Foreign Policy

Obama: "It has always been my view that I should ask for proper authorization after the period specified by law"


How's the military action—kinetic, wasn't it?—in Libya working out? It seems to have dropped out of the news lately, what with DSK and the lack of movement on a FY20112012 budget plan from the Senate and pizza magnate Herman Cain's razzmatazz and all that rilly important stuff.

And oh yeah, under the War Powers Act, Obama should have already asked for and either received or not legal authorization to keep American forces pelting foreign countries. Under that controversial Nixon-era relic, the prez gets 60 days to commit forces before needing some sort of explicit OK from Congress; absent that authorization, he gets 30 days to yank forces home. Additionally, the act stipulates he can only act if a threat against the U.S. is imminent or has already happened, or there's been a prior declaration of war or statutory authorization. It's not fully clear if the act is constitutional though it's Calgonite-clear that presidents (and Congress) choose to ignore it when it can. Here's the LA Times lede on the current episode:

Facing criticism from Congress that authority for U.S. military action in Libya is about to expire under the War Powers Act, President Obama asked congressional leaders late Friday for a resolution of support for continuing the military involvement.

"It has always been my view that it is better to take military action, even in limited actions such as this, with congressional engagement, consultation and support," Obama wrote in a letter to the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate. "Congressional action in support of the mission would underline the U.S. commitment to this remarkable international effort."

The War Powers Act requires the White House to seek approval of Congress within 60 days of notification of military activity, a law put in place during the political fallout of the Vietnam War. Friday marked the 60th day since the administration announced the U.S. role in Libya.

The president's letter mentions a "resolution of support" that is supposedly being drafted by a bipartisan crew of senators though House Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) says no such resolution has been received. And in any case, isn't it a little bit late for that?

More here.

On May 10, Foreign Policy reported "Senate has no plans to invoke War Powers Act over Libya," so if I were Speaker Boehner, I'd just go ahead and hit the links for the 1,000th time this spring. Sen. John "Reportin' for Duty" Kerry (R-Mass.) is the head of the Senate's Foreign Relations committee and he told FP that the War Powers Act wasn't in play because the U.S. is "deferring to NATO." (Side note: WTF? A decision to commit forces to NATO doesn't count as a deployment?) And Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) doesn't seem all bent out of shape either, though he's sad that all this other shit the government has failed to address has made it impossible to really think about anything at all:

"The War Powers Act has been argued through several administrations as to whether the president feels bound by it or not."

Overall, he and many others in the Senate lament that the budget debate and other issues have pushed the Libya discussion to the back burner.

"There has never has been the correct focus on Libya with regard to congressional hearings or congressional debate," Lugar said.

FP account here.

Libertarians are known for stressing the inherent inefficiencies of governmental actions, because the sorts of feedback loops and information gathering that works in more distributed forms of decisionmaking (such as but not limited to markets) are either missing or heavily muted. That's important but it's something different.

What we're witnessing these days—and have been for at least a decade, especially when it comes to foreign policy—is something very different. It's extremely troubling incompetence fortified by institutional indifference and abdication of responsibility. Remember when U.S. (or "allied") troops toppled Saddam Hussein's governmnt in Iraq, exposing the absolute lack of post-invasion strategerizing on the part of George W. Bush's crack team of Ford administration retreads? That wasn't ineluctable inefficiency at work; that was brutal and destructive incompetency. And it proceeds apace in a new Hope-and-Change regime that can't pass budgets on time or seemingly do much of anything other than hit its mark for White House Easter Egg Hunts. When did Obama, who by his own word really digs getting congressional engagement, consultation, and support even for milk runs like bombing the bejeezus out of Libya, tell Congress that he was, you know, maybe thinking about doing something to Qaddafi? Two days after he started doing it. But it would all be fine, because, Obama said, our military commitment would be a matter of "days, not weeks."

What we've been dealing with for this goddamned 21st century so far is not a best-try, good-faith effort at waging war. It's incompetence, first on the part of Bush and more recently on the part of Obama (finding Osama bin Laden was a neat trick, for sure; we simply don't have enough information to evaluate fully the actual operation that led to his death). And there is something really wrong with a Congress that is so spineless that it doesn't even bother to protect its own constitutinal role because, well, you know, then they may be held accountable when a foreign adventure goes wrong.

Kudos, then, to the rag-tag band of wingnuts and moonbats such as Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) for at least calling attention to the idea that Congress has some role to play in deciding when the U.S. military is put into play.

Monday, May 23 Update: on Obama's war that isn't a war


Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Sen. John “Reportin’ for Duty” Kerry (R-Mass.)

    Not that it matters, but that should be a “D”.

