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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Seven Ways Obama Is Trying to Sabotage the Trump Administration

    30 Dec 2016

    President Barack Obama’s final weeks in office seem dedicated to setting foreign and domestic policy on fire to make life as difficult as possible on his successor, Donald Trump. Here are some of the biggest mousetraps Obama scattered across the White House floor on his way out:

    Betraying Israel at the United Nations: Obama’s refusal to block a United Nations vote against Israel, his administration’s shadowy machinations to bring that ugly motion to the floor, and Secretary of State John Kerry’s long-winded broadside against Israel will leave President Trump with a massive political crisis in the Middle East, and quite possibly a security crisis, if terror groups and their “political wings” are emboldened by the rebuke of Israel.

    Obama’s Israel maneuver also damages American credibility, teaching would-be allies that the United States is not the best friend to have. America’s erstwhile battlefield allies in Syria can teach the same lesson, assuming any of them are left alive to take the podium. This comes at the very moment aspiring hegemons in China and Russia are showing their allies how Beijing and Moscow will go to the mat for them.

    Obama’s team thinks it was clever to saddle Trump with an international edict the U.S. president cannot easily reverse. They might not have thought this all the way through, because some of the options that are available to Trump could leave internationalists, and Palestinian leaders, cursing Barack Obama’s memory.

    Note that even some commentators friendly to Obama, and sources within the Obama Administration itself, have described the Israel vote as a deliberate act of sabotage aimed at Trump, because Obama is “alarmed” by some of Trump’s appointees.

    A new Cold War with Russia: After eight years of relentlessly mocking anyone who said Russia was a major geopolitical threat to the United States (most famously including his 2012 presidential opponent, Mitt Romney) Barack Obama suddenly realized: “You know what? Russia is a major threat!”

    He also awoke to the dangers of cyber-warfare, after an entire presidency of treating electronic espionage as a purely political problem to be minimized and spun away, because taking it seriously made him look bad. Who can forget how Obama left victims of the OPM hack twisting in the wind for weeks, because the administration didn’t want to admit how serious the attack was?

    But then a top Democrat political operative fell for a crude phishing scam, and the Democratic National Committee got hacked, so Obama… well, he still didn’t take cyber-espionage seriously. He slapped the snooze bar again, because as one anonymous official put it, they thought Hillary Clinton was a cinch to win the 2016 election, “so they were willing to kick the can down the road.”

    No, it was Hillary Clinton’s loss in the election, and the desperate push to damage President-elect Trump’s legitimacy, that made the president who politely ignored China hacking 25 million American citizens’ private data get tough on information security. Until now, states involved in cyber-espionage never got anything worse than a few carefully-chosen words of sour disapproval from the expiring administration, but the Russkies received a sprinkling of sanctions, and 35 diplomats were expelled.

    Russia responded by unleashing an army of ducks and trolls from the depths of the Kremlin. The New Cold War is only a few days old, and it’s already weirder than the old one was.

    Presumably Obama thinks he’s maneuvered Trump into a position that will make whatever rapprochement he might have entertained with Moscow more difficult, or at least more politically costly for the new President. The end result might be easier relations between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, and a lingering memory of how little Barack Obama cared about cybersecurity until it was politically expedient for him to freak out.

    Ban on oil drilling: An overt act of sabotage directed at the American economy itself, leaving an especially heavy bootprint on Alaska. Smug administration flacks spent the past couple of weeks assuring media talking heads that Obama’s unprecedented abuse of an obscure law was impossible for his successor to reverse. It’s like they stayed up all night, looking for executive actions that can’t be undone by the new President four weeks later. (Amusingly, Obama dropped this bomb on our energy sector just a few weeks after publicly advising Trump not to abuse executive orders.)

    It’s likely that legions of lawyers will battle throughout 2017, and perhaps beyond, to determine if Obama’s “latest poke at Trump” (as Politico put it) really is irreversible. What a lovely parting gift from the departing President to the country that elected him twice: a pile of gigantic wealth-destroying lawsuits!

    National-monument land grab: The other theoretically irreversible presidential edict discovered by Obama’s munchkins is the ability to designate national monuments. Another 1.65 million acres in Utah and Nevada was yanked off the market in the last week of December, bring Obama’s Antiquities Act acreage up to an unprecedented 553 million acres.

    “This arrogant act by a lame duck president will not stand. I will work tirelessly with Congress and the incoming Trump administration to honor the will of the people of Utah and undo this designation,” thundered Senator Mike Lee of Utah. Sixty-five percent of his state is now under the wise and compassionate environmental protection of the same government that turned the Colorado River into a toxic-waste dump.

    Eliminating the national immigration registry: Just in case Trump got any ideas about using it as the basis for the “enhanced vetting” he has promised for immigrants from terrorist-infested regions, the Obama administration killed a long-dormant program called NSEERS that once committed the unforgivable politically-incorrect sin of tracking military-age males from violently unstable Muslim-majority countries.

    It’s highly debatable whether the NSEERS program was of any practical use. When it pulled the plug, the Department of Homeland Security noted that the post-9/11 program called for collecting data that is now routinely collected for most foreign visitors, along with more sophisticated biometric information. Almost everyone saw the elimination of these roles as a purely symbolic act — i.e. political sabotage directed at the incoming President.

    The great Guantanamo jailbreak: After paying little more than lip service to his promise to close the Guantanamo Bay prison for much of his presidency, Obama went into overdrive in his last years, transferring over 150 detainees. A shocking number of them ended up back on the battlefield.

    Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) of the House Foreign Affairs Committee wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed this week to sound the alarm about Obama’s “midnight push to empty out Guantanamo.”

