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"THE OBAMA FIASCO" - The Lord Black of Crossharbour

 
 
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 11:55 am
Thought provoking article by a highly controversial author. It will no doubt be attacked because Black now resides in a federal penitentiary, but neither his incarceration nor the crime that led to it, has bearing on the validity of his thesis.

How many of our presidents are little known figures whose incompetence was swallowed up by history and overcome by American vitality? Quite a few when you think of it. Considering the state of the media in the US of the early 21st Century, it's unlikely that Obama, even if he accomplishes nothing of merit during his term, will end up in the dust bin with such past worthies as James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson or Warren G Harding. Even Jimmy Carter, arguably the worst president in history, has benefited from a world in which everyone who is simply alive gets 15 minutes of fame, and a carefully constructed post-presidential history of charitable works and "initiatives for peace."

Even though plans for including president Obama on Mount Rushmore started being drawn up the day after he won the election, he has done no more to deserve a special place in history (other than, of course, being fathered by a man of color) than he did to deserve the Nobel Peace Prize.

Obviously he is very early into his term and a lot can happen between now and the end of his presidency, but Obama has deliberately established an early agenda of BIG DEEDS for his administration which may be difficult to surpass or hide in later years, regardless of their success.

The nation recovered from presidents like Buchanan, Johnson, Harding and Carter, but I wonder if anyone knows what their impact was on the generations of Americans whose lives were directly affected by their actions.

One can hope Obama will be no worse than Carter, but then he could also be a Lyndon Johnson, or Woodrow Wilson.


The Obama Fiasco
Failure all around.

By Conrad Black


The whole Obama era to date has been wasted in a historic, amateurish botch of the health-care issue. This began as a crusade for social justice " to cover the uninsured, whose numbers were suitably exaggerated, as most of them are people changing jobs from one health-insuring employer to another, or foreigners resident in this country, legally or otherwise, or the indigent, who are eligible for Medicaid.

It wasn’t clear from this rationale, however, why Obama was also trying to take over the insurance of those already covered. He therefore pressed on to the need to take over health care to save money (by nationalizing it). The Congressional Budget Office blew that up, so the president moved crisply on to revenue-neutral health-care reform for its own sake. The corresponding promises of cost reductions proved to be shortchanging elderly Medicare recipients of hundreds of billions of dollars and chasing Washington’s oldest and most elusive will-o’-the-wisp, the last refuge of 220 years of desperate public officials, the ever-popular “waste and fraud.” And the “reforms” themselves are just aggravations of long-established mistaken practices.

The president’s reform plan has been seen by almost everyone to be bunk, and hackneyed bunk at that. His political capital is evaporating and, while it was disgraceful for a congressman to scream at him “You lie!” (which he was, about health care for illegal immigrants), this is more understandable and likely to be more habit-forming than an Iraqi journalist’s throwing shoes at his predecessor.

Instead of following the Roosevelt 1933 formula of squarely acknowledging a crisis and pledging an immediate plan of action with inspiriting calls for solidarity and national effort, he magnified the problems in order to try to create an appetite for a more radical turn to higher taxes and social benefits than the country wanted. Instead of sending precise bills to Congress and generating public support for them as Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, and Ronald Reagan did, Obama left it to the Democratic congressional leadership, which festooned every bill with pendulous payoffs to key votes and interests.

The $787 billion stimulus plan was a monstrosity of patronage and logrolling. The money that was borrowed (to stimulate, in reality, Democratic reelection prospects) has been taken from purposes that would have stimulated the economy just as efficiently. Larry Summers could not have believed his promises of instant results that would confine unemployment to 8 percent. Two-thirds of the stimulus is for dispersal closer to elections, and meanwhile unemployment is knocking at the door of 10 percent. The whole misconceived idea should be scrapped and replaced with tax cuts, but it won’t be.

The cap-and-trade bill is so loaded with rebates and exemptions that the administration’s own spokesmen acknowledge that while it would sharply raise heating and air-conditioning costs in tens of millions of American homes, it would neither raise federal-government revenues nor reduce carbon emissions. It was based on the unproved Al Gore science-fiction vision of the environment, and it won’t pass.

