Declare Your Independence From The Fascist Political Duopoly NOW!

 Einstein image on insanityCorporate Fascism Dominates Our Political System

by Thomas Baldwin

Biloxi, MS  July 4, 2014

Whether one uses the term Corporatocracy, Corporatism= Corporate Fascism or the Corporate State, these terms all mean a complete merger of the corporations with the state. One can also argue that a Plutocracy or Oligarchy in a capitalistic system also strongly signify a strong relationship between corporations and the wealthiest elite. Sheldon Wolin introduced a term “Inverted Totalitarianism“.  What all of these suggest is that the wealthiest elite have gained complete control of our government (the state) and rule; it is antithetical to a democracy where the people rule. These systems are completely incompatible and cannot coexist. Continue reading

“GET UP, STAND UP”, A Very Good Handbook For Activists

Get Up Stand Up image

“Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite”

Miniblog by Thomas Baldwin

Biloxi, MS, June 29, 2014

In this brief blog, I want to call everyone’s attention to a book I recently discovered which can serve as a very good guide to activism. Although the subtitle mentions most prominently “Populists” it can serve equally well for those who advocate for “Progressives.” And goodness knows, we need some more effective activism in this totally corrupt and dysfunctional political environment. The time for Americans to revolt is becoming very late as Corporate Fascism with the wealthiest elite have gained total control of our political duopoly. Continue reading

Appeal to the Nobel Committee to Revoke Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize

Peace image 2

by Thomas Baldwin, Biloxi, MS

May 3, 2014

I have submitted this petition to the Causes site and and requested a petition to be issued.  Stay tuned and be ready to sign it and share broadly.  I would like to see thousands of signatures! 

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12 REASONS WHY THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE SHOULD BE REVOKED FROM BARACK OBAMA

Since the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to President Barack Obama in the Fall of 2009, he has committed several acts which document he never deserved this award in the first place.  Here is a list which is a minimum of our grievances:

  1.  Expansion of the war in Afghanistan with over 30,000 additional troops.
  2. Expansion of the use of Drones for killing “designated enemy combatants.”
  3. Development of “kill lists” with his personal approval of killing civilians including Americans overseas and leaving open the possibility of doing it within the U.S.
  4. Signing of NDAA into law with its provisions of indefinitely detaining persons including Americans.
  5. Failure to disclose numbers of those killed in foreign countries by Drone attacks, including women and children.
  6. Blatant violations of the sovereignty of other nations including Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and others.
  7. Bombing of Libya without Congressional approval.
  8. Proposal to bomb Syria.
  9. Supporting the  NSA spying on citizenry throughout the world including American citizens and lying about it to Congress in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.
  10. Intervention in the internal affairs of the Ukraine creating a direct confrontation with Russia.
  11. Intervention in Venezuela creating mass instabilities in that country.
  12. Continuation of imprisonment in Guantanamo after promising to close it and evidence of more torture even in foreign countries.

We  implore that the Nobel Committee  revoke Mr. Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize and demand that he be required to return the entirety of the ample sum of money rewarded.  He has clearly demonstrated  he is not a man of Peace.  We maintain that if the Nobel Committee does not do so it’s reputation and credibility will be permanently damaged.  Millions of people within the U.S. and throughout the world will take notice.

 

 

Update: Why Americans Must Demolish the Political Duopoly and Create a New Progressive Alliance

Einstein image on insanity

A Call to Action Now!

By Thomas Baldwin, Biloxi, MS

March 23, 2014 (Updated from December 15, 2013)

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”– Albert  Einstein 

Duopoly:  “preponderant influence or control by two political powers.”

Demolish:  “to destroy by breaking apart; to put an end to.”

Corporate fascism (or Corporatism):  “the complete merger of  corporate and state entities to create a political entity.”

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Continue reading

Why Americans Must Demolish the Political Two Party Duopoly!

My work here is done--Obama--newA Call to Action!

By Thomas Baldwin, Biloxi, MS

December 15, 2013

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”– Albert  Einstein 

Duopoly:  “preponderant influence or control by two political powers.”

