Deconstructing Obama

Deconstructing Obama

Posted By Jamie Glazov On March 7, 2011 @ 12:04 am In Daily Mailer,FrontPage | 14 Comments

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Jack Cashill, a Kansas City-based writer and producer who serves as executive editor of Ingram’s, a regional business magazine. He is the author of the just released, Deconstructing Obama: The Life, Loves, and Letters of America’s First Postmodern President, his eighth book and his second on the subject of literary fraud.  He has a Ph.D. in American Studies from Purdue.

FP: Jack Cashill, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Let’s begin with how you came to believe that Obama was not the principal author of his acclaimed memoir “Dreams from My Father”.

Cashill: Thanks Jamie.

I first picked up the book in July 2008.  Early on in the first read, the quality of the writing caught my attention.  Although the book lacks discipline, long stretches of Dreams are very well written. In my twenty-five year career in advertising and publishing, I have reviewed the portfolios of at least a thousand professional writers.  Not a half-dozen among them wrote as well as the author of the book’s best passages.  When I looked into Obama’s other efforts in print, I saw that nothing he wrote was nearly this good.  What surprised me was that no one was even suspicious of Obama’s ability.

FP: Ok, so tell us why it matters if Obama wasn’t the real author.

Cashill: The literary gatekeepers had already anointed Obama a genius on the basis of Dreams, the sacred text in the cult of Obama. The Obama campaign machine, Organizing for America, encouraged its minions to “get out the vote and keep talking to others about the genius of Barack Obama.” This, I sensed from the beginning, was a myth that one challenged at his own peril.

FP: You ultimately came to the belief that Bill Ayers was the craftsman behind Dreams from My Father.  How did you come to make this judgment?

Cashill: Entirely by accident. About six weeks after reading Dreams, I ordered a copy of Ayers’s 2001 memoir Fugitive Days and started reading. The stylistic parallels were stunning. At this point, I had my first Eureka moment, albeit a dumb one—Gosh, I thought, they both live in Chicago.  They must have shared the same ghostwriter!   I had not known that Ayers was a skilled writer and editor.  As a case in point, Hyde Park PLO booster and Obama pal, Rashid Khalidi, credits Ayers in the first sentence of his acknowledgment section of his book, Resurrecting Empire.

FP: In the fall of 2008, what would have happened to the Obama campaign if your thesis had been accepted?

Cashill: Obama biographer David Remnick got this much right.  Said he, “This was a charge that if ever proved true, or believed to be true among enough voters, could have been the end of the candidacy.”

FP: How did the media respond?

Cashill: With a shrug.  This did not surprise me.  Real knowledge might just have undermined their commitment to a philosophy so evasive — “Yes, we can?” — they themselves would be at a loss to describe it.  That much I got.  What I did not get was why the “respectable” conservative media were mimicking the turtle-like defenses of their mainstream peers.  I was not asking them to buy my thesis sight unseen but to kick the tires and take it for a test drive.

 

FP: How confident were you that you were right?

Cashill: Four weeks before the election I was confident enough in my thesis to submit it to any test.  If proved right, it would have undermined the foundational myth of Obama as genius, confirmed his intimate relationship with an unrepentant terrorist and, perhaps most damningly, established this still untested candidate as a liar of consequence.  In short, it could have turned the election.

FP: Was your thesis ever confirmed?

Cashill: Yes, in Christopher Andersen’s book, Barack and Michele: Portrait of an American Marriage, which was published in September of 2009.  A celebrity biographer with impeccable mainstream credentials, Andersen based his account of Dreams’ creation on sources within Hyde Park.   As Andersen tells it, Obama found himself deeply in debt and “hopelessly blocked.” At “Michelle’s urging,” Obama “sought advice from his friend and Hyde Park neighbor Bill Ayers.” What attracted the Obamas were “Ayers’s proven abilities as a writer” as evident in his 1993 book, To Teach.  Noting that Obama had already taped interviews with many of his relatives,  Andersen elaborates, “These oral histories, along with his partial manuscript and a trunkload of notes were given to Ayers.”  Andersen was reviewed in every major periodical.  Not one so much as mentioned his Ayers’s revelations.

