War on Terror

Obama's Outgoing Attitude on War and Terrorism: Do as He Says, Not as He Did

A speech on respecting rule of law and transparency from an administration that did neither.

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Barack Obama
Monica Herndon/ZUMA Press/Newscom

It looks like President Barack Obama will be leaving office the same way he arrived: overestimating his actual commitment to rule of law and government transparency.

That's one takeaway from the president's counterterrorism speech at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa Florida, yesterday. As is typical of an Obama speech, particularly one coming as his administration winds down, it's heavy on summarizing his successes and calling on actions from Congress, yet flat out either refuses to acknowledge or is quick to justify his misuses of power.

Obama raised the issue of America's rule of law, clearly an attempt to pre-critique the incoming Donald Trump administration, given its apparent lack of interest in civil liberties. On the same day Obama gave his speech, one of the CIA psychologists responsible for the use of waterboarding as an interrogation tool defended coercive techniques when speaking at the American Enterprise Institute and encouraged Trump to consider harsher methods.

But getting back to Obama, here's what he said on upholding the rule of law:

[W]e need the wisdom to see that upholding our values and adhering to the rule of law is not a weakness; in the long term, it is our greatest strength. The whole objective of these terrorists is to scare us into changing the nature of who we are and our democracy. And the fact is, people and nations do not make good decisions when they are driven by fear. These terrorists can never directly destroy our way of life, but we can do it for them if we lose track of who we are and the values that this nation was founded upon.

And I always remind myself that as Commander-in-Chief, I must protect our people, but I also swore an oath to defend our Constitution. And over these last eight years, we have demonstrated that staying true to our traditions as a nation of laws advances our security as well as our values.

Reminder: This is a president who has developed a complex system by which he executes suspected terrorists in countries where America is not legally involved in a war through the use of drone strikes in a system that is both deliberately secretive but also not subject to review by the judicial branch. The Department of Justice under Obama has, in fact, used claims of national security to try to keep judges from even being able to hear cases connected to the constitutionality of some of its practices.

Furthermore, this is a president who oversaw military intervention in Libya without authorization by Congress. And in this very speech he calls on Congress to use its authority to determine whether to allow for military force, an absurd incongruity Tim Carney makes note of in the Washington Examiner.

Obama calls for an updated Authorized Use of Force (the Congressional authorization for warmaking) but stubbornly clings to an insistence that everything he's been doing is already authorized. It's a muddled argument. Either the president's military actions have been legal and a new authorization isn't needed, or the president's military actions have not been legal (in which case he should stop). He even recently added, via executive declaration, a terrorist group in Somalia that didn't even exist at the time of the Sept. 11 attacks to the list of authorized targets.

Here's what the president had to say about his administration's transparency:

Transparency and accountability serve our national security not just in times of peace, but, more importantly, in times of conflict. And that's why we've made public information about which terrorist organizations we're fighting and why we're fighting them. We've released assessments of non-combatants killed in our operations, taken responsibility when mistakes are made. We've declassified information about interrogation methods that were wrong so we learn from past mistakes. And yesterday, I directed our government for the first time to release a full description of the legal and policy frameworks that guide our military operations around the world.

This is a remarkable paragraph in that it completely and utterly ignores that the administration has only made information about its practices public after years of resistance, even fighting lawsuits to keep from making information available to the public. The assessment of non-combatants killed in drone strikes was dumped on the American public on an afternoon right before an Independence Day holiday weekend. And even that came after years of independent international groups providing their own counts and after people leaking inside information about how the drone strikes work and the many, many flaws with the system.

The president defends drone strikes in this very speech, right before the previous quote:

Now, under rules that I put in place and that I made public, before any strike is taken outside of a warzone, there must be near certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured. And while nothing is certain in any strike, and we have acknowledged that there are tragic instances where innocents have been killed by our strikes, this is the highest standard that we can set. Nevertheless, we still have critics who suggest that these strikes are wrong. And I say to them, you have to weigh the alternatives. Drone strikes allow us to deny terrorists a safe haven without airstrikes, which are less precise, or invasions that are much more likely to kill innocent civilians as well as American servicemembers.

So the actions that we've taken have saved lives at home and abroad. But the point is, is that we do have to be careful to make sure that when we take actions, we're not alienating local populations, because that will serve as recruitment for new terrorists.

Again, the making of the rules "public" came after a lengthy period where the administration refused to admit that these drone strikes were even happening and only after they were independently leaked to the media.

And drone strikes are being used as a recruitment tool to inspire terrorists! These two paragraphs are so bizarre. The president in the speech acknowledges internal radicalization that has resulted in domestic terror attacks in Boston and Orlando under his administration, but doesn't acknowledge that Orlando shooter Omar Mateen, during his 911 calls during the attack, demanded that America stop its military strikes in Iraq and Syria.

Of course, we should avoid such a thing as a terrorist's veto. Military interventions may be why Mateen justified his murders to himself, but that doesn't really mean we should accept or alter our practices based on the ravings of a madman. And Obama's refusal to elevate the terrorist threat presented by the Islamic State to the panic level some others would is an admirable and important response for a sober leader.

