State of the Union

Will Obama Say Anything Interesting About Foreign Policy Tonight?


Credit: White House Photographer Lawrence Jackson/wikimedia

Later today, President Obama will give his latest State of Union address, which progressives are hoping will include plenty of liberal rhetoric and promises.

Domestically, there are plenty of policy areas Obama will undoubtedly mention. The Obamacare website rollout was a disaster, although as Politico notes, "The speech is coming at the right time for the White House. is largely fixed for consumers."

In the 2013 State of the Union address Obama said that "right now, leaders from the business, labor, law enforcement, faith communities -- they all agree that the time has come to pass comprehensive immigration reform." Given the current state of immigration reform legislation, it shouldn't be surprising if Obama revisits the issue.

This morning, it was reported that Obama is expected to announce a raise in the minimum wage for new federal contract workers.

While there are plenty of domestic issues for Obama to mention this evening, foreign policy will also be addressed. Since the last State of the Union address the NSA revelations have done damage to America's relationships abroad, Al Qaeda-linked groups have been playing an increasingly significant role in Iraq as well as Syria, a nuclear deal with Iran has been agreed to, there was a coup in Egypt, the crisis in the Central African Republic worsened, and protests erupted in Ukraine.

Some of these are new developments, but others, such as the situations in Syria, Iran, and post-Mubarak Egypt have been mentioned in previous State of the Union addresses.


In his 2012 State of the Union, Obama mentioned Syria once:

As the tide of war recedes, a wave of change has washed across the Middle East and North Africa, from Tunis to Cairo; from Sana'a to Tripoli.  A year ago, Qaddafi was one of the world's longest-serving dictators -– a murderer with American blood on his hands. Today, he is gone. And in Syria, I have no doubt that the Assad regime will soon discover that the forces of change cannot be reversed, and that human dignity cannot be denied.  

The Assad regime has not discovered that "the forces of change cannot be reversed," and infighting among opposition forces has only helped the regime.

In the 2013 State of the Union, the situation in Syria got some more attention than it did in the 2012 State of the Union:

We'll keep the pressure on a Syrian regime that has murdered its own people, and support opposition leaders that respect the rights of every Syrian.  And we will stand steadfast with Israel in pursuit of security and a lasting peace.  

Since making the above statement Obama's "red line" was crossed, providing what some might have hoped would present the president with an opportunity to "keep the pressure on a Syrian regime that has murdered its own people." However, rather than the strikes on Syria some were hoping for, the U.S. struck a deal with Russia relating to the Assad regime's chemical weapons.

Unsurprisingly, the ongoing Syria peace talks look unlikely to produce any sort of peace deal that the Assad regime, the represented opposition, and international representatives will agree to, let alone be able to enforce. Given the situation in Syria and the state of the peace talks, don't expect more than condemnation of the Assad regime from Obama tonight.


In the 2012 State of the Union Obama said the following about Iran:

And we will safeguard America's own security against those who threaten our citizens, our friends, and our interests.  Look at Iran.  Through the power of our diplomacy, a world that was once divided about how to deal with Iran's nuclear program now stands as one.  The regime is more isolated than ever before; its leaders are faced with crippling sanctions, and as long as they shirk their responsibilities, this pressure will not relent.

Let there be no doubt:  America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal.  (Applause.)

But a peaceful resolution of this issue is still possible, and far better, and if Iran changes course and meets its obligations, it can rejoin the community of nations.

In the 2013, the same year that the U.S. and other members of the so-called P5+1 group agreed to a deal relating to Iran's nuclear program, Iran was only briefly mentioned in the State of the Union:

Of course, our challenges don't end with al Qaeda.  America will continue to lead the effort to prevent the spread of the world's most dangerous weapons.  The regime in North Korea must know they will only achieve security and prosperity by meeting their international obligations.  Provocations of the sort we saw last night will only further isolate them, as we stand by our allies, strengthen our own missile defense and lead the world in taking firm action in response to these threats.  

Likewise, the leaders of Iran must recognize that now is the time for a diplomatic solution, because a coalition stands united in demanding that they meet their obligations, and we will do what is necessary to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon. (Applause.)

Although the deal with Iran is a far from perfect step in the right direction, Obama may urge legislators not to impose any further sanctions, which could jeopardize the deal agreed to last November. Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Angus King Jr. (I- Maine) wrote in The New York Times yesterday that,

For us to impose additional sanctions under these circumstances (or threaten to impose additional sanctions) could be an "I told you so" moment for these hard-liners, providing the very excuse they're looking for to kill the negotiations and, with them, what is probably the best chance we have of resolving this incredibly dangerous situation without resorting to military action.


Since Obama's 2013 State of the Union there has been a coup in Egypt, which was followed by a brutal crackdown on supporters of ousted President Morsi. Recently, Egyptians overwhelmingly approved a constitution in a referendum that the Muslim Brotherhood urged its members to boycott.

