Obama Letdowns — February through September, 2010

It’s time once again to clear out my queue of Obama Letdowns. For all your hater-haters our there, fear not, I’ve got a pro-Obama post coming up next.

I haven’t done this since January(!), so it’s quite a list. Let’s get started.

Justice Dept. defends warrantless cell phone tracking

The FBI and other police agencies don’t need to obtain a search warrant to learn the locations of Americans’ cell phones, the U.S. Department of Justice told a federal appeals court in Philadelphia.

A Justice Department attorney told the Third Circuit Court of Appeals that there is no constitutional problem with obtaining records from cellular providers that can reveal the approximate locations of handheld and mobile devices.

Obama Quietly Continues Bush’s Disdain for UN

The Democratic Party’s deceitful game

Rockefeller was willing to be a righteous champion for the public option as long as it had no chance of passing (sadly, we just can’t do it, because although it has 50 votes in favor, it doesn’t have 60). But now that Democrats are strongly considering the reconciliation process — which will allow passage with only 50 rather than 60 votes and thus enable them to enact a public option — Rockefeller is suddenly “inclined to oppose it” because he doesn’t “think the timing of it is very good” and it’s “too partisan.”

FDL Statement on the Passage of the Health Care Bill

this is not health care reform, and the task of providing health care that Americans can afford is still before us. Too much was sacrificed to corporate interests in the sausage-making process. Rather than address the fundamental flaws in our health care system, we applied a giant band-aid. This health care bill does not come close to doing all that needs to be done to meet the needs of our citizens and our businesses as we retool our economy for the 21st century.

Obama Hosts Anti-Abortion Signing Ceremony

After reporter’s subpoena, critics call Obama’s leak-plugging efforts Bush-like

The Justice Department’s decision to subpoena a New York Times reporter this week has convinced some press advocates that President Obama’s team is pursuing leaks with the same fervor as the Bush administration.

Obama’s natural choice of Kagan

It’s anything but surprising that President Obama has chosen Elena Kagan to replace John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court. Nothing is a better fit for this White House than a blank slate, institution-loyal, seemingly principle-free careerist who spent the last 15 months as the Obama administration’s lawyer vigorously defending every one of his assertions of extremely broad executive authority.

Obama’s Drug Strategy All Talk, No Walk

New target of rights erosions: U.S. citizens

A primary reason Bush and Cheney succeeded in their radical erosion of core liberties is because they focused their assault on non-citizens with foreign-sounding names, casting the appearance that none of what they were doing would ever affect the average American. There were several exceptions to that tactic — the due-process-free imprisonment of Americans Yaser Hamdi and Jose Padilla, the abuse of the “material witness” statute to detain American Muslims, the eavesdropping on Americans’ communications without warrants — but the vast bulk of the abuses were aimed at non-citizens. That is now clearly changing.

Hudson Institute Fellow Applauds Obama Administration’s Whistleblower Prosecutions

Yesterday, the conservative Hudson Institute held an event in which former Bush CIA Director (and National Security Agency (NSA) head during the implementation of the NSA’s illegal spying program) Gen. Michael Hayden called the Obama administration’s recent dedication to ferreting out and locking up truthtellers a “positive step” that has “begun to chip away at the notion that there are no sanctions” for revealing classified information.

Goldilocks Triangulation

Lawrence Lessig: On the Rage of Gibbs

Lefties (like me) who criticize Obama are not criticizing him for failing our Lefty test. Our criticism is that Obama is failing the Obama test: that he is not delivering the presidency that he promised.

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