Barack Obama

The Peace Prize Winner Who Waged War

In 2009, Barack Obama acknowledged that the Nobel Peace Prize honor was aspirational. In 2017, it still is.

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When he was first elected president, many observers, up to and including the Norwegian Nobel Committee, believed Barack Obama would represent a substantive departure from the foreign policy of his predecessor, George W. Bush. On the campaign trail, the then–senator from Illinois promised to bring the Iraq War to an end within 16 months. In reality, it ended in December 2011, as agreed upon in the status of forces agreement Bush made with Iraq in 2008, and only after Obama tried and failed to keep a 10,000-strong residual force there past the withdrawal date.

On the eve of Election Day 2016, there were about 5,000 U.S. soldiers in that country. Many were embedded with Iraqi troops or otherwise engaged in the military campaign to retake the city of Mosul from ISIS, a group that evolved out of Al Qaeda in Iraq—itself a product of and one of the primary combatants in the post-invasion phase of the war. The number of Americans in the country has crept upward since June 2014, when Obama sent troops there at the request of the Iraqi government. The deployment came just two and a half years after the withdrawal that was supposed to mark the conclusion of the war in Iraq.

Candidate Obama promised a "robust" diplomatic effort aimed toward Iraq and its neighbors (including Syria and Iran) to ensure the countries' stability. Instead, the U.S. continues to press for regime change in Syria while keeping diplomatic engagement with Iran limited largely to the status of the latter's nuclear program. U.S. troops and other American military assets are involved both in the fight against ISIS in Syria and in supporting the rebellion to remove Syrian President Bashar Assad from power.

There are troops and other assets in Libya, whose previous government was overthrown during a U.S.-led intervention into the country's civil war; in Somalia, where the U.S. has had an on-again, off-again military presence since the collapse of the Siad Barre government in 1993, and where the U.S. is currently fighting Al-Shabab, an Al Qaeda affiliate; in Yemen, where the U.S.-and-Saudi-backed government-in-exile is trying to retake control of the country; in West Africa, where the U.S. is assisting in the fight against Boko Haram, a Nigerian terror group with ties to Al Qaeda and ISIS; and in Uganda and its neighbors, where the U.S. is assisting in the war with Joseph Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army.

According to the most recent War Powers report from Obama to Congress, we also have troops deployed in Turkey and Djibouti (to support efforts in the Middle East), Cuba (Guantanamo Bay remains open nearly eight years after Obama signed an executive order to close it), Egypt (where we've been since 1981), Kosovo (where we've been since 1999), and Jordan (where 2,200 American troops are assisting the government).

Finally, more than 8,000 U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan. That war, begun in October 2001 as a response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11, has now lasted longer than the American Civil War and the entirety of World War I and World War II. President Obama has repeatedly postponed the date of withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan; the final drawdown is currently scheduled for sometime after he leaves office.

Obama promised to take the Afghan war more seriously, but a surge in troops and diplomatic personnel early in his presidency changed little on the ground, and the Afghan government seems no more capable now than it was eight years ago of governing the country without the assistance of foreign military powers. Any opportunity created by the deployments was squandered by bureaucratic infighting, as detailed in Rajiv Chandrasekaran's 2012 book Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan.

According to the committee that awarded him the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, Obama was being recognized "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples." At the time, Obama acknowledged that the honor was aspirational. It still is.

NEXT: Obama's cruel policy reversal on Cuban refugees

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  1. Maybe the dinner plate is trying to twist and twist until it can free itself from his neck; perhaps the Nobel committee has some second thoughts and is trying to recall it.

    1. So the Nobel Prize is like the One Ring?

  2. The Nobel Prize is a gimmee and their cause has been corrupted for political reasons. Obama never deserved a peace prize. Even retracting the prize somehow would not save the Nobel group’s reputation.

    1. Al Gore got one for narrating a factually challenged documentary. Yasser Arafat got one for simply acknowledging Israel might have a right to exist. It has been bullshit for decades.

      1. It has been a crapshoot from the beginning. Arafat was clearly a mistake, and a mistake at the time. Frankly, somebody should have shot the little toad the first time he emerged as the PLO spokesman. Kofi Annan was almost as bad; an enabler for the likes of Saddam Insane. A look at the whole list reveals a trade of internationalist meddlers, with the occasional genuine giant like the Dali Lama. Frankly, the award to Obama should have been viewed as a kiss of death; most winners at the National Leader level have been involved in negotiations that proved to be worthless.

        1. And let us not forget that the most deserving person in the 20th century, Gandhi, never got one.

          1. What about the peaceful break up of Czechoslovakia? Not a drop of blood was shed. How often have we seen a country break up without any bloodshed? The leaders that made it happen should have gotten a Nobel Peace Prize. Instead it went to ex-terrorist Mandela. Now, Mandela did change his ways and did help to end apartheid peacefully, but nevertheless, was he more deserving? Probably not.

            1. I thought the breakup of Czechoslovakia was the year Rigoberta Menchu was given the Peace Prize.

          2. In what way was Gandhi “deserving” of a Peace Prize?

            He hated black people and argued that Jews should have calmly allowed first the Nazis, and then the Arabs, to march them to slaughter.

            That is neither hyperbole or metaphor, by the way. In Gandhi’s own words:

            In a post-war interview in 1946, he said, “Hitler killed five million Jews. It is the greatest crime of our time. But the Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs… It would have aroused the world and the people of Germany… As it is they succumbed anyway in their millions.” Gandhi believed this act of “collective suicide”, in response to the Holocaust, “would have been heroism”.

            Advocacy of submission to genocide isn’t “peace,” it is tyranny.

            And let’s not even get into the fact that he probably was also a pedophile.

            1. Well that’s informative.

              That suggests to me that Gandhi’s attitude was half responsible for his success, and the other half is that he was up against the British Empire, which had developed a sense of conscience and decency, if imperfect. Such views would not have worked for long against some of the, shall we say, more bloodthirsty peoples in that region and he would have been ignored or forgotten.

              1. Well, additionally, Gandhi was not the entirety of the Indian independence movement. There seems to be this myth in the West that Gandhi was the only Indian leader and that he won his country’s independence just by sitting down in a public place. While Gandhi certainly popularized the movement, there were motherfuckers like Subhas Chandra Bose, the leader of an insurgent army, supported by the Nazis, blowing shit up all throughout WW2-era British India. Kind of like the MLK/Malcolm X divide, one the one side you had Gandhi, who had the luxury of being a pacifist poseur, because he knew stone cold killers like Bhagat Singh were watering the Tree of Liberty with colonial officers’ blood.

              2. There was an Alt-History story (I think by Turtledove) where the Germans make it to India. The locals participate in non-violent disobedience at the suggestion of Ghandi, thus provoking the Nazi commander into perpetuating a wholesale slaughter of the innocent protesters. Ghandi is sure that when the higher-ups back in Berlin hear about this travesty, the commander will be dealt with harshly and a more humane and civilized replacement will be sent.

                It doesn’t work out that way.

                1. That sounds like a re-imagined Amritsar massacre of 1919, which leads to interesting speculation of how a WWI-winning Kaiser Wilhelm might have dealt with India.

              3. I remember a story of Ho Chi Minh being asked by a reporter why he didn’t embrace Ghandi’s non-violent approach to self rule.

                His response was that India had the good fortune of being. Colonized by the British, while Vietnam was colonized by the French. And that the French would have left Ghanaian in a shallow grave before he ever became famous.

