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And So It Goes: The Implosion of the Obama Presidency

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Sooner or later, it was bound to happen.

Ever since Barack Obama assumed the presidency last January, he enthusiastically embarked on one economic disaster, foreign policy blunder and big government scheme after another. Now, the consequences of his actions have formed an endgame of epic proportions.

That endgame can be found going on all around us at this very minute. It is not a pleasant sight — to say the least.

On one front, Obama’s astonishing incompetence in handling the Afghan War caused a completely natural response from the man in charge of the American military forces in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal. He gently ribbed both our Most Excellent Commander-in-Chief and his humorous sidekick, Vice President Joe Biden, in an interview with Rolling Stone this week. After hearing about this, The Chief — not one to take criticism lightly — promptly called McChrystal to Washington, DC where the General tendered his resignation. From the perspective of an Americanist such as myself, the funniest thing about this childish affair was not The Chief’s extraordinarily fragile ego, but the fact that in the 2008 presidential election, McChrystal supported the very man who would so soon end his long and distinguished career.

Meanwhile, on a totally different front, Obama’s moratorium on offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico met a fitting end at the hand of New Orleans U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman. His ruling was warmly received by a vast majority of Gulf Coast residents who feared that the ongoing oil spill off of Louisiana’s shoreline would cripple any and all economic activity in their region for years to come.

Finally, on the front of public opinion, Obama is in what could only be described as free fall. According to a recent poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports, 57% of likely voters feel that Hillary Clinton is qualified to be president, while only a bare majority — 51% — feel that The Chief is.

Talk about embarrassing.

As Obama’s endgame continues to play itself out, it is highly likely that his desperation will increase dramatically. Some have even speculated that — in a last ditch effort to see his agenda come to fruition — he may draft a groundbreaking executive order. Supposedly, it would grant amnesty to all of the illegal aliens residing in the United States.

During times such as these, a reference to the song Que Sera, Sera is in order. As its lyrics go, Whatever will be will be.

For any sane person considering the current state of our country, those are not words of comfort.

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About Joseph F. Cotto

  • “It is not a pleasant sight — to say the least.”

    Oh, but you seem to be enjoying it immensely.

    Where you get this stuff is a mystery to me. Absolutely nothing you said above is true except perhaps regarding Obama’s current poll numbers. Poll results change with the wind. If pols took poll numbers to heart, Bush & Cheney should have vacated DC at least 2 years before the end of their terms. They came damn close to single digits in their respective approval ratings. Now that’s embarrassing!

    Not to burst your bubble, but the odds are that Obama’s “endgame” will not come for about another 6 years. Enjoy.


  • Glenn Contrarian

    Yet another indefensible set of claims by Mr. Cotto who at least knows that since he can’t defend his claims, it’s best that he not even try to do so.

    On McChrystal’s resignation, it’s obvious that Mr. Cotto has little or no military experience…for if he did, he’d know that if anything, Obama’s reaction to McChrystal’s insubordination and violation of UCMJ article 88 was quite patient. To most of us who spent decades in the military, a failure to fire McChrystal would have reflected VERY badly upon Obama.

    We retired military well understood why active-duty admirals and generals refused to speak out against Bush 43’s insanity in the Middle East, but instead retired and THEN spoke out in protest against the Iraq war. This is part of the American military TRADITION, Mr. Cotto. A tradition that McChrystal violated and is paying the price…as well he should.

    In other words, Mr. Cotto, you didn’t have a clue what you were talking about.

    When it comes to the drilling moratorium, it affected only the drilling of NEW wells, and NOT the operation of wells already dug. It affected only a small portion of the wells in the Gulf…and in case you didn’t notice, it was the priority of “cents over sense”, the greed-is-good mentality that drove us into the Great Recession.

    Your mention of Rasmussen reports is interesting, too – because if you’d look at the average of all major statistical services, Rasmussen reports always, always, ALWAYS comes up with statistical results significantly skewed to the right. If Rasmussen gives result “A”, then the actual reality must be several points to the left.

    And then you topped it all of with yet more rumormongering.

    psst! Mr. Cotto! Try something different – like CHECKING YOUR FACTS!

  • zingzing

    the americanist strikes again.

  • I’ve said it elsewhere and I will say it here. Any co-called Conservative who is relishing the missteps of the Obama Administration borders on treason. This country is out of control. And no one on either side of the aisle will acknowledge that this country is in deep trouble. The warning signs flash all around us and the spin continues on both sides.

    Barack Obama has made plenty of mistakes. And he IS capable of better. The problem he faces is a Far Right agenda which quietly funds and enforces a policy of no Obama agenda period — despite the cost of division.

    I want Barack Obama’s Presidency to succeed — not for the sake of his so-called “agenda” but for the sake of our children and grandchildren. I want Barack Hussein Obama to recall his roots and recall that which he was taught in his youth. I want him to capture his mother’s spirit and run with it in ways we can only dream of. Perhaps it’s naive. Perhaps it’s already too late.

    The true Conservative today is like a Democrat. They sit in the shadows and let the GOP power brokers call the shots. It’s time for robust reform in Washington. If not now, when? If not us, who? The Chinese? Hamid Karzai? Japan? Rupert Murdoch? We’re heading into a violent time, my friends. And when the violence arrives on our soil we’re ill prepared to suffer the costs.

  • Baronius

    The McChrystal thing is interesting. From what I’ve seen of the article, it looks like most of the offensive comments are second-hand. But an officer is responsible for all the actions that take place under his command, so he can’t just blame his underlings. The only question is if the stories really came from McChrystal’s people.

    Actually, Feldman’s decision is pretty interesting, too. I’m waiting to hear the legal analysis of it.

  • I have been watching the General McChrystal affair pretty closely and have seen nothing to suggest that he has denied any of the reported statements; honorably, he accepted full blame for them. More of our elected officials should do that rather than offer fake apologies — which hardly anyone credits — for having “misspoken.”

    His comments and those of his aides should never have been made in a public venue — and certainly not in the presence of a reporter. His own few comments should not have been made and he should have shoved at least one of his boots down the throat of any of his officers who made such comments; immediately. The chain of command is vital, and what happened is little different from a company commander telling his troops that the brigade commander is an idiot. The brigade commander may well be an idiot, but that sort of thing grossly degrades the chain of command and impairs the enthusiastic obedience of lawful orders needed in an effective fighting force.

    I agree with Glen that he should have retired first.

    Now that he has been relieved, I don’t know what will happen to him. He should and probably will retire. There is no future for him in the army, unless he wants to go down in history as the most senior officer ever to command a mess kit repair battalion in Alaska.

    He may seek public office and, based on the comments I have seen on several blogs, he might make a successful run for a seat in the Congress. It is permissible to say all sorts of things there which no active duty military officer can properly say.

    In the final analysis, there remains the question who won? President Obama or General McChrystal. I think the latter, but a lot depends on what happens next.


  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dan –

    I will say this – because of the recent hullaballoo with McChrystal, I’m not willing to say that any one particular person won…but at least one person’s mind was changed concerning the Afghanistan war – mine.

    I supported our efforts in Afghanistan for one reason only – preventing al-Qaeda from having a safe haven from which to threaten Pakistan’s nukes. After all, none of us want to see al-Qaeda with a few nukes on hand.

    If not for that, then I would’ve opposed the war much sooner.

    I now oppose the war in its entirety, and feel that we should leave posthaste…and provide as much practical assistance as possible for safeguarding Pakistan’s nukes from within Pakistan.

    Maybe, just maybe, if we get our boys out of there, that’s a few more lives saved on all sides, and $30B more taxpayer dollars saved per annum. It’s time to leave Afghanistan…

    …and as much as he needs killin’ (as we used to say Down South), Osama bin Laden’s strategy with 9/11 and subsequently drawing us into Afghanistan was by any military measure a masterstroke, one that will be studied in war colleges for future generations as the acme of asymmetrical warfare, just as Heinz Guderian’s implementation of blitzkrieg in the invasion of France is still studied today. I don’t have to love the guy – like I said, he needs killin’ – but even Sun Tzu would’ve appreciated and complimented his success (if not his follow-through).

  • John Wilson

    Perhaps McChrystal determined that Afghanistan was unwinnable and chose this way to exit without risking a failure or resigning in the face of fire.

  • Arch Conservative

    Silas….we don’t relish missteps of the president. It’s just that we know the man who is president now is not capable of ringing about anything we would view as positive change so we do enjoy it when he is ridiculed and belittled because it serves to lessen the political clout he may wield. Since we have already determined no good, only harm, will come of his presidency why would you expect us to support it in any way? The best we can do is hope the damage can be minimized until someone worthwhile comes along.

