The Obama Watch

The Obama Watch

There He Goes Over the Top Again

By 8.8.14

“If you look at what’s happened over the last four or five years, the folks who don’t have a right to complain are the folks at the top,” President Obama stated in a recent interview with the Economist. It’s surprisingly clumsy and unscholarly for Obama to use the words “don’t have a right” in that comment, given that he taught law for 12 years at the University of Chicago and is an experienced wordsmith and writer. (Obama’s “principal accomplishment before becoming president was to write two autobiographies,” wrote John Guardiano in his column “Barack Obama: Narcissist-in-chief” at the Daily Caller.)

To be less polarizing and more in step with the U.S. Constitution, Obama could have said “the folks who don’t have a reason to complain are the folks at the top.”

The Obama Watch

Right Now There Is Nothing We Can Do About Obama

By 8.4.14

The great fear among conservatives, stoked by the actual statements of the Obama White House and one of its chief sycophants, Congress Luis Gutierrez of Illinois, is that the president will step far beyond the constitutional limits of his power and grant amnesty through executive fiat to as many as six million illegal aliens.

This would be political suicide for Obama. It would be an act of brazen stupidity and it would likely not only destroy any chance his party has to retain control of the Senate but could potentially fracture his own coalition for future elections. Already Obama polls at just a 31 percent approval rating on the immigration issue. If he were to take such a rash step his presidency could well implode—particularly when the butcher’s bill comes in the November elections. Democratic senators Mary Landrieu, Kay Hagan, Mark Pryor and Mark Udall, all of whom currently have fighting chances at re-election, would be roadkill.

The Obama Watch

Get Thee to a Fundraiser

By 7.29.14

So the Emperor Nero (or is it Zero?) fiddles while Rome burns — going to multiple fundraising parties as the world reels from one catastrophe to another. A White House flack defends the president, saying that everyone would be much more worried if we allowed some untoward event — such as the Russian president shooting down a western airliner — to throw the emperor off his chosen course of entertaining and being entertained by the rich and foolish.

It’s hard to disagree with that. Would we really be better off if the president — meaning this president — were deeply engrossed in the nitty-gritty of policy-making or statecraft rather than harmlessly engaged in small talk at political fundraisers?

I don’t think so.

The going rate at the president’s fundraising dinners is a little north of $32,000-a-plate. That’s about two-thirds of the medium family income in the United States, but it is chump change for the “folks” (as the president likes to say) in Hollywood Hills, Silicon Valley, the Upper East Side in Manhattan, and out in the Hamptons and places like Martha’s Vineyard and Palm Springs — to mention just a few of the president’s favorite haunts.

The Obama Watch

Support the Revolution Or Else

By 7.23.14

Eliminating freedom by fiat, President Obama signed an executive order this week mandating that all federal contractors conform to his conception of gay rights. Any company or organization that dissents from his view can now be stripped of its contract.

“We’re going to prohibit all companies that receive a contract from the federal government from discriminating against their LGBT employees,” he said. “America’s federal contracts should not subsidize discrimination against the American people.”

The Obama Watch

The Gang That Couldn’t Speak Straight

By 7.22.14

Great piece by former colleague Alyssa Mastromonaco who defines smart, savvy and fashionable.

Thus began a tweet on Thursday by Jen Psaki, the execrable State Department spokeswoman who thought it would be a good idea to depart from that day’s shooting down of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH-17 over the Ukraine by Russian separatists, if not actual Russian military operators, using a SA-11 missile system.

It was the second Psaki gaffe of the day, as she had already opened her daily briefing not with reaction to the downing of the plane, but rather a series of minutiae so insignificant that Fox News’s Shepard Smith angrily denounced her as “highly inappropriate” for wasting airtime.

The Obama Watch

MH 17 vs. KAL 007—Obama vs. Reagan

By 7.19.14

This generation has its KAL 007. The stunning downing of Malaysian flight 17 is strikingly similar to the shock of September 1, 1983, when the Russians downed a Korean passenger airliner, flight 007, which had left New York City for Seoul via Alaska. In both cases, the Russian government vehemently denied any involvement, disparaging anyone who dared to accuse it of prior knowledge.

Both planes were Asian with similar numbers of dead. KAL had 269 passengers; the Malaysian flight nearly 300. They were mostly Asian passengers but also Americans—61 Americans in KAL 007 and a much smaller (still unconfirmed) number in the Malaysian flight. In both cases, questions arise over why the planes were flying where they were flying. Exactly what happened with KAL still isn’t entirely clear, but it seems the computer on the plane’s guidance system was set incorrectly, allowing it to stray into Soviet airspace. Russia fighter planes stalked KAL 007 before blasting it out of the sky.

The Obama Watch

A Flashing Green Light

By 7.16.14

The tens of thousands of Central Americans who have crossed America’s porous borders over the last year came on the assumption that once on U.S. soil they would never have to return to their countries. The instigators of this influx correctly viewed Obama’s de facto support for amnesty as a flashing green light.

After all, how seriously were they going to take U.S. immigration law under a president who treated border security as a punch line to a joke? In 2011, Obama loudly mocked conservatives, the very ones who foresaw today’s mushrooming crisis, as malcontents crying wolf about a vulnerable border.

“You know, they said ‘we needed to triple the border patrol.’ Well, now they're going to say we need to quadruple the border patrol, or they’ll want a higher fence,” he said at the time. “Maybe they'll need a moat. Maybe they’ll want alligators in the moat. They’ll never be satisfied. I understand. That’s politics. But the truth is the measures we put in place are getting results.”

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.

The Obama Watch

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”?

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.