American Elephants


“This Administration’s Foreign Policy is Contemplated With Astonishment by Practically Everybody Else” by The Elephant's Child
June 1, 2015, 10:37 pm
Filed under: National Security | Tags: , ,
president_clueless
President Obama attended a town hall meeting Monday with with young fellows from an exchange program for community leaders from ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. While he was answering questions, he said his administration has restored the United States as the “most respected country on earth.”

People don’t remember, but when I came into office, the Untied States in world opinion ranked below China and just barley above Russia, and today once again, the Untied States is the most respected country on earth. Part of that I think is because of the work we did to reengage the world and say we want to work with you as partners with mutual interests and mutual respect. It was on that basis we were able to end two wars while still focusing on the very real threat of terrorism and try to work with our partners in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s the reason why we are moving in the direction to normalize relations with Cuba and the nuclear deal that we are trying to negotiate with Iran.

Oh.

The President explained to the young Asian leaders that it was important not to betray one’s principles while being a leader. He added:

One of my core principles is that I will never engage in a politics in which I’m trying to divide people or make them less than me because they look different or have a different religion,” Obama said. “That’s a core principle, that’s not something I would violate.

Well. That covers the two most common complaints about the Obama administration — That he has been the most divisive president in modern memory, and that polls confirm that the world’s opinion of the United States as a serious world power has eroded markedly. From Conrad Black:

As President Obama and his entourage and imperishable following persevere in their conviction that this president’s benign championship of non-intervention, arms control, and giving rogue states the benefit of the doubt is winning hearts and minds to a new conception of a kindly, detached America, it is clearer every week that this administration’s foreign policy is contemplated with astonishment and contempt by practically everyone else.
And from historian Victor Davis Hanson:
Barack Obama, like Carter, came into office promising a sharp break from past U.S foreign policy….Troops were withdrawn from Afghanistan on pre-announced deadlines. The post-surge quiet in Iraq fooled Obama into eagerly yanking out all U.S. peacekeepers.A new outreach to radical Islam went to ridiculous lengths. The Muslim Brotherhood was invited to Obama’s speech in Cairo that claimed the West owed cultural debts to Islam for everything from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. Terms like radical Islam, jihad, and Islamic terror were excised from the official American vocabulary and replaced by a host of silly euphemisms.The defense budget was cut. Reset with Vladimir Putin’s Russia assumed that the Bush administration, not Putin’s prior aggression in Georgia and threats to Crimea, had caused the estrangement between Moscow and Washington.

Predictable chaos followed as the U.S. became an observer abroad. The Islamic State appeared to fill the vacuum in Iraq. Syria imploded. So did most of North Africa. Iran sent agents, surrogates, and special forces into Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, even as it pressed on to get a bomb.

Dr. Hansen suggests that the Obama foreign policy is so weak that it will likely provoke more chaos or even a large war, but correcting it will be almost as dangerous.

I saw another headline that seemed to fit the occasion. “The Left’s Self-Conception and Self-Delusion.”



Obama: “We’ve Managed the Economy Pretty Well!” by The Elephant's Child

On his return trip from Kansas City, President Obama granted an interview with The Economist. They said:

The Economist: We see a lot of business people and they do complain about regulation.

Mr Obama: They always complain about regulation. That’s their job. Let’s look at the track record. Let’s look at the facts. Since I have come into office, there’s almost no economic metric by which you couldn’t say that the US economy is better and that corporate bottom lines are better. None.

So if, in fact, our policies have produced a record stock market, record corporate profits, 52 months of consecutive job growth, 10m new jobs, the deficit being cut by more than half, an energy sector that’s booming, a clean-energy sector that’s booming, a reduction of carbon pollution greater than the Europeans or any other country, a housing market that has bounced back, and an unemployment rate that is now lower than it was pre-Lehman—I think you’d have to say that we’ve managed the economy pretty well and business has done okay.

There are always going to be areas where business does not want to be regulated because regulations are inconvenient.

The Economist: But don’t you wish, when you look at things like Dodd-Frank or you look at health-care reform—both of which we supported in principle—that they could have been much simpler?

Mr Obama: Of course. This goes back to the old adage of Churchill—democracy is the worst form of government except for all the alternatives. (Laughter.) It’s messy.

And so could we have designed a far more elegant health-care law? Of course. Would I have greatly preferred a blank canvas in which to design financial regulations post-2008 and consolidated agencies and simplified oversight? Absolutely. But the truth of the matter is, is that we saved the financial system. It continues to be extraordinarily profitable. And essentially, what we did was to provide an additional cushion so that if and when people make bad decisions with large sums of money—which they inevitably do—the risks to the system are reduced.

And on health care, as messy as the whole process has been, here’s what I know—that we have millions of people [insured] who didn’t have insurance before, and health-care inflation is the lowest it’s been in 50 years, for four consecutive years, corresponding to when we passed the law.

So my belief is that if, in fact, we can see a reduction in some of the political temperature around Obamacare or around Dodd-Frank, then it’s an iterative process. We can go back at it and further refine it, learn lessons from things that aren’t working as well, make it simpler, make it better. That does require, though, an attitude on the part of Congress, as well as on the part of the business community, that says you don’t just get 100% of what you want.

Do read the whole thing. Does Obama believe what he says? Is this just something he says for public consumption? Obama, according to The Economist “was buoyed by the recent economic numbers and looking towards his legacy…” Funny, everybody else considered the numbers as a disappointing  failure to meet expectations. And Obama’s track record as disastrous.  So he heralds his role in saving the U.S. economy.

A new study by the Russel Sage Foundation finds that middle-class Americans are poorer today than they were in 1984.  92,001,000 people are no longer in the workforce, an increase of 11,472,000 since he took office.

The Obama administration has added $7 trillion to the National Debt, well, actually — $7,060,259,674,497.51 to be precise— but when the number gets that big I have trouble with all the commas.

In 2012, Obama was heavily criticized for delaying (and hiding) major regulation until after the presidential election. Now it seems he may again be delaying another $34 billion of new regulations until after the election. There are mostly regulatory costs imposed by the EPA. Why am I not surprised?

The most extensive is the EPA’s ground-level ozone standard. That one does not currently have a price tag, but when the rule was vetoed by the White House in 2011, it’s cost was put at $90 billion. Then you have the Department of Energy’s new conservation standards for incandescent lamps, projected to cost$863 million per  year and raise consumer prices by 40 to 70 percent. Most of these regulations are also major job killers, but the EPA says they don’t have to pay any attention to that.  That does not include the Clean Energy Plan regulations which is expected to cost thousands of jobs and raise the cost of electricity sharply.

Gosh. Back in 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama called President George W. Bush “unpatriotic” and his policies “irresponsible” for adding $4 trillion to the national debt with the costs of 9/11 and two wars. But that was then and this is now.




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