    As in “dickbag”.

    1. It’s possible that he actually meant to say “arm-ass”

    2. I think R is for “Right-Thinking”

    3. I was hoping it meant Retired.

    4. Obama is a walking, talking piece of shit.

      And that’s his white half.

  2. War Powers Act is confusing. People only seem to bring it up when they disagree with the action (which, for libertarians, is most of the time).

  3. WTF? A decision to commit forces to NATO doesn’t count as a deployment?

    no no Nick. You misunderstand. NATO has the power to declare war for us without Presidential authorization let alone congressional.

  4. Both sides manipulate the definition of the WPA; I don’t think either side wants clarification.

  5. Obama said, our military commitment would be a matter of “days, not weeks.”

    60 days is 60 days not 2 months or over 5 weeks!!!! It is 60 days!!!

  6. So, we’ve abdicated war-making responsibilities to the UN? FUCK YOU IN THE NECK, FEDERAL GOVERNMENT!

    1. I am still sticking to the theory that just wars are defined by the inclusion of France.

      The war on Libya has French support therefor it is just.

      The Iraq war does not have French support therefor it is unjust.

      1. Wars that prevent refugees from fleeing to Europe are just.

      2. I had a substitute social studies teacher one time that tried to prove every war was caused somehow by France. I wonder how his sophistry would explain this one.

      3. It’s a good thing for DeGaulle, or we never could have fought the Nazis!

    2. So, we’ve abdicated war-making responsibilities to the UN IMF? FUCK YOU IN THE NECK, FEDERAL GOVERNMENT!…..ntral-bank

  7. Gillespie conveniently ignores the fact that it’s Bush’s fault that we’re still in Libya.

    1. Libya,
      another way to spell Vietnam…

  8. There were some leaks indicating that the Administration was thinking of arguing that if we took a couple of days pausing the bombing (due to weather), that reset the clock. I think that idea got laughed out of contention, though.

    1. That idea has big brass ones.

      1. Some say that my IQ was over 200.

        1. Intelligent =/= sane

    2. A Mother May I war?

  9. You know you are en empire when going to war with yet another country merits less attention than what should be on the next postage stamp.

  10. I might be more inclined to let Obama slide on the WPA clarification (as many previous Presidents did), except for the fact that he made it’s clarification a point in his Presidential campaign.

    1. But you forget that each president is bound by tradition to build on the war powers of the previous occupant.

      1. I’m not the one that’s forgetting.

  11. Don’t worry, I’m sure that when we invade Syria that will distract from the whole Libya thing.

  12. Let me be clear: It’s only okay to attack another country that isn’t a threat to us if I say it is. If you disagree, you can go fuck yourselves.

    1. I find that degree of honesty refreshing in a politician.

  13. No US casualties = no war.

    1. It is as simple as that for the public

      1. Yeah it is the public’s fault that Obama is a a complete and utter liar.

        You might as well have used the term sheeple.

        Give me a break.

        1. No it is not their fault he is a liar. But it is their fault that he is getting away with it. If people cared about this and were angry about it, Congress critters would too.

          1. This is largely true, though I’d say that public opinion is mixed enough on the Libya war that the Congress has some freedom of action to make it an issue.

  14. Apparently Obama’s official position is that because we’re only a little bit at war means that he needn’t seek congressional authorization. Of course that’s a complete 180 from his previous official position that he wouldn’t need authorization for 60 days: now that he has reached that marker, he claims he doesn’t need authorization.

    It has become apparent that this administration has the forethought of a fucking gnat.

    1. I’m an opportunistic weasel.

    2. Apparently Obama’s official position is that because we’re only a little bit at war means that he needn’t seek congressional authorization.

      Wasn’t the point of this post that he just asked for congressional authorization?

      1. I’m pretty sure that Barack Obama, Constitutional Scholar and Professor, could have figured out that “asking” for a letter of support on the afternoon of the 60th day wasn’t going to get him one within the deadline.

        But I’m sure we’ll see all combat operations cease in Libya now that he’s officially past the deadline.

        1. I’m pretty sure that Barack Obama, Constitutional Scholar and Professor, could have figured out that “asking” for a letter of support on the afternoon of the 60th day wasn’t going to get him one within the deadline.

          He “asked” for the congress to take action when he submitted his official “report in writing” within 48 hours of the start of the action. It seems that they did not take any action, and so he reminded them of the deadline for them to do so. While I think the Libya adventure is misguided, I don’t think this is a fair criticism of Obama.

          But I’m sure we’ll see all combat operations cease in Libya now that he’s officially past the deadline.

          I doubt it. And I am with anyone who criticizes Obama on this point moving forward.

