Stories of the Day
I don’t think our president is much into his job anymore… “Losing a round or two of golf just to show the world and an American people who have already begun to dismiss Obama as the lamest of lame ducks that he is on the job would not have been a tragedy for the president or his family. Moreover, given the cushy nature of presidential retirement, it’s not unfair to tell commanders-in-chief that they should postpone most of their time off to the period when they leave the White House and begin their permanent post-White House vacation. While the responsibilities they must shoulder are crushing, the perks of presidential life are such that no one need waste much sympathy on Obama giving up a bit of his free time to look like he cares about Iraq and the other international crises that is unable or unwilling to do much about.” It’s the Obama Optics, Not the Golf
“He did authorize military action before hitting the links, but then so did Bush and that didn’t spare him from lefty mockery for years afterward — and Bush quit the game in 2003 because he felt it sent “the wrong signal” when bombs were falling. But maybe that explains it. Maybe it’s okay for O to play because this is still “Bush’s war.” Or is it?
In a post over the weekend, Joel Gehrke covered President Obama’s astonishing claim that it was not his decision to pull American troops out of Iraq, notwithstanding that he was commander-in-chief when they were withdrawn. John McCormack (with an assist from Max Boot) had an excellent post rehearsing the relevant history, which boils down to a familiar pattern: President Bush’s fingerprints are on the decision, and on any matter in which there is some contributory Bush role, Obama blames Bush, no matter how minimal Bush’s contribution was, as if Obama were a mere spectator incapable of anything other than self-absorbed indignation…
But on the matter of Obama disclaiming responsibility for his own pull-out of American forces, it is worth recalling some more history. As a candidate in mid-2008, Obama pushed aggressively for a swift U.S. pullout and publicly undermined Bush – who was trying to keep troops there with no strict timetable for withdrawal – by colluding with the loathsome Maliki toward that end. With candidate Obama about to visit Iraq and already heavily favored to win the presidency, Maliki openly endorsed Obama’s call for a complete American pullout within 16 months of Obama’s taking office.” ABC: Semi-retired president “entirely unconcerned” by optics of playing golf while Iraq melts down
“And this brings me to Obama — who, late last year, described ISIS, or whatever those butchers are calling themselves now, as a “JV team.” “The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is, if a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms, that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.” The whole point of my blogpost is this: If George W. Bush had said something so glib and now galling as that, it would be pretty much the most famous or infamous phrase in America. It would be hung around his neck until the end of time. “JV team! JV team! Heckuva JV team!” I am willing to cut O some slack: We say what we think is true at a particular time, and sometimes it turns out to be untrue. We have to eat our words. If we were all held accountable for all of our words, who would ’scape whipping? What burns me is the selectivity, the bias, the partisanship of our ‘mainstream culture.’” The ‘JV Team’
“Without the U.S. as an honest broker, it has been downhill ever since. Lieutenant General Michael Barbero, the former deputy commander in Iraq, told Filkins, “Everything that has happened there was not just predictable — we predicted it.” Iraq is perhaps the purest expression of the Obama doctrine. We removed ourselves entirely from the country on the assumption that we could diminish our influence without baleful consequence and that there were effective substitutes for military power. Now that the most powerful terrorist group of modern times controls large parts of Iraq and neighboring Syria, we are back at war, although without the requisite seriousness or comprehensive strategy. What is happening in Iraq is exactly what we fought to prevent with the surge in 2007 and 2008. It is heartbreaking commentary on President Obama’s recklessness that we are now in an arguably worse position, with fewer options to reverse it. He never ended the Iraq War, as he so proudly said. He only abandoned it.” The Abandoned War: After boasting for three years that he “ended” the Iraq War, Obama says it was Bush’s fault.
“Barack Obama deliberately set out to lose the war in Iraq, and he did. He defied the advice of his joint chiefs of staff to secure America’s formidable military presence and keep 20,000 troops in country, and left Iraq to its own devices and the tender mercies of Iran. In doing so, he betrayed every American and Iraqi who gave his life to create a free Iraq and keep it out of the clutches of the terrorists. [Snip] When will Republicans gather the courage to start speaking truth to power?” Obama’s Treachery and Republican Silence: When will they stop pretending this is a normal presidency?