FP: When did you begin to doubt the story that was told in “Dreams”?

Cashill: I had steered clear of the “birther” business. The fever swamps surrounding Obama’s citizenship were swallowing reputations whole, and so I stuck to literary analysis.  It was the poem “Pop,” allegedly written by the 19-year old Obama, that got me interested.  Virtually all reviewers of consequence said the poem was about “Gramps,” Obama’s maternal grandfather.  In fact, as was obvious, it was about Obama’s Hawaii mentor, the poet, pornographer and CPUSA member Frank Marshall Davis. This poem begged the question–why “Pop”?–and opened the doors on Obama’s murky past.

FP: Your own personal belief on the birther issue? Do you think Obama was born in the United States?

Cashill: Yes, but when strategist David Axelrod first combed through the official Obama records—the grades, the SAT and LSAT scores, the college theses, the passport, his parents’ marriage license, the college applications, the birth certificate—he likely saw more red flags than in his parents’ May Day parades and so decided to bury them all.  I think there is something on the birth certificate that will throw the much told nativity story of Barack Obama into doubt, quite possibly the date of birth or even the place.  Unreported so far by the media, little Barry spent the first year of his life in Washington State.

FP: What are your feelings about Obama’s second book, “Audacity of Hope”?

Cashill: To credit Dreams to Obama alone, one has to posit any number of near miraculous variables: he somehow found the time; he somewhere mastered nautical jargon and postmodern jabberwocky; he in some sudden, inexplicable way developed the technique and the talent to transform himself from stumbling amateur to literary superstar without any stops in between.  To credit Audacity to Obama alone, one has to posit at least two additional variables: one is his adoption of a modified and less competent style, and the second is his ability to write such a book given the punishing schedule of a freshman senator.

Whoever wrote Obama’s speeches wrote large sections of Audacity, perhaps all of it.  We found 38 extended passages from stump speeches in 2005-2006 that made their way into this book virtually word for word.  Easily the best candidate for authorship is Obama’s wunderkind speechwriter Jon Favreau.

FP: What happens from here?

Cashill: It was scandalous that JFK won a Pulitzer Prize for Profiles In Courage, a book that he himself did not write.  Imagine if the book had been written not by Ted Sorensen but by Alger Hiss.  That is the kind of scandal we are looking at here.  I need the help of our friends in the conservative media to get the story out.


Article printed from FrontPage Magazine: http://frontpagemag.com

A suggestion for this 4th of July

A suggestion for this 4th of July

Jerry Philipson

Every patriotic American should do two things on this July 4th.

First, recite the Presidential Oath of Office to themselves and second, resolve to do everything they can within the law to prevent Obama from inflicting further damage on the country and the world until he is tossed out of office in disgrace in the next election.

In other words, we must all be President. We must all take personal responsibility for safeguarding our values and beliefs and this great nation of ours because thanks to Obama and his acolytes the consequences will be catastrophic if we don’t. Hell, they already have been in many ways and if we don’t get on with it now America and the world will be unrecognizable by the time he’s through.

The Oath of Office is as follows…I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Since Obama has proven incapable of doing the job we must do it for him.

NASA = No Americans in Space Anymore?

NASA = No Americans in Space Anymore?

