Barack Obama Is A Lame-Duck President Who Will Not Be Reelected

3 12 2010

By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

Like former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Lyndon Johnson before him, in 1980 and 1968 respectively, Barack Obama will not be reelected in 2012.[2] The twin pincers of a domestic economy in the throes of the “Great Depression II”[3]—which economic historians will describe as such, or by using similar terms 20-40 years from now—and his failed Vietnam-like Afghan war[4] will seal his political fate.  Other factors will contribute mightily too, such as the perception that he is “out of touch” just as Jimmy Carter was; and that Obama is a silver-tongued, narcissistic “foreign born” demagogue who is un-American.[5] Perceptions often become reality, certainly in politics.

We are witnessing the end of Obama as a politician now.  The zenith of his presidency occurred with the enactment of ObamaCare, just as Hillary Clinton’s health care efforts marked the “high water mark” of her influence during Bill Clinton’s presidency.  Obama’s nadir is yet to come, but the 2010 mid-term election debacle represented an important milestone on the slippery downward slope of his presidency.  The domestic economy will get far worse; his Afghan war is a morass that seems unwinnable and inescapable; and national security issues loom—such as North Korea and Iran—which may prove “hazardous” at best.

Barack Obama is a failed politician whose “magic” has come and gone.  He is not merely a bad president. He may have the distinction of going down in history as one of the worst presidents that America has ever had, or perhaps the worst depending on what happens during the remainder of his term in office.  That he is presiding over a failed presidency is not in dispute. The only question becomes: how bad will things get for the American nation, its people and for him, before he leaves public office?[6] It is fair to surmise that we have only seen the tip of an enormous political, economic, social and national security “iceberg”—or nightmare—reminiscent of the one that the RMS Titanic struck in 1912.

It is not beyond the pale to believe that scandals will engulf Barack Obama’s presidency as more and more is learned about who he is and how he has governed, and what he and others in his administration have done during the time they have been entrusted with the presidency.[7] Barack Obama is no Bill Clinton: a “cat” with seemingly nine lives politically. He is a “mix” between Carter who was perceived as cerebral and out of touch, and Johnson who was viciously maligned and prevented from running for reelection.

When I was a young Army officer stationed at the Pentagon, before working on Capitol Hill, I remember bumper stickers on cars in the District of Columbia that asked: “Where is Lee Harvey Oswald now that we really need him?”—a reference to John F. Kennedy’s killer.  Johnson was hated, and such implied threats were real.  There are rising negative sentiments about Obama today, involving large numbers of Americans who are not racially prejudiced or merely disillusioned.  Indeed, two Democratic pollsters and advisers to Presidents Clinton and Carter respectively, Douglas E. Schoen and Patrick H. Caddell, wrote an important op-ed piece in the Washington Post recently, which stated:

[W]e believe Obama should announce immediately that he will not be a candidate for reelection in 2012.

. . .

[T]he president has largely lost the consent of the governed.  The [2010] midterm elections were effectively a referendum on the Obama presidency.[8]

However, his raving and overarching narcissism will likely drive his decision making to put his own perceived best interests ahead of the good of the country and his political party; and he will probably fight on to the bitter end.  More and more Americans are concluding that he does not deserve a second term in the White House.[9] Political pundit and former adviser to Bill Clinton, Dick Morris, argues that he will be challenged by both those on his left and right politically.[10]

Barack Obama is an unsuccessful “community organizer” from Chicago—and before that, Hawaii and Indonesia—who became a black man when it suited him, despite the ethnicity of his mother and her parents who nurtured him like no one else in his life.  The best of him, he has readily admitted, is what the three of them gave him; and clearly he cherishes their memories.[11] Yet, it is not such personal qualities that will determine his political fate.  Jimmy Carter was perceived as likable too.

With respect to the economy, we are in the midst of the “Great Depression II,” and there is nothing he can do about that fact.  The economic tsunami that former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan unleashed has been rolling worldwide, with no end in sight. At most, government policies can affect it at the margins—because it will run its course, essentially oblivious to government intervention. Where and when it stops, no one knows; however, Obama’s actions to date have only made it worse.[12] His so-called “stimulus package” has done little or nothing to help the economy; and his reform of the financial markets is akin to shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic[13].

His signature legislation, ObamaCare, was opposed by a majority of the American people, but that did not stop Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from arrogantly shoving it down their throats, as if to say that the two of them knew what was best for their wards.  ObamaCare is likely to be a tragedy for Americans who need health care the most, such as senior citizens; and according to a Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey, 58 percent of American voters favor its repeal, while 37 percent are opposed.[14]

His policies with respect to Russia’s “dictator-for-life” Vladimir Putin are a travesty to say the least, which simply reflect his almost-total naïveté that is stunning—America’s “Hamlet” on the Potomac.  His negotiation and endorsement of the New START Treaty is a perfect example.[15] Also, he stood by helplessly while those Iranians who advocated freedom were tortured or killed.  His positive contributions with respect to peace between the Israelis and Palestinians are essentially nonexistent, at a critical juncture in the history of the Middle East.[16] And the list goes on and on.

Writing for Germany’s Der Spiegel, Klaus Brinkbäumer stated bluntly:

[N]obody in the US understands [the Afghan] war any more.  The conflict long ago ceased to be Bush’s war, and is now Obama’s.  Worse still, it will inevitably end with an inglorious withdrawal.  Why, then, should the US send in yet more troops?  Why spend $100 billion a year waging war when train stations and schools back home are falling to pieces, and the money would be better spent on other American projects and research?  Congress refuses to approve extra spending on renewing America: The money has already been spent.

. . .

The problem is simply that Obama is smaller than the promise he made, and tiny in comparison to the hopes an entire nation placed on him in 2008. There’s one thing that Barack Obama failed to do. That was his real failure, the big mistake he made, back when everything seemed possible.

. . .

[H]e didn’t even try.[17]

The fact is that Barack Obama is a professional politician and nothing more.  And Americans have come to loathe such creatures, not love them.  So “out of touch” is he that when the BP oil spill was polluting the Gulf of Mexico, Michelle Obama and their youngest daughter flew to Spain—and she was described as America’s “Marie Antoinette.”  More importantly, Obama is not fit to serve or govern, and he never has been.  He is a demagogue and a liar[18], and an embarassment to this great nation and its people.  He is incompetent[19]; and yes, he is evil.[20] Before his presidency ends, he is apt to do even more irreparable damage to our national security, our economy, and with respect to a whole host of critical areas.

He should be relieved of command, and end his political career with dignity like his former military commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley A. McChrystal.  This is what Democrat pollsters Schoen and Caddell have urged Obama to do.  The good General McChrystal, who was forced by Obama to resign his command, might be the first public official (or former-public official) to call for Obama’s resignation.[21] He knows, better than most people, about Obama’s ineptitude and recklessness with the lives of U.S. military personnel and America’s honor—which are at stake and on the line each and every day in Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world.

The fact that Obama named General David Petraeus to replace McChrystal as commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, and that Petraeus was willing to accept the job and step down from his position as Commander of the U.S. Central Command—which oversees American military efforts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Central Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, and parts of Africa—speaks volumes about the character, talent, loyalty and integrity of Petraeus.  However, it does not change the verdict with respect to Obama and his failed presidency.

There is nothing positive about his administration or what he has done to date, nothing.  Despite projecting an upbeat, positive, personable image on the campaign trail, which enthused millions of voters and gave them hope, at best he has proved to be an “empty suit.”  If Americans read his book, “Dreams from My Father,” they will realize that his radical beliefs are in tune with Indonesia where he lived—or perhaps some other foreign country—but not with the United States.[22] The “change” he espoused has not been consistent with the beliefs and goals of mainstream American voters.

The critical words that General McChrystal and his staff spoke in a Rolling Stone interview[23] were true and needed to be said—even though lots of Americans might have preferred not to hear about the acrimony and dissension between our military and the Obama Administration.[24] We have a president who is a far-Left neophyte and wrong for America; and he is presiding over a presidency that almost surely will get dramatically worse with the passage of time.  And we have a lovable but utter buffoon for vice president, who is a pathological liar and the laughingstock of the world, and who makes former Vice President Spiro Agnew look brilliant by comparison.[25]

With respect to Afghanistan, at the same time that Obama announced the deployment of an additional 30,000 American troops, he said the U.S. would begin pulling out by July of 2011—just before his anticipated reelection campaign begins in earnest[26], and only one year after our forces will have been deployed fully.  If implemented, it would be tantamount to conceding the country to our enemies sometime in 2011; and it would result in the shedding of American blood and that of our allies for nothing, like Vietnam.

While Obama may be in the process of jettisoning that unrealistic timeline, his thought processes are not surprising because he is an anti-war politician who never served in the U.S. military, and he knows nothing about running a war.  His goals—which never refer to the possibility of “victory” in Afghanistan—are designed to appease his political soul mates and constituency, America’s anti-war far-Left.  He is focused on an “exit strategy” instead of winning.  He has not been successful at running anything, ever[27]; and it is unlikely that Afghanistan will be an exception.  Since when does a failed, anti-war, far-Left “community organizer” from Chicago, who was raised in Hawaii and Indonesia, know how to run a war, much less successfully?

Independents and Republicans helped elect Obama and Democrat candidates in 2008; and they  joined with “disenchanted” Democrats and members of the Tea Party movement in November of 2010 to produce an opposite result.  The combination of Afghanistan—which is apt to be Obama’s Vietnam—and growing economic problems may doom his presidency, just as similar issues converged to deny Lyndon Johnson’s reelection in 1968.  Like John F. Kennedy before him, who inspired so many people and caused legions to enter politics, Obama has feet of clay and is dashing Americans’ dreams and political fantasies.[28]

In the final analysis, it is increasingly clear that Obama is a fad and a feckless naïf, and a tragic Shakespearean figure who will be forgotten and consigned to the dustheap of history—unless he tragically alters the course of American history.  His naïveté is matched by his overarching narcissism; and he is more starry-eyed and “dangerous” than Jimmy Carter.  Indeed, it is likely that his presidency will be considered a sad and tragic watershed in history; and the American people are recognizing this more and more with each day that passes.[29] Hopefully he chooses to end his political career with dignity by not running for reelection in 2012, instead of continuing to drag this great nation down with him.[30]

© 2010, Timothy D. Naegele


[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass).  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, which specializes in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and http://www.naegele.com/naegele_resume.html).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g.www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2] See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama [Please note: the postings beneath this article are important as well]; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/11/12/sarah-and-todd-palin-the-big-winners and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/the-speech—is-barack-obama-smoking-pot-again/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/01/barack-obama-america’s-second-emperor/

[3] See, e.g., http://www.americanbanker.com/issues/173_212/-365185-1.html and http://www.realclearpolitics.com/news/tms/politics/2009/Apr/08/euphoria_or_the_obama_depression_.html and http://www.philstockworld.com/2009/10/11/greenspan’s-legacy-more-suffering-to-come/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/16/the-great-depression-ii/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/04/23/is-financial-reform-simply-washingtons-latest-boondoggle/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/will-the-eus-collapse-push-the-world-deeper-into-the-great-depression-ii/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally

[4] See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/09/are-afghanistan-iraq-and-pakistan-hopeless-and-is-the-spread-of-radical-islam-inevitable-and-is-barack-obama-finished-as-americas-president/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/obama-in-afghanistan-doomed-from-the-start/

[5] See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

[6] See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/

[7] In his book, “Dreams from My Father,” Obama wrote:

Junkie.  Pothead.  That’s where I’d been headed: the final, fatal role of the young would-be black man.

See Obama, “Dreams from My Father” (paperback “Revised Edition,” published by Three Rivers Press, 2004), p. 93; see also pp. 120, 270; http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/.

Regardless of whether he has taken illegal drugs or not since his college years, he is occupying our White House; and sooner or later, stories will trickle out about the time he has spent there.

[8] See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/12/AR2010111202846.html; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama/#comment-974

[9] See http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x1295.xml?ReleaseID=1538; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama/#comment-999

[10] See http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/obama-may-face-left-wing-primary/; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama/#comment-968 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/11/12/sarah-and-todd-palin-the-big-winners/ (“[I]t is not beyond the pale to believe that two women might face off for the American presidency in 2012, Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton, which would be historic!”)

[11] See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ and Obama, “Dreams from My Father” (paperback “Revised Edition,” published by Three Rivers Press, 2004).

[12] Paul Krugman has written a New York Times’ article entitled, “The Third Depression,” which states:

Recessions are common; depressions are rare. As far as I can tell, there were only two eras in economic history that were widely described as “depressions” at the time: the years of deflation and instability that followed the Panic of 1873 and the years of mass unemployment that followed the financial crisis of 1929-31.

. . .

We are now, I fear, in the early stages of a third depression. It will probably look more like the Long Depression than the much more severe Great Depression. But the cost—to the world economy and, above all, to the millions of lives blighted by the absence of jobs—will nonetheless be immense.

. . .

[T]he recession brought on by the financial crisis arguably ended last summer.

But future historians will tell us that this wasn’t the end of the third depression, just as the business upturn that began in 1933 wasn’t the end of the Great Depression.  . . .  [B]oth the United States and Europe are well on their way toward Japan-style deflationary traps.

See http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/28/opinion/28krugman.html

This conclusion is consistent with the thesis of articles that I have written and interview responses that I have given; namely, we are in the midst of the “Great Depression II”—certainly in terms of the 20th and 21st Centuries—which will continue to unfold during at least the balance of this decade.  See infra n.3.

Krugman added:

As far as rhetoric is concerned, the revival of the old-time religion is most evident in Europe, where officials seem to be getting their talking points from the collected speeches of Herbert Hoover, up to and including the claim that raising taxes and cutting spending will actually expand the economy, by improving business confidence. As a practical matter, however, America isn’t doing much better. The Fed seems aware of the deflationary risks—but what it proposes to do about these risks is, well, nothing. The Obama administration understands the dangers of premature fiscal austerity—but because Republicans and conservative Democrats in Congress won’t authorize additional aid to state governments, that austerity is coming anyway, in the form of budget cuts at the state and local levels.

Why the wrong turn in policy? The hard-liners often invoke the troubles facing Greece and other nations around the edges of Europe to justify their actions. And it’s true that bond investors have turned on governments with intractable deficits. But there is no evidence that short-run fiscal austerity in the face of a depressed economy reassures investors. On the contrary: Greece has agreed to harsh austerity, only to find its risk spreads growing ever wider; Ireland has imposed savage cuts in public spending, only to be treated by the markets as a worse risk than Spain, which has been far more reluctant to take the hard-liners’ medicine.

It’s almost as if the financial markets understand what policy makers seemingly don’t: that while long-term fiscal responsibility is important, slashing spending in the midst of a depression, which deepens that depression and paves the way for deflation, is actually self-defeating.

So I don’t think this is really about Greece, or indeed about any realistic appreciation of the tradeoffs between deficits and jobs. It is, instead, the victory of an orthodoxy that has little to do with rational analysis, whose main tenet is that imposing suffering on other people is how you show leadership in tough times.

And who will pay the price for this triumph of orthodoxy?  The answer is, tens of millions of unemployed workers, many of whom will go jobless for years, and some of whom will never work again.

Amen.  Where I differ with Krugman is that his solution is more Keynesian governmental spending, with the goal of spending our way to prosperity.  As stated in articles that I have written and interview responses that I have given, the economic tsunami that Alan Greenspan unleashed has been rolling worldwide, with no end in sight.  At most, government policies can affect it at the margins—because it will run its course, essentially oblivious to government intervention.  Where and when it stops, no one knows.  Originally I predicted the 2017-2019 time frame, but it may take longer than that because of misguided and wasteful government “tinkering.”

In an editorial entitled, “The Keynesian Dead End,” the Wall Street Journal concluded that spending our way to prosperity is going out of style—and the editorial essentially rebuts the solution that Krugman recommended:

For going on three years, the developed world’s economic policy has been dominated by the revival of the old idea that vast amounts of public spending could prevent deflation, cure a recession, and ignite a new era of government-led prosperity. It hasn’t turned out that way.

. . .

The response at the White House and among Congressional leaders has been . . . Stimulus III. While talking about the need for “fiscal discipline” some time in the future, President Obama wants more spending today to again boost “demand.” Thirty months after [Obama economic adviser Larry] Summers won his first victory, we are back at the same policy stand.

The difference this time is that the Keynesian political consensus is cracking up. In Europe, the bond vigilantes have pulled the credit cards of Greece, Portugal and Spain, with Britain and Italy in their sights. Policy makers are now making a 180-degree turn from their own stimulus blowouts to cut spending and raise taxes. The austerity budget offered this month by the new British government is typical of Europe’s new consensus.

To put it another way, Germany’s Angela Merkel has won the bet she made in early 2009 by keeping her country’s stimulus far more modest. We suspect Mr. Obama will find a political stonewall this weekend in Toronto when he pleads with his fellow leaders to join him again for a spending spree.

Meanwhile, in Congress, even many Democrats are revolting against Stimulus III. The original White House package of jobless benefits and aid to the states had to be watered down several times, and the latest version failed again in the Senate late this week.  . . .  Mr. Obama is having his credit card pulled too—not by the bond markets, but by a voting public that sees the troubles in Europe and is telling pollsters that it doesn’t want a Grecian bath.

The Journal adds:

The larger lesson here is about policy. The original sin—and it was nearly global—was to revive the Keynesian economic model that had last cracked up in the 1970s, while forgetting the lessons of the long prosperity from 1982 through 2007. The Reagan and Clinton-Gingrich booms were fostered by a policy environment for most of that era of lower taxes, spending restraint and sound money. The spending restraint began to end in the late 1990s, sound money vanished earlier this decade, and now Democrats are promising a series of enormous tax increases.

Notice that we aren’t saying that spending restraint alone is a miracle economic cure. The spending cuts now in fashion in Europe are essential, but cuts by themselves won’t balance annual deficits reaching 10% of GDP. That requires new revenues from faster growth, and there’s a danger that the tax increases now sweeping Europe will dampen growth further.

President Obama’s tragic mistake was to blow out the U.S. federal balance sheet on spending that has produced little bang for the buck. . . .

With the economy in recession in 2008 and 2009, we argued that some stimulus was justified and an increase in the deficit was understandable and inevitable. However, we also argued that permanent tax cuts aimed at marginal individual and corporate tax rates would have done far more to revive animal spirits, and in our view would have led to a far more robust recovery. . . .

What the world has now reached instead is a Keynesian dead end. We are told to let Congress continue to spend and borrow until the precise moment when Summers and Mark Zandi and the other architects of our current policy say it is time to raise taxes to reduce the huge deficits and debt that their spending has produced. Meanwhile, individuals and businesses are supposed to be unaffected by the prospect of future tax increases, higher interest rates, and more government control over nearly every area of the economy. Even the CEOs of the Business Roundtable now see the damage this is doing.

A better economic policy will have to await a new Congress, which we hope at a minimum can prevent punishing tax increases. But for now the good news is that voters and markets are telling politicians to stop doing what hasn’t worked.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703615104575328981319857618.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read

Thus, economic “thinkers” continue to flail around, while the Great Depression II takes its toll in terms of horrendous human suffering worldwide, with no end in sight.

