Difference between revisions of "Barack Hussein Obama"
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Kurtz in 2012 has claimed to find minutes of the New Party Chicago chapter that say, "''Barack Obama, candidate for State Senate in the 13th Legislative District, gave a statement to the membership and answered questions. He signed the New Party 'Candidate Contract' and requested an endorsement from the New Party. He also joined the New Party.''"<ref name=pollack /> Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod responded to Kurtz with silence and when asked if that meant "yes or no", Axelrod stated, "You can take that as I have no idea what you are talking about."<ref>Pollack, J.B. (2012, June 7). [http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/06/07/Exclusive-Axelrod-Plays-Dumb-on-Obama-and-Socialist-New-Party Exclusive: Axelrod Plays Dumb on Obama and Socialist New Party]. ''Breitbart''.</ref>
Kurtz in 2012 has claimed to find minutes of the New Party Chicago chapter that say, "''Barack Obama, candidate for State Senate in the 13th Legislative District, gave a statement to the membership and answered questions. He signed the New Party 'Candidate Contract' and requested an endorsement from the New Party. He also joined the New Party.''"<ref name=pollack /> Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod responded to Kurtz with silence and when asked if that meant "yes or no", Axelrod stated, "You can take that as I have no idea what you are talking about."<ref>Pollack, J.B. (2012, June 7). [http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/06/07/Exclusive-Axelrod-Plays-Dumb-on-Obama-and-Socialist-New-Party Exclusive: Axelrod Plays Dumb on Obama and Socialist New Party]. ''Breitbart''.</ref>
Revision as of 21:09, 25 July 2012
|Barack Hussein Obama|
|44th President of the United States|
From: January 20, 2009-Present
|Vice President||Joe Biden|
|Predecessor||George W. Bush|
|Successor||Incumbent (no successor)|
|Former U.S. Senator from Illinois|
From: January 3, 2005 – November 16, 2008
|Spouse(s)||Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama; may have had a prior marriage.|
|Religion||see Obama's religion|
Barack Hussein Obama II, also known by the alias Barry Soetoro during his time in Indonesia (reportedly born August 4, 1961, in Hawaii) was elected the 44th President. Promoted heavily by liberals, as demonstrated by his unjustified receipt of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, Obama won the presidency despite a short and unremarkable political career by campaigning on promises of "hope" and "change" against his listless opponent John McCain in 2008. In effect, that change has been an embrace of socialism and liberal policies. Barack Obama has been widely criticized by the American business community and others for his anti-business policies that are killing American jobs during a period of high unemployment. Former Democrat Presidential candidate Joe Lieberman endorsed Obama's opponent in 2008 and has declined to endorse Obama for the Presidential Election 2012.
Under President Obama's mismanagement of the economy, the United States Government's credit rating has, for the first time in its history, been downgraded from AAA to AA+, and poverty has increased markedly. By and large his policies to combat the recession, unemployment, slow growth, the deficit, and expanding national debt, have failed. Also on the domestic front, Obama passed an expensive health care bill in 2009 with no bipartisan support and 34 Democrats dissenting.
Fatalities in Afghanistan have more than doubled under Obama's leadership then in the preceding eight years combined, according to the Congressional Research Service . Against his own Defense Secretary's advice, Obama attacked Libya - a possible violation of the War Powers Act. After he announced the killing of September 11th mastermind and terrorist Osama bin Laden, the U.S. State Department warned of the increased risk to the lives and safety of Americans around the world. Bin Laden's death had negligible long term impact on Obama's approval ratings, as seen in Gallup's daily poll.
Obama's bizarre gaffes are frequent and embarrassing, but typically unreported by the liberal media. Obama offended Poland by referring to the Nazi death camps there as "Polish death camps." Later Obama apologized.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Birth
- 1.2 Early Life
- 1.3 Personal Life
- 1.4 Education
- 1.5 Non-Political Employment
- 1.6 Personal Awards
- 2 1991-1992, Project Vote
- 3 1996-2003, Illinois State Senate
- 4 2004-2008, U.S. Senate
- 5 2008 Presidential Election
- 6 2009-2012, U.S. Presidency
- 6.1 Domestic policy
- 6.2 Foreign policy
- 7 2012 Presidential Campaign
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
- 10 References
- Main article : Early life and career of Barack Hussein Obama
- See also : Barack Obama's Muslim Heritage
Obama claims to have been born in Hawaii to Stanley Ann Dunham and Barack Obama Sr. - who had married just six months prior - on August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Some contend that this story is a complete fabrication. After many leading conservatives including the leadership of this site and Donald Trump called for Obama to release his birth certificate he did on April 27. Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County in Arizona conducted an investigation of the Obama's eligibility and alleged that the "birth certificate" was a fake; however, no charges have been filed. Obama was reportedly assigned a social security number whose area code was assigned to applications coming from zip codes in Connecticut.
Barack Obama Sr. was not a citizen of the United States. At the time of Obama's birth, Kenya was a British colony, meaning that Obama Sr not only held British citizenship, but passed it on to his son. When Kenya gained independence, Obama and his father both lost British citizenship and gained Kenyan citizenship. Barack Obama was a dual citizen of the United States and Kenya until his Kenyan citizenship automatically expired in 1984, as he had failed to renounce US nationality and swear loyalty to Kenya. Despite having been born with US citizenship through his mother, it has been argued that as he was born with dual nationality, he is not a natural-born citizen of the United States, and thus constitutionally ineligible to become President.
