#ThanksObama: 5 Scary Powers Trump Will Take Over as President

Obama's power grabs are now Trump's precedents.

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Remember when those pesky other branches of government wouldn't bow down to Obama's whims, and the president famously bragged about going it alone? Now Obama's out and it will soon be Donald Trump wielding his pen and phone.

As Barack Obama bids farewell to his presidency this week, keep in mind these five scary powers that President Trump will inherit from him.

1. War Without Congress

During the Libya intervention, Obama decided that he didn't need Congress to approve massive bombing campaigns and regime change.

Obama has done legal gymnastics to justify using the same authorizations that George W. Bush got to fight al Qaeda and the Taliban to send our armed forces to places like West Africa, Somalia, Yemen, and Syria —not to mention staying in Pakistan and Afghanistan and going back to Iraq—all without Congress.

So if the Mexicans won't pay for his wall, President Trump could just as well decide to bomb them.

2. Kill Lists

Obama made up his own rules on targeted killings, denying that courts could review his "kill list" and only paying lip service to drone guidelines when he thought Mitt Romney might win in 2012. That never actually happened, and even in his last months in office, Obama has continued to expand the reach of our flying robots and special operations forces.

So President Trump can now vaporize any person he puts on his kill list, even American citizens, even outside of acknowledged battlefields, even if civilians die—all without due process.

3. Access to All of Your Information

Obama expanded the powers of secret courts that provide little more than a rubber-stamp for mass surveillance of Americans.

He supports weakening encryption, general warrants that cover millions of people, and a host of powers with the ultimate goal of giving spooks what the NSA has called "Total Information Awareness"—access to your every word, move, purchase, and relationship, all without your knowledge.

Orwell would have been impressed, and Trump certainly will be.

4. Prosecuting Whistleblowers and Journalists

The leader of the self-anointed "most transparent administration" in history has prosecuted more whistleblowers under the Espionage Act than all other presidents in history, put together. His administration exploded the number of classified documents and fought the ACLU and New York Times in court to keep its legal interpretations secret.

Oh, and Obama's Justice Department spied on journalists and investigated them as co-conspirators.

Based on what Trump thinks of the media, reporters should take care not to violate any secret laws going forward, especially in secret drone zones.

5. Screwing Immigrants

Many undocumented immigrants trusted Obama with their personal information in exchange for his promise not to deport them. That may have been a huge mistake. First off, he's deported more people than any president in history, so that should have been a red flag.

After Congress didn't act on immigration, Obama turned to his pen and phone again. But he overreached, and his executive order giving deportation relief was ruled unconstitutional. So now he'll be gone, but those immigrants will still be listed in a Department of Homeland Security database.

So the next time you find yourself applauding the President for doing a gleeful end-run around the Constitution and separation of powers, pause and ask yourself: What will happen when it's President Kanye West?

And as the 44th president bids us farewell, let us all take a moment to say #ThanksObama.

Written and Produced by Justin Monticello. Additional graphics by Josh Swain. Music by Topher Mohr and Alex Elena.

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  1. I’m sure Trump will utilize these powers with forethought and restraint which have long been his defining characteristics.

    1. Thanks for that, I need a hearty laugh.

      But that does make me wonder why TEH LIGHTWORKER didn’t spend his whole Lame Duck period pulling EOs and trying to limit power for the Hat and Hair. Is it just a big case of apres moi, les deluge!?

      1. What in last eight years has given any indication that Obama gives a shit?

      1. Clean, bright and articulate, man that’s a dream.

    2. Drones over Rosie O’Donnell’s house in the first month, #YOLO. Might have to upgrade them to have anti-tank capabilities though.

      1. Oh they do, most of the HF’s just have extra jackets to increase frags…they still have shaped charge war heads.

  2. Progs: we still need to leave all that in place for 2020 when our next savior comes

    1. Dammit! One minute faster!!!

    2. Savior?

      Instead of rejecting Streep, as writers like Jones suggest, Democrats would do well to embrace her and fellow Hollywood stars. The party could recruit Streep and others to bait Trump, and perhaps, as [Michael] Moore suggested, groom some to be presidential candidates. In 2020, the Democrats could run Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Beyonce, Matt Damon, or Rosie O’Donnell.

