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For Obama to be truly magnanimous. . .

. . .  he needs not merely meet with his erstwhile opponent for the White House and negotiate in good faith with Republican legislators, he also needs acknowledge the sincerity ofRepublican concerns and appreciate that over 49% of Americans who voted in the presidential contest had legitimate reasons for voting against him.

And by acknowledge of Republican concerns, he needs express his understanding of why Republicans fear tax hikes, even if just on the “wealthy,” might dampen the sluggish recovery.  And if he is going to insist on this tax hike, he needs counter their argument in civil terms.

Barack Obama’s Mock Magnanimity

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:18 pm - December 1, 2012.
Filed under: Obama Indoctrination,Obama Watch,Strong Women

Or maybe it’s just (the appearance of) government by photo-op.

Athena explains:

The president’s inviting Mitt Romney for lunch is a small thing but a brilliant move. It makes Mr. Obama look big, gracious. It implies the weakened, battered former GOP nominee is the leader of the Republican Party—and if the other party has to have a leader, the weakened, battered one is the one you want.

Mr. Romney is not the leader of the party; he left no footprints in the sand. . . . .

To the extent the GOP has an elected face, it is that of Speaker John Boehner. And he is precisely the man with whom Mr. Obama should be having friendly lunches. In fact, the meal with Mitt just may be a clever attempt to obscure the fact that the president isn’t really meeting with those with whom he’s supposed to be thrashing out the fiscal cliff.

It’s Peggy.  Read the whole thing.

Obama’s Message: Is that all it is?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:07 am - November 17, 2012.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,Obama Watch

Just caught this in an e-mail from the Obama-friendly New Republic:

Really doesn’t seem he talks about much else.

Obama, unions vow battle against Republicans

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 9:54 pm - November 13, 2012.
Filed under: Chicago Politics,Obama Watch

Sounds like a real commitment to bipartisanship:

Labor union leaders emerged from talks with President Barack Obama on Tuesday vowing a side-by-side battle against Republicans to bring about higher taxes on the wealthy as part of an effort to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.

Seems like for this president it’s always about doing partisan battle.

Romney & Ryan talk about the economy
Obama & Co BS about Big Birds, binders & a TV actress’s first time

Yesterday, the Obama campaign release a “creepy” ad where some tattooed actress compared voting for Obama to having sex.  Today, Mitt Romney is giving a speech on the economy in Ames, Iowa.  This follows Paul Ryan’s “serious and substantive speech at Cleveland University” on Wednesday.

I’m with Ace on this one; it’s neither funny nor cute, nor persuasive, “unless you think the important issues in this campaign are Binders Full of Birth Control“:

It underlines the essential triviality of Obama and his Government Client & Upper Upper Class White Voter agenda. There is nothing to his campaign except very small social-progressive appeals to people who are simply not affected by the economy, whether they are too poor to notice a bad economy, immunized from the economy by being a government worker, or so rich they have nothing at all to fear from a bad economy.

Conservatives are having a field day mocking this bizarre ad as they, are having a field day mocking another juvenile Obama utterance, as Ed Driscoll deadpans on Instapundit, “SHOVEL-READY JOB: Conservatives hijack president’s ‘bullshitter’ remark via #bullshitter Twitter hashtag.”

Sister Toldjah finds the juvenile remark telling:

You know what? I know a POTUS has to deal with a lot of stress and has to blow off steam, and sometimes cursing is a part of that, but – dang it – Presidents are role models for kids and language like this should be left behind closed doors.   It’d be one thing if this was an unintentional hot mic moment or if he were speaking out of frustration and in the heat of the moment cursed, but it’s not. He said this knowing it had the potential for being published, knowing that teenagers read this unabashedly left wing magazine. (more…)

Can Mr. Obama campaign without name-calling?

Earlier today, I linked a Yahoo! piece noting the increasingly snarky tone of the president’s campaign and observing how most incumbent presidents leave the personal attacks to their surrogates.

Unbeknownst to me then, the story of the president’s very unpresidential would only get bigger today.  Now, comes word that Mr. Obama described his opponent as, well, here’s the quote:  [LANGUAGE WARNING after the "more" link] (more…)

The Blood of Stevens, Smith, Doherty and Woods Is On Obama

-Bruce (@GayPatriot)

Where’s the transparency?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:18 pm - September 28, 2012.
Filed under: Media Bias,Obama Incompetence,Obama Watch

On his first full day in office,” report Bloomberg’s Jim Snyder and Danielle Ivory, “President Barack Obama ordered federal officials to “usher in a new era of open government” and “act promptly” to make information public.”

Yet, their article headlines that his cabinet has flunked this test with 19 of 20 ignoring the law:

Nineteen of 20 cabinet-level agencies disobeyed the law requiring the disclosure of public information: The cost of travel by top officials. In all, just eight of the 57 federal agencies met Bloomberg’s request for those documents within the 20-day window required by the Act.