Obama's birth parents divorced in 1963 due to strain caused by Barack Obama Sr. leaving Hawaii to study economics at Harvard, when Obama was 2 years old, following which his mother married Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian geologist. When Barack Obama was age 6 his mother and adoptive father took him to Jakarta, Indonesia for 4 years while his mother pursued a Ph.D. in Anthropology requiring fieldwork there. His mother then left him in Hawaii with his grandparents (Stanley and Madelyn Dunham, who had moved to Hawaii in 1959) so he could pursue American education. Other siblings of Obama's include his half-sister Maya Soetoro-Ng and 7 other children born to his father by 4 different women. For much of his early life, prior to his transfer to Columbia University, he went by his nickname, "Barry". In the summer of 1988, before attending Harvard Law School (he'd just been accepted), he visited Kogelo, Kenya, to learn more about his father's family. When his mother died in 1995, he and his sister Maya scattered her ashes over Hawaii's south shore.
Barack Obama met and began dating his future wife, an Attorney named Michelle Robinson, herself a recent Harvard Law School graduate, while he was working at Sidley Austin LLP, a prestigious corporate law firm. The two continued dating long-distance while he finished law school, and on October 18, 1982, were married by Reverend Jeremiah Wright at Trinity United Church. In 1999, their first child was born, Malia, and in 2001, another daughter, Natasha (often called Sasha).
Obama joined Reverend Jeremiah Wright's Trinity United Church from 1985-1988 during his time as a community organizer (See 1985-1988, Community Organizer section). Obama was married at Trinity United Church, credits Wright with his conversion to Christianity, and had both his daughters, Sasha and Malia, baptized there.
At age 6, Obama attended schools in Indonesia, the first a Catholic School while he was in Kindergarten, and later a public school. While the public school had mostly Muslim students (since most Indonesians were Muslim), claims that it was a Muslim school or Madrassa are false. In 1971, at age 10, Barack Obama moved to Hawaii, and his grandparents helped him gain entrance to the prestigious Punahou Academy in Honolulu through a scholarship, while he was in 5th grade. At his elite high school with 1,200 students he was just 1 of 3 black students, and was on the second string of the state champion basketball team his senior year. During this time he also experimented briefly with marijuana and cocaine. He wrote a poem for the school's literary magazine, Ka Wai Ola.
In 1979, he began a 2-year stint at Occidental College college in Los Angeles, and then transferred to Columbia University in New York, which he graduated from in 1983. During this time he allegedly spoke at an Anti-Apartheid rally on campus, although several prominent student leaders said they did not remember him there. Professor Michael L. Baron was impressed by Obama and wrote him a recommendation for Harvard Law School. In the winter of 1988 Barack Obama decided to attend Harvard Law School, and left Chicago for Cambridge, Massachusetts. In his 2nd year he became the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, following a "marathon voting session" in which he was elected on the 19th ballot. This led to national attention and numerous job offers, which Obama passed up, at age 30, to pursue a political career in Chicago.
1983-1984, Financial Analyst and Writer
In 1984 Obama worked as a writer and financial analyst for Business International Corporation, a small newsletter-publishing and research firm which aided multinational companies understand overseas markets. Obama served as a writer/researcher for a company reference service, Financing Foreign Operations, and wrote for a newsletter, Business International Money Report. His Supervisor was Cathy Lazere, and he worked at the company to pay off his student loans.
1984-1988, Community Organizer
In 1984, Obama was hired by the New York Public Interest Research Group, a non-profit organization promoting environmental, consumer, and government reforms. He also was paid just under $10,000 annually as a full-time organizer for Harlem's City College to mobilize student volunteers. From 1985-88, Obama worked as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago, for which he was paid $1,000 a year, with $2,000 extra for a car. He helped Loretta Herron gain city approval for a local community job center.  During this time Obama joined Reverend Wright's Trinity United Church because in the words of Suzanne Malveaux of CNN, "It was the church to join if you wanted to be one of Chicago's black movers and shakers." At the time, community organizing involved close affiliation with churches, which was how Obama met Wright. The slow progress in fighting asbestos contamination in the Altgeld Gardens housing project led to Obama's departure from Chicago, and enrollment at Harvard Law School in the winter of 1988.
1988-1996, Law Practice
In 1988 Obama gained work as a Summer Associate at one of the most prestigious corporate law firms in the world, Sidley Austin LLP, owned by Newton Minow, thanks to the recommendation of Minow's daughter Martha, a professor at Harvard Law School. It was at Minow's law firm that Obama would meet Michelle Robinson, his future wife. From 1993-96 he practiced civil rights law, after graduating from Harvard, at Miner, Barnhill, & Galland, a small politically-connected law firm. It was at Miner, Barnhill, & Galland that he would meet influential real estate developer Tony Rezko.
1992-2004, Law Professor at University of Chicago
Obama taught constitutional law part-time at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992-2004. He was a Lecturer from 1992-96, teaching 3 courses per year, and a Senior Lecturer from 1996-2004. Senior Lecturers are considered Law School faculty and regarded as professors but not full-time or tenured. Obama was invited to become a Senior Lecturer several times during this period but declined each time.
In 1995 Obama published "Dreams From My Father" about his life and family background.
2009 Nobel Peace Prize
On October 9, 2009 Barack H. Obama became the third sitting U.S. President to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples". Obama stated that he was "surprised and deeply humbled" to receive the unexpected award, and also said, "To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who've been honored by this prize -- men and women who have inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace". The award was widely criticized given Obama's then lack of accomplishments.
1991-1992, Project Vote
In 1991 Obama was recruited by Sandy Newman to head the Chicago chapter of Project Vote!, and in 1992 was the Executive Director, overseeing a voter registration drive which registered 125,000 black voters and was credited with helping elect U.S. Senator Carol Mosely Braun.
