Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Cruising the Web

David Freddoso argues that Obama's decision to put action on Syria before Congress that he's weakened the presidency. I disagree. I don't think that this precedent will necessarily have any more precedential power than the precedents of other presidents to take military action without consulting Congress. Apparently, the Justice Department found 125 such precedents in a memo after 9/11. And Obama's administration has implied that they would go through with attacking Syria even if Congress votes no. I don't know that Obama's choice on Syria outweighs his choices on Libya. And, in the domestic sphere, Obama has stretched presidential power way beyond what any other president has done since Nixon. And those precedents will be waiting there for future presidents in a way that truly unbalances our system of checks and balances.

George Will writes that Obama is seeking an accomplice for his actions in Syria.
Obama’s sanctimony about his moral superiority to a Congress he considers insignificant has matched his hypocrisy regarding his diametrically opposed senatorial and presidential understandings of the proper modalities regarding uses of military force. Now he asks from the Congress he disdains an authorization he considers superfluous. By asking, however reluctantly, he begins the urgent task of lancing the boil of executive presumption. Surely he understands the perils of being denied an authorization he has sought, and then treating the denial as irrelevant.
John Kerry was for boots on the ground before he was against it. And Cory Booker was against missiles in Syria before he was against it. But then there is quite a gap between what John Kerry is saying and what Obama is proposing.
If American credibility is on the line in Syria now that Assad has used chemical weapons, as Kerry rightly noted, what the administration is failing to adequately explain is how a military plan that would leave the dictator in place and with his armed forces largely intact is commensurate with the secretary’s ringing neoconservative rhetoric about the need for action. The problem is that having established a rationale for action about chemical weapons and repeating that President Obama’s policy was that “Assad must go,” how can the administration pretend that a shower of missiles will be enough to match Kerry’s “never again means never” stance. Any military response—even a purely symbolic one—would deny Assad the “impunity” that Kerry correctly fears would be the result of American inaction. But the administration’s attempt to justify a course of action that would avoid any American casualties and could not be interpreted as a full-fledged intervention and would not do much to destroy Assad’s main forces seems to be disconnected from the principles the secretary articulated.
If the administration is discounting what John Kerry says, why have him do the "full Ginsburg" on Sunday talk shows?

The whip count of House Republicans oppose what is deliciously termed "Operation Peace Prize" contains a mix of Republicans from a range of ideologies.

Those who were most likely to vote for Obama are those who are most likely to have been hit hardest by the economy under Obama.
Mr. Obama was re-elected with 51% of the vote. Five demographic groups were crucial to his victory: young voters, single women, those with only a high-school diploma or less, blacks and Hispanics. He cleaned up with 60% of the youth vote, 67% of single women, 93% of blacks, 71% of Hispanics, and 64% of those without a high-school diploma, according to exit polls.

According to the Sentier research, households headed by single women, with and without children present, saw their incomes fall by roughly 7%. Those under age 25 experienced an income decline of 9.6%. Black heads of households saw their income tumble by 10.9%, while Hispanic heads-of-households' income fell 4.5%, slightly more than the national average. The incomes of workers with a high-school diploma or less fell by about 8% (-6.9% for those with less than a high-school diploma and -9.3% for those with only a high-school diploma).

To put that into dollar terms, in the four years between the time the Obama recovery began in June 2009 and June of this year, median black household income fell by just over $4,000, Hispanic households lost $2,000 and female-headed households lost $2,300.
Ah, a triumph of hope over experience.

Jim Geraghty notes that Democrats are being faced with the reality that everything they've ever believed about foreign policy is wrong.
Being nicer to countries like Russia will not make them nicer to you. The United Nations is not an effective tool for resolving crises. Some foreign leaders are beyond persuasion and diplomacy. There is no “international community” ready to work together to solve problems, and there probably never will be.

