Criminal Justice

President Obama Thinks He Did a Great Job With Criminal Justice Reform, But He Should Have Done More

Obama is in full legacy-preservation mode in article for Harvard Law Review.

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You're gonna miss me.
Pete Souza/ZUMA Press/Newscom

President Obama published a commentary today in the Harvard Law Review titled "The President's Role in Advancing Criminal Justice Reform." In one sense, Obama is clearly trying to telegraph to thought-leaders how he believes his legacy regarding one of his key issues should be remembered. In another sense, the article is a pre-emptive warning to anyone concerned with mass incarceration, police-community relations, sentencing reform, and other related issues that they might not have realized how good they had it under the Obama administration.

Sure, Obama cherry-picks his data, omits any relevant but inconvenient information that might damage his narrative—he doesn't touch the war on drugs or marijuana legalization at all—but it is easy to understand who Obama is addressing. This isn't a paper that will be widely read by the public, this is for the academics and think tankers who will be among the first to determine where Obama's legacy ranks in the pantheon of American presidencies.

In the 56-page commentary, Obama writes "Criminal justice reform has been a focus of my entire career — even since before my time at the Harvard Law Review" a reference to his tenure as the first African-American president of the august legal publication.

Obama writes, "I will be the first President in decades to leave office with a federal prison population lower than when I took office even as my Administration saw the rate of violent crime fall to its lowest point in decades," and also credits his administration with helping to reduce sentences for non-violent offenders, make it easier for people with a criminal blemish on their record to gain employment and education, and also helping young people "avoid getting entangled in the justice system in the first place."

Among other reform achievements cited are the Justice Department's 2010 decision to reverse "a policy requiring prosecutors in every case to bring charges that could result in the most severe possible sentence," as well as its instruction to federal prosecutors to stop threatening defendants in drug cases with enhanced charges based on previous drug convictions as a means of gaining leverage in plea negotiations.

Donald Trump gets some none-too-subtle shade thrown his way by Obama over his tendency to emotionally react on Twitter when hot-button news stories break.

Obama writes that "presidents are not private citizens" and thus, when "a viral YouTube video…leads the evening news, incites protests, and drives calls for reform," the commander in chief needs "to be careful about speaking about legal matters before all the facts are in—even if it appears that everyone else in the United States is commenting on them."

The president tosses some red meat to the gun control faithful with vague rhetoric about "smart guns," "background checks," and other "commonsense steps to reduce gun violence." He also rails against solitary confinement, zero tolerance polices at school, and excessive bail practices. Also included among his "work unfinished," Obama calls for more transparency and better practices regarding police body cams, treating the opioid crisis as a public health issue, and restoring the right to vote for ex-convicts.

Obama boasts of expanding access to substance abuse treatment through Obamacare, but is willing to spread some of the credit around, like when he touts the "red states" of Alabama, Georgia, and Texas for leading and innovating:

By reducing sentences and reinvesting some of the savings in other public safety initiatives — especially programs that actually address substance abuse and support for those with mental illness — these states have improved outcomes, enhanced trust, and thus ultimately made better use of taxpayer dollars.

The president touches upon his Task Force on 21st Century Policing, launched in 2014, which among other things called for greater cooperation from the 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States in providing accurate data to the FBI regarding the use of force by police.

Although Obama writes "this voluntary collection has the potential to make the use of force even more rare and the devastating consequences of force even less likely," he fails to mention that his Justice Department has had three years to enforce the Death in Custody Reporting Act of 2013, but to date the DOJ has not sanctioned even one non-compliant department with the loss of federal law enforcement grant funds as stipulated by the law.

Obama cites a "wide range of research and policy initiatives to strengthen the forensic sciences, spanning disciplines from DNA analysis and fingerprints, to tire and tread marks, ballistics, handwriting, trace-evidence and toxicological analyses, and digital evidence" and warns that "forensic science disciplines are subject to varying degrees of uncertainty and misinterpretation," which appears to be a concession by the president that innocent people have been imprisoned because of "bad science."

