Obama — Eight years in office and he didn’t learn shit

Former President Barack Obama attends Baker Institute gala at Rice University

The 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama, took part in a moderated conversation at the 25th anniversary gala of Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

HOUSTON – Rice University’s Baker Institute celebrates 25 years with the help of special guest of honor, former President Barack Obama.

“Reaching across the aisle” was the driving theme for the discussion between Obama and former Secretary of State, James Baker III. The discussion worked to also address the need for more civility in our political and public discourse.

Republicans are busy drilling holes in the bottom of the ship of state and Obama wants bipartisanship? First, throw overboard all those who are trying to kill the passengers. Then talk bipartisanship.


Ooopsie! Obama, Cuomo and De Blasio shut barn door after the cows have left

The East Harlem shelter where a man was nearly decapitated by a mentally-ill resident was raided by cops on the hunt for hidden weapons.

Correction! The Bitemaster saw a headline that refereed to the “DHS” and jumped to the conclusion that it was referring to the Department of Homeland Security. In fact, the article was referring to the NYC Department of Homeless Services. The Bitemaster regrets the error and promises to never, ever make a mistake again.

Now that Deven Black has been murdered at a Harlem homeless shelter, public officials are falling over each other to show that they’re doing something about his tragic death.

Obama sent in the Department of Homeland Security. WTF? The murder was both horrible and senseless but it had nothing to do with national security.

Governor Cuomo ordered the City to post an officer at the shelter until the DHS is done there. What the City needs is more state funding for rent subsidies, shelters and mental health services.  Instead, it gets a meaningless gesture by a Governor whose current preoccupation is with showing that his is bigger than the Mayor’s.

De Blasio has assigned 24/7 peace officers and extra staff at intake centers and residences. This, at least, is useful, if too late for Mr. Black.

The city’s homeless problem goes back over thirty years. Thanks to city and state initiatives, housing for poor people was replaced by housing for the well-to-do, and tens of thousands were ejected from state mental hospitals to fend for themselves on city streets.

It’s a sorry mess, exacerbated by homeless advocates who opposed crackdowns on criminals in the shelters.

Does the Bitemaster have a solution? Not really. But he thinks that the return of Class B Multiple Dwellings (i.e., housing for poor people) and improved mental health services would go a long way. Even if it’s too late to save the life of Deven Black.

Source: DHS cops raid Harlem shelter where man was killed – NY Daily News

Ahmed the Clockmaker

In the midst of a social media backlash joined by the likes of Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama, police announced Wednesday that the teen’s arrest on Monday resulted from a “naive accident” that doesn’t warrant prosecution.

Young Ahmed Mohamed brought a homemade electronic clock to school. Teachers thought it could be a bomb, police were called, kid was hauled off in handcuffs.

  1. In a world of “If you see something, say something,” I think the school did the right thing by calling the cops.
  2. If the cops didn’t call in the bomb squad — and as far as I can tell, they didn’t — then they didn’t think it was really a bomb. And if they didn’t think it was really a bomb, there was no reason to arrest the kid.
  3. As for the handcuffs, if the local police use them on white students, then they’re ok to use on Ahmed.
  4. Lastly, Obama has invited the kid to the White House and both Bristol and Sarah Palin have weighed in against. Who cares?

Source: Ahmed Mohamed swept up, ‘hoax bomb’ charges swept away as Irving teen’s story floods social media | Dallas Morning News

More government spying

The Obama administration has stepped up the NSA’s warrantless surveillance program on U.S. soil to search for signs of hacking.

There once was a story that went something like this: A guy wanted to know how many submarines the Navy had, so he called the Navy and was told that the information was classified. So he called the Soviet embassy and they gave him the number.

The point of the story was that our enemies already knew the answer and the only point of keeping it a secret was to prevent American citizens from finding out.

So now Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor, has revealed that the Obama administration has expanded a secret National Security Agency program of warrantless surveillance of Americans’ international Internet traffic, searching for evidence of malicious computer hacking.