You can pin this on Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Susan Rice, but most of all, the buck stops with the president. Those of us who scoffed a bit at a state senator ascending to the presidency within four years on a wave of media hype and adoration are not quite so shocked by this current mess. We never bought into this notion that getting greater cooperation from our allies, and less hostility from our enemies, was just a matter of giving this crew the wheel and letting them practice, as Hillary Clinton arrogantly declared it, “smart power.” (These people can’t even label a foreign-policy approach without reminding us of how highly they think of themselves.) They looked out at the world at the end of the Bush years, and didn’t see tough decisions, unsolvable problems, unstable institutions, restless populations, technology enabling the impulse to destabilize existing institutions, evil men hungry for more power, and difficult trade-offs. No, our problems and challengers were just a matter of the previous hands running U.S. foreign policy not being smart enough.

Get to know nine women who are "remaking the Republican right."

Relax. There is no bee crisis.

Ariel Castro, the man who held women in Ohio captive for since 2002, has hanged himself in prison. Too bad he didn't do that about 12 years ago.

Bobby Jindal and Eric Holder are set to face off in federal court. This will give a boost to any run that Jindal might make for the presidential nomination. And due to Holder's efforts to help the teachers' unions, Jindal will get this spotlight on an issue where he'll be defending the rights of poor, minority children to a better education.


mark said...

Missing from any conservative analysis regarding Syria is the wariness and skepticism due to the Iraq war. It is clearly a factor in public opinion, both here and abroad. We already know that, thus far, Britain will not join a coalition at least partly due to feeling they were lied into going to war. Sure, it's Obama's problem now, but it is made much harder by the mistakes/lies/incompetence that occurred during the Bush administration. I suppose it's an inconvenient factor best left ignored.

Rick Caird said...

Oh Mark, you are so out of it. What is missing is the anti war protests turned out to be anti Bush not anti war. The Democrats are reeling because they spent 10 years complaining about Iraq and Afghanistan and now Obama is asking them to support some indeterminate mission in Syria.

Obama did not lose Britain because of Iraq. They "dissed" Obama because he has spent the last 5 years "dissing" Britain including returning the Churchill bust, giveing the Queen some silly tapes of speeched she couldn't even play if she wanted to, plus denying there was any "special relationship" with Britain. I will be our idiot President wishes now he had a special relationship with Britain.

Mark, everything Obama has done in foreign policy has been wrong, including playing Spades while the operation for Bin Laden was under way.

The price Obama is paying is not for Bush. The price is being paid for speaking off the cuff ("red line") and failing to nurture our relations with our allies. Obama's arrogance is coming home to roost. It is not about Bush or racism. It is about the administrations total and complete incompetence.

Any attempt to blame this on Bush is dumb, dumb, dumb. Maybe, Obama can play the race card next. Assad will not listen to Obama because Assad is racist. Yeah... that works.

Rick Caird said...

I agree with Betsy that th damage obama has done to the Republic will extend to future Presidents. Obama has a habit of violating and ignoring black letter law he does not like. He has not authority to override the Employer mandate. None. In fact, it blows a hole in the financing for ObamaCare which was dependent on that mandate.

Since Congress failed to pass the "Dream Act", Obama has no authority to implement it on his own or to extend it to any illegal immigrant with children in this country. In essence, Obama makes a mockery of the rule of law substituting instead the rule of Obama.

It is amazing that "Hope and Change" has overridden economic success. It is astonishing how a con man like Obama could convince people that the disasters that have befallen them under his stewardship are no reason not to return him to office. It speak to the ability of propaganda to squash reality.

Finally, Holder has built the most racist DOJ of all time. That, and crony justice that allows a Corzine to go free and Black Panthers not to be charged, but attacks Texas and Louisiana. These case will drag on until Holder is out of office nad then be dropped. It is more about harassment than justice. I really want to see Jindal attacking Holder and the DOJ. The DOJ really has no defense over this ill considered suit.

mark said...

