Obama's honesty

Most Americans have doubts about the Obama Administration’s honesty but still don’t hold the president personally responsible, according to a new WSJ/NBC poll. Obama’s personal popularity remains about the same: just under half of the people approve of him personally. He is about where Bush was at this time in his presidency. There has been not much change among partisans, but Obama’s support among independents has slipped seriously. The irony is that Obama remains above the fray party because people assume he just doesn’t know what is going on. Or as Bill Clinton said, “Obama doesn’t know how to be president

This is the big disappointment of Obama. He is such a good talker and such a good campaigner that people expected he would be a good president. But campaigning and governing require different skill sets.

A campaigner's main goal, at least in the Obama sense, is to trash opponents and create divisions you can exploit. A president needs to embrace opponents and smooth over divisions. This is what Obama cannot seem to do, not even with his own party.

Obama remains "likeable, but 59% of independents now disapprove of the job Obama is doing. Of course the number is much higher among Republicans and lower among Democrats. But Obama's personal ratings are also dropping. In January, 45% of self-described independents gave Mr. Obama high marks for being "honest and straightforward." In the latest poll, that number shrank to 27%.

As a conservative, I really do NOT celebrate this Obama fall. I am glad that he will probably not be able to push through destructive policies, but I am not seeing the upside. When Clinton faced similar declines, he reached toward the middle and together with Republicans in Congress produced some good results. Obama just doubles down on the attacks. This is another example of his political instincts but lack of leadership skills.

Obama will lead this country for another three and a half years. That is a long time to live with weak leadership. Let's hope he realizes that the campaign really is over. He is now president and should behave like one.

Posted by Christine & John at June 5, 2013 8:34 PM
Comments
Comment #367038

Wow, the author of that linked article, Edward Klein, really likes to dish the dirt. Apparently hit pieces are his specialty. Whether there is any truth to what this guy writes is another matter. His reputation for his previous work is not good.

“Klein has been criticized for his biography of Hillary Clinton, titled, The Truth About Hillary: What She Knew, When She Knew It, and How Far She’ll Go to Become President, which was released on June 21, 2005. Politico criticized the book for “serious factual errors, truncated and distorted quotes and overall themes [that] don’t gibe with any other serious accounts of Clinton’s life.”[2] The book was attacked not only by liberals, but by conservatives as well. John Podhoretz wrote in the New York Post, “Thirty pages into it, I wanted to take a shower. Sixty pages into it, I wanted to be decontaminated. And 200 pages into it, I wanted someone to drive stakes through my eyes so I wouldn’t have to suffer through another word.”[3] In National Review James Geraghty wrote, “Folks, there are plenty of arguments against Hillary Clinton, her policies, her views, her proposals, and her philosophies. This stuff ain’t it. Nobody on the right, left, or center ought to stoop to this level.”
Wikipedia

Which raises the obvious question- after already doing a hit piece on Hillary, how does Klein know so much about the Clintons and Obama and what they talk about and what they think?

Posted by: phx8 at June 6, 2013 12:35 AM
Comment #367039

Phx8,

“…how does Klein know so much about the Clintons and Obama and what they talk about and what they think?”

Everybody knows that those on the far right are totally omnisient. They know everything there is to know, about everything there is to know.

All you have to do is read these pages. They have been telling us what we think for years, and to hear them tell it, they are always right, and everyone else is always wrong.

Rocky

Posted by: rocky Marks at June 6, 2013 7:28 AM
Comment #367041

Republicans haven’t stopped bashing Obama since he got in office, haven’t stopped alleging corruption, defaming him in general.

Of course, If you keep negativity going like this for a long time, a lot of people will lose faith and trust in him, especially when you block any efforts he makes to earn good regard, to choose his own appointees, to run the executive branch as he sees fit.

Republicans have put all their effort into this. They can’t sell their gender politics. They can’t sell their racial politics. They can’t sell their elitist economic policies to people. They can only sell people these days on the fear and hatred of their opponents.

You might see this as revenge for Bush. Does that make it any less feckless of a way of governing? The government we were given by the framers was meant to force compromise, but Republicans only define compromise these days as Democrats giving up on everything they believe in, and any time we even talk about bending on one or another policy, they tell us we simply want them to concede on everything.

