Another Rube Self-Indentifies


Thomas Frank writes at Salon, calling Barack Obama “an ineffective and gutless” president.

Perhaps there will be an architectural solution for this problem. For example, the Obama museum’s designers could make the exhibit on the movement into a kind of blind alley that physically reminds visitors of the basic doctrine of the Democratic Party’s leadership faction: that liberals have nowhere else to go.

Read the whole thing.

Presidential Micromanagement


There’s a bit over in The Corner about the President joking that he would issue an executive order requiring boys to play fair with the girls at recess. The scary part is that he might have the authority to do so under Title IX.

Folks who used to complain about Jimmy Carter being a micromanager should remember that some of us forecast Carter II as the best case scenario for the Obama Administration.

And In Other Court News


The Supreme Court delivered its 12th and 13th unanimous rebukes of former Constitutional Law professor Barack Obama’s administration.

One decision explains the meaning of the recess appointment clause of Article II, Section 2 to Prof. Obama.

The other explained that the First Amendments protections of free speech and free assembly trump laws such as the Massachusetts statute which banned peaceful protests around abortion clinics. The Administration agued in support of the law.

#TheCountry’sInTheBestOfHands

Disaster Du Jour


Bret Stephens discusses the fruits of Obama’s foreign policy over at WSJ.

Yet when it comes to leadership, we have our very own Clement Attlee at the top, eager to subtract the burdens of international responsibility so he can get on with the only thing that really animates him, which is building social democracy at home. Actually, that’s unfair to Attlee, who could count on a powerful ally to pick up England’s dropped reins, rescue Europe, stop the Soviets. Mr. Obama’s method is to ignore a crisis for as long as possible, give a speech, impose a sanction, and switch the subject to climate change or income inequality.

Read the whole thing.

Presidential Approval


The President’s approval rating is tanking. It’s now running in the same territory as Richard Nixon’s during Watergate. The rubes are starting to catch on.

Back in 2008, I was one of the folks saying that the best case scenario for the Obama Administration would be Carter II. It’s pretty clear that was an accurate assessment and that Barack Obama has missed the mark.

OTOH, it’s unfair to Jimmy Carter to make direct comparisons between him and Barack Obama. Obama/Nixon is more appropriate concerning transparency. Obama/Hoover is better concerning economic recovery, although Hoover did the better job. And when it comes to enabling a potential enemy to be prepared to make war on the United States, an Obama/Buchanan comparison is apt.

We have three more years of this. Fasten your seat belts.

UPDATE—Stacy McCain offers his analysis of the President’s popularity here.

Transparency Means You Can See Right Though ‘Em


President Obama published a memo to the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies on transparency in government. You can read the whole thing here. It says in part:

Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing.  Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset. My Administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use.

“… consistent with law and policy …” Those should not be weasel words, but they are. What happens when it is the Administration’s policy to deceive the public?

Obamacare happens. Benghazi happens. Fast and Furious happens. The IRS 501(c)3 debacle happens. NSA overreach happens. The unemployment statistics falsification happens.

The expectation that the government is lying happens. That expectation is becoming so pervasive that even the main steam media is having to take notice and challenge White House claims.

It really doesn’t matter whether the screwups are the result of incompetence as Chis Christie suggests (“they’ve never run anything before”) or corruption or some mix of them plus other factors. The result has been increased transparency. Folks are now looking for the gotcha, the weasel words, or the flat-out lie in whatever comes out of the White House, and, with that increased attention, are beginning to see right through the PR.

Ya’ Think?


Commenters on the Left are now beginning to worry that the rollout of Obamacare has been and will continue to be so inept that too many of the suckers public will become convinced it is was a scam all along or that the wonks are technical dilettantes rather than competent innovators or something else “bad.” This, they say, will allow the Right to run successfully against Progressivism as personified in Obama for a generation.

They may have a point. When I was a kid back in the ’50s, I remember Democrats who were still going on about Hoover.

Obamacare is going to be an expensive educational experience.

Let it burn.

Campaign Promises


… I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick … (X)ObamacareScreenHartWeb

… and good jobs to the jobless; (X)labor-force-participation

… this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; ( )global-temperature-vs-co2

… this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation … (X)100918-A-0846W-219

… and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth. (X)G20 Leaders Meet In St. Petersburg For The Summit

Hmmmmmm.

So far, we’ve manage one goal in spite of him.

