Tag: Barack Obama

Pompeo Rebukes Obama Foreign Policy in Cairo Speech: “Age of Self-Inflicted American Shame is Over”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a scathing rebuke of President Obama’s foreign policy today–in the same Middle Eastern city where the former president launched his “apology tour.”

In 2009, President Obama gave his speech titled “A New Beginning” at Cairo University, where he apologized for the United States and said the “fear and anger” Americans felt from 9/11 “led us to act contrary to our ideals.”

Speaking at American University in Cairo, Pompeo said (without mentioning Obama by name), “It was here, in this city, another American stood before you. He told you that radical Islamist terrorism does not stem from an ideology.”

“He told you that 9/11 led my country to abandon its ideals, particularly in the Middle East,” he continued. “He told you that the United States and the Muslim world needed ‘a new beginning.’ The results of these misjudgments have been dire. In falsely seeing ourselves as a force for what ails the Middle East, we were timid in asserting ourselves when the times – and our partners – demanded it.”

Pompeo went on to say that under Obama’s leadership, the United States “grossly underestimated the tenacity and viciousness of radical Islamism, a debauched strain of the faith that seeks to upend every other form of worship or governance. ISIS drove to the outskirts of Baghdad as America hesitated. They raped and pillaged and murdered tens of thousands of innocents. They birthed a caliphate across Syria and Iraq and launched terror attacks that killed all across continents.”

The Secretary of State also criticized Obama’s Iran deal, and said that President Trump reversed the nation’s “willful blindness to the danger of the [Iranian] regime.”

“The U.S. re-imposed sanctions that should never have been lifted. We embarked on a new pressure campaign to cut off the revenues the regime uses to spread terror and destruction throughout the world. We joined the Iranian people in calling for freedom and accountability,” he said.

Taking another swipe at President Obama’s foreign policy approach, Pomepo said, “The good news is this: The age of self-inflicted American shame is over, and so are the policies that produced so much needless suffering. Now comes the real ‘new beginning,’”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABM4YeVkCJ

Ep. 875 Here’s What Really Happened Yesterday

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In this episode I address the real scandal the FBI is covering up in the Hillary email scandal and the astonishing comments by Jim Comey this week regarding the infamous meeting between Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton. I also address what really happened in the Mike Flynn hearing yesterday. Finally, I address the immigration crisis and the only path forward to save the GOP.

News Picks:

Own the Libs: Trump Posts Video of Top Democrats Supporting Border Security

President Trump completely owned the libs yesterday when he posted a video of top Democrats calling for tougher immigration practices and border security.

In a video posted to Twitter, Trump says “The Democrats are absolute hypocrites. All along they’ve been supporting walls and supporting fences and supporting all sorts of border security.”

The video then cuts to clips of Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama all sounding like Republicans when it comes to border security and immigration.

“Illegal immigration is wrong. Plain and simple,” says Schumer in the video.

Hillary Clinton brags about how she voted for the border wall. “I voted numerous times when I was a senator to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in,” she says.

“We simiply cannot allow people to pour into the united states undetected, undocumented, unchecked,” says Obama.

Trump says Democrats no longer support the wall and border security because they’d rather oppose him.

“The fact is they’ve always supported fences and walls and partitions, but you know what? They only don’t want to do it because of me.”

 

Washington Post Blasts “Foxification” of White House – Forgets Obama Hired 3x More Journalists

According to the Washington Post, the “Trump White House” is now the “Fox News White House.” As former Fox News anchor Heather Nauert was selected by President Donald Trump to replace Nikki Haley as U.N. ambassador, Post columnist Philip Bump decried the “Foxification” of the White House. And Trump has indeed hired plenty of Fox News talent.

Among those former Fox News employees that work (or worked) for the Trump Administration include National Security Adviser John Bolton, Trump legal team member Joseph E. diGenova,  Director of Strategic Communications Mercedes Schlapp, former Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs for the Treasury Tony Sayegh, Communications Advisor Bill Shine, and now Heather Nauert. The only other network Trump has hired a journalist from was CNBC’s Larry Kudlow. 

