EP18: Obama is the Best/Worst POTUS EVER
Unc and Phew engage in a no-holds-barred, bare-knuckle debate about the best or worst POTUS of all time. It depends on who you agree with…
- Given all the commentary we’ve had on politics in the last few months, we thought it would only be fitting and appropriate, as the Obama presidency is just about to end – as we record this, it’s a mere four days away – to have a debate about President Obama
- Our intention today is to have a good old fashioned debate
- On one side, we have the “Obama will go down as the best President in the history of the United States.” That side will be argued by Phew
- On the other side, we have the “Obama will go down as the best President in the history of the United States.” That side will be argued by Unc
- In the interest of brevity, we’re going to try to make our points as shorthand and as Cliff Notes as possible, as this is not typically a nine hour podcast
- In the blog post that will accompany this podcast, we’ll provide links to all the key points we make, so you can check out our sources and go a lot deeper if you want to – and we would absolutely encourage you to do that
- We’re going to go as fast as we can, so hang on
What the Constitution of the United States says about the Office of the President
First of all, let’s establish what a sitting president of the United States is supposed to do. This is from the U.S. Constitution, Article II (emphasis added):
The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his office during the term of four years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same term, be elected, as follows:
Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector.
The electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for two persons, of whom one at least shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves. And they shall make a list of all the persons voted for, and of the number of votes for each; which list they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted. The person having the greatest number of votes shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such majority, and have an equal number of votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately choose by ballot one of them for President; and if no person have a majority, then from the five highest on the list the said House shall in like manner choose the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by States, the representation from each state having one vote; A quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. In every case, after the choice of the President, the person having the greatest number of votes of the electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal votes, the Senate shall choose from them by ballot the Vice President.
The Congress may determine the time of choosing the electors, and the day on which they shall give their votes; which day shall be the same throughout the United States.
No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States.
In case of the removal of the President from office, or of his death, resignation, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of the said office, the same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by law provide for the case of removal, death, resignation or inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what officer shall then act as President, and such officer shall act accordingly, until the disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.
The President shall, at stated times, receive for his services, a compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that period any other emolument from the United States, or any of them.
Before he enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation:–“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States; he may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices, and he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.
He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law: but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments.
The President shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session.
He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in case of disagreement between them, with respect to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper; he shall receive ambassadors and other public ministers; he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and shall commission all the officers of the United States.
The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.
I think it’s important that we started this off with that context firmly established.
Obama is the Best POTUS Ever
Reason #1: Obamacare
This will be Obama’s most memorable political play and is inseparable from his presidency. Years from now, Obama’s presidency will be a discussion of The Affordable Care Act and the political tennis match that followed it.
Firstly, it’s working (mostly). It did and does provide health insurance for the first time to millions of Americans who would otherwise be uninsured.
Reason #2: Iran’s Nuclear Deal
At on point during the recent past, pre-Obama, a war with Iran was known to be imminent. Largely this was due to the fear of them possessing a nuclear weapon.
The deal Barry made with the Iranians prevents any the major path to them acquiring a nuclear weapon. This occurred without firing a shot.
Is it working? It looks like it.
Reason #3: Bin Laden is dead, General Motors is alive
GM paid back the loan, the auto industry was saved.
Reason #4: Obama’s military refocus on the Pacific
Don’t take my word for it, see the report that Vice News posted here.
Obama is the Worst POTUS Ever
Reason #1: Overall toxic effect on the economy
See here for more information than I’m listing below. That said, here is the key support for my contention that Obama has wreaked havoc on the financial foundation of America…
- $20T national debt
- By the time Barack Obama leaves office in January of 2017, he will have amassed a national debt of $20 trillion dollars. When he took over as President in January 2009 the US debt was $10.6 trillion. Obama will have doubled the US debt in his 8 years in office. This means that Obama will have added to the US debt as much as all prior 43 presidents have done cumulatively.
- In total 72% of the US federal budget goes towards social programs. Only 16% goes towards goes towards defense and international security assistance (whatever that is), 6% goes towards interest on the debt and the remaining 6% goes towards infrastructure and other.
- Foodstamp nation
- According to Bloomberg, the number of participants on food stamps reached all-time highs during the Obama administration. Nearly 46 million Americans, which is roughly one-seventh of the entire US population, were on food stamps last October.
- Even though eligibility rules remained unchanged during the recession, annual spending for the program, administered by states with federal dollars, more than doubled in five years to a record $76.1 billion in 2013.
In 2008, the year before Obama took over the Presidency, there were 28 million Americans on food stamps and it was costing the country $37.6 billion. In 2015 under Obama, the number of individuals had increased to 46 million Americans with a total cost of $74.0 billion.
