Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Cruising the Web

Philip Bump writes in the Washington Post that Hillary has no strategy to get people excited about voting for her.
No, commenters and people on Twitter, the best president is not the one who has the best ability to invigorate voters. But this is, you may have noticed, a key component of how we pick presidents in an age so thoroughly saturated with marketing. And Clinton, although not without vocal supporters, seems continuously unlikely to be the most energizing candidate. "Ready for Hillary" often seemed less like a grass-roots push born of uncontainable excitement than a sharp strategy from some political consultants looking to align with a winning candidate early in the process. At her book-signing in New York last June, the refrain from those who bought "Hard Choices" was commonly, "Well, she might be president." And those who bought the book were in the stark minority.

How will she overcome this? Reinvent herself, a la Romney in 2012 and Romney in 2016? Learn how to say "secretary of state" in other, more interesting-sounding languages? Clinton is what she is, which serves her very well for locking up the Democratic primary. Then what?

The CBO has figured out how much we're going to be paying for Obamacare. It's not quite the something for nothing that President Obama promised us.
It will cost the federal government – taxpayers, that is – $50,000 for every person who gets health insurance under the Obamacare law, the Congressional Budget Office revealed on Monday.
The number comes from figures buried in a 15-page section of the nonpartisan organization's new ten-year budget outlook.
The best-case scenario described by the CBO would result in 'between 24 million and 27 million' fewer Americans being uninsured in 2025, compared to the year before the Affordable Care Act took effect.
Pulling that off will cost Uncle Sam about $1.35 trillion – or $50,000 per head.

How unbelievably dumb are people in this administration? The Pentagon is holding a "research and essay competition to honor Saudi King Abdullah. Are they also going to celebrate the crushing of all criticism and opposition in Saudi Arabia? What about all the Saudi women who are forbidden from traveling, marrying, or gaining a higher education without approval of the male in their family? What about the treatment of the millions of migrant workers in the country? Or how about blogger Raif Badawi who has been sentenced to 1,000 lashes for supposedly insulting Islam? Is this the kind of record on human rights that our Pentagon should be sponsoring essay contests about?

How convenient that Obama's 2012 field manager is running a campaign to defeat Benjamin Netanyahu's reelection.
The Obama White House has aggressively worked to defeat allied leaders it has not liked and to elect or re-elect foreign leaders it does like. As the Times of Israel recently reported, the list of Obama Administration meddling in foreign elections is a long one.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Merkel, an Obama Administration ally, was hosted at the White House prior to recent German elections. Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the left wing Labor Party visited 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, not once, but twice prior to British elections. Those were won by Conservative party leader David Cameron, who himself visited Washington last week at Obama’s invitation to lobby the U.S. Congress against adopting a new sanctions measure to help confront Iran’s burgeoning nuclear program. Oddly, that’s the very issue Obama and the mainstream media now roundly condemn John Boehner for involving himself in.
And Clinton hosted prime minister Shimon Peres a month ahead of his 1996 election when Peres's poll numbers were falling.

Thomas Sowell's "Random Thoughts" columns are always interesting. Here are some of this thoughts from today.
Who says President Obama doesn’t promote bipartisanship? His complicity in Iran’s moving toward nuclear bombs has alarmed some top Senate Democrats enough to get them to join Republicans in opposition to the Obama administration’s potentially suicidal foreign policy.....

If not a single policeman killed a single black individual anywhere in the United States for this entire year, that would not reduce the number of black homicide victims by one percent. When the mobs of protesters declare “Black lives matter,” does that mean all black lives matter — or only the less than one percent of black lives lost in conflicts with police?

Scott Conroy explains why we should not pay as much attention to Iowa.
In the 2012 caucuses, for example, only 122,255 of the 614,913 eligible Republican voters participated—good enough for a record turnout but one that amounted to a mere 19.8 percent participation rate.

Only the most passionate and committed Iowa Republicans—who collectively are older, whiter and more devoutly conservative than the national GOP electorate as a whole—are willing to give up an hour or more of their time on a cold January night to take part in the tradition.

Therefore, the easiest way to stand out in a crowded field in courting their support is by doling out heaping portions of the kind of red meat rhetoric that wows the conservative crowds but also fills national Democratic strategists with visions of President Hillary Clinton dancing in their heads.