Republicans don’t want to be held accountable for being wrong, and they will manufacture and push whatever scandal they can to scare people away from the Democrats to cover up for the fact.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 6, 2013 10:33 AM
Comment #367042

Obama condemned Bush for collecting information on Americans. Now it turns out the NSA has collected all American’s phone data from Verizon:

“WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is defending the government’s secret seizure of millions of domestic telephone records from Verizon, saying the data collection program “has been a critical tool in protecting the nation from terrorist threats to the United States.”

A senior administration official released a statement Thursday after the British newspaper The Guardian first reported the secret operation. The paper posted on its website a classified court order that requires the telecommunications company to turn over daily records with the length, location and time of individual phone calls, as well as phone numbers.

The official did not confirm the existence of the order, which is marked “Top Secret.” It was issued in late April by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, a secret court that meets in Washington, and allowed the government to collect the bulk data until July 19. It’s unclear if the 90-day order was a renewal of standing request.”

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-obama-defends-verizon-data-collection-20130606,0,4449398.story

It’s interesting that the WH official would use the term “terrorist threats”, considering Obama does not believe there are terrorist threats, only criminal acts against America.

Has anyone ever noticed the common answers of the left. Both phx8 and Rocky attacked the person, rather than the message. Their comments about the writer does nothing to answer the charges. This is part of the left’s “campaign of personal destruction”.

Posted by: CasperWY at June 6, 2013 10:34 AM
Comment #367043

Casper,
Come on. Use a little common sense. How does this guy know what he claims to know? Somehow, he possesses detailed knowledge about Obama and the Clintons that know one else is in on? Better hold on to the railings. Another bounce, and you’ll fall right out of the turnip truck.

Liberals, including both my OR senators, Libertarians, and many other oppose the violation of 4th amendment rights that take place when the government monitors phone activity. It is a clear violation of the 4th, which states a search must have a “probable cause.” This program is a direct result of the Patriot Act. That is where the so-called legal justification comes from, if a secret intelligence court can be permitted to issue such a ruling.

“Congress has previously passed up opportunities to compel public disclosure about the breadth of domestic surveillance operations. Last December, Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon attempted to amend federal law to force the government to disclose more about the secret intelligence court’s interpretations of the executive branch’s surveillance powers. His amendment was voted down 37-54, with only three Republicans in support.
Another amendment, proposed by Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, would have compelled the NSA to give an estimate of how often the NSA ends up collecting information on Americans–a request the NSA had previously refused to fulfill on the Orwellian grounds that it would violate Americans’ privacy for the agency to disclose how often it spies on them.

That amendment was also rejected, 43-52, with most Republicans in the chamber voting against it.”
Daily Kos, an excerpt from within an article by Laura Clawson

So, Casper, I think it needs to end. Many on liberal web sites think the same. Liberal Senators like Oregon’s Merkely and Wyden want to put brakes on and find out more. The opposition to this comes from the GOP.

I’d be curious to see where conservatives stand on this.

Posted by: phx8 at June 6, 2013 11:08 AM
Comment #367045

Casper,

“Both phx8 and Rocky attacked the person, rather than the message. Their comments about the writer does nothing to answer the charges.”

Really?

Actually, I didn’t “attack” the writer in particular, but I did “attack” the far right in general. You say things without actually reading what is written.

Don’t look now but your fallibility is showing.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at June 6, 2013 11:44 AM
Comment #367046

phx8, more of the same…

First, the person who obtained this information was none other than Glenn Greenwald. I wonder if Obama’s DOJ will no go after him and arrest him? I’m sure he’s concerned about it.

Second, in the lame defense you provide, that this is all republicans blocking it, you seem to have not actually read the article that your MSNBC compatriat linked to about the proposed amendment. It was Diane Feinstein and other Democrats, along with Republicans, that killed that amendment.

OH, and President Obama signed the extension (happily).

On Friday, the Senate voted to reauthorize the government’s warrantless surveillance program, with hawkish Democrats joining with Republicans to block every effort to curtail the government’s sweeping spying powers.

As the Senate debated the renewal of the government’s warrantless wiretapping powers on Thursday, Republicans who have accused President Barack Obama of covering up his involvement in the death of an American ambassador urged that his administration be given sweeping spying powers. Democrats who accused George W. Bush of shredding the Constitution with warrantless wiretapping four years ago sung a different tune this week, with the administration itself quietly urging passage of the surveillance bill with no changes, and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) accusing her Democratic colleagues of not understanding the threat of terrorism.

“There is a view by some that this country no longer needs to fear an attack,” Feinstein said.

