Wednesday, August 17, 2011

OurTin Eared Outsourcing President Takes a Vacation!

Just a few descriptive cartoons that speak louder than words.

Today:•Seven Israelis are killed, at last report, in a series of terrorist attacks in southern Israel (Ha'aretz)
•Israel bus attacks: ‘several killed’ (BBC)
•Barak: IDF will hunt down perpetrators of Eilat
attack (Jerusalem Post)

Limit all US politicians to two terms..
One in office
One in prison ......
Illinois already does this, and it seems to be working for them.
This from one of my most creative friends and fellow memo reader. He sends me a lots of material some of which I publish some I do not but always interesting and generally from sources I am not likely to read or have access.

This pertains to supposed strains developing within the liberal camp as an Obamaite attacks Krugman. (See 1 below.)
Elliot is out of the country but is on my memo list. Found this interesting and Cliff May on the Arab Spring and Europe's financial plight. (See 2 and 2a below.)

Walter Russell Mead writes about what is happening in Europe. Doesn't look favorable. (See 2b below.)
I was sent a video by my Brit friend who was a Bobbie herself along with her husband and now both are retired . This explains why the British riots occurred. This is the link:
Obama, our outsource president, took off for his vacation today and was greeted with a sharp sell off in Wall Street. Today's action was a response to a Morgan Stanley report which suggests we are getting closer to that second dip I have predicted which I repeat, is not a visit to your local Bascomb Robbins.

Every president needs a vacation and with Congress on its own it is understandable that Obama should be taking his at the same time. The problem is Americans seem to have lost faith in his leadership and therefore, are less likely to cut him slack when he vacations in a place where all the people he has been attacking vacation as well, ie. fat cat Wall Street types who fly in their own planes etc.

Particularly is this the case when he just came off a bus trip trying to convince voters he is one of them. Obama is portrayed as having outsize ears but now it seems they are also made of tin.
Somebody is stealing my material calling our poor president a product of Affirmative Action and consequently unqualified because when the going gets tough we are reminded he has been given mostly passes. In fact, that is pretty descriptive of Obama's 'present' voting record throughout his legislative career. (See 3 below.)
I warned a very dear and close black friend and sometime memo reader years ago that a failed Obama presidency , because of his lack of qualifications, could create two problems for his race:
a) First, because it would set blacks back in the eyes of the overall public because Obama's failure could become a blight, unfair as that may be, on the black community and those truly qualified blacks aspiring for political life. and

b) It could result in misguided black youth carrying a grudge who have come under the sway of the Jacksons', Wrights' and Farrakhans' to lash out in misplaced anger.

Now we even have blacks attacking Obama, Rep Waters and West for different reasons. Do their attacks on the president also make them racists?

Those who defend Obama cite the poor economy he inherited but are unwilling to accept the fact that he made it worse. All Americans are in the same boat but Obama's defenders ignore the fact that he chose to separate us through his policy of pitting one group against the other.

Unemployment has befallen everyone from Wall Street to Main Street but it has fallen hardest on those less able to cope and that happens to be black youth.

Obama supporters submit Tea Partyers, Conservatives, Republicans, wealthy scoundrels want to balance the budget on the backs of the poor. I submit Obama wants to extend the debt on the backs of everyone and to the detriment of all.

Obama supporters say Tea Partyers caused the nation's debt downgrade and ignore his demand for adding more straws on a camel whose back was already fiscally broken. Obama's solution is to have his corrupt, incompetent and out of control Justice Department investigate S&P in order to shift the blame from a Congress controlled by the likes of Barney and Chris and a Fed that kept interest rates too low for too long.

It is all about re-election and has nothing to do with objectively investigating what happened and how to prevent the same from recurring. We have already done that but no one wants facts to rule because everyone involved is engaged in finger pointing and running from the stench they created and that includes Rep Rangel, the biggest offender of them all.

Big government and Obama are the problem and this is why we need to dump him and hopefully start afresh because we don't have room or time for more screw ups. (See 4, 4a and 4b below.)
Fatah remains mute regarding Syria but did not take them long to brand Israel for their 'terrorist response' to the wanton attack from Gaza on Eliat. (See 5 below.)
1)strain on the left beginning to show:
Campaign Staffer Sends Out Email Bashing Paul Krugman And The 'Firebagger Lefty Blogosphere'

WASHINGTON -- The Obama campaign's point person in New Mexico recently sent an email to supporters defending the president's position on the debt deal and bashing the Nobel Prize winning New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and the "Firebagger Lefty blogosphere."