  • Glen,

    If we can’t “win” the war in Afghanistan, and at the moment I think the chances of that are about as great as my bodily ascension into heaven to sit at the right hand of Neptune, then we should leave. I wouldn’t even bother to declare victory. Maybe the Peace Corps could be sent to replace them as a face saving gesture of good will.

    Here is what I think should have been done; it hasn’t been.

    Our troops are quite likely to be needed elsewhere soon.


  • Arch, contrary to popular belief, I don’t believe you are a part of the radical right. Granted you are in direct opposition to Obama but you’ve used reason and facts for the most part. These so-called Conservative pundits and their minions are an entirely different matter.

    I’ve given serious consideration to the notion that a Conservative Congress may, in fact, help this President. IF the Conservative ticker were populated with true Conservatives lacking a “moral agenda” it could stand a chance. The bare truth is that the Conservative cause has been lynched by a radical Conservative minority steeped in the hope that Jesus Christ will arrive on that big white cloud any day. The other minority are those radical right disenfranchised White voters who are still fighting the Civil War. You’re NOT that kind of Conservative.

    So, Arch, how do we little people do what we need to do to try and get this country back on an even keel? Or has the ship sailed?

  • Dan (Miller) – I watched your link. And what this fine Patriot did was echo that which I have been saying for two weeks now. The Karzai Brothers are the problem. The opium production controlled by Karzai’s brother makes a lot of money and his fields go untouched by the American military. So? Is Hamid Karzai friend or foe? I submit that Hamid Karzai responds to wealth, period.

    So, what then do we do about Afghanistan? We go into the South and torch every Karzai poppy field. We gather the war and tribal lords under a tent in Kandahar and say, “look, we screwed up. Karzai doesn’t have the moral resolve to bring your country out of the Middle Ages.” We give these Lords a serious position at the table for rebuilding Afghanistan. Then we look at the mineral reserves. These MUST be administered by a multinational contingent to insure that the ultimate profits are returned to the Afghan people in a just manner. Like it or not, the American military has discounted the Afghan mentality every step of the way by being mesmerized by Karzai’s “support”. Hamid Karzai is no friend to this nation and his demise will be at the end of a rope or by a bullet — count on it.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dan –

    I really liked one of the quotes at the start – “If you find yourself in a fair fight, then your tactics suck!”

    I think Mr. West has a very good understanding of the challenge that we face in the war on terrorism – specifically, that it’s a war on the strategic, level, that it’s not so much a battlefield issue as a media/religion/funding issue. I’m reminded of the old saw that “Amateurs talk firepower, professionals talk logistics.”

    That said, while I think he’s got some righteously good ideas on how to help win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people (radio, cleaning up corruption, providing real security for the schools, etc.), one of his quotes bothered me somewhat, concerning the worldwide nature of the conflict. It sounded to me as if he’s of the same unilateral bent as some others have been. Would he be eager to do what is necessary to get other countries to gladly help in the war on terror? Or is he too distrusting of them?

    Like most other people, he’s got some very good ideas…but I wouldn’t give him the keys to the car just yet.

  • Glen,

    Like most other people, he’s got some very good ideas…but I wouldn’t give him the keys to the car just yet.

    Neither would I. But with some seasoning in the Congress, I wouldn’t rule him out either.


    IF the Conservative ticker were populated with true Conservatives lacking a “moral agenda” it could stand a chance. The bare truth is that the Conservative cause has been lynched by a radical Conservative minority steeped in the hope that Jesus Christ will arrive on that big white cloud any day.

    Amen. I wrote much the same thing here some time ago, although I don’t think the lynch mob is as pervasive as some argue that it is. It’s a very diverse group, and I like that a lot. There are only a few basics, and the rest is noise — distracting but damaging.


  • Meanwhile, it seems as though General Betray Us has vanished.


  • LOL, Dan(Miller). I think the Presidnet’s decision was politically savvy. The next question, can Petraeus deliver? There’s a problem. Karzai liked McChrystal. That’s the first red flag. Otherwise, Petraeus is respected by both political parties. He’s in good standing with the NATO command. And, he was viewed as GOP papabile in 2012.

  • Baronius

    I don’t know the first thing about which general is best suited to the task in Afghanistan. I sure hope Petraeus can improve things.

  • John Wilson

    McChrystals force strategy was a failure. He either had to change or step down. Both were disgraceful, but if he could get himself fired by a Democrat president his stock would rise with rightists, thus fueling his after-service political career. Ergo, an errant quote, ala MacArthur, would place him about right.

    In Iraq and Afghanistan we have a chance to contrast two different strategies: Petraeus in Iraq chose to simply bribe warlords with $30million/month in bribes, pretty cheap at that. McChrystal tried fierce force which backfired horribly, resulting in many killed innocents and few dead insurgents.

    It’s simple: McChrystal lost.

    Now we get to see if Petraeus method works in Afghanistan, too.

  • Baronius

    John, do you really think he opted for public embarrassment and firing in order to increase his prestige? A civilian wouldn’t do that, much less a military man.

  • I don’t know the first thing about which general is best suited to the task in Afghanistan.

    The one who draws the obvious conclusion from a contemplation of the fact that every foreign military expedition into Afghanistan, using every form of weaponry from the hoplite’s spear to the helicopter gunship, has failed.

  • John Wilson

    Reading the Rolling Stones article leads one to the conclusion that McChrystal is rash and sometimes incautious. His restiveness at Obamas caution before committing more troops and his apparent lack of flexibility in the field suggest that he is really just a plodder. A forceful plodder, perhaps. But not a field genius. And I think everyone is tired of experimentation with theories: “Let’s try this now…”.

  • re Comment #18,

    McChrystal’s force strategy was a failure. He either had to change or step down. Both were disgraceful, but if he could get himself fired by a Democrat president his stock would rise with rightists, thus fueling his after-service political career.

    The strategy he tried to implement was the strategy he was sent there to implement.

    As to the right, there have been quite a few comments from the “rightists” to the effect that since he voted for President Obama he is a stupid jerk and never to be trusted.

    I think General McChrystal got the better of the dispute with President Obama, for the reasons stated here. The position stated there is hardly consistent with that of many on the right.


  • Baronius

    The more I think about this, the more it seems like things just got out of hand. The story here may be no more than a group of guys who were untrained in how to act around a reporter spending two months around a reporter. Once the staff let down their guard, no one had any choice in his actions. The reporter had to write that story; the general had to offer his resignation; the President had to accept it.

  • Oh my the Obama Administration is imploding. And the sky is falling, too.

    BTW, Jerome Corsi is a skinhead symp. Don’t think so? Ask the fine conservative peeps at Political Cesspool, where he hawks hate-based wares like Obamanation.

  • One more link to your work, Dan, and you’ll need to buy an ad on the site

  • I’m afraid he’d have to. As it stands, poor Dan has been reduced to the role of a third-rate satirist. All that Yale education and legal training gone to waste. Imagine that!

    Politics can surely turn even the most astute of fellows into an automaton. What a pity!

  • El Bicho, re # 25

    I have read and re-read the BC comments policy. I frequently link articles at BC, my own and those of others, in my articles and comments at other sites when relevant. I shall continue to link articles on other sites, whether I wrote them or others did so, in any articles I may submit or comments I may post at BC until I am advised that to do so is contrary to BC rules.

    If you think it is contrary to those rules, please let me know which rules. If you think the rules should be changed, I would suggest that you communicate with others on the editor’s channel of communication and try to accomplish it.


  • Arch Conservative

    I have no clue how to right the ship Silas. Both Democrats and Republicans have proven they’d sell us all down the river to save their own political ambition.

    Money and power are immensely corrupting, corrosive. How does a nation rise above it all? Hell I can’t even figure out how an individual rises above it all.

    With Obama however it’s different from the average politician. I despise the man on a personal level. You might not have gathered it from my writings on here but I sincerely believe that life’s greatest lesson is humility and Obama knows not an ounce of it. His soul is one of unparalleled conceitful arrogance. It is indeed a very ugly soul. I see no good and no potential for good in the man. i can not bring myself to support him.

  • Perhaps the complain has got more to do with plagiarism instead of putting one’s own thoughts in one’s words – a rather common offense these days on the part of many BCers.

    Is you guilty or is you not?

  • Mark

    Not plagiarism, Rog. When argument fails to convince, what can one fall back on except appeal to authority — or in the case of our lawyer friends, precedent?

  • Arch, I find myself leaning toward your assessment of this President. Perhaps as Roger says it’s my “naivety” or perhaps it’s hanging on to the last thread of hope and idealism from my youth. Who knows? We agree that “Both Democrats and Republicans have proven they’d sell us all down the river to save their own political ambition.” I thought you were blinded by ideology in detesting this President. I’m sorry. I never should have made that assumption. Had there been another Democrat in the Oval Office, i.e. Hillary Clinton, I think you’d be less abrasive in your approach. I saw potential, you saw through that potential. There is where I made my mistake.