- Every year of Obama’s presidency the number of people and the cost to taxpayers for food stamps was higher than any year prior to the Obama years. Like all of the other social programs administered by the federal government, there have been more people on food stamps at higher costs under Obama than at any other time in history.
- Student loan debt explosion
- At the beginning of the Obama administration, in the first quarter of 2009, student loans stood at $146.6 billion. From there, the graph rises steeply. By the fourth quarter 2015, the last quarter for which the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis charted the data, student loans had risen to $945.6 billion.
- That is an amazing 645% increase in just six years
- Unabated increases in health care costs
- Despite Obama’s promises that the implementation of Obamacare would lower health-care costs, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis chart shows the Consumer Price Index, CPI, for medical care services has continued a straight-line increase since the passage of the Affordable Care Act.
- The CPI for medical care services has increased from 149.952 in January 2009 to 186.961 in February 2016, rising from a base of 100 in December 1999.
- Labor participation rate/true unemployment
- The Congressional Budget Office in an August 2016 update to the nation’s budget and economic outlook, said “certain aspects of federal laws, including provisions of the Affordable Care Act [Obamacare] and the structure of the tax code, will reduce participation in the labor force by reducing people’s incentive to work or seek work.”
- Due to the fact that the US population is larger than ever and combined with the terrible labor participation rate, the US now has more people without work under Obama than at any time in our nation’s history. In May 2016 a record 94,708,000 Americans were not in the labor force. When President Obama took office in January 2009, 80,529,000 Americans were not participating in the labor force; since then, 14 million Americans have left the workforce — some of them retiring and some just quitting because they can’t find work.
- Politifact, while debunking Trump’s claims that true unemployment is closer to 40%, came up with 16.4%
Reason #2: Obama had the best opportunity in US history to unite us, and all he did was divide us
Major issues here:
- Only commented when minorities are wronged
- Constantly playing the race card, when the President of the United States and the highest LEO in the land–the AG–are both African American
- Using words of division instead of unity. Sure, he always said SOME appropriate things, but he always ended his commentary with something that could only serve to create even more discord and unrest, rather than focusing on unity and finding common ground
- Siding with criminals/elevating criminals
- Commenting before appropriate
The specific examples I will cite where he could have united, but he took actions that could only divide, incite and polarize:
- Igniting Baltimore
- “I think there are police departments that have to do some soul searching. I think there are some communities that have to do some soul searching,” Obama said. “But I think we as a country have to do some soul searching. This is not new.”
- Iowa Representative Steve King was in his element at the South Carolina Freedom Summit on Saturday, saying after a speech to raucous conservatives that the fault for riots in Baltimore lies with President Barack Obama. “President Obama has consistently driven wedges between people. And he perceives a difference on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation—wedge after wedge after wedge. I didn’t really imagine they were going to drive a wedge between the law and law-breakers,” King, a Tea Party favorite from Iowa, told reporters in Greenville. “It is instinctive on the part of the president. That’s a level that I have not seen before.” Riots erupted in Baltimore last month after the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, an African American man who suffered spinal-cord injuries while in police custody. Asked point-blank if he blames Obama for the violent demonstrations, King hesitated for a few seconds before responding clearly in the affirmative. “I’ll say yes,” he said. “The culture has created that because they drove that culture in Ferguson and it multiplied itself in Baltimore and across the country.” He claimed that a “different president” could “heal us together” by going on television and saying, “Listen, God created all of us, and we cannot discriminate against people based upon the distinction that he’s given each of us.”
- Igniting Ferguson
- After Justice Department’s decision not to file federal civil rights charges against Darren Wilson on killing of Michael Brown: “It was an oppressive and abusive situation,” Obama said, noting that the report found that Ferguson used traffic citations as a “revenue generator.” He said Ferguson “has a choice to make:” It can reach an agreement with federal officials to fix “a clearly broken and racially biased” system, or it can refuse and face a possible lawsuit. “What happened in Ferguson is not a complete aberration,” Obama said. “It turns out they weren’t just making it up. It was happening.” The lesson for police departments around the country, he said, is that when they get enough complaints about unfair treatment of African Americans or other minority groups, “you’ve got to listen, to pay attention.” The job now, Obama said, is for police departments and communities to “work together to solve the problems, and not get caught up in the cynicism of, ‘Oh, it’s never going to change, everything’s racist,’” Obama said. “It’s achievable, but we’ve got to be constructive going forward.”
- Instead of celebrating America’s historic progress after voters elected its first black President in 2008, Obama chose to criticize the country and ignited race riots the country had not seen in 40 years since the 1960’s.
- When a white police officer shot and killed black robber Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri after Brown had robbed a store, assaulted the store owner, assaulted the policeman and resisted arrest, Obama stood behind the criminal Brown. He even sent three White House representatives to Brown’s funeral.