Without any context for those seven FNC hires, the Washington Post’s criticism is meaningless. After all, how many journalists did Barack Obama hire? The answer is nearly three times as many, and ironically, it was another writer at the Washington Post, Paul Farhi, who called foul on Obama’s massive hiring of left-wing journalists back in 2013 following the hiring of TIME’s Richard Stengel.  While Farhi noted that it’s common for presidents to hire members of the press, he expressed concern at the time, because “Obama may be different in terms of the sheer number of ink-stained wretches and other news-media denizens that he has attracted.” More specifically: “The pattern of Obama hires has periodically aroused suspicions about the media’s allegedly cozy relationship with the president.”

Obama hired at least 23 journalists, and hilariously, hired nearly as many solely from the Washington Post as Trump has hired exclusively from Fox. The list includes:

  • U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power (U.S. News, the Boston Globe, the New Republic).
  • Speechwriter Desson Thomson (Washington Post movie critic and Clinton speechwriter).
  • John Kerry staffer Glen Johnson (Boston Globe editor).
  • Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Douglas Frantz (Los Angeles Times, the New York Times and the Washington Post).
  • Press Secretary Jay Carney (TIME Magazine).
  • State Department Undersecretary Richard Stengal (TIME Magazine managing editor).
  • Senior Managing Director of the Office of Public Affairs Stephen Barr (Washington Post).
  • VP Joe Biden’s Communications Director Shailagh Murray (Washington Post).
  • Counselor Rosa Brooks (Los Angeles Times).
  • Senior Communications Adviser for the HHS Roberta Baskin (Center for Public Inquiry).
  • Department of Education Deputy Assistant Secretary for Communication David Hoff (Education Week).
  • Department of Transportation spokeswoman Sasha Johnson (CNN).
  • Department of Transportation communications director Jill Zuckman (MSNBC).
  • Senior Policy Strategy for Science and Technology Rick Weiss (Washington Post, Center for American Progress).
  • Communications Director for the Office of Health Reform Linda Douglass (CBS, ABC).
  • The Treasury Department’s Eric Dash (New York Times)
  • The Treasury Department’s Anthony Reyes (MSNBC)
  • Obama speechwriter Aneesh Raman (CNN).
  • Chief of Staff to the U.S. China ambassador Jim Sciutto (CNN).
  • The EPA’s Kelly Zito (San Francisco Chronicle).
  • Susan Rice speechwriter Warren Bass (Washington Post).
  • The Justice Department’s Beverly Lumpkin (Project on Government Oversight).
  • The Defense Department’s Geoff Morell (ABC). This one deserves a disclaimer, as Morell was hired by George W. Bush and retained his employment under Obama.

One of those on the list, ABC’s Geoff Morell, began working for the Defense Department in 2007, and continued working in the Obama administration, so perhaps it would be appropriate to factor him out.

Regardless, there’s still at least 22 journalists who went to work for Obama, while Trump is under fire for hiring seven from Fox (or eight if you include Kudlow). Either way, Obama has hired roughly three times as many journalists are Trump has, and of course, they were all journalists who previously cozied up to the administration in their work.

The only attempt I’ve seen for a rebuttal to this fact came from The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple, who argued that Obama’s hiring was different because they weren’t all from one network (Fox). But as is obvious to anyone’s that’s channel surfed before, that’s because there aren’t any other mainstream right-wing networks to choose journalists from. Given that Wemple is employed in a field (journalism) where only 7% of people are Republicans, he should know this. 

 

Obama Takes Credit for Surging Oil Production – Here’s Why He Can’t

It’s ironic that after spending the entirety of his presidency blaming the state of the economy on George W. Bush, Barack Obama is finally taking credit for our economic boom once he’s left. In light of oil prices recently tanking from $80 a barrel to around $50 (after rising earlier in the year), Obama tooted his own horn once again. Speaking at the Baker Institute for Public Policy in Houston, Texas, Obama said:

I was extraordinarily proud of the Paris Accords because, look I know we’re in oil country and we need American energy. And by the way, American energy production, you wouldn’t always know it, but it went up every year I was president. And you know that whole suddenly America’s like the biggest oil producer … that was me, people.

