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Archive for the ‘International Politics’ Category

Cambodia, and destroying the world

I found this on Instapundit today. It’s so sad, I almost wept reading it.

When Khmer Rouge forces seized Phnom Penh on April 17, 1975, the couple was living with eight of their children in a rural town called Kampong Chhnang. Three days later, the guerrillas arrived and residents — including Younly — cheered, relieved the war was finally over, his 86-year-old widow Som Seng Eath recalled.

But within hours, everything changed. Every soul was ordered to leave on foot.

The Khmer Rouge were emptying Cambodia’s cities, marching millions of people into the countryside to work as manual laborers. Their aim was to create an agrarian communist utopia, but they were turning the Southeast Asian nation into a slave state.

Younly “didn’t believe what was happening. He kept saying, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll be back soon, don’t pack much,’” his widow said. She ignored his advice, and took as much as she could — including five of her husband’s school notebooks, and several blue ink pens.

As gunshots rang, they joined the departing hordes, cradling their young children and whatever they could carry. As they walked into the night, people wept.

Sadly, we forget so quickly just how evil humanity can be.

Go read, and remind yourself of the dangers we face when people decide that they can reshape society to their ideal, by whatever means they deem necessary.

Related, is this via Patterico. You can click through and read the letter to which this is a reply, but I think the reply pretty much speaks for itself, and the state of politics today.

Dear Son of A Right-Winger,

Go back and read the opening sentences of your letter. Read them again. Then read the rest of your letter. Then read it again. Try to find a single instance where you referred to your dad as a human being, a person, or a man. There isn’t one. You’ve reduced your father — the person who created you — to a set of beliefs and political views and how it relates to you. And you don’t consider your dad a person of his own standing — he’s just “your dad.” You’ve also reduced yourself to a set of opposing views, and reduced your relationship with him to a fight between the two. The humanity has been reduced to nothingness and all that’s left in its place is an argument that can never really be won. And even if one side did win, it probably wouldn’t satisfy the deeper desire to be in a state of inflamed passionate conflict.

The world isn’t being destroyed by democrats or republicans, red or blue, liberal or conservative, religious or atheist — the world is being destroyed by one side believing the other side is destroying the world. The world is being hurt and damaged by one group of people believing they’re truly better people than the others who think differently. The world officially ends when we let our beliefs conquer love. We must not let this happen.

Worth pondering, I think.

Video

Obama and Nixon Video Mashup

This has been sitting in my “drafts” for some time (along with a bunch of other stuff, some of which is the result of tip-offs).

Since I first saw it, Obama has completely changed his tune, calling scandals “phony” that he was previously calling “inexcusable”.

People sign card thanking the IRS for persecuting conservatives

Ignorance? Or just sheer disgusting unprincipled behaviour?

Recall that Nixon never actually succeeded in getting the IRS to do this sort of thing as the commissioner refused to do it. Yet here’s young people who are actually pleased it happened.

But it’s not really surprising they found signers, since the New York Times appears to take the same attitude as these deplorable young people. But I’d sure like to know how hard they worked to find them. The video make it look like it was really easy, but you never know how these things are edited.

Eric Holder – Only a matter of time

The other day Eric Holder testified before congress.

Unfortunately, he played the innocent act a little carelessly and told a rather obvious lie.

“In regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material — this is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy,” Holder said during the hearing.

The problem is of course, that it’s fairly well known that Holder signed off on the spying of Fox News journalist James Rosen.

The catch is this: If Holder never considered prosecution of journalists including Rosen, then the affidavit laying out a purported criminal case against Rosen was a ruse, a false statement under oath, directed to the court to conduct a wide-ranging dragnet. If, on the other hand, the affidavit which Holder signed off on is true in laying out the case against Rosen, then he didn’t level with Congress. In either event, he needs to come back and explain himself. If he refuses or takes the Fifth, there is no alternative but to name a special prosecutor.

It’s the same trap that a certain Labour cabinet minister was caught in a few years ago. However in this instance, there’s no question of the media ignoring the rather obvious implications of the contradictions as they did for David Parker here.

Liberals scoff at the notion that Holder might be forced to resign, but if he is now a subject of further investigation, it is untenable for him to remain and preposterous for him to conduct a probe of the Justice Department as the president ordered.

You don’t have the moral authority to be the country’s top investigator if you’re under investigation yourself.

Holder must be feeling the heat, for how else to explain a ludicrous puff piece in the Daily Beast waxing lyrical on the attorney general: “[S]ources close to the attorney general says he has been particularly stung by the leak controversy, in large part because his department’s—and his own—actions are at odds with his image of himself as a pragmatic lawyer with liberal instincts and a well-honed sense of balance—not unlike the president he serves.”

I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that there are still media who are happy to cover for the administration, even as they are being uncovered for what they are.

Oh puleez. Even worse than the ah-isn’t-he-really-a-good-guy tone throughout, are we really supposed to believe that “for Attorney General Eric Holder, the gravity of the situation didn’t fully sink in until Monday morning when he read the Post’s front-page story, sitting at his kitchen table. Quoting from the affidavit, the story detailed how agents had tracked Rosen’s movements in and out of the State Department, perused his private emails, and traced the timing of his calls to the State Department security adviser suspected of leaking to him”?

Surprising how many members of the Obama administration have so little knowledge about what’s going on under their leadership, that they find out about things by reading the newspaper.

That excuse didn’t really work for Obama though, there’s no way it’ll work for Holder. He has now had two out of control investigations into different media organisations, investigations that have grossly over-reached and broken pretty much every rule in the book.

Let’s face it, who really believes those where the only ones?

George W. Bush is smarter than you (and fitter)

Ran into this the other day, apparently written by an economist who used to work with Bush Jr.

It contradicts (I’m tempted to say busts but it’s one guy’s word) very comprehensively the image of Bush as stupid.

