Forty-fourth President of the United States


Barack Obama - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Barack Hussein Obama II (... born August 4, 1961) is the forty-fourth and current President of the United States of America. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama was the junior United States Senator from Illinois from January 3, 2005 until his resignation on November 16, 2008, following his election to the presidency. He was sworn in as President on January 20, 2009 in an inaugural ceremony at the U.S. Capitol. ..."


Obama Follows Bush's Iraq Playbook, by Sheldon Richman, 10 Sep 2014
Examines the validity of Obama's arguments for going to war against ISIS
"Barack Obama says his job is to protect Americans wherever they are, but he doesn't cite the source of this power. No such power is implied in the president's oath of office ... Obama says he can go to war against ISIS anywhere without 'authorization' from Congress. (No one in government or the media uses the word declaration.)"
Obama Plays with Fire in Ukraine, by Sheldon Richman, 23 Apr 2014
Discusses Obama's decision to send troops to Poland and Baltic states on top of sanctions on Russia over the 2014 Crimea crisis
"President Obama says the "military option" — war, that is — is not on the table in his effort to oppose Russia in the Ukraine crisis, but can we trust him? ... Could Obama withstand the immense pressure he would face to intervene directly if open hostilities broke out? How would he handle what David Brooks of the New York Times calls Obama's "manhood problem"? (Apparently, one is manly to the extent one is willing to risk a senseless war.)"
Obama Speaks with Forked Tongue on Surveillance, by Sheldon Richman, 11 Jun 2013
Compares contradictory claims by Obama and his administration regarding Edward Snowden's disclosures of NSA monitoring of online activity and telephone calls
"When Obama ran for president in 2008, he said Americans shouldn't have to choose between privacy and security. Now he says that 'one of the things that we're going to have to discuss and debate is how are we striking this balance between the need to keep the American people safe and our concerns about privacy? Because there are some tradeoffs involved.'"
Obama Still Does a Good Imitation of Bush, by Sheldon Richman, 22 Oct 2014
Considers President Obama's continuance of the national security policies of his predecessor
"... Obama has yet to decide whether the international ban on torture applies to U.S. government conduct outside the United States. ... But rather than scrapping Appendix M, the administration may now be on the verge of declaring that U.S. government harsh conduct toward prisoners detained outside the United States, such as Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is not covered by the Treaty Against Torture."
Obama's Willful Foreign-Policy Blindness, by Sheldon Richman, 30 May 2013
Analyses President Obama's 23rd May 2013 speech at the National Defense University, later comments on Memorial Day and the reactions from Republicans
"Why did the earlier speech set off Republicans? He acknowledged that terrorism can never be completely eliminated and that a risk-free society is impossible. He conceded that U.S. military action breeds enemies. ... He even quoted James Madison: 'No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.' Indeed, Obama said some things that need saying, but will he do what needs doing? More precisely, will he stop doing what shouldn't be done?"
Open Letter to Barack Obama, by Walter Block, 16 May 2008
Explains why in wartime foreign policy is more important than economics or civil liberties and offers some advice for Senator Obama
"Foreign policy in my view is more important than either economics or civil liberties. ... And, in this area, you stand head and shoulders above the other two major candidates. ... You are different. I discern ... that beneath your ultra-liberal (socialist) voting record, and mindless demagogic sloganeering ... there is a real concern for people, particularly the poor."
Related Topic: John McCain
Substance, not style, by Daniel Koffler, 9 Feb 2008
Contrasts several of Obama's issue positions with those of Hillary Clinton and argues his approach could be called left-libertarianism
"Perhaps it goes without saying that Obama's belief in freedom in labour markets and freedom in capital markets, sets him apart from the Republican field as well as the Democrats. ... Obama and Goolsbee propose something entirely different - not a triangulation, but a basis for crafting public policy orthogonal to the traditional liberal-conservative axis."
Related Topics: Free Trade, Health Care
The Lie Factory, by Sheldon Richman, 7 Jun 2013
Contrasts Obama's 23 May 2013 statements regarding Afghanistan vs. analysis by Conn Hallinan and other reports
"If this and the usual sycophantic news reporting is all you've heard lately about the war in Afghanistan, you might think things are going well, that 'America's forces are winning.' ... Afghanistan is a hellhole. ... The facts don't stop Obama from giving the same rosy reports while promising to have the troops out by the end of next year. ... Obama apparently is looking for a way to bring home most of the troops without the place collapsing in chaos, which would be bad for his legacy."
Aristotle Called the 2016 Election, by Martin Cothran, 17 Nov 2016
Argues that, as per Aristotle in Rhetoric, in an election contest between a candidate with an inspiring personality (pathos) vs. another with good character (ethos) or intellect (logos), the former is more likely to win
"In the 2012 election, Republican Mitt Romney focused almost exclusively on abstract economic arguments, complete with numbers and statistics. Democrat Barack Obama, on the other hand, was an inspiring speaker and the first Black president. It was Romney's logos vs. Obama's pathos. Pathos won."
Barack Obama: Corporatist, by Sheldon Richman, 17 Apr 2012
Reviews Obama's corporate-friendly (and hypocritical) actions, particularly towards banks like Bank of America
"Welcome to Obama's new world. It looks a lot like the old. And this is not the only way it resembles politics as usual. Like his predecessors, Obama has been a good friend to big companies, especially banks. ... Obama, who's planning to run a populist reelection campaign pitting the wealthy and well-connected against the rest of us. Hypocrisy lives — even in Obama's allegedly post-political world."
Related Topic: Corporatism
Obama's Iraqi Fairy Tale, by Sheldon Richman, 28 Mar 2014
Examines, in devastating detail, Obama's March 2014 remarks about the 2003 Iraqi invasion
"I am so appalled by what Obama said in Europe the other day ... regarding events in Crimea ... It is hard to believe that a presidential speechwriter could manage to pack so many lies into so few sentences. But the speechwriter could only compose the sentences. Obama chose to deliver them, and for that, he should be indicted for gross deception with malice aforethought."
The Ominous Republican Hold on Congress, by Sheldon Richman, 7 Jan 2015
Comments on what may be expected from the Republican-controlled Senate in 2015
"Barack Obama has gone back to war in Iraq and is conducting airstrikes in Syria, while leaving thousands of military personnel in Afghanistan, continuing murder by drone war in several countries, and maintaining the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Yet there have been a few glimmers of hope. Obama has pursued negotiations with Iran over its never-was and still-is-not nuclear-weapons program."
Related Topics: Republican Party, Iran, Israel

Cartoons and Comic Strips

Declaration of Thingamajig, by Mark Fiore, 22 Jun 2011
On the wars ... hostilities ... thingamajigs of the U.S. empire
Related Topics: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen


Military Times: Obama--contractors in security-force
Senator Obama interviewed by editorial board of the Military Times newspapers, discussing the use of private military contractors like Blackwater
"... I think you're privatizing something that is, what essentially sets a nation-state apart, which is the monopoly on violence ..."
Related Topic: The State

Penn's Obama Rant, by Penn Jillette, Penn's Sunday School, 19 May 2012
Penn talks about Obama's admission of using "marijuana and maybe a little blow"
Related Topic: War on Drugs