So what were these drastic changes sought by Feinstein’s colleagues that would leave the United States open to annihilation by terrorists? They’re mostly attempts to find out exactly how the changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act actually work in practice. The most radical proposal, Senator Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) amendment requiring a warrant for the government to access any digital communications, had no chance of passing but clarified just how moderate the Democrats’ proposals were by comparison.

Stop fooling yourself, the Democratic Party has proved itself no better than the Republican Party when it comes to civil rights, in fact at times they are worse. Because of their rhetoric, they seem like they are doing good, but as can be seen by the MYRIAD of evidence, they have done nothing but ramped up the abuses since 2008.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 6, 2013 12:37 PM
Comment #367047

BTW, the copy of the order that Glenn received can be found here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2013/jun/06/verizon-telephone-data-court-order

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 6, 2013 12:41 PM
Comment #367048
Many on liberal web sites think the same. Liberal Senators like Oregon’s Merkely and Wyden want to put brakes on and find out more. The opposition to this comes from the GOP.

I’d be curious to see where conservatives stand on this.

It matters not a whit what some people on Daily KOS and TPM think about this, or other things, just as it didn’t matter to Democrats what people like Rand Paul, Ron Paul, and other libertarian minded conservatives thought when Bush was doing less horrible things. As they said then, it matters what the Democratic Leadership and the President are doing, and are being DEFENDED for doing. And what they are doing, and defending, is a President who has EXPANDED these powers that Bush and the leaders of the Democratic and Republican party instituted and Obama RENEWED.

If you want to be serious about civil rights, start standing up and saying so. Quietly bitching about it on DailyKOS among the multitude of others articles defending the administration, and stand up against this president, this administration and your own Democratic leadership.

Or do the right thing and start supporting Libertarians, the only party actually actively doing something about these abuses.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 6, 2013 12:45 PM
Comment #367050

The IRS is going to audit you if you keep this up Rhienhold. You better support Obama or else!

Posted by: Joseph at June 6, 2013 1:35 PM
Comment #367051

Joseph,

People ask me why I write under an alias… Now you know why.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 6, 2013 2:51 PM
Comment #367052
These recent events reflect how profoundly the NSA’s mission has transformed from an agency exclusively devoted to foreign intelligence gathering, into one that focuses increasingly on domestic communications. A 30-year employee of the NSA, William Binney, resigned from the agency shortly after 9/11 in protest at the agency’s focus on domestic activities.

In the mid-1970s, Congress, for the first time, investigated the surveillance activities of the US government. Back then, the mandate of the NSA was that it would never direct its surveillance apparatus domestically.

At the conclusion of that investigation, Frank Church, the Democratic senator from Idaho who chaired the investigative committee, warned: “The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter.”

The Democrats and Republican are complicit in this. If you think any of them will alter the direction that the NSA has been tasked to take, let this be a lesson to you.

Congress had been apprised of this (and most likely other) such intrusions and have done nothing to stop it. The presidents of both parties have defending and expanded it. You aren’t going to get anywhere supporting either of these parties.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 6, 2013 3:07 PM
Comment #367053

Rhinehold,
The issue cuts across the political spectrum to some extent, this issue of national security v 4th Amendment. And it is not just an abstract argument. The pushback to the most recent story tell us those data mining programs are valuable. Stopping the bad guys saves lives. It could stop the US from becoming involved in larger conventional wars, such as Afghanistan. The national security component should not be underestimated.

But neither should the 4th amendment. Our freedoms are not always convenient. Sometimes it means tolerating the truly obnoxious, but other times it can cost innocent lives.

The Constitution is not a suicide pact. Then again, it is not something to be ignored just because some really amazing new technology has come along. Ignoring constitutional rights and human rights, even in a good cause, leads down a slippery slope. We saw that with torture during the last administration. When we opened the door to a little torture, a whole lot of torture stepped in. Torturing a few villains seemed like a good idea. It led to Abu Ghraib. And that doesn’t accvount of the horrendous acts that were never photographed…

The problem is not necessarily with the Obama administration, or Feinstein, or Graham, or Greenwald for that matter. But about the next president? And the administration after that? Once down the slippery slope, the potential for abuse becomes greater and greater. Once surrendered, rights are hard to win back.

Posted by: phx8 at June 6, 2013 3:11 PM
Comment #367054
We saw that with torture during the last administration.

And this one.

