Day 28 of the Obama Administration - History

Day 28 of the Obama Administration - History

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President Obama flew to Denver were he signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act(otherwise known as the Economic Stimulus Act. The President signed the bill at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. There he toured their solar panel installation. Full Remarks

Signing the bill into law marked a major milestone for the Obama administration. President Obama had set the passage of the act as the first major goal of the administration.

The President received the updated plans from GM and Chrysler about their restructuring as well as their needs for additional loans.

The President announced that he had approved the sending of an additional troops to Afghanistan. Initially the US will send an additional 17,000 troops there. It is expected that the US will double its troops in Afghanistan over the next six months. Text

Obama’s Noble Lie

In book three of Plato’s Republic, Socrates develops his concept of the ideal city, composed of distinct classes of rulers, soldiers, and workers. In order to convince the people of his wisdom, however, Socrates finds it necessary to spin an elaborate tale — a “noble lie to persuade, in the best case, even the rulers, but if not them, the rest of the city.” Socrates justifies this fiction as a way to advance the common good.

Today, it is worth asking whether our own modern-day philosopher king, President Barack Obama, is pursuing a similar strategy for selling the nuclear deal with Iran, announced one year ago next month. For the past year, time and again, the president and his faithful secretary of state have advanced a policy of rapprochement with Iran, recast for the American public as principled diplomacy. The upshot is a series of situational claims and inconsistencies, all of which bend in the same direction — toward Iran.

In book three of Plato’s Republic, Socrates develops his concept of the ideal city, composed of distinct classes of rulers, soldiers, and workers. In order to convince the people of his wisdom, however, Socrates finds it necessary to spin an elaborate tale — a “noble lie to persuade, in the best case, even the rulers, but if not them, the rest of the city.” Socrates justifies this fiction as a way to advance the common good.

Today, it is worth asking whether our own modern-day philosopher king, President Barack Obama, is pursuing a similar strategy for selling the nuclear deal with Iran, announced one year ago next month. For the past year, time and again, the president and his faithful secretary of state have advanced a policy of rapprochement with Iran, recast for the American public as principled diplomacy. The upshot is a series of situational claims and inconsistencies, all of which bend in the same direction — toward Iran.

Obama’s favorite chronicler, the Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg, has given us insight into the technique. In April, Goldberg told us that “Obama generally believes that the Washington foreign-policy establishment, which he secretly disdains, makes a fetish of ‘credibility.’” Obama elaborated on that theme in the same interview, proclaiming himself “very proud” for declining to strike Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after the Iranian proxy gassed his own people, despite the perception “that my credibility was at stake, that America’s credibility was at stake.”

Just last year, however, Secretary of State John Kerry was singing the opposite tune. In July 2015, Kerry demanded that Congress approve the Iran deal, or else “the U.S. will have lost all credibility.” In September, the White House argued in a statement of administration policy that disapproval of the deal “would deal a devastating blow to America’s credibility as a leader of diplomacy.” And this month, Kerry argued that “future dealings” with Iran demand his “good faith in executing this agreement” — including his travels from London to Oslo to improve what he claims is lagging investor interest in Iran. For team Obama, it seems that credibility matters, except for when it doesn’t.

That Kerry has found it necessary to travel across Europe as Iran’s economic emissary exposes another of the Obama administration’s inconsistencies. Last August, as part of his efforts to sell the Iran deal, Kerry warned, “If we turn around and nix the deal and then tell them, ‘You’re going to have to obey our rules and sanctions anyway,’ that is a recipe, very quickly … for the American dollar to cease to be the reserve currency of the world.” Obama made the same dire prediction at the time, arguing that a failure to implement the nuclear deal would “raise questions internationally about the dollar’s role as the world’s reserve currency.”

Now, the Obama administration is considering dollarizing Iranian transactions — despite categorical assurances to the contrary last September — while Kerry travels the world to drum up investors for the Islamic Republic. In London in May, Kerry complained that businesses “shouldn’t say, ‘Oh, we can’t do it because the United States.’ That’s just not fair” while conceding that banks “have concerns about our secondary sanctions….” To hear the Obama administration tell it, the dollar is somehow too weak and too strong — too weak to sustain the sanctions regime before the nuclear deal, yet strong enough that investors are deterred from going into Iran after the agreement.

In March 2015, Obama asked Congress to exercise forbearance, assuring members, “Let’s wait until there’s actually a deal on the table that Iran has agreed to, at which point everybody can evaluate it. You don’t have to speculate.” As soon as the agreement was announced, however, the president’s chief negotiator shut down the debate: “[I]t would have been a little difficult when all of the members of the P5+1 wanted to go to the United Nations … for us to say, ‘Well, excuse me, the world, you should wait for the United States Congress.’” Congress never did get its vote — a bait and switch that set the scene for the year to come.

As the anniversary of the nuclear accord nears, we can be sure that the Obama administration and its allies will treat us to a slew of congratulatory stories about the deal, with an eye toward making it permanent. Indeed, over the remaining seven months of his presidency, Obama will work to make the Iran deal as difficult as possible for any future administration to unravel. Just last week, for example, U.S. officials facilitated Boeing’s blockbuster $25 billion deal to sell airliners to Iran, while the Financial Action Task Force, a global agency charged with monitoring money laundering, suspended several restrictions against Iran. These are the hard facts that matter far more than any narrative that the White House pushes.

Socrates justified his fiction on the basis that it produced a more benign political outcome. Obama’s political allies and Iran deal enthusiasts have taken comfort in a similar claim. To be sure, the White House may have admittedly advanced some problematic arguments, but all in the service of a noble vision. Don’t fall for it. History will judge the Obama administration’s style in advancing the nuclear deal to be as checkered as the deal itself.

BIRTHDAY: Jeff Eller, president and CEO of Public Strategies Inc.

Good Monday morning. Happy Presidents’ Day. The Obama administration is garaging the idea of a single “car czar” to oversee the restructuring of the auto industry, starting with turnaround plans due tomorrow from GM and Chrysler. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will be in charge. Restructuring expert Ron Bloom, a former investment banker who been advising the United Steelworkers, will join a new Presidential Task Force on Autos that will be drawn from across the executive branch.

The news, which administration officials e-mailed around last night, took industry executives by surprise. For days, they had been expecting an announcement that the job would go to celebrity financier Steven Rattner, the private-equity executive and former New York Times reporter. One exec told us: “We would have preferred having a single, go-to person focused on the restructuring. This isn’t bad, but the other would have been better.”

