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Old 05-14-2013, 11:11 PM   #1
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Default The day the Obama administration went all Nixon on us

The day the Obama administration went all Nixon on us

Attytood spoiler: That day was May 7, 2012...but first a quick history lesson.

Sigh...I know, I know, I write too much about the late 1960s and early 1970s, but this time it's really important. Because today that is the rallying cry for any presidential scandal, that this one is "worse than Watergate." But the Watergate break-in happened 41 years ago, which means that more than half of all Americans weren't even born yet, so you can't blame a lot of voters if they don't know much about what Watergate and the related scandals of Richard Milhous Nixon were all about.

One of the biggest drivers of Watergate was the seemingly unending war in Vietnam. As opposition increased to a foreign war that ultimately killed 58,000 Americans, for goals that were murky at best, so did government paranoia. At the core of Watergate was a team of shady operatives that were nicknamed "the White House Plumbers" -- because they went after news leaks...get it? In May 1969, after news reports about U.S. bombing activities in Cambodia, Nixon and his then-national security adviser Henry Kissinger enlisted J. Edgar Hoover's FBI to wiretap journalists and national security aides.

Later, one of the worst governmental abuses occurred after whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg leaked the massive Pentagon Papers that exposed governmental lies about the conduct of the war in Vietnam. Nixon's "Plumbers" broke into the office of Ellsberg's psychiatrist to dig up dirt to discredit him. Here is what one of Nixon's former aides, Egil Krogh, wrote about it in 2007:
The premise of our action was the strongly held view within certain precincts of the White House that the president and those functioning on his behalf could carry out illegal acts with impunity if they were convinced that the nation’s security demanded it. As President Nixon himself said to David Frost during an interview six years later, “When the president does it, that means it is not illegal.” To this day the implications of this statement are staggering.
No doubt. Luckily for America, not everyone agreed. Over the next couple of years, criminal charges against Ellsberg were tossed because of the government's misconduct, and Nixon resigned facing certain impeachment over the activities of his Plumbers and the ensuing, elaborate cover-up. The nation mostly rejoiced. The system worked...for a while.

Flash forward to 2012. America had at that point been in an undefined "war on terror" for 11 years -- the same amount of time from the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident that greatly expanded the Vietnam War to the 1975 fall of Saigon. Just as during the 1960s and early 1970s, this terror war had provided government with an excuse to greatly expand its domestic spying on American citizens -- some of that through a law called the Patriot Act and some of it even more dubious, constitutionally.

Then, on May 7, 2012, the Associated Press published an article about the Obama administration's conduct of its war in a country that we'd never declared war on (it was Cambodia in 1969, but Yemen in 2012) and Obama's Justice Department -- for reasons not yet fully known -- went crazy over the leak. This, then, is a reminder of why history matters so much.

Because if we're not careful...it repeats:
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative's top executive called a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into how news organizations gather the news.


The records obtained by the Justice Department listed outgoing calls for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, for general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and for the main number for the AP in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP. It was not clear if the records also included incoming calls or the duration of the calls.


In all, the government seized the records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012. The exact number of journalists who used the phone lines during that period is unknown, but more than 100 journalists work in the offices where phone records were targeted, on a wide array of stories about government and other matters.
The AP's CEO said tonight that "[t]here can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters" -- and I could not agree with him more. This revelation is deeply troubling -- and has the makings of a major scandal. Sure, you could try to mitigate it by noting, fairly, that accessing these phone records isn't as bad as wiretapping. But that is small solace, indeed. There's every reason to believe that Attorney General Eric Holder signed off on this unwarranted assault on the First Amendment, and if so, he ought to be canned (hasn't he overstayed his welcome, anyway?). Also, you might try to excuse this as a one-off, an ill-advised but isolated incident.

Except that it's not.

Since the day he took office, the Obama administration has undertaken an assault on government whistleblowers -- people informing citizens of what their government doesn't want them to know -- that surpasses anything that Nixon or any other president has done. Since 2009, the Obama administration has brought espionage charges against six whistleblowers. And most of these whistleblowers have been criticizing that way that America conducts its neverending war of the 21st Century. One, Thomas Drake, blew the whistle on the illegal warrantless wiretapping that began under George W. Bush. John Kiriakou dropped the dime on illegal U.S. torture -- and was sent away to prison, even as the perpetrators of torture from Dick Cheney to John Yoo continue to walk freely among us.