            2. On top of all that, Gandhi’s views for what India should become were absolutely ridiculous. He was against industrialization and basically wanted India to be some quasi-primitive caste state. This is a guy who refused to allow his wife to have medical services, but when he got malaria suddenly Western medicine was acceptable.

              1. He has more in common with Mother Teresa than I realized.

              2. Plus he’s a hyper-aggressive dick who loves waging nuclear war against every other civilization.

              3. You guys are pointing out all these flaws that Gandhi had as if I had suggested he was a saint. You guys are being ridiculous: contrarians for the sake of being contrarians, which, after all, is what motivates a huge proportions of libertarians above all else.

                We are talking about achievements in the name of peace. And Gandhi’s achievements for piece are indisputable.

                1. MLK cheated on his wife, George Washington left the toilet seat up, and Jesus was a fag. We hate everyone!

                2. And Gandhi’s achievements for piece are indisputable.

                  No, the fact is that his “achievements” are quite disputable. His legacy was a broken and partitioned India, with large Muslim majority areas partitioned off as separate countries with the requiste force deportation/massacre of Hindus unlucky enough to have lived in those areas. As well as several Indo-Pakistani wars and with peace only kept to this day by nuclear brinkmanship.

                  1. Last time I checked, we as libertarians supported self-determination and secession. That some crazy nationalists disagreed after Gandhi died (and he was in fact killed for it) is not on him.

                    1. …And had Gandhi not been assassinated he would have pushed for a society that would have been inherently anti-libertarian and actively promoted human misery.

                      That some crazy nationalists disagreed

                      You mean his children, who have infested Indian politics for decades and have actively promoted tyrannical and destructive policies that included the chemical castration of untouchables?

                    2. What do his children have to do with it? What kind of an anti-individualist stance is that?

            3. Especially telling other people to do it, while the glory goes to him. His family held India back for generations after Britain left.

      2. Technically, Arafat got one for killing a shitload of innocent civilians and then stopping for a while.

        Which seems to be the most common reason for awarding it, nowadays.

        1. Actually Arafat did help peace by dying.

          1. eyes narrow….not sure I see sarcasm there. Either way I created an account so I could reply to this, fake news. Yasser, like his pal Saddam were a lot better(when loosely defined) for the region then their replacements. Both of them were the Greatest of Grifters. They talked the same talk as the current leaders in the middle east but they only wanted to line their pockets. Yasser stole all the aid money for Palestine and put it in his bank account. Hamas steals all the money and uses it to buy weapons. The take all physical aid and use if for their efforts. Roads, buildings, NO, we need fortifications for the war against Israel.

            1. Hey man, cut him some slack.

              1. “…cut him some slack.” But I’m the NEW guy, WHY AREN’T I 50 POINTS AHEAD AND HAVE THE TOP COMMENT. I’ve cheated all the way.

            2. “I created an account”

              Say goodbye to your old life.

    2. Many puzzling Nobel recipients in the past. But with Gore, Obama, and Bob Dylan, I’ll never respect a Nobel prize again.

      1. The Nobel prizes in physics, chemistry, and medicine are still respectable. Although I bet Heroic Mulatto has huge problems with Shockley getting the Nobel Prize for inventing the transistor.

  3. “… the then?senator from Illinois promised to bring the Iraq War to an end within 16 months. In reality, it ended in December 2011, as agreed upon in the status of forces agreement Bush made with Iraq in 2008, and only after Obama tried and failed to keep a 10,000-strong residual force there past the withdrawal date.

    On the eve of Election Day 2016, there were about 5,000 U.S. soldiers in that country. ”

    I distinctly remember Obama spoken of as one of the farthest left members of the legislature, openly called a socialist by many in washington and the press back when he was in the senate. I would love for even one of the delusional morons who projected their wishes on him and then voted for him to explain to me why they thought a leftist would be a man of peace. Since when has the left ever been about peace?

    1. I forgot to add: The quotes in my above comment constitute nonsense. The Iraq was was never ended despite the claims. Obama never ended any war, he just got us into more. How many have we got going now?

    2. Well, they CLAIM to be about peace, all the time. They hold ‘peace protests’ any time it looks like one of their international pets might get a well deserved drubbing. Like most powers of government, they only approve of military force when THEY are in the driver’s seat.

      No unlike the vast majority of political factions throughout history, really. We have (or I have, anyway) a tendency to view the Progressive Left as singularly awful, but they really aren’t. They are, in point of fact, just one more in a long line of self-selected would-be elites who think they were placed on Earth by Divine Providence to tell the rest kf,us what to do. It’s easy to let their latest outrageous idiocy make you forget how tiresomely NORMAL and completely ordinary they really are. Which is a pity, because the one charge that would totally enrage them is thet they are boring.

      1. The difference between the elitists today and those of the past is that today’s aristocracy has the technology to be more intrusive and more awful than the elites of the past.

        I’m sure Louis XVI would have spied on everything if he had had the capabilities of the modern NSA. I’m sure Alexander would have taken over a lot more of the world (and held onto it longer) if he’d had modern mechanized infantry.

        Elitists are awful, the modern Progs just have the ability to better actualize their awfulness.

        1. Another difference between today’s elites and those of the past is that past elites felt a sense of duty to the country. Our current elites feel a duty to themselves an no one else.

          1. past elites felt a sense of duty to the country. Our current elites feel a duty to themselves an no one else.

            I don’t know that I believe this. Some past elites may have been restrained by nationalism, but that was a fleeting restraint. If anything, the historical norm is for elites to use nationalism to manipulate the “normals” into doing the elites’ bidding.

            1. Our past elites actually joined the military and the public service without it making them rich and made actual sacrifices to the country. The World War II generation was the last generation where the elites and their children bore the burden of the policies the elites championed. Today, no elite ever fights in a war they support or ever in any way suffers an adverse consequence of their preferred policies.

              1. What about Prince Harry and Palin’s kid? I think there are still a few who at least try to make the gesture.

                The real question is: which CO would be willing to actually deploy one of these modern scions into live combat? Nobody enters the military at any higher rank than O3. That means any Bush or Obamnaromney or whichever the fuck family’s offspring, if they joined, would be under the command of a career officer–an actual working person from somewhere like Oregon or Tennessee.

                And guess what that officer’s number-one priority would then become? If you guessed “helping America finally win a single actual war in the last sixty years” then you are incorrect. The new top priority would be to make sure that Gunnery Sergeant Sasha Obama doesn’t break a nail while checking the ‘military service’ box on her resume.

                After all, the modern American military seems to function not for the purpose of winning wars, but rather for funneling career officers into big homes and lucrative jobs. It would be career suicide–if not actual suicide–for a career officer to let some politician’s kid get blown to pieces. That would mean no six- or seven-figure corporate ‘consulting’ job in Northern Virginia for Lieutenant Commander Flyovertown when he finishes his twenty.

          2. Richard Lionheart spent only 6 months in England of his 10 years as King of England, and was far more concerned about his possessions in France. Some accused him of caring nothing about England (whose climate he hated) other than that being king of it gave him the ability to approach other European kings on equal footing.

            1. Yeah but he had Robin Hood holding things down back home.

              Everybody knows of Robin’s purloining feats, but rarely noted are his contributions to the mundane work of daily governance during those tumultuous times.

        2. the modern Progs just have the ability to better actualize their awfulness.

          We would be remiss to not mention the near-complete monopoly they have on 1) the dissemination of information; and 2) the molding of people’s reaction to that information. If the modern progs didn’t control education and media, their power would be minimal.

          You can’t spread your awfulness without one of two things: complete military superiority or consent of your target.