The new George W. Bush Presidential Center is being dedicated this week. This seems like a good time to bust a longstanding myth about our former President, my former boss.

…One of my students asked “How involved was President Bush with what was going on?” I smiled and responded, “What you really mean is, ‘Was President Bush smart enough to understand what was going on,’ right?”

The class went dead silent. Everyone knew that this was the true meaning of the question. Kudos to that student for asking the hard question and for framing it so politely. I had stripped away that decorum and exposed the raw nerve.

I looked hard at the 60 MBA students and said “President Bush is smarter than almost every one of you.”

More silence.

I could tell they were waiting for me to break the tension, laugh, and admit I was joking.

I did not. A few shifted in their seats, then I launched into a longer answer. While it was a while ago, here is an amalgam of that answer and others I have given in similar contexts.

I am not kidding. You are quite an intelligent group. Don’t take it personally, but President Bush is smarter than almost every one of you. Were he a student here today, he would consistently get “HP” (High Pass) grades without having to work hard, and he’d get an “H” (High, the top grade) in any class where he wanted to put in the effort.

For more than six years it was my job to help educate President Bush about complex economic policy issues and to get decisions from him on impossibly hard policy choices. In meetings and in the briefing materials we gave him in advance we covered issues in far more depth than I have been discussing with you this quarter because we needed to do so for him to make decisions.

President Bush is extremely smart by any traditional standard. He’s highly analytical and was incredibly quick to be able to discern the core question he needed to answer. It was occasionally a little embarrassing when he would jump ahead of one of his Cabinet secretaries in a policy discussion and the advisor would struggle to catch up. He would sometimes force us to accelerate through policy presentations because he so quickly grasped what we were presenting.

I use words like briefing and presentation to describe our policy meetings with him, but those are inaccurate. Every meeting was a dialogue, and you had to be ready at all times to be grilled by him and to defend both your analysis and your recommendation. That was scary.

We treat Presidential speeches as if they are written by speechwriters, then handed to the President for delivery. If I could show you one experience from my time working for President Bush, it would be an editing session in the Oval with him and his speechwriters. You think that me cold-calling you is nerve-wracking? Try defending a sentence you inserted into a draft speech, with President Bush pouncing on the slightest weakness in your argument or your word choice.

In addition to his analytical speed, what most impressed me were his memory and his substantive breadth. We would sometimes have to brief him on an issue that we had last discussed with him weeks or even months before. He would remember small facts and arguments from the prior briefing and get impatient with us when we were rehashing things we had told him long ago.

And while my job involved juggling a lot of balls, I only had to worry about economic issues. In addition to all of those, at any given point in time he was making enormous decisions on Iraq and Afghanistan, on hunting al Qaeda and keeping America safe. He was making choices not just on taxes and spending and trade and energy and climate and health care and agriculture and Social Security and Medicare, but also on education and immigration, on crime and justice issues, on environmental policy and social policy and politics. Being able to handle such substantive breadth and depth, on such huge decisions, in parallel, requires not just enormous strength of character but tremendous intellectual power. President Bush has both.

On one particularly thorny policy issue on which his advisors had strong and deep disagreements, over the course of two weeks we (his senior advisors) held a series of three 90-minute meetings with the President. Shortly after the third meeting we asked for his OK to do a fourth. He said, “How about rather than doing another meeting on this, I instead tell you now what each person will say.” He then ran through half a dozen of his advisors by name and precisely detailed each one’s arguments and pointed out their flaws. (Needless to say there was no fourth meeting.)

While I don’t think being able to predict advisers answers is necessarily always hard, it is pretty funny.

The article then goes into reasons why people have come to think Bush is stupid, which basically boil down to:

1) He’s from Texas, not from the “intelligent” states (and as a result has a “funny” accent”.

2) He made a point of presenting himself as a common man, not as an aloof intellectual

 

Video

Obama Really Poor at Speaking

I saw this video at Patterico just now. His point is that the president is using marines to hold his umbrella instead of doing it himself. (Update: Yep)

Well, I’m quite certain I’ve seen Bush have that (in spite of these images) so I think that’s a bit of a beat up.

But I was incredulous at just how bad Obama stumbles around in these comments. He doesn’t even seem to remember who the guy next to him is.

Bush got stick for talking this badly. It seems that Obama’s solution is to never talk off-the-cuff – something that has been noted before.

Obama’s Anti-Bullying Guy

I covered a few of Obama’s appalling choices for running various things in my big post just before to the presidential election.

But I missed this one.

Dan Savage. Dan Savage’s anti-bully program was chosen by Obama to be part of his anti-bully project. Just one problem Dan Savage is a pretty nasty bully himself.

You can see him pander to the atheist haters here. Not only is his critique quite ignorant (has anybody read Acts 15* ?!?) but having driven tens if not hundreds of students from the room he then proceeds to mock them.

There’s lots of stuff on his Wikipedia page, including his co-sponsoring of the disguising campaign to smear Rick Santorum which I will not quote here.

In a 2006 interview with the Daily Pennsylvanian, Savage stated that then-Green Party Senate candidate Carl Romanelli, whom Savage claimed was partially funded by state Republicans for a spoiler effect against Democrat Bob Casey, “should be dragged behind a pickup truck until there’s nothing left but the rope”. In the same interview, he stated, “Mr. Romanelli should go [expletive deleted -s1] himself.”[53] Immediately after the interview, Savage wrote, “I regret using that truck metaphor, and didn’t mean it literally, and it was in poor taste, and I regret it.”[54]

On HBO‘s Real Time with Bill Maher July 15, 2011, during a panel discussion of the debt limit increase negotiations between the U.S. Congress and President Barack Obama, Savage said in a stand-alone remark, “I wish the Republicans were all [expletive deleted -s1] dead.[55] He apologized for his remarks on his blog later the same night saying in part, “I don’t feel that way. My dad is a Republican. (Well, he says he’s an independent, but he hasn’t voted for a Democrat since JFK. My dad is a Republican.)”[56]

Finally, today he wished cancer on Sarah Palin. Not only that, he openly admitted he was being a bully:

Image

It’s sickening. But sadly, given Obama picked a tax cheat for treasury sectary, picking a confirmed, unrepentant bully for his anti-bulling program is about par for the course.