Demolish:  “to destroy by breaking apart; to put an end to.”

Corporate fascism (or Corporatism):  “the complete merger of  corporate and state entities to create a political entity.”

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Continue reading

Price per kilowatt of Kemper plant stretches credulity by Wyatt Emmerich

Wyatt nemmerich--photo 2Republished here by permission of Wyatt Emmerich.

By  Wyatt Emmerich (Published about October 3, 2013

The Kemper power plant is 20 times more expensive per kilowatt than five natural gas plants recently acquired by Entergy and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).

Imagine being forced to pay $70 for a gallon of gas from a government-sanctioned monopoly. That’s Kemper, the most expensive construction project in the history of Mississippi.

Last month, TVA spent $400 million to purchase a 774-megawatt natural gas plant in Southhaven.

Compare this to Kemper, which has cost $5 billion for a 500-megawatt lignite plant.

Kemper is 50 percent less power for 10 times the money. No amount of spin can hide that.

TVA’s price per kilowatt was similar to Entergy’s 2012 purchase of two natural gas plants: a 450-megawatt plant here in Jackson for $246 million and a 620-megawatt plant in Hot Springs for $277 million.

In 2010, Entergy paid $300 million for a 580-megawatt natural gas power plant in Eunice, La. Last year, TVA paid $436 million for the 968-megawatt Magnolia gas plant in Benton County, Mississippi.

Kilowatts per dollar, the Kemper power plant is about 20 times more expensive than the five natural gas plants recently purchased by Entergy and TVA.

Paying 20 times more per kilowatt is bound to raise rates for the one-third of Mississippians who must buy electricity from Mississippi Power Company (MPC).

Already a 22-percent rate increase is being implemented. Many Kemper critics believe rates will eventually go up 60 percent.

Even before Kemper rate hikes are implemented, MPC rates are 40 percent higher than either TVA or Entergy. According to the federal government’s Energy Information Agency, Entergy charges $8.38 per kilowatt hour. TVA charges $7.90 and  Mississippi Power charges $11.40.

If Southern Company succeeds in getting Mississippi ratepayers to pay for Kemper, MPC rates could end up twice as high as Entergy or TVA rates. That’s an extra $500 million annual electricity tax on the residents of southeast Mississippi.

Kemper is being built by MPC, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company. Southern does $17 billion a year in sales, which makes it one of the biggest utility companies in the world.

MPC, Entergy and TVA all sell about a billion dollars a year of electricity in Mississippi. They do not compete against each other. Each has a monopoly on electricity in their section of the state.

The Republicans who have supported Kemper lockstep wouldn’t be caught dead raising taxes that much.  Yet a mandatory rate increase imposed by a monopoly works just like a tax. Kemper is basically a huge tax increase imposed by the Republican Party on one-third of the households of Mississippi.

State law 77-3-33 states: “No rate made, deposit or service charge demanded or received by any public utility shall exceed that which is just and reasonable.”

Unless MPC’s electricity has some special quality that makes it superior to TVA’s or Entergy’s electricity, then the numbers speak for themselves. MPC’s rates are not “just and reasonable” and should not be allowed.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) is supposed to be a watchdog agency to protect consumers and keep rates low. Instead, the PSC has become a governmental central planning commission and it’s doing about as well as all central planning commissions do.

Clarke Reed, one of the deans of the Mississippi Republican Party, is in a state of shock. He is working furiously to get the Republican leadership to stop this disaster. Reed worked for decades to bring Republicans to power in Mississippi. He sees Kemper wiping out his life’s work in one fell swoop.

It gets even worse: Natural gas is a proven technology. The Kemper plant is experimental. Lignite gasification has never been done in the history of the world. The Wall Street Journal recently did a feature story on the failure of gasification technology as an alternative energy.

Coal gasification has been around for decades. When Hitler ran out of gas at the end of World War II, he gasified coal.

Since then, coal gasification has never gotten off the runway. There are only two gasification plants in the world, both are much smaller than Kemper and use coal.

kemper plant--Sierra Club photo from webLignite has one-fifth the carbon content of coal, so gasifying lignite is even more of a challenge. It is, in essence, heavy wet dirt. Something in between coal and peat.