Nevertheless, Obama's suggestion that drone strikes are less likely to lead to bad consequences is the invocation of a talking point based on the reality that Americans don't readily see the consequences. We don't see our soldiers getting killed and we don't even hear about their innocents getting killed. But we also get less information about terror plots because we're killing the sources and we're less aware of how it might be fomenting anger at us in other countries.

In the end, when the president calls for Congress to play a role in war and counterterror activity, it's clear from his speech that he believes that Congress's role is to authorize it. He calls for an "update" of an AUMF, not for its revocation and it's certainly not for the purposes of restraining his actions but to give them more legal cover. When Congress doesn't act he sees it as "obstructionism" and not Congress essentially telling him "no." Mind you, Congress' failure to do anything one way or another in regards to the president expanding his own military authority is itself a problem, but Obama certainly thinks everything he's done was appropriate.

This is the presidency Trump will be inherited, one that is going out criticizing Trump for not respecting the rule of law before he even takes power (which is a legitimate concern), but also declines any sort of introspection for its own transgressions. They were the "right people," so giving them executive leeway led to the right outcomes. Trump and his incoming cabinet are not the right people, so now the danger suddenly exists.

Read Obama's speech here.

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240 responses to “Obama's Outgoing Attitude on War and Terrorism: Do as He Says, Not as He Did

  1. “And I always remind myself that as Commander-in-Chief, I must protect our people, but I also swore an oath to defend our Constitution. And over these last eight years, we have demonstrated that staying true to our traditions as a nation of laws advances our security as well as our values.”

    Where’s that clause in the Constitution that gives authority to force everyone in the country to buy health insurance and to take away their 2nd amendment rights? What about the one that gives authority to tell Americans what they can and cannot put into their own bodies and imprison and kill them if they don’t ask permission and obey that edict? I can’t find any of that, can someone help here? I mean surely, the Messiah wouldn’t lie, would he?

    1. It’s in the Progressive Addendum.

      1. “Congress shall make no law ….” clearly means that the President can make as many laws as he wants, as long as he tarts them up as Executive Orders.

    2. If you have secret SCOTUS glasses, the relevant FYTY clause is found in section 4, article 12.

      1. Ah, c’mon, even Trump knows there’s only 10 Articles in the Constitution, so you must be making shit up.

        1. And all 10 of them are subject to ‘reasonable’ restrictions through regulation or secret lists. And by reasonable, I mean anything they can think up. IOW, there’s no fucking Constitution left, it’s just an old piece of paper now that no one in pubic office gives a shit about.

          1. Haven’t his minions been singing that tune for 8 years? That the constitution is over a hundred years old white slave owners no one can understand irrelevant argle baarglearegle……..

            Now suddenly he is the constitution’s staunchest defender.

            This POS would lie if the truth served him better.

            1. Certain subtleties of the Constitution are lost in the Klingon translation.

            2. Sheeeyit… Trump ain’t even got hisself a Nobel prize yet so who better to give advise than Chocolate Jebus. And an “old piece of paper” makes better butt wipe than the fresh stuff.

    3. At least it’s in keeping with tradition.

    4. The Commerce clause. The Commerce clause allows the Feds to do anything don’t you know.

      1. Well, I can’t buy insurance across state lines. But I can be fined or taxed by penaltaxes for not doing so. Penaltax, the new commerce clause.

        1. “Peniletax?”

          Shit. I hope it isn’t regressive.

    5. It’s in the one of the ‘Things Change!’ amendments.

      1. It’s in one of the…

      2. ThingsChange

  2. Now, under rules that I put in place and that I made public, before any strike is taken outside of a warzone, there must be near certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured.

    Simple enough when you count all military-age males as combatants unless you have specific intelligence that they aren’t.

    1. +1 Signature Strike

    2. I will say it again.

      New King, new rules.

  3. This article criticizes Obama, but doesn’t make the case that Trump will be worse. WTF is this, Breitbart?

    1. Very sloppy here, Shackford surely is going to the principal’s office here for forgetting the (but Trump is worse than Hitler) clause.

      1. To be sure.

      2. re-read the third paragraph
        “the incoming Donald Trump administration, given its apparent lack of interest in civil liberties.”
        I’m not sure if thats the writers opinion or what he thinks Obamas opinion is though so it may not be a blatant attack on Trump. they are getting better at dog whistling

        1. “”the incoming Donald Trump administration, given its apparent lack of interest in civil liberties.””

          Meh, that seems like a perfectly reasonable statement. So, no it fails the “Trump is worse than Hitler” test. Clearly this is fake news!

      3. I think Sullum filled Reason’s quota for the week.

      4. the (but Trump is worse than Hitler) clause

        The only piece of the Constitution that people still follow.

    2. That would be another article. And besides, Reason has many articles on why Trump will be bad.

  4. but doesn’t acknowledge that Orlando shooter Omar Mateen, during his 911 calls during the attack, demanded that America stop its military strikes in Iraq and Syria

    Well, of course he doesn’t. The Narrative for the Orlando shooting is that it’s the NRA’s fault for opposing gun control.

    1. “it’s the NRA’s fault for opposing gun control”

      That was every other post over at HuffPo on the day of the shooting. Or ‘Just give everyone a bazooka, since the gun nuts cannot kill enough people with these machine guns!’.