- All the evidence showed that Brown attacked the policeman multiple times shortly after Brown robbed a local convenience store and assaulted the store manager. But Obama did not wait for the jury to reach a verdict and instead he reached his own and promoted a race war.
- Eventually, the policeman was acquitted with many of the key witnesses in the acquittal being black, but his life has never been the same and Ferguson has never been the same.
- When the innocent verdict was announced, gangs of hoodlums invaded Ferguson and burnt the city down led by Michael Brown’s mother and step father urging the mob to – “Burn this b*tch down.” And they did. More than 20 businesses were set on fire. Obama did nothing to stop the madness. None of this mattered to Barack Obama. Instead Obama invited the mob leaders from the Ferguson riots to the White House.
- WikiLeaks later released emails showing that Democratic Leader George Soros spent $33 million bankrolling the Ferguson rioters. The people of Ferguson saw their property values plummet by 50% after the riots, but this is of little concern to Liberals Soros and Obama as they moved on to other cities and riots.
- Igniting Dallas
- Obama’s racist campaign of division and discord exploded tonight in Dallas, Texas, just hours after he made a hate speech inciting to violence. Obama sprang into action, exploiting two unrelated incidents earlier this week involving controversial fatal shootings by cops in Louisiana and Minnesota. We don’t know what happened in Baton Rouge when Alton Sterling was shot by police (Sterling was armed). Or the disturbing video of Philando Castile in the aftermath of a police shooting in Minnesota. But we don’t know the whole story. But Obama sprang into action and ginned up the hate ….
- Obama: “what’s clear is that these fatal shootings are not isolated incidents. They are symptomatic of the broader challenges within our criminal justice system, the racial disparities that appear across the system year after year, and the resulting lack of trust that exists between law enforcement and too many of the communities they serve.”
- No, Mr. President, it is not clear. After the evidence was presented, the police shootings in Ferguson and Baltimore were clearly justified, and it was clear that the police officers involved had been libeled and unjustly ruined. But that was irrelevant. These terrible incidents were merely a tool by vicious agitators to advance a war against America. Targeting police is targeting society. The thin blue line is what stands between civilization and anarchy. Remove the blue line and it’s all-out war. And that is what the supremacist Black Lives Matter terror group is plotting to do — Dallas was the first massive strike.
- Obama: “When incidents like this occur, there’s a big chunk of our citizenry that feels as if, because of the color of their skin, they are not being treated the same, and that hurts, and that should trouble all of us,” Mr. Obama said in a statement on Thursday after arriving in Warsaw for a NATO summit.”
- Inviting BLM to the White House and saying “they do outstanding work” and “led the protests and shining light on the injustices happening
- Never has acknowledged results of a study published in the NY Times about evidence of bias in police use of force, but NOT IN SHOOTINGS
- Inviting the clock kid to the White House
- Let’s even forget what he did to ignite or not diffuse those situations. He could have stopped those cities from burning, and he didn’t
- Racial tensions have never been higher in my life
- Obama has set back race relations to the Civil Rights era – and maybe even beyond that
Reason #3: Obama’s abysmal handling of terrorism
- Little Rock, Arkansas, June 1, 2009. Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad shot and murdered one soldier, Army Pvt. William Andrew Long, and injured another, Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula, at a military recruiting station in Little Rock. Muhammad reportedly converted to Islam in college and was on the FBI’s radar after being arrested in Yemen–a hotbed of radical Islamic terrorism–for using a Somali passport, even though he was a U.S. citizen. In a note to an Arkansas judge, Muhammad claimed to be a member of al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula, the terror group’s Yemen chapter.
- Fort Hood, Texas, November 5, 2009. Major Nidal Malik Hasan shot up a military base in Fort Hood and murdered 14 people. Hasan was in contact with al-Qaeda terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki prior to the attack and shouted “Allahu Akbar!” as he fired upon the soldiers on the Fort Hood base. After being sentenced to death, Hasan requested to join ISIS while on death row. It took six years for Obama to acknowledge the shooting as a terror attack instead of “workplace violence.”
- Boston, Massachusetts, April 15, 2013. Tamerlan and Dhozkar Tsarnaev set off two bombs at the 2013 Boston marathon, killing three and injuring over 260 people. The Tsarnaev brothers later shot and murdered Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier. The Tsarnaev brothers were self-radicalized through online jihadist propaganda and through a mosque with ties to al-Qaeda.
- Moore, Oklahoma, September 24, 2014. Alton Nolen beheaded a woman, Colleen Huff, at a Vaughan Foods plant and stabbed and injured another person. While Nolen’s motives are unclear, he appears to have been another radicalized Muslim who was obsessed with beheadings.
- Queens, New York, October 23, 2014. Zale Thompson, another self-radicalized Muslim, injured two police officers with a hatchet before being shot dead by other cops. Thompson reportedly indoctrinated himself with ISIS, al-Qaeda and al-Shabab–a Somali jihadist terror group–websites and was a lone wolf attacker.