    At the beginning of the week, I wrote a piece for the Video section here at Blogcritics on of all things, soap operas. It’s amazing how when one revisits days gone by and relives emotions and events there comes a certain clarity. I relived plenty as I wrote it – the 60’s, 70’s and beyond. Though we have made incredible advances in technology and medicine I realized for the first time something very profound. Remember when Ronald Reagan asked “are you better off than you were four years ago”? I found myself asking, “am I better off today than I was in 1980?” The answer was a resounding no.

  • Roger, re # 29 — if providing a link (in this case to something I wrote elsewhere) constitutes plagiarism, then the meaning of the word must have changed recently.


  • It’s the Pajama Media that you’re pushing, DM. Shame on you for throwing this bit of a piece of yellow journalism in our face. Have you lost all respect for yourself? What goes?

  • Dan

    Dan Miller, maybe roger means you plagiarised the name of the other fellow who wrote the article you linked to.

  • Yes, Dan. You’re right. There is no comment policy rule requiring people buying ads. I didn’t realize you took comments so literal.

  • John Wilson

    Arch might explode from his own hyperbole. How do you know all that personal stuff? Why does Silas agree?

  • Shucks, guys. It was all in good fun. Not a bloody word intended. Sorry you took it to heart.

  • El Bicho,

    You have made much the same comment before, making it clear, I think, that you disapprove. If you do so in your individual capacity, then I don’t care; it’s your problem, not mine. If you do so in your exalted capacity as a BC editor, I do care.

    Perhaps it would be useful if you were to state in similar comments in the future whether you are speaking ex cathedra or merely expressing your personal views. This sounded as though were attempting to speak ex cathedra and attempting (erroneously) to express a BC rule or policy:

    One more link to your work, Dan, and you’ll need to buy an ad on the site. (Punctuation added at the end of what I assume to have been intended as a complete sentence.)

    As previously noted, I shall continue to include such links in future comments (and in future BC articles, if any) as I deem appropriate.


  • Dan

    “I found myself asking, “am I better off today than I was in 1980?” The answer was a resounding no”—Silas

    It’s likely that if you lived through the Carter years you answered yes when Reagan asked that question. But that was only a short reprieve from the steady dimwitted march toward leftist totalitarianism.

  • Re Comment #37 –don’t worry, Roger. I very rarely if ever take your comments “to heart.”


  • Dan

    El Bicho is calling shots now? good grief

  • Re comment #42 — Dan, no, not literal[ly].


  • #40, yes I was a “proud” member of the Reagan Revolution and it’s only in the last few years that I acknowledge the error of my ways. But not for Reagan himself — rather for the people he put into power. Reagan wasn’t the Rabid Right Conservative as today’s Fundamentalists would have you believe. He, in fact, played a role to his base for the purpose of election. The question — was there a director or producer?

  • [Edited]

    #39 No, I don’t disapprove of a common Internet practice. I simply find the frequent self-promotion of your work elsewhere amusing.

  • Arch Conservative

    John #36. I have a pretty good idea the circles that you run in based on what I’ve read from you. So it may be hard for you to actually comprehend that it’s not hyperbole but a sentiment shared by millions of other Americans.

    No one likes a guy who think’s he’s better than everyone else and refuses to take responsibility for anything.

    They like him even less when he’s on TV mugging for the camera 24-7.

  • #43

    Compliments returned, hypothetical Dan, as most of your writings have been in a satirical vein.

  • You can’t possibly approve, Clav, of shameless self-promotion.

  • Baronius

    I like it when Dan(M) informs us of his articles on Pajamas Media. He’s the best writer BC has ever had, and I sometimes forget to check that other site. I find Dave’s promotion of the Republican Liberty Caucus to be more distasteful because he’s pushing an organization and agenda, not an article.

  • So what is Dan Miller pushing?

  • My sentiments are exactly the same as Arch’s. Except for the name. You could insert any or all of the following: GW Bush, GHW Bush, Dick Cheney, Ronald Reagan, John McCain, John Boehner, Eric Cantor… The list goes on.

    The hatred posted here and elsewhere against Obama is baseless and without merit.

  • John Wilson

    Arch must have a Really Powerful Ouija board: “John #36. I have a pretty good idea the circles that you run in…”.

    It would make better sense to report your next encounter with the spirits in the religious section.

    But even if you have profound powers to fathom other peoples minds, so what?

  • John Wilson

    Actually, Obama is succeeding far more than I thought he would. He’s already put through a healthcare reform bill that we’ve been trying to get for about 100 years, and he’s poised to deliver the first financial reform bill since the depression.

    I think he’s well on the way to getting us out of the Iraq quagmire, and now that Petraeus has replaced McChrystal maybe they’ll apply The Magic (which seems to be simply bribing the opposition instead of killing their families) to Afghanistan, too, and get us out of there.

    Who says those quagmires have to last forever? Perhaps at last we’ll be able to say “Mission Accomplished”.

    Obama is sortof a stealth president: does stuff while you’re distracted by noisy chest-thumping politicians.

    I admit I was baffled when he didn’t wade into the BP mess with a bullhorn (and maybe a sock stuffed in his flight suit, ala Bush), barking out exhortations in all directions. But then I remembered that Guiliani accomplished nothing after 9/11 except upgrade his showbiz quotient and cajole hundreds of workers into endangering themselves by claiming that there was nothing dangerous about the air at Ground Zero.

    But who cares about the health of a few New Yorkers: it made great showbiz.

  • Arch must have a Really Powerful Ouija board

    Actually, Archie does not have a good track record on that score, especially when it comes to forecasting elections. IIRC, he predicted that the Republicans would retain their House majority in ’06, and that Mitt Romney would become the GOP presidential candidate and win in ’08. We tend to take him with a pinch of salt.

  • Cannonshop

    #52 Baritone, mine goes back to “Candidate” Obama and his supporters’ inability to describe any success he’d managed beyond winning election since graduating from Hahvahd. Since election he’s managed to break every. single. Promise. in less than two years, while fulfilling every criticism levelled at him during the campaign (at least, the non-ridiculous critiques-I won’t go into the red-herring of the Birthers or the doofy ‘muslim’ slams…)

    The only people satisfied with his performance of the office, are the folks who think Bill Ayers, Fidel Castro, and Mao Tse Tung are good role models, and that we should strive to be more like Europe, but without all those gross, disgusting, nasty nuclear power plants. (i.e. the American Left.)

  • Since election he’s managed to break every. single. Promise. in less than two years

    Can you support that claim, Cannon?

  • Are you serious, Cannon? It’s precisely people you enumerate who are his most vociferous critics.

  • Yes Can, you have reiterated most of the baseless dreck coming from right wing pundits and pols without any data to back it up. In fact he has NOT broken every promise, far from it. Certainly, some have gone by the way, but what pol hasn’t failed to live up to their campaign hype? I won’t say I’m satisfied with his performance on all counts, but he has accomplished far more than any of his critics predicted.

    BTW – Harvard has produced a # of great people in all fields of higher endeavor. To refer to it in such snarky terms is childish and uninformed.


  • Meanwhile, the implosion continues…

  • Dan

    My Ouija board agrees with Arch.

    As the worshipers of the jug eared simpleton stretch ever further to spin positives out of double digit unemployment, military humiliation, and environmental disaster, I’m thinking he’s succeeding more than I thought he would as well.

  • “the jug eared simpleton . . .”

    Very good one, Dan!

    Can’t you criticize the man without referring to his physiognomy? Or is that an ineradicable part of your thought processes?

  • Dan

    You’re right of course roger. But is that descriptive style all that out of place here, or is it approximately keeping with the normal tone of political rancor?

  • Military humiliation? What humiliation would that be? A stupidly insolent General? Environmental disaster? Oh yes, that’s all on Obama. He should have been there to stop that explosion. He should have known it was going to blow. What kind of slacker is he, any how? RR would have landed on that platform comando style, and absorbed the explosion with his hair. Double digit unemployment? Q: Whose fault is that? A: GWB, Republicans, GWB, Republicans, GWB, Republicans… yada, yada, yada.

    Simpleton my ass!


  • Well, Dan, I’m tired of the shortcuts everyone takes as a way of bypassing what could possibly result in a reasonable dialog. I’m just as disheartened by this administration as you are, for different reasons of course, but that’s beside the point.

  • “. . . against one of the arguably better writers to be published on BC.”

    You’re parroting Baronius, Clavos, not the best model of clear thinking, I should say.

    Besides, I should hope your standards transcend the matter of mere consensus. Ofttimes, I find DM’s style just too tedious and legalistic, if you know what I mean.