“The truth is probably more like this: “I found it expedient to play along with Obama while his reputation was riding high, and now that it’s not—and I want to be his successor—I find the better part of valor is to differentiate myself from him and pretend I had little to do with it. And I trust voters will buy it, because they have the attention span and reasoning power of fleas.” Actually, I think it most likely true that Hillary did disagree with Obama’s policy in several respects. That makes it even more despicably hypocritical that she played along with it as his eager handmaiden.” Hillary Clinton: throwing Obama under the bus
More Obama lawlessness uncovered. “The Obama administration broke the law when it released thousands of illegal immigrants, more than 600 of whom had criminal records, last February as a result of poor planning and micromanagement from Washington, according to an internal audit released Tuesday that says things have not improved in the 18 months since.” DHS broke law in releasing hundreds of criminal aliens: Audit
If what this poll suggests is true regarding what Hispanics believe are the greatest problems in our country, why does the Republican establishment continue to cram this amnesty crap down our throats? “Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), top donors and former Bush administration officials have been pushing for comprehensive amnesty legislation, arguing, without proof, that it would help the party make inroads with Hispanics. But a recent Univision poll of Latinos found that amnesty legislation was nowhere near the top priority among Hispanics. As Breitbart News reported, “when registered Latino voters were asked to name their most important issues, the results, in order, were: education (21%), jobs (16%), government spending and the deficit (15%), social security (13%), “how what they do will affect my wallet” (10%), health care (9%), immigration (8%), and crime and personal safety (5%).” Latinos’ top complaint with Republicans was not that the party was against massive amnesty. It was that Republicans “care mostly about corporations and big business” (17%). Other concerns, in order, were that Republicans: care only for themselves (17%), favor the rich (14%), are against immigration reform (10%), don’t stand up strongly for their beliefs (7%), “don’t understand people like me” (6%), and favoring white people not minorities (5%). Hispanics, like blue-collar American workers, hate the Republican party when it stands for “corporations and big business” instead of free markets. And there is not an issue that unites the bipartisan permanent political class more than massive amnesty, which would provide Democrats with new voters and big-business elites with cheaper labor. High-tech executives like Mark Zuckerberg, employing mercenary staffers from both sides of the permanent political class aisle, have worked with the Chamber of Commerce to pour in millions of dollars to push amnesty.” GOP ESTABLISHMENT: IGNORE VOTERS, GO ON OFFENSE TO PASS AMNESTY
The Left had better be careful about what it wishes for. Because we can play that game too. “Even left-wing commentator Jonathan Chait at the liberal New York magazine warned his fellow liberals of the unintended consequences of President Barack Obama’s potential executive amnesty. After an article’s worth of his typical partisanship, Chait begrudgingly cautions liberals to be careful what they wish for. “To think that the cycle will end here, and that a future president won’t claim more expansive and disturbing powers to selectively enforce the law, requires an optimism not borne out by history,” he wrote. ‘In the short run, we will rejoice in the sudden deliverance of massive humanitarian relief to people who have done nothing more than try to create a better life for their families. In the long run, we may look back on it with regret.’” LEFT-WING ‘NEW YORK’ MAG: WE MAY LOOK BACK ON OBAMA’S EXECUTIVE AMNESTY ‘WITH REGRET’
Here’s a book we should all buy. “We are building a training program – Take No Prisoners Campaigns — to go along with the book and will be training young activists and conservative political operatives in how to implement its principles. We will have a staff of professional political operatives to conduct the training and spread the message. I have attached one of the training sheets that Horowitz has already drawn up. We will be developing 30-second TV campaign spots and political messaging programs to go along with the training. Our principal organizer is Lonny Leitner a seasoned political operative who ran Cathy McMorris’ successful congressional campaign. McMorris is now the top-ranked woman in the Republican caucus. In Take No Prisoners Horowitz tells us that we deal with the opposition’s attacks not by the hand wringing defensiveness that so often characterizes conservative politics but by telling the truth and making it hurt. Since Barack Obama took office, the poor are worse off, minorities are worse off, the country is more racially divided, and in worse economic condition and the world is a more dangerous place for all Americans. Take No Prisoners is the call to arms we have all been waiting for and might be the most important book Horowitz has ever written. If conservatives can be made to listen to what Horowitz says and adopt his strategies of political warfare we might be able to bring America back from the brink. But we need your help to do it.” It’s Midnight in America
