The Obama Watch

The Obama Watch

Obama Can’t Fix Immigration By Himself

By 7.9.14

On Monday, Major Garrett penned a fascinating piece at the Atlantic about a White House meeting on June 30 between President Barack Obama and a host of leftist pro-amnesty groups including the Center for American Progress, the Service Employees International Union, the National Immigration Law Center, and the Leadership Council on Civil Rights.

According to Garrett, Obama did most of the talking, promising the groups that he would take executive action to slow deportations and grant legal status to millions of undocumented workers. Obama also said he would criticize Congress for its lack of action on immigration reform, ignoring the fact nobody on Capitol Hill trusts the president to carry out any laws they’d pass.

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Obama Sings a Smug, Self-Satisfied, Falsely Optimistic Tune

By 6.24.14

Ronald Reagan and Louis Armstrong appeared together in the popular movie Going Places in 1938. Though Reagan is one of the featured stars, no one remembers his role. Instead, we remember Armstrong as Gabriel the horse trainer, his alabaster grin and bulging eyes charming us as he capers gracefully, trumpet in tow. Jeepers Creepers, the horse in his care, is as wild as it is fast. Gabriel discovers that the way to calm the horse down is to sing to it—putting its name to music. In turning the skittish horse into a champion, Satchmo plays his trumpet and sings the words:

Jeepers Creepers, where’d ya get those peepers?
Jeepers Creepers, where’d ya get those eyes?

The same tune came to me upon reading President Obama’s latest speech, which was filled with self-congratulations on every front but one, that being the terrible peril of climate change. Never has there been a more smug and self-satisfied philippic than this one. It made me think:

Hocus Pocus, where’d ya get that focus?
Hocus Pocus, where’d ya get those “facts”?

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The Obama Watch

An Administration at Death’s Door

By 6.20.14

Unlike the rest of us, celebrities do not actually pass away. Instead their publicists announce their deaths, and generally they cooperate. We can only imagine how badly a person’s career must be careening out of control if the publicist has only one last move to shake things up: “We regret to inform that John Smith, star of stage and screen, has passed on to the great dressing-room in the sky. Live bookings will no longer be available, but his autobiography is at Amazon and his music can be heard on Pandora.”

Hey, Elvis and Marilyn are making more money dead than alive, so maybe their publicists were on to something.

All this comes to mind this week with the pronouncement by NBC’s Chuck Todd that based on polling patterns the Obama presidency is dead. If indeed the news media are the publicists for Democratic politicians, as Rush Limbaugh and others have long claimed, then we should attach great credence to Todd’s statement. The press has always asked us to trust it about Obama’s birth certificate, so we should do no less for his death certificate.

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Catch and Release

By 6.18.14

President Obama justified his release of the Taliban’s top terrorists on among other curious grounds that U.S. forces could just capture them again should they pose a risk to U.S. interests and security in the future. It doesn’t seem to bother Obama that such a careless policy means burdening soldiers with the demoralizing and exceedingly dangerous task of having to fight the same enemy multiple times.

Obama considers furor over a deliberate practice of giving terrorists a fresh chance to kill Americans a contrived “controversy.” “This is what happens at the end of wars,” he casually says. Never mind that the terrorists have no intention of joining him in his deluded declaration.

For them, the war is still in its opening stages and they can’t believe their luck at facing such an accommodating foe. The Taliban has been rejoicing ever since the release, chortling that “from the hand of the enemy” it got back its most effective leaders and fighters. Whether these terrorists will return to the battlefield is not a question of if but when.

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The Madness of King George

By 6.17.14

So now Bowe Bergdahl is back in the U.S. And the five Al-Qaeda terrorists we released for him are in Qatar—doubtless on their way to Iraq or Afghanistan. The prospect of an American defeat in both countries makes the exchange look more than usually stupid, and we’re entitled to ask just what’s going on in the Obama administration. We remember the Fall of Saigon and nervously await the possible evacuation of the Embassy in Baghdad, as Obama plays golf.

We’ve seen crazy rulers before. There was a time, during the Napoleonic Wars, when most of Europe’s crowned heads were barking mad. But then they were hereditary monarchs, and that’s what happens in families. Many of us have a crazy uncle or two, a Joe Biden we bring out only after the visitors are gone.