          1. Their “monopoly” of the press is crumbling. They only keep hold of the schools because they’re run by the state.

    3. Look, they’re going to get peaceful as soon as the utopia is in place. Right now they’re busy trying to force the peasants to do what is best for all of us, which is to go along with a socialist utopia. Typically, you have to break a few eggs to make that omelet.

      1. over 100 million dead and billions under the yoke of tyranny. How many eggs must break before we say this recipe sucks ass and we should go cook pancakes instead or something?

        1. The ovens are just warmed up.

        2. You’ve got a recipe for pancakes that doesn’t use eggs?

          I assure you, that recipe sucks ass.

  4. Obama never won a peace price. It was given to him, just like it is given to it’s other recipients for political and propaganda reasons. Obama has never won anything except elections, and even those were mostly just given to him. The truth is if I put him in charge of picking up the dogshit in my back yard he would fuck it up.

    1. I hear that you can get one of them prizes for economics for saying that the only way to make the economy better is to spend more money that you have, like trillions more.

      1. The Econ prize still often goes to great economists, like Gary Becker and George Stigler. Even Krugman got his for his work on international trade, not the bullshit he writes for the NYT. I don’t expect Piketty to win it. If he does I’ll duly lose all respect for it.

  5. Has anyone else noticed that the promoted comments are almost exclusively trolls?

    Dear Curly – Using the term ‘the warmonger’ gives away your simplemindedness. This isnt a fairy tale. There isnt always a good guy and a bad guy and reality doesnt have a plot. Bush and Obama are not opposites, they are in many ways two sides of the same coin.

    1. I swear they stole that comment from the NYT.

    2. I can’t remember Bush ever calling himself a peacemaker. Can anybody else?

    3. And he created another account to upvote himself. Sad!

    4. they are in many ways two sides of the same coin.

      I might argue that they’re both on the same side of the coin. At least with heads and tails, anyone can tell the difference.Well, most people, anyway.

    5. I don’t read the promoted comments because if you feel you have to pay to get your comments noticed, your comments still aren’t worth noticing.

      1. Maybe they should allow the trolls to put their comments in blink text for double the charge.

  6. Is it correct that Obama is the only two-term US president to be at war every single moment of his presidency?

    I know it is correct for him, but were there any others?

    1. Until 2001, we had had only one war that lasted more than 8 years (Vietnam), during which the presidency changed several times. We also never had multiple simultaneous wars going on until 2003. The Vietnam War was going on throughout LBJ’s time in office, but it’s semantically debatable whether he had two terms or one.

      1. We went to full combat operations in Vietnam in March of 65 and the war ended in 1973. Johnson started it, Nixon inherited it but ended it in his second term. Obama holds the distinction of being a two term President who inherited two wars and managed to fail to end either one of them.

        1. Monikers aside, we had more troops in Vietnam when LBJ became president than we now have in Afghanistan and Iraq combined.

          1. So Johnson is somehow not responsible for the Tonkin Resolution?

      2. WE never Declared war, My Father called the great Southeast Asian war Games
        /family of Marines

    2. At least he closed Gitmo… oh wait. Well, he de-scheduled cannabis!… oh wait. Umm, but BOOOSHHHH!!!!

      1. And he ended NSA spying on the American public. Don’t forget that.

        Oh and he ran the most transparent administration in history.

        1. And don’t forget him trying to pour on thousands of burdensome regulations in his last days just out of spite, and suspending the Cuban immigration deal that was in place purely out of spite for the Cubans in FL voting for Trump. I’ll always remember this guy as a petulant man-child.

          1. And don’t forget him trying to pour on thousands of burdensome regulations in his last days

            This isn’t being done out of spite. This is being done because the Obama administration truly believes these are what is best for the country and the next administration won’t follow through.

            The possibility they might be wrong and to work with the incoming administration to convince the new administration they are right hasn’t entered their mind.

            1. Riiiiiiiiight. Just like his refusal to leave DC is because he doesn’t want to disrupt his children’s education and not because he wants to be still in the game and seen as the “real President” by progs.

        2. This particular bit of a speech is what I hope people never forget.

          Obama speech oceans receding, planet healing

        3. Remember when he tried to get rid of the Patriot act over the objections of a Republican senator?

          Wait…

      2. A lot can happen in 5 days.

  7. Exclusive: The Trump Administration May Evict the Press from the White House

    According to three senior officials on the transition team, a plan to evict the press corps from the White House is under serious consideration by the incoming Trump Administration. If the plan goes through, one of the officials said, the media will be removed from the cozy confines of the White House press room, where it has worked for several decades. Members of the press will be relocated to the White House Conference Center?near Lafayette Square?or to a space in the Old Executive Office Building, next door to the White House.

    Piker. If I were him I’d disband the office of press secretary (which is a total waste of taxpayer money) and end the practice of meeting with the press corps altogether. When was the last time a press briefing produced something newsworthy? For the last few decades it’s just been about pointless gotcha questions (for Republican administrations) and bootlicking (for Democrat administrations).

    1. Omg! Censorship! Censorship!

    2. That sounds like a stellar idea to me. Trump can issue statements to the press and do interviews when he decides to. Having a press secretary that spins daily fairy tales is pointless.

      I am pretty sure Obama chose his press secretaries for their names…Carny and Earnest? Just another way he gave us all the finger. All they ever did was give us variations on ‘we increased the chocolate ration to half’.

    3. Oh, hell, is the press room still over the remains of FDR’s pool? Fill the thing and turn the floor of the press room into a trapdoor. Dunk the lot of ’em on national television. It’d be thembiggest ratings boost they had since 9/11.

    4. I don’t see why he’d subject himself to them.

      He won the presidency after not giving a press conference–since July?

      Trump[ might be stupid to ever address them himself. There’s no upside for him.

      It wouldn’t really be much of a change either. It’s not as if the White House Press Corps were harsh critics of the Obama administration.

      Who’s going to hold the President accountable if not the White House Press Corps?

      I don’t know. Who’s been holding the President accountable for the last eight years? It sure as hell wasn’t the White House Press Corps.

      1. “Who’s going to hold the President accountable if not the White House Press Corps?”

        Call me crazy, but I think that’s Congress’s job.

        1. I’d like to think there are things we can do that are short of shutting down the government over budget disputes, refusing to confirm appointees, or impeachment.

          I think we’ve just moved to more of a direct democracy model.

          The last Gallup survey I saw said that the press’ popularity is at an all time low.

          “WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans’ trust and confidence in the mass media “to report the news fully, accurately and fairly” has dropped to its lowest level in Gallup polling history . . . . down eight percentage points from last year.”

          http://tinyurl.com/hda5s4u

          —-Gallup, September 14, 2016

          The press needs to understand that average Americans do not see them as righteous guardians of truth a la Woodward and Bernstein anymore.

          And the press keeps selling its credibility short over and over again–PissGate probably being the latest example. One of the reasons people overlooked allegations of sexual assault against Trump is probably that they simply don’t believe the press anymore. Likewise, one of the reasons people don’t believe the press anymore is because of things like sexual assault allegations against Trump.

          The press has overplayed its hand.

        2. It’s the people’s job, and an honest, independent press is important to helping the people do this.

          The MSM is neither honest nor independent, so they need to wither away and be replaced by something that is.

        3. It is both their jobs. However, I am not sure the press is actually doing that job by being spoonfed bs by the president’s public relations flunky.