By Russ Allen

American exceptionalism has been under attack for a long time. Now, with the Obama administration’s new “plan” for NASA effectively ending nationally funded human spaceflight, we drop a torch others are grabbing.
The Bush administration instigated a flood of research and development throughout the nation by charging NASA with getting us back to the moon, and eventually to Mars. NASA began developing technologies for a new series of vehicles for this project: the Ares rockets and the Orion crew capsule, which together have been dubbed the Constellation program.  Constellation represents five years of R&D and a $10-billion taxpayer investment, and it has demonstrated success. However, Obama has said that Constellation should be canceled because it was “over budget, behind schedule, and lacking in innovation.”
It is true that NASA projects have often fallen behind schedule and have certainly gone over budget estimates. However, NASA is charged with exploring and studying space, which happens to be, well, out in space. It costs a great deal of money and skull sweat just to get out there, even if it’s only to find out that your equipment doesn’t work correctly. Schedule and budget problems are to be expected, as NASA is dealing with many unknowns. And they rarely fail in conquering those unknowns; U.S. footprints and flag are on the moon.
Time and money issues aside, accusing NASA of a lack of innovation is ludicrous. According to NASA Scientific and Technical Information, NASA has filed over 6,300 patents with the U.S. government. So much new technology has come from NASA that one can hardly look around without seeing devices and techniques that originated from the space program — exercise machines, satellite radio, scratch-resistant lenses, memory foam, shoe insoles, water filtering systems, cordless tools, home security systems, and flat-panel televisions, to name just a few. In addition to reducing our national energy consumption by such innovations as Radiant Barrier, it has been estimated that for every dollar the U.S. government has given NASA for space R&D, seven dollars are returned in the form of corporate and personal income taxes from increased jobs and economic growth. One NASA innovation, “safety grooving” in concrete for highways and airport landing strips, was so successful that it has been estimated to have reduced highway accidents by 85%, as well as created an entire industry, as shown by the International Grooving and Grinding Association.
Medical knowledge and technology have also benefited tremendously from NASA research. The health difficulties that humans encounter in space spawned a slew of techniques and devices that have since been adopted by doctors and hospitals throughout the U.S. medical system, and subsequently the world, saving innumerable lives and untold amounts in medical costs. Improved pacemakers, the ear thermometer, breast biopsies, ultrasound imaging systems, invisible braces — the list goes on.
The Obama administration has publicly acknowledged the current economic problems and has sworn to do everything possible to revive the economy and “create” jobs. The administration has also sworn to do everything possible to make the U.S. medical system better for everyone. Given all that NASA has done to bolster the U.S. economy and medical system for the past fifty-plus years, and the thousands of high-paying, high-tech jobs involved with the Constellation program, it seems strange for Obama to accuse NASA of being “over budget, behind schedule, and lacking in innovation.” Perhaps he thought he was talking about Social Security or Medicare.
NASA has long been planning to cancel the Shuttle program, which is understandable, considering budget constraints and the priority of the Constellation program. But to cancel both programs leaves the U.S. with no viable human space transport. The International Space Station, which represents a $100-billion investment by U.S. taxpayers, will be unreachable by scientists and astronauts from the U.S. without hitching a ride on Russian or Chinese space transport. This is unacceptable. The “space race” began when Communist Russia successfully delivered a Sputnik satellite into low-earth orbit, and it culminated with the still-unmatched feat of the U.S. putting menand an American flagon the moon. As a nation, we spent years and money and lives to remain at the forefront in space exploration because we recognized the dangers of having communist powers rule space. Now, after our Shuttles have done most of the heavy lifting for the ISS, and our taxpayers most of the heavy paying, we are going to turn it all over to Russia and China. This places our space capabilities and experiments in their hands and poses an intolerable national security risk.
Incidentally, sending an astronaut or scientist to the ISS currently costs NASA approximately $26.3 million per person. With the ending of the Shuttle program, requiring us to “purchase tickets” from Russia, the cost will jump to $51 million starting next year and climb to $55.8 million by 2013. We will not save money this way.
One possible way to cut down on the costs of human spaceflight would be for NASA to consider nuclear-powered vehicles, capable of constant acceleration for those long trips to the moon and very long trips to Mars. Constant acceleration would eliminate the need for lengthy, dreary Hohmann orbits, getting us to our destination much more quickly while significantly reducing transit costs. If NASA needs a jump-start on the technology for nuclear-powered ships, they could talk to the U.S. Navy. The Navy has been utilizing nuclear-powered ships for decades with great success, all maintained and operated by eighteen-year-old kids.
The Obama administration’s plan for NASA outlines a “steady stream” of robotic missions “to scout locations and demonstrate technologies to increase the safety and capability of future human missions.” Whose future human missions? The Russians’ and Chinese’s? With the ending of the Constellation program, there are no future human missions for the U.S., except those made possible in commercial spaceflight. While commercial spaceflight is tremendous in its future implications, it will progress only in areas that have demonstrated a possible fiscal return…and space operations are so expensive and difficult that it is highly unlikely that any true exploration would occur. Commercial space flight is space exploitation, not space exploration. For the foreseeable future, an entity like NASA — which is nationally funded and not constrained by profits and losses — and a project such as Constellation is the best way to extend our reach into and knowledge of space. Robotic missions are all well and good for certain applications, but one does not learn anything about putting humans in space by putting robotic vehicles in space.
In fact, the immense economic and job value of the Constellation program led to a congressional ban against its being dismantled. But NASA head Major General Charlie Bolden, an Obama appointee, has told aerospace contractors to cut back immediately on Constellation-related projects. Legislators have accused the Obama administration of trying to slip termination of Constellation “through the back door” in order to avoid a battle on Capitol Hill. “It’s bordering on arrogance by the administration to boldly and brazenly go forward with this approach,” says Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT). “It shows a blatant disregard for Congress.”
While sneakily destroying the U.S. human spaceflight program, the White House is directing NASA to concentrate on “earth science projects” — principally researching and monitoring climate change. So NASA will quit developing human space exploration capabilities and become what? A weather station? A prop-up for the failing global warming propaganda? It’s no wonder former astronauts Neil Armstrong and Gene Cernan (the first and last men on the moon) complain that abandonment of the Constellation project sets U.S. space capabilities on a “downhill slide to mediocrity.”
Interestingly, Britain’s Margaret Thatcher enacted a ban on human spaceflight beginning in 1986. We often hear that we should be more like the U.K. and other European countries. But Britain removed the ban in 2009. Lord Drayson, the British Minister of Science, said, “Britain should be playing a full role in space exploration…there are important benefits that come from manned spaceflight[.]” They tried the ban for nearly a quarter of a century, and now they have realized their mistake. This is one instance in which we should learn from one of our allies, yet the Obama administration is pointedly ignoring the lesson.
As a conservative, I have always considered myself firmly grounded in reality. But I don’t want to be firmly grounded to Earth by Obama. Let’s go back to the moon. Let’s put some footprints and an American flag on Mars. Let’s continue to allow our exceptional space program to inspire our children to become astronauts and scientists. Let’s get out there and see what there is to see! Also, I have long planned to retire to the moon, where the low gravity will be easy on my tired old bones…and I really don’t want to have to learn to speak Russian or Chinese to do so.

