Obama Takedown of the Day

From Paul Rahe:

With regard to domestic affairs, he seems not to have recognized that, under our Constitution, it is the President of the United States who represents the national interest; that Congressmen more often than not cater to particular interests; that, if legislation is left to the latter, principle tends to give way to patronage; and that the result can be a profound embarrassment. And so he stood idly by while Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and the like drafted legislation – a so-called “stimulus bill” and healthcare reform, each more than a thousand pages in length, each embodying a multitude of corrupt bargains, each threatening to bankrupt the country. And, like a political hack, faithful to his party to the bitter end, he promoted and signed their handiwork.

All of this was obvious long ago, and it was evident as well that, if there were a real crisis, he would check out. This is what he did when Major Nidal Malik Hassan gunned down thirteen Americans at Fort Hood. This is what he did when Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab nearly brought down a jetliner at Christmas time. And this is what he did when Faisal Shahzad was found to have planted a bomb in Times Square. All three cases revealed an egregious failure of our intelligence apparatus. In all three cases, the danger had its source in developments within Islam And, in the face of all of this, the President of the United States signaled that he could hardly bear to take a few minutes off from his vacation at the beach in Hawaii, cancel a party or two, or give up his golf game to acknowledge and address the failures of his administration, and at no time has he been willing to level with us about the source of our peril.

And why Obama CAN be held accountable for the oil spill:

The oil spill that began in the Gulf of Mexico on 20 April is the latest example. Some say that President Obama is no more responsible for the spill than President Bush was for Hurricane Katrina. This claim is, in fact, untrue. Bush had nothing to do with Katrina. Barack Obama, as President, was responsible for insuring that the regulatory agencies overseeing the drilling operations did their job properly. While campaigning for the presidency, he charged that the Bush administration had, in effect, allowed the oil industry to regulate itself, and he promised that, if he were elected, he would set things right. During that campaign, he took a wad of cash from folks at BP (more than they had ever given any other candidate); and, when the time came to reform the Minerals Management Service, as Tim Dickinson has shown in fine detail in the latest issue of Rolling Stone, the new administration’s appointees did nothing of the sort.

Posted under OBAMA WATCH

This post was written by bobsikes on July 1, 2010

POLITICS: Victor Davis Hanson takes down The Rolling Stone and McChrystal

You really can’t do much better than this:

In short, each gamer and conniver did not quite get out of this sordid episode what they had hoped: Instead of Bruce Lee with four stars surrounded by a brilliant but misunderstood Lawrence of Arabia staff, we get a near insubordinate general desperate for his supposedly unique “story” to get out, surrounded by a crowd of well-meaning groupies — all to be exposed by a duplicitous Hunter Thompson wannabe who now finally “makes it” with the scalp of a four-star — all against the backdrop of an anti-military tabloid that can’t quite believe its good fortunate that its intended victim gladly put his head in their noose, and all for their ultimate aim of getting the U.S. out of Afghanistan in defeat and shame.

As my other grandfather, the old Swedish horse-breaker, used to say, “What a bunch.”

I’m changing my mind on all this as it’s become clear that McChrystal had to go and the President correctly accepted his resignation. And in it all Obama may have gotten the first real break of his presidency by having a David Petreaus available to pull his chestnuts out of the fire both politically and militarily.

Yet the Obama foreign policy in the end will not be able to resolve itself in the event Israel has to be defended in any way. If Israel gets into a war with an Iranian, Syrian and Turkish backed Hezbollah and the Jewish state is not backed by Obama it has the potential to make our efforts in both Afghanistan – and Iraq for that matter – to be one big catastrophic “why bother.”


This post was written by bobsikes on June 27, 2010

OBAMA WATCH: Kagen’s not to be asked questsions?

From Jennifer Rubin:

Two law professors say the Senate should take their word on Elena Kagan not being a boffo judge and forget about asking all those pesky questions: “We believe that she will take seriously the obligation to make fair and impartial decisions based on the briefs and arguments presented in the cases before her. Senators should not ask her to articulate her positions on legal issues in advance of her deciding cases. If they ask, she should decline to do so. That action would demonstrate, more than any pledge, that she understands what it means to be a judge.”

