Obama’s disaster of a disaster speech

Obama’s disaster of a disaster speech

posted at 8:48 am on June 16, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Usually when I catch a political speech after its delivery, I read the speech before reading its reviews.  Yesterday, our Green Room contributor Sarjex came into town with her partner and had dinner with us after a brief appearance on yesterday’s TEMS, so I didn’t get a chance to do any of it until very late last night.  When I did read it, it shocked me at just how bad and tone-deaf Obama’s address was — and when I watched it on video, his delivery was even worse.

Andrew Malcolm has a great review that should be read in full, but here is a key point:

But watching the president and hearing him was a little creepy; that early portion of the address was robotic, lacked real energy, enthusiasm. And worst of all specifics. He was virtually detail-less.

After almost two months of waiting through continuously contradictory reports, an anxious American public wanted to know, HOW are you going to accomplish all this?

Even Obama’s cheerleaders over at MSNBC were complaining. “Where was the How in this speech?”demanded Keith Olbermann. Seriously.

Everyone’s assumed that fixing the leak was a given since Day Four, which was still five days before the Democrat got his big plane and presidential entourage down there. …

Trust me, the president said, tomorrow I’m going to give those BP execs what-for. As CBS’ Mark Knoller notedon his Twitter account, the president has allotted exactly 20 whole minutes this morning — 1,200 fleeting seconds — to his first-ever conversation with the corporation responsible for the disaster.

Then, he’s got an important lunch with Joe “I Witnessed the World Cup’s First Tie” Biden.

This speech was suited for Day 1 of a catastrophe, not Day 57.  It had no answers at all.  None.  It’s as if Rip van Obama awoke after eight weeks of slumber and had been told just that morning about a massive problem in the Gulf of Mexico.  For a man who has repeatedly claimed to be “fully engaged since Day 1,” and who repeated that claim last night, Obama gave every impression of still being in the spitballing stage of crisis management.

Obama didn’t even offer an original thought for spitballing.  In his short presidency, Obama has had two responses to any issue: appoint a czar or create a commission.  The auto industry got a czar, for instance, and the deficit that Obama’s spending has driven out of sight got a commission.  Last night, Obama wanted people to know he was taking this seriously by appointing a czar and a commission, the latter of which had been announced weeks ago.  That was the sum total of his substantive response last night.  Small wonder Obama chose an Oval Office speech rather than face another press conference.

During the 2008 campaign, we repeatedly criticized Obama’s lack of executive experience, but perhaps even Obama’s critics might be surprised to see how badly Obama has performed in this crisis.  He has nothing left to offer; Obama is running on empty.  In the face of a crisis that has unfolded for almost two full months, Obama chose to talk about wind turbines.  A nation waited to see if a leader would emerge from the White House, and instead it got an absent-minded professor desperate to change the subject.

Even Obama’s supporters have begun to see what his critics have long known: Obama is an empty suit.  His sorry performance last night showed just how little he understands his job, the situation, and the expectations of the American people.

A Shrink Asks: What’s Wrong with Obama?

A Shrink Asks: What’s Wrong with Obama?

June 12th, 2010

By Robin of Berkeley

Obama needs a Shrink 

So what is the matter with Obama? Conservatives have been asking this question for some time. I’ve written a number of articles trying to solve the mystery.
Even some liberals are starting to wonder. James Carville railed about Obama’s blasé attitude after the catastrophic oil spill. The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd revamped Obama’s “Yes We Can” motto into “Will We Ever?”
The liberal women of the TV show “The View” have expressed sympathy for Michelle Obama’s living with a man so out of touch. Peggy Noonan, hardly a vehement Obama foe, recently pronounced him disconnected
.
Obama’s odd mannerisms intrigue a psychotherapist like me. He also…

Read More

Morning Bell: Prolonging Education’s Race to the Bottom

Morning Bell: Prolonging Education’s Race to the Bottom

Posted By Israel Ortega On June 11, 2010 @ 9:11 am In Education |

[1]

In perhaps President Obama’s most stealth campaign to date, the federal government has been slowly tightening its grip on the education sector to little fanfare. Rather than working through the democratic legislative process, this Administration has circumvented Congress to enact an ill-conceived education agenda that will weaken accountability, reduce transparency and minimize choice while only adding to the national deficit.

For close to four decades, the federal government has operated under the seemingly simple premise that increased spending on education will translate into academic achievement. This line of thinking has resulted in inflation-adjusted federal expenditures on education increasing 138 percent since 1985 [2]. Per-pupil expenditures have ballooned to over $11,000 per student [3], and are even higher in most urban areas including the District of Columbia where the government spends $14,500 on each child [4]. Billions upon billions of dollars have been poured into our public school system because the federal government, backed by powerful teachers unions, is convinced that it is best suited to administer our country’s education system. Unfortunately, this approach has been a miserable failure. [2]

The high school drop out rate continues to skyrocket and academic achievement continues to be stagnant despite decades of increased federal spending and involvement in education. Of course, the consequences for our failures threaten our future as we hopelessly watch other countries outpace us in math and the sciences.

Unfortunately, President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan remain impervious to the education crisis and are committed to strengthening the federal stranglehold over our country’s education system. Just months after taking office, President Obama signed into a law the gargantuan “stimulus bill” stuffed with wasteful spending adding to the federal government’s girth. The Department of Education received an unprecedented $100 billion in additional money through the stimulus [5]. But months after the bill’s passage, two things are clear: the stimulus bill is not growing our economy and more federal money towards education is not improving our schools.

Undaunted by the obvious, liberal lawmakers in the House are planning on making yet another push this week to include an additional $23 billion dollars for emergency education spending to prevent “catastrophic” public education layoffs [3]. But for decades, states have continued to bloat their staff rolls, particularly non-teaching staff positions. Since 1970 for instance, student enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools has increased just 7 percent, while public elementary and secondary staff hires have increased 83 percent. Another bailout from Washington could exacerbate states’ fiscal problems by creating disincentives for states to tackle out-of-control spending and make the difficult budgetary decisions necessary to produce long-term education reforms.

But unlike the federal takeover of the banking and health care industry, this time around Obama and his liberal allies are shrewdly avoiding another public fight by moving their education agenda forward without even going through Congress. The administration is supporting a move to implement national education standards, using the $4.35 billion Race to the Top grant program to secure those ends. National standards will give the federal government – not parents – more power over education. Now, instead of petitioning their local schools boards for curriculum changes, parents will have to trek to Washington to lobby D.C. bureaucrats for input in the content taught at their children’s school [6].

Progressives dream of making us more and more dependent on big government, and that has never looked so promising after Obama victories in widening government’s hold in health care, banking and now education. If this past year and a half is any indication of what’s to come, two things are clear: (a) we will see more and more of our freedoms diminish and (b) the girth of our federal government’s waist-line will surely grow.

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