It looks like a patchy health-care measure almost certainly adding substantially to the deficit may limp through via the politically hazardous reconciliation process. The president’s proposed tax increases, which have been the subject of an indecent amount of dissembling for over a year, will not pass either (and would be insane anyway).

And the forecast trillion-dollar annual deficits for a decade are allowed to fester in the thoughts of the financial world, unaddressed, pushing gold over $1,000 per ounce and dragging the dollar inexorably downward. This administration shows no will to pay down the debt accumulated by 15 years of borrowing trillions of dollars from China and Japan to buy trillions of dollars of non-essential goods from China and Japan, while outsourcing millions of jobs to China and Japan to produce these imports and admitting millions of unauthorized entrants who could have filled the vacated American mills and factories whose production was outsourced. Instead, it will just devalue the currency in which the debt is denominated and end America’s long reign as the world’s wealthiest per capita large country, an honor it already shares with six other advanced nations.

The political class of both parties legislated and ordered the issuance of trillions of dollars of worthless real-estate debt, eliminated savings, penalized those in rented accommodation, and promoted wild residential-real-estate speculation. It has now locked arms to over-empower the failed regulators who sat, mute as suet puddings, while this crisis developed, to save the Franks, Waxmans, Dodds, Rubins, and Greenspans from their just deserts. They have agreed to blame everything on private-sector greed: Attorney General Eric Holder will prosecute avaricious businessmen, as he will Republican-appointed intelligence officials. The criminalization of policy differences, a corrosive and self-destructive process that began with the Watergate crucifixion of one of the country’s most effective presidents, and continued through the Iran-Contra nonsense and the absurd effort to remove President Clinton for undignified but hardly unprecedented peccadilloes, has resumed. It will beget nothing good or just, and will be revisited on its perpetrators.


The administration that was elected on the promise of change has been neutered by the trial lawyers, who donated $47 million to the Democrats last year and have prevented the measures necessary to cut health-care costs. It has been suborned by the dead hand of organized labor, which has been rewarded for decades of overpayment and shoddy work habits in automobile-making with entrenchment of the UAW’s unfeasible health-care benefits, continued protectionism, and outright ownership of most of what is left of the U.S. auto industry.

Nothing is being done to defuse the Social Security or other benefit time bombs, or to reform a corrupt political system in which most of the legislators are bound hand and foot to different special interests, and are locked almost permanently into gerrymandered districts. Nothing is forecast to turn America back from a consumption to a production economy, apart from the president’s own fable about huge numbers of people building windmills: a new, enhanced version of quixotry.

Nothing is being done to fix a failed education system in which teachers’ unions fight tooth and nail against any connection between pay and performance and the dropout rate is 42 percent, or to reform a prosecution service that wins over 90 percent of its cases, enjoys a procedural stacked deck, terrorizes everyone it looks at, and has gutted the individual-liberties and due-process sections of the Bill of Rights with the plea-bargain system’s wholesale exchange of perjury for immunity or reduced charges. Nothing has been suggested for improving the conduct of the failed drug war, which has reduced parts of Mexico to civil war without reducing access to unprescribed drugs in the U.S.; nor has the administration moved to reduce sentences for the more than 40 percent of Americans who at some point experiment with marijuana (the greatest cash crop in the Golden, bankrupt State of California).

The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama unfortunately confirms the world’s love for weak or at least misguidedly diffident American leaders, in the mould of previous Nobel laureates Jimmy Carter and Al Gore. Presidents Franklin Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Reagan, and Bush Sr. all made immense contributions to peace and probably earned that prize but did not receive it. This president has engaged in wholesale, equal-opportunity apologies for much past U.S. foreign- and military-policy success. He has appeased almost all of the world’s most odious and hostile regimes, including those of Putin, Ahmadinejad, Chávez, and the Myanmar colonels. It’s possible that the emoting about nuclear disarmament will assist the efforts to discourage Iran and North Korea from developing a nuclear-arms capability, and that preemptive concessions to Russia will promote sanctions that, when they don’t succeed (as they never do), will help create a consensus for decisive action against Iran " but it is unlikely. The “War of Necessity” in Afghanistan has become a waffle. Joe Biden, who wanted to divide Iraq into three countries and should be constitutionally barred from publicly discussing foreign policy, wants to fight the cave-dwelling terrorists of Waziristan from off-shore. The president has mercilessly bullied Honduras to violate its own constitution and subvert its own fragile democracy, and has reneged on European missile defense and on the Bush-Sharon agreement on West Bank settlements (the implementation of which caused Sharon to buck fierce opposition and found a new political party). His foreign policy is a high-risk pursuit of appeasement that has few successful precedents, at a time when the U.S. is not strong in the world and has its economic and strategic credibility to rebuild. The first U.S. president to win a Nobel Peace Prize in office, Theodore Roosevelt, knew to carry a big stick while speaking softly.