1996-2003, Illinois State Senate
Knocking Candidates Off the Ballot
Barack Obama ran for the Illinois state senate in 1996. He was initially supported by incumbent Alice Palmer, who declared she would run for the U.S. Congress. However, when her bid for Congress failed on November 28, 1995, she tried to run for her old seat in the March 1996 election. Her supporters asked Obama to step aside, although whether this was with her permission remains uncertain. Not only did Obama not step down, he gathered a team of high-priced lawyers, including fellow Harvard Law School graduate Thomas Johnson, to challenge his opponent's petition signatures on technicalities after the filing deadline had passed. Such tactics are legal and frequently used in Chicago; in 2006 they eliminated 67 of the 245 aldermanic candidates; yet nevertheless led to the term "hardball" by the New York Times and "cutthroat" by David Mendel as reported by both CNN and MSNBC. The Chicago Tribune declared Obama had mastered "the bare-knuckle arts of Chicago electoral politics", noting "The man now running for president on a message of giving a voice to the voiceless first entered public office not by leveling the playing field, but by clearing it." As one of Obama's four opponents, eliminated through his ballot challenges, would put it:
|“|| "Why say you're for a new tomorrow, then do old-style Chicago politics to remove legitimate candidates? He talks about honor and democracy, but what honor is there in getting rid of every other candidate so you can run scot-free? Why not let the people decide?"
-Gha-is Askia, 1996 Illinois Senate candidate
- Main Article: Illinois 1st congressional district election, 2000
In 2000, Obama lost his only political election when he chose to run against experienced incumbent and former Black Panther Bobby L. Rush for the U.S. Congress in a 65% black district. Rush's name recognition began at 90%, Obama's at 11%. As media consultant and former Rush campaign staffer Eric Adelstein noted, "Nobody said he’s ‘not black enough.’ They said he’s a professor, a Harvard elite who lives in Hyde Park." Todd Spivak would give voice to this impression of Obama, noting that
|“||"My view of Obama then wasn't all that different from the image he projects now. He was smart, confident, charismatic and liberal. One thing I can say is, I never heard him launch into the preacher-man voice he now employs during speeches. He sounded vanilla, and activists in his mostly black district often chided him for it."||”|
Obama entered the Illinois Senate promising change to a corrupt system. He mixed often radical votes with more pragmatic agreements. Possibly one of his most radical votes was against requiring medical care for aborted children who survive the procedure - in fact the Illinois Planned Parenthood Council ascribed him a 100% rating for his consistently pro-choice votes. He was criticized for using the statehouse as a stepping stone for a more illustrious career: Steven J. Rauschenberger, a Republican, said prior to Obama's election as president: “He is a very bright but very ambitious person who has always had his eyes on the prize, and it wasn’t Springfield. If he deserves to be president, it is not because he was a great legislator.”
The statehouse was majority Republican, so the Senator was sometimes forced to compromise. He formed allegiances across party lines to pass campaign finance reform that banned most gifts by lobbyists, prohibited spending campaign money for legislators’ personal use and required electronic filing of campaign disclosure reports. Obama also helped pass a so-called “driving-while-black bill”, which required the police to collect data on the race of drivers they stopped as a way to monitor racial profiling.
Obama established himself as a chief spokesperson in opposition to the War on Terror during an October 2002 rally at Federal Plaza in Chicago organized by veteran Maoist and webmaster of Progressives for Obama, Carl Davidson.
Radical foundation and connection to William Ayers
- Main article: Radical roots of Barack Hussein Obama
In 1995 a cadre of like minded individuals gathered in the home of Weather Underground (WUO) terrorists Bernardine Dohrn and William "Bill" Ayers. Dohrn, along with Carl Davidson, are veterans of guerrilla warfare training in Cuba prior 1968 Democratic National Convention riots. Ayers and Dohrn have taken credit for, and never denied, bombing the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon and the State Department.
Ayers and Dohrn used their celebrity status among leftists to launch Obama's career. Ayers, Dohrn and Jeff Jones are authors of Prairie Fire: The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-imperialism, the title taken from The Sayings of Mao Zedong. The book declares "we are communist men and women." Ayers later jokingly, publicly admitted to ghostwriting Obama's book, Dreams From My Father and Obama was to appoint several openly avowed Maoists to prominent White House and Executive Branch positions.
2003 Emil Jones Deal
- Main Article: 2003 Barack Obama deal with Emil Jones
When Illinois' U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald announced he would be retiring in April 2003, Obama jumped at the opportunity, declaring that he would be a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2004. To boost his chances at reaching the U.S. Congress in the 2004 elections, in 2003 Barack Obama approached the newly crowned head of the Illinois Senate, Emil Jones Jr., with a proposal. According to Jones, who Obama has since called his "godfather" the conversation went as follows:
|“||"After I was elected president, in 2003, he came to see me, a couple months later. And he said to me, he said, ‘You’re the senate president now, and with that, you have a lot of pow-er.’ And I told Barack, ‘You think I got a lot of pow-er now?,’ and he said, ‘Yeah, you got a lot of pow-er.’ And I said, ‘What kind of pow-er do I have?’ He said, ‘You have the pow-er to make a United States sen-a-tor!’ I said to Barack, I said, ‘That sounds good!’ I said, ‘I haven’t even thought of that.’ I said, ‘Do you have someone in mind you think I could make?,’ and he said, ‘Yeah. Me.’ "||”|
Because of the deal, Obama's entire Illinois Senate legislative record was, as longtime Obama reporter Todd Spivak put it, built in a single year. During his 7th and final year in the Illinois Senate, Obama sponsored an incredible 26 bills into law, including many he now points to when criticized as inexperienced - as CNN's Suzanne Malveaux observed, "With help from on high, Obama got his name on hundreds of bills that he pushed through." Jones not only had Obama craft legislation addressing daily tragedies to raise his political profile, he also appointed Obama head of almost all high-profile legislation in the Illinois Senate, angering other state legislators with more seniority who'd spent years supporting the bills. Illinois State Senator Rickey Hendon, the original sponsor of the famous racial profiling bill requiring videotaped confessions in police interrogations, complained bitterly about Jones' decision. Jones' influence had a major impact on Obama's chances in the 2004 elections, preventing major political players from backing Obama's opponents. To quote Emil Jones,
|“|| "He knew if he had me in the run for the Senate, it would put a block on the current mayor. The current mayor and the father of the controller, which was Dan Hynes, they were roommates in Springfield when the mayor was a state senator, so they had a relationship. Another big financial backer for the governor was Blair Hull. Barack knew if he had me it would checkmate the governor, ’cause the governor couldn’t come out and go with Blair Hull, ’cause the governor needs me. Same with the mayor. So he had analyzed and figured all of that out. He knew I could help him with labor support. And I could put a checkmate on some of the local politicians that didn’t know him, but they couldn’t really go against me."