    2. Hmm, I thought it was “toxic masculinity.” Or was it anti-gay bigotry?

      1. Yes, and the gun nuts who’ve been brainwashed by the NRA, who are of course, both toxic masculine and racist anti-gay bigots.

      2. Guns, as violent penis substitutes, are the epitome of toxic masculinity.

        1. Damn that’s some derp they got there. I wonder how many actually think about the words they write or read.

          1. Think? No. Feelz, yes. It’s truthier that way.

  5. “Obama calls for an updated Authorized Use of Force (the Congressional authorization for warmaking) but stubbornly clings to an insistence that everything he’s been doing is already authorized.”

    This is like a heroin addict telling his son to stay away from drugs. It may seem hypocritical, but isn’t that good advice?

    Yeah, Obama used the AUMF to justify going after anyone he determined by his own judgement was affiliated with Al Qaeda in any way. . . . but that’s what the AUMF gives the President the authorization to do.

    The solution to that is not to point to Obama’s hypocrisy when he says we should amend it or sunset it. Obama’s hypocrisy isn’t the problem, and the solution isn’t Donald Trump or another President. The solution is to sunset the damn AUMF.

    Just because we don’t like the AUMF doesn’t mean it says something other than what it says either. It was cited by the Department of Justice in ACLU v. NSA. It was cited in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. It is cited to justify drone strikes.

    Obama is right!

    It’s time to stop whining about what the AUMF means and sunset the damn thing already.

    1. Yeah, that’s going to happen. The war mongers will slip re-authorization for it into some mega bill in exchange for something else that some crony wants. When DC does shit, it NEVER goes away, it just gets added to. They’ll probably include droning USA based child care centers in it, if there’s suspicion that a drug dealer or pedo was ever seen on the premises.

      1. I don’t care if they sunset the AUMF at a date ten or twenty years from now–not so much as I care that they sunset it so that it doesn’t remain in effect in perpetuity.

        And we won’t get the political support necessary to do that so long as people keep trying to claim that Obama wasn’t authorized to do the horrible shit he did.

        Yes, he was authorized–by Congress!

        We can take that authorization away. As it stands, because ISIS was once AQI, President Trump or any other President can invade and occupy Syria if so inclined. . . . or anywhere else in the world at any time. The only thing stopping him is public opinion–not the law.

        In other words, people insisting that the AUMF doesn’t say what it says is a big part of the problem. If the AUMF doesn’t say the President can go anywhere in the world and do anything he wants so long as he decides, at his sole discretion, that the targets in question were ever in any way affiliated with Al Qaeda, then there’s no pressing need to change it.

        1. Just playing Devil’s Advocate here but, if the Commerce Clause doesn’t really say that the federal government can intervene on economic matters virtually without limit, then there’s no pressing need to change it.

          1. In this case, we’re not talking about a bad interpretation of the text like with the Commerce Clause.

            The text of the AUMF says awful things.

        2. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate you bringing up AUMF. You’re right about that. But I have no faith in it going away. The way that Congress does things anymore is just to create one of their massive omnibus bills and hide shit away in it to use for deal making. It’s all a big game for them. There are still supporters for AUMF in Congress and they will just deal this in exchange for something else. There are very few in Congress who give a damn about the Constitution or the American public. All they care about is getting things that benefit themselves.

          1. We’re certainly not going to get the political support to repeal it by insisting that it isn’t the problem–that the AUMF doesn’t explicitly authorize the President to make war anywhere in the world at his sole discretion forever.

            The universe trends towards entropy. Nothing good happens without effort. If people don’t want the President to have a legal justification for waging war anywhere in the world at his own discretion, then we can change that.

            First we gotta start being honest about what the damn thing authorizes.

        3. You’re right but I am doubtful it will happen. The way it is now, the congresscritters can abdicate their responsibility and just say “Preznut did it! Not my fault!” Those spineless selfish assholes don’t want to have to vote on record for these things or take the slightest responsibility for what the government actually does.

          1. We don’t have to repeal it.

            Just add a sunset clause for some future date.

            1. Sounds great.

              Good luck with that.

  6. God, I can’t wait to see the last of this fuckhead.

    Although, it’s been fun asking my proggies about all the crazy shit he’s done. Watching them twist themselves into little gluten-free pretzels trying to defend Bush III has really been quite entertaining.

    Trump, on the other hand, could bring world peace, sexbots and legal weed and they’ll bitch. It won’t be the same.

    1. I enjoy the same exercise watching my catholic friend trying to defend his commie pope.

  7. You can tell that Obama doesn’t have much respect for his audience by the way he feeds them obvious lies that rule of law is even a thing.

    1. I didn’t watch it. Maybe it was standup comedy? Or performance art?

      1. I dunno. If you have to read it from a teleprompter, where’s the art? He may as well plank or mannequin.

        OT: Mannequinning is a subset of planking, or vice versa: Discuss.

        1. If you have to read it from a teleprompter, where’s the art?

          In the delivery, I guess.

          Actors are just delivering lines that someone else wrote. Where’s the art?

          Mannequining, is that like in the movie?

  8. “Now, under rules that I put in place and that I made public, before any strike is taken outside of a warzone, there must be near certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured.”

    So, explain to me again how in the fuck we bombed a “Doctors Without Borders” hospital.

