But as U.S. president for the last 4-1/2 years, Barack Obama has faced accusation after accusation of impinging on civil liberties, disappointing his liberal Democratic base and providing fodder for rival Republicans as he deals with the realities of office.
News in the past week of the federal seizure of phone records from the Associated Press news agency and the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative Tea Party groups, has intensified criticism already simmering over the Guantanamo Bay prison camp and aerial drone strikes abroad.
Asked at a news conference on Tuesday why the administration had not done more for civil liberties, Attorney General Eric Holder said: “I’m proud of what we have done” and emphasized the administration’s shift from Bush era harsh interrogation practices of terrorism suspects that had drawn international criticism.
When he took office in 2009, Obama promised to close the Guantanamo camp for foreign terrorism suspects, but it remains open with 166 detainees, many on hunger strikes in protest at indefinite detentions. Obama said last month he would revisit that pledge and blamed Congress for blocking his plan to close the camp, partly through restrictions on transfers of detainees.
As usual she nails it.
In a communications landscape where everything is up for grabs, the most powerful—and self-serving—players are grabbing for everything. And decisions that President Obama and his next appointee to chair the Federal Communications Commission will make in the coming months could well decide whether new media robber barons will dominate the local, state and national discourse.
Rupert Murdoch has renewed his push to have the FCC scrap its thirty-eight-year-old media cross-ownership rule, which bars him from buying up the daily newspaper, the largest television and radio stations, and the top digital news and entertainment sites in major American cities. Murdoch wants to rule the roost in Los Angeles, where he already owns TV stations and is salivating at the prospect of combining them with the Los Angeles Times, the nation’s fourth-largest newspaper, which the Tribune Company is putting up for sale.
If the FCC clears the way for greater media consolidation, Murdoch could face competition from even more ambitious players, including the Koch brothers. LA Weekly reports that the billionaire funders of right-wing campaigns might begin backing up their political projects with purchases from a Tribune stable that includes the largest newspapers in California, Illinois, Connecticut and Maryland, as well as media properties in battleground states like Florida and Virginia.
Newspapers no longer make the kind of money they once did, but as the American Journalism Review notes, there are buyers who get excited by a “Citizen Kane model of using the paper’s news columns to promote a point of view.” And if the FCC scraps its cross-ownership rule, the “Citizen Kane model” won’t be restricted to traditional news columns. For evidence of that, look to San Diego, where developer Doug Manchester has, since he purchased the powerful Union-Tribune, stirred an outcry by turning the paper (and its popular website) into a cheerleader for his projects, proposals and candidates. Even if the media buyers are not heavy-handed right-wingers, rule changes that would allow billionaires to use old-media newsrooms as one-size-fits-all “content providers” for broadcast outlets and heavily trafficked new-media sites should be rejected, in the words of Free Press president Craig Aaron, as “unfathomable at a moment when the airwaves are already so consolidated, so concentrated, and simply don’t represent the diversity, and the diversity of viewpoints, of the American people.”
Read more here
Bruce Heyman, a Chicago-based Goldman Sachs executive and one of Barack Obama’s top fundraisers, is in final talks to become the next U.S. ambassador to Canada, according to sources.
Mr. Heyman would be the second ambassador to Canada to hail from Chicago, replacing David Jacobson.
A person familiar with the selection process confirmed Mr. Heyman was “in the mix,” adding that he has long been an ardent supporter of the U.S. President. However, the source added that the process is not over and no final decision has been made.
Mr. Heyman and his wife, Vicki, have been a political power couple for three decades. They were among Mr. Obama’s top fundraisers, collecting and contributing $1.7-million to the President’s bid for a second term. Mrs. Heyman helped run the President’s 2012 re-election campaign, and the couple were major contributors to the campaign.
Dim Jim Hoft, picking up a story that is blazing across Wingnutistan, posts a blurry picture of a video screen where you can tell who is on it, along with audio of, at best, a mixture of cheers and boos.
Yeah, they booed Obama out of there. Told him off. Put him in his place…
But of course, the real fun are the comments, where there is enough Derp to feed an army, particularly the ones about Reggie Love:
King_Putz • 3 minutes ago
Couldn’t happen to a nicer A hole.
Meaunkey Snaut • 21 minutes ago
who in their right mind would boo DEAR LEADER?
If this video is authentic, those subjects are lucky DEAR LEADER didn’t step into his limo and order a DRONE STRIKE on those lowly serfs!
Barack Hussein Obama
MMM MMM MMM !!1!
metal • 3 hours ago
It’s a fact now that the petition to even get him and Hilliary on the ballot to run in 2008 was forged, he made it by 34 names and 90 were fraud, IMPEACH THE IMPOSTER!
Atnuk Etnik • 3 hours ago
Booed? That’s all? Its a good thing we aren’t 19th century France. Or President Petulant Pontificateur and his beast of a wife Moochie Antoinette James Earl Jones in a Wig obama would get a lot more than just booed.
Gas_Passer • 4 hours ago
It is really funny that Obama got booed at a thugball game in Washington D.C. Does anyone think Obama would get booed at a Chicago Bears game played at Chicago?
SJF ** • 4 hours ago
I see Reggie Love is by his side AGAIN. What is the deal with this Love guy??? Seems like BO is photographed with him more often than he is Michelle. I thought Reggie Love no longer worked for him. It’s just down right weird.