2004-2008, U.S. Senate
2004 Primary Election
Despite initially trailing in the polls to frontrunner Blair Hull, Obama greatly benefited from what the Chicago Tribune called "the most inglorious campaign implosion in Illinois political history" when pressure from journalists and opposing candidates, just weeks before the election, forced the unsealing of Hull's messy divorce files. The files revealed Hull's ex-wife's accusations of verbal and physical abuse. Hull would afterwards criticize the media, stating, "As for the press, I will never read the newspaper the same way again." Obama would go on to win the Primary with 53% of the vote. Obama's unexpected victory led to him being termed a "rising star" by the media.
2004 General Election, Jack Ryan
Once again Obama found himself trailing to popular frontrunner Jack Ryan, and once again a candidate's campaign imploded thanks to media intervention. In an unprecedented move, the Chicago Tribune and local TV station WLS sued to force the unsealing of Ryan's divorce files, despite opposition from both Ryan and his wife, Jeri Ryan, who in the files accused Jack Ryan of trying to coerce her to perform sex acts in public. Though Ryan advisors told him he could still win if using a negative attack on Obama, Ryan refused to engage in what he considered dirty politics. Ryan then dropped out of the race (per request by the Illinois GOP), following which the Illinois GOP scrambled to find a replacement, leaving Obama uncontested for weeks to campaign and build up public support. On top of all this, Obama was selected to give the keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention (July 27), catapulting him into the national spotlight, and leading to further media publicity terming him a "rising star".
2004 General Election, Alan Keyes
- Main Article: Obama born alive controversy
After a number of candidates including former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka declined to run, the Illinois GOP finally settled on fiery Alan Keyes, a former Ambassador to the Economic and Social Counsel of the United Nations, with less than 3 months left before the November 2004 election. His sudden entrance into the state for the election was initially attacked in the press as "carpetbagging". Keyes repeatedly claimed his primary motivation for entering a race he had seemingly no chance of winning was his disgust at Obama's votes on the popular Born Alive bills. Keyes, from his first day of arriving in Illinois (August 9, 2004), accused Obama of having voted against bills mandating medical care for newborn children, and supporting "infanticide" (the term twice used in the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act) where hospitals left newborn infants to die like garbage. Obama in a debate on October 13, 2004, defended himself against Keyes' accusations of infanticide by claiming that Illinois law was already sufficient.
However, Keyes' rhetoric, calling Obama's votes "the slaveholder's position" and saying "Jesus Christ would not vote for Obama" was widely ridiculed by the press. Keyes' unabashed criticism of homosexuality as "selfish hedonism" was also targeted. Obama would ultimately win the election, 70% to 27%.
Obama frequently used the filibuster to obstruct the operations of government, voted against the minimum wage and debt ceiling increases, and recieved more than $126,000 in campaign contributions from Fannie Mae. The National Journal ranked him the most liberal senator in 2007.
2008 Presidential Election
- Main article: Barack Hussein Obama 2008 Presidential campaign
Democrats began calling for an Obama candidacy after liberals lauded his 2004 Democratic National Convention speech.
In 2007-08, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton competed for the Democratic nomination. Hillary Clinton cleverly resurrected the "Born Alive" controversy surrounding Obama that had lain largely dormant since 2004 (notwithstanding the continuing mentions by Jill Stanek), by accusing Obama of not being pro-choice for voting "Present" on a number of abortion-related bills - including the Born Alive ones, and cowardly ducking the votes. This led to criticism of Obama by two pro-choice organizations, Emily's List, and the National Organization for Women. However, Pam Sutherland, the long-time head of Illinois Planned Parenthood, came to Obama's aid, criticizing Clinton for making the attack, and stating repeatedly that Obama's present votes were part of a broader strategy used by Planned Parenthood to keep Illinois voters from knowing their state senators were voting against the controversial and popular bills.
|“|| "He came to me and said: ‘My members are being attacked. We need to figure out a way to protect members and to protect women. A ‘present’ vote was hard to pigeonhole which is exactly what Obama wanted. What it did was give cover to moderate Democrats who wanted to vote with us but were afraid to do so" because of how their votes would be used against them electorally. A ‘present’ vote would protect them. Your senator voted ‘present.’ Most of the electorate is not going to know what that means."
-Pam Sutherland, President/CEO of Illinois Planned Parenthood Council, 1980-2012
Born Alive Record Resurfaces
On June 30, 2008, Obama's voting record on the "Born Alive" bills came once more to the forefront when CNN gave voice to the growing controversy and revealed the defense Obama had been using since 2004-2008, that the Illinois bills he'd voted against were different from the federal bill, was false, since he'd brought up for a vote a bill word for word identical to the federal bill in the Health and Human Services Committee he chaired, and voted against it, defeating it. This led in August to a confrontation between Obama and the NRLC. After Obama accused critics of 'lying' the NRLC challenged the assertion, and the Obama campaign conceded he "misspoke" and had voted against an identical bill to the "federal bill that everybody supported" but focused on Obama's new claim, that Illinois law was already sufficient to protect newborn children. The NRLC promptly declared "Senator Barack Obama's four-year effort to cover up his full role in killing legislation to protect born-alive survivors of abortions continues to unravel."