What an amazing lack of common-sense and intelligence, Rick. The very unpopular war in Iraq had nothing to do with Britain rejecting intervention? It's all about "dissing" Obama over gifts?

mark said...

Asked whether the experience of the 2003 Iraq war means that Britain should keep out of military conflicts in the Middle East for the foreseeable future, 62 per cent agree and 31 per cent disagree.

Rick Caird said...

Mark, you must not have any friends. If you want your friends to help you, you need to pay attention to them. No one wants to be dissed until you need them. That is the mistake Obama (and probably you) made. Obama's arrogance gave the Brits no reason to help him. I'll bet Obama wishes now he had stroked the Brits, not insulted them and told them they were not special.

BTW, the British polls are not much different than the US polls. Hmmm, so I guess that is Bush's fault, too, at least in the gospel according to Mark. But, you might ask how much of that lack of support is due to Obama wimping out everywhere and every time.

mark said...

Oh Rick. Once again you've exposed yourself as a petty simpleton.
No, I would not base my response to a serious, moral issue on some silly slight. I can't imagine that many people would. Apparently, you're an exceptionally shallow person.
That you claim the Iraq war has nothing to do with public opinion (here and abroad) is pathetic (and demonstrably false). That you would attribute some "silly tapes" given to the queen as a factor in Britain saying no to strikes against Syria is beyond idiotic. It does, however, say much about how your mind works.
Thanks for the laugh.

Rick Caird said...

You are still beyond hope, Mark. Not only do you not understand duty to friends, you try to make some "cause" out of it.

Here is a quote which should put Obama into perspective for you, but it won't because you fail at logic and excel at unwarranted emotiuon.

"We have a president who couldn't persuade the British Labour Party to support unmanned airstrikes against a dictator who used sarin. It sounds like a joke. Diplomatically, that's a six-inch putt, to put it in terms the president can appreciate. This is the salesmanship equivalent of selling beer in Ireland. "

So, go ahead and continue to support this miserable failure of a President. Blame Bush for Obama's incompetence. But, doing so marks you, not Bush. Keep laughing, but understand we are laughing at you. When even the Black Caucus needs to be warned against publicly opposing Obama, you know Obama and his policies are in deep, deep trouble. You seem to be one of the few Obama knee jerks left.

Rick Caird said...

Here is another quote, Mark. This one is from Walter Russel Mead and hits right at how much of a screw up Obama is:


It is precisely the President’s credibility as a spokesman for the “international community” (whatever that is) and for US foreign policy that is glaringly and horribly on the line. An effective leader would have consulted with key people in Congress and made sure of his backing before making explicit threats of force. Now the President is twisting lonesomely in the wind, and the question is whether Congress will ride to the rescue. If it doesn’t, it will be the closest thing the American system has to a parliamentary vote of “no confidence”, where Congress explicitly declares to the world that the President of the United States does not speak for the country.

That would be very dangerous. Foreigners will no longer know when and whether to take anything this President says as representing American policy rather than his own editorial opinions. We hate to say it, but that is so dangerous that there’s a strong argument for Congress to back the Syria resolution simply to avoid trashing the credibility of the only President we’ve got.

If Congress declines to support what even proponents of a Syria strike must agree is a massively screwed up policy, then the President will face another choice. He can do a “Clinton” (President Clinton bombed Serbia in the teeth of congressional disapproval), or he can fold like a cheap suit. If he chooses the latter course, Clint Eastwood’s “empty chair” stunt at the 2012 GOP convention will look eerily prophetic."

As Glenn Reynolds says: "... He really shouldn’t have departed from the teleprompter with that “Red Line” comment."

The reason Obama uses the teleprompter is he cannot be trusted unless he is told what to say. I worried about that in 2008 when he used a teleprompter for his stump speech. No one except him has ever done that and it is a sign of weakness. All we see from him is weak playground bullying and calling anyone who disagrees with him "obstructionist".

We get the government and it seems we deserve a cadre of Chicago thugs.

mark said...