    To each his own, I guess. But I’d surely read any of your own pieces than Dan’s – unless he’s strictly in his satirical mode. Other than that, he’s just too pretentious and strained. Perhaps trying too hard.

    But as I said, to each his own.

  • Dan

    roger, I’m not disheartened. I’ve known from the beginning the character and competence of Obama. This spiral was totally predictable, as is the denial. Read Saul Alinsky.

    Baritone #65, the military humiliation is in HIS general not respecting him. The jist of it is that Obama is seen as incompetent and out of place at military strategy meetings. It was said that he didn’t even understand the term “counter insurgency”. That is humiliating. He did the right thing, but it doesn’t change the charge.

    He dithered throughout the spewing oilgasm. He can’t even find his way to suspend the Jones act, and says those skimmers may be needed elswhere anyway. He can find his way to “misrepresent” his own picked gang of experts to try and jam through a thoroughly stupid moratorium on future drilling.

    You think it’s Bush’s fault for high unemployment? When Bush took office he inherited a recession *and* a score of Muslim cropduster trainees. I don’t recall many whimpers for his predicament. Obama has spent more money than Bush at about the same ratio he’s played more golf than Bush.

    The current recession was caused by Dodd, Frank, Fannie, and Freddie et. al. And of course, no lesson has been learned from that.

  • Baronius

    Dan, he didn’t dither throughout the oil spill. He did something else, and I haven’t seen one commentator get it right.

    Remember everyone talking about how the Democrats were going to treat the war on terror as a criminal matter? Not as a military issue, but a legal one? That’s exactly what President Obama has done with the oil spill. He sent the Justice Department, not the Army Corps of Engineers. Oil is still gushing out of the well, and he goes on TV to announce…a legal settlement. He just can’t seem to think of the oil spill in terms of stopping the spill.

    He’s a man of action, all right, but it’s legal action. His appeal of the overturning of a moratorium is his six-shooter. We’ve got a president who’s a lawyer and an academic.

  • John Wilson

    The ‘power’ of a Ouija board (and that goes for Dans) is not their ability to predict, since they have none, but their ability to gull their user into believing.

  • A cowboy general who stupidly decides to air his opinions in the press? Can’t you even suppose in your wildest dreams that any number of military leaders held their civilian bosses in contempt? It’s probably more the rule than the exception. General McChrystal and his staff humiliated themselves, not Obama. It won’t happen, but they should be court marshalled.

    There was NO “dithering” regarding the oil blow out. It is not Obama’s style to dawn a flight suit or Superman tights and making a big public spectacle. There is absolutely nothing stupid about the moratorium. It only affects a very small # of rigs which are wells currently being drilled. It is not at all uncommon for the NTSB to ground a particular aircraft when questions of its safety arise from a crash or other incident causing alarm. Calling a time out as it were regarding the 33 wells currently being drilled is only common sense. Judge Feldman, who banned the moratorium, should never have taken the case in the first place owing to his own investments in oil related stocks.

    Bush had 8 bloody years to right the ship and failed miserably. Virtually everything regarding the economy was worse when he boarded the helicoptor on the White House lawn for the last time. So now, less than 2 years into his first term, you choose to break Obama’s balls because he hasn’t led us to the land of milk and honey.

    Dodd and Frank had nothing to do with our current situation. Fannie and Freddie Mac only became players in the economic downturn when first Clinton and then the Bushies chose to deregulate Wall Street making it a virtual casino.


  • Baronius

    Bar, I don’t think you’re trying to convey desperation, but that’s what Bush complaints look like. We’ve had eight years of Bush? No, we haven’t. We’ve had eight out of the last 9 and a half. At some point you have to admit that your guy has been in the White House for a while. It’s his cabinet, his policies, and his party in Congress. I appreciate that being out of power was hard on you, but how much longer do you think you can bellyache about it?

  • Dan

    Dissenting generals of Bush’s wars were hailed as wise whistle blowers by the fawning left wing media. bush dawned a flight suit because he was a jet fighter pilot. He was qualified to wear it, it was cool, and everyone on the ship who’s mission WAS accomplished thought so.

    The ill conceived moratorium was challenged by regional businesses who supported the rigs. they demonstrated economic damage both from the 33 shut downs, but also from many more that would never have been started. The judge, who is now a hero to most in the region for saving a significant portion of the economy, had little choice but to rule in favor of the regional business interest since the findings of certain experts were misrepresented and the terms of the moratorium were agenda driven and arbitrary. It also turns out that the judges financial stake, a paltry 15k in Transocean, was from a 2009 disclosure and had since been divested of long before the case was before him.

    Fannie and Freddie backed no downpayment housing loans for people who would never have gotten them otherwise. These loans represent more than half of the easy money loans made. The easy money drove up housing prices, and spurred construction that would never have happened in a free market. The combination of the bubbled market along with the inevitable mounting forclosures led to a liquidity crisis. The recession was a result of lack of money to be loaned, and the inevitable return to earth of inflated housing prices, which led to yet more forclosures.

    Currently F&F are costing taxpayers 400 billion and rising. Barney Frank is on video record boisterously defending F&F’s financial stability to Republican regulators.

  • The melt down began when Wall Street started betting on bad mortgage loans via unregulated derivatives which have no business existing. Billions of $ were lost through the likes of Lehman Bros & Goldman Sachs selling these monsters they KNEW to be poor investments to unsuspecting investors, and then bet against those same investments.

    The moratorium was not ill conceived. Yes, some people were going to get hurt. Shit happens. How many of those 33 wells were cutting the same corners as BP did on the Horizon? Do you think the Gulf can handle 2 or 3 blow outs? I know, you and most cons don’t give a rat’s ass about the environment, especially when it gets in the way of making a buck, but it seems to me that the 6 month moratorium was a relatively small price to pay for some semblence of sanity being brought to bear against the oil industry. And, ultimately, that oil is not going to do us one bit of good. Pushing the envelope to find and capture more oil is a fruitless exercise. It makes no more sense than paying subsidies to tobacco growers.

    BTW – Wrong about the judges investments. He had bunches of money in Black Rock Investments which is BPs largest single shareholder holding over a billion shares of BP stock. He has also held shares of stock in other oil and energy based investments. He should have recused himself, but no.

    The “fawning left media.” Hmmm. How do you refer to the right wing media? Any fawning going on there? Oh, no. They’re all a great bunch of straight arrows.

    Bush in the flight suit. Cool? Frankly, I’ve never put Bush and the word “cool” in the same thought, let alone the same sentence.

    Mission Accomplished? Oh, how tragically wrong they were. But, hey, if you think it was cool, then it must have been so.


  • Bar,

    There IS NO desparation. Obama was handed a shit sandwich, but he is slowly sending it down the Insinkerator – piece by crappy piece.

    Quietly, Obama has accomplished more in his approximately 18 months in office than most presidents produced in an entire 4 year term. You and most cons may not like many of his accomplishments, but that’s to be expected. The fact is, he has gotten more unprecedented legislation through Congress than about anyone since FDR. This financial reform bill will add another feather in his cap in the next couple of weeks.

    Any of you who think he’s not accomplished anything just haven’t been paying attention.


  • STM

    Hey Doc, Kevin Rudd has suffered the same fate as Obama in terms of his falling popularity … except that we were able to punt him, which of course you can’t do in the US.

    I believe he is the first PM to be removed in a party room vote in his first term (before going to a second election). I felt a bit sorry for him the other day when it happened … but the politics of parliamentary democracy is brutal at the best of times.

    Australia stopped listening to Rudd after a litany of bungles by the federal government, and the State Labor Government in NSW got a real comeuppance with a record swing against it in a by-election caused by the resignation of the local Labor member who had been caught lying to an anti-corruption body, just a year out from the state election and a few months before the coming federal election.

    His major problem appears to have been in the decision-making process – an alleged failure to consult, not just with colleagues, but with almost anyone, senior buraeucrats included, some of whom were reportedly left waiting outside his office until 2am and then told he couldn’t see them. That’s the way the story goes, anyway … although I’d be surprised if he was that bad.

    The backlash against Labor in NSW is largely against an incompetent state government, but pollsters were also shocked at the huge decline in Rudd’s popularity and the party held a leadership vote and deposed him fearing that the shocking result in a Labor heartland seat might also have been influenced by voters’ dislike of Rudd.

    Australia now has its first female Prime Minister, former deputy PM Julia Gillard, who challenged Rudd in the partyroom spill that spelt his demise last week.

    Then Premier of NSW is also a woman … Kristina Kneally, an American who grew up in Ohio and who is now married to an Aussie. The Premier’s job is equivalent to a Governor’s role in the US. In Oz, being Premier of New South Wales would be like being Governor of California in the US _ so she’s done well, especially for a Yank.

