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The Thin Skin of the President

Posted by V the K at 9:58 am - April 15, 2014.
Filed under: Obama Watch

Dr. Ben Carson is one of America’s top neurosurgeons … which, unlike being a Community Organizer, is an actual achievement. At last year’s National Prayer Breakfast, Dr. Carson gave a speech that was critical of political correctness, and offered some suggestions for reforming health care delivery that were at least a million times better than anything in Obamacare.

Afterwards, the White House apparently asked him to apologize for “offending the president.”

“He did not appear to be hostile or angry,” Carson writes of Obama, “but within a matter of minutes after the conclusion of the program, I received a call from some of the prayer breakfast organizers saying that the White House was upset and requesting that I call the president and apologize for offending him. I said that I did not think that he was offended and that I didn’t think that such a call was warranted.”

We can only hope that Reggie Love was waiting in the 42 vehicle armored motorcade with a crying towel.

Down to business

Posted by V the K at 9:52 am - March 19, 2014.
Filed under: Obama Watch,Obamania

All eyes are on Washington as the President resumes the Very Important Business of filling out his NCAA brackets. Cuffy has a sugestion for his Final Four.

Update… via Twitchy

(more…)

The Government We Deserve

Posted by V the K at 10:02 pm - March 9, 2014.
Filed under: Obama Watch

 

How many relatives do you have living illegally in the United States? Compare your answer with the President of the United States.

How many members of the Muslim Brotherhood do you associate with? Compare your answer with the President of the United States.

How many domestic terrorists launched your political career? Compare your answer with the President of the United States.

Holding Christie More Accountable than Obama

While the MFM was busy giving the Chrispie Chreme Bridge Scandal 17 times more coverage in one day than Obama’s IRS scandal got in six months, the Obama administration appointed an Obama campaign donor to investigate the Obama Administration’s abuse of the IRS to target and cripple groups opposed to the policies of the Obama Administration.

Ah, Chicago Style Government.

Also, the IRS is seeking to implement a new rule to shut down Tea Party style opposition to Dear Reader’s regime.

The IRS wants to create a new bureaucratic definition that re-labels those common voter information activities by re-naming them “candidate-related political activity.” For short, IRS calls it CRPA, but CRAP would fit better.

This is actually a gag rule. But the IRS’s new speech restrictions do not apply to labor unions, trade associations, political parties, or other non-profit groups such as 501(c)(3)’s. The impact is limited to the 501(c)(4)’s, which are the favorite vehicle for Tea Party groups.

OK, so Obama is just trying to shut down the free speech of political opponents. Nothing here for the media to cover. I mean, it’s not like he ever snarled up traffic at rush hour for political purposes.
And wait
And wait

By the way, are you aware more people have been fired over Bridgegate than over Fast and Furious, Benghazi, and the Obamacare debacle combined. (1>0)

Update: Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more stupider.

How Not to Behave at a Funeral

Imagine if you will, George W. Bush, attending a state funeral for a much respected world leader. And, during the funeral procession, he flirts with an attractive blond and takes grinning selfies in full view of the cameras.

Obama_Mandela_Selfie_Moment

And before any of Obama’s Army of Sycophants shrieks “faux outrage,” I’m not actually outraged by him acting like a complete boob at a state funeral. I am somewhat outraged by his eager and ready handshake for a Communist dictator with the blood of thousands on his hands, who keeps millions of his people oppressed and impoverished. Or, maybe that’s not a big deal to the Food Stamp, IRS-Abusing, “I’m really good at killing people” President.

Obama hammered in polls

This is everywhere; may as well be here. Per a CNN poll,

Only four out of 10 Americans believe President Barack Obama can manage the federal government effectively…

…53% of Americans now believe that Obama is not honest and trustworthy…

Fifty-six percent say he is not a person they admire, and an equal number say he does not agree with them on important issues. Fifty-six percent also say he does not inspire confidence, and 53% don’t view him as a strong and decisive leader. All of those figures are all-time records for Obama in CNN polling.

Ouch. But will voters remember, by the 2014 midterm elections?