An idea to get Conservatism back on track

The Republican party in the US just suffered quite a defeat. But they do have a position as majority in the house from which they can launch something.

I was reading via Instapundit today (or maybe yesterday) that in spite of recent events, in spite of Chicago being dominated by Democrats, in spite of the failures of Stimulus projects, in spite of the clear media cover-ups of Democratic party stumbles, gaffes and scandals, in spite of all the evidence people think it’s the Republican party that is the most corrupt.

So here’s the thing. I have no no doubt whatsoever that the Republican party does contain and tolerate a lot of corruption. Not as much as the Democrats, and it is not as fundamental as it is to the Democratic party, but it does exist. And no right thinking American wants a corrupt government.

At the same time, the Republicans have a big image problem. Trust me, they do. It’s like there’s two groups, Republicans and the people who think Republicans are evil. Very little middle ground. They need to fix this, and the media (who lovingly helped build it) is in no way going to help.

So here’s what I think the Republican led house should do. (I’m not entirely sure this is possible but what the hey, not like anyone’s going to read this!) Establish a house committee/commission to root out corruption. First, staff it with guys like McCain who’s integrity is utterly unimpeachable.

Next, go after the bad eggs in the Republican party itself. Have every member sign a statement saying that they will conduct their politics properly or leave. Then kick out the bad eggs, get them prosecuted if possible and let it be seen that the entire party condemns them as they go. If it loses the entire majority do it. Once the public get the idea that they’re genuine in what they’re doing, even willing to risk their own majority, those seats that are vacant may just be won back anyway.

Backers? Kick them to the curb. Special interests? Tell them to take a hike. Yea, it’s gonna hurt. Yea, it may damage the party in the sort term. But it’s like anything hard – the bigger the pain, the bigger the payoff is down the line.

In the meantime, other proprieties are just going to have to suffer. Let’s face it, the public voted for Obama so they don’t seem to care much about what the Republicans hold dearly do they? It’s just like anything, you have to decide what is really important. And you can be effective at running the country if you’re fat and lazy with a huge beer gut.

And it’s only when it’s very clear that the Republican party is absolutely, completely and utterly clean, so clean that even Chris Matthews is admiring the sparkle, so ruthless with corruption that there is no question that even the top brass would see the door they were found giving favors, then and only then you start on the Democrats.

But by that stage, you probably won’t have to. The public will start turning on them and the media will have to ask why they are not prepared to clean their own house.  Obama will probably finish his term, but his legacy of corruption will mean that everyone will be glad to see him go.

That’s my thinking anyway. I think it’d work in the US.

It’s never work here because we have no conservatives worth a damn in the first place.

Look! If we tilt the poll to this extreme, it comes to a Draw!

This is worse than bad, it’s obscene.

Romney has gained 3 points since the last time CNN ran its poll, in late September, when Obama led 50%-47%. That is good news for the Republican ticket, especially since the poll was conducted after Hurricane Sandy.

Yet there is something odd–and even ridiculous–in the poll’s sample: of the 693 likely voters in the total sample of 1,010 adults polled, “41% described themselves as Democrats, 29% described themselves as Independents, and 30% described themselves as Republicans.”

In other words, the poll is a D+11 outlier. It presents a picture of an electorate that is far more pro-Obama than it was in the historic 2008 election. That is extremely unlikely.

That’s putting it mildly!

Moreover, the polls’s crosstabs indicate that Romney is winning self-described independent voters by a giant 59%-37% margin. A 22-point lead among independents virtually guarantees victory for Romney. Yet Democrats are so heavily over-represented in the CNN poll that Romney’s 22-point lead becomes a mere 49%-49% tie.

I’d suggest that his margin among independents suggest this is going to be a massive Republican victory.

Some Democrats have argued that their party will still show up to the polls in significantly greater strength than Republicans–either because of the increased presence of Latino voters, who currently favor the Democrats; or because, they argue, many of the voters that say they are independent are really disgruntled Republicans.

But none of these explanations points towards a Democrat turnout exceeding that of 2008, which the CNN poll assumes. Republicans are far more motivated, and Democrats are somewhat less motivated, in 2012.

And it is absurd to suggest anything else. Obama’s supporters can at best claim (unconvincingly) that he kept things from getting worse. Certainly the anti-war crowd isn’t going to rush out and vote for him, and even the Sandy situation is counting against Obama as people wait in vain for help.

The idea that Democrats are motivated just doesn’t hold water.

On the other hand, Republicans believe strongly that Obama has been a terrible president. They point to… well just see my last post and it’s “part 1″ for reasons! The Tea Party got conservatives riled up like never before.

In fact, we’re seeing the first election for quite a while where conservatives are a whole lot more motivated than Democrats.

And yet the poll, absurd though it is, shows that Romney will be able to overcome even a staggering partisan disadvantage, and that he will win the independent voters who typically decide elections.

And then there’s the early polling numbers coming out of Ohio, the Democrats are inadvertently admitting are true:

For those without video: Chris Wallace points out that early voting in Ohio kind of, well, sucks for the Democrats – as in, ACCORDING TO THE ROMNEY CAMPAIGN (this is important), it’s at the point where the net gain for the Republicans will wipe out Obama’s 2008 margin of victory in Ohio. This is important because Republicans traditionally do better on Election Day voters than Democrats; if that holds true (which is quietly conceded by pretty much everyone), then Ohio is going to go for Romney.

 

Get that? The numbers suggest strongly that Romney has already wiped out Obama’s lead during voting which usually favours Democrats. So when polling day proper arrives, instead of having a mild deficit to make up to win, Romney will simply increase his lead.