[13] See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/04/23/is-financial-reform-simply-washingtons-latest-boondoggle/

[14] See http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/healthcare/health_care_law

[15] See, e.g.http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1014

[16] See, e.g.http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/ [Please note: the postings beneath this article are important as well]

[17] See http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,723814,00.html

[18] In his announcement with respect to McChrystal, Obama stated:

I don’t make this decision based on any difference in policy with Gen. McChrystal, as we are in full agreement about our strategy. Nor do I make this decision out of any sense of personal insult.

See http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2010/06/23/obama-on-mcchrystal-nothing-personal/

It has been said before, and it bears repeating, that if one wishes to watch Barack Obama lie, all one needs to do is watch his lips move.

[19] See, e.g., http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/2010/07/28/leaked-report-hurts-obama/#more-1230 (“Having already lost all Republicans and almost all independents, Obama is shedding Democrats these days.  . . .  [W]hile liberals have increasing reason to question Obama’s performance on their litmus-test issues, they also have increasing cause to wonder at his competence”).

[20] He is not evil in the sense of being the “antichrist,” as some would suggest, but evil in the sense of leading the United States in the wrong direction and having lied to the American people in the process of doing so.  As stated previously:

It has been said: “Jimmy Carter may be heading to #2 on the [list of] all-time worst presidents in American history, thanks to ‘O.’” This is an understatement.  When history is written, Barack Obama may be hated more than George W. Bush has been by the Democrats, more than Bill and Hillary Clinton have been hated by the Republicans, more than Nixon was hated by the Democrats, and even more than Johnson was hated by a broad swath of the American electorate . . . and the list goes on and on.  Obama may emerge as the most hated president in history.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama

[21] With McChrystal’s military career at an end, there will be nothing to prevent him from lashing out at Obama and telling the truth (e.g., in memoirs released shortly before the 2012 presidential elections, which tell the unvarnished truth about Obama’s handling of the war in Afghanistan and sear Obama in explicit terms):

Obama seemed to suggest that McChrystal’s military career is over, saying the nation should be grateful “for his remarkable career in uniform” as if that has drawn to a close.

McChrystal left the White House after the meeting and returned to his military quarters at Washington’s Fort McNair.

See http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37866754/ns/us_news-military/

Former adviser to President Bill Clinton and political pundit Dick Morris adds:

Relieving the general of command sends a message that Obama is thin-skinned, arrogant, and easily offended.

Coming at the same time that the failure of the Obama Administration to clean up the oil spill in the Gulf is already rankling liberal voters, the McChrystal comments will add to their doubts about Obama. They already are against his decision to send additional troops there and have long believed that we should not be fighting in Afghanistan. By calling attention to how badly the war is going and the disarray in the president’s foreign policy apparatus, the McChrystal interview can only highlight and underscore these concerns and further dampen liberal enthusiasm for Obama.

Neither the oil spill nor the Afghan War will drive any liberals to vote for conservatives or induce Democrats to vote Republican. But they both will hold down Democratic turnout and reinforce cynicism about the Obama presidency on the left. Those initially attracted by Obama’s charisma will be driven away by these twin failures.

The Democratic Party is really a synthesis of environmentalists and peace advocates with a few gay rights activists and public employee unions thrown in. Now, Obama has alienated both the green and the anti-war segments of the party. And the continuing spillage from the Gulf oil well and from the General’s mouth will further damage his standing with his political base.

Whatever the fate of General McChrystal or of the American involvement in the war, the mounting casualty lists will drag down Obama’s prospects in November still further and depress his ratings in the days ahead.

See http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/2010/06/23/mcchrystals-attack-hurts-obamas-left-wing-base/#more-1096

[22] See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

While some of his far-Left “true believers” may have read the book and agreed with his core beliefs, the majority of Americans did not; and they had no idea how much his future policies would differ from what they perceived as the mainstream views that he was espousing on the campaign trail.

[23] For example, the author Michael Hastings writes:

The general’s staff is a handpicked collection of killers, spies, geniuses, patriots, political operators and outright maniacs . . . , and they pride themselves on their can-do attitude and their disdain for authority.

. . .

[McChrystal] also set a manic pace for his staff, becoming legendary for sleeping four hours a night, running seven miles each morning, and eating one meal a day. (In the month I spend around the general, I witness him eating only once.) It’s a kind of superhuman narrative that has built up around him, a staple in almost every media profile, as if the ability to go without sleep and food translates into the possibility of a man single-handedly winning the war.

See “The Runaway General” by Michael Hastings, Rolling Stone (June 22, 2010), http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/119236#

Barack Obama is quoted by the national media as having said that the article showed “poor judgment,” and that he wanted to talk with McChrystal before making any decision about whether he should remain the U.S. commander in Afghanistan.

See, e.g., http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0610/38837.html and http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704853404575322354071542896.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsTop

While it was surprising that McChrystal gave the Rolling Stone any access, much less seemingly unfettered access to his innermost thoughts and beliefs—especially given the Rolling Stone‘s reputation—the fact is that he did, and he and his staff spoke their minds, and their words are now part of American history.

The article adds:

After arriving in Afghanistan last June, [McChrystal] conducted his own policy review, ordered up by Defense Secretary Robert Gates. The now-infamous report was leaked to the press, and its conclusion was dire: If we didn’t send another 40,000 troops—swelling the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan by nearly half—we were in danger of “mission failure.” The White House was furious. McChrystal, they felt, was trying to bully Obama, opening him up to charges of being weak on national security unless he did what the general wanted. It was Obama versus the Pentagon, and the Pentagon was determined to kick the president’s ass.

. . .

Obama has quietly begun to back away from the deadline he set for withdrawing U.S. troops in July of next year. The president finds himself stuck in something even more insane than a quagmire: a quagmire he knowingly walked into, even though it’s precisely the kind of gigantic, mind-numbing, multigenerational nation-building project he explicitly said he didn’t want.

It is reminiscent of “Brer Rabbit And The Tar Baby,” and Afghanistan is becoming Obama’s “tar pit.”

See, e.g.http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Uncle_Remus%3A_His_Songs_and_His_Sayings/The_Wonderful_Tar-Baby_Story

The article continues:

In private, Team McChrystal likes to talk shit about many of Obama’s top people on the diplomatic side. One aide calls Jim Jones, a retired four-star general and veteran of the Cold War, a “clown” who remains “stuck in 1985.” Politicians like McCain and Kerry, says another aide, “turn up, have a meeting with Karzai, criticize him at the airport press conference, then get back for the Sunday talk shows. Frankly, it’s not very helpful.” Only Hillary Clinton receives good reviews from McChrystal’s inner circle. “Hillary had Stan’s back during the strategic review,” says an adviser. “She said, ‘If Stan wants it, give him what he needs.'”

. . .

 

At one point on his trip to Paris, McChrystal checks his BlackBerry. “Oh, not another e-mail from [Special Representative to Afghanistan Richard] Holbrooke,” he groans. “I don’t even want to open it.” He clicks on the message and reads the salutation out loud, then stuffs the BlackBerry back in his pocket, not bothering to conceal his annoyance.

“Make sure you don’t get any of that on your leg,” an aide jokes, referring to the e-mail.

. . .

When it comes to Afghanistan, history is not on McChrystal’s side. The only foreign invader to have any success here was Genghis Khan—and he wasn’t hampered by things like human rights, economic development and press scrutiny.

. . .

The very people that [McChrystal's military strategy known as counterinsurgency, or] COIN seeks to win over—the Afghan people—do not want us there.  . . .  There is a reason that President Obama studiously avoids using the word “victory” when he talks about Afghanistan. Winning, it would seem, is not really possible. Not even with Stanley McChrystal in charge.

The media and politicians like Barack Obama said the same thing about George W. Bush’s—and David Petraeus’—”surge” in Iraq, and they were mistaken.

[24] The highly-respected Rasmussen polling organization found in results that were released on June 25, 2010:

Forty-seven percent (47%) of U.S. voters agree that it was appropriate for President Obama to fire America’s top commander in Afghanistan this week, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

Thirty-six percent (36%) disagree and say the president should not have removed General Stanley McChrystal from his command. Another 17% are not sure.

Just 32%, however, believe it was appropriate for McChrystal to criticize the president and other top U.S. officials in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine. Fifty percent (50%) feel the general’s public comments were not appropriate. Nearly one-out-of-five voters (18%) are undecided.

Publication of that interview prompted the president to call McChrystal back to Washington and, during a private White House meeting, to accept his resignation. Obama then announced that General David Petraeus, who commanded U.S. troops in Iraq in 2007 and 2008, will take his place.

Forty-seven percent (47%) view the naming of Petraeus as the new top commander in Afghanistan as good for the U.S. war effort there. Only nine percent (9%) say it’s a bad move, while 30% think it will have no impact. Fourteen percent (14%) aren’t sure.

Voter confidence in the course of the war in Afghanistan has been falling in recent weeks. Just 41% of voters now believe it is possible for the United States to win the nearly nine-year-old war in Afghanistan. Thirty-six percent (36%) disagree and say it is not possible for America to win the war. Another 23% are not sure.

See http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/june_2010/47_support_obama_s_decision_to_fire_mcchrystal_36_oppose

[25] In an editorial entitled, “The Petraeus Hail Mary,” the Wall Street Journal pointed out the divisive effect that Biden has had with respect to American policies and their implementation in Afghanistan.  Biden has been a “loose canon,” who was fully capable of fabricating facts if not engaging in outright lies.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704629804575325073086949444.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop (“Mr. Obama said yesterday that no one individual is indispensable in war, but if any single person is, it is a President. Mr. Obama too often gives the impression of a leader asking, ‘Won’t someone rid me of this damn war?'”); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/obama-in-afghanistan-doomed-from-the-start/#comment-169

Former President Bill Clinton was reluctant to take on the military politically, and wisely so—much to the chagrin of his far-Left constituents, some of whom believe America does not need to be strong militarily.  As I have stated before: “America’s economic and military strength go hand in hand. Both are indispensable ingredients of our great nation’s future strength.”

See http://www.realclearpolitics.com/news/tms/politics/2009/Apr/08/euphoria_or_the_obama_depression_.html

[26] If Obama’s presidency does not end before 2012, it is likely that he will not run for reelection, just as Truman declined to run in the midst of the Korean War, and Lyndon Johnson declined to run in the midst of the Vietnam War.

[27] See, e.g., http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=1FF04086-18FE-70B2-A8502AE14AB8C592 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

[28] See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/john-f-kennedy-the-most-despicable-president-in-american-history/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/20/ronald-reagan-and-john-f-kennedy-a-question-of-character

[29] Also, there is the issue of personal Obama family extravagances at the expense of U.S. taxpayers, especially at a time when so many Americans are suffering.  See, e.g.http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1298063/Michelle-Obama-takes-daughter-Sasha-Spanish-getaway–leaves-birthday-boy-Barack-behind.html (“Michelle Obama is set to holiday with daughter Sasha on Spain’s Costa del Sol.  . . .  Mrs Obama . . .  has reserved 30 rooms at a five-star hotel”)

[30] Lyndon Johnson chose not to run for reelection in 1968; and Obama advised New York Congressman Charles Rangel to end his political career with dignity as well.  Hopefully he follows his own advice.

See http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0710/Obama_Time_for_Rangel_to_end_career_with_dignity.html


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6 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Bush Job Approval Rating Higher Than Obama’s

This is the headline of a Politico.com article about the two presidents, which states:

George W. Bush’s job approval rating as president has spiked to 47 percent, according to a Gallup poll released Monday.

That’s 1 point higher than President Barack Obama’s job approval rating in a poll taken the same week.

This is the first time Gallup asked Americans to retrospectively rate Bush’s job performance. And it was a stunning turnaround from his low point of 25 percent in November 2008. The 47 percent number is 13 points higher than the last Gallup poll taken before Bush left office in 2009 and the highest rating for him since before Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

. . .

Bush’s 47 percent approval rating also raises serious questions about the wisdom of the White House’s decision to relentlessly attack him in the months before the Democrats’ historic losses in the midterm elections. The president had kept warning a House Republican majority would return to Bush-era policies. But Obama’s message did little to galvanize the liberal base, and independents flocked to the GOP on Election Day.

Bush’s rebound gives some credence to what he has long said—that history will eventually judge his presidency.

One of his role models is Harry Truman, who left office deeply unpopular but now gets credit for laying the groundwork to fight the Cold War. Bush sees parallels with his own efforts in the early days of the global war on terror.

See http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46019.html

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7 12 2010
P.B.

I’m sorry, but HOW is the Afghan war HIS war? Didn’t know a senator from Illinois led the armies of the United States into battle several years back. He is finishing up a failed war if you haven’t noticed. That’s a step in the right direction if there is any. And he is simply doing what Bush did in Iraq for Afghanistan by upping the number of troops to restore stability and create some semblance of order. Next: worst president is a laugh. The worst president would be the one(s) that led us into this Great Depression II. While his tactics for bringing us out aren’t all that great, you can’t argue that Bush, Clinton, even Bush, Sr. and Reagan, did anything good for this economy. It’s the whiplash of an “economic boom” from Reagan’s era, and don’t try to deny that. I don’t condone or condemn what Obama is doing. For me, he isn’t the ideal president. But with a Congress that refuses to cooperate, an economy that is the worst the world-over has seen in ages, and a dead country that either cannot decide what it wants or is simply too dumb to fix itself. And in all truth, aren’t we to blame more? Because the government is allowed by us, isn’t it? If we truly hated what we were seeing, we could fix it. We could organize or reorganize ourselves into a better, more globally viable country that hasn’t existed since the 1950s. Because the world has globalized and we are shutting our doors. We need to pull ourselves out of our hole, not elect fake politicians to do it for us. Because the Republicans (especially the Tea Party) and the Democrats are both too far gone from us the people. So Obama is not the worst president, arguably that would be Hoover or, if taking a poll now, probably George W. Bush, but he is not the greatest president either. He’s just a man that we gave too much work and responsibility to, but not enough support. Though I will agree he talked himself up a bit on the whole “Change” premise back in the elections. That doesn’t help.

But in the end, we are the reasons America is dying. And we are the reasons China is flourishing.

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8 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Patrick, for your comments.

First, it is Obama’s war because he is the president, and he has escalated it, pure and simple.

Second, he is not “finishing” it at all. He is widening it.

Third, I agree with you that he is “doing what Bush did in Iraq . . . by upping the number of troops to restore stability and create some semblance of order,” and hopefully win.

Fourth, with respect to the economy, it too is Obama’s now. It is happening on his watch, and the buck stops with him. He will be attacked by anti-war Leftists, and they will contribute to his political demise. The economy will too, which is really the fault of Alan Greenspan.

As I have written:

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan is the architect of the enormous economic “bubble” that has burst globally. No longer is he revered as a “potentate.” His reputation is in tatters. Giulio Tremonti, Italy’s Minister of Economy and Finance, has said: “Greenspan was considered a master. Now we must ask ourselves whether he is not, after [Osama] bin Laden, the man who hurt America the most.” That speaks volumes.

See http://www.americanbanker.com/issues/173_212/-365185-1.html; see also http://www.realclearpolitics.com/news/tms/politics/2009/Apr/08/euphoria_or_the_obama_depression_.html and http://www.philstockworld.com/2009/10/11/greenspan’s-legacy-more-suffering-to-come/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/16/the-great-depression-ii/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/04/23/is-financial-reform-simply-washingtons-latest-boondoggle/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/will-the-eus-collapse-push-the-world-deeper-into-the-great-depression-ii/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally

Fifth, with all due respect, our present economic problems are not a “whiplash of an ‘economic boom’ from Reagan’s era.” Former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker handled similar difficult times with great skill; Greenspan did not. He testified before the House that he never saw the housing crisis coming, which is mind-boggling; and he championed deregulation, which contributed to the problems and their magnitude.

Sixth, the Congress that has refused to “cooperate” has consisted of Obama’s Democrats; and they are in charge of the Senate even after the new Congress begins its work.

Seventh, Americans have begun to fix the problems; namely, by throwing the Democrats out of office.

Lastly, America is not dying; it is the greatest country on earth, by far. And China’s economy is dependent on the U.S. market to stay afloat.

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8 12 2010
DWBrown

I see a clear pathway for Obama’s re-election.

The new Republican House and Republican controlled Senate (McConnell plus a half dozen Democrats) will stop the Obama/Pelosi/Reid excesses of Obama’s first two years. And, Obama may triangulate just enough to reach some useful compromises with Republicans that help improve the economy over the next two years.

Also Obama is very unlikely to face a primary challenge – something Johnson and Carter both experienced. No white can win the nomination without making significant inroads into the black vote, which is extremely unlikely. And there is no black on the left with the stature and motivation to attack Obama. Almost all the blacks on the left come from racially gerrymandered districts and largely do not appeal to non blacks. When election day rolls around the hard core left will turn out to vote for him again.

The biggest obstacle to Obama’s re-election is himself.

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8 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you for your thoughtful comments, as always.

With respect to your second paragraph, it makes excellent sense except for one thing; namely, I do not believe the economy will improve over the next two years, and in fact, it is apt to get worse. Like the Great Depression of the last century, there will be ups and downs during this one; and God only knows when they will occur, and how deep they will be.

With respect to your third paragraph, Dick Morris argues that there will be challenges from Obama’s left, and serious challenges, culminating in Hillary’s candidacy if she and Bill believe that she can win.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama/#comment-968

My guess is that the coalition of Independents who constitute approximately 35 percent of American voters (see, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents), Republicans, “disenchanted” Democrats, and members of the Tea Party movement will bring about his political demise. My guess too is that the twin pincers of the domestic economy in decline and his Afghan war will be the greatest contributing factors—unless scandals or other crises engulf him.

I agree with your last paragraph, which has always been true, if Americans had bothered to understand his core beliefs as spelled out in great detail in his book, “Dreams from My Father.”

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

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8 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Read His Lips, He Caved!

Former President George H.W. Bush was lambasted for going back on his pledge: “Read my lips: no new taxes.” It contributed to his failed campaign for reelection in 1992.

See, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Read_my_lips:_no_new_taxes

Barack Obama has caved on his pledge to voters—and most importantly, to his far-Left and Leftist base—and his Democrat base is likely to be furious. His tax-cut compromise may contribute to primary challenges from members of his own party prior to the 2012 elections, and cost him the election—aside from other factors such as the twin pincers of the economy and his Afghan war.

See, e.g., http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703296604576005270162137088.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories (“Democrats criticized the broad tax package for cutting taxes on high earners and setting tax rates too low on large inheritances, as well as for its effect on the country’s budget deficit. . . .”); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama/#comment-968

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8 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Are We Fighting To Win Or Not? If Not, Obama Should Be Impeached!

In a fine article entitled, “Catch-and-release of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan angers troops”—written by Sara A. Carter, its national security correspondent—The Washington Examiner has reported:

More than 500 suspected Taliban fighters detained by U.S. forces have been released from custody at the urging of Afghan government officials, angering both American troops and some Afghans who oppose the policy on the grounds that many of those released return to the battlefield to kill NATO soldiers and Afghan civilians.