President Obama’s solution to every problem: Give a speech

Each of us is born with certain gifts. What determines our success in life oftentimes is how we develop those gifts to serve the needs of the world in which we live.

Barack Obama has a mellifluous speaking voice. And he can, on occasion, deliver an inspiring speech. His keynote address to the 2004 Democratic National Convention catapulted the charismatic Chicago politician to national fame. Had he not delivered that speech he would not have been in a position to run for — and win — the White House four years later.

And now, as president, he seems think that he can address the nation’s problems through such speeches. During the month of September, as a government shutdown loomed, instead of reaching out to — and meeting with — congressional leaders, he delivered a number of campaign-style speeches.  And now as his health care overhaul faces myriad glitches, he’s doing it again, as Reason’s Peter Suderman reports:

Three weeks after the deeply troubled launch of Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges, President Obama gave a speech responding to some of the problems that have plagued the government-run online enrollment system. The most revealing thing about it was what he didn’t say.

Obama was somewhat more blunt than he has been about the system’s failures. “There’s no sugarcoating it. The website has been too slow. People have getting stuck during the application process. And I think it’s fair to say that nobody’s more frustrated by that than I am,” he said. “There’s no excuse for the problems.”

No excuse—and no explanation either. Obama acknowledged some problems with the site. But he didn’t say why they happened, when they would be resolved, or what the administration’s specific plan was to get things working.

Read the whole thing.  H/t:  Powerline picks.  So convinced is the president with his rhetorical prowess that he doesn’t need explain, he just needs to talk.

No wonder, Allahpundit sees the speech as a means to buy ”time for website repairs and trying to combat ominous polls like this, which show the public’s perceptions of Healthcare.gov bleeding over into their perceptions of the ObamaCare program generally.”

A speech may buy the president time, but it won’t fix the program’s flaws  – nor will it contain its costs.

Obama expects Boehner to come up with solutions?

More to mock the Democrat than to praise him, my nephew shared this image team Obama is offering of Facebook:

Screen shot 2013-10-07 at 8.17.46 AM

And just what solutions to the impasse have you offered, Mr. President?

Remember what a certain politician said back in March 2009 about ending the pattern of looking for someone else to blame?

Evidence that Obama did not succeed in changing Washington

Barack Obama, March 2009:

And one of the things that I’m trying to break is a pattern in Washington where everybody is always looking for somebody else to blame. And I think Geithner is doing an outstanding job. I think that we have a big mess on our hands. It’s not going to be solved immediately, but it is going to get solved. And the key thing is for everybody just to stay focused on doing the job instead of trying to figure out who you can pass blame on to.

Barack Obama, October 2013:

Screen shot 2013-10-03 at 10.12.25 AM

SOMEWHAT RELATED: Michael Barone is also pointing the finger: Blame James Madison for the government shutdown. Well, I guess that gets Obama off the hook.

Compare and Contrast

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:08 am - October 3, 2013.
Filed under: Liberal Hypocrisy,Obama Watch

Headline on HotAir:

Obama: I think it’s fair to say that “I have bent over backwards to work with the Republican party” throughout my presidency

Headline on Yahoo!:

Screen shot 2013-10-02 at 11.40.15 PM

You would think someone bending over backward to work with the Republican Party would be willing to negotiate with its leaders on federal spending.

Golfing while a government shutdown looms

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:02 pm - September 29, 2013.
Filed under: 113th Congress,Media Bias,Obama Watch

While House Republicans have been burning the midnight oil trying to reach a compromise on the continuing resolution to keep the government funded, President Obama yesterday “went golfing for four hours at Fort Belvoir“.

Via Instapundit.

Do wonder how many news outlets (besides Pjmedia) are reporting this fact.

Making sense of Syria

Why would President Obama want to commit U.S. forces, basically to help al Qaeda (with the occasional cannibal among them) in a Syrian civil war? What is the compelling U.S. national interest?

I’ve noticed something odd in the administration’s arguments for attacking Syria. They emphasize that chemical weapons were used, but on the crucial dispute over “who did it”, they offer almost nothing beyond mere assertions. (One example here.) It’s almost as if the administration has not wanted people to stop and think about Syria.

