Author Topic: Dismantling the Obama fiasco  (Read 2957 times)

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Online Mornac

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Re: Dismantling the Obama fiasco
« Reply #30 on: October 20, 2017, 05:10:02 PM »


Melania Trump cuts bloated first lady payroll from Michelle Obama days

Alex Pappas
Oct 20, 2017

Melania Trump is embracing a more active and public schedule as first lady – but she still runs one of the leanest East Wing operations in recent history.

According to a Fox News analysis of White House personnel reports, Melania Trump has significantly reduced the number of aides on the first lady's office payroll in comparison to her predecessor, Michelle Obama.

During then-President Barack Obama’s first year in office, 16 people were listed working for Michelle Obama, earning a combined $1.24 million a year.

This year, just four people were listed working for Melania Trump as of June. Their salaries totaled $486,700.

The details are contained in an annual report the White House sends to Congress showing the names, positions and salaries of all its personnel. Both the Obama and Trump administrations acknowledged several additional staffers beyond those listed in the report with the term “first lady” in their titles. But even counting all those employees -- 24 for Michelle Obama and nine for the current first lady -- Melania Trump's office is relatively small.

It's an approach her spokeswoman says is intentional.

“As with all things that she does, she is being very deliberate in her hiring, focusing on quality over quantity,” communications director Stephanie Grisham said in an email. “It is important to her that the team is a good fit for what she wants to accomplish as first lady, and that everyone works well together. She also wants to be mindful and responsible when it comes to taxpayer money.”

While the 2009 annual report listed 16 staffers for Michelle Obama, her press secretary said at the time the staff actually included 24 people. A 2009 FactCheck.org story said Obama’s 24 aides might have broken records.

“That may indeed be the largest of any first lady, but Hillary Clinton, with 19 staffers, and Laura Bush with at least 18 and perhaps more, weren’t far behind,” FactCheck.org said.

Grisham told Fox News this week there are nine people working in the East Wing under Melania Trump, a few more than listed in the annual report.

According to those personnel reports, Melania Trump’s staffers include a chief of staff, a communications director, a deputy chief of staff and a deputy director of advance.

Michelle Obama’s staff included those same positions and a slew of others: additional press aides, a director of policy and projects, a personal aide, a traveling aide and a director of correspondence.

Michelle Obama’s office did not return a request for comment.

But the larger staff is likely due in part to Michelle Obama entering the East Wing with a more aggressive agenda and embracing initiatives like her Let's Move! child obesity campaign.

During the first few months of the Trump presidency, Melania Trump and son, Barron, remained in New York as he finished the school year.

But she has noticeably ramped up public activity in recent weeks, including hosting a roundtable discussion on the opioid crisis and traveling with her husband to tour the destruction of hurricanes and meet with the victims of the Las Vegas massacre.

“She is more like a Pat Nixon or a Bess Truman than a Hillary Clinton or a Michelle Obama,” Andrew Och, a first lady historian who was a producer for the C-SPAN's “First Ladies: Influence and Image” series, said of Melania Trump.

Och noted that there is no formal job description for a first lady and each one defines their role. Melania Trump, he said, does not come from the world of politics and “clearly does not feel the need for the larger staffs that her predecessors have had.”

The first lady’s office isn’t the only place in the White House where the Trump administration has trimmed staff positions. When the White House personnel report was released in June, Forbes reported 110 fewer employees under Donald Trump than Barack Obama and said the projected four-year savings resulting from the cuts could be more than $22 million.

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Re: Dismantling the Obama fiasco
« Reply #31 on: November 24, 2017, 12:32:12 PM »



TRUMP BANISHING OBAMA'S MEMOS, REGULATIONS

'Doing better than Ronald Reagan' to cut rules

November 24, 2017
ALICIA POWE

WASHINGTON – Under the Obama administration, the White House, the Department of Justice and other federal agencies repeatedly circumvented Congress by using guidance memos to create de facto regulations, changing laws without going through the review process.

In less than a year, however, the Trump administration has dramatically scaled back government overreach, Merrill Matthews, a resident scholar with the Institute for Policy Innovation, told WND.

“Guidance typically from the department means there is some question about how to do this, because of the way it was ambiguously written, so a federal agency would provide guidance. But the Obama administration, actually, greatly overstepped those limits in clarifying things to in essence create new law,” Matthews explained.

“The Trump administration is doing better than Ronald Reagan on reducing the flow of regulation,” he said, citing the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Obama ended his presidency with a record-shattering regulatory rulebook. The Federal Register topped off at 97,110 pages, an all-time high, with 18 regulations added for every new law .

While regulations and Federal Register pages, where agency rules and regulations are published, dropped more than one-third under President Reagan over several years, CEI notes, the Trump administration cut the number of pages in the Federal Register 32 percent in the first nine months of this year.

The Trump administration has saved $560 million by cutting  regulations, according to American Action Forum.

When Trump ran for president, he promised to slash as many as 80 percent of all federal regulations, and he is on his way to fulfilling that promise.

In a memo released Friday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions explained that the Department of Justice will no longer used guidance documents to amend current law, cement new regulatory requirements or create new rights or obligations beyond what is prescribed by law, as Obama’s Justice Department did.

“Simply sending a letter” to “make new rules” is unconstitutional, he noted.

“It has come to my attention that the department has in the past published guidance documents – or similar instruments of future effect by other names, such as letters to regulated entities – that effectively bind private parties without undergoing the rule-making process,” the memo states.