Rubin, a lawyer, didn’t say, “yeah, right,” but I sure this is what she meant. So two of Kagen’s law professor colleagues are essentially saying, “trust us.” Recall George Bush nominee Harriet Miers, whom was advanced by Bush similarly before Miers stepped aside. The later’s name and example are likely to be brought at at some point.

What the law professors are saying is that Kagen’s not to be asked questions. I wonder if that means she cannot be asked to clarify such issues as her decicion to bar ROTC recruiters from Harvard or her decision to drop Constitutional Law from the school’s curriculum. Her statement’s have lead one to believe that she favors the consideration of foreign law in cases. Can she be asked about that? As she has no judicial rulings to sift through, there’s nothing left if she cannot be asked philosophical questions.

Color me incredulous, but not fooled by the good professors’ intentions. It’s a political signal from the left for Senate Democrats and pundits. They see the difficulty the Kagen nomination may be for their interests and attempting to give Kagen some ammunition when facing questions from Senate Republicans.

Senate Republicans have cleverly held fire and has allowed the punditry build opposition to Kagen for them. That will change this week.

Two Democrats will be worth watching. Russ Fiengold of Michigan, already known as an independent thinker, faces a tough reelection this fall. While he share’s Kagen’s liberalism, he may be forced to make a political calculation. And then there’s Arlen Specter, departing in January after his primary defeat. He has nothing to lose and everything to gain. Nonetheless, few people will expect him to take a principled stance and in the end will do what best serves his personal interest.

The Gulf crisis and Afghanistan have driven news this week. The media can multi-task and will add Kagen’s hearings this week. Will Republicans on the Judiciary Committee look to let the President and his party know that an ideologue like Kagen does not belong on the top court? It’s unlikely that Kagen will not get through the committee, but will she get all the GOP votes? And if she does not, is there a chance for a filibuster?

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This post was written by bobsikes on June 27, 2010

OBAMA WATCH: The Gathering Storm of the Kagen nomination

The Washington Times:

Solicitor General Elena Kagan is too political, too leftist, too inexperienced and too disrespectful towards existing law to be confirmed for the U.S. Supreme Court. As Ms. Kagan’s nomination hearings begin on Monday, what we now know about her should disturb fair-minded Americans, and should embolden moderate senators of both parties to avoid rubber-stamping her for a lifetime appointment. The pressure should be most intense not on Republicans, but on Democrats who claim moderation and yet try to explain away Ms. Kagan’s history of leftist proselytizing.

From Robert Bork:

“Ms. Kagan has not had time to develop a mature philosophy of judging,” said Bork, adding that the former Harvard dean’s tenure in academia did not offer her the experience necessary to serve on the high court.
“The academic world is not a place in which you learn prudence and caution, and other virtues of a judge, and she has not had experience anywhere else that I know of,” Bork said.

Ron Bonjean:

Writing for the Daily Princetonian, Kagan wrote about “real Democrats” who are “committed to liberal principles and motivated by the ideal of an affirmative and compassionate government.” She added: “Where I grew up–on Manhattan’s Upper West Side–nobody ever admitted to voting Republican. The real contests for Congress and the state legislatures occurred in early September, when the Democratic primary was held. And the people who won those races and who then took the November elections with some 80 per cent of the vote were real Democrats–not the closet Republicans that one sees so often these days but men and women committed to liberal principles and motivated by the ideal of an affirmative and compassionate government.”

Judge Bork’s takes will be mocked and dismissed out of hand by Democrats, but the Times op-ed reveals eight significant points of serious concern. Justice Sotomayor provided two to three sketchy issues for Senators to poke at. Kagen will be opposed on grounds far more significant and demonstrable.

Hearings begin Monday and all of Kagen’s Clinton era documents have not yet been released. Some sort of hold-up could occur this weekend. But as Kagen’s astonishing lack of experience and leftist ideological stands become more public, political pressure on Senate Democrats will increase. Do they want to go to the mat for Obama this close to the November elections?

Aside from Kagen’s thin resume and troubling legal and academic record, Republicans have additional ammunition as support for her nomination has dropped ten points since May. The man that Democrats continue to loathe and hold as a standard in Robert Bork could become relevant again if Kagen’s hearings begin to remind observers of his.