RATTNER MAY STILL JOIN TEAM — A senior administration official tells us: “He was never going to be car czar — was always going to be a team. He may still be involved, just not announcing that right now.”

THE NARRATIVE — Bloomberg’s Al Hunt: “Obama Starts Strong Even With Rookie Mistakes.”

TiVo ALERT: Filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi (HBO’s Emmy®-winning “Journeys with George”) spotlights hard-core McCain voters in a new documentary “RIGHT AMERICA: FEELING WRONGED — SOME VOICES FROM THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL,” which she directed, produced and filmed. Debuts tonight (8-9 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO. From HBO: “Pelosi visited 28 states and spoke about the fight for the soul of the country with mostly conservative Americans, who feel underrepresented by the mainstream media. From the Pulpit Freedom Day in Bethlehem, Ga., to the NASCAR circuit, [the film] shows a country at war with itself over the religious and cultural identities that define America. …

“[The film] is a snapshot of some of the most enthusiastic conservative Americans, once labeled ‘the silent majority’ of the voting American public. … Alexandra Pelosi began her career in TV covering politics in Washington, D.C., and subsequently served as a network news producer for seven years. For … ‘Journeys with George,’ she spent 18 months on the campaign trail with future president George W. Bush. For the 2004 HBO documentary ‘Diary of a Political Tourist,’ she spent a year and a half following seven Democratic presidential candidates … Her third film, ‘Friends of God: A Road Trip with Alexandra Pelosi,’ explored the booming Christian evangelical movement in America. Her other current project is the HBO documentary ‘The Trials of Ted Haggard.’ … Pelosi is the daughter of California congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, who became the first female Speaker of the House in 2007.”

AP television writer David Bauder: “It's one thing to assume that racism or ignorance is still alive and played a role in how some people voted, quite another to see how Pelosi found it and stuck a camera in its face. Still, there was enough concern about how this would be taken that HBO and Pelosi made a last-minute change to a printed introduction to the film. … The . sentence was changed to read: ‘While not representative of the entire Republican Party, these are just some of the faithful who turned out at campaign rallies along the way.’”

BUZZ: Chicago Tribune media blogger Phil Rosenthal: “Jill Zuckman, a Chicago Tribune Washington correspondent and frequent guest on political talk shows, … is leaving to join President Barack Obama's administration in the Department of Transportation [for] Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a Peoria Republican and former seven-term member of the U.S. House.”

JILL’S NOTE TO COLLEAGUES: “Hey everyone … I’m going to be an assistant to the secretary and director of public affairs, and hopefully a source for all of you. Some of you may have heard me babble in the past about how much I admire LaHood — he's just a great guy who has also made an effort at being bipartisan, and is willing to say what he thinks. I'm really excited about the job and about learning something new. … Four presidential campaigns, the Florida recount, the rise of Newt Gingrich, the return of Democratic control . and who can forget Roland Burris? I think this is the time for me to move on to a new chapter in my career.”

TALKER — WashPost, lead story of Style: “Media Notes: Sam Donaldson, Moving Out of Shouting Distance — Forceful Newsman to Retire After Four Decades at ABC,” by Howard Kurtz: “Whatever else he accomplished in his 41 years at ABC News, Sam Donaldson knows he'll be remembered mainly for his bellowing voice. ‘I guess it'll be on my tombstone: “He yelled at Ronald Reagan,”’ Donaldson says. Now, with little fanfare, the 74-year-old newsman is retiring from full-time work next week. ‘Some people leave the business bitter, feeling they've been cast out, or they hang on too long,’ he says. ‘And I don't ever want to get in that position.’ … In his heyday, Donaldson co-hosted two major ABC programs: ‘This Week,’ with [Cokie] Roberts, and ‘PrimeTime Live,’ with Diane Sawyer. He will continue to appear as a ‘This Week’ panelist once a month and do some work for ABC radio. In recent years Donaldson has been co-hosting ‘Politics Live’ on ABC's digital and Web channel … [H]e did not ask ABC executives for a new contract when the old one expired after the 2008 campaign.”

SCOOP, “Obama slows down troop boost decision,” Politico’s David S. Cloud: “Rather than sign off quickly on all or part of a long-standing Pentagon request for three Army combat brigades and Marine units [for Afghanistan], totaling over 10,000 troops, Obama and his aides are questioning the timetable, the mission and even the composition of the new forces, officials familiar with the deliberations said. … Obama’s deliberate pace represents yet another break with the usual style of his predecessor. Former President George W. Bush usually signed off quickly on requests for additional troops from his commanders, and, especially early in his presidency, he rarely engaged in lengthy discussions about what the troops would be used for. …

“[T]hough the troop decision was once seen as an almost routine matter, Obama's discussions with [Defense Secretary] Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has evolved into a broader discussion about goals and methods in Afghanistan, even before the conclusion of the review. The delay in deciding reflects at least in part Obama's determination not to be rushed by the Pentagon brass into a decision before he fully understands the implications, several officials said. The slow pace also is an indication of the influence being exerted by Gates, who has warned repeatedly in recent weeks about rushing into a greater U.S. commitment in Afghanistan without carefully weighing the risks. … The White House's longer timetable is likely an indication of its intention to shift the military strategy over the coming year. … There are currently 33,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan … Even if all three brigades are sent now, that would still only total less than half of the 30,000 additional troops that U.S. commanders once said they needed in the country.”

SPOTTED AT THE NBA ALL-STAR GAME IN PHOENIX: Wolf Blitzer, John King, Dana Bash and Frank Luntz. Sen. McCain had courtside seats.

--Margaret Carlson, Washington editor of "The Week" magazine and columnist for Bloomberg News, to Howard Kurtz on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” on the presidential press conference, and his roundtable with regional reporters: “Bush couldn't take the risk of giving a long answer because he might do a Bushism. But Obama can take that risk. … Washington, among the governors whom I always call, they're all for the stimulus, because they need the money and they know what they're going to do with it. And regional reporters are out there covering them.”

--Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on “This Week”: “I'm very much afraid that any program to salvage the bank is going to require the government — I would not take off the idea of nationalizing the banks.”

--Robert Gibbs, to CBS’s Bob Schieffer on “Face the Nation,” on why President Obama chose Denver for signing the stimulus bill on Tuesday: “He wants to get out of Washington and show people all across America the benefits of what's inside this economic recovery and reinvestment plan. We thought Denver would be as good a place as any to highlight some of the investments to put people back to work, particularly in clean energy jobs, and to focus people on those long-term investments that will help out long-term economic growth.”

