The Obama Watch

The Obama Watch

Ebola and Obama

By 10.7.14

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is both a danger in itself and a wake-up call for Americans — about President Obama, about the institutions of this country and, most important, about ourselves.

There was a time when an outbreak of a deadly disease overseas would bring virtually unanimous agreement that our top priority should be to keep it overseas. Yet Barack Obama has refused to bar entry to the United States by people from countries where the Ebola epidemic rages, as Britain has done.

The reason? Refusing to let people with Ebola enter the United States would conflict with the goal of fighting the disease. In other words, the safety of the American people takes second place to the goal of helping people overseas.

As if to emphasize his priorities, President Obama has ordered thousands of American troops to go into Ebola-stricken Liberia, disregarding the dangers to those troops and to other Americans when the troops return.

What does this say about Obama?

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The Obama Watch

Obama Has Said Quite Enough

By 10.6.14

One would think that the beheading of a woman on American soil would warrant some sort of comment from the President Obama. At the very minimum, he could offer a few kind words. As of this writing, he has not said word one about it. His silence speaks volumes.

After all, the beheading of Colleen Hufford in Moore, Oklahoma, by a former co-worker at Vaughan Foods who had recently converted to Islam occurred only weeks after the beheading of two American journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff, in Syria. Surely this was the source of inspiration for Alton Nolen (a.k.a. Jah’Keem Yisrael), who had images of a beheading and of himself giving the ISIS salute on his Facebook page.

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The TMI President

By 10.3.14

Immigrants give you the diseases no one else will.

ISIS plays as the JV team the varsity squad would rather keep off the schedule.

Secret Service director Julia Pierson resigns for not keeping the service’s secrets.

The seemingly disparate media obsessions over Ebola, ISIS, and the Secret Service’s previously tight security on news of White House security lapses join to illustrate the folly of the Obama presidency. Merely by declaring this or that so, the president believes his will be done.

Obama judged Ebola traveling to America as “unlikely.” He dismissively said of ISIS that “if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.” He expressed Monday through his spokesman “full confidence” in Julia Pierson.

Just call him a confidence man.

Ebola’s here. ISIS is still there. And the Secret Service director moved Wednesday from Obama’s employ to his unemployment lines.

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The Democrats’ Biggest Worry: Obama’s Fall From Grace With His Base

By 10.1.14

The Democrats’ biggest worry heading toward November is Obama’s fall from grace with his base. This could make things even worse for them than currently expected. Democrats’ only hope to offset Republicans’ anticipated midterm surge is their base’s high turnout. However, Obama’s deep drop with his strongest supporters seriously calls this hope into question.

Democrats know they will lose seats in November. The only question is: How many? At best, they hope to hang on to the Senate by a hair.

Losses for the party holding the presidency are nothing new. Simply, it happens because the presidential candidate, who brought in sufficient voters to win the White House two years earlier, is now off the ballot. The result: without the president’s additional supporters, his party suffers in Congress.

Four years ago, and just two years into Obama’s presidency, Democrats saw this play out spectacularly. They lost six Senate and sixty House seats — including control of the House. The reason was just as expected: a huge drop in their core constituents as a portion of the electorate.

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Leadership We Don’t Need

By 9.24.14

The one issue on which Obama is not leading the world from behind is climate change. He usually recommends that global problems be approached cautiously. The motto of his foreign policy is: “Don’t Do Stupid Stuff.” But on matters environmental, his policy is to do plenty of stupid stuff. He is bound and determined to lead from the front on climate change, which translates into damaging America’s economy while China, India, and Russia, among other powers, ignite theirs.

Top officials from these powers aren’t bothering to attend this week’s United Nations event on climate change, as they have no intention of following Obama’s lead. Strangling jobs and businesses for the sake of a trendy theory is seen by them as a Western luxury. As Obama prides himself on stunting economic growth in pursuit of a phantom solution to climate change, China sprints ahead of the American economy.

The leaders of most developing countries can see that the assertion of catastrophic climate change and the solution proposed for its elimination are both equally unconvincing. They know that they can’t control the weather but that they can control poverty within their countries.

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Only Obama Thinks Wars Are Always Optional

By 9.23.14

Some pundits are saying that President Obama has been floundering in his response to the ISIS crisis because public opinion polls show most Americans don’t want another war.

