While I am no fan of his successor, I am sincerely glad to see Barack Obama's disastrous presidency finally come to an end.
Over the course of his eight years in office, President Obama added nearly $9,335,000,000,000
to the U.S.A.'s national debt, which officially stood at $19,961,467,137,973.64 as of Wednesday (01/18/2017). That is not just the highest debt ever accumulated in American history, it is the highest in all of recorded human history
. (And when you factor in the government's unfunded liabilities and entitlement programs, the real total is several orders of magnitude higher.) Yes, he had a lot of help from Congress, but as President he set the direction with his initiatives.
When Obama took office, the economy was in bad shape. His policies pretty much kept it that way.
One of his first priorities, back when his party had full control of both the Executive and Legislative branches of government, was to force through a radical health coverage law that nobody wanted, causing millions of Americans to lose their existing coverage and in many cases their doctors (despite Obama's explicit and oft-repeated promises to the contrary), and eventually leading to skyrocketing premiums and health care costs
.Race relations in America actually deteriorated under Obama
, and significantly, and I think his administration's divisive rhetoric on that front often served to fan the flames -- sometimes literally. And the emergence of the violent "Black Lives Matter" movement led to a dramatic and alarming rise in the number of police officers to be shot in the line of duty
in the past couple of years.
But the area in which President Obama did the most lasting damage was in foreign policy and international relations. The world has arguably become a much more dangerous and violent place than it was when he assumed office in January of 2009.
A few highlights:
- The infamous "red line" Obama drew very publicly in the sands of Syria, and then allowed dictator Bashar Al-Assad to cross with total impunity.
- His precipitous withdrawal from Iraq, squandering years of hard-fought gains toward stabilizing that country and paving the way for the rise of ISIS, which has now become the most powerful and bloodthirsty Islamic supremacist organization on the planet, and his complete failure to do anything meaningful in the way of fighting them.
- His support for the Muslim Brotherhood's (mercifully short-lived) takeover of Egypt.
- His appalling indifference toward the democratic "Green Revolution" in Iran, and the subsequent nuclear "deal" with the hardline Iranian regime, in which the Obama administration has, astonishingly, actively assisted the leading global financier of Islamic terrorism, and a sworn enemy of the United States, in the acceleration of their nuclear program. Not coincidentally, said sworn enemy has become increasingly belligerent toward U.S. interests during Obama's term.
- His obsessive pursuit of normalized relations with the Castro regime, at the expense of the Cuban people.
- And last but not least, the way he has shunned, abandoned and alienated many of America's traditional allies, such as Great Britain, France and, most especially, Israel.
During his final days in office, Obama really revealed his true colors when he abandoned Israel at the UN
, and used the power of his office to pardon traitors
. I haven't even touched on the repeated and flagrant abuses of power which characterized so much of Obama's presidency (many of which I've documented elsewhere in this forum), because the things I've already covered in this post are bad enough and frankly, I'm getting tired of digging for links.
Whatever skepticism I may feel about now-President Donald Trump (and I feel A LOT), I am definitely glad to see Obama leave.
(EDIT: Split from So it's finally 2017. -CWS)
The Phiend wrote:
But that being the case, I'm also fairly indifferent about the whole matter, since I have no reason to defend anyone involved.
I dunno...I kinda feel you and I are victims of rigged party primaries here, to a much greater degree than any given New Zealander, and we're being blamed for it despite our best efforts to support candidates with merit instead of the two mutants. Seems an inappropriate to do to us (the victimizing and
I'm not so much blaming you and Corey for all this, but the American people as a whole.
Here's my take on things. In a democracy, the people are the boss, the leader. The Prime Minister is our voice on the world stage, our MPs are our representatives locally, but WE ARE THE BOSS. WE are the leader. And when you are the leader, everything is your fault
. For example, we currently have a housing and child poverty crisis in New Zealand, not to mention a lot of our rivers and streams are now badly contaminated with run-off from dairy farming. Yeah, my country isn't perfect, there's plenty of things wrong with it too. But it's our fault. So far, we haven't been doing enough to meet these problems, that's on us. We aren't leaning hard enough on our MPs to make them act. They should be acting anyway, of course, since our taxes pay their wages, but we don't live in a perfect world. A democracy is hard work
. Everyone needs to be involved, or it falls apart.
I look at the US and I see an oligarchy in all but name. You have a deeply corrupt government apparatus that heeds the call of the super-rich, not the people as a whole. You still allow gerrymandering, the only Western nation other than France that does so. You even have that ridiculous Electoral College that chooses your President for you. Seriously, what the fuck even is
that shit?! Nobody else has anything like it because it's retarded! It's like going to McDonald's and ordering a Big Mac combo, but then you have a chaperone step in and say "No, give him a Happy Meal," even though you paid for a Big Mac, you are a grown adult who shouldn't have to be treated like a child, but then you just shrug and go along with it. Are the American people made up entirely of children?
But what I find inexcusable is that the American people have allowed themselves to be caught in that trap. You've allowed your politicians to abuse you, turning back the clock on all the gains you've made over the last 100 years. And how have you allowed that? By not challenging them on their bullshit. By allowing them to redraw their electoral districts without oversight. By not showing up during elections; seriously, your voter turnout is pathetic.