    1. He said near certainty dude.

    2. Yeah, that he made public. Try asking for the rules on what is known as a signature strike.

  9. Obama is still president? Huh.

    1. He’s still pretending to be.

    2. Lame duck is lame.

      The Duck Hunt dog is in hysterics, rolling on the ground and laughing as the fourth estate keeps playing on and missing every target.

  10. You know, Stackednipple, you are going to get in heap big trouble for writing an article chronicling the last few years of Obumbles’ numerous, numerous disasters (there’s a lot in 8 years to behold). You’re taking a real career risk here, and bereft of a net to boot!

    Well done, Scott. I look forward much more Non-Troomp stuff from you. (At least until he gets sworn in, then….yeah).

    1. I keep wondering why we aren’t talking more about the adventures of the actual still president. What’s he been up to besides pretending to care about people who are thrown into cages over a plant?

      I guess everyone finds Trumputin more interesting than the first (half) black president.

      1. We’ve moved on to the first Oompa-Loompa president, Hyperion.

        1. You just hate him because he’s a ginger.

      2. Well, from what I have been reading, Obumbles is working like mad to make sure every wrenched monkey is in very nook and cranny to prevent the Troomp Administration from derailing (or even really making a dent in) his LEGACY!!!!one!11! Specifically, immigration stuff and ObamneyCare pre-emptive buttressing, since yes, you guessed it, the budget Crominibus has already passed and all of His Pestilency’s appropriations won’t be undone.

      3. Golf and lies. Ideally both at the same time.

  11. Perfect examples of doublethink.

  12. “It looks like President Barack Obama will be leaving office the same way he arrived…”

    Lying through his teeth. From day one until the absolute last day.
    He lies like most people breathe.

    1. Lying through his teeth. From day one until the absolute last day.

      He was just trolling. Can’t you take a joke?

    2. It’s become a prerequisite for even running for POTUS. You have to promise people stuff they want even if you:

      a. Have no intention of doing it.

      b. Can’t actually do it.

      People want to hear that the president can do magical stuff. And if a candidate doesn’t deliver that, no votes.

      1. It’s become a prerequisite for even running for POTUS political office.

        My mother, who’s basically libertarian about everything except weed and guns, often tells me that government is never not corrupt, because it is a business that sells hopes, promises, and dreams with no actual, visible product.

        1. Your mother is a smart woman. Is she seeing anybody?

      2. Gandalf for President!

        He has one hell of a staff!

    3. He started lying before day one. Don’t forget that he actually managed to break a campaign promise while still campaigning.

  13. To be more accurate, he attitude is “just because it is okay for me and other Democrats to do it doesn’t mean it is okay for Republicans to do the same”. Transparency and the rule of law are things that are of paramount importance, only so long as a Republican is in office.

    1. Yeah, it was wrong when Republican Bush did it, and it’s wrong when President Trump does it.

      If Hillary did it, that would be different.

      1. I just want to see the peacenik war protestors reappear. I’ve sort of missed them the last 8 years.

        1. Cindy Who?!

          1. That’s Cindy Lou Who!

            1. You don’t know where I’ve been, Lou!

          2. Lauper? Girls just want to have fun, you know.

        2. I look forward to the return of the giant papier mache heads.

  14. OT: You won’t believe this, but it’s business as usual in DC.

    1. They don’t want it to be them next when they get that cushy cabinet job and do corrupt and illegal things.

      1. LOL you crack me up, Hype.

  15. Ugh! There is so much wrong here. Of course Obama is terrible – they are all terrible – but he is getting better and we’re making progress. For starters, at least he is saying the right things, which is more than you can say for Trump. Whose response is “Bomb the hell out of them” which is code for send in the nukies. We are operating under so many delusions that we are slowly awakening from, and Obama is one of us. The idea that you can ‘throw stones at the devil’ without striking yourself (that jihadism can be ‘bombed’) is being discredited, as you point out. The ‘hate speech’ theory of incitement is being discredited – turns out it’s caused more by FBI radicalization and pushing your kids into early marriages (and sjw campus training sessions). The one thing I would criticize Obama is when he says “We must not give in to fear.” The truth is, we must not give in to aggression and blood lust. That is what motivates the Trumpkins and makes them so dangerous. But Obama can’t because it’s what motivates his side too. Nevertheless, they are not nearly as dangerous. Ironically his misconception about Trumpkinism is almost exactly the same as for Jihadism – the belief that people are easily radicalized by on-line propaganda (e.g. ‘fake news’ or ‘sermon by an extremist cleric’).

    1. Having said that, thank you Obama for not reluctantly droning me today.

      I’m Jill Stein, and I approve this message.

      1. STFU, shreek.

        1. Well you didn’t go off on a anti-anti-Semitic rant. That’s progress I guess. Keep up the good work…..

          1. Yeah, like I’ve ever done that before.

            1. Just because I support Ellison does not make me an anti-Semite. For your information, some of my best friends are Jewish.

              1. I support Ellison

                ’cause he has so many redeeming qualities

              2. Cool story, bro.

              3. And he’s so clean and well spoken, right?

      2. “…. thank you Obama for not reluctantly droning me today.”

        Best sentence that you’ve ever written.

    2. For starters, at least he is saying the right things

      Modern day Kennedy.