To gasify lignite, Southern has a new patented technology called TRIG, which has never been proven on an industrial scale. It has only worked in small-scale experiments, 100 times smaller than the Kemper plant. As an industrial rule of thumb, the maximum you can scale up experimental results to a manufacturing process is seven times. Past that, the unexpected results — like huge unanticipated cost overruns.

It gets even worse. Gasification is a chemical process. Southern has never built a chemical plant.

There’s an old saying: Pioneers get arrows in their backs. So far, that’s turning out to be true. The first cost estimate for Kemper was $1.2 billion. Now the cost is $5 billion and climbing. Southern just announced $500 million in cost overruns because they put in the wrong size pipe.

Given the incredible cost overruns, why anybody thinks this plant will meet its ambitious operation projections is a complete mystery to me. Not only has it cost 20 times more than a natural gas plant, I predict it will cost far more to operate year in and year out.

No bank would ever finance Kemper. So the Mississippi state Legislature, in its wisdom, passed “the baseload act” which allows Southern to raise residential electricity bills before the plant produces a single kilowatt.

Under the baseload act, Mississippi homeowners could be charged for Kemper even if it totally fails. That would be $25,000 per customer.

At the $25,000 per customer cost of Kemper, every one of Southern’s 186,000 customers could have installed rooftop solar panels and cut their electric bill in half. Instead, we have a 22-percent rate increase before the plant is even producing electricity.

This January the state Legislature allowed Southern to issue a billion dollars in bonds to pay for Kemper cost overruns. Securing those bonds are the homes of the ratepayers.

Tom Blanton, a Hattiesburg oil man, is outraged by this. He has spent thousands of his own money filing suit against Southern. His lawsuit argues the baseload act is a violation of the “takings clause” of the federal and state constitutions.

Blanton’s lawsuit asserts that the PSC only has the power to set the price of electricity. In Kemper’s case, ratepayers are being charged  for electricity they have yet to receive. You can’t just take somebody’s money without due process. The Mississippi Supreme Court will hear oral arguments this fall.

Two years ago, the Mississippi Supreme Court rescinded the Kemper construction permit stating there was not “substantial evidence” justifying its construction.  A few billion dollars more makes its justification presumably even more difficult.

Meanwhile, the pro-Kemper faction has mounted a PR blitz with radio ads blasting Kemper dissidents Kelley Williams and Ashby Foote.

The attack group is called JobKeeper Alliance. There is no way to trace the money behind it, but you can make a pretty good guess. We know JobKeeper is allied with the Alabama unions who want to protect their Kemper construction jobs.

Once Kemper is built those Alabama union members will be long gone while the bill will be with Mississippi ratepayers for the next 40 years.

It’s interesting to note the pro Kemper folks aren’t disputing the facts. Instead, they are attacking the messenger, Bigger Pie, saying it received state money over a decade ago.

So what? Lots of nonprofits get government grants. Nothing new or shocking there.

Bigger Pie is an offshoot of the Institute for Technology Development (ITD), which Williams heads. ITD is an independent non-profit with its own board. It can do what it wants. ITD is audited annually.

Fighting crony capitalism is a great cause and certainly one which will help Mississippi’s economic development. Excessive energy costs will stifle industrial development for years to come.

It is unprecedented for a $17-billion utility monopoly to mount a media attack against two private individuals. To claim Foote is in cahoots with the natural gas business because he’s a stockbroker is laughable, to say the least.

The professionals behind this media barrage are well known in Alabama circles for being “black ops” pros who employ vicious tactics. It’s a smokescreen. When you have no defense, try offense.

By exposing the Kemper boondoggle, Bigger Pie has already saved Mississippians a billion dollars. That’s how much of Kemper Southern has written off as a loss rather than pass along to the ratepayers.

Kemper will be built. Whether it can operate as designed is doubtful. Regardless, the full $5,000,000,000 cost of Kemper should be paid by Southern’s 500,000 shareholders, not Mississippi’s 186,000 ratepayers. There’s plenty of time and opportunity to do that if Mississippi’s Republican leaders have the best interest of our state at heart.

