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The Obamacomony

The size of the U.S. deficit isn’t the only thing they lie about. Unemployment is another.

Last week, The New York Times trumpeted, Jobs Roar Back With Gain of 287,000 in June, Easing Worry, with the official unemployment rate at 4.9%. Isn’t it wonderful?

“Wow, this one takes my breath away,” said Diane Swonk, an independent economist in Chicago.

Ooh, she’s “independent” – that makes her reaction valid! But here’s the real story.

  • The same jobs report has downward-revised the previous months’ numbers (from bad to horrible).
  • In the Bush years, the media would treat a jobs number in the 200k range as a crisis.
  • The Obama so-called “recovery” is the Weakest. On. Record.
  • Most of the jobs created in the Obama years, including the recent jobs report, are part-time and low-paying.
  • In the Obama years, tens of millions of Americans have given up even hoping for a job. “Labor force participation” has plummeted to lows not seen since the 1970s.
  • If we use the participation rate from early 2009 when Obama took office, the unemployment rate is 11%. (And that’s ignoring under-employment / the part-time jobs.)
  • And no, the declining participation isn’t because “the Baby Boomers are retiring”. They’re not retiring. Under Obama, they can’t afford it. They’ve been coming out of retirement, to take those low-paying, part-time Obamajobs from young people.
  • Young people face a crisis; many can’t get an entry-level job.

Perhaps this is why President Obama has the highest U.S. suicide rate in 30 years.

For the record: YES, Hillary is a criminal

…who sought-and-received such special treatment that now, in her own person, she embodies the most corrupt, disgraceful and dangerous aspects of American political life.

Allen B. West gives a summary:

…here’s what FBI Director Comey said regarding Hillary Clinton and this email server episode:

  • He concluded Hillary was “extremely careless” in handling our nation’s secrets.
  • He admitted no reasonable person could have believed putting these emails on a private server was at all appropriate or acceptable.
  • He admitted 110 emails on the server were classified at the time they were sent — showing Hillary not only lied, but knowingly endangered national security as secretary of state.
  • He admitted Hillary deleted work-related emails before turning them over to the State Department, despite her claims otherwise.
  • And, most shocking, Mr. Comey even admitted it’s likely foreign governments hacked her emails — and our adversaries could know critical secrets about the U.S. government because of Hillary’s actions.

[...]
Consider that just last week, there was a secret, private meeting between former President Bill Clinton and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch…Over the weekend, quietly, Hillary Clinton visited FBI headquarters and then came out to give an interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd — who stated he had inside information there would be no charges. Then…Director Comey announces a press conference — as the pre-flight checks were being conducted on Air Force One, preparing to fly President Obama and Hillary Clinton on a campaign ride to North Carolina…Comey announces no charges, and Air Force One takes off. Barack Obama is flying, on taxpayer dollar, not with someone under criminal investigation — but a recently-exonerated Hillary Clinton. This, Ladies and Gents, is the “policy of political corruption” on full display.
[...]
When Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton stood together on that stage [in North Carolina last weekend], you saw two people who abandoned Americans to die and lied about it.

In short, and even if we leave aside the Benghazi deaths, Hillary Clinton is 100% guilty of crimes of negligence – and obstruction of justice (lying to prevent investigation). She was given a giant pass, for no reason except politics.

David Petraeus, convicted.  Scooter Libby, convicted.  Youtube filmmaker, jailed.  Edward Snowden, charged.  Hillary Clinton, Democratic nominee for President.

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UPDATES:

A new day for Britain

Congratulations to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Nothern Ireland for voting to leave the European Union. It seems real because it has prompted Cameron to resign.

The EU began in 1957 as the European Economic Community, originally a free-trade zone for western Europe. And that’s a good thing. Unfortunately, over the decades (and especially after it became the European Union in 1993), the EU devolved into an intensively oppressive bureaucracy that imposes endless, krazy regulations on its member states and, for practical purposes, voids democracy in them.

Britain should gain a brighter economic future from the separation. The “Remain” campaign, of course, tried to claim the opposite. Britain does massive trade with the rest of the EU, and the “Remain” campaign tried to scare voters that the trade will be lost. Which is ridiculous; the EU itself needs its British trade, and the example of Switzerland (not to mention China or the U.S.) proves that independent countries can do massive trade with the EU.