      *drops microphone*

  16. After eight years of saying mendacious shit like this, do you think he really believes what he is saying? Or does he step into the private quarters, pour a drink, wink at Michelle, and say, “I can’t believe what morons half the country is for believing this crap because I’m a Democrat.”

    1. That’s a good question. I honestly don’t think he’s actively evil, but he’s been surrounded by people with a certain, fucked-up world view his whole life. He also doesn’t appear to be very intellectually curious, despite the fawning media.

      He was a perfect vessel for the proggies – they got to have the minority president that made them feel oh so open-minded and sophisticated.

      1. From what i can tell a lack of intellectual curiosity goes hand in hand with the sort of pathological narcissism that makes one seek out a life in “public service.”

      2. in politics, you always have people kissing your ass and telling you how wonderful you are. even if they do challenge you on something, it’s always at arm’s length and with deference, so as to not be mistaken for real criticism.

        these are not usually dumb people, and i don’t doubt obama is smart. but you combine the “yes men” with the lack of curiosity, and over the course of a lifetime, it has effect of wasting an otherwise good mind.

      3. And now the bill comes due. They don’t seem to like that one bit.

  17. And over these last eight years, we have demonstrated that staying true to our traditions as a nation of laws advances our security as well as our values.

    LOL epic troll.

  18. Obama’s supporters aren’t hearing this, nor do they care.

    I was listening to an interview of a musician on NPR the other night, and she admitted that the artist/activist community had been “lulled to sleep” over the last eight years because they felt the country was “moving in the right direction” with the previous administration.

    The lesson that I’ve learned over the decades is that you can engage in as many foreign wars and entanglements as you want, and rack up as many civilian “collateral” casualties as possible, but if you appear hip and smoove while you do it, all is perfectly fine.

    Obama is modern day Kennedy. He’s a glamorous celebrity president.

    1. The lesson that I’ve learned over the decades is that you can engage in as many foreign wars and entanglements as you want, and rack up as many civilian “collateral” casualties as possible, but if you appear hip and smoove while you do it, all is perfectly fine.

      Yes. And that is why you can say for sure Trump is not a fascist nor his supporters a fascist movement. Fascism always comes cloaked in glamour and cool. The left likes to pretend that fascism is some grimy factory worker beating up foreigners. No, that is fantasy fascism. Real fascism walks through the front door and seduces all right thinking people with its glamour and cool.

      1. Real fascism walks through the front door and seduces all right thinking people with its glamour and cool.

        It worked in Iran.

      2. “Real fascism walks through the front door and seduces all right thinking people with its glamour and cool.”

        I am stealing that.

        1. Let’s not forget the punctuality and snazzy uniforms.

          1. You know who else… aw fuckit.

            1. Dream bigger.

      3. The left have successfully redefined fascism to be what the 1930s fascists opposed.

        Bernie Sanders proposes reorganizing the Federal Reserve exactly as Raven Thomson describes in The Coming Corporate State and the left calls it a good idea.

    2. Obumbles has something that even Kennedy didn’t have, Paul, that makes him bulletproof now, and will forever and ever, amen. You can say it out loud, you know. I’ve never known you to mince words…

      1. He had a wife that didn’t speak with a speech impediment?

        1. Debatable. And, no. Are you really going to puss out now? Is your spine on a milk carton somewhere, or in one of those, “Have you seen?” fliers with the age progression?

            1. Michelle will do that to a man.

      2. I assume you mean being a mulatto?

        But Kennedy still has him beat, I think. Getting assassinated counts for a lot.

        1. You want your political legacy to be bloody untouchable, get shot in the head.

          No one tell Obama.

        2. “But Kennedy still has him beat, I think. Getting assassinated counts for a lot.”

          Probably, but that takes a lot of commitment.

  19. In this election, [they] turned out in huge numbers for Trump. And I think that part of it has to do with our inability, our failure, to reach those voters effectively. Part of it is Fox News in every bar and restaurant in big chunks of the country

    So Obama is blaming Trumpkinism on Fox News, much as he blames Jihadism on youtube videos. But guess who taught him how to do that? The FBI/CIA/vaunted American ‘intelligence’. Of course, Trump does the same thing – and he is worse because he says we must ‘shut down parts of the internet’. Obama is a smart guy – he will eventually realize that the solution isn’t to drone everyone, but simply to protect free speech and religion in both cases. Trump on the other hand is ‘nuke baby nuke’.

    1. You should really consider an MRI. I think you might have a brain tumor.

      1. What scares me most about the Nazis is that everyone is so scared of them. In fact they are pussy cats. Humorless, but pussy cats.

        1. Hmmm.

          Maybe a blood clot. Seriously, man, get checked out.

          1. In my travels I’ve discovered that the people who tell you to ‘get checked out’ are often the most in need of checking out.

            1. Deep, man.

              Deep.

            2. In my travels

              “I’ve been places, man. I’ve seen things you wouldn’t believe!”

          2. I’m going with schizophrenic.

            1. Just coked up a whole lot.

              1. Yeah, man.

                *Cuts a line with Occam’s razor blade*

        2. So, while they scare you, you’re strangely attracted and nazi-curious.

          Got it.