    “The White House has repeatedly released detainees to countries it knew lacked the intent and capability to keep the detainees from returning to terrorism. The results have been deadly,” Royce wrote, challenging the wisdom of such Obama administration brainstorms as dropping al-Qaeda’s top bomb maker into Bosnia, a country with “limited security services” but plenty of radical mosques and unemployed military-age males. Royce’s committee has been investigating allegations the administration tried to pay the bomb-maker $100,000 to refrain from passing his deadly skills along to eager apprentices. Hunting down the rest of the transferred prisoners who transferred themselves right back into the global jihad will be a job for the Trump administration.

    Depicting Trump’s election as a disaster: Let’s not forget Obama’s acts of rhetorical sabotage, such as describing Trump’s presidential campaign as a crime against American class and racial harmony, or his wife wailing that all hope was lost for America’s children. Trump himself has taken note of the “many inflammatory President Obama statements and roadblocks.”

    It’s hard to remember a previous instance of the outgoing president attacking the legitimacy of his successor this way, especially during the transition, before the new chief executive has actually done anything. And it’s probably not over yet. The time for big executive orders is growing short, but Obama is always just one day away from calling a press conference and saying something else that will make the transition more difficult.

    Of course he can still talk all he wants after January 20th, and he’s given every indication he won’t follow the dignified path of his predecessors and allow the new president time to chart his own course, but there’s no substitute for the bully pulpit of the presidency. The timber of Barack Obama’s political voice will be very different on January 21st than it was on January 19th. More likely than not, he’ll use it before he loses it.
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  2. #2
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    A graceless exit

    Outgoing President Obama buries land mines for the Trump presidency

    By Kelly Riddell - The Washington Times - Thursday, December 29, 2016

    In November, after Donald Trump won the election, President Barack Obama met the president-elect in the Oval Office and told him: “If you succeed, then the country succeeds.”

    What a bunch of hooey.

    Since the Nov. 8 results, Mr. Obama has taken a blow torch to the Oval Office, ensuring through his last minute executive actions and agency rulings, that Mr. Trump will have anything but a smooth transition into office.

    Mr. Obama — looking to protect his legacy — has unilaterally made several moves to undermine and undercut Mr. Trump’s ability to deliver on his campaign promises. Succeed, is something Mr. Obama definitely doesn’t want Mr. Trump to do.

    Last week, Mr. Obama decided to wave his middle finger at Israel — our closest ally in the Middle East — by having the U.S. abstain from a United Nations vote which said Israel was in violation of international law by allowing Jewish settlements anywhere in the West Bank, including Jerusalem. Mr. Trump has vowed to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

    In regards to Russia, Mr. Obama sanctioned it for its meddling in the U.S. election, with the mind-set to make the sanctions as difficult as possible for Mr. Trump to roll back. It’s unlikely any punishment will be delivered in Mr. Obama’s term — it’s something Mr. Trump will inherit.

    “Part of the goal here is to make sure that we have as much of the record public or communicated to Congress in a form that would be difficult to simply walk back,” an unnamed administration official told The Washington Post of their goal in crafting Russia’s reprisal.

    Domestically, Mr. Obama is also burying land mines for Mr. Trump to face.

    On Wednesday, the president grabbed 1.6 million acres of Western land in Utah and Nevada, declaring it national monuments. It’s really just a move to cordon off the massive area from energy development.

    A similar stroke was made last week, when the Interior Department adopted a controversial last-minute rule aimed at making the coal industry cleaner. The regulations overhauled rules that have been in place for more than three decades, and even the agency admitted more coal jobs would be lost because of it.

    A day later, Mr. Obama invoked what even The New York Times called an “obscure provision” in the 1953 Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to unilaterally ban offshore oil and gas drilling along large swaths of the Artic and Atlantic sea borders.

    Mr. Trump has aptly described Mr. Obama’s environmental regulations as “job killers” and has mocked the left’s unassailable belief in man-made climate change — to the detriment of the American economy and energy independence.

    Mr. Trump pledged to coal country he’d help turn around their industry, which has been decimated by Mr. Obama’s environmental policies. Mr. Obama’s desperate 11th-hour rule making will make that pledge more difficult to deliver.

    In an effort to help protect Planned Parenthood, last week the Obama administration issued a final rule that bars states from withholding federal money from the abortion-providers affiliates, which will take effect two days before Mr. Trump takes office.

    The rule hinders the GOP’s ability to defund Planned Parenthood, requiring a time-consuming process to undo, according to the Times.

    Mr. Obama’s team also canceled a Muslim registry run out of the Department of Homeland Security aimed at foiling Mr. Trump’s plans to impose “extreme vetting” on Muslim visitors.

    The National Security Entry-Exit Registration System had been dormant for years, but activists demanded that the Obama administration take it off the books entirely. They feared Mr. Trump could have used the program as a shortcut to starting his own vetting.

    Rescinding the NSEERS doesn’t stop Mr. Trump, but it does mean he would have to set up a new program rather than renew an existing one — a higher hurdle and a longer process.

    What else does Mr. Obama have up his sleeve to try to deride a Trump presidency? Who knows — but we’re likely to see more executive action and agency rulings in the coming weeks aimed directly at Mr. Trump’s agenda.

    Jan. 20 can’t come soon enough.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member lsmith1338's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Boston, MA
    Obama is doing anything and everything he can do to sabotage the Trump administration. Just proves what we knew all along that he is a selfish miserable SOB. Glad Putin did not buy into his crap as he knows what he is dealing with. So does the rest of the world for that matter. Trump is already working on undoing all that Obama has done. I am also sure he will have the best lawyers on his team as well to accomplish that task.
    Freedom isn't free... Don't forget the men who died and gave that right to all of us....
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