The Obama Kool-Aid drinkers " led, by right and tradition, by the political scientists of Hollywood " have, like Demi Moore, pledged to “fight for the president” to the bitter end (which is nigh). The less energetic, such as the inevitable Jimmy Carter, have charged the president’s critics with racism, a tawdry and almost always false claim. Worthy commentators like Tom Friedman have decried the coarsening of the American public debate, doubtless sincerely. More to the point, Peggy Noonan, whose kindly, sentimental Irish nature was briefly pixilated by Obamamania, now sees the president as “cool” (i.e., cold), “faux eloquent,” and even a Narcissus.

Barack Obama is obviously a very intelligent man, and should be a popular and successful president. But his mandate for profound reform and a steam-cleaning of the Augean Stable of Washington is being squandered. So far the change is more of the same, only worse. This president has achieved less in his first nine months than any incoming president since Warren Harding. It is not too late, but it looks now like the people will vote again for change, with increasing desperation, next year and in 2012. If the country does not get leadership equal to the scale of its problems, as it did in 1860 and 1932, the decline of America will move from a slope to a fall. This emperor still has no clothes, and it is not racism to notice it.


" Conrad Black is the author of Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom and Richard M. Nixon: A Life in Full. He can be reached at [email protected].


Source is National Review Online

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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 2,845 • Replies: 26

 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 11:59 am
Quote:
How many of our presidents are little known figures whose incompetence was swallowed up by history and overcome by American vitality? Quite a few when you think of it.


Quite a few? Out of 44, how many would you say constitutes "quite a few?" Can you name them? Can you demonstrate that these were incompetent, but that they were "swallowed up by history and overcome by American vitality?" Do you write such sentences because you actually thought it out, or just because you think they sound cool?
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 11:59 am
Laughing What a bunch of horseshit, John.

I submit that the fact that the author is a notorious crook, tax cheat, and scum-sucker who destroyed many people's lives for his own gain, DOES in fact invalidate his opinion.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  6  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 12:12 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
Even though plans for including president Obama on Mount Rushmore started being drawn up the day after he won the election....

If you parody yourself, why should anyone take you seriously? It'd be like taking advice from performers at the circus.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  6  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 12:14 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
[The whole Obama era to date has been wasted in a historic, amateurish botch of the health-care issue.

...because having Republican senators start to support Democratic reforms shows how amateurish the whole thing is, right?

Just another partisan screed.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 01:35 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
It will no doubt be attacked because Black now resides in a federal penitentiary


Conrad was a fool long before he moved into his current housing. Playing with toy soldiers doesn't necessarily prove someone is a genius.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 02:15 pm
So i guess one can infer that Lord Black of Hot Cross Buns wasn't counting on a Presidential pardon, huh?
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  6  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 02:17 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:

Nothing is being done to fix a failed education system in which teachers’ unions fight tooth and nail against any connection between pay and performance and the dropout rate is 42 percent.


So I was trying to force my way through this post with its wild hyperbole and wacky assertions until I got to this line. 42% dropout rate?!?
National Center for Education Statistics wrote:
The status dropout rate declined from 14 percent in 1980 to 9 percent in 2007. A decline was also seen between 2000 and 2007, the more recent years of this time span (from 11 percent to 9 percent).

I'm not saying you can't find excellent conservative arguments against Obama; I'm saying this isn't one of them.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 02:37 pm
You know, Finn really cracks me up at times. Yes, one could argue that Carter was the worst president in our history. One could also argue that he is the best former naval officer ever to hold the office . . . oh wait . . . he's the only former naval officer to hold the office, isn't he? I guess Finn was not impressed with the Camp David Accord which brought peace for Israel with the most populous Arabic-speaking nation.