          1. This ass admitted last night he’s a buffoon making stupid statements to get attention. He’s commie-kid or a clone.

    2. Of course, Trump does the same thing – and he is worse because he says we must ‘shut down parts of the internet’.

      If only he had some FCC regulations to back him up on this power.

    3. “Obama is a smart guy – he will eventually realize that the solution isn’t to drone everyone…”

      Yes he will. I predict he’ll realize it on January 20th, 2017.

  20. Once I thought that over time Obumbles might mellow, become a bit wiser and less of an ideologue, and be more cautious in his words. This has not happened.

    What kind of narcissist gets power, relentlessly tries to expand it and then declares that they, and they alone are qualified to hold power?

    This motherfucker’s job now is to get the hell out of the way. That is his only function at this point. Are we going to have to listen to this shit from now until the day he gets brain cancer? That day cant come soon enough.

    1. Obama’s always been about Obama. Not the Democratic Party, not the Presidency. It’s about his own legacy, not the country.

      And you can bet he’s going to be very prominent in the public eye for a very long time.

    2. “Are we going to have to listen to this shit from now until the day he gets brain cancer? That day cant come soon enough.”

      Obama is going to be the most annoying ex-President in living memory. I suspect he’ll start publicly second guessing every political decision about a day after he gets back from vacation.

      And the media will fawn over him.

  21. Trump also gave a speech on “War and Terrorism” last night

    For the first 15 minutes of his address, Mr. Trump outlined his approach to foreign policy, saying he would “engage the use of military forces when it’s in the vital national security interests of the United States.” He promised to make the military stronger than it has ever been, but said that under his leadership, the country would “stop racing to topple foreign regimes that we know nothing about.”

    “This destructive cycle of intervention and chaos must finally come to an end,” he said.

    If you actually watched the speech (i doubt NYT readers did) he said

    ….a commitment to only engage in the use of military forces when it’s in the vital national security interests of the United States…. we’re all over the place fighting in places we shouldn’t be fighting in

    A subtle change in wording by the Times, but i think still worth pointing out the emphasis.

    these seem the sorts of words that Reason would be going goo-goo over if it were someone else.

    1. They “know” what he’s “really” going to do it. Of course, they might be right. But blind squirrels occasionally find nuts and stopped clocks are right twice a day.

    2. Reason is only allowed to report on Trump’s actions, not his words.

            1. I’ll believe it when I see it.

              If the public isn’t supposed to take Trump seriously when he says things they don’t like, then they shouldn’t be taking him seriously for saying he’ll do things they do like.

              The Clown Presidency cuts both ways.

              1. I’ll believe it when I see it.

                So you agree with MikeP then. I thought you were mocking him.

                Actions certainly matter more than words.

                Still – words matter, particularly how they’re used after elections rather than before.

                What i found odd about this particular instance was that he was talking to an audience that was probably half (or more) military people. He could have taken a very different tack and been very bellicose and it probably would have been equally well-received. He was also making these statements in the context of selling his pick for Secretary of Defense. It would seem very strange indeed if these statements were entirely inconsistent with the views of Mattis.

                1. I’ll believe it when I see it; I make no complaint about reporting on what Trump tells us he intends to do.

                  They are encouraging words from Trump and I like that as policy, but considering his own defenders say you can’t take him at his word, what does it really mean?

                  But I can guarantee that if Reason writes an article about that speech MikeP2 et al will not be complaining about Reason’s reportage of such as unfair because we should wait and see if he actually does what he says. In fact, anyone saying that on the hypothetical article will be attacked by a very predictable set of commenters.

                  1. considering his own defenders say you can’t take him at his word, what does it really mean?… if Reason writes an article about that speech MikeP2 et al will not be complaining…. anyone saying that on the hypothetical article will be attacked by a very predictable set of commenters.

                    so? I’m not clear on why “what a few other people say” has so much significance in your own POV

                    The only question is really whether Trump will be more or less likely than his predecessor (Obama) or his competition (Clinton) to expand interventions, or to engage in new ones.

                    I think signs currently point to “less”. Significantly less than hypothetical-Clinton, by a long shot.

                    about the hypocrisy you seem fixated on = i don’t think its as black and white as you make it.

                    e.g. People made a big deal about Trump’s comments about nukes, for instance, and suggested he was super-dangerous and provocative for saying Japan and S.korea should have them. Some prominent libertarians voted for Clinton because “Clinton “is not as apt to blow us to kingdom come with nuclear weapons as Trump.””

                    Its not hypocritical to point out these people are retarded for over-reacting to those statements. I don’t think it was “Words Never Matter” so much as dismissing people who assumed the worst possible interpretation of some of his comments.

                    1. I’m just tired of all the bellyaching.

                    2. I’m just tired of all the bellyaching.

                      Samesies. I am also on board with the “I’ll believe it when I see it” policy.

                      I stand with SugarFree.

                    3. I’m just tired of all the bellyaching.

                      complaining constantly about complainers will surely solve it.

                    4. Gives us something to do, anyway.

      1. What if they are action words?

        1. I would enjoy and praise Trump for a speech composed completely of verbs.

          1. Enthusiastically, if he alliterated as thoroughly as ‘V’

    3. How about his commitment to dramatically cut taxes? His promise to gut the regulatory state? Countless apparatchiks in the alphabet soup of agencies shitting their pants, applying for early retirement, and some threatening to quit? His unequivocal statements supporting the second amendment? Immigration reform to bring in hundreds of thousands of immigrants but bring them in legally?