I don’t know if this will turn into a bloodbath. It’s possible.

We’ll know for sure very soon.

 

Why America won’t (or at least shouldn’t) vote Obama another term (Part 2)

(Continued from Part 1)

8. He has some really, really bad friends

Like this one. Or his beloved pastor.

Or how about Bill Ayers, unrepentant terrorist.

Barack Obama would have you believe that, after 20 years of friendship, he had no idea the Rev. Jeremiah Wright was a bomb-throwing racial demagogue. And that after 15 years of what he described as a close friendship, he had no idea Tony Rezko was a crook.

Similarly, this week, his campaign claimed that when Obama entered William Ayers’s home in 1995 to raise money for a state-senate run, the future presidential hopeful didn’t know Ayers was a former terrorist.

So by his own account, Obama wanders through life completely unaware of his surroundings.

To be fair, there is no conclusive proof that Obama was ever filled in on Ayers. A lot of the most well-known information came out since the fundraiser: Ayers wrote a 2001 memoir claiming credit for bombing the Pentagon. He posed for that famous photograph trampling the American flag. He said that he had not done enough during his terrorist days to force America out of Vietnam. He told the New York Times that the patriotic outburst of national unity after the 9/11 attacks made him “want to puke.”

Perhaps Obama really did know nothing about Ayers’s unrepentant terrorism at that fundraiser, and even that same year, when Obama became the first chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge – an education-reform project Ayers had founded, on whose board Obama would serve until it ended in 2001 (he was chairman until 1999).

And just this week, we discover this.

Pastor Joseph Lowery, a civil rights movement hero who delivered the benediction at President Obama’s inauguration, reportedly said that he is shocked that any black Americans would stay home with Obama on the ballot and suggested that all or most white people would go to hell.

The local outlet paraphrases Lowery’s comments. “Lowery said that when he was a young militant, he used to say all white folks were going to hell,” the Monroe County Reporter (Ga.) says in covering a rally in Forsyth, Georgia. “Then he mellowed and just said most of them were. Now, he said, he is back to where he was.”

Then there’s ACORN.

9. ACORN

From Wikipedia:

In 2009, a series of videos were released in which workers at several offices of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) appeared to advise a young couple on how to hide prostitution activities and avoid taxes, resulting in news media and political uproar. The videos, which were recorded secretly by conservative activists Hannah Giles and James O’Keefe (the “young couple”), were released on Fox News and the website BigGovernment.com from September into November 2009. They quickly generated widespread, negative publicity for ACORN, a non-profit organization…

Essentially, O’Keefe and Giles walked into ACORN offices all over the country and spun a story that they were setting up a business of prostitution, even stating that they were bringing in children to work in that business. ACORN staff then gave them advice on how to hide and disguise their illegal plans.

In the San Bernardino office, ACORN employee Tresa Kaelke told O’Keefe and Giles they could classify the underage brothel as a “group home” to avoid detection; she suggested the pair “invest in a line of vitamins” to disguise the location’s true purpose.[59] Later, Kaelke stated she believed the activists were joking and made a variety of absurd or joking statements to them.[60][61] She said they were “somewhat entertaining, but they weren’t even good actors”.[62] Office supervisor Christina Spach said Kaelke “pretended to cooperate with O’Keefe and Giles because she feared for her safety”.

O’Keefe was very clever how they released the videos. They released a couple. ACORN responded by saying that this was a few bad eggs, or excuses such as the above. They then released more, and more, and more until it was very clear that this was not just a one-time deal.

ACORN have also been caught on multiple occasions conducting voter registration fraud. Here’s a two page list of people that have been convicted.

What does all this mean?

The Wall Street Journal urges the U.S. Justice Department to undertake a criminal investigation of Acorn. This column echoes that call, although we wonder if the Obama administration is compromised here. The president, who as a candidate touted his background as a “community organizer,” has extensive ties to Acorn. In February 2008, the Acorn Political Action Committee endorsed Obama over Hillary Clinton, and Obama’s campaign Web site, Organizing for America, boasted of the candidate’s support for the group:

When Obama met with ACORN leaders in November, he reminded them of his history with ACORN and his beginnings in Illinois as a Project Vote organizer, a nonprofit focused on voter rights and education. Senator Obama said, “I come out of a grassroots organizing background. That’s what I did for three and half years before I went to law school. That’s the reason I moved to Chicago was to organize. So this is something that I know personally, the work you do, the importance of it. I’ve been fighting alongside ACORN on issues you care about my entire career. Even before I was an elected official, when I ran Project Vote voter registration drive in Illinois, ACORN was smack dab in the middle of it, and we appreciate your work.”

And in August 2008, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that the Obama campaign paid more than $800,000 to an Acorn “offshoot” for “get out the vote” projects.

Obama worked for Acorn and Acorn worked for Obama. That doesn’t mean the president is implicated in any wrongdoing, but it suggests at least that the worse things get for Acorn, the more embarrassing it is for him. If the Justice Department fails to prosecute, it invariably would raise suspicions of political favoritism. This column does not care for special prosecutors, but the case for appointing one would seem to be stronger here than usual.

Congress eventually defunded ACORN, but they’re still around and the media didn’t care much to dig around for Obama’s connections too much.

So who else has Obama worked with? Well, let’s look at congress.

9. Working with Congress

One of Obama’s big promises was the end of partisanship.

Er, that didn’t really happen. Here’s what happened.

Throughout the book, which is a journalistic history of the president’s key economic negotiations with Capitol Hill, Mr. Obama is portrayed as having the appearance and presentation of an academic or intellectual while being strangely clueless in his reading of political situations and dynamics. He is bad at negotiating—in fact doesn’t know how. His confidence is consistently greater than his acumen, his arrogance greater than his grasp.