          1. I was being sarcastic about the stop of combat operations. And come on, it’s obviously bullshit that Obama thought that Congress was going to take action on his own. If he wants authorization past day 60 (which he clearly does), then he should have actually sought it. You’d have a fair point if he was always planning on stopping on Friday, and then an un-prompted Congress said, “No, we should continue.” But given that he clearly planned to continue indefinitely, it was his duty to prompt Congress to give him the authorization to continue long at some point where there would be no “gap.”

            That said, I’m glad you are critical of the administration’s behavior at this point.

            1. And come on, it’s obviously bullshit that Obama thought that Congress was going to take action on his own. If he wants authorization past day 60 (which he clearly does), then he should have actually sought it.

              But according to Carl Levin there has been a resolution in the works since Congress was first notified. I am sure Obama was aware of that resolution, since he mentioned it in his letter. Again, he was just reminding them that the deadline to complete that work was looming.

    3. “”” Of course that’s a complete 180 from his previous official position “”

      His support for mandated health care is 180 degress from Senator Obama. So that sort of shift shouldn’t be surprising at this point.

      1. He said we would have HC, and he brought it about-what 180??

    4. Is that what he meant by ‘limited action’?

  15. Boy it is a good think John McCain didn’t win so we could avoid being in anymore undeclared wars without any Congressional debate. This is worse than Iraq in some ways. By invading Iraq, Bush told the UN to fuck off. By bombing Libya Obama is telling the Congress and the American people to fuck off.

    You can debate the Constitutionality of the War Powers Act all you want. But at some point the inherent power of the President ends and any President has to go to Congress. And further the inherent power of the President is to defend the country. If someone invades or is planning to attack the US, I am fine with the President killing them and asking for forgivness from Congress later. But no President should be able to attack a country for any reason other than self defense without Congressional authorization.

    What we are seeing here is Obama ending the anti-war movement in the United States. After this no Democrat will be able to say shit when a Republican gets the country into a war. Even though I often don’t like them and generally think they are assholes, I don’t want the country to be completely devoid of a credible anti-war movement. Every country needs someone to say no to war if for no other reason than to make them think about it before doing it.

    1. As stated earlier, in a previous thread:

      To anyone/everyone out there who smugly voted for this shambling mound of excrement in ’08, after allowing themselves to be panicked by shrill, hysterical cries of “TEH PALIN! TEH PALIN!”: thanks, assholes.

      1. I said this at the time. We were more likely to get into a war with Obama than with McCain. The reason being that the Democrats and the media would call McCain to the carpet over any war but would not do the same to Obama. And just as I predicted, Obama has gotten us into a war and the media and the normally anti-war Demcorats are not saying shit.

        1. The difference between obama and mccain is that obama would get into war within two years and mccain would get into war within four; but mccain’s war would be twice as awful (notwithstanding the other other war that obama would get us into by the end of his term)

          1. “Hope. Change.
            [::touches self::]

      2. I don’t understand, are you saying Palin would be better?

        1. Would she have been worse? Suppose McCain had one and died two days into his Presidency. What would Palin have done that would have been any worse than what Obama has done? And further, at least the media and Congress would have held her accountable rather than kissing her ass the way they have Obama.

          1. If the media wasn’t going to kiss her ass, could I have? PLEASE?!

          2. Better undeclared war against Libya than one against Iran, I suppose.

            1. Who’s calling for war with Iran? Ted Nugent?

              1. McCain was, in song. Demonstrating quite succinctly that he is too irresponsible and bat-shit insane to be President. Why the help anybody on this thread would be arguing that be would be less of a warmonger than Obama (or anyone) is beyond me — pure denial and wistful thinking.

                1. I think the point is–and I completely agree with it–that McCain would’ve been opposed. Which was a reason to vote for him, rather than Obama, given the Democratic Congress of the time. I could understand voting LP then–I did–but not voting for Obama. I’m not even mildly surprised at the misgovernment the Democrats have foisted upon us in recent years.

                  I was surprised at how socialistic the GOP was when in power last, though.

        2. As VP, the dread Palin boogeywoman would have had no ability to (oh, say) triple the U.S. deficit in a mere two years, wage illegal war in Libya, attempt to usurp control over the internet, or race-bait with MSM-approved gusto whenever criticized by anyone on any action, at anytime; nor has she ever indicated even the remotest inclination towards any of these. Neither the empty suit currently lolling about the Oval Office — nor, for that matter, his hand-picked VP, Joe “Magic Choo-Choo” Biden — can credibly claim the same.

          None of the aforementioned actions are even remotely libertarian ones, either on paper or in practice. Pointing out the intellectual incoherence inherent in voting for the most profoundly anti-libertarian President in modern times shouldn’t even occasion mild blinking, really.

