Saturday, December 31, 2016

Time to Be a Real President

The end game of the Obama presidency, like the 95 months that preceded it, is a mixed bag of the good, the bad and the ugly.

Kudos for the new national monuments, which add new layers of protection for unique and sacred public lands in Utah and Nevada.

Special applause for finally standing up to the criminal Netanyahu regime of Israel by refusing to veto the U.N. security council resolution condemning the illegal and inhumane settlements in Palestine. 

It will be difficult if not impossible for the Pussy Grabber to reverse these actions.

But such commendable actions have to be weighed against his legacy of death-by-drone lists that include American citizens, and unprecedented numbers of penal actions against whistle-blowers and journalists who expose dirty secrets.  These establish precedents for the next president to wield as weapons of dictatorship.

And then there’s the “Russian hacking” fiasco.  His extraordinary action of expelling 35 Russian diplomats and imposing new so-called “sanctions” against Russian individuals or organizations would suggest that he has iron-clad proof of the allegations of “malicious cyber activity and harassment.”

If such proof exists, the national interest demands that he make it public now, before he leaves office.  The evidence offered up to now has been flimsy, none moreso than the report that was offered as justification for the latest action.

The issuing agency, the Department of Homeland Security, acknowledged as much with the following disclaimer:

“This report is provided ‘as is’ for informational purposes only. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within.”

Huh?  C’mon man!

Even if there is real proof of the Russian hacking, and even if Obama makes it public, as he should, the rest of the world will snigger at American hypocrisy for taking such umbrage.  It has been United States policy for decades to do exactly what it now accuses Russia of doing.  Let us count the countries in which the U.S. has interfered with democratic elections:

Greece, Turkey, Italy, France, Portugal, Macedonia, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia, Ukraine, Russia (Yeltsin’s 1995-96 campaign), Algeria, Lebanon, Palestine, Cyprus, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan, Yemen, Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Philippines, Congo. Haiti, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua,  Venezuela, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina.

Vladimir Putin has thumbed his nose at the Obama administration’s hysteria by rejecting his foreign minister’s recommendation to respond in kind to the expulsion of Russian diplomats, saying grandly that the children of U.S.diplomats are cordially invited to the state celebration of the New Year’s holiday in Russia.

It is time, President Obama, to come clean.  If you have proof of your allegations, let the people of the United States and of the world see it.

Meanwhile, there are other important tasks you can perform before leaving office, tasks that would embellish your motley legacy. 

One is to issue legal protections, by executive order, of all federal employees from witch hunts such as those the Pussy Grabber’s transition team have attempted against climate scientists and proponents of gay and transgender rights.

And most important, Mr. President, make this the signature act of your final days in office: Make Merrick Garland a Supreme Court justice.  Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution gives the President power to fill any vacancy during the recess of the Senate. Justice William Brennan began his Supreme Court tenure with a recess appointment in 1956. The Constitution requires the Senate to receive judicial appointments and either reject or consent to them.  In a monumental act of criminal nonfeasance, the Republican Senate has done nothing.  So you are legally entitled on Jan. 2 to fill the Supreme Court vacancy by executive action.  Do it.  By law such an appointment would last at least until December of 2017, the end of the first session of the 115th Congress.  We must have a full court of nine justices to deal with the many unprecedented issues that will surely arise after the Pussy-Grabber takes office.

Happy New Year.

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