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    Barack Obama Tag

    When I first heard that Senator John McCain (R-AZ) explicitly stated that he did not want President Trump to attend his funeral, I was taken aback not only by his petty smallness but by the abrupt change of tune since his insistence that Obama be treated with respect simply because he occupied the Office of the President of these United States. Asking President Trump not to attend was an extraordinary request because the lack of invitation to the sitting and duly-elected President to read a eulogy at the funeral would have been a significant rebuke.  And more than sufficient.  McCain chose the low road.

    President Donald Trump's decision last week to withdraw the United States from Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has occasioned a lot of hand-wringing by his critics (and by fans of his predecessor Barack Obama). After all, the storyline goes Iran was adhering to the deal, so the United States was damaging its credibility by trashing a deal that it had entered into. Of course, that doesn't tell the whole story. President Obama, knowing that he couldn't sell the deal to the American people and their representatives, made an executive agreement. But governing effectively means playing by the Constitution's rules even when it's inconvenient. (Funny how none of Obama's acolytes, who tell us that Trump is destroying our democracy, seem the least bit bothered by Obama's blatant disregard of the Constitution.)

    An editorial in The New York Times on Monday blasted President Donald Trump for not having a plan for Syria. I don't know if Trump does or doesn't have a plan for Syria. What I do know is that Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama did have a plan for Syria - and it is the reason we keep seeing carnage there. What's worse, The New York Times enthusiastically supported Obama's plans affecting Syria.

    Donald Trump Jr. celebrates his 40th birthday in two weeks. To kick off the birthday festivities, several friends held an early birthday party for Don Jr. at a Dallas restaurant. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz attended the party. Because it's funny, someone brought a cookie cake with the likeness of President Obama from his iconic "Hope" poster iced on the front. The two posed for a picture with the giant cookie, Don Jr. posted it to Instagram, and then the internet lost its mind, hurling Racist™ accusations and the like.

    After clearly stating that as president he had no power to change immigration law, then-president Obama went ahead in 2012 with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).  Obama himself referred to DACA as his "action to change the law," a power vested in the legislature, not the executive. In 2010, Obama told an audience of amnesty proponents that he's "not king" and "can't do these things just by myself."  In 2011, he explained further, "that he couldn't "just bypass Congress and change the (immigration) law myself. ... That's not how a democracy works."  And in 2012, he did it anyway. Then-presidential candidate Trump campaigned on ending DACA, and in September, he announced his decision to end DACA after giving Congress six months to pass it into law.  Passing DACA or some equivalent into law is perfectly within the purview of Congress.

    President Trump's eraser and Twitter feed seem to be more effective that Obama's pen and phone. In the last days of his insipid administration, the former president created the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah with a stroke of his pen, claiming thousands of square acres of land for the federal government. Now, President Trump indicates that he is going to trim back the size of the land grab.
    President Trump on Friday told Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah that he will shrink the size of Bears Ears National Monument, a 1.35 million-acre piece of land former President Obama designated as a national monument just before leaving office.

    Former President Jimmy Carter sat down for an interview with Maureen Dowd for the New York Times and dropped some pretty interesting bombs.  Dowd focused her write-up on his answer to her question about acting as a go-between for the Trump White House and North Korea.  He said that he would go if asked, and that's certainly both important and within his wheelhouse.  In the interview, however, Carter also defends President Trump and offers surprising assessments of former-president Obama, failed presidential candidate Hillary, and the media. His comments in defense of Trump might be seen as an attempt to ingratiate himself in order to be called upon to assist with North Korea.  Maybe.  But that doesn't explain his apparent candor in unflattering critiques of Obama, Hillary, and the media.

    Wait a second. I thought big banks are bad. Back in 2009, President Barack Obama called those on Wall Street "fat cats," which helped establish an uneasy relationship between banks and the White House. But less than a year out of office, Obama has had NO problem taking money from said "fat cats" for his speeches. Obama cannot run for president again, but remains an influence and just how will this affect a party that's already in shambles?
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