The Bookworm Beat 1/21/15 — “Post-SOTU” edition and Open Thread

Woman writingI didn’t watch the SOTU. Aside from finding Obama a boring, inelegant speaker, I was helping a client with trial prep. Today, the trial got continued for a few months so, before settling in for a nice 12 hour sleep (I wish!), I can blog — and share with you, among other things, a couple of my favorite SOTU analyses. I’ve got a lot to say, so I’ll just start saying….

My two favorite SOTU wrap-ups

As I admitted above, I did not watch the SOTU, so I can’t actually say if these wrap-ups are accurate. I can just say that I liked them.

From Neo-Neocon:

But Obama long ago concluded that the best defense is a good offense. He has never had to face the consequences of his failures. He has been able to fool most of the people most of the time, at least when it counted. He has skated past disaster after disaster, and gotten away with lie after lie. The biggest repercussion he’s been met with—the 2014 Democratic defeat in Congress—may not stop him. Republicans are somewhat toothless, in part because they are divided among themselves but also because Obama has veto power that will be difficult to override. He’s also got that phone and that pen, and the will to use them. He has successfully transformed the US into a second-rate power and allies into enemies (or at least, into abandoned and confused ex-allies). And he has turned enemies into, if not allies, then gloating and stronger forces in the world for whatever evil they’ve got in mind.

It’s actually worked out very well for Obama. So why not brag?

[Read more...]

Kind words from our fellow Americans on the other side of the political aisle

Future real and imagined

I opened Facebook to find this message:

Dear Hillbillies and Republicans, It’s OK that you don’t acknowledge the success of this administration. History will bear it out. But you will be dead. Oh well.

I doubt the person who posted that will be interested in actual economic data, never mind the rather scary problems attendant upon a crumbling world infrastructure as America alternately withdraws and makes nice with Jihadists.

Obama by the numbers — the RNC assembles the numbers Obama didn’t mention tonight

From the RNC:

As Obama Prepares To Paint A Rosy Picture Of His Presidency, A Look At The Numbers He Won’t Mention

$18.1 Trillion:

Total Debt Under Obama As Of January 14, 2014. (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 1/14/15)

$10.6 Trillion:

Total Debt When Obama Became President On January 20, 2009. (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 1/9/15)

$7.5 Trillion:

Amount Added To The National Debt Despite Obama’s 2010 State Of The Union Declaration That He Would Not Leave “A Mountain Of Debt.” (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 1/14/15; President Barack Obama, Remarks On The State Of The Union, Washington, D.C., 1/27/10)

$4 Trillion:

Amount Of Debt That Obama Once Called “Irresponsible” And “Unpatriotic.”(Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At A Campaign Event, Fargo, ND, 7/3/08)

$1.8 Trillion:

Cost Of ObamaCare’s Coverage Provisions Through 2024. (CBO, 4/14/14)

$1.3 Trillion:

Total Student Debt Held By Americans. (Federal Reserve Board Of Governors, Accessed 1/14/15)

$869.3 Billion:

Total Taxes In ObamaCare. (JCT, 6/15/12; CBO, 4/14/14)

$95 Billion:

Cost Of New Regulations Added Since Obama Became President. (American Action Forum, 1/6/15)

$60 Billion:

Cost Of Obama’s Community College Tuition Plan Over Ten Years. ( TheAssociated Press , 1/9/15)

$3.4 Billion:

Average Amount Of Debt Added Daily Since Obama Became President. (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 1/14/15)

$3.4 Billion:

How Much The Construction Of The Keystone Pipeline Would Contribute To GDP According To A State Department Review. (United States Department Of State, 1/14)

46.5 Million:

Average Number Of Americans Receiving Food Stamps In FY 2014.(Department Of Agriculture, Accessed 1/14/15)

13 Million:

Average Number Of Americans Who Have Joined The Food Stamp Program Since FY 2009. (Department Of Agriculture, Accessed 1/14/15)

7 Million:

Number Of Americans Who Will No Longer Have Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Due To ObamaCare. (Congressional Budget Office, 4/14/14)

5.5 Million:

Americans Who Have Fallen Into Poverty Since Obama Became President.(U.S. Census Bureau, Accessed 1/14/15)

2.3 Million:

Americans Who Are Only Marginally Attached To The Labor Force. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/14/15)

401,000:

Construction Jobs Lost Since Obama Became President. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/14/15)

321,000:

Manufacturing Jobs Lost Since Obama Became President. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/14/15)

273,000:

Number Of People Who Left The Labor Force Between November AndDecember Of 2014. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/14/15)

$56,492:

Current Debt Per Capita Under Obama. (U.S. Census Bureau, Accessed 1/14/15;U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 1/14/15)

42,100:

