Tag Archives: Obama

SOTU 2013 – Obama brings it

SOTU 2013

Obama brings it

© Bryan Zepp Jamieson

February 12, 2013

I nearly skipped watching the State of the Union speech tonight. They are usually perfunctory affairs, filled with partisan bragging and dutiful applause, wherein a bored-looking president recites that the state of the union is good and we really need to solve some problems, and the members of his party applaud while those in the opposing party sit on their hands and look stern. Like far too many elements of the marketing-driven politics of America, it has become something of a kabuki dance, as formal and as scripted as an 8th century Japanese play. Meetings of the old Soviet politburo must have been like this.

Additionally, I’m still disgusted over the assassination memo. Not much in the way of decent human values there. Is Obama nothing more than a mirror reflection of Vladimir Putin or Wen Jiabao? A thug, posturing as a statesman?

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“Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation”

“Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation”

He looked at me funny. Kill him.

 

© Bryan Zepp Jamieson

February 5th, 2013

 

Back on February 19. 1942, Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, authorizing police to round up and throw American citizens into concentration camps because one or more of their ancestors came from Japan.

Even the most fervent admirers of FDR regard this as a shameful blot on his record, a moment of weakness and cowardice from a man who assured the nation it had nothing to fear but fear itself. It was illegal, it was immoral, and it violated the very heart of the Bill of Rights.

There aren’t many apologists around these days for that action, but the few that remain argue that America was facing the greatest threat of her existence from Japan and Germany, and what’s more, those countries had concentration camps and things far worse than concentration camps. That’s true: Hitler and Japan were huge threats, they were utterly vile, and they represented a standard that America was expected to exceed. For the hundred thousand plus Americans who were locked up indefinitely without trial, their property seized and their lives ruined, “We’re not as bad as Hitler” must have seemed scant comfort. In 1943, in a photo-op that would have made Joseph Goebbels moan in envy (and probably did) Eleanor Roosevelt allowed herself to be photographed at the Gila River concentration camp, where she paid a “surprise” visit, surrounded by clean, well-dressed, beaming concentration camp inmates.

That shameful time brings us to 2011, and a 16-page memo entitled “Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a U.S. Citizen Who Is a Senior Operational Leader of al-Qaeda or An Associated Force.” Basically, this document lays out an Obama policy that anyone accused by the administration of being a member of or supporting al-Qaeda or any other group that scares the administration can be assassinated.

The government can kill anyone they accuse of being involved with the wrong people. They don’t need proof. They don’t need evidence. Just an accusation by any high administration official will do. The order goes out, and the accused dies. In fact, in Yemen, Obama has taken up killing off children of the accused, just in case. They killed an American in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki, and then they targeted and killed his 16 year old boy, because a teenage orphan four thousand miles away has to be at least as big a threat to America as the Japanese Navy, or the Nazi U-boats.

That the administration had been targeting and killing people based on gossip, who may or may not be members of outfits that don’t like America, has been pretty well known. Some were Americans. But the administration had always denied that any formal decision to do this had ever been made, and that the deaths were more or less incidental to larger, more legal policies.

They claimed there was no memo. They lied. NBC published it yesterday. http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/msnbc/sections/news/020413_DOJ_White_Paper.pdf

The paper is a frightening document, at least as terrifying as the Nuremberg Laws of 1935. It simply states that based on the unsupported opinion of any senior member of Obama’s administration, they have the right to murder you without warning, let alone without due process. And they can kill your family, too. There’s no “minimum requirement.” That’s explicitly stated right at the beginning. The administration needs NO threshold to decide that you must die. If they feel like it, you’re dead, your house blown up by a drone. Just like that. Just by writing this, I might meet that fate.

In amazing verbiage, the memo calmly states that it does not violate international or American law, including laws against assassination. It asserts that the administration has a constitutional mandate to protect Americans by murdering some of them. Just enough to set an example, you understand.

It uses “imminence” as a rationale, the same ruling that permits a police officer to use lethal force if a suspect presents an immediate and real threat to bystanders. It’s a well known fact, of course, that police never overstep this directive and exceed their authority. And politicians are even more moral and circumspect than police. Therefore abuse is inconceivable.

You did know that, right?

