The Obama Watch

The Obama Watch

McKinley Who?

By 9.2.15

If you’d mentioned the name of the 25th president before this week, that’s the answer you would have gotten from about everyone except some Ohioans and the residents of a small California city (more about them later).

President Obama changed all that with his announcement that the nation’s highest peak, Mt. McKinley, would be officially renamed “Denali” by his secretary of the interior. Never mind that a 1917 Act of Congress had designated it as “Mt. McKinley.” As we know, Acts of Congress don’t matter when Obama’s working on his most important priority, his “legacy.”

He was on his way to a three-day visit to Alaska to tout his global warming agenda and said, in effect, to Alaskans, “Buy into my climate change blather and I’ll give you ‘Denali.’” They did and he did. “Denali” (“Great Mountain”) is the name native Alaskans have used for the peak for ages. Some years ago, the National Park Service named the park in which it sets, Denali National Park. In daily reference both names for the mountain often have been used side by side.

The Obama Watch

The President’s Clean Energy Farce

By 8.31.15

President Obama’s Clean Energy Summit last week was a farce and a flop, rivaled only by the mythical theatrical productions of Bialystock & Bloom. However, after enduring Obama’s speech at the Mandalay Bay Resort Convention Center in Las Vegas last Monday, no one was heard humming, in the manner of Matthew Broderick’s accountant-cum-show business-impresario character Max Bloom, “I want to be a producer” of alternative energies. And there certainly isn’t going to be a revival of the show on the strip there any time soon.

Green energy investments are a guaranteed flop, the kind of failure only a shady Broadway producer could envision. This current green energy production really got underway when the economic “stimulus” set aside $80 billion to subsidize politically connected energy projects, according to the Heritage Foundation. Since the halcyon days of the stimulus, 1,900 investigations have been opened to probe stimulus fraud and about 600 convictions have been secured by prosecutors.

What is more, about 10 percent of the Obama-backed green companies have gone bankrupt or out of business.

The Obama Watch

Some People Choose to Be Homeless

By 8.18.15

The Obama Department of Justice argued last week that a Boise, Idaho, law against “public sleeping in a city without adequate shelter space constitutes criminalizing homelessness itself, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.” In a statement of interest filed in federal court, the Obama administration asserted that banning sleeping and camping in public places constitutes “cruel and unusual punishment.” Republican candidates, please take note.

Mike Journee, spokesman for Boise Mayor David Bieter, described his city as “a fairly progressive island in a deeply red state.” Bieter is trying to address homelessness, Journee told me, “from a holistic standpoint” — and with compassion. That said, the Obama statement is “misguided” in that it is based on a notion that “those experiencing homelessness have no recourse and we are willy-nilly criminalizing this by writing tickets for people who have no options. That is not the case.”

Homeless advocates have a mantra: No one chooses to be homeless.

I’m sure that’s true for some people, but there are homeless individuals who make a series of self-destructive choices that inevitably lead them to homelessness.

The Obama Watch

Iran and the Roots of Obama’s Rage

By 8.17.15

Was Dinesh D’Souza right? Mr. D’Souza is a political commentator who proposed that the best explanation of President Obama’s behavior was not to be found in Obama’s seeming embrace of the radical socialism of Saul Alinsky but in the anti-colonialism of his father. Mr. D’Souza’s theory has been heatedly dismissed by the White House with the admonition that in America we do not judge people by their father’s political beliefs and that Ronald Reagan’s father was an alcoholic.

Fair enough, but then Ronald Reagan never wrote a memoir titled, Dreams from My Father, in which he measured his own life by both the achievements and failures of an alcoholic father that had abandoned him.

The reason that Mr. D’Souza’s 2010 book comes back into focus is Mr. Obama’s Iran deal. If we had doubts about Mr. D’Souza’s hypothesis before, Mr. Obama in recent weeks has gone a long way toward lending confirmation to it.

The Obama Watch

Obama’s Climate Hubris

By 8.4.15

This week President Obama is hailing his Clean Power Plan as “the single most important step America has ever taken in the fight against global climate change.” Obama is posing as the environment’s savior, just as he did in 2008, when he promised his presidency would mark “the moment when … the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” Seven years later, that messianic legacy is in doubt. Obama’s Clean Power Plan has never had legislative support, even when his own party controlled both houses of Congress. Now he’s trying to impose it without Congress, an audacious ploy his old Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe condemns as “burning the Constitution.”