On the evening of Aug. 1, just after Congress passed legislation to raise the debt ceiling, Obama for America (OFA) New Mexico State Director Ray Sandoval sent an email to supporters with the subject line, "Please take 5 minutes to read this, Please."

"I know many of you have raised frustrations, but please, I implore you, please take 5 minutes and read the article below. It does a great job of explaining the Debt Ceiling deal," Sandoval wrote in bold text.

The rest of the email was a blog post taken from a blog called "The People's View," run by Spandan Chakrabarti. Chakrabarti writes that he has "been participating in online and offline liberal activism since 2003, when Gov. Howard Dean ran for president."

The blog post that Sandoval thought was important enough to share with others harshly condemns Krugman and progressive bloggers who have been critical of Obama. From the 1,825-word post:
Paul Krugman is a political rookie. At least he is when compared to President Obama. That's why he unleashed a screed as soon as word came about the debt ceiling compromise between President Obama and Congressional leaders - to, you know, avert an economic 9/11. Joining the ideologue spheres' pure, fanatic, indomitable hysteria, Krugman declares the deal a disaster - both political and economic - of course providing no evidence for the latter, which I find curious for this Nobel winning economist. He rides the coattails of the simplistic argument that spending cuts - any spending cuts - are bad for a fragile economy, ignoring wholeheartedly his own revious cheerleading for cutting, say, defense spending. But that was back in the day - all the way back in April of this year.........

No, the loudest screeching noise you hear coming from Krugman and the ideologue Left is, of course, Medicare. Oh, no, the President is agreeing to a Medicare trigger!!! Oh noes!!! Everybody freak out right now! But let's look at the deal again, shall we?............

Now let's get to the fun part: the triggers. The more than half-a-trillion in defense and security spending cut "trigger" for the Republicans will hardly earn a mention on the Firebagger Lefty blogosphere. Hell, it's a trigger supposedly for the Republicans, and of course, there's always It'sNotEnough-ism to cover it...........
"Firebagger" is most likely a combined reference to the liberal blog FireDogLake, founded by Jane Hamsher, and "Tea Bagger," a less-than-flattering term for Tea Party activists.

When contacted by The Huffington Post, Sandoval simply replied, "I have sent your request up to my folks. I will let you know when I hear from them."

Sandoval did not reply to a follow-up message about who his "folks" were.

"The bipartisan debt agreement put in place a balanced framework for the next phase to ensure that special interests and the wealthiest are asked to bear some of the burden of deficit reduction, rather than saddling middle class families and seniors with costs and taking extreme measures like ending Medicare as we know it," replied Katie Hogan, deputy press secretary for the Obama campaign. "The views expressed in this email do not represent the views of the campaign."
The Obama administration has, at times, had a contentious relationship with both Krugman and the progressive blogosphere.

In 2007, Krugman was a vocal critic of Obama's proposed health care plan. The Obama campaign responded with an opposition-research style document accusing the columnist of flip-flopping.

In August 2010, then-White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs dismissed the president's progressive critics, referring to them as "the professional left."

"I hear these people saying he's like George Bush," said Gibbs. "Those people ought to be drug tested. I mean, it's crazy."
Obama himself has personally tried to reassure left-leaning bloggers, at times even encouraging dissent. In a video message sent last year to attendees of the Netroots Nation conference -- an annual gathering of progressive bloggers and activists, Obama said, "What I’m asking you is to keep making your voices heard. To keep holding me accountable. To keep up the fight."

UPDATE: 3:24 p.m. -- Hamsher responds: "[I]f this is a brilliant political strategy on the part of OFA, someone is going to have to explain it to me. I know the goal is to attract the much-prized Independent for 2012. But who do they think is keeping Obama's poll numbers afloat? ... What exactly does OFA think they stand to gain by ridiculing Krugman as a 'political rookie,' a hysterical 'fanatic' and an 'idealogue'? Do they think they hold so much sway with liberals that they can discredit Krugman and thus neutralize his criticism? This smacks more of narcissism and personal vendetta than any sound political 'strategy.'"
Will Ariel Block Peace?
By Elliott Abrams

If there is a single issue that explains the failure of Obama policy toward Israel, it is settlements. And this week the administration once again indulged itself in a knee-jerk reaction that displayed incomprehension in a way that harms U.S.-Israeli relations without doing the slightest bit of good for the Palestinians.
This week Israel announced a plan to construct 277 more housing units in Ariel, a settlement that is a town of 18,000. The new units are to be constructed in the center of the town, it was also announced. This is a significant fact, for construction of new units at the edges of the town would mean that the security perimeter would need to be extended to protect the new housing and the people in it. But this will not happen, and Ariel will expand in population but not in land area. It is not, in the usual Palestinian Authority parlance, “taking more Palestinian land.”

