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back to article Obama: I'm the CTRL-ALT-DEL President

US president Barack Obama has immortalised IBM's three-finger salute in his speech to the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner. The Dinner is run by the White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA), an organisation whose members are journalists who cover the White House. The US president or vice-president nearly always …

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James Clapper is obviously the Chief Proxy. After much consideration I have determined that the ultimate leader is Voldemort. The most inept and self serving bad guy since Skeletor. Skeletor is still tied up with a messy divorce from the legacy Terminator though, so Voldemort it must be.

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Anonymous Coward

Commander-in-chief

Q: "... if Obama is the CTRL-ALT-DEL president, who is the BSOD commander-in-chief?"

A: All of them

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HCV

Blue Screen of Death, or...

...Orange Screen of Smoke?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Blue Screen of Death, or...

That'd be Nixon, surely?

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Pirate

Re: Blue Screen of Death, or...

The BSOD President is Andrew Jackson, the pres that tried to exterminate the Native Americans.

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Re: Blue Screen of Death, or...

Dubya did break the economy of the entire planet...

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Increasingly "The Petulant Clown of White House"

Meanwhile, the real problems pile up.

Needed: Obama-Putin Summit on Ukraine -- Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, May 04, 2014

The buck stops with you, Mr. President. If you want to stop a bloody civil war between east and west Ukraine and avert Russian military intervention in eastern Ukraine, you may be able to do so before the violence hurtles completely out of control. You need to take the initiative and do it now.

We recommend that you publicly disavow any wish to incorporate Ukraine into NATO and that you make it clear to Moscow that you are prepared to meet personally with Russian President Vladimir Putin without delay to discuss ways to defuse the crisis and recognize the legitimate interests of the various parties.

....

Let us suppose you are confronted with the following scenario: Tokyo provokes armed hostilities with China over the issue of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands and then invokes Japan’s mutual defense treaty with the U.S. to draw the United States in. At that point, Russia weighs in on China’s side. What do you do? And, more specifically, what do you do when you cannot get through the Kremlin switchboard and are reduced to having to leave Putin a voicemail?

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Bronze badge

Re: Increasingly "The Petulant Clown of White House"

"We recommend that you publicly disavow any wish to incorporate Ukraine into NATO and that you make it clear to Moscow that you are prepared to meet personally with Russian President Vladimir Putin without delay to discuss ways to defuse the crisis and recognize the legitimate interests of the various parties."

It is to laugh. Putin would love to see the Boy Wonder asking for a face-to-face. After careful consideration would come the reply: "Talk to the hand!"

Obama has zero international credibility left, but that fact has yet to penetrate Marblehead, so I suppose we'll get lots more embarrassing talk out of the White House as the situation dissolves into a shooting war.

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Re: Increasingly "The Petulant Clown of White House" @ Big John

"Obama has zero international credibility left, but that fact has yet to penetrate Marblehead, "

Let me refine that for you.. Obama himself still has some international clout, if only for preferentially not using the Bush Option, aka. Send in the Troops.

The reason why he has no international political clout is simply due to the fact that the US government as a whole is in an out-of-control deadlock, and anything he tries to get out of this deadlock, or actually get anything done at all, is cock-blocked out of principle in one of the two houses.

It's not Obama, it's the whole US system that's been proven morally and financially corrupt, down to the lowest levels. You can blame the figurehead all you want. It doesn't change the fact that the ship itself has gone rogue.

Obama has lost international credibility because the US as a whole has lost it over the past three decades. In a sad kind of irony, the US now needs an internal revolution just as much as the USSR did. And that's not going to be pretty.

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Re: Increasingly "The Petulant Clown of White House" @ Big John

"The reason why he has no international political clout is simply due to the fact that the US government as a whole is in an out-of-control deadlock"

Not quite, IMHO, because he doesn't need the support of Congress to declare war (and if he did need it they'd be too worried of NOT voting for war to oppose him).

The real reason that he's got no credibility is in particular the succession of "red lines" that were drawn in the sand, crossed by his opponents, and no consequences ensued, in both Iran and Syria. So his opponents think he personally lacks resolve for overseas military adventures. They also believe that for obvious reasons the US public are war weary, and that Obama is now a lame duck president.