He misread his Republican opponents from day one. If he had been large-spirited and conciliatory he would have effectively undercut them, and kept them from uniting. (If he’d been large-spirited with Mr. Romney, he would have undercut him, too.) Instead he was toughly partisan, he shut them out, and positions hardened. In time Republicans came to think he doesn’t really listen, doesn’t really hear. So did some Democrats.

Obama’s stimulus received zero Republican votes. (That’s the Republican’s fault of course, they’re soooo difficult.)

His healthcare bill was only passed after he cut a deal with conservative senate Democrats, and the final bill was never passed by the Senate after Scott Brown’s victory (in large part thanks to public opposition to the bill) removed the ability of the Democrats to pass the bill in the senate without Republican votes. It received no Republican votes either.

Hardly a good record of working across the isle.

But if the public got sick of the Healthcare bill being rammed down their throats (and being told it had to be passed to see what was in it), they are really sick of something else.

10. The public are sick of being called racist

In Feburary 2009, this cartoon appeared in the New York Post.

To any normal person, it took the fact that a pet monkey had gone out of control and ripped it’s owners face off and the fact that the stimulus bill was regarded by (it’s opponents at least) as just one big fat cheque to anyone with friends in the right places. That’s what the best political cartoonists do – they take two hot topics of the day and put them together for humorous effect.

Now, Obama didn’t write the Stimulus bill – Pelosi did. But to many, it was “racist” cos, you know, it’s comparing Obama to a monkey. Of course, under Bush it was just fine to compare the president to a chimp. It actually got pretty silly at one point:

That’s right. Boehlert whines and moans about Andrew Malcolm calling President Obama mean names, like “Smoker-in-Chief.” Then he cross-publishes his post at a site called “The Smirking Chimp.” On the masthead is a picture of former President George W. Bush, with a “return to sender” stamp across his face.

Then we had the “beer summit“.

On July 16, 2009, Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., was arrested at his Cambridge, Massachusetts home by a local police officer responding to a 9-1-1 caller’s report of men breaking and entering the residence. The arrest initiated a series of events that unfolded under the spotlight of the international news media.

The arrest occurred just after Gates returned home to Cambridge after a trip to China to research the ancestry of Yo-Yo Ma for Faces of America.[2] Gates found the front door to his home jammed shut and with the help of his driver tried to force it open. A local witness reported their activity to the police as a potential burglary in progress. Accounts regarding the ensuing confrontation differ, but Gates was arrested by the responding officer, Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley, and charged with disorderly conduct. On July 21, the charges against Gates were dropped. The arrest generated a national debate about whether or not it represented an example of racial profiling by police.

On July 22, PresidentBarack Obama commented on the incident, criticizing the arrest and the response by the police. Law enforcement organizations and members objected to Obama’s comments and criticized his handling of the issue. In the aftermath, Obama stated that he regretted his comments and hoped that the situation could become a “teachable moment“.

So essentially a black academic was seen breaking into his own house, the police came and he made a fuss. The police officer then arrested him, and was called racist for his trouble.

Of course, the officer was not there because Mr Gates was black. He was there because there was a reported break in. But Obama made a big act of reconciling the parties by having them both over for a beer, even though the incident wasn’t racist.

It got worse from there. This tea party pretty much sums it up.

Michelle Malkin has a list of some of the more generic terms that have been called “racist” by Democrats over the last 2 years. Are you experienced at playing golf in Chicago?

Yes, there’s a lot more that could be said on this topic. I would certainly agree that any and all racist people in the USA would oppose Obama. But real racism has not really come to the fore during the Obama presidency. Rather, false allegations of racism have become the way politics has been conducted. It has become sport to pick innocuous words or action and re-interpret them so that they can be claimed to be racist – even words that Obama would use frequently have been placed in this category.

Speaking of Obama’s use of words, let’s talk about the elephant in the room…

10. The Teleprompter Of The United States

This one is just weird.

“It’s just something presidents haven’t done,” said Martha Joynt Kumar, a presidential historian who has held court in the White House since December 1975. “It’s jarring to the eye. In a way, it stands in the middle between the audience and the president because his eye is on the teleprompter.”

Just how much of a crutch the teleprompter has become for Obama was on sharp display during his latest commerce secretary announcement. The president spoke from a teleprompter in the ornate Indian Treaty Room for a few minutes. Then Gov. Gary Locke stepped to the podium and pulled out a piece of paper for reference.

The president’s teleprompter also elicited some uncomfortable laughter after he announced Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as his choice for Health and Human Services secretary. “Kathy,” Obama said, turning the podium over to Sebelius, who waited at the microphone for an awkward few seconds while the teleprompters were lowered to the floor and the television cameras rolled.

Bush got a lot of stick for being a poor speaker. But that was when he was speaking off the cuff. Obama’s solution? Never speak off the cuff.

Bush also got a lot of stick for not conducing many press conferences.

Is Obama better on that score? Not so much.

Obama hasn’t held a full-fledged news conference at the White House since March. After a Cabinet meeting in July, a reporter tried to ask him whether new gun laws were needed after the Colorado shooting — and Obama brushed off the inquiry with a joke.

In lieu of taking hard questions, Obama has opted for gauzy, soft-focus interviews with the likes of “Entertainment Tonight,” gentle appearances on late-night comedy shows, kid-glove satellite hits with regional TV stations, and joint appearances with the first lady where questions are certain to be gentle. Tough questions are rare in one-on-one interviews, because Obama has more control over the topic — and the interviewer wants to be invited back.

11. Obama promised to take public funding, then went back on his word.

Obama made a very specific promise at the last election:

Obama wrote: “In February 2007, I proposed a novel way to preserve the strength of the public financing system in the 2008 election. My plan requires both major party candidates to agree on a fundraising truce, return excess money from donors, and stay within the public financing system for the general election. My proposal followed announcements by some presidential candidates that they would forgo public financing so they could raise unlimited funds in the general election. The Federal Election Commission ruled the proposal legal, and Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has already pledged to accept this fundraising pledge. If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.”