The document attempts to figleaf itself by iterating that it must be on foreign soil that these assassinations are carried out. It’s hard to understand how some clown with a bazooka can be an imminent threat to the security of the United States when he’s four thousand miles away. “Foreign soil” – wink, wink, nod, nod, a wink’s as good as a nod to a blind drone, eh?

The document goes on to justify itself by citing Supreme Court decisions, Geneva Convention rules, international and national laws, almost as if any of these things did justify this policy. In fact, none of them do. Not even the ones that deal with treatment of foreign soldiers and other adversaries during conditions of declared war.

This document lays bare the utter moral, ethical and legal depravity behind the so-called “war on terror.” It shows the cowardice and fear that informs US efforts to deal with people who don’t like America and might throw rocks. It is shameful, as shameful as the incarcerations in World War II, as shameful as My Lai or Andersonville.

It’s a disgrace to America, and it’s a disgrace to Obama.

Obama must renounce and abjure this document and the policy it represents, and he must do it now.

If he cannot, he doesn’t belong in the White House. He belongs in prison as a war criminal.

 

Obama and Gun Sanity

Obama and Gun Sanity

The prez comes out with 23 executive orders and 13 proposals for Congress

 

© Bryan Zepp Jamieson

January 16th 2013

 

 

To hear the far right tell it, North Korea, led by the reanimated corpse of Adolf Hitler, has invaded America and is making every school child turn in any relatives who have guns. Discussion areas throughout the web erupted with an amazing variety of paranoid conspiracy theories, ranging from claims the shootings at Sandy Hook were faked by the administration as an excuse to burn the Constitution (yes, really) to claims that doctors would be forced to turn in any patients who owned guns.

The reality is considerably closer to actual sanity. The 23 executive orders are relatively mild, and most amount to nothing more than window dressing. Even the one about doctors falls far short of Matt Drudge’s paranoid babble: it consists merely of sending a letter to doctors letting them know that it is not illegal to report patients who the doctors feel present a real risk of gun violence. To that end, he feels doctors should feel free to ask about weapons in the home, something the GOP has tried to outlaw.

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Congressman No

Congressman No

How I learned to stop worrying and love the austerity bomb

© Bryan Zepp Jamieson

December 5th 2012

 It looks like Obama is going to stand his ground. He has said, on several occasions over the past few days, that the ending of the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2% is not open for negotiation. Come January 1st, one way or another, the top income bracket on incomes over $250,000 goes from 36.5% to 39.5%. Someone who makes $251 thousand in 2013 will have to pay an additional $30 in federal taxes. Oh, the humanity.

The real battle isn’t between Obama and the GOP, despite appearances. That battle ended before it began, when Obama racked up 323 electoral votes on election night. He became only the fourth president since 1900 to get re-elected with more than 50% of the popular vote. And he ran on a platform of ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. Even Faux News is finding it difficult to claim he deceived anyone on that.

No, the real battle is between the moderates that remain in the GOP, and what one Guardian blogger called “the more swivel-eyed” elements of the far right. The ones that House Speaker Boehner is busily running out of the more important committees in an effort to bring the party back to something approaching sanity. As the wise man said, “The longest journey begins with a single step.” Boehner has taken that first step, and not surprisingly, the party has erupted into full scale war.

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Gobble, Gobble

Gobble, Gobble

The strange death of Peace

 © Bryan Zepp Jamieson

November 22, 2012

 How hard up is the right wing media in the wake of the collapse of their credibility in covering elections?

Matt Drudge, in his never ending search for anything to use against Barack Obama, had this as his top “below-the-fold” headline, a fairly prominent listing: “

Turkey pardoned by Obama euthanized…

If you follow the link, it takes you to the webpage for WPTV, an NBC affiliate in Florida. They, in turn, were running a story written by one Mike M. Ahlers, CNN Senior Producer. If he’s a Senior Producer for -the- CNN, then he’s obviously a very important man who has been assigned to the former White House Poultry Stage Props division. However, the NY Daily News has an expanded version of the same story under the byline of one “By Christine Roberts / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS” – a periodical that is something of a hen house.

 

The headline writer at WPTV is a bit more honest than Drudge, and so you learn right away that the turkey that was euthanized was not one of the ones Obama “pardoned” yesterday; it was one of the two he pardoned last year.