In the 2012 State of the Union Egypt was not mentioned, and in the 2013 State of the Union the country was mentioned once:

In defense of freedom, we'll remain the anchor of strong alliances from the Americas to Africa; from Europe to Asia.  In the Middle East, we will stand with citizens as they demand their universal rights, and support stable transitions to democracy.  (Applause.)  

We know the process will be messy, and we cannot presume to dictate the course of change in countries like Egypt, but we can -- and will -- insist on respect for the fundamental rights of all people.

It shouldn't be surprising if Obama speaks out again for a transition to democracy in Egypt, but don't expect any changes to foreign aid or diplomatic status to be announced.

Al Qaeda

In last year's State of the Union address Obama mentioned Al Qaeda, and described the organization that carried out the 9/11 attacks as "a shadow of its former self." However, since that speech the Al Qaeda-linked group the Islamic State in the Iraq and the Levant seized the Iraqi cities of Fallujah and Ramadi and have been fighting opposition groups in Syria. Obama may want to elaborate on the threat of Islamic terrorism given the situation in Syria and Iraq, his comments last year about Al Qaeda didn't specifically mention Iraq or Syria:

It's true, different al Qaeda affiliates and extremist groups have emerged -- from the Arabian Peninsula to Africa.  The threat these groups pose is evolving.  But to meet this threat, we don't need to send tens of thousands of our sons and daughters abroad or occupy other nations.  Instead, we'll need to help countries like Yemen, and Libya, and Somalia provide for their own security, and help allies who take the fight to terrorists, as we have in Mali.  And where necessary, through a range of capabilities, we will continue to take direct action against those terrorists who pose the gravest threat to Americans (Applause.)  


It will be surprising if Snowden's NSA revelations do not get mentioned this evening, especially considering what Obama said in the 2013 State of the Union.

Last year, Obama announced that talks between the U.S. and the European Union would begin on "a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership."

However, reporting on the NSA's snooping on European citizens and officials understandably put a dent in U.S.-European relations and trade negotiations. Obama has sought to reassure allied leaders that he will not spy on them, and may use tonight's State of the Union as an opportunity to demonstrate his commitment to getting the terms of a trade deal with the E.U. finalized.

I and others from Reason will be livetweeting the State of the Union tonight, click here to follow along.

NEXT: UK Parliament Report Criticizes Royal Household Spending Habits

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  1. When can we expect the drinking game rules?

    1. "Inequality" will be good for at least a single.

      1. Good God, do you want us to all die from alcohol poisoning?

        1. This isn't the Huffington Post.

        2. How about "let me be clear" or "some say" followed by some ridiculous false dichotomy or straw man of his opponents' objections.

          1. Tough questions or Hard questions.

          2. Make no mistake, drinking will occur. I reject the false choice between alcoholism and teetotaling.

            1. some compairson of security vs liberty. Mentioning Snowden by name is a double.

            2. "I'm willing to work with anyone" = double shot

              1. "Middle class" = single shot

              2. "I'm willing to listen to any good ideas" = double shot

          3. We could have "rhetorical fallacy" bingo!

    2. Don't forget the word "folks".

  2. Who cares what Obama says? His words mean nothing.

  3. Everything he says will be some variation of "it isn't my fault" and "since Congress won't let me do what I want I will do it myself via extra legal means".

  4. Of course not.

    You could remove the words "about foreign policy", and the answer would remain the same.

    And please don't make tonight's drinking game as bad as the last few. I'm not sure my liver can take it.

  5. I'm pretty surprised to hear that theres even one federal contract worker making less then 10.10 an hour.

    1. There isn't

      1. You are probably correct. I do wonder if some park service or forest service seasonal hires are not at minimum wage.

        1. Maybe people working in the concessions stands at national parks, etc.? If the concessions are awarded by contract maybe those people are contract workers.

          1. Your probably correct, the concessions are probably contract. I was thinking more like animal surveys and emptying trash at Yellowstone.

    2. I posed this question earlier in the AM Links. The answer was that some federal contractors are paid a multiplier of that minimum wage.

      Basically, this is classic Obama. Make a symbolic gesture that his supporters can use as an example of his awesomeness, even though pretty much nobody is actually affected by that gesture.

      1. if by nobody you mean union folks who have contributed mightily to his campaign, then you're right.

  6. No Person of Interest tonight for this garbage?

    1. That show strikes me as really creepy.

      1. It's awesome. Guy gets involved with government because he really wants to help people, realizes that government really only exists to accumulate power for itself, goes rogue and helps people that the government doesn't give a shit about.

        It's Batman + Nero Wolfe + Neuromancer and it has beautiful women in the cast... what's not to like?

        1. Huh, the ads made it seem like there is this benevolent government agency that uses.its ubiquitous spy powers to find people in.danger and protect them, sort of like a reverse A-Team. It made me retch. Maybe.I'll have to.give it a chance.

          1. Just like you gave a chance to posting from your phone.

        2. I haven't watched it much this year because it seemed to meander last season, but the new razor girl is the hotness unleashed. I agree, it has a great premise.

  7. not likely he'll say anything interesting, period, let alone about foreign policy.