Nixon had Daniel Ellsberg, and Obama has Bradley Manning of Wikileaks. OK, so they didn't break into the office of Manning's psychiatrist, but they have detained Manning in a solitary confinement that a UN torture expert called "cruel, inhuman and degrading." Do you feel better about that? Because I don't. The war on whistleblowers, the treatment of Manning, and now this investigation of journalists are all hallmarks of a White House that promised transparency but has been one of the most secretive -- all to the detriment of the public's right to know.

Let's be clear -- this is about Obama...and it is about much, much more than Obama. It is yet another example of how the national security state that has dominated our political life since World War II has corrupted the American soul. It is exactly what Philadelphia's own Benjamin Franklin tried to warn us about -- trading liberty for security, and geting neither. To the conservatives reading this, who warn so much about big government running amok...here it is. To the liberals reading this, who thought that one man named Barack Obama could change the system, he couldn't. Only we, the citizens, can truly change things.

Let's work together. Let's start by repealing the 2001 Authorization of the Use of Force, declare victory in what was formerly known as the war on terror, and resolve that never again will this nation enter into a perpetual and constitutionally dubious war. Let's repeal the most egregious aspects of the USA Patriot Act, hold public hearings on the true extent that the U.S. government has spied on citizens without warrants -- and then bring those practices to an end. And as today's events made crystal clear, let's make America a nation where journalists and other truth-tellers can write stories or reveal information that the government might not like...without fear of intrusion or reprisal. Ironically, many of those type of changes were supposed to happen after Nixon, after Vietnam But they either didn't last, or they didn't come at all.

If greater liberty comes from the latest revelations, Obama's sins -- however bad not not bad they may turn out to be -- will not make things worse than Watergate. This time, it -- the aftermath, anyway -- will be better than Watergate.


Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/a...8PRD54hZRVr.99
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:29 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Taco John View Post
The day the Obama administration went all Nixon on us

Attytood spoiler: That day was May 7, 2012...but first a quick history lesson.

Sigh...I know, I know, I write too much about the late 1960s and early 1970s, but this time it's really important. Because today that is the rallying cry for any presidential scandal, that this one is "worse than Watergate." But the Watergate break-in happened 41 years ago, which means that more than half of all Americans weren't even born yet, so you can't blame a lot of voters if they don't know much about what Watergate and the related scandals of Richard Milhous Nixon were all about.

One of the biggest drivers of Watergate was the seemingly unending war in Vietnam. As opposition increased to a foreign war that ultimately killed 58,000 Americans, for goals that were murky at best, so did government paranoia. At the core of Watergate was a team of shady operatives that were nicknamed "the White House Plumbers" -- because they went after news leaks...get it? In May 1969, after news reports about U.S. bombing activities in Cambodia, Nixon and his then-national security adviser Henry Kissinger enlisted J. Edgar Hoover's FBI to wiretap journalists and national security aides.

Later, one of the worst governmental abuses occurred after whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg leaked the massive Pentagon Papers that exposed governmental lies about the conduct of the war in Vietnam. Nixon's "Plumbers" broke into the office of Ellsberg's psychiatrist to dig up dirt to discredit him. Here is what one of Nixon's former aides, Egil Krogh, wrote about it in 2007:
The premise of our action was the strongly held view within certain precincts of the White House that the president and those functioning on his behalf could carry out illegal acts with impunity if they were convinced that the nation’s security demanded it. As President Nixon himself said to David Frost during an interview six years later, “When the president does it, that means it is not illegal.” To this day the implications of this statement are staggering.
No doubt. Luckily for America, not everyone agreed. Over the next couple of years, criminal charges against Ellsberg were tossed because of the government's misconduct, and Nixon resigned facing certain impeachment over the activities of his Plumbers and the ensuing, elaborate cover-up. The nation mostly rejoiced. The system worked...for a while.

Flash forward to 2012. America had at that point been in an undefined "war on terror" for 11 years -- the same amount of time from the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident that greatly expanded the Vietnam War to the 1975 fall of Saigon. Just as during the 1960s and early 1970s, this terror war had provided government with an excuse to greatly expand its domestic spying on American citizens -- some of that through a law called the Patriot Act and some of it even more dubious, constitutionally.

Then, on May 7, 2012, the Associated Press published an article about the Obama administration's conduct of its war in a country that we'd never declared war on (it was Cambodia in 1969, but Yemen in 2012) and Obama's Justice Department -- for reasons not yet fully known -- went crazy over the leak. This, then, is a reminder of why history matters so much.

Because if we're not careful...it repeats:
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative's top executive called a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into how news organizations gather the news.


The records obtained by the Justice Department listed outgoing calls for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, for general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and for the main number for the AP in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP. It was not clear if the records also included incoming calls or the duration of the calls.