“When it comes to implementation of Obama’s wonderful transparency policy goals, especially FOIA policy in particular, there has been far more ‘talk the talk’ rather than ‘walk the walk,’” said Daniel Metcalfe, director of the Department of Justice’s office monitoring the government’s compliance with FOIA requests from 1981 to 2007. (more…)

Obama didn’t give up golf to spend time with his children on Father’s Day (when he played his 100th round of golf as president)

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 8:36 pm - September 2, 2012.
Filed under: Liberal Hypocrisy,Obama Watch

Just nine months into the Obama presidency“, wrote Dan Spencer on RedState on June 17th

the New York Post reported that Obama surpassed former President George W. Bush on the number of days spent on the golf course when Obama played a round of golf for the 24th time in his presidency — a milestone it took Bush almost three years to reach.

On that same day, CBS News reported

President Obama spent about 4 hours on Father’s Day playing a round of golf at the Beverly Country Club with two old friends and an aide. It was his 100th round of golf since taking office.

(Emphasis added) Father’s Day?  Father’s Day?  You’d think a man who uses his children as an excuse for not doing his job would spend Father’s Day with them:

President Barack Obama dismissed criticism he doesn’t spend enough time developing relationships with Washington deal-makers who can help push his agenda forward.

In an exclusive interview with CNN chief White House correspondent Jessica Yellin, Obama said he is determined to make time for his family.

“Sometimes Michelle and I not doing the circuit and going out to dinners with folks is perceived as us being cool,” Obama said. “It actually really has more to do with us being parents.”

UPDATE/CLARIFICATION: The purpose of this post is not to suggest that Obama is a bad father, rather, as per one of the categories in which I included it (“Liberal Hypocrisy”) that he’s a hypocrite.   I agree with U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) said that Republicans’ problem with President Obama was “isn’t that he’s a bad person. By all accounts, he too is a good husband, and a good father — and thanks to lots of practice, a pretty good golfer.

By all accounts, he does seem to be a good father.

Like many parents with time-consuming jobs, he could have made choices.  Given the time he devotes to his children, he would have to give up some of his recreation, like golf.  He could have used that time to do the schmoozing essential to his job.

How many parents give up going to the movies so they can do their jobs and spend time with their children.

I apologize for any misunderstanding this post crafted in haste may have caused.

Why Obama should be okay with eating at Chick-fil-A:
Devout Christian Owner “Didn’t Build That” Enterprise

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 7:41 pm - July 26, 2012.
Filed under: Entrepreneurs,Gay Marriage,Obama Watch

Although President Obama’s current claim to support gay marriage puts him at odds with Chick-fil-A President Dan T. Cathy, a devout Christian who supports the traditional definition of marriage, the Democrat shouldn’t have any problem enjoying a chicken dinner at one of Mr. Cathy’s franchises.  After all, the socially conservative entrepreneur didn’t build that enterprise.  Somebody else made that happen.

President Obama’s Hollywood Mentality

Anyone who has spent time about Hollywood wannabes (and yes, I once was just such a wannabe) knows that talent, hard work and determination do not necessarily yield success in this town.

Here, you see people work hard, hone their craft, invest their own money and receive little return.  They may audition for countess roles and never get cast.  They may write, rewrite and re-rewrite scripts only have production companies reject them having only read the log-line or the first few pages.  They may raise their own funds and devote their own time to producing a movie, only to see it languish it film festivals — and never get a distribution deal.

And then you’ll see someone else, knowing the right people (or knowing the people who know the right people) or having the look — or the story — they’re looking for, move to town and find success in a matter of moments.  It may not seem fair, but that’s just the way it is in a competitive business.  Hard work here does not necessarily yield reward.

Perhaps, President Obama was thinking of the way things work in this part of the world when he remarked last Friday in Roanoke, Virginia that “there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there”:

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.

He’s right that every successful person received help along the way.  There’s a reason the ancient Greeks honored Athena — and depicted her helping their heroes.  They knew a man often required the assistance of others to accomplish his goals.

He is, however, wrong about who made things “happen.”  Although most entrepreneurs received assistance as they built their enterprises, they did indeed build them.  No one makes it own their own, that is, without the support of others.  (And more often that support comes from the private sector, a venture capitalist, an encouraging friend or family member, a devoted mentor.)

In the end though, it is, by and large, an individual’s grit and determination which account for his success.

Far too often, in the entertainment industry, however, hard work alone often yields little reward.  Such is the nature of a highly competitive field. (more…)

What are Obama’s plans to address today’s economic mess?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:57 pm - July 2, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,Economy,Obama Watch

Last Thursday, I wondered whether the president “ever cites specific Bush policies when he laments all the problems he inherited from his predecessor.