--David Axelrod, to NBC’s David Gregory on “Meet the Press”: “It's always important to remember that the chatter in this town is not the chatter around kitchen tables in this country. And as long as we listen to kitchen table chatter, I think we're going to stay on a truer course.”

--On “Fox News Sunday,” Chris Wallace asked Axelrod, “When are you going to issue an executive order on stem cell research?”

MR. AXELROD: That — we'll be doing something on that soon, I think.

MR. WALLACE: An executive order lifting the ban on federal funding?

MR. AXELROD: The president is considering that right now.

MR. WALLACE: Are — will you rule out reimposing the Fairness Doctrine?

MR. AXELROD: I'm going to leave that issue to Julius Genachowski, our new head of the FCC, to — and the president — to discuss. So I don't have an answer for you now.

THE BIG IDEA 1 – WashPost lead story, “Politically, Stimulus Battle Has Just Begun: Parties Position Themselves To Claim Credit, Cast Blame,” by Michael D. Shear and Paul Kane: “President Obama's advisers are betting that the historic legislation he will sign tomorrow will bear fruit quickly, and they plan to do everything they can to highlight evidence of it creating the jobs he has promised. That public relations effort kicks off tomorrow as a two-day swing through the West begins. But the Republican Party has made its own bet: that the stimulus package that Democrats rushed through Congress will have been deemed a failure by the time the 2010 elections arrive, leading voters to rebuke Obama and reward the GOP with much-needed victories. Whichever side proves to be right, the sharp, partisan lines over the stimulus bill make it plain that both parties intend to exact a political cost over last week's votes.”

THE BIG IDEA 2 — L.A. Times A1, “News analysis: Liberals watch Obama, and worry,” by Peter Wallsten: “Slowly over the last few weeks, some of Barack Obama's most fervent supporters have come to an unhappy realization: The candidate who they thought was squarely on their side in policy fights is now a president who needs cajoling and persuading. … Critics of Bush's faith-based initiative thought Obama had promised to end religious discrimination among social service groups taking federal money. But Obama, in announcing his own faith-based program this month, said only that the discrimination issue might be reviewed. …The anxiety is also being felt in the labor movement, one of Obama's most important support bases. Some union officials and their allies are frustrated that at a crucial point in negotiations over his massive stimulus package, Obama seemed to call for limits on ‘Buy American’ provisions in the bill aimed at making sure stimulus money would be spent on U.S.-made materials.”

BOOKER ALERT – WashTimes A1, “Obama's remark on bad teachers, reform ‘unusual,’” By Ralph Z. Hallow: “President Obama's blunt but little-noted statement last week that bad teachers need to be fired and that some fellow Democrats resist real change in public schools has jolted educators and education critics alike. ‘It was unusual for a Democratic president to say that,’ said Cynthia G. Brown, director of education policy for the liberal Center for American Progress. ‘I applauded when I watched him say it on television.’ … Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told The Washington Times that "President Obama has potentially opened a very important dialogue about real reform and real investment in education. … Some saw in Mr. Obama's words something they had never seen before: a sitting president of either party, let alone a Democrat, standing up for the first time to the teachers unions, which represent one of the most powerful Democratic interest groups.”

WHAT THE PRESIDENT SAID, during his prime-time presser: “[T]here are areas like education where some in my party have been too resistant to reform, and have argued only money makes a difference. … [B]oth sides are going to have to acknowledge we're going to need more money for new science labs, to pay teachers more effectively, but we're also going to need more reform, which means that we've got to train teachers more effectively, bad teachers need to be fired after being given the opportunity to train effectively, that we should experiment with things like charter schools that are innovating in the classroom, that we should have high standards.”



--Chicago Tribune lead story, “Perjury? Burris says no: Senator addresses Blagojevich ties as Republicans call for inquiry, ouster,” by Rick Pearson and Janet Hook: “U.S. Sen. Roland Burris tried Sunday to quell new questions about his controversial appointment, insisting he shouldn't be blamed for only recently detailing his conversations about the job with five close associates of disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The Chicago Democrat said he didn't provide a full explanation because nobody pressed the point during his sworn testimony last month to House lawmakers who impeached Blagojevich. He accused Republicans of playing politics by calling for an investigation into whether he committed perjury and even asking for his resignation. But Burris' evolving explanation of what happened took another twist when he said federal investigators want to talk about his appointment to the Senate seat that Blagojevich was charged with trying to sell. ‘What I understand is some of the agents have reached out to my lawyers,' Burris said, adding 'they want to meet with me.' Burris attorney Timothy Wright acknowledged Burris may be on a covert recording in the Blagojevich investigation but declined to explain the senator's comment about meeting with federal agents, saying 'the FBI has not come to us and they're not asking us for anything.' Burris, a former attorney general, alternatively looked nervous and feisty at a hastily arranged news conference in Chicago just a day before he was to embark on a statewide listening tour.”

IN THE STATES – L.A. Times lead story, “One vote shy, state budget remains stuck: Capitol lockdown and all-nighters can't shake loose the one GOP Senate vote needed to pass the spending plan. Weary Democrats will try again this morning.”

SPORTS BLINK, from AP: “Shaq danced, Kobe dazzled. … Bryant led all scorers with 27 points, O'Neal partied his way back onto the NBC All-Star stage with 17 in just 11 minutes, and the Western Conference beat the East 146-119 Sunday night. … Back on the same team for the first time in nearly five years, the three-time champions shared the game MVP award. And leave it to Shaquille O'Neal to coin a nickname for himself and Kobe Bryant. ‘The Big Legendaries,’ O'Neal said. … [T]he only sign of any feuding was when they playfully fought over the MVP trophy they shared.”

--AP: “Matt Kenseth wins rain-shortened Daytona 500,” NASCAR’s Super Bowl (even though it STARTS the season).

Obama may overturn abortion rule

President Obama has began the process of rescinding a last-minute rule by George W. Bush that strengthened legal protections for health care workers who refuse to perform abortions because of religious or moral objections.

With this latest move pleasing pro-choice advocates and angering pro-lifers, the Obama administration early next week will open a 30-day period for public comment on its intentions to reverse the policy, a Health and Human Services (HHS) senior official said Friday on the condition of anonymity because the comment period hasn’t started.

The rule, enacted Jan. 20 - the final day of President Bush’s administration - prohibits recipients of federal money from discriminating against doctors, nurses and other health care workers who refuse to perform or assist in abortions, sterilizations or other medical procedures because of “religious beliefs or moral convictions.”

