February 27, 2011
The Fierce Moral Urgency of WTF
Sick of carving up my hands as I wrestled with those ubiquitous clamshell packages, I bought a super duper package opening tool which promises to make this chore easier, but I nicked my skin on the clamshell packaging as I struggled to get to it.
In that minor sense, my experience mirrored Obama's week, where everything domestic and international that he touched upon only further wounded him.
The Gallup and Rasmussen polls reflect only a continuing well-deserved slide in his and his party's standing among voters who have taken good measure of his consistently rotten performance.
As the Middle East explodes, with one country after another experiencing unrest and upheaval, the White House continues its policies of dithering and then siding with our enemies.
Caroline Glick zeroed in on the preposterous U.S stance on Israel in the UN this week. We vetoed a UN resolution criminalizing Israeli policy which allows Jews to build on their own property and then permitted US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice and Secretary of State Clinton to condemn their own veto.
Glick meticulously explains what anti-Israeli animus spurred by Obama's own unserious, benighted policies motivated the Lebanese (a wholly owned subsidiary of Iran through the terrorist organization Hezb'allah) move and what steps were available to Obama to check this ploy. She concludes that the Administration's actions may be motivated by animus toward Israel or incompetence, suggesting the latter. Whatever the reason, it makes the Administration look like clowns. (The phrase "A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants" comes to mind every time the Obama- Rice-Hillary combo is at bat.)
Just as damaging to US interests, she notes, is Obama's maltreatment of Mubarak and legitimizing of the Moslem Brotherhood, which she predicts, will create a new crisis in September when the promised elections in Egypt are scheduled to take place. She sees no happy consequence for the US after the elections under any scenario and notes that this blundering has also weakened our alliance with the Saudis.
On Libya, the picture is no different, As he did when the mullahs were murdering the protestors, Obama seemed inattentive and disinterested. Indeed, the White House could not even manage a timely evacuation of US citizens there and the White House website thinks the name of the country is "Lybia." Maybe they couldn't get planes or boats there because they couldn't find Lybia on any atlas. As we go to press the crack Obama -Rice- Clinton team has not even yet suggested that the bloody regime must be removed as a member of the UN's Human Rights Council .
Hillary's toughest statement was pathetic:
"Once more is known, 'we will take appropriate steps in line with our policies, our values and our laws, but we're going to have to work in concert with the international community,' she said."
Part of me will miss Gaddafi, though, and it does appear his days are numbered even though we were too weak to do a thing to speed his departure. Think of it. With him gone, is there anyone remaining on the international stage who can match his sartorial splendor -- the clip on military fruit salad, the colorful bishts, the dazzling accessorizing and a hat collection matched only by the late Queen Mother? Not since Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, have we seen such male sartorial splendor.
I suppose the brilliant foreign policy tag team is still too busy pondering what they might do about the doped up Somali pirates, some of whom just murdered four American tourists. Perhaps -- just a suggestion now -- a firmer stance than catch and release or wait-until-they've-got-the-gun-pointed-at-the-yachtsman's-head-before-firing is called for.
Hope and Rope
So whether by design or incompetence the Administration is encouraging havoc in the Middle East, turning off our allies and encouraging our enemies, and at home it is succeeding in destroying the President's base -- public employee unions.
Like you and me, and unlike the feds, states cannot print money. They can issue bonds but there's a point where their liabilities get so great no one will buy them and they cannot claim bankruptcy protection. They can raise taxes even higher to pay their debts, though as New York and California found out, you can't chain taxpayers to your state and when you try to rob them they have a tendency to move and take their money with them.
Or you can cut your expenses. Wisconsin was in that position and needed to make some changes in the lavish benefits it was paying to its unionized public service employees (aka "the workers" or "the masses"), who on average are compensated at about twice the rate of Wisconsin taxpayers (aka "the fat cat bosses"). The vast majority of Wisconsin voters agreed with their governor, Scott Walker, who said the unions would have to take a benefits haircut.
Now, this might have interfered with the Democrat honey pot.
Unions, most of whose members are public employees, gave Democrats some $400 million in the 2008 election cycle. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the biggest public employee union, gave Democrats $90 million in the 2010 cycle. Michael Barone
So, Obama cast aside his usual strategy of dithering and voting present. With the world in flames, the economy tanking and his party's prospects shrinking, he did find time to speak out on behalf of the workers who abandoned their classrooms, forcing parents who pay their salaries to lose their own: He accused the governor of staging "an assault on unions" adding ‘public employee unions make enormous contributions to our states and our citizens."
Well, he's entitled to his opinion, but it seems to be one shared by a distinct minority, mostly the unions, their members and the recipients of their campaign contributions.
As the messy, uncivil and abusive demonstrations proceeded in Madison, 14 Democratic senators fled the state for the not so sunny shores of Illinois, outside the reach of the governor, in the hope that it would deprive him of the necessary quorum to carry out his agenda.
Walker's agenda would deprive the public employee unions of the right to bargain for fringe benefits, and the right to demand Wisconsin withhold dues money from public employees.
As to Obama's claim that these unions "make enormous contributions to our states and citizens," I haven't found evidence for anything except the fact that these unions insist on driving up costs (and taxes) and diminishing services.
In any event, feeling full of hope that with the president and media (most of whom belong to the Communications Workers Union) by their side, they would prevail, the unions continued their demands and outrageous behavior. But they were wrong; the more adamant the demonstrations and the more obviously self-serving they were, the more public opinion turned against them -- not only in Wisconsin where the Governor seems to be prevailing. The fleebaggers (as the departing senators have been tagged) are now without their salaries and facing recall petitions. Elsewhere in the Midwest where other governors are strengthening their spines at this selfish union power grab, there is an anti public employee unions movement gathering force.
But the President as we know from Valerie Jarrett, his key aide and chef de chefs, is cool and too smart and above it all to worry about the roiling waters here and abroad and the fact that 1,000 of his citizens were stuck in harm's way in Libya. It was time for another white House soiree -- Motown was the focus this time.
Unfortunately for the Obamas, we are less distracted by the shiny objects the White House dangles before us these days as the price of food and gas and electricity rise, as housing prices continue to tumble, state and local governments are awash in red ink, financing dries up, jobs disappear, and we find ourselves in growing danger from our enemies.
As the blog Michelle Obama's Mirror notes, the White House even messed up that relatively simple to organize event:
Ok - Seal at least brought some soul to the East Room (who knew? I mean, he is British and all) but Nick Jonas, John Legend and Jamie Foxx? Please. No pipes, no chops, no fly zone. And look at that sloppy "choreography." You could practically hear Berry Gordy's teeth grinding above the din.If "The Motown story is really a metaphor for life," it doesn't look as though it ends well.And can you envision Smokey Robinson with Sheryl Crow? If your answer is no, consider yourself lucky. As you can see, the audience was having none of it, despite what you might read in USA Today. Or the WaPo. (h/t Chick)I sense that this might spell trouble for Big Guy: nobody seems to mind very much that the Won and his Chicago posse have screwed up the economy, the budget, the world's greatest healthcare system, the war on terror, the Middle East, (he's working on topping Jimmy Carter in this contest, as Jimmy only enabled the toppling of one ally, while Big Guy still has several left on the table -- not even counting Israel -- plus we've now got enemy ships patrolling around the Suez Canal) and foreign relations in general -- butt messin' with Motown? I don't know, -- that might raise a few eyebrows.