So what did he actually do? He went back on his word, and blamed McCain – the Senate leader in campaign finance reform.

“We’ve made the decision not to participate in the public financing system for the general election,” Obama says in the video, blaming it on the need to combat Republicans, saying “we face opponents who’ve become masters at gaming this broken system. John McCain’s campaign and the Republican National Committee are fueled by contributions from Washington lobbyists and special interest PACs. And we’ve already seen that he’s not going to stop the smears and attacks from his allies running so-called 527 groups, who will spend millions and millions of dollars in unlimited donations.”

In the meantime, McCain kept his promise to take public funding and was badly outspent.

But that’s not the only problem with Obama’s finances.

12. Obama’s “small donor” base is largely myth

Obama built a strong myth that he had lots of small donors, and hence was the “canditate for the little guy” and not “bought” by large interest.

Quite simply, this isn’t true.

Finally, Obama received about 80% more money from large donors (cumulative contributions of at least $1,000) than from small donors. While the large donors thus were responsible for much more of Obama’s money than either his small or middle range group, he received somewhat less proportionally from large donors than did his rivals or predecessors. Forty-seven percent of Obama’s money came from large donors compared to 56% for Kerry and 60% for both Bush and McCain. However, because Obama’s 47% is based on a larger total, that means he also raised significantly more large-donor money in absolute terms than any of his rivals or predecessors.

Much of this money was raised the “old fashioned” way. Since only about 13,000 of those who started out small for Obama ended up crossing the $1,000 threshold, that means the bulk of Obama’s $213 million in large-donor contributions during the primaries came from about 85,000 people who started out giving big and stayed there. Much of this large-donor money – perhaps close to a majority – came to the campaign through bundling methods initially perfected by Bush.

So in other words, he’s just as much in hock to special interests as any other guy.

But wait, there’s more…

13. He took illegal donations – and is doing it again.

It’s illegal for US political campaigns to take money from foreign sources. But Obama got caught doing exactly that. No one did anything about it, so he’s done it again this time.

“During calendar year 2012, the Obama campaign received at least $4,580,805.35 from donors who did not submit a ZIP code, or submitted one that does not exist,” the Government Accountability Institute  announced in a report after reviewing FEC records. That figure is 16 times the amount that Mitt Romney has received in such contributions ($282,814), suggesting that Romney has tighter security controls for his online donations.

This study of Obama and Romney campaign records comes after GAI reported that almost half of federal campaigns fail to verify the location of donors. The New York Post followed up with its own report on the topic.

“Chris Walker, a British citizen who lives outside London, told The Post he was able to make two $5 donations to President Obama’s campaign this month through its Web site while a similar attempt to give Mitt Romney cash was rejected. It is illegal to knowingly solicit or accept money from foreign citizens,” the Post reported. “Walker said he used his actual street address in England but entered Arkansas as his state with the Schenectady, NY, ZIP code of 12345.”

Some wag even put in a bunch of donations from “Osama Bin Laden” and received pleas for money from Ms Obama describing Mr Bin Laden as one of their most valued contributors.

Since the “foreign” contribution was sent, “Bin Laden’s” email address has received several solicitations from Obama’s campaign asking for more donations.

The apparently foreign-based contributions were conducted as a test after a flurry of media reports described the ability of foreigners to donate to the Obama campaign but not to Mitt Romney’s site, which has placed safeguards against such efforts.

The acceptance of foreign contributions is strictly illegal under U.S. campaign finance law.

One $15 donation was made at BarackObama.com using a confirmed Pakistani IP address and proxy server. In other words, as far as the campaign website was concerned, the donation was openly identified electronically as coming from Pakistan.

Speaking of money, did you hear the one about the governor?

14. Illinois & Corruption

Blagojevich was the governer of Illinois. He tried to auction off Obama’s seat.

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich embarked on a “corruption crime spree” and tried to benefit from his ability to appoint President-elect Barack Obama’s replacement in the U.S. Senate, federal officials said Tuesday.

At a news conference in Chicago on Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald called it a sad day for the citizens of Illinois and alleged that the governor tried to “auction off” the Senate seat “to the highest bidder.”

But here’s where it gets interesting.

Blagojevich, on the other hand, didn’t make the state prosper. Under his leadership, Illinois’s state budget became a mess, ending the last fiscal year in July with “$8.3 billion in unpaid bills and other obligations, including $850 million owed in corporate tax refunds, $750 million needed to repay interfund borrowing, and $1.2 billion for state employee health insurance,” Reuters reports.

When the Illinois House of Representatives voted by a 114–1 vote to impeach Blagojevich, it was the first time such an action has been taken against a governor of Illinois. And he was impeached for “corruption and misconduct,” much of that having to do with the mess the state was in.

Although past governors were corrupt, “the tale of [Blagojevich’s] stunning fall departs sharply from those of crooked past governors… who succumbed to greed,” the Chicago Tribune wrote in July. The tale is sharply different, the Tribune writes, because Blagojevich wasn’t just corrupt — he was also incompetent.

So Chicago was (and probably still is) so steeped in corruption that they didn’t even bother to impeach corrupt governors – only the ones who where both incompetent and corrupt.

This is Obama’s political training ground.

Now, the media made a big ting of claiming Obama wasn’t involved in the seat auction. I have no doubt he this is the case.

But if you seriously believe that he spent so many years in a political system where corruption was a way of life, and never compromised himself, I have a bridge to sell you. Seriously, it’s going cheap.

Speaking of sales, how about talking about the word’s no. 1 commodity and Obama’s handling on of the biggest ever spill of it?

15. Gulf Oil spill

Well, this story is well known. BP drills 2km down in the ocean and things go boom! Oil leaks out for weeks.