- See also: Barack Obama and Liberation Theology
One major dilemma that arose for Obama during his campaign was his connection to his preacher Jeremiah Wright. Obama and his wife (raised a Baptist) were members of the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, a chruch that embraced black liberation theology and its emphasis on empowering so-called "oppressed groups" against "establishment forces". This denomination was the first in America to ordain gays as ministers. Church pastor Jeremiah Wright had been making inflammatory comments and posting his sermons online for sale. These include the statement "G-d damn America," and in describing the September 11th attacks, "We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost." In addition, Rev. Wright blamed America saying "We supported Zionism shamelessly while ignoring the Palestinians and branding anybody who spoke out against it as being anti-Semitic."
In April 2008, after 20 years in the church, candidate Obama made public statements poised to set him at odds with the man who conducted his wedding and baptized his children. With the negative publicity persisting, a month later Obama ended the friendship, left Wright's church, and blamed the media. Obama claimed “It’s not fair to the other members of the church who seek to worship in peace...", and distanced himself from Wright's sermons as "a bunch of rants that aren't grounded in the truth."
Obama made an effort to portray John McCain as similar to George W. Bush, drawing attention to McCain's refusal to criticize the unpopular president. McCain was particularly criticized for saying of how many years we should be willing to stay in Iraq, "Make it a hundred."
|“|| "John McCain went on television and said that there has been great progress economically over the last seven-and-a-half years. John McCain thinks our economy has made great progress under George W. Bush? How could somebody who has been traveling across this country, somebody who came to Erie, Pennsylvania, say we’ve made great progress?"
2009-2012, U.S. Presidency
- Main article: Obama administration
Under Obama's stewardship the United States has suffered the largest deficits in history and a credit downgrade from the rating agency Standard & Poor. However, during the Obama Administration the national deficit has increased at a much lower rate than during the Bush Administration. Most observers attribute the deficits to increasing benefits and welfare paid out on account of the Recession he inherited and has failed to end along with decreasing tax receipts. Standard & Poor decided to downgrade U.S. government deby after the debt ceiling debate debacle, where Congressional leaders refused to pass a bill authorizing borrowing to pay for the budget they had passed with much debate and controversy earlier in the year. Cynics have argued that rhetoric directed at the rating agencies about the issuance of AAA ratings to junk real estate bonds spurred the downgrade as a form of retribution. Ironically, the investor scare led to the flocking of investors to the safe haven of the Treasury bonds which had been downgraded, resulting in lower interest rates. As there are very few AAA bond markets, investors will likely continue to buy U.S. government debt for the foreseeable future.  When his economic stimulus program was adopted unemployment rose and stagnated in the 10% range,  leaving tens of millions without hope of finding a job.
Patrick H. Caddell and Douglas E. Schoen, writing in the Wall Street Journal, noted, "Rather than being a unifier, Mr. Obama has divided America on the basis of race, class and partisanship." The commentators also note Obama's approach to governance has encouraged radical leftists to pursue a similar strategy on his behalf. Mary Frances Berry, former head of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, acknowledged that the Obama administration has taken to polarizing America around the issue of race as a means of diverting attention from other issues, saying, "Having one's opponent rebut charges of racism is far better than discussing joblessness." Caddell and Schoen, who worked for President Carter and Clinton, respectively, further stated, "Mr. Obama has also cynically divided the country on class lines. He has taken to playing the populist card time and time again. He bashes Wall Street and insurance companies whenever convenient to advance his programs, yet he has been eager to accept campaign contributions and negotiate with these very same banks and corporations behind closed doors in order to advance his political agenda... President Obama's divisive approach to governance has weakened us as a people and paralyzed our political culture."
Obama's first act of office was to sign the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act - effectively nullifying the Supreme Court case Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., which ruled that Ledbetter had to have filed a pay discrimination suit within 180 days of the first time Ledbetter was payed less than her male peers; the law made corporations subject to suit within 180 days of each time the employee was unfairly paid.
On January 2, 2011, Obama signed the James Zadroga 9/11 Healthcare and Compensation Act. The act, which afforded 9/11 first responders who were sickened by the dust from the collapse of the World Trade Center health care and compensation, passed Congress after its sponsored agreed to scale down the pricing from 7.4 to 4.2 billion dollars.
Critics of the Obama administration have coined the word "Obamunism" to describe Barack Obama's socialistic and "fascism light" economic planning policies. Obamunism can also refer to Obama's ruinous fiscal policies and reckless monetary policies. As seen in his own actions, Barack Obama instructed his advisors to find loopholes that would enable the president to act as a dictator by pushing through legislation and increases in spending without congressional authority.
Nevertheless, budgets passed under President Obama have included the smallest average annualized growth of federal spending (1.4%) since before President Reagan. Federal spending grew an average of 8.7% per year during Reagan's first term and an average of 8.1% per year during George W. Bush's second term.
Wall Street firms and banks that were bailed out were among Obama's biggest campaign supporters. Therefore, the Obama administration bailouts of corrupt, unproductive, and reckless Wall Street firms was hardly surprising, and many argue that it was not helpful in making the United States economy more productive and prosperous by encouraging more risk taking through letting banks off with a slap on the wrist. Others argue that bailing out the banks kept credit flowing and prevented a much deeper recession and a total collapse of the financial system. The government will recoup some though not all of its capital infusions over time. A 2005 study found that government corporate bailouts are often done for mere political considerations and the economic resources allocated exhibit significantly worse economic performance than resources allocated using purely business considerations. Proponents of free market capitalism said Bernanke should not have bailed out failing firms and instead should have allowed free market capitalism to quickly recover as it did in the depression of 1920 without government intervention (free market capitalists assert that government intervention drags out economic recessions and depressions).
