Picking Up His Kids While Black:
Friday, August 29, 2014
Why Obama’s ‘We don’t have a strategy’ gaffe stings
It's true, though. so is it a "gaffe?"
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Update: Michael Ledeen:
They DO have a strategy, but they prefer to appear indecisive. That’s because the strategy would likely provoke even greater criticism than the false confession of endless dithering.Sadly, I think Ledeen is right.
The actual strategy is detente first, and then a full alliance with Iran throughout the Middle East and North Africa. It has been on display since before the beginning of the Obama administration. During his first presidential campaign in 2008, Mr. Obama used a secret back channel to Tehran to assure the mullahs that he was a friend of the Islamic Republic, and that they would be very happy with his policies. The secret channel was Ambassador William G. Miller, who served in Iran during the shah’s rule, as chief of staff for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and as ambassador to Ukraine. Ambassador Miller has confirmed to me his conversations with Iranian leaders during the 2008 campaign.
Ever since, President Obama’s quest for an alliance with Iran has been conducted through at least four channels: Iraq, Switzerland (the official U.S. representative to Tehran), Oman and a variety of American intermediaries, the most notable of whom is probably Valerie Jarrett, his closest adviser. In recent months, Middle Eastern leaders reported personal visits from Ms. Jarrett, who briefed them on her efforts to manage the Iranian relationship. This was confirmed to me by a former high-ranking American official who says he was so informed by several Middle Eastern leaders.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
MoDo piled onPresident Obama last week again by noting his long-recorded preference for solitude.
But what started as an affectation has turned into an affliction" as Obama intentionally becomes more and more withdrawn and more isolated not merely from the whole country, not simply from the Republican opposition, but from members of his own party."His circle keeps getting more inner," says MoDo. Indeed.
Various commentators and bloggers are wondering whether the president's compulsion for golf is evidence of mental instability, perhaps of psychological inability to cope with the intense demands of the office. And this is not just a rightist view. Even on-the-left Ezra Klein wrote the same thing, though more obliquely,
As Ezra Klein wrote in Vox: “If Obama’s speeches aren’t as dramatic as they used to be, this is why: the White House believes a presidential speech on a politically charged topic is as likely to make things worse as to make things better.”Which is to say, the president does not know what to do to make a given situation (Ukraine, Gaza, Iraq, Libya, the southern border, Obamacare, etc. ad infinitum) better, cannot assess in advance whether anything he does will make any difference for better or worse, and therefore decides not to decide. Fore!
Maybe all of these armchair analyses have some merit, maybe not. But it does seem pretty clear that whether by intention or default, Barack Obama is temperamentally, emotionally and intellectually suited for something other than the highest office in the land - at least as that office is constituted in America.
I think that Obama temperamentally, emotionally and intellectually sees himself as chief of state rather than head of the government. The problem is that in America both roles are done by the same person, the president. That this is so was an outright rejection by our Founders of the British model, where two persons each occupy one role. The monarch is the chief of state and the prime minister is the head of government. In the two-plus centuries since the Revolution, the prime minister's power has expanded and the monarch's diminished, but the basic separation of roles has remained.
For a long time Obama has been mocked for a manner that often seems more monarchical than democratic. In the 2012 debates with Mitt Romney, Obama actually complained about the Constitutional constraints upon his powers. But does he really see himself this way:
With no more elections to go for him, his detachment and apparent uninterest in the grind of the presidency has drawn the attention and sometime ire even of staunch members of his own party. Obama seems not to care. The gritty details of policy and its execution are not for him. As chief of state that's not his job, anyway.
In October 2009, a bare nine months into Obama's second term, I expressed doubts about the validity of Edward Bernard Glick's column that what drove Obama to seek the highest office in the land was "the perks that go with it: Air Force One, Camp David, rent-free living quarters, chefs, chauffeurs, valets, bodyguards, and countless modern-day equivalents of Greek slaves and Turkish janissaries" ("President Perks"). I wrote at the time,
What seems to be motivating Mr. Obama's performance as chief executive is not the perks of the office (although I don't think they play a small part). I think what we are witnessing is a combination of two factors:Now I think Glick was spot on. Over time, it seems to me that the perks of the office have assumed greater influence on where he goes and what he does. But the Peter Principle has become evermore obviously at work here too. It is the that in hierarchies of any sort capable people will advance ever higher until the reach a level where they fail, sometimes spectacularly so. That is called their "level of incompetence."
A Mae West personality coupled with,
The return of the Peter Principle ...
This is a man who simply craves attention, who thrives on it, who consumes it as nourishment. That's the first Mae West-ism at work, to get looked over, not overlooked.
After John F. Kennedy was elected, President Dwight D. Eisenhower spent many hours with him. One of the key lessons was this: "All the decisions you will make," said Eisenhower, "will be hard decisions." Dwight went on to explain that the easy things will be tended to by cabinet secretaries and others of the administration with executive authority. But the tough ones will always be kicked to higher levels to be decided. At every level, the decisions become more and more difficult until, at last, the presidential inbox is filled with nothing but the most difficult items.
As others have exhaustively pointed out, there is nothing at all in Obama's pre-presidential resume that shows he ever made highly difficult decisions that depended, at the end, on his own personal reservoir of wisdom and experience. So he does not tackle the inbox because its contents are above his competence. He tends instead to lesser matters that match his lower level of competence and gratifyingly feed the ego.
When Obama started to realize that he is personally unable to perform at the level required -- in other words, when he came to admit to himself he is incompetent at head of government stuff -- then chief of state stuff became more and more satisfying, because those things are all show, little substance.
Meanwhile, who's minding the store? We don't really know but we sure have our suspicions.