  8. Will Obama Say Anything Interesting About Foreign Policy Tonight?


  9. What could Obama possibly need to.say about foreign policy? He has raised America's standing in the world and in the American national brand, just like he said he would. I mean, he said he would, so he did, right? Move on, next topic.

    1. The sea has receded, the planet is healing nicely, all is well. Maybe he can get all of Congress to join hands and sing Kumbaya.

    2. I no longer hear about US citizens claiming to be Canadian when traveling abroad like they did 2002-09.

      1. Your stupidity causes me physical pain.

      2. It's because they can't afford to travel anymore.

  10. bama may urge legislators not to impose any further sanctions, which could jeopardize the deal agreed to last November.

    You mean that deal that allows Iran to continue centrifuge research and that Iran has said doesn't restrict them from doing anything?

    If Reason doesn't think Iran having nukes is worth worrying about, fine. That is one opinion and maybe it is the right one. But could Reason please stop insulting its readers' intelligence by pretending that there is some deal that is worth saving? We have deal here. We can't jeopardize the deal. Yeah, whatever.

    1. I actually agree with you on the whole "deal" question...

      ...but would probably dispute whether the perma-sanctions regime really does anything any better.

      1. That is just it. If you think it is not worth stopping Iran from getting the bomb, you may be right. I am not so sure. But it is certainly debatable. But what is not debatable is that the deal is a fraud.

        1. Just like Costanza's deal with the pigeons.

  11. Blah blah blah blah blah, all he's going to bother talking about are bullshit claims for having successes where there are none (ACA, Iran, the 'economy' aka 'look, the stock market is up!'), then making even bigger claims about the urgency for some new DO SOMETHING bullshit on =

    - Inequality (read: moar free monies for mah cronies)
    - Immigration! (read: some kind of 'signature legislation' bullshit that will be designed a) simply to make GOP look bad and b) never actually pass)
    - WAR ON WOMENS- because the SOTU is just another campaign speech, and the only constituency that the O has on statistical lock down is the Chicas; MUST ENDLESSLY REMIND WOMEN HOW MUCH REPUBLICANS DESPISE THEM.

    Its horseshit all the way down basically. Let me know if someone screams "LIES!"

    1. If the GOP had any balls or self respect, they would just stand up and leave as soon as he got up to speak.

      Obama is basically saying that he can do anything he wants no matter what Congress says. Only the craven, prideless boot lickers that we have could sit and listen to him spend 30+ minutes explaining why only his opinion matters.

      1. Homework for John. Refuse to watch FOX News for one week.

        Obama has signed fewer executive orders than anyone since HW Bush, and is far outdone by Reagan.

        1. Yeah Tony. Don't even consider the reality that I never watch cable news of any sort. Don't let reality get in the way of your narrative that only those brain washed by Fox News think Obama is anything but awesome.

          How about some homework for Tony. Tony spends a week wracking his brain thinking of anything Obama could do that would cause Tony to admit his is an awful President.

          Ordering the killing of an American Citizen? Nope. Obama did that twice.

          Using the IRS and FBI to oppress his opponents? Nope been there and Tony thinks it is just great.

          Starting an illegal war in Libya? Nope.

          It is going to be a long tough week Tony.

          1. You're getting these zombie talking points from somewhere.

            1. It's called analysis of the situation, Tony. Not all of us need someone to tell us what to say, some of us think for ourselves.

              1. Not John. Everything he types I've read before. I pay attention to the GOP propaganda mill.

            2. Tony just because you endlessly repeat bullshit fed to you doesn't mean everyone does.

            3. Using the IRS and FBI to oppress his opponents? Nope been there and Tony thinks it is just great.

              Using the IRS to oppress his opponents is not just a GOP invention, but the finding of an IRS Inspector General report.

        2. Obama also regularly criticized the use of executive orders. Did Reagan and Bush?

        3. You haven't read much about his speech, have you? The WSJ headline yesterday pretty much summed it up: "Obama To Assert Unilateral Agenda".

          1. I get it... but I don't get why independent minded nonpartisan freethinking libertarians can't come up with their own criticism instead of parroting exactly the GOP weekly talking points. They got nothing. They are completely at sea with respect to policy, on pretty much any matter. So they try to gin up outrage over executive orders, because why the fuck not?

            Wake me when Obama does something illegal. Until then, it should certainly be fair to put some blame on a Republican party whose only policy agenda is to do nothing and bitch about Obama.

            1. I get it... but I don't get why independent minded nonpartisan freethinking libertarians can't come up with their own criticism instead of parroting exactly the GOP weekly talking points.

              Because the criticisms are what they are you half wit. You are so fucking stupid and so wedding to the ad homimen fallacy that you manage to use it in reverse. Since the GOP is saying it, the Libertarians must be wrong for saying it too.

              Tony, you are such a great example of stupidity and evil, that if you didn't exist someone would have to make you up.

              1. I'm evil because I'm calling you out for your inability to think for yourself?

                Tell me exactly what Obama is doing wrong with respect to executive orders. I want specifics. Not "he's evil" and "he's stupid," but an actual analysis of what is going wrong.