“Effective immediately, department components may not issue guidance documents that purport to create rights or obligations binding on persons or entities outside the executive branch (including state, local and tribal governments.) To avoid circumventing the rule-making process, department components should adhere to the following principles when issuing guidance documents.”

Sessions also said Friday that the department is ending “regulation-by-litigation.”

“The days of ‘sue and settle’ – when special interests could sue an agency, then get the agency to impose a new regulation in a settlement, often to advance an agenda – are over,” he said. “The Department of Justice is duty-bound to defend laws as they are written, regardless of whether or not the government likes the results. Our agencies must follow the law – not make it.”

A Regulatory Reform Task Force, led by Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand, will also review existing DOJ documents to see if they need to be rescinded or modified.

The guidance documents and regulations Obama issued during the final months of his presidency had far-reaching implications for the coal industry, broadband customers, hunters, women seeking abortion at Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, and the firearms industry.

The school bathroom mandate was one of the most controversial guidance memos Obama issued. With the help of then-attorney general Loretta Lynch, he instructed public schools that receive federal funding to allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice

Matthews pointed out the Civil Rights law of 1964 “states you cannot discriminate based upon race, creed, origin, religion and gender.”

“[What] the Obama administration did was expand that to gay people and transgender,” he said. “That was not covered under the civil rights legislation.”

He said Sessions is “scaling back guidance and restoring it to depend on what is actually legislated.”


“If Congress wants to extend these rights to transgender people, Congress has that option, but now the Justice Department isn’t going to go out and make that expansion themselves,” he said.

In February, Trump issued an order reversing Obama’s transgender policy.

Not only is the Justice Department reducing the scope of the executive branch, Matthews noted, but Trump began his presidency by rescinding onerous regulations issued by the Obama administration through executive order.

In January, Trump signed an executive order requiring that for every new federal regulation implemented, two must be rescinded.

Trump declared moments before signing the order that it “will be the biggest such act that our country has ever seen.”

“There will be regulation, there will be control, but it will be a normalized control where you can open your business and expand your business very easily. And that’s what our country has been all about,” he said.

“If you have a regulation you want, No. 1, we’re not gonna approve it because it’s already been approved probably in 17 different forms,” he said. “But if we do, the only way you have a chance is we have to knock out two regulations for every new regulation. So if there’s a new regulation, they have to knock out two.”

The Obama administration also used guidance memos to force businesses to provide abortion-causing drugs to their employees, David Christensen, the Family Research Council Vice President for Government Affairs, explained.

“The HHS contraception mandate is also subject to Obamacare through guidance on preventive care service to women. The actual contraception component, not actually written in the Affordable Care Act, but is Health Resources and Services Administration guidance document,” Christenson told WND.

“They didn’t have to put emergency contraceptives and sterilization drugs and devices in their guidance, but they did. Subject to that they were issuing regulations exempting religious employers. That’s an example of where a guidance document by an agency prompted whole armed-swath of lawsuits.”

Obama’s DOJ also completely disregarded Congress by reinterpreting the Wire Act, Christenson pointed out.

“The Wire Act prevented online sports gambling, but the DOJ in 2011 reinterpreted the Wire Act by executive fiat, legalizing a multi-billion-dollar industry in the United States that Congress had said was illegal,” he said.

“You look at the ramifications of what the Obama administration did across the board, both through regulations as well as these letters and agency guidance documents and it’s astonishing.”

Christenson said the Family Research Council is very pleased to see Sessions roll back that practice.

“When the executive branch goes beyond the statute, that’s a real problem with adhering with the rule of law,” he said.

“Presidents and executive agencies may not like certain laws but they are still supposed to enforce it. There are times where laws, you can change the regulation that implement the law and your change of regulation might be a legitimate interpretation of the statue. But you are not supposed to be creating law, and bypass Congress, just to meet your political lens, let alone doing it by memo.”

Earlier this year, Republicans in Congress used the Congressional Review Act, a legislative tool it used only once before, to overturn nearly half a dozen Obama-era federal regulations.

It reversed the rule Obama issued last December barring states from withholding federal family-planning funds from Planned Parenthood affiliates and other health clinics that provide abortions.

The American Action Forum calculated repealing the rules could save the economy millions of hours of paperwork, $3.7 billion in regulatory costs to the federal agencies and perhaps $35 billion in compliance costs for industry.

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Re: Dismantling the Obama fiasco
« Reply #32 on: December 02, 2017, 06:10:00 PM »


Senate GOP repeals ObamaCare mandate

PETER SULLIVAN
12/02/17

Senate Republicans have approved the repeal of ObamaCare’s individual mandate as part of their tax-cut bill, a major step toward ending an unpopular part of the health-care law.

“Families ought to be able to make decisions about what they want to buy and what works for them — not the government,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said, hailing the accomplishment.

“I believe if people don’t want to buy the ObamaCare insurance, they shouldn’t have to pay a tax penalty to the IRS.”

The Senate tax bill must still be reconciled with House legislation that does not include the mandate’s repeal. But that is unlikely to be a major issue, given support in the GOP conference for repealing the mandate.

No Democrats in either chamber voted for the GOP tax bills.

It’s unclear what repeal of the mandate will mean for ObamaCare.

Many experts and health-care groups warn that repeal will destabilize ObamaCare markets, leading to premium increases or insurers simply dropping out of certain areas. Without a financial penalty under the mandate for lacking health coverage, there is less incentive for healthy people to sign up and balance out the costs of the sick.

Some experts counter that the effects will not be as severe as others say, given that there are doubts the mandate had a strong effect on people to begin with.

