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Obama in his final presidential speech calls to fight for democracy and to forge a new social compact

Wednesday, January 11th 2017 - 08:38 UTC
Full article 33 comments

Change only happens when “ordinary people get involved, get engaged and come together to demand it”, said Barack Obama in his final address to the country and the world as president. “I am asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change – but in yours” Obama outlined in a speech that was both a tearful goodbye and a call to arms. Read full article


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  • Marti Llazo

    Obama was rather modest in not taking credit for creation of the most divisive and polarised state of the country since the US Civil War.

    Jan 11th, 2017 - 12:15 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Interesting comparison, Marti. Do you think the Northern states should have agreed to let slavery continue indefinitely in order to avoid the American Civil war?

    But really a much more accurate comparison would be to the civil rights era. Perhaps you think people then should have just kept suffering under the Jim Crow laws rather than protesting, since that also resulted in a divided and polarised country?

    Jan 11th, 2017 - 12:44 pm - Link - Report abuse -1
  • ccmyub

    This man did nothing to unite the country in the eight years he was in office, quite the opposite. Now that he has created a polarized nation he says don't look to me for change, look for yourselves, that's rich. What would be nice if he just goes off to sidelines and doesn't do anymore damage with his divisive comments and petulant ways.

    Jan 11th, 2017 - 12:52 pm - Link - Report abuse -2
  • Marti Llazo

    @DT Your misunderstanding sometimes astounds and frightens. The mention of the US Civil War era was to illustrate a time of enormous social and political division and there was no suggestion of supporting any particular cause. Had I mentioned WWII you no doubt would have jumped to the conclusion that I supported the Japanese invasion of Singapore. Does reasoning not fit well into your reading comprehension?

    Jan 11th, 2017 - 01:04 pm - Link - Report abuse -2
  • Bisley

    Lying, Marxist scum -- the worst and most destructive president in the country's history. The sooner he's out, the better.

    Jan 11th, 2017 - 02:33 pm - Link - Report abuse -4
  • DennisA

    “fight for democracy”

    Hence government by executive order?

    Jan 11th, 2017 - 02:45 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    But you didn't mention WWII, because the US wasn't divided and polarised during WWII. Rather the reverse, they were united to fight against a common enemy.

    I don't actually suspect you of supporting the 'wrong' side in any war. What I was asking is whether you would be happy to let injustices continue if fixing them would cause trouble and division. Your comparison was rather apt for this question, as getting rid of slavery came at a very great cost for the US. Do you think it was worth it?

    Also I don't see what the Japanese invasion of Singapore has to do with America in any case.

    Congrats on entirely missing the point of his message.

    Jan 11th, 2017 - 03:41 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Lightning

    Marti, ccmyub, bisley et al

    Obama, far from being destructive and divisive, he tried to be inclusive.
    That rocked the foundations and backroom deals of Big Pharma, Health Insurance, and the Defense 'Industry'.

    The Republicans had an agenda to make America ungovernable by an Obama administration, and frustrate EVERY initiative, to the detriment of the nation.

    The Hate Politics and Fake News against Obama were a deliberate and coordinated conspiracy to breed discontent and DIVISION.

    ML, from your other posts, I thought you were smarter than this.

    Stick to bashing CFK.

    Jan 11th, 2017 - 04:22 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Marti Llazo

    @DT You can't seem to understand or focus on the original point, that the Obama years were characterised by high levels of polarisation and internal division. Implicitly, that suggests his having some level of responsibility for this. And that may well be the true legacy of the Obama government.

    We see today on CNN: “Obama's posturing and lecturing is as divisive as ever”

    In the US media, Boston Globe “Obama regrets polarized rancor. He should.”

    Even the very-left-leaning Washington Post: “President Obama admits his biggest mistake: Arrogance”

    Washington Post: ”Obama: The most polarizing president. Ever.”

    It could probably be argued that Obama's stellar performance in dividing the US is what effectively galvanised his opposition and ultimately contributed in large part to the election of Trump.

    Jan 11th, 2017 - 04:53 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Think


    I remember some eight years ago, humble me thinking...:
    Geeeee... this guy certainly talks the talk pretty...!
    But..., will he walk his talk...?
    Answer was...: No.

    Jan 11th, 2017 - 05:15 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Marti Llazo

    Tinkle reminds us that even a blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut.

    Jan 11th, 2017 - 05:30 pm - Link - Report abuse +7
  • Think

    I remember some two months ago, humble me thinking...:
    Geeeee... this guy certainly talks the talk ugly...!
    But..., will he walk his talk...?
    Answer is...: ......?

    Jan 11th, 2017 - 05:44 pm - Link - Report abuse -6
  • Voice

    So Marti's secret is out he reads what the press is saying first, then paraphrases the most popular opinions as his own “informed” comment...

    Can't you think for yourself Marti...?

    Jan 11th, 2017 - 06:04 pm - Link - Report abuse -8
  • Marti Llazo

    OK, so the blind squirrel tinkle/voicey believes that it has found a nut.