Then you give me the argument "America is a republic, not a democracy." Yeah. I can see that perfectly clearly. You're no leader of the "Free World." You're a fake. And you're making excuses for yourselves. Because as I said, a democracy is hard work.
And from what I see, Americans don't have the interest to do any hard work. Much easier to say you're just a republic and leave everything to some faceless suits in Washington whose names you've never bothered to memorise.
So ISIS decided to ring in the new year by -- what else? -- launching yet another cowardly attack against unarmed, innocent civilians who were gathered in a nightclub
to celebrate a holiday.
This time they decided to change things up a little by choosing Turkey as the locale for their latest unprovoked massacre, claiming 39 lives before all was said and done.
By REUTERS \ 01/02/2017 10:18
ISIS claims it was behind New Year's attack at Istanbul nightclub
Islamic State claimed responsibility for a gun attack on an Istanbul nightclub which killed 39 people on Sunday, the group said in a statement on Monday.
"In continuation of the blessed operations that Islamic State is conducting against the protector of the cross, Turkey, a heroic soldier of the caliphate struck one of the most famous nightclubs where the Christians celebrate their apostate holiday," the statement said.
You notice, these cockroaches keep getting bolder? The half-hearted counteroffensive the civilized world has been conducting against them for the past few years really doesn't seem to be deterring them much.
And as much as I might personally loathe Donald Trump, I will readily concede that I do have greater confidence in his ability to deal with these bastards than I did in Hillary Clinton's.
I suspect I can safely speak for everyone here with the following:Fuck you, 2016.
Seriously. Fuck you.
In the nose.
Right in the nose.
I have nothing else to say. It's sad to know that Force Awakens was Fisher's final Star Wars film, and that yet another iconic star has burned out, hot on the heels of George Michael too (he died a day or so earlier). 2016 seems real determined to go out in an explosion of Christmas humbug and human misery. As if this year hasn't been shitty enough already.
Rest in peace Carrie, you sweet woman. Can we have one last song to remember you by? iframe You are totally laughing from the afterlife, aren't you?
Featuring Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man, Tom Holland as Spiderman, and Michael Keaton as Vulture.
To be honest, I was rather surprised at the news because I thought he'd already expired several years ago. I guess this was a reminder that he hadn't, but...in any case, he has now.
FL Senator Marco Rubio, himself the son of Cuban immigrants, issued a statement
on the dictator's death; I'll let him take it from here.
Marco Rubio wrote:
Rubio: History Will Remember Fidel Castro as an Evil, Murderous Dictator
Nov 26 2016
Miami, FL – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) issued the following statement regarding the death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro:
“Fidel Castro seized power promising to bring freedom and prosperity to Cuba, but his communist regime turned it into an impoverished island prison. Over six decades, millions of Cubans were forced to flee their own country, and those accused of opposing the regime were routinely jailed and even killed.
“Sadly, Fidel Castro's death does not mean freedom for the Cuban people or justice for the democratic activists, religious leaders, and political opponents he and his brother have jailed and persecuted. The dictator has died, but the dictatorship has not. And one thing is clear, history will not absolve Fidel Castro; it will remember him as an evil, murderous dictator who inflicted misery and suffering on his own people.
“The future of Cuba ultimately remains in the hands of the Cuban people, and now more than ever Congress and the new administration must stand with them against their brutal rulers and support their struggle for freedom and basic human rights.”
Senator Ted Cruz, also a son of Cuban immigrants, issued a statement
Ted Cruz wrote:
President Obama's official statement
Sen. Cruz's Statement in Reaction to Fidel Castro's Death
November 26, 2016
HOUSTON, Texas -- U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, released the following statement in reaction to the death of Fidel Castro:
"Fidel Castro's death cannot bring back his thousands of victims, nor can it bring comfort to their families. Today we remember them and honor the brave souls who fought the lonely fight against the brutal Communist dictatorship he imposed on Cuba."
, not surprisingly, struck a much more neutral tone.
Elsewhere, Cuban-Americans danced and celebrated on the streets of Miami.
I guess today must officially be Trailer Day or something, huh? iframe
As disappointing as I found the two previous standalone Wolverine movies, I must admit this does look interesting, particularly with the confirmed presence of Xavier, X-23 and Mr. Sinister. The post-credits scene at the end of Apocalypse
makes a lot more sense now, as well.
Wow, this actually looks kinda cool...and the last Nintendo console I gave half a crap about was the GameCube. iframe
Blue Merle Yondu is back.
- So is Nebula.
- How is that tape not warped beyond belief? 'Cause that happens, you know.
- Drax still doesn't wear a shirt. But now he's much more...uhh..."sensitive".
- Mini-Groot is still growing.
- I am excite.
I will let this speak for itself. iframe
So yesterday, my Mom's laptop got taken down with this
. Or something very similar to it.
So that sucks.
Another one of cinema's great comedic talents has passed away aged 83. Gene Wilder died of complications arising from Alzheimer's.
Though I enjoyed his performance in Blazing Saddles, I know what we're all thinking when we picture the man. iframe Rest in peace in that giant chocolate factory in the sky, old friend.
How do we not have a thread for this yet? I must have dropped the ball.
Trailer 1: iframe