And those numbers understate the problem, military officials say. They do not include suspected Taliban fighters held in small combat outposts or other forward operating bases throughout the region who are released before they ever become part of the official detainee population.

An Afghan official who spoke on condition of anonymity said that President Hamid Karzai’s government has personally sought the release of as many as 700 suspected Taliban fighters since July, including some mid-level leaders. “Corruption is not just based on the amount of money that is wasted but wasted lives when Taliban return only to kill more NATO forces and civilians,” said the official, who opposes what he considers corruption in the Karzai administration.

. . .

A marine stationed in southern Afghanistan’s volatile Helmand province told The Examiner that efforts to detain insurgent fighters are “worthless.”

. . .

For American combat troops in Afghanistan, the release of suspect Taliban is seen as a symptom of the corruption of the Karzai government.

See http://washingtonexaminer.com/news/world/2010/12/catch-and-release-taliban-fighters-afghanistan-angers-troops; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/09/are-afghanistan-iraq-and-pakistan-hopeless-and-is-the-spread-of-radical-islam-inevitable-and-is-barack-obama-finished-as-americas-president/

The idea that Americans might be dying or getting injured—or being subjected to the risks of both—for nothing, smacks of Vietnam. If the rules of engagement in Afghanistan prevent our military from winning, we ought not be there at all, and we should leave the country immediately.

This is tragic; and it may be a function of a war being run by an anti-war, far-Left American president on behalf of a corrupt Afghan government run by Hamid Karzai. If it is true, impeachment proceedings should be commenced immediately against Barack Obama, and he should be removed from office!

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8 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Time cover

Why We Fight In Afghanistan, And Why American Women Should Demand Barack Obama’s Removal From Office By Impeachment Or Otherwise

In a UK Daily Mail article entitled, “Father-in-law of Time‘s disfigured Afghan cover girl is arrested for cutting off her ears and nose,” we learn what “Aisha” has lived through before and after her violent Taliban fighter husband, her father-in-law and brother-in-law carried out the mutilation—slicing off her nose and ears at gun-point—after approval by the local Taliban mullah.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1336773/Father-law-Times-Afghan-cover-girl-nose-ears-sliced-ARRESTED.html; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/obama-in-afghanistan-doomed-from-the-start/#comment-655

This is what other Afghan women will experience if we do not win the war. The fact that our anti-war, far-Left, “Hamlet on the Potomac,” narcissistic president is tying our military’s hands, and producing a political climate in which Americans of all persuasions may be clamoring for withdrawal, constitutes a misuse of the presidency and U.S. military might. In essence, he is “engineering” a defeat of cataclysmic proportions, like Vietnam in terms of human suffering.

We fight for the women of Afghanistan—among other worthy goals—and Obama must go. Women should be clamoring for his ouster!

See also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1099; and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1357654/Bibi-Aisha-Time-cover-girl-takes-New-York-subway-mother.html (“Brave Bibi the Time cover girl whose nose was cut off by the Taliban takes the New York subway with her mother”) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1384768/Afghanistan-Shot-the-Taliban-The-seven-year-old-victim-Islamist-revenge-attacks-Afghan-government.html (“Shot in the back by the Taliban: Girl, seven, is tiniest victim of wave of insurgent attacks in Afghanistan“) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2065301/Afghan-woman-jailed-raped-cousins-husband-offered-release-marries-attacker.html (“Afghan woman jailed for being raped by her cousin’s husband is offered release if she marries her attacker”—and even then, she might be killed . . . by her own family as a matter of “honor”)

___________

THE TRAGEDY OF THE TALIBAN’S RULE . . . IN THE FUTURE

Afghan girl

DO NOT LET HER SMILE DECEIVE YOU. THIS WOMAN HAS SUFFERED AND IS STILL SUFFERING TODAY.

As the UK’s Daily Mail has reported:

It was the image that woke up the world to the shocking horrors faced by women in Afghanistan.

The photograph of Aesha Mohammadzai, whose nose and ears were hacked off as punishment for attempting to flee an abusive forced marriage, came to embody the appalling abuse suffered by many at the hands of the brutal Taliban regime.

And her story of survival and resilience despite that harrowing ordeal captivated and enchanted the world.

But now four years on, Aesha faces a new battle—a struggle to put the disturbing experiences behind her as she attempts to make a new life for herself in America.

Aesha, won political asylum in 2011, having fled to the U.S. a year earlier, aged just 18, after being promised reconstructive surgery.

She arrived without speaking a word of English and illiterate in her mother tongue of Pashto.

Since then she has undergone pioneering reconstructive surgery to give her a prosthetic nose and been given the education denied women back in her homeland under the Taliban.

However, it appears the psychological scars from her ordeal have proven harder to heal.

Those who have become close to Aesha have spoken of her displaying volatile mood swings—oscillating between violent tantrums and displaying deep affection to people around her.

Her plastic surgery had to be delayed because it was thought she was still not yet emotionally stable to cope with the painful and lengthy surgery required.

Psychologist Shiphra Bakhchi, 31, who has helped treat the 22-year-old for post-traumatic stress disorder believes the trauma of her disfigurement may have caused deeper mental scars than physical ones.

‘I really hope at some point she’ll be a functioning young lady that had a terrible trauma,’ the private practitioner told CNN.

When Aesha was 12, her father promised her in marriage to a Taliban fighter to pay a debt. She was handed over to his family who abused her and forced her to sleep in the stable with the animals.

The UN estimates that nearly 90 per cent of Afghanistan’s women suffer from some sort of domestic abuse.

When she attempted to flee, she was caught and her nose and ears were hacked off by her husband as punishment.

‘When they cut off my nose and ears, I passed out. In the middle of the night it felt like there was cold water in my nose.

‘I opened my eyes and I couldn’t even see because of all the blood,’ she told CNN reporter Atia Abawi.

Left for dead in the mountains, she crawled to her grandfather’s house and her father managed to get her to an American medical facility, where medics cared for her for ten weeks.

They then transported Aesha to a secret shelter in Kabul and in August 2010, she was flown to the U.S. by the Grossman Burn Foundation to stay with a host family.

She was taken in by a charity in New York called Women for Afghan Women who supported her and helped pay for her eduction.

But Aesha soon became unhappy and her behaviour gave rise to concern. During one outburst . . . , she threw herself to the floor and slammed her head against the ground, grabbing at her hair and biting her fingers.

Her primary guardian figure at the centre Esther Hyneman, who witnessed the tantrum said no one was able to prevent her from inflicting the injuries and they had to call 911 for help, Ms Hyneman said during the CNN interview.

Aesha was admitted to hospital for 10 days following that episode.

Those who knew her said Aesha craved the close-knit family environment the centre was unable to provide.

She left in December 2011, to live with with Mati Arsla and Jami Rasouli-Arsala, from Fredrick, Maryland—who are relatives of a Women for Afghan Women former board member—where she now appears to be adapting to home life.

Ms Hyneman—who Aesha affectionately used to call ‘grandma’—told CNN: ‘When she first came to us, she was an emotional wreck.

‘By the time she left, she was a different human being… So we’re all happy if she’s in the right place to further her development, but we miss her.’

During the momentous few years since arriving in America, Aesha has had a prosthetic nose fitted at the non-profit humanitarian Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital in California as part of her eight-month rehabilitation.

Dr Peter H Grossman said they hoped to give Aesha a more ‘permanent solution’, which could mean reconstructing her nose and ears using bone, tissue and cartilage from other parts of her body.

Dr Grossman’s wife Rebecca, the chair of the Grossman Burn Foundation, said Aesha was just one of the thousands of women who are treated with appalling harshness.

She said: ‘Aesha is reminded of that enslavement every time she looks in the mirror. But there are still times she can laugh. And at that moment you see her teenage spirit escaping a body that has seen a lifetime of injustice.’

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2147275/The-young-woman-dared-defy-Taliban-Afghan-22-rebuilding-life-U-S-having-nose-hacked-homeland.html (emphasis added); see also http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2249913/Aesha-Mohammadzai-Brave-Time-cover-girl-tortured-Afghan-husband-wants-live-love.html (“Brave Time cover girl whose Afghan husband sliced off her nose pictured enjoying her new life in America as she reveals she’s ‘not scared to look in the mirror anymore'”)

THIS IS WHAT THE TALIBAN’S TRAGIC RULE WILL BRING AGAIN TO THE WOMEN OF AFGHANISTAN!

The Time Magazine cover at the beginning of these comments was so correct to ask: “What Happens If We Leave Afghanistan”?

See also http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/9615231/Afghan-girl-beheaded-for-refusing-prostitution.html (“Afghan girl ‘beheaded for refusing prostitution'”) and http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324439804578109492792634554.html (“Many Afghans . . . are rattled by the October assassination attempt of Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year-old Pakistani girl shot in the head by a Taliban gunman for promoting girls’ education. The Taliban has vowed to hunt down the badly wounded teen again”) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2244133/Afghan-girl-Anisa-worked-polio-volunteer-shot-dead-suspected-Taliban-attack.html (“Tragic death of the Afghan girl who just wanted to change her country: Student shot dead as she helped in fight against polio”)

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9 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Who Loves Barack Obama? Anyone Other Than His Dog?

John Fund of the Wall Street Journal has an article about the liberal rage against Obama’s tax deal, in which he writes:

White House officials are . . . emphasizing to reporters that it will use the liberal anger to its political advantage. Distancing Mr. Obama from the left wing of his party will be “a positive byproduct” of the tax extensions for all income groups, a White House aide close to Obama told Politico.com. “Compared to these guys, the president looks mature and pragmatic,” the official said.

But Mr. Obama may have underestimated the potential damage of his about-face on extending the tax cuts. The 2008 campaign featured three Democratic front-runners—Mr. Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards—and all solemnly pledged to end the Bush tax cuts for the richest Americans. Mr. Obama repeated his pledge after he won the nomination. “We are going to roll back the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans, those making more than $250,000 a year,” he told an audience in Lake Worth, Fla., just two weeks before the election.

“Obama has no historical perspective and forgets what breaking a basic tenet of one’s party can do to a president,” one prominent liberal said. “Breaking his ‘no new taxes’ pledge in the 1990s cost George H.W. Bush the affection of his party, encouraged a right-wing primary challenge from Pat Buchanan and damaged Bush in the general election.” He said the White House should fear that similar reactions may now damage Mr. Obama. “Bill Clinton campaigned as a New Democrat, so any moves to the center after a bad midterm election came with fewer surprises for his base,” he said. “Obama doesn’t have as much running room as Clinton did.”

In the end, of course, liberals will line up to support Mr. Obama against any likely Republican challenger. But the enthusiasm and commitment liberals had in 2008 for Mr. Obama may well be muted. On the margins, that could hurt him as he seeks re-election at a time when many of his core supporters will still be economically stressed.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703493504576007643575238466.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLESecond; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1096

The problem, of course, is that Independents have deserted Obama already, in droves; Republicans never really supported him; “disenchanted” Democrats . . . well, by definition, they have been long gone too; and members of the Tea Party movement . . . well, most despise him. Hence, when he loses his support on the Left and the far-Left, he will realize fully what Harry Truman meant when he said (or what is attributed to him): “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.” :-)

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9 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Bravo: Gitmo Will Not Be Closed!

The Washington Times is reporting:

Congress on Wednesday signaled it won’t close the prison at Guantanamo Bay or allow any of its suspected terrorist detainees to be transferred to the U.S., dealing what is likely the final blow to President Obama’s campaign pledge to shutter the facility in Cuba.

The move to block the prison’s closure was written into a massive year-end spending bill that passed the House on Wednesday evening on a vote of 212-206, part of a last-minute legislative rush by Democrats to push through their priorities before ceding the House to Republican control in January.

See http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/dec/8/congress-deals-death-blow-gitmo-closure/

Bravo: Another campaign promise of Obama bites the dust! :-)

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9 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama Is Sputtering . . . Or Is He?

Ostensibly President Obama has suffered devastating blows politically, as his own Democratic Party has angrily rejected the tax deal that he cut with Republicans.

See, e.g., http://biggovernment.com/publius/2010/12/09/profanity-anger-spill-over-in-democratic-caucus-meeting/ and http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-obama-taxcuts-120910,0,2729659.story (“House Democratic caucus angrily objects to tax-cut package“) and http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-dem-donors-20101210,0,49525.story (“Obama’s tax-cut deal upsets many major donors“) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1337198/Devastating-blow-President-Obama-party-rejects-tax-deal-Republicans.html and http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=12353675

In a superficially-excellent Wall Street Journal article entitled, “From Audacity to Animosity”—and subtitled, “No president has alienated his base the way Obama has”—Peggy Noonan writes:

We have not in our lifetimes seen a president in this position. He spent his first year losing the center, which elected him, and his second losing his base, which is supposed to provide his troops. There isn’t much left to lose! Which may explain Tuesday’s press conference.

President Obama was supposed to be announcing an important compromise, as he put it, on tax policy. Normally a president, having agreed with the opposition on something big, would go through certain expected motions. He would laud the specific virtues of the plan, show graciousness toward the negotiators on the other side—graciousness implies that you won—and refer respectfully to potential critics as people who’ll surely come around once they are fully exposed to the deep merits of the plan.

Instead Mr. Obama said, essentially, that he hates the deal he just agreed to, hates the people he made the deal with, and hates even more the people who’ll criticize it. His statement was startling in the breadth of its animosity. Republicans are “hostage takers” who worship a “holy grail” of “tax cuts for the wealthy.” “That seems to be their central economic doctrine.”

As for the left, they ignore his accomplishments and are always looking for “weakness and compromise.” They are “sanctimonious,” “purist,” and just want to “feel good about” themselves. In a difficult world, they cling to their “ideal positions” and constant charges of “betrayals.”

Those not of the left might view all this as straight talk, and much needed. But if you were of the left it would only deepen your anger and sharpen your response. Which it did. “Gettysburg,” “sellout,” “disaster.”

The president must have thought that distancing himself from left and right would make him more attractive to the center. But you get credit for going to the center only if you say the centrist position you’ve just embraced is right. If you suggest, as the president did, that the seemingly moderate plan you agreed to is awful and you’ll try to rescind it in two years, you won’t leave the center thinking, “He’s our guy!” You’ll leave them thinking, “Note to self: Remove Obama in two years.”

In politics, the angry person is generally understood to be the loser, which is why politicians on TV always try not to seem angry.

. . .

The left has been honestly disappointed in Mr. Obama. He did not come through as they think he should have in myriad ways—the public option, closing Guantanamo, war, now the tax plan.

. . .

Some on the left argue that if only the president had talked more, and more passionately, if he’d worked it harder, he could have brought the country to support leftist programs. But why do they think this? The general public has seen the president out there for two years talking and promoting a generally leftist direction. Voters demonstrated in elections through 2009 and ’10 that a generally leftist direction is not what they want.

All of this—the disenchantment of the left, the confusion of the party’s professionals—has led to increased talk of a primary challenger to Mr. Obama in 2012.

And here too the president’s position would be without parallel.

. . .

Modern presidents are never challenged from their base, always by the people who didn’t love them going in. You’re not supposed to get a serious primary challenge from the people who loved you. But that’s the talk of what may happen with Mr. Obama.

. . .

Challenging Mr. Obama from the left would mean definitely losing the presidency, as opposed to probably losing the presidency.

There is only one Democrat who could possibly challenge Mr. Obama for the nomination successfully and win the general election, and that is Hillary Clinton. Who insists she doesn’t want to.

. . .

The White House itself still probably thinks the Republicans can save him, by overstepping, by alienating moderates. But so far, on domestic matters, they’re looking pretty calm and sober. They didn’t crow at the tax compromise, for instance, even though they knew the left is correct: It wasn’t a compromise, it was a bow. To reality, but a bow nonetheless.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703766704576009943102291486.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

. . .

Yet, in an even more brilliant article entitled, “Swindle of the year,” the Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer writes:

Barack Obama won the great tax-cut showdown of 2010—and House Democrats don’t have a clue that he did. In the deal struck this week, the president negotiated the biggest stimulus in American history, larger than his $814 billion 2009 stimulus package. It will pump a trillion borrowed Chinese dollars into the U.S. economy over the next two years—which just happen to be the two years of the run-up to the next presidential election. This is a defeat?

If Obama had asked for a second stimulus directly, he would have been laughed out of town. Stimulus I was so reviled that the Democrats banished the word from their lexicon throughout the 2010 campaign. And yet, despite a very weak post-election hand, Obama got the Republicans to offer to increase spending and cut taxes by $990 billion over two years. Two-thirds of that is above and beyond extension of the Bush tax cuts but includes such urgent national necessities as windmill subsidies.

No mean achievement. After all, these are the same Republicans who spent 2010 running on limited government and reducing debt. And this budget busting occurs less than a week after the president’s deficit commission had supposedly signaled a new national consensus of austerity and frugality.

Some Republicans are crowing that Stimulus II is the Republican way—mostly tax cuts—rather than the Democrats’ spending orgy of Stimulus I. That’s consolation? This just means that Republicans are two years too late. Stimulus II will still blow another near-$1 trillion hole in the budget.

At great cost that will have to be paid after this newest free lunch, the package will add as much as 1 percent to GDP and lower the unemployment rate by about 1.5 percentage points. That could easily be the difference between victory and defeat in 2012.

Obama is no fool. While getting Republicans to boost his own reelection chances, he gets them to make a mockery of their newfound, second-chance, post-Bush, Tea-Party. . . .

And he gets all this in return for what? For a mere two-year postponement of a mere 4.6-point increase in marginal tax rates for upper incomes. And an estate tax rate of 35 percent—it jumps insanely from zero to 55 percent on Jan. 1—that is somewhat lower than what the Democrats wanted.

No, cries the left: Obama violated a sacred principle. A 39.6 percent tax rate versus 35 percent is a principle? “This is the public option debate all over again,” said Obama at his Tuesday news conference. He is right. The left never understood that to nationalize health care there is no need for a public option because Obamacare turns the private insurers into public utilities, thus setting us inexorably on the road to the left’s Promised Land: a Canadian-style single-payer system. The left is similarly clueless on the tax-cut deal: In exchange for temporarily forgoing a small rise in upper-income rates, Obama pulled out of a hat a massive new stimulus—what the left has been begging for since the failure of Stimulus I but was heretofore politically unattainable.

Obama’s public exasperation with this infantile leftism is both perfectly understandable and politically adept. It is his way back to at least the appearance of centrist moderation. The only way he will get a second look from the independents who elected him in 2008—and abandoned the Democrats in 2010—is by changing the prevailing (and correct) perception that he is a man of the left.

Hence that news-conference attack on what the administration calls the “professional left” for its combination of sanctimony and myopia. It was Obama’s Sister Souljah moment. It had a prickly, irritated sincerity—their ideological stupidity and inability to see the “long game” really do get under Obama’s skin—but a decidedly calculated quality, too. Where, after all, does the left go? Stay home on Election Day 2012? Vote Republican?