- Brooklyn, New York, December 20, 2014. Ismaayil Brinsley shot and murdered two police officers execution-style and his Facebook page featured jihadist postings and had ties to a terror-linked mosque.
- Garland, Texas, May 3, 2015. Two gunmen shot up the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, where a Mohammed cartoon contest was taking place, and were killed by a police officer. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.
- Chattanooga, Tennessee, July 16, 2015. Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez shot and killed four Marines and a sailor at a military base in Chattanooga and was believed to have been inspired by ISIS.
- San Bernardino, California, December 14, 2015. Two radical Islamists, Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, shot and murdered 14 people and injured 22 others at an office holiday party.
- Orlando, Florida, June 12, 2016. Omar Mateen, 29, opened fire at a gay nightclub, killing 49 and injuring 53. The FBI investigated Mateen twice before his rampage, but did not take any substantive action. Officials believe Mateen was self-radicalized but he pledged fealty to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi before his death. “The real muslims will never accept the filthy ways of the west,” Mateen posted on his Facebook page after committing his heinous act at Pulse nightclub. “I pledge my alliance to (ISIS leader) abu bakr al Baghdadi..may Allah accept me,” he wrote.
- St. Cloud, Minnesota, September 17, 2016. Dahir Ahmed Adan, a 20-year-old Somali refugee, began hacking at people with a steak knife at a Minnesota mall, injuring nine people before he was shot dead by off-duty police officer Jason Falconer. The FBI said numerous witnesses heard Adan yelling “Allahu akbar!” and “Islam! Islam!” during the rampage. He also asked potential victims if they were Muslims before inflicting wounds in their heads, necks, and chests. The FBI believe he had recently become self-radicalized. (As the Daily Wire highlighted, the Minneapolis Star Tribune attempted to blame “anti-Muslim tensions” for his murderous actions.)
- New York City/New Jersey, September 17, 2016. Ahmad Khan Rahami, a 28-year-old naturalized citizen from Afghanistan, set off multiple bombs in New York and New Jersey. In Chelsea, his bomb resulted in the injury of over 30 people. Rahami wrote in his journal that he was connected to “terrorist leaders,” and appears to have been heavily influenced by Sheikh Anwar, Anwar al-Awlaki, Nidal Hassan, and Osama bin Laden. “I pray to the beautiful wise ALLAH, [d]o not take JIHAD away from me,” Rahami wrote. “You [USA Government] continue your [unintelligible] slaught[er]” against the holy warriors, “be it Afghanistan, Iraq, Sham [Syria], Palestine … “
- Columbus, Ohio, November 28, 2016. Abdul Razak Ali Artan, an ISIS-inspired 20-year-old Somali refugee who had been granted permanent legal residence in 2014 after living in Pakistan for 7 years, attempted to run over his fellow Ohio State students on campus. After his car was stopped by a barrier, he got out of the vehicle and began hacking at people with a butcher knife before being shot dead by a campus police officer. He injured 11 people, one critically. ISIS took credit for the attack, describing Artan as their “soldier.” Just three minutes before his rampage, Artan posted a warning to America on Facebook that the “lone wolf attacks” will continue until America “give[s] peace to the Muslims.” He also praised deceased al-Qaeda cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki as a “hero.”
- Refusing to call terror by its real name: radical Islamic terrorism
- Calling things workplace violence
- Refusing to link acts of terror to radical Islam even when you have attackers on video screaming “Allahu Akbar”
- Always seeming to be more concerned with warning people not to react negatively to Muslims than in expressing grief over the dead, or of ensuring the American people he would do whatever it took to end these heinous acts of cold blooded murder
- Not going to Paris in the aftermath of the horrific Charlie Hebdo killings
- From the BBC: On Sunday, as more than a million marchers took to the Paris streets and 44 heads of state joined arms on Boulevard Voltaire, there was one notable absence.
- At least, the absence was noted by many of Barack Obama’s critics, who slammed the US president for failing to attend the French unity demonstrations following the attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
- CNN’s Jake Tapper said he was “ashamed” that Mr Obama, Vice-President Joe Biden or any other “high-level” US official failed to stand alongside leaders from the UK, Israel, the Palestinian authority, Germany and Jordan.
- In a Monday afternoon press conference, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said Mr Obama wished he could have attended, but the “onerous and significant” security preparations for a presidential visit require more than the 36-hour advance notice the White House received.He added, however: “It’s fair to say that we should have sent someone with a higher profile.”
- “The Obama administration sent three representatives to Michael Brown’s funeral in Ferguson, Missouri,” he writes. “But only the ambassador to France made the historic anti-terror march in Paris today.”
- The New York Daily News editorialised against the president, printing “You let the world down” on the front page of its Monday edition.