This post was written by bobsikes on June 25, 2010

OBAMA WATCH: A tragic figure from Greek mythology

From Victor Davis Hanson:

The reality of Barack Obama is that he was an inexperienced community organizer with an undistinguished record as a Senate newcomer. A perfect storm of popular anger at eight years of George Bush, a lackluster John McCain campaign, Obama’s landmark candidacy as an African-American, a disingenuous campaign promising centrist and bipartisan governance, and the financial meltdown in 2008 got the relatively untried and unknown Obama elected.

Most mortals in Obama’s position would have treaded lightly. They would have kept promises, steered a moderate course and listened more than lectured until they won over the public with concrete achievement.

But headstrong tragic figures do not do that. They neither welcome in critics nor would listen to them if they did. They impute their unforeseen temporary success to their own brilliance — and expect it to continue forever. So would-be gods set themselves up for a fall far harder than what happens to the rest of us.

That’s about where we are now, with our president playing a character right out of Greek tragedy, who, true to form, is railing about the unfairness of it all.

Obama would have been ok with all the platitudes if he had actually been the centrist, bi-partisan healer he ran as. Instead we got, “I won.” Frightening to those of us whom tried to tell people what this man was about, his presidency has been far worse than we imagined it would. The statist’s policies, the Chicago way tactics, the leftist foreign policy, and the incompetence all have manifested in ways once unimaginable.


This post was written by bobsikes on June 24, 2010

OBAMA WATCH: Why McChrystal flap may be Obama’s fault and why it has provided him an opportunity

Jackson Diehl:

The real trouble is that Obama never resolved the dispute within his administration over Afghanistan strategy. With the backing of Gates and the Pentagon’s top generals, McChrystal sought to apply to Afghanistan the counterinsurgency approach that succeeded over the last three years in Iraq, an option requiring the deployment of tens of thousands more troops. Biden opposed sending most of the reinforcements and argued for a “counterterrorism plus” strategy centered on preventing al-Qaeda from establishing another refuge.

In the end, Obama adopted what is beginning to look like a bad compromise. He approved most of the additional troops that McChrystal sought, but attached the July, 2011 deadline for beginning withdrawals. Since then both sides have been arguing their cases, in private and in public, to the press and to members of Congress.

McChrystal may be at fault for expressing his frustrations to Rolling Stone. He is not at fault for the lack of coherence in the Afghan campaign or the continued feuding over strategy. That is Obama’s responsibility.

As it appears that it was McChrystal’s aides who provided the condemning background for the article, he shouldn’t be fired nor should he resign his commission. While it’s appropriate for the Commander in Cheif to call McChrystal on the carpet, President Obama should use this as an opportunity to end divisions within his administration.

After the dressing down, Obama should have a frank converstaion with his general about the mission. He needs to know what General McChrystal real views are. It is time for the President to side with the mission and not to continue to appease his base. Anything less than this will be a failure of leadership.

UPDATE: Lets not forget how the media loved military criticism of President Bush

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This post was written by bobsikes on June 22, 2010

OBAMA WATCH: The folly of paying attention to world opinion

Mona Charen:

President Obama’s most concerted effort since taking office has been to improve America’s image in the Muslim world. The president’s first interview was granted to Al Arabiya. He traveled to Cairo to sprinkle the fairy dust, and filmed a fawning New Year’s message to the gangsters who rule in Tehran. He has sent multiple envoys, most notably Sen. John Kerry, to woo Syria’s brutal Bashar al-Assad. With what result?

As this survey indicates, Obama has achieved very little in terms of popularity in Muslim lands. After a short spike following the inauguration, approval of America has fallen fast. The number of Egyptians expressing confidence in Obama fell from 41 to 31 percent, and in Turkey from 33 percent to 23 percent. The Pew report notes that “Last year only 13 percent of Pakistani Muslims expressed confidence in Obama, but this year even fewer (8 percent) hold this view.”

Who knows why so many respondents in Muslim countries are disappointed in Obama? It’s possible, based on the way rumors and conspiracy theories metastasize in that part of the world, that many believed our president was actually a Muslim Manchurian candidate and have been disappointed in the reality. It’s possible they expected a complete repudiation of Israel, rather than the icy disdain this administration has shown. It’s hard enough to interpret the views of our own voters — South Carolina Democratic primary anyone? — the motives of foreigners are even more mysterious.

Independent Obama voters who bought into the “restore our standing in the world” gambit, might find this dwindling popularity of Obama in the Muslin world instructive.