But was it really? As President, Obama could directly control the levels of oil production on federal land, but could only influence private oil production through regulation (or failing to approve projects such as the Keystone XL pipeline). As is always the case in politics, Obama’s claim is one that’s “technically true” (that oil production rose under his presidency), but extremely misleading (because it had nothing to do with him).

Oil Production on Federal Land Tanked

As Obama exited office, domestic crude oil production had seen the largest nominal increase under any presidency, but where the growth in production occurred dispells any claims Obama can take credit for it.

The figures through 2016 from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) tell a story of rising oil production on private land and bottlenecked production on federal land. According to an analysis of the numbers from the Western Energy Alliance, major indicators of federal onshore and natural gas operations declined, including the number of leases, acres leased, permits approved and wells being drilled.

As a result, while private oil production increased 108% from 2009-2017, it increased less than 20% on federal lands. And while Obama was speaking about oil instead of natural gas, that energy source suffered a massive decline in production on federal land.

Alternatively, below is the crude oil production chart quoted in million barrels per day increased of percent increase/decrease.

Oil and gas production on federal land is still far below their historical averages. Due to regulations passed under the Obama administration, the amount of time it takes the BLM to process a permit increased nearly 20% under Obama from 205 days to 242 days.

The Energy Information Administration Credits Technology, Not Obama for the Oil Boom

As FactCheck.org noted, Obama’s own EIA credited technological improvements in drilling for oil, not Obama, for the increase in production. “U.S. crude oil production has increased significantly over the past 10 years, driven mainly by production from tight rock formations using horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing,” the EIA said in April 2018.

Obama released regulations in 2015 to reduce fracking on federal land, which Trump later shredded.

What About When Oil Prices Tanked Under Obama in 2015?

Oil prices suffered a rout in 2015 after beginning to teeter in late 2014, but that was a result of OPEC (primarily Saudi Arabia) starting a price war with the U.S. Two years into the price war, the Saudis had increased daily production from 9.75 million barrels per day to 10.5 million, bringing the price of oil below $50 and costing the Saudi’s themselves $525 million daily in lost revenue.

It was a costly strategy attempting to crush America’s shale industry but ended up only increasing the Saudi’s oil market share by 1% after two years.

The main point here is that the only significant decline in oil prices under Obama was due to Saudi Arabia, not Obama.

Unlike Obama, Trump is Behind The Recent Price Drop

The recent oil price drop from $80 to $50 also can be attributed to the Saudis – but Trump can actually take credit for it.

According to CNBC, oil analysts are in agreement that Trump “hoodwinked” Saudi Arabia into pushing the global oil market into oversupply. “They got sort of tricked here,” said John Kilduff, the manager of a hedge fund that specializes in energy-related investments. “The Russians and the Saudis in particular ramped up production, ramped up exports ahead of what was supposed to be severe sanctions on Iran, and when the administration gave the eight waivers to Iran’s largest buyers, it undercut that whole equation” he continued.

“So now we’ve tripped into an oversupply situation almost overnight because of the severe reaction by Russia and the Saudis to cover for Iran losses, which never materialized.”

The Saudi’s will eventually wise up and adjust output, but it’s undeniable how clever Trump’s move was.

Lewandowski: Obama had “Sinister” Reason for Not Wanting Michael Flynn in Trump Admin

According to former Trump campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, President Obama may have told then president-elect Trump not hire Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as national security adviser for fear of having his own administration exposed.

Lewandowski details the discussion in his new book, co-authored by David Bossie, Trump’s Enemies: How the Deep State Is Undermining the Presidency.

According to the authors, soon after the 2016 election, Obama and Trump sat down for a meeting, where it was common for presidents to offer advice to those about to take over as commander in chief.

The book–as reported by the UK Daily Mail–states that Obama told Trump not to hire Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, advice which was leaked to the media in May of 2017. 

According to reports at the time, Obama made this suggestion because he thought “there were better people for (the position), and that Flynn wasn’t up for the job.”