Number Of Jobs The Construction Of The Keystone Pipeline Would Support Over Two Years According To A State Department Review. (United States Department Of State, 1/14)

$21,724:

Increase In Debt Per Capita For Americans Since Obama Took Office. (U.S. Census Bureau, Accessed 1/14/15; U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 1/14/15)

$4,154:

Increase In Family Health Care Premiums Under Obama. (The Kaiser Family Foundation, 9/10/14)

$2,484:

Decline In Median Household Income Since Obama Became President. (U.S. Census Bureau, Accessed 1/14/15)

1978:

The Last Time The Labor Force Participation Rate Was At Its Current level.(BLS, 1/24/14)

677:

Individuals Who Have Been Through Obama’s Revolving Door. (Center For Responsive Politics, Accessed 1/12/15)

215:

Rounds Of Golf Obama Has Played Since He Has Taken Office. (Mark Knoller,Twitter Feed, 12/31/14; Mark Knoller, Twitter Feed, 1/4/15)

174:

Number Of Days Obama Has Spent All Or Part On Vacation. (CBS News, 12/22/14; Mark Knoller, Twitter Feed, 1/4/15)

100%:

Total Debt As A Percentage Of GDP Under Obama. (OMB, Accessed 1/14/15)

65.7%:

Labor Force Participation Rate When Obama Became President. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/14/15)

62.7%:

Labor Force Participation Rate In December. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/14/15)

65:

Number Of Fundraisers Obama Attended In 2014. (Mark Knoller, Twitter Feed, 12/2/14)

32.8:

Average Number Of Weeks Someone Will Be Unemployed. (BLS, 1/14/15)

14.5%:

Poverty Rate In 2013. (U.S. Census, Accessed 1/23/14)

13.2%:

Poverty Rate Before Obama Became President. (U.S. Census, Accessed 1/23/14)

6:

Veto Threats Issued By Obama In The New Year. (The White House Website, Accessed 1/19/15; ABC News, 1/16/15)

0:

Attempts To Actually Work With Congress

The Bookworm Beat 1/19/15 — abbreviated version and Open Thread

Woman writingAt a lawyer level, this has been a somewhat frustrating day, with me struggling to fit my facts (always true and honest ones) to the law (which sometimes refuses to cooperate), capped by a power outage that lost me an hour of time. Add to that the usual cries for attention from family, and I’m feeling a little . . . ummm, stressed. Still, I have stuff I want to share with you, so let me whip through it:

Chilling look into the near future at what the next school attack might look like

Mike McDaniel, who blogs at Stately McDaniel Manor, has looked at past school shootings, both at home and abroad, and come up with a possible scenario for the next assault on an American school. I don’t doubt that he’s accurately predicting a possible American future unless we take steps now to head it off.

[Read more...]

The Navy’s newest commercial and the most peculiar lame duck presidency ever

Angry dog

The Navy’s most recent commercial is excellent (h/t Charles Martel):

Watching it, I could only hope that, in Obama’s America, our hyper-politicized, dysfunctionally PC Pentagon not only means it, but still has the will and ability to make it a reality. After all, we live in a time when one has to pause and seriously consider Roger Simon’s semi-facetious proposal that the White House is a sleeper cell, rather than just laughing merrily at the joke.

I believe that Obama’s decision not to show up in Paris is a harbinger of his “lame duck” years. He’s always had an affinity for Islam and a disdain for Western culture. Now that he’s a lame duck, he doesn’t care anymore who knows this about him. Indeed, we’re going to see that there are a lot of things Obama doesn’t care for. He’ll quickly make it obvious that he doesn’t care about the Constitution (something he’ll reveal in a blatant way he’s previously avoided); vox populi (his voice will be the only one that counts); and a sane, workable defense against jihadist Islam.

In other words, this is going to be the most peculiar lame duck period in American history. Past lame duck presidents have been quietly ineffectual. They’ve been the past, while the political machine and the people are already looking to the future. Obama, however, once untethered from the Constitution and from any concerns about the voice of the American people, isn’t really going to be a lame duck at all. He’s got a whole new future planned for us and there’s nary a lame duck in sight.

Fasten your seat belts, friends, because we’re in for President Rabid Dog over the next two long and dangerous years.

The Bookworm Beat 12/27/2014 — Three very interesting things

Woman writingUnlike most of my Bookworm Beats, in which I try to share with you as many articles and ideas as possible, this one’s going to be short. I have only three points I want to discuss, but I think all of them have so much merit, I don’t want them to get lost in a larger post. So, off we go….