The regulation was challenged almost immediately in federal court by several states and medical groups. States worried the new rule would trump state laws protecting patient access to birth control, abortion and medical care.

Friday reports of the impending action drew praise from pro-choice advocates and consternation from pro-life and conservative groups.

“For President Obama to do this would be a huge blow to religious freedom and First Amendment rights,” said Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, a Washington-based conservative Christian think tank. “No one should be forced to have an abortion, and no one should be forced to be an abortionist in violation of their religious or ethical convictions.”

The “provider conscience regulations” instituted by the Bush administration were intended to strengthen existing federal laws that prohibit institutions from discriminating against individuals who refuse to participate in abortions or provide a referral for one. The former administration also said the rule was needed to ensure that federal money doesn’t flow to providers who violate those laws.

But critics of the updated rule said it is too vague and cumbersome and could lead to patients being denied needed services and medical treatment, including birth control, HIV testing and treatment, and mental health services.

Opponents also said the Bush administration rule could be extended in its application to pharmacists who refuse to sell contraceptions or other medications and devices they morally oppose.

“President Obama’s action today to move forward in repealing this rule reinforces why elections matter and how new leadership can end divisive policies that harm women,” said Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. “President Obama has signaled his intent to honor the public’s call for a focus on common-sense, common-ground solutions that make a difference in the lives of women and their families.”

Capitol Hill lawmakers Friday quickly responded to the administration’s pending action.

“The refusal rule was written so broadly that it would allow anyone working in health care to refuse to provide legal health care services or medications to any patient - without regard to the needs of the patient,” said Rep. Diana DeGette, Colorado Democrat and co-chairman of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus.

Rep. Henry A. Waxman, California Democrat and chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee - which has jurisdiction over health care legislation - said he was pleased that the “administration is taking another look at this rule.”

“Many health organizations and professional societies expressed concern about the confusion and barriers the rule would create for patients, and President Obama listened,” he said.

But House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence of Indiana called the administration’s pending action “disturbing.”

“Reversing the conscience regulation is the latest in a series of actions President Obama has taken to weaken protections for the unborn,” he said.

House Minority Leader John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, said reversing the Bush-era rule would infringe upon the rights of religious-affiliated hospitals and clinics, and would lead to more abortions.

“This is the third action taken by Washington Democrats in the past 38 days to weaken American rules that are meant to safeguard the sanctity of human life,” Mr. Boehner said. “It is an action that will hurt faith-based health providers and hospitals throughout our nation who are committed to caring for Americans at this critical time.”

Mr. Obama last month reversed the “Mexico City policy” that prohibited the federal government from funding groups that perform or promote abortions in other countries.

Capitol Hill Republicans also have complained of Democratic efforts to block pro-life amendments from being included in the $410 billion omnibus spending bill passed by the House this week.

The administration will review comments from the public before making a final decision on whether to rescind the rule, though the regulation isn’t expected to survive.

But the administration has vowed to continue to protect the rights of health care workers who refuse to participate in procedures to which they morally object.

“We recognize and understand that some providers have objections to providing abortions. We want to ensure that current law protects them,” the HHS official said. “But we do not want to impose new limitations on services that would allow providers to refuse to provide to women and their families services like family planning and contraception.”

Obama Schedule || Monday, March 28, 2016

10:30 am || Attends the White House Easter Egg Roll
7:30 pm || Delivers the keynote address at the awards dinner for Syracuse University’s Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting Washington

All times Eastern
Live stream of White House briefing at 1:30 pm

29 thoughts on &ldquoObama Schedule || Monday, March 28, 2016&rdquo

Under 300 days left till 0 is gone. Vote wisely. Try to select someone that can be in the office before 10:00 a.m and willing to work hard for this country. It’s been a long miserable seven plus years of destruction.

You can do all the wise research you can but it still depends on who’s running.

Finally the last ever Mooochelle Let’s Move Humongous Carnival a/k/a The WH easter Egg Roll. Since their very first year, the Obamas have totally coopted teh traditonal WH easter Egg Roll and tunred into a complete circus, the largest event held at the WH every year, The Easyer Eg Roll is only a very tiny part of the days festivties.

Over 35,000 peopel have tickets to thsi circus! RThen add in all the singers, actors, arthletes, ceebrity chefs, kiddie cartoon characters, and all the peopel who don’t need tickets through the littery system they use for this event (members of the Obummer administration and tehir familues, family and frineds of the Obummers, etc.).

Woah, typo city. Sorry, I accidentally hit submit while still typing this mess without any coffee yet.

LOL, no problem, I’m fluent in typo )

On Monday March 28, 2016, the First Family will host the 138th annual White House Easter Egg Roll. This year’s theme is “Let’s Celebrate!” and more than 35,000 people will be joining us on the South Lawn for games, stories, and, of course, the traditional egg roll.

In addition to all the fun and games, the day’s activities – which will include sports courts and cooking demonstrations — will celebrate the initiatives of First Lady Michelle Obama and the contributions the Obama Administration has made to the Easter Egg Roll. In honor of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative, this year’s event will also include the first-ever White House Fun Run.

The public lottery for White House Easter Egg Roll tickets is now closed. Winners will be notified at a later date tickets are free of charge and cannot be sold.

More at this link, which you really have to check out to see the long lists of people invited and the various activities at this circus:

White House Announces Full 2016 Easter Egg Roll Program and Talent Line-up

The White House announces the full program, activities, and talent line-up for the 2016 White House Easter Egg Roll, a tradition in its 138th year and the largest annual public event at the White House.

The Easter Egg Roll will take place Monday, March 28, on the South Lawn of the White House and in honor of the final Easter Egg Roll of the Obama Administration, this year’s theme is “Let’s Celebrate.” The event will feature live music, sports courts, cooking stations, storytelling and, of course, Easter egg rolling. In support of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! Initiative, this year’s event will also include the first-ever White House Fun Run, where First Lady Michelle Obama will join 250 children on a short run to promote active and healthy lifestyles for kids.