    She’s personally very popular, but her personal popularity can’t make up for how much the Labor government is hated in NSW. She is unlikely to remain Premier after the March, 2011, election as the Libs are a lay-down misere to win government.

    The feds were starting to worry that Labor’s popularity was going the same way nationally, so they moved on Rudd.

    Gillard, meanwhile, says she won’t move into The Lodge, the PM’s official residence, until she has faced the people in an election and won – which is expected to be soon.

    All in all, it’s been an amazing week here. Gillard is a good choice too; and she’s a much better performer on the floor of parliament than Rudd.

    She’s also Welsh-born (her family emigrated to South Australia when she was four), so the Poms have been going mad about it, too.

    Doubt you’d have caught the news on the mainstream media over there in America-only land, though 🙂

  • STM

    Here are the two most powerul women in Australian politics Doc:

    Our very own Yank from Toledo, New South Wales Premier Kristina Keneally , and the new Prime Minister, our first female PM, Julia Gillard.

    Been an interesting few weeks, to say the least, what with Labor’s pasting in the by-election and Rudd’s demise.

    Thought you’d like the update on Kevin ’07, Doctor.

    Much blood on the floor. Cheers.

  • Cannonshop

    #57 Dude, the guy’s a lawyer who’s never tried a case, a Community Organizer who left the community he was organizing in the same shitty shape he found it, a legislator whose major legislative successes came from saying “Me Too” (when he bothered to show up for work)

    Now, he’s a president who ran on transparency and is OPERATING on nixonian secrecy, who is still blaming his predecessor for problems that he failed to identify and address before they became crises, and he’s made about 85 Million Dollars off the Gulf oil slick so far. His key response to the event itself, as someone stated earlier, was to send in lawyers before realizing there even WAS an Army Corps of Engineers or FEMA to address the problem, and his most decisive move? to attempt to kill the remaining economy down there with what turns out to be an illegal moratorium.

    His “Health Care bill” doesn’t reform a fucking thing-it just serves to create a permanent-at-gunpoint market for the same usurious corporations that were creating the problem in the first place-though it is comforting to know that those poor, deprived Level 3’s can get their Viagra on the public dime now, and that ACORN will now have twenty BILLION to buy elections with, courtesy of a deal with BP, that the US Coast Guard is so on the job that they’ll stop the Oil-suction/retrieval barges for safety inspections (a delay of weeks) instead of supporting cleanup and containment operations, etc. etc.

    I wasn’t impressed with the guy when he was running, it turns out he’s even less impressive than I thought.

  • STM

    The thing people say here in Oz about Obama – given that we get a lot of news coverage from the US about the good and bad stuff going down politically over there – is that he never actually seems to be doing anything.

    Or, whatever “change” he’s made, don’t actually change much at all.

    There’s a lesson for Obama in the demise of our Prime Minister, who under our political structure has now been replaced in a party room ballot, for Mr Obama.

    When your approval rating gets as low as Obama’s, the only way is up – or out.

    But to get up there, I suppose he’s got to
    not only do something, but be seen to be doing something.

  • Arch Conservative

    Quietly, Obama has accomplished more in his approximately 18 months in office than most presidents produced in an entire 4 year term.”

    Seriously Btone, [edited] If what you said was true Obama’s approval numbers would not be at their lowest point since taking office. So each new citizen that begins to question Obama’s performance with each new day is completely baseless and Obama is the greatest president of all time?

    You’re delusional… referring to Obama’s accomplishments. The only thing that’s transpired is the monstrous healthcare bill which is just a colossal back door attempt to cause yet even more Americans to become dependent on the federal government and even that had more to do with San Fran nan busting balls in her own party in the House than Barry.

    Obama has absolutely no leadership and management skills. That much has become apparent overt the past year and a half. It’s sad having to watch this [edited] clown at the helm for another 2 years.

    I was a baby when Jimmy Carter was born so I could not experience his administration first hand in any meaningful way. But one day when I was young adult I asked my father what Jimmy Carter was like as a president and his reply was “they had a saying about Carter back then, everything he touches turns to shit.” I’m sure when my own children ask me in 20 years what Barry was like as a president I will use those very word my father used about Carter.

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

  • Mark

    …let’s hear it for family traditions

  • Arch Conservative

    You’re wrong STM. Obama is doing plenty. He’s still giving way too many speeches and expecting people to kiss his ass after each one. He’s blaming others for his own lack of leadership and management skills. He’s playing golf. (Where’s Michael Moore with the camera this time?) He’s working hard with Rahm to figure out the best plausible denial scenario regarding Blago. He’s presiding over the deadliest month in Afghanistan since we sent troops there nine years ago. He’s going on Jay Leno and cracking jokes about the special Olympics (remember that one?) He’s claiming he’s created millions of jobs 98% of which are temporary government census worker jobs that were handed out to his Acorn pals.

    Oh and Barry’s latest endeavor……..he’s considering granting 20 million illegals amnesty via executive order. If he even attempts that it will be the end of him and he won’t be around to lose in 2012 as the American people will not stand for it.

    See how much he’s been doing STM?

  • Baronius

    I think he’s had two accomplishments so far, the health care bill and the treaty with Russia. I don’t believe this financial law will be remembered as a significant accomplishment, and I don’t think cap-and-trade will happen.

    What strikes me in making that list is how little attention he’s given to the presidential duties other than the items on his agenda. (He hasn’t been a promise-breaker, really; I wish he wouldn’t do anything he promised to during the campaign, but that’s just me.) He just doesn’t seem interested in the day-to-day work of maintaining our alliances, finishing up in Iraq, or even cuddling up with his political base.

  • Let’s see our president has declared amnesty to thousands of undocumented immigrants, grown the federal government – added a cabinet post, added literally thousands of federal employees, tripled the deficit, oversaw the largest tax increase in history, including billions in added corporate taxes and taxes on gasoline, bailed out and expanded social security, supported hand gun control and called for an end to nuclear proliferation.

    So Obama… Wait. Sorry. That was Ronald Reagan’s accomplishments. Hell, he couldn’t get a seat at a Tea Party luncheon.

    What has Barack Hussein Obama accomplished during the past 18 months?

    Hate Crimes Act
    Fair Pay Act
    Dismantled MMS
    Food & Drug Admin now oversees tobacco
    Overhaul of Student Loan program
    Canceled the unneeded & unwanted F22
    Stimulus Package:
    Largest investment in infrastructure since Ike
    Largest investment in renewable energy
    Big investments in science and technology
    Increase in children’s health insurance
    Nuclear Arms Pact w/Russia
    Financial reform legislation
    And, oh yeah – that little Health care reform thingy.

    This despite Republican obstruction at every turn.

    So, he’s just been sitting on his hands, huh?


  • Baronius

    How many of those are accomplishment accomplishments, though? I don’t think future voters will be talking about what agency oversees tobacco. That’s not going down in the history books. Ditto student loans: nobody knows if they needed overhauling, or what Obama did other than buying them up. The strongest item on your list (other than the health care bill and the Russia treaty, which even I counted) is the stimulus package. I don’t think it should be listed as a major accomplishment because of its (I’m being charitable here) ambiguous success.

    But I notice that every item on your list is an item on his agenda. He really hasn’t responded well to events. I’m thinking mostly about foreign events such as the Iranian elections, the Honduran “coup”, and the North Korean aggression. But also domestically, he hasn’t exactly risen to the challenges of the the national/homeland security threats or the oil spill, and his party doesn’t think that he’s responded strongly to the economic problems.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius –

    How many of those are accomplishment accomplishments, though?

    Well, let’s see.

    I don’t think future voters will be talking about what agency oversees tobacco. That’s not going down in the history books.

    Maybe Joe Voter won’t care…but tobacco has done so much damage to the health of Americans, has killed so many Americans (like my uncle, and it will soon kill my mother) that it should have been regulated a century ago.

    Ditto student loans: nobody knows if they needed overhauling, or what Obama did other than buying them up.

    What Obama did was get rid of the middleman, the banks that were contracted to administer the federally-guaranteed loans. By getting rid of the middleman, there are no longer banking fees and penalties, so the loans are cheaper to the student, and the federal government pays less of our taxpayer money to those banks.

    So YES, this was an accomplishment that benefited taxpayers and students…just not the banks.

    The strongest item on your list (other than the health care bill and the Russia treaty, which even I counted)…

    The health care package was the first time we’ve had a real step towards health care accessibility for ALL Americans. Teddy Roosevelt was the first to support the idea, and at least half the presidents since then supported it (including Nixon). Obama was the one who made it happen. If that was his single accomplishment throughout his entire presidency, that’s still precisely what Biden said it was – a “Big F-ing Deal!”