Poor Rick. Are you so insecure that you just can't admit you wrote something stupid and move on?

I've criticized Obama on a number of occasions, including his handling of this crisis. To say I'm one of the "knee jerks" is just another lie.

Even Rumsfeld acknowledged the role of the Iraq war (though thus far he has said nothing about the gifts to the queen).

I will quote you again from your 8:32 post:
"I will be our idiot."
Yes, you will be.

Rick Caird said...

Typical, Mark. You take a typo (this Lenovo drops keystrokes; it is a known problem with the Y560P) and then use it to quote a partial sentence:

"I will be our idiot President wishes now he had a special relationship with Britain."

Try "bet" and see if it changes the meaning you think you found. In fact, Mark check out the who sentence.

Then you pull a partial quote from Rumsfeld ("That experience unquestionably has affected some people's judgment and attitude and impressions ...") and turn it into "Even Rumsfeld acknowledged the role of the Iraq war" leaving out the "in some people's judgment". What, couldn't you get past the misleading headline? I am amazed at how often when I check a liberals reference, it is not quite up to snuff and does not say what they claim it says.

You really have no integrity, Mark. All you have is partial quotes and typos. That pretty much sums up your intellect.

The real problem is Obama has left himself hanging out there with Putin attacking him, England taking a pass, and now France is abandoning him. The man just does not think things all the way through.

BTW, did you see Rumsfeld's astonishment at Obama trying to claim it was not his "red line". Now, come on Mark. When it comes to intellect, Rumsfeld can destroy a light weight like Obama. Obama could not go one on one with Rumsfeld.

mark said...

The "I will be our idiot" was just a joke, Rick. Not to be taken seriously. Obviously, it was an unfortunate typo.

If you want to stick by your idiotic claim that Britain turned us down due to poor gift selection, that's fine with me. It makes you look silly. Kinda like equitus/lfm sticking to his claim that Sen. Menendez is a rapist and pedophile. Don't let a lack of evidence, common sense or decency stop you.
Do repubs ever take responsibility for their mistakes?

Obama's claims about the 'red-line' were embarrassing. As of yet, he doesn't have the blood of thousands of soldiers on his hands, as does Rumsfeld.

Rick Caird said...

No Mark, not "poor gift selection". Rather a continuing policy of disparaging and belittling a long term ally. The return of the bust was deliberate insult. The assertion of "no special relationship" with Britain was a deliberate insult. That is the playground bully style of this Chicago thug.

Rumsfeld has no blood on his hands. He went to war with the army he had as he was ordered to do. But, if you want to that as a criteria, where would you put Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, FDR, and Wilson??? Aren't their hands even bloodier?

mark said...

I've shown evidence that the war in Iraq influenced Britain's decision to not join the US in strikes against Syria. You have yet to show that "bullying" or "silly tapes" played a role. All you've shown is that you're a petty man who can't admit when you are wrong.

I don't remember any of the leaders you mentioned saying 'the reasons we went to war proved to be wrong, but it was still the right decision'.
Rumsfeld was an architect of a original Iraq war strategy. The surge was necessary because the original plans failed. That he and Bush waited until the day after the mid-term elections for him to step down is evidence that they put politics above the welfare of the troops.

Rick Caird said...

You give yourself way too much credit, Mark. You have shown nothing. You did use a partial quote from Rumsfeld, but failed to show it entered, in any way, into the British vote.

What I have shown is what any normal person knows: if you want help from your friends when you need it, you have to pay attention to them when you don't need their help. If that is "petty" to you, then you are in the same boat as Obama: no friends when you need them. If you cannot see the insults and disrespect Obama has shown to the Brits since he has been in office, then you are beyond hope.

Those leaders I mentioned had far more blood on their hands than Rumsfeld. Besides, you are the first ever to claim the Secretary of Defense is responsible for a war rather than the President. I suppose you will now claim it is Kerry who is responsible for the push to attack Syria rather than Obama.

