The Obama Watch

The Obama Watch

Progressives in the Dock

By 10.30.14

As always, the progressive utopia sounds just ducky. Utopia arrives. And then…shocker!…it doesn’t work. Now? Americans have soured on President Obama — and progressives are in the dock.

One poll after another says Americans are a pretty unhappy lot this election year, and are set next Tuesday to deliver a smackdown of some considerable size to the president's party. But why? Let’s review, beginning with this famous passage from Obama's speech the night in 2008 that he clinched the Democratic nomination:

America, this is our moment. This is our time. Our time to turn the page on the policies of the past. Our time to bring new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face. Our time to offer a new direction for the country we love.

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The Obama Watch

The Politics of Ebola

By 10.29.14

Normally hyperactive about potential risks, the nanny-state establishment is strangely intolerant of reasonable fears about Ebola’s spread. It usually frets over second-hand smoke, too many cupcakes and sodas in schools, and is always ready to label something an “epidemic.” Nor are nanny-state liberals averse to inconveniencing doctors and nurses in the name of public health, as evident in Obamacare’s voluminous regulations. But on matters related to Ebola, these attitudes disappear. Suddenly it is “paranoid,” “draconian,” and unconstitutional for states to quarantine medical workers exposed to Ebola patients in West Africa.

In light of the fact that a considerable number of medical workers have contracted the disease, quarantining doctors and nurses during the incubation period hardly qualifies as an outlandish policy. Public support for the policy is particularly understandable, given the CDC’s wobbly performance throughout the crisis. Its confident pronouncements keep getting punctured by changing events. It is not even clear if its most confident claim — that asymptomatic people can’t communicate the disease — is true.

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D.C. Reporters Push Back on White House Control

By 10.21.14

Nobody likes a micro-manager. Especially when that micro-manager is the government.

Here in the United States, we have this great thing called “the freedom of the press,” protected by our Constitution. But the White House doesn’t always seem to value that freedom above its own image. And since it is the primary distributor for some reports on the president’s activity, it takes advantage of that position to block certain content from being made public.

A group of “pool reporters” got tired of the White House throwing its weight around and demanding edits to their reports. So they came up with another way to share information that isn’t dependent on presidential press aides.

Here’s how the pool system works: instead of subjecting the president to a mob of journalists everywhere he goes, representative reporters for each event are chosen from a pool of regular White House press. The information they gather on the president’s appearances is then shared with news outlets, federal agencies, and congressional offices.

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What Obama Didn’t Say About the Economy

By 10.15.14

In his speech the day before the federal government reported U.S. job growth was 248,000 in September, President Obama painted a picture that made the current state of the American economy look like the grand fireworks finale on the Fourth of July — everything simultaneously and beautifully exploding to more dazzling and far-reaching levels.

“Unemployment down, jobs up,” Mr. Obama asserted. “Manufacturing growing. Deficits cut by more than half. High School graduation up. College enrollment up. Energy production up.”

Obamanomics, allegedly batting a thousand — everything that should be up was up and everything that should be down was down.

“By every economic measure, we are better off now than we were when I took office,” declared Mr. Obama.

Well, not exactly “every economic measure.” Some things went up during President Obama’s White House years that weren’t included on his checklist of successes.

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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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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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