No, says the current buzz, the left will instead challenge Obama for the Democratic nomination. Really now? For decades, African Americans have been this party’s most loyal constituency. They vote 9 to 1 Democratic through hell and high water, through impeachment and recession, through everything. After four centuries of enduring much, African Americans finally see one of their own achieve the presidency. And their own party is going to deny him a shot at his own reelection?

Not even Democrats are that stupid. The remaining question is whether they are just stupid enough to not understand—and therefore vote down—the swindle of the year just pulled off by their own president.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/09/AR2010120904472.html

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10 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

The WikiLeaks State Department Cables Have Done Major Damage

This is the conclusion of an article by the Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer, which adds:

First, quite specific damage to our war-fighting capacity. Take just one revelation among hundreds: The Yemeni president and deputy prime minister are quoted as saying that they’re letting the United States bomb al-Qaeda in their country, while claiming that the bombing is the government’s doing. Well, that cover is pretty well blown. And given the unpopularity of the Sanaa government’s tenuous cooperation with us in the war against al-Qaeda, this will undoubtedly limit our freedom of action against its Yemeni branch, identified by the CIA as the most urgent terrorist threat to U.S. security.

Second, we’ve suffered a major blow to our ability to collect information. Talking candidly to a U.S. diplomat can now earn you headlines around the world, reprisals at home, or worse. Success in the war on terror depends on being trusted with other countries’ secrets. Who’s going to trust us now?

Third, this makes us look bad, very bad.

. . .

What is notable, indeed shocking, is the administration’s torpid and passive response to the leaks. What’s appalling is the helplessness of a superpower that not only cannot protect its own secrets but shows the world that if you violate its secrets—massively, wantonly and maliciously—there are no consequences.

The cat is out of the bag. The cables are public. Deploring them or trying to explain them away, a la [Hillary] Clinton, is merely pathetic. It’s time to show a little steel. To show that such miscreants don’t get to walk away.

At a Monday news conference, Attorney General Eric Holder assured the nation that his people are diligently looking into possible legal action against WikiLeaks. Where has Holder been? The WikiLeaks exposure of Afghan war documents occurred five months ago. Holder is looking now at possible indictments? This is a country where a good prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich. Months after the first leak, Justice’s thousands of lawyers have yet to prepare charges against Julian Assange and his confederates?

Throw the Espionage Act of 1917 at them. And if that is not adequate, if that law has been too constrained and watered down by subsequent Supreme Court rulings, then why hasn’t the administration prepared new legislation adapted to these kinds of Internet-age violations of U.S. security? It’s not as if we didn’t know more leaks were coming. And that more leaks are coming still.

Think creatively. The WikiLeaks document dump is sabotage, however quaint that term may seem. We are at war—a hot war in Afghanistan where six Americans were killed just this past Monday, and a shadowy world war where enemies from Yemen to Portland, Ore., are planning holy terror. Franklin Roosevelt had German saboteurs tried by military tribunal and executed. Assange has done more damage to the United States than all six of those Germans combined. Putting U.S. secrets on the Internet, a medium of universal dissemination new in human history, requires a reconceptualization of sabotage and espionage—and the laws to punish and prevent them. Where is the Justice Department?

And where are the intelligence agencies on which we lavish $80 billion a year? Assange has gone missing. Well, he’s no cave-dwelling jihadi ascetic. Find him. Start with every five-star hotel in England and work your way down.

Want to prevent this from happening again? Let the world see a man who can’t sleep in the same bed on consecutive nights, who fears the long arm of American justice. I’m not advocating that we bring out of retirement the KGB proxy who, on a London street, killed a Bulgarian dissident with a poisoned umbrella tip. But it would be nice if people like Assange were made to worry every time they go out in the rain.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/02/AR2010120204561.html

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10 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Symptomatic?

Obama smoking

The White House is reporting that Barack Obama is still trying to kick the habit, which is not surprising. He has an addictive personality, which he was candid about admitting in his book, “Dreams from My Father”:

Junkie. Pothead. That’s where I’d been headed: the final, fatal role of the young would-be black man.

See http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101209/ap_on_he_me/us_obama_smoking and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/; but see http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1355007/Barack-Obama-smoked-year-says-proud-First-Lady-Michelle.html (“Obama’s finally quit smoking, says proud First Lady Michelle”)

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12 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Nixon And Obama: Birds Of A Feather?

More White House tapes have been released by the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California. According to the Wall Street Journal:

[The] trove of tapes and papers from the administration of President Richard Nixon sheds new light on the former president’s approach to foreign policy, his relationship with minorities and his distaste for political opponents.

See, e.g., http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/12/nixon-tapes-jews-abrasive-and-obnoxious-irish-cant-drink-italians-dont-have-their-heads-screwed-on-t.html and http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703727804576011922521911528.html?mod=WSJ_hp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsThird#articleTabs%3Darticle

I had three opportunities to vote for Nixon, and never did so, beginning with his run for the governorship in California—the first time that I was old enough to vote. My parents thought that five-star general of the Army, Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in Europe during World War II, and former President Dwight D. Eisenhower (see, e.g., http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVomOpavxvY&feature=related and http://www.colbertnation.com/full-episodes/tue-december-7-2010-julie-nixon-eisenhower-and-david-eisenhower [David and Julie Eisenhower Discuss New Book on Ike]), and Nixon “walked on water.”

There is little doubt that Nixon was brilliant with respect to foreign policy. His writings toward the end of his life demonstrated this, like few other politicians in the world.

If one could obtain complete and candid tape recordings of most American presidents, they might contain sentiments similar to those of Nixon. This is especially true of former Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, who were often crass and ruthless.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/john-f-kennedy-the-most-despicable-president-in-american-history/

The same thing might be said of Barack Obama. All one needs to do is read his book, “Dreams from My Father” with care, to realize that his biases run as deep—and often are as disturbing—as those of Nixon.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/

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13 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

A Clean Repeal Of ObamaCare!

House majority whip Eric Cantor has promised to pass “a clean repeal of ObamaCare” once the Republicans take over the House in January of 2011.

See http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/255170/cantor-calls-direct-appeal-supreme-court-daniel-foster

Also, he has called for a direct appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court of a lower federal court decision that held portions of ObamaCare to be unconstitutional. Cantor’s statement said:

Today’s ruling is a clear affirmation that President Obama’s health care law is unconstitutional. The efforts of [Virginia's] Governor McDonnell and Attorney General Cuccinelli have raised legitimate concerns and ensured that the people of the Commonwealth [of Virginia] will have their rights protected against this unconstitutional law. Ultimately, we must ensure that no American will be forced by the federal government to purchase health insurance they may not need, want, or be able to afford.

To ensure an expedited process moving forward, I call on President Obama and Attorney General Holder to join Attorney General Cuccinelli in requesting that this case be sent directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. In this challenging environment, we must not burden our states, employers, and families with the costs and uncertainty created by this unconstitutional law, and we must take all steps to resolve this issue immediately.

See id.; see also http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703727804576017672495623838.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop and http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703727804576017620023478338.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories (Highlights from the ruling, and the decision itself); but see http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703727804576018202081317610.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories (“Within a fortnight of each other, two federal judges in Virginia, relying on identical precedents and hearing carbon-copy arguments, issued diametrically opposed decisions on the constitutionality of the federal health-care overhaul”)

Acting against the will of a majority of Americans, Obama and his administration have held firm:

“We don’t anticipate an adverse ruling at the district-court level in Virginia or in any other case to materially impede implementation of the act across the full range of its many provisions,” an Obama administration official said.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703727804576017552229615230.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEADNewsCollection

Opposition to ObamaCare among American voters has been growing since its enactment:

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 60% of Likely U.S. Voters at least somewhat favor repeal of the health care law while 34% are opposed. As has been the case since the law was first passed, those who favor repeal feel more passionately than those who want to keep the law—46% Strongly Favor repeal while just 23% who are Strongly Opposed.

See http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/healthcare/health_care_law

Impeachment proceedings against Barack Obama should begin next year, based on this and other issues. He should be removed from office, rather than wait until the 2012 elections, by which time he will have done even more damage to this great nation’s national security and other vital interests.

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14 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

The New START Treaty: President Obama Is Pushing For A Monumental Surrender To Russia

This is the title of an excellent article in the UK’s Telegraph by Nile Gardiner, which states in pertinent part the following:

The Obama administration has an impeccable track record of caving in to Russian demands, as part of its controversial “reset” policy. Last year, it threw key US allies Poland and the Czech Republic under the bus, ditching plans for Third Site missile defences in deference to Russian opposition. It is now planning another surrender to Moscow, by pressing for Senate ratification of the new START Treaty in the lame duck session of Congress.

Instead of allowing the newly elected Congress to vote on the treaty, the Obama administration is trying to ram New START through without proper debate. No major treaty has ever been forced through Congress in a lame duck session.

There is mounting opposition in Washington to the New START Treaty, which would significantly weaken US security by undermining America’s ability to deploy an effective global missile defence system. Dozens of senators, as well as several leading likely Republican presidential candidates are opposed to the Treaty, including Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich.

. . .

As part of its campaign to woo opponents of the Treaty, the Democratic White House has claimed that Ronald Reagan would have backed it, a simply ludicrous assertion. As Reagan’s attorney general Ed Meese, and Assistant Secretary of Defense, Richard Perle noted in The Wall Street Journal, the Gipper would never have backed an arms control agreement that encumbered “the pursuit of advanced ballistic missile defense technology”. . . .

. . .

Simply put, the New START Treaty is a staggeringly bad deal for the United States, and an extraordinarily good one for Vladimir Putin’s increasingly hostile and authoritarian Russia. President Obama needs to respect the will of the American electorate and allow the new Senate to vote on the Treaty, and fully scrutinise and debate the details of an agreement which, if ratified in its current form, will dramatically undercut America’s global missile defences. The White House is pressing for another monumental surrender to Moscow which will only strengthen the hand of a key US adversary.

See http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/nilegardiner/100068351/the-new-start-treaty-president-obama-is-pushing-for-a-monumental-surrender-to-russia; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-428 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-622 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1009 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1014 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1020 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1079 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1105

Like ObamaCare that a majority of American voters opposed and still oppose (see, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1133), Obama and his Democrats are trying to shove the New START Treaty down the throats of the American people, and weaken our national security. They learned nothing from last month’s mid-term elections, in which they were defeated soundly.

Barack Obama is further damaging this great nation’s national security and other vital interests; and the sooner he is gone from the presidency, the better off America will be.

See, e.g., http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/dec/05/obama-us-security-danger-threats

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15 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama And His Democrats Did Not Get The Message—Their Ranks Need To Be Thinned Even More, Starting With Obama

In the lame-duck session of Congress, the “Obama Tax Deal” has cleared its first political hurdle in the U.S. Senate, and now it is heading for passage by the House.

See, e.g., http://www.cnbc.com/id/40672357

As the Wall Street Journal points out in an important editorial that is worthy of repeating in its entirety entitled, “Harry Reid’s Holiday Jam”—which is subtitled, “What the Senate wants to pass while you’re not paying attention”—this is a travesty, pure and simple:

In Majority Leader Harry Reid’s rush to beat the looming expiration of the 111th Congress, the Senate has become the express lane to jam through changes in military rules, a giant spending bill and even an arms treaty—and all with virtually no deliberation. Why are Republicans putting up with it?

The lame duck Congress was supposed to limp out of town this Friday, but yesterday Mr. Reid announced that in the dwindling days before Christmas he plans to pass the bipartisan tax deal, the New Start arms treaty with Russia, the immigration Dream Act, a “lands bill,” and a bill to let gays serve openly in the military. Oh, and yesterday he also dropped on his colleagues a 1,924-page, $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill for fiscal 2011 that no one but a few Appropriators have read, if even they have.

Any one of these issues could warrant at least a week of debate if the Senate were playing its designated constitutional role. But the New Start pact and spending bill in particular deserve at least eight or nine legislative days of debate, with opportunities for Senators to educate the public and offer amendments. As it is, most Americans are preoccupied with their busy holiday lives and have no idea that the world’s greatest deliberative body isn’t deliberating at all.

The rush for New Start is a special affront to Senate prerogatives under the Constitution, which requires a two-thirds vote for ratification precisely to guarantee a considered debate. The Administration claims that failure to ratify the treaty in two weeks will offend the Russians, though the Russians have said they feel no such urgency. GOP leaders have given Mr. Reid dates in either January or February to bring the treaty to the floor, and upwards of a dozen Republicans seem to be leaning in favor of the pact.

At a minimum the GOP ought to insist on a debate that is long enough to clarify the U.S. understanding of the treaty. That’s especially important on missile defenses because the pact’s preamble includes the major blunder of re-linking offensive and defensive weapons. At the time the pact was negotiated, the Russians claimed this language meant they could leave the treaty if the U.S. developed new missile defenses. In remarks at the time, U.S. officials did not forcefully counter that claim.

The Obama Administration has since said the Russians are wrong, but the Senate must make this absolutely clear during the ratification debate. GOP Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl are preparing a formal “understanding” to accompany the treaty that would stipulate that specific future U.S. missile defense plans aren’t part of the deal.

The next decade is likely to see a proliferation of nuclear weapons states with the missiles to hit U.S. or allied soil. The Senate should not tolerate a ratification debate in which Jon Kyl offers one interpretation, Democrat and missile defense opponent Carl Levin offers another, and the Russians are able to exploit the ambiguity.

The last-minute omnibus should also offend Senators who claim to have heard the voters on November 2. This jam-job is a substitute for the 12 individual spending bills that Congress was supposed to have passed during the summer. But for the first time in modern memory, Democrats never got around to passing a budget outline, much less specific spending bills. So now they want to rush one giant bill into law when no one is paying attention.

Congress does have to fund the government, but it can do that with a simple continuing resolution that maintains the status quo for three months or so until the next Congress gets up and running. The catch is that this would mean no earmarks, and no riders for this or that special interest that Members on the Appropriations Committee can write into a formal spending bill. This includes 10 or so GOP Appropriators, some of whom are leaving the Senate and want a last hurrah. Their fellow Senators deserve the chance to offer amendments on the floor at the very least, assuming their staff members get the time to read 2,000 pages.

This rushed, non-transparent, all-about-the-Members brand of legislating is precisely what voters rebelled against a month ago. Senate Republicans have the power to stop this railroad exercise if they stick together and insist that the Senate do its business the right way. Pass the tax bill, fund the government into the New Year, and go home for the holidays.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704694004576019810447429074.html?mod=WSJ_hps_sections_opinion

Hopefully the legislation is killed in the House, and better legislation is written next year when the Republicans control that chamber of the Congress. Indeed, the idea that Obama and his Democrats—who were soundly defeated in last month’s elections—can continue to enact their agenda, is a travesty and a tragedy of unfathomable proportions. Apparently they did not get the message that American voters sent loud and clear.

The ranks of Democrats need to be decimated further, starting with Obama. If necessary, the ranks of the Republicans in Congress need to be thinned too—to remind them that it is not “business as usual” with the American voters.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/

. . .

Obama is using the same tactic that he did when the passage of ObamaCare was in doubt—because a majority of the American people opposed it, and still do—namely, he is telling lawmakers that not passing the tax deal could end his presidency. However, the sooner his presidency ends and he is gone from Washington, the better off America will be.

See http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/133909-obama-tells-lawmakers-not-passing-tax-deal-could-end-presidency-dem-says

The Republicans do not seem to have the courage or skill to kill the legislation, which is pathetic. Not only is this true of the tax deal, but it is true of Senate ratification of the New START Treaty and other measures.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1136) and http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/stop-the-start-treaty-and-senatorial-pork/ (“[B]ring down a Russia increasingly focused on domination and replace it with a democratic nation that lives at peace with the world“)

The Republicans have known for months now that the Democrats planned to ram through legislation during the 2010 lame-duck session of Congress, especially if the Democrats suffered major defeats in the just-completed mid-term elections, which they did. Nonetheless, the Republicans seem sufficiently inept and incompetent that they have no strategy developed—much less implemented—to counteract what the Democrats are doing.

How pathetic, how very pathetic!

The Democrats are “evil,” but the Republicans are weak and spineless. Both should be thrown out of Congress—in wholesale numbers, even more staggering than the mid-term election results—by Independents, “disenchanted” Democrats, and members of the Tea Party movement. It is time to sweep out of office existing members of Congress!

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/ and http://www.gallup.com/poll/145238/Congress-Job-Approval-Rating-Worst-Gallup-History.aspx (“Congress’ Job Approval Rating Worst in Gallup History“) and http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/right_direction_or_wrong_track (23% Say USA Heading in Right Direction, Lowest Since Obama Took Office)

. . .

Lastly, most American voters do not believe Obama will win reelection, or that he deserves to. Most see him losing in 2012.

According to Politico.com:

Just 29 percent of the registered voters surveyed by Fox News and Opinion Dynamics said they believed Obama would win in 2012; 64 percent said they expected him to lose.

See http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46499.html

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16 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

The Great Depression II

Despite the “green shoots”—or promising economic news, which seems to be present on both sides of the Atlantic and elsewhere in the world—one must never forget that the same thing occurred during the Great Depression of the last century too. Yet, we did not emerge from that depression until the onset of World War II.

Vernon L. Smith, Nobel Laureate in Economics, and Steven Gjerstad wrote last year in the Wall Street Journal:

The events of the past 10 years have an eerie similarity to the period leading up to the Great Depression.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123897612802791281.html

These words were sobering then, and they are sobering now. Indeed, the predictions that I made last year have been coming true as well:

America and other nations are in uncharted waters; and their politicians may face backlashes from disillusioned and angry constituents that are unprecedented in modern times.

See http://www.realclearpolitics.com/news/tms/politics/2009/Apr/08/euphoria_or_the_obama_depression_.html; see also http://www.philstockworld.com/2009/10/11/greenspan%E2%80%99s-legacy-more-suffering-to-come/

What happened in last month’s mid-term elections in the United States is just the beginning, with much more to come.

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17 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Republicans Got Shellacked, And Cleared Obama’s Path And Sprinkled It With Rose Petals

This is the conclusion of the Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer in his latest brilliant column entitled, “The new comeback kid,” which is set forth here in its entirety:

If Barack Obama wins reelection in 2012, as is now more likely than not, historians will mark his comeback as beginning on Dec. 6, the day of the Great Tax Cut Deal of 2010.

Obama had a bad November. Self-confessedly shellacked in the midterm election, he fled the scene to Asia and various unsuccessful meetings, only to return to a sad-sack lame-duck Congress with ghostly dozens of defeated Democrats wandering the halls.

Now, with his stunning tax deal, Obama is back. Holding no high cards, he nonetheless managed to resurface suddenly not just as a player but as orchestrator, dealmaker and central actor in a high $1 trillion drama.

Compare this with Bill Clinton, greatest of all comeback kids, who, at a news conference a full five months after his shellacking in 1994, was reduced to plaintively protesting that “the president is relevant here.” He had been so humiliatingly sidelined that he did not really recover until late 1995 when he outmaneuvered Newt Gingrich in the government-shutdown showdown.

And that was Clinton responding nimbly to political opportunity. Obama fashioned out of thin air his return to relevance, an even more impressive achievement.