      1. Moar celebrities for the Democrats: no doubt Republicans heartily endorse this.

      2. Oh good Lord. Trump vs. Rosie? We really will have reached Idiocracy at that point.

        1. To hell with that, I’d vote for Camacho over either of them.

      3. Didn’t this tactic work in the Minnesota senate race? Probably not a bad idea in blue states.

  3. Trump vs. Kanye in 2020?

    Hmm, another tough decision…

    1. Kanye would just use the NSA to spy on big booty.

      1. Sir Mix A Lot for NSA chief!

        1. “I like big bugs and I cannot lie…”

      2. I can get behind that

      3. Best thing about Sir Mix A Lot?
        He CANNOT lie.

      4. “Kanye would just use the NSA to spy on big booty.”

        You leave amsoc’s mom out of this!

      5. I’d view those leaked emails.

        1. “leaked,” here, doesn’t mean what you think it means, Paul….

          1. +1 RDA of Olestra

      6. Kanye’s cronyist policies for Big Booty must end! We must deregulate and allow small booty to flourish!

    2. Well Kanye is a Gay Fish so the LGBTXXXX groups will be a lock.

  4. “War Without Congress” sounds like my marriage. Hiyoooooooooo!

    1. *prolonged applause*

      Mine is more Cold War-ish.

      1. A lot of proxy wars?

  5. A friend just texted me this clip:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DcATG9Qy_A

    It’s a CNN talking head carefully reminding (scolding?) the audience about how it’s “illegal to possess” and read the leaked emails, but not for CNN, so they’ll interpret them for you.

    1. Yeah I don’t get this.

      If the Pentagon Papers case says it’s OK for media outfits to report on leaked classified documents, and if the First Amendment classifies everyone with a megaphone or blog as members of “the media”, not just credentialed reporters, then why wouldn’t it be legal for anyone to read the leaked emails? They weren’t even classified.

      1. Oh, you get it. The CNN talking head didn’t want the proles getting ahold of the info because that might lead to individual conclusions of shenanigans. Best left to the likes of CNN to news-splain it to the rest of us.

        1. They’re like the pre-Reformation Catholic church.

          1. I’m in favour of a good ol’ Defenestration.

            1. The streets are cleaner these days, so I think a repeat of the Defenestration of Prague might have a more fatal result than the first time around.

              1. What, don’t buy the Papist story of angels helping them?

          2. Minus Tomas Aquinas, Sistine Chapel, creation of universities, maintaining a lingua franca….

            I don’t think it’s a good deal, here.

          3. Nailed it!

            CNN: The Bible and Mass must only be in Latin!

    2. The elitists are proud of being elitists.

  6. This isn’t Obama’s fault, really. He’s a wolf doing what wolves do.

    The fault belongs with the American people, generally, and the progressives who apologized for everything Obama did, specifically.

    The thing that would have protected us from this stuff is if his marginal supporters would have revolted against him for these power grabs. But Obama’s supporters wouldn’t withdraw their support so long as he was hating on the white, blue collar, middle class because they all hate the white, blue collar, middle class, too.

    Republicans who supported Bush despite him wiping his ass with our constitutional rights shouldn’t get off easy either. The retarded trolls among us still point to Bush’s abuses as if they somehow justify Obama’s, but the world is full of retarded trolls who think that way. I guess the important lesson, here, is to not be one of the retards.

    Tend your garden. If you support Trump right now, think of something he could or might do that would make you withdraw your support. For instance, I condemned Hillary for accepting money from foreign governments while she was the Secretary of State by way of the Clinton Foundation. If Trump accepted money from foreign governments while he was President, my approval for anything he did after that would be qualified with the caveat that he should be impeached.

    1. Shorter: DON’T BE BLINDED BY TEAM LOYALTY

    2. This is the principles vs principals theory in a national test tube. I feel somewhat certain that those who opposed/supported those five things under Obama will take a diametrically opposed view should Trump use them. And – easiest prediction ever – I expect the anti-war left to come out of hibernation.

      1. My favorite stories whenever a Republican president takes office are the homeless stories that were shelved for the 8 years Obama was president. You can almost guarantee their will be at least one story in every major newspaper within the first month of the inauguration about how we need to help the massive homeless population that just appeared out of nowhere.