To a large extent, Obama's heart and brain are in the right place: Overseas military intervention has been a costly twelve year disaster in terms of US & allied lives, local lives, money, and respect. Where Obama has come unstuck is that his administration haven't come to terms with the fact that whilst the DoD and the rabidly out of control "national security" sector might still be sniffing the napalm fumes and listening to Ride of the Valkyries, there's few real Americans willing to pay the price that accompanies that sort of foreign policy. As a result US foreign policy is still framed in terms of "do as we say or we kick yo' ass" and is weak on diplomacy, cultural understanding and respect. To be fair this has been recognised, it simply hasn't yet resulted in the changes required, and the whole apparatus of "national security" has become a huge obstacle to the changes that are needed.

This isn't to say that the US needs to walk away from all forms of intervention (and having happily appointed themselves as world policeman, it's a little late to object to others expecting this of them). Walking softly and carrying a big stick has always been a good strategy, but over the past decade the US has been to busy using the stick, not enough time walking softly.

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Re: Increasingly "The Petulant Clown of White House" @ Big John

Not quite, IMHO, because he doesn't need the support of Congress to declare war

Yes he does. He can dictate military actions, but an actual declaration of war (which hasn't happened since WW2 by the way) can only come from Congress under US law.

Technically if we were sticking to the Constitution (yes, yes, I know) he wouldn't even be able to direct troop movements without that declaration, or command the Air Force or the Marines at all, even WITH a declaration of war (though only by the letter and only because they didn't exist to be written into the Constitution along with the Army and Navy when it was written....By the spirit of the document the President would have full control of the military in a declared war).

They also believe that for obvious reasons the US public are war weary

The US public, for the most part, is. I honestly think the 2008 election would have been a lot closer were it otherwise. I know some normally hardcore Republicans who voted for Obama because they feared McCain would be just as much a war monger as Bush was.

and that Obama is now a lame duck president.

He pretty much is. Barring some massive changes come this November and in 2016 to Congress the next President will be to. Right no everyone in DC is a lame duck.

To a large extent, Obama's heart and brain are in the right place: Overseas military intervention has been a costly twelve year disaster in terms of US & allied lives, local lives, money, and respect.

As long as we keep that statement in the context of overseas military actions I'll agree with you. We really don't have any business being in most of the places we've been since 2001.

This isn't to say that the US needs to walk away from all forms of intervention (and having happily appointed themselves as world policeman, it's a little late to object to others expecting this of them). Walking softly and carrying a big stick has always been a good strategy, but over the past decade the US has been to busy using the stick, not enough time walking softly.

I would argue that it's long past time to pass the badge on to someone else. Actually given some of the stuff going on now (most of which is easy to miss if you're not paying attention, which few people are unfortunately -- seems Huxley was right) I'd say the current US government has become the corrupt bad cop of the world.

Personally I ascribe to the view of a certain famous general* who actually saved the country from the predecessors of the people running it now (and I mean the owners of Congress, not the politicians). Our armed forces should be for the defense of this nation and nothing else. Overseas intervention might be justified if it directly affected the security of this nation, but otherwise let's not throw away money and lives on it.

*Major General Smedley Butler, AKA the Fighting Quaker. Look him up. It's an interesting bit of history from the years leading up to WW2 when the world didn't yet know just how bad the Nazis and facism really were.

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Mushroom

Re: Increasingly "The Petulant Clown of White House"

re: "Needed: Obama-Putin Summit on Ukraine -- Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, May 04, 2014"

The US gave an undertaking that NATO wouldn't expand eastwards, as such the Russian Federation is right to be peeved. The Neocons seem intent on provoking Russia into a new cold war. They should be careful they don't get what they wish for. The real red line will be when NATO puts missiles into Poland. That will almost certainly lead to Russia reactivating their mobile nuclear missile systems. As is evident, the US woud very much like to fight its wars in other peoples countries.

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Re: Increasingly "The Petulant Clown of White House"

Obama's biggest problem is that he's too brainy. He overthinks everything and expects others to do the same. Most people, even Heads of State and business magnates, the good ones anyway, don't think nearly as far ahead as people like to believe. There's an art to looking further out than your adversary without loosing sight of him, and Obama simply doesn't have it. If you're four moves out and your opponent changes direction you've just become the passenger, the other guy is now driving.