    …is the stimulus package. I don’t think it should be listed as a major accomplishment because of its (I’m being charitable here) ambiguous success.

    I’m not sure if you noticed, but when Obama took office we were bleeding 750,000 jobs per month. Now we’re alternating month-to-month between moderate job growth and minimal job losses. If the stimulus was such a bad thing, then logic holds that we’d be losing MORE jobs than when Obama took office.

    Baronius – let me challenge you with a little something:

    When the economy goes into a recession, businesses try to cut back on expenses. Right? Right.

    When businesses try to cut back on expenses, usually the first thing to go is employees. Right? Right.

    When hundreds of thousands of businesses lay off employees, that means there’s a LOT more people out there with less money to spend. Right? Right.

    When there’s a lot of people who suddenly have LESS money to spend, businesses make LESS money. Right? Right.

    When businesses in a recession start making even less money, they start cutting expenses. Right? Right.

    YOU SEE the vicious circle, do you not? Now here’s the 64 I.Q. question: you’re the President – how do you break the nation’s economy out of this vicious circle, this downward spiral?

    How? How do you break the vicious circle?

    I think you see where I’m going with this…and the only answer that I’ve ever heard from ANY conservative to this question was, “well, we just have to let it go ahead and get as bad as it’s going to get – that way, we’ll be stronger when it’s all over.” The problem with that argument is that when the economy tanks, the crazies come out. I’ve got a REAL good example – the economic disaster of the Weimar Republic was precisely what enabled a certain corporal to ride the wave of discontent to the chancellorship of his nation. His initials were A.H.

    Do we really need to risk this just to make the Republicans and conservatives happy to keep a few more of their tax dollars? Do we really need to relearn this particular lesson of history?

    Or do you have a solution I haven’t heard before?

    Compared to every modern-day president but FDR, Obama’s already had a hugely successful presidency…even in the face of truly epic opposition by the Republicans.

  • Arch Conservative

    Obama’s poll numbers are in the negative.

    American aint buyin what Btone and Glenn are sellin’.

  • Arch – Oh, they will.

    And Glenn – A.H? Was that Al Haig? 🙂

    And Bar – Glenn picked it up nicely. No, not many of the items on my list will be considered barn burners. No fireworks. But they represent meaningful and necessary changes to stagnant in ineffectual governance.

    I believe that Obama has responded just as he should to “events” in most cases. I know Americans really like cowboy moments like those all too often offered up by GWB. But the fact is that Obama and his people have responded to each and every national and international event as they should have. They didn’t get up and make a big splash about things, but rather worked more or less quietly behind the scenes. Have there been missteps? Sure. All presidents – even Ronnie, have screwed the pooch at some point or other. But overall, Obama has been on top of everything and has generally moved things along at the proper pace and the proper direction.

    And the notion that the US and Obama are somehow becoming a laughing stock abroad is wholly off he mark. The US is far more respected around the world now than at any time during the Bush years.

    Yeah, Obama’s poll numbers are down, and that’s troubling. But don’t underestimate him. Also, I find comfort in knowing that most Republican pols appear to be dumber than ape shit. They can’t seem to get out of their own way. Most of them would do well to simply take an oath of silence between now and November. Actually, I hope they all get up and march down Pennsylvania Ave. as BP standard bearers. That would make my day.


  • Baronius

    I couldn’t disagree more, Bar. In terms of foreign policy, I think the pooch is screwing us. As far as the stimulus package, it flooded the international market with American debt just at the moment when American companies needed loans. (Every recession is different. There was no way a Keynesian move was going to get us out of this one.) As for the Gulf crisis, I can’t believe that you think he’s done a good job. People with different ideologies can differ on policy prescriptions, but not on this. I made the comment earlier that Obama’s handling it as a legal matter; I haven’t heard anyone argue against that.

    I don’t care about the President’s approval numbers. I’m sure you don’t either, because it involves the opinions of those people that you have no respect for. What I’m interested in is the real-world results of the President’s actions and inactions.

  • Cannonshop

    Let’s see…the “Stimulus” package? that was re-treading what Bush did less than a year prior-but cranked to eleven, with the payback set on ‘delay’.

    Repeating the long-term mistakes of a prior administration that one ran against to get elected isn’t…um…what’s the word? smart? wise? It doesn’t show much ability to think or plan for the long-term beyond avoiding the immediate consequences of one’s actions.

    The real marker point, is the Gulf of Mexico oil spill-BP reported in February that there were problems with the rig to the Mineral agency that oversees this stuff-the response apparently was to supply that report to the Vanguard Funds, so that they could sell out before the problem became a crisis.

    The crisis itself has helped pump funds invested in wind and solar, and the moratorium would do the same-which I suppose happened by itself, but it’s interesting how much POTUS and his party have invested in THOSE funds, rather than funds that mysteriously didn’t get the word that there was a problem until it suddenly became a crisis.

    (y’know, the funds that didn’t dump BP stock back in February of this year…could it be because they didn’t get a copy of the confidential report like the Vanguard funds did?? I dunno.)

    The sudden priority interest in “Safing” the barges and the odd refusal of the Administration to expedite things in terms of clean-up, while pursuing administrative hand-holding and legal action (or threatened legal actions) is interesting, though-it’s as if there is a belief that problems in the real world are soluble on paper if you say the right words and smile a lot while playing golf…

    this is problem that is an engineering problem, one that was known to be a risk decades ago, where the technology isn’t cutting-edge nor the mechanics impossible to understand by non-PhD’s, it’s straight mechanics in other words, and Obama’s administration dropped the ball.

    I’m not saying Bush would’ve done better, but I suspect he’d not have wasted as much time doing effectively nothing, and I suspect he’d know, at minimum, what phone numbers to dial to get machinery in motion to contain this a bit earlier and more decisively.

    (the phone number for FEMA can’t be that much harder to dial, say, than the Justice Department-you file suit AFTER the disaster is contained, not before you’ve sent in the evaluators…)

    It may just be the difference between how a Lawyer reacts to, say, a train-wreck, versus how just about anyone else does-the Lawyer will get on his cell lining up court dates, while a normal, non-lawyer person starts pulling bodies out of the wreckage, both think they’re helping the survivors, but the Lawyer’s reaction probably killed more people.

  • Arch Conservative

    Nearly 10% unemployment.

    We just had the deadliest month for US troops in Afghanistan since they were sent there.

    The Whire House is planning on suing a state for trying to deal with the influx of illegals that the fed governmentis ignoring.

    HOw’s that for real-world results.

  • I DO believe he’s done the best possible in the Gulf. It was and is a difficult dance from the get go. The fact that BP and all the other oil companies lied about their preparedness for such a disaster caused everyone to step back in the belief that BP knew what to do and how to do it. It took a bit of time to come to the realization that no, they didn’t have a clue. Had Obama stepped in and wrested control from BP early on, complaints would have come from all directions that it was another government take over. BP continued (and continues) to lie about the severity of the leak and the probable damage it has and will do. As it is there are idiots claiming the 20B ante from BP amounted to a government slushfund.

    The containment and clean up is yet another matter. It also became painfully obvious that the technology to clean and contain hadn’t improved one whit for 30 years or more. The best anyone’s got are skimmers. Skimmers can only do a fair to midlin job at best. Booms and the like are even less effective. Perhaps Kevin Costner will come to the rescue. And no one has any idea as to what to do with the submerged oil plumes. Again, BP denied their existence.

    I don’t think anyone should underestimate the clout BP has and continues to wield. From the beginning they stuck their finger in the eye of both the government and the media. Again, there were missteps, but it is pretty clear as to why.

    Where do you think we would be today without the stimulus package? Should we have all just gritted our teeth and let the chips fall? Maybe that would have been great for libertarian idealogues, but it would have been devastating for about everyone else. Maybe even you.

    “…because it involves the opinions of those people that you have no respect for.”
    That was a nice little dig. Perhaps the same could be said of you.


  • STM

    There’s no doubt that stimulus packages worked around the world and that they needed to be implemented even just to get people spending. But it’s economics 101.

    However, economists are now starting to question the scale of some of them, including here in this country where a lot of money – OUR money, not the government’s – was splashed around. We totally dodged the bullet and never even went into recession during the GFC. Interest rates are almost back to normal levels here and unemployment remains at around 6 per cent, only slightly higher than it was before the GFC.

    The government has been shouting long and loud that this was all because of its stimulus packages, but there are suggestions we were never doing that badly in the first place compared to a lot of other places and that some of the money thrown wildly around was ill-directed and could have been better spent.

    I get the feeling the same thing’s happened in the US. The whole idea of stimulus packages is to keep people working, keep the money going around and to encourage everyone to keep spending.

    If so, the many billions splashed around might have been better going into the pockets of the average Joe and Joanne instead of shonky work schemes that only seemed to encourage shysters out of the wooodwork.