What Obama fails to mention is that his own Attorney General Loretta Lynch was an obstacle to this particular opportunity for reform, putting her faith in law enforcement ahead of science. Former Reasoner Radley Balko notes in The Washington Post:

Obama can tout the committees he formed and the reports he commissioned all he likes. When it came to using those reports to actually improve the criminal-justice system, his own attorney general rejected the notion out of hand. Obama then failed to correct her. As I wrote Wednesday, the window for reform here is small. Obama had the evidence to demand it. He's a lame-duck president in an era where the public is as skeptical of the criminal-justice system as it's been in generations. It was a golden opportunity. We just happened to have someone in the White House who, at least in his rhetoric, seemed to understand these issues as well as anyone we could really ever hope for — and at a time when the conditions for reform are as favorable as they're ever likely to be.

The president's commentary contains another noteworthy omission: there's nothing in there about the legal status of marijuana.

This is somewhat understandable. After all, it is primarily an essay where Obama wants to take credit for things, and he knows he really deserves no credit for the growing trend of states legalizing both medical marijuana and recreational marijuana. After raiding more medical marijuana dispensaries in his first term than George W. Bush did in two terms, and after refusing to have the DEA reschedule marijuana off of Schedule I, perhaps Obama wants to wait until he's out of office before using the bully pulpit of an ex-president to advocate for the legalization of a drug he has already admitted he believes is less harmful than alcohol and should regulated similarly.

Still, Obama's choice to ignore the ongoing federal criminalization (and evolving local status) of a drug he once used heavily in a prestigious victory lap essay about "reform" is both a missed opportunity and fairly infuriating from a criminal justice reform standpoint. Ex-presidents have influence, but they don't have power. The time to act was then, not later.

President Obama indeed deserves a good amount of credit from criminal justice reformers, but he ultimately could have—and should have—done more.

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  1. The president’s commentary contains another noteworthy omission: there’s nothing in there about the legal status of marijuana.

    To be fair, it’s hard to translate a dismissive chuckle into words.

    1. *cuckle-guffaw-stiffle*

      You’re right. It is tough.

  2. This isn’t a paper that will be widely read by the public, this is for the academics and think tankers who will be among the first to determine where Obama’s legacy ranks in the pantheon of American presidencies.

    This reads so much as if the winners write the history books, while everyone who knows the harm he did and what a dildo he was gets ignored until memory dies out and only the written account remains.

    1. It’s hard to say what the narrative about Obama’s presidency will be long term. There will certainly be the glowing official hagiography that is conferred on all Great Men, but as anyone who Googles “Citizen X Rainbow Brite LARP” knows, the internet never forgets.

        1. Would would would would wouldnt would would would wouldn’t wouldn’t.

        2. Is that Postrel with the pink hair?

    2. First black president.

      Even though his crowning achievement – the ACA – is a failure and won’t exist for long, he’ll be remembered fondly because he was the first black guy and he didn’t completely fuck everything up.

      1. Why drag Clinton into this?

  3. …this is for the academics and think tankers who will be among the first to determine where Obama’s legacy ranks in the pantheon of American presidencies.

    Those people are generally very serious about the criteria used for framing presidential legacies for history.

    1. I liked the part where he said Obama’s got an IQ that’s off the charts so nobody can deny he’s a very serious and capable leader. Does this guy know what a non sequitur is?

      Which reminds me of some other “expert” compiling some ranking of estimated Presidential IQ’s and put JFK near the top, based in part by the intellectual ability demonstrated by his authorship of Profiles In Courage. Getting Ted Sorenson to write a Pulitzer Prize-winning book you take the credit for writing is a demonstration of intellectual ability?

      1. Trump wrote The Art of the Deal, and he actually did it himself. I’m told the Chinese rank it right up there with The Art of War.

  4. “Obama writes that “presidents are not private citizens” and thus, when “a viral YouTube video…leads the evening news, incites protests, and drives calls for reform,” the commander in chief needs “to be careful about speaking about legal matters before all the facts are in?even if it appears that everyone else in the United States is commenting on them.”

    ‘Police acted stupidly’. ‘If I had a son he’d look like Trayvon’. To name but TWO stupid, unnecessarily racially driven, comments by this guy.

    Go. Fuck. Yourself.

    Jan. 20 can’t come fast enough.

