Monday, October 14, 2019

Talking Barack


From last night, that's  Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Clueless."

Consortium News has a really interesting conversation about Barack Obama -- Nick Lehr speaking with David Bromwich.  Here's an excerpt:

And yet “not looking weak” – in other words, assenting to war – is, in a lot of regards, for an American president, the easiest thing to do.

Yes. We default to war. Take Trump’s decision in April 2017 to send those 60 Tomahawk missiles to bomb a Russian airfield in Syria. That didn’t lead to a larger war, but he was praised vastly for it by most in the liberal media, as well as the usual suspects, like Lindsey Graham. Why? Because he had used U.S. power. He had finally bombed. And it does occur to you, eventually, that for an American president, bombing is easier than thinking.
Obama is not, again, by nature, a violent, contentious sort of person. But with Libya, for example, when he was told by Samantha Power, Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton and Anne-Marie Slaughter that we needed to fight with the rebels in Libya, bomb the country and overthrow Gadhafi, he must have felt that he shouldn’t resist. And the civil war in Libya that resulted – well, it continues today.

That reminds me of the part of your book where you zero in on comments Obama made in March 2015 about his failure to close Guantanamo. Obama said, “The politics of it got tough, and people got scared by the rhetoric around it. Once that set in, then the path of least resistance was just to leave it open.” How does that one phrase – “the path of least resistance” – epitomize Obama’s approach to politics?

Many people thought Obama had done quite confrontational, quite remarkable things somewhere back in his career. Maybe it happened at Harvard, maybe it happened in his time as a community organizer. But when you look closely, these occasions don’t exist.
Strength of character is established by doing something brave and original. You’ll find this idea in places like Emerson’s essay Self-Reliance – you are stronger from habit, from having once seen that you’ve been strong. That has to evolve by taking a stance of open resistance, and maybe once or twice even being alone in opposition and facing the powers that be. Well-meaning politicians like Obama, who haven’t had that particular experience, are, in a sense, unformed and unprepared to serve in positions as leaders.
[Back in 2014], when I wrote an article critical of Obama’s presidency, I received a note from a community worker involved in Chicago politics. He told me about a time when he was working to get a serious gun control measure passed in the Illinois state legislature, sometime in the late-1990s, [when Obama was a state senator]. Obama had pledged his support for the gun control bill, and he said he would come to the committee hearing. And this man wrote that when the day came, they were taking a terrible beating. A ballistics expert they had put on the stand was getting raked over by the Republicans – there was some shouting, and so on. And as this was happening, he saw State Senator Obama walk past the room, stop at the door, look in for a second – and then walk away.
The community worker confronted Obama a few days later. “We were counting on your support,” he said, “and it mattered that you weren’t there. Why didn’t you come?” And Obama said, “Well, I just looked in, and I saw a lot of angry talk and shouting, and I just thought I had a better way to spend my time.”
So that’s it. That’s the path of least resistance. That anecdote sort of crystallizes it.

Read the interview in full and Bromwich has a book about Barack Obama's presidency entitled American Breakdown.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Monday:

Monday, October 14, 2019.  Hunter Biden swears he did nothing wrong and he won't do it again!, Tulsi Gabbard tries to decide whether or not to show up for tomorrow night's debate, and much more.

Starting in the US where the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination continues.  Last night Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Clueless" went up.

In the comic, US House Rep Tulsi Gabbard declares, "I just realized these so-called debates may not be transparent or democratic."  Tomorrow, she is supposed to be one of 12 candidates vying for the party's presidential nomination to take the stage for the latest Democratic Party debate.  But will she be there?

After she (and her supporters) pouted non-stop when she didn't meet the requirements for the September Democratic Party debate, you'd think Tulsi would be rushing to leap onto the stage.  But now she's declaring that she is only just realizing that the debates may not be transparent or democratic.  Just realizing.  After she already took part in two of them.  After she stamped her feet over not being included in the third.  She's just starting to realize that they may not be fair.

She's taken time out from pondering what to do long enough to have a hissy fit -- another hissy fit -- over the press coverage she's receiving.


Cry babies really shouldn't run for the presidency.  If it's not Joe Biden's campaign blubbering about how poorly they're treated, it's Tulsi's campaign.

They really need to grow the hell up.  At least with regards to Joe, he knows he's trying to work the refs.  There's not a sincere aspect to the slamming his campaign does of the press.  They know they're lying, they know they're trying to bully the press.

Tulsi's so, yes, clueless, she may not grasp that.

She's egged on by Michael Tracey and Glenn Greenwald.  Glenn's especially an idiot when it comes to the press (as evidenced by his own inability to handle criticism of THE INTERCEPT).  She is their Tulsi Girl and, damn it, they will not have criticism of her.

She deserves every bit of criticism she gets -- and that's true of all the candidates, but especially her.

The press treated her seriously after the second debate.  And then she opened her mouth.  Repeatedly.

The big 'anti-war' candidate suddenly wanted to tell the world that all War Hawk Joe Biden had done on Iraq was forgiven (and it went far beyond his vote for the war) because . . . Well because she said so!  And damn it, wasn't that enough?  A lazy brained candidate who hadn't done any of the work required was backing up Joe's 'Bully Boy Bush tricked me!' b.s.  If he was really tricked (he wasn't) then you'd think he wouldn't have given Bush an award just last year, right?  He'd be so offended that he'd have skipped that.

