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The Presidency of Barack Obama - Page 3

post #101 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muzman View Post

There was some discussion that he should let Bergdahl off as well.  I don't know if he can yet.  It's a bit more complicated.  Still, there's somone who also doesn't want to be sitting through a Trump term.

Bergdahl needs to face the music. And of the two, I'm frankly surprised that Manning is the one getting the pardon instead of Snowden. I get the lesser crime and already sitting in jail after a trial aspect, but to my memory I thought Snowden's motives were pretty much universally accepted as unimpeachable. By which I mean, he did what he thought was right and considered himself a patriot. Manning's motives were less clear cut, again to my memory which could be mistaken.

But Bergdahl, whatever his true motive, got people killed. People died while resources were diverted searching for him. Whatever the motives, I don't feel you get to walk away from that.
post #102 of 123

That's one of those systemic arguments though, which is tricky I grant.  The army's own report said there's no evidence anyone died as a result of Bergdahl's actions or the search for him.  That's cold comfort for a couple of guys in wheelchairs and so on and there's instances where you'd have to think they came mighty close to a catastrophe or two.  But that's what they found.  So the argument then moves wider to things like the vast re assigment of men and materiel meant that other regions were less resourced so it probably had some negative influence on battlefield force causing casualties elsewhere.

 

That's casting blame further afield than we usually like.  As one of his lawyers (I think) put it, if Bergdahl is directly accountable in this way then there's a virtually limitless supply of soldiers and commanders we have to sort through to blame for a myriad of things not directly under their command or control.  Not a precedent people want to be in a great hurry to set I'd say.  At some point you can't blame the way they searched for him on Bergdahl even though he's the reason that they searched.

 

But yes, he hasn't been right through the system yet, so to intervene now would probably be a mistake (or impossible.  I don;t know)

post #103 of 123

Watching new Frontline right now...

 

FRONTLINE examines the partisanship that gridlocked Washington in the Obama era, and the polarized America that Donald Trump inherits as president.

 

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/divided-states-of-america/

 

Many people being interviewed for this but I almost wanted to punch my TV when I heard Frank Luntz....
 

Quote:

FRANK LUNTZ:    I never saw town halls like this. Normally, 50 people would show up─ 500 were coming. In places you would have 200 people, they’d have 1,500 people there. And they were all angry and they were very aggressive. They were informed. They were educated. They were persuasive and aggressive, which made for perfect television coverage.

 

Actually Frank, they were not informed....or more specifically, they were purposely misinformed thanks to the likes of folks like you, Fox News, etc.

 

What a dick that guy is...

post #104 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Analog Olmos View Post


Bergdahl needs to face the music. And of the two, I'm frankly surprised that Manning is the one getting the pardon instead of Snowden. I get the lesser crime and already sitting in jail after a trial aspect, but to my memory I thought Snowden's motives were pretty much universally accepted as unimpeachable. By which I mean, he did what he thought was right and considered himself a patriot. Manning's motives were less clear cut, again to my memory which could be mistaken.

 

I don't think motive particularly matters -- how many monsters have done what they thought was right and considered themselves patriots? Obama seems to prefer commutations above full pardons, which complicates Snowden's case; there's nothing to commute. Were the man sitting in jail right now, I believe his sentence would be lessened as well. But the Russian connection complicates matters, as it tends to.

post #105 of 123

I mean, I think Snowden and Manning were both just in leaking the information they did, but I also can see the White House's point that at least Manning went on trial and had done time (hard time), whereas Snowden fled not just anywhere, but to Russia, and then proceeded to take (somewhat valid) shots at the U.S.

post #106 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post
 

I mean, I think Snowden and Manning were both just in leaking the information they did, but I also can see the White House's point that at least Manning went on trial and had done time (hard time), whereas Snowden fled not just anywhere, but to Russia, and then proceeded to take (somewhat valid) shots at the U.S.

 

Actually he went through China first, and they probably got a solid look at the goods as well.

 

Snowden was well-intentioned, but disastrously naive when it comes to spycraft shit. Speaking from personal experience, he seems like the kind of guy who is super intelligent in a very specific field, and assumes that intelligence will carry over to other areas where he doesnt really know anything. 

 

Ultimately he didn't reveal anything that most people (who had been paying attention) didn't already know, and he gave up a tremendous amount of operational intelligence to our two major geopolitical rivals. That certain people continue to argue that he should be pardoned just shows that certain people are absolutely clueless.

post #107 of 123
post #108 of 123

"Good luck."

 

Obama's final words to the press corps at his final press conference.

post #109 of 123

Obama's Biggest Mistake - https://theringer.com/syria-barack-obama-legacy-853644abdd1b#.yal5on74c

 

Sobering look at the Syria mess. 

post #110 of 123
Quote:

And to some progressives, this stain is some kind of hero.
post #111 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangy View Post
 

Obama's Biggest Mistake - https://theringer.com/syria-barack-obama-legacy-853644abdd1b#.yal5on74c

 

Sobering look at the Syria mess. 