But it’s not just the economics: Separating from the EU (if that is now put into practice) should mean that Britain has regained an important part of its sovereignty and its democracy.

On a personal note: This event is a pleasant surprise for me. Despite the “Leave” campaign’s leading in many British polls, I was sure that the British-EU elites would manipulate the election so that “Remain” had to win. (Manipulate the voters and/or the voting, the counting, etc.)

In other words, I was sure that British democracy was already dead. Today’s news reminds me, in a happy way, that I don’t know everything. Just to put sprinkles on the ice cream, it’s also a well-deserved slap in President Obama’s face.

UPDATE:

UP-UPDATE: Cyril’s comment inspired me to adorn the post thusly:

keep calm and f--k socialism, on a Union Jack background

That Whole “Let’s Censor the Transcripts” Was a Typical Obama Exercise in Stupidity

Posted by V the K at 11:56 am - June 21, 2016.
Filed under: Obama Incompetence

The Obama Administration backtracked pretty quickly on the redacted 911 transcripts from the Orlando Disco Massacre, much to the chagrin of their mindless drone fanboys who defended the explanation that “leaving them in would only let ISIS use them for propaganda.”  As Ian Tuttle points out, this was the kind of idiocy only an Obama supporter could buy.

Perhaps it’s worth asking just what in the Sam Halal Loretta Lynch thinks happens in cabinet meetings of the Islamic State. Apparently, in her mind, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi & Co. have been judiciously waiting for more ironclad evidence before making Orlando a staple in their recruitment efforts, and the DOJ thought a redacted transcript would cut them off at the knees. “He only pledges allegiance to ‘[omitted]’! We can’t put this on the fliers!” And likewise with all of those potentially “self-radicalizing” “lone wolves.” (Never mind all of the beheading videos they can still watch on Reddit.)

The reason the Obama Administration redacted the transcript is because they wanted to pretend that the Orlando Disco Massacre had nothing to do with Terrorist Islam. Just as they wanted to pretend the San Bernardino Christmas Party Massacre had nothing to do with Terrorist Islam. Just as they wanted to pretend that the Fort Hood Massacre (which they labeled “Workplace Violence”) had nothing to do with Terrorist Islam. Just as they wanted to pretend the Chattanooga Recruiting Center Massacre had nothing to do with Terrorist Islam.

Yet, they were absolutely damned sure that Dylan Roof’s Charleston Church Meeting Massacre was emblematic of racist southern white culture and that was why the Confederate Flag had to be banned… even from Civil War Historical Sites.

Update:  Speaking of Obama Administration Stupidity… “Kum Ba Yah, My Lord, Kum Ba Yah…”

Government Priorities: Not Protecting Gay People from Terrorists

Posted by V the K at 1:36 pm - June 17, 2016.
Filed under: Obama Incompetence

So, let me get this straight. If an Arab(ish) Muslim man:

  • Cheers about the 9-11 attacks.
  • Threatens to murder his entire class in a pique of Islamic offense because a piece of pork touched his hamburger
  • Is reported to the FBI by co-workers for openly bragging about his connections to Islamist terror groups.
  • Goes into a gun shop, tries to buy bulk ammo and body armor, makes a call on his cell phone in what sounds like Arabic to the staff, and is refused ammunition and body armor by the gun shop who reports his suspicious behavior to the FBI.

The FBI and Homeland Security will give him a pass and let him murder 49 people.

But if an Amish farmer sells raw milk or a man’s wife is suspected of student loan fraud, the Government will sic SWAT Teams on them.

Does this seem right to you?

No wonder they want to talk about gun confiscation as a distraction from their horrific incompetence.

Obama and Homeland Security Failed to Protect Gay People

Posted by V the K at 2:46 pm - June 16, 2016.
Filed under: Obama Incompetence

The Muslim Democrat Terrorist Omar Mateen was reported to FBI by Disney when he and his wife were casing Disney World; and a gun shop also reported their suspicions when he attempted to purchase body armor.

However, as a matter of explicit Government policy (“Countering Violent Extremism”) supported by both parties, the FBI will not investigate tips involving Mohammedans unless the tips come from designated representatives of the Mohammedan community… such as CAIR, or the Muslim Brotherhood.

Official Policy.

The Obama Administration also ordered the Department of Homeland Security to sanitize the records of Mohammedans with ties to terrorist groups.