    1. That was what i wanted to post, Rufus.
      So, instead: criminal justice system is not just, although it sure is criminal.

      1. And the fact that a guy spent a year in jail so our great leader could get reelected should have been item one in any story about “fake news”.

    2. Thank you. Indeed. I thought this election might soften my dislike of Obama, but he just keeps making it worse. What a self-centered blowhard.

    3. Biden could pull a Biden and leave Obama in office tomorrow, you know.

  5. Also, you know who else wrote things about how great he was?

    1. Alexander?

    2. Julius Caesar?

      1. “nice”, but we’ll allow it.

  6. he doesn’t touch the war on drugs

    treating the opioid crisis as a public health issue

    You may not see the connection, but it’s pretty obvious to your readers. Obama was great on criminal justice reform. Remember that he’s acting within an ecosystem and for all the talk of ‘executive action’ there is little he can do uniltaterally. If he had single-handedly legalized pot, I guarantee that Jeff Sessions would have been approved without a second thought.

    1. I must have missed him rescheduling MJ, which was within his powers. I also missed him calling off the dogs on raiding legal medical dispensaries in California. I also missed him ending civil asset forfeiture, also within his powers. I also missed him stopping the sales of military vehicles and weapons to civilian police departments. Completely within his powers.

      Fuck your ecosystem nonsense.

      1. It’s not too late to learn a trade. What kinds of things do you enjoy doing?

        1. Oh, shreek, you turd – have you saved enough money to pay your bet yet? Or are you still holding out hope for Jeb to get the nomination?

          BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHHAHAHA……

          BUY YER GOLD, SHREEK, BUY YER GOLD!!!

        2. You mean beyond his kicking your ass in this exchange?

  7. President Obama published a commentary today in the Harvard Law Review titled “The President’s Role in Advancing Criminal Justice Reform.”

    “”launched in 2014″”

    yeah, a real high priority then. for a guy elected in 2008

  8. I’m trying to remember if the Clinton administration ended with navel gazers about how he did great, but “should have done more”.

    1. Bill did not waste time gazing at his own navel.

      1. I think that needs an “amiright?” at the end

  9. Obama writes that “presidents are not private citizens” and thus, when “a viral YouTube video…leads the evening news, incites protests, and drives calls for reform,” the commander in chief needs “to be careful about speaking about legal matters before all the facts are in?even if it appears that everyone else in the United States is commenting on them.”

    Now, dammit, Candy Crowley assured me at the debate that – contra Mitt Romney’s incessant lies – Obama did refer to it as a terrorist attack in his Rose Garden address the day after that youtuber got the ambassador killed in Benghazi. So who am I to believe, Obama or that guy that was debating Mitt Romney, whatsisface?

    1. Referring to a chick as a dude can get you kicked off Twitter.

      1. Unless she wants to be called a he and is a leftard.

  10. treating the opioid crisis as a public health issue, and restoring the right to vote for ex-convicts.

    Clinton is counting on votes in 2024 from those four people that tortured that kid.

  11. The whole criminal justice system is a huge conglomerate and entire industries depend on it. If he had curbed it too much he would have put too many people out of work and he would have been criticized relentlessly for it. Holding the line against the expansion of this megalopoly was itself an achievement for which he can be proud. (Ultimately people must shift careers from tearing things down to building them up.)

    1. “Sure I may not have gotten the police officer to release his strangling grip, but I did make sure he didn’t squeeze any tighter! I’m sorry for your loss…”

  12. I don’t recall him spending a nickel of political capital on criminal justice reform. But, the usual suspects will swallow this load, I am sure.

  13. “a viral YouTube video…leads the evening news, incites protests,

    tell me he’s not talking about Benghazi. Please, tell me that.

    1. He clicked on one of Heroic Mulatto’s Skeltal War links once, that’s what he’s talking about.

        1. Let me guess…Obama is black on the right side, you’re black on the left side…hence the antagonism.

          1. In a few days, it shall be our last battlefield.

            1. +1 Star Trek TOS

  14. These changes mean that I will be the first President in decades to leave office with a federal prison population lower than when I took office even as my Administration saw the rate of violent crime fall to its lowest point in decades

    Bold mine. Using “even as” as a conjunction like this implies that A is impressive in spite of B. But that makes no sense here. If violent crime is falling, then one would expect a lower prison population.