I am still keeping an open mind, that the administration’s version of events in Syria could be true. But, for sake of argument, here are some articles giving reason to question it:

It may be worth considering “who benefits” from Obama attacking Syria. Reports say that Saudi Arabia backs the rebels (although I am not sure why they do, unless it’s part of their complicated dance with Russia over the future of OPEC and world energy). Wouldn’t it be ironic, if the Obama administration is acting at the Saudis’ behest?

But I must admit that Obama has finally done something right, in seeking Congress’ authorization to attack Syria.

I think it would be a great mistake for Congress, and especially for the GOP, to authorize in haste – before the many serious, open questions about Syria have been answered to the public’s satisfaction. I do not agree with Speaker Boehner, yet, on supporting a U.S. attack on Syria.

FROM THE COMMENTS: mixitup reminds us that, actually, Obama himself benefits from his attacking Syria. How? “Benghazi, IRS scandal, NSA scandal, gun running scandal [ed: Fast And Furious], unemployment, sad economy…are off the front pages…”

UPDATE: Michael Synder (the Economic Collapse Blog) suggests that the Syrian crisis could really be about which powers get to build pipelines where, to sell whose natural gas to Europe.

I rejected “pipeline thinking” in debates over the wars of a decade ago (Afghanistan, Iraq) – because U.S. security interests were a good-enough explanation for those wars. Again, Syria in 2013 is different. With U.S., NATO, Israeli and even Saudi security *not* obviously at stake in Syria, one may as well start wondering about other explanations for the crisis.

Roundup of some Syria news & opinion

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 11:35 am - August 29, 2013.
Filed under: National Security,Obama Watch,War On Terror

- President Obama has “concluded that the Syrian government in fact” carried out chemical weapon attacks.

- But the intelligence in favor of Obama’s conclusion is considered to be thin. Some agree that it was the Syrian Army, but not President Assad; perhaps a rogue commander.

- Obama is not waiting for the U.N. to agree on it, much less Congress. Why won’t he? UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon tells him to “give peace a chance”.

- Even if the Syrian government did carry out the attacks, Donald Rumsfeld points out that Obama has yet to justify attacking Syria, in terms of U.S. security interests.

- George Will, Obama is talking America into a war. Among many good points, Will notes a weird Obama quote to justify attacking Libya back in 2011: “It is our military that is being volunteered by others to carry out missions”. Umm…so the U.S. must fight whenever, and only when, mysterious “others” tell us? Also, wouldn’t that argument justify the Iraq war, too? Will proceeds to delve into Obama’s equally-tortured language on Syria; RTWT.

- Bruce McQuain makes an argument that Obama has already doomed his own Syria mission, with his wildly-flailing public build-up to it.

Bonus: Did you know that President Smart Power, per the New York Times, insulted Vladimir Putin as “looking like the bored kid in the back of the classroom”? (Via HotAir.) Item #35,221 for the “If Bush Did It, The NYT Would Make An International Crisis Of It” file.

UPDATE: Via ZH and Michael Krieger, here is Candidate Obama’s declaration in 2007:

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.

UPDATE: The UK pulls out. It looks like Obama must launch his unauthorized, highly questionable attack on Syria by himself.

Syria vs. Iraq

With the 2003 Iraq war, President Bush dealt with a widely-acknowledged threat to world peace, a dictator who had attacked no less than four of his neighbors (at different times, with one such war costing probably over a million lives), and who sheltered and supported various terrorists.

Bush had the participation of 40 other nations in a coalition. The move was authorized by an accumulation of 17 U.N. resolutions, which had effectively voided the dictator’s sovereignty and promised him action over his continued flouting of the U.N.

Most important, Bush’s move was authorized by Congress (as required by the U.S. Constitution) and as well, was supported by clear majorities of the American people at the time.

We can still argue (with hindsight) about the wisdom of the move, if its aftermath was planned right, etc. But the above were and are facts. Do any of them apply to what President Obama has done in Libya, or may be about to do in Syria?