If conservatives can’t start attracting folks in the cities, we’ll be forever screwed. “As such, the ramifications go beyond the local. Public imagination when it comes to political geography is skewed. People think in terms of red and blue states, but the real distinction is between town and country. With just a handful of exceptions, every city of more than 500,000 inhabitants votes Democrat; in all of the 10 largest cities in America white people are a minority. More than two-thirds of Obama’s lead against Mitt Romney in 2012 came from the three largest US cities – New York, LA and Chicago, and their surrounding areas. It’s not difficult to see why. People come to cities to escape isolation and find opportunity. So cities become home to a disproportionately large number of gay and lesbian people, immigrants and religious minorities. To function they demand social tolerance and public investment for everything from transport to parks. Cities are where the overwhelming majority of the Democratic base lives. The increasingly pronounced inequalities of race and class, the impact of neo-liberal school reforms and general disinvestment in social capital have hit all but the very wealthy hard. Anyone seeking the presidential nomination would be a fool to ignore this.” Tales of the cities: the progressive vision of urban America: A union leader is being hailed as a possible mayor in Chicago while elsewhere mayors are pursuing policies Obama has been unable to enact on the national stage
Some are starting to get it? “While young black male voters became more conservative since 2008, shifting away from Obama by 14 points, young black females went in the opposite direction. Only 1 percent of black women under age 30 voted for Romney, versus 98 percent for Obama—a three-point gain for the president, Pew reported. Still, the 2012 election marked a reversal for younger blacks, who as a whole leaned more to the right than any other black age group, as seen in the chart below. In 2012, 8 percent of all blacks under 30 favored Romney. Just half that amount voted for John McCain in 2008, a year in which black seniors supported him the most with 6 percent.” The GOP Can Attract Young Black Voters—And Already Has: One in five black men under age 30 voted for Romney; youngest ‘millennials’ lean even more conservative.
“And for the first time this election cycle, more people said they’d vote for a Republican than a Democrat for Congress, by 43 percent to 38 percent. “The Democrats are sputtering,” said Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion in New York, which conducted the national survey.” Obama’s standing among voters is hurting Democrats, poll finds
“Barack Obama’s poll numbers are plummeting — for many good reasons — as the midterm elections approach. Republicans naturally are trying to nationalize the election, since the GOP can legitimately claim every Democrat has empowered Barack Obama to fundamentally transform — that is, damage — America. Since Barack Obama is increasingly considered a failure — his former secretaries of Defense and State are both openly criticizing, if not mocking, him (with more to follow as officials seek to rewrite history) — he and his fellow Democrats are desperate to cling to whatever power and seats they can. As Mike Lillis writes in The Hill, Democrats are throwing the kitchen sink at Republicans ahead of the midterms. But they are doing more than throwing issue after issue at Republicans. They are – and have been for quite a while — engaging in disgraceful conduct that should earn the contempt of all Americans — a contempt that must be shown in the voting booths this November.” Scorched Earth Politicians
“They’ve been wrong about a lot of things, and we’ve paid — and will pay — for that. But the sheer “I won” in-your-face immaturity of the Obamaites — remember the “Hey, Hey, Goodbye” chant to Bush at the inauguration — ensured that people would be angrier than normal. And they did that on purpose because a sharply divided nation suited them politically. Now Ron Fournier wonders if Americans would rally behind Obama after another 9/11 the way we rallied behind Bush, and I think the answer is no — because Obama has spent his entire time in office flicking boogers at half the country. As I’ve said before, the reason why presidents traditionally act “presidential” isn’t because they’re stiffly formal, it’s because acting presidential, rather than purely political, lets you appeal to the whole country in ways that a pure partisan can’t. Obama doesn’t care, and we may very well pay for that, too. But elections have consequences, and when you elect a guy like Obama, the consequences are bad ones.” MEGAN MCARDLE: When Obama Beat Hillary, We All Lost.
“President Obama’s celebration of 8 million Obamacare enrollees was premature, according to this article in Investors Business Daily. Major insurers are reporting large drop offs in Obamacare paying customers, that could mean the number of Americans insured by Obamacare dropping below 6 million by year’s end.” More bad news on Obamacare enrollments for the administration
Abolish the IRS. “At this point, the new forms look “very daunting” for taxpayers, said Mark Ciaramitaro, vice president of health care services at H&R Block. “Overall, we expect the complexity level is just going to go up for a significant group of moderate- to low-income people, whether they got insurance through the marketplace or they didn’t.” Before they can file a tax return, individuals will have to get documents from their state- or federal-run exchange about the plan they bought and any subsidies they received. Or, if they’re covered through an employer, they’ll have to provide proof of that. If they qualify for an exemption from having coverage, they’ll have to send that to the IRS, too.” Consumers’ next Obamacare challenge: Tax forms