The Obama Watch

The Obama Watch

Damned Statistical Lies

By 4.17.14

Back in 2009, President Obama made one of his first of many unprecedented executive moves: He snatched the Census Bureau out of the hands of the commerce secretary and placed it in the White House.

Conservatives were outraged. They predicted that this consolidation of power could result in skewed and biased Census reports. They warned that once the president owned the data, it would be the end of objective government statistics. The left laughed, and told them to calm down and retire the slippery slope arguments.

As Noah Rotham pointed out yesterday—turns out conservatives were right after all.

For the first time in over thirty years, the Census Bureau has decided to change its health care survey questions in order to supposedly produce more accurate data.

The Obama Watch

Obama’s Numbers Worse News for Democrats

By 4.15.14

Bad as Obama’s poll numbers are, they bode worse for Congressional Democrats. Obama is being buoyed by continued strong support from Democrat voters. The problem for Congressional Democrats is that November’s election outcome will not be determined in Democrat strongholds.

Recent Quinnipiac polling data (released April 2, of 1,578 registered voters nationwide, with a MOE of +/-2.5%) showed the president with a deeply negative rating on his handling of the economy: 40% approval and 55% disapproval. In his sixth year in office, and the fifth year after the recession, 74% of respondents still rated the economy as “not so good” to “poor” and 71% said it was staying the same or getting worse.

The administration’s defining issue, Obamacare, was viewed equally negatively. Forty-one percent of respondents supported it, while 55% opposed it. This is only slightly better than Quinnipiac’s all-time low of 38%-56% recorded in January.

This same slightly-better-than-worst-case scenario prevailed on several other issues. 

The Obama Watch

On Track to Restart the Cold War

By 3.12.14

On economic policy, President Obama has consistently and thoroughly followed just the opposite of everything Reagan did. And that is why he has consistently and thoroughly gotten the opposite of Reagan’s results.

Reagan slashed tax rates, with the top income tax rate reduced from 70% when he entered office to 28% when he left. (Federal tax revenues doubled during the 1980s.) Early in his first year, Reagan led Congress to cut federal spending by nearly 5%. Early in his first year, Obama led Congress to enact nearly $1 trillion in utterly wasted “stimulus” spending. Reagan deregulated, Obama overregulated. Reagan backed the Fed to follow strong dollar monetary policies that ended the double-digit inflation of the 1970s. Obama has backed the Fed to pursue loose dollar monetary policies that threaten, ultimately, to bring back the double-digit inflation of the 1970s.

The Obama Watch

Covering With a Second Quote

By 3.5.14

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was justifiably proud when his son, Avner, won Israel’s National Bible Quiz in February 2010. That is a hard-fought annual contest, with very tough questions, and anyone who does not know the entire Bible, at least on a surface level, has zero chance of scoring a lucky win. Avner was fortunate to be tutored by his scholarly grandfather, the late Professor Netanyahu, who passed away in April 2012 at age 102.

What the Prime Minister surely never envisioned was that Israeli-American diplomacy would move beyond the Bible into a Talmudic debate over Mishnaic phrases taught by the Jewish prince and sage, Hillel. (The Talmud is divided into Mishna and Gemara. Mishna consists of concise phrases which review legal and moral conclusions derived from close study of the Bible. Gemara traces the Mishna principles back to their Biblical sources, then extrapolates from those principles to life situations.)

The Obama Watch

Why Doesn’t Obama Call Him ‘Pootie Putt’?

By 3.4.14

Among the many things George W. Bush was vilified for while he was President was his assessment of Russian President Vladimir Putin. It was said that Bush had looked into Putin’s eyes and had seen his soul. Well, here’s exactly what Bush said after he met Putin for the first time in Slovenia in June 2001:

I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy and we had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul. He’s a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country and I appreciate very much the frank dialogue and that’s the beginning of a very constructive relationship.

