American Elephants

Eddie Haskell — All Grown Up! by The Elephant's Child

Is he always the last to know? Or is it more the Eddie Haskell syndrome?  Kathleen Sebelius has confirmed that President Obama was totally unaware that the initial rollout of ObamaCare was a major catastrophe until it happened. This was the president’s signature project, and clearly no one with the right technology experience was in charge. The company hired to do the work was the only bid, and Canada had fired them earlier for incompetence.

And he didn’t know anything about the NSA tapping the phones and email of German Chancellor Angela Merkel until after an internal review he ordered earlier this year, even though a German weekly reported that Army Gen. Keith Alexander, the NSA chief, briefed Obama on the Merkel wiretaps back in 2010.

Officials said that the president was briefed on and approved of broad intelligence gathering priorities, but those below him made the decisions about specific targets

He is remarkably ignorant of all the scandals that have cropped up in his administration, at least until they make the papers. Then he is just as angry as the rest of us about the slip-up. Remember how angry he said he was about the IRS’ efforts to hold up tax exemption applications from Tea Party groups in the period before the 2012 election, an effort that coincidentally changed the outcome of the election. And nevermind that the IRS inspector general issued a report that documented IRS abuse. Obama said “I first learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this, I think it was on Friday.”

Obama also didn’t know anything about his administration releasing hundreds of illegal immigrants — blaming the sequester cuts. Janet Napolitano, Homeland Security Secretary at the time, said even she was surprised to learn about the action.

The ongoing crisis in the Middle East, and now tensions between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have grown sharply in recent months. The president authorized the CIA to provide limited arms to carefully vetted Syrian rebels, but it took months for the program to even begin.

Even as the debate about arming the rebels took on a new urgency, Mr. Obama rarely voiced strong opinions during senior staff meetings. But current and former officials said his body language was telling: he often appeared impatient and disengaged while listening to the debate, sometimes scrolling through messages on his BlackBerry or slouching and chewing gum.

The Government Accountability Institute examined President Obama’s schedule from the day he took office until mid-June to see how often he attended his Presidential Daily Briefing, which seems to be about 43.8 percent of the time. President Bush held meetings six days a week with the Vice President, the Chief of Staff, Homeland Security, the FBI director and other Homeland Security officials.

Now NBC News is reporting that the Obama administration knew in advance that their catastrophic takeover of the health care industry would throw millions of their existing plans. Millions of Americans are about to get cancellation letters for their health insurance under ObamaCare, say experts, and the Obama administration has know that for at least three years.
Four sources deeply involved in the Affordable Care Act told NB that 50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect a “cancellation” letter or the equivalent over the next year, and that number could reach as high as 80 percent.

I think it’s Eddie Haskell all the way down. But we never saw Eddie Haskell all grown-up. I wold assume that he always has an excuse, nothing is ever his fault, and he’s really irritated about it now that he found out with the rest of us.

Has President Obama Ever Admitted Blame For Anything? by The Elephant's Child

The news on Friday was indeed bad. Unemployment climbed, an ‘unexpected’ event, as economists have assured us that there would be teeny-tiny GDP growth at 1.6%. again, ‘unexpectedly’ it declined by 0.1%.  Such a surprise brings up all the other numbers that the administration would prefer go unmentioned, like the deficit topping $1 trillion last year, and growing by $5 trillion over the past four years. Joblessness has been at least 7.8% practically forever, except when it was higher, and for particular segments of the workforce, like black workers.

The immediate response that it was the fault of recalcitrant Republicans in Congress didn’t go viral, so now they are blaming it on — Superstorm Sandy and “disruptions from deep scheduled spending cuts.” The current chairman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, Alan Krueger, said in a post on the White House blog that the bad news came “amid signs that Hurricane Sandy disrupted economic activity and Federal defense spending declined precipitously, likely due to uncertainty stemming from the sequester.”

Huh. Republicans have been trying to explain for four years that uncertainty affects the economy and business. That when the government is threatening business with new taxes, and new regulations, and new costs, they’re not going to enthusiastically start hiring, start expanding, borrowing (even when the Fed is keeping interest rates low.) Businesses have to plan. You can plan for some uncertainty, but you can’t plan when everything is uncertain.

Democrats are appalled that Republicans would suggest that they should cut back on spending. The president has said spending cuts must be paired with tax revenue increases. Republicans say we already did that, now you need to, as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urged, take a look into “the dark corners that often evade real scrutiny” on a mission to make government programs more efficient and scrap those that don’t work. “We need to root out waste, which will serve as the first real test of Democrats’ seriousness in this debate” he said.  He added: “Why is the federal government funding Chinese studies on pig manure, and research into the smoking habits of Jordanian college students and reality TV shows in India?” Are Democrats prepared to cut this kind of waste?  No, no they’re not.