The problem is not necessarily with the Obama administration, or Feinstein, or Graham, or Greenwald for that matter. But about the next president? And the administration after that? Once down the slippery slope, the potential for abuse becomes greater and greater. Once surrendered, rights are hard to win back.

Agreed, and people defending this administration when it violates the constitution (as it has several times) or expanded on the powers that Bush put into play (as it has several times) doesn’t help. I contend that it is worse because as the American people were getting tired and suspicious of such abuses, they turned to Barack Obama who campaigned on ending all of it, instead he has expanded it all.

In fact, as I said, neither party is going to change this course. There are only a handful of people elected in each party that has spoken up against this type of behavior, Wyden and Paul are two of that minority. The only solution would be for people who are actually concerned about these abuses to support the people/party that are doing something about it.

Put up or shut up, as the saying goes.

The problem is, people are still beholden to their current parties, will defend them against any criticism in the most outlandish ways (as you, Rich and Stephen have done recently) and allow them to keep doing what they have been doing. I’ve been speaking out against Bush doing these things *AND* Obama when he too office and one of the first things he did was expand the power of the warrantless wiretaps. But who will leave their party and support the one who has been the ones actually concerned about civil rights in the past several decades?

Apparently not too many. People believe the lies and BS because they either don’t understand what is going on (quite a lot) or because they *HATE* the other party (another large percentage). When the reasons that they *HATE* the other party is shone back on their own actions, they defend as if they were two different things. It’s maddening.

Hell, just look at j2t2’s attack on the Libertarians in the middle column http://www.watchblog.com/thirdparty/archives/008482.html#366831 That’s the type of mindboggling nonsense that the defense of freedom and civil rights is up against. You yourself are trying to kill free speech, squash freedom of the press and defend the actions of the IRS all because of partisan power…

Your lip service to civil rights just sounds as hollow when compared to the track record…

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 6, 2013 3:25 PM
Comment #367055

BTW, Rand Paul is trying to introduce the Fourth Amendment Restoration Act of 2013. The fact that we have to have a law to make the government follow the constitution is puke-inducing…

The in late December, the Senate convened an “unusual special session” to re-authorizing the FISA Amendments Act. Among the amendments to the re-authorization that were overwhelmingly shot down were a Rand Paul measure to extend Fourth Amendment protections to email, and an attempt by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) to require estimates from intelligence agencies of how many Americans were being surveilled. Said Wyden at the time: “I think, when you talk about oversight, and you can’t even get a rough estimate of how many law-abiding Americans had their communications swept up by this law … the idea of robust oversight, really ought to be called toothless oversight if you don’t have that kind of information.”

Wyden and Paul may be at the forefront of a nascent bipartisan Civil Liberties Caucus, but make no mistake: They are vastly outnumbered. Only when civil libertarians win national arguments, and only when a majority of lawmakers are consistent defenders of the Fourth Amendment no matter which major political party holds power at the moment, will America begin the process of even slowing down the relentless advancement of the surveillance state.

Rand Paul praised Ron Wyden in his recent Twitter Q&A with Reason.

At the time, Rand Paul introduced this video to youtube.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ALN7LTeLxtI

The Democrats mock him, idiot Jon McCain calls him a whacko bird. I have my own problems with him (he is a Republican, after all). But he has at least been consistent on this stuff.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 6, 2013 3:29 PM
Comment #367056

For those with an interest, a short article on how the program works:

http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/06/18803259-how-does-the-nsas-phone-record-program-work?lite

Posted by: phx8 at June 6, 2013 4:36 PM
Comment #367057

“Congress has previously passed up opportunities to compel public disclosure about the breadth of domestic surveillance operations. Last December, Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon attempted to amend federal law to force the government to disclose more about the secret intelligence court’s interpretations of the executive branch’s surveillance powers. His amendment was voted down 37-54, with only three Republicans in support.

Another amendment, proposed by Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, would have compelled the NSA to give an estimate of how often the NSA ends up collecting information on Americans–a request the NSA had previously refused to fulfill on the Orwellian grounds that it would violate Americans’ privacy for the agency to disclose how often it spies on them.

That amendment was also rejected, 43-52, with most Republicans in the chamber voting against it.”
Daily Kos, an excerpt from within an article by Laura Clawson”

You’re playing the game ph; what Bill were these amendments attached to? I know these amendmants were not stand alone.

“Actually, I didn’t “attack” the writer in particular, but I did “attack” the far right in general. You say things without actually reading what is written.”