          1. But I love me some black presidentin.

            1. The thread that keeps on giving.

            2. I loved me some white people fetishizing my sweet, perfect blackness.

          2. Magic Choo-Choo
            “stand up and take a bow, oh, that’s right you can’t, ah ha ha ha ha”
            “he’s clean cut boy…”
            magic, pure magic…

    2. “After this no Democrat will be able to say shit when a Republican gets the country into a war.”

      Please John, do not underestimate the ability of Democrats to do a 180 on any issue, at any time, and for the mainstream media to let them get away with it.

  16. I have found yet another way to drain the treasury. We need higher taxes on the rich to finance my latest bloody African adventure.

  17. Oh and meanwhile the Iranians are building a rocket base in Venezeula. If Obama wants to go bomb somebody to prove how tough he is, could he maybe bomb someone who is actually a threat to the US?

    1. …otherwise known as the “Bush Doctrine”.

      1. 1. Bush got Congressional authorization for both Afghanistan and Iraq.

        2. Bush at least claimed to be doing things in the defense of the United States interest as opposed to getting in a war because that dumb bitch Susan Power feels bad about Rwanda.

        1. John,

          Was is evil when it advances a national interest, it’s like murder for profit or something.

          Conversely, killing brown people is good (it makes progs feel good) when it is done for no discernible reason.

    2. Venezeula is not a threat to the US.

      1. An Iranian missile base there sure as fuck is. What do you think they are building it for? Why would the Iranians be building a base there other than in hopes of someday using it on the US?

        1. Don’t worry, I’m distracted by Pakistan and Yemen. Iran is still in the future. Besides, Hugo is a personal friend — I think.

      2. It is a whole lot easier to deliver a nuke from Venezuala than it is from Iran. Yeah, they would never do that. Just because they claim to be a bunch of crazy fucks waiting for the 12th Imam doesn’t mean the mean it. Why not bet an American city and the several million Iranian lives who would die in the US retaliation that they are kidding. I mean what the hell. I feel lucky don’t you?

        1. So Chavez is giving the Iranians control over the Missile base they are building in his country?

          Somehow I doubt that.

          1. That is the question. And I don’t know. I just gave it as a hypothetical. I am not saying we should bomb Venezuala. But if the Iranians are in fact building a base there, I would not have a problem if the President turned it into a smoking ruin and told Chavez if we have to come back there won’t be anything left of him but a greesy spot. That would at least be defending the US. Iranian missiles within range and pointed at Houston is not something anyone should want.

            1. That is the question. And I don’t know.

              Come on. really? What has Chavez ever done to imply is he is crazy enough to give the power to preemptively strike the US from his county to another power?

              Chavez whole power structure and presidency depends on his fake posture that he is defending his county from imperialist USA.

              This posture necessitates the building of a missile base.

              It should be pointed out that if we blow the base up it would only strengthen his position.

              he is having it built for that very purpose, to tempt the US to bomb it and make him King for life.

              Also the base itself is not a threat. We can blow it up at any time and can do it without warning or even without leaving evidence that it was us if we really wanted to. Chavez has no defense against cruise missiles or stealth bombers.

              The best response for the US is to give off a collective shrug publicly and monitor it from satellite secretly.

              Also it is an advantage for us for Iran to put their technology in the hands of Chavez. If things ever get heated between the US and Iran we can always just take the base and know everything we need to know about Iran Missile technology that we would want to know. Furthermore Chavez cannot stay in power forever. When he leaves the next guy might just hand it over to us.

              1. Fair points. As I said it was more of a hypothetical to contrast it with Libya. And I wouldn’t count on Chavez ever leaving power. He will be there until he finally fucks up badly enough and the US kills him or he dies natural causes. He already has pretty much ruined the country and has made himself king for life.

                I would hope he is smart enough not to let Iran use his country as a base to attach us. But he is not very bright. So I am not sure that is a good bet. Iranian intelligence is all over the country. And it is an easy trip up through Mexico and accross our border. Most intelligence estimates I have seen say that Iran has the ability to hit the US fairly hard internally if we ever get into it with them.

              2. What has Chavez ever done to imply is he is crazy enough to give the power to preemptively strike the US from his county to another power?

                Arming the FARC is still quite a ways away from it, but still pretty crazy.

        2. Why not bet an American city and the several million Iranian lives who would die in the US retaliation that they are kidding. I mean what the hell. I feel lucky don’t you?

          John, I don’t consider a man a real man until he has played Apocalypse Roulette.

          1. Yeah. MAD was such a great deal back in the day.

            1. MAD was such a great deal back in the day.

              Don’t knock it.