And how’s that apology tour with all the waiter’s bow’s working out? Says Charen:

OK, popularity is slipping, but perhaps the apology tour/charm offensive has yielded dividends in policy support? Not so much. Syria has clutched Iran even closer to her bosom than before and has recently transferred Scud missiles to Hezbollah in Lebanon — all while the U.S. continues to grovel to al-Assad. Iran is racing toward nuclear status while essentially dropping the fig leaf of “peaceful” energy. Turkey, the Muslim nation with the warmest ties to the West, has accelerated its turn toward jihadism. Brazil has spurned the U.S. by embracing Iran and Turkey.

Machiavelli provides ballast for Jefferson: “And that prince who bases his power entirely on … words, finding himself completely without other preparations, comes to ruin.”

A liberal colleague once pouted to me during conversation about the Iraq war, “alot of people are mad at us.”

Well, sure. But we cannot protect ourselves or make decisions regarding our national self-interests based on what European anti-semites and leftist academics are saying. Our president’s cannot base decisions and policy as if he’s rush chairman.


This post was written by bobsikes on June 22, 2010

Israel on the brink

It’s happened quickly. You could say it happened subtly. But it appears the time is here again.

Israel is facing the greatest threat to it’s security since the June 1967 Six-Day War it fought against, Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. The Jewish state has made peace with Jordan and Egypt, but not Syria. The later has bidded it’s time and kept sordid company with Batthist Sadaam Hussein, Hezbollah, and Iran. It’s suddenly cultivated a new partner in NATO member Turkey.

And they are coming.

The Obama administration’s willful blindness to video evidence in the Mavi Marmara incident coupled with it’s tepid response to UN howlers has isolated Israel as it never has been before.

Obama’s demonstative hostilty to Israel only serves to embolden it’s enemies. His rigid leftist academic naivete to all things has left him incapable of dealing with anything that remotely resembles a crisis. (See the Gulf oil spill). He’s instints are to surround himself with the like-minded such as Steve Chu whom Historian Victor Davis Hanson aptly referred to this week as an academic misfit.

Here’s where the problem lies. If that 3AM phone calls comes and Israel is under attack, Obama will surround himself with sycophants.

Obama’s address this week took a page out of the Rham Enamuel playbook. A crisis was used to advance an agenda. Heaven help us all if Obama deals with an attack on Israel similarly.

Posted under OBAMA WATCH

This post was written by bobsikes on June 19, 2010

What? Palestinians don’t mind settlements?

Don’t tell Obama and his Middle East mentors. But here’s something from Evelyn Gordon. She’s looking at polling results and dispatching myths:

MYTH: Palestinians’ prime concern is ending Israeli settlement construction. In fact, the poll found a huge majority, 60% to 38%, opposing a ban on Palestinians working in the settlements; in the West Bank, where the settlements actually are, support dropped to 34% percent. And since Palestinians work in the settlements almost exclusively in construction, the obvious implication is that they prefer construction to continue, so that they can have jobs.

Why? Because most Palestinians’ actual prime concern is supporting their families (something that really shouldn’t surprise those liberals who believe all people want the same things), and the settlements are a major employer. It will be years before the Palestinian economy is capable of providing an alternative. Thus by demanding a freeze on settlement construction now, Barack Obama and his European counterparts are merely generating massive Palestinian unemployment. It turns out that Palestinians would rather they didn’t.

Then why the hell did the Obami get so exercised over new construction?

Gordon’s “something that really shouldn’t surprise those liberals who believe all people want the same things” might explain why.


This post was written by bobsikes on June 18, 2010

Obama takedown of the day:

From Victor Davis Hanson:

Obama campaigned on competence and cool. But his technocrats, whether Van Jones, Dr. Chu, Larry Summers, or Eric Holder, are at best academic misfits and at worse simply unfit for executive responsibilities. Harvard Law Review may be of value for suing BP later and demonizing it in the press, and community organizing may be valuable in shaking down BP to clean up, but had only the president run an ACE Hardware store, or at least worked the night shift at Starbucks, he could have had some experience in delegating authority and demanding results from employees, while keeping in mind the bigger picture of economic survival. Right now we are being governed by a GS something, who has no idea where money comes from, but lots of ideas how to blow it. This crisis brings that out.

“…at best academic misfits”



This post was written by bobsikes on June 17, 2010