Categories: White House
Video: Israel’s Iron Dome Defense System Shows Off Power By Intercepting 15 Hamas Rockets at Once
An amazing video by an Israeli civilian of an amazing air defense system.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Nearly 1,200 people have starved to death in NHS hospitals because 'nurses are too busy to feed patients' | Mail Online
Nearly 1,200 people have starved to death in NHS hospitals because 'nurses are too busy to feed patients'
- For every patient who dies from malnutrition, four more have dehydration mentioned on their death certificate
- In 2011, 43 patients starved to death and 291 died in a state of severe malnutrition
- Department of Health branded the figures 'unacceptable' and said the number of unannounced inspections will increase
But it's free!
In this news item, the irony is tragic and blunt: Ex-NHS chief dies waiting for op at her own hospital
A FORMER NHS director has died after waiting nine months for emergency stomach surgery at her own hospital.Waiting nine months for "emergency" surgery, that what 100-percent government-run health care will do for you.
Monday, August 25, 2014
In 1857, Chief Justice Roger Taney wrote the Supreme Court's decision in the now-infamous Dred Scott decision. Dred Scott was a slave whose owner, John Sanford, had carried him from a slave state to the free state of Missouri. Scott, with aid of sympathetic Missourians, sued Sanford on the basis that Sanford's ownership of Scott was nullified as soon as he had brought Scott to a state where slavery was illegal.
The Court decided in Sanford's favor for openly racist reasons (that in that day were not much seen as such). At issue in Taney's mind was was whether Scott gained the rights of citizenry simply because he crossed the state border. The answer was no. If the answer was yes, it would have meant all sorts of undesirable consequences. From the decision:
It would give to persons of the negro race, who were recognised as citizens in any one State of the Union, the right to enter every other State whenever they pleased, singly or in companies, without pass or passport, and without obstruction, to sojourn there as long as they pleased, to go where they pleased at every hour of the day or night without molestation, unless they committed some violation of law for which a white man would be punished; and it would give them the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went. [Italics added]And if there is one thing we simply cannot have, it is armed Negroes.
Gun control in America began in earnest with Democrats. So if they are to be true to the historical roots, the Left will start clamoring for stricter gun control because now free black men are taking up arms to defend themselves against
Citizen Patrol Aims to Defend Against Police Shootings | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
A new group calling itself the Huey P. Newton Gun Club launched armed self-defense patrols Wednesday with one stated purpose: to protect Dallas neighbors from police.
Group leader Charles Goodson said recent unrest in Ferguson, Missouri over the killing of an unarmed black teen named Michael Brown by a white police officer is only part of the reason for the new Dallas patrols.
The group is named after Huey P. Newton, a founder of the Black Panther Party in the 1960s who was killed by a rival militant in 1989.
"We don't think that what happened to Michael Brown in St. Louis is an isolated incident. We have so many Michael Browns here in the city of Dallas," Goodson said.
If this patrol was white and Republican, the media would be present them as dangerous, racist militia extremists and domestic terrorists who hate Obama. (HT, Glenn Reynolds)
So what does it matter that they are poorer than dirt?
Why Britain is poorer than any US state, other than Mississippi
I came across a striking fact while researching this piece: if Britain were to somehow leave the EU and join the US how would we rank? The answer is that we’d be the 2nd-poorest state in the union, poorer than Missouri. Poorer than the much-maligned Kansas and Alabama. Poorer than any state other than Mississippi, and if you take out the south east [of Britain - DS] we’d be poorer than that too.
Sunday, August 24, 2014
In Gerard Vanderleun's sardonic phrasing, that seems to be pretty much all that NASA is about now.
What else is SETI for, really? Finding the little green men? Maybe the real question is not whether we are alone in the universe as it is whether we simply are first.
And this makes a lot of sense, too.
But as for NASA, having given up sending actual sentient beings into space (unless the Russians play taxi), they claim they will find them elsewhere. But what are they really doing?
The Worst Fate Possible for a Journalist | World Affairs Journal
A comment on this article by Michael Totten:
Newsflash: ISIS is a Zionist front group whose goal is to make Islam look bad. This from a Muslim member of the Dutch government (from Mark Steyn's website):
A Tweet from Yasmina Haifi:
ISIS heeft niets met Islam te maken ...is vooropgezet plan van zionisten die bewust Islam willen zwart maken
Which translated into English means roughly:
ISIS has nothing to do with Islam. It's a preconceived plan by Zionists who want to deliberately blacken Islam's name.
Who is Yasmina Haifi? She's an official at the Dutch Ministry of Justice who serves as project leader at the Netherlands' National Cyber Security Center. And she thinks Isis is a Zionist plot to make Islam
FORE! Score? And seven trillion rounds ago, our forecaddies brought forth on this continent a new playground, conceived by Robert Trent Jones, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal when it comes to spending as much time on the links as possible — even when it seems totally inappropriate, like moments after making a solemn statement condemning the grisly murder of a 40-year-old American journalist beheaded by ISIL.It's pretty savage. Read the whole thing.
I know reporters didn’t get a chance to ask questions, but I had to bounce. I had a 1 p.m. tee time at Vineyard Golf Club with Alonzo Mourning and a part-owner of the Boston Celtics. Hillary and I agreed when we partied with Vernon Jordan up here, hanging out with celebrities and rich folks is fun.
Now we are engaged in a great civil divide in Ferguson, which does not even have a golf course, and that’s why I had a “logistical” issue with going there. We are testing whether that community, or any community so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure when the nation’s leader wants nothing more than to sink a birdie putt.
More piling on:
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Germany has spied on Turkey since 1976: Focus magazine | Reuters
Duh. Since the end of World War II, every country has spied on every other country it could. In WW2, the United States was spying even on Britain!