                And then explain the remarkable coincidence that you're genuinely concerned with something that appears to be the trumped-up Republican outrage de la semaine.

                1. I'm evil because I'm calling you out for your inability to think for yourself?

                  No Tony you are stupid and evil because you can't comprehend that any of your enemies might have a point. You think anything they say must just be made up talking points thus anyone who makes the same point must be repeating talking points.

                  Literally your only defense of Obama is "that is what the Republicans say". That is all you have left. You can't even pretend anymore but are so stupid and evil you have no other choice.

                  1. But you haven't fucking said anything. You said "Obama is basically saying that he can do anything he wants no matter what Congress says." Obviously that's not true, but par for the course with you, who can't get a sentence out without being hysterical and hyperbolic about it.

                    1. Obviously that's not true,

                      John Podesta says otherwise. It is clearly true. You just deny it because you will tell any lie necessary to defend Obama.

                2. Venn diagrams - how do they work? Yes sometimes the Team Red criticisms overlap with libertarian concerns, particularly when the Team Blue dipshit in the White House asserts the ability to make law. Note there was overlap between Team Blue concerns and libertarian concerns during Bush II.

            2. is killing Americans extrajudicially legal? How about using the IRS as a tool against political enemies? Running guns into Mexico? Just because the administration claims these things legal does not make it so. If claims were the only bar, then I would be a multiple Super Bowl winner awaiting my first ballot selection to the Hall of Fame.

              1. The GOP says those things Wareagle. So even if they are true, they are still just talking points and thus invalid.

                This is what Tony actually believes.

                1. john,
                  I guess it would be too much to mention the unilateral changes/delays made in O-care or point to the numerous Dems bitching about the very law they passed. I imagine their conversion to the GOP is imminent. Also, racists.

              2. I would note that despite strongly politically motivated investigations into those matters, nothing has turned up (hence the desperate attempt to find something--executive orders--to bitch about), but you'll just say the inability to find any wrongdoing is part of the conspiracy, because you're a fucking moron.

                1. no, Tony, nothing turned up at all. Just a rogue IRS office in Cincinnati. Just an order saying it's now legal to kill Americans who think bad thoughts. Just unilateral decisions to change or delay provisions of O-care that are inconvenient.

                  Shocking as it must seem to you, politically-motivated actions by an administration tend to bring on politically-motivated investigations by the other side. Sort of like Dems who bent over backward to find something about 9/11 to pin on Bush, something that would say "his fault."

                  1. You do know that Bush started a 10-year long war in response to 9/11 with a country that had nothing to do with it, based on cherry picked false intelligence and lies? Talk about killing Americans.

                    1. You mean that war that Obama continued and escalated? You mean that war Tony?

                      Obama bombed and killed a lot more people than Bush did. And Obama didn't even bother to limit himself to just killing foreigners. Obama kills Americans too.

                      Sorry, but the "but Bush started a war" card got maxed out paying for drones in Pakistan and B52 strikes on Libya.

                      The Progressives and the Democrats are the party of war Tony. Endless war just like they always have been.

                    2. Obama bombed and killed a lot more people than Bush did.

                      Prove it you ridiculous caricature.

                    3. Go look at the casualty figures in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Libya for yourself Tony.

                    4. You mean the war that your god-emperor was supposed to have exited in 2009?

                2. Nothing has turned up. That has nothing to do with Obama appointing cronies to investigate and being in contempt of multiple court orders and subpenas to turn over documents.

                  Do you ever get tired of lying Tony? Sometimes I feel sorry for you. I really do. You haven't an ounce of self respect or integrity. All you have is the fanatical desire to defend these people at all cost.

                  1. To Tony, the lack of a memo saying "I, Barack Obama, hereby order the IRS to persecute my enemies" means "nothing has turned up." He simply ignores the hundreds of Tea Party, Constitutionalist, and conservative organizations who have been harassed, and the corresponding lack of left-wing equivalents. Yeah, "nothing."

      2. only took four minutes for John's hypothesis to be supported.

    2. the war on the womenfolk meme fascinates me to no end. Here is a party with a parade of men who done genuinely bad things to women trying to convince people that it's the other side that hates females. And people buy it.

      On what planet is leaving a woman to die, using an intern as a humidor, campaigning on your wife's cancer while banging a staffer, being a serial harasser, and a few others substantively worse than stupid comments about rape-rape and such?

      1. The problem is that the GOP uses the police power of the state to force women into humiliating vaginal probes and prohibit their right to exercise contraceptive choices.

        State = tyranny when freedom is restricted.

        1. CHRISTFAGS!!! BUSHPIGS!!!

          State = tyranny when freedom is restricted.

          The irony of the resident fascist retard saying that may burn down the entire internet.

        2. no, not really. VA talked about it and that's where it stops. Thanks for proving my point, that words matter far more than actions, and as sarcasmic likes to say, principals trump principles.

          Dems have done things that are predatory at best and criminal at worst. Repubs have said some goofy things.

        3. " the GOP uses the police power of the state to force women into humiliating vaginal probes and prohibit their right to exercise contraceptive choices"

          HOLY what?