    He uses the phrase “even as” seven times, and in every other instance it’s used to convey an unexpected situation. Didn’t someone proofread this? August publication my ass.

    1. ..A is impressive because it occurred in spite of B.

      A little proofreading of my own work :/

      1. I missed your comment before I posted the same thing. It is an odd way of phrasing it.

      2. My guess is hes trying to say that it isn’t being a zero sum game. All the criminals being in jail can’t explain crime going down, cuz they’re not in jail. I think that’s actually a good thing probably, but how much control does the president actually have over that?

        1. How much control does the president have over anything he gets credit or blame for? I’m still trying to figure out what Clinton did to make the economy take off, what Bush did to cause the financial crisis, and what Obama did.

    2. “If violent crime is falling, then one would expect a lower prison population.”

      Unless it’s falling because you caught the people doing it and put them in prison.

    3. He meant “even as my AG met in what she thought was a secret meeting with the husband of he highest profile subject to a criminal investigation”

  15. Please tell me he had someone write this article for him, instead of wasting time he could have spent reviewing pardon applications.

    1. I’m not sure they have to force themselves to cry, it’s inevitable really.

      1. Suicide is never the answer, GIL.

        Unrelated.

    2. I thought you were going to link to this. 🙂

  16. “Obama calls for more transparency and better practices regarding police body cams”

    OK, sure,

    “treating the opioid crisis as a public health issue”

    Locking dealers in prison and locking addicts in hospitals?

    “and restoring the right to vote for ex-convicts.”

    Wait, who’s that supposed to benefit?

    Unless ex-cons tend to vote for one particular party…bingo.

    1. I’ve always wondered about the assumption that ex-cons would tend to lean Democrat, has anybody ever studied the question? It seems to me that a lot of crooks would tend to see themselves as entrepreneurs, small businessmen with a can-do, take-charge attitude who see what they want and go get it instead of just waiting around for somebody to hand them what they want on a silver platter. And I’m not just talking about drug dealers who really are businessmen, I mean armed robbers, kidnappers, thieves, burglars, pickpockets, etc.

      I’m sure there’s plenty of whiners who feel entitled and will tell you the reason they turned to crime was because of society’s failure to address the inherent injustice of blahblahblahbullshit – but plenty of them I think would make no bones about the fact that they knew what they were doing was wrong but what the hell, it was easy work and they were looking out for Number One, jack. That doesn’t really sound like the typical liberal who says everything is some kind of entitlement and it’s not your fault if you’re a pathetic loser.

      1. I don’t know…sometimes it gets mixed up with the race issue (as what doesn’t?), and disenfranchising convicted felons is the New Jim Crow.

        1. Anyway, there are plenty of Democrats who are, or see themselves as, entrepreneurs, they’re just more Socially Aware that those right-wing plutocrats.

          1. And many of those liberal and often Democratic entrepreneurs are both crooked, and have fascist attitudes toward controlling their work force – entrepreneurs at Apple, Google, Intuit…

      2. I don’t know, you’d think Republicans (and some Democrats) ‘tough on crime’ rhetoric would scare some of them away, but there’s also the reality of racial gangs to think about. They’re probably much more willing to openly vote in favour of ‘their race’ when given the chance.

  17. Obama writes, “I will be the first President in decades to leave office with a federal prison population lower than when I took office even as my Administration saw the rate of violent crime fall to its lowest point in decades,”

    Even? Huh? You should have a lower prison population if violent crime has fallen. He sounds like this dude if he were talking about locking people up.

  18. “But He Should Have Done More”

    What’s with the past tense? He should stop writing *paens* to his greatness and take hold of his *pen* and start signing pardons until 11:59 PM on January 19.

    Hopefully he’ll minimize the number of Bill Clinton-style crony pardons and focus on the deserving cases.

    It’s one of the few good things he’s been doing, so, Obama: stop looking for big buttes to turn into national monuments and start making some clemency decisions.

  19. he doesn’t touch the war on drugs or marijuana legalization at all

    Yeah, don’t throw your shoulder out patting yourself on the back, president Choom.