When I worked on these issues in the Bush Administration, we discussed settlement expansion thoroughly with the government of Israel and (as I have explained elsewhere) reached agreement on some principles. These were that Israel would create no new settlements and that existing settlements would expand in population but not in land area. New construction, that is, would be in already-built-up areas, and the phrase we used was “build up and in, not out.” The usual complaints about new construction in the settlements were that “it is making a final peace agreement impossible” or at least more and more difficult by “taking more Palestinian land” that would have to be bargained over in the end and whose taking would right now interfere with Palestinian life and livelihoods. We understood that there would never be a long construction freeze even if there might be some brief ones, for the settlements–especially the “major blocks” that Israel will keep–are living communities with growing families. So we reached that understanding with the Israelis: build up and in, not out. That way whatever the chances of a peace deal were, construction in the settlements would not reduce them.

This agreement the Obama Administration ignored or denounced, suggesting at various times that it never existed or that, anyway, it had been a bad idea and all construction must be frozen–even in Israel’s capital, Jerusalem. (To be more accurate, construction by Israeli Jews was to be frozen; construction by Palestinians could continue). No Israeli government could long accept such terms and though the Netanyahu government did agree to a short and partial freeze, when that failed to bring the PLO back to the negotiating table the freeze was ended. This Obama fixation with a construction freeze proved disastrous because the president and his secretary of state took the view that it was a precondition for negotiations without which the Palestinians could not be expected to come to the table. Of course once that American position was announced the Palestinian leadership had to adopt it, lest they appear weaker in asserting Palestinian “rights” than Washington.
The argument over the construction freeze embittered U.S.-Israel relations and killed any chance of negotiations in 2009 and 2010. Late in 2010 the policy was finally abandoned. Nothing has replaced it, and no one really knows what administration policy is these days beyond getting past September’s expected UN General Assembly vote on Palestinian statehood.

But if the fixation on freezing construction in settlements is no longer the main pillar of Obama policy, those old sentiments and statements linger on. Thus did the announcement that new units were to be built in Ariel evoke a new denunciation from Washington. To be sure, it did not come from the president himself and was a pretty low-key affair; it did not suggest that new a crisis in bilateral relations loomed. But this was a reminder that the administration appears to have learned nothing, and still does not understand the difference between expanding a settlement physically and expanding the population of a settlement by building in already-built-up areas.
Why not? Without dealing with the question of which individual policymakers are responsible for this foolish policy, it does seem that the policy is based on the view that every square foot of land controlled by Jordan before the 1967 war is rightly part of “Palestine,” so that every Israeli action on that land is wrong. This view also explains why the president believes peace negotiations should start from the “1967 borders.” But there are no “1967 borders,” just the 1949 Armistice lines that all sides agreed in 1949 were not to be regarded as permanent. It is reasonable to have the 1949 map on the table when negotiations begin, and to have next to it the 2011 map, and to seek a compromise. It is not reasonable to view it as a violation of international law and a threat to a peace agreement every time bricks and studs and drywall show up at the center of an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. In the real world those new units in Ariel do not make a final peace agreement harder

2a)The Arab Spring and Europe's fall
By Clifford D. May

Who could possibly want to emulate Europe? Who really believes that a Europeanized Islam is more likely than an Islamized Europe?

If I asked you to name the important events of the early 20th century, you'd probably mention the start of World War I in 1914, the Russian Revolution in 1917, the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, the stock market crash in 1929, and Adolph Hitler becoming Chancellor of Germany in 1933.

But for millions of people around the world, the most consequential year was 1924. That was when the last caliph -- Islam's supreme religious and political leader, the Prophet Mohammed's heir -- was deposed, the 1,400-year-old institution of the caliphate abolished and all members of the Ottoman dynasty sent into exile.