- President Obama’s unwillingness to attend the Paris march is a personal failing on his part. Rick Ungar, Forbes
- Making it even more insulting, sending John Kerry and James Taylor after the fact?
Reason #4: The train wreck known as Obamacare
- Lied to get it passed – Jonathan Gruber, dubbed the “Obamacare Architect”
- Pelosi’s infamous 16 words
- Lied about it in general
- Costs won’t increase
- You can keep your doctor
- The disaster surrounding the launch of the website
- It cost way too much
- Penalizing people who can’t afford it
- Big insurers are bailing out
- The nation’s largest health insurer, fearing massive financial losses, announced Tuesday that it plans to pull back from ObamaCare in a big way and cut its participation in the program’s insurance exchanges to just a handful of states next year – in the latest sign of instability in the marketplace under the law.
- UnitedHealth CEO Stephen Hemsley said the company expects losses from its exchange business to total more than $1 billion for this year and last.
- Costs continue to spiral out of control/choices decreasing
- Even as more people are being covered, however, the choices for coverage are decreasing. Major insurers such as UnitedHealth and Aetna are scaling back participation in Obamacare marketplaces for 2017. The result is that in one-third of the counties in the U.S., people who don’t have coverage through work will have a “choice” of only one insurance provider next year. Unsurprisingly, soaring insurance premiums are being projected as a consequence of the absence of competition.
- In 2008, the average employer-sponsored family plan cost a total of $12,680, with employees footing $3,354 of the bill, according to Kaiser data. By 2016, the cost of the average employer family plan was up to $18,142 for the year, with workers picking up $5,277 of the tab.
- For another, the typical plan’s deductible is quite different nowadays. In 2008, high deductibles were the minority: 18% of covered workers had deductible of at least $1,000, per the Kaiser Family Foundation, up from only 10% in 2006. For workers with employer-sponsored plans at small firms, 35% had deductibles of $1,000 or more in 2008, up from 16% in 2006.
- Fast-forward to 2016, and high-deductible plans have become standard: 51% of all covered workers, and 65% of workers in small firms, face deductibles of at least $1,000. Workers at smaller firms must pay an average of $2,069 out of pocket before insurance payments kick in, versus $1,238 for workers at firms with 200 or more employees.
- Forbes: Overwhelming evidence that Obamacare caused premiums to increase substantially
- MarketWatch: Obamacare was supposed to reduce health expenses for Americans, but that’s not how it’s working out. The government this week said premiums in 2017 for the most popular plans on federal exchanges will surge by an average of 25%. That’s three times as large as the 2016 increase.
- It’s already in the process of being repealed, and not many people are protesting
Reason #5: Destroying relations with our primary ally in the Middle East, Israel
- Just about the only place in the middle east where they don’t burn the American flag – Israel is one of America’s oldest and closest geopolitical allies
- When’s the last time you heard about an Israeli terrorist killing anyone
- We have close ties to them because of the Judaeo-Christian connection
- Using US tax money to try to get Netanyahu defeated
- The State Department paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayers grants to an Israeli group that used the money to build a campaign to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in last year’s Israeli parliamentary elections, a congressional investigation concluded Tuesday.
- Some $350,000 was sent to OneVoice, ostensibly to support the group’s efforts to back Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement negotiations. But OneVoice used the money to build a voter database, train activists and hire a political consulting firm with ties to President Obama’s campaign — all of which set the stage for an anti-Netanyahu campaign, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said in a bipartisan staff report.
- In one stunning finding, the subcommittee said OneVoice even told the State Department’s top diplomat in Jerusalem of its plans in an email, but the official, Consul General Michael Ratney, claims never to have seen them.
- He said he regularly deleted emails with large attachments — a striking violation of open-records laws for a department already reeling from former Secretary Hillary Clinton’s handling of official government records.
- The Iran deal, which jeopardizes Israel’s very existence
- So bad that Netanyahu addressed US Congress directly
- The White House is particularly incensed that the Israeli ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer, and John Boehner, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, conspired to arrange the speech to a joint sitting of Congress without consulting the administration.
- Democrats accuse Boehner of ambushing the president as the Republicans push – with the backing of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington – to strengthen sanctions against Iran, a move Obama has warned “will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails”.
- But it was Dermer, who was born in the US and worked as a Republican political operative before moving to Israel, who instigated Netanyahu’s address to Congress.
- Netanyahu has defended the speech as a legitimate attempt to stop Obama from making concessions to Iran that the Israeli leader said will leave Tehran on the brink of being able to build a nuclear weapon.
- So bad that Netanyahu addressed US Congress directly
- Stabbing Israel in the back by abstaining from voting on UN Resolution 2334
- Last Friday, on the eve of Hanukkah and Christmas, Barack Obama stabbed Israel in the front. The departing president refused to veto United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334—a measure ostensibly about Israeli settlement policy, but clearly intended to tip the peace process toward the Palestinians. Its adoption wasn’t pretty. But, sadly, it was predictable.