With the “Let’s Celebrate” theme, this year’s event will honor the final Easter Egg Roll for the Obama Administration. The activities include obstacle courses, yoga, dancing, playing sports with professional athletes, and of course, the traditional egg roll. The full list of events is below:

Egg Roll Classics
An Egg Hunt & the traditional Egg Roll

Rock ‘n’ Egg Roll Stage
Live musical performances for all ages

Storytime Stage
Listen as celebrities bring books to life

Hop To It!
An instructional dance party on the South Lawn! Get up to dance and more

Eggtivity Zone Obstacle Course
An ultimate all-in-one obstacle course! Climb, jump, and run your way through a variety of sports drills

Basketball and Tennis
Get hands-on training from basketball and tennis pros on the President’s court

Yoga Garden
Come enjoy a session of yoga from professional instructors

Eggspress Yourself
Hatch your inner artist with arts and crafts fun! Egg dying, egg decorating, and more

Play with your Food
An entertaining activity center filled with opportunities to learn about healthy eating

Eggsperiment Zone
Interactive, educational activities designed to spark scientific curiosity and creativity


Maybe Bill Clinton was right about President Obama.

After all, Arkansas Bubba was America’s “first black president.”

Back in 2008 when Hillary Clinton was scheduled to be America’s Next President (The first time. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!), Bill Clinton became enraged after his Black voters down in South Carolina decided that they could, in fact, vote for themselves.

After initial wariness about a half-African with a Muslim name, Black voters fell for Mr. Obama. Hard.

Mr. Clinton’s bulbous nose turned bloody red with rage. The young upstart challenging his wife for the Democratic nomination, he insisted, was nothing more than just another Black race-hustler from Chicago.

“Jesse Jackson won South Carolina in ’84 and ’88. Jackson ran a good campaign. And Obama ran a good campaign here,” Mr. Clinton seethed to a throng of supporters and media not far from Charleston’s famous slave market.

It was a gambit as stunning as it was desperate. In other words, vintage Bill Clinton.

Congressman James Clyburn, an actual Black man who is among South Carolina’s most revered politicians, was incensed by Mr. Clinton’s mouthiness. So much so that Mr. Clyburn revoked Mr. Clinton’s honorary sobriquet as America’s “first black president” — famously bequeathed by the famous American writer, Toni Morrison.

“We are still looking for the first black president,” Mr. Clyburn reminded Mr. Clinton — and primary voters in South Carolina.

But Mr. Clinton refused to surrender his treasured title. “I think that they played the race card on me,” he later complained bitterly.

More than a decade on — after America elected our first actual Black president — Mr. Obama is proving every bit the sleazy race hustler from Chicago that Mr. Clinton warned us about.

“There are certain right-wing media venues, for example, that monetize and capitalize on stoking the fear and resentment of a white population that is witnessing a changing America and seeing demographic changes and do everything they can to give people a sense that their way of life is threatened and that people are trying to take advantage of them,” he said this week.

Yeah, Mr. Obama, it’s “right-wing” politicians who are hustling racial division these days in order to capitalize on fear and resentment of being taken advantage of. Do you even hear the stupid words coming out of your dishonest mouth?

We get it. Your presidency was a failure — except for the racial milestone of your election. Kind of like your Nobel “Peace” prize.

Your policies drove more than a thousand Democrats out of elective office. And you drove American voters into the arms of Donald Trump.

Now you are a bitter, gray-haired, washed-up rock star. And now you tell us that America — the country you led for eight years as America’s real first Black president — is racist. What a nasty, bitter man.

What is amazing about this is how you never mentioned a word about how racist America is during your campaign for president in 2008. Quite the opposite. It was all about “hope” and unity.

There was no Red America or Blue America, just a United States of America, you told us. But now, America is suddenly racist.

So, tell us, Mr. Obama: Are you lying to us now? Or were you lying to us in 2008?

Which is it? Or, perhaps, did non-racist 2008 America suddenly become racist — right after we elected our first Black president?

The sad truth is that all three are correct. Your 2008 campaign was a lie. You are still a liar today. And eight years of your presidency did little more than to sow division and racial hostility in America.

Too bad we didn’t just stick with our other “first black president.”

• Charles Hurt is opinion editor of The Washington Times.

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Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Obama signs hate crimes bill into law

Washington (CNN) -- President Obama on Wednesday signed a law that makes it a federal crime to assault an individual because of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity.

The expanded federal hate crimes law, hailed by supporters as the first major federal gay rights legislation, was added to a $680 billion defense authorization bill that Obama signed at a packed White House ceremony.

The hate crimes measure was named for Matthew Shepard, a gay Wyoming teenager who died after being kidnapped and severely beaten in October 1998, and James Byrd Jr., an African-American man dragged to death in Texas the same year.

Shepard's mother, Judy, was among those at the ceremony that also included Vice President Joe Biden, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Attorney General Eric Holder and leading members of Congress and the Pentagon, who were on hand for the appropriations bill signing.

To loud applause, Obama hailed the hate crimes measure in the bill as a step toward change to "help protect our citizens from violence based on what they look like, who they love, how they pray."

He cited the work of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts and others "to make this day possible."

Later Wednesday, Obama stood with Shepard's parents and relatives of Byrd at a separate White House event honoring passage of the expanded hate crimes law.

Noting reports of 12,000 crimes based on sexual orientation over the past 10 years, Obama called the bill another step in the continuing struggle for protecting human rights.

"Because of the efforts of the folks in this room, particularly those family members standing behind me, the bell rings even louder now," Obama said. When he finished his remarks, he hugged the weeping relatives as the audience applauded.

Several religious groups have expressed concern that a hate crimes law could be used to criminalize conservative speech relating to subjects such as abortion or homosexuality. However, Holder has said that any federal hate-crimes law would be used only to prosecute violent acts based on bias, not to prosecute speech based on controversial racial or religious beliefs.

Former President George W. Bush had threatened to veto a similar measure, but Obama brought a reversal of that policy to the White House.

When the bill won final congressional approval last week, Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese called the hate crimes measure "our nation's first major piece of civil rights legislation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people."

Earlier this month, Obama told the Human Rights Campaign, the country's largest gay rights group, that the nation still needs to make significant changes to ensure equal rights for gays and lesbians.

"Despite the progress we've made, there are still laws to change and hearts to open," he said in an address at the group's annual dinner. "This fight continues now and I'm here with the simple message: I'm here with you in that fight."

Among other things, Obama has called for the repeal of the ban on gays serving openly in the military -- the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. He also has urged Congress to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and pass the Domestic Partners Benefit and Obligations Act.

The Defense of Marriage Act defines marriage, for federal purposes, as a legal union between a man and a woman. It allows states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages. The Domestic Partners Benefit and Obligations Act would extend family benefits now available to heterosexual federal employees to gay and lesbian federal workers.

However, some advocates for stronger rights for the lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender community have complained that Obama's administration is moving too slowly on his legislative promises.