This was the moment in history when, as Osama bin Laden phrased it, "the whole Islamic world fell under the Crusader banner." Three months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Ayman al-Zawahiri, then al-Qaeda's chief ideologue/theologian, now bin Laden's successor, wrote that the "hope of the Muslim nation (is) to reinstate its fallen caliphate and regain its lost glory."

The man most responsible for abolishing the caliphate -- despised by Islamists everywhere -- was Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the subject of a timely new biography by military historian and columnist Austin Bay, "Ataturk: Lessons in Leadership from the Greatest General of the Ottoman Empire." (Buy it at a 37% discount by clicking here)

Bay focuses on Ataturk's military achievements that he argues have been neglected in the West. But reading his fascinating book, two questions struck me as pivotal to understanding the war being waged on the West not just by al-Qaeda but also by a long list of Jihadi groups (the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba, al-Shabaab, Hezbollah, Hamas to name just a few) and a short list of Jihadi regimes (the Islamic Republic of Iran primary among them). The first question: Why did Ataturk consign the caliphate to the dustbin of history? The second question: Would those reasons apply today?

Bay points out that Ataturk was the "only undefeated general of the Ottoman empire." Nevertheless, he went on to reject "Ottoman imperialism and colonialism" which could be called, with equal accuracy, Muslim imperialism and colonialism. As a cadet and young officer, he was "schooled on Europe's technological, cultural, and educational advances" and inspired by the European ideal of freedom and liberal constitutionalism.

When Ataturk came to power, he determined to remake the broken heartland of the Ottoman Empire as a Westernized nation-state. The key was to separate secular and religious authority -- strictly limiting the latter. He also granted rights to women, believing that a nation that does not educate and empower half its population can only limp, not run. Bay concludes that Ataturk "continues to inspire reformers and modernizers throughout the world."

But does he? In the season we hopefully call the Arab Spring it is sobering to recall, as Bay does, that Ataturk's achievement remains unique: No other Muslim-majority nation has become a "Western parliamentary democracy and secular state."

Consider what has changed: In the early 20th century, the nations of Europe were confident and bold, pushing the frontiers of science, technology and industry. Turkey, by contrast, was "the sick man of Europe."

Today, it might be argued, the sick man of Europe is Europe. In one European country after another, there are signs not of spring but of fall -- from debt crises to riots to population decline. Who could possibly want to emulate Europe? Who really believes that a Europeanized Islam is more likely than an Islamized Europe?

For Turkey, the not illogical response has been what some term neo-Ottomanism. Under the Justice and Development Party (AKP), first elected in 2002, Ataturk's legacy is being systematically dismantled. Turkey has been growing less Western, less secular and less democratic, if, by democratic, we mean not just casting ballots but guaranteeing freedoms, minority rights and the rule of law. The AKP has been positioning Turkey as a contender for leadership of the Muslim world, making it both an ally and a rival of Arabs and Persians eager for the same role.

In the concluding chapter of his book, Bay notes that "at midnight on March 4, 1924, the last caliph left the Catalca railway station in a special coach car attached to the Orient Express." Abdul Mejid II may indeed have been the last caliph of the 20th century. But there are those fighting to revive the age of Muslim conquerors and conquests, power and glory.

They are deadly serious and, in the countries where the Arab Spring has sprung, at least as well positioned to take power as those who embrace Ataturk's vision of liberal democracy and patriotism -- a vision Europeans have all but abandoned, not to their detriment alone.

Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on terrorism. A veteran news reporter, foreign correspondent and editor (at The New York Times and other publications), he has covered stories in more than two dozen countries, including Iran, Pakistan, Sudan, Ethiopia, China, Uzbekistan, Northern Ireland and Russia. He is a frequent guest on national and international television and radio news programs, providing analysis and participating in debates on national security.

2b)European Crisis Deepens
Walter Russell Mead

The bad news just keeps coming. Coming close on the recent revelation that economic growth is slowing faster than expected in France and Germany, British labor figures have disappointed forecasters and it seems that Greece is heading for yet another recession despite optimistic predictions to the contrary.

A familiar pattern is emerging here. European leaders attempt to paper over the problems afflicting their economies with unconvincing and half-baked measures and rosy forecasts about the future. Markets initially respond briskly when European leaders emerge from a huddle with a new “fix”; disillusionment sets in within a few days as the limits of the agreements become clear.

Over time, this approach loses credibility. New communiques are greeted with slacker and shorter rallies. Meanwhile, the underlying problems are getting worse, not improving.