In all, the government seized the records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012. The exact number of journalists who used the phone lines during that period is unknown, but more than 100 journalists work in the offices where phone records were targeted, on a wide array of stories about government and other matters.
The AP's CEO said tonight that "[t]here can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters" -- and I could not agree with him more. This revelation is deeply troubling -- and has the makings of a major scandal. Sure, you could try to mitigate it by noting, fairly, that accessing these phone records isn't as bad as wiretapping. But that is small solace, indeed. There's every reason to believe that Attorney General Eric Holder signed off on this unwarranted assault on the First Amendment, and if so, he ought to be canned (hasn't he overstayed his welcome, anyway?). Also, you might try to excuse this as a one-off, an ill-advised but isolated incident.

Except that it's not.

Since the day he took office, the Obama administration has undertaken an assault on government whistleblowers -- people informing citizens of what their government doesn't want them to know -- that surpasses anything that Nixon or any other president has done. Since 2009, the Obama administration has brought espionage charges against six whistleblowers. And most of these whistleblowers have been criticizing that way that America conducts its neverending war of the 21st Century. One, Thomas Drake, blew the whistle on the illegal warrantless wiretapping that began under George W. Bush. John Kiriakou dropped the dime on illegal U.S. torture -- and was sent away to prison, even as the perpetrators of torture from Dick Cheney to John Yoo continue to walk freely among us.

Nixon had Daniel Ellsberg, and Obama has Bradley Manning of Wikileaks. OK, so they didn't break into the office of Manning's psychiatrist, but they have detained Manning in a solitary confinement that a UN torture expert called "cruel, inhuman and degrading." Do you feel better about that? Because I don't. The war on whistleblowers, the treatment of Manning, and now this investigation of journalists are all hallmarks of a White House that promised transparency but has been one of the most secretive -- all to the detriment of the public's right to know.

Let's be clear -- this is about Obama...and it is about much, much more than Obama. It is yet another example of how the national security state that has dominated our political life since World War II has corrupted the American soul. It is exactly what Philadelphia's own Benjamin Franklin tried to warn us about -- trading liberty for security, and geting neither. To the conservatives reading this, who warn so much about big government running amok...here it is. To the liberals reading this, who thought that one man named Barack Obama could change the system, he couldn't. Only we, the citizens, can truly change things.

Let's work together. Let's start by repealing the 2001 Authorization of the Use of Force, declare victory in what was formerly known as the war on terror, and resolve that never again will this nation enter into a perpetual and constitutionally dubious war. Let's repeal the most egregious aspects of the USA Patriot Act, hold public hearings on the true extent that the U.S. government has spied on citizens without warrants -- and then bring those practices to an end. And as today's events made crystal clear, let's make America a nation where journalists and other truth-tellers can write stories or reveal information that the government might not like...without fear of intrusion or reprisal. Ironically, many of those type of changes were supposed to happen after Nixon, after Vietnam But they either didn't last, or they didn't come at all.

If greater liberty comes from the latest revelations, Obama's sins -- however bad not not bad they may turn out to be -- will not make things worse than Watergate. This time, it -- the aftermath, anyway -- will be better than Watergate.


Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/a...8PRD54hZRVr.99

Doing these things is a no brainer for a government that is working as designed. We no longer have that kind of government.
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:46 AM   #3
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This is pretty special

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/...rds-are-seized

Quote:
As his Justice Department faces bipartisan outrage for searching phone records of Associated Press reporters and editors, Attorney Gen. Eric Holder says he is not sure how many times such information has been seized by government investigators in the four years he's led Justice.

"I'm not sure how many of those cases ... I have actually signed off on," Holder said. "I take them very seriously. I know that I have refused to sign a few [and] pushed a few back for modifications."

Carrie added that Holder declined to say whether there will be a review of the Justice Department's policy on searches of reporters' records.
Please, go on, Eric.
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Old 05-15-2013, 04:40 PM   #4
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One difference between then and now:

Ellsberg became a hero -- when a federal judge threw out the Nixon administration's case.

Manning has been subjected to a fate worse than death.

Things get worse.

MHG
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:01 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mhgaffney View Post
One difference between then and now:

Ellsberg became a hero -- when a federal judge threw out the Nixon administration's case.

Manning has been subjected to a fate worse than death.

Things get worse.