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Sliding Into the Abyss

By 6.16.14

It was an amazing week for Barack Obama — perhaps the most remarkable in his disastrous presidency. We watched history unfold as it did in Greek mythology — with all of the ills that would confront mankind escaping from Pandora’s box.

Sunday, June 8: The week began with a “prayer summit” and tree-planting at the Vatican Gardens in Rome — hosted by Pope Francis and attended by Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. There were hugs all around, with prayers in Hebrew, Arabic, English, and Italian. It was a love-in as well as a pray-in — marked by the planting of an olive tree as evening fell.

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Looking Ahead to 2015

By 6.12.14

The Revolution of ’94 saw Bill Clinton staring down the cannons of righteous Republican fury. However, Clinton’s clashes with a Republican Congress resulted in an era of economic expansion and fiscal responsibility. Obama may be faced with such a Congress himself, the results of which may be ominous.

Clinton faced numerous disadvantages in his confrontation with this Republican majority. His policy and political missteps had delivered control of the House and the Senate to Republicans for the first time in almost 50 years. He confronted this Congress for the next six years, losing frequently and ultimately facing impeachment. However, Clinton’s apparent disadvantages propelled him to a favorably viewed presidency. If faced with a Republican Congress himself, Obama could have more trouble.

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The Prisoner Swap Deal

By 6.10.14

People are arguing about what the United States got out of the deal that swapped five top level terrorist leaders for one American soldier who was, at best, absent from his post in a war zone. Soldiers who served in the same unit with him call him a deserter. The key to this deal, however, is less likely to be what the United States got out of the deal than it is about what Barack Obama got out of the deal. If nothing else, it instantly got the veterans’ hospitals scandals off the front pages of newspapers and pushed these scandals aside on television news programs.

It was a clear winner for Barack Obama. And that may be all that matters to Barack Obama.

People who are questioning the president’s competence seem not to want to believe that any President of the United States would knowingly damage this country’s interests.

One of the problems of many fundamentally decent people is that they find it hard to understand people who are not fundamentally decent, or whose moral compass points in a different direction from theirs.

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Amateur Hour

By 6.4.14

The Obama administration presented the release of Bowe Bergdahl as an indisputably glorious moment for the country. Amidst the celebration on Saturday, Obama didn’t bother to mention that Bergdahl was a deserter. Obama considered the swap of five of the most dangerous terrorists of the Taliban for Bergdahl worthy of a Rose Garden ceremony. Even for the release of a decorated soldier, that would have been a dubious idea, given the shocking, precedent-breaking character of such a trade. But for Bergdahl, whose story of desertion and possible treachery and collaboration grows more troubling with each new report, a Rose Garden ceremony seems almost like a parody of liberalism.

Obama administration officials, straining to defend the trade, noted that the Israelis have occasionally released Palestinian prisoners for hostages. But one can’t imagine the Israelis ever executing such a trade for a deserter whose actions caused the deaths of soldiers (the number keeps climbing in press reports) who conducted a long and risky search for him.

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The Obama Watch

Inveterate Carelessness

By 6.2.14

Sez I: If they would do the decent thing,
And shield the missis and the little ’uns,
Why, even I might shout “God save the King,”
And face the chances of them ’ungry guns.
But we’ve got three, another on the way;
It’s that wot makes me snarl and set me jor:
The wife and nippers, wot of ’em, I say,
If I gets knocked out in this blasted war?
Gets proper busted by a shell,
But… wot the ’ell, Bill? Wot the ’ell?

Ay, wot the ’ell’s the use of all this talk?
To-day some boys in blue was passin’ me,
And some of ’em they ‘ad no legs to walk,
And some of ’em they ‘ad no eyes to see.
And — well, I couldn’t look ‘em in the face,
And so I’m goin’, goin’ to declare
I’m under forty-one and take me place
To face the music with the bunch out there.
A fool, you say! Maybe you’re right.
I’ll ’ave no peace unless I fight.
I’ve ceased to think; I only know
I’ve gotta go, Bill, gotta go.
— “The Volunteer”
Robert William Service

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