- See more at: http://www.northsidesun.com/content/price-kilowatt-kemper-plant-stretches-credulity#sthash.lbar4QmJ.dpuf

 

Why Barry Can’t Lead; The Emperor Has No Clothes

Obama as King of the AshesObama’s Push to Create  a Fascist  Nation

by Thomas Baldwin, Biloxi, MS,  

July 3, 2013

“In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” – George Orwell

 

“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.”— Martin Luther King, Jr.

“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.”— Nelson Mandela

“Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.”— Peter Drucker

“When the best leader’s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves.’”—Lao Tzu

“Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.”—Stephen Covey

Following a successful career in physics for approximately 20 years, I have been a thirty year student, teacher and consultant in the traits and attributes of leadership and team development and the personal characteristics and skills necessary to be effective. Though I have developed courses and tools to help those (primarily) in companies to improve their effectiveness, I have often used the publications of others and personal experiences to serve as my guide or “mentors”. One of the most powerful of those authors for me has been Stephen Covey, who made his fame and fortune from the book, “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. Covey later published several books, but perhaps most noteworthy for this subject, “Principle Centered Leadership”.This brief article will focus on what I have learned directly (i.e. clinically) about leadership in the last thirty or more years and will show why Barack Obama does not have the “right stuff”. In fact, I am not only concerned that his lack of leadership ability will lead to a failed presidency but, in fact, a catastrophic failure from which the entire country will greatly suffer.

CHARACTER AND COMPETENCE IN LEADERSHP

I will begin this discussion with a bit of Obama’s history. He is, of course, a dark skinned man who had both white and black parents. His black African father was absent for essentially his entire life. He was raised by his white mother and white grandparents. Though his early adversaries tried to make a legal issue of where he was actually born, they missed the entire major issue. It was never about “nature”; it has always been about “nurture”. Barack Obama has learned to be a “white” man in dark skin. That is the whole history of his existence. He has been plagued with an identity problem. But he first arose to national fame with his book, “Dreams of My Father” (a black African) which sold enormous numbers of copies and provided a platform for his rise to political power. It is also noteworthy that the Democratic Party found this as their “solution” to achieve power again also. They decided this man provided them with  their chance to put a black man in the White House; he also met the requirements of some very rich wealthy elite who knew he could be manipulated. Ralph Nader even spoke up with courage during the 2008 elections stating the fear that Obama would become an “Uncle Tom” for the corporations!

What are the leadership traits that Barack Obama has demonstrated? His background included an education at Harvard Law following earlier education at Occidental College (CA) and Columbia Univ. (NY). There has never been any record published of his performance at those schools but we have been regularly informed that he was President of the Harvard Law Review. We have also been continuously reminded that he was specializing as a Constitutional Lawyer at Harvard. It has been interesting that the Harvard Law School has been notoriously absent in commenting on Obama’s performance in the presidency regarding Constitutional issues. Are nearly all of the members of Harvard Law fearful of speaking out? So much for academic freedom; perhaps they’re most fearful of losing their grants from the federal government and corporate sponsors?

The basic ingredients of effective leadership as identified by Covey and others are CHARACTER and COMPETENCE. For at least three years or more, I have been making careful observations of both of these attributes in Obama. My firm conclusion is that he has serious deficiencies in both. Admitting that these are sometimes hard to separate, I will consider character first. Obama shows almost no real commitment to principles; his continued excuse is that he believes in “compromise”. Although one can easily be deceived by his “talk” one has to watch his “walk”. He does not do what he says he’s going to do and this pattern is habitually repeated.

Some concrete examples were listed here from a recent publication in “Thrive” written by Foster Gamble:  Wealth, domination pyramicIt is testimony to the true hierarchy of power depicted in this pyramid. Whether we believe Obama would have changed things if he could have, or that he was in on this deal from the start, the facts remain the same. Obama is carrying out virtually the same agenda as the Bushes. He kept Gitmo open and continues torture. He’s expanded wars, authorized drones, legalized indefinite incarceration and assassination (NDAA). He condones comprehensive electronic surveillance, IRS bullying and the covert arming of drug cartels (Fast and Furious). He hired architects of the economic implosion—Summers and Geithner—to supposedly fix the damage they themselves helped orchestrate. He hired a top executive from Monsanto, Michael Taylor, to be his “food safety czar” and now Walmart cheerleader, Jason Furman, to be his Chief Economic Advisor.” 