              It gave Western Europe the longest period of peace in…..well in ever.

              1. I will knock the hell out of it. We came close to destroying the world on at least two occasions. The world got incredibly lucky. We almost had a nuclear war in 1983 because of a mistaken Russian radar blip. The actions of one guy stopped it.

                And the Russians were about a thousand times more organized and competant than the Iranians. And oh year the Russians were not suicidal. They really did as the song says “love their children”. The Islamists send their kids into markets strapped with explosives. We really don’t want to play MADD with these crazy fuckers.

                1. Good results beats hypotheical bad results.

                  But yeah i would rather be in an arms race with the Soviots then with the iranians.

                  But i am also willing to accept that this may be a cultural bias.

                  The Soviet’s body count vs the Iranian’s body count implies that Muslims love their children more like we do then communists do.

                  1. “Than” not “then”

                    /pet peeve

                    1. Maybe he wanted sequential arms races?

                    2. Colombia, my friend, Colombia.

                  2. The Soviet’s body count vs the Iranian’s body count implies that Muslims love their children more like we do then communists do.

                    What might save us, me and you
                    Is that the Russians love their children too

  18. It amazes me how short sighted and arrogant these people are. Do they really not think there will not come a day when a Democratic Congress will want to hold a Republican President to the WPA? They really don’t think the rules apply to them.

    I was reading about Godwin Liu getting filibustered in the Senate. This dumb bastard got up in the Alito hearings and basically said if Alito had his way cops would be gunning down black people in the street. Flash foward four years when he is up for confirmation to the 9th Circuit and he tells the Senate that his language was extreme and he regrets using it. I am sure he does.

    Now appointments to the 9th Circuit don’t come out of the sky. Liu had to have known in the mid 00s that he would be high on the list of appellate appointees for the next Dem President. And he didn’t think “gee if I say a bunch of insulting shit Republican Senators may remember that and fuck me if I am ever before the Senate”. Of course he didn’t because in Liu’s world and apparently in the world of every powerful liberal in the country you are never held accountable for doing anything and the rules are never used against you.

    1. This dumb bastard got up in the Alito hearings and basically said if Alito had his way cops would be gunning down black people in the street.

      Given the last few years of 4th Amendment jurisprudence from SCOTUS, was he really that far off?

      1. Yes. I don’t agree with Alito on the 4th Amendment, but what Liu said was completely idiotic. And further, there is no idication Liu would have voted any differently in those cases. He is just pissed Alito won’t recognize socialism as a Constitutional right.

        1. also, for now, the cops are mostly gunning down hispanics, but don’t worry they’ll be coming after white people soon too.

  19. Perhaps suicide isn’t an irrational option.

    1. Alfred, stop fucking with my philosophy!

      1. Alfred was Albert’s brother who did see suicide as the option and thus never published anything.

        1. ….and lol

        2. This works with my theory that all good books never get finished let alone published.

          All the great writers simply write great works in their minds and on napkins and are so satisfied by them that they have no need for recognition.

          The books we read are not the great books…they are the books that people write in order to get laid, paid and praised.

          1. Why can’t we have both?

            I’ll answer my own question: the “authors” who create these amazing stories probably don’t want them desecrated in the minds of the common people.

      2. “For everything to be consummated, for me to feel less alone, I had only to wish that there be a large crowd of spectators the day of my execution and that they greet me with cries of hate.”

        So why not shoot some Arabs?

        1. Well, maybe just one

  20. I usually try to “respect the office, if not the man”, but I gotta say BHO has pushed me over the edge.

    The US President is a fucking cuntstain douchebag, an incompetent-yet-smug-embarrassment to the country, and I despise him and hope he dies in a fire, trite though that is.

    That is all.

    1. this can be arranged.

  21. the rag-tag band of wingnuts and moonbats such as Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio)

    If only the Republican party was made up of Rand Pauls and the Democrats were all Kuciniches, I wouldn’t need independents. If the two-party system was the Wingnut and the Moonbat parties, I’d be perfectly satisfied.

    1. Given the primary system plus the difficulties for third parties, it’s probably easier to try to take over parties and run more Rand Pauls and Kuciniches than to be an independent.

  22. I see John is here lecturing us on Obama’s disastrous foreign policy. That would be John, Bush lover.

    1. Yeah Tony. Bush got Congressional authorization for his wars. I guess Obama doesn’t need to be bothered with you know following the Constitution and such. Don’t you realize what he is doing to you you dumb fuck? The next time a Republican President gets in a war and you and your ilk start throwing a fit, you are going to be laughed out of the room. He is making everything you claim to object to “bi partisan” and rendering you a completely ineffective hypocrite the next time you try to hold a Republican President to any standard.

