAKI: Absolutely not.
Q: Jen, you would argue the president doesn’t give himself enough credit? How much credit would you give him?
Mar 18, 2014
Fulfilling well meaning and good sounding promises is often harder than it seems.
One of the main messages that then Senator Barack Obama ran upon was “transparency in government” and a pledge to make his administration the “most transparent administration ever.” It sounded good. It was something most people want as we tire of back room deals and a lack of accountability – which can only come with openness.
In 2009 Obama met with his senior staff and said:
I will also hold myself as president to a new standard of openness …. Let me say it as simply as I can: Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.
A 2009 White House memo promises the same openness and transparency:
My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.
Government should be transparent. Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing. Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset. My Administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use. Executive departments and agencies should harness new technologies to put information about their operations and decisions online and readily available to the public. Executive departments and agencies should also solicit public feedback to identify information of greatest use to the public.
So how’s that “transparency” working out?