Moderate Republicans are now pushing for bipartisan ObamaCare fixes to help stabilize insurance markets, setting up a showdown with conservatives.

The mandate’s repeal was not part of the original tax-reform measure released by the Senate Finance Committee, and Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) previously said he wanted to keep the divisive health-care issue separate from taxes.

But President Trump, along with Senate conservatives such as Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), made a vocal public push for its inclusion.

Repealing the mandate also saves $300 billion over ten years in subsidies that otherwise would have been spent on consumers, according to the Congressional Budget Office, providing savings for the tax cuts.

The CBO estimates that 13 million fewer people will have health insurance over the next decade without the mandate, and it projects that premiums will rise 10 percent. But it also projects markets will remain stable in “almost all areas of the country.”

While three Republican senators, John McCain (R-Ariz.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) defeated an ObamaCare repeal bill over the summer that included mandate repeal, this time they put aside their concerns.

Murkowski wrote that repealing the mandate didn’t hurt the structure of the health-care law, but allowed people the “freedom” to choose whether to enroll.

Collins said she had won a commitment from Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to pass two bipartisan ObamaCare fixes before the end of the year. She hopes those bills will counteract the increase in premiums from mandate repeal.

One of the bills, from Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) funds key payments to insurers, while the other measure provides funding known as reinsurance to pay for some sick people’s claims and help bring down premiums.

The Alexander-Murray bill does not directly deal with the effects of repealing the mandate, and some experts argue there would have to be more reinsurance funding than currently proposed to make up for mandate repeal.

It’s unclear if either fix will actually become law, as House conservatives oppose the measures as propping up ObamaCare.

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), a member of the moderate Tuesday Group, said he supports passing Alexander-Murray to try to counteract the premium increases from mandate repeal. But he acknowledged conservatives oppose that move, meaning he thinks the initial House version of a government funding bill will not have the health fix attached.

He thinks the Senate will add it later, setting up a choice for the House. 

“They'll toss it back to us and either you take it like that or you shut the government down,” Upton said.

Trump appears eager to return to the full repeal-and-replace push after the final tax bill passes.

“We will Repeal & Replace and have great Healthcare soon after Tax Cuts!” he tweeted in late October.

GOP leaders have not committed to revisiting the issue in an election year, though Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said he thought mandate repeal brings full repeal and replacement a step closer.

“I think it's going to make our third attempt at health-care reform easier,” Kennedy said.

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Massive area of the free market restored to era of pre-Obama assault
« Reply #33 on: December 15, 2017, 12:41:21 PM »



FCC chair: Net neutrality supporters 'proven wrong' day after repeal

JOHN BOWDEN
12/15/17

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai said Friday that supporters of net neutrality provisions that were repealed Thursday have been proven wrong, as internet users wake up still able to send emails and use Twitter after the regulations were struck down.

Speaking on "Fox and Friends," Pai said Friday that net neutrality supporters such as ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel were wrong to grandstand about the end of "the internet as we know it."

"He's getting everything wrong about it," Pai said of Kimmel. "The free and open internet we had prior to 2015 is the one we're going to have going forward. And that kind of name-calling and hysteria is disappointing, but it's not surprising."

Pai went on to say that Kimmel and others were "proven wrong" by the fact that internet service providers (ISP) had not rolled out immediate changes Friday morning.

"Those who have said the internet as we know it is about to end have been proven wrong starting this morning," Pai said, "as people send emails, check on their Twitter accounts, post on Facebook, and the like."

"We have a free and open internet going forward," he added, "and the FCC and the FTC [Federal Trade Commission] going forward are going to make sure that happens."

The FCC voted 3-2 on Thursday to repeal net neutrality rules passed under President Obama's administration in 2015. The repeal was supported by Republicans but opposed by Democrats.

Kimmel, who was referenced directly by Pai, called the decision "despicable" in his show's monologue Thursday night.

“The Federal Communications Commission did something absolutely despicable today: They voted to put an end to net neutrality,” Kimmel said.

“Now, as long as they tell us they’re doing it now, internet service providers will be allowed to slow down or block web traffic to any website or streaming service they like — which benefits the big telecom companies, and does the opposite for all of us,” he added.

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Re: Dismantling the Obama fiasco
« Reply #34 on: January 04, 2018, 11:57:25 AM »




Trump ditches Obama’s LGBT global agenda by replacing gay ambassador with family man: report




Doug Mainwaring
Jan 3, 2018

MADRID, January 3, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Trump Administration recently installed a new Ambassador to Spain. The former Obama appointee who was a pro-LGBT openly gay man ‘married’ to a man was replaced with a family man who has a wife and three children.   

Juan María Piñero of Spain’s Actuall.com reports that Trump’s new Ambassador to Spain signals that the U.S. president has “cut” with Obama’s plans to “impose the LGBT agenda in the world through diplomatic pressures."

Richard Duke Buchan III has taken the place of former Ambassador James Costos, ‘husband’ of interior designer, Michael Smith, who redecorated the executive mansion for the Obamas.

When the Obama’s vacated the White House in January 2017, their first stop was at the Palm Springs home of Costos and Smith where they spent a few days before leaving the country for a ten day stay in the British Virgin Islands. 

In June 2015, Costos was one of seven “openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex U.S. Ambassadors” issuing a joint letter explaining “how proposed trade agreements will export our values of equality and tolerance.” The eighth signatory was Randy Berry, Obama’s Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons. 

The letter can be found in the Obama White House archives.