    5. Our noble and beloved media replaced by Donald Trump’s tweeting. I somehow cannot keep from thinking this hilarious.

      1. It is awesome. The other thing he needs to do is stop letting them on Air Force One. Make the snowflakes fly commercial like the rest of us.

        Whatever you think about Trump, he is not a member of the stupid party. A normal Republican President would never consider doing this. Trump is smart enough to understand there is not a single downside to it and the more the press screams about it, the more his supporters will love it.

        1. I can understand the purpose of having the press around the President. It’s a way of talking to the public without a fireside chat.

          But Trump tweets several times a day — in effect, bypassing a superfluous press.

      2. I still hate Trump.

        But I am absolutely serious about this. The press corpse needs to go.

        1. I still hate Trump.

          If you don’t at least dislike Trump, you’re not paying attention. But DC is full of loathsome people: the politicians, the press, the bureaucrats, the lawyers, the contractors, and all the other courtiers and hangers-on. To say that he is, to some extent, their comeuppance is not to endorse him but only to recognize that people are getting their just desserts.

          1. Yes, it is good to see the establishment freaking out. It was good to see Hillary lose. Just like it was good to see the Bush welfare-warfare neocons get kicked to the curb in 2008.

            However, I fear we may again be fixing the rat problem by bringing in snakes, only to create a snake problem.

            1. However, I fear we may again be fixing the rat problem by bringing in snakes, only to create a snake problem.

              Fear not, I have foolproof plan: mongooses.

            2. The monkeys will freeze to death.

    6. member when Obama tried to outright replace the press with his own in house media? I member.

      1. Which is especially sad given how the press slobbered on his BBC.

    7. The Trump Administration May Evict the Press from the White House

      And that too has precedent

    8. Part of the problem is that the Press Room only holds 49, while press conferences like Trump’s last week are far larger (there were 400 members of the press there). Regardless of the politics, the changing nature of today’s press (with so many major Internet news organizations, for example) calls for a larger space than in the days of three black-and-white networks.

  8. “Timeline of Russian interference in U.S. election”
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/pol…..139747.php

    You won’t find anything of the sort; you’ll find a timeline of claims from anonymous ‘sources’ and not one bit of evidence it had any effect on the election whatsoever.
    If there was any decency at the Chron, they’d be embarrassed.

  9. The problem wasn’t just that Obama waged war–he showed himself to be incompetent in foreign policy even when he was pushing for peace.

    The infamous “red line” incident with Assad is one example. Obama’s mouth wrote a check that he couldn’t cash in real life. He was hoping that the neocons in Congress would save him from embarrassment, but, at that point, even they balked at getting us knee deep in Syria. He ended up depending on Putin to save his ass, which is an embarrassing defeat. None of that was necessary. He could have just kept his stupid mouth shut in the the first place.

    Another example of Obama’s incompetence was his capitulation to Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Despite his insistence that appeasement will bring us peace, the sanctions were what drove Iran to the negotiating table on their nuclear ambitions in the first place–and had them on the ropes. They had burned through all their foreign reserves and were desperate to access international credit markets. The only reason Obama capitulated was because he wanted to be the one history would remember as having traded in all our leverage over Iran’s nuclear program for magic beans.

    Mutual assured destruction does not bring peace. If anything, it encourages war. The Cold War was not a period of peace. It was a period of never ending proxy wars. Obama’s getting the band back together!

    1. Thinking back, the USA has done some pretty fucked up shit around the world, especially in the ME. But at least there always seemed to be some type of well thought out plan. There were the regime changes in places like Iran, the Invasion or Iraq. All of those things were bad. But none of them were nearly as fucked up as Hillary and Obama destabilizing Libya by killing their leader and then just leaving a huge vacuum of power, or running weapons to the ‘good’ terrorists in Syria.

      1. The only thing close is the Kosovo war. We bombed Serbia, made an enemy out of Russia and set the precedent that ethnic enclaves can legitimately break away from other nations so that the Kosovar mafia could operate in peace.

  10. Obama’s intentions were always good. He just has no idea what he’s doing. He doesn’t understand how things work, and he believes his good intentions are a self-justifying outcome. He thinks other outcomes are bad–because they don’t feature his good intentions.

    He doesn’t understand how the economy works either. He’d doom us all to hell and think he was doing the right thing–if all the people he despises are upset with his decisions. Obama thinks that that means he’s doing the right thing. He’s simply an incompetent leader. If he’d worked for any major corporation in America, he’d have never made it out of middle management.

    Trump hasn’t really had an opportunity to do anything yet, but he could be incompetent and still outperform Obama–Obama set the bar so low.

    1. Middle management = mail room.

    2. Obama just wasn’t trying. He quickly noticed that he could race through his presidency by making a couple of nice speeches. Besides, how can you show leadership when you have this big bureaucratic government making all the decisions for him?

    3. Obama’s intentions were always good.

      No evidence for that, whatsoever. His primary intentions seem to be living in luxury, being adulated by his fans, and feeling important. He is an utter narcissist.

      1. That’s horseshit.

        And it’s important for people who might be influenced by someone like Obama to know that.

        They need to understand that the road to hell is paved with good intentions–by incompetent people with good intentions who have no idea what they’re doing and think that having good intentions is enough.

        1. I disagree with that maxim. There are many, many roads to hell — some of them paved with good intentions for sure, but not all. Otherwise one must believe that bad intentions either do not exist or that they lead somewhere other than hell.

          You’re giving the man more credit than he deserves. He is indifferent to the world beyond his nose except insofar as it satiates his desires, particularly his desire for attention and esteem. Those are not good intentions.

          1. “You’re giving the man more credit than he deserves.”

            Pointing out that he was trying to do good when he sent us to hell is actually giving him the least amount of credit possible.

            I’d rather be evil than hopelessly incompetent.

        2. on what do you base the notion of Obama’s intentions being good? Seriously, Ken; where is the proverbial beef? And I continue to believe the ‘incompetence’ trope is purposely missing the point.

          Look, once you have exhausted all the usual and possible reasons for why something occurs – in Obama’s case, serial failure on the global stage – you have to consider things previously thought unusual or impossible. In other words, what you see as bugs, he may well see as features.

          1. He’s repeatedly shown that he doesn’t know anything about economics. He’s just an idiot.

            He thought/still thinks that the reason the poor are poor is because the rich don’t care about them the way he does–and it drives all of his stupid thinking.

            ObamaCare was intended as a means to expand Medicaid. He may have intended to make the middle sacrifice their quality and cost of care to benefit the poor, but that doesn’t mean his intentions were bad. His intentions were to get more free healthcare for poor people.

            Obama hates the white, blue collar, middle class for being selfish and racist. Wanting to fight back against racism isn’t a bad thing. It’s just that the results of his efforts were almost universally bad–despite his intentions being good–because he’s incompetent. His understanding of how the world and the economy works is like Tony’s. He’s a complete ignoramus.

            1. Stupidity does not imply that one’s intentions are good. It’s very possible to be both malicious and incompetent. (though in BO’s case it’s more indifference than maliciousness)

  11. Everything about Obama was bullshit.

  12. O’s 2 terms in office were a betrayal of 2008 campaign promises – the primary basis for the speculatively hopeful Nobel award. Obama moved hard right on foreign pol, becoming a huge fan of CIA black ops, foreign policy intervention, coups, and drone assassinations. c.f.: http://bit.ly/2izIYtb

    In 2016, US dropped 26,171 bombs on 7 nations (roughly 3 bombs per hour)
    – Spec Ops are in 135/195 countries ? 80% ++ over the past 5 years.
    – Sold most weapons of any POTUS – > $200 billion, 2008-2015.
    – Saudis used US weapons in a brutal campaign against Yemen. Obama sent special operations forces to assist in that war – over 10,000 killed, 2.2 million displaced and nearly half a million children on the brink of famine.
    – Obama normalized drone kills. Every Tues Obama authorized drone kills – >8,000 people have been killed by drones since 2004, including US citizens.