Our intrepid tom reporter, Mike learned of the mysterious death of the turkey named “Peace,” who was the “understudy” (tom reporter Mike’s word) for “Liberty” (yes, really. Liberty). How he learned this isn’t clear. Perhaps CNN has roving bands of interns whose job it is to track the fates of White House pets, mascots and props. Don’t laugh. Not in this economy. If someone is stupid enough to pay you to do something like that, you’ll do something like that. Children are starving in Indiana.

Tom reporter Mike spoke to an official.

Aha! Thinks the discerning reader. He went to the White House, and got something big. They don’t know where Obama was the night Peace died. Or maybe they’re trying to claim that the REAL Peace is on Rush Limbaugh’s Thanksgiving dinner table, and they murdered an innocent turkey with the same name in order to make Obama look bad! All we know for sure is that Peace was not in Gaza.

Tom reporter Mike spoke to an “official” at the Mount Vernon Estate, which is a turkey farm and not to be confused with the palatial abode of any dead white Presidents, although there is one on this particular turkey farm. Ben Franklin, who wanted the turkey to be the official bird of the United States, would have approved.

The “official” was a PR flak who was pretty clearly confounded that any reporter would bother asking about the death of any turkey at the turkey farm, even a turkey that has met Obama.

“Rebecca Aloisi, vice president for marketing at the Mount Vernon Estate, confirmed that Peace had been dead after a weekend ‘illness.’ But Aloisi knew neither the nature of the illness, the manner of death, nor what had been done with the remains of the large, edible bird,” wrote tom reporter Mike.

That “edible” is key to understanding tom reporter Mike’s thinking. There’s a scandal here, he’s thinking. Someone, possibly Obama himself, defied the presidential pardon and ate Peace.

There’s a lot of things that can kill a turkey that would make the bird inedible. If you take a turkey carcass, dress it out, and hang it up in a butcher shop with a big sign reading “Died of Natural Causes,” chances are good it will still be hanging there on Black Friday. Or maybe not; this is America, where tens of millions of people on food stamps try to live on $3/day for food, and it’s fairly late in the month. A lot of Americans are eating roadkill at this point, and won’t be too fussy about a turkey that doesn’t look like it died of AIDS.

Tom reporter Mike found it vaguely sinister that Rebecca Aloisi didn’t know exactly how Peace was put to death, or what became of his carcass. She noted that they had about 500 acres of turkeys, plus George Washington’s old home, which suggests that she probably wasn’t on a first name basis with many of them. But she was probably wondering just what this crazy reporter wanted from her, which by itself would confuse nearly anyone.

Tom reporter Mike ends his story on an ominous note, which doubtlessly is why Drudge elected to make it one of the top news stories of the day.

He wrote, “But now Peace is dead. And two new birds pardoned by President Obama will be put on public display until early January, and will then be retired to live out the rest of their natural lives, spared the feast. If that’s what you choose to believe.”

My gawd, is there no bottom to the evil depravity of Barack Obama? Did he, in fact, slip into the turkey farm in the dead of night, slit Peace’s throat, and bring him home as a Thanksgiving treat for Bo?

Or might it just have something to do with the fact that few domestic turkeys, particularly the poor morbidly obese and unexercised creatures that are shoveled, by the hundreds of millions, into the gaping maw of Thanksgiving, live more than a year? They can’t fly, they can barely walk, and most of them are stuffed full of hormones designed to raise water retention, the anti-Lasix for the poultry set so people can enjoy tender and juicy meat. They don’t get much in the way of life expectancy.

Now, the right wing has been real testy over the whole thing about politicians and Thanksgiving turkeys, ever since Sarah Palin let herself be filmed for an interview in front of a scene of turkeys being slaughtered. They desperately need a turkeygate of their own, and have been probably pushing the media for a taint of tryptophan trespass.

Maybe there is something dark, sinister and possibly even relevant to this story of the strange death of Peace. Maybe Obama looked at one of the birds he ‘pardoned’ and chuckled and whispered, “I’ll be seeing you again at Christmas Dinner or Eid al Fitr or whatever it is us socialist Moslems celebrate.”

Maybe Mike M. Ahlers, CNN Senior Producer, did find a real story, and this will reestablish CNN as one of the most reliable and important news sources in the world.

If that’s what you choose to believe.