The entirely predictable recession in Greece, for example, means that the Greeks are headed for yet another failure to meet the tough fiscal targets imposed by the EU. Greece’s problems are severe, but Greece is very small. Europe’s comprehensive failure after countless iterations to get Greece right suggests pretty strongly that it will be unable to manage bigger and more complicated problems in places like Italy, Belgium and Spain.

Breaking this cycle is going to require a more serious commitment to bold steps — perhaps like those proposed today by leading Euro Federalist Mark Leonard – towards overhauling a European system that is quite clearly broken. As Leonard notes, the only way out of the current crisis is both political and economic reform.

There are two problems, though, with this approach. One is political. While the concept of Eurobonds (in effect, having Germany co-sign all of the eurozone sovereign debt) offers the best and perhaps only hope of an economic fresh start, Angela Merkel simply cannot sell the idea of a “transfer union” in which Germans become responsible for the debts of the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain) unless Germans genuinely believe that the only alternative is a huge economic crash. In other words, she can’t take the steps necessary to prevent a crash until the European house is actually falling down around her ears. Similar problems exist in other countries, and one of the consequences of the long agony of the euro is that voters everywhere are becoming more populist and nationalistic in sentiment, and are less confident in and trusting of their elites.

The second problem is institutional. Europe cannot act quickly. France and Germany want every member of the eurozone to pass constitutional amendments mandating balanced budgets, for example. (On this point at least, Europe is turning into Tea Party Heaven.) That means that 17 different countries have to amend their constitutions. Given that every country has a different process for doing that, and that some (as in the US) are deliberately cumbersome and slow to discourage random constitutional tinkering, this cannot happen on the kind of predictable schedule that jittery markets demand.

Big changes at the European level have never happened fast, and the pace of change in Europe has slowed as the Union has enlarged. The last set of big changes were a nightmare, with referendums in France and the Netherlands killing a proposed constitution, and the watered down Treaty of Lisbon only barely making it to the finish line. Balanced budget amendments are as controversial in Europe as they are here, and the idea of turning over control of national finance to foreign control is not an easy sell. It’s hard to see how Europe’s current governmental processes could make the changes Leonard and others want in a timely fashion — even if national elites agreed, which they don’t yet, that these changes were necessary and good.

Europe is out of its depth in a raging river and without radical and almost unimaginable changes, it may not make it back to the shore. Americans cannot afford to be complacent or smug. Partly as a result of our own poor decisions and bad leadership (stretching back over many years and implicating both parties), partly because the world economy is so interconnected and Europe’s economy is so big and so open, we cannot prosper if Europe fails.
3)Obama: The Affirmative Action President
By Matt Patterson

Years from now, historians may regard the 2008 election of Barack Obama as an inscrutable and disturbing phenomenon, a baffling breed of mass hysteria akin perhaps to the witch craze of the Middle Ages. How, they will wonder, did a man so devoid of professional accomplishment beguile so many into thinking he could manage the world's largest economy, direct the world's most powerful military, execute the world's most consequential job?

Imagine a future historian examining Obama's pre-presidential life: ushered into and through the Ivy League despite unremarkable grades and test scores along the way; a cushy non-job as a "community organizer"; a brief career as a state legislator devoid of legislative achievement (and in fact nearly devoid of his attention, so often did he vote "present"); and finally an unaccomplished single term in United States Senate, the entirety of which was devoted to his presidential ambitions. He left no academic legacy in academia, authored no signature legislation as legislator.

And then there is the matter of his troubling associations: the white-hating, America-loathing preacher who for decades served as Obama's "spiritual mentor"; a real-life, actual terrorist who served as Obama's colleague and political sponsor. It is easy to imagine a future historian looking at it all and asking: how on Earth was such a man elected president?

Not content to wait for history, the incomparable Norman Podhoretz addressed the question recently in the Wall Street Journal:

To be sure, no white candidate who had close associations with an outspoken hater of America like Jeremiah Wright and an unrepentant terrorist like Bill Ayers would have lasted a single day. But because Mr. Obama was black, and therefore entitled in the eyes of liberaldom to have hung out with protesters against various American injustices, even if they were a bit extreme, he was given a pass.

Let that sink in: Obama was given a pass -- held to a lower standard -- because of the color of his skin. Podhoretz continues:

And in any case, what did such ancient history matter when he was also articulate and elegant and (as he himself had said) "non-threatening," all of which gave him a fighting chance to become the first black president and thereby to lay the curse of racism to rest?