- Israeli official: Proof of US role in UN vote to be given to Trump
- Israel will provide detailed, sensitive information to Donald Trump’s incoming administration about the US role as a covert partner in the UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s settlements in the West Bank, a senior Israeli official told CNN Tuesday.
- The official said it is becoming increasingly clear, based on Arab sources, that the administration was a covert partner in every detail of its formulation, together with the Palestinians.
- Alan Derschowitz: Obama is the worst foreign policy president ever
Reason #6: Obama’s dirty dealings with the #1 state sponsor of terror, Iran
Cash for hostages, and also sending them huge money for dubious reasons
- $400M swap for hostages
- Obama administration secretly sent $400 million in cash equivalents on an unmarked cargo plane to Iran on January 17, 2016, to facilitate a swap that day of four innocent Americans held by Iran. Seven Iranian criminals held by the US were also released. Obama said that it was not a ransom for the release of the prisoners but later the State Department admitted it was. Another $1.3 billion was later reported as also being provided to Iran.
- Two more payments, totaling $1.3B
- When the nuclear deal was implemented in January, the Obama administration announced that it agreed to pay $1.7 billion to settle the decades old dispute, although officials didn’t say when or how the payments were made until now.
The Iran deal itself; shorthand on this:
- It legitimizes Iran’s ability to manufacture nuclear weapons
- In certain instances, it actually forces us to potentially side with Iran AGAINST Israel
- It paves the way for Iran to legally create nuclear weapons
- 10 reasons the Iran deal is ludicrous
- In addition, the United States and the European Union must help Iran protect against sabotage to its program (e.g. from Israel or Iranian dissidents). We are now allied with Iran against Israel in this regard.
- How bad is the deal, let me count the ways
- Obama claims he has “blocked all of Iran’s paths to building nuclear weapons.”
- That is untrue.
- Iran is allowed to continue enriching uranium and producing plutonium, ingredients needed for nuclear warheads, albeit at lower grades. Iran promises to slow down the process for a 10-year period. Even then, it is not clear at what cadence the proposed slowdown would take place.
- In the meantime, Iran is benefiting from a steady crumbling of the sanctions edifice. More than 30 Iranian companies and banks are doing business with the EU and other nations.
- Twenty-two individuals banned from travel abroad, among them eight generals and three convicted terrorists, have visited other countries.
- The flow of unfrozen cash assets to Iran continues and is expected to top $20 billion by the end of the year. The ban on arms sales is quietly ignored, with Russia delivering S-300 anti-aircraft missiles and negotiating the sale of war planes and submarines.
- (Tehran and Moscow signed 11 agreements last week.) For its part, China has agreed to upgrade Iran’s nuclear industry, especially by supplying new plutonium plants.
- Obama’s “chance in a lifetime” diplomatic coup is nothing but a shady deal between the Democrat Party and the Khomeinist faction in Tehran led by former President Hashemi Rafsanjani.
- The “deal” was prompted by calculations pertaining to domestic politics in the US and Iran. It leaves intact the potential threat that Iran’s nuclear ambitions continue to pose for peace and stability in the Middle East.
- Neither I, nor the American people, signed up for a nuclear deal with Iran that will provide the regime with billions of dollars to support its terrorist proxies and the murderous al-Assad regime in Syria. Nor did we agree to lift the United Nations arms embargo so Russia and China could provide Iran with conventional weapons and ballistic missiles. Unfortunately, despite the fact that a majority of Americans oppose this reckless Iran deal, that is the agreement in front of us.
- 10 reasons the Iran deal is ludicrous
Reason #7: Not prosecuting Hillary for her email server scandal, etc.
Obama lied about his knowledge of this issue
- One question that needed to be answered was whether Hillary’s actions with her emails led to gross negligence with national defense information which is a serious crime according to the Espionage Act of 1913.
- Hillary went to great lengths to hide the fact that she was using a private email server and made many excuses which later turned out to be lies. For example, she claimed that she didn’t know a ‘C’ on her emails meant classified. Clinton’s team eventually deleted her emails and then cleaned her server with a program called ‘Bleachbit.’ They did this after these items were requested in subpoenas from Congress.
- In March of 2016 Barack Obama stated he did not know that Hillary had a private server that she used for official government business.
- Obama lied about this, as the White House was notified six different times that Hillary had changed her email address. Catherine Herridge: One of the key things we’ve learned in the FBI interviews known as 302s came from Clinton aide Huma Abedin. She told the FBI investigators that every time Hillary Clinton’s personal address changed they would update the White House so the president could continue receiving Hillary Clinton’s emails on his high security devices including his Blackberry.