About that spending “decline” Domestic federal spending was up 1.4% in the fourth quarter. The defense spending declines may have been the result of lower war outlays, as well as anticipation of the automatic spending cuts looming from the upcoming sequester scheduled on March 1.  Oh.

The Fed announced that it will stick with its bond-buying theme to expand its balance sheet by another $1 trillion or so through the end of this year —its fifth in a row of near-zero interest rates and some form of “quantitative easing.” The Keynesian excuse is that we’re still recovering from the financial panic, though the WSJ reminds us that in January 2010, the Fed predicted that growth in 2012 wold be 3.5% -4.5%.  his remains the 2% recovery, the slowest in the modern era.

Has nobody noticed that every time Obama gets any kind of increase in jobs created (he doesn’t subtract the folks who have dropped out of the labor market) he immediately runs out and spends money in a way that discourages growth. He bans a pipeline here, he shuts down coal-fired power plants there, his EPA issues new and costly regulations, and nobody seems to understand why it it a problem.

Obama’s Big Economic Speech Offers No Hope, No Change. by The Elephant's Child
June 14, 2012, 6:58 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

Obama gave a big 54 minute economic speech today in Ohio. He came across as a demagogue: spinning, inventing, class warfare and  outright lies to misrepresent the past so that he could maintain his most important fantasy — that none of it was his fault. That’s the real  theme of his campaign: “It’s not my fault!”

Obama initially ran on a theme of “Hope and Change” and convinced people that he was going to end the partisan warfare in Washington and bring about a community of the people. That was all hogwash, of course; Obama is a man of the hard left. During his brief term in the Senate, he had the farthest left voting record. of the entire Senate.  We should have paid closer attention.

When I speak of “hard left,” I don’t think terms like socialism or communism or fascism are useful. I’ve begun to call it “The Big Government Project.” The left is perpetually discontented, and wants to fix everything. They want to decide what we should eat, how we should live, how we should work, what energy we should use and how, and when.

The flood of new regulations —106 new major regulations have added more than $46 billion per year in new costs on Americans — have been devastating in discouraging entrepreneurship. The regulatory burden harms everyone, but the hard left can only see that people might nor behave correctly without their firm managerial hand. They know that we require a better kind of light bulb, no matter if it costs $50, they think it will last for 20 years.

Business complaints about overregulation turn into claims that Republicans want dirty air and dirty water and don’t care about your children. That’s sheer demagoguery.

He further hauls out the old saw about “tax cuts for the rich,” claiming that Bush gave the rich such big tax cuts that it destroyed the economy, Tax cuts are measured in percentages, and the rich got a much smaller tax cut than anyone else. I trust you noticed that Obama speaks of “tax cuts for the rich” only in election years when he has time between campaign events hitting the rich up for their money.

When Obama first took office, he continually says, “we didn’t know how bad it was” until confronted with the true crisis that was, of course, all Bush’s fault. According to what I have read, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner told the new president that they needed to set everything to one side and concentrate on the economy. The president said no, that wasn’t enough for him, he needed more, and embarked on health care.

Obama’s big policies were health care, the stimulus, and Dodd-Frank. They have each been complete and utter failures. ObamaCare has not even gone into effect and yet has done incredible damage to the healthcare system. We have a big modern state-of-the-art medical center, and 5 doctors  seen by my family have departed for different work, and there is now a real problem in trying to find a physician. The stimulus was essentially wasted, and Dodd-Frank regulates all the wrong things and ignores the hippopotamus in the room which is “too big to fail.”

Obama dreamed big dreams, he was going to end war, give everyone health care, stop the seas from rising and end our energy dependence on ‘foreign oil’, and none of it has worked. The state of the world’s energy has shifted, and the president hasn’t noticed.  Global warming has proved to be a fraud, but he’s still working on that.

His vision for the future — in his own words:

That’s my vision for America:  Education.  Energy.  Innovation.  Infrastructure.  And a tax code focused on American job creation and balanced deficit reduction.

This is the vision behind the jobs plan I sent Congress back in September — a bill filled with bipartisan ideas that, according to independent economists, would create up to 1 million additional jobs if passed today.

This is the vision behind the deficit plan I sent to Congress back in September — a detailed proposal that would reduce our deficit by $4 trillion through shared sacrifice and shared responsibility.

This is the vision he has sent to Congress twice, and which Congress has rejected unanimously twice.  I find the contempt Obama has for his audience quite breathtaking.

Here’s a new factoid from Keith Hennessey:  “For every net government job lost since employment peaked in January 2008, the economy has lost more than 11 private sector jobs.”

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