The Obama Watch

The Failed Missionary

By 7.29.15

President Obama’s loud support for multiculturalism and his condemnation of Western colonialism have never stopped him from seeking to spread liberal ideology in foreign lands. When it comes to his own agenda, he eagerly plays the unwanted missionary and colonialist. This created a moment of embarrassment on his recent trip to Kenya when he attempted to lecture his hosts on the “rights of gays and lesbians.”

He implicitly compared his hosts to racists, connecting his support for LGBT ideology to his support for civil rights. As a black man, he said that he is “painfully aware of the history when people are treated differently under the law.” A country that treats sexual activity differently than skin color, he said, is on the “path whereby freedoms begin to erode and bad things happen.”

Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta, was unimpressed by this lecture. To applause from the crowd at the joint press conference, he politely rebutted Obama’s remarks, noting that for Kenyans facing poverty, disease, and violence LGBT ideology is a “non-issue” and “that is a fact.”

The Obama Watch

Death to Canadian Oil!

By 7.29.15

President Obama’s confusing approach to energy encourages our enemies who shout “death to America,” while penalizing our closest allies and even our own job creators.

Iran’s participation in the nuclear negotiations that have slogged on for months, have now, ultimately, netted a deal that will allow Iran to export its oil—which is the only reason they came to the table (they surely are not interested in burnishing Obama’s legacy). International sanctions have, since 2011, cut Iran’s oil exports in half and severely damaged its economy. Iran, it is estimated, currently has more than 50 million barrels of oil in storage on 28 tankers at sea—part of a months’ long build up.

The Obama Watch

A Historic Catastrophe

By 7.21.15

Distinguished scientist Freeman Dyson has called the 1433 decision of the emperor of China to discontinue his country’s exploration of the outside world the “worst political blunder in the history of civilization.”

The United States seems at this moment about to break the record for the worst political blunder of all time, with its Obama administration deal that will make a nuclear Iran virtually inevitable.

Already the years-long negotiations, with their numerous “deadlines” that have been extended again and again, have reduced the chances that Israel can destroy the Iranian nuclear facilities, which have been multiplied and placed in scattered underground sites during the years when all this was going on.

Israel is the only country even likely to try to destroy those facilities, since Iran has explicitly and repeatedly declared its intention to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.

How did we get to this point — and what, if anything, can we do now? Tragically, these are questions that few Americans seem to be asking. We are too preoccupied with our electronic devices, the antics of celebrities, and politics as usual.

The Obama Watch

Below the Headlines, the Real Obama Story

By 7.21.15

Despite having his best week this year a few weeks back, Obama remains decidedly out of favor. The contrast between his current successes and his long-term political erosion could not be starker. The real question is: How can Obama be winning so big and still doing so badly? 

As June closed, Obama arguably had one of his presidency's best weeks with big Congressional and Court successes.

In Congress he won trade promotion authority (TPA), which gives trade agreements he negotiates an expedited and protected path through Congress. In the Supreme Court, Obamacare received a crucial verdict allowing continuation of its subsidies, another ruling upholding the administration's targeting of unintended bias in housing, and a third upholding the constitutionality of gay-marriage.

For an administration less than two years from ending and facing a strong opposition Congress, any positives are welcome. To get them in areas so central to its legacy and its agenda, they are even more so. However, there are good reasons to delay reappraising Obama too quickly.

First, Obama's “victories” are less than they appear. 

The Obama Watch

President Obama’s Nuclear Surrender

By 7.17.15

Remember President Obama’s Obamacare promise that if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan? That turned out to be you can keep your health care plan if Obama likes your health care plan, as millions of Americans lost their health care plans they liked perfectly well for the price, because those plans failed to include all the costly benefits Obamacare required them to include.

Now President Obama is trying to manipulate public opinion again on the Iran nuclear deal. He is telling the public the deal is so good because under the deal “every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off” to Iran, and the deal “will prevent [Iran] from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

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