    -jcr

  20. “Obama is clearly trying to telegraph to thought-leaders….”

    Is ‘thought-leaders’ a new phrase or have I just not been paying attention? Because I fucking hate it.

    1. Just not paying attention. It’s been a thing for awhile. 🙁

    2. The phrase has been around a while, I think it’s a marketing term.

      1. I mean I’ve heard of think tank, philosopher, etc. Thought Leader is beyond douchey though. When I listen to WFAN online they push the CBS news brand a lot and I’ve just started to hear it there quite a bit.

        1. My guess is that if I’m marketing some product I look for thought leaders to endorse it and thought-followers to follow the thought leaders. Like with what Obama is doing – telling the audience for the Harvard Law Review what they’re supposed to tell journalists, who then repeat it to the masses (“Obama is awesome! His only regret is that he didn’t double down more on his awesomeness!”)

      2. Doesn’t Apple or Google or one of them actually use “Thought Leader” as a job title?

    3. Nope, not new… certainly started in the last few years. And it’s hate-worthy.

  21. Ah, so this is why the Reason Inner Party voted for him. Twice.

  22. Quick scan of other threads and I haven’t seen the most ridiculous person on TV, Simone Sanders, linked to yet.

  23. Ex-presidents have influence, but they don’t have power.

    Apparent the power belongs to presidents-elect.

    1. *ly*

      *** gets coffee ***

    2. “they don’t have power.”

      Yes they do, it’s a Snap.

      1. Is that david cameron and….? cameron’s wife? not sure why that’s worse than him mugging in the oval office, but the resting bitch face on michelle is like TV DINNER COLD.

        I just think obama trying to diss someone else for “using social media is unpresidential and hurr durr mah legacy” is like this X1000.

  24. This is amusing:

    http://www.azcentral.com/story…../96198022/

    Naked woman pursued by Maricopa sheriff’s deputies.

    1. That town sounds like its a constant party. Convicts wearing pink, naked people running around, steven segal riding a motherfucking tank into a house where there’s “suspected cock-fighting” going down. Its a feast of surprises.

      1. Isn’t Sheriff Arpaio’s successor in yet?

  25. (Re-posted)

    Congress counts the electoral votes tomorrow, and these guys have some Shocking New Evidence:

    “More than 50 Electoral College members who voted for Donald Trump were ineligible to serve as presidential electors because they did not live in the congressional districts they represented or held elective office in states legally barring dual officeholders.

    “That stunning finding is among the conclusions of an extensive 1,000-plus page legal briefing prepared by a bipartisan nationwide legal team for members of Congress who are being urged to object to certifying the 2016 Electoral College results on Friday.

    “”Trump’s ascension to the presidency is completely illegitimate,” said Ryan Clayton of Americans Take Action, who is promoting the effort….

    “”We have a list of 50 illegal electors,” Clayton said. “That puts Donald Trump below the threshold that he needs to be elected president. Let’s debate it in an open session. According to the Constitution, the Congress, if nobody wins on the first round of balloting, picks from the top three candidates. That will be Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Colin Powell.””

    1. (Powell got three electoral votes, all from rogue Washington state electors)

    2. Meh, so what. Even if this is real and their is an actual legal leg to stand on, congress just votes in Trump anyway. Hillary can lose again (more salty ham tears). The left has gone nutty over this election. They are gonna have to face facts pretty soon. There was a vote and trump won it. He is going to be president.

    3. And it’s from Alternet at that. Can’t doubt anything that comes out that ultra-sane website. /sarc

  26. President Obama’s greatest ability is convincing others that he is the smartest person in the room.

    The guy ramped up deportations, murder droned brown people in the Middle East, raided MJ dispensaries, persecuted whistleblowers, and did nothing to alleviate the abuses of our forfeiture laws. But yet the Left is willing to praise him as some kind of hero.

    The bothersome thing is that when you point these things out to them, the honest ones will admit that you have to break a few eggs to break an omelet, the idiotic ones will bleat out whatever the media tells them to say, and dishonest ones will blame Bush and the Republicans for his transgressions.

