Exclusive: Oval Office Watch – Monday, March 16
by OVAL OFFICE WATCH
March 16, 2009
Obama transition cash spent vetting, jetting - READ MORE.
Is Obama a Socialist? - The New York Times Finds Out
We might note that Obama without a teleprompter is like a fish out of water. He began, "See, uhhh, I -- I -- eh -- Just one thing that, uhh, I was thinking about as I was, uhh, -- as I was -- getting off the, uhhh, copter 'cause, I -- uhhh -- you know, it was hard for me to believe you were entirely serious about that socialist question." (Hat tip to Rush Limbaugh's team for the painful transcript.)
Obama continued, "Uh, and so I think that, uh, it's important just to note, uhh, when you start, uhh, hearing folks, uhh, throw these words around, thaaat, um, uh, we've actually been operating, uh, in a way that, uh, is entirely consistent with free market principles, uh, and that, uhhh, uh, some of the same folks who are uh, throwing the word 'socialist' around can't say the same." And he wasn't done yet: "I -- I -- I -- I just think it's c-clear that by the time we had, uhhhhh. By the time we, eh, uh, got here, uhhh, ummm, there already had been, uh, an enormous infusion of taxpayer money into the financial system, aaand, eh, eh, eh, y-y-yuh-y-y-yuh.... The thing I constantly try to emphasize to people is that, if coming in the market was doing fine, nobody would be happier than me, uh, to stay out of it. Uh, you know, I -- I -- I have more than enough to do, uh, without having to worry about the financial system. Uh, and the fact that, uh, we've had to take these extraordinary measures, uh, and intervene, uh, is, uhh, not an indication of my ideological preferences." CLICK HERE and SCROLL HALF-WAY DOWN THE PAGE!
Obama's Poll Numbers Are Falling to Earth
Douglas E. Schoen & Scott Rasmussen, Online WSJ.com
It is simply wrong for commentators to continue to focus on President Barack Obama's high levels of popularity, and to conclude that these are indicative of high levels of public confidence in the work of his administration. Indeed, a detailed look at recent survey data shows that the opposite is most likely true. The American people are coming to express increasingly significant doubts about his initiatives, and most likely support a different agenda and different policies from those that the Obama administration has advanced.
Polling data show that Mr. Obama's approval rating is dropping and is below where George W. Bush was in an analogous period in 2001. Rasmussen Reports data shows that Mr. Obama's net presidential approval rating -- which is calculated by subtracting the number who strongly disapprove from the number who strongly approve -- is just six, his lowest rating to date. Read article.
Please Get Serious, Mr. President
James Taranto, Online WSJ.com
Obama was elected as a crisis manager, but his interests lie elsewhere. By common consent, the die was cast for last year's presidential election in September, when the financial panic hit and Barack Obama stayed cool while John McCain responded in dramatic but ineffective fashion. As president, however, Obama has fallen far short of the constancy voters thought they would be getting.
As the Associated Press reports:
Confronting misgivings, even in his own party, President Barack Obama mounted a stout defense of his blueprint to overhaul the economy Thursday, declaring the national crisis is "not as bad as we think" and his plans will speed recovery.
Challenged to provide encouragement as the nation's "confidence builder in chief," Obama said Americans shouldn't be whipsawed by bursts of either bad or good news and he was "highly optimistic" about the long term.
Optimism and patience were not on offer just a few weeks ago, when the president was telling us we were on the verge of CATASTROPHE!!!! unless Congress immediately authorized the spending of some $800 billion. Obama is asking us to believe that the so-called stimulus was both necessary and sufficient to turn things around in less than a month. He is straining the limits of our credulity and testing the limits of his own credibility. Read article.
‘Manchurian Candidate’ Starts War on Business
Kevin A. Hassett, Bloomberg.com
Back in the 1960s, Lyndon Johnson gave us the War on Poverty. In the 1970s, Richard Nixon launched the War on Drugs. Now that we have seen President Barack Obama’s first-year legislative agenda, we know what kind of a war he intends to wage.