 

I'm sorry but this
 

Quote:
  But from 2011 to 2013, the country still had a sizable and moderate rebel force, and Russia had yet to establish a significant military presence, meaning that American weapons or American aircraft could have been deployed in support of the rebels without instigating a larger conflict.

 

Is absolute nonsense and staggeringly ignorant. Does this guy not realize that one of Russia's most strategically valuable bases - its only blue sea naval base - is in Syria? In Tartus?

 

I'm baffled by the lack of basic fact-checking here. The threat of immediate and significant Russian response has always been the primary concern in getting involved in Syria. What the fuck.

post #112 of 123

Maybe people are right when they say Obama made mistakes. But I think he is a fundamentally decent human being and a hell of a lot smarter than most people, with a perfect understanding of this horrible global chess game and the ramifications of each move. He has had to make impossible decisions that will haunt him forever, the weight of which would break any of us. But ultimately it was always for the right reasons.

 

On balance I think Obama was fucking great. He has a long list of very real accomplishments that he just doesn't get enough credit for. He was someone who could actually be trusted with power, a truly rare thing. He was not a lying power hungry narcissist, he didn't believe he was on some mission from God, he didn't use his position to enrich himself or his pals. He tried to make the world a better place, I mean he REALLY TRIED. He understood the Constitution and respected it. He believed in a more inclusive society, in freedom of religion, free and fair elections, a free press. On a personal level I admired his intelligence, his wit, his endless optimism and refusal to give in to cynicism. That "professorial" thing that he always got shit for was something that only made me like him more not less. I'm probably biased because as a naturalized citizen he's the only president I ever had. I cannot afford health insurance anymore but thanks to him for a while there was at least the hope that maybe someday I could get on Obamacare. And he made us non whites feel like he was looking out for us, with him in charge it felt like I belonged in America and not in a gas chamber. I will miss him very very much. His picture is proudly displayed on my wall and it will be staying there.

post #113 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacknifeJohnny View Post


And to some progressives, this stain is some kind of hero.


Plenty of Republicans too, at least as of the last election.

post #114 of 123

Obama's parting letter to the American people as President:

 

https://twitter.com/ABC/status/822112156187586562

 

Fuck, we're going to miss this man.

post #115 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dent6084 View Post
 

Obama's parting letter to the American people as President:

 

https://twitter.com/ABC/status/822112156187586562

 

Fuck, we're going to miss this man.


God damn, he would have to leave with a nut shot to the feelz.  He was already throwing body blows all week.

post #116 of 123

Wesley Morris on Obama, the lover of art: 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/18/arts/president-obama-pop-culture.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur
 

This is where it hit me. 

post #117 of 123

Obama vs. Trump on books:

 

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/the-literary-dividing-line-between-trump-and-obama

 

Quote:
“At a time when events move so quickly and so much information is transmitted, the ability to slow down and get perspective, along with the ability to get in somebody else’s shoes – those two things have been invaluable to me,” Obama said. “Whether they’ve made me a better president, I can’t say. But what I can say is that they have allowed me to sort of maintain my balance during the course of eight years.”

 

Quote:

A couple of days later, Trump talked to Axios’ co-founders, Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei, and the reporters asked the incoming president about his own appreciation for books. One asked, for example, what’s on his nightstand.

 

Trump showed them John Ferling’ “Adams v Jefferson,” which was on his desk. Asked if they should read it, the president-elect said, “No, I wouldn’t.” It led to this exchange:


Q: Is there [a book] you actually like that you’d recommend?

 

TRUMP: I like a lot of books. I like reading books. I don’t have the time to read very much now in terms of the books, but I like reading them. This one is just one that just came out. CNN. The CNN book just came out.

 

It just astounds me that people voted for this narcissistic moron.  At this point, I think he was right that he could shoot someone without losing support.

post #118 of 123

Really liked "this is not a period, it's a comma."

post #119 of 123

Obama read criticisms all the time.  

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/17/magazine/what-americans-wrote-to-obama.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0

 

I get the feeling that no one would have the guts to put a negative letter in front of Trump (not that he would read it anyway).

post #120 of 123

That is great.

post #121 of 123

post #122 of 123

A C-SPAN survey of 91 presidential historians ranked Obama as the 12th best president:

 

https://www.yahoo.com/news/barack-obama-ranked-12th-best-144659600.html

 

Quote:

Historians gave Obama high marks for pursuing equality, managing the economy, public persuasion and “moral authority.” On the other hand, he was judged to have been below-average in handling international relations. Overall, he placed ahead of such generally well-regarded chief executives as James Monroe and James Polk.

 

History’s view of the best and worst presidents was unchanged since 2009. The top spot once again went to Abraham Lincoln — the quintessential self-made man who saved the Union, emancipated the slaves, and launched the Transcontinental Railroad. He ranked no lower than fourth in all ten of the criteria by which presidents were judged. He finished first in crisis leadership, administrative skill, vision setting, and pursuit of equal justice; second in economic management, moral authority, and “performance within the context of the times”; third in public persuasion and international relations; and fourth in working with Congress.

 

It's very, very early obviously.  I think he'll go up in time, but that's not a bad start.

post #123 of 123
Wonder who'll be last on that list come 2020....hmmmm..
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