    Fuck them all

    1. He didn’t ramp up deportations. He just changed the definition of what is considered a deportation to make it look like he did. But everything else you say is correct and in fact going too easy on Obama. He didn’t just do nothing to alleviate the abuses of our forfeiture laws, he appointed two AGs who were notorious abusers of those laws. And your forgot operation choke hold where the Obama used the SEC to lean on banks to stop doing business with lawful business like pay day loan operations and gun shops who were operating legally but the Obama administration didn’t like.

      1. Thanks for the heads up on the deportations. I didn’t know he changed the definitions.

        It’s great to see the Left crying about the Executive Order abuses that The Donald will do, but yet stayed quiet when their guy was abusing the EO’s.

    2. President Obama’s greatest ability is convincing others that he is the smartest person in the room.

      He seems pretty shit at it to me. Maybe it’s convincing the gullible? Even when he was running in 2008, pumping feel-good juice into everyone, I was yawning and going “meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” His rhetoric never worked on me, I saw it as shallow and thought his oratory was really simplistic and obvious (“I am going to say an important thing…and to stress that I will pause. Now I will say another important thing, BUT I WILL SAY IT LOUDER AND ANNUNCIATE.”)

      I thought he was going to be a mediocre President that might do a few good things in regards to the Bush-era surveillance state and foreign policy. So naive.

      1. You mean “enunciate,” but yeah.

  27. Obama is releasing 22 inmates from GUITMO right before he leaves office. He can do that but rescheduling Marijuana or granting a serious number of pardons and commutations for those convicted of federal drug offenses is just too hard because those mean, racist Republicans would object. I mean, releasing crazy radicals who will likely end up murdering people is one thing, but releasing people rotting in prison for decades for a victimless crime? You racist teabaggers expect too much.

    1. I’ve had Progressive friends used this excuse that the GOP would come down like a ton of bricks if Obama rescheduled MJ or stopped forfeiture. My response have always been that it never stopped him before like when he wanted to ram Obamacare down our throats.

      1. well they can never take personal responsibility for anything. I literally had a prog friend, when I pressed him why didn’t Obama close Gitmo like he promised, said “hey, he’s *trying*”

        There’s no reasoning with these people. It’s always someone else’s fault

    2. He has issued a serious number of commutations, but they’re not full pardons and he didn’t start doing it until very recently.

    3. Ah, so he did not solve the problem you wanted as much as he solved another one that his predecessors did not.

      “I will be the first President in decades to leave office with a federal prison population lower than when I took office even as my Administration saw the rate of violent crime fall to its lowest point in decades

      DAMN, THAT’S BAD!!!!!!!

  28. CNN analyst called Assange a “Pedophile” in an interview with Cuomo. Wikileaks says it may sue. Jesus. Fucking. Christ.

      1. If you just tweet a sorry 🙂, I’ll let that slide.

          1. WE APOLOGIZE FOR CALLING THE RAPIST A PEDOPHILE. IT WAS AN HONEST MISTAKE.
            /#sorrynotsorry

          2. The women he allegedly sexually assaulted could have been minors, and that is what is important. You could be married to a nine-year-old boy. I mean, there’s no way to know for sure.

            Sickie.

  29. Can someone explain to me this divest from dapl crap? All I get are the proggy circlejerk websites.

    Just guessing: Why should a bank have any criteria to make a loan besides their credit-worthyness? The market should be impersonal, but progs want everything to be personal. Apparently you only have the right to a loan (or the right to due process, or the right to freedom of speech, or…) unless you are the RIGHT person.

  30. He didn’t do jack shit. The only reason that he even mentioned it is that Rand Paul, a Rethuglican none the less, shamed him into it. Buh bye, Obama, don’t let the door hit you.

    1. When Rand did that filibuster, my Progressive friends were foaming at the mouth.

      1. Of course they were. They have intellectual rabies.

      2. Well, the progs have this delusion about being liberals. All their proggy friends have been ensuring them that they are. Sometimes the truth hurts.

    1. He lived through no shit racism.

      My grandfather was born in Mississippi during the early 1930’s and grew up in the Jim Crow South. The man only had a third grade education but yet managed to feed all of his 14 children and keep the same job when he moved to Greenwood in the 1970’s (he was a sharecropper before that ) until he retired in the 2000’s. He wasn’t the greatest parent but he instilled in my Mom and her siblings a work ethic and made sure to tell us that if you take money from the government, they own your ass.