          Vaginal probes? police? Please elucidate.

          And I don't recall "paying for contraception yourself" meaning "your choices are FORBIDDEN"


          WTF. So not buying every woman in the country 'The Pill' is 'oppression'... yet I still have to go to the fucking CVS and pay for teh Trojans out of my own Goddamn pocket!? MY COCK DEMANDS EQUAL PROTECTION UNDER THE LAW

          1. The vaginal probes thing is about a proposed requirement in Virginia, I think, for pre-abortion ultrasounds.

      2. Three things. The Dems have managed to convince people that truth doesn't matter only brand. They are the "we love women brand" so the truth of their actual conduct doesn't matter. Second, for a good number of women, women's rights is nothing but abortion. Third, most of their supporters are as intelligent and reasonable as Tony and thus will believe anything the party feeds them no matter how ridiculous.

        1. Yes, apparently you can betray, harass, and rape women as long as you support abortion and endless welfare.

          1. Those stupid women.

            1. betrayed, harassed, and raped by Democrat elected officials.

              1. Yet still voting for them. Wow, are women stupid or what?

                1. when you vote for someone who treats you like shit, that is not an indicator of high intelligence. This is worse than battered women pretending their man really loves them and they can change him.

                  1. And don't get me started on the blacks!

                    1. the war on poverty sure helped them out, didn't it? Looks like LBJ was right about their voting Dem for the next hundred years.

                    2. "Why won't those stupid brainwashed slutty women and lazy freeloading blacks vote for me?" --GOP

                    3. "I'll have those n*ggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years." -- Lyndon B. Johnson to two governors on Air Force One

                    4. The new line on that will doubtless be something like, "LBJ would be a Republican today."

          2. I really don't think that the fact that there are several high-profile creeps who are Democrats is something you can fairly tar the whole party with.

            1. The whole GOP gets tarred with the stupid remarks of a few candidates. Sauce for the goose.

  12. My money is on Rand Paul upstaging him, and not in a good way.

  13. Looking for shout-outs to Joe Biden, Joe Kerry, and Hillary. Looking for one GOP or Democrat congress creature with the balls to shout out "You are a lying piece of shit who wants to shred the Constitution."

  14. Obama should wear his Presidential Medal of Distinction from Israel during the speech. "Friend of the Jewish people, bitches!"

    1. They want that back, by the way

      It was only a rental anyway

  15. He should definitely insult Putin some more, and then whine like a pathetic little bitch about Russia's refusal to allow the United States to take the lead on Olympic security.

    Also call for Snowden's forcible return to JUSTICE!

    1. Maybe an "Axis of Evil" speech to stir fear into the plebes hearts.

      1. BUSHPIG!!!

        Someone got their talking points and marching orders this morning I see. And it looks like you might have even taken your meds too.

  16. Just to give an idea of just how unpopular Obama is:

    Common Core advocates beg Obama not to mention them in State of the Union address

    "It's imperative that the president not say anything about the Common Core State Standards," Michael Petrilli, executive vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, told Politico. "For two years running, he's taken credit for the adoption of these standards, which has only fueled critics on the right who see this effort as a way for the federal government to take over control of the schools."

    Petrilli added: "If he cares more about the success of this initiative than credit-taking, he will skip over it."

    In any other time, who would think that the president mentioning your cause on the bully pulpit would be a bad thing compared to the flak it would get from the other side? But this isn't any other time, but that of the presidency of the most incompetent man to ever hold the office.

    1. That just shows how racist the Republicans are. Either that or Obama is such a horrible and divisive President that he destroys anything he touches.

      I am going with answer B.

    2. "only fueled critics on the right"

      Maybe, but their are a lot of other critics of C-C. ATF & AAUP members have been very critical of C-C although ATF as a union has defended it while AAUP has said nothing officially.

    3. Mr. Petrelli, it is in fact the fed gov taking over education. You might think that is a good thing or a bad thing, but make no mistake about what it is.

  17. Its horseshit all the way down basically. Let me know if someone screams "LIES!"

    If I thought there was even the remotest chance of people stamping their feet and chanting, "BULL SHIT! BULL SHIT! BULL SHIT!" in unison, I'd watch.

  18. Oh, and "Foreign Policy"?

    As someone once said (and I forget who), "The first rule in Foreign Policy is to HAVE ONE"

    Anyone, please, I beg you to please summarize the Obama admin's official position on:

    - Global Trade? Any? EU trade deal? Any major accomplishments there?

    - Security Partnerships? (where are we with Russia & China, btw?)

    - Supporting development in key partners (India? Brazil? anything? bueller?)

    - Fuck it, just for fun: Environment/Energy? Is there some KyotoII I missed? Are we reducing the emissions? Have we done anything there that wasn't a benefit from Fracking?