Remember the question after Election Day: Can Obama move to the center to win back the independents who had abandoned the party in November? And if so, how long would it take? Answer: Five weeks. An indoor record, although an asterisk should denote that he had help—Republicans clearing his path and sprinkling it with rose petals.

Obama’s repositioning to the center was first symbolized by his joint appearance with Clinton, the quintessential centrist Democrat, and followed days later by the overwhelming 81 to 19 Senate majority that supported the tax deal. That bipartisan margin will go a long way toward erasing the partisan stigma of Obama’s first two years, marked by Stimulus I, which passed without a single House Republican, and a health-care bill that garnered no congressional Republicans at all.

Despite this, some on the right are gloating that Obama had been maneuvered into forfeiting his liberal base. Nonsense. He will never lose his base. Where do they go? Liberals will never have a president as ideologically kindred—and they know it. For the left, Obama is as good as it gets in a country that is barely 20 percent liberal.

The conservative gloaters were simply fooled again by the flapping and squawking that liberals ritually engage in before folding at Obama’s feet. House liberals did it with Obamacare; they did it with the tax deal. Their boisterous protests are reminiscent of the floor demonstrations we used to see at party conventions when the losing candidate’s partisans would dance and shout in the aisles for a while before settling down to eventually nominate the other guy by acclamation.

And Obama pulled this off at his lowest political ebb. After the shambles of the election and with no bargaining power—the Republicans could have gotten everything they wanted on the Bush tax cuts retroactively in January without fear of an Obama veto—he walks away with what even Paul Ryan admits was $313 billion in superfluous spending.

Including a $6 billion subsidy for ethanol. Why, just a few weeks ago Al Gore, the Earth King, finally confessed that ethanol subsidies were a mistake. There is not a single economic or environmental rationale left for this boondoggle that has induced American farmers to dedicate an amazing 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop—for burning! And the Republicans have just revived it.

Even as they were near unanimously voting for this monstrosity, Republicans began righteously protesting $8.3 billion of earmarks in Harry Reid’s omnibus spending bill. They seem not to understand how ridiculous this looks after having agreed to a Stimulus II that even by their own generous reckoning has 38 times as much spending as all these earmarks combined.

The greatest mistake Ronald Reagan’s opponents ever made—and they made it over and over again—was to underestimate him. Same with Obama. The difference is that Reagan was so deeply self-assured that he invited underestimation—low expectations are a priceless political asset—whereas Obama’s vanity makes him always needing to appear the smartest guy in the room. Hence that display of prickliness in his disastrous post-deal news conference last week.

But don’t be fooled by defensive style or thin-skinned temperament. The president is a very smart man. How smart? His comeback is already a year ahead of Clinton’s.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/16/AR2010121604846.html (emphasis in original)

Again, the inept Republicans in Congress should pay a very heavy political price for what is being touted as “a huge victory for President Obama.” Granted the damage might have been even greater if the omnibus spending bill had been enacted too, but bad is bad however it is “sugar-coated.”

Democrats abandoned their efforts to push the omnibus spending bill, and said they would support a short-term, stop-gap measure instead. The Republicans had demanded the short-term solution since they will be the majority party in the House come January and have more seats in the Senate, and will be able to create their own spending plan.

However, exactly the same thing is true of the tax deal. There is no difference!

See http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/17/us/politics/17cong.html?_r=1&hp and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1140

. . .

Political pundit and former Bill Clinton adviser, Dick Morris, has a fine article discussing the tax deal and its implications entitled, “To Obama: Wimps don’t win,” which is worth reading. The only problem is that the Republicans proved to be bigger wimps than Obama.

They should have kicked over the tax bill to next year, instead of making any concessions to Obama at all. He has snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, politically—or as Charles Krauthammer has written, he “fashioned out of thin air his return to relevance”—which did not have to happen, and may foretell the future.

See http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/to-obama-wimps-dont-win/

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18 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama Falls To 40% Approval Rating In FOX News Poll

See, e.g., http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_obama_job_approval-1044.html

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20 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

The Inept Republicans Have Snatched Defeat From The Jaws Of Victory Again

Following their victories in the 2010 mid-term elections last month, the Republicans have been shamelessly outmaneuvered and disgraced politically by Barack Obama—losing in the 2010 lame-duck session of Congress. The Tribune Washington Bureau has reported:

In just the past week, Obama signed into law the deal he forged with Republicans—an $858-billion package of tax cuts and unemployment benefits—and saw Congress redeem one of his campaign pledges, allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. armed forces. Before this week is out, the Senate could deliver another major victory—ratification of a new arms reduction treaty with Russia.

. . .

[T]he year-end victories have gone a long way toward reshaping the image of a president who seemed isolated and out of touch only a month ago, after an enormous midterm election defeat.

Obama now looks like a dealmaker who can reach across party lines to get things done and, perhaps, make progress that Americans found lacking when they went to the polls.

The soon-to-depart Democratic Congress, under prodding from Obama, will likely go down as among the most productive since President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, almost half a century ago.

. . .

Obama’s aides realize that recent victories could turn out to be fleeting.

Many parts of the country have yet to pull out of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Unless the recovery gathers steam, the public’s mood will remain dark and Obama’s re-election will stay in doubt.

“The economy isn’t only the number one issue, it’s issue one through 10,” said Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director. “It dwarfs everything else. We have made a ton of progress, but there is much more work to do. The tax cut package signed into law this week is an important step in that direction.”

See http://dailyme.com/story/2010121900003293/late-victories-boost-obama-electoral-defeats.html

It is time that Independents—who make and break American elections—join with members of the Tea Party movement, and “disenchanted” Democrats, to put some spine back into the GOP; to seize the initiative from Obama, and reject his agenda; and to insure that he and his far-Left and mainstream Democrats are not reelected in 2012!

See also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1149

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20 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama’s State Department Is Responsible For The WikiLeaks, And For Supporting Anti-Democratic Policies In Honduras

While the WikiLeaks emanating from Obama’s State Department have done extensive damage to the United States (see, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1120), at least they have served one laudatory purpose; namely, of exposing exactly what the president and that Cabinet-level agency have done to undermine democracy in Honduras. As the Wall Street Journal’s Mary Anastasia O’Grady writes:

Lots of hypotheses have been floated to explain why the Obama administration went to such extremes last year to try to force Honduras to reinstate deposed president Manuel Zelaya.

Now the release of two WikiLeaked cables from the U.S. embassy in Tegucigalpa strengthens one of those theories: that the U.S. knew Mr. Zelaya was a threat to democratic Honduras but had decided the country should tolerate his constitutional violations in the interest of realpolitik.

Practically speaking, Hugo Chávez was the man to please. After a decade in power, the president of Venezuela’s influence around the region was notable. George W. Bush had clashed with him. Barack Obama was out to prove that they could get along, as evidenced by the warm handshake at the Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain in April 2009.

Honduras offered a bonding opportunity. Mr. Zelaya was a protégé of Mr. Chávez. Standing up for him as democratically elected was a way to score points with Latin America’s hard left.

. . .

Though Mr. Zelaya can be “gracious and charming,” wrote [Charles Ford, U.S. ambassador to Honduras under George W. Bush], “there also exists a sinister Zelaya, surrounded by a few close advisors with ties to both Venezuela and Cuba and organized crime.” He eerily observed what Zelaya opponents would repeatedly allege privately in the year to come: “Due to his close association with persons believed to be involved with international organized crime,” the president could not be trusted. “I am unable to brief Zelaya on sensitive law enforcement and counter-narcotics actions due [to] my concern that this would put the lives of U.S. officials in jeopardy.”

. . .

Throughout the constitutional crisis in Honduras, the State Department refused to release its legal analysis. Now we know why: Its case on behalf of Mr. Zelaya was flimsy and it was well aware that he was a threat to Honduran democracy.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/WikiLeaksHondurasandtheUS.pdf

. . .

Also, Columbia is getting “Obama treatment” too. As a Wall Street Journal editorial states:

[White House] spokesman Robert Gibbs disclosed late last week that President Obama plans to leave Colombia out in the cold when he pushes free trade deals in the next Congress.

. . .

The Colombian government wants to reduce its own trade barriers to make its economy and domestic industries more competitive while reducing costs to consumers. This is how wise leaders who want to raise their domestic standard of living behave.

Protectionists claim that Colombia doesn’t adequately protect labor organizers, but the level of violence has fallen dramatically in recent years as the government has gained the advantage over left-wing FARC guerrillas and their nemesis, the paramilitary forces. Colombia is America’s best ally in a bad Andean neighborhood. Failing to ratify the trade pact would be an act of willful strategic and economic stupidity.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/ObamaLetsColombiaHang.pdf

. . .

Barack Obama is not only disgraceful as an American president, but he is evil too. His far-Left radical views were before the American voters when they elected him in 2008, in the form of his kinship with Weather Underground co-founder Bill Ayers and Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.—whose radical views seem totally consistent with his. Also, his core beliefs were set forth in his book, “Dreams from My Father,” which every American should read before the 2012 elections. Obama must not be reelected.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

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22 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Michelle Obama: “Let Them Eat Cake!” [UPDATED]

Michelle Obama is Marie Antionette

Reminiscent of Michelle Obama’s extravagant trip to Spain earlier this year—with respect to which she was dubbed, “America’s Marie Antoinette”—the White House Dossier has reported:

The decision by First Lady Michelle Obama to leave on schedule for her two-week Hawaii vacation and not wait a few days for her delayed husband will probably cost taxpayers more than $63,000 in additional expenses, according to a White House Dossier analysis.

President Obama was supposed to depart for Hawaii Saturday, but decided to stay in Washington until Congress finishes its work for the year. He’s now expected to depart today or tomorrow. But Mrs. Obama chose to leave without him Saturday, taking their two children and the dog along with her.

. . .

By leaving early, she forced a large logistical support operation—including a retinue of Secret Service agents—to get itself up and running.

This is in addition to the support that will be needed to bring President Obama to Hawaii via Air Force One.

See http://www.whitehousedossier.com/2010/12/22/michelle-obama-hawaii/; see also http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1298063/Michelle-Obama-takes-daughter-Sasha-Spanish-getaway–leaves-birthday-boy-Barack-behind.html (Commenter: “Michelle Antoinette Obama”)

The Obamas’ complete lack of empathy for those Americans who are suffering and have nothing this Christmas—because they have lost their jobs, houses, and their way of life—is crass to say the least, and nothing short of sickening. American voters may send the Obamas packing for Hawaii (or Chicago) permanently in January of 2013, as a result of the 2012 elections.

See also http://www.whitehousedossier.com/2011/03/10/michelle-obama-sports-1000-handbag/ (“Michelle Obama Sports a $1,000 Handbag”) and http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/fashion/the_pauper_princess_rfiaz4yU7LIURcFv6aMOEK (“[N]ewly minted princess Kate Middleton greeted Michelle Obama in the ornate surroundings of Buckingham Palace . . . wearing a $340 dress from British retailer Reiss—a frock any commoner could buy. . . . The floral . . . dress [Obama] wore to meet Middleton . . . cost at least $2,000″) and http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0511/55832.html (“Less than three years into the job, first lady Michelle Obama is on her third chief of staff and third social secretary. She is on her second communications director, the White House chief usher recently departed, and her press secretary’s last day is Friday. On Friday afternoon, the first lady’s office announced that the executive director of Obama’s signature campaign to fight childhood obesity also is leaving. . . . [Michelle Obama is] tough as nails, and that can be hard for some people”) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2029615/Michelle-Obama-accused-spending-10m-public-money-vacations.html#comments (“Expensive massages, top shelf vodka and five-star hotels: First Lady accused of spending $10m in public money on her vacations“) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2077625/Michelle-Obama-insisted-4m-getaway-Hawaii-husband-wanted-local-holiday.html (“Is Michelle Obama’s spending ‘spiralling out of control’? First Lady ‘insisted on $4m trip to Hawaii when her husband wanted local vacation'”—in 2011 as well) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/us-election/8999311/Michelle-Obama-raged-against-Rahm-Emmanuel-and-White-House-advisors.html (“Michelle Obama ‘raged against Rahm Emmanuel and White House advisors'” . . . “The then-press secretary Robert Gibbs was apparently often dispatched to placate Mrs Obama when limits were put on the amount she could spend on clothes or White House redecoration, as well as to explain why she could not take private holiday while on state visits”) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/9048122/Agent-Provocateur-sales-boosted-by-US-First-Lady-Michelle-Obama.html (“Michelle Obama has risked the wrath of cash-strapped Americans by indulging in a $50,000 shopping spree“) and http://dailycaller.com/2012/04/26/group-michelle-obamas-spain-trip-cost-taxpayers-467k/ (“Michelle Obama’s Spain trip cost taxpayers $467k“)

. . .

In response to an article about the latest “junket” of Marie—oops, Michelle—Obama, one commenter wrote:

I just paid $4.15 per gallon of gasoline at Costco in Tustin, CA. $30.01 bought me 7.159 gallons of gasoline. THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS, PEOPLE! And yet, this woman – this so-called “first lady” (I will not capitalize) jets off to VAIL TO SKI ???? Are we insane? Can this man Obama not be stopped? Millions of people still DON’T CARE WHAT THIS FAMILY IS DOING ON OUR DIME??? God – hear us, please! Defeat Obama in November. We MUST defeat this man.

See http://www.whitehousedossier.com/2012/02/18/michelle-obama-decides-ski-aspen/ (“Michelle Obama Decides to Ski Aspen”); see also http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2103173/Just-weeks-17-day-Hawaii-holiday-Michelle-Obama-takes-daughters-ski-trip-Aspen.html (“Well it has been a whole month! Just weeks after 17-day Hawaii vacation Michelle hits the slopes with daughters on Aspen ski trip”) and http://washingtonexaminer.com/politics/washington-secrets/2012/02/michelles-ski-trip-marks-16-obama-vacations/294051 (“Michelle’s ski trip marks 16 Obama vacations”) and http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/more-vacation-month-obamas-2013_711998.html (“More than a Vacation a Month for Obamas in 2013″) and http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/03/25/obama-prioritizes-family-spring-break-over-white-house-tours (“OBAMA PRIORITIZES FAMILY SPRING BREAK OVER WHITE HOUSE TOURS”)

The anger is rising in America!

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24 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

George W. Bush’s Memoir Sells 2 Million Copies In A Month, Nearly As Many As Bill Clinton’s Sold In Six Years

The UK’s Daily Mail is reporting:

[I]t’s an impressive feat.

Former U.S. President George W Bush’s memoir has sold an astonishing two million copies since it was released in early November—and it’s not even in paperback yet.

‘Decision Points’, published both in hardcover and e-book form, is flying off the shelves, the Crown Publishing Group says.

By contrast, former president Bill Clinton’s memoir, ‘My Life’, has logged sales of 2.2million copies since it was first published in 2004.

A spokesman for Crown called the performance remarkable.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1341229/Bushs-memoir-sells-2MILLION-copies-just-month–nearly-Bill-Clintons-sold-years.html

George W. Bush is back! :-)

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25 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

The Great Republican Ascendancy Of 2010 Lasted Less Than Two Months!

This is the verdict of the Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer, and he is correct. In the concluding paragraph of his latest column in the Post, he writes about the inept Republicans:

“Harry Reid has eaten our lunch,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, lamenting his side’s “capitulation” in the lame-duck session. Yes, but it was less Harry than Barry. Obama came back with a vengeance. His string of lame-duck successes is a singular political achievement. Because of it, the epic battles of the 112th Congress begin on what would have seemed impossible just one month ago—a level playing field.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/23/AR2010122303877.html

Krauthammer discusses the New START Treaty, the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy with respect to Gays, and other issues, and writes—in accurately summarizing where American politics stands on Christmas Day 2010:

Riding the lamest of ducks, President Obama just won the Triple Crown. He fulfilled (1) his most important economic priority, passage of Stimulus II, a.k.a. the tax cut deal (the perfect pre-re-election fiscal sugar high—the piper gets paid in 2013 and beyond); (2) his most important social policy objective, repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell”; and (3) his most cherished (achievable) foreign policy goal, ratification of the New START treaty with Russia.

Politically, these are all synergistic. The bipartisan nature of the tax deal instantly repositioned Obama back to the center. And just when conventional wisdom decided the deal had caused irreparable alienation from his liberal base, Obama almost immediately won it back—by delivering one of the gay rights movement’s most elusive and coveted breakthroughs.

The symbolism of the don’t ask, don’t tell repeal cannot be underestimated. It’s not just that for the civil rights community, it represents a long-awaited extension of the historic arc—first blacks, then women, now gays. It was also Obama decisively transcending the triangulated trimming of Bill Clinton, who instituted don’t ask, don’t tell in the first place. Even more subtly and understatedly, the repeal represents the taming of the most conservative of the nation’s institutions, the military, by a movement historically among the most avant-garde. Whatever your views, that is a cultural landmark.

Then came START, which was important for Obama not just because of the dearth of foreign policy achievements these past two years but because treaties, especially grand-sounding treaties on strategic arms, carry the aura of presidential authority and diplomatic mastery.

No matter how useless they are, or even how damaging. New START was significantly, if subtly, damaging, which made the rear-guard Republican opposition it engendered so salutary. The debate it sparked garnered the treaty more attention than it would have otherwise and thus gave Obama a larger PR victory. But that debate also amplified the major flaw in the treaty—the gratuitous reestablishment of the link between offensive and defensive weaponry.

One of the great achievements of the past decade was the Bush administration’s severing of that link—first, by its withdrawal from the ABM Treaty, which had expressly prevented major advances in missile defense, and then with the 2002 Treaty of Moscow, which regulated offensive weapons but ostentatiously contained not a single word about any connection to missile defense. Why is this important? Because missile defense is essential for protecting ourselves from the most menacing threat of the coming century—nuclear hyper-proliferation.

The relinking that we acquiesced to in the preamble to New START is a major reversal of that achievement. Sure, Obama sought to reassure critics with his letter to the Senate promising unimpeded development of our European missile defense system. But the Russians have already watched this president cancel our painstakingly planned Polish and Czech missile defenses in response to Russian protests and threats. That’s why they insisted we formally acknowledge an “interrelationship” between offense and defense. They know that their threat to withdraw from START, if the United States were to build defenses that displease them, will inevitably color—and restrain—future U.S. missile defense advances and deployments.

Obama’s difficulty in overcoming the missile defense objection will serve to temper the rest of his nuclear agenda, including U.S. entry into the test-ban treaty, and place Obama’s ultimate goal of total nuclear disarmament blessedly out of reach. Conservatives can thus take solace that their vigorous opposition to START is likely to prevent further disarmament mischief down the road. But what they cannot deny is the political boost the treaty’s ratification gives Obama today, a mere seven weeks after his Election Day debacle.

The great liberal ascendancy of 2008, destined to last 40 years (predicted James Carville), lasted less than two. Yet, the great Republican ascendancy of 2010 lasted less than two months. Republicans will enter the 112th Congress with larger numbers but no longer with the wind—the overwhelming Nov. 2 repudiation of Obama’s social-democratic agenda—at their backs.