It is no wonder that markets are imploding around us. Obama is giving us the War on Business.
Imagine that some hypothetical enemy state spent years preparing a “Manchurian Candidate” to destroy the U.S. economy once elected. What policies might that leader pursue?
He might discourage private capital from entering the financial sector by instructing his Treasury secretary to repeatedly promise a brilliant rescue plan, but never actually have one. Private firms, spooked by the thought of what government might do, would shy away from transactions altogether. If the secretary were smooth and played rope-a-dope long enough, the whole financial sector would be gone before voters could demand action. Read article.
Cap and Trade is a Tax on the POOR!
Here is how Cap and Trade works.
Companies that need to increase their emission allowance must buy credits from those who pollute less. In effect, the buyer is paying a charge for polluting, while the seller is being rewarded for having reduced emissions by more than was needed. Thus, in theory, those that can easily reduce emissions most cheaply will do so, achieving the pollution reduction at the lowest possible cost to society.
The truth is that Cap and Trade is a scheme to redistribute income and wealth -- but in a very curious way. It takes from the working class and gives to the affluent; takes from Miami, Ohio, and gives to Miami, Florida; and takes from an industrial America that is already struggling and gives to rich Silicon Valley and Wall Street "green tech" investors who know how to leverage the political class. Read article.
Top Ten Reasons For ObamaCare Are Based On False Information
Bruce Kesler, Maggie's Farm.com
George Bernard Shaw warned “Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.” The major overhaul of American health care pursued by President Obama and his supporters is based on many false premises and is excessive and likely to do more harm than good. Tuning up and improvements already always dynamically occurs. Instead, ObamaCare is aimed at dramatically changing one-sixth of the US economy in ways that are untested or tested and found wanting, primarily involving huge increases in government direction of health care.
The details of ObamaCare are largely being left to Congress, the same body that stuffs the federal budget with earmarks, waste, and other programs that are not requested. ObamaCare is premised on claims for drastic changes in health care and major increases in government programs being necessary. Those claims are largely specious.
Below, the top ten specious premises for ObamaCare are discussed: Read article.
The “Obama Bear Market” And Why He Triggered It
Steve Sailer, VDare.com
On the last day of the ill-fated Bush Administration, the Dow Jones average stood at 8,281, down catastrophically from its 2007 peak—yet still almost 25 percent higher than the Dow’s close on Friday, March 6, 2009 of 6,627.
You might think that George W. Bush would be an easy act to follow. After all, he was inept enough to overlook the basic rule of politics that kept the Bush family’s friends in Mexico’s PRI party in power for so many years: Make sure the economic collapse happens right after the election, not right before.
And yet, what is now technically the "Obama Bear Market" shows that Obama may be down to the challenge of being Bush’s successor.
It’s important to understand that Obama was never a Depression Democrat who worries that the capitalist system can’t produce enough wealth. Obama didn’t run for President to help Americans earn more money. By upbringing, he’s more a Sixties person who assumes that businesspeople will continue—in their unseemly way—to produce plenty of riches, which a better sort of person (such as, say, himself) should redistribute in a more equal and refined manner. Read article.
Tim Geithner's Black Hole
David M. Smick, Washington Post.com
Pity Barack Obama's economic advisers. The blogs are now demanding their scalps, and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and his colleagues face a nasty dilemma: There are no solutions to the banking crisis without extraordinary political and financial risks. Thus, they have adopted a three-pronged approach, delay, delay, delay, in the hope that somebody comes up with a breakthrough.
Here's the problem: Today's true market value of the U.S. banks' toxic assets (that ugly stuff that needs to be removed from bank balance sheets before the economy can recover) amounts to between 5 and 30 cents on the dollar. To remain solvent, however, the banks say they need a valuation of 50 to 60 cents on the dollar. Translation: as much as another $2 trillion taxpayer bailout. Read article.
We’re All Fascists Now II: American Tyranny
Michael Ledeen, Pajamas Media.com
Most Americans no longer read Alexis de Tocqueville’s masterpiece, Democracy in America, about which I wrote a book (Tocqueville on American Character; from which most of the following is taken) a few years ago. What a pity! No one understood us so well, no one described our current crisis with such brutal accuracy, as Tocqueville.
The economics of the current expansion of state power in America are, as I said, “fascist,” but the politics are not. We are not witnessing “American Fascism on the march.” Fascism was a war ideology and grew out of the terrible slaughter of the First World War. Fascism hailed the men who fought and prevailed on the battlefield, and wrapped itself in the well-established rhetoric of European nationalism, which does not exist in America and never has. Our liberties are indeed threatened, but by a tyranny of a very different sort.
Most of us imagine the transformation of a free society to a tyrannical state in Hollywood terms, as a melodramatic act of violence like a military coup or an armed insurrection. Tocqueville knows better. He foresees a slow death of freedom. The power of the centralized government will gradually expand, meddling in every area of our lives until, like a lobster in a slowly heated pot, we are cooked without ever realizing what has happened. Read article.
In Search Of Moderate Islamofascists
President Obama says negotiation is the key to success in the land that gave safe haven to Osama bin Laden. How would that have sounded to American ears in the weeks right after 9/11?
Have Americans forgotten the images of September 11? Have we forgotten the non-negotiable demands we made of the Taliban just nine days after the al-Qaida terrorist attacks on our soil? Read article.
The Sebelius Challenge
George Weigel, First Things.com
President Obama’s first choice for secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services was former South Dakota senator Tom Daschle—a pro-abortion Catholic Democrat. President Obama’s second choice for secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services is Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius—another pro-abortion Catholic Democrat, with what some would consider a public record even more disturbing than Tom Daschle’s.
The Sebelius nomination is fraught with danger on several fronts. The next secretary of HHS will be in a key position to shape policy on a number of crucial questions. Will conscience-rights protection for pro-life physicians and health-care workers be sustained, amended, or eliminated? Will over-the-counter abortifacients in the guise of “Plan B” contraceptives be available to minors without a doctor’s prescription or counsel? Will the government continue to sanction the sale and use of RU-486, the “abortion pill” that has killed seven women since the Clinton administration rammed its approval through the Food and Drug Administration shortly before leaving office?
These issues are grave enough, both for physicians and for women’s health. At the same time, there may be more than public policy at stake here. Read article.
Obama's Political Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome
Otis A. Glazebrook IV, American Thinker.com
In the field of Psychiatry, Munchausen by Proxy is a disease of a child's custodian, usually a mother, who induces sickness, real or imagined in her child (sometimes resulting in death) in order to gain sympathy and to portray herself as the heroine. Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome* (MPS) was named after Baron von Munchausen, an eighteenth-century German dignitary known for telling outlandish stories.
In the political arena President Obama has purposely recreated a version of Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome by following the Hoover/FDR model of economic destruction, increasing taxation and regulation during a recession. Obama is compounding the damage by destroying the domestic nuclear, oil and coal industries at the same time.
The simple truth was that Roosevelt and Hoover were remarkably similar men. Their principle difference was that Hoover believed in staying within Constitutional boundaries. Roosevelt (Obama) viewed the Constitution as an impediment to progress. Both men made major mistakes largely because neither understood the ability of free markets to self-correct without government intervention. Just as the MPS parent needs crisis and chaos to succeed in the abuse of a child, Obama Democrats create the crisis and chaos necessary for MPS to succeed in their abuse of the forgotten man [the U.S. taxpayer].
Just as the MPS parent needs crisis and chaos to succeed in the abuse of a child, Obama Democrats create the crisis and chaos necessary for MPS to succeed in their abuse of the forgotten man [the U.S. taxpayer]. Read article.