Obama one of the best presidents evah! Is there bias in the academy toward Democrats and liberals?

Obama one of the best presidents evah!

Rick Moran

Is there bias in the academy toward Democrats and liberals?

Does Charlie Daniels play a real fast fiddle?

George W. Bush was no FDR, but Barack Obama could be.That’s the verdict of 238 of the nation’s leading presidential scholars, who – for a fifth time – rated Franklin Delano Roosevelt the best president ever in the latest Siena College Research Institute poll.

In office for barely two years, Obama entered the survey in the 15th position – two spots behind Bill Clinton and three spots ahead of Ronald Reagan.

Obama got high marks for intelligence, ability to communicate and imagination, but his score was dragged down by his relative lack of experience and family background.

“Most of the presidents came from elite backgrounds, and he certainly did not,” said professor Douglas Lonnstrom, who crunched the numbers. “He grew up without a father.”

I find this kind of thing fascinating. Not because they rank conservatives and Republicans lower, or that they made FDR #1 (that’s the narrative and they’re sticking to it). It’s that the nation’s public intellectuals operate so much in a cocoon that they don’t realize people are laughing at them when they make Barack Obama the 15th best president of all time, while giving him “high marks for intelligence, ability to communicate and imagination.” The evidence for any of that is so lacking that it obviously exists only in the minds of the respondents.

BTW – they rank Jimmy Carter 7 places higher (#32) than George Bush (#39).