Posted by: Rocky Marks at June 6, 2013 11:44 AM

The left never deals with the subject; their kneejerk reaction is to ALWAYS attack the source and not the subject. If you try to say different, you are a liar; we can find hundreds of posts on WB where the game is “personal destruction”…attack the person and not the subject.

“The issue cuts across the political spectrum to some extent, this issue of national security v 4th Amendment. And it is not just an abstract argument. The pushback to the most recent story tell us those data mining programs are valuable.”

PH, there was no pushback until the UK Guardian reported the story. Don’t you find it interesting that only the UK news reported the story? Wouldn’t one think that the same “source” that reported the info to the Guardian, also reported to US news outlets?

“For those with an interest, a short article on how the program works:
http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/06/18803259-how-does-the-nsas-phone-record-program-work?lite
Posted by: phx8 at June 6, 2013 4:36 PM”

And they start this nugget of knowledge with:

“Here is how we THINK this program works, based on several phone calls.”

Posted by: CasperWY at June 6, 2013 5:52 PM
Comment #367058

From the NY Times Editorial Board:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/07/opinion/president-obamas-dragnet.html?pagewanted=all&_r=2&

Within hours of the disclosure that the federal authorities routinely collect data on phone calls Americans make, regardless of whether they have any bearing on a counterterrorism investigation, the Obama administration issued the same platitude it has offered every time President Obama has been caught overreaching in the use of his powers: Terrorists are a real menace and you should just trust us to deal with them because we have internal mechanisms (that we are not going to tell you about) to make sure we do not violate your rights.

Those reassurances have never been persuasive — whether on secret warrants to scoop up a news agency’s phone records or secret orders to kill an American suspected of terrorism — especially coming from a president who once promised transparency and accountability. The administration has now lost all credibility. Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 6, 2013 6:16 PM
Comment #367059

Casper,

“If you try to say different, you are a liar; we can find hundreds of posts on WB where the game is “personal destruction”…attack the person and not the subject.”

Did I actually call you a liar? Did I even intimate it?

I think you’re mistaken, just as you were when you called me a “pantywaist”.

But, of course that couldn’t have been an attack on your part.

Rocky


Posted by: Rocky Marks at June 6, 2013 6:20 PM
Comment #367060

Rocky,

Casper is just insecure regarding the veracity of his ideas and positions so he relentlessly attacks our characters rather than our ideas.

Rhinehold,

The security violations conducted by the Obama administration are simply inexcusable. Nonetheless, they are not as extensive as those of the Bush administration, when we had Abu Ghraib, waterboarding and all the rest. When you allege that the Obama administrations transgressions are worse, your hyperbole diminishes your credibility. Be honest, there are many Bush-era policies and programs that Obama has ended. Also, Congressional democrats & Obama have repeatedly sought to rollback other unconstitutional policies, but the (mostly Republican) opposition has prevented this from happening. The erosion of our civil liberties is definitely worth complaining about, but there’s no reason to condemn one party when the other’s actions are far worse.

Posted by: Warren Porter at June 6, 2013 7:46 PM
Comment #367063

Outrageous! Congress needs to step up to the plate and rein in the executive overreach, but is Speaker Boehner ready for the task?

Posted by: Warren Porter at June 6, 2013 9:24 PM
Comment #367068

“Casper is just insecure regarding the veracity of his ideas and positions so he relentlessly attacks our characters rather than our ideas.”

Warren, I’m not the one who is outraged and then goes on to defend Obama and blame Bush. Is it possible for those of you on the left to actually deal with an issue. Bush has not the president for 4 1/2 years; Obama made the boast of having the most transparent administration, he claimed that his presidency would not invade in the privacy of our lives, he said his administration would not allow ex-politician lobbyist access to a revolving door to the WH. He has lied to the American people. You can protect him all you want; you can make your infantile claims that “Bush did it too”; but it does not fix the problems. As each day goes by, we find more and more information leaking out. I can’t even begin to tell you how angry I am at the misuse of taxpayer funds by the IRS and other government departments. It seems as if the Obama administration and all the departments he runs are falling apart.

Warren, I expected a little more out of you than the same old liberal crap that phx8 and Rock spew. You know perfectly well of the boasts that Obama made; of a different kind of administration. And you know perfectly well that he has not done anything he promised. Get Bush out of your head; Obama is the president and Obama made the boast. Instead of looking at the facts logically; you throw your hat in the ring of blaming Bush and defending Obama.