Obama’s revenge against the American voter

Politico has published a quite fascinating article entitled “Operation Revenge.” The article’s central theme is that Obama not only intends to use his last two years in office to act without Congressional and constitutional restraints, but that he especially intends to exact revenge upon all those Republican Congressional figures who have stood in his way:

Obama’s turnaround in recent weeks – he’s seized the offensive with a series of controversial executive actions and challenges to leaders in his own party on the budget — can be attributed to a fundamental change in his political mindset, according to current and former aides. He’s gone from thinking of himself as a sitting (lame) duck, they tell me, to a president diving headlong into what amounts to a final campaign – this one to preserve his legacy, add policy points to the scoreboard, and – last but definitely not least – to inflict the same kind of punishment on his newly empowered Republican enemies, who delighted in tormenting him when he was on top.

Think about that for a moment: Our president intends to “inflict . . . punishment on his . . . Republican enemies.”

Neither Politico nor Obama seem to care about the reason those Republicans in the House have been so recalcitrant since 2010.  These fractious men and women didn’t just magically appear in the House one day.  They were there because American voters liked their promises to rein in Obama’s worst excesses.

[Read more...]

Call me old-fashioned, ’cause it’s true, but I think it’s untoward for a president to call someone “sexy”

obama-shirtless-hawaii-12-081If you get past the headline, which comes across as kind of shocking, and read the entire story, you see that Obama was just making a “throwaway line” joke when he said that Dr. Adam Levine, who heroically provided aid to Ebola patients in Africa, is “sexy.”  I still found that descriptor inappropriate coming from an American president.  I know I’m a different generation, but considering how important the president’s job is, I prefer a bit of gravitas.  Wit is good — indeed, I encourage it — but too much familiarity or coarseness offends me.

On Cuba, the difference between Barack Obama and John F. Kennedy

John F Kennedy and Pope Paul VIWith Obama and the Democrats reveling in having handed Fidel Castro everything in exchange for nothing (except a man who is still a committed Marxist after five years in a communist prison), I got to thinking about Pope Francis’s apparently pivotal role in this whole thing. And that got me thinking about how far we’ve come in history:

John F. Kennedy, September 12, 1960:  “I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president . . . how to act. . . .”

Barack Obama, December 17, 2014:  ” His Holiness Pope Francis issued a personal appeal to me. . . .  In particular, I want to thank His Holiness Pope Francis. . . .”

In light of Obama’s dependence on the Pope in making a major and historic foreign policy initiative, a friend of mine asks “If we allow the Pope to help direct foreign policy, does that mean our government is unlawfully promoting and sanctioning a particular religion?”

And of course, when it comes to Kennedy there those little things about Cuba — such as his humiliation with the Bay of Pigs debacle, his administration’s efforts to assassinate Fidel Castro, and Castro’s allegedly reciprocal efforts to try to assassinate Kennedy.

The Bookworm Beat 12/8/14 — Monday evening wrap-up and open thread

Woman writingNo time for an intro. I’ll just head straight for snark and links:
[Read more...]

The Bookworm Beat 12/6/14 — Saturday sweep-up edition, and Open Thread

Woman writingA cold has been making the rounds in my neighborhood and it finally caught up with me. I don’t feel particularly ill, but I feel congested and quite desperately sleepy. I had a great deal to do today, and mostly managed to re-read Agatha Christie’s Mrs. McGinty’s Dead, which wasn’t too taxing (and, thankfully, I’d forgotten whodunnit). I’ve now roused myself enough to clean the kitchen, do the laundry, and share with you a few browser tabs I still have open from yesterday:

The all-around best post about the Rolling Stone’s journalistic malpractice

I’ve shouted my opinion about Rolling Stone’s UVA rape story from the treetops (“It didn’t happen that way!”), and I’ve linked to several posts that agreed with me, only they did so more thoroughly, more elegantly and, most importantly, from more prominent platforms than mine.  These combined voices forced Rolling Stone to admit to gross journalistic malpractice.

Of all these bully-pulpit loud voices on the subject, my favorite is Jonah Goldberg. Writing before Rolling Stone walked back its story, Jonah Goldberg had this to say:

[Read more...]

The Watcher’s Council forum discusses President Obama’s executive action

Watcher's Council logoOver the weekend, Council members (plus an honored guest) offered their opinions about President Obama’s most recent executive action the one that . . . you know . . . simply does away with large sections of our legislatively passed immigration laws. I did not participate, since weekends tend to be low-writing times for me under the best circumstances. Anyway, what could I have said that would be better than what my fellow Council members said?
[Read more...]

A few more thoughts about Ferguson

ferguson-riotsI’ve got some errands to run, but I wanted to comment on two Washington Post articles before I go, and to reiterate a point I made in the comments to my earlier “Ferguson Open Thread.”

1. The Washington Post article about the Ferguson rioting contains this interesting passive voice statement:

[Read more...]