      He never once thought of himself as a victim and ripped us apart if we were to make ourselves out to be victims.

      1. Yeah well, that’s when men were men, Eddie my man.

        Thanks for sharing

    2. Sorry, but that video is cancer.

      Morgan Freeman was a staunch Obama, and then Hillary, supporting Democrat who called the Tea Party ‘racist’ merely for opposing Obama’s policies.

      The “Jewish SJW” is Michael Wallace, who not only had a reputation for never treating anyone he interviewed with kid gloves, but was also Richard Nixon’s first choice for press secretary and was a close and personal friend of the Reagans.

      It is fitting that such a piece of shit hatchet job is featured on a Youtube channel devoted to Men Going Their Own Way Gay, as

      1. (whoops, hit submit instead of preview)

        as only a pig-shit ignorant, basement-dwelling Millennial whose education consisted only of public school pap and internet memes could reduce Wallace to “Jewish SJW”.

        Oh, and Jewish History Month is in May.

        1. Oh, so (((they))) get the beginning of spring, a month with all of 31 days, while blacks get a winter month, the shortest month of the year?

  31. The next time Obama writes a commentary for the Harvard Law Review, perhaps he should explain again how a President’s unilateral, unreviewed decision to secretly murder an American citizen, based on the President’s secret unilateral determination that the American posed an “imminent threat” to national security, based on turn on secret criteria and secret evidence, constitutes “due process of law” under the Fifth Amendment.

    I am no Glenn Greenwald fan, but his Intercept article of this subject should be read aloud, word for word, every time and every place this scumbag Obama appears for the rest of his life.

    1. Link to that article?

      1. Oops sorry.

        https://www.the- guardian.com/commentisfree/

        2013/feb/05/obama-kill-list-doj-memo

        1. I did a really great job posting that link, didn’t I?

  32. My first guess was that this had been submitted to them before election night and it was his proof of eligibility for the Supreme Court.

  33. Obama vindicated core American principles when most were happy to forget. If that’s not obvious now it soon will be.

  34. I’m totally not buying ‘history will judge’ Obama’s record. I think it’s pedestrian and cynical enough to be judged today.

    This thing he somehow left behind a legacy for posterity; one in which people will admire and appreciate some time i the future is preposterous to the more educated and astute among us.

    1. I think there’s a good chance his retirement speeches will be so dull and vacuous that people will just tune him out. I have for the last 8 years, and once he starts making the corporate benefit circuit, people will also tune him out. He has no legacy. He has no wisdom to offer. He couldn’t even get his hand-picked successor into office. He has nothing to offer the speech circuit except worn-out platitudes.

      Just as Hillary’s bookings dropped like a rock after she lost; so will his within the year.

    2. Someone links a Piers Morgan column yesterday and even Morgan is tired of Obo’s attempts to shit in Trump’s WH before he moves in.
      I’m guessing his legacy in a very short time is ‘sore loser who tried to save his rep’.

    3. to your point, Rufus =

      tell me what you think about Jimmy Carter.

      1. Who?

        1. That’s what i’m saying. Sort of.

          Obama will be remembered for very few things =

          1 – he was black
          2 – heathcare boondoggle disaster
          3 – the political decimation of the democrats,which resulted in “trump”.

          if trump is really awful, Obama will be remembered favorably. If trump is actually any good? his legacy is toast.

    4. That’d be the seventh graders.

  35. Go USA! Oh shit… Go Canada! Oh shit…

    1. what are you watching? Soccer?

      I finally watched the Rousey/Nunes fight because Ken made a stink about it, and it was the most depressing thing i’ve seen since i saw 2 girls fight in junior high, and one thew spaghetti on the other one.

      1. Do women still fight in Jell-O?

        1. i think that might still be a thing in florida panhandle bars

        1. oh. ?

          national teams? is there some world cup thing i missed?

          …..world juniors?…..

          1. Yep, juniors

            1. ah.

              I saw the canada/russia finals of that i think 2 years ago(?). i have no idea why, but it was on TV and it was awesome. Canada beat the rooskies. and it made headlines.