        1. Watched the 1st thirty seconds. That seems to be the way many of these people think.

          The stupid hurts.

          1. Off in a tangent, but have you considered calling yourself Doktor Kapitalismo? It would be n% more tripping off the tongue and catchy and all that.

        2. Obama good, everyone else bad.

          1. “now that you mention it, those shows are funny”
            cattle chute shows

    2. Bush lover,Obama lover, no big difference. You both love war.

      1. Fuck off. You are a bigger troll than Tony. No one loves war. And I would love to have peace. But we don’t get peace until our enemies decide we can have it.

        1. How original, we want war for peace, expect for every single civilization in all of history also argued to justify their own war.

          Incredible how all those enemies seem to target USA. Like all those Jack Ryan books you wank off to, all these “enemies” in the world have nothing better to do than to target America.

          Oh and a Fuck you right back at you !

          1. Shove it up your ass. Oh yeah everyone’s actions relate to the US. No one has any motivations that are not the result of the US. The whole world revolves around the US. We control everything through our actions and are thus responsible for everything. If only we could live in your self absorbed fantasy world rather than reality where people have their own motivations and do nasty shit regardless of what we do or don’t do.

            And lastly, WHO THE FUCK IS JACK RYAN? I don’t know about you but I jack off to naked pictures of women. You should try it sometime. It might make you a little less frustraited and give you a better grip on reality.

            1. I liked the Red October movie….i may have spittled out a little pre-cum while watching it.

              1. The term for that is “Crazy Ivan”

            2. “”And lastly, WHO THE FUCK IS JACK RYAN? “”


              Paul Ryan’s brother

              I keed, I keed.

              It’s Tom Clancy’s alter-ego and main character of every Clancy novel I’ve read.

              If you have haven’t read any, check out Red Storm Rising.

    3. Tony Translation:

      All the bad things of the Arab Spring are Bush’s fault, all the good things of the Arab Spring are to the credit of Obama.

      1. An even shorter Tony Translation:

        All the bad things Bush’s fault, all the good things are to the credit of Obama.

        1. *slurrrrrrrrrrrrPPPPPPP!!!*

        2. Bush BAD

          Obama Gooood

    4. I like bush!


  23. The day NATO dies will be a good day. This cold war relic has morphed itself from a defensive organisation into an Indiana Jones foreign adventures club.

    1. ahem, Putin…

  24. Congress has some role to play in deciding when the U.S. military is put into play.

    Preposterous nonsense!

    1. Yeah but you have to admit….Dick Lugar would be a pretty cool name for a gun…like Broomhandle Mauser!

      1. Sorry! I “botted”.

  25. Allow me to summarize.

    Obama to Congress: “Just the tip.”

  26. For all you “McCain, nyah nyah nyah!” guys, riddle me this:

    Was McCain REALLY the best the Republithugs could do?


    1. Well he was the oldest! I think seniority matters…like labor unions.


      1. That’s the best repeated use of capitalized vowels since..


    3. Compared to the other people who were running for the GOP? I’m afraid so. I mean, Giuliani? Romney? Huckabee? I would have preferred Paul, but compared to the rest, sure.

      McCain is surprisingly good on a number of issues, including especially farm subsidies, free trade, actually being willing to cut defense programs, and occasionally being willing to criticize his own party (see waterboarding). His health care proposal was much better than anything else out there, including converting the deduction for employer insurance to a credit for buying one’s own. His deficiencies are well-known, certainly.

      Of course, no one actually really cares about farm subsidies, free trade, or even waterboarding.

      1. “and I study harder.”

    4. Was McCain REALLY the best the Republithugs could do?

      Irrelevant question if we’re talking about voting in the 2008 election. A relevant question would be: “Are there any issues where Obama is significantly better than McCain, and are there any issues where McCain is significantly better than Obama?”

      There are plenty for the latter; for the former, I can really only think of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (which would happen eventually soon anyway) and maybe some ignored rhetoric about, say, pot raids.

    5. Blame the Dems as well, for helping push McCain past the primaries, Brooks.

  27. That makes as much sense as anything.

    1. Well, it makes as much sense as your rant about whether McCain really was the best of bad options.

      If you want to seriously debate that then, yes, I think it’s quite easy to demonstrate that McCain was better than most plausible options and certainly was a better choice for libertarians than Obama. Of course he’s far, far from perfect, but he is a politician and the American people’s policy preferences are far from perfect.

      Out of the candidates who actually ran in the 2008 Republican presidential primaries, I have a hard time seeing who else libertarians would put second. Fred Thompson?

