Charles Comiskey. The worst baseball player ever. Does Obama play politics as well as Comiskey played baseball?
Friday, January 8, 2010

Obama The Rookie Years

As of today (November 9, 2009) I’ll be putting updates at the top of the page, under the date they were made. The date above the title will be updated as well so that this page will be current, and not archived. January 8, 2010 Obama’s first year is up on January 20, 2010, and it is unlikely that he will bring his average up, so lets run his stats, or give him his grade. Pantybomber—The administration screwed up on this one. He’s going to be tried in a regular court in a U. S. city. He should be in Gitmo where he can be interrogated. After any useful intel is squeezed out of him, he should be brought before a military commission. Napolitano also screwed up by saying the system worked. Surge in Afghanistan—Unnecessary dithering, and inadequate troop force. Healthcare—The bozos have a filibuster proof majority in the senate and control of the house, and they can’t a bill through? F for political incompetence. The bill will necessarily be damaging to the entire healthcare system, and is unwanted by a vast majority of Americans. F for economics, and F for listening to constituents. Knowing the medals you award—If you can’t tell the difference between the Medal of Freedom and the CMoH then you have no business being president. F. Sensitivity to victims of Islamic terrorism—Not canceling a standard political speech when a dozen people have been shot on an army base, and then waiting over two minutes before you address the elephant in the room. F.  Unemployment rate—This is higher now than Obama’s team projected it would be without the stimulus. Click on the picture to the left to see a full size version of the chart. F Growth in GDP. This has been negative as shown in the chart to the right. For a larger view of the data click on the chart. Also check out the projected deficit. F Relations with allies—Insulted the Brits, and managed to give in to Russia with out gaining any benefits. Alienated the Czechs and Poles. F Iran—No encouragement to the opponents of the nutcases. F Copenhagen and the Chicago Olympics—Obama proved his utter incompetence in Copenhagen, and he needlessly wasted what little prestige he had on trying to get the Olympics for Chicago. F. Why go on? You and I both know that there is a probability approaching 0 that I’ll ever say anything good about Obama. Overall grade: F Send him back to repeat the grade, or send him back to the minors. December 12, 2009 Obama finally got around to implementing an inadequate surge. McChrystal wanted 40,000 troops, so Obama gave him 30,000, and hopes to make up the difference from our allies. Our allies will leave us high and dry, and the 10,000 will either not show up, or be made up of the US troops that McChrystal wanted in the first place. Obama also set a get out date. We did not set withdrawal dates during any previous war. Why this one is different is not apparent. Here is what a competent general and statesman said during a difficult war: “…victory of the democracies can only be complete with the utter defeat of the war machines of Germany and Japan.” This quote from General Marshall appeared at the end of every film in Frank Capra’s Why We Fight series. Compare and contrast with the Obama version of warfighting and statesmanship. November 7, 2009 Less than a month since his Nobel, and the rookie proves that he can’t field a tough one. People are killed at Ft. Hood, and he calls a news conference. So rather than making an immediate statement about the shootings, he spends two and half minutes blather about some assemblage of Indians, and giving a “shout out” to some guy who was supposed to be a CMH awardee. He called him a “winner of the CMH (or CMoH), but it’s not an Olympic medal, so you don’t “win” it. It’s awarded for bravery. To make matters worse, the man had been awarded not the CMoH, but the Medal of Freedom, a civilian award. The man is the Commander in Chief, he should know that stuff, particularly since he gave the guy the medal, and hung it around his neck. So it is only after this that he says anything about Ft. Hood. Some are calling this his “My Pet Goat” moment. President Bush, however, was at an event that had been scheduled prior to 9/11. He had a room full of school children. He had to disengage as gracefully as possible without alarming the children or the teachers. So he deserves a lot of slack for grace under pressure. Obama, on the other hand, is so totally focused on himself, that he really feels no compassion for the victims. He fakes it because compassion sells, but he uses it for the acquisition of power. Obama has no excuse for