    Studies of the drone strikes show the % of people killed – not the “target” – is >90%. Many targets are casually connected to orgs the US itself has supported. Many could easily be arrested if they posed any threat – contrary to the supposed justification for the expensive drone assassination.

    The Nobel Committee should revoke the Peace Prize given to Obama. This act would recognize the obvious truth: the prize was given speculatively, in the hope it would be positive motivation, while the reality was the opposite.

    1. Please articulate what “hard right” foreign policy means to you.

      1. Please articulate what “hard right” foreign policy means

        Everyone knows team red are the war-mongers because… uh, country music and flags and fighter-jet flyovers at football games. I mean, duh.

        1. I took that to mean that the term ‘hard right’ really has no meaning. It is ineffable. The more statist one is, the more they rely on brute force to grab and keep power, the more they begin employing left wing policies. Power seeks compliance in the populace and that is much easier to achieve with uniformity; the destruction of the individual. Inevitably socialism, communism, fascism -some flavor of collectivism. Move away from that towards ‘the right’ and the individual begins to figure more and more prominently and you end up with libertarianism, a philosophy that doesnt really allow for much of what our fedgov has been up to for the last 100 years.

          We haven’t had a ‘hard right’ president since, well, Washington. The closest to that recently would be Coolidge and Reagan. Before that Washington and Jefferson. Whatever their intentions when they get in I think they find the government so vast and has so much momentum that it simply cant be done.

          A Yakovism is appropriate: You think you steer ship, but in America ship steer you.

          1. I took that to mean that the term ‘hard right’ really has no meaning.

            Baloney.

            The term has a very specific meaning.

            Here, I’ll use it in a sentence: “Look at this girl’s Instagram. She makes you hard, right?”

            1. 20 minutes in and not even a nod of approval?

              I knew that link would be wasted on you homos.

              1. I think everyone is link-shy around here after some of the stuff people have posted. I’m still gullible enough to click it. Very nice.

            2. You sir are the best. You always have the best candy.

              1. I LOVE candy!

        2. Oh, and its because the hard right increased military spending and started two wars that the didn’t finish. Do you do anything around here other than troll for Donald Trump, asshole?

          1. hard right increased military spending and started two wars

            So, 75% of Congress was hard right?

            1. A plurality of congressional Democrats voted against the authorization of force bill that was passed by Congress. That’s another thing about you anti-guv’mint crack-ups. You are profoundly ignorant of who is actually trying to limit the power of government.

              1. A plurality of congressional Democrats

                It’s either a majority or it’s not. It was a yes-no vote.

                Voting against the AUMF is just one vote. It doesn’t make up for a history of voting to expand government at every other opportunity.

                And face it, whatever other bullshit you’re selling, that you speak for the majority of people in this country is flat-out false.

              2. I somehow doubt the person who’s political philosophy is “treat me like I’m your child, mommy government” has any idea of what limiting the government actually entails.

                1. any idea of what limiting the government actually entails

                  60% of Democratic Representatives (but only 40% of Senators) opposing the Iraq War = party of limited government

                  100% of Republican Representatives and Senators opposing the ACA = obstructionism, racism, plutocracy, wanting to see poor people die in the streets

                  Seems legit.

              3. Numbers for the Iraq AUMF:

                82 (39.2%) of 209 Democratic Representatives voted for the resolution
                29 (58%) of 50 of Democratic senators voted for the resolution

                So a majority of senators but a minority of Representatives. And among the people who voted against it was Ron Paul, an actual libertarian.

                1. So a majority of senators but a minority of Representatives

                  … voted for the AUMF. Swap majority/minority for voted against.

          2. Also, for those with some shred of intellectual honesty, neocons are “reformed” Trotskyites. They are leftists through and through, just of the sort who believe the military is the best engine for (foreign) social change.

            1. I mean, one would at least expect the “hard right” to create a monarchy, plutocracy, or some other rigid system of unrepresentative government based on “tradition” or wealth. But instead they created (or attempted to create) liberal democracies, and not even in the mold of the right-leaning U.S. but in the mold of the left-leaning anglosphere countries. And they did this after toppling two fascist right-wing regimes.

              For a bunch of hard rightists, they don’t act very right-wing.

    2. Other than some generally meaningless talk about interrogation techniques, there is not a single Bush counter terror policy that Obama didn’t either continue or in many cases strengthen. Pretty much everything he said about the War on Terror during the 08 campaign turned out to be a lie once Obama took office.

      1. Extraordinary. Rendition.

        Yes, it is technically correct to say that Obama ended Bush’s interrogation techniques.

      2. Yeah, other than reduce the number of troops in Iraq from 150,000 to 0. I know, he sent 5,000 of them back to fight ISIS. that proves he’s a warmongering asshole.

        1. The number was never zero and if you believe it’s 5,000 today you are an imbecile. Sell your bullshit somewhere else.

        2. Obama followed Bush’s plan to leave Iraq and then went back on it and restarted the war. But he made up for it by assassinating US citizens.

          Take your bullshit elsewhere dickhead.

    3. Projecting domestic (particularly 21st century American domestic) concepts of ‘right’ and ‘left’ onto foreign policy is idiotic. The Soviet Union wasn’t going ‘hard right’ when it absorbed Eastern Europe into its sphere of influence. There’s a reason why IR theory tries to avoid the dynamic, because you can be a left-wing ‘realist’ or ‘neoliberal’ just as much as you can be a right-wing ‘realist’ or ‘neoliberal’.

  13. Off-Topic: Interesting read on traffic cams and how one person beat them.

    1. I’ve beat them twice. And it took a lot less time than that.

      1. I’m not seeing how he “beat” them. The city still has twice as much of his money as if he had just paid the fine, and took up a bunch of his time, and has shown no inclination to return the money ever.

    2. Um. He paid double the fine. He sure showed them.

    3. Ignore the ticket. The city will send you to a collection agency who will contact you and claim you owe a debt. Contact the collection agency and demand to see the agreement that you entered into (signed contract) that resulted in the debt. When they admit they have none, tell them to fuck off.

      I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice. I am just telling what a couple of people I know have done. It is probable that they may have come up with a slimy way around this since then.

      1. I’m thinking you’ll wind up with first a bench warrant and then in cuffs roadside.

        Ignoring the state is a perilous gambit.

        The traffic cam program in Hawaii ended when a smart lawyer challenged the lack of a photo of the driver, whereupon the judges tossed out all the unpaid tickets on the grounds the state had failed their burden of proof.

        1. Yeah, I don’t know what things are like were Suthen is, but around here, if you don’t pay a ticket, the city issues a 2 or 3 reminders, each time doubling the fine. After that, they issue an arrest warrant for your ass.

          1. *where

            and no “a”

            EDIT BUTTON!

      2. I’m thinking you’ll wind up with first a bench warrant and then in cuffs roadside.

        Ignoring the state is a perilous gambit.

        The traffic cam program in Hawaii ended when a smart lawyer challenged the lack of a photo of the driver, whereupon the judges tossed out all the unpaid tickets on the grounds the state had failed their burden of proof.