The document points out how the Obama administration, in conjunction with the entire State Department, sought to use trade policy and other measures to strong-arm other countries into accepting the importation of LGBT ideology.  The Obama-led efforts shocked developing nations, particularly in Africa and the Caribbean, where efforts to import same-sex marriage and transgenderism were met with resistance and repudiation.

The LGBT Ambassadors’ statement read in part, “We are proud to be part of an Administration that remains deeply committed to the advancement of human rights for all, including LGBTI persons … The Administration has backed up those words with actions, including through the issuance of a Presidential Memorandum to advance the human rights of LGBTI persons worldwide. This commitment is also clear in trade priorities like TPP, which would represent a significant expansion of enforceable labor rights, and would support the elimination of discrimination with respect to employment.”

“We are committed to working closely with the White House to ensure that any trade arrangement approved by Congress is a force for progress on human rights for everyone, including for LGBTI persons,” the letter continued, ending with a claim that they represent and are working for “American values.”

"At the State Department, we’re committed to helping our families — all of our families,” said Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Heather Higginbottom at a State Department event kicking off “Pride Month” in Washington, DC, two days before the issuance of the letter.

“We don’t have gay spouses, we have spouses,” continued Higginbottom.  “We don’t have lesbian families, we have families. And we refuse to accept that equal treatment by our foreign counterparts is too much to ask.”

Richard Duke Buchan III, the new U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain and the Principality of Andorra, is the Founder (2001) and CEO of Hunter Global Investors L.P., based in Palm Beach, FL.  Buchan arrived with his family in Madrid one week before Christmas to assume his new role heading the Embassy there.

“Mr. Buchan grew up on a working farm in rural North Carolina,” according to his State Department biography.  “He, his wife and their children continue family traditions and manage a farm that grows over 60 varieties of organic, heirloom tomatoes and other vegetables. They run a farm stand, develop new varieties of tomatoes and donate fresh produce to local charities.”

“Ambassador Buchan has had strong ties to Spain for almost 40 years,” reports the U.S. Embassy in Madrid.  “He studied at universities in Valencia and Seville and has travelled extensively throughout the country. A longtime supporter of international education and study of the Spanish language and culture, Ambassador Buchan and his family established a successful exchange program between students in Spain and the United States.”

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Re: Dismantling the Obama fiasco
« Reply #35 on: January 11, 2018, 05:25:39 PM »

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Re: Dismantling the Obama fiasco
« Reply #36 on: January 16, 2018, 02:34:49 PM »

President Nobama

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON   
January 16, 2018

Trump is commonsensically undoing, piece by piece, the main components of Obama’s legacy.

Donald Trump continues to baffle. Never Trump Republicans still struggle to square the circle of quietly agreeing so far with most of his policies, as they loudly insist that his record is already nullified by its supposedly odious author. Or surely it soon will be discredited by the next Trumpian outrage. Or his successes belong to congressional and Cabinet members, while his failures are all his own. Rarely do they seriously reflect on what otherwise over the last year might have been the trajectory of a Clinton administration.

Contrary to popular supposition, the Left loathes Trump not just for what he has done. (It is often too consumed with fury to calibrate carefully the particulars of the Trump agenda.) Rather, it despises him mostly for what he superficially represents.

To many progressives and indeed elites of all persuasions, Trump is also the Prince of Anti-culture: mindlessly naïve American boosterism; conspicuous, 1950s-style unapologetic consumption; repetitive and limited vocabulary; fast-food culinary tastes; Queens accent; herky-jerky mannerisms; ostentatious dress; bulging appearance; poorly disguised facial expressions; embracing rather than sneering at middle-class appetites; a lack of subtlety, nuance, and ambiguity.

In short Trump’s very essence wars with everything that long ago was proven to be noble, just, and correct by Vanity Fair, NPR, The New Yorker, Google, the Upper West Side, and The Daily Show. There is not even a smidgeon of a concession that some of Trump’s policies might offer tens of thousands of forgotten inner-city youth good jobs or revitalize a dead and written-off town in the Midwest, or make the petroleum of the war-torn Persian Gulf strategically irrelevant to an oil-rich United States.

Yet one way of understanding Trump — particularly the momentum of his first year — is through recollection of the last eight years of the Obama administration. In reductionist terms, Trump is the un-Obama. Surprisingly, that is saying quite a lot more than simple reductive negativism. Republicans have not seriously attempted to roll back the administrative state since Reagan. On key issues of climate change, entitlements, illegal immigration, government spending, and globalization, it was sometimes hard to distinguish a Bush initiative from a Clinton policy or a McCain bill from a Biden proposal. There was often a reluctant acceptance of the seemingly inevitable march to the European-style socialist administrative state.

Of course, there were sometimes differences between the two parties, such as the George W. Bush’s tax cuts or the Republicans’ opposition to Obamacare. Yet for the most part, since 1989, we’ve had lots of rhetoric but otherwise no serious effort to prune back the autonomous bureaucracy that grew ever larger. Few Republicans in the executive branch sought to reduce government employment, deregulate, sanction radical expansion of fossil-fuel production, question the economic effects of globalization on Americans between the coasts, address deindustrialization, recalibrate the tax code, rein in the EPA, secure the border, reduce illegal immigration, or question transnational organizations. To do all that would require a president to be largely hated by the Left, demonized by the media, and caricatured in popular culture — and few were willing to endure the commensurate ostracism.