Obama’s Dilemma: Heavy Leadership Responsibility – Light Leadership Aptitude

Of Thee I Sing 1776

Obama’s Dilemma: Heavy Leadership Responsibility – Light Leadership Aptitude

by Of Thee I Sing 1776

The president’s recent disappointing oval office speech elicited a chorus of criticism from across the political spectrum.  For some reason the speech seems to have put a spotlight on the president as a leader, whereas other misjudgments in which he was directly involved in making policy had not.  The oil spill, which was certainly no fault of Mr. Obama, seems to have finally caused the public and many of his cheerleaders among the pundits to focus on the president’s substance and not his style.  That has been the unspoken, elephant-in- the-room, concern throughout his presidency, his aptitude for leadership.  We are reminded of the lead-in lyrics to the signature song Ethel Merman belts out in Gypsy… Curtain up…light the lights…you either got it…or you ain’t.”

obamamirror-1

President Obama seems to have the curtain up, light the lights part down pat.  The dramatic campaign and convention stage sets, his world photo-op tours, his big oval-office backdrop to his little oval-office speech, and his ever-masterful use of the teleprompter have all produced a “strike-up-the-band” expectation whenever and wherever he appears. It’s the “you either got it, or you ain’t” part that seems finally to have focused the public on the president’s aptitude for leadership.

The befouling glob that threatens hundreds of miles of coast or, as Peggy Noonan put it recently so aptly in the Wall Street Journal, “the monster from under the sea,” seems to be a metaphor for the president’s inability to shape the world as he wants it to be.  Speeches are not a substitute for coherent policy.  The president, with the entire world watching his prime time speech, essentially punted.  He pulled from the presidential duck-and-cover arsenal the time-tested, yawn producer of presidents bereft of solutions to all manner of problems…the formation of a new blue-ribbon commission.  This was the cornerstone of his “battle plan” to face down the “siege” of big oil’s attack on our Gulf coast.

There is nothing more to be said about the quality of Mr. Obama’s oval-office speech debut.  It seems as if all the commentators from Chris Mathews, Keith Olberman and Jon Stewart on the left, to Mark Steyn, Charles Krauthammer and Karl Rove on the right have already done that.  Besides, there is something much more revealing that is apparent here.  It isn’t about the delivery by the man who gave the speech; it is, rather, about the man who delivered the speech.  The disappointing oval-office moment was more than just a lack of writing skill by some wordsmith presidential speechwriter; it focused the attention of the American people on the man himself and on what they hoped just wasn’t so; an apparent lack of the leadership aptitude which a president must possess if he or she is to succeed.


The evidence of weak leadership skills was there before but it became shrouded in the president’s rock star image. The fact is that there was very little about Barack Obama’s pre-presidential career that suggested any real aptitude for leadership.  There was always plenty of “curtain up, light the lights” but the demonstration of leadership part was always a bit like a clock striking thirteen. That is to say, not quite reassuring.

His career as a legislator in Illinois, while always well hyped, was less than impressive.  His biggest legislative achievement in Illinois seems to be the nearly 130 times he chose to vote “present” rather than “yea” or “nay” on major bills.  And yes, we’ve heard or read the standard excuse for this apparent ambivalence.  “It’s the way things are often done in the Illinois Senate,” we’re told.  But since when has doing things the way they are done in Illinois met the definition of leadership anywhere outside of that state.

Besides, some of the “present” votes then state-Senator Obama chose to cast while in the Illinois legislature are quite revealing, if not troubling.  For example, in 1999 he was faced with a difficult vote, to support a bill that would let some juveniles be tried as adults. Understandably, many African-Americans were opposed to the bill.  On the other hand, Mr. Obama was trying to hone an image of a tough-on crime candidate. It was a difficult political call for him; so, he voted “present.”

According to the New York Times, on at least 36 occasions state-Senator Obama was either the only state senator to vote “present” or was part of a group of six or fewer to vote that way.  Politically, the option to vote “present” provides a certain amount of cover. It is a way for the faint of heart, in effect, to say, “I don’t particularly like this bill, but I don’t want to take the political risk of taking a stand.”