In the comments, none of our critics answered the challenge implicit in that statement of wonder.  They did not  point to specific speeches by the incumbent president where he made reference to specific Bush era policies.  They did, to be sure, cite one particular policy, the Bush tax cuts, a policy which President Obama chose to continue when he signed a law in December 2010 to keep the Bush tax rates in place for two more years.

So, they’ve got Obama blaming Bush for creating an economic mess with a policy the Democrat chose to continue.

One critic did lament that “it was going to take a looooong time to dig out of this and 4 years probably weren’t going to be enough.”  And this got me wondering, what specific plans does Obama have to dig us out of the mess that Bush supposedly created?

And how, should he win reelection, could he get a Republican House to act on those plans?  And how do they differ from those policies which were adopted in the first two years of his term?

What Specific Bush Policies Created the Mess Obama “Inherited”

After the market meltdown in September 2008, most Democrats (as well as their allies in the legacy media) pointed, in the most general terms, to Bush-era “deregulation” as the cause of the crisis. They did, to be sure, often have trouble identifying specific regulations the then-president lifted–or laws and regulations that Republican Congresses had repealed while W served as the nation’s chief executive.

Indeed, three years ago, I reminded our readers that

Even Obama-supporting columnist Sebastian Mallaby wrote, during last fall’s campaign, that the “claim that the financial crisis reflects Bush-McCain deregulation is not only nonsense. It is the sort of nonsense that could matter.

Last night, as I was reading Karl’s post how how extremism is “not just a GOP P.O.V“, a similar thought about Obama’s rhetoric came to mind.  Just as he and his allies blamed deregulation in the abstract in 2008, now, they’re blaming Bush policies in the abstract for the crisis which Republicans believe to be the collapse of the welfare state model.  ”In the Obama version”, David Brooks writes, “the welfare-state model was serving America well until it was distorted a decade ago by a Republican Party intent on serving the rich and shortchanging the middle class.”  (H/t: Karl who excerpted it.)

And just how, Mr. President, did George W. Bush and his Republican minions distort that model?  What specific policies did they implement which shortchanged the middle class?

Am wondering if Mr. Obama ever cites specific Bush policies when he laments all the problems he inherited from his predecessor.  And, no, whining about tax cuts for the wealthy doesn’t count (particularly since Mr. Obama chose to extend the Bush-era tax rates–and the Bush cuts didn’t just go to the wealthy).

Tax cuts don’t cause market meltdowns.

FROM THE COMMENTS:  Our critic Levi helps make my point:

Bush is responsible in that there was no atmosphere of regulation from the federal government, so all these financial entities went berserk. Additionally, the tax cuts that Bush passed freed up a lot of rich people’s money, which directly lead to more severe inflation of the housing bubble and made the impact when things burst that much more dramatic. It definitely has to do with some policies that Bush enacted, but it’s his responsibility mostly on the basis of his inaction.

No atmosphere of regulation?  What does that mean.  And note that the only specific Bush policy he cites is one that Obama chose to continue.

The continued politicization of presidential biographies*

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:09 am - June 15, 2012.
Filed under: Obama Arrogance,Obama Watch

Last month, we joined other conservative blogs in reporting how the Obama White House had inserted the incumbent president into the biographies of his predecessors on the White House web-site.

Well, it seems the White House has responded to the outcry.  Over at Reason, Scott Shackford thought the White House had removed the bullet points “promoting Obama’s accomplishments at the bottom of the biographies of other presidents, Democrat and Republican alike.”

But, it turns out, as he soon learned that the Democrat’s web team just reformatted the web-pages:  ”The Obama infoboxes are still there, but they appear to have been redesigned to look less like part of the other presidents’ biographies.”  Seems the redesign was in response to the outcry.

Amazing.  They respond to the outcry, but just can’t remove the talking points.  They just have to politicize everything.*on the White House web-site.

(Via the Anchoress on Facebook.)

*on White House web-page.

The stories Barack Obama invents to define himself*

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:58 pm - May 3, 2012.
Filed under: Obama Arrogance,Obama Watch

Why,” asks the Telegraph’s Tim Stanley writing about the excerpt in Vanity Fair from David Maraniss’s soon-to-be released biography of Barack Obama,

. . . didn’t we know all these details four years ago – even though some of them were published in a best-selling autobiography that was sold to us as if it was a fifth gospel? And yet we knew everything there was to know about Sarah Palin, despite the fact that she was in the race for a much shorter space of time than Obama – and only running for veep.