Posted by: CasperWY at June 6, 2013 10:55 PM
Comment #367071

It seems shocking, Warren. But your online privacy has long been compromised by providers and their advertising partners. Your google searches are analyzed for patterns of interest. Advertisements, search results and pop up ads/banners are tailored to your interests. Technically, you probably consented to that tracking and could opt out if you could figure out how. Most don’t and it has been an increasing part of the internet experience.

So, I don’t find it surprising that the government has been using the same type of technology to track possible “terrorist” communication into and out of the country.

These are also not new revelations. The Patriot Act provides for it and the public has been aware for many years that the government has been actively pursuing communication traffic patterns under FISA orders. Congress is certainly not surprised at the particular programs revealed.

It seems to me that the issue comes down to balancing privacy and security. Another 9/11 would be a political disaster for the president in power. Bush and Obama rather obviously have taken the position that they would use any tool at their disposal to prevent such an occurrence even if it compromised privacy. But, it wasn’t just those administrations, it was Congress who gave them the legal tools. There was only one nay vote in the Senate against the Patriot Act, Russ Feinghold.

If we re-establish privacy walls, repeal/modify the Patriot Act, etc. then we should be prepared for potential attacks that may have been caught or deterred with the programs.

We want privacy but we also want security. Sometimes they are not fully compatible.

Posted by: Rich at June 6, 2013 11:28 PM
Comment #367082

Rich,

I don’t mind Google seeing my stuff because they currently don’t have the power to arrest me or put me in jail. If that changes in the future, then I will surely stop using their products. The government does have those coercive ability so I am much more wary of them than I am of Google.

CasperWY,

I’m not the one who is outraged and then goes on to defend Obama and blame Bush.

And I’m not the one who excuses Bush and blames Obama. If you want credibility on this issue in my eyes, you must acknowledge:
1. Obama has successfully ended many terrible Bush-era programs such as waterboarding.
2. Obama has unsuccessfully pushed to end other Bush-era programs including the GITMO prison. Opposition to these pushes came from conservatives, not liberals, so it is the conservatives who hold 100% responsibility for the continued existence of these programs. In such circumstances, I would hold Obama blameless, to do otherwise would be cruelly partisan.
3. The Obama administration is much more transparent than any other in the post-WWII era, so his boasts have proven true. However, simply being better than 10 other men isn’t a very high bar to reach. We should expect better.

Not only do I expect Obama to do better, but I expect Congress to do their jobs and check the executive branch of the Constitution. It is embarrassing that Obama has been checked more often by his own party in these areas than by the opposition.

The supposedly constitutionalist Tea Party is completely silent today. Where are the marches on Washington that we saw 3 years ago? Looks like the demonstrations were just a show to support a corrupted status-quo health care system rather than a genuine concern for civil liberties. I’m not surprised; the Tea Party was equally silent during the 2000s when Bush tossed the 4th amendment aside.

Note: Senator Rand Paul is a lone exception here and I applaud his work, but he is truly a minority in the GOP.

It seems to me that the issue comes down to balancing privacy and security. Another 9/11 would be a political disaster for the president in power. Bush and Obama rather obviously have taken the position that they would use any tool at their disposal to prevent such an occurrence even if it compromised privacy. But, it wasn’t just those administrations, it was Congress who gave them the legal tools. There was only one nay vote in the Senate against the Patriot Act, Russ Feinghold.

If we re-establish privacy walls, repeal/modify the Patriot Act, etc. then we should be prepared for potential attacks that may have been caught or deterred with the programs.

We want privacy but we also want security. Sometimes they are not fully compatible.


I’ll take another 9/11 rather than deal with these infringements on liberty. Posted by: Warren Porter at June 7, 2013 11:40 AM
Comment #367089

Obama has ended waterboarding, and has gone to using Drones to KILL. Push to close GITMO without providing where the current prisoners would be placed. Obama is more transparent????????????? What BULLS**T!!!!

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at June 7, 2013 12:30 PM
Comment #367095

“And I’m not the one who excuses Bush and blames Obama. If you want credibility on this issue in my eyes, you must acknowledge:

1. Obama has successfully ended many terrible Bush-era programs such as waterboarding.”

Obama has ended nothing; the gathering of information by waterboarding was not illegal and it is dependent upon the personal beliefs of the President. Unless you are privy to the inner workings of the Obama administration, you have no idea what he is doing and not doing. But which is worse; waterboarding terrorists for information that saves American lives, or using drones to kill American citizens without due process?