Top trend forecaster Gerald Celente predicts that the corrupt economic policies of the Obama administration will lead to a second great depression (Celente predicted the 1987 US stock market crash, the dot.com crash, the US 2008/2009 recession, and the collapse of the USSR in the early 1990s) and may lead to a "second American Revolution" (Celente predicted the tax protests that are now occurring in America). Celente also asserts that the costly and inefficient temporary short term methods that the Obama administration is using to alleviate economic problems in the short term (which is causing massive increases in Obama administration deficit spending) is only making matters worse and will not prevent the worse economic depression in United States history from occurring.
The Obama administration has been sharply criticized for its massive deficit spending and its reckless monetary policy via vast increases in the money supply, although inflation under Bernanke has been below the historic mean. Celente predicts that if a "second American Revolution" occurs in a peaceful and productive manner, it may include a third party movement of governance that will advocate a more free market capitalism approach to the American economy and a more strict interpretation of the United States constitution as far as the authors' original intent.
During what the White House billed as Recovery Summer, one half million workers per week continued losing their jobs. His signature legislative achievement, ObamaCare,has been found to be unconstitutional by several judges and constitutional by others, and is credited as a major cause of uncertainty, high unemployment, lagging job creation, and risk of a credit default crisis.
His 2012 Budget plan has been roundly criticized in the mainstream and liberal press as not a serious effort to deal with the nation's economic crisis.
In early 2009, Obama lobbied Congress and the public to pass sweeping Stimulus legislation for the ailing economy known as The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (H.R. 1), ignoring a report by the Congressional Budget Office that the legislation would ultimately harm the economy. Contrary to his earlier promises of bipartisanship, the bill passed the House 244-188 without a single Republican vote on January 28, 2009, and received just 3 Republican votes when passing the Senate 61-37. One third of the massive $838 billion bill consisted of tax cuts and the rest spending on "just about every pent-up Democratic proposal of the last 40 years." In responding to criticism of the broken bipartisanship promise at the time, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi famously quipped, "We won the election. We wrote the bill." On February 18, 2009, the Stimulus was signed into law by Obama. In August 2009, Republicans and Democratic Senator David Obey drew attention to mistakes on the Recovery.gov site claiming Stimulus jobs created that didn't exist. Obama responded by saying the errors just indicate the accounting is an "inexact science".
- Main article: Obamacare
On March 23, 2010, Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The act had originated in the House of Representatives and passed September 17, 2009. The act was amended and passed the Senate prior to Democrat Ted Kennedy's passing along party lines - just a filibuster-proof majority at 60-39. In what can be construed as a de facto rejection of the bill, Massachusetts voters elected a Republican candidate, Scott Brown, who promised to vote against the bill, but another Senate vote would not occur. Scott Brown was also an excellent campaigner and judged to be a better candidate than his rival, Martha Coakley. He has since achieved one of the most moderate senate voting records, likely to avoid the anger of his mostly liberal constituency. After Obama made a promise to issue an executive order that would ultimately prohibit the use of taxpayer subsidies to pay for abortion services, the House of Representatives would pass the bill as it left the Senate 219-212, with 34 Democrats and all other parties dissenting.
Amongst other things, the act mandates that the population purchase health care coverage or face punitive tax measures, and on this basis has been constitutionally challenged in the federal courts, with mixed results (three courts have upheld the act, two have declared it unconstitutional); thus, the Act is likely destined for Supreme Court reviewal. Plans originally proposed involved instituting a universal public insurance program, that is, extending Medicare to everyone. The universal mandate included in the act was originally a conservative idea that was enacted in Massachusetts under Republican Mitt Romney. Its supporters note that having health insurance results in reduced costs in paying for treatment of uninsured and forcing people to take responsibility for their healthcare. Due to ethical constraints, doctors cannot deny care to poor patients, resulting in the hospital and the healthcare system at large bearing the cost.
Gulf oil spill
- Main article: Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster
President Obama authorized offshore oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico stating, "oil rigs today generally don’t cause spills" and was widely criticized for his mishandling of the "worst environmental disaster in US history."
Don't Ask Don't Tell
- Main article: Don't Ask Don't Tell
Candidate Obama promised to repeal a policy that originated in the Clinton era that prohibited inquiries into military personnel's sexual orientation while also barring "out" homosexuals from serving in the military. Liberals expressed anger when time passed and no effort to repeal the law was seen; in fact, Obama's justice department, as part of their duty to defend all laws passed by any administration, filed a brief arguing against the Supreme Court granting a writ of certiorari to a gay soldier challenging the law (the writ was not granted). In response, the soldier, James Pietrangelo II, a former Army infantryman and lawyer, said, “[Obama's] a coward, a bigot and a pathological liar. This is a guy who spent more time picking out his dog, Bo, and playing with him on the White House lawn than he has working for equality for gay people."
On December 15th, 2010, a bill was introduced in the House of Representatives to repeal the law - it passed a day later by a vote of 250-175; it passed the Senate three days later 65-31. Obama signed the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010 on December 22nd.
The Pentagon itself could not immediately implement the repeal and questioned whether it would hurt combat readiness. Senator John McCain, the senior Republican on the Armed Services Committee, opposed the bill, saying "It may be premature to make such a change at this time and in this manner, without further consideration of this report and further study of the issue by Congress – for of all the people we serve, one of our highest responsibilities is to the men and women of our armed services, especially those risking their lives in combat.”
As Senator, Obama was highly critical of President Bush and promised change. As President, Obama has tripled down in Afghanistan, widened the war into Pakistan, multiplied drone attacks, bombed Yemen and Somalia, and started an undeclared NATO war in Libya. On presidential war powers, surveillance questions, Guantanamo, detention policy and habeas corpus, Obama has similarly stayed the course, or expanded Bush's precedents. In a speech on May 19, 2011 Obama fully embraced the Bush Doctrine of preventative war.