        1. And the shelving of Homeless stories is something that I won’t let slide ever, when I see them.

          The Great Homeless Crisis of the late 80s/early 90s was a fraction of percent compared to what it is now. We were repeatedly told that it was just too hard for the workin’ man to get ahead with that summbitch Reagan in the white house.

          Now, the stories talk about how “complex” the homelessness situation is and it can’t be blamed on any particular economic policy… oh how wonky we get…

        2. So true. I had forgotten about those. Sure enough, though, we’ll soon hear how the homeless population has skyrocketed.

          1. In Bernard Goldberg’s book “Bias” he has a chapter on how “Bill Clinton cured homelessness” if I recall.

            Either way, he has an entire section on how Homelessness was like the #1 news topic for months, plastering dodgy statistics all over the screen on how many millions of estimated homeless there were, and how those stories completely dried up after November of 1992. Just *poof* gone.

            1. Sorta like anti-war protests stopping in late 2008.

        3. …and Code Pink which shut down on Jan 20th, 2008

          1. it didn’t take long for code pink to reappear, code pink showed up to protest Sessions hearing

  7. OT: ‘It’s Game of Thrones, the Apprentice, and Survivor all mixed into one’
    Republicans like Chris Christie are counting on lots of turnover in the Trump administration.

    Behind closed doors, Chris Christie ? unceremoniously sent packing from Donald Trump’s transition headquarters in Washington two months ago ? is telegraphing a message to his confidants: I’ll be back.

    The hard-charging New Jersey governor is playing the long game, betting that Trump’s senior aides and Cabinet nominees, nearly all of whom lack governing experience, will face unexpected challenges when they settle into the West Wing. Christie turned down several offers to join the Trump administration when he was denied the attorney general post, but he has told associates he expects Trump to turn people like him ? seasoned lawmakers and political hands ? if and when the neophytes begin to flounder.

    Christie is one among dozens of high-level Trump campaign aides and former Republican administration officials who find themselves excluded from the Trump administration ? for now ? but who expect their fortunes to change.

    hahahahahahahahaha. I can’t even make it through the rest of this article. Gold, Jerry! Gold!

    1. Christie has to be one of the most pathetic politicians I’ve ever seen and that is saying something.

      1. He is hard to miss….

        1. he sticks out in a crowd for sure.

        2. I don’t know, doc. If he retired, I doubt I’d miss him

          1. Wait, never mind, you’re right.

        3. My favourite role of his was when he eats the planet in the 1980s Transformers movie.

          1. Indeed. Shame that voiceover was Orson Welles’ last roll, IIRC. At least a…great…actor filled the large voice requirements to complement the larger-than-life movie roll.

            1. Orson Welles’s last role was in a movie featuring Spock, several members of Monty Python, and Weird Al Yankovic on the soundtrack. I have a really hard time not finding that awesome.

    2. Comparing the Trump administration to Game of Thrones heavily implies that Christie is Strong Belwas – fat, loud, dickless, and not included in the version everyone’s familiar with.

      1. I doubt he’s very strong, though.

        1. True, but he’ll eat the hell out of a big bowl of grasshoppers.

          1. Maybe Trump should get him to act as his official food taster.

            1. “I let each man drive over my bridge once, before I kill him. Count the tolls and you will know how many Strong Christie has slain.”

  8. fuck reason on number five.

    1. i dont care if a child or their parents are deported if they came here illegally…tough fucking luck.

      1. Cool story, bro.

        1. The law is the law, citizen. I’m sure SomeGuy obeys every law to the letter without fail.

          1. an illegal isn’t a citizen and their anchor baby is a gross misreading of our Constitution. I expect to be treated like shit if i malinger in some country i have no right to.

  9. “So if the Mexicans won’t pay for his wall, President Trump could just as well decide to bomb them.”

    And if we were at war with Mexico, illegal immigrants would be a national security threat… which would make sanctuary city officials guilty of treason? Maybe? Hmmm…

    1. i know i am liking that idea. 😉 Love legal immigrants but hate illegals with a passion

      1. Cool story, bro.

      2. How do you figure out which ones are legal and which ones are illegal?

        1. papers duh. Legal ones have government permission slips and government records with finger prints in a database……are you that clueless?

          1. So when you’re on on the street deciding whether you love a brown person or hate them with a passion, do you ask for identification?