In early November 2009, I was ordered by my superiors at the Department of Homeland Security to delete or modify several hundred records of individuals tied to designated Islamist terror groups like Hamas from the important federal database, the Treasury Enforcement Communications System (TECS). These types of records are the basis for any ability to “connect dots.”  Every day, DHS Customs and Border Protection officers watch entering and exiting many individuals associated with known terrorist affiliations, then look for patterns. Enforcing a political scrubbing of records of Muslims greatly affected our ability to do that. Even worse, going forward, my colleagues and I were prohibited from entering pertinent information into the database.

Just wondering, if a gun shop refuses to sell to an Islamist, do they get in MORE or LESS trouble than a bakery that refuses to bake a cake for a gay wedding?

By the way, if the Democrats get their wish and the Government’s secret “No Fly” list becomes the basis for denying gun purchases, the FBI will be legally required to tip off terrorists that they are watching them. That will make us all safer, right?

Obama’s Best and Brightest

Posted by V the K at 8:34 am - December 14, 2015.
Filed under: Obama Incompetence

The Obama Administration sent its “Resident Expert” on refugee screening to answer questions before Congress,  Dept. of Homeland Security Deputy Assistant Secretary for Screening Coordination, Kelli Ann Burriesci. You kind of expect a “Resident Expert” to know their job well enough to answer basic questions about it. Like, if you were a delivery driver for FedEx and somebody asked how many deliveries you made every day or how many miles you drove, you would be able to answer that. And if you couldn’t, people might think you’re an idiot.  Especially if you knew in advance you were going to be asked questions about your job.

Anyway, here’s how the Obama Administration’s “Resident Expert on Refugee Screening” answered some questions about her area of expertise. (Hat Tip: Patterico)

How many Syrian refugees have entered the U.S. in the last year” Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio) asked Burriesci.

“Sorry, I didn’t bring any of the refugee numbers with me,” she responded.

Jordon then asked: “Do you know how many Americans have traveled to Syria in the last year?”

“I don’t have that number on me either,” the official responded.

“So you wouldn’t know how many Americans have traveled there and returned?” Jordan pressed.

“I don’t have that number on me,” Burriesci stated.

When asked by Jordan, “How many visa waiver program overstays are there currently in the U.S.,” Burriesci again responded that she does not “have information” on that subject.

The lack of answers led to frustration.

“We’re talking about the refugee issue and the Visa Waiver Program issue and you can’t give us numbers on either program?” Jordan asked.

Sadly, this level of incompetence is par for the course in the Obama Administration.

marie-harf-corndogs

On the Difficulty of Being a Patriot (when your citizenry sux)

Hi folks! (Jeff/ILC) I haven’t posted here for several months. Where have I been?

As a rule, I dislike negative people; I like problem-solvers and try to be one. But sometimes, even a problem-solver can get negative because problem-solving starts with acknowledging reality, and the reality may be very negative.

This is the situation I’m in, with regard to the United States of America. By my guess, Americans today fall into roughly four categories:

  • 25% good people. (Constructive people who see clearly and value liberty.)
  • 25% confused people. (Semi-good people who have been mis-educated with anti-freedom ideas. Some of these may live off the public trough, although they know they shouldn’t.)
  • 25% parasites. (People who expect to live off the public trough, claiming it’s right and they deserve it.)
  • 25% fascists. (People, usually leftists though not always, who actively want government to control more and more of everyone’s lives. Even speech, for example with speech codes.)

When I was a kid, things were not much better; but they may have been a little bit better. The proportions seemed to be more like 30, 30, 20, 20. So the balance was a little more in favor of the good people.

I believe that, by now in 2015, the balance has tipped against the nation’s remaining good people. As a result:

  • We get “leader” after “leader” who is either pathetic and confused (Donald Trump, any of the Bushes), or pathetic and malevolent (Barack Obama, any of the Clintons or Kennedys).
  • We get government officials that continually lie – for example, saying that unemployment is 5.1% when it is 11% or more – and a media that couldn’t care less, as long as Planned Parenthood or its other favorite causes will be funded.
  • Add your own. (Libya? Syria? Talk about illegal wars! Given that ISIS and the disgusting, U.S.-backed “Syrian rebels” are much the same people, shouldn’t we be asking if ISIS may be an incredibly-stupid U.S. covert op?)