    - How about Space Policy? a little-discussed Big One. With China and others getting into the Satellite Game sooner or later, this is a territory we've unilaterally pretty much owned for a while and will need to create a framework for future shared development.... No wait, what the fuck am I talking about. This is too important for them to have possibly given a shit about.

    in short = As far as I can tell, team Obama has not HAD a foreign policy aside from the occasional piecemeal gestures to appeal to certain key trading partners. And even those have suffered from contradictory actions. See: Israel - where we first decide to unilaterally end sanctions against Iran... then pretend to have Israelis key interests at heart and insist on mediating their Palestinian 'issue'. They rightfully suggested we fuck off.

    1. You don't pay attention, do you?

      Several trade agreements have been signed and the Trans Pacific deal is close.

      We signed a major treaty with Russia a couple of years ago after Dumbya had reneged on prior treaties.

      There is more.

      1. "Several trade agreements"

        I am aware of a few. All of them started under Bush, and pushed through by congress DESPITE Obama's lack of support, and the expiration of fast-track negotiation...

        I don't see how slipping occasional deals through congress is any way evidence of a Free Trade Policy.

        When's the last time he gave a speech advocating increased free trade? Name one. No- he spouts bullshit about 'bringing jobs back home' and taxing the shit out of overseas earnings and raising tariffs where necessary.

        As of 2012, after those deals were moved through congress (with no strong support from the WH)...he's giving campaign speeches about repatriating overseas profits, clamping down on 'profits leaving america' and 'bringing jobs back home'

        I'm aware he's made noises regarding the 'future' transpacific & EU deals... but shit like that is All Bark and No Dog when he's simultaneously boostering and campaigning for Anti-Trade wings in his party.

        Again - the key feature of the Obama Administration overall 'policy' approach has been = Incoherence & Inconsistency & Incompetence coated with Rhetorical Bluster

        That covers Domestic Economy (look! the stock market!), Foreign Policy, National Security, and pretty much everything else.

        Honestly, I'd actually throw him a bone on liberalizing global trade *if he ever fucking said word one about it* instead of having to try and sneak it past his own party

        1. (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama reminded the world on Thursday of the lofty goal set early in his presidency to double American exports over five years. It looks like he won't deliver.

          Trade data published earlier in the day underscored the uphill battle faced by the administration. Weakness in the global economy is knocking down demand for U.S. exports, which rose just 3 percent in the 12 months through March.

          At that pace, Obama's mission won't be accomplished until around 2024, nearly a decade later than promised.

          He over promised.

          1. Under-delivered.

            He's not a president who has made trade a central component of his efforts. He's made lackluster, 'optics driven' efforts to throw bones at 'economic growth', while simultaneously coddling the protectionists and regulatory-regimes that oppose any real developments.

            And yet he will highlight any economic data 'less than moribund' as examples of his enlightened stewardship. Its pathetic politicking, all the time. Its all he does.

            Foreign policy is even worse.

  19. I read somewhere Podesta is saying Obama will announce he is going to use his "executive authority" to advance his "climate change and energy transformation agenda."

    Wait until he signs an executive order for EPA to kill off the rest of coal fired generation in the US. It'll be just like when Ontario shut down all their coal plants except the U.S. doesn't have a big neighbor with coal fired generation to buy electricity from.

    On the plus side, Ontario will be faced with the unsustainability of its decision.

    1. The one part of the economy that is doing well is the miracle of fracking. So of course Obama is going to kill it.

      But don't listen to what Podesta says DB. He is just some Fox News Hack giving out Fox News talking points. Tony told me so.

      It really comes down to next year's election. If the electorate punishes the Democrats in Congress severely for Obama, then the Dems in Congress will get tired of losing and stand up and distance themselves from this fascist half wit. At that point the criticism will be bi partisan and the media will no longer be able to ignore it as Republican lies and racism.

      But if they are not punished, the Dems in Congress and the media will happily let Obama do anything he wants no matter how unlawful.

      1. Fracking is helping to end the filthy coal business. That is part of his energy plan, idiot.

        1. so ending certain businesses is part of his plan? The fucker is just as evil as some folks claim then. And last I heard, the folks who voted for Obama are the ones who also hate fracking, and keep bitching about Keystone.

        2. Fracking is by no means 'part of Obama's plan'

          "Tolerating" something is not the same as 'encouraging', and while he has avoided imposing the kinds of restrictions that his supporters desire, he still blows many many many more billions of dollars on wasteful energy market distortions and subsidies that reveal his 'energy policy' - much like his non-existent Foreign Policy - to be an incoherent mishmash of slogans, money-handouts, and platitudes which combine to produce nothing of any strategic value but exist purely for temporal political convenience.

          For one - he could have approved Keystone years ago, but chose to drown it in committee to avoid actually taking any specific position that might compromise his political standing with the Greentards. if he had a shred of sincerity to any "Energy Policy" this would have been a Key Feature he highlighted and celebrated, rather than attempt to kill it in the cradle.

          1. Natural gas is the only bridge fuel to get us to lower carbon emissions. The so-called "King of Natural Gas", John Arnold iirc, is a big donor to Obama from Houston.

            Ir anything, Obama will be known as the POTUS who got us to energy independence and put us in the #1 energy production position in the world.