Lefties bleated that Bush had plunged America into a unilateral, illegal/unauthorized “war of choice”. Their claims were wrong on the facts, but let’s set that aside. Has not their President Obama actually plunged America into one near-unilateral, unauthorized “war of choice” – and threatens now to do a second?

Today as yesterday, I’m a bit skeptical of the Obama administration’s version of events in Syria. Not because Syria has just accused Kerry of lying (and, sadly, both Assad and Kerry are known to lie about important matters). Not even because reports continue to suggest that Obama means to bypass Congress, as well as the U.N.

No, I’m still skeptical because of the slap-dash feeling to the public buildup of this crisis. Many of us have heard reports that the U.S. military has been building up to move against something/someone, for weeks if not months. I myself have a friend in the Army who was put on a rather mysterious regime of 80-hour work weeks, starting over two months ago. I thought maybe they were getting ready to deal with Iran’s nuclear program. And then suddenly, just in the last few days, Kerry is there to claim justification for some sort of military action on Syria, from a very recent chemical weapons attack which – while quite horrible and tragic – is still in active debate as to its authorship.

The Obama administration could be telling the truth, like I said yesterday, but… it still doesn’t smell right. The Iraq war build-up was relatively more ‘in the open’, the culmination of years of public debate about a long-term threat.

Obama ready to strike in Syria…against America’s will?

To borrow a few lines that Bruce re-tweeted, “I’m so old, I remember the press having a healthy skepticism for military involvement in the Middle East…I’m also glad we amended the constitution to exclude that congressional authorization for war…”

I’m so old, I remember that President Bush actually troubled himself to get approval from Congress for the Iraq War, including a majority of Senate Democrats. But President Obama, with Syria? I doubt he’ll try.

According to Reuters this weekend:

About 60 percent of Americans surveyed said the United States should not intervene in Syria’s civil war, while just 9 percent thought President Barack Obama should act. More Americans would back intervention if it is established that chemical weapons have been used, but even that support has dipped in recent days…

…just 27 percent said they supported his decision to send arms to some Syrian rebels; 47 percent were opposed…

About 11 percent said Obama should do more to intervene in Syria than sending arms to the rebels, while 89 percent said he should not help the rebels…

Obama is considering a range of options. The most popular option among Americans: not intervening in Syria at all. That option is backed by 37 percent of Americans…

If “Obama” (was Reuters disrespectful for calling him that?) intervenes in Syria, he will be doing it without the support of the American people.

There may be no good options in Syria. Just to review: An Iranian-backed dictatorship is fighting rebels who are, basically, al Qaeda. We have claims that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons; and counter-claims that it was the rebels, running a vicious false flag operation.

UPDATE: Kerry says it was the Syrian government. I must be frank: Hearing it from Kerry makes me a little more skeptical than I was before. The man has been a gigantic, shameless liar on public issues ever since he slandered a generation of veterans in testimony before Congress, in 1971.

I realize that Kerry is backed up, in this instance, by hundreds of functionaries in the Obama administration, and that makes deception less likely (or harder to pull off). But not impossible; and because of Benghazi among other scandals, we know that the Obama administration can be untruthful on foreign policy. They may be telling a true story this time; but skepticism is not wholly unwarranted, and should not be faulted automatically.

If President Obama wanted trust to come forth in a more automatic fashion, then he should have (1) not let his administration mislead the American people on Benghazi, and (2) not chosen a figure known for his decades of lying, as Secretary of State. Having said that, could the administration’s version of events be true? I’m keeping an open mind. Kerry has promised more evidence in days to come; we’ll see.

What ARE the aims of Obama’s foreign policy?

Victor Davis Hanson published a memorable piece in the National Review last week entitled “America as Pill Bug.”  The pill bug or the roly-poly bug is one that turns itself into a ball when it feels threatened.  Hanson writes:

That roly-poly bug can serve as a fair symbol of present-day U.S. foreign policy, especially in our understandable weariness over Iraq, Afghanistan, and the scandals that are overwhelming the Obama administration.

On August 4, U.S. embassies across the Middle East simply closed on the basis of intelligence reports of planned al-Qaeda violence. The shutdown of 21 diplomatic facilities was the most extensive in recent American history.

