Tuesday, 31 January 2017
My Predictions: Near-Term Climate System Mayhem
Obama Makes First Statement Since Leaving White House, Supports Protests Against Trump Policy
30 January, 2017
It took Obama ten days since he departed the White House one final time to break his promise that he would "stay on the sidelines" regarding Trump's policies...
Earnest says Pres Obama wants to afford his successor the same customs and courtesies he received from Pres GWBush - staying on sidelines.
7:21 AM - 5 Jan 2017
... and in his first public statement, the former president the charge that the Trump administration had based his immigration executive order on a policy adopted by his own administration, and endorsed the protests that have been taking place across the country in response to the new restrictions.
Kevin Lewis, Obama's spokesman, said rejected Trump's insistence that the decision to temporarily halt refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries and stop all Syrian refugee resettlement in America is similar to a 2011 decision by Obama. "With regard to comparisons to President Obama’s foreign policy decisions, as we’ve heard before, the President fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion."
As a reminder, over the past 24 hours, Trump has compared his actions to Obama's 2011 moves to restrict entries from Iraq after two Iraqis were arrested in Kentucky on terrorism charges.
Former Obama administration officials have denied that there was ever a halt to the awarding of visas to Iraqis, though the processing of these applications slowed after they were subject to more intense scrutiny.
Obama's decision to step back into the public light comes just 10 days after he left office. He joins the chorus of Democrats and mostly tech CEOs criticizing Trump for his decision to temporarily halt refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries and stop all Syrian refugee resettlement in America.
Obama also encouraged ongoing protests against Trump's immigration policies:
"President Obama is heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country. In his final official speech as President, he spoke about the important role of citizen and how all Americans have a responsibility to be the guardians of our democracy--not just during an election but every day," Lewis said.
"Citizens exercising their Constitutional right to assemble, organize and have their voices heard by their elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake."
As The Hill notes, former presidents often give their replacements a wide berth in office, rarely weighing in to criticize their actions out of respect for the office. While Obama served as a vocal critic to Trump on the campaign trail, he told reporters during a trip to Peru last November that he wanted to give Trump the chance to lead without Obama "popping off."
But Obama added that he wouldn't unilaterally remain quiet, and today he held true to that loophole.
“As an American citizen who cares deeply about our country, if there are issues that have less to do with the specifics of some legislative proposal or battle, but go to core questions about our values and our ideals, and if I think that it's necessary or helpful for me to defend those ideals, then I'll examine it when it comes,” Obama said.
The full statement from Kevin Lewis, spokesperson to Former President Barack Obama, is below:
President Obama is heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country. In his final official speech as President, he spoke about the important role of citizen and how all Americans have a responsibility to be the guardians of our democracy--not just during an election but every day.
Citizens exercising their Constitutional right to assemble, organize and have their voices heard by their elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake.
With regard to comparisons to President Obama's foreign policy decisions, as we've heard before, the President fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion.
Flashback 2006: Senators Clinton and Obama Vote for Secure Fence Act, Bush Signs Bill
Inquiring minds are taking a flashback look at the Secure Fence Act of 2006, signed by president Bush.
30 January, 2017
The Secure Fence Act of 2006’s goal is to help secure America’s borders to decrease illegal entry, drug trafficking, and security threats by building 700 miles (1,100 km) of physical barriers along the Mexico-United States border.
Additionally, the law authorizes more vehicle barriers, checkpoints, and lighting as well as authorizes the Department of Homeland Security to increase the use of advanced technology like cameras, satellites, and unmanned aerial vehicles to reinforce infrastructure at the border. Congress approved $1.2 billion in a separate homeland security spending bill to bankroll the fence, though critics say this is $4.8 billion less than what’s likely needed to get it built.
The final roll call shows both Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton voted for the bill.
In a CNN debate in Austin, Texas, Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton agreed Thursday night that the Secure Border Fence Act of 2006, which directs the secretary of Homeland Security to construct 700 miles of double border fencing along specific sections of the U.S.-Mexico border, should not be enforced as written.
Stressing her desire to be deferential to the views of people who live along the border in Texas — which on March 4 will hold a primary that is widely viewed as a must-win event for the New York senator — Clinton said of a border fence, “there may be limited places where it would work. But let’s deploy more technology and personnel, instead of the physical barrier.”
“Well, I think both Senator Obama and I voted for that as part of the immigration debate,” she started. “And having been along the border for the last week or so–in fact, last night I was at the University of Texas at Brownsville — and this is how absurd this has become under the Bush administration. Because, you know, there is a smart way to protect our borders, and there is a dumb way to protect our borders. And what I learned last night when I was there with Congressman [Solomon] Ortiz [D.-Texas] is that the University of Texas at Brownsville would have part of its campus cut off.
“This is the kind of absurdity that we’re getting from this administration,” Clinton continued. “I know it because I’ve been fighting with them about the northern border. Their imposition of passports and other kinds of burdens are separating people from families, interfering with business and commerce, the movement of goods and people. So what I’ve said is that I would say, wait a minute, we need to review this. There may be places where a physical barrier is appropriate.
“I think when both of us voted for this, we were voting for the possibility that where it was appropriate and made sense, it would be considered,” said Clinton. “But as with so much, the Bush administration has gone off the deep end, and they are unfortunately coming up with a plan that I think is counterproductive.
When King then asked her whether she now thought her vote for the border fence was wrong, she did not give a yes-no answer. Instead, she suggested using more manpower and technology, instead of fencing, to secure the border.
“But, you know, John,” she said, “there’s a lot we’ve learned about technology and smart fencing. You know, there is technology that can be used instead of a physical barrier. It requires us having enough personnel along the border so that people can be supervising a certain limited amount of space and will be able to be responsive in the event of people attempting to cross illegally.”
That has to be one of the lamest of lame reversals in history. Somehow it is counterproductive to have a fence, but not counterproductive to create a wall of people to keep immigrants out.
And Hillary moaned about Bush “absurdity”.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock