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Tag: Obama

Obama and the “Syrian affair”

Wednesday, 5 June, 2013 1 Comment

While reading this Al Jazeera article, “Hezbollah: The Syrian connection“, the following jumped out: “Lebanon’s former Prime Minster, Fouad Siniora, has made it clear that he is calling on Hezbollah members to put an end to their involvement in the Syrian affair.” The use of “affair” there is surely one of the great trivializations of our time because what’s happening in Syria is a civil war of almost unimaginable savagery in which both sides are committing crimes against humanity. Consider these two items:

These acts of barbarism place US President Barack Obama in a quandary. He once called on Assad resign and he warned gravely of red lines, and then he abandoned the Syrians to their abattoir. Now, amidst the carnage, he looks increasingly duplicitous. Michael Totten, writing in City Journal, says that Syrians are confused by the American hesitation to remove Assad, and “In The Friend of My Enemy Is My Enemy“, he notes:

“Extreme caution is called for in Syria, but that hardly changes the fact that it is in America’s national interest to see Assad removed. This man has more American blood on his hands than anyone in the Arab world who hasn’t been killed yet. He is a totalitarian state sponsor of international terrorist organizations, including al-Qaida. His government has exported chaos and violence, not just to Israel, but also to every one of its neighbors. His regime is part of the Iranian-Hezbollah axis, which may well go nuclear. Calling for his ouster doesn’t require undaunted courage. It won’t yield results by itself, but the White House, and the United States as a whole, without even realizing it, are paying a price for refusing to do even this much.”

Yes, America will be pilloried for whatever it does in Syria, but the arguments against intervention are starting to sound as hollow as those making them.


The people have spoken

Wednesday, 7 November, 2012 0 Comments

American flag by Jasper Johns And half of US voters have rewarded Barack Obama with a second term. The challenges facing the United States in the coming four years of his presidency are daunting. Nearly a third of Americans now depend on food stamps, welfare, disability payments or some other form of government support. Even greater dependency is just around the corner as the “baby boomers” begin to retire. Then, the percentage of Americans over 60 will jump from 16 percent of the population to 25 percent. As their requirements for federal government assistance rise, that same government’s capacity to finance even more largesse will fall as the rest of the world cannot be expected to fund American well-being in perpetuity.

More numbers: With just 58 percent of the US working-age population employed today, the budget deficit is now running at more than a trillion dollars a year. During the past year alone, the US Treasury borrowed $1.2 trillion. This cannot continue. But a second term for Barack Obama means more of the same: more dependency, more spending and more debt. All against the backdrop of a profoundly divided country, with the popular vote virtually tied, not to mention the 90 million Americans who didn’t even bother to vote. Change? Hope?

Those who did vote for Obama have placed a big bet on hope. At home, they hope that he’ll use his second term to foster prosperity, security, tolerance and justice. On the international front, they hope that he’ll address the Palestinian tragedy, face down the anti-democratic Middle Eastern petro-monarchies, bring Iran to the negotiating table, engage meaningfully with Russia and manage the pivot to Asia in a way that avoids conflict with China. Over to you, Mr President.


Obama vs. Romney: Round 3

Monday, 22 October, 2012 0 Comments

Here we go. The final round and it’s even-Steven on this judge’s card. Rainy Day got it somewhat right on the first round, in that Mitt Romney came out swinging for the KO, but we erred on the second round by counting out President Obama before the bell had sounded. This means that the third […]

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Obama vs. Romney: Round 2

Tuesday, 16 October, 2012 0 Comments

When the bell rang on 3 October in Denver for Round 1, it seemed as if American voters were willing to tolerate the guy defending the title. Sure, they weren’t thrilled about his performance on the job and things weren’t going that well overall, but there was no great clamour for “hope ‘n change” thanks […]

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The night Mr Obama met a very serious, very prepared candidate

Friday, 5 October, 2012

Snippet: “Mr Obama’s descent into the gutter has been especially tawdry. Rather than defend his own record or lay out what he wants to do about the deficit, the erstwhile candidate of hope has set his attack dogs on such weighty issues as how much tax Mr Romney paid or how many jobs were lost […]

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Obama vs. Romney: Round 1

Wednesday, 3 October, 2012 0 Comments

Writing in 1821 of a “milling cove” named Bill Neat, the immortal Pierce Egan, the Dryden and Pope of the old London prize fighting ring, said, “He possesses a requisite above all the art that teaching can achieve for any boxer; namely, one hit from his right hand, given in proper distance, can gain a […]