Yet we still have over a month to go before the twelfth anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2001, an iconic date for radical Islamists.

Such preemptive measures are no doubt sober and judicious. Yet if we shut down our entire public profile in the Middle East on the threat of terrorism, what will we do when more anti-American violence arises? Should we close more embassies for more days, or return home altogether?

Hanson makes an excellent point about the way the Obama administration’s closure of embassies is likely to be viewed in the Arab world and around the globe.  Although, as Jeff pointed out in a post last week, the administration may have ulterior motives–by trying to create a distraction–by closing the embassies in this manner, the reality is that the interpretation of the administration’s actions by our international foes is likely to proceed in a manner similar to that Hanson envisions in his article.

Hanson looks at the example of Libya and Syria to illustrate that the administration’s “lead from behind” strategy is not working, and that it appears to be counterproductive:

Instead, the terrorists are getting their second wind, as they interpret our loud magnanimity as weakness — or, more likely, simple confusion. They increasingly do not seem to fear U.S. retaliation for any planned assaults. Instead, al-Qaeda franchises expect Americans to adopt their new pill-bug mode of curling up until danger passes.

Our enemies have grounds for such cockiness. President Obama promised swift punishment for those who attacked U.S. installations in Benghazi and killed four Americans. So far the killers roam free. Rumors abound that they have been seen publicly in Libya.

Instead of blaming radical Islamist killers for that attack, the Obama reelection campaign team fobbed the assault off as the reaction to a supposedly right-wing, Islamophobic videomaker. That yarn was untrue and was greeted as politically correct appeasement in the Middle East.

All these Libyan developments took place against a backdrop of “lead from behind.” Was it wise for American officials to brag that the world’s largest military had taken a subordinate role in removing Moammar Qaddafi — in a military operation contingent on approval from the United Nations and the Arab League but not the U.S. Congress?

No one knows what to do about the mess in Syria. But when you do not know what to do, it is imprudent to periodically lay down “red lines.” Yet the administration has done just that to the Bashar al-Assad regime over the last two years.

Hanson sees the Obama administration’s foreign policy as a disastrous replay of the Carter doctrine, once again illustrating Glenn Reynolds’ frequent observation that a replay of Jimmy Carter is simply the “best-case scenario” for Obama.

While I believe Hanson is right in his characterization of the big picture and the likely consequences of Obama foreign policy, I’d differ from him in seeing Obama as being as feckless and weak as Carter.  I’d maintain that Carter’s foreign policy was guided by a number of naive precepts about the nature of the world.  At least during the years of his presidency, I’d contend that Carter “meant well” in the way the phrase is commonly used to describe a hopelessly incompetent bumbler who seems incapable of recognizing his own shortcomings.  Likewise, early in the Obama administration, Tammy Bruce started referring to Obama as Urkel, the nerdy, awkward, inept kid from the TV show “Family Matters” who had an uncanny ability to mess up almost everything he touched.  That certainly is one narrative for what Obama is doing in the world of foreign policy, but I’m not sure it is the right one.

As I contemplate Obama foreign policy, though, particularly in the Middle East, I find myself thinking more and more that although incompetence might be the simplest explanation, it might not be the best or the right one.  I see no good intentions in the administration’s domestic policy, so why should its foreign policy be exempt from charges that it is motivated more by malevolence to the United States and its role in history than by a supposed set of “liberal” ideals?

This is an administration that seems bent on alienating all of our historical allies as quickly as possible, while taking it easy on our geopolitical foes.  Obama seems to want our allies to view us as unreliable and untrustworthy while making sure our enemies view us as weak, indecisive, and either unable or unwilling to use force to protect our interests or to enforce our stated policy goals.  If there is a better explanation of the administration’s ultimate foreign policy goals, I’d sure like to know what it might be.

 

Egyptians…not loving Obama so much?