 

 

 

 

Peace, turkey pardoned by President Obama last Thanksgiving, euthanized

Officials insist timing of death not suspicious

 

turkey_2_20121122055040_JPG

A turkey pardoned by President Obama last year was euthanized Monday, and officials are insisting the timing of the death — days before the Thanksgiving holiday — is not suspicious.
Copyright Getty Images

Posted: 5:52 AM
Last Updated: 6 hours and 11 minutes ago

  • By: Mike M. Ahlers, CNN Senior Producer

Washington — Peace, one of two turkeys pardoned by President Obama last year, was euthanized Monday, according to an official who insisted the timing of the death – days before the Thanksgiving holiday – was not suspicious.

Rebecca Aloisi, vice president for marketing at the Mount Vernon Estate, confirmed that Peace had been dead after a weekend “illness.” But Aloise knew neither the nature of the illness, the manner of death, nor what had been done with the remains of the large, edible bird.

“I appreciate where you’re going with this,” Aloisi told CNN. “But I assure you that these birds are extremely well cared for.” The decision to euthanize the bird was made by a veterinarian in consultation with Mount Vernon’s livestock department, she said.

Peace had served as the understudy for Liberty, another turkey, at the 2011 pardoning ceremony by President Obama. Obama chose to pardon both birds to spare them from the fate of the plate.

 

But pressed on details about Peace’s death, and what was done with the carcass, Aloisi deferred. “Honestly, I work in marketing,” she said, defensively. “We have a 500-acre facility.”

The facility – historic home of President George Washington – includes a landmark mansion, farm, wharf and the Mount Vernon Inn.

 

Asked if the inn serves turkey, Aloisi hedged. “That’s a good question. I assume so,” she said.

The inn, in fact, boasts of “costumed servers” who serve “delicious regional and colonial cuisine” including a “Roast Turkey Dinner” for $17.50, according to the inn’s web site.

Aloisi said turkeys have short lifespans, especially those bred for eating. The timing of the death was “curious,” Aloisi allowed, but not suspicious.

“I know that it was done in a humane manner but I don’t know the mechanics,” she said.

Mount Vernon anticipates receiving more turkeys following this year’s pardoning ceremony. “We were very prepared to have all four birds live here,” Aloisi said.

At the Nov. 23, 2011, pardoning, President Obama said Peace was “going to retire to a life of leisure at Mount Vernon – the same place where George Washington spent his golden years.”

But now Peace is dead.

And two new birds pardoned by President Obama will be put on public display until early January, and will then be retired to live out the rest of their natural lives, spared the feast.

If that’s what you choose to believe.

 

Aside

Mister President, You Have a Mandate The American people are behind you: Do your job © Bryan Zepp Jamieson November 9th 2012   When the Electoral College count moved above the magic 270 mark on its way to an eventual … Continue reading

The Morning After

The Morning After

What does the Obama victory mean?

 © Bryan Zepp Jamieson

November 7th 2012

 

While last night’s victory was hardly a smashing victory for liberalism, a lot of liberals are crowing with delight today. It’s not because it was a big win, but because what was defeated was so utterly vile.

First, there was Mitt Romney himself. The man seemed to have no concept of truthfulness, or any basic core values. Politics is known for attracting flip-floppers and con men, but he stood out, smarmy, empty, so vacantly dishonest that it was hard to tell if he cared, or even knew, when he was lying.

Then there were the Teabaggers. They had a bad night last night. Their chief harridan, Michele Bachmann, was able to get reelected, but only by the slimmest of margins, and in an area redistricted to her advantage. Had it been the same configuration that she got elected in three previous times, she would have lost. Others from the teabag fringe did worse: Alan West, Mourlock, and Akin are all gone. Scott Brown is gone. So are quite a few of the remaining Blue Dogs.

Faux News took a ringing slap to its credibility amongst its faithful viewers. It had been promising a Romney landslide for the past few weeks, with various pundits projecting Romney getting between 300 and 365 Electoral Votes, and up to 16% margins in the popular vote. When it didn’t turn out that way, Karl Rove effectively had an on-air melt down. He managed to stop just short of screaming “But this can’t be happening! The fix was in!” but it was pretty clear that he believed his own prognostication of 330 Electoral Votes for Mittens. Despite what his own polls were telling him.

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