Here at Liberty Pulse, we feel that it’s important to call attention to the foibles of our 44th President, and the Inglorious Exploits of Dear Leader is how we’re going to do it from this point forward. Every week, we’ll aggregate the best of the worst our President has to offer in terms of news.
We begin with the news that some seven months after taking office for a second term, the Obama campaign is still $3.5 million in debt. Well, what’d you expect from a President who has taken the country to nearly $17 trillion in debt, with over $6 trillion of that total under his presidency? At least Obama isn’t Newt Gingrich, whose campaign is still $4.6 million in debt. No more trips to Tiffany’s for Callista!
President Obama continues his policy of letting underlings run amok; the White House says that he won’t get involved in the Justice Department’s decision on whether or not to bring civil rights charges against the recently acquitted George Zimmerman. The president “has no position to express” on the Justice Department’s decision, which is unusual given his past remarks on the death of Trayvon Martin, the Cambridge Police’s conduct in arresting Henry Louis Gates, and other issues with a racial tinge.
The President also spoke with Russian Leader Vladimir Putin over Edward Snowden, continuing his campaign to demonstrate perpetual irrelevance. According to Boston.com, Putin made the cessation of leaks by Snowden a condition of asylum, which would make the president of Russia orders of magnitude more effective at stopping U.S. security leaks than President Obama.
Paul Brandus, writing for The Week, castigated President Obama as the flounderer in chief, and says events are in command of Obama as opposed to the other way around. Brandus cites Obama’s failed four-month effort for gun control at the beginning of his second term as “an emotionally driven response” not “on par with the number one concern for the vast majority of Americans: jobs and the economy.”
The overview of Obama’s problems overseas makes the list as well, specifically the recent military takeover in Egypt, unrest in Turkey, civil war in Syria and the president’s seeming inability to do a thing about it, and North Korea’s threats to attack the U.S. in March. Obama’s approval rating has dropped to 44.6%, which puts him behind all modern presidents at this point in a second term. Obama’s blame game with the Republicans doesn’t past muster with Brandus:
Presidents are the ones who set the tone and set the agenda for the nation. This, when done right, is leadership. Americans always look to their president to provide it. Obama’s fed up with Republican obstructionism? Fine: Go on TV and call them out. Challenge John Boehner and Mitch McConnell to debate immigration, climate change, and spending in a town hall-style setting. If they refuse, use it against them. Obama, aloof and insular — and convinced he’s smarter than everyone else — would never get his hands dirty like this. But a change in tactics, in demeanor — something — is needed because whatever it is he’s doing now doesn’t seem to be working.
The Obama Administration continues to press on in the failed War on Drugs, endorsing drug courts as the panacea to what ails drug offenders. White House Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske, actor Matthew Perry, and former crack and heroin addicts gathered at Maryland’s National Harbor to
fire up a spoon talk about drug courts and how they can save taxpayer dollars.
However, many of the lawyers and drug reform groups who’ve worked with drug courts point out that they demand a cold turkey approach to quitting drugs, and cite the harsh outcomes that can result if defendants don’t manage to quit. The specific example cited is that of a defendant who forged checks worth $100, failed to comply with the drug court’s requirements, and wound up in prison for a decade. It’s a case of stepping over $100 to pick up $280,000 or so in incarceration costs.
It’s not surprising that the Obama Administration would favor drug courts that could result in harsh incarceration sentences; the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and GEO Group, two private prison companies, have received $1.7 billion and $1.8 billion in federal contracts since Obama took office. In 2011, Obama hired Broderick Johnson, a lobbyist for the GEO Group since the 1990s, as a senior advisor for his campaign. In 2010, President Obama nominated Stacia Hylton to be the Director of the U.S. Marshals Service, after she had started a consulting firm that generated at $112,500 consulting contract with the GEO Group.
Hylton’s new gig puts her in charge of an agency that accounts for 11% of the GEO Group’s overall revenues. Detention centers run by the GEO Group and CCA receive $166 per person per day to detain illegal aliens, which is why detention is bigger than deportation. While the Obama Administration would be fully within its power to seek “voluntary returns” or simply deport illegal immigrants back to Mexico without any processing through the court system, it instead chooses to detain the illegal immigrants.
The private prison industry spends $45 million on lobbying, and receives $5.1 billion for immigrant detention. That’s a great return, and another reason to say, “Thanks, Obama!” It’s also another reason for the Obama Administration to push drug courts, knowing full well that many addicts won’t quit cold turkey, and those who do not will be headed to prisons run by CCA and the GEO Group. This is despite the fact that the GEO Group was run out of Mississippi after one of its prisons for minors convicted as adults was found to have a variety of issues, including:
- Sex between staffers and incarcerated youth
- Guards beating incarcerated youths
- Prison staff showing “deliberate indifference” to prisoners possessing weapons used for gang fights and inmate rapes
- Guards with gang affiliations
The guards handled inmate business according to their gang affiliations, from opening cells to allow gangs to access their enemies and more. In Australia, the GEO Group lost its contract after a commission found evidence of cruel treatment of detained children in its detention centers. Drug courts and private prisons: a winning and lucrative combination!
Moving on, California is refusing to grade its teachers’ performance in accordance with the Obama Administration’s policies. The teacher evaluation system Obama endorsed has been roundly rejected by education leaders within the state of California, and the administration is at an impasse with California. The No Child Left Behind waivers extended to other states by the Obama Administration have been withheld from California, with local schools facing federal sanctions for non-compliance.
However, the administration is agreeing to allow nine California districts to submit applications for waivers independently of the state of California, even though no statutory language within No Child Left Behind enables the administration to do so. Such is the way of the Dear Leader, and his Inglorious disregard for legal restraints on his power.
Jay Batman is a graduate of the Texas Tech University School of Law, where he attained his J.D. in May 2013. He completed a B.A. in English with a minor in Political Science at the University of Montevallo in 2002. He is employed with Dustin Stockton Political Strategies, LLC, and presently resides in West Texas with his dog and co-author, Buddy Love.