Trump has done all that in a manner perhaps more Reaganesque than Reagan himself. In part, he has been able to make such moves because of the Republican majority (though thin) in Congress and also because of, not despite, his politically incorrect bluntness, his in-your-face talk, innate cunning, reality-TV celebrity status, animalistic energy, and his cynical appraisal that tangible success wins more support than ideology. And, yes, in part the wheeler-dealer Manhattan billionaire developed real sympathy for the forgotten losers of globalization.

Even his critics sometimes concede that his economic and foreign-policy agendas are bringing dividends. In some sense, it is not so much because of innovative policy, but rather that he is simply bullying his way back to basics we’ve forgotten over the past decades.

The wonder was never how to grow the economy at 3 percent (all presidents prior to 2009 had at one time or another done just that), but rather, contrary to “expert” economic opinion, how to discover ways to prevent that organic occurrence.

Obama was the first modern president who apparently figured out how. It took the efforts of a 24/7 redistributionist agenda of tax increases, federalizing health care, massive new debt, layers of more regulation, zero-interest rates, neo-socialist regulatory appointments, expansionary eligibility for entitlements, and constant anti-free-market jawboning that created a psychological atmosphere conducive to real retrenchment, mental holding patterns, and legitimate fears over discernable success. Obama weaponized federal agencies including the IRS, DOJ, and EPA in such a manner as to worry anyone successful, prominent, and conservative enough to come under the federal radar of a vindictive Lois Lerner, Eric Holder, or a FISA court.

Trump has sought to undo all that, point by point. The initial result so far is not rocket science, but rather a natural expression of what happens when millions of Americans believe they have greater freedom and safety to profit and innovate, and trust they will not be punished, materially or psychologically, for the ensuing successful results. The radical upsurge in business and consumer confidence is not revolutionary but almost natural. The Left and Never Trump Right claim that Trump is Stalin, Hitler, or Mussolini. In fact, for the first time in eight years, it is highly unlikely that the FBI, IRS, CIA, DOJ, and other alphabet-soup agencies see their tasks as going after the president’s perceived opponents.

The same about-face is true on the foreign-policy front, as the ancient practice of deterrence replaced the modern therapeutic mindset. Obama blurred, deliberately so, the lines between allies and hostiles. America experienced the worst of both worlds: We were rarely respected by our friends, even more rarely feared by our enemies; loud rhetorical muscularity was backed up only by “strategic patience” and “leading from behind.”

On the supposedly friendly side, Europe assumed that the United States would fawn after the virtue-signaling Paris Climate Accord. The Palestinians concluded that there was no shelf life on victimhood and that America simply would not, could not, dare not move its embassy to Jerusalem as the Congress had chronically showboated it would. NATO just knew that endless subsidies were its birthright and prior commitments were debatable. The West apparently lapped up Obama’s Cairo speech: But when even the European Renaissance and Enlightenment were seen as derivatives of Islam, there is not much left to boast about.

On the unfriendly side, China sensed there was little danger in turning the Spratley Islands into an armed valve of the South China Sea. Russia understood that America was obsequiously “flexible” and ready to push a red plastic reset button in times of crisis.

ISIS assumed that American lawyers were vetoing air-strike targets. Iran guessed rightly that the Obama administration would concede a lot to strike a legacy deal on nonproliferation. It was unsure only about whether the Obama administration’s eagerness to dissimulate about the disadvantageous details were due to a sincere desire to empower revolutionary, Shiite Iran as an antipode to Israel and the Sunni oil monarchies, or arising from a reckless need to leave some sort of foreign-policy signature. Kim Jung-un concluded that the eight years of the Obama administration provided a rare golden moment to vastly expand its nuclear and missile capability — and then announce it as an irrevocable fait accompli after Obama left office.

Again, the common denominator was that the Obama administration, in quite radical fashion, had sought a therapeutic inversion of foreign policy — in a way few other major nations had previously envisioned.

Trump’s appointees almost immediately began undoing all that. There were no more effective avatars of old-style deterrence than James Mattis and H. R. McMaster. Neither was political. Both long ago embraced a realist appraisal of human nature, predicated on two ancient ideas: We all are more likely to behave when we accept that the alternative is far more dangerous to ourselves, and the world is better off when everyone knows the laws in the arena. Just as Obama’s pseudo–red lines in Syria signaled to the Iranians or North Koreans that there were few lines of any sort anywhere; so too the destruction of ISIS suggested to others that there might be far fewer restrictions on an American secretary of defense anywhere

On the cultural side, the Trump team figuratively paused, examined its inheritance from the prior administration, and apparently concluded something like “this is unhinged.” Then it proceeded, to the degree possible, to undo it.

Open borders, illegal immigration, and sanctuary cities are the norms of very few sovereign states. They are aberrations that are unsustainable whether the practitioner is Canada, Mexico, or the United States. Calling a small pond or large puddle on a farm’s low spot an “inland waterway” subject to federal regulation is deranged; undoing that was not radical, but commonsensical.

Trump sought to revive the cultural atmosphere prior to Obama’s assertion that he would fundamentally transform what had already been a great country. In 2008, it would have been inconceivable that NFL multimillionaires would refuse to stand for the National Anthem — much less in suicidal fashion insult their paying fans by insinuating that they deserved such a snub because they were racists and xenophobes. It was Byzantine that a country would enter an iconoclastic frenzy in the dead of night, smashing and defacing statues without legislative or popular democratic sanction.

The Un-Obama agenda was not simply reflexive or easy — given that Obama was the apotheosis of a decades-long progressive dream. After all, in year one, Trump has been demonized in a manner unprecedented in post-war America, given the astonishing statistic that 90 percent of all media coverage of his person and policies has been negative. Obama was a representation of a progressive view of the Constitution that about a quarter of the population holds, but in Obama, that view found a rare megaphone for an otherwise hard sell.