But there’s one fact that was slightly unreported – most of this oil could have been captured quickly had the federal government acted.

The same bureaucratic obstinance sabotaged relief efforts from the earliest days of the crisis. Radio Netherlands, for example, reported on May 4 that the Environmental Protection Agency’s water discharge rules appear to have played a role in prompting federal agencies to turn down international offers of assistance, including oil skimming equipment from the Netherlands. The massive Dutch ships are specifically designed to deal with oil spills by taking in the contaminated seawater, separating out a large amount of oil and then dumping the remaining water overboard. “But the water does contain some oil residue, and that is too much according to U.S. environment regulations,” Radio Netherlands explained.

These ships sat idle for six weeks because bureaucratic rules could not distinguish an effort that would have sucked 5,000 tons of oil per day out of the Gulf from the actions of someone deliberately pumping oil into the water.

“In case you were wondering who’s responsible,” said President Obama at his May 28 press conference, “I take responsibility.” That sounds about right – except that this time, a better phrase for “responsibility” would be “the blame.”

Obama did not cause the spill, but his failure to act in this instance meant that a whole lot of oil was left in the gulf that could have been removed. That is a substantial failure of leadership in a time of crisis.

Speaking of killing stuff, let’s talk about abortion.

16. Abortion

Before you switch off, I’m not writing this section to push one side of the abortion issue even though my own position is very clear and very solid. I’m not going to try and suggest that Obama should be flayed for supporting abortion. Instead, I’m going to show that he is so extreme on abortion that he is far, far outside the mainstream. 

He had a 100 percent rating from the Illinois Planned Parenthood Council for his support of abortion rights, family planning services and health insurance coverage for female contraceptives.

One vote that especially riled abortion opponents involved restrictions on a type of abortion where the fetus sometimes survives, occasionally for hours. The restrictions, which never became law, included requiring the presence of a second doctor to care for the fetus.

…Abortion opponents see Obama’s vote on medical care for aborted fetuses as a refusal to protect the helpless. Some have even accused him of supporting infanticide.

Obama — who joined several other Democrats in voting “present” in 2001 and “no” the next year — argued the legislation was worded in a way that unconstitutionally threatened a woman’s right to abortion by defining the fetus as a child.

“It would essentially bar abortions because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this was a child then this would be an anti-abortion statute,” Obama said in the Senate’s debate in March 2001.

After Obama left to become president, the legislation passed. It did not ban abortion.

Conflict of interest declaration: The woman who discovered the horrific practice that Obama was protecting is now the mother-in-law to a one-time contributor to this blog.

Obama has also been vocal in support of the horrific practice of partial-birth abortion.

That’s babies. What about bosses?

17. Obama had no Executive Experience coming into the job

The US president is probably the most demanding executive position in the world. To have a realistic shot, you’ve got to be either speaker (or leader of your party) in the house, a senator or a governor, or perhaps mayor of a major city like New York.

(Obama was elected to the US senate in 2004. He started running for president in 2006. That’s mere 2 years federal government experience.)

But think for a moment. Think of the best president you remember (Clinton? Reagan?). Chances are pretty good that that president was a governor.  That’s because governors have experience actually running things, rather than sitting on committees opining on how things should be run.

But what about the one thing that Obama was put in charge of?

The final technical report of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge is available online here. We learn that the program received a $50 million grant from the Annenberg Foundation, on the condition that they raise at least twice as much (they did slightly better than the requirement, spending $160 million total when all was said and done) and commission their own evaluation. The report includes a lengthy description of the Challenge’s goals and methods, and a 33-page description of the methodology used to measure its progress. The bottom line is in the report’s executive summary:

Our research indicates that student outcomes in Annenberg schools were much like those in demographically similar non-Annenberg schools and across the Chicago school system as a whole, indicating that among the schools it supported, the Challenge had little impact on student outcomes.

In the last two years of the project, certain schools were identified as “breakthrough” schools. Annenberg’s board dedicated more money and resources to these. The report notes on page 73 (114 in the PDF):

There were virtually no statistically significant differences between Breakthrough and other Annenberg schools in these student outcomes.

Bear in mind that Chicago schools set a pretty low bar to begin with. The four-year graduation rate in the city’s high schools, depending on how you measure it, is as low as 54 percent. According to one recent study, only 6 percent of entering freshmen in Chicago public high schools will obtain college degrees by age 25. Only 31.4 percent of Chicago high-school juniors met or exceeded state standards on the Prairie State Achievement Examination.

So to conclude: Obama had pretty much no experience running anything, and even the one thing he did run didn’t even come close to meeting it’s goals, even though those goals should have been pretty easy to meet.

Yes, he’s now got 4 years experience. But the American people are now realising that putting a guy in the job without experience of any sort was not a good idea at all.

Strangely, this is echoed by none other than his own choice for VP.

18. His own choice for VP thought he wasn’t up to the job

Ouch.

In fact Biden has something of a record of saying things that he ought to regret. As one conservative has proved

Speaking of things one later regrets, let’s talk about…

19. The C-SPAN promise

Here’s the thing. If you’re going to make a clear, specific promise you’d better think it through carefully.

During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama said several times that he intended to negotiate health care reform publicly. In fact, he said, he’d televise the negotiations on C-SPAN, with all the parties sitting at a big table. That way, Americans would be more engaged in the process and insist on real change.

“That’s what I will do in bringing all parties together, not negotiating behind closed doors, but bringing all parties together, and broadcasting those negotiations on C-SPAN so that the American people can see what the choices are, because part of what we have to do is enlist the American people in this process,” Obama said at a debate in Los Angeles on Jan. 31, 2008.

So no, there haven’t been any round-table negotiations on C-SPAN. And there are plenty of questions still to be answered. To our mind, one of the most important questions will be the details behind what’s known as the public option, which Obama has said he supports. It could be like Medicare for everyone, or it could be just another nonprofit health insurance plan, or anywhere in between. The details here matter a great deal, but we don’t know which type of public option is likely to emerge from Congress or what specific stipulations Obama might have for the public option.