See id. (emphasis in original)

In the final analysis, none of this would have happened without the complicity of the Republicans. They need to pay a heavy price; and their members must be targeted, as political pundit Dick Morris has suggested.

See, e.g., http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/which-republicans-sold-out/

Independents, members of the Tea Party movement, and “disenchanted” Democrats must unite to make sure that what just happened during the lame-duck session of Congress never happens again; and that Barack Obama is not reelected in 2012. Also, what has happened legislatively—and ObamaCare—must be rolled back in 2011 and 2012.

See also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1164 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1149

The GOP has no backbone . . . or so it would certainly seem!

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26 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

The New START Treaty Is Another Obama Travesty—Like ObamaCare—Which The Next GOP Administration Should Withdraw From Immediately

George W. Bush withdrew from the ABM Treaty, which had expressly prevented major advances in missile defense. The next GOP administration must withdraw from the New START Treaty as soon as it comes to power.

A Breitbart article entitled, “Nuclear treaty ‘goes easy on Russia,'” states:

The new Russia-US nuclear arms pact may have been hailed as historic but analysts said that all Moscow really has to do is phase out Soviet-era missiles and warheads that are already out of date.

The new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) was ratified by the US Senate on Wednesday after a passionate months-long debate and given initial approval by Russia’s State Duma lower house of parliament two days later.

It will face two more hearings in Russia and almost certainly come into force within the next few months.

. . .

But the required phase-out of old missiles is not the only thing working in Russia’s favour. New counting rules will also allow it to attribute just one warhead per bomber even if it carries more—a point insisted on by Moscow during the treaty negotiations.

. . .

And Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov saw nothing but the treaty’s advantages as he defended it [in] parliament Friday.

“We will not have to make any cuts to our strategic offensive weapons,” Serdyukov told sceptical lawmakers from the Communist opposition. “But the Americans—they will indeed have to make some cuts.”

See http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.cdc63f449543115516a6ee1f2c569704.171&show_article=1; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1136

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28 12 2010
Working Stiff

Good lord. Did you really append all these comments to your own post? Interesting!

Listen, Mr. Naegele, I’ve seen your comments around various websites, and I just read some of your posts here, and I gotta ask–do you have, like, a cogent political philosophy of any kind, or just some seriously constipated animus against Pres. Obama as an individual? And what exactly is the origin of that animus? Here’s something to ponder in your next post, or comment, or whatever it is you’re into these days: The main reason that so many left-of-center folks think that you Tea Party types are bigots is because your opposition to the president’s policies doesn’t adhere to any governing logic (or logic of governance).

Now, I feel very strongly that it’s unfair to label the whole Tea Party movement, or even individual members, racists on that account alone; there are definitely other factors (financial, temperamental, etc.) at work; but I must confess, in reviewing the truly startling volume of online opinion you’ve been doling out, that your inability to maintain the least semblance of ideological coherence may lead one to suspect that your position has some unwholesome motive.

Even your (and your movement’s) personal dislike of the president doesn’t assume, from criticism to criticism, any rational order: one moment Obama is an unprincipled Chicago thug, a ruthless pol with no political convictions save power alone–the next he’s a convinced ideologue, a starry eyed Marxist and a true believer. One moment he’s an emotionless, intellectual elitist with no understanding or sympathy for working people–the next he’s a furious class warrior, an unstable populist seething with resentment at the haves. It doesn’t make sense, Mr. Naegele. It doesn’t.

So, too, your objections to his policy initiatives, which find you first incensed at his proposed tax increases, than shocked by his budget-busting tax-cut compromise. You believe the Afghan war is necessary, but you don’t like the way he’s increased our involvement, and you don’t like the health care reform bill, but you support Republicans whose proposals to replace it are really only ObamaCare Lite. And those same politicians carry on about 9/11, but filibuster health care funding for first responders–lambast Wall Street, but refuse to impose laws to restrain it–and on and on, such that the entire conservative movement has come to appear as nothing more than a confused scrum of anti-Obama madness.

With all this, what are we to assume, Mr. Naegele? How can we believe that your opposition to the president is motivated by anything but racism? His color is the only element you don’t bend yourself into irrational knots to criticize; and it is the only thing that would rationalize your contempt.

Please don’t thank me for this comment. It would be inappropriate.

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28 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, anyway, for your comments. They are a mouthful, to say the least.

First, when an article is written, events occur after that, which deserve attention. This is why I add additional comments below the articles, as warranted.

Second, the “cogent political philosophy” that undergirds my articles and comments is not that of a Republican or Democrat, but an Independent who picks and chooses what he deems best—in the eye of the beholder. Just as the confluence of Independents, members of the Tea Party movement and “disenchanted” Democrats will produce new directions for American politics, so too does my writing.

If there is any thread that runs through it, conservatism may be that thread. However, over the years, I have been turned off by the personalities and rigid hard-line beliefs of many on the Right. I encountered them when I worked on Capitol Hill, which is among the reasons why I dropped out of the Republican Party, even though I have voted for its candidates (e.g., Ford, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, John McCain).

You mention my “inability to maintain the least semblance of ideological coherence,” which to your way of thinking presumably applies to all Independent voters as well.

Third, if I have any animus toward Barack Obama as an individual, it stems from his core beliefs and what he has been trying to do to America. I thought seriously about voting for him, However, I voted for McCain instead because of two issues: national security and the domestic economy. I concluded that Obama was an “empty vessel” with respect to these and other important issues.

After the election, I read his book twice, “Dreams from My Father.” It was a shocker and an eye-opener, to say the least. I wrote an article about it, which summarizes my views on the subject. If anything, my views about him have hardened since. I disagree with most if not all of what he has done thus far; and I believe the country will be better off after he leaves public office.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

Fourth, as stated clearly throughout this blog, I am not a member of the Tea Party movement, although I believe that what they have accomplished to date is laudable. Again, I am an independent and proud of it. Approximately 35 percent of American voters are Independents too; and I believe there will be an Independent who is elected president of the United States during my lifetime.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/

Fifth, you ascribe characterizations to me, which simply do not apply. You may dislike conservatives or whomever, but the labels that you attach to my beliefs are not apt. I have never described Barack Obama as “a starry-eyed Marxist,” nor have I ever said that “he’s a furious class warrior, an unstable populist seething with resentment at the haves.”

Next, you state: “You believe the Afghan war is necessary, but you don’t like the way he’s increased our involvement.” This is untrue as well. I believe Obama is incompetent when it comes to military affairs. If we are successful in Afghanistan, it will be because of what David Petraeus and others have accomplished, not because of anything that Obama has done. The man cannot even utter the word “victory” as a goal of ours. He is pathetic, to say the least.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/obama-in-afghanistan-doomed-from-the-start/

With respect to ObamaCare, like the majority of Americans, I support its repeal at the earliest possible date. If the Republicans support this position, then so be it. Regarding the GOP’s opposition to “health care funding for first responders,” my only concern is the magnitude of that funding, not the need for it.

With respect to those who “lambast Wall Street, but refuse to impose laws to restrain it,” my position is clear on that subject too. Meaningful legislation is needed, but not legislation that fires shots wildly for political consumption, but misses the mark widely.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/04/23/is-financial-reform-simply-washingtons-latest-boondoggle/

Lastly, are my comments and beliefs racist, as you would suggest? Again, I came very close to voting for him; and my decision not to do so had nothing at all to do with the issue of race.

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29 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama Vacations In Hawaii While Much Of The Nation Suffers—And Has The Gall To Advocate “Global Warming” Curbs!

Barack Obama vacations in Hawaii, while much of the United States is suffering from freezing temperatures and massive, unprecedented snows. Or as Michelle Obama has said, paraphrasing her: “Let them eat cake!”

See, e.g. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1343050/All-Presidents-men-Obama-enjoys-20-MAN-motorcade-splashes-1-5m-Hawaiian-holiday.html (“Obama provoked fresh outrage today after taking a 20-man motorcade to visit a childhood friend“) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1342850/The-cost-quick-Christmas-break-U-S-President-Barak-Obama-Thatll-1million.html (“President spends $1.5m on his holiday in Hawaii… while the rest of America faces a bleak New Year“) and http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2010/12/president-and-family-multi-million-dollar-christmas-vacation-hawa (“President and family on multi-million dollar Christmas vacation in Hawaii“) and http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.894f9613dde7faf0e564d8d311b3922e.131&show_article=1 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1172 (“Michelle Obama: ‘Let Them Eat Cake!’“) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-1127 (“The Lunacy Of The Global Warming Hoax Is In Full Swing“)

Indeed, Obama’s White House plans to push “Global Warming” policies, despite the fact that “Global Warming” is a fraud and a hoax.

It has been reported, from Honolulu:

After failing to get climate-change legislation through Congress, the Obama administration plans on pushing through its environmental policies through other means, and Republicans are ready to put up a fight.

On Jan. 2, new carbon emissions limits will be put forward as the Environmental Protection Agency prepares regulations that would force companies to get permits to release greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

Critics say the new rules are a backdoor effort to enact the president’s agenda on global warming without the support of Congress, and would hurt the economy and put jobs in jeopardy by forcing companies to pay for expensive new equipment.

. . .

The administration says it has the power to issue the regulation under a 2007 Supreme Court ruling that directed the [EPA] to make a determination on whether carbon dioxide, blamed for global warming, was a hazard to human health.

. . .

With Republicans taking control in the House, the GOP will be in a better position to take on some of these policies, and members are promising a fight if the Obama White House moves forward with any carbon crackdown. There was bipartisan support for a bill proposed this year that would have stripped the EPA of the power to set carbon emissions limits. GOP lawmakers could bring the measure back.

The White House seems prepared for a fight.

The administration recently circulated a memo from the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy John Holdren to the heads of all federal departments and agencies calling for “a clear prohibition on political interference in scientific processes and expanded assurances of transparency.”

See http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/12/28/white-house-plans-push-global-warming-policy-gop-vows-fight/; see also http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/30/AR2010123003047.html (“[Obama's EPA] declared that in 2011 it would begin drawing up anti-carbon regulations on oil refineries and power plants, another power grab effectively enacting what Congress had firmly rejected when presented as cap-and-trade legislation“)

We can all remember how much of a fight the inept Republicans put up during the 2010 lame-duck session of Congress, when Obama and his Democrats rolled them. Hopefully the GOP’s performance will be dramatically better in 2011 and 2012, or else Independents, members of the Tea Party movement, and “disenchanted” Democrats must throw them out of office along with Obama and his Democrats!

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31 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama Imposes His Far-Left Liberal Agenda On Center-Right America By Using Regulatory Stealth

No one should ever be fooled about Barack Obama’s core beliefs. They were set forth in his book, “Dreams from My Father,” which every American should read and reread, because they constitute a roadmap of his presidency. They are shocking to say the least, and they have been summarized and discussed in the following article.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

Having snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the lame-duck session of Congress, with the help of inept Republicans who must be defeated at the polls—or as the Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer put it so aptly, “Obama fashioned out of thin air his return to relevance”—he is back with a vengeance, while vacationing in Hawaii as Americans suffer.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1211

Specifically, as Krauthammer describes so well in his last column of 2010 entitled, “Government by regulation. Shhh”:

Obama knows he has only so many years to change the country. In his first two, he achieved much: the first stimulus, Obamacare and financial regulation. For the next two, however, the Republican House will prevent any repetition of that. Obama’s agenda will therefore have to be advanced by the more subterranean means of rule-by-regulation.

But this must simultaneously be mixed with ostentatious displays of legislative bipartisanship (e.g., the lame-duck tax-cut deal) in order to pull off the (apparent) centrist repositioning required for reelection. This, in turn, would grant Obama four more years when, freed from the need for pretense, he can reassert himself ideologically and complete the social-democratic transformation—begun Jan. 20, 2009; derailed Nov. 2, 2010—that is the mission of his presidency.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/30/AR2010123003047.html

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31 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Never Has An American Congress Done So Much And Been So Despised For It

This is the Wall Street Journal’s assessment of the Democrat-controlled Congress that just finished its work. The Journal added in its very important editorial:

The liberal wing of the Democratic Party had been waiting since the 1960s for its next great political opening, as we warned in an October 17, 2008 editorial, “A Liberal Supermajority.” Critics and some of our readers scored us at the time for exaggerating, but in retrospect we understated the willful nature of that majority.

Democrats achieved 60 Senate votes by an historical accident of prosecutorial abuse (Ted Stevens), a stolen election (Al Franken) and a betrayal (Arlen Specter). They then attempted to do nearly everything we expected, regardless of public opinion, and they only stopped because the clock ran out.

The real story of 2010 is that the voters were finally able to see and judge this liberal agenda in its unvarnished form. . . . The public was able to compare the promise of 8% unemployment if the government spent $812 billion on “stimulus” with the 9.8% jobless result. They stood athwart liberal history in the making and said, “Stop.”

Note well, however, that the Democrats still standing on Capitol Hill remain unchastened. In her exit interviews, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she would do it all the same way again, and her colleagues have seconded her lack of remorse by keeping her as their leader despite their November thumping.

. . .

Note, too, that the organized left and its media allies are also beginning to rewrite the story of the 111th Congress as an historical triumph. The same people who claimed that ObamaCare was a defeat because it lacked a public option are suddenly noting it will put 32 million more Americans on the government health-care dole. It won’t be long before liberals and the press are defending the 111th Congress’s every achievement as historic.

There is a lesson here both about modern liberalism and for Republicans who will soon have more power in Congress. For today’s left, the main goal of politics is not to respond to public opinion. The goal is to impose the dream of an egalitarian entitlement state whether the public likes it or not. Sooner or later, they figure, the anger will subside and Americans will come to like the cozy confines of the cradle-to-grave welfare state.

This is the great Democratic bet with ObamaCare. The assumption is that once the benefits start to flow in 2013 the constituency for “free” health care will grow. As spending and deficits climb, the pressure for higher taxes will become inexorable and the GOP will splinter into its balanced budget and antitax wings. A value-added tax or some other money-machine will pass and guarantee that the government will control 40% to 50% of all economic resources.

If the price of this bet was losing control of the House for a moment in time in 2010, Mrs. Pelosi’s view is so be it. You have to break a few Blue Dog careers to build a European welfare state. Liberals figure that as long as President Obama can be re-elected in 2012, their gamble will pay off and the legacy of the 111th Congress will be secure. The cheerleaders will write books about it.

The lesson for Republicans is to understand the nature of their political opponents and this long-term bet. The GOP can achieve all kinds of victories in the next two years, and some of them will be important for economic growth. But the main chance is ObamaCare, which will fundamentally change the balance of power between government and individuals if it is not repealed or replaced.

While repeal will no doubt founder in the Senate in the next two years, Republicans can still use their House platform to frame the debate for 2012. They can hold hearings to educate the public about rising insurance costs and other nasty ObamaCare consequences. And they can use the power of the purse to undermine its implementation.

. . .

The difference between the work of the 111th Congress and that of either the Great Society or New Deal is that the latter were bipartisan and in the main popular. This Congress’s handiwork is profoundly unpopular and should become more so as its effects become manifest. In 2010, Americans saw liberalism in the raw and rejected it. The challenge for Republicans is to repair the damage before it becomes permanent.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703909904576051803529108190.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

What is clear is that the American people—Republicans, Independents, members of the Tea Party movement, and “disenchanted” Democrats—must unite as they did last month, and throw Barack Obama and his “fellow travelers” (aka far-Left and mainstream Democrats) out of office once and for all, and repeal their legislative accomplishments entirely.

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31 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Have Obama’s Blunders Tragically Shut The Door On A Partnership With Iraq That Would Benefit Both Countries?

In an excellent Wall Street Journal editorial—which is subtitled, “A continued American troop presence is good for Iraq, and the combustible Persian Gulf region”—it is stated:

The Obama Administration has known the 2011 [troop withdrawal] deadline was coming, and it’s a blunder not to have been quietly negotiating with [Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki] for a new forces agreement. Little time remains to sort out a compromise or get a new deal. The U.S. military doesn’t travel light, and it needs to know as soon as possible if troops are to stay in Iraq. We hope Mr. Maliki’s comments this week haven’t shut the door on a partnership that would benefit both countries.

The Journal’s editorial added:

This year saw the lowest number of civilian casualties since the 2003 invasion, and terrorism no longer poses a mortal threat to the state. The coalition formed after a close election in March has also brought Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds under the same tent. The economy is booming. Fewer than 50,000 American troops are left, based outside the cities and no longer engaged in combat. By the terms of the current status of forces agreement, all will leave within 12 months.

Iraq’s own 700,000-strong security forces have matured to the challenge of keeping peace in the country. But the U.S. military now plays a different role as a guarantor of stability in Iraq and the neighborhood. The sectarian groups still compete fiercely over the division of spoils and power. Iraqis know that America has no designs on Iraq territory or resources, which is why it is trusted as an honest broker.

. . .

Mr. Maliki’s political rivals think the Prime Minister harbors an authoritarian streak and enjoys too much control over a Shiite-dominated military. U.S. forces would have an especially reassuring effect on the Kurds, a long-suffering minority that doesn’t trust Baghdad.

The presence of U.S. forces in Iraq can also have a stabilizing impact in the region, much as U.S. troops in Japan and South Korea have had in Asia nearly 60 years after the end of the Korean War. The U.S. can help to shield Iraq from undue Saudi or Iranian pressure with troops on the ground, while making Iran think twice about regional adventures. With the right atmospherics and conditions, this insurance policy need not be controversial in the U.S. or Iraq.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/MalikisTroopMistake.pdf; see also http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1375534/Pentagon-having-second-thoughts-Obamas-timeline-withdrawal-Iraq.html (“Pentagon having second thoughts on Obama’s timeline for withdrawal from Iraq”)

Barack Obama must be removed from office at the earliest possible date.

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2 01 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

White Democrats Do Not Share Enthusiasm For Obama

The latest Rasmussen Poll release shows:

Overall, data from the Rasmussen Reports Presidential Tracking Poll during the final week of 2010 showed that 51% of all Democrats Strongly Approve of the president’s performance. When you include those who Somewhat Approve, the president received positive reviews from 82% of those in his party.

Yet while 75% of Black Democrats Strongly Approve of the job he’s doing as president, only 40% of White Democrats share that level of enthusiasm. That gap is much bigger than it was when Obama first took office in January 2009. During his first week as president, he earned Strong Approval from 88% of Black Democrats and 72% of White Democrats.

Among White Democratic men, the president now earns Strong Approval from just 33%. That figure is down from 70% during the president’s first week in office.

From an ideological perspective, 60% of Liberal Democrats Strongly Approve of Obama’s performance. Only 14% of Conservative Democrats agree (down from 49% during Obama’s first week as president).

Overall, including those who Somewhat Approve, the president’s job approval rating is now at 87% among Liberal Democrats and 42% among Conservative Democrats.

Among all White voters, including those who are not Democrats, the president’s overall approval rating is at 38%. Among all Black voters, 94% offer their approval.

Among all voters, the president’s Job Approval remained remarkably in the mid-40 percent range throughout all of 2010.