his callous treatment of the victims, their families, or the nation. October 9, 2009 C’est incroyable. The Nobel clowns gave the peace prize to Bozo. The only problem is that Bozo can’t make us laugh. Here are some comments that I posted on the Theoria mailing list: Fewer people are employed because of his stimulus. The risk of hyperinflation looms The Czechs and the Poles have been sacrificed yet again. Iran is still led by a nutcase. (I can't spell his name, so I just refer to him as a nutcase.) Iran is still working on nukes, and is a threat to the region. He's screwed up in Afghanistan by failing to implement a decent strategy. He's screwed up in Honduras. His health care plan is an economic disaster that must inevitably result in death panels in order to control costs. His administration is full of corrupt, non-taxpayers. He was helped into office by thugs who indulged in voter intimidation, fake registrations, and other Chicago style political moves. His incompetence and malevolence are equal to, if not greater than, the first anti-American president, Carter. This is a man with no accomplishments to his name, except winning elections. Hell, he can't even do PowerPoint without coaching. The Nobel has been thoroughly trashed with Gore, Obama, and the jerk that heads the IAEA. The best way for the Nobel committee to redeem themselves is to give it next year to either G. W.Bush, or give it to the Marine Corps on a permanent basis, and retire the damn thing. Update September 18, 2009 Well, Obama finally got around to item 1 on my list of predictions. Instead of the spine of steel that Joe “Motor mouth” Biden said he had, he showed that he had a spine of mush. He caved, and abandoned the Poles and the Czechs. Both he and Putin knew that the planned 10 interceptors were helpless against Russia’s 4,000 missiles, while they would have been effective against the few that Iran or another rogue state might lob in the direction of Europe. Putin wants to regard Eastern Europe as Russia’s playground, so any attempt by the former Soviet bloc countries to move closer to the West is against Putin’s interests. Putting the missile shield in place in Poland and the Czech Republic would facilitate ties that he doesn’t want to happen. By saying that the US will have a ship based system, which is at present entirely notional, to face down Iran. Obama has created an inevitable delay in the creation of an effective missile defense against Iranian missiles. He could not do more to harm the West if he were an active agent of the Ayatollahs. We have put off direct action against Iran because that would immediately put us in a bad light as “crusaders” against Islam, and would make our relations with the one billion Muslims in the world even more difficult. So that leaves us with no choice except to hope that Israel, which is hated by most of the Muslim world anyhow, will act as the “bad” guy, and take out Iranian missile capability. If Israel acts as the US proxy, we can make polite clucking noises of disapproval while breathing a sigh of relief that they did our dirty work for us. The sad reality, however, is that the Arab states are largely failures, or tyrannies, and that Israel and the West receive all of their hatred because of their resentment at Western success. So neither Israel nor the West will ever be loved. Having lost that part of Machiavelli’s question whether it is better to be loved or feared, we should go for the second option, and be feared. It would be better for us to attack Iran directly, or through proxies if necessary, Had the wimp of ’79 acted decisively in defense of the Shah, many of the problems with the Middle East would have been averted. Thirty years is a long time to wait to rectify a mistake, but it may yet be possible. For further reading see Rich Lowry’s column, or this op-ed piece by David Kramer, or this column by Ralph Peters. Update July 3, 2009 Obama missed an opportunity in Iran. Rather than “speaking truth to power” and admonishing the nutcases, he did nothing, and then came out with a weak statement. Iran has been our enemy since 1979, and has been run by the mentally deficient since that time. Rather than saying that the Iranian people have a right to fair and free elections, and that ballot box stuffing, while acceptable in Iran and Chicago, is not acceptable in civilized parts of the world, and that if Iran wants to be a part of that world it should listen to its people, he weaseled. Had Obama encouraged the Iranian people, rather than a suppressed democratic movement, we might be looking at an Iran in the throes of a democratic revolution. Possible effects of such a revolution might include defunding for Hezbollah, and a reduction in terrorist