I gotta be honest: It’s depressing. As I survey this post-modern, corrupt, neo-socialist wreck of a nation that had once proudly taught the world about human freedom and productivity, I feel disgust and disappointment. I’ve been absent from the blog because I hit a point where I simply did not want to pay any attention to current events. And because I (still) feel uncomfortable writing at a blog with the word “patriot” in the title when, in Obama’s America, there is increasingly less that is worth defending.

I love and support the America that its Founders had intended: a beacon of liberty. I do not love or support (except by paying a ton of taxes, in cash) the America that we have in the year 2015: a deceit-filled, national-socialist travesty whose eventual crash (and/or takeover by China) can no longer be prevented.

That’s at the political level. On a personal level: I have to admit that it took me a couple decades to “get it” – that is, to understand real economics, psychology and morality and how they should interact to make a free society. It took me awhile, because I was mis-educated originally (was told a lot of the standard lies), and because my general desire to love people and give them credit made it hard to disbelieve the lies. It took me a long time; so why not be patient with the many people today who “don’t get it”?

Here’s why not. Yes, it took me a long time; but I did “get it”, because of my lifelong commitment to figuring out what’s real and what isn’t real, what works and what doesn’t work. I don’t see most people making even half of such an effort. I see a majority of people lying to themselves and others, spouting crap, not caring that they’re spouting crap, and treating their families like crap – as they indulge themselves with daily marijuana, coke, alcohol, iPorn, affairs/hookups, all-day gaming or other destruction. Which they rationalize.

Anyway…your thoughts?

President Obama Not the First to Confuse a Tired Cliched Slogan with an Actual Strategy

Posted by V the K at 8:57 pm - July 7, 2015.
Filed under: Obama Incompetence,Post 9-11 America

Obama’s is proposing that ISIS be defeated with “better ideas,” an idea he got from a 1977 Ford Maverick ad.

YouTube Preview Image

So, whenever anyone says Democrats haven’t had a new idea since 1968, you can prove them wrong now.

 

 

This is weird

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 9:53 pm - March 4, 2015.
Filed under: Iraq,National Security,Obama Incompetence

Iran’s news agency, apparently with the support of some Iraqis, has been pushing a story that ISIS is a UK / US creation. They started pushing it in 2014, but the following is from Feb 23 of this year:

Iraqi Army Downs 2 UK Planes Carrying Weapons for ISIL

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iraq’s army has shot down two British planes as they were carrying weapons for the ISIL terrorists in Al-Anbar province, a senior [Iraqi] lawmaker disclosed on Monday.

“The Iraqi Parliament’s National Security and Defense Committee has access to the photos of both planes that are British and have crashed while they were carrying weapons for the ISIL,” Head of the committee Hakem al-Zameli said, according to a Monday report of the Arabic-language information center of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq.

Obviously, I don’t want to quote the entire linked article; you can read it. It goes on for awhile, giving names of Iraqi lawmakers and their specific charges about the U.S.-led effort against ISIS being a mask for Western aid to ISIS, “as it does not want the ISIL crisis to come to an end.”

I do NOT automatically believe this story, because Iran’s news agency is hardly a reliable source. And because many Iraqi lawmakers are probably on Iran’s payroll; as fellow Shias, they would oppose ISIS – while preferring Iran to lead the effort.

Sad to say, I also can’t automatically disbelieve this story, for the following reasons:

  • *If* the Sunni-Shia divide really matters (and I’m not 100% persuaded that it does), we must grant at least a little sincerity to Iran’s opposition to ISIS.
  • We know that in Syria, the Obama administration supports Islamist, al Qaeda-type “rebels” who are much the same as ISIS. Even after we discard any notion that the US / UK created ISIS on purpose, we must still consider whether ISIS could be an *inadvertent* US / UK creation – as the well-supplied, Sunni Islamist “rebels” from one theater (Syria) simply drive a few hundred miles across the desert to their buddies in the other theater (northern Iraq).
  • And it would be just like the Obama administration to stumble into such a foolish, contradictory policy. We do know that ISIS has a lot of U.S. weapons; it’s just that they are normally viewed as captured weapons.

If you can shed any light on this, please post in the comments. I’d be looking either for some proof of the story that doesn’t merely come from an anti-U.S. mouthpiece (like Iran or Alex Jones) – or/and, for some disproof of the story that doesn’t merely come from a pro-Obama mouthpiece.