“2. Obama has unsuccessfully pushed to end other Bush-era programs including the GITMO prison. Opposition to these pushes came from conservatives, not liberals, so it is the conservatives who hold 100% responsibility for the continued existence of these programs. In such circumstances, I would hold Obama blameless, to do otherwise would be cruelly partisan.”

Obama did not have the support of his own party to close GITMO. His goal was to purchase a state prison form the State of Illinois, pumping millions of tax dollars into a liberal run failing state:

“WASHINGTON - Democrats momentarily blocked President Obama’s move to close Guantanamo Bay Tuesday, denying him $80 million to take down the jail.

Party leaders said the President shouldn’t ask for cash until he has announced his plan for turning out the lights in the U.S. terrorist prison camp in Cuba - and determined where the prisoners will go.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said it was “premature” to okay the cash, which House Democrats torpedoed last week.
“They felt the heat,” Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) told MSNBC.

Worse for Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) suddenly embraced GOP objections to jailing or freeing Gitmo detainees on U.S. soil.

“I can’t make it any more clear,” Reid said. “We will never allow terrorists to be released in the United States.”

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/democrats-block-president-obama-attempt-fund-closing-guantanamo-bay-article-1.409695

“3. The Obama administration is much more transparent than any other in the post-WWII era, so his boasts have proven true. However, simply being better than 10 other men isn’t a very high bar to reach. We should expect better.”

A silly comment; if they are so transparent, why are there new breaking news scandals almost every day?

“Not only do I expect Obama to do better, but I expect Congress to do their jobs and check the executive branch of the Constitution. It is embarrassing that Obama has been checked more often by his own party in these areas than by the opposition.”

Only when it affected the left’s rights.

“The supposedly constitutionalist Tea Party is completely silent today. Where are the marches on Washington that we saw 3 years ago? Looks like the demonstrations were just a show to support a corrupted status-quo health care system rather than a genuine concern for civil liberties. I’m not surprised; the Tea Party was equally silent during the 2000s when Bush tossed the 4th amendment aside.”

It turns out, Obama’s IRS leadership was shutting down and intimidating conservative groups like the Tea Party. It turns out that the Obama administration, through the IRS and DOJ were suppressing conservative votes.

“Note: Senator Rand Paul is a lone exception here and I applaud his work, but he is truly a minority in the GOP.”

So do I, but it turns out that Rand Paul is a conservative and not a RINO. But it is hard for you people on the left to understand that we conservatives support people like Rand and detest RINO’s like McCain.

“It seems to me that the issue comes down to balancing privacy and security. Another 9/11 would be a political disaster for the president in power. Bush and Obama rather obviously have taken the position that they would use any tool at their disposal to prevent such an occurrence even if it compromised privacy. But, it wasn’t just those administrations, it was Congress who gave them the legal tools. There was only one nay vote in the Senate against the Patriot Act, Russ Feinghold.”

Once again, a conservative Republican.

“If we re-establish privacy walls, repeal/modify the Patriot Act, etc. then we should be prepared for potential attacks that may have been caught or deterred with the programs.”

Once again Warren, Reid will not ever let it happen.

Posted by: CasperWY at June 7, 2013 1:51 PM
Comment #367102
the gathering of information by waterboarding was not illegal

Wrong.

waterboarding terrorists for information that saves American lives, or using drones to kill American citizens without due process?
Waterboarding is cruel & unusual punishment that doesn’t even yield useful information; far worse than executing someone who has American blood on their hands. However, such executions are also wrong. If an individual is not willing to come to court, they should be tried and convicted in absentia before being executed by drone.
Obama did not have the support of his own party to close GITMO

Absolutely ludicrous. From your own source: “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) suddenly embraced GOP objections to jailing or freeing Gitmo detainees on U.S. soil.” so the objections to closing Gitmo originated from the Right, not the Left.

In fact, Rep Adam Smith (D) recently attempted to amend the defense authoriztion bill to permit Obama to transfer detainees from Gitmo to the US and this was the result.

Are there conservative democrats who oppose these common sense reforms? Yes, but they are a minority of Democrats. Conversely, the vast a majority of Republicans consistently take the illiberal position of maintaining Gitmo indefinitely.