activity; actual, productive engagement with the West; importation of Iranian oil, and other unforeseen and unforeseeable effects. It might have led Iranians, who want the benefits of freedom, to drop the quest for nuclear weapons. A strong democratic movement would have been the tiger that Mousavi had to ride, and in order to hold on, he would have to steer in the direction the tiger wants to go, and that would most likely not have been nuclear weapons and confrontation with the West. In Honduras Obama choose to ally himself with South American creeps like Chavez and Castro. The president of Honduras wanted to engage in activities that were unlawful under their constitution. Their Supreme Court ruled against him, and he attempted to undermine the court and the constitution. Obama sided with the thug, and against the Honduran people and constitution. Midyear Ranking I’m not enough of a baseball fan to give an RBI or batting average for Obama, although I suspect it would be close to 0.000. As an academic, I would assign him a grade of: F. Cap and trade will be a disaster if passed, and will raise prices in every sector. Coal mining, which provides a major part of energy usage in the US, and which is relatively cheap, will be undermined. Nuclear, which is clean and green, is not on the table because of Three Mile Island, an incident that cost no lives. Wind is not capable os supplying current US energy needs. (It’s estimated that it will take 13,000 windmills to supply the energy needs of NYC alone. These windmills are not picturesque windmills of Holland, or the ones that Don Quixote tilted at, bbut 500 foot monstrosities that supply about a megawatt or two of electricity.) Solar energy and geothermal energy are also insufficient. Healthcare is not wanted, will raise debt, and will cause vast suffering as diseases go untreated in order to contain costs. Foreign policy has been nothing but screwups ranging from dumb, inadequate gifts to our allies, to choosing the wrong side on consequential issues. The stimulus has so far not worked. Unemployment is at 9.4%. The takeover of GM, etc., has been costly and unproductive. There is little or nothing that Obama and his administration has gotten right, and much that it has gotten wrong. Update June 26, 2009 Cap and trade, in the form of the Waxman-Markey bill, passed the House. There is growing skepticism over the claims that there is man-made climate change, and yet this bill was forced down the throats of the American people. The Heritage Foundation provides this gloomy forecast “An analysis of the Waxman-Markey bill (as reported out of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce) by The Heritage Foundation found that unemployment will increase by nearly 2 million in 2012, the first year of the program, and reach nearly 2.5 million in 2035, the last year of the analysis. Total GDP loss by 2035 would be $9.4 trillion. The national debt would balloon as the economy slowed, saddling a family of four with $114,915 of additional national debt. Families would also suffer, as the bill would slap the equivalent of a $4,609 tax on a family of four by 2035.” A table prepared by the Heritage foundation shows losses in every congressional district. So why did congresscritters, who are normally sensitive to job losses, vote for such a destructive bill? One reason may be that they are gripped by ideology. Another is that many are indebted to PACs run by environmental groups that are fundamentally Luddite in nature. To impose this nonsense in a time of recession is ridiculous. It’s as if this administration has as its agenda the destruction of the US economy. Our best hope is that the bill will fail in the Senate. The RNC should cut off funding for any member who voted for it in the House, or votes for it in the Senate. Update May 29, 2009 Yonhap News reported today that N. Korea fired a new type of missile with an estimated range of 160 km (100 miles). There can be no intention of aiming these missiles anywhere other than S. Korea. This may be another attempt to provoke a Western response, or it may be a prelude to war. There are 28,000 U.S. troops who face the prospect of being overrun by N. Korean forces. A conventional response may not be sufficient to save the troops already on the ground, and may provoke N. Korea, which is not in the hands of a rational actor, to send its small batch (6) of nukes to the US. An Hiroshima sized bomb would not do much damage in terms of geographic extent, but lobbed into Manhattan’s theatre district, would take out an area from the Flatiron district to Lincoln Square, and cause hundreds of thousands of casualties. One in DC centered on the White House would take out an area from the White