The Entire Obama Presidency Summed Up in 1 Image

Posted by V the K at 1:35 pm - February 22, 2015.
Filed under: Obama Incompetence,Obama Watch

Leftists banned DDT (and sentenced millions of humans to death) because junk science said it would harm Bald Eagles. Now, windmills slaughter eagles by the hundreds, but it’s OK because every windmill is a temple to Gaia.
11426_351554665039174_2655239372610393966_n

Obama’s ISIS Counter-Offensive Escalates from Hashtags to Logos

Posted by V the K at 10:41 am - February 21, 2015.
Filed under: Obama Incompetence

Since Obama’s hashtag diplomacy has utterly failed to turn back the advance of the Islamic State and other units of the Islamic Conquest, the superbrains of his administration took a break from their very hard work of figuring out the best way to snub the Israeli Head of State and unveiled their latest weapon against Islamic Terror… a rainbow-colored kind of flowery circle logo thing.

HugaTerrorist

By the way, the regime is also asking for suggestions on defeating “Violent Extremism” on Twitter. I am not making this up.

And if this doesn’t work, the administration may have to unleash the most dreadful weapon in its arsenal… videos of Michelle dancing.

P.S. Obama’s DHS is also releasing a report claiming that Libertarian and Tea Party Groups are a bigger threat than ISIS.

Obama’s foreign-policy brilliance

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 12:12 am - February 17, 2015.
Filed under: Iraq,National Security,Obama Incompetence

Why is the U.S. pushing weapons deliveries to feed the ongoing war in Ukraine – and just barely fighting to stabilize Iraq, by destroying the Islamic State?

Our allies don’t want want a war over Ukraine’s ethnic Russians. Even Nicolas Sarkozy, perhaps the only pro-U.S. Frenchman, thinks we’re nuts. While Greece and even Egypt drift toward Russia.

If Mitt Romney was such an old-fashioned dummy in 2012 for saying that Russia was still our main geopolitical enemy: why are we now pushing sticks into Russia’s eyes? When the IS will be the threat – if (or after) it takes over Iraq-Syria-Jordan-Yemen-Egypt, and destroys Saudi Arabia? It’s already getting a foothold in Libya.

President Smart Power always suggested that *he* would astutely settle our differences with Russia. OK then, why hasn’t he? Couldn’t we use Russia’s help in beating Islamism?

And given that ISIS exists, is the Iraq war really “ended”, as President Obama has claimed? I don’t think so. I think the worst is yet to come. (Assuming we don’t just surrender to Islam, first.)

Update (and from the comments): Part of the answer to these questions is, of course, Marie Harf. Not her personally; but her as an example of leftie/Obama thinking. In her recent comments, the “root cause” of the Islamic State would be the Middle East’s “lack of opportunity for jobs…We can help them build their economies so they can have job opportunities.” What. A. Tool.

America is number…12? 16? 49?

The U.S.A., once number one for economic freedom, has sunk to number 12 per the Heritage Foundation. (Top seven: Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, Canada, Chile.)

Somewhere, some leftist is going “Yeah cool! Because economic freedom sux!” Well then. The U.S.A., once number one as a place to be born, has sunk to number 16 in The Economist magazine’s more Europe-friendly rankings. (Compare to 1988 ranking, here.)

What about political-social freedoms, like freedom of the press? The U.S.A., once number one for that, has sunk to number 49. Behind South Africa, Slovenia, even Germany.

As Reporters Without Borders puts it:

In the United States, 2014 was marked by judicial harassment of New York Times investigative reporter James Risen in connection with the trial of Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA officer charged under the Espionage Act with giving him classified information. US journalists are still not protected by a federal shield law that would guarantee their right not to name their sources or reveal other confidential information about their work. Meanwhile, at least 15 journalists were arbitrarily arrested during clashes between police and demonstrators protesting against black teenager Michael Brown’s fatal shooting…

And where would RPB rank us, if they could consider that our tax authority specially targets our domestic political dissidents (Tea Party conservatives)?

“Thanks, Obama!”

It’s nice that he’s asking, this time

Remember the Left going on and on about President Bush’s supposedly “illegal” and “unilateral” Iraq war? When, in reality, the Bush administration had gone to great lengths to obtain (and did obtain) authorization for Iraq from both Congress and the U.N.