Podhoretz puts his finger, I think, on the animating pulse of the Obama phenomenon --affirmative action. Not in the legal sense, of course. But certainly in the motivating sentiment behind all affirmative action laws and regulations, which are designed primarily to make white people, and especially white liberals, feel good about themselves.

Unfortunately, minorities often suffer so that whites can pat themselves on the back. Liberals routinely admit minorities to schools for which they are not qualified, yet take no responsibility for the inevitable poor performance and high drop-out rates which follow. Liberals don't care if these minority students fail; liberals aren't around to witness the emotional devastation and deflated self esteem resulting from the racist policy that is affirmative action. Yes, racist. Holding someone to a separate standard merely because of the color of his skin -- that's affirmative action in a nutshell, and if that isn't racism, then nothing is. And that is what America did to Obama.

True, Obama himself was never troubled by his lack of achievements, but why would he be? As many have noted, Obama was told he was good enough for Columbia despite undistinguished grades at Occidental; he was told he was good enough for the US Senate despite a mediocre record in Illinois; he was told he was good enough to be president despite no record at all in the Senate. All his life, every step of the way, Obama was told he was good enough for the next step, in spite of ample evidence to the contrary. What could this breed if not the sort of empty narcissism on display every time Obama speaks?

In 2008, many who agreed that he lacked executive qualifications nonetheless raved about Obama's oratory skills, intellect, and cool character. Those people -- conservatives included -- ought now to be deeply embarrassed. The man thinks and speaks in the hoariest of clichés, and that's when he has his teleprompter in front of him; when the prompter is absent he can barely think or speak at all. Not one original idea has ever issued from his mouth -- it's all warmed-over Marxism of the kind that has failed over and over again for 100 years.

And what about his character? Obama is constantly blaming anything and everything else for his troubles. Bush did it; it was bad luck; I inherited this mess. It is embarrassing to see a president so willing to advertise his own powerlessness, so comfortable with his own incompetence. But really, what were we to expect? The man has never been responsible for anything, so how do we expect him to act responsibly?

In short: our president is a small and small-minded man, with neither the temperament nor the intellect to handle his job. When you understand that, and only when you understand that, will the current erosion of liberty and prosperity make sense. It could not have gone otherwise with such a man in the Oval Office.

But hey, at least we got to feel good about ourselves for a little while. And really, isn't that all that matters these days?

See also: The Era of Confronting Obama at Public Events


Author's Note. A lot of readers have written in asking me how I came to the conclusion that Obama was an unremarkable student and that he benefited from affirmative action. Three reasons:

1) As reported by The New York Sun: "A spokesman for the university, Brian Connolly, confirmed that Mr. Obama spent two years at Columbia College and graduated in 1983 with a major in political science. He did not receive honors..." In spite of not receiving honors as an undergrad, Obama was nevertheless admitted to Harvard Law. Why?

2) Obama himself has written he was a poor student as a young man. As the Baltimore Sun reported, in:

"'Obama's book 'Dreams from My Father,'....the president recalled a time in his life...when he started to drift away from the path of success. 'I had learned not to care,' Obama wrote. '... Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it.' But his mother confronted him about his behavior. 'Don't you think you're being a little casual about your future?" she asked him, according to the book. '... One of your friends was just arrested for drug possession. Your grades are slipping. You haven't even started on your college applications.'"

3) Most damning to me is the president's unwillingness to make his transcripts public. If Obama had really been a stellar student with impeccable grades as an undergrad, is there any doubt they would have been made public by now and trumpeted on the front page of the New York Times as proof of his brilliance? To me it all adds up to affirmative action.
4) America's Dog Days The deeper some people get into politics, the more antipolitical it makes them.

After the words Dow 11,000 came to feel more like days spent inside a Nascar stock car than the U.S. stock market, an exhausted Washington settled on one big question: Should President Obama join his family's vacation on Martha's Vineyard? One Beltway pundit said the Vineyard was "the last place on earth" Obama should be.

My vote was for the vacation.

Hanging out with Team Obama doesn't look like what this president needs right now. Whatever advice the world's smartest advisers have been giving him has just outputted a 39% Gallup approval rating.

What Barack Obama mainly needs is for the economy to start growing above a 2% rate and for the unemployment rate to fall toward 8%. His advisers on the economy told him that if he spent nearly $1 trillion in stimulus, these things would start to happen. They haven't.