House to Capitol Hill and almost to Arlington Cemetery. One possible tactic would be to take out the missiles, and the nuclear facilities before a conventional war starts. As long as Obama is letting his smile be our umbrella, we are at risk. For additional stories see here, and here. To see what happens when a nuke hits, see here. Pick your nuke and have fun. Obligatory disclaimer, as Lucius Aemilius Paulus might point out, I’m not really qualified to give military advice, and I’m willing to learn from anyone with more knowledge and experience. Obama’s Healthcare I posted about the National Sales Tax being used to finance Obama’s healthcare scheme, but didn’t say anything about the social cost. In order to contain costs, and not bankrupt the economy expenditures will have to be controlled. That means instituting more hoop jumping for some treatments and procedures. For example, under my current insurance in order to have a gastric banding procedure done I had to: Go to a dietician for 6 months. Get approval from a shrink. (1 visit) Attend a 4 hour class. Meet with the doctor. See a cardiologist for: An EKG A Cardiolite stress test 3 post-operative visits, plus visits for the rest of my life. There is no way of telling at the present time whether there will be additional hoops to jump through under Obamacare, or what they will be, but since it is in the interest of the healthcare administrators to fund as few procedures as possible, it is safe bet that there will be additional requirements. Cut costs by cutting back on treatment for the elderly and for the very young. Caring for preemies is costly. Since the human person is devalued under the abortion regime, why not follow Peter Singer’s argument, and not treat the very young with life-threatening illnesses. For that matter, why treat the very old. There’s no cure for Alzheimer’s. Let them go. Their pacemaker gives out? Don’t replace it. Any number of diseases are incurable, and are expensive to treat. So refuse to treat them. Have HIV or AIDS? There’s no cure, and I’m sorry to say there probably never will be. So rather than being treated, as people now are, at some point Obamacare will stop funding AIDS research and AIDS treatment. (The LGBT community is large, active, and extremely vocal, so any attempt to actually do this will meet vocal opposition. This does not mean that this will not be on the table. Note: None of what I’ve said is advocated by me. This is what I think must happen at some point under Obamacare in order to contain costs. If the GOP were to hammer this point home, they might cost the Dems some points in the polls.) Obamacare will eventually be a moral disaster for the country because it must inevitably curtail costs by cutting off treatment for the weakest and most vulnerable members of society, and because it cannot afford to treat chronic, expensive diseases. Update May 27, 2009 Peter Brookes, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, and a former deputy assistant secretary of defense, has an interesting article in the NY Post. N. Korea’s bomb had an estimated yield of 8 kilotons. The Hiroshima bomb at 15 kilotons, would take out most of the heart of Washington, DC. An 8 kiloton bomb would obviously do less damage, but it would still not make for a very good day. Combine the missile launch of the Taepodong with a nuclear warhead, and things could get unpleasant. Combine that with Obama’s abandonment of missile defense, and his abandonment of Reliable Replacement Warhead, and we are looking at the possibility of no effective defense, and quite possibly no means of retaliation. During the Cold War the West operated under the MAD doctrine. Mutual Assured Destruction. Though it was condemned as immoral, it had a distinct advantage that other strategies didn’t. It worked. It worked because it was premised on the assumption that the other side was led by rational actors. I don’t think it would work, if the other side is led by madmen, or if the other side has aims that do not include survival. Throwing away a strategy that has worked in the past, however, is not to be done lightly. It may well be that continuing that strategy would allow sane members of opposing regimes to restrain their crazy leaders. During the Cold War we provided a nuclear umbrella to Europe and Japan, are we now to let Obama’s smile be our umbrella? Update May 25, 2009 Korea tested a nuke the other day. The Obama response? More jaw flapping. Charm, such as it is, I’m frankly repulsed by the guy, and talk are not enough. Eighteen resolutions weren’t enough for Saddam, jaw flapping isn’t enough for N. Korea. Diplomacy has to be backed up by force. Obama’s dilemma is whether he can bring sufficient force to bear on