He was a lost cause when he backed down on Syria anyway. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad we stayed out(ish), but you can't ask permission and be the leader both. You act as you see fit and you deal with the judgement of others and the repercussions later. Trying to eliminate risk and establish guarantees is what bankers do, not leaders. Maybe he'll be a Supreme Court Justice. It has been done before and those guys are supposed to be long outlook thinkers.

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Bronze badge
Happy

Anyone can be president

We can all be president one day

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Megaphone

Re: Anyone can be president

Sure, all you need is a couple of gigadollars in loose change.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Anyone can be president

"Sure, all you need is a couple of gigadollars in loose change."

And a willingness to do whatever the nice men who gave you the gigadollars say, of course.

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Alien

Re: Anyone can be president

Right. I've often wondered, the first day after a new pres gets settled into the White House, does (s)he get a "helpful induction powerpoint presentation" from the True Mafia®?

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Black Helicopters

Re: Anyone can be president

Right. I've often wondered, the first day after a new pres gets settled into the White House, does (s)he get a "helpful induction powerpoint presentation" from the True Mafia®?

Nope. They don't get onto the ballot, let alone into the White House, without having already seen that PowerPoint and heartily agreeing to do what they're told. What, you think they'd risk losing their power by letting someone they don't already own get votes?

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Happy

Re: Anyone can be president

"We can all be president one day"

I can't. I'm not American (unless you include 'President of the EU' in that statement)

Strange rule, that one. It's almost like you don't trust your own selection/voting system, or even us 'forriners'... Oh...wait...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Anyone can be president

Actually you're unlikely to be President if the EU either, since Herman van Rumpy Pumpy has no limit on his term.

I used to think Nigel Farage was out of order when he attacked Van Rompuy's appointment so savagely. But after learning the above, I now think it was actually rather good. At least he's calling these people out and shaking the boat. For those that missed it:

http://youtu.be/nPk6mNdURwo

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Bronze badge

Re: Anyone can be president

I am the President of the United States, and so is my wife.

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Bronze badge

Re: Anyone can be president

Strange rule, that one. It's almost like you don't trust your own selection/voting system, or even us 'forriners'

Not particularly strange, when you consider the context in which it was written. The US was a brand-new nation mostly composed of relatively recent immigrant families, with a steady stream of new immigrants, no existing aristocratic or (in the popular imagination) political class, and a system of government designed to function as a sort of meritocratic oligarchy - that is, if you're sufficiently successful in business, you become an oligarch.

The founders were concerned to throw some republican representation to the common folk as a sop to the liberal ideals they supposedly supported (while for the most part remaining sure they themselves would always come out on top) and to give the populace a sense of participation in the nation. The political equivalent of stock options, so to speak. But they were also very concerned that anyone with popular political support already be a member of the oligarchy. They didn't want some rich, charismatic European dude, insufficiently acculturated to the US system, alighting in New York and eventually wandering into the Presidency. He might be tough to control.

Periodically there's talk about amending the Constitution to do away with the natural-citizen clause, generally to make some foreign-born state governor a viable presidential candidate. One reason it's never gotten very far is that such governors (Schwarzenegger, Granholm) tend to lose too much political capital during their terms to remain very attractive as potential presidential candidates.

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Roo
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Facepalm

Another joke that died...

“Colorado legalized marijuana this year, an interesting social experiment,” immediately adding “I do hope it doesn’t lead to a whole lot of paranoid people who think that the federal government is out to get them and listening to their phone calls.”

Seems more like a veiled threat than a dry joke given that Colorado's legislation is at odds with federal law on this one and the DEA + NSA conspire to fabricate evidence based on covert surveillance as a matter of policy...

Ah, another "joke that died" for Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer. ;)

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Dubya

George W. Bush would have to be the "Hey, look at this neat cup holder!" president.

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Meh

Dubya

Slow witted good ol' boy or psychotic don't-give-a-s**t good ol' boy.

I think history will judge him appropriately.

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Roo
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Boffin

Re: Dubya

Shame on you, baiting those poor harmless Shrub-Huggers into down-voting you !

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Re: Dubya

Honestly I hated Bush when he was in office, but right now I'd take him back in a heartbeat if it meant we could be rid of Obama today. Bush at least had clue 1 how to do the job. Obama's been stumbling around making a mess of everything he touches for 6 years and seems to have been reelected only because people don't actually pay attention to what he's doing.