            1. And if you wanted to engage in a mass deportation, how would you do so without violating due process for countless legal citizens?

              1. Mass deportation isn’t hard. Most will leave on their own if:

                1.) You allow hospitals to deny people if they are illegals and have no way to pay
                2.) prevent them from getting jobs
                3.) prevent them from getting welfare
                4.) prevent them from being able to drive
                5.) prevent them from using banks and other services
                6.) I could go on but you get the point

                These things will make them leave on their own.

                Deportation is also easy because of traffic stops and plenty of regular interactions that fill find illegals

                you could also put bounties

                but realistically majority would leave on their own if you made it where they couldn’t survive.

                Also if you make examples of illegals too where if you were found the deportation process is a horrible experience most would leave in fear.

                You don’t need to remove 100% of them. 90% will do. 2mil vs 20 mil is a damn good start.

        2. Trump will have a secret list that he has personally vetted.

    2. No, we should invade Canada and then send all the Mexicans there. Come winter they just freeze to death. Problem solved.

      1. Hang on, is that why the feds have been resettling Sudanese and Somali refugees in Maine and Minnesota? I always thought that seemed sort of cruel.

        1. They aren’t POWs so it is cruel but legal.

  10. It is truly amazing at how much Obama got away with that was unconstitutional and how he flat out ignored laws on the books. And soon enough when these thing get put back to normal the liberals will scream how Trump is ruining their lives, but in reality they were coddled into thinking Obama was their friend and he was “fixing” things. Too bad for them.

    1. You have to understand the liberal mindset Obama is a “good guy”, so any indiscretions and power abuses he committed are okay, but Trump is a “bad guy” so practically nothing he does, legal or not, will be okay.

      See how easy that is? I don’t know why people think liberals believe in subjective morals, it all looks pretty black and white to me.

  11. Now here are five more pieces of the Obama Legacy that Tom Hanks, Jerry Seinfeld and Meryl Streep left out of their Farewell Tribute.

  12. Phony article. Trump already has proved he neither needs nor cares about precedents.

  13. The “Obama deported more people” myth needs to die.

  14. Oddly enough Libertarians had no problem when George Bush instituted many of these executive privileges yet it drives them crazy when a liberal does it after Congress swears not to allow any governance.

    1. WhatchutalkinboutWillis?

  15. Hey Nick, maybe if the press had done its job over Obamas presidency this article never would’ve been written

    1. The only way that this article (or one a LOT like it) wouldn’t have been written would be if President McCain (or President Hillary) had declared dissent illegal and had started hauling people away.

  16. In 2020, I’ll be a 50 year old unemployed white guy with no kids and with nothing to lose….I’m voting for Kanye. Burn it down…burn it all down.

  17. And if Trump exercises any of “these five scary powers” the left will scream it is an abuse of power.

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  19. You have to understand the liberal mindset Obama is a “good guy”, so any indiscretions and power abuses he committed are okay, but Trump is a “bad guy” so practically nothing he does, legal or not, will be okay.

    See how easy that is? I don’t know why people think liberals believe in subjective morals, it all looks pretty black and white to me.

    ????? ?? ?? ????? ????? ???

    It is truly amazing at how much Obama got away with that was unconstitutional and how he flat out ignored laws on the books. And soon enough when these thing get put back to normal the liberals will scream how Trump is ruining their lives, but in reality they were coddled into thinking Obama was their friend and he was “fixing” things. Too bad for them.

  20. You have to understand the liberal mindset Obama is a “good guy”, so any indiscretions and power abuses he committed are okay, but Trump is a “bad guy” so practically nothing he does, legal or not, will be okay.
    See how easy that is? I don’t know why people think liberals believe in subjective morals, it all looks pretty black and white to me.
    ????? ????
    ????? ???? 2018
    It is truly amazing at how much Obama got away with that was unconstitutional and how he flat out ignored laws on the books. And soon enough when these thing get put back to normal the liberals will scream how Trump is ruining their lives, but in reality they were coddled into thinking Obama was their friend and he was “fixing” things. Too bad for them.

  21. You have to understand the liberal mindset Obama is a “good guy”, so any indiscretions and power abuses he committed are okay, but Trump is a “bad guy” so practically nothing he does, legal or not, will be okay.
    See how easy that is? I don’t know why people think liberals believe in subjective morals, it all looks pretty black and white to me.
    ????? ????
    ?????