The Obama Watch

‘My Brother’ Is a Keeper

By 3.1.14

It is nice on this side of the aisle to be able to support an initiative of the President without reservation. The launching of the My Brother’s Keeper initiative the other day to encourage minority children to aim higher in life was a marvelous event and the President said some really admirable things.

Among his comments were these:

I made bad choices. I got high, not always thinking about the harm it would do. I did not always take school as seriously as I should have. I made excuses. Sometimes I sold myself short.

If we help these wonderful young men become better husbands and fathers and well-educated, hardworking good citizens then not only will they contribute to the growth and prosperity of this country but they will pass those lessons on to their children and their grandchildren.

There is no room for the slightest quibble on this message. As long as this program really encourages those virtues with financial and moral support it should have our backing.

The Obama Watch

No Recovering From This Recovery

By 2.27.14

Across the board, public opinion in all three major political groups — Democrats, Republicans and independents — identified unemployment as the nation’s top problem in a recent Gallup poll, released on Feb. 17.

The next day, ironically, an analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) — hardly an assemblage of libertarian-leaning economists —projected that the Democrats’ proposed minimum-wage hike from the current $7.25 an hour to $10.10 “would reduce total employment by approximately 500,000 workers” by 2016, and that job losses could reach 1 million.

The CBO, additionally, estimated that 81 percent of the proposed increased wages would go to workers who are not living below the poverty line. Roughly half the workers currently earning the minimum wage are between ages 16 and 24, many living in middle- and upper-income households.

In contrast, the segment of minimum-wage workers most likely to lose their jobs because of the proposed federally mandated wage hike will disproportionately be those who are the least skilled and least educated — the portion of bottom-rung workers who can least afford to be knocked off the occupational ladder.

The Obama Watch

Eric Holder’s Arizona

By 2.27.14

Eric Holder’s liberal chickens are coming home to roost in Arizona. And in a West Hollywood gay bar. The Los Angeles Times is helping. While a Harvard student demands an end to academic freedom. All of this in the name of the religion of liberalism.

Let’s start with the attorney general of the United States, who has made it abundantly clear that a state attorney general who doesn’t like his or her state’s gay marriage law doesn’t have to enforce it.

Fox News reported Holder’s decision this way:

Attorney General Eric Holder has given the nod to his state counterparts that they do not have to defend laws against constitutional court challenges if they consider them discriminatory — effectively giving the green light for states to stop defending bans on gay marriage.

The Obama Watch

Obama’s Trifecta

By 2.26.14

The First Amendment has three parts to it: the protection of religious freedom, the protection of speech and press, and the protection of the people’s right to assembly and petition. In all three categories, the Obama administration’s record is outrageous: it has forced the religious to finance free contraceptives, treated some journalists as potential criminals, and sought to undermine political speech and action through “campaign finance reform” and IRS harassment.

Conforming to the Obama administration’s pattern of disregarding the First Amendment in total is this month’s news: a Federal Communications Commission plan, now thwarted, to gather information on newsroom practices.

The Obama Watch

Defining Challenges Down

By 2.19.14

It’s the “defining challenge of our time,” declared President Obama, referring to income inequality in the American economy.

A good start for Mr. Obama in reducing the hardships that exist in the poorer segments of this economy — an economy with 13 million more people receiving food stamps than when he took office in 2009, the slowest recovery since World War II, and the lowest percentage of the population in 36 years participating in the labor force — would be to make it his “defining challenge” to discover and publicize how his administration’s policies have weakened economic growth, slowed job creation and lowered income increases, especially in the bottom income quintiles.

Starting off his first term, what didn’t work was Obama’s recovery strategy of bashing “the rich” and selling political boondoggles as “shovel ready” stimulants to employment.

What also didn’t improve job growth, raise incomes or reduce inequality were the incentives in the Affordable Care Act for companies to switch full-time employees to part-time workers and not expand workforces beyond 49 employees.

Pages