The New America Foundation, which tracks the strikes, has listed 23 raids since the beginning of April, 2011, all but one in Pakistan’s tribal regions of North and South Waziristan. A June 20 attack was reported in Kurram, an area north of North Waziristan along the Afghanistan border.
The drone program has become increasingly controversial as the Obama administration has expanded its use beyond the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Lethal missiles have been launched from unmanned aircraft in at least five countries in addition to Pakistan: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and, most recently, Somalia. The military’s Joint Special Operations Command used a drone last June to attack what officials said were two senior members of the Al Shabab militant group on the Somali coast. 
Obama is commendable when he says he wants to avoid war. His policies, however, favor war by destabilizing the Middle East making it extremely hostile and favoring radical Islam over America’s ally, Israel, and American interests in the region... The president has chosen a very dangerous path for every American and one that promises great difficulty for Israel. 
By Obama's third year as Commander-in-Chief, over 1200 American troops died in Iraq and Afghanistan - significantly more than the number who died during President George W. Bush's term of office. And growing numbers of civilian contractors also have fallen. In the first half of 2010, 250 contractors reportedly died in Iraq and Afghanistan - more than the 235 military personnel who fell during the same period.
President Obama signed into U.S. law the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), only after his administration successfully lobbied to remove language from the bill that would have protected American citizens from being detained indefinitely without trial. After the legislation cleared Congress, the ACLU commented that if President Obama signed the bill it "will damage both his legacy and American’s reputation for upholding the rule of law," while executive director of the Human Rights Watch blasted the President for being ‘on the wrong side of history,’ noting that "Obama will go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention without trial in US law."
Section 1031 of the NDAA bill, which itself defines the entirety of the United States as a “battlefield,” allows American citizens to be snatched from the streets, carted off to a foreign detention camp and held indefinitely without trial. As reported by Infowars.com, the bill states that “any person who has committed a belligerent act” faces indefinite detention, but no trial or evidence has to be presented, the White House merely needs to make the accusation.
2009-2011 Iraq Troop Withdrawal
- Main article: Operation Iraqi Freedom
On February 10, 2007, Barack Obama announced his campaign for the U.S. presidency while stating he had a "plan that will bring our combat troops home by March of 2008." Later, Obama campaigned on having troops entirely out of Iraq within 16 months, but in February 2009 revised this promise to withdrawing all but 35-50 thousand troops by December 2011. However, some of the newly withdrawn troops were simply redirected from Iraq to Afghanistan - Obama in Summer 2009 ordered 21,000 troops to Afghanistan.
|“|| "But all of this cannot come to pass until we bring an end to this war in Iraq. Most of you know I opposed this war from the start. I thought it was a tragic mistake. Today we grieve for the families who have lost loved ones, the hearts that have been broken, and the young lives that could have been. America, it's time to start bringing our troops home. It's time to admit that no amount of American lives can resolve the political disagreement that lies at the heart of someone else's civil war. That's why I have a plan that will bring our combat troops home by March of 2008. Letting the Iraqis know that we will not be there forever is our last, best hope to pressure the Sunni and Shia to come to the table and find peace."
-Barack Obama, February 10, 2007 Presidential Campaign Announcement Speech
- Main article: Afghanistan War
Obama escalated troop strength and defense costs in Afghanistan from $43.5 billion in George Bush's last year to $113.7 billion for 2011. Adviser to General Stanley McChrystal David Kilcullen wrote, "One of the big strategic shifts is the use of language now which talks about Pakistan and Afghanistan as the same theater. Now we talked about Af-Pak long before the Obama administration came about, but the public use of that term, and the description of it as the Afghanistan-Pakistan campaign, sends a new message to people about how the administration is going to think about Afghanistan and Pakistan." This became evident when, under the orders of Obama, a military SEALs team killed September 11th mastermind Osama bin Laden in Abottabad, Pakistan.
- Main article: Guantanamo Bay
One of Obama's campaign promises was that he would close the American detention center at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba - detainees would be flown to other countries while the ones awaiting trial would enter the American court system. Two days after taking office he signed an order directing the military to do so. But, in November 2009 Obama admitted that his self imposed deadline of January 2010 would be missed, and in March 2011 the president went back on his campaign promise, signing an executive order to create a formal system of indefinite detention for the prisoners.
In May 2012, President Obama promised Mexican President Felipe Calderon that his administration would assist Mexico in curbing drug cartel violence, which has led to 30,000 deaths in Mexico. "President Calderon and I . . . stand together against the drug cartels that have unleashed horrific violence in so many communities," Obama said on May 19. "Mexico can count on the United States as a full partner in this effort."
The Washington Post has reported however that White House officials stopped a requirement for gun dealers to report bulk sales of high-powered semiautomatic rifles commonly used by illegal drug cartels. Justice Department officials had asked for White House approval to require thousands of gun dealers along the border to report the purchases to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and Explosives. ATF investigators expected to get leads on suspected arms traffickers. Senior law enforcement sources said the proposal from the ATF was held up by then White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. Gun dealers have been required for decades to report the sales of multiple handguns to the ATF.
- Main article: Libyan uprising 2011
In February 2011, the political unrest that had spread through the Arab world showed up as protests in Libya. Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi - leader of Libya for 41 years - responded to the violent activism with legible steps. The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to impose sanctions, and later authorized all members to take action to protect civilians. Obama, acting without approval from Congress and at the beckoning of the United Nations, directed American forces to take out Libya's air defense system. Obama later said, "[I]f we waited one more day Benghazi, a city nearly the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world." Alan J. Kuperman - writing an editorial for the Boston Globe - suggested this statement was false, writing, "[I]ntervention did not prevent genocide, because no such bloodbath was in the offing. To the contrary, by emboldening rebellion, US interference has prolonged Libya’s civil war and the resultant suffering of innocents." Kuperman, a professor of public affairs at the University of Texas who authored a book called The Limits of Humanitarian Intervention, further stated that the rebels had tricked the world into thinking a bloodbath was at hand and that Obama had lied to the American people in order to act on this theory.