N. Korea without getting the U.S. nuked by one of the missiles that N. Korea wasn’t supposed to be building. Update May 12, 2009 Obama is not funding the Reliable Replacement Warhead program. This is an effective step to unilateral disarmament. Glenn Reynolds over at Instapundit asks, “If Obama were trying to wreck America as a superpower, what would he be doing differently?” Update April 19, 2009 Don Surber has a post about Obama’s record of 64 mistakes in 60 days. Here’s one that’s not on Surber’s list. Obama’s appearance at Georgetown University. He asked the school to cover up all religious symbols, the paintings, and the IHS (Iesus Humanum Salvatorum, Jesus Savior of Man) that would be in the background over the podium. My personal opinion, he’s so full of conceit, and really believes that he is the messiah, that being confronted with images of the real Messiah is an affront to his belief system. Update April 5, 2009 Another clueless gift. This time the Queen gets an iPod stuffed with The One’s speeches. A number of people have commented that this is what you give your daughter on her twelfth birthday. Here is what the first black president should give the queen instead of a $300 iPod: A typed letter signed by W. E. B. DuBois ($10,000) or a first edition of The Souls of Black Folk ($9,500), both available here. With the O man spending money like a drunken sailor out looking for hookers and booze, it’s not like he can’t afford to buy an appropriate gift. Item 1. This was about missiles, but in a more general way it was about foreign policy. He’s managed to insult Britain twice, and N. Korea shot off a missile without any interference. So talking tough, and doing nothing is not working. Item 4. Cuts in military spending. No actual cuts ever get made in Washington. What usually happens is that there is a cut in the increase over the previous year. This gets reported as a cut in spending. Popular Mechanics has a report on the winners and losers in the proposed budget. Among the losers will be contractors. Contracting grew in large part because of the government’s outsourcing of technical jobs. Now the plan is to bring contractors back inside as government employees. Not likely to be beneficial. If successful, it will probably attract the worst rather than the best. Government personnel offices routinely stack the employment process so that pre-selected candidates win. When competent people, such as some of my friends and former co-workers, go from private to government, it is because they’ve gotten tired of idiotic bosses losing contracts, and having to go out job hunting yet again. Here’s an anecdote that illustrates that point. Back in 2005 I applied for a position as a writer with DoT. I was ranked eligible, but was told I lived outside of the commuting area. DoT is two blocks away from a rail station (VRE) that routinely delivers hundreds of people from Spotsylvania and Fredericksburg to DC, and yet Spotsylvania was outside the commuting area. In 16 years in the government I never saw the personnel department make a decision that was in an employee’s interest. I once made a suggestion that they install showers to facilitate running. 3 years later they did that. However, too much time had elapsed for me to get an award. Another time I had a temporary promotion (no pay increase), that went on too long, and I got back pay, but it was less than I should have gotten because they changed the rules midway. Salaries are generally lower in the government, promotion or change of jobs more difficult. Benefits are better to some extent, especially leave. Leave, however, can be used to harass employees who take what their supervisors consider an excessive amount of leave. There is a great deal of clock watching, both by supervisors and employees. Supervisors can harass an employee whio is tardy for some reason, and can demand extra makeup time or leave. Yet you can walk down any government office and see people goofing off. Another cut is the F-22 Raptor. This provides air superiority. Now while Al-Qaeda may not have fighters, the role of the fighter in maintaining dominance in the sky is paramount. By cutting back on the F-22 Obama and Gates have made us less safe. Obama should eliminate the useless Department of Education rather than cutting defense. Item 5. Oil drilling. Still restricting oil drilling offshore, in ANWR, and elsewhere. Bloviating about alternate energy. Trying to put caps on coal. Item 7. The bailout of the auto industry apparently gives the community organizer the right to fire CEOs. We’ll see how well the big O can design cars. Update March 10, 2009 It’s not under item 1, which is basically standing up to hostile powers, but the ever tacky and clueless