            1. no, he'll be known as the guy who watched as private land was used to ramp up production and folks will ask why he let pass by opportunities to get in on the game. And the anti-frackers remain firmly in the Obama camp. He seems to make a habit of disappointing various constituencies.

              1. You may have a future at Fox News.

            2. Natural gas is the only bridge fuel to get us to lower carbon emissions.

              Which even the Europeans have abandoned as a policy worth pursuing.

              Face it you commie retard, no one is buying "we need to end carbon emissions" as a way to give you jackboots power. No one but the profoundly stupid and dishonest believes this shit anymore.

              Now fuck yourself and get out of the public library before they ask you to leave.

              1. That is odd, Total from France is negotiating a purchase of natural gas fracking rights in Great Britain this week.

                1. Europe no longer has carbon reduction limits. They are fracking and drilling and using fossil fuels for energy like the rest of the civilized world. Only third world tin pot dictators like Obama object to fossil fuels.

                  1. Obama does not object to fossil fuels, you idiot.

                    Quit making stuff up. You sound like Hannity-job.

                    1. ""Palin's Buttplug|1.28.14 @ 1:09PM|#

                      Obama does not object to fossil fuels, you idiot. Quit making stuff up..."

                      No - he's simply trying to make it so expensive for people to use them that his friends in the Green energy business will seem slightly less useless.

                      Even when covered by the most generous of journalistic sources, they find it incredibly hard not to say things like, "Incredibly restrictive" and "unbelievably expensive" and "unrealistic" when talking about Obama's "carbon-reduction" mandates...


             though converting hundreds of power plants to ultra-modern natgas facilities in any federally mandated timeline is something the Great One can simply wave his hand and achieve...

                      But fortunately he'll have lots of support from his billionaire crony buddies in ensuring that the Federal Government do everything possible to make energy more expensive


              2. Natural gas is the only bridge fuel to get us to lower carbon emissions.

                I think he;s sort of right about that. Probably not the only fuel (nuclear comes to mind). But the boom in gas has already lead to reduced CO2 emissions by displacing a lot of coal for electricity generation. Though, of course, that happened without any policy. There are plenty of purely economic advantages to cleaner and more efficient fuels.

            3. "'Obama will be known as the POTUS who got us to energy independence and put us in the #1 energy production position in the world""

              by blocking Keystone, putting a moratorium on offshore drilling, levying new regulations across all domestic operations...


              He'll be known as the POS who happened to be in office when it happened. As Al Gore-Internet.

              90% of the gains in domestic energy production are all happening on private land where the Federal govt has limited power to restrict them -yet where the Obama admin has REPEATEDLY made efforts to by repealing tax benefits.

              And energy production on public land? Well, HERE they can sink their teeth in.

              Oil and gas production has *decreased* on public lands during his presidency, entirely due to increased federal intervention and restrictions. And what little domestic production growth *has* occurred 2007-to now happened on leases granted before he became president. Basically there is ZERO new energy as a specific consequence of Obama policy- it all exists *despite* it.

              But this is not new = Obama repeatedly 'celebrates' things his office has actively opposed.

              Again - incoherency, inconsistency, all wrapped in rhetorical bluster. Its the hallmark.

              1. He's got you there, Mr. Buttplug.

                1. PapaySF,

                  Our resident retard has had his nose rubbed in that steaming pile of shit by the facts given by Gimore any number of times. But for some reason he continues to leave it on here.

                2. He's got you there, Mr. Buttplug.

                  Almost all are mistruths. There is no moratorium on offshore drilling - that is a lie. There was a short moratorium on only DEEPWATER drilling after the BP disaster that has been lifted. They need to have a blowout preventor per old regs.

                  Blocking Keystone actually decreases gas prices here in the US while increasing domestic production.

                  Energy production on federal land is higher than the last five years of the Bush administration.

                  There are no new regs prohibiting natural gas production. A single 38 million acre auction was completed for GOM drilling.

                  I know this shit better than anyone here.

                  1. Almost all are mistruths

                    Sorry Shreek, the voices in your head do not count as sources. No go take your meds. Your starting to lose track of your talking points and have one of your Bushpig seizures.

                    1. OBAMA WON'T LET US DRILL HERE!

                  2. "'Energy production on federal land is higher than the last five years of the Bush administration.'"

                    I know this shit better than anyone here.

                    You know shit.


                    Fossil Fuel Production on Federal Lands at a Ten Year Low

                    "Crude oil production on Federal lands decreased 18 percent from 723 million barrels in fiscal year 2010 to 596 million barrels in fiscal year 2012. Production of crude oil on Federal lands is dominated by offshore production, which fell by 23 percent in fiscal year 2012 from its peak in fiscal year 2010 of 615 million barrels, mostly notably due to government actions taken following the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. These actions include a moratorium on offshore drilling by the Obama Administration, followed by a permit moratorium that slowed oil and gas companies from returning to their normal rate of drilling. While the Obama administration has leased new offshore areas to drilling, its offshore plan for fiscal years 2012 to 2017 only offers those areas that were available for leasing prior to President Bush's removal of the executive moratorium on offshore drilling and Congress' removal of its moratorium on offshore drilling in 2008

                    What were you saying?