One would have thought that all Republican presidents and presidential candidate would be something like the antitheses to progressivism. In truth, few really were. So given the lateness of the national hour, a President Nobama could prove to be quite a change.

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Re: Dismantling the Obama fiasco
« Reply #37 on: January 17, 2018, 12:43:58 PM »

President Trump Will Protect Doctors Who Don’t Want To Do Abortions

STEVEN ERTELT   
JAN 17, 2018

President Donald Trump is reportedly considering issuing new protections for doctors who don’t want to perform abortions.

President George W Bush first issued conscience protections for pro-life doctors and other medical workers who did not want to participate in abortions. But President Barack Obama rescinded those protections and created a situation where pro-life medical workers and others who don’t want to be involved in abortions are pressured to do so.

Full details have not been released about the potential guidelines but online reports indicate the White House is reviewing the proposal from the Department of Health and Human Services to protect doctors and healthcare workers from being forced or pressured to perform abortions.  Language will reportedly protect anyone who has a “moral objection” to involvement in an abortion because it kills an unborn child before birth.

Here is more on what President Trump is considering. As always, abortion activist threaten to sue to force doctors and nurses to participate in or perform abortions:

Under a proposed rule — which has been closely guarded at HHS and is now under review by the White House — the HHS office in charge of civil rights would be empowered to further shield these workers and punish organizations that don’t allow them to express their moral objections, according to sources on and off the Hill.

HHS did not respond to multiple requests for comment. However, HHS’ leaders have repeatedly criticized the Obama administration for rolling back regulations dating to the George W. Bush administration that legally insulated health care workers while affirming their religious freedoms.

Roger Severino, the Trump administration appointee who now leads the HHS civil rights office, has repeatedly stressed that strengthening conscience protections for health care workers is a top priority for his office.

The pending rule, which could be released as soon as this week, has been described to POLITICO as establishing a new “division” of the HHS civil rights office that would conduct compliance reviews, audits and other enforcement actions to ensure that health care providers are allowing workers to opt out of procedures when they have religious or moral objections.

The office would also conduct outreach and technical support to help others who are seeking to strengthen protections for these workers.

Patient groups and legal organizations vowed to challenge HHS if the agency strengthens conscience protections. “Should the administration choose to move forward to implement a discriminatory policy, we will see them in court,” Louise Melling of the American Civil Liberties Union said in a statement.

But supporters of the conscience protections say the Obama administration left objecting workers out to dry, liable to be fired for refusing to assist in abortions.

“To be forced under pain of losing one’s job is just outrageous,” Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), co-chairman of the Bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, said last week. President Trump is “now looking to remedy that through the HHS mechanism — hasn’t happened yet, but it will.”


Obama rescinded part of the protections by removing protections for medical workers who have moral or religious objections to dispensing or giving to women the Plan B drug or other emergency contraception that could act in some cases as an abortion drug.

The Christian Medical Association, Catholic Medical Association, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), and Medical Students for Life sent a joint letter to the Obama administration on behalf of their members complaining about the action.

The letter requested that HHS extend conscience protections to medical providers who cannot, due to moral principles, prescribe and dispense emergency contraception or participate in in vitro fertilization procedures because abortion could be involved in cases of multiple pregnancies.

Georgina Verdugo responded to them on behalf of the HHS Department and said the final rule the Obama administration issued revoking the conscience protection explained “the provision of contraceptive services has never been defined as abortion in federal statute. There is no indication that the federal healthcare provider statutes intended that the term ‘abortion’ included contraception.”

“In addition, there is no indication that the federal conscience laws were intended to include in-vitro fertilization procedures,” Verdugo added.

Upon receipt of Health and Human Services’ response, Kristan Hawkins, the director of Students for Life of America, condemned the Obama administration for not defining the beginning of human life at conception — which would make it more sensitive to the concerns of medical professionals not wanting to be involved with drugs or procedures that could possible end human life in a similar way as an abortion.

“While the Obama administration may not define life as beginning at fertilization, many Americans and medical professionals do,” she told LifeNews at that time. “Conscience rights should be extended to health care providers who refuse to participate in actions which terminate the life of a human being after fertilization. The current U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regulations are inadequate to protect those rights of conscience as abortifacient drugs like ella and Plan B are falling through the administration’s loophole.”

“This February, the Obama administration rescinded the right of conscience to dispense drugs labeled as contraceptives. This action forces pro-life medical professionals to prescribe ella, Plan B, and other life-ending drugs even if doing so is a direct violation of the professional’s conscience,” she said.

Hawkins cited the ella drug — billed as an emergency contraceptive but a pill that works to end the life of a unique human being days after conception — as an example of the kind of drug these doctors oppose.

“Ella was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in August of 2010 for sale within the United States. The pill is both a contraceptive and abortifacient, but the FDA chose only to label it as a contraceptive, deceiving millions of American women and forcing pro-life medical professionals to dispense the life-ending drug,” she said.

After Obama rescinded the protections, the Christian Medical Association (CMA) released new polling data showing that 77% of American adults believe that it is important to “make sure that health care professionals in America are not forced to participate in procedures and practices to which they have moral objections.” A poll released previously by CMA revealed that 62% opposed a revocation of the conscience protection rule for medical professionals.