Amid this gloom, Standard & Poor's decided that the dog days of summer would be an appropriate time to burst the 45-year federal-spending bubble.

Burst bubbles put people in a nasty mood. But Uncle Sam can't be sued for debt malfeasance, so with the nation downgraded below France, we simmer through a bad summer. The political shock of the moment is that many in Mr. Obama's own political base—their famously bilious invective once reserved for George W. Bush—have suddenly rerouted their anger to the Obama Oval Office.

Dripping sarcasm about his personality and even regret for having voted for Mr. Obama, they accuse him of wimping out on the debt-ceiling negotiation, of being unable or unwilling to trash and torch his opposition—what one called "the villains who cause our epic problems."

One wonders what Mr. Obama makes of his ex-pundit pals in private. Barack Obama in his first term, amid a financial crisis, enacted ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank, two of the largest pieces of regulatory legislation in our lifetime.

ObamaCare, unless repealed or overturned (neither a certainty), created a path to nationalized health care. His supporters called it "the completion of a 74-year dream." In a similarly historic settling of accounts, Dodd-Frank hammered what Franklin Roosevelt in a previous economic downturn called "the Ishmael and the Insull, whose hand is against every man's."

Historic fulfillment is what he did for them yesterday. Today he's a wimp.

It is one of the ironies of our time. Electronic media have allowed people to immerse themselves more deeply than ever before in the details of Washington's daily politics. Yet this same closeness to the realities of politics somehow makes many more antipolitical than ever. They'd rather rage at how someone else is always selling them out than do the pedestrian work of assembling the unavoidable coalitions that make political victories possible.

The deeper some people get into politics, the more antipolitical it makes them.
.Podcast: Listen to the audio of Wonder Land here. .This was essentially Sen. Rick Santorum's pointed critique of Michele Bachmann at the Iowa debate last week. "You can't stand and say, 'You give me everything I want or I'll vote no,'" he said. "You need people who are good at leadership, not showmanship."

But on the evidence of the Iowa straw poll, with the hopelessly quixotic Ron Paul a strong second to Mrs. Bachmann, that's not what many people today appear to need, or want.

The right's internal war over the debt ceiling was well publicized. But now bubbling to the surface of the fever swamps is the left's ire at its once-perfect president for cutting a deal with Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, whose party controls the House of Representatives.

Here, however, is the crude political reality for the progressive base. After the Obama administration spent nearly two years using a dream-team liberal majority in Congress to achieve progressive goals, the Republicans in November 2010 pocketed one of the most breathtaking off-year election wins in the past century.

They won the House of Representatives; governorships in the key swing states of Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan; and Southern state legislatures they hadn't held since the Civil War. Independent voters, who now make up about a third of any presidential vote, went overwhelmingly for GOP candidates.

This antipolitical insistence is the mirror image of those on the right who wanted a forced vote to shut down the government, no matter that they controlled neither the presidency nor the Senate.

In the ever-escalating political psychodramas of our time, people are more convinced than ever of the correctness of their politics, and they want all of it put in place, now. But one of the enduring virtues of America's system of democracy is that when the day comes to choose a president and a Congress, these same people have to decide whether to vote only their beliefs or vote for getting political power. Most still choose the latter. But that could be changing, most likely to the detriment of GOP hopes.

Come November 2012, you can bet the ranch that the furious left will vote for Barack Obama. And the Obama campaign has to hope that the Republicans will keep voting as they did in Iowa and produce a nominee that pretty much no one wants to vote for.

4a)General Electric

General Electric is planning to move its 115-year-old X-ray division from Waukesha, Wis., to Beijing. In addition to moving the headquarters, the company will invest $2 billion in China and train more than 65 engineers and create six research centers. This is the same GE that made $5.1 billion in the United States last year, but paid no taxes, and is the same company that employs more people overseas than it does in the united States.

President Obama appointed GE Chairman Jeff Immelt to head his commission on job creation (job czar). Immelt is supposed to help create jobs.

I guess the President forgot to tell him in which country he was supposed to be creating those jobs.

4b)Hard Work and the Real Meaning of Wealth
By Victor Davis Hanson

A once civil and orderly England was torn apart by rioting and looting last week — at first by mostly minority youths, but eventually by young Brits in general. This summer, a number of American cities have witnessed so-called “flash mobs” — mostly African-American youths who swarm at prearranged times to loot stores or randomly attack those of other races and classes. The mayhem has reignited an old debate in the West: Are such criminally minded young Americans and Britons turning to violence in protest over inequality, poverty, and bleak opportunities?