MHG
The whole Bradley Manning ordeal is going to make Obama look like a hideous monster in the looking glass of history. I don't understand how anyone with any amount of humanity could allow what's happened to that kid if they had the power to stop it.
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:21 PM   #6
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The whole Bradley Manning ordeal is going to make Obama look like a hideous monster in the looking glass of history. I don't understand how anyone with any amount of humanity could allow what's happened to that kid if they had the power to stop it.
Obama is a hideous monster, the mask comes off a little more every passing day.

I told you he was the most likely figure that fit the Anti - Christ model that I had ever see and that was before he was elected.

As bad as Bush was Obama will prove to be worse before it is all over.
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:01 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Taco John View Post
The whole Bradley Manning ordeal is going to make Obama look like a hideous monster in the looking glass of history. I don't understand how anyone with any amount of humanity could allow what's happened to that kid if they had the power to stop it.
That "kid" released names of the individuals that were helping us and are now dead. There is a reason that he being charged with article 104 of UCMJ. He swore an oath, broke it and caused harmed to this country.
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:42 PM   #8
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The whole Bradley Manning ordeal is going to make Obama look like a hideous monster in the looking glass of history. I don't understand how anyone with any amount of humanity could allow what's happened to that kid if they had the power to stop it.
We elected a Chicago politician and he's morphed into something other than "the Hope and Change President"........... I'm shocked!
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Old 05-16-2013, 06:47 PM   #9
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Eric Holder is the key. He is the chief il-legal officer of the USA.

nail him first. then the others can be had.
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:42 PM   #10
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Eric Holder is the key. He is the chief il-legal officer of the USA.

nail him first. then the others can be had.

Don't hold your breath. He skated on Fast & Furious. If we had a functional government he would be incarcerated now.
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Old 05-17-2013, 05:44 AM   #11
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In his remarks Tuesday, Mr. Holder called the leak of classified information among the most serious he has ever seen.
"It put the American people at risk, and that is not hyperbole,"
Later on he'll probably clarify "Look. The President is an American. And he was clearly put at risk of not shining in the spotlight as gloriously as he otherwise may have.".
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Old 05-17-2013, 06:21 AM   #12
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This thread is pretty funny considering the Obama administration hasn't been directly tied to any of these "scandals". Not even remotely. Might that happen? Possibly. But not looking likely. This is no Iran-Contra, and no Watergate, and no Monica Lewinsky, and no Katrina, no matter how wishfully you think. But keep hoping, fellas!

Last edited by TonyR; 05-17-2013 at 07:03 AM..
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Old 05-17-2013, 06:42 AM   #13
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This thread is pretty funny considering the Obama administration hasn't been directly tied to any of these scandals. Not even remotely. Might that happen? Possibly. But not looking likely. This is no Iran-Contra, and no Watergate, and no Monica Lewinsky, and no Katrina, no matter how wishfully you think. But keep hoping, fellas!
And this is exactly what I was talking about when I said people invent a conspiracy, then fill in the holes later.

Special congrats to Beavis for once again showing his true colors.
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Old 05-17-2013, 06:57 AM   #14
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This thread is pretty funny considering the Obama administration hasn't been directly tied to any of these scandals. Not even remotely. Might that happen? Possibly. But not looking likely. This is no Iran-Contra, and no Watergate, and no Monica Lewinsky, and no Katrina, no matter how wishfully you think. But keep hoping, fellas!
Exactly,the IRS scandal is being debunked as we speak.
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:56 AM   #15
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This thread is pretty funny considering the Obama administration hasn't been directly tied to any of these "scandals". Not even remotely. Might that happen? Possibly. But not looking likely. This is no Iran-Contra, and no Watergate, and no Monica Lewinsky, and no Katrina, no matter how wishfully you think. But keep hoping, fellas!
Lolz. That's a pretty bold misrepresentation of what a Presidential administration is. Holder is part of the Obama administration. As was Hillary, as was the IRS temp they "fired" I guess now the "Obama administration" has effectively been whittled down to Obama himself. Even his press secretary doesn't count. You guys have set up expectations for the next President so awesomely well.

The President's "thorough" internal investigations always seem to conclude that Obama knew nothing about anything that ever went wrong. Holder's DOJ is self-investigating an illegal phone record snatching incident where Holder says he recused himself, yet can't remember when or if he ever documented that.

The State Dept's "internal" investigation of Benghazi neglected to even interview the higher-ups (like Hillary) And still nobody can document anywhere who came up with the Youtube video angle or when. None of the hand-selected emails they say formed the talking points even MENTION the Youtube video. Yet the cheerleaders say "Case Closed"

And in the IRS case, we're told that massive numbers of tea party or conservative-sounding non-profit apps were held up, but that only a couple people probably had anything to do with that. And for some reason, they still have jobs. All this, they know because of another 'internal' review.

