Friday, July 11, 2014

Cruising the Web

The President may not be all that competent in his administration of the government, but he sure seems to like going to fundraisers, having gone to 177 more fundraisers already than George W. Bush at this point in his presidency. And Obama has demonstrated a startling indifference to the inappropriate timing of some of those fundraisers.
Since he makes time for it no matter how pressing world or national affairs are, President Obama apparently likes raising campaign funds. He has attended 34 fundraisers so far this year. What is unusual is how much time he devotes to it, his timing and his lack of judgment.

For example, the afternoon following the Sept. 11, 2012, murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Libya, Mr. Obama left the White House for a fundraiser in Las Vegas and a campaign appearance in Colorado.

As Russian troops stormed into the Crimea on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, Mr. Obama clinked his glass at a DNC fundraiser, declaring "this is now officially happy hour with the Democratic Party. I can do that. It is an executive action. I have the authority." Vladimir Putin must have been amused.

When Islamic terrorists captured Mosul, Iraq's second most populous city, and menaced Baghdad in mid-June, Mr. Obama did not hunker down in the Situation Room. He headed to a Laguna Beach, Calif., fundraiser where 25 people wrote checks of up to $32,400.

After raising money at an event for Sen. Mark Udall in Colorado Tuesday—Mr. Udall bailed at the last minute—Mr. Obama is now completing a two-day fundraising swing through Texas. On Wednesday he attended a barbecue at the palatial Dallas home of plaintiff attorney Marc Stanley. Tickets cost as much as $32,400, with the money going to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Then the president flew to Austin for a fundraiser at the home of director Robert Rodriquez, whose family-unfriendly films include "Machete," "Sin City" and "Planet Terror."
So he'll jet around the country to raise money for Democrats even when the Democratic candidates don't want to be seen with him. And he won't even throw in a bit of presidential business while he's out and about. Does holding a fundraiser with the director of "Machete" in the same state as the burgeoning immigration crisis look bad? Sure, but what does The One care? The media have insulated him for so long from any consequence of his actions, why should he think that anything will change? And if criticism escalates, he can just put such visits onto his "secret" schedule.

So why are liberals flocking to the barricades to defend crony capitalism? There's money in them thar' deals.

Rich Lowry explains why the situation at the border is worse for Obama than being his "Katrina moment." This isn't a natural disaster; it's a "man-caused disaster."
The first rule in a crisis for any executive is put on your windbreaker and your boots and get out on the ground. President George W. Bush didn’t do it soon enough after Hurricane Katrina and, politically, could never make up for it, no matter how many times he visited New Orleans subsequently. Obama’s bizarre resistance to visiting the border on his fundraising swing out West fueled talk of the influx as Obama’s “Katrina moment.”

The Katrina analogy is both over the top and too generous. It is over the top because the border influx isn’t a deadly catastrophe swallowing an American city. It is too generous because Bush didn’t do anything to bring on Hurricane Katrina, whereas Obama’s policies are responsible for the influx of immigrants from the border. It is, in the argot of his administration, a “man-caused disaster.”

According to The Los Angeles Times, the number of immigrants younger than 18 who were deported or turned away from ports of entry declined from 8,143 in 2008 to 1,669 last year. There were 95 minors deported from the entire interior of the country last year. This occurred as the number of unaccompanied alien children arriving from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras exploded from less than 4,000 several years ago to 40,000 since last October.

It’s not hard to do the math and understand the incentives. “Deportation data won’t dispel rumors drawing migrant minors to the U.S.” is how the L.A. Times headlined its story.
Ian Tuttle also writes on the same point.
Efforts to label these immigrants “refugees” rely on reasons some immigrants have cited for departing their native countries: poverty, unemployment, gang-related violence. But these are longstanding problems in Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, and elsewhere, none of which has increased dramatically enough in the last year to account for the sudden increase in illegal immigration. These factors may contribute — but it is difficult to contend that extreme poverty in 2008 was tolerable, but that in 2014 the same poverty qualifies persons for refugee status.

Moreover, the comparison to Hurricane Katrina fails on another count: When George W. Bush flew over New Orleans in Air Force One, surveying the damage from the sky without taking the opportunity to land, the storm was over. President Obama’s crisis is ongoing — and unlike Bush, who could not have stood in the levees and done his best Tim Howard, President Obama has the ability — right now — to mitigate the border crisis. It would require doing little else than what he already loves to do: give a speech. The president could stand at the border, a couple of Border Patrol agents in the background (if they can be spared), and declare that anyone who enters the country from this moment forward will be turned away, no exceptions. No permisos, no amnesty, nada. That message, too, will find its way into presses south of the border. It is not an airtight solution, nor does it resolve the question of what to do with the more than 52,000 children who have entered the country already. But it’s a start.

The president will not do that, though. Even visiting the border is out of the question, despite his willingness to attend three fundraisers in Texas this week. But not to worry, says Muñoz: “This is a humanitarian situation that we have been on top of from the very beginning.”

With illegal immigrants continuing to pour into the country, the Border Patrol overwhelmed, and American citizens gathering to protest, that is hard to believe.

Here's a scary thought - Trent Telenko at Chicago Boyz warns against our "impending tuberculosis epidemic" stemming from the thousands of immigrants flooding across the border and now being housed in camps where tuberculosis is spreading.

Oh, but of course. Robert Redford is signed on to play Dan Rather in a movie based on the false story that CBS aired about George W. Bush's supposed efforts to avoid serving in Vietnam. Cate Blanchett will play Mary Mapes, the CBS producer responsible for the dishonest story that led to Rather and Mapes' dismissal from CBS. And of course, the film will be based on Mapes' own misleading memoir.

Jim Geraghty explains why Republicans shouldn't be complacent about taking back the Senate.

Mollie Hemingway ponders the arrogant ignorance of so many modern political reporters and commentators today. The examples go on and on.

Obama says he isn't interested in a photo op. Yeah, right. No one buys that.

Norm Ornstein explains the connection between the assassination of James Garfield and the difficulties we're seeing in trying to reform the VA.