Opponents of the expanded hate crimes bill challenged the need to specify one particular community in federal legislation. They contended that existing federal hate crimes laws were sufficient to protect the rights of people based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

More than 77,000 hate-crime incidents were reported by the FBI between 1998 and 2007, or "nearly one hate crime for every hour of every day over the span of a decade," Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee in June.

At Wednesday's signing, Obama also praised what he called a bipartisan effort to start changing the culture of military spending through the annual appropriations bill. He noted that Gates had worked with congressional leaders to end what Obama called wasteful projects like the F-22 fighter bomber and a new presidential helicopter that would have cost "almost as much as Air Force One."

"I won't be flying on that," the president said.

Noting that cost overruns in military projects total tens of billions of dollars, Obama called for further "fundamental" reforms in how the government and Pentagon do business.

"We all know where this kind of waste comes from," he said, citing "indefensible" no-bid contracts and special interests pushing unneeded weapons systems.

Such actions are "inexcusable", "unconscionable" and an "affront to the American people" as the nation faces two wars and an economic recession, Obama said.

"Today I'm pleased to say that we have proved that change is possible," he said.

Obama's transparency record not so clear

With President Obama blaming his party’s midterm losses, at least in part, on his failure to change the way Washington works, transparency advocates say now is the time for him to follow through on a slew of unfulfilled pledges he made during the 2008 campaign.

Transparency was a cornerstone of Mr. Obama’s campaign. He impressed observers during his first year in office by issuing an open-government directive to executive agencies and publicizing logs of visitors to the White House, albeit as part of a legal settlement with a watchdog group. The administration also has started posting Mr. Obama’s public schedule online and stepped up compliance with his promise to post bills online and wait five days before signing them.

At the same time, analysts say Mr. Obama has failed to deliver on the full letter, if not the spirit, of many of these initiatives, such as Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s instructions that the executive branch approach freedom-of-information requests with a presumption toward disclosure. Critics praise the aim of the open-government directive, but argue that the administration must do a better job to ensure that the data made available to the public by participating agencies is truly meaningful.

“The good intentions have been there all along, but change is hard, and so the talk of change has started to ring fairly empty here at the midpoint,” said Jim Harper, director of information-policy studies at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.

Mr. Harper and other observers preface their criticisms by noting that many of the challenges are institutional and not inherent to Mr. Obama, and give him credit for taking the first steps by issuing directives and executive orders. It’s the follow-through where his administration is coming up short, they say.

The president laid out the problem in his postelection soul-searching news conference.

“When I won election in 2008, one of the reasons I think that people were excited about the campaign was the prospect that we would change how business is done in Washington,” Mr. Obama told reporters Nov. 3, the day after elections in which his party lost more than 60 seats and control of the House. “We were in such a hurry to get things done that we didn’t change how things got done. And I think that frustrated people.”

Mr. Obama noted that he had signed “a bunch of bills that had earmarks in them, which was contrary to what I had talked about.” During his presidential campaign, he pushed for limiting the practice by which lawmakers circumvent the normal appropriations process and insert pet projects into legislation.

In January, during his first State of the Union address to Congress, the president called for the creation of an online database that would list the billions of dollars in earmark requests submitted each year by lawmakers - far more information than is currently kept in the database, which tracks only final, approved spending. He said he plans to work with congressional Republicans, who have adopted temporary earmark bans, in the future.

Mr. Obama likewise conceded that the legislative process surrounding the health care overhaul was an “ugly mess” - a reference to the special deals, derided by critics as the “Louisiana Purchase” and the “Cornhusker Kickback,” that Democratic leaders struck to secure the votes of key senators. But pressed on whether he regrets allowing those sweeteners to stand, the president argued that the ends justified the means, saying the “outcome was a good one.”

An Office of Management and Budget official, who wouldn’t speak on the record, said the agency is making headway on making information more available online at, which compiles statistics submitted by agencies under the open-government directive. For example, the website now includes more than 300,000 data sets and has given rise to independent applications such as, which culls government statistics and combines them with weather forecasts and even tweets to produce real-time estimates of travel times.

In addition, the official cited the stimulus-tracking website and said the administration is expanding so that for fiscal 2011, the public can federal agencies’ payments to primary recipients as well as payments made by those recipients to other entities. Earlier this summer, the administration unveiled, which lists each agency’s improper payments, and it is working on a website called, which will let users track progress on “high-priority goals” when it is rolled out to the public in the coming weeks.

Mr. Harper, though, said a flood of data is not a substitute for real transparency about how decisions are made. “Those are fun play toys,” he said, arguing that meaningful data inform an agency’s “deliberations, its management or its results.”

As an example, he cited the Defense Department’s posting of military voting numbers - “That’s important to someone somewhere, but it’s not the kind of stuff we’re looking for.”

Asked to evaluate the administration’s track record on transparency, Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, took aim at the Justice Department, which her group has accused of stonewalling a series of Freedom of Information Act requests on topics ranging from e-mails belonging to Bush-era officials to records of the investigation into the PMA Group lobbying scandal.

“They still have a presumption against disclosure,” said Ms. Sloan, whose group’s lawsuit over visitor logs eventually led the Obama administration to make them public more than a year ago. “At least with the Bush administration, they told you there was a presumption of secrecy. The Obama administration is claiming a presumption of openness and yet everything [the Justice Department] does is in opposition to that.”

CREW also has kept the heat on the White House over its adherence to federal rules governing the preservation of electronic records - a source of controversy during the Bush administration. After the New York Times reported that administration officials were using personal e-mail accounts to communicate with lobbyists and circumventing visitor logs by meeting with them outside the White House, the watchdog group this summer asked a House oversight committee to open an investigation.

Still, Ms. Sloan said she gives the White House a good deal of credit for being “way more responsive” to watchdog groups than the Bush administration was, even if they don’t always see eye to eye: “At least they listen to what you’re saying they return your phone calls.”

Going forward, John Wonderlich, policy director at the Sunlight Foundation, said the onus will be on the president and his advisers to ensure that various agencies execute on the transparency plans they were required to submit earlier this year under the open-government directive.

“Moving beyond the easy wins, it’s going to take continuing effort from the White House. They’re going to have to continue making it a priority,” he said.

Cato’s Mr. Harper said he would like to see full compliance from the administration on the president’s so-called “sunlight before signing” pledge, which got off to a “lousy start” in 2009 when the White House posted only six out of 124 bills on its website for the requisite five days before Mr. Obama signed them. As of Nov. 8, Mr. Obama had adhered to his pledge 103 out of 159 times this year, with one exception for an “emergency” bill.