    We had one stimulus scheme where the government paid to insulate your home. That was on for every Aussie household – for free.

    What happened was, instead of the bigger, established home insulation companies doing the work, we had people who the day before it started had never seen a pink batt in their lives. Previously they had been butchers, bakers and candlestick makers.

    The result: the deaths of four workers, house fires caused by such stupidity as insulation being laid over down lights, numerous “live” roofs, especially up north where the heat demands that foil insulation is used rather than batt-type stuff, and what often seemed to be teams of new Australians conning vulnerable people to sign on the dotted line, and then have pink batts thrown into the roof in the space of half an hour.

    That is obviously not the case overall, but it caused a lot of resentment and I heard a great line on radio from a caller at the height of the fiasco: “No, mate, they’re not cowboys … they’re Indians”. Tee hee.

    No wonder people are knocking down the door to get into this place.

    Some people were also using google earth to measure roof sizes for their quotes, which gives an idea of the volume of the work and ghow lucrative it was for those who jumped on the bandwagon. Madness.

    Then we’ve had a national school buildings scheme, where the main beneficiaries seem to have been very large building companies, not schoolkids and shcoll communities or ordinary, hard working contractors.

    In one case, a school had a building constructed five years ago for about $180,000. An almost identical building was quoted under this scheme in the region of – wait for it – close to $1 million.

    This is part of the litany of bungling that has seen the Prime Minister deposed and punted from the top job in the past week by his own party.

    I realise you guys don’t have the luxury over there of seeing an unpopular leader booted mid-term, but what’s going on there isn’t that different and people have long memories so I reckon Obama needs to take stock now if he’s to have a good chance of a second term (even Obama has stated that the foreign leader with the closest ideas to his was Kevin Rudd, our PM until last week, so that gives an idea of where his stocks might among ordinary voters.)

    And with boatloads of people smuggled through Indonesia by people-smugglers arriving daily and illegally on the reefs of northern Australia, we’d all also like an immigration/refugees/asylum seeker policy that doesn’t resemble the finish of the Suydney-Hobart yacht race.

    Aussies are pretty easy going and won’t jump up and down unless they’re really pissed off. We have been suitably pissed off and it’s now cost the former PM his job. Had he not gone, it would likely have been a one-term government.

    Does any of this sound familiar to Americans?

    Yeah, thought so. And if so, Obama should genuinely take stock, and start working and consulting across a broader spectrum than he appears to be, and acting decisively for the common good, or he runs the genuine risk of being a one-term president.

  • “Nearly 10% unemployment.”

    Well, we’ve been down that road before. It happens. It ain’t good, but I’ll tell you what; Johnny and Sister Sarah – had they been ensconced in the WH- would be sitting on the same, or more likely far worse unemployment figures right now. (But, at least we’d be blessed with Palin’s blinding, electric smile every damn day.)

    Deadliest month in Afghanistan? Yeah, it happens. It’s rough. It’s war. We shouldn’t be there at all. I wish we’d get out.

    But I lived through the Vietnam era. Fifty Seven Fucking Thousand Americans Dead!

    The scale of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are far different. All it takes is a handfull here and a handfull there and you’ve got record numbers. We lost more men and women than that in Vietnam almost every goddamn day.

    You guys are so full of shit. Back when GW was running things you were all gung-ho – “Hey, Let’s kill ourselves some rag heads! Bring em on!”

    Back when the bail outs were flowing, you were all perfectly happy to let the banks, Wall Street, and the automakers bite the dust. Nevermind that thousands of people – hell, hundreds of thousands of people – would be out of work and the economy would absolutely crumble. Let em fail! That’s the good libertarian/christian/conservative/wing-nut way.

    But now, since you hate the guy running things (and I DO mean HATE – it’s visceral,) you are suddenly critical of the war effort, and you’re crying crocodile tears for the poor folks living along the Gulf. What a bag of crap. Now who has become the “bleeding hearts?” The hypocracy is stinking up the place.


  • Glenn Contrarian

    Deadliest month in Afghanistan – was it because of McChrystal? Or was it because Obama’s sent 68,000 more people there since he took office? More people in theater means more deaths – that’s a simple military fact.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    C-shop –

    No, the stimulus was NOT a repeat of the TARP. The TARP was billions of dollars given by the Bush administration directly to Big Finance in order to keep them from going under. It was given without means of tracking or accountability. We do not know and will never know how it was all spent.

    The stimulus, OTOH, was money spent in the way of contracts to build our nation’s infrastructure. ALL of it is tracked, accountability is ensured, and not even all of it has yet been spent.

    Your comparing the two is not comparing apples and oranges, but comparing an apple to a soup sandwich.

  • Cannonshop

    #93 You assert so much, I defy you to provide concrete examples of BUILDING up our nation’s infrastructure, Accountability, or even tracking, Glenn.

    Just because something is claimed to do something, does not mean that’s what it is doing.

  • Arch Conservative

    Glenn and Btone’s defenses of Obama are utterly pathetic. They consist of claiming “it happens,” Palin and McCain would have been worse, and every single person that is critical of Obama was supporting everything Bush did when in office.

    Oh and Glenn trued putting all of the blame on the Afghan casualties on MCCrystal.

    First of all I dare you to try telling your boss “it happens” the next time you screw up at work Btone. See how well that goes over.

    There is no way we can know if things would have been better or worse with McCain at the helm so that is a worthless statement.

    Not everyone who is ciritcal of Obama is a Bush lackey. Many of us were very critical of him during his time in office. You probably missed it because you’re determined not to see the real evidence that runs contrary to your simple narrow minded Dem vs. Repub paradigm. If anythign it’s the far left that’s being hypocritical when it comes ot the Afgan war, When Bush was in office we saw Code Pink, Answer Cindy Sheehan etc protesting daily. Now that Barry O is the man they are no where to be found….neither is Michael Moore videotaping Obama playing golf for his next documentary.

    And for Glenn….no president ever deserves all the blame or all the credit for anything that happens but Obama is in the White House now. Some of the for the way things are going in Afghanistan is his.

    Do Glenn and Btone honestly think that all of the polls recently done showing Obama’s tanking approval sampled only extreme right wing Bush sycophants? Give me a frakin break. The fact is that people who are 180 degress from myself, Cannon and others on this site, people that actually voted for Obama and supported him in the beginning, are starting to wake up and realize how ineffectual and disengenuos this guys is.

    If most Americans asked themselves the simple question “Am I better off now than I was when Obama took office a year and a half ago,” the answer would be no and judging by the polls they feel the answer will still be no in November 2012.

    But yet Btone, Glenn and a few others to be sure continue to trot out their lame excuses devised to prop up the mythology that Obama is a caring, competent, effective leader that’s good for this nation.

    Ignorance is bliss…so here’s to the two most blissful guys on BC…..Glenn and Btone!

  • Arch Conservative

    One more thing that I forgot to add.

    It’s being reported that Obama may intend to grant the illegals that are currently in this country amnesty via an executive order.

    I’m curious to know what the kool aid drinking Obama sycophants think would happen if he were to do so.

  • Baronius

    Wow, Arch, that comment #95 was great.

  • Baronius

    On the other hand, maybe Baritone and Glenn haven’t gone far enough. Maybe the oil spill would have been worse under McCain and Palin.

    Who knows? That argument makes as much sense as their economic one. Maybe all the equipment being moved down to the Gulf would have disturbed the water, and made the oil spread faster. Maybe Palin’s familiarity with the oil industry and executive experience would have gotten in the way somehow.

    Or maybe they wouldn’t have cared about the oil spill because it affects only black people. They wouldn’t have sent skimmers, and they would have blocked Jindal’s cleanup efforts. They would have let the oil gush for months.

  • Mark

    Could someone explain the point of these partisan exercises?

  • Arch Conservative

    It’s cathartic Mark…keeps us from punching one another out in the streets.

    No one said the job of being president is easy and we all know…that regardless of the letter after the president’s name he or she is going to be treated unfairly at sometimes and at other times have his or her lack of performance excused by others.

    Yes Obama took over at a time of great unease. But for someone who claimed to have all the answers he sure hasn’t allayed our fears and concerns with his leadership.

    The world is big place and we all know how slow the wheels of change can move once they’re set in motion. However it’s been a year and a half. Small signs of improvement and/or hope for improvement. But to look at the public opinion polls or get off the blog and actually talk to people out there in the real would is to discover that not only do most people not believe things have gotten even slightly better but they are also pretty pessimistic about the future.

    Those still defending our current president, the ones in the daily, dwindling minority claiming he’s doing a good job often use lame excuses such as racism, partisanship, and other such nonsense to readily dismiss anyone who critisizes Obama’s performance.