        1. Fn squirrels.

  14. (noted yesterday)

    Keeping with the theme of ‘predictive awards’ = Donald Trump is Already a Human Rights Abuser

    WASHINGTON ? Human Rights Watch on Thursday released its annual report on threats to human rights around the world, and for the first time in the 27 years it has done these surveys, the United States is one of the biggest. The reason: the rise of Donald J. Trump.

    Eight days before Mr. Trump is to be sworn in as president, the human-rights advocacy group declared that his path to power, in a campaign marked by “misogynistic, xenophobic and racist rhetoric,” could “cause tremendous harm to vulnerable communities, contravene the United States’ core human rights obligations, or both.”

    You might as well start the Hague trial for his war crimes while we’re at it.

    Oh, and did no one else notice the intense 5-month bombing campaign in Libya in the second half of 2016? Join the club. According to the War College podcast it was more intense than anything we’ve done in Syria to date.

    1. Yeah, HRW is like the SPLC, partisan bullshit.

    2. An intense 5 month bombing campaign in which DT didn’t even know where his bombs were falling.

  15. I’m pretty sure the line, “As unlikely as a Chinese Judge” has already been used in a Raymond Chandler novel

    1. There can be only one

    2. I, for one, would support the nomination of Bao Zheng to the Supreme Court.

    3. When will this demographic bean counting bullshit end?? When will people get it through their heads that the idea of racial equality PRECLUDES the enforcement of some “ideal” ratio of races and sexes within every profession?

  16. Apropos of Shikha’s recent line =

    If Donald Trump’s presidency resembles his candidacy, American constitutional liberties will be in more trouble than the bald eagle

    The eagle has landed ? on chickens and rare birds, with talons at the ready.

    The resurgence of the bald eagle is one of America’s greatest conservation success stories. They have come back so strong that in some areas, they are interfering with efforts to preserve more jeopardized species…

    it’s not just chickens they’re getting. Lee Straw, a Maine farmer who raises sheep on an island, said his weaker lambs sometimes fall prey to eagles.

    Such predation is to be expected because bald eagles are apex predators, said Mark McCollough, an endangered species biologist with the federal Fish and Wildlife Service. The service doesn’t consider it a problem, but rather indicative of the species’ success at rebuilding.

    MURICA

    1. “weaker lambs sometimes fall prey to eagles”

      I look forward to the evolution of super lambs.

    2. Troll somewhere else, right-winger.

    3. On that tangent, . . .

      Big Horn Sheep and wolves have made nice comebacks, too.

      California’s sea otters are coming back,–but that’s despite the efforts of the Fish and Wildlife Service. The otters are really important to kelp forests. Without them, what used to be vast kelp forests along California’s coasts have been mostly wiped out due to the proliferation of sea urchins that eat at the kelp’s roots.

      Sea otters feast on sea urchins, and where there are sea otters, the kelp forests come back. Although California’s sea otters are on the endangered species list, however, fisherman who catch sea urchins for the sushi market (uni) successfully got a “sea otter exclusion zone” enacted that extended from San Diego to Santa Barbara and far out into the sea.

      When the sea otter population grew, the Fish and Wildlife Service captured the sea otters they found in the exclusion zone and moved them out to the Channel Islands. Sea otters are extremely social animals, however, and about half the ones they moved died trying to swim back to the mainland to their families. If a private citizen had killed that many members of an endangered species, they’d go to prison. Because the government agency responsible for protecting them did it, I guess it’s no big deal.

      1. Isn’t that a bit shortsighted? What happens when we’re overrun by lizards sea otters?

        1. We get the kelp forests back, the fish population explodes, etc.

          Also, the price of uni goes up, and the special interests that easily rake in all that uni from a barren seafloor that the urchins have turned from forest into desert have to go out and catch yellowtail.

          http://tinyurl.com/j8jbdsl

          Ever see “The Trouble with Tribbles”?

          1. go out and catch yellowtail

            Paging HM. Paging HM.

            1. Does HM not like yellowtail?

                1. I think I enjoy fishing for it as much as eating it, but fresh yellowtail is awesome.

                  The good stuff shouldn’t be wasted on sushi.

                  Dorado is like that, too, but fresh yellowtail is even better than that, better than red snapper . . .

                  Some fish are better for sushi, like tuna. I like a spicy tuna roll as much as the next guy.

                  But some fish are better as tacos. Some are better as fillets getting seared right out of the pan.

                  Look at this old footage of them pulling tuna out of the water.

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5dOLiF9fjk

                  Look at how they’re fishing them!

                  It used be a lot more plentiful than it is now, and a lot of that has to do with the destruction of habitat. The otters can help bring that back. We probably can’t rebuild that habitat without them. The otters are ravenous–living in cold water, swimming against currents, and being mammals, they eat a tremendous amount of sea urchins.

                  Fuck the sea urchins!

                  1. Fuck the sea urchins!

                    Melody agrees. Oddly enough, so do those rapey, indiscriminate, otters.

                    1. Those allegations were never proven beyond a reasonable doubt before a jury of their peers.

                      “Surprise sex” is the proper term.

        1. One horribly confused sea otter allegedly engaged in surprise sex.

          1. Sea otters, the Brock Peters of the animal world. Figures you’d defend them.

    4. The coast of California must be the most highly environmentally regulated stretch of land in the world. You’d think bringing the kelp forests back should be a high priority for people worried about CO2 emissions. Sea otters are floating koala bears that hold hands while they sleep

      http://tinyurl.com/ztx35ez

      If all those regulations and agencies can’t accomplish something so basic as protecting the cutest species in the world, then they probably aren’t doing anything else right either. No one should think that government regulation is the solution to conservation in a pluralistic democracy.

      1. Cutest species in the word?

        They rape baby seals to death, and then keep raping them a week after they’re dead.

        1. Just because one Muslim blows up a school bus in a suicide attack doesn’t mean all Muslims are suicide bombers, right?

          Maybe that sea otter was disturbed after the Fish and Wildlife Service got a hold of him or shipped his parents off to the Channel Islands.

          Blowback.

          1. The last time I took the kids to the Long Beach aquarium, the otter was furiously masturbating right next to the glass. I decided to skip and come back later. An hour later, it was still going to town. Furiously.

            1. So, now you’re saying that sea otters are bad because they find you physically attractive?

              1. No, that’s not what he said at all, actually. However, you’re doing an excellent job at rape apology. Euro-Pol much?

            2. Probably ought to cut down on the coke at feeding time.

    5. Never mind Obama stripping people of their civil rights if they take government assistance.

  17. What a bunch of shit from people who can’t distinguish between flying a couple jets over Tripoli and an invasion and decade-long occupation of a country that never attacked us. A grade A Fucking Prime Example of ODS.

    1. Libya never attacked us either, and once we stuck our nose into its business, it almost certainly would have been better off if we’d occupied it.

      1. Again, you guys can’t distinguish between military interventions where you fly a couple jets over a country and putting hundreds of thousands of troops on the ground. We already know you’re completely unable to put things in perspective. Tell me something I don’t know.

        1. And you don’t understand that what matters is the aftermath of intervention, more than the events during the actual intervention. Libya and its neighbors are in far worse shape 5 years after the invasion than Iraq was (in 2008).

        2. Tell us more about how foreigners deserve to suffer and die to glorify the ego of a U.S. President and his sycophantic supporters.

          1. This particular POTUS is uniquely qualified and above reproach, criticism, or scorn, keebs.

            That One Drop Rule(tm) is apparently on the level of a Marvel Mutant Superpower.