But there was Tulsi lying for him over and over.

The press put her on TV, they interviewed for print and the vapid Tulsi had nothing of merit or value to say.

Nothing changed in the weeks since.

She has no issue to get passionate about, she has no plans to present.  In fact, the only time she comes alive as a candidate is when she's ready to slam the press again.

The press are not your friend.  They are never your friend.  They will use you because that's what they do.

For a politician not to grasp that really goes to stupidity.

Tulsi's got a lot of stupidity on display.

The debate's tomorrow night.  Maybe she'll show, maybe she won't.

Moving over to Joe Biden.

If you are someone who has raised concerns about Hunter Biden and don’t also raise big concerns about the Trump children, then you fundamentally lack inegrity and don’t really care about building a more moral and less corrupt world.

Matthew Dowd really needs to crawl back into the sewer.

Donald Trump's family is what it is and if you're surprised by that reality where the hell have you been over the last decades.

That's "A."  (B) Since it is what it is, the Democrats need to use that.  They do that by drawing a clear contrast between their candidate and Donald.  (C) As someone who smeared Democrats like Max Cleaveland, you really need to sit the f**K down, Dowd.  The faux ass 'resistance' may embrace you but no real Democrat ever would because of what you did to rip apart so many in 2002.

Hunter Biden is unethical.

He and his father are also pretty damn stupid having allowed the issue to gain so much traction before attempting to address it.  Suddenly, Hunter's available for interviews!!!!


Link to headline article

ABC News is teasing a wide ranging interview with Hunter Biden that will air Tuesday morning and evening—the same day as the next presidential debate. All but ensures this issue will be the dominant narrative for the former VP as Biden takes the stage.

What's going on?  China.

Shorter Biden lawyer: He didn’t do anything wrong and he won’t do it anymore. 

 He's walking away from the China money.  Is he?

Not being the financial idiot that Bob Somerby is (he didn't even realize you were paid to sit on the board of the Clinton Foundation), I'm not so sure.  Hunter has stepped off the board.  Well has he gotten rid of stocks in the company as well?  Is he no longer profiting in any way?

There's a world of difference -- when many Americans are outraged about the China deal -- just stepping down from a board for appearance sake and from no longer profiting from the company.  Equally true, he hasn't stepped down yet.  Read the fine print, he plans to -- plans -- on October 31st.  Is that the trick or the treat?

He has the issue also with Ukraine.

Exploiting your father's position in government for personal profit is wrong if your name is Eric Trump, Donald Trump Jr., or Hunter Biden

  • Hunter Biden is not a victim here and Democrats are not obligated to defend his conduct. He traded on his family name to score a $50K/month contract with a Ukrainian oligarch.

    This doesn't justify Trump's lawbreaking or validate Trump's conspiracy theories.

    But it's the truth.

    The vice presidency is not a tests run for the presidency.  Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, etc did not go from vice president to president.

    Point here, Joe Biden was vice president for eight years.  So why would anyone applaud the Tweet below?



    Link to headline article

    Now he's not going to do wrong?  He did wrong for eight years while his father was the Vice President.

    Hunter needs to get accountable for that.  What he did was wrong and no one should believe any vague promise he makes today that doesn't admit what he did previously was wrong.

    And Joe needs to get accountable too.  He let his brother James and his son Hunter profit from the office of vice president.  That's unseemly.

    And if you want to defeat Donald in November 2020, you don't put corruption on the Democratic Party ticket.  It was unethical, it was corrupt.

    Joe Biden defends Hunter: 'No one has asserted my son did a single thing wrong except a lying president'

    Joe can't stop lying, can he?

    He lies and then he lies again.

    His campaign has tried to spin this and bully the press into running with Donald's most extreme charges.  Hunter did do wrong.  It was unethical and many of us have noted that.  Donald has repeatedly stated criminal.  There's no evidence available to the public that indicates it was criminal but, yes, it was unethical and, yes, it was corrupt.

    Joe's lying about that reality isn't admirable.  He's running for the presidential nomination, not Dad Of The Year.  In addition, these moves of Hunter's only beg the question of what about James Biden?  His brother's equally corrupt.  Where's the promise there?

    The country doesn't need this nonsense.  They need a candidate who is a clear contrast to Donald.  The country can get behind an alternative but a pale copy of Donald Trump is just going to give Trump four more years.

    Tuesday night, at the debates, does anyone plan to ask Joe and the rest about Iraq?

    A woman runs between burning tires in Baghdad, Iraq, during a week of nationwide anti-government protests that led to the deaths of at least 110 people and wounded more than 6,000. More photos of the week: 📷 Wissm al-Okili

    Joe brags that his experience includes being in charge of Iraq for eight years, that Barack put him in charge.  At what point might we see the press start to 'test' that experience by asking actual questions?

    Mustafa Salman, born in 1999, went out to protest in , was shot in the head, died from his injuries last night. Medical reports state that he died from a wound to the head

    Over 110 people dead.  That doesn't warrant comment from people hoping to become the next president?

    Mustafa Habib reports a new development.

    Breaking: In their first joint meeting after , Iraqi President, Prime Minister, Parliament Speaker & head of the judiciary adopt the proposal of senior cleric Ali 2 form independent technocrats committee 2 diagnose the deep problems facing state institutions

    "The action of the committee and its outputs must be timed, and its results should be respected by all state institutions, in the political, economic, financial, legislative and cultural fields and propose the solutions".