In case you haven’t seen this already on The Gateway Pundit:

YouTube Preview Image

Some Zimmerman links

Recent-ish, and I found them worthwhile:

  • Shelby Steele on The Decline of the Civil Rights Establishment. “The purpose of today’s civil-rights establishment is not to seek justice, but to seek power…based on the presumption that [blacks] are still…victimized…This idea of victimization is an example of what I call a ‘poetic truth.’ Like poetic license, it bends the actual truth…[listeners] say, ‘Yes, of course,’ lest we seem to be racist…this establishment is fighting to maintain its authority to wield poetic truth…One wants to scream at all those outraged at the Zimmerman verdict: Where is your outrage over the collapse of the black family?” – Read the whole thing.

  • A good piece from Cathy Young reviewing the depth of the Established media’s malpractice in this case, and one from Bill Whittle expressing his outrage over that malpractice.

  • Now old, but: Video of the jury reading the Not Guilty verdict. (Just to see the moment. And sorry, but there is no honest way to force Zimmerman into a ‘white’ identity; by conventional standards, he seems clearly a Latino / person of color.)

BONUS (from Kurt in the comments): Bryan Preston critiques how Obama has cast his lot with the race-baiters. “In Florida, blacks benefit from ‘stand your ground’ laws more often than whites do…[and] the president went on to acknowledge that…’stand your ground’ was not invoked in Zimmerman’s defense, [but said] we should re-examine such laws anyway. Logically, why?”

UPDATE: Zimmerman helps people, despite the nasty death threats that Trayvon Martin supporters have inflicted not only on him, but even on strangers who (say) happen to have a phone number similar to his.

Obama: Racial Divider

I’ve avoided weighing in on the George Zimmerman trial, out of deference to the judicial process. But now the jury has spoken: George Zimmerman is not even guilty of a lesser charge such as assault, child abuse or manslaughter; still less is he guilty of any degree of murder. It’s official.

My sympathy, and I’m sure all of our prayers and sympathies, continue to go out to Trayvon Martin’s family for the tragic loss of their son and brother.

But I believe they “lost him”, so to speak, before his lethal encounter with Zimmerman. On the total weight of evidence, I believe that Martin was an aggressor, and I agree with the jury that it would have been wrong to send Zimmerman to prison, on the strong possibility (if not likelihood) that Zimmerman acted in reasonable self-defense.

I want to go beyond what Kurt and Roger L. Simon have said about President Obama. He didn’t just besmirch his office by taking public sides in a painful criminal matter where the utmost caution was needed. And he didn’t just lose politically (by taking the side that lost on trial), nor win politically (by revving up his base). No, it’s worse than that. Obama has lost morally by saying things in this matter that, in all likelihood, are morally wrong.

The latest would be Obama’s call to “honor” Travyon Martin:

President Obama called on the nation to honor Trayvon Martin a day after George Zimmerman was acquitted of his murder by asking “ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence.”

…Obama said in a statement on Sunday…”We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis. We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that’s a job for all of us. That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin.”

Let’s be clear. Just as the weight of evidence suggests that Zimmerman acted in self-defense, so it also suggests that Travyon Martin used excessive physical force, acting in illegal, criminal aggression. (Otherwise, how could Zimmerman’s action have been self-defense – objectively?)

Physical aggression, especially that which threatens another’s life to the point where he may be justified in taking drastic action, is morally wrong. And self-defense, IF it is genuinely called for, is morally right. And “honor” ought to be given, if at all, to the person, philosophy or action which is in the right.

I really don’t believe that either party should be “honored” here. But, if one of them absolutely had to be, wouldn’t it be Zimmerman? Certainly not because he killed; but because he was – on the weight of the evidence, and as now officially determined by a jury – likely reasonable to have killed, under the law and circumstances; likely the party who was more in the right.

That President O’Pander ignores the moral implications of what the jury found (after their intensive study of the matter), and even presents the opposite to people as that which is good and true, is typical.

Tragically, it is also divisive beyond words, a terrible injury to our nation. Why? Because it sends many people in the wrong direction – with their emotions and their sense of injury inflamed, on behalf of that which is likely wrong. Honoring the wrong does not bring healing – especially in racial matters.

When Obama loses even the Germans…

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 8:57 pm - July 7, 2013.
Filed under: Democratic Scandals,Obama Watch

…this is what it looks like:

Protestor signs say that Obama is Stasi 2.0

Via Zero Hedge.