community organizer managed to offend our oldest ally. Not France. One of our real allies, one that we used to belong to, and still feel affection for despite a couple of disputes. The Brits. He gave a set of DVDs to the British PM. Ones that can’t even be played in Britain because they have the wrong regional encoding. See comments here, here, here, and here. He also returned Jacob Epstein’s bust of Winston Churchill to Britain. This was loaned to us after 9/11. See here, and here for comments on this. Even Camille Paglia is ticked at Obama. Is Obama trying to ruin the Western Alliance, or does he think that because the Brits once engaged in the slave trade, a trade which they later actively suppressed, that he’s entitled to insult them? Keep in mind that Obama is not the descendant of slaves. His forbears were more likely to be slave traders themselves. (Camille Paglia mentions Homer in connection with gift giving. The exchange of gifts is mentioned several times in Livy, for example in XXXI, 11. See here for the gifts the Romans give one of their allies, and my comments.) On the missile shield, which is item 1, he apparently tried to engage in quid pro quo with Russia over the shield. In exchange for Russia’s influence with Iran, he was going to give up the shield. The administration denies this, but they would deny it whether it was true or not, so their denial has no inherent believability. Item 6. He reversed the Bush ban on the funding of embryonic stem cell research. While adult stem cells have been found to be useful, the same cannot be said of embryonic stem cells. Yet the community organizer and lawyer with no known background in science declared the end to the war on science. Another classless comment. Update February 20, 2009 Item 1. Russian deployment of Iskander missiles. I predicted an Obama cave in. I said over here: “ Russian deployment of Iskander missiles and jamming gear in the Kaliningrad region to counter our planned missile shield in Poland. His choices: Cave in and call off the deployment of the missile shield. Stand firm and deploy the shield. Given the chance to dismantle the shield, which I believe he has pledged to do, he will do so. This will be perceived as weakness and lead to further Russian adventurism in Europe and elsewhere. A report in The Telegraph indicates that he will choose option A.” According to Charles Krauthammer’s column in today’s WaPo, he’s done even worse than predicted. According to Krauthammer he’s not only caved on the issue of the missiles, but on these issues as well: “Pressuring Kyrgyzstan to shut down the U.S. air base in Manas, an absolutely crucial NATO conduit into Afghanistan. “Announcing the formation of a "rapid reaction force" with six former Soviet republics, a regional Russian-led strike force meant to reassert Russian hegemony in the Muslim belt north of Afghanistan.” “Planning to establish a Black Sea naval base in Georgia's breakaway province of Abkhazia, conquered by Moscow last summer.” The Obama record is even worse when it comes to Iran and Pakistan. Item 7. Bailout of the auto industry. That went forward under Bush. It was so successful that GM and Chrysler want another $22 billion. Obama did sign some kind of foreclosure act. The net effect was to make you and I, Tom and Harry, or Harriet, responsible for Dick’s failing mortgage. Not on the list. Forcing the Dow down to 7378 (February 20, 2009 3:05 PM) and gold up to 995. (It was 1007 earlier today.) The one figure shows that there is no investor confidence in Obama’s plan working, and the second figure shows that there is widespread fear of inflation or hyperinflation from Obama’s tinkering. January 26, 2009 One person called Charlie Comiskey the worst baseball player ever, so that’s his picture up above. After the election I made some predictions about Obama’s policies. Let’s see how I’ve done. Item 2. Guantanamo Bay. He’s issued an order that it be closed within a year. He’s decided to limit interrogation to Army Field Manual techniques, which is premised on dealing with honorable combatants. Al Qaeda is not a group of honorable combatants by any definition of the term. He’s ordered the CIA to close secret prisons. The nation is effectively less safe. Item 5. Oil drilling. No action so far, but he has issued a memorandum that will impose additional burdens on an already suffering auto industry. Item 9. Abortions. Rescinded the Mexico City Policy. Your tax dollars will now go to support abortions overseas. FOCA, the Freedom of Choice Act, has apparently been talked about, and made the rounds of committees for umpteen years, but has never made it to a president’s desk. Whether or not it will do so during the Obama administration is unknown.