    I’m just one guy on a keyboard but anyone with two eyes and ears and an ounce of objectivity can see that I’m not alone in my disapproval of our president. Not by a long shot. I’d also like to add that while I may criticize Barry and yes soemtime even be gleeful in doing so because I detest him on a personal level, I am in no way excited about the prospect of the GOP taking control of Congress as they’re not much better than the Dems. they pay lip service to traditional conservative values such as limited government and fiscal sanity and then go ahead and do completely ignore those notions after they’ve gotten your support and vote.

    As a Conservative I view the GOP as a cheating, abusive, boyfriend……Sure he talks all sweet to you and tells you how he’s going to change his ways when he needs or wants something from you but shortly after that he’s started beating you again and doing god knows what when you’re not around watching him. The Dems are more like the unemployed, lazy next door neighbor who gets up in the morning, walks over to your front lawn, belly hanging out of his bathrobe over his pajamma pants, grabs the newspaper off your front lawn, pulls his pants down, squats and begins to defecate on your front lawn while reading your paper and staring at you with a smile though the window.

    There aren’t many polticians R or D that I’d trust to sit the correct way on a toilet seat let alone handle the things that matter most to this nation’s future.

    We currently have two parties and no choice.

  • This discussion is, as usual, going nowhere. Neither side is going to convince the other of anything they don’t already embrace.

    While it is de regueur of the right to denigrate the left and to dismiss any and all who stand with Obama as delirious fools,
    it is, however, my view that those such as Arch and Baronius among many others who are suffering from short sightedness and the aforementioned delirium. They have totally unrealistic expectations of government.

    I have lived through several recessions in my 60+ years – none of them as bad as the current one. Yet, in no instance did the recovery take less than 2 or 3 years, often longer. A note to those pointing impatient fingers at Obama: Your naivete is showing.

    If it were your guy (or gal) in the WH, you’d be doing just as Glenn, myself and a few others who comment here: You’d be telling their detractors that these things take time. And they do. Either Arch or Bar suggested above that no president nor administration can turn these things on a dime via their own efforts. This economy will recover in its own time. Obama, his administration and Congress can, if they show the insight and will, can nudge things along. It is clear to me that Obama has done his utmost to do just that.

    Unfortunately, Congressional Republicans and even a few recalcitrant Dems from time to time have chosen to block virtually every effort to such an end. They claim ideology and care and concern for this country’s fair citizenry, but it is, in the main, political.

    Another level of naivete displayed by people on both sides of the coin is a belief that government should not be beholden to special interests. It is the nature of the beast. Clav and others have claimed that government is evil by its very nature. Yet, humanity has, if reluctantly at times, come to the realization that we cannot behave ourselves. We must have overseers. Even moreso in a capitalist economy. Ironically, the ONLY societal construct which would allow for minimal or perhaps even no formal government would be a perfect socialist order. Alas, perfection is beyond us. Capitalism and its ties to the profit motive insures that a government must be in place to curb greed. We are incapable of conducting ourselves and, more to the point, our business, without regulation and oversight. A lack of government is by definition anarchy. Libertarianism is basically just one step removed.

    It can be said that the gloves have come off. What passes for political posturing today is more akin to the harrowing days of the Adams/Jefferson campaign and the Alien and Sedition Act.

    At no time in our history, save perhaps the era leading up to the Civil War, has politics been so heated and potentially violent. Every side believes it is situated upon the high ground. However, it is primarily the rhetoric and sound bites coming from the right which vehemently claims its opposition is willfully destroying the country. This hyperbolic drivel is, unfortunately, being taken to heart. This is sadly a dangerous time to be alive.

    Oh, and a note to Arch: Your characterization of Democrats is not only wrong, but disgusting and odious.


  • Arch Conservative

    You had no problem with my characterization of the GOP Btone?

  • Baronius

    Politics aren’t as heated today as they were eight years ago. Baby’s got his bottle. Dems are just surprised that someone else can protest in the streets.

  • Arch Conservative

    “However, it is primarily the rhetoric and sound bites coming from the right which vehemently claims its opposition is willfully destroying the country.”

    Only because they are out of power. Only a few short years ago the left was doing the exact same thing.

  • Not while packing heat.

  • Arch Conservative

    Oh yeah that’s right. Every night on the six o’clock news another person is shot by a right wing extremist…………….

    I can’t take it anymore……….

  • While both sides are pissing on each other in this debate about Obama, I have been urging my fellow Americans to pay close attention to Afghanistan and Hamid Karzai’s obvious subversion of America’s intent. No one has ever addressed my concerns. They’ve been ignored as if Hamid Karzai and his unholy alliance with Japan is of no consequence to the United States. Well, here I go again. The Washington Post just released an artcile which precisely presents a case for how Hamid Karzai is derailing the United States.

    So, here’s the deal. Stop the tit for tat sniping about Barack Obama. We have a problem. The potential for a massive loss of our treasure is upon us. We have to decide if Afghanistan is a country worth trying to save or just carpet bomb the whole damn territory and be done with it. We’ve been there far too long. It’s decision time for the President and his military. I’m in no mood for “deliberate” considerations. All of that is passed. We’re in or we’re out. And if we are in we best do something about the Afghan President. He’s a reptile. There’s no other word for it.

    1. Immediate definition of the US strategy in the region must be established, and it is time for Congress to declare a formal declaration of war.

    2. If Karzai is to derail US exposure of corruption in Karzai’s government, then Karzai gets taken out or we pull out.

    3. The first $50 billion in profits from excavation of minerals had best be paid to the United States, period.

    4. The war lords are our key to success in the region, not Hamid Karzai.

    5. Every last poppy field owned by Karzai’s brother should not only be burned, the land should be made chemically infertile for the next half century.

    No more putting around. It’s time for swift, deliberate, violent reaction to Hamid Karzai’s gluttonous appetite for wealth.

  • Dan

    Silas, Now that Obama has been exposed as militarily incompetent, I think you’ll see some policy changes in Afghanistan. This is actually a step down for Gen. Patreus from US Central Command. I’m sure that his taking on the job was contingent on Obama sitting down and shutting up. No more say on troop level requests or imbecilic deadlines.

    “The melt down began when Wall Street started betting on bad mortgage loans via unregulated derivatives which have no business existing.”—Baritone

    Mortgage derivatives exist because there is a market for them. Investors want them. They make it possible for them to get in on mortgage lenders action. Mortgage lenders like to sell them because they can clear their books and use the capital to make more loans while collecting various fees associated with closing costs. In some cases mortgage derivatives are used as a hedge to take volitility out of other investments.

    The only reason these derivatives were “bad” is because people who got easy money loans through Fannie and Freddie defaulted.

    The Democrat instituted Community Reinvestment Act forgets a time honored free market principle, that borrowers need to have skin in the game.

    A secondary aggravating result from governments clumsy intrusion into the free market is that easy money loans to high risk borrowers also created a supply and demand issue. The bubble began to inflate, and many more houses were built to satisfy demand.

    There was no really clearcut downturn in the economy. It’s just that bubbles eventually pop. When they do and home values are driven down, more people become upside down on their mortgages, and since nowdays people figure bankruptcy isn’t as bad as climbing out of their poor decision to pay the artificially inflated price they payed, they walk away. Creating the cascade.

    “BTW – Wrong about the judges investments. He had bunches of money in Black Rock Investments which is BPs largest single shareholder holding over a billion shares of BP stock.”—Baritone

    That’s the silliest thing on the subject I’ve heard yet. Black Rock has a huge assortment of investment vehicles designed mostly to diversify and protect wealth. None of which would have an over extended position in anything that happens in the gulf coast. No judge ever recuses themselves over mutual funds.

  • Silas, you don’t make any sense. And Dan, BTW, Obama may be incompetent as a person, but what do you mean by “militarily incompetent”? Commanders in Chief aren’t supposed to be generals. Besides, political objectives often contrast with military objectives.

  • Dan

    I mean to say that the views of McChrystals staff are widely held inside the military. Obama was only fulfilling a hasty campaign promise. The people he picked like Jim Jones, national security advisor, Richard Holbrooke, Karl Eichenberry, none are effective, and Obama himself doesn’t understand what counterinsurgency means.

    Look for Patreus to have a free hand now.

  • STM

    Ah, the vitriol is dripping and the frustration palpable here. Judging by what’s going on in the US, so glad there is an instrument available in this country that can give an underperforming leader we’re not listening to anymore the royal order of the boot before his/her term is up before he/she wastes any more of our precious time.

  • I disagree with your analysis, Dan. I think the Obama team is well aware of the issues; it’s just that they feel they’ve been coerced into taking the hawkish line by political realities. Consequently, the struddling the line and the civilian figureheads in Afghanistan serving as stop-gap.