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Re: Dismantling the Obama fiasco
« Reply #38 on: January 19, 2018, 11:27:52 PM »
BREAKING: Trump rescinds Obama warning to states that cut funds to Planned Parenthood

January 19, 2018
Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

The Trump administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today that it is rescinding a warning issued by the Obama administration to state governments stating that they cannot deny Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood on the grounds that they are abortion providers.

The warning was issued in 2016 by the HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services after Planned Parenthood complained that 24 states were denying Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood.

The state initiatives to end Planned Parenthood Medicaid funding came in response to an undercover investigation by the pro-life Center for Medical Progress in 2015 that used hidden cameras to expose Planned Parenthood’s business selling fetal body parts following abortions.

However, it is unclear if the rescinding of the guidance will enable states to cut off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood, because some federal courts interpret existing federal law as prohibiting the states to do so. Louisiana has been ordered to restore Medicaid funding in one federal court ruling in 2017, while a federal appeals court permitted Arkansas to bar the funds to the abortion provider the same year.

Additionally, Richard Severino, the head of HHS's Civil Rights Office, told CNBC that a new regulation is now being proposed that will require health-care providers that receive federal funding to declare that they are respecting the conscience of those workers who do not wish to perform abortions, sterilizations, assisted suicide and other similar procedures on religious or moral grounds. Such a rule could be difficult for Planned Parenthood to implement.

Currently, federal law prohibits Medicaid money from being used for most abortions, although there are exceptions for rape, incest, and threats to the mother’s health. However, it does not prohibit Medicaid money from funding abortion providers for other services categorized as “medical.”

Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States, currently receives 75% of its over $500 million in government funding from Medicaid. The rest comes from HHS Title X Family Planning, which the Trump administration already permits to be withheld from Planned Parenthood.

The announcement comes on the heels of another announcement yesterday by HHS that it was creating a new division within HHS’s civil rights office to enforce conscience protection and religious freedom for healthcare workers.

In November of last year, the U.S. Justice Department announced that it would begin a criminal probe into Planned Parenthood’s involvement in the fetal body parts business.  A U.S. House of Representatives’ Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives announced in late 2016 that it was making nine criminal and regulatory referrals against Planned Parenthood, other abortion businesses, universities, and fetal tissue companies in the wake of the Center for Medical Progress exposé.

Today’s announcement came before President Trump delivered a strongly pro-life speech before tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered for the 47th national March for Life in Washington, D.C.

“President Trump and his administration have taken a monumental stand for conscience rights and an important step toward getting American taxpayers out of funding the abortion industry, especially Planned Parenthood,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List.

“Despite reporting record income, Planned Parenthood’s non-abortion services are in steep decline, clients are leaving, and dozens of facilities have closed. Meanwhile, the abortion chain does more than 320,000 abortion procedures per year, and they are under federal investigation for their role in the harvest and sale of aborted babies’ body parts for profit.”

“We urge Congress to swiftly finish what this pro-life administration has started by passing the Conscience Protection Act and redirecting half a billion dollars in annual taxpayer funding away from Planned Parenthood. Abortion is not health care. No one should ever be forced to participate in the destruction of innocent unborn children, and Planned Parenthood does not need or deserve taxpayer dollars.”

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Offline Lt. Columbo

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Re: Dismantling the Obama fiasco
« Reply #39 on: January 20, 2018, 11:35:54 AM »
13 consecutive posts with no responses?  Why are you doing this.  I don't read them.  Nobody does.  Are you mentally ill?  Tell me you're not divorced.   ::)

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Re: Dismantling the Obama fiasco
« Reply #40 on: January 20, 2018, 12:13:29 PM »
13 consecutive posts with no responses?
--I don't believe I asked any questions.

Quote
Why are you doing this.
--For the benefit of everyone here who ran and locked themselves into their bedrooms after the 2016 election.We had to listen to their smarmy wind-bagging for eight years while Obama took a sledge hammer to the country. Now they're all afraid to come out and discuss current events like grown-ups. That's not going to stop me from showing them what's happening. I gotta give ya one thing, dalib: you're certainly not much of a conversationalist insofar as you seem completely incapable of listening to, and responding to the thoughts of others, But on the other hand - at least you show up here.

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I don't read them.
--Thanks for being here once again, dalib. And for commenting on the past "13 consecutive posts".

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Nobody does.
--And thanks to all of you who are still locked in your bedrooms who come here to read this but are sacred shitless of saying anything about it.

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Are you mentally ill?
--No.

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Tell me you're not divorced.
--Why? It won't keep you from saying that I am.

Offline Lt. Columbo

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Re: Dismantling the Obama fiasco
« Reply #41 on: January 20, 2018, 09:32:12 PM »
--Thanks for being here once again, dalib. And for commenting on the past "13 consecutive posts".
--And thanks to all of you who are still locked in your bedrooms who come here to read this but are sacred shitless of saying anything about it.

I didn't read your posts and have not commented on them.
As to "all of you" - you mean all two of us?
This forum is a ghost town.  Soon you and your buddy will have this place all to yourselves.  But I'm sure that won't stop you from posting how Obama took a sledge hammer to the country.  That sledge hammer more than doubled my stock porfolio value.  And, obviously, you had no relative who was sent to Iraq looking for WMDs.    ::)

Online Mornac

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Re: Dismantling the Obama fiasco
« Reply #42 on: January 20, 2018, 10:19:22 PM »
I didn't read your posts and have not commented on them.
--Of course.

Quote
As to "all of you" - you mean all two of us?
--You two and the other six who watch in silence because the humiliation of what's happened has put their collective larynx in a straight jacket.