The Obama Administration Supports the Troops In Deed as Well as Word

The Obama administration, from the President and First Lady to the Vice President and his wife, is one hundred percent behind our troops in compassionate initiatives and honorable policy that match their words. This is worth mentioning because it’s highly unusual.

If you haven’t been aware of the extraordinary work that Dr. Jill Biden and First Lady Michelle Obama have done through their “Joining Forces” organization, maybe you heard Joe Biden’s speech this weekend the one that moved people to tears with its raw emotion on the issue of loss.

Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden (who has also long been a strong supporter and advocate for military families) addressed the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) National Military Survivor Seminar in Arlington, Virginia, on May 25, 2012. Watch Joe speaking here:

The Vice President, whose son Beau Biden was deployed to Iraq and thankfully returned safely, told the audience of his own experience with loss. Sharing the story of the deaths of his wife and daughter, Biden described the pain as a “black hole you feel in your chest, like you’re being sucked back into it.”

Biden continued, “It was the first time in my career, my life, I realized someone could go out and I probably shouldn’t say this with the press here, but no, but it’s more important. You’re more important. For the first time in my life I understood how someone could consciously decide to commit suicide. Not because they were deranged, not because they were nuts because they’d been to the top of the mountain and they just knew in their heart they’d never get there again, that it was never going to be that way ever again. That’s how an awful lot of you feel.”

Joe left the audience who knew all too well the feelings he was describing with this, “There will come a day, I promise you, and your parents as well, when the thought of your son or daughter or your husband or wife brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye. It will happen. My prayer for you is that day will come sooner or later. But the only thing I have more experience than you in is this: I’m telling you it will come.”

The Vice President’s palpable empathy with our military families who have lost a loved one matters. It matters that the folks we elect understand what they are asking us to do, and that they too have been willing to make the same sacrifices they ask of our troops. Draft-dodger Mitt Romney, on the other hand, claimed that his sons are serving their country by helping him get elected.

Romney “defended his five sons’ decision not to enlist in the military, saying they’re showing their support for the country by ‘helping me get elected.'” This is the same Romney who is pushing vouchers for veterans healthcare.

Maybe you’ve heard the President speak about his jobs bill – the one that did not get a single GOP vote, causing the President to break it down into smaller parts and fight for each one separately. One part of the President’s jobs bills was set aside specifically to encourage businesses to hire our returning troops. Republicans had already voted against a similar bill for the troops, but this time Republican Jim DeMint was the lone no vote, claiming that tax cuts wouldn’t prompt businesses to hire people (thereby ironically killing the entire Republican argument for cutting taxes for corporations).

At one point, he (DeMint) said, “We’re pandering to different political groups with programs that have proven to be ineffective.”

In other words, thanks for your service but we choose to give tax cuts to those who pay us the most in hard campaign cash. Perhaps someone can explain to DeMint that encouraging businesses to hire our veterans is like wearing a flag pin only in policy.

In sharp contrast to the Republican Party’s image as the party that supports the troops, in reality — when it comes to policy — Republicans have abandoned the troops. “Accordingly, lawmakers offered a wide range of bills to assist recent veterans—and Republicans opposed nearly all of them”:

Republicans passed a budget bill that slashed $75 million that would have funded housing vouchers for homeless veterans…

In June 2009, a vast majority of Republicans voted against providing extra money to active duty members of the military subject to “stop-loss” orders…

At the height of the economic crisis, there was a bill in Congress that would have given a tax credit to businesses that hired unemployed veterans, as well as provide a $250 economic relief payment for any disabled veterans who would no doubt have an even harder time finding work amidst a wide recession. Republicans uniformly opposed the bill.

Iraq veteran and co-founder of Vote Vets Jon Solt wrote the following regarding this year’s Republican budget:

(W)ithout saying the word “veteran,” the budget tells us a lot about what they (Republicans) think about veterans. The budget calls for across the board spending freezes and cuts. If enacted, the Ryan GOP budget would cut $11 billion from veterans spending, or 13 percent from what President Obama proposes in his own plan.

Ironically, Republicans seized on those cuts proposed by President Obama even though their own budget make much larger cuts.

Or maybe you’ve heard the President speak with measured force about the reasons why we try other measures, like sanctions, before military action, and you thought to yourself: Huh. That’s an idea.

But until you put all of these things together, you don’t have the full picture of the genuine weight of support the Obama administration has given our troops. Yes, it takes more than a bumper sticker and a flag pin.

Reminding us that Memorial Day is about much more than a long weekend and barbeques, the President spoke of the importance of honoring our troops’ service by supporting our veterans and their families.

President Obama on our veterans:

We have to serve them and their families as well as they have served us: By making sure that they get the healthcare and benefits they need by caring for our wounded warriors and supporting our military families and by giving veterans the chance to go to college, find a good job, and enjoy the freedom that they risked everything to protect.

Our men and women in uniform took an oath to defend our country at all costs, and today, as members of the finest military the world has ever known, they uphold that oath with dignity and courage. As President, I have no higher honor than serving as their Commander-in-Chief. But with that honor comes a solemn responsibility – one that gets driven home every time I sign a condolence letter, or meet a family member whose life has been turned upside down.

No words can ever bring back a loved one who has been lost. No ceremony can do justice to their memory. No honor will ever fill their absence.

But on Memorial Day, we come together as Americans to let these families and veterans know that they are not alone. We give thanks for those who sacrificed everything so that we could be free. And we commit ourselves to upholding the ideals for which so many patriots have fought and died.

Memorial Day is a time to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, and it is also the time to ask ourselves what we can be doing for our military families, whether it’s offering to mow the lawn, supporting a reuniting couple after a long deployment, or lending an open ear to a grieving family. Even those warriors who return home often face emotional, financial and physical challenges upon returning to civilian life, and they can use your support.

Memorial Day is, in addition, a time to reflect that a nation who sends its youth to war needs to take care of the troops while they’re deployed as well as making good on the recruiting promises good healthcare and opportunities for jobs, and assistance with retrofitting homes to assist with injuries sustained while fighting.

When we say thank you for your service, we need to follow that up with action.

You can show support by going to Joining Forces, the First Lady and Dr. Jill Biden’s joint initiative. You can find ways to help in your community, pledge service in honor of our warriors or just send a message of thanks to our troops.

Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.

Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.