So do I, but it turns out that Rand Paul is a conservative and not a RINO. But it is hard for you people on the left to understand that we conservatives support people like Rand and detest RINO’s like McCain.
Actually, Rand Paul (and his father Ron Paul) are both liberal RINOs. They come down on the side of liberty on a great many issues (although fewer than I would like). The Pauls are a very extreme minority in the GOP, which is why Ron Paul had so much trouble gaining traction in the GOP nomination races in 2008 and 2012.
It turns out, Obama’s IRS leadership was shutting down and intimidating conservative groups like the Tea Party. It turns out that the Obama administration, through the IRS and DOJ were suppressing conservative votes.
So the Tea Party is composed up of a bunch of cowardly pussies who aren’t willing to stand up to tyranny without their precious tax exemptions?
“There was only one nay vote in the Senate against the Patriot Act, Russ Feinghold.”

Once again, a conservative Republican.


Uh, Russ Feingold is a liberal Democrat who was unseated by the Tea Party because the Tea Party hated his support for civil liberties.
Once again Warren, Reid will not ever let it happen.
If 40 Republicans allied with the 40+ liberal Democrats who support repealing the PATRIOT Act there’s little Reid could do to stop them (but I don’t think he truly opposes repeal. He’s just covering his ass because he’s a coward who doesn’t have the balls to stand up to Nevada’s conservatives). Posted by: Warren Porter at June 7, 2013 2:50 PM
Comment #367112

Warren, since you haven’t responded, let me type up my list…

The Obama Administration has:

used torture (specficially against Bradley Manning)

continued using rendition

expanded warrantless wiretapping to include freedom from prosecution for violating rights for the administration

kept people at guantanamo bay without giving them access to a trial. Most, if not all, of the people still there are currently engaging in a hunger strike to protest their treatment. BTW, very few people there are actually terrorists (or they would have already had a trial). Under Bush, 83 prisoners got access to habeus corpus and over half of them won their cases.

denying habeus corpus rights to prisoners not at Guantanamo Bay, getting around the Supreme Court ruling of Boumediene v. Bush

war on whistleblowers, Obama has gone beyond anything any other administration has done COMBINED in targeting whistleblowers.

Furthering spying on Americans domestically with the NSA, including cell phone records and logs from several US Internet companies like Google, Microsoft and Facebook without warrant

Increasing the number of Security Letters that have been issued, which puts a gag order on the suspect and prevents him from mounting any kind of defense

Increasing Signature Strikes, where we just blow up a group of people because they are gathering in some way (like weddings, local organizational meetings, etc).

There are more, but perhaps you could tell me where Obama has protected civil rights? I think you might mention waterboarding, but waterboarding is not the only form of torture… And it was not ended as you think it was.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 7, 2013 4:00 PM
Comment #367113

Oh, and Warren, had the President simply vetoed the bills, instead of campaigning for them and signing them, they wouldn’t have been able to override… So, are you adding Obama to that list?

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 7, 2013 4:02 PM
Comment #367114
far worse than executing someone who has American blood on their hands.

Wow, so wait a second, you’re saying that torturing someone (which this administration HAS DONE) is worse than targeting and killing US Citizens without even issuing a warrant or performing a trial in abstentia, denying them of their basic civil rights (which this administration has ALSO done)?

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 7, 2013 4:04 PM
Comment #367125

Simple question: Is liberalism dead?

President Obama has done every wrong that President Bush did. Liberals used to be against every abuse of power that Bush did after the September 11th terrorist attacks. Now many liberals are defending these programs and special powers of the executive branch because their guy is in power. Just a few months ago you liberals were asking us to give up our guns for stepping stone legislation to a national gun registry and gun bans.

“Trust us, we don’t want your guns.”

“Trust us, no one is listening to your phone calls.”

“Trust us, IRS targeting of conservative groups was just a few ‘rouge’ agents.”

“Trust us, we only kill Americans with drone attacks when they are really, really naughty.”

Defending this President is evidence that liberalism is either dead or on life support.

Posted by: Joseph at June 7, 2013 6:17 PM
Comment #367133

The Warped Reality I knew would not have made sexist statements like this:

“So the Tea Party is composed up of a bunch of cowardly pussies who aren’t willing to stand up to tyranny without their precious tax exemptions?”

This is embarrassing, considering women like Christine read the posts. I hope comments like this makes Warren feel like a big man. Out here in Wyoming, we don’t use language like this in mixed company.

In my opinion, it kind of ruins any discussion I would want to have.

Posted by: CasperWY at June 7, 2013 7:55 PM
Post a comment