      What does Reason print? Trump is going to massacre people int he streets without trial and use their skulls to build a throne. A legitimate bitch about his eminent domain preferences. Trump is going to (unsuccessfully) crush dissent.

      We are never going to have a libertarian president, but this guy is about as close to that as we will ever get. This guy is practically a libertarian dream.

      1. Well, that’s a depressing thought.

      2. Holy shit on a shingle. We are fucked, then.

        On the other hand, you could be wrong.

        Either way, I believe I’ll have a drink.

    4. That is certainly something like what I’d like to hear.

      But doesn’t pretty much every president make that promise to begin with? W. Bush campaigned on similar promises and look how that turned out.

      Maybe Trump will remain independent and uncorrupted by the establisnment, but presidents have a tendency to break such promises.

      I’m keeping an open mind as far as that goes. It does me no good to assume I know what he will actually do, because I don’t.

  22. Donny Do doesnt do what Obama Don’t does.

  23. It’s fascinating to see the Nazis use soviet era mental illness bullying techniques. Normally they just do the ‘moron’ and ‘peace-nut’ attack. But I guess it’s good to switch things up sometimes. Though, it’s disappointing that none will stand up to them. But fortunately that’s not necessary any more.

  24. How are my little anarcho-frankentrumpkensteins doing today? Did we attend our 12 Step meetings to get a little peace and serenity?

    1. Do you even know what “anarcho-” means?

      1. Someone piss in your cheerios again? Aw sorry.

        1. So, no, you don’t.

          1. Well you are uppity today.

            1. And you are still a moron who spews nonsense, but hey at least you’re predictable, right?

              1. Clinical progression of tertiary syphilis *is* somewhat predictable.

              2. How dare you insult your FOUNDER.

      2. Remember, these are people that believe libertarians are totalitarians?

  25. “Do you really want radical inclusion into the State of Israel?” Spencer said. “And by that I mean radical inclusion. Maybe all of the Middle East could go move in to Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. Would you really want that?”

    Rosenberg was silent.

    Maybe Obama was right after all.

    1. Brak could arguably be the third biggest fraud in human history:

      1.

      1. 1. Hitler
        2. Anthropomorphic climate change
        3. Brak O.

        1. -morphic -genic

          ftfy.

          1. thanks. I lost track when they changed the name of it for the 4th time.

            1. “Anthropomorphic climate change” would be “climate change that has human characteristics.”

              1. Well then I was right.

                Only humans can make stuff up.

              2. Well, you wouldn’t want to shake your fist and shout at cloud formations unless they looked like people, would you?

              3. “climate change that has human characteristics.”

                Like a tornado with a penis?

                1. Uh oh….is that a preview of a new story of yours?!

                2. Like a snow storm with a name.

                  A weather pattern named the little boy?

                3. Tornadoes are the penii of the sky, it is known.

                  1. They look more like those wiener gords the natives in New Guinea where.

                    1. +1 Living with the Mek

                4. +F5 blow job.

        2. “Brak could arguably be the third biggest fraud in human history:
          1. Hitler
          2. Anthropomorphic climate change
          3. Brak O.”

          Stalin is higher.

  26. The Zionist lobby is crumbling before our eyes. And not a moment too soon.

    1. I’m sure this prediction will come true, unlike literally every other prediction you’ve made.

      1. Kb – why have you forsaken your CREATOR ?

        1. This is a new level of nonsensical raving for you, did you up your dosage?

          1. Kb – show some respect for your APOTHEOSIS.

            1. Words are more important when you CAPITALIZE them

              1. You realize you’re arguing with basically the dude who stands on the corner in pee-scented clothes and yells at passing cars, right?

                1. You realize you’re arguing with basically the dude who spends his days arguing with basically the dude who stands on the corner in pee-scented clothes and yells at passing cars, right?

                  1. ITT:

                    “Stop copying me.”

                    “Stop copying me.”

                    “Stop copying me.”

                    “Stop copying me.”

                    “Stop copying me.”

                    “Stop copying me.”

                    “Stop copying me.”

                    “Stop copying me.”

                    “Stop copying me.”

                    “Stop copying me.”

                    “Stop copying me.”

                    “Stop copying me.”

                    “Stop copying me.”

                    “Stop copying me.”

                    “Stop copying me.”

                  2. Deep derp, dude. Alliterally!

    2. I heard they were having it demolished so they could turn it into an atrium.

  27. My little anarcho-frankentrumpkensteins are a bit testy today. What’s wrong? You can tell me:

    1. As mentioned above, this ass admitted last night to being a clown, making statements in the hopes of garnering attention and nothing more.
      He’s a troll, not quite the level of intelligence of turd or commie-kid.

      1. His bloody name is Arabic for liar, of course he’s a troll.

      2. So to summarize, he’s an ass-clown?

        I think you’ve got him pegged.

  28. Does anyone else remember this pompous ass in 2008 standing behind a lectern labeled “Office of the President Elect”?

    1. Shit. I forgot about that. *groans*

      I am not sure whether to thank you or flip you the bird.