The Left often blames cutbacks in the tottering welfare state and high unemployment. In this view, the havoc and mayhem visited upon us are a wake-up call in an age of insolvency: Do not cut entitlements or we will reap the whirlwind. Instead, tax the affluent and redistribute more of their earnings to those who have been unfairly deprived.

The Right counters that the problem is not too few state subsidies, but far too many. The growing — and now unsustainable — dole of the last half-century has eroded self-reliance and personal initiative. The logical result is a dependent underclass that spans generations and becomes ever unhappier and more unsatisfied the more it is given from others. The rioters were not fighting for survival. Today’s looters have plenty to eat. That is why they target sneaker and electronics stores — to enjoy the perks of life they either cannot or will not work for.

We might at least agree on a few facts behind the violence. First, much of the furor is because poverty is now seen as a relative, not an absolute, condition. Per capita GDP is $47,000 in the U.S. and $35,000 in Britain. In contrast, those rioting in impoverished Syria (where per capita GDP is about $5,000) or Egypt (about $6,000) worry about going to bed hungry or being shot for expressing their views — not about wanting a new BlackBerry or a pair of Nikes. Inequality, not Tiny Tim–like poverty, is the new Western looter’s complaint.

So when President Obama lectures us about fat cats with corporate jets, he doesn’t mean that wealthy people’s greed prevents the lower classes from flying on affordable commercial jets — only that a chosen few in luxury aircraft, like himself, reach their destinations a little more quickly and easily. The lament today is not having what someone richer has — instead of lacking elemental shelter, food, or electricity. The problem is not that the bath water in Philadelphia is not as hot as in Martha’s Vineyard, but that the conditions under which it is delivered are, in comparison, far more basic and ordinary.

Second, the wealthy have not set an example of hard work and self-discipline leading to well-deserved success and the good life. Recently, a drunken, affluent young prospect for the U.S. ski team urinated on a sleeping eleven-year-old during a transcontinental flight. And the more the psychodramas of drones like Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton, or some members of the British royal family, become headline news, the more we see boredom and corruption among the pampered elite. The behavior of John Edwards, Eliot Spitzer, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, or Arnold Schwarzenegger does not teach us that good habits on the part of elite public figures follow from well-deserved riches and acclaim — but rather that with today’s wealth and power often comes license and decadence.

Third, Communism may be dead, but Marxist-inspired materialism still measures the good life only by equal access to “things.” We can argue whether those who loot a computer store are spoiled or oppressed. But even a person in faded jeans and a worn T-shirt can find all sorts of spiritual enrichment at no cost in either a museum or a good book. Have we forgotten that in our affluent postmodern society, being poor is often an impoverishment of the mind, and not necessarily the result of a cruel physical world?

Finally, there is far too much emphasis on government as the doting, problem-solving parent. What made Western civilization rich and liberal was not just free-market capitalism and well-founded constitutional government, but the role of family, community, and church in reminding the emancipated individual in an affluent society that he should not always do what he is legally permitted to. Destroy these bridles, ridicule the old shame culture of the past, and we end up with unchecked appetites — as we are now witnessing from smoldering London to the flash mobs of Wisconsin.

Our high-tech angry youths are deprived not just because their elders put at risk their future subsidies, but also because they were not taught what real wealth is — and where and how it is obtained and should be used.

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and author, most recently, of "A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War."
5)Fatah: Israeli Aggression on Gaza Aims to Drag the Region into a Blast Dat

Fatah movement Thursday said that Israeli aggression on the Palestinian civilians in Gaza is a definitive evidence of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s goal to lead the area into a wide explosion to escape Israel’s internal crisis.

It considered the Israeli attacks on Rafa, south of the Gaza Strip, which
caused the death of six Palestinians, as an episode of the assassination
series against Palestinian civilians.

Osama al-Qawasmi, spokesperson for Fatah, said that the Israeli aggression
against the Palestinians in Gaza shows how the occupation forces have no
respect of the Palestinian life and dignity or to the international law, in
a press release issued by the Office of Information and Culture.

He stressed that targeting residential and safe areas is a terrorist act,
calling on the world to interfere immediately to protect the Palestinians in
the Gaza Strip, who are now the target of the military occupation’s revenge.

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