    2. No one is going to blow smoke up your ass and claim McCain would have been a good President. Chances are he would not have been.

      But Jesus Christ, this is getting so bad that virtually any option would have been better than Obama.

      1. well, sure, but I stand by the 50% rule. Would McCain have been 50% better than Obama? No. I put it at 5% +/- 15%.

        1. “Shut up! He’s black and he’s perfect and I love him!” [::flees from room, sobbing::]

  28. That’s me; I’m ALWAYS expressing my undying love and admiration for the Dreamboat-in-Chief.

  29. Maybe the White House can organize a bake sale to pay for the War on Libya.

    1. After we hold the bake sale to buy all those strategic bombers that the teachers union wants to buy.

      1. McCain is surprisingly good on a number of issues

        I will admit, I was impressed when McCain went to Detroit and said, “Those jobs aren’t coming back.” I also think Holtz-Eakin is a ventriloquist.

        1. I also think Holtz-Eakin is a ventriloquist.

          Sure, and I was impressed when McCain actually said, “I could stand to learn more about economics.” Yet of course the press treated this like some enormous gaffe. Because of course, we want our Presidents to pretend that they know everything and have no need to learn anything from anyone else. It’s worked out so well with the last two Presidents.

          1. I was impressed when McCain actually said, “I could stand to learn more about economics.”

            I thought that politicians got around not knowing things by carrying around books about those things.

            1. Fucking economics, how does it work!

              1. Don’t ask Krugman, fish. He doesn’t know, either.

  30. Fucking squirrels.

  31. Qualifying has resumed.

  32. “It has always been my view that I should ask for proper authorization after the period specified by law.”

    I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.

  33. Why do we bother having written-down laws anymore?

    1. What would Ezra Klein write about being too antiquated/confusing if we didn’t?

      1. Ezra Klein could be reliably fuddled by a good, brisk game of Battleship.

        1. Stratego would send Klein to the nuthatchery.

          Then again, it drove ME crazy. But in a good way.

  34. Why do we bother having written-down laws anymore?

    To enable the application of the boot of authority to the face of the civilian population.


    1. P Brooks,

      I think you should try to avoid quoting what you’re replying to. Since you refuse the threaded comments, it would be like our own homemade Garfield minus Garfield.

  35. Yay! Tagliani keeps that fucking obnoxious little weenie Dixon off the pole.

    1. I’m trying to get into Indy car, but it doesn’t seem to have that same spark that F1 does. God knows that ABC’s and Versus’ milquetoast coverage doesn’t help.

      What I do know is that I want to be Dario Franchitti when I grow up.

  36. I’m in full agreement that we’re suffering from incompetent government, with the last two presidents both being prime contributors to that.

    I don’t think our actions in Libya are a good example of that incompetence–I think that’s one of the few things we can hold up as an example of us finally doing something the smart way.

    I’m still a big proponent of the idea that Congress’ real check on the president’s ability to wage war is really about Congress’ power of the purse string. That’s how Vietnam ended–it was defunded.

    If Congress cared enough to put a stop to what we’re already doing in Libya, they could do so. But I still think the real danger is Congress giving the president more authority in Libya than we want him to have.

    That’s the risk profile from where I”m standing: the risk of Congressional involvement isn’t the risk of them limiting Obama’s reach in Libya. It’s the risk of them escalating the conflict and making it a long term American commitment.

    If they did that, I think that would be profoundly incompetent.

    I’m not even sure whether releasing the billions in Libya’s frozen assets to the rebels, at this point, would end up translating into more American involvement on the ground. And avoiding that kind of scenario is more important to me than whether what we’re doing is legal.

    Lawyers imagine that the legality of an action is more important than the real outcome–but we libertarians mock the lawyers in Congress for that. We rub their faces in the stupid outcomes of the Drug War, ObamaCare and every other stupid law that comes down the pike.

    I’m not sure why this law should be any different. I appreciate the need for the rule of law, but when I someone’s rights violated because of the Drug War or some other stupid outcome of some stupid law–I don’t imagine that the government is competent just because what it’s doing is legal.

    Why is Libya any different? If what we’re doing in Libya is smart, then whether it’s legal should be a secondary consideration at best–and if what we’re doing in Libya is stupid? Then why shouldn’t we just argue against it on that basis?

    1. Ken Shultz|5.21.11 @ 6:30PM|#
      …”I don’t think our actions in Libya are a good example of that incompetence–I think that’s one of the few things we can hold up as an example of us finally doing something the smart way.”

      Great! Doing something stupid in a ‘smart way’!

      1. If you think it’s stupid, then argue that point then. Congress has the power to stop what we’re doing in Libya anytime they want–and it takes them a while sometimes, but they do usually come around to what the people want eventually.