Via Powerline Picks where John Hinderaker, who has read a good chunk of the excerpt, highlights an event that Obama apparently manufactured for his memoirDreams From My Father. Genevieve Cook, a woman he once dated in New York, says he never took her to the theater despite Obama’s claim that he had taken a girlfriend in New York to the show:

No such play, no such dialogue. Maraniss charitably supposes that the event involved a different, later girlfriend in Chicago who was part of the “composite” girlfriend character. But Obama places the play in New York, not Chicago. My guess is that the incident never happened at all: one nice thing about fictionalizing an autobiography and including fake characters is that it gives you license to include events that didn’t happen but, from an artistic standpoint, should have.

When people who read my novel asked if it were autobiographical, I quipped that I changed the facts to make the truth more manifest, but I made clear that I was writing a novel.  I made clear I wasn’t telling the story of my life. By calling his a memoir, Obama indicates that he is telling the story of his.

There is a real question here not just about the misrepresentation, but also about the stories Obama chooses to tell (and apparently invents) to define who he is.

*NB:  Changed the title to more accurately reflect the meaning of the post.

And this story then deserves far greater consideration than inquires into Mitt Romney’s mode of transporting his pet in the early 1980s.  And Ann Romney’s wardrobe.  More on this anon.

UPDATE:  ”The composite girlfriend“, writes James Taranto, (more…)

“Back faster than you can say furious”

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:35 pm - April 9, 2012.
Filed under: Obama Watch

A journalist committed to “accountability journalism” would ask the Attorney General about this video:

Via GatewayPundit and Instapundit.

Obama may like winning, but he doesn’t seem to like governing

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:06 am - April 2, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,Obama Watch,Strong Women

Readers of this blog are well aware of the high regard in which I hold Peggy Noonan, having dubbed her the Athena of punditry in 2005.  She lost a lot of favor with conservatives at the tail-end of the 2008 presidential campaign when she commented favorably on the Democratic nominee for president and his campaign.

Her hope for ability to unite the nation and transform its politics has changed.  She has long since soured on the Democrat, having castigated him earlier this year for (and again on Friday) for his policies mandating “that agencies of the Catholic Church would have to provide birth-control services the church finds morally repugnant.

In that same piece, she questioned whether the president has a relationship with the American people:

A president only gets a year or two to forge real bonds with the American people. In that time a crucial thing he must establish is that what is on his mind is what is on their mind. This is especially true during a crisis.

From the day Mr. Obama was sworn in, what was on the mind of the American people was financial calamity—unemployment, declining home values, foreclosures.

As the American people were thinking about such things, the Democrat’s mind was elsewhere:  ”on health care.”

Read the whole thing and note especially the “entirely abstract sense of America” held by what she dubs the incumbent’s “hermetically sealed inner circle”.

And she offers the defining irony (perhaps) the president’s most intense reelection campaign:  Obama “is said by all who know him to be deeply competitive, but . . . doesn’t seem to like his job that much.”  He wants to win for the sake of winning — and not for the job that comes with the laurels*.  No wonder he’s been holding so many fundraisers.  (And still has “has less cash on hand in his re-election bid than [did] his predecessor.)

* (more…)

The Democrats’ War on Religion?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:41 pm - March 10, 2012.
Filed under: Obama Watch,Random Thoughts,Religion (General)

He gets Catholics upset. Now, we learn this (check out the last headline):

Must be part of the Democrats’ plan.

Is Newt right?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:36 pm - February 22, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,Obama Watch

Glenn linked this yesterday; it does show the former Speaker, rhetorically at least, at the top of his game. He makes his point clearly, but does it hold water?

A payroll tax cut we didn’t pay for

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:18 am - February 16, 2012.
Filed under: National Politics,Obama Watch

Perhaps the greatest irony of the tension between congressional Republicans, who want to hold the line on federal spending and the growth of government, and President Obama, who has ratcheted up federal spending and spurred the growth of the federal leviathan, is that he has outmaneuvered them on a plan to reduce the flow of revenue to Washington:

A payroll tax cut for 160 million Americans, set to expire at the end of this month, would be extended through December under a bipartisan deal announced early on Thursday by U.S. congressional leaders.

The accord would also renew expiring jobless benefits for millions of others and prevent a pay cut for doctors of elderly Medicare patients.

The comprehensive agreement represents a victory for President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats in Congress, and allows Republicans to put behind them a tax debate that threatened to hurt them in the November elections.

Seems the Democrat learned well from Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.  Tax cuts are good for the economy and popular with voters.

The president, however, hasn’t indicated how he plans to compensate for the funds that will no longer flow to Social Security.  ”The payroll tax,” as Mario Loyola reminds us, “is a uniform (non-progressive) tax invented as a way for all American workers to pay into the Social Security and Medicare benefits that virtually all of them will be eligible for when they retire.”  And we learned this week that Social Security Is Failing Even Faster Than We Thought. (more…)