In all my 84 years, I cannot recall a time when most Americans wanted war. That is something we should be proud of. But wars are not always optional.

Even World War II — which some have called “the good war” — was not something that most Americans wanted. But the Japanese took that decision out of our hands when they bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. And Hitler removed any possible doubt when he declared war on us shortly afterward, making sure that we were in the war all over the world.

No one has promoted the dangerous notion that war is optional more than Barack Obama. He declared peace in Iraq when he pulled American troops out, and he declared victory over al Qaeda because his administration had killed bin Laden (with an assist from the Navy SEALS). But all this make-believe has come back to haunt him, as make-believe often does.

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Obama at the Gates of Vienna

By 9.16.14

Barack Obama is at the Gates of Vienna. But America is not at war with Islam! Got that? As a matter of fact, all those ISIS (or ISIL) people cutting off heads in those videos? They aren’t Islamic at all, according to President Obama:

Now let's make two things clear: ISIL is not Islamic. No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL's victims have been Muslim....ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple. And it has no vision other than the slaughter of all who stand in its way.

Never mind that the beheaders have dropped the “In Syria” or “In the Levant” and simply refer to all their accumulated turf — now the size of Great Britain — as just “IS” as in “Islamic State.” Or that they may have as much as $2 billion in stolen assets.

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Obama’s Spin Can’t Keep Up With America’s Economic Reality

By 9.12.14

At a Labor Day rally in Milwaukee, President Obama turned the limelight on himself, approvingly and inaccurately.

“By almost every measure,” he declared, “the American economy and the American workers are better off than when I took office.”

In contrast to Mr. Obama’s self-congratulatory assertion, the Census Bureau reports that median household income in the United States, adjusted for inflation, is down by more than $2,000 since Obama’s first inauguration in January 2009.

Additionally, as an indicator of the economic downturn, a sixth of the U.S. population is currently receiving food stamps, an increase in the participation rate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program of 61 percent since 2008.

Rep. Kevin Brady, (R-TX), chairman of the Congressional Joint Economic Committee, summarized the U.S. economy’s subpar recovery several months ago, in May: “Our economy has a real GDP growth gap of $1.5 trillion in this recovery compared with the average of other post-1960 recoveries. And that has left us with a private-sector jobs gap from the end of the recession of 5.7 million jobs.”

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Obama, Woodrow Wilson, and Foreign Policy Failure

By 9.11.14

Obama’s foreign policy failures have created uncanny parallels with Woodrow Wilson’s administration. Obama has been compared to many previous Democrats, but now is threatened with seeing his presidency staked on foreign policy, just as Wilson’s was. Separated by almost a century, Obama must hope his administration does not suffer the same fate as his predecessor’s.

Foreign policy did not figure prominently in Wilson’s early agenda. Elected only by virtue of Republicans’ presidential self-destruction, he focused on domestic policy. Abroad, his goal was to keep America out of foreign entanglements — particularly WWI, after 1914. He narrowly won reelection in 1916 on the slogan “He kept us out of war.”

When finally dragged into WWI, he aimed for an evenhanded outcome based on his Fourteen Points. Despite late entry, he sought a primary role in the peace. He felt ownership over the Treaty of Versailles, and staked everything — politically and personally — on its ratification. His ultimate failure cost Wilson not only his administration, but his health and nearly his life.

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Obama Does Have a Strategy: Bury the Bad News

By 9.9.14

Those people who say that President Obama has no clear vision and no clear strategy for dealing with the ISIS terrorists in the Middle East may be mistaken. It seems to me that he has a very clear and very consistent strategy. And a vision behind that strategy.

First the strategy — which is to get each crisis off the front pages and off television news programs as quickly as he can, in whatever way he can, at the lowest political cost. Calling ISIS a junior varsity months ago accomplished that goal.

Saying before the 2012 elections that “bin Laden is dead” and that terrorism was defeated accomplished the goal of getting reelected.

Ineffective sanctions against Iran and Russia likewise serve a clear purpose. They serve to give the illusion that Obama is doing something that will stop Iran from getting nuclear bombs and stop Russia from invading Ukraine.

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