        So make your case to the people you know then, but please don’t tell them that we should do whatever the law says–because anything else would be illegal.

        That’s the antithesis of libertarianism.

  37. Warning:

    Do not end the War in Libya! Repeat, do not end the War in Libya! Peace will end in disaster. Do not end the War in Libya! Obama was right, libertarians were wrong! Give him 100% of your income before it’s too late!


  38. Here is Bush’s water boy legal theorist John Yoo … on the War Powers and Libya:

    “When Mr. Obama first announced the Libyan intervention along with our NATO allies, he claimed constitutional authority as chief executive and commander in chief and said he was acting “consistent with” the War Powers Resolution. Congress has shown no interest in authorizing our limited military operations, nor has it provided any funding. At this point, if the president were to seek approval, Congress would likely refuse.”…..S=John+Yoo

    Perhaps Obama should get Yoo to draft a legal opinion …?

    1. A Vietnam-era law meant to hamstring a Republican president now puts Barack Obama in a bind.

      Perhaps Team Blue should try actually living by the rules they so ardently insist upon for others.

      Just a thought.

      1. “Let me be clear, maybe we should go back to 1967 when there wasn’t War Powers Act.”

  39. When Obama says “It has always been my view that…” it pretty much means the opposite.

    1. Delete his hypocrisy and he’d have said nothing over the past couple of years.

  40. Joe Biden: War Without Congressional Approval Warrants Impeachment [Video]

    Obama administration hypocrisy, like a nude Shelley Duvall, is — quite literally — bottomless.

    1. But we are not in a war, this is a kinetic military action! Much much different. That is why the WPA doesn’t apply.


      Stop laughing.

    2. Biden might go for impeachment now – and become Prez.

  41. Mikey Moore, Janie Fonda, Noamy Chomsky, Shawnie Pen.

    OBAMA 2012!!

  42. I’ve grown weary of the pathetic lies and justifications that Obama and his butt-monkeys are constantly shoveling in an attempt to obscure the simple fact that Obama has no fucking intention whatsoever of obeying the War Powers Act.

    Or any other part of the Constitution. Unless it’s somehow to his advantage.

  43. His administration is actually fucking with the Posse Comitatus Act. Undeclared wars shouldn’t surpise us, and if there was even a semblance of justice and morality left in government, Obama would be impeached and tried for violating his oath of office and treason.

  44. Obamas answer to everything, throw a speech at it lol.

    1. tru dat

  45. Let me be clear: I only said that I ‘should ask’ not that I ‘would ask’. It’s just like I ‘should quit smoking’.

    1. But will not. We’ll need some boots on the ground next.

  46. The good folks commenting on this site and/or story should keep in mind that Obama is acting as a faux-emperor/president of the global corporate/financial/militarist Empire which now controls our former country (as well as U.K. Israel, et al) by hiding behind the facade of the empire’s bought and owned TWO-Party modernized Nazi-like ‘Vichy” sham of faux-democratic government, and equally “Vichy” corporatist (fascist) media (which provides propaganda lies to Americans of both the left and the right).

    As such faux-emperor/president it is certainly true that Obama does not represent the interests of the general population of honest, average, middle/working-class Americans in the subsumed US territory any more than all of the previous faux-emperor/presidents; Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II have helped this disguised Empire capture our country.

    Therefore, it is entirely rational and reasonable, in line with the majority of comments, that any and all of these political pawns posing as faux-emperor/presidents were not legal presidents of our fading democratic country — and that all posters who have voiced such valid criticism and disgust with Obama should work toward insuring that no further faux-emperor/presidents of the disguised global EMPIRE that now IS the US should be allowed to take office for the EMPIRE.

    I applaud any effort to expose, educate, expunge, and excise any candidates for the office of President of the US who are actually pawns of the hidden global Empire.  Only through serious and principled efforts can we recover our country from the clutches of this disguised global Empire.  And all good Americans should avoid voting for any such phonies and pawns of Empire by avoiding any voting for any Empire endorsed, Empire captured, Empire funded, and Empire disguised candidate of either phony political party —- by requiring any candidate for president of our country to address the issue of where they stand on the global Empire which is in the process of fully taking over our country.  And ANY candidate who pretends not to be able to address the issue of the EMPIRE is clearly a phony stooge and candidate of this global Empire — who should never be voted for by any true American who loves their democratic Republic and hates the type of Empire that oppressed; politically, economically, and militarily our forefathers in the colonies prior to 1776.

    Alan MacDonald
    Sanford, Maine
    Liberty & democracy over violent empire — New America People’s Party 2012

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.