The  reference above to Gamble’s publication also contains an excellent video clip showing Obama now doing the opposite  of what he said he would do in his campaign for the presidency in  2008.  One can add much to this short paragraph above including an expansion of the surveillance of American citizenry with domestic spying of telephone calls and emails, greatly increased prosecution of whistle blowers, the hiring of the CEO of General Electric to do nothing regarding job creation, neglect of serious environmental issues, neglect of serious wealth/income inequities and most of the serious things he addressed or promised during his 2008 campaign.

Obama has been nearly “perfect” in saying one thing and doing almost exactly the opposite or nothing at all. I have previously labeled this as the “Obama Shuffle”–giving a shout to the “left “and jumping to the “right”, a dance step he has perfected. This has led to a greatly increased trust gap as an increasing number of his original loyalists have abandoned their support for him. One of the latest polls shows that only 35% of the population now trust Obama with the greatest decline of nearly 17% occurring with the younger voting age.  Trust in leadership was discussed in this Forbes article published last year.

John McGarry--Yes We  ScanThus, Obama has shown an enormous character deficiency. Most recently, he has also been chastised by the President of China, the President of Russia and the Prime Minister of Germany for supporting the abuses of the NSA in their surveillance and spying activities. Merkel even had to remind Obama (the “Constitutional” lawyer) of his duty to protect civil liberties. Recently, Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald made appearances at the 2013 Chicago Socialism Conference and made very pertinent critical comments regarding Obama’s hypocrisy on whistle blower, Edward Snowden, who released information regarding NSA blatant abuses of the Fourth Amendment.  He is also following the same path as George Bush in justifying his international war mongering policies, claiming the possession and use by other countries with their “weapons of mass destruction.” No country posesses more weapons of mass destruction than the U.S. and no one has used more. He has brought shame to the Nobel Peace Prize he received in 2009 and it should be revoked.

His rhetoric has as its objective a method to distract attention from the real problems we face and direct attention to an unknown and unidentified enemy, particularly the “terrorists” who are waiting behind every tree and under every rock. It is, of course, a method of enhancing fear and the use of that characteristic to justify anything Obama and his manipulators want to do. As I have suggested several places, Obama is on a path to create an Orwellian state and put a permanent “Big Brother” in charge. Last October, I published a blog claiming he was engaging his “Weapons of Mass Distraction” and also creating an Orwellian nation.

The other major leadership characteristic Obama lacks is competence. This clearly overlaps the character factors but specifically includes building relationships with colleagues, choosing competent subordinates, delegating responsibilities, negotiation and conflict resolution skills, communicating clear objectives, measuring and reporting accurate and truthful facts and data, etc. Obama has continually demonstrated major deficiencies in all of these. Several have written about his inability to personally relate to key members of Congress even by failing to meet with them. He has demonstrated his inability to understand what “compromise” means in negotiations and has habitually capitulated or acquiesced in important matters rather than stick with principles which he had previously enunciated. This has been the case in both domestic and international affairs. He not only fails to take responsibility himself for any mistakes but fails to hold his subordinates responsible, claiming instead limited or no knowledge of mishaps.

His failure to acknowledge whether the objectives in the solutions to problems were met or not is legendary. As one specific example, witness the provisions of Obamacare which because of serious deficiencies in the law will almost certainly not meet the needs of people for “universal” coverage at affordable rates and limit cost increases of health coverage. Obamacare was a gift to the pharmaceutical and insurance industries; there was no public option designed to provide competition.  From the nymag.com on July  3 (as this blog goes to press again):  “Yesterday evening, the Obama administration announced that it will delay for one year the “employer mandate,” which is the penalty on businesses with 50 or more employees who don’t provide insurance to their workforce. Naturally, this reactivated the Obamacare Train Wreck Doomsaying chorus.”