The juvenile crime bill was to allow offenders as young as 15 to be prosecuted as adults if charged with committing a crime with a firearm on, or near, schools. Both houses passed the measure handily. State-Senator Obama justified his “present” vote by opining there was no proof that increasing penalties for young offenders reduced crime. Mr. Obama’s aides said he was more concerned about whether the bill would be effective rather than with its political consequences.  They did not explain, however, why he did not just vote “no”.

There were other “present” votes, in which part-time law-lecturer Obama, according to the New York Times, said he had concerns about the constitutionality or effectiveness of some provisions. Among those, Mr. Obama did not vote “yea” or “nay” on a bill that would allow certain victims of sex crimes to petition judges to seal court records relating to their cases. He also voted “present” on a bill to impose stricter standards for evidence a judge is permitted to consider in imposing a criminal sentence.

On the sex crime bill, Mr. Obama cast the lone “present” vote in a 58-to-0 vote.  When it appeared that this vote might become an issue in the presidential race Mr. Obama’s campaign said he believed that the bill violated the First Amendment. The bill had passed 112-0-0 in the Illinois House and 58-0-1 in the state Senate.  Again, why didn’t he just vote, “no”?

In 2000, Mr. Obama was one of two senators who voted present on a bill on whether facts not presented to a jury could later be the basis for increasing an offender’s sentence beyond the ordinary maximum. The bill sailed through both chambers. Out of 174 votes cast in the House and Senate, two were against and two were “present”, including Mr. Obama’s.  Mr. Obama’s campaign said he voted present to register his dissatisfaction with how the bill was put together. He believed (hold on to your hat) the bill was rushed to the floor and that lawmakers were deprived of time to consider it.  Oddly, this hasn’t been a problem for the president with bills passed in the House and Senate of the United States.

The Times also reported that Mr. Obama was the sole “present” vote on a bill that easily passed the Illinois Senate that would require teaching respect for others in schools. He also voted “present” on a measure to prohibit sex-related shops from opening near schools or places of worship, which ultimately did not pass the Illinois Senate.  In both of those cases, his campaign said (hold on to your hat again) he was trying to avoid mandates on local authorities.  This from, now, President Obama, who has gone on, arguably, to impose the greatest funded and unfunded mandates on local authorities in the nation’s history.

But enough of ancient history.  Fast forward to the centerpiece of his first year in office, health-care reform.  Many on the left, and even some on the right, suggest that this massive legislative “achievement” is proof that President Obama is a formidable leader. We beg to differ.  It may, indeed, prove that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority leader Harry Reid can effectively lead their party’s foot soldiers over any cliff they choose, but it really doesn’t say much about President Obama’s leadership aptitude.  Quite the opposite.   Apparently misreading the lessons of President Clinton’s terribly misdirected attempt at health-care reform, President Obama delegated the entire effort to Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid.  He sat by as they cobbled together (in his name) the horrific 2700-page health-care reform legislation that a substantial majority of the people consistently said they did not want and consistently continue to say they now want repealed and which a third of the states are now fighting to stop in federal court. Real leadership of the type he promised, but apparently cannot deliver, would have brought both sides together instead of putting the nation through some of the worst acrimony we can ever remember. 

The curtains up…light the lights first-day-in-office announcement that the prison housing terrorists at Guantanamo Bay would be closed within a year, was an early lesson that Ruffles and Flourishes without leadership aptitude is, well, just music.  The world apology tour for American foreign policy under the Bush Administration, the Cairo speech, the presidential outstretched hand to our adversaries and the long-lapsed ultimatum for a reciprocal handshake in return, the puzzling back of the hand treatment to Britain, our closest friend since the end of World War II, the insulting treatment of our friends such as South Korea, Columbia, Honduras, and Israel, and the skyrocketing spending and the attendant ever-mounting deficits all call into question the aptitude for leadership that prevails (or is absent) at the White House.