However, Lewandowski and Bossie believe Obama may have had a “more sinister” reason for giving this advice.

“It’s not unreasonable to assume that Obama knew Flynn could expose some of the misconduct in which his intelligence agencies had engaged—particularly when it came to the abuse of surveillance practices,” they write.

The two point out that Obama had allowed his intelligence agencies to “spiral out of control…even going so far as to either implicitly or explicitly allow them to conduct surveillance on citizens of the United States on domestic soil—and not just any citizens, but members of the Trump campaign.”

‘”(President Obama) certainly knew that Flynn could do some damage to the permanent power structures of his intelligence agencies and shake up the bureaucracy he had helped to grow.”

They continue, “Obama probably figured that if he could convince Trump in a private meeting—the details of which were never supposed to leak—not to hire Flynn in the first place, the chances of his illegal spying on American citizens ever coming to light would decrease dramatically.”

The book, Trump’s Enemies, is on sale tomorrow.

Here’s the Proof: Obama Treated Journalists WAY Worse than Trump

Jim Acosta’s hard pass has been suspended by the White House, and the charges that President Donald Trump is at war with the media have again become common. Those in the media may wan to remind themselves who exactly started that war.

In an earlier article comparing and contrasting Trump and Barack Obama’s treatment of Russia, I argued that while Trump has been kind in terms of rhetoric, he’s been far tougher on Russia than Obama. Trump approved the sale of weapons to Ukraine to protect against Russia (which Obama refused to do), condemned Russia’s annexation of Crimea (which Obama didn’t do), imposed sanctions on Russia, and many other actions unfavorably towards the Hermit Kingdom. The case of Trump and the media is almost the exact opposite. While Trump’s rhetoric towards the media has been almost exclusively hostile, Trump hasn’t interfered with journalists work one iota in comparison to Obama.

The month before Trump took office, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist James Risen wrote in the New York Times that “If Donald J. Trump decides as president to throw a whistle-blower in jail for trying to talk to a reporter, or gets the F.B.I. to spy on a journalist, he will have one man to thank for bequeathing him such expansive power: Barack Obama.”

Risen would know – as he fought efforts from the Department of Justice under both Obama and George W. Bush to compel him to identify sources from a 2006 book of his.

“The Most Transparent Administration in History”

The self-described “most transparent” administration in history was objectively the least transparent.

According to a report published during Obama’s last year in office, the administration set a record for rejections of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. The Obama administration either censored materials or rejected requests outright for access in a record 596,095 cases (77% of the time). In just his last year in office alone, the Obama administration spent $36.2 million in legal fees fighting FOIA related lawsuits.

I’ve seen attempts to argue that the “77% rejection” figure is inaccurate, but only if you count censored documents as having been fulfilled FOIA requests. Perhaps under Common Core math that makes sense.

Prosecuting Journalists

Obama prosecuted more journalists under the Espionage Act than all other Presidents combined. While many certainly deserved it (such as Chelsea Manning), are we to believe there were more acts of espionage from 2009-2016 than the rest of American history?

In total, 13 people have been prosecuted under the Espionage Act for sharing classified information with journalists since 1945. Of those 13, eight were arrested while Obama was president. Only one person has been prosecuted under the Espionage Act under Trump’s presidency (a woman bizarrely named “Reality Winner’), which is entirely justified for the same reasons that Manning’s charges were justified.

As one writer put it, “Trump rages about leakers. Obama quietly prosecuted them.”

Obama Would’ve Expelled Fox News if He Could’ve

Trump wants a single person from CNN gone – Jim Acosta. Obama wanted all of Fox News gone. Just months ago in September he said with a straight face that “It shouldn’t be Democratic or Republican to say that we don’t threaten the freedom of the press because they say things or publish stories we don’t like. I complained plenty about Fox News, but you never heard me threaten to shut them down or call them enemies of the people.”

Obama may have not branded Fox News “enemies of the people,” but he certainly treated them as if they were.

In 2009 Obama’s White House intentionally excluded Chris Wallace from a round of interviews related to Obama’s push for healthcare reform.