      2. They bombed that flight over Lockerbie, but that was close to 30 years ago now.

    2. How’s that surge in the good war in Afghanistan going?

      1. There’s less US troops in Afghanistan now at the end of Obama’s term than there was at the beginning. Significantly so. Another war brought 95% to conclusion by the fascist Obama administration.

        1. A war isn’t concluded until it’s 100% so. A drawdown does not guarantee that the end is near. And it isn’t even close to 95%.

        2. And more profoundly stupid military analysis from an idiot who knows nothing about warfare. The troop surge did not work, the most important highway in the country is still attacked by the Taliban weekly, raids still take place regularly and Kandahar is still a pretty big shithole. But “DURR THE WAR’S OVER CAUSE LESS TROOPS”.

        3. And Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Yemen, and the Ukraine are all significantly less stable than they were at the beginning of his term. Is there any place that’s settled down? I can’t think of one.

          Bush broke things, made a mess, and kept troops there to try to clean it up. Obama broke things, made a mess, and then declared victory and walked away. I don’t see how the latter is much better.

    3. Hey look, the military illiterate moron is trying to frame the Libyan intervention as ‘flying a couple jets over Tripoli’. Dead foreigners due to Republican intervention results in Amsoc tearing at his breast and proclaiming the inhumanity of it all, dead foreigners due to Democratic intervention results in Amsoc going full sycophant and outright lying.

      What a true advocate for peace you are.

    4. You mean, the same way you leftists “distinguished” between Nixon and Kissenger “flying a couple jets over” Cambodia, and the invasion and nearly-decade-long war in Vietnam started by peace-loving Democrat Lyndon Baines Johnson — an invasion based on the pretext that we had been attacked by North Vietnamese torpedoes, which on turn was based on NSA intelligence so phony that it makes Iraqi WMD seem like undisputed fact in comparison? I seem to recall that you drew no such distinction. I also seem to recall that you termed the “flying a couple of jets” as a war crime, in part because it was not authorized by Congress — much like Obama’s bombing of Libya.

    5. We are still in Iraq and Afghanistan you fucking liar.

  18. Facebook Germany Launches “Truth Blitzkrieg”

    Regional VP of Marketing says to Der Speigel, “We must have a healthy people in order to prevail in the world. Faith moves mountains, but only knowledge moves them to the right place. We are getting somewhere. The Americans and English fall easily to this kind of propaganda.””

    1. That is because that you were taken in by that verdammte Allied propaganda! Such filthy lies! They told lies! But nobody ever said a bad word about Winston Churchill, did they? No! ‘Win with Winnie!’ Churchill! With his cigars. With his brandy. And his rotten painting, rotten!

    2. “We must have a healthy people in order to prevail in the world.”

      You know, that reminds me of someone else who believved that healthy Germans could prevail in the world. You know who?

      1. Henry Morgenthau?

    3. The Americans and English fall easily to this kind of propaganda.

      Nice bigotry there.

        1. So the German government is leading another invasion but this time of their own country. I hope every one of them end up on the end of a rope.

    4. Know who else launched a Blitzkrieg?

      1. The Ramones?

  19. Hey, what’s Hillary Clinton up to now? Oh, she’s surrounded by adoring crowds in New York City. Beats having to deal with Republicans screeching about Benghaziii… From the NYTimes:

    Many people might have expected Mrs. Clinton to hole up in her Westchester County compound for months after a brutal campaign season and election loss to her Republican rival, President-elect Donald J. Trump. But in recent weeks, Mrs. Clinton has emerged from the Chappaqua woods with her husband and family in tow, much to the delight of New Yorkers who have embraced her as a battle-scarred heroine, and seem to want to help the former Democratic presidential candidate get over her election blues.

    1. Good lord, I hope she runs for mayor in NYC. Talk about a consolation prize. And likewise I hope she suffers yet another crushing defeat, maybe from a Giuliani aspirant.

      1. You know who else suffered a crushing defeat from a New York politician….

        1. Hillary Clinton ? Too easy…..

        2. David Berkowitz?

    2. What is it about Obama apparatchiks becoming mayors of big cities? It’s bad news for NYC if she follows Rahm’s path of presiding over destruction.

      1. It’s all they’ve got. A few coastal states and major metropolitan areas. The rest of the country are those bitter clingers.

    3. Democracy: where emotionally stunted high-status idiots vote for narcissistic leaders so they can all have good-feels together.

      So much for government representing the interests of the people.

    4. Such predation is to be expected because politicians are apex predators, said Mark McCollough, an endangered democrat with the federal Incumbent and Pol-for-Life Service. The service doesn’t consider it a problem, but rather indicative of attempts at rebuilding careers. “After all,” he said, “when your career is built on influence peddling, it’s only natural to try to maintain your influence; it’s either prey or die.”

      1. Does this analogy include Anthony Weiner as the masturbating sea otter?

    5. Anybody else remember Pravda?

      Who believe any of this horseshit?

      Next year, they might give Hillary the Nobel Peace Prize!

      Didn’t Obama give Biden the Medal of Freedom or something?

      Anybody else remember Baghdad Bob?

      Appearances are so important to progressives–much more so than the real thing.

      They don’t care if someone is racist anywhere near as much as they care that he or she makes a show of diversity.

      It’s all the same thing. To progressives, signaling isn’t a means to an end. Signaling is an end in itself.

      Yes, America loves Hillary. We know this . . . because America loves Hillary.

      1. My favorite Hillary Cabinet Appointment:

        “Black person yet to be determined”

        1. lol i thought you were kidding. But no

    6. Vapid, sycophantic idiots cheer corrupt, unaccountable idiot, news at 11.

  20. Such predation is to be expected because bald eagles are apex predators, said Mark McCollough, an endangered species biologist with the federal Fish and Wildlife Service. The service doesn’t consider it a problem, but rather indicative of the species’ success at rebuilding.

    Out here there is a compensation fund for ranchers who lose sheep and cattle to wolves; it’s not exactly “market price” but at least there’s a recognition of an adverse effect.

    1. The government has an impressive ability to spend money both on creating and solving problems at the same time.

  21. The government has an impressive ability to spend money both on creating and solving problems at the same time.

    !!!!!

    1. Fixing a broken window isn’t a fallacy to them, it’s a parable. Think of all the economic activity they’re generating thanks to the Keynesian multiplier.

      1. Which is fantastic if you’re the person who sells windows. It sucks for everyone else though.

        (guess who gets campaign contributions from the window sellers?)

      2. Hey, I have an idea – what if the federal government took on more debt to fund a roving squad of window-breakers that would go around to every city smashing windows and creating prosperity?

        Debt + jobs + broken windows = PROSPERITY

  22. Is libertarianism now about excusing every authoritarian policy that the political Right supports by either comparing it to something Obama did or proclaiming that Trump just can’t be serious about the stupid shit he says? That’s weak… no wonder you guys can’t crack 5%.

    1. Your talking points grow more pathetic.

      Even if you think Trump is an authoritarian rightist, a proposition which is no less dubious than that Obama is a secret Muslim/Marxist, and even if you think the national popular vote in a contest not decided on that basis is representative of the will of the people, Trump won 46% of that vote, not 5%.

      Libertarians are not popular and may never be but we are not so deluded as to think that either of the two major parties and whatever the hell they represent at the current moment is something that isn’t supported by a sizable number of people.

      1. “Trump won 46% of that vote, not 5%.”

        Oh, so you’re saying Trump is a libertarian now? HAHAHAHAHA… assumes facts not in evidence.