And yet any calls for an outside investigation of any of these serious incidents gets you guys shouting "witchhunt!"

This isn't criminal law. The President is responsible for what goes on in his administration whether he can maintain (semi)plausible deniability or not.

Essentially you're saying "he's incompetent, not criminal!" But you're just making the case for conservatism far better than anyone else ever could.
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Old 05-17-2013, 10:38 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by TonyR View Post
This thread is pretty funny considering the Obama administration hasn't been directly tied to any of these "scandals". Not even remotely. Might that happen? Possibly. But not looking likely. This is no Iran-Contra, and no Watergate, and no Monica Lewinsky, and no Katrina, no matter how wishfully you think. But keep hoping, fellas!
The other day, Obama said he sometimes had a longing to "go Bulworth."

Smartest thing I've heard him say since he's been president. Now, he should do it.
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:34 AM   #17
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This thread is pretty funny considering the Obama administration hasn't been directly tied to any of these "scandals". Not even remotely. Might that happen? Possibly. But not looking likely. This is no Iran-Contra, and no Watergate, and no Monica Lewinsky, and no Katrina, no matter how wishfully you think. But keep hoping, fellas!
I think it's bigger than Lewinsky and Katrina, but that's beside the point. It doesn't make me feel any better knowing that other Presidents did bad things so it's okay for the current president to do bad things.
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:52 AM   #18
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http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.co...ma-is-no-nixon

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The current slate of controversies consuming the White Hosue has some people comparing President Barack Obama to former President Richard Nixon, but a former top Nixon aide thinks that's ridiculous.

John Dean, who served as White House counsel under the disgraced former president, said that anyone applying the Nixonian label to Obama due is "challenged in their understanding of history." There's no legitimate comparison, Dean argued, between the Internal Revenue Service's improper targeting of conservative groups, the Department of Justice's subpoena of Associated Press phone records or the investigation into the dealy attack in Benghazi, Libya and the scandals that ultimately led to Nixon's undoing.

“There are no comparisons. They’re not comparable with any of the burgeoning scandals,” Dean told the Boston Globe.

Dean was present in the Oval Office when Nixon suggested using the IRS to target his foes.
Even Nixon's counsel says the comparison is ridiculous.
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Old 05-17-2013, 06:26 PM   #19
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http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.co...ma-is-no-nixon



Even Nixon's counsel says the comparison is ridiculous.
Ironically, Bob Woodward says otherwise.....

http://news.yahoo.com/bob-woodward-c...153412076.html
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Old 05-17-2013, 06:39 PM   #20
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Ironically, Bob Woodward says otherwise.....

http://news.yahoo.com/bob-woodward-c...153412076.html
Woodward is a whiny attention seeking hack. Woodward not too long ago got called out for fabricating a bogus story about being intimidated by the white house.
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Old 05-18-2013, 02:27 PM   #21
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Woodward is a whiny attention seeking hack. Woodward not too long ago got called out for fabricating a bogus story about being intimidated by the white house.
My word you are one of the most thorough administration slob knobbers. Is anyone who ever criticizes your man a liar by definition?
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:45 AM   #22
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http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.co...arine-umbrella

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The conservative news website The Daily Caller has accused President Obama of violating Marine Corps regulations when he had a pair of Marines hold umbrellas above himself and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at an outdoor press conference on Thursday.

From The Daily Caller's report:

According to Marine Corps regulation MCO P1020.34F of the Marine Corps Uniform Regulations chapter 3, a male Marine is not allowed to carry an umbrella while in uniform. There is no provision in the Marine Corps uniform regulation guidelines that allows a male Marine to carry an umbrella.
apparently this is the next scandal, we can say with some certainty that Obama will get impeached..umbrellas??!...the outrage!
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Old 05-18-2013, 02:47 PM   #23
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I have legit complaints about Obama,but you guys act as if Obama was orchestrating all this.
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Old 05-18-2013, 07:23 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by peacepipe View Post
I have legit complaints about Obama,but you guys act as if Obama was orchestrating all this.
........ Lie to your mom, but quit lying to us. but I guess being an Obama supporter you just can't help but ****ing lie.... Just like the man you support.
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Old 05-18-2013, 07:36 PM   #25
peacepipe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by errand View Post
........ Lie to your mom, but quit lying to us. but I guess being an Obama supporter you just can't help but ****ing lie.... Just like the man you support.
Prove me wrong. Do you have the evidence that the evil Kenyan,socialist,Muslim Obama was tied to the IRS? Guess not,move along & go sit at the kids table.
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