    2. I had forgotten that also.

      “The Office of the President-Elect is a title first used by Barack Obama for the body coordinating his transition activities of the President-elect of the United States.”

      https://goo.gl/E1fseI

      https://goo.gl/hHbGxe

  29. Seriously guys, please stop feeding the troll.

    1. Nom-nom-nom

      FEED MEEEEE

      1. As mentioned above, this ass admitted last night to being a clown, making statements in the hopes of garnering attention and nothing more.
        He’s a troll, not quite the level of intelligence of turd or commie-kid.

  30. Christ, what an asshole.

    1. LOL – he really was, CX. “Look at me, hanging on my cross. LOOK AT MEEE !!!!”

  31. I’m going to run on a platform of abolishing safe spaces for trolls. Can I count on your vote?

  32. Dear my little anarcho-frankentrumpkensteins: I no longer want your ‘protection’. Please, find a new purpose for your life.

  33. I’m not sure what I’m going to miss most. The peace, the prosperity, the transparency, the respect for the Constitution, the eloquent speeches, the togetherness. It’s a tough call. We’ll have the history books to remind us soon enough.

    1. I’m going to miss wanting to punch him square in the face all the time.

      I have a good feeling the squirrel will bring back that urge though.

      1. I’m sure he’ll stay close enough to the TV cameras to allow us our fix that way.

      2. He and his derp will be around for a good long while yet.

  34. Shut up, the guy has a fucking Nobel Peace Prize!

    1. As does Yasser Arafat

  35. Dear my little anarcho-frankentrumpkensteins: I have given you the most fair and prosperous country in the history of the world. Sorry that wasn’t good enough for you.

    1. Frankenstein was the brilliant but flawed doctor. The monster was his creation.

      Given your profound ignorance, the breathtaking stupidity of the things you say, your sadistic streak, narcissism and your name you do fit the profile.

      It wouldn’t surprise me if he were that petty.

  36. Trumpkins justify their attempt to plunder the vulnerable classes by claiming they are doing it for their children. The irony is – their children don’t want the bloody spoils. And in a further twist of irony, Obama & Hillary suffered from the same delusion: turns out people don’t actually want more free stuff (education and healthcare).

    1. Perhaps they are smart enough to know there is no such unicorn as free stuff.

      Are you a net taxpayer at the Federal level ?

      My bet is no.

  37. This dajjal guy is not very funny. He thinks he is though.

    1. And who will entertain you when I’m gone? You need to think things through more carefully, timbo. (Hint: not Mexicans.)

    2. FASCR
      Reasonable (Chrome)
      Greasonable (Firefox)

      There is no excuse for not using these things.

      1. You can’t see me…..

      2. Was not aware of these. Thank you.

  38. But Bush did all these things first! Obama was just stuck with the mess! 8 years wasn’t long enough for him to make any meaningful change! I wish he could have gone for a third term!

    I hear all of this whenever I bring up Obama’s numerous broken promises from his days running as the “peace candidate”

    1. Boosh controls Obama – I read it on HuffingtonPost –

  39. Chauncey Gardner speaks.
    This twit is never going away and he’ll never shut up

  40. That’s perhaps one advantage of being “the boss”, you can make and break the rules that you would foist off on others. There is one drawback that remains, in somewhat flowery language, it reads, and ye shall reap as thee have sown, or something similar.

  41. And the word of the day is…hypocrite! But that’s the word every day when it comes to much of politics.

  42. Obama calls for an updated Authorized Use of Force (the Congressional authorization for warmaking) but stubbornly clings to an insistence that everything he’s been doing is already authorized.

    “Hold me back bro, hold me back!”
    They’re not holding you back, and you know they won’t. They’ll egg you on and push you in. Dick.

    Oh… you mean “expand” when you say “updated”.

  43. Great analysis. Thank you Scott.

  44. “overestimating his actual commitment to rule of law and government transparency”

    Oh come on. Obama isn’t “overestimating” or even overstating he’s just, like always, LYING. He was never committed to the rule of law or transparency.

  45. Articles like this need to be written. But really, who didn’t see all this coming from Obama? Why are we having to again take notice of his do as I say, not as I do modus?

    So, rather than dwelling to long on what is painfully obvious about his nature maybe we should spend more time figuring out just what sorts of people gave us Obama and what it is in their nature and judgement that led them to ever put faith in the man?

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  47. Tired of ripping of Bush, Obama decides to start ripping of Eisenhower.

  48. my friend’s ex-wife makes $79/hour on the internet. She has been unemployed for five months but last month her payment was $13079 just working on the internet for a few hours. check

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  49. I have this theory that most competent politicians can do pretty much what they want while they’re in office because 99% of voters are fucking stupid.

  50. Brianna. true that Kathryn`s st0rry is impressive… I just received themselves a Jaguar E-type from bringing in $5324 recently and-over, ten-k this past-munth. it’s definitly the coolest work Ive ever done. I started this 3 months ago and straight away started to bring home minimum $81.. per/hr. straight from the source

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  51. Liam. I agree that Carl`s bl0g is cool… I just got a great new Honda since getting a cheque for $9458 thiss month and just a little over 10/k this past-munth. without a doubt its the most financially rewarding I’ve ever had. I started this six months/ago and almost immediately started earning at least $75, per hour. go now

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