    Jan 11th, 2017 - 06:24 pm - Link - Report abuse +6
  • Britworker

    Good riddance to bad rubbish. Bring on the Trump

    Jan 11th, 2017 - 06:38 pm - Link - Report abuse -4
  • DemonTree

    “You can't seem to understand or focus on the original point”

    It was you who brought up the US civil war and WWII, Marti. Now apparently you don't want to talk about the implications, and you never answered my question. The civil war certainly divided and polarised America, but it did get rid of slavery. I think some things are worth fighting for, even if they cause division. Do you?

    As for the original point, it's a long term trend. US politics has been getting more polarised for years. Your article saying Obama is the most polarising president ever, goes on the say the second most polarising is Bush II, followed by Reagan and Clinton. All recent presidents.

    And I agree with Lightning. It's possible Obama could have helped the situation if he had acted differently, but it wasn't due to any action of his that large numbers of Americans believed he was secretly a Muslim, that he was really born in Kenya, that he was trying to ban all guns. It often seemed that a new absurd lie was appearing every week. I have seen people on the internet literally claiming that he is the Anti-Christ and out to destroy America. The latest one, as reported here by Chronic, was that Obama was 'the worst President ever'. Chronic found tons of blogs repeating this claim to spam all over this website, none of which had any kind of evidence or even argument.

    With such a campaign of disinformation, how could he possibly avoid being divisive?

    No one could have lived up to Obama's hype. I don't think he was a great president, and his foreign policy was particularly poor (though not rising to the disastrous heights of Bush II). But he could have been a lot worse. I guess we are about to find out how much.

    Jan 11th, 2017 - 08:04 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Think

    Anglo Turnip Marti Llazo...
    Are you telling us you are a nut...?

    Mr. DemonTree...
    You ain't no nut...;-)

    Jan 11th, 2017 - 08:18 pm - Link - Report abuse -4
  • ElaineB

    @ DT

    Obama was weak on foreign policy and helped create the vacuum that Putin rushed to fill but I actually think history will be far more kind to him than we are now.

    Obama could not live up to the hype because he had no idea just how much of a state the country was in during his election campaign. It was only when President-elect and he received the full briefings was he able to see that Bush had driven the economy to the edge of the cliff. In fact it was over the cliff and precariously hanging to a sapling just within reach. History will recognise that he rescued the country from complete financial meltdown and in doing so he had to shelve just about everything he wanted to do during his terms in office. Furthermore, his poor overseas policies were another of the casualties of his having to devote all his time to keeping the country afloat.

    So Obama offered hope and change but only managed to save the country from financial disaster. If he had failed …. imagine.

    Jan 11th, 2017 - 08:23 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Captain Poppy

    If it were so bad under Obama, just be thankful that you all did not have to live under his leadership, so take it with a grain of salt. That being said, I think the worst polarization of politics and race is about to be thrusted onto the USA. And I do believe that Trump is the Trojan horse to the GOP.

    Anyone hear the Trump Golden Rule rumors? Oops.....I mean Golden Showers......not many men hire prostitutes and request they bring 5 gallons of water!

    Jan 11th, 2017 - 08:24 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Heisenbergcontext

    Placing the responsibility for uniting a country on any one individual when the nation he 'governs' doesn't actually want to be united is a bit rich...anyway, the 'adult entertainment' website giant Pornhub just provided some interesting statistics from last year: 91 980 225 000 video's were downloaded from it's site last year - enough for 5 246 centuries of continuous viewing, and leading the way was, you guessed it the U.S.A., by some considerable margin.

    A cynic might observe that it's not exactly revelatory that so many American's voted for the biggest wanker of them all...

    Jan 11th, 2017 - 09:09 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Kanye


    “As for the original point, it's a long term trend. US politics has been getting more polarised for years. Your article saying Obama is the most polarising president ever, goes on the say the second most polarising is Bush II, followed by Reagan and Clinton. All recent presidents”

    The “us or them” attitude and vilifying the opposing administration, really seemed to begin with the campaign to sideline Bill Clinton's attempts at reform, including a public health plan, if I remember right.


    Spot on!!!

    Jan 11th, 2017 - 10:22 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • Paragon

    Obama 2008 “ Yes we can ” The people 2017 “ No you did'nt ”

    Thats his true legacy to put it simply

    Jan 12th, 2017 - 04:05 am - Link - Report abuse -4
  • bushpilot

    But Paragon! It's all Bush's fault!