- Bill Clinton met with AG Loretta Lynch on a plane in Arizona; within a week, justice department dropped the investigation
- Hillary’s comments vs Comey’s
- Gowdy shreds Comey
- Communications with Obama
- This from a Clinton attorney: I know when I talk to my friends who are attorneys we are all struggling with what happened to the emails and aren’t satisfied with answers to date. While we all know of the occasional use of personal email addresses for business, none of my friends circle can understand how it was viewed as ok/secure/appropriate to use a private server for secure documents AND why further Hillary took it upon herself to review them and delete documents without providing anyone outside her circle a chance to weigh in. It smacks of acting above the law and it smacks of the type of thing I’ve either gotten discovery sanctions for, fired people for, etc. — https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/4099
- The reason FBI Director Comey did not press charges against Hillary Clinton was due to a lack of intent. He made the argument that Hillary Clinton was not subverting the law for any malicious intent, and therefore did not commit a provable crime.
- However, that was before the American people knew that Hillary Clinton was using a private insecure e-mail server to communicate with President Obama, and before we had proof that Hillary Clinton deleted e-mails personally. She also instructed Paul Combetta to remove evidence of the e-mails permanently, and did so after she had been subpoenaed by the Justice Department. This proves her intent to willfully and maliciously deleted evidence to protect both herself, and her boss, President Obama.
- This suggests the White House illegally subverted the FBI investigation and forced them not to press charges knowing if she faced a judge she would have to reveal the President’s communications with her. Meanwhile, by protecting Hillary, the White House was able to ensure she was the nominee to maintain the cover up. By securing the White House for another 4-years it will prevent the American people from ever finding out what is contained in those 33,000 e-mails.
- When you consider these facts, as well as the other revelations within the Podesta e-mails on Wikileaks, it is clear the main stream media is also colluding with the Clinton campaign, and the White House. In effect, the White House is using the main stream media to elect Clinton in an attempt to protect their legacy, and hide the truth from the FBI, Congress, and the American people.
Reason #8: Russian hacking of the election
- CNN: What does the US believe Russia did to interfere in the 2016 campaign?
- What does the US believe Russia did to interfere in the 2016 campaign? The US government publicly announced in October that it was “confident” Russia orchestrated the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and other political organizations of the Democratic Party.
- Those hacks resulted in the public release of thousands of stolen emails, many of which included damaging revelations about the Democratic Party and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the party’s nominee.
- Obama says he is determined to take action against Russia — and says Putin is “well aware of my feelings about this, because I spoke to him directly about it.”
- “I think there is no doubt that when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections that we need to take action and we will at a time and place of our own choosing,” he told NPR.
- CNN: White House announces retaliation against Russia: Sanctions, ejecting diplomats
- President Barack Obama took unprecedented steps Thursday to retaliate against alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election, prompting vows from Russian authorities that Moscow will respond in kind.
- The administration described Russia’s involvement as “Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities” and sanctioned four Russian individuals and five Russian entities for what it said was election interference. The administration also ordered 35 Russian diplomats to leave the country and two Russian compounds are being closed.
- Incredible hypocrisy:
- No one has ever suggested Russia did anything involving actual interference with the voting process (rigging machines, etc.)
- There is ZERO focus from the administration on the crimes committed by Hillary
- We have factual, undisputed evidence that Hillary hacked the election – and Obama does NOTHING!
Statement by the President of Russia
December 30, 2016
We regard the recent unfriendly steps taken by the outgoing US administration as provocative and aimed at further weakening the Russia-US relationship. This runs contrary to the fundamental interests of both the Russian and American people. Considering the global security responsibilities of Russia and the United States, this is also damaging to international relations as a whole.
As it proceeds from international practice, Russia has reasons to respond in kind. Although we have the right to retaliate, we will not resort to irresponsible ‘kitchen’ diplomacy but will plan our further steps to restore Russian-US relations based on the policies of the Trump Administration.
The diplomats who are returning to Russia will spend the New Year’s holidays with their families and friends. We will not create any problems for US diplomats. We will not expel anyone. We will not prevent their families and children from using their traditional leisure sites during the New Year’s holidays. Moreover, I invite all children of US diplomats accredited in Russia to the New Year and Christmas children’s parties in the Kremlin.
It is regrettable that the Obama Administration is ending its term in this manner. Nevertheless, I offer my New Year greetings to President Obama and his family.
My season’s greetings also to President-elect Donald Trump and the American people.
I wish all of you happiness and prosperity.
- Tweet from Russian embassy in UK that ridicules the Obama administration
- What Russia deserves is a Nobel Peace Prize
- The biggest point of all: Obama was willing to escalate tensions with Russia in a last-ditch attempt to sabotage Trump’s win
Reason #9: Obama’s generally lawless nature/abuse of Executive Power
Of all the troubling aspects of the Obama presidency, none is more dangerous than the President’s persistent pattern of lawlessness, his willingness to disregard the written law and instead enforce his own policies via executive fiat.