Quote
This forum is a ghost town.
--Funny, ain't it? 15 months ago the place swimmin' with blowhards prepared to beat me over the head with Hillary Clinton's pantsuit for eight years in a row. Now they don't have enough backbone between them to come here to admit that their ideology has been rejected and explain why.

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Soon you and your buddy will have this place all to yourselves.
--To the winners go the spoils.

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But I'm sure that won't stop you from posting how Obama took a sledge hammer to the country.  That sledge hammer more than doubled my stock porfolio value.
--Any reason why your friends aren't here to share in your adulation?

Quote
And, obviously, you had no relative who was sent to Iraq looking for WMDs.
--I don't get whatever point you taking a stab at here.

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Who would have ever believed it?????
« Reply #43 on: January 30, 2018, 10:32:31 PM »
In just one short year, Obama and his shipwreck have faded into a nauseating memory. Only his pathetic cultists remain to remind us of his disgraceful reign of terror - and they're afraid to converse!

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First, an epic failure; now, a growing disgrace
« Reply #44 on: February 13, 2018, 04:56:37 PM »
Federal abuses on Obama's watch represent a growing blight on his legacy

MONICA CROWLEY
02/12/18 08

In all of the discussions about the political weaponization of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI, alleged corruption at the highest echelons of those agencies and serial abuse of the secret FISA process surrounding the 2016 election, one name has been conspicuously absent: President Barack Obama.

High-ranking officials and other major players in those agencies — which Obama oversaw — are increasingly embroiled in the growing scandal: James Comey, Loretta Lynch, Andrew McCabe, Andrew Weissmann, Sally Yates, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Bruce Ohr.

Given the tight control Obama exercised over every part of his administration and agenda, the idea that any of these appointees and loyalists freelanced their activities without at least his tacit approval or that of his White House strains credulity.

These kinds of abuses of power were nothing new, given the Obama team’s long history of this type of misconduct on everything from the Benghazi terror attack to the political misuse of the IRS. They weaponized the most fearsome government agencies to target, monitor and presumably illegally unmask political opponents, including members of Congress, journalists reporting unfavorable stories, Trump allies and average Americans. 
These dark institutional offenses didn’t just materialize out of thin air. One of the criticisms of President Nixon was that even though he wasn’t aware of the Watergate break-in, he had created an environment in which such an action was acceptable.

Decades later, Obama created a climate in which the potentially criminal misuse of the DOJ and the FBI, as currently being unraveled, was not just acceptable but perhaps encouraged, thereby giving rise to what could be the most dangerous scandal in American history.

It’s increasingly apparent that these recently exposed abuses of power served two ostensible purposes: to secure Hillary Clinton’s candidacy by shielding her from prosecution stemming from the use of her unauthorized private server, and to derail the candidacy and presidency of Donald Trump.

But something else, something more profound, drove their efforts: their urgency to preserve what Obama once called “the fundamental transformation of the nation” — a grand project much bigger than Obama himself or any other single figure. He largely fulfilled the long-held progressive ambition of changing the nation’s course, only to see Trump threaten to change it once again: not to return it to where it was pre-Obama, but to smash the corrupt existing order that had made their progressive advances possible.

Obama and the leftist movement over which he has presided could not tolerate a reversal of their gains (by Trump, no less!), so they got to work.

On the offensive side, these Obama officials — who obviously loathe Trump, as demonstrated by the glaring antipathy in the Strzok–Page texts and others’ communications — set out to damage him. Trump, they thought, gave them much material with which to work, plus they enjoyed a compliant media that stood ready to amplify spoon-fed narratives, regardless of their veracity. The acquisition of multiple FISA warrants — now known to be largely based on an unverified dossier prepared by a foreign spy, using anonymous Russian and close Clinton associates and paid for by her campaign and the Democratic National Committee — to subvert and impair Trump and his associates, succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

On the defensive side, Herculean efforts were made by the Obama DOJ and FBI to stonewall the Clinton investigation, not out of any real love for Hillary but because they needed to ensure a Democratic win and the continuance of their “transformative” agenda. Further, with Clinton at the helm, evidence of all of their previous abuses would never see the light of day.

Thus, the forward march to safeguard her.

In October 2015, Obama told “60 Minutes” that, while Clinton made a “mistake” using a private server, “this is not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered.” The signal to his law enforcement lieutenants to back off could not have been clearer.

As the National Review’s Andrew McCarthy has reported, Obama knowingly and repeatedly sent communications to Clinton via her nongovernment, unsecured email and server. One assumes those emails involved classified information, not yoga schedules. That meant if Clinton were guilty of committing felonies, so was Obama. Because they were joined at the hip over this and other toxic controversies, such as Benghazi, she required protection in order to protect him. To this day, they survive or fall together. Hence, Obama’s support of her candidacy over his preferred choice, Joe Biden, and the necessity of the email cover-up.

He and his allies have never taken their eyes off the prize. They cannot allow their progressive gains to be erased (and replaced by far more successful economic and national security policies) and their history of abuses to be exposed. Having never expected a Trump victory, the Obama and Clinton squads have been throwing the kitchen sink at him in an effort to protect themselves — and to try to backstop their hard-won “transformative” achievements.

Restoring the progressive revolution is also why loyal Obama soldiers such as Biden and Eric Holder are considering White House runs. In the meantime, they must try to destroy Trump, his agenda, and the investigations that are quickly turning against them. After all, if Trump doesn’t just endure but succeeds, Obama, Clinton, their brigades and the larger decades-long radical movement have everything to lose.

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