        1. You are such a tiresome liar.

          Trump is not a libertarian. Libertarians are not ideologically in bed with Trump. Your philosophy, however, is no more powerful than Trumpism. And the Democratic Party doesn’t speak the will of the majority any more than the Republican Party does.

          You are just as much an ideological loner as any libertarian. Yet you wrap yourself in the cloak of being the voice of the people. Well, the people spoke and kicked you out. Deal with it.

    2. american socialist|1.15.17 @ 1:12PM|#
      “Is libertarianism now about excusing every authoritarian policy…”

      BEAT that strawman, asswipe. The only debate you win is with the voices in your head.

    3. I discussed this earlier in the thread you fucking liar.

  23. What is it about Obama apparatchiks becoming mayors of big cities? It’s bad news for NYC if she follows Rahm’s path of presiding over destruction.

    Sorry, Rhywun, but I’d love to see her in Gracie Mansion. I think she could actually rehabilitate David Dinkins’ reputation, and turn him into the *second-worst* NYC mayor of the modern era.

  24. Whoever is playing the role of AmSoc in today’s matinee performance seems to have a chip on his shoulder.

    1. Lead paint chips on the brain too.

  25. OT: Goodbye, Clinton Global Initiative.

    https://labor.ny.gov/app/warn/details.asp?id=5801

    I’m not sure what to think. Wait, yes I am, it’s giggle-worthy, but just a nice first step.

    1. Sure, they still have hundreds of millions in assets, but its probably better to scuttle the ship before the Trump admin starts sending in FBI to examine the books.

      what sort of moron would still believe they were a legit “charity” operation if they suddenly have no further purpose without a direct line to high-office?

      they were the cash register to buy influence in a future Clinton admin, nothing more.

      1. I’d love to see some data on donations after Hillary lost. Donations should go up after she lost, right? I mean, she has a whole bunch more time to run the charity, right?

      2. The Clinton Foundation is still around, the CGI is just a part of it.

        American Thinker has a blog post about it. Apparently the donations from governments have fallen through the floor. (surprise surprise)

        1. the CGI is just a part of it

          yes, but as far as i undertsand it, CGI was the main fundraising/disbursing part

          There would have been cause to shut CGI down had Clinton *won*… but having lost, you’d think it would still be a viable entity, sans no ‘conflicts of interest’.

          Hot Air has the same take =

          But now the election is well and truly over and the Clintons are free to pursue any interests they desire without the worry of questions of influence… If the overall Clinton Foundation is exactly as they’ve described it, why shutter any aspects of it now? CGI was originally formed by Bill Clinton and Doug Band, at least in part, to deal with the challenges of global interdependence. Are those challenges not still with us? …

          Apparently not. If nothing else, these developments are indicators of precisely what many suspected all along. …the people lining up to empty their coffers into the Clintons’ hands could have sent their donations anywhere, but they chose the Clinton Foundation because it put them on good terms with a powerful American dynasty which was widely expected to take back the White House. Once Hillary Clinton’s future plans for power had fallen to ruin, the enthusiasm for giving seems to have begun to wane almost immediately

    2. Schneiderman could have gone after them, but didn’t because they’re the right political party.

  26. Bravery

    Yiannopoulos, a conservative writer, was supposed to speak at UC Davis as part of his tour of universities across the country, dubbed “The Dangerous Faggot Tour.” He later announced that Shkreli, former chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, will join him as a guest speaker.

    To promote the event, Yiannopoulos posted a picture of him and Shkreli side by side, with the title “A Twitter Villain Extravaganza,” on his Instagram page.

    Hundreds of students and graduates wrote a public letter condemning the event, saying it “serves as a direct threat toward traditionally marginalized groups on campus” and called Yiannopoulos “a champion of hate speech against people of color and women.”

    “The university’s commitment to free speech is not an obligation to provide a formal podium for every form on nonacademic, hateful rhetoric that student groups wish to bring to campus,” according to the letter addressed to campus officials and the Davis College Republicans.

    “Twitter Villain Extravaganza.” Nice

    You can’t just run around saying stuff people don’t want to hear. That’s epic social group violence.

    1. “Hundreds of students and graduates wrote a public letter condemning the even”

      UC Davis has a current enrollment of 35,000 students.

      There are hundreds of thousands more who are graduates.

      If there were a hundred and they were all students, it would represent two-tenths of one percent of the student body.

      Take whatever multiple of that, add in the graduates, and we’re still talking about an extreme minority–who only represent themselves.

      They might do better at UC Santa Cruz.

      Maybe not.

    2. It is clear hate speech, and from readying about this on FB, hate speech is not protected by the 1st Amendment.

    3. “Yiannopoulos, a conservative writer,. . . ”

      This sounds off-key to me. Is this really the consensus? Wikipedia isn’t much help. About 99% of what I’ve read of him is in regard to his being banned on various campuses. Conservative? Libertarian? What say you?

      1. “Skeptic of Political Correctness” is what I’d go with. He’s generally anti-SJW and pro-Trump, but I’ve never heard him talk about anything except how much he hates the PC police and feminists.

        1. In the sense that the alt-Right is a reactionary movement completely rejecting all SJW premises, I would say that Milo is the prototypical alt-Rightist.

          1. i think for every 100 people that express an opinion about the guy, maybe 2 have actually ever listened to anything he’s had to say.

            1. Out of every 100 people that expresses an opinion about the taste of feces, maybe 2 have ever tasted it.

              1. … because they can all smell it, and they know where it comes from

                that was easily the dumbest thing anyone’s said today. and your competition was AmSoc

        2. Milo tends to be all over the place, and part of that is his provocateur nature, but I’ve also noticed that he tries to tailor his points to his audience. Someone here posted the interview Lucy had with him where she was trying to prove he was ‘not a friend of libertarians’ and he opens with complaining about how the TSA are worthless and general surveillance state laws don’t work.

          1. Milo tends to be all over the place,

            i’ve watched 2 of his full-speaking-engagements @universities before the election happened, and also watched both of his interviews with joe rogan

            he’s about 1/10th the ideologue people pretend he is. he’s “mostly reasonable” sprinkled with a handful of extreme-sounding postures ….

            e.g. . his bullshit about how “the catholic church is right” about gay-stuff, or his need to try and out-do Geert Wilders in his statements about islam writ-large, etc.

            most of which are just there for the sake of trolling. if pressed on these topics you’ll find he actually doesn’t have very deep thoughts about either, and will eventually qualify his posture and say, “well, its a POV anyway”. he’s not all that interested in “right wing” stuff as much as he is in the act of forcing people to try and take him on in some kind of evidence-based debate. Because the entire point of the left is simply to shut down debate before it even starts, and simply impose a dogma of ‘right-think’.

            iow, he chooses “wrongthink” for its own sake, not because he’s invested in those positions, but simply for how they force others to react.

            the people who call him a “white-nationalist” are idiots who are terrified of him.

            1. iow, he chooses “wrongthink” for its own sake, not because he’s invested in those positions, but simply for how they force others to react.

              Milo is 1/3 “poke the PC bear,” 1/3 disdain for SJWs, and 1/3 superficial semblance of an ideology.

              1. i think that’s a decent summary.

                despite that, he manages to often made good points, and do so with eloquence and humor.

                even if i think some of his arguments are wrong, i respect him and his “over-the-top, offend-everyone” strategy far more than the cautious, hedged-to-death, both-sides-make-valid-arguments ‘defenses of free speech’ (sort of) we get from people like Robby.

  27. You should see if Bagge would do drawings for your next Reason Webathon. It would be a pretty significant perk for many people I am sure.

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