The President’s taste for unilateral action to circumvent Congress should concern every citizen, regardless of party or ideology. The great 18th-century political philosopher Montesquieu observed: “There can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or body of magistrates.” America’s Founding Fathers took this warning to heart, and we should too.
Rule of law doesn’t simply mean that society has laws; dictatorships are often characterized by an abundance of laws. Rather, rule of law means that we are a nation ruled by laws, not men. No one—and especially not the president—is above the law. For that reason, the U.S. Constitution imposes on every president the express duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”
Rather than honor this duty, President Obama has openly defied it by repeatedly suspending, delaying, and waiving portions of the laws that he is charged to enforce. When President Obama disagreed with federal immigration laws, he instructed the Justice Department to cease enforcing the laws. He did the same thing with federal welfare law, drug laws, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
In the more than two centuries of our nation’s history, there is simply no precedent for the White House wantonly ignoring federal law and asking others to do the same.
- Abuse of Executive Power/Executive Overreach
- This new-found concern for executive power is ironic given that the Obama administration’s signature move has been aggressively to sidestep the democratic process.
- President Obama has been unapologetic about his unprecedented use of executive power, and of course, that robust view of the executive’s prerogative does not occur in a vacuum but creates an important precedent.
- “The New York Times” acknowledged as much prior to the election noting that Obama’s pursuit of “executive power without apology … will shape the presidency for decades to come.”
- He vowed to pursue “audacious” executive action in his final term. And in his January 2014 State of the Union Address, President Obama promised to “wherever and whenever” possible “take steps without legislation.”
- President Obama made good on these promises; his use of Executive Orders, Executive Agreements, Agency Guidance, and Agency Rulemaking unilaterally to change domestic policy is unparalleled in modern times. Indeed, according to “The New York Times,” President Obama’s two terms have been characterized by “bureaucratic bulldozing, rather than legislative transparency.”
- All of this is quite remarkable given that the Constitution vests the power to make law with Congress, not the president, as President Obama, once a lecturer in constitutional law, well knows.
- In his first term, for example, he told immigration activists who were pressing for unilateral action that he did not have the authority to “waive away the law Congress put in place.” Fast forward a few years, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had located the power to confer “lawful status” on at least 4.3 million illegal aliens — a measure specifically rejected by Congress.
- Obama acknowledged that the DHS guidance was intended to “change the law.” In preventing the guidance from going into effect, a federal district court agreed, finding that President Obama “is not just rewriting the laws, he is creating them from scratch.”
- The Supreme Court was concerned, too. In deciding to review the case, the court took the highly unusual step of adding a question, asking whether the DHS Guidance violated the Take Care Clause of the Constitution, which requires that the president “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”
- In adding this question, the Supreme Court signaled its concern that the president may have gone beyond his duty to execute the law.
- Obama’s legacy is not so much about his particular position on any of these issues, but rather it is about something much more fundamental — pervasive and unprecedented executive overreach.
- Central to the Framers’ protection of individual liberty was a system of checks and balances. Our Constitution divides government among three co-equal branches of government. This division was meant to protect liberty by making it more difficult to abuse governmental power.
- President Obama eroded those distinctions, leaving a fundamentally different system in which it is now the habit of the president to make sweeping changes to law without Congress.
- But there is even more at stake than reversing the Obama administration’s rule by Executive fiat. President Obama has created a dangerous roadmap for the future: “To sidestep Congress,” “The New York Times” wrote pre-election, future presidents “have the legacy of Obama.”
- SNL skit
Reason #10: Immigration
- FORTUNE: In June of 2016, Supreme Court shot down Obama’s executive order which would have allowed millions of undocumented immigrants to remain in the country and work legally.
- The court’s decision in United States v. Texas resulted in a 4-4 split, which means a lower court ruling that blocked the executive order will be upheld.
The ruling, which has important implications for business and the upcoming presidential election, is the result of a challenge by 26 states, including Texas, which argued that President’s Obama’s order was an overreach of executive power.
- NY Times: The case, United States v. Texas, No. 15-674, concerned a 2014 executive action by the president to allow as many as five million unauthorized immigrants who were the parents of citizens or of lawful permanent residents to apply for a program that would spare them from deportation and provide them with work permits. The program was called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA.
He simply did not do what a President is supposed to do:
- “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
- Do what’s in the best interest of the majority of Americans; NOT:
- Advocate for a specific race or class of people
- Be a social justice warrior
Other things I don’t have time to cover:
- IRS targeting of conservative groups
- Obama’s disdain for the military
- Guantanamo releases
- Obama’s other lies
- At a minimum, it involved lying repeatedly about the nature of what took place
- At worst, it involves actively planning for the assassination of one or more people working at the Embassy