See http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/december_2010/obama_more_popular_among_some_democrats_than_others; see also http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/obama_approval_index_history

During 2011 and 2012, at the very least the twin pincers of a declining domestic economic and his failed Afghan War will take an enormous toll on Barack Obama’s popularity. If Independents, members of the Tea Party movement, and “disenchanted” Democrats continue to support the GOP as the elections of 2012 approach, Obama is likely to be in trouble politically.

The inept Republicans managed to give him some year-end victories in the lame-duck session of Congress; however, as the new GOP House takes office, such victories are not apt to be repeated.

See also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1218 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1186

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2 01 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Let The Investigations Begin—The More All-Encompassing And Far-Reaching, The Better!

There is little doubt that Barack Obama and other members of his administration, and the Democrats in Congress, have broken numerous laws. Now, investigations will begin to ferret out their wrongdoing, and expose it to the American people, so that—at the very least—they can be purged from their political offices no later than the elections of 2012.

Among other things, CNN has reported:

The incoming House Oversight and Government Reform chairman on Sunday tried to clarify his recent remarks to Rush Limbaugh where he called President Obama “one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times.”

Rep. Darrell Issa said he meant to say the Obama administration instead of the president.

“When you hand out $1 trillion in TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) just before this president came in, most of it unspent, $1 trillion nearly in stimulus, that this president asked for, plus this huge expansion in health care and government, it has a corrupting effect,” Issa said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Although TARP—the program passed in 2008 intended to strengthen the financial sector by purchasing assets from financial institutions—was passed by Congress under the Bush administration, Issa said the unregulated funds were used by Obama like “presidential earmarks.”

But the California Republican also admitted Congress shares some of the blame.

“All of that would not have been possible if Congress had done its job,” Issa told CNN Chief White House Correspondent Ed Henry. “Instead what happened was we gave President Bush (the money and) President Obama inherited $800 billion worth of walking-around money with no guidelines.”

See http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/01/02/goper-calls-obama-administration-corrupt/; see also http://www.cnn.com/2011/POLITICS/01/02/new.congress/index.html

If members of the GOP like Issa are timid and weak, or they give in to Obama like they did during the lame-duck session of the 2010 Congress (see, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1186), then Independents, members of the Tea Party movement, and “disenchanted” Democrats should unite and throw the Republicans out of office too.

If the 2010 elections meant anything, they stood for the idea that it will not be “business as usual” in Washington anymore, for members of either political party, which is long overdue!

See also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/

If the congressional investigations into the Obama presidency uncover the depth of wrongdoing that might be expected, the House Republicans should begin impeachment proceedings against Obama, and at the very least force him to resign like Nixon did. For Obama to resign in disgrace would put a “dagger” through the far-Left and its agenda that might take them decades to recover from.

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5 01 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama Must Be Impeached—Nothing Less Will Suffice!

Political pundit and former Bill Clinton adviser, Dick Morris, puts forth the compelling case why Barack Obama must be impeached. Among other things, he writes:

The legislative enactments were bad enough. But now Obama is using his executive authority to implement anything he couldn’t get through even his Democrat-dominated Congress.

By administrative order, the Environmental Protection Agency is about to impose a carbon tax more draconian than the aborted cap-and-trade legislation. The National Labor Relations Board is reversing the Dana decision, which requires secret ballots in union elections. Having failed to pass card-check legislation, the board will impose it by a party-line 3-2 vote. And now the Department of Health and Human Services is about to reimburse end-of-life advice from physicians even though this was specifically deleted from the healthcare bill in order to assure its passage. Finally, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is about to impose regulations on talk radio requiring locally produced programs, shortening the license period to four years (from eight) and reining in conservative programming. It is also using the rubric of net neutrality to regulate the Internet.

These administrative rulings are Obama II and will be as far-reaching as Obama I, but will not enjoy the sanction of legislative approval.

And there is plenty from Obama I that needs changing. ObamaCare must be repealed, or its funding and implementation blocked.

. . .

So how do we roll all this back?

We need to use the tools at hand. The three bills Obama must pass are our leverage. The Republican House needs to demand rollbacks in his legislative agenda and curbs on his executive actions as the price for permitting the government to operate.

It will not be time for the faint-hearted. The conservatives seeking to block arbitrary expropriation of vast segments of our private sector will be accused of irresponsibility and worse. But every one of the elements of the confrontation agenda has one thing in common: The public agrees with the Republicans. On ObamaCare, . . . enforcement of the individual mandate, healthcare rationing, administrative imposition of carbon taxes, FCC controls over talk radio, card-check and spending cuts rather than tax increases, Americans side with the GOP position against the Democratic/Obama agenda. Americans will support the Congress in the coming confrontations.

But if Republicans stray over the line of public opinion themselves by cutting Medicare or Social Security, they will lose.

See http://thehill.com/opinion/columnists/dick-morris/135963-how-to-defeat-obama

Barack Obama is the most radical president in American history, and his presidency must be ended. If the Republicans do not have the guts to do this, they too must be thrown out of office!

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5 01 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Is There Hope For The GOP?

The Wall Street Journal has an editorial that is worth reading.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704723104576061922890057168.html?mod=WSJ_hps_sections_opinion

The GOP failed miserably during the just-completed lame-duck session of Congress, and its members were pathetic. Based on this performance, they too should be driven from public office. They got shellacked.

Paraphrasing the words of Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post, they cleared Barack Obama’s path and sprinkled it with rose petals. Indeed, Krauthammer probably said it best when he added: “Obama fashioned out of thin air his return to relevance,” thanks to help from the GOP—help, in the Journal’s words, for “the man who has added $4 trillion to the deficit in two years.”

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1149 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1186 (“The Great Republican Ascendancy Of 2010 Lasted Less Than Two Months!”)

Never has an American Congress done so much and been so despised for it. Independents—who constitute approximately 35 percent of American voters—must join with members of the Tea Party movement, and “disenchanted” Democrats, (1) to put some spine back into the GOP, if that is possible; (2) to seize the initiative from Obama and reject his agenda, or his “abiding goal” (which is how the Journal aptly describes it) to reverse Reaganism permanently; and (3) to insure that he and his far-Left and Leftist Democrats are not reelected in 2012!

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/#comment-1217

Lastly, the Journal is correct: it would be political suicide if the GOP attempts to “gut” Social Security or Medicare . . . but this does not apply to ObamaCare, the signature legislation of the Obama presidency so far. Also, the strength of our military must be maintained and augmented to insure that the national security challenges of this decade are met and addressed from a position of unparalleled strength.

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6 01 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

The Current Financial Crisis Is The Second Great Depression

These are the words of American political pundit Ann Coulter in an article entitled, “Investigate This!”—which is worth reading.

Coulter adds:

Goo-goo liberals with federal titles pressured banks into making absurd loans to high-risk borrowers—demanding, for example, that the banks accept unemployment benefits as collateral. Then Fannie repackaged the bad loans as “prime mortgages” and sold them to banks, thus poisoning the entire financial market with hidden bad loans.

. . .

So far, Fannie and Freddie’s default on loans that should never have been made has cost the taxpayer tens of billions of dollars. Some estimates say the final cost to the taxpayer will be more than $1 trillion. To put that number in perspective, for a trillion dollars, President Obama could pass another stupid, useless stimulus package that doesn’t create a single real job.

. . .

Over and over again, Republicans tried to rein in the politically correct policies being foisted on mortgage lenders by Fannie Mae, only to be met by a Praetorian Guard of Democrats howling that Republicans hated the poor.

In 2003, Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee wrote a bill to tighten the lending regulation of Fannie and Freddie. Every single Democrat on the committee voted against it.

In the House, Barney Frank angrily proclaimed that Fannie Mae was “just fine.”

. . .

As the titanic losses were racking up, Fannie Mae’s operators, Franklin Raines and Jamie Gorelick, disguised the catastrophe by orchestrating a $5 billion accounting fraud—all the while continuing to pressure banks to make absurd, politically correct loans and denouncing Republicans as enemies of the poor.

. . .

As Peter Schweizer points out in his magnificent book “Architects of Ruin,” which everyone should read, Enron’s accounting fraud was a paltry $567 million—and it didn’t bring down the entire financial system. Those involved in the Enron manipulations went to prison. Raines and Gorelick not only didn’t go to jail, they walked away with multimillion-dollar payouts, courtesy of the taxpayer.

(Here’s more fascinating Jamie Gorelick trivia: That giant wall she built between the FBI and the CIA, making 9/11 possible? It was financed with a risky loan from Fannie Mae.)

Under the Democrats’ 2010 “Financial Reform” bill (written by Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and Goldman Sachs), Raines keeps his $90 million, Jamie Gorelick keeps her $26.4 million, and Goldman keeps its $12 billion from the AIG bailout.

See http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=41005

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6 01 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama Trashes Pentagon, And Must Be Impeached!

At the very time when (1) America’s far-Left anti-war president, Barack Obama, is doing nothing to maintain American forces in Iraq, which might help stabilize the country and the region (see, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1224), and (2) he refuses to utter the word “victory” with respect to his Afghan War (see, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected), and (3) he has committed the United States to the New START Treaty, even though the Russians are laughing at him and America, and taunting both (see, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1245), and (4) China is emerging as a superpower that will threaten America (see, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1188), Obama is intent on gutting our military. The threats against us around the world have not lessened one iota (see, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive ["EMP Attack: Only 30 Million Americans Survive"]), but he is determined to weaken our military.

See, e.g., http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/06/AR2011010603628.html?hpid=topnews

As I have written before:

International terrorism and other very real national security concerns still loom, which might produce flashpoints at any time. We have enemies who seek to destroy us—a fact that is sometimes forgotten as 9/11 recedes in our memories. While it might be attractive for the president and the Democrats to take a ‘meat ax’ to the Defense Department, it would be foolhardy to gut our military precisely when it has been performing magnificently and its continued strength is needed most. America’s economic and military strength go hand in hand. Both are indispensable ingredients of our great nation’s future strength.

See http://www.realclearpolitics.com/news/tms/politics/2009/Apr/08/euphoria_or_the_obama_depression_.html

Barack Obama is determined to weaken the United States militarily, and risk the lives of millions of Americans and the future of our country. Before he can do even greater damage to our national security, he must be impeached!

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7 01 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama Is Nothing If Not Ruthless

This is the assessment given to him by the UK’s Toby Harnden, who is the Daily Telegraph’s U.S. Editor, based in Washington. He adds—about the “blood-letting” taking place in the Obama White House—in an article entitled, “Obama mouthpiece Robert Gibbs was forced out by new henchman William Daley”:

He dropped Jane Dystel, the agent who approached him to write “Dreams from my Father”, and has previously cut loose long-time advisers. One aide described him as “the most unsentimental man I’ve ever met”.

So the next question is: with Gibbs and David Axelrod gone, how much longer will [long-time Chicago buddy of Barack and Michelle Obama] Valerie Jarrett last?

See http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tobyharnden/100070830/robert-gibbs-was-forced-out-by-william-daley/

Harnden’s assessment is totally consistent with the fact that Obama distanced himself from two other long-time advisers and confidants, Weather Underground co-founder Bill Ayers and Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.—whose radical and racist (in the case of Wright) views seem totally consistent with his.

Indeed, Obama’s ruthless, unsentimental traits are consistent with the fact that he is a raving narcissist.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

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10 01 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

The Tragic Events in Tucson Are Politicized, Which Compounds The Tragedy

Among other media organizations, the UK’s Daily Mail has reported that Sarah Palin and the Tea Party’s “vitriolic rhetoric” are being blamed for the tragic events in Tucson, which resulted in the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and others.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1345682/Sarah-Palin-removes-target-list-vitriolic-rhetoric-blamed-Arizona-shooting.html; see also http://www.economist.com/blogs/newsbook/2011/01/tragedy_tucson

It is totally absurd and politically motivated to assert that Palin or “political vitriol” were behind what happened. Just like the killing of John Lennon in New York City, and Yitzhak Rabin in Tel Aviv, we have witnessed the acts of a deranged killer.

A Wall Street Journal editorial states in part:

In a better world, no one would attempt to exploit [Jared Lee Loughner's] madness for political gain.

. . .

But the shooting news had barely hit the wires on Saturday before the media’s instant psychoanalysis put the American body politic on the couch instead of Mr. Loughner.

. . .

Politico, the Beltway website, chimed in by quoting a ‘veteran Democratic operative’ advising the White House “to deftly pin this on the tea partiers,” just as “the Clinton White House deftly pinned the Oklahoma City bombing on the militia and anti-government people” in 1995.

. . .

Taking such an argument seriously will only encourage more crazy people to believe they can trigger a national soul-searching if they shoot at a political target. We should denounce the murders and the murderer, rather than doing him the honor of suggesting that his violence flows in any explainable fashion from democratic debate.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703667904576071943007100666.html?mod=WSJ_hps_sections_opinion

The Journal’s editorial represents totally-responsible journalism, unlike the hate mongering that has arisen elsewhere in the media and our society, and around the world, in the wake of the tragic events that took place in Tucson. This is what responsible media organizations in the United States and elsewhere should be saying; and as the editorial concludes, it is what President Obama should be saying too.

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17 01 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

The New Obama . . . Not

In an article entitled, “The Orphaned Left,” political pundit and former Bill Clinton adviser, Dick Morris, has described Barack Obama’s performance in the wake of the Tucson shootings:

He opted to look presidential rather than to inflict political damage on his adversaries.

The latter has always been Obama’s preference, and his gut instincts. Morris adds:

Can he win in 2012 by moving to the center? A president always has the option of correcting his mistakes, reversing his positions, and governing the country by moving it in the right direct. And those kinds of presidents—like Bill Clinton—usually get themselves re-elected.

But it won’t be easy. The Republicans are going to confront him with challenge after challenge. To keep his centrist positioning, he is going to have to do more than give good speeches. He will have to change his programs and his policies.

The first big challenge will come next month when we reach the debt limit and need more borrowing authority. Then the Republicans in the House will insist on huge cuts in spending before approving additional borrowing. How will Obama respond? Will he let the House roll back his stimulus spending to pre-2008 levels? Probably not. Will he abandon Obamacare? Likely not. Will his move to the center succeed? Likely not.

See http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/the-orphaned-left/#more-2426

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18 01 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama’s Afghan War: Colossal If Not Epic Waste

Arnaud de Borchgrave—editor at large of The Washington Times and of United Press International—has written another excellent and very sobering article entitled, “Close but no SIGAR,” which is worth reading and reflecting on. In it, he states in pertinent part:

After no less than 10 quarterly reports to Congress, 40 percent of $56 billion—$22.4 billion in U.S. taxpayer funds—allocated to civilian projects in Afghanistan cannot be accounted for by the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction.

The original amount for civilian aid is now being increased to $71 billion.

Corruption and outright theft are rampant in the projects SIGAR supposedly inspects but SIGAR’s top cop, retired U.S. Marine Maj. Gen. Arnold Fields, kept coming up empty handed as he labored to protect his 150-person organization (32 of them stationed in Afghanistan, most of whom don’t speak any local language).

. . .

U.S. Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., led a team of Senate investigators that spent two years looking into what became the SIGAR scandal. But Fields kept parrying their attacks by laying his reputation as a black Marine general on the line. The persona he displayed at the congressional witness table was disarming. It was a look of hurt innocence and Marine rectitude.

Fields was also expert at deflecting suggestions of malfeasance in the ranks of SIGAR with references to his poor humble beginnings as a deprived black child in South Carolina.

. . .

[H]is agency had only audited four out of 7,000 contracts. The Project on Government Oversight called for his resignation last fall but he still enjoyed solid White House backing—and protection.

. . .

[T]he senator sleuths grew tired of being treated like bumbling Inspector Clouseaus in the Pink Panther series and Fields, stripped of his Marine carapace and rapidly eroding White House support, resigned.

Where the $22.4 billion in U.S. taxpayers’ money disappeared is still a mystery.

Much of it was payments to civilian contractors for unfinished and abandoned schools, roads, first aid stations, street lights. The building of one power plant, estimated at $100 million, came in at $300 million. And large amounts of cash leave Afghanistan legally among the estimated $10 million a day in U.S. currency that is carried out by passengers on flights from Kabul to Dubai, one of the seven emirates in the United Arab Emirates.

Afghanistan is littered with unfinished projects in areas that have switched from “secure” to “insecure.” Taliban insurgents are under orders not to damage anything erected by the U.S. or other NATO nations as they want to be spared as much reconstruction as possible for when they believe they will be back in charge of government. Insurgency cadres tell villagers that will be within a year or “maximum two years.” They are encouraged to accept aid from any quarter, a major change from when they could be executed for doing so.

Some 350 schools built in 13 provinces remain closed due to insecurity. The U.S. Embassy with five ambassadors and more than 1,000 diplomatic personnel remain largely confined to Kabul for the same reason.

. . .

A McClatchy Newspapers investigation found that U.S. government funding for at least 15 large-scale programs and projects grew from slightly more than $1 billion to nearly $3 billion despite the government’s questions about their effectiveness and cost.

The cost of the longest war in U.S. history is now at $500 billion. By 2014, the earliest estimate for a sizeable return of U.S. troops, the cost will be bumping $1 trillion—what the Iraq war cost in the first decade of the 21st century.

See http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/de-Borchgrave/2011/01/14/Commentary-Close-but-no-SIGAR/UPI-18271295011907/

As I have written:

It is not beyond the pale to believe that scandals will engulf Barack Obama’s presidency as more and more is learned about who he is and how he has governed, and what he and others in his administration have done during the time they have been entrusted with the presidency.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/

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20 01 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Frightening Things May Leap Out Of The Tunisian Revolt

The UK’s Economist has an article about the unfolding events in Tunisia, which is worth reading. The title of the article, “Let the scent of jasmine spread”—and its subtitle, “How wonderful if Tunisia became a paragon of democracy for other Arab countries to emulate”—may be the height of naïveté.

See http://www.economist.com/node/17959600?story_id=17959600&fsrc=nlw|hig|01-20-2011|editors_highlights

With all due respect to the Economist and its editors, what this article is advocating might result in chaos throughout the Middle East, reminiscent of what happened in Iran after the Shah was deposed, and Jimmy Carter did nothing and/or helped the process along. Following the rigged election of 2009 in that country, countless Iranians who spoke out, protested and advocated freedom were beaten, jailed, tortured and killed, while Barack Obama—America’s “Hamlet on the Potomac,” or “Jimmy Carter-lite”—stood by helplessly and did nothing to come to their aid.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/

The Economist article stated:

Even Iran under the ayatollahs had, before the repression of the past 18 months or so, tolerated more political competition and open debate than its Arab neighbours have.

How on earth could the Economist’s editors ignore what happened after the rigged election of 2009—or ignore “the repression of the past 18 months or so”? This is patently absurd, and yes, irresponsible.

Today, the hoped-for “democratic Iran” of Carter’s days in office is potentially a nuclear menace to the region and the world, and a threat to democratic Israel, and to the emerging democratic Iraq and other countries. Hence, one wonders whether this article is not simply naive and irresponsible. In an ideal world, what the Economist is advocating is correct and laudatory, but we do not live in a “Mary Poppins” world.