Ben Stein asks why President Obama doesn't tell the truth. So much of his State of the Union was pure fantasy.
I have been observing President Obama for a few days and a number of questions have occurred to me:

1. In the President’s State of the Union address, he bragged about how U.S. oil production has surged thanks to shale drilling. Question for Mr. Obama: Does he not recall that he and his followers have been fighting and harassing the oil companies that are finding and producing all of that oil? Does he believe he deserves any credit at all for acts and successes done by people against whom he has waged war since he was a child?

2. In his SOTU, Mr. Obama bragged that the USA now has the highest high school graduation rate in its history. Roughly 80 percent of entering high school freshmen now graduate.

Questions: Is Mr. Obama aware that in the city where he gave his speech, Washington, D.C., only about 53 percent of high school students graduate? Is he aware that in this country the high school graduation rate in predominantly black cities is on average roughly twenty percentage points lower than for whites? Is Mr. Obama in possession of any data that shows whether the students who receive those high school diplomas actually know anything useful?

Mr. Obama boasted repeatedly about his successes fighting terrorists, not some of whom, all of whom are Islamists. Questions: Did he at any point use the word “Islamic” or “Islamist” in referring to terrorists in his speech? Why not? Who is he afraid of? Why can’t he tell the truth?

Is he aware of the near takeover of the strategically key nation of Yemen by Islamic fanatics? Is he aware of any major setbacks to date for the Islamist terrorists in the Middle East or in Nigeria? If he is, would he make them known? Is there anything stopping the Boko Haram from dominating Nigeria? Is he doing anything to stop them? The Islamic State is presently in the approaches to Baghdad. In what way does this show success in the fight against them?

Five years ago, there were dictators in power through the Middle East. They were awful people but their countries were fairly calm. Now, from Algeria to Pakistan, with the exceptions of Israel and Egypt, much of the Arab world is in chaos and has returned to primitive times in terms of the absence of law.

Question: In what way does this show success for Mr. Obama?

Mary Katharine Ham explains why cynicism is the proper response to President Obama.

Ed Lasky has a recommendation for Congressional Republicans needing a strategy to deal with President Obama.
No, as usual. It’s you, America, not him.

His self-conception is of a man who is simultaneously nearly all-powerful and utterly stymied at every turn by the very smallest of routine disputes of American politics. Like the ignorant omniscience I’ve written about before, this impotent power absolves him of all responsibility while he congratulates himself for what he could have accomplished if not for you, America.

If indeed a benevolent and intelligent executive like Obama (as he sees himself) is unable to turn the clumsy machine of the federal government to righteous action, if the great uniter is indeed unable to bring about anything close to a new kind of politics, why is he surprised that Americans wonder then how much of their welfare should be put into the hands of this clumsy machine and its inept managers? The vision he proffered was that his presence would change things, and when that visions did not materialize, of course right people lost some faith in him and the institutions he’s constantly pitching as the solutions to our problems. That is how it should work....

This section of Obama’s State of the Union makes it clear this is still the plan for most everything the president would like to accomplish. Announce Plan _____ would be super-keen and make everyone happy, make no plans for accomplishing Plan _____, subjugate success of Plan _____ to day-to-day political considerations, give speeches about how Plan ____’s awesomeness is being foiled by everyone else’s cynicism.

Frankly, I think the American public is far too easy on the federal government and its ability to accomplish anything well. We are a friendly people bent toward optimism even when it’s nearly ridiculous. Despite that, during Obama’s administration, faith in public institutions has fallen to all-time lows.

And, if this is what President Obama is offering in year six of this odyssey, the American people are right to respond with skepticism. That, and its more malevolent cousin, cynicism, are what he deserves.

Along those same lines, Seth Mandel ponders Obama's imaginary world.

The director of the EPA chose the wrong week to warn about global warming could lead to shortages of snow for the sporting industry. Powerline notes that global warming alarmists used to warn us how global warming would lead to decreased snow storms, but now they've changed their analysis to day that global warming is causing increased snow storms.
Only it turned out that–heh–the current decade is the worst ever recorded for major impact snowstorms on the East Coast, with 14, even though it is only half over. So now the alarmists are changing their tune, and blaming snowstorms on global warming. (The same thing is going on in Germany.) This is a perfect illustration of why global warming alarmism is not science. If you are doing science, you come up with a theory and you identify implications of that theory–if the theory is correct, then what facts will be observable? If those facts are not observed, the theory has been proved wrong. When no state of affairs can ever be deemed inconsistent with a theory, then the theory is not a scientific theory at all, but rather a religious or spiritual belief. Or possibly just a hoax.