    It is truly amazing at how much Obama got away with that was unconstitutional and how he flat out ignored laws on the books. And soon enough when these thing get put back to normal the liberals will scream how Trump is ruining their lives, but in reality they were coddled into thinking Obama was their friend and he was “fixing” things. Too bad for them.

  22. You have to understand the liberal mindset Obama is a “good guy”, so any indiscretions and power abuses he committed are okay, but Trump is a “bad guy” so practically nothing he does, legal or not, will be okay.
    See how easy that is? I don’t know why people think liberals believe in subjective morals, it all looks pretty black and white to me.
    ????? ???? 69
    ????? 69

    It is truly amazing at how much Obama got away with that was unconstitutional and how he flat out ignored laws on the books. And soon enough when these thing get put back to normal the liberals will scream how Trump is ruining their lives, but in reality they were coddled into thinking Obama was their friend and he was “fixing” things. Too bad for them.

  23. Mass deportation isn’t hard. Most will leave on their own if:

    1.) You allow hospitals to deny people if they are illegals and have no way to pay
    2.) prevent them from getting jobs
    3.) prevent them from getting welfare
    4.) prevent them from being able to drive
    5.) prevent them from using banks and other services
    6.) I could go on but you get the point

    These things will make them leave on their own.

    Deportation is also easy because of traffic stops and plenty of regular interactions that fill find illegals

    you could also put bounties
    ????? ???? ???
    ????? ???? 2017
    but realistically majority would leave on their own if you made it where they couldn’t survive.

    Also if you make examples of illegals too where if you were found the deportation process is a horrible experience most would leave in fear.

    You don’t need to remove 100% of them. 90% will do. 2mil vs 20 mil is a damn good start.

  24. During the Libya intervention, Obama decided that he didn’t need Congress to approve massive bombing campaigns and regime change.

    Obama has done legal gymnastics to justify using the same authorizations that George W. Bush got to fight al Qaeda and the Taliban to send our armed forces to places like West Africa, Somalia, Yemen, and Syria ?not to mention staying in Pakistan and Afghanistan and going back to Iraq?all without Congress.
    ????? ???? 2017
    ????? ?????
    So if the Mexicans won’t pay for his wall, President Trump could just as well decide to bomb them.

  25. Mass deportation isn’t hard. Most will leave on their own if:

    1.) You allow hospitals to deny people if they are illegals and have no way to pay
    2.) prevent them from getting jobs
    3.) prevent them from getting welfare
    4.) prevent them from being able to drive
    5.) prevent them from using banks and other services
    6.) I could go on but you get the point

    These things will make them leave on their own.

    Deportation is also easy because of traffic stops and plenty of regular interactions that fill find illegals

    you could also put bounties
    ????? ???? ????
    ????? ???
    but realistically majority would leave on their own if you made it where they couldn’t survive.

    Also if you make examples of illegals too where if you were found the deportation process is a horrible experience most would leave in fear.

    You don’t need to remove 100% of them. 90% will do. 2mil vs 20 mil is a damn good start.

  26. Obama expanded the powers of secret courts that provide little more than a rubber-stamp for mass surveillance of Americans.

    He supports weakening encryption, general warrants that cover millions of people, and a host of powers with the ultimate goal of giving spooks what the NSA has called “Total Information Awareness”?access to your every word, move, purchase, and relationship, all without your knowledge.
    ????
    ????? ??????????
    Orwell would have been impressed, and Trump certainly will be.
    but realistically majority would leave on their own if you made it where they couldn’t survive.

    Also if you make examples of illegals too where if you were found the deportation process is a horrible experience most would leave in fear.

    You don’t need to remove 100% of them. 90% will do. 2mil vs 20 mil is a damn good start.

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  29. Yeah, it all began with Obama – not!

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  31. I (a libertarian) had been speaking to a liberal friend several years ago about the Obama overreach. At the time he said he was glad Obama was pushing the envelope. I had mentioned that the precedent would extend when the politics shifted and he shrugged. A year ago my friend showed me an article from one of his liberal sources worrying about the precedent being set by Obama, yet my friend was still certain democrats would win the White House.
    If we don’t support and defend our constitutional government limits for all we support them for no one.

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