Atnuk Etnik SJF ** • 3 hours ago
It is common knowledge that Reggie Loves to play hide the salami with the metrosexual mom-jean wearing petulant pissant of a boy-king currently occupying the white house and burning through the peoples rights and money…Some call him the SCOAMF, but you can call him King Putt.
xbox361 • 4 hours ago
most politicians get booed at sporting events. don’t put too much into something like this. if a reporter ever boos, that will be news
Atnuk Etnik xbox361 • 3 hours ago
You can’t boo while fellating.
xbox361 Atnuk Etnik • 36 minutes ago
you are right and funny
Peter Gillis • 5 hours ago
even blacks and dumb a$$ linbritards are coming around to see this man child for what he is
Tom McDaily • 5 hours ago
what? The Kenyan in Chief had nothing better to do?
Td Torquemada • 5 hours ago
Is that Reggie Love ear frenching our dear leader?
Hank • 5 hours ago
You know what, even IF the video is fake, I don’t care. Why? Because that’s how the left operates 24 hours a day. All they do is lie and defame and slander the right every chance they get. Give them a taste of their own medicine. Even IF it’s fake, if it pisses them off, then GOOD. It’s a win-win, fake or not.
My apologies to anyone who has found themselves dumber for having read a Dim Jim post.
She also said that the President’s speech to the UN last year (where he said the future does not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam), where he denounced Islamic “blasphemy laws,” was actually in support of them.
And you know, that’s a perfect example of the hidden clues Glenn Beck was talking about…but I digress.
Anyway, on to Pamela’s keen insights:
It was so deeply troubling and so disturbing when you had the President of the United States Barack Obama go before the UN after our embassies had been attacked and say ‘the future does not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.’ Well first of all he’s not my prophet, so chill President of the United States you speak to everybody. He may be your prophet but he’s not mine. And then to use the weight of the United States to say you know violating the blasphemy laws is not the future, I think is pretty scary stuff, pretty scary stuff. I don’t care how they package it in the media, taking a steaming pile of dung and putting it in a Tiffany blue box with a little white ribbon, it is still dung.
There is audio at the link.
Pamela also said on the same radio show she appeared on - hosted by Rick Wiles, perpetuator of all manner of derp, including blaming gay rights activists for North Korea’s recent threats - that she had spoken to ACU head and host of CPAC Al Cardenas about her worries that CPAC was “enforcing the Sharia”, and that ACU Board members Grover Norquist and Suhail Khan were secretly in cahoots with the Muslim Brotherhood.
So there’s plenty of bad craziness for you all the mull over this weekend! :)
Shalom. President Peres, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and most of all, to the people of Israel, thank you for this incredibly warm welcome. This is my third visit to Israel so let me just say tov lihiyot shuv ba’aretz. (Good to be back in the Land [of Israel]).
I’m so honored to be here as you prepare to celebrate the 65th anniversary of a free and independent State of Israel. Yet I know that in stepping foot on this land, I walk with you on the historic homeland of the Jewish people.
More than 3,000 years ago, the Jewish people lived here, tended the land here, prayed to God here. And after centuries of exile and persecution, unparalleled in the history of man, the founding of the Jewish State of Israel was a rebirth, a redemption unlike any in history.
Today, the sons of Abraham and the daughters of Sarah are fulfilling the dream of the ages — to be “masters of their own fate” in “their own sovereign state.” And just as we have for these past 65 years, the United States is proud to stand with you as your strongest ally and your greatest friend.
Washington has Grand Bargain fever, again. Thanks to the sequestration, Republican government-shrinking mania and Barack Obama’s apparently sincere desire to get some sort of huge long-term debt deal done, the Grand Bargain is looking more possible than at any point since the heady days of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility.
For some reason, the options for dealing with sequestration — a self-inflicted made-up austerity crisis — are being purposefully and pointlessly limited to a) spending cuts, either those in sequestration or different ones, or b) spending cuts and tax increases. “Let’s just not do this, everyone” is rarely presented as a viable option. Instead, the single best end result, according to lots of pundits, Democrats and even Republicans, is tthe Mythical Grand Bargain.
This is awful news, for most people. A “grand bargain” is not going to be good. But after Barack Obama had fancy dinners with some Republicans last week, everyone is again hopeful. The president is hopeful. John Boehner is hopeful. David Gergen is probably hopeful. They can all taste the Bargain. Ooh, it’ll be so great when we get that Bargain!
The Grand Bargain is revered, among the Sunday Show set, as a goal essentially for its own sake. Its Grandness is its point. The thought of the parties coming together, agreeing on a mutually unpleasant compromise involving great political “sacrifice” (symbolic sacrifice for the politicians, likely eventual actual sacrifice for the constituents), warms the cockles of the Beltway Establishmentarian’s heart. If liberals and conservatives can’t stand the deal, all the better, even if one or both sides have perfectly valid reasons for blanching. The Bargain must, by necessity, reduce the deficit by “reining in entitlements.” “Entitlements” means Social Security and Medicare, two very popular and successful programs designed to keep retired people alive. Social Security and Medicare “reforms” that make both programs less generous are among the least popular policy proposals in America today, but both parties — at least, the leaders of both parties — support them (rhetorically). Cutting these programs is probably the single highest priority of the tiny centrist elite, and it has been for years, excepting the usual run-ups to our various wars. Part of the elaborate theater of Performing Seriousness in Washington is claiming that “everyone agrees” that the cuts are urgent and necessary, while also bemoaning that no politicians are “brave” enough to support them.