The Chinese, no doubt, already knew all about the NSA’s surveillance of our Internet traffic, so the only possible reason that Obama didn’t reveal it to us was that he wanted to avoid the possibility that we wouldn’t approve it. And for that, he can Bite Me.

I really don’t want the Chinese hacking into my computer — or my bank’s — but I also don’t want the gummint rifling through my Internet traffic. I know I can’t have it both ways and there will have to be compromises but I’d like to be part of the debate and not just have the Executive Branch decide what’s best for me.

Source: New Snowden Documents Reveal Secret Memos Expanding Spying

Was Republican landslide Obama’s fault?

It’s not Obama’s fault that he came into office thinking he could compromise with the Republicans. But by 2010 Mitch McConnell had announced that “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

At that moment, Obama should have seen what the future held and switched to “No more Mr. Nice Guy.” He did not.

Mike Lupica of the Daily News sums it up nicely:

Obama showed no feel for politics, for the kind of backroom head-banging and arm-twisting that was the specialty of such Presidents as Lyndon Johnson and Bill Clinton even when they were faced with their own obstructionist Congresses.

Everybody makes mistakes. Obama’s unforgivable one is that he didn’t learn from his.

via Lupica: GOP aims to get rid of Obama by winning Senate seats on Election Day – NY Daily News.

Department of Justice does zilch against mortgage fraud, then fakes its statistics

Adapted from Above the Law:

A few months ago, the FBI had quietly admitted that its primary function was no longer law enforcement but rather “national security.” Instead the FBI is putting a huge part of its budget towards “counterterrorism” while its efforts to take down white collar crime is dropping significantly.

This is confirmed by new report from the Justice Department’s Inspector General. It notes that, despite President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder promising that cracking down on mortgage fraud was a top priority, the FBI has actually put it near the bottom of the list of actual priorities.

The DOJ then pretended that it had been fighting mortgage fraud and put on a whole presentation about its success — based on totally faulty numbers. Numbers that it was pretty sure were faulty — and then took nearly a year to admit that their claims of success were based on bogus stats.

via Despite Promises To Fight Mortgage Fraud, DOJ Basically Ignored It, Then Claimed Success With Faulty Stats « Above the Law: A Legal Web Site – News, Commentary, and Opinions on Law Firms, Lawyers, Law Schools, Law Suits, Judges and Courts + Career Resources.

Obama wants to give new sovereign powers to corporations

“One of the most controversial provisions in the [12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade] talks includes new corporate empowerment language insisted upon by the U.S. government, which would allow foreign companies to challenge laws or regulations in a privately run international court. Under World Trade Organization treaties, this political power to contest government law is reserved for sovereign nations. The U.S. has endorsed some corporate political powers in prior trade agreements, including the North American Free Trade Agreement, but the scope of what laws can be challenged appears to be much broader in TPP negotiations.”

via Obama Faces Backlash Over New Corporate Powers In Secret Trade Deal.

Democratic Senate aide: “We are so totally, completely winning this thing that naturally it means we’re gonna cave, right?”

From the HuffPo:

For Senate Democrats, the surest sign the party is on the brink of handing significant concessions to Republicans is that Democrats are so clearly winning the struggle.. . . A Senate Democratic leadership aide, who has been buoyed throughout the showdown by the toughness displayed by the president, said he was getting signals that the White House is going soft.

Democrats Are Winning — Must Be Time To Cave, Say Democrats.

Christian delusions are driving the GOP insane – Salon.com

Why are the Republicans risking worldwide financial meltdown? According to Amanda Marcotte in Salon, Republicans believe a meltdown is a reasonable price to pay for avoiding God’s wrath at Obama, the Affordable Care Act, gay marriage, abortion, contraception and welfare for poor people:

The Tea Party is actually driven primarily by fundamentalist Christians whose penchant for magical thinking and belief that they’re being guided by divine forces makes it tough for them to see the real world as it is.

via Christian delusions are driving the GOP insane – Salon.com.