Les Gelb wrote of Obama, “He is so self-confident that he believes he can make decisions on the most complicated of issues after only hours of discussion.  Strategic decisions go well beyond being smart, which Obama certainly is.  They must be based on experience that discerns what works, what doesn’t — and why.  This requires experienced staffing, which Obama and his top appointees simply do not seem to have.”  Mr. Obama is beginning to look to more and more of the people who were dazzled by his meteoric rise and who were looking for the political equivalent of a messiah, as a growing disappointment.  It turns out that Mr. Obama cannot by his charm, his gift-of-gab, his oratorical skills and his considerable intelligence will into reality policies that the people won’t accept and that many across the political spectrum here and abroad seriously question.     

Which brings us full circle back to where we began… the growing fiasco that continues to assault the gulf coast.  “What could the President have done to avoid the blowout at the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform?” the Administration’s defenders indignantly ask.  Nothing.  But that is the wrong question.  The more telling question would be “what could the President have done to mitigate the damage?”  And the answer to that seems to be, “plenty.”

He had the authority to waive the ridiculous and long-outdated, protectionist Jones Act that would have allowed significant expertise and siphoning capacity to be on location in the Gulf weeks ago mitigating the damage that now seems unstoppable.  But, so as not to offend labor unions or domestic shipping interests, he turned down the offers.  He could have immediately authorized Governor Bobby Jindal to begin deploying barriers parallel to the gulf coast as the governor was begging for permission to do (and for which he was still begging last week).  He could, and should, have immediately designated the most operationally competent person he could find to take charge of containment operations and to report progress to him on a daily basis.

Instead, seven weeks into this debacle, when discussing why safety precautions were not in place, Mr. Obama assured the American people “that he wants to know why.”  Of course, the answer he will soon provide is quite predictable since we have heard it many times before.  The problem, we will be told, rests with the previous Administration.  Blaming Bush, or industry or political opposition seems to be his answer for every problem.  “I inherited this mess,” he often tells us. In short, the President is not providing the leadership one would expect from a chief executive running the country.  Instead, he has responded as one would expect from a chief executive running a think tank.

Enough curtain up…light the lights.  The curtain has been up and the lights have been lighted since January 20th, 2009.  Show us you got it, Mr. President. Not that you ain’t.

By Hal Gershowitz and Stephen Porter 

Theater of the absurd

Theater of the absurd

By Mike Allen and Glenn Thursh – Politico   Sunday, June 27th, 2010

On Wednesday, the same day President Barack Obama ousted his humiliated Afghanistan commander, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs walked into the Oval Office with more grim news: The cap on the gushing oil in the Gulf had been dislodged.

“What?” Obama replied incredulously. “Well, why did it do that?” A remotely operated vehicle had knocked the cap right off, he was told, leaving oil rushing out as furiously as ever.

“Let me get this straight,” Obama later told senior adviser David Axelrod. “A robot knocked off the Top Hat? Come on, guys. Are you kidding me?”

Welcome to what one exhausted adviser calls the “theater of the absurd,” where a White House is whipsawed by wild, almost unimaginable events that threaten to reshape the public perception of the Obama presidency at every turn.

In the week leading up to the Gibbs visit, the president had delivered an Oval Office address that was panned by liberal pundits; forced BP to cough up $20 billion for claims from the oil disaster; and watched with delight as Joe Barton apologized to BP (a company with a 6 percent approval rating) — only to learn from a PDF copy of a Rolling Stone article that he would have to fire Gen. Stan McChrystal for popping off about Obama’s war cabinet. Oh, yeah, he then replaced him with Gen. David Petraeus — the mastermind of an Iraq surge Obama did not support, and the man many Republicans want to challenge Obama for the White House in 2012.

Full story: Theater of the absurd – Mike Allen and Glenn Thrush – POLITICO.com

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2010/06/27/theater-of-the-absurd/print/#ixzz0s4wE3icp

Obama: ‘You’ve got a lot of golf courses here, don’t you?

Obama: ‘You’ve got a lot of golf courses here, don’t you?’