Even Senator Obama got in on the act, saying later in 2007 that “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” His words were correct – but again, irrelevant to the Bush case (since Bush had Congressional, bipartisan approval).

Then President Obama felt like bombing Libya out of the blue (no terrorist threat was involved – until after Ghaddafi was gone). And he sought no authorization from Congress. Did the Left care? A little; but really not much.

President Peace Prize also went on to embroil the U.S. in wars in Syria and Ukraine – unilaterally and with no authorization. And to blow any gains of the Iraq war, allowing ISIS to take hold; an event that President Orwell referred to as his having “ended the war”.

Now that he has done so, he proposes to resume the Iraq war. Except this time, he finally wants authorization first. I suppose that’s nice of him. I suppose we must be grateful, to such a terribly great man, for the small graces that he grants to us, his subjects.

Europeans Not Impressed by Obama’s Folk-Rock Diplomacy

Posted by V the K at 10:14 pm - January 17, 2015.
Filed under: Obama Incompetence

Obama’s “Smart Diplomacy” stunt of sending James Taylor to serenade the French failed to impress the Eurotopians.

European commentary to this event has been universal …. it is one of those WTF moments …. and yes …. this John Kerry (what the hell was he thinking) story has been covered extensively in Europe. On a side note …. I asked some of my friends in Russia on what did they think about this U.S. attempt at diplomacy …. sighhhh …. they are still laughing. As to what is my take …. looking on the bright side we should say that we were extremely lucky …. it could have been John Kerry singing “you got a friend” instead of James Taylor.

A Facebook Friend suggests sending these folks next time:
(more…)

“Smart” Diplomacy

Posted by V the K at 9:33 am - January 16, 2015.
Filed under: Obama Incompetence

It is getting ever more difficult to tell the difference between actual Team Obama foreign policy and a weak Saturday Night Live skit.

Under fire for being a no-show at the Paris March Against Terrorism, the Obama administration sent Secretary of State John Kerry to Paris today to give a “big hug” to the French.

In addition to expressing solidarity with the French people, Secretary Kerry brought singer James Taylor to play his 1970s hit song “You’ve Got A Friend” for the French.

No, that is not ‘The Onion.’ They really did that.

I feel like “smart” has become liberal code for “incredibly stupid.” Another Case in point.

Distracting Americans – from the economy?

If it isn’t Michael Brown or Elizabeth Lauten, it’s Eric Garner(*) or Trayvon Martin or some other media frenzy. In other words, our media “treats” us to a series of frenzies; frenzies that are stupid because – apart from many of the media claims dissolving under scrutiny – there are more important things for the nation to notice.

I’m beginning to think it’s deliberate. For one thing, over the years I’ve seen how the frenzies get nourished (or prevented) by various political fixers, special interests and even government agencies. For another thing, it’s common sense: if the phrase “powerful people” means anything, then certain people have the power to promote (or block) certain media stories to suit their interests.

Finally, whenever you’re confronted with vicious nonsense, you should ask the question “Who benefits?” And again, the series of stupid frenzies does a job: it blots out public notice and discussion of nationally-important topics. It especially blots out discussion of the scandals/failures of the Obama administration.

And that could be Gruber, the IRS scandal, Obamacare, the NSA’s blanket/warrantless spying, Fast and Furious, vote fraud, unconstitutional rule-by-decree, or any number of failures (Iraq/ISIS) for which a Republican president would be crucified. But I think the most glaring problem where President Obama needs a distraction is: his terrible economy.

And now for a little news on the economy. Black Friday retail sales were a disaster by conventional measures. According to the National Retail Federation, sales during the four-day Thanksgiving holiday period plunged by 11% (from $57.4 billion a year ago, to $50.9 billion).

NRF’s CEO Matt Shay offered an absurd explanation – he claimed that sales were down because of (1) Teh Interwebs and (2) an improving economy:

He also attributed the declines to better online offerings and an improving economy where “people don’t feel the same psychological need to rush out and get the great deal that weekend, particularly if they expected to be more deals,” he said.

But Cyber Monday was also weak. And Shay implies that, if sales had not declined (or had even been up), that would have been a sign of a *bad* economy…Riiiiiiiight.