    Jan 12th, 2017 - 04:33 am - Link - Report abuse +2
  • Enrique Massot

    Obama was a pretty decent president by all standards. He rescued the U.S. economy from total disaster, reduced unemployment, and in foreign policy emphasized negotiation over war, as with Iran.
    He may have lacked determination to be a great president--but he has a nice family, there were no scandals during his presidency, no shady deals have been uncovered, and he was a socially progressive guy.
    While I disagree with Obama's position towards Latin America, e.g. his withdrawal of initial support before the Supreme Court for Argentine during Cristina de Kirchner's government fight with the debt vultures or his support for a soft coup in Honduras, his steps towars normalizing relations with Cuba was a great accomplishment of his administration.
    Many wanted the first black U.S. president to be a total failure and a big disappointment, and so the Republicans were the ones who polarized the country with hate and negativity, did all they could to obstruct his initiatives--and they now are set to dump whatever initiatives Obama was able to fulfill, as in health care.

    Jan 12th, 2017 - 08:07 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Briton

    Obama in his final presidential speech calls to fight for democracy

    Shame then that he did not respect our vote then,
    fails to respect the Falkland's right to democracy by sitting on the fence,
    And failed in Syria,,

    just my humble opinion, so feel free.

    Jan 12th, 2017 - 08:29 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • Kanye

    Mr EM

    For once, I agree with you, except for all the bs about CFK and the “vulture funds”

    Jan 13th, 2017 - 07:01 am - Link - Report abuse +1
  • ElaineB


    You can't blame Obama for the breakdown of the relationship between the U.S. and Argentina. CFK had a very strong policy of isolationism and painted the U.S. in a bad light. She made contracts under U.S. law and then refused to abide by the law claiming it didn't apply to Argentina. Her attitude and policies caused the rift. Even her own lawyers were telling her not to run her mouth as it was causing unnecessary problems but she doesn't possess a filter.

    Jan 13th, 2017 - 09:35 am - Link - Report abuse +3
  • Think

    Anglo Turnipette ElaineB does tell porkies again and again and...

    Today's porkie being...:
    ”She (Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, N.A.) MADE contracts under U.S. law and then.... blah.., blah..., blah...

    I say...:
    Anybody in here... (including Anglo Turnipette ElaineB) would be so kind to link us to ANY “Contracts under U.S. Law”... MADE..., SIGNED..., or even DREAMT by Mme. Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner...???

    Jan 13th, 2017 - 03:17 pm - Link - Report abuse -3
  • Marti Llazo

    As one example, the CFK government contracted for US legal assistance under US law in order to challenge court decisions in the US related to holdout bondholders. Although the CFK government had publicly indicated it would abide by the determinations of the US courts, when those decisions were considered by the CFK government to be not sufficiently favourable to Argentina, CFK indicated that the prior agreement would not be honoured. Compliance with earlier Argentine contracts under US law, including debt restructuring contracts, that were made shortly before the death of Néstor Kirchner, was also rejected by CFK, but it was the Néstor government that had made those contracts. Nevertheless, the CFK government later contracted under US law for other US goods and services, including many contracts for legal representation in the US in a number of legal disputes under US jurisdiction.

    Jan 13th, 2017 - 06:50 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • Think

    LINKS..., Anglo Turnip just above..., LINKS...
    Not just your empty, porkied words...
    LINKS...; L - I - N - K - S...

    Jan 13th, 2017 - 07:11 pm - Link - Report abuse -2
  • Marti Llazo

    here ya go, tinkle

    Jan 13th, 2017 - 08:27 pm - Link - Report abuse +3
  • Paragon

    The Barack Obama revolution was over before it started, guttered by the politician’s overweening desire to prove himself to the grandees of the establishment. From there on, other promises proved ever easier to break. the technofascist military strategist disguised as a Nobel Peace Laureate, but owned, operated, and controlled by Wall Street, Corporate America, and the Pentagon lol Thomas H Naylor author

    Jan 13th, 2017 - 08:35 pm - Link - Report abuse -1
  • Marti Llazo

    Here is an article that even tinkle should be able to find, albeit written in jibberjabber, which discusses not only the CFK government contracting for legal representation in the US, but the wholly unsurprising allegations that said Argentine government conspired to destroy evidence - relevant and material evidence - in the investigation of Báez.

    “El Gobierno de Cristina borró los datos de las cuentas de Báez en EE.UU.”

    ”...Durante más de dos años, su gobierno ocultó y luego borró información clave sobre cuentas bancarias en Estados Unidos y transacciones millonarias vinculadas al empresario Lázaro Báez. Los datos comenzaron a llegar en octubre de 2013, a raíz del proceso de discovery (una acción judicial para producir información) que inició el fondo NML, de Paul Singer, para rastrear los fondos del empresario patagónico y del Estado argentino. Fueron decenas de mails y documentos enviados por el estudio de abogados contratado por el gobierno argentino en Nueva York....“

    The contracted US attorneys involved in this included Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.

    In 2015 the Kirchner government contracted additional attorneys in the US, including
    Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP. Some discussion of that can be found, also in jibberjabber, in the media article entitled ”Abogados para todos y todas: En los 12 años K, florecieron los estudios extranjeros contratados por la Argentina ” The article includes images of official Argentine documents covering the contracting of counsel by the Argentine government .

    Jan 13th, 2017 - 09:52 pm - Link - Report abuse +3

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