Seven Score and Ten Years Ago …


… President Lincoln made some brief remarks at the dedication of a military cemetery in southern Pennsylvania.

On 19 November, there will be a ceremony to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery at Gettysburg. President Obama has blown off his invitation to participate.

I’m not sure what he has on his schedule for the 19th, but I’ll bet that the world will little note nor long remember what he does that day.

Veni, Vidi, Fugi


Which P. J. O’Rourke translates as I Came, I Saw, I Skedaddled.

I am crossing the Rubicon. Brrr, the water’s chilly. Deep, too. I’m going for a walk along the riverbank to look for a bridge. And I will cross the Rubicon as soon as the weather warms up. The die has been cast. That is, the deck has been shuffled. Or the Wheel of Fortune has been spun. And I’ll buy a vowel.

Read the whole thing.

Credit Where Credit’s Due


Marc Thiessen has a piece over at WaPo about federal government spending. (H/T, VodkaPundit) For the first time in decades, certainly the first time in my memory, the federal government’s spending will decrease. In 2010, the feds spend $3.457 trillion. Spending for this fiscal year should come in at $3.455 trillion. A couple of billion out of 3+ trillion may not seem like much, but as Senator Dirksen once said, “A billion here and a billion there, and soon you’re talking real money.” Actually, when you figure in inflation, that’s about a 5 % decrease in spending.

However, don’t be too quick to credit the President. He’s fought for ever more spending. The House GOP probably should get most of the credit because of the Budget Control Act.

You know, we could have balanced the budget this year. The actual revenue to the government would have allowed us to pay the interest on the debt and fund every agency at about 94 % of FY 2003 levels accounting for inflation. Most of us could have gotten by on 94 % of our 2003 income. Why couldn’t the government? Sure, some adjustments would have to be made, but couldn’t you gotten by with only 6 % decrease in the government you had in 2003?

Down the Memory Hole


Back in 2008, the Obama Transition Team put up a website called Change.gov. Minitrue has now deleted the site and this campaign promise along with it:

Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process.

Hmmmm.

In other news … The chocolate ration will be increased to 25 grams.

Losing Your Reputation


Peggy Noonan writes at WSJ about how the Obama Administration and the IRS in particular have undermined the public’s trust in government. Read the whole thing.

Of course, other agencies have joined in since 2009, the NSA being an recent example. Ms. Noonan’s line about the White House being in the business of campaigning rather than governing hits the bullseye.

Future Tragedies Like This


In his statement about the George Zimmerman acquittal, President Obama said that all Americans should consider “how we can prevent future tragedies like this.” Most people see tragic events in the Martin/Zimmerman case, but there’s strong disagreement on what is tragic in the story.

Some see tragedy in the life Trayvon Martin was choosing to lead. Better parenting and more effective intervention in the young man’s life might have helped. A school police force willing to arrest a kid found with stolen goods instead of keeping its crime numbers bureaucratically low might have been useful.

Some see tragedy in the fact that a clear case of self-defense was politicized and that George Zimmerman had to endure a show trial. Making sure that those involved in a corrupt prosecution meet the same end as Mike Nifong, the prosecutor in the Duke Lacrosse Team case, may instill some discipline in prosecutors generally. However, something like a loser pays system for failed prosecutions might be more useful, especially if there were a fair way to cause the prosecuting attorneys to have some skin in the game and not just the taxpayers.

These may not have been the tragedies the President had in mind, but they’re worthy of our consideration.

Not Spending Other People’s Money


So the DoD is canceling most of the fireworks displays at bases around the country. I say, “most,” because it seems that the soldiers at Ft. Campbell will still have their display.

This is a strange. The fireworks displays at military bases are paid for with what are called “non-appropriated funds.” Sequesters and budget cuts should have nothing to do with this.

Non-appropriated funds are generated by the military community through the sale of goods and services and the collection of fees and charges for participation in military community programs. They do not involve federal tax dollars. The largest sources of non-appropriated funds are the PX and BX systems. The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is an agency of the United States Department of Defense. One of it’s missions is to generate reasonable earnings of non-appropriated funds for the support of United States Army and Air Force Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs (MWR). The Navy operates the equivalent Navy Exchange, the Marine Corps operates the Marine Corps Exchange, and the United States Coast Guard operates the Coast Guard Exchange. The average soldier’s PX purchases generate a bit more than $200 of profits for MWR funding each year.

Well, at least the Commander-in-Chief made it back from Africa in time to watch the display on the National Mall. I hear the view from the White House is great.