Remember, you started this all with the exceptionally dumb claim that the reason Obama is standing alone in his desire to attack Syria is the Iraq war. But, doesn't Obama claim to have ended the war in Iraq? If so, it is hard to see how other countries could hold Iraq against him, or could they hold it against him that he did not see it through to completion. But, if the latter is true, then it is not Bush's fault, as you claim, but Obama's fault. Either way your point fails.

Finally, it is not at all clear what you think Bush should have done with Rumsfeld. For two years, Rumsfeld said he served at the pleasure of the President. Do you honestly think Bush should have asked for Rumsfeld's resignation the day before the election? What a strange position for you to take. I wonder why, then, Hillary did not quit before the 2012 campaign ended citing her failure with Benghazi, or is that different?

mark said...

You are lying yet again. If you look at my first statement, I said it was "a factor", not "the reason" as you stated. There is a big difference. You brought up the "silly tapes" as a factor in Britain's decision, and yet you think I made the "dumb claim"?
Silly man!

Rick Caird said...

I love it Mark. You are now down to trying to parse the difference between a "factor" and a "reason". Let's see:

"one factor in the decision..."
"One reason for the decision ..."

The two statements seem pretty equivalent to me.

I brought up the tapes as an example of Obama "dissing" Britain along with denying a "special relationship" and returning the bust of Churchill. Think about it, Mark. What kind of person would give the Queen of England tapes of his speeches that could not even be played on local equipment.

You might want to look up the difference between "example" and "reason". You seem to be quite confused between the two.

BTW, Obama has earned the disrespect and mockery of the Brits:

I do believe if Obama had paid attention and nurtured the relationship with the Brits, he would have won the vote. As I keep saying, the loss was payback. But, it appears neither you nor Obama understand that.

Rick Caird said...

Oh, I and I should add Mark that no one lied to the Brits about Iraq. British intelligence was in the forefront, along with Russia and France and Israel, in believing Saddam had WMD. I would not surprise if, at some point, we find the Syrian poison gas came from Iraq. That, in fact, they were Saddam's supplies moved to Syria prior to the invasion.

mark said...

Poor Rick,
I thought you'd wake up this morning and realize how badly you embarrassed yourself yesterday. Guess not.
I made a very reasonable comment that skepticism and wariness of the Iraq war is playing a role in the willingness here and abroad to strike Syria . You decided to add your two-cents about the "silly tapes" to the queen, and blather on about friendship and nurturing relationships.
And now you whine that "I started this". Seriously, Rick? Sounds like you need a friend and a hug. Anybody?

Rick Caird said...

Wow, I would have thought you knew what "embarrass meant, but you clearly have an unusual definition.

I have pointed out multiple times that Obama has done nothing to cultivate allies. In fact, he has embarrassed them (you might work on understanding what "embarrass" means). You are as arrogant and haughty as Obama. You give us weak offerings and then, in your mind, consider them decisive.

Bush would have gone to Britain with a plan and an objective. He would also not have continually insulted his ally. He would have gotten approval. Obama comes with a history of insults, no plan, no objectives, just an "I want". If you cannot understand why that does not work, you are as hopeless as Obama. Take that as the insult it is meant to be.

Remember, too, Bush had Iraq won. It was Obama who gave it away by ignoring Iraq and ignoring its strategic value. Early on, it would have been easy to negotiate a continued presence in Iraq which would have restrained Iran and given access to Syria. The problem for Britain was not the Iraq war. The problem for Britain was Obama's surrender, Obama's ignorance of the strategic value of Iraq, Obama's inability to articulate a plan and an objective, and Obama's demonstrable inability to follow through as Commander in Chief. What you wrongly attribute to the war in Iraq is, instead, directly attributable to Obama's incompetence.

The only embarrassment here is your inability to follow facts to their logical conclusion, but that is a failing of most liberals.