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Clinton Is Better Than Obama Explaining Why Obama Is Better

Thursday, 6 September, 2012

Headline of the year: “Clinton is Better Than Obama at Explaining Why Obama is Better Than Clinton“. In The New Republic, @TimothyNoah1 does a very good job explaining the differences between the two US presidents. Money quote: “Clinton may not like Obama, but he likes and supports what Obama’s trying to do, and he explains […]

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And don’t you come back no more, no more

Monday, 20 August, 2012

“It is a sign of just how completely Barack Obama has ‘lost his narrative’ since getting elected that the best case he has yet made for reelection is that Mitt Romney should not be president. In his notorious ‘you didn’t build that’ speech, Obama listed what he considers the greatest achievements of big government: the […]

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Weakness and wimpyness and Voo Doo

Monday, 27 February, 2012

A quick look through the e-mails hacked from Stratfor by Anonymous and “published” by Wikileaks reveals little of importance and nothing dramatic. However, three’s a thread from 2009 that shows one of Obama’s billionaire backers, Penny Pritzker, cooling rapidly on The One. She is very disappointed about Obama’s “weakness and wimpyness” towards China. And his […]

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Facebook as a platform for lies as statistics

Wednesday, 25 January, 2012

The reality concerning Democrat and Republican administrations and the increase in US debt as a percentage of GDP is as follows: President Reagan plus 14.9%. President GHW Bush plus 7.1%. President Clinton minus 13.4%. President George W. Bush plus 5.6% and, the heavyweight champion of debt, President Obama plus 24.6%. Spread the word! Because there’s a a meme in the form of an infographic doing the rounds of Facebook in which President Obama is portrayed a hero and President Reagan and an ogre, at least in the matter of the US debt.

For the gullible, the key statement that got them adding it to their Timelines was this: “Who Increased the Debt? President Reagan 189%. President GHW Bush 55%. President Clinton 37%. President GW Bush 115%. President Obama 16%.” That was enough to get the credulous adding the propaganda to their Timelines.

In its admirable takedown of this Goebbelsian Big Lie, the Washington Post declares: “If MoveOn.org or Pelosi’s office had any sense of shame, they would have quietly removed the links to this chart from their websites when PolitiFact gave it a ‘pants on fire’ rating four months ago. The fact that an outdated version is still floating around — and that people are still deluded into thinking it to be correct — is doubly shameful.”

Here now, for your amusement, is the bogus chart that has proved so popular with so many credulous people on Facebook.
Debt presidents


Provide, provide!

Wednesday, 7 December, 2011 0 Comments

“Infusing his speech with the type of language that has emerged in the Occupy protests, President Obama on Tuesday delivered his most pointed appeal yet for using taxes and regulations to level the economic playing field.” That’s what the New York Times tells readers in “Obama Strikes Populist Chord With Speech on G.O.P. Turf“. Typically, clownish media around the world ran with the story.

It would be no harm if the president, for once, tried to level the economic playing field by actually empowering people to provide for themselves and their families. As a politician, however, he is more interested in rhetoric than realism. Which brings us to Provide, provide! by Robert Frost. “Make the whole stock exchange your own! / If need be occupy a throne”, is the perfect couplet for the populist.

Provide, provide!

The witch that came (the withered hag)
To wash the steps with pail and rag
Was once the beauty Abishag,

The picture pride of Hollywood.
Too many fall from great and good
For you to doubt the likelihood.

Die early and avoid the fate.
Or if predestined to die late,
Make up your mind to die in state.

Make the whole stock exchange your own!
If need be occupy a throne,
Where nobody can call you crone.

Some have relied on what they knew,
Others on being simply true.
What worked for them might work for you.

No memory of having starred
Atones for later disregard
Or keeps the end from being hard.

Better to go down dignified
With boughten friendship at your side
Than none at all. Provide, provide!

Robert Frost (1874 —1963)

In 1885 when Robert Frost was 11, his father died of tuberculosis, leaving the family with just $8. In 1894 he sold his first poem, “My Butterfly: An Elegy”, to the New York Independent for $15. After Frost’s mother died of cancer in 1900, he wrote poems, delivered newspapers and worked in a factory as a lightbulb filament changer to make ends meet. He provided.