Obama promised — repeatedly — an end to closed-door negotiations and complete openness for the health care talks. But he hasn’t delivered. Instead of open talks of C-SPAN, we’ve gotten more of the same — talks behind closed doors at the White House and Congress. We might revisit this promise if there’s a dramatic change, but we see nothing to indicate anything has changed. We rate this Promise Broken.

Talk big, then about face. Hmm, wonder if he’s done that on another occasion?

20. The Status of Jerusalem

Again, this is a bit of a controversial topic. But again, it’s not the rights or wrongs that I’m discussing here – it’s how Obama used it.

 Obama, during a speech Wednesday to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-israel lobbying group, had called for Jerusalem to become the site of the U.S. embassy, a frequent pledge for U.S. presidential candidates. (It is now in Tel Aviv.) But his statement that Jerusalem should be the undivided capital of Israel drew a swift rebuke from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

This was not a trivial promise but rather a major policy change. It drew a large cheer from the crowd, and made him very popular on the day.

It also drew a lot of skepticism, which quickly proved justified.

…Obama quickly backtracked today in an interview with CNN.

“Well, obviously, it’s going to be up to the parties to negotiate a range of these issues. And Jerusalem will be part of those negotiations,” Obama said when asked whether Palestinians had no future claim to the city.

Obama said “as a practical matter, it would be very difficult to execute” a division of the city. “And I think that it is smart for us to — to work through a system in which everybody has access to the extraordinary religious sites in Old Jerusalem but that Israel has a legitimate claim on that city.”

In other words, Obama cynically made a major promise to a group when he was standing in front of them, got their support, then the next day turned his back on it.

Well, the Jewish vote may be modest, but Obama is in serious danger of losing a much bigger group.

21. Vote like your Lady Smarts depended on it.

This went down like a ton of led bricks.

So you’d think just a little before they did this.

“Your first time shouldn’t be with just anybody. You want to do it with a great guy.”

After that opening line, Ms. Dunham continues on for another minute and a half discussing how having sex for the first time and voting for Barack Obama for president are really the same thing, and how young women don’t want to be accused of either being virgins or of having passed up on their chance to cast their votes for Obama next Tuesday.So begins the now famous official Barack Obama for President campaign ad that was released last week. The ad depicts a young woman named Lena Dunham, who is apparently a celebrity among Americans in their teens and 20s.

I’ve never been particularly interested in so-called “women’s issues.” It never seemed to me that any party or politician was particularly good or bad for me due to the way they thought of women. That all changed with the Dunham ad for Obama.

With this ad, Obama convinced me he is a misogynist.

The Obama campaign’s use of a double entendre to compare sex – the most personal, intimate act we engage in as human beings, with voting – the most public act we engage in as human beings – is a scandal.

It is demeaning and contemptuous of women. It reduces us to sexual objects. When called on to vote, as far as Obama is concerned, as slaves to our passions, we make our decisions not based on our capacity for rational choice. Rather we choose our leaders solely on the basis of our sexual desires.

Apparently, this writer didn’t get the memo. Read the comments and wince.

But to me, there is one reason why Obama should not be elected. Worse, if he does get elected, he will regret it more than anything in his life.

22. Benghazi.

More is coming out all the time.

Between 5 PM, when the president was informed of the attack, and 10:35 AM, when Obama delivered that public statement, there was an interval of more than 17 hours. When was he directly following the events in Benghazi, complete with the claim and appearance of the heavily armed terrorists of Ansar al-Sharia? When did he go to sleep? When was he informed of the death of the ambassador? During the first six-and-a-half of those hours, from 5 PM until about 11:30 PM Washington time, the American personnel on the ground in Benghazi were either under attack (intermittent, and at times intense, for hours, if you believe the State Department; or with a pause of about four hours — though with nothing definitively resolved, and the ambassador presumed dead but not yet back in American hands — if you believe the CIA). And during the first 11 of those hours, until 4 AM Washington time, there were still Americans, in peril, on the ground in Benghazi.

What was the president doing during those many hours? There are various accounts now circulating of what his staff did, or perhaps did not do. But for the president himself, there’s a big blank. The White House, which has released photos of Obama monitoring everything from the raid on Osama bin Laden to the natural disaster of Hurricane Sandy, has released no photos of Obama at his post on the evening of the Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi.

In an interview weeks later, on Oct 27, with a Colorado TV reporter who pressed questions about Benghazi, Obama said, “The minute I found out what was happening, I gave three very clear directives.” These directives, he said, were to investigate what happened, to bring the perpetrators to justice, and — presumably the most urgent while the battle itself was still underway — “make sure we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to.” But that was about all he was willing to say.

Obama’s immediate dispensing of a directive (though, as Bing West has noted, we have yet to see any documentary evidence of it) accounts for the time just after 5 PM. What did Obama do for the rest of that evening, as Libyans found a dying ambassador in the ravaged diplomatic compound, and took him to a Benghazi hospital; as the outgunned Americans in Benghazi took up defensive positions at the annex?

We know three things for certain:

  1. Americans, including an ambassador, died.
  2. There was not enough security
  3. The administration went into cover-up mode and blamed a YouTube video

Watergate was just about dirty political tactics and the resulting cover up. No one died. There were no grieving relatives. Yet the Democrats used the investigation to make Nixon’s life a misery and forced him to resign or face impeachment.

That’s the sort of thing Obama has to face. Because this happened on his watch. The buck stops with him.

*****************************************

 

Well, that’s 22 reasons. I’ve tried to avoid partisan sources, and I’ve tried to avoid the sillier aspects of anti-Obama criticism.

I don’t doubt that some people will disagree with me, but I hope that my readers might now appreciate some of the reasons that Americans have for not re-electing a president who has been an almost total failure.

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