Gaddafi [never] threaten civilian massacre in Benghazi, as Obama alleged. The “no mercy’’ warning, of March 17, targeted rebels only, as reported by The New York Times, which noted that Libya’s leader promised amnesty for those “who throw their weapons away.’’ Khadafy even offered the rebels an escape route and open border to Egypt, to avoid a fight “to the bitter end.’’ 
However Gaddafi wrote to Obama:
Gaddafi said he bore no ill will toward Obama. "We have been hurt more morally than physically because of what had happened against us in both deeds and words by you," he wrote. "Despite all this you will always remain our son whatever happened. We still pray that you continue to be president of the USA. We endeavour and hope that you will gain victory in the new election campaign." The letter, dated 5 April 2011 in Tripoli, is signed "Mu'aumer Qaddaffi, Leader of the Revolution".
Critics point out the only thing worse than starting a "stupid, unnecessary war" against a madman is losing it.
2012 Presidential Campaign
2011, Birth Certificate Released
- Main Article: Barack_Obama_Controversies#Birth_Certificate
On April 27, 2011, a long-running controversy surrounding Obama's birth was largely put to rest when Obama had his long-form birth certificate posted at WhiteHouse.gov. Donald Trump, who had attacked Obama on the Birth Certificate issue and was then leading Republicans in polls for the upcoming GOP primary, was effectively knocked out of the race because of this.
The following is a timeline of previous events leading up to the release:
- In June 2008 the Obama campaign allowed FactCheck.org to look at his “Certificate of Live Birth” and take photos.
- In July 2008 a blogger discovered a birth announcement from the Honolulu Advertiser from August 13, 1961 for Barack Obama. It has since been discovered another newspaper, the Star Bulletin, also documented the birth.
- PolitiFact went to extreme lengths to verify Obama’s citizenship, attaining scanned copies of his 1992 marriage certificate from Cook County, IL, his driver’s license record, and his registration and disciplinary record. PolitiFact also addressed a number of concerns about the documentation.
- In October 2008 Hawaii’s Department of Health released a statement by Dr. Chiyome Fu.kino verifying that Obama’s birth certificate was on record.
- In August 2009 it was revealed that an alleged Kenyan birth certificate for Obama was a hoax. Another website allows you to create your own imitation Kenyan birth certificates online.
2011, Osama Bin Laden Confirmed Dead
On May 1, 2011, Obama announced in a press conference that Osama Bin Laden was dead after a U.S. assault force infiltrated his military compound in Abottobad, Pakistan. Bin Laden was reportedly shot in the head after a helicopter raid ferried Navy SEAL Team Six and CIA paramilitary operatives into Pakistan on April 29. Reuters obtained photos of unidentified dead bodies from the raid, none of which look like bin Laden. However, the White House had the body of Osama bin Laden disposed of at sea because it claimed this was "in accordance with Islamic tradition" and didn't want to give Bin Laden followers a gravesite shrine. The White House also refused to publicly reveal photos or evidence of the body, because Obama claimed that "given the graphic nature of these photos, it would create some national security risk." The burial at sea was criticized by Islamic scholars and 9/11 families. The lack of photos resulted in skepticism about the death from a variety of sources, including the Taliban and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.
The death of bin Laden, coupled with the revealing of Obama's long-form Birth Certificate, resulted in a boost of Obama's job approval from 46% to 57% within one month. In 2012, relations between the U.S. and Pakistan remain sour because the U.S. did not involve Pakistan fully in the raid to ensure success. Pakistan has denied White House claims that there was a deal with it allowing the raid.
2012: Ties to ACORN?
According to Stanley Kurtz - author of Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism (2010) Obama in 1995 sought and obtained the endorsement of a left-wing third party, the New Party in his quest to be elected to the Illinois State Senate. Obama's "Fight the Smears" campaign has denied this, as has Politico's Ben Smith. Others who claim he was affiliated with the New Party/ACORN include The Blaze's Billy Hallowell, Breitbart's Joel Pollack, Human Events' Erick Erickson, Newsbusters' P.J. Gladnick, Rick Moran at AmericanThinker.com, and various writers at Discover the Networks (which include Kurtz and Erickson).
Kurtz in 2012 has claimed to find minutes of the New Party Chicago chapter that say, "Barack Obama, candidate for State Senate in the 13th Legislative District, gave a statement to the membership and answered questions. He signed the New Party 'Candidate Contract' and requested an endorsement from the New Party. He also joined the New Party." Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod responded to Kurtz with silence and when asked if that meant "yes or no", Axelrod stated, "You can take that as I have no idea what you are talking about."
"You didn't build that" Controversy
In a campaign even speech on July 13, 2012, Obama gave a speech that immediately stirred up controversy. Speaking about the Government's role in the success of private business, he said:
|“||If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business - you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.||”|
It is fairly clear that when Obama said "you didn't build that," he is referring to roads, bridges, and other infrastructure and technological advancements that government played a key role in funding and creating, though plenty of people may disagree over how much government is actually required for businesses to be successful. But many Obama opponents, including the Romney campaign, took that one sentence ("If you’ve got a business - you didn’t build that") out of context, making it seem like the President is not giving credit to business owners for having built their own businesses. Obama could have been more clear about what he was referring to, which is unusual because he is often praised for his public speeches. This could be a case of Obama speaking off-script, providing further evidence for his reliance on teleprompters.
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