That or they thought Romney would be even worse, which, to be fair, he may have been. That election was even a worse case of two bad choices than most: we had one guy who's proven he can't do the job very well and one who didn't even want the job. I joke about writing in Mickey Mouse every election cycle, but in 2012 I was actually tempted to.

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Unhappy

Re: Dubya

"Shame on you, baiting those poor harmless Shrub-Huggers into down-voting you !"

I know I should be coming up with something more insightful, but sometimes you just got to go with the low hanging fruit (or perhaps low hanging fruit cake ?)

Shrub's performance at one of these things IIRC was seriously underwhelming.

Oddly for a supposed Texan he didn't have much of a humor.

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Roo
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Windows

Re: Dubya

I would rather that Shrub had failed to achieve POTUS too... That said couple of years ago my sense of fair play was intrigued by some some footage of him and his unhappy band debating what they were going to do after 9/11. Wolfowitz was yelling for Iraq to be attacked and Shrub *yelled* at him to STFU and go after AQ/Bin Laden. I genuinely wonder what changed Shrub's mind, or whether he was a passenger in the decision making process - because the guy I saw in that clip wasn't the same guy I saw standing up declaring mission accomplished on an aircraft carrier.

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Re: Dubya

I would rather that Shrub had failed to achieve POTUS too

Every time I start to think that I think about what Al Gore's reaction to 9/11 would have been and decide that Bush was probably the better man of the two to have in office on that day. That said we definitely could have done better than either of them.

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Ctrl-alt-del president huh? Whatever. He hasn't rebooted anything. What he has done is put together a patch work of garbage that even his previous supporters are starting to realize of utter crap. When you see "f Obama" written on bathroom stalls then you can bet he is losing support of the "lower" class. Of course that doesn't matter much anymore.

As far as his international pull: the guy hasn't a clue about how the real world works. Of course he jacked up America's clout. Not that it wasn't already heading into the toilet, it's just that he has done absolutely nothing except try and make nice with little despots that don't have anything to do with the real international stage.

If I was Putin then I'd have Obama on ignore and go ahead with whatever plans I had. Heck I'd probably ignore the next US pres to, unless they were willing to park a couple warships of my coast.

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Ctrl-alt-del

Just for Accuracy, we should note that Ctrl-alt-del originated with Micro$oft, not IBM.

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Silver badge

Re: Ctrl-alt-del

And remember Bill Gates himself called it the worst idea he had. Unfortunately this president follows the precedent.

I could say more but that would be too political, and much like my wife yelling at the TV (doing little good).

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Stop

Re: Ctrl-alt-del

Not true, according to El Reg:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/01/29/ctrlaltdel_inventor_makes_final_reboot/

Now that is a good joke. And back on topic, I thought Obama was pretty good, overall: he can't go completely overboard given he's still president and the jokes are written by political speechwriters so don't expect it to be like stand up. I just enjoy the weirdness of seeing a politician act like a normal person.

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Bronze badge

Re: Ctrl-alt-del

Just for Accuracy, we should note that Ctrl-alt-del originated with Micro$oft, not IBM.

Perhaps "for Accuracy" you should do a little research before posting rubbish.

The listing for the IBM PC BIOS is readily available - it was in the IBM PC Technical Reference Manual. Take a look at the keyboard driver code.

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Anonymous Coward

He's more the Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail? sort of president at the moment

"Not ready reading drive US A:"

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Anonymous Coward

Politicians are all the same

Anyone that wants to be in power, shouldnt be.

Its a lesson from history that we still havent learned.

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Silver badge

Re: Politicians are all the same

Slight problem with that thought: the only government system that puts people who don't want to be in power into power are monarchies, and even then it only occasionally happens. Under our system the only people who can get the job are those who want it very badly.

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Bronze badge

Re: Politicians are all the same

Under our system the only people who can get the job are those who want it very badly.

Now, see, had you written "those who want to do it very badly", you would have had something.

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BSODs

Down this end of the planet, the BSOD Commander in Chief is surely Tony Abbott. You should see his brain lock up when he encounters a question he can't handle.

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Ha

Someone needs to end his crashed process.

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BSOD... No question! That would be King George II (Bush that is) The Usurper.

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