Obama Deifies American Hegemony — Paul Craig Roberts

Today is the 70th anniversary of the UN. It is not clear how much good the UN has done. Some UN Blue Hemet peacekeeping operations had limited success. But mainly Washington has used the UN for war, such as the Korean War and Washington’s Cold War against the Soviet Union. In our time Washington had UN tanks sent in against Bosnian Serbs during the period that Washington was dismantling Yugoslavia and Serbia and accusing Serbian leaders, who tried to defend the integrity of their country against Washington’s aggression, of “war crimes.”

The UN supported Washington’s sanctions against Iraq that resulted in the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children. When asked about it, Clinton’s Secretary of State said, with typical American heartlessness, that the deaths of the children were worth it. In 2006 the UN voted sanctions against Iran for exercising its right as a signatory of the non-proliferation treaty to develop atomic energy. Washington claimed without any evidence that Iran was building a nuclear weapon in violation of the non-proliferation treaty, and this lie was accepted by the UN. Washington’s false claim was repudiated by all 16 US intelligence agencies and by the International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors on the ground in Iran, but in the face of the factual evidence the US government and its presstitute media pressed the claim to the point that Russia had to intervene and take the matter out of Washington’s warmonger hands. Russia’s intervention to prevent US military attacks on Iran and Syria resulted in the demonization of Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin. “Facts. Washington don’t need no stinkin’ facts! We got power!” Today at the UN Obama asserted America’s over-riding power many times: the strongest military in the world, the strongest economy in the world.

The UN has done nothing to stop Washington’s invasions and bombings, illegal under international law, of seven countries or Obama’s overthrow by coup of democratic governments in Honduras and Ukraine, with more in the works.

The UN does provide a forum for countries and populations within countries that are suffering oppression to post complaints—except, of course, for the Palestinians, who, despite the boundaries shown on maps and centuries of habitation by Palestinians, are not even recognized by the UN as a state.

On this 70th anniversary of the UN, I have spent much of the day listening to the various speeches. The most truthful ones were delivered by the presidents of Russia and Iran. The presidents of Russia and Iran refused to accept the Washington-serving reality or Matrix that Obama sought to impose on the world with his speech. Both presidents forcefully challenged the false reality that the propagandistic Western media and its government masters seek to create in order to continue to exercise their hegemony over everyone else.

What about China? China’s president left the fireworks to Putin, but set the stage for Putin by rejecting US claims of hegemony: “The future of the world must be shaped by all countries.” China’s president spoke in veiled terms against Western neoliberal economics and declared that “China’s vote in the UN will always belong to the developing countries.”

In the masterly way of Chinese diplomacy, the President of China spoke in a non-threatening, non-provocative way. His criticisms of the West were indirect. He gave a short speech and was much applauded.

Obama followed second to the President of Brazil, who used her opportunity for PR for Brazil, at least for the most part. Obama gave us the traditional Washington spiel:

The US has worked to prevent a third world war, to promote democracy by overthrowing governments with violence, to respect the dignity and equal worth of all peoples except for the Russians in Ukraine and Muslims in Somalia, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, and Pakistan.

Obama declared Washington’s purpose to “prevent bigger countries from imposing their will on smaller ones.” Imposing its will is what Washington has been doing throughout its history and especially under Obama’s regime.

All those refugees overrunning Europe? Washington has nothing to do with it. The refugees are the fault of Assad who drops bombs on people. When Assad drops bombs it oppresses people, but when Washington drops bombs it liberates them. Obama justified Washington’s violence as liberation from “dictators,” such as Assad in Syria, who garnered 80% of the vote in the last election, a vote of confidence that Obama never received and never will.

Obama said that it wasn’t Washington that violated Ukraine’s sovereignty with a coup that overthrew a democratically elected government. It was Russia, whose president invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimera and is trying to annex the other breakaway republics, Russian populations who object to the Russophobia of Washington’s puppet government in Ukraine.

Obama said with a straight face that sending 60 percent of the US fleet to bottle up China in the South China Sea was not an act of American aggression but the protection of the free flow of commerce. Obama implied that China was a threat to the free flow of commerce, but, of course, Washington’s real concern is that China is expanding its influence by expanding the free flow of commerce.

Obama denied that the US and Israel employ violence. This is what Russia and Syria do, asserted Obama with no evidence. Obama said that he had Libya attacked in order to “prevent a massacre,” but, of course, the NATO attack on Libya perpetrated a massacre, an ongoing one. But it was all Gaddafi’s fault. He was going to massacre his own people, so Washington did it for him.

Obama justified all of Washington’s violence against millions of peoples on the grounds that Washington is well-meaning and saving the world from dictators. Obama attempted to cover up Washington’s massive war crimes, crimes that have killed and displaced millions of peoples in seven countries, with feel good rhetoric about standing up to dictators.

Did the UN General Assembly buy it? Probably the only one present sufficiently stupid to buy it was the UK’s Cameron. The rest of Washington’s vassals went through the motion of supporting Obama’s propaganda, but there was no conviction in their voices.

Vladimir Putin would have none of it. He said that the UN works, if it works, by compromise and not by the imposition of one country’s will, but after the end of the Cold War “a single center of domination arose in the world”—the “exceptional” country. This country, Putin said, seeks its own course which is not one of compromise or attention to the interests of others.

In response to Obama’s speech that Russia and its ally Syria wear the black hats, Putin said in reference to Obama’s speech that “one should not manipulate words.”

Putin said that Washington repeats its mistakes by relying on violence which results in poverty and social destruction. He asked Obama: “Do you realize what you have done?”

Yes, Washington realizes it, but Washington will not admit it.

Putin said that “ambitious America accuses Russia of ambitions” while Washington’s ambitions run wild, and that the West cloaks its aggression as fighting terrorism while Washington finances and encourages terrorism.

The President of Iran said that terrorism was created by the US invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq and by US support for the Zionist destruction of Palestine.

Obama’s speech made clear that Washington accepts no responsibility for the destruction of the lives and prospects of millions of Muslims. The refugees from Washington’s wars who are overflowing Europe are the fault of Assad, Obama declared.

Obama’s claim to represent “international norms” was an assertion of US hegemony, and was recognized as such by the General Assembly.

What the world is faced with is two rogue anti-democratic governments—the US and Israel—that believe that their “exceptionalism” makes them above the law. International norms mean Washington’s and Israel’s norms. Countries that do not comply with international norms are countries that do not comply with Washington and Israel’s dictates.

The presidents of Russia, China, and Iran did not accept Washington’s definition of “international norms.”

The lines are drawn. Unless the American people come to their senses and expel the Washington warmongers, war is our future.