Later in the year the administration attempted to block Fox reporters from interviewing “pay czar” Kenneth Feinberg, and then lied about it. An internal White House email dated October 22nd 2009 proves that the White House director of broadcast media told Treasury officials “We’d prefer if you skip Fox please.”

Obama’s communications director Anita Dunn publicly echoed the same sentiments at the time. “We’re going to treat them [Fox News] the way we would treat an opponent. As they are undertaking a war against Barack Obama and the White House, we don’t need to pretend that this is the way that legitimate news organizations behave.”

In 2012 Fox was excluded from a White House conference call related to the then-recent attacks in Benghazi, killing four Americans. Fox was also excluded from the CIA’s briefing about the attack.

And to again reference the Espionage Act, in 2012 Fox News’ James Rosen was labeled a “criminal co-conspirator” under the Espionage Act because he used a State Department contractor as a source for a story. At least five of Rosen’s phone lines were seized, and the FBI obtained a warrant to search his emails. The phone records of Rosen’s parents were also seized.

What’s the Trumpian comparison? Calling people he doesn’t like “fake news” and hurting Jim Acosta’s feelings?

Does the U.S. Lead the World in Mass Shootings?

Authored by: Matt Palumbo

An inevitable talking point following any mass public shooting is that such tragedies “simply don’t happen” anywhere else in the world. Former President Barack Obama famously said following the 2015 Charleston church shooting which killed nine, that “This type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency.”

To support the claim, the White House released a statement citing research from criminologist Adam Lankford, which concluded the U.S. has roughly 5% of the world’s population, but 31% of the world’s mass shootings (with 90 of 292 mass shootings having a minimum of four victims having occurred in the U.S.). The time-frame was from 1966-2012, and put the blame on America’s gun laws and gun culture. The study also found that American mass shootings tend to be carried out with multiple weapons, while mass shootings abroad tend to be carried out with a single weapon (though interestingly the average death toll per shooting is lower in the U.S. despite that, with about 6.87 victims per incident in the U.S. and 8.8 per incident abroad). 

Countless publications cited the study as proof that mass shootings are a uniquely American problem, but a new study found serious flaws in Lankford’s research, concluding instead that despite having 4.6% of the world’s population and 40% of the world’s firearms, we in the U.S. experience just 2.88% of the world’s mass shootings. According to the study, authored by John Lott and titled “How a Botched Study Fooled the World About the U.S. Share of Mass Public Shootings: U.S. Rate is Lower than Global Average“:

Lankford claims to have “complete” data on such shooters in 171 countries. However, because he has neither identified the cases nor their location nor even a complete description on how he put the cases together, it is impossible to replicate his findings.

It is particularly important that Lankford share his data because of the extreme difficulty in finding mass shooting cases in remote parts of the world going back to 1966. Lack of media coverage could easily lead to under-counting of foreign mass shootings, which would falsely lead to the conclusion that the U.S. has such a large share.

As it turned out, Lankford massively under-counted mass shootings abroad, giving the U.S. an unjustly high share of the world’s mass shootings in his findings. Lott’s study used the same criteria for mass shootings as Lankford, though his researchers relied on a wide array of crime databases to search for mass shootings, and also hired people who spoke Chinese, French, Polish, Russian, Spanish, and other languages to scour international sources Lankford may have missed.

And boy did Lankford miss a lot. Lott’s list include:

1,448 attacks and at least 3,081 shooters outside the United States over just the last 15 years of the period that Lankford examined (1998-2012). We find at least fifteen times more mass public shooters than Lankford in less than a third the number of years. Coding these events sometimes involves subjectivity. But even when we use coding choices that are most charitable to Lankford, his 31 percent estimate of the US’s share of world mass public shooters is cut by over 95 percent. By our count, the US makes up less than 1.43% of the mass public shooters, 2.11% of their murders, and 2.88% of their attacks. All these are much less than the US’s 4.6% share of the world population. Attacks in the US are not only less frequent than other countries, they are also much less deadly on average.

In other words, the U.S. has had 43 mass shootings between 1998 to 2012, compared to 1,448 from the rest of the world. 