Not a Lyndon Johnson or a Woodrow Wilson? Well, i hope he won't pick up the girls' new dog by the ears, and i feel i'm on safe ground to suggest that he won't issue an executive order to prevent black women from sitting next to white women in Federal offices, the way Wilson did.
Merry Andrew
 
  3  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 02:48 pm
Y'know, one wonders why Finn even posted this. Black's screed is so over-the-top, filled with invective, hyperbole and plain misstatements of fact that it doesn't seem possible that any reasonable person could take it seriously. So, granting that Finn can at times be quite reasonable, what was the purpose of posting this arrant nonsense?
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 02:56 pm
@Merry Andrew,
Maybe he just wanted to poke folks with a sharp stick.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  0  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 03:04 pm
@Merry Andrew,
Merry Andrew wrote:

Y'know, one wonders why Finn even posted this. Black's screed is so over-the-top, filled with invective, hyperbole and plain misstatements of fact that it doesn't seem possible that any reasonable person could take it seriously. So, granting that Finn can at times be quite reasonable, what was the purpose of posting this arrant nonsense?


Does this even have to be asked? He's an asshole. That's reason enough.

Cycloptichorn
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 05:37 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
You know Cyclo, I really have no idea how old you actually are, but mentally you are surely a child, and a brat at that.

How juvenile is the practice of tagging posts with snarky comments?

At least, though, yours has explained your idiotic insistence on calling me "John."

You are quite the prolific poster Cyclo (retired or unemployed?), and my Uncle Eddy is quite the prolific passer of gas.

You two have much in common.
Cycloptichorn
 
  0  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 05:47 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
****, I'm just happy that you only put half the title in all caps - maybe you're taking baby steps away from being a total douchebag, I dunno. I don't have much hope for you, but anyone can try and be better.

I'm sure you can imagine the happiness that your derision gives me, John, as I believe that you - more than anyone else here - embody the moral and intellectual wasteland known as the modern Republican party. A veritable avatar for lameness, idiocy and unpopularity.

Now, tell us. Have you quit your job yet? Taken your hard work and fortune elsewhere? You made some pretty strong statements a while back on the subject, so as better to keep your money away from us grubby proles, I assume.

So. How is that going for ya? My guess, not so hot.

Quote:

At least, though, yours has explained your idiotic insistence on calling me "John."


You should have figured it out long ago, you ******* moron. If you spent half the effort on analysis that you put into fart jokes, you probably would have.

Cycloptichorn
engineer
 
  3  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 06:37 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

One could also argue that he is the best former naval officer ever to hold the office . . . oh wait . . . he's the only former naval officer to hold the office, isn't he?

Kennedy, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter and Bush Sr. were all naval officers. For a while it appeared that you either had to be a naval officer or play one in the movies to be elected.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 06:39 pm
@engineer,
Ya got me there, Boss . . . i wasn't thinkin' . . . LBJ ? ! ? ! ? I never knew.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 07:54 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Surely they have anger management classes at Berkley Eddie.

Check the bulletin board.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 07:55 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Judging by the heat of your reply, I'm guessing unemployed.
Cycloptichorn
 
  0  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 08:16 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:

Judging by the heat of your reply, I'm guessing unemployed.


Guess again Laughing

Cycloptichorn
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 09:57 pm
@Setanta,
Well, lets see

James Buchanan
Jimmy Carter
Millard Fillmore
US Grant
Warren Harding
William Harrison
Herbert Hoover
Andrew Johnson
Lyndon Johnson
John Kennedy
Franklin Pierce
Zachary Taylor
John Tyler
Woodrow Wilson

That's 14 of 44 - 32%. Quite a lot by my calculus.

The media being what it is, and has been, it's arguable that Carter, Kennedy, Johnson, and Wilson don't precisely fit this list (not by virtue of competence, but by national attention), but that still comes to 10 of 44 or 23% and almost a quarter of our presidents. Seems quite a lot to me.

I write my sentences after "thinking them out," how about you?

If I think they're also "cool" so much the better, and I suspect the same is the case with you; substituting "snotty" for "cool."









 

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