Some have even anticipated that a “train wreck” is on its way in 2014 and Obama and his advisors are undoubtedly writing the script to deny responsibility. Some large private companies are designing ways to shift more healthcare costs to the government (e.g. though Medicaid) by limiting employment to more part time employees and reducing their wages. This is effectively a way to increase the numbers of the working poor and remove people from the numbers of unemployed. A majority of the public appear to intuit or sense that there is a serious impending crisis ahead without even knowing the details of what is coming. Obama has done little or nothing to reassure the public. He only continues to pat himself on the back for producing a piece of crap and the Democratic Party cheers him on. 

What are the observable consequences of a failed presidency described above? The primary one in the political and socioeconomic sectors is a great enhancement toward the creation of aIs It Fascism Yet totalitarian, fascist nation which is totally controlled by the big banks and corporate power. We clearly do not have any semblance of a representative democratic republic. Several authors have written about the dominant combination of corporate fascism and imperialism in recent months including Chris Hedges, Ralph Nader, John Pilger, Finian Cunningham and others.  The image included here is from an Ebook by Jill Dalton.  Obama has clearly enabled and supported these forces of corporate fascism.  As a result, we clearly do not have any semblance left of a representative democratic republic.  That is exhibited by a poll recently reported showing only 35% of the public trusting him and Congress receiving the lowest favorability rating in history of only 10%. As pointed out by pollsters, dictators in countries where we have removed the leaders through regime change have rated higher!

For several years, people have been describing our government in Washington as being dysfunctional. But that word is no longer adequate; it is on the way of becoming defunct (dead). Rampant fascism is like a spreading cancer; it is now near Stage IV in this country and without radical surgery Uncle Sam won’t survive. The creation of a Fourth Reich is well underway. That is a direct result of extremely poor leadership unlike what we’ve had from leaders periodically in our history before. In 1936 during the recovery from the Great Depression, FDR spoke out strongly against the fascist forces in this nation at a time when at least two countries in Europe were embracing it. 

“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it comes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism – ownership of government by an individual, by a group.”–Franklin D. Roosevelt

And Obama is directly responsible for eroding our civil liberties through such acts as NDAA (indefinite detention), NSA spying, Drone attacks that even have killed Americans, etc. These are necessary measures to further the enhancement of a fascist nation. Perhaps soon he will be requesting that we will high step march in boots to salute him by shouting Sieg Heil.

When I was teaching a leadership class for adults about five years ago at the Stennis Space Center (MS), I used Obama as an example of a good leader purely based upon his speeches. I made a horrible mistake in judgment. I owe my students a sincere apology; I won’t easily make that mistake again. A person doing what they say they are going to do is a primary factor in building trust and necessary for a good leader. I no longer trust ANYTHING that Barack Obama says he is going to do.  Some of my friends have told me that they cannot even stand to hear him speak any longer.  As I said at the time of the 2010 midterm elections, I would not buy a used car from this man. In an article recently published, James Petras refers to Obama as the Master Con-man. Obama is totally unfit as a presidential leader and he has earned a great big “F” in my “leadership class”; the “incomplete” has been long removed!

The two party political duopoly has shown us clearly that Barack  Obama is the “best” they can do in the electoral process even after spending billions of dollars.  Isn’t it about time a majority in this country reject these two parties and recognize they are both incompetent and corrupt?  Isn’t it about  time we recognize nothing is going to change unless we commit to this?  Isn’t it about time we accept the fact that doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is a definition of INSANITY?  Isn’IIsn couldn’t have saidthe this btheetter.ell at ecomonimeconoecoof the ct is testimony to the true hierarchy of power depicted in the pyramid above. Whether we believe he would have changed things if he could have, or that he was in on this deal from the start, the facts remain the same. Obama is carrying out virtually the same agenda as the Bushes. He kept Gitmo open and continues torture. He’s expanded wars, of the drones, legalized indefinitehe incarceration and assassination (NDAA). He condones comprehensive electronic surveillance, IRS b