While there’s an impression that mass shootings are on the rise in the U.S., that’s certainly not true relative to the rest of the world:

And aside from mass shootings, America is not a uniquely violent country despite widespread gun ownership. Americans commit just 3.7% of the world’s murders, despite having 4.6% of the world’s population and 40% of the world’s firearms.

Yes, Trump is Tougher on Russia than Obama

Actions speak louder than media rhetoric, and that couldn’t be more true when it comes to President Donald Trump’s supposed romance with the Kremlin. It is amusing to note how randomly the Left seems to create new villains, given that as recently as the 2012 presidential election, showing any concern over Russia’s global influence was laughable to Democrats.

Now, all of a sudden, not only are the Russians public enemy no. 1, they’d supposedly been in cahoots with a Republican presidential candidate and now-President. Vladimir Putin did admit that he preferred President Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election at the Helsinki Summit (leading some liberals to cite this as “proof” of collusion), but those same liberals didn’t notice (or care) that Putin also preferred Obama over Romney in 2012.

It’s not hard to see why. As the left-leaning Brookings Institute reminds us:

  • Obama turned a blind eye to Russia’s war with Georgia in 2008.
  • In 2009 Obama axed missile defense plans for Poland and the Czech Republic, which Russia interpreted as America retreating from the European continent. Russia then became more interventionist in Europe.
  • Obama didn’t utter a peep as Russia annexed Crimea and invaded eastern Ukraine in 2014.
  • Obama ignored calls from Congress, foreign policy experts, and members of his own cabinet to provide lethal weapons to Ukraine.

Obama has also been criticized by his fellow Democrats for not doing enough in response to the alleged Russian hacking of the DNC (which they now claim didn’t occur), or the alleged Russian hacking of Hillary Clinton’s private email server (which we now know was done by the Chinese).

Biggest of all however is the failure of Obama’s attempted “Russia reset” in 2009, which began with Hillary Clinton literally traveling to Russia with a “reset” button” that vaguely resembled one of those “That Was Easy” buttons you’ll see in a Staples commercial. The word “reset” was misspelled on the button, and things only went downhill from there. U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul was the architect of the reset plan – and encouraged future administrations to not pursue the same policies that the Obama administration did. Bill Clinton also deemed the attempted “reset” a failure.

Unlike Obama, Trump hasn’t been weak on Russia. Trump has said he’s the “toughest on Russia,” and while he’s no stranger to hyperbole, there’s no question that he was tougher than his predecessor.

While Trump isn’t shy to heap praise on Putin, you wouldn’t think the two had a cozy relationship if we were to judge Trump only by the actions he’s taken towards Russia as President.

  • Trump did approve the sale of lethal weapons to Ukraine in December 2017.
  • On the annexation of Crimea, Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated “We do not recognize Russia’s attempt to annex Crimea. We agree to disagree with Russia on that front. And our Crimea sanctions against Russia will remain in place until Russia returns the peninsula to the Ukraine.”
  • Trump has ordered missiles to be fired at Syrian military sites (after President Assad was accused of using chemical weapons on his own people), which have a strategic alliance with Russia. In response, Putin accused the U.S. of “making the already catastrophic humanitarian situation in Syria even worse and bring[ing] suffering to civilians with its strikes.”
  • In August 2017, Trump signed into law CAATSA, the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act,” which imposed sanctions on Iran, North Korea, and Russia. In the words of the geopolitical intelligence platform Stratfor, “CAATSA demonstrates that the United States is more strident than ever in pushing other countries to reduce their defense and energy ties with Russia.”
  • In March, following the poisoning (presumably by the Russian government) of former KGB agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Trump expelled 60 Russian diplomats.
  • In April, Trump imposed more sanctions on Russia following the indictments of 13 Russians for “malicious cyber activities” earlier in March. Russia’s stock market dropped 11% on the news. Shares of the Russian aluminum giant Rusal (which is the world’s second largest aluminium company) tanked 40% on the news.

And what’s the evidence that Trump has been kind to Russia? Because Trump says nice things about Putin, and vice versa?

In reality, the two are respectful to one another despite politics – not because of them.