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The Obama Timeline: Part II

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Harconen
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« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2009, 03:23:37 pm »



The New York Times criticizes Obama for some “position changes” in an article called, “Nuance is Fine Until It’s a Flip-Flop.” The article points out that Obama had fought former President Bush on military commissions for terrorist detainees, but is now embracing them—but Obama argues, “my administration is bringing our commissions in line with the rule of law.” The Times states that Obama “…told Planned Parenthood that his first act as president would be to sign an abortion rights bill into law; now he says it is ‘not my highest legislative priority.’ He promised gay rights advocates that he would work for the repeal of the military’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy, but he has pushed action into the future. …he released previously classified memos describing the C.I.A.’s harsh interrogation techniques. But then he moved to block the release of photos showing abuse of detainees—a 180-degree turn from his administration’s previous position.” [2903]

 

Kirk Loppold, retired former commander of the USS Cole and senior military fellow at Military Families United, says that Obama’s continual blaming of the Bush administration shows poor leadership. “The president—despite everything he said very eloquently—did not lay out any procedures for how he intended to close Guantanamo Bay on his one-year timeline,” and “If he didn’t want to deal with the legacy that he had been left with, if he didn’t want to fix the mess that he claims he was left with, then he needed to have seriously considered whether or not to assume the responsibility that he has today. Leaders don’t blame; they lead.” [2904]

 

A review of a list of Chrysler dealers that have been ordered closed reveals that the vast majority of them are owned by Republican campaign donors (or contributors to Obama’s primary opponents). The list contains 789 dealers, and 90 per cent of their owners gave donations to Republican candidates; less than 10 per cent were contributors to Democrat campaigns. Republican candidates allegedly received at least $450,000 in donations. Lesser amounts were given to Hilary Clinton and John Edwards; Obama received only $450 in donations, from owners of two of the 789 closing dealers. Chrysler states that the criteria for closing dealers included sales volume, customer service scores, local market share, and average household income in the area. Among the Chrysler dealers not being closed are those operated by the RLJ-McLarty-Landers Automotive Partnership, which is owned by Thomas “Mack” McLarty (former chief of staff for Bill Clinton), Robert Johnson (founder of Black Entertainment Television), and Steve Landers (4th generation car dealer); the threesome should see an increase in business, as all their nearby competitors have been ordered closed down. Obama remarks, “The necessary steps have been taken to give one of America’s most storied automakers, Chrysler, a new lease on life.” [2908, 2909, 2925, 2926,3109]

 

Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh comments on Obama’s selection of Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court. “So here you have a racist,” states Limbaugh. “You might want to soften that and you might want to say a reverse racist. And the libs of course say that minorities cannot be racists because they don’t have the power to implement their racism. Well, those days are gone because reverse racists certainly do have the power to implement their power. Obama is the greatest living example of a reverse racist, and now he’s appointed one.” An overwhelming number of Americans believe that judges should make decisions based on the law and the U.S. Constitution, and that judges should not make policy—as Obama and Sotomayor prefer. [2912]

 

More than one-half million letters are sent to Senators in protest of the “Hate Crimes” legislation that some argue is a disguised “**** Protection Act.” Congressman Louis Gohmert (R-TX) says that citizen action is the only way to stop the bill. “If you guys (on talk radio) don’t raise enough stink there’s no chance of stopping it,” said Gohmert. “It’s entirely in the hands of your listeners and people across the country. If you guys put up a strong enough fight, that will give backbone enough to the 41 or 42 in the Senate to say we don’t want to have our names on that.” [2913]

 

Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) says on May 26 that Republicans will not be an easy “rubber stamp” of Obama’s appointment of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. “I can tell you that we Republicans have met, as Democrats are meeting now, to formulate strategies because the last 25 years of confirmation of judges and justices have been a lot different than the first 200 years. There’s more of an in-depth view of people looking beyond just their qualifications of whether they should be on the bench,” which is partly a result “of Judge Bork being Borked in the U.S. Senate.” Grassley, who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, states, “The committee has to take time to make sure the nominee will be true to the Constitution and apply the law rather than personal politics, feelings or preferences. It’s our job to ask very thorough questions. The Senate, obviously, can’t be a rubber stamp—in the last 20 years on Supreme Court nominees (it) has not been a rubber stamp.” [2914]

 

Steve Shirk, a participant in the “tea party” protests states he was visited by members of the Joint terrorism Task Force of the FBI, apparently because Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) believed some letters the citizen had written warranted an investigation. Shirk states, “Since when did expressing a political opinion, or disagreeing with the passage of Socialist bills in the legislature become terrorist in nature? I have specifically objected vehemently to the TARP, TALC, Economic Recovery Act, Omnibus Spending Bill, President Obama's 3.6 trillion dollar budget, cap and trade, and every other anti-capitalist bill put forth in the 111th Congress.” Shirk notes that the “…FBI  agent was very polite and respectful. He explained why I had been targeted and by whom, Senator Whitehouse, and assured me that this would be the end of it. I explained to him in answer to his questions what and why I had written. He agreed that I have the constitutional right to express my dissatisfaction with government policy. The last thing he said to me was to advise that I keep expressing my opinions.” Shirk posted his story on the Internet after deciding that others should be warned that simply having an opinion and criticizing the Obama administration could result in a similar “visit.” A spokesman for Senator Whitehouse stated “We have no idea where that (allegation) came from.” [2915, 2947]

 
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