J.C. Arenas

President Obama is visiting Canada for the G8 and G20 meetings. Looks like he has something else on his mind:

When U.S. President Barack Obama stepped off his helicopter in Huntsville on Friday, the first thing he said was, “You’ve got a lot of golf courses here, don’t you?” Industry Minister Tony Clement told the National Post in an exclusive interview.
“I told him, ‘We would really recommend and love it if you could come back here with Michelle and the kids at some point – we think you’d really love it here,’” Minister Clement said on the sidewalk of Huntsville’s Main Street, in his home riding. “I think I’ve planted a seed in the President’s mind.”

Emanuel pal delivered message from Obama

Emanuel pal delivered message from Obama

White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has indirectly re-entered the picture at the Blagojevich corruption trial. Government witness John Harris, Blagojevich’s onetime chief of staff, said he received a call from an intermediary for Emanuel on Nov. 10, 2008, six days after the presidential election.


The intermediary was John Wyma, a lobbyist pal of Blagojevich and Emanuel. And the message Harris said Wyma was asked to deliver was that President-elect Barack Obama “would be thankful and appreciative” if Blagojevich would appoint Obama’s friend Valerie Jarrett as Illinois’ new U.S. Senator.

On a wiretapped phone call with Blagojevich the next day, Harris related details of his talk with Wyma. Blagojevich was at home and said he had babysitting duties. Cartoons on TV could be heard in the background.

“They’re not willing to give me anything but appreciation, (expletive) them,” Blagojevich said of Wyma’s message.

Blagojevich also wondered out loud whether he could use the Senate appointment to induce Obama to lean on Obama’s friend, billionaire Warren Buffett, to bankroll an issue-advocacy group to be run by Blagojevich that would give the governor a way to make some money and remain on the public stage.

Then he floated more ideas. Maybe he would appoint deputy governor Louanner Peters to the Senate seat and have her keep it warm for him in case he was facing impeachment. In that event, she would resign and he would appoint himself to fill the new vacancy.

And then there was the U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. feint. Blagojevich said he would plant a false story with Chicago Sun-Times gossip columnist Michael Sneed that “Jesse Jackson Jr.’s star is rising,” meaning that the governor was considering putting him into the Senate post vacated by Obama.

Harris made it clear that Blagojevich had no intention of actually appointing Jackson but just wanted to use the prospect to scare Obama’s people into cutting a deal on the Senate seat.

In an earlier wiretap played in court, Blagojevich was heard referring to Jackson as “a bad guy” and noting that Obama didn’t want to see him as senator either.

–Bob Secter

Time for Obama to Lead or Leave

Time for Obama to Lead or Leave

That should be the headline of the day.

Barack Obama has just announced that Gen. Stanley McChrystal has been relieved of command in Afghanistan based on an article in Rolling Stone which barely quoted McChrystal, but did include numerous inflammatory remarks by anonymous staffers and third-party commentators.

The Rolling Stone article was a hatchet job to create the impression that McChrystal was doing the criticizing.

But as I demonstrated yesterday, almost no quotes were attributed to McChrystal.

By firing McChrystal based on the Rolling Stone article, Obama has handed over control of the Afghan war to left-wing tabloids which happen to get close enough to a commander that they can weave a sensational story based on almost nothing.

Obama has replaced McChrystal with Gen. David Petraeus, who was lampooned by Obama’s base as General Betray Us when Petraeus was Bush’s chosen military leader.

The McChrystal discharge, even if you believe it was warranted on the merits, reflects a deeper problem of a Commander in Chief who has not earned the respect of the military at a crucial time in the Afghanistan war.

Starting with the delayed decision making process, and then the arbitrary political deadline Obama set last fall for withdrawal from Afghanistan, Obama has sown confusion in the ranks.

It’s time for Obama to lead, or to leave.

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Related Posts:
Now They’re Just Starting to Ask Questions About Afghanistan?
Why Isn’t The Troops’ Urgency Fierce Now?
Someone Tell The Dawdler-in-Chief This Is Not A Term Paper

You can’t fool Mother Nature, Flies know where B__ S___ comes from

You can’t fool Mother Nature

Flies know where B__ S___ comes from

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