A more sensible explanation is that Americans have less money to spend, because they are struggling to cover basic necessities:

…the Journal analyzed Labor Department data on 2013 out-of-pocket spending for the middle 60% of the population by income — households earning between about $18,000 and $95,000 a year, before taxes.

The data show they are losing ground. Overall spending for the group rose by about 2.3% over the six-year period from 2007, even as inflation totaled about 12%. At the same time, income for the group stagnated, rising less than half a percent…

There it is. The WSJ analysis did not look at 2014, but I can assure you, trends continued in 2014 (aside from our very recent decline in oil/gas prices). In Obama’s bad economy, people struggle more than ever just to cover food, rent and health care: (more…)

President Jarrett Is a Horrible Boss

Kim Strassel laments that the White House is a hostile working environment for anyone of intelligence or the capability for independent thought.

“Doormat” has been the job description for pretty much every Obama employee. The president bragged in 2008 that he would assemble in his cabinet a “Team of Rivals.” What he failed to explain to any of the poor saps is that they’d be window dressing for a Team of Select Brilliant Political Types Who Already Had All the Answers: namely, himself and the Valerie Jarretts and David Axelrods of the White House.

The experienced Bill Daley came in 2011 as the chief of staff tasked with repairing Mr. Obama’s relations with the business community. He left a year later, having been stripped of many duties and trashed by the White House to the press. The sage Leon Panetta stepped up as defense secretary in 2011; he too left after 20 months of getting his head patted. The folks who look smartest now are those who fled early, while the fleeing was still relatively good—Rahm Emanuel, Austan Goolsbee, Larry Summers, Peter Orszag, Vivek Kundra.

Who would want to work for a boss who micromanages everything but takes no responsibility when things don’t work out? This president’s playbook for controversy: Deny knowledge, blame subordinates.

Read the whole thing.

Obama has previously declared that he is a better speechwriter than his speechwriters, and know more about policy than his policy advisers. Such a megalomaniac has no interest in hearing, much less entertaining, opinions that do not align with his own. So much for diversity.

But then again, it often seems President Obama doesn’t really run the White House; he’s off playing golf, partying with celebrities and billionaires. Every once in a while, they put a suit on him and stand him up in front of a TelePrompter. It is very much the consensus that the real authority in the White House comes from former Slum Queen Valerie Jarrett, an “advisor to the President” (think “Wormtongue”) who has been granted her own secret service detail and is the first and last word on White House policy and hiring decisions.

It is little wonder that Obama and Jarrett have created an environment where anyone of any intelligence leaves, but those who can enthusiastically mouth the official party talking points … like Jen Psaki, Josh Earnest, and Maria Harf … thrive.

And now for the bad news

It always feels good to see sanity prevail in an election, yes! And now for some honesty about what isn’t so good, in this election.

Unlike the Reagan wins of the 1980s, or the GOP’s 1994 “Contract with America” win, the 2014 GOP (as a national whole) neither provided nor sold to the voters a pro-freedom, government-cutting vision. The GOP skillfully profited from voter dissatisfaction with President Obama; and little more.

Racial guilt aside, the voters originally bought into Obama because he promised the Impossible Dream: a government which would be Big, but still somehow friendly and American (never mind that oppression is inherent to all Big Governments), and which would look out for them (never mind that socialism serves the elites, undermines the economy for ordinary people, and mathematically cannot provide benefits of much value to most people).

In this election six years later, the voters have repudiated Obama because he failed to deliver on the dream. He promised smooth, cool delivery of the dream. Instead, he gave a string of incompetent, messy disasters that even a corrupt media could not hide: such as the Gulf oil spill (BP’s actions had been approved by Obama regulators), Obamacare (with its expensive and oppressive mandates), Libya war, Benghazi, Syria war, ISIS, Ebola, and a moribund economy where the jobs are part-time, the taxes are higher, the U.S. national debt is doubled and only things that go up are the financial markets and the cost of living. The voters feel “lied to” and for that, they have now punished Obama.

In other words, the voters have not yet learned that the dream itself is impossible. The voters still want Friendly Fascism: a Big Government that somehow (1) works (or, in the famous saying, “makes the trains run on time”); while it (2) maintains a veneer of traditional American freedoms. It is impossible. But voters are hoping now that the GOP can help to correct Obama’s excesses and make the dream work.

The GOP, in this election in 2014, has done little to educate the voters on the dream’s utter impossibility – and thus, little to move America forward.