              1. And this one is a classic too.

      2. Michael Rappaport compared Rousey to basketball player that can shoot the lights out but can’t dribble. She’s got a great ground game, but she can’t take a punch. At least not at the Nunes level. The other gals have come a long way since Rousey put up that 12-0 record. She’s toast.

        1. Michael Rappaport compared

          how do you know this? are you trying to make crusty mad?

          i never watched a single female MMA fight in my life before this. i had no idea she was supposed to be any good. I just think the entire idea of watching girls fight is – not from any sexist perspective, but rather a ‘sporting’ one – extremely boring, and sort of sad.

          I have the same opinion about women’s basketball, mostly.

          women’s tennis? soccer? gymnastics? field hockey/lacrosse/swimming/vollyball?…. etc etc etc. sign me up.

          watching people with minimal upper body strength and even less of a jaw “fighting” each other? not so much. It just looks miserable and sad.

          1. Of course I’d rather watch the men fight. I just watch it to see how much progress they can make. They’ll never come close to what the men are doing and the people that thought she could box Mayweather are looking even more foolish now.

    2. Some game. Lotta fun.

      1. I keep seeing the “BostonPizza” advert and wondering if you guys either (a) have a Boston I don’t know about or think (b) our Boston is somehow known for pizza up there.

        1. It’s just a Western chain. No connection to Boston or pizza per se. And it’s terrible.

          1. No connection to Boston or pizza per se

            Two countries divided by a common language.

  36. “I will be the first President in decades to leave office with a federal prison population lower than when I took office even as my Administration saw the rate of violent crime fall to its lowest point in decades

    DAMN, HE IS CHERRY PICKING FACTS!

    1. my Administration saw

      He read about it in the paper.

    2. “I will be the first President in decades to leave office with a federal prison population lower than when I took office”

      He achieved this by keeping Hillary, Clapper and the gunrunning-scandal people out of prison.

      1. And in spite of putting the poor guy who did the film they blamed Benghazi on in for a year. But hey, he won.

  37. Damn what a shame this is gonna be settled in a shoot-out.

    The refs did a great job in this one. They let them play.

    1. That OT was crazy tense.

      1. Someone had to win. Congrats to the USA.

  38. “President Barack Obama says he hopes tensions between President-elect Donald Trump and the intelligence community will be reduced once Trump’s team is put together.
    Obama says in an interview with NBC Chicago that presidents “can’t make good decisions unless we have good intelligence” and it’s important that the president receives “non-politicized intelligence.”
    He says he hopes once Trump receives his own briefings and sees how “professional and effective” the intelligence agencies are, some of those tensions will be reduced.
    Trump has been dismissive of the nation’s intelligence agencies and cast doubt about their conclusion that Russia was behind the hacking efforts to influence the 2016 election.”
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/pol…..836757.php

    There’s a good chance that he and others should be dismissive of an outfit run by an admitted and notorious liar like Clapper.

  39. “Brushing aside Donald Trump’s dismissiveness, the nation’s intelligence chief insisted Thursday that U.S. agencies are more confident than ever that Russia interfered in America’s recent presidential election. And he called the former Cold War foe an “existential threat” to the nation.
    […]
    Clapper’s testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee was short on concrete evidence of Russian activities, but it raised the stakes in the intelligence community’s standoff with Trump. Clapper indicated the agencies he leads would not back down in their assessment, even if that threatens a prolonged crisis of confidence with their next commander in chief.”
    http://www.sfgate.com/nation/a…..838453.php

    You’re fired!

  40. “Obama writes that ‘presidents are not private citizens’ and thus, when ‘a viral YouTube video…leads the evening news, incites protests, and drives calls for reform,’ the commander in chief needs ‘to be careful about speaking about legal matters before all the facts are in?even if it appears that everyone else in the United States is commenting on them.'”

    Member when President Obama blamed the Benghazi attack on “Innocence of Muslims”?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..emism.html

  41. President Obama Thinks He Did a Great Job With Criminal Justice Reform, But He Should Have Done More

    *More*? I don’t know about that. How about starting with ‘something’ and then you can start worrying about more.

  42. He also thinks Obamacare was mana from heaven.

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