                  3. Pictures, idiot boy


                    1. "And Buttplug gets up, but GILMORE knocks him down once again! This match is all over, folks, whether Buttplug realizes it or not!"

                    2. I'll also note = I've seen progtards attempt to make some horseshit claims about how *magical* Obama's policies are in that they both raise taxes and regulations and limit areas for energy development etc, yet, they can still find some kind of statistical measure by which to argue that all of this is actually *growing* the economy!

                      Example = a group says 'energy production *per acre* has been rising on federal lands...'

                      Yes. If you cut land use by 30% but production only falls by 25%... WHAMMO! GROWTH PER ACRE!

                      I used to wonder whether the willingness to make these horseshit claims came from mendaciousness or ignorance, but then determined it was in fact both. Example would be how:

                      ""BUSH was so awful with his shitty bailouts of the banks and the corporations and the capitalists during the financial crisis!!!"


                      ...."OBAMA is the flying unicorn for *recapitalizing the banks* and stimulating the economy and creating the jobses"!!

                      in most cases they are in fact talking about exactly the same policy, but its just special and good and wonderful when TEAM BLUE does it.

                    3. Your picture shows the big drop of 10% occurred during the Bush administration. The reduction in the Obama administration was only 5% from there and the "peak year" according to the text was 2010 in production.

                    4. The important thing is everything you say/have said is wrong. as long as you've gotten that clear, don't break your head thinking about #s.

                    5. or, here =


                      Find the pony in there and explain how Obama's magical jobs-creation-program is working.

          2. Speaking of =

            ""Tolerating" something is not the same as 'encouraging'"

            ...this pretty much summarizes the few policy successes he's got.

            As buttplug noted - trade deals with SK,Colombia, Panama got done... but they were all started under Bush, and passed after fast-track approval ended.

            The TPP and EU deals are indeed huge- but do we see any campaigning by Obama on getting support behind these things? Not a peep. To get them done, congress needs to pass Trade Promotion Authority = and do we see any Bully Pulpit at work to enable that happening? crickets.

            The deals may in fact get done. Over objections of Dems in congress. And without any significant political support thrown behind them by the president.

            And there it is again - the things that DO get done, happen despite him.

            Its no different the way Dems claim 'success!' when they pass growth-inhibiting regulations and taxes, and the economy sputters along nevertheless.

        3. BUSHPIG!!!

          There really isn't lie too big for you to tell is there?

    2. Nuclear provides over 50% of Ontario's electricity with coal/NG/hydro making up most of the rest of it. Quebec has more than enough hydro to sell Ontario some. The US imports electricity from Ontario, not the other way around. Ontario currently has a surplus of electricity. But, Ontario has fucked up their energy policy so big time, prices are going to skyrocket (from all the idiotic green energy policies and other government blunders) and at the same time run up against a supply crunch once Pickering shuts down in early 2020.

      But most of the coal plants that have been shuttered are still there so firing them back up should be possible.

      1. From.what I Power magazine, I though most of the Ontario coal fired.plants were being razed or irreversibly (uneconomically) converted to biomass or natgas firing.

        Reportedly Ontario went from 36 TWh of coal generation to 0 in 2014, with the bulk of replacement power made up by increases in hydro output and new solar PV and wind installations.

        I guess I was wrong about the surplus, but according to Power (May 2013) Ontario went froma 4 GW surplus to a 11 GW surplus (nominally). Depending on the type of generation, that surplus may available all the.time (wind, solar).
        In.any case, the.cost.of installing all the "renewables" and required storage represents a massive opportunity cost and misdirected inveetment, which Obama will want to duplicate in.the U.S at a time when misdirected investment is a terrible thing.

        1. Actually you may be correct about most of the coal plants. I think a couple are going to be sitting around for a while though. But I am not 100% on that.

          The new build at Darlington has been cancelled for the time being as well. A friend of mine who works for the CNSC has told me that the rumour is OPG wanted to build two AP1000's instead of two CANDU EC6's (more economical) so the liberal government of Ontario cancelled the entire project... After spending millions on site development and such. Similar to the $1 billion dollar NG turbine scandal. I cannot believe the liberals keep getting voted in here. Although the conservatives are not much better at all.

          1. They require a minimum "Canadian content" in your nuke plants too? Hahaha.

            1. Apparently the minimum is 100%. I think the CANDU reactor is great, the calandria can be easily fabricated here and it uses NU. But they haven't done anything with it. If it can't stand up to the AP1000 when it comes to economics, maybe it should die? The Advanced CANDU Reactor (ACR) was a cool idea and a way to reduce the capital costs of the CANDU but its been mothballed. Too bad.

              1. Nice. In a doomed crusade to rid the world of.nuclear risk, activists have throttled innovation and ironically limited nuclear safety.

  20. Will he say anything interesting?

    Well, it depends. "Interesting" substantively? Highly unlikely.

    "Interesting" as an insight into his narcissistic, delusional state of mind? Entirely possible.

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