For example, one wonders how the Economist would describe Jordan, other than as a “benevolent autocracy,” but surely it does not have vast wealth, nor can it be described as among “the nastiest of tyrannies.” King Abdullah II is popular, and has been an ally of the United States and a force for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, just as his father was. Is the Economist advocating that Iran, radical Islam and/or al Qaeda rule the region? Hopefully not.

In a nod to a modicum of realism, at least with respect to Tunisia, the Economist stated:

Nobody knows who, in a week’s time, will be in control. Chaos may persist.

Amen in spades. Also, the Economist recognized, soberly:

Egypt is the pivot. It is the main ally of the West and a force for moderation in the search for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. If it should implode, the geopolitics of the entire Middle East would be turned upside down.

So true.

The article concluded:

Tunisia’s upheaval has only just begun. No one knows where it will lead. It has already opened an Arab Pandora’s box. Frightening things may yet leap out. But it nonetheless deserves an enthusiastic welcome.

In an ideal world, all of us would applaud these statements.

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22 01 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Will Obama Win Reelection?

This is the issue discussed in a new article by political pundit and former Bill Clinton adviser, Dick Morris, which states in pertinent part as follows:

President Obama is clearly showing a determination to change his image, replacing his hard left dogmatism with a seeming flexibility and openness to the views of the center. Will it work? Will it lead to his re-election? Are we only one-quarter of the way through a two term Obama presidency?

If the Republican Party wimp[s] out and embraces a moderate agenda, trying to meet him in the middle, Obama will succeed and will be with us for six more years.

. . .

The key is to test Obama’s centrism by confronting him with bold demands to rollback health reform, undo his massive spending, . . . enable state bankruptcies, and block pending executive orders to impose carbon taxes, card check unionization, and FCC regulation of talk radio and the Internet.

. . .

The Republican Study Committee proposal calling for $2.5 trillion in spending cuts over ten years is a great place to start. The GOP should take the key elements of it and tack them on to the debt limit increase bill and demand that Obama either sign the bill with the cuts or get no rise in the debt limit.

. . .

The Study Committee proposal is especially brilliant in its avoidance of any cuts in Social Security and Medicare. Republicans squandered their momentum from Bush’s re-election in 2005 by pushing Social Security reform and won in 2010 by fighting Medicare cuts.

. . .

The key to winning the election of 2012 is to force Obama to defend his agenda of 2009-2010 by demanding its repeal and rollback. Republicans need to make him spend 2011 and 2012 defending the programs that brought him down in 2010. And we must also enact budget riders blocking his attempts to jam through by executive orders (even as he postures about cutting federal regulation) carbon taxation, FCC regulation of talk radio, and card check unionization. These issues are all winners.

Obama hopes we forget his past liberalism. After all, in 1996, who remembered Hillarycare? Who voted against Clinton because of his 1993 tax hikes? Nobody. So we need to force these issues to the fore again in 2011 and 2012. We must make Obama run on his record of 2009-2010 by demanding its repeal and forcing him to fight again the same battles that cost him the House in 2010. That is the path to victory.

See http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/will-centrist-obama-win/; see also http://thehill.com/opinion/columnists/dick-morris/154089-gop-chicken-run-fatal

Having made Obama “relevant” again in last month’s lame-duck session of Congress, after his stunning defeat and that of his fellow Democrats in the 2010 mid-term elections, the “Neanderthal” Republicans are fully capable of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. They have demonstrated how skillful they are at that again and again.

If there were better alternatives, lots of Independents—such as yours truly—and members of the Tea Party movement, and “disenchanted” Democrats might never vote for a Republican again.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/#comment-1240

. . .

However, the Republican Study Committee’s “Spending Reduction Act” seems to be a step in the right direction.

See, e.g., http://rsc.jordan.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=220713 and http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2011/01/gop-lawmakers-unveil-25-trillion-spending-cuts-package.html (“GOP Lawmakers Unveil $2.5 Trillion Spending Cuts Package“)

. . .

Barack Obama is a far-Left, anti-war, naive, raving narcissist whose actions have saddled the United States with unprecedented debt. He spurned any notions of bipartisanship during his first two years in office, until last November’s election losses. Now, all of a sudden, he feigns having newfound “religion,” which falls on deaf ears. He is a demagogue, pure and simple.

Fortunately, the twin pincers of the economy and his failing Afghan War are likely to end his presidency in January of 2013, and send Michelle and him either to Hawaii or Chicago to write their memoirs and work on his presidential library full time. The sooner, the better.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/

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26 01 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

SHOCK CLAIM: Hawaii Governor Admits There Are No Obama Birth Records In Hawaii

Former congressman and now Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie has admitted to his close friend Mike Evans, a reporter, that there are no records of Obama’s birth in Hawaii.

See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvrb7YqdvxE; see also http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=255489 (“Game-changer! Arizona to pass 2012 eligibility law”) and http://thedailypen.blogspot.com/2011/01/third-hawaiian-official-denies.html

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26 01 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama Is An Unmitigated Disaster

The Washington Times’ editorial following Barack Obama’s 2011 “State of the Union” speech is excellent, worth reading and reflecting on, and it states in pertinent part:

President Obama‘s announcement on Tuesday that “this is our generation’s Sputnik moment” came across as puzzling.

. . .

Nothing has happened recently that could be roughly analogous to Sputnik. The launch drew its shock value from the context of the Cold War, when the Soviet Union was America’s bitter adversary. It had been less than a year since Nikita Khrushchev had said, “Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you.” In the 1950s the U.S. missile program suffered a series of high-profile failures and seemed to be failing. The Soviet program had its disasters too, but they were hushed up, so the success of Sputnik seemed to come out of nowhere. It seemed to confirm that their German scientists were far ahead of our German scientists.

The sense of national purpose that followed the Sputnik launch was not based on an abstract sense of the need for better education programs; it was a national security emergency. In those days lagging behind in the technology race could literally be fatal. Mr. Obama has failed to conjure the same sense of looming disaster, excepting the national state of alarm over his irresponsible deficit spending.

. . .

Mr. Obama’s call is more abstract. It poses no concrete objective, like putting a man on the moon. Mr. Obama was simply touting his new budget proposal. He would like to see the same level of national commitment as during the space race, but without a goal, without passion, and certainly without identifying any country as an adversary. In fact his self-possessed “Sputnik moment” is a lifeless call for more aimless government programs and regulatory meddling.

Invoking space race metaphors is a risky proposition for Mr. Obama. On his watch NASA killed its plan to return to the moon and has scaled back most of its other programs. But competition in space is alive and well. Last October China sent an unmanned probe into Moon orbit to map possible landing sites. The People’s Republic is expected to make a manned moon landing sometime this decade. The Obama administration has done its best to curry favor with Beijing, which in return has exploited American technology and open markets, and treated the United States with disdain.

Maybe when the red flag is flying on the lunar surface the United States will have a true Sputnik moment, the shocked realization that while the rest of mankind is making giant leaps, Obama’s America can manage only small steps.

See http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jan/26/editorial-obamas-spaced-out-speech/; see also http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5grHmgulYouN4SjPtHeQ-BgKyEUJQ?docId=CNG.9e34c99182f5659a398b65217766ca17.b31 (“NASA warns ‘risk of losing’ space station rising”)

Barack Obama is a far-Left, anti-war, naive, raving narcissist whose actions have saddled the United States with unprecedented debt, and have been weakening this great nation at every turn. He must be removed from office before he can do even greater damage.

See also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/

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27 01 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Will Obama Dig Us Out Of The Second Great Depression? Do You Believe In The Tooth Fairy?

In another scintillating and scorching column, Ann Coulter writes:

I missed the middle section of Obama’s State of the Union address when I took a break to read “War and Peace,” but I gather he never got around to what I was hoping he’d say, which is: “What was I thinking?”

The national debt is $14 trillion, the Democrats won’t stop spending, and President Nero gave us a long gaseous speech about his Stradivarius.

. . .

Obama said the government was already “investing” in solar panels! That’s a total relief. This must be how the president who brought us “Recovery Summer” is going to dig us out of the second Great Depression.

But I do wonder why no private lender considered solar panels a wise investment, forcing solar panel manufacturers to turn to the government for loans, followed by endless tax credits just to break even.

. . .

Remember how massive government “investments” gave rise to the telephone, the light bulb, the automobile, the airplane, the personal computer … OK, none of those.

But massive government expenditures did give us Amtrak and the TSA!

The only thing Obama vowed to cut were “earmarks.” Yippee! The guy with the ears is against earmarks. Yes, the same president who quadrupled our deficit by giving money away to his UAW pals, Wall Street cronies and government workers is now lecturing us about earmarks. This is a bit like being scolded by Charlie Sheen for ordering a second wine cooler.

. . .

The big laugh line was when Nero said mockingly, “I heard rumors that a few of you still have concerns about the health care law.” That’s called “60 percent of the American public.” It’s not a joke, and it’s not funny.

See http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=41419

Even more sobering than Ann Coulter’s often humorous insights is a Wall Street Journal editorial entitled, “After You, Mr. Ryan”—and subtitled, “The President says the deficit is the GOP’s problem now”—which states in pertinent part:

President Obama’s political message in Tuesday’s State of the Union address boils down to this: Republicans, it’s your budget problem now.

The deficit is awful and must be cut, entitlements are unsustainable and must be addressed, the tax code hurts growth and must be reformed, and government should be smaller and more efficient, but don’t look to Mr. Obama for ideas on how to fix any of this. Go ahead and cut spending and Medicare if you want, Republicans. The President will get back to you with his reply as time and politics allow.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703293204576106293283157786.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

Having let former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats in Congress write the legislation that has put our great nation in its present financial bind, it is not surprising that Obama would once again abdicate his responsibilities and try to shift blame to others.

The Journal’s editorial continues:

As political strategy, perhaps this will turn out to be shrewd. Republicans will advance their budget and spending cuts, Democrats will attack them, the voters will sour, and Mr. Obama will ride to re-election. It happened in 1996.

. . .

At least the address had good timing, because less than 12 hours later the Congressional Budget Office released its annual budget review and exposed how deep the fiscal mess really is. Even CBO dared to call it “daunting,” which for these budget gnomes is a primal scream.

Eighteen months after the recession formally ended, the federal deficit for fiscal 2011 (through September) is expected to increase once again, this time to $1.48 trillion, or 9.8% of GDP. That’s a share of GDP topped since World War II only by the 10% reached in Mr. Obama’s first year in office, when at least the recession was an excuse. The annual deficit in the 1980s never exceeded 6% of GDP.

. . .

So this is the ugly budget reality that House Republicans are inheriting. In his Tuesday night response to Mr. Obama, House Budget Chairman [Paul Ryan] repeated a line he has often used that the U.S. may be at a budget “tipping point.” Either Congress begins to control its political appetites, or the debt financing and inevitable tax increases that are coming will erode our economic well-being. The CBO numbers bear him out.

Judging by Tuesday night, Republicans will have to start this reformation without much help from the President. Perhaps if they lead, the public will put enough pressure on Mr. Obama that he has no choice but to follow.

Again, Obama is a far-Left, anti-war, raving narcissist who has been weakening this great nation at every turn since he became the president. He must be removed from office at the earliest date possible, before he can do even greater damage.

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29 01 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Barack Obama Deserves To Be Impeached Immediately

In an article entitled, “Egypt protests: America’s secret backing for rebel leaders behind uprising”—and subtitled, “The American government secretly backed leading figures behind the Egyptian uprising who have been planning ‘regime change’ for the past three years, The Daily Telegraph has learned”—the UK’s Telegraph has reported:

The crisis in Egypt follows the toppling of Tunisian president Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali, who fled the country after widespread protests forced him from office.

. . .

[President Hosni Mubarak], facing the biggest challenge to his authority in his 31 years in power, ordered the army on to the streets of Cairo yesterday as rioting erupted across Egypt.

Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters took to the streets in open defiance of a curfew. An explosion rocked the centre of Cairo as thousands defied orders to return to their homes. As the violence escalated, flames could be seen near the headquarters of the governing National Democratic Party.

Police fired rubber bullets and used tear gas and water cannon in an attempt to disperse the crowds.

At least five people were killed in Cairo alone yesterday and 870 injured, several with bullet wounds. Mohamed ElBaradei, the pro-reform leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner, was placed under house arrest after returning to Egypt to join the dissidents. Riots also took place in Suez, Alexandria and other major cities across the country.

. . .

The US government has previously been a supporter of Mr Mubarak’s regime. But . . . leaked documents show the extent to which America was offering support to pro-democracy activists in Egypt while publicly praising Mr Mubarak as an important ally in the Middle East.

See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/8289686/Egypt-protests-Americas-secret-backing-for-rebel-leaders-behind-uprising.html; see also http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2011/01/axelrod-president-obama-has-on-several-occasions-directly-confronted-mubarak-on-human-rights-for-the.html

Barack Obama is “Jimmy Carter-lite,” and evil. One must never forget that Carter’s policies with respect to Iran led to the fall of the Shah, and to the present regime, which is a threat to Israel, the region, the United States and the world.

Obama is the wrong person to be leading the United States today, and things will only get worse before he is gone. His departure cannot come fast enough.

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29 01 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

The Scent Of Jasmine Spreads

This is the title of an article in the UK’s Economist—about the protests in Tunisia that toppled its government, and in Yemen and Egypt—which is worth reading.

See http://www.economist.com/node/18010573?story_id=18010573&fsrc=nlw|hig|01-27-2011|editors_highlights; see also http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/8289686/Egypt-protests-Americas-secret-backing-for-rebel-leaders-behind-uprising.html (“Egypt protests: America’s secret backing for rebel leaders behind uprising”) and http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2011/01/axelrod-president-obama-has-on-several-occasions-directly-confronted-mubarak-on-human-rights-for-the.html

After Tunisia, Yemen and Egypt, where will the chaos spread next, and topple governments? Jordan, other Arab countries (including Iran), Europe, Russia, North Korea, China, the UK, America and beyond? Farfetched, you say? Think again.

As I have written, the world is in the throes of the “Great Depression II,” which economic historians will describe as such (or by using similar terms) 20-40 years from now. Yes, there will be “green shoots” from time to time, indicating that a recovery is underway, just as such signs appeared during the last Great Depression—which only ended with the onset of World War II.

The politicians on both sides of the Atlantic are flailing around, trying to come up with solutions, when there are none. Not only is there a yearning for democracy, but the world is facing economic problems that have not been seen since the last Great Depression. As I wrote more than a year ago:

America and other nations are in uncharted waters; and their politicians may face backlashes from disillusioned and angry constituents that are unprecedented in modern times.

See http://www.realclearpolitics.com/news/tms/politics/2009/Apr/08/euphoria_or_the_obama_depression_.html; see also http://www.philstockworld.com/2009/10/11/greenspan%E2%80%99s-legacy-more-suffering-to-come/

Hold on tight. Things will get very ugly. The chickens are coming home to roost, in the Middle East and elsewhere. In all likelihood, cowardly anti-war President Barack Obama—who failed to come to the aid of those courageous Iranians who were tortured and killed after rising up in protest against the disputed victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, following the 2009 Iranian presidential election—and other politicians will be swept out of office. And yes, “the scent of the jasmine revolution,” as the Tunisians are calling their national upheaval, is in the process of spreading worldwide.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/; see also the comments beneath both articles

The Economist has said:

Tunisia could yet provide a hopeful beacon for Arabs looking for democracy.

See http://www.economist.com/node/18010573?story_id=18010573&fsrc=nlw|hig|01-27-2011|editors_highlights

This may be true of other people too—for example, in Iran, North Korea and eventually Russia and China—or chaos might reign. Whatever the future holds, we may be living in a decade that truly changes lives as well as the world.

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30 01 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Will Barack Obama Go Down In History As The President Who Lost The Middle East?

As I have written:

[Obama's] naïveté is matched by his overarching narcissism; and he is more starry-eyed and “dangerous” than Jimmy Carter. Indeed, it is likely that his presidency will be considered a sad and tragic watershed in history; and the American people are recognizing this more and more with each day that passes. Hopefully he chooses to end his political career with dignity by not running for reelection in 2012, instead of continuing to drag this great nation down with him.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected

He is a cowardly demagogue, who failed to come to the aid of those courageous Iranians who were tortured and killed after rising up in protest against the disputed victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, following the 2009 Iranian presidential election.

It was a seminal moment in Obama’s presidency up to that point in time. He flinched, and demonstrated to the world that he is not a true small-“d” democrat; and that he is weak like Jimmy Carter was. He stood with our enemy, the theocracy in Iran.

With respect to Egypt, the United States must do whatever is necessary to make sure that radical Islam does not take over the country. If it happens, and if that spreads—for example to Jordan, another ally of ours and of Israel—at the very least Obama will go down in history as the president who lost the Middle East. Also, this might determine the fate of Israel.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-1344; but see http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703833204576114252976824050.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop (“Egypt . . . has the opportunity to become what it always should have been—the leader of a movement toward freedom and democracy in the Arab world”)

Political pundit and former Bill Clinton adviser, Dick Morris, has warned:

Unless President Obama reverses field and strongly opposes letting the Muslim [B]rotherhood take over Egypt, he will be hit with the . . . question: Who Lost Egypt?

The Iranian government is waiting for Egypt to fall into its lap. The Muslim Brotherhood, dominated by Iranian Islamic fundamentalism, will doubtless emerge as the winner should the government of Egypt fall. The Obama Administration, in failing to throw its weight against an Islamic takeover, is guilty of the same mistake that led President Carter to fail to support the Shah, opening the door for the Ayatollah Khomeini to take over Iran.

The United States has enormous leverage in Egypt—far more than it had in Iran. We provide Egypt with upwards of $2 billion a year in foreign aid under the provisos of the Camp David Accords orchestrated by Carter. The Egyptian military, in particular, receives $1.3 billion of this money. The United States, as the pay master, needs to send a signal to the military that it will be supportive of its efforts to keep Egypt out of the hands of the Islamic fundamentalists. Instead, Obama has put our military aid to Egypt “under review” to pressure Mubarak to mute his response to the demonstrators and has given top priority to “preventing the loss of human life.”

President Obama should say that Egypt has always been a friend of the United States. He should point out that it was the first Arab country to make peace with Israel. He should recall that President Sadat, who signed the peace accords, paid for doing so with his life and that President Mubarak has carried on in his footsteps. He should condemn the efforts of the Muslim Brotherhood extremists to take over the country and indicate that America stands by her longtime ally. He should address the need for reform and urge Mubarak to enact needed changes. But his emphasis should be on standing with our ally.

The return of Nobel laureate Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) . . . to Egypt as the presumptive heir to Mubarak tells us where this revolution is headed. Carolyn Glick, a columnist for the Jerusalem Post, explains how dangerous ElBaradei is. “As IAEA head,” she writes, “Elbaradei shielded Iran’s nuclear weapons program from the Security Council. He [has] continued to lobby against significant UN Security Council sanctions or other actions against Iran…Last week, he dismissed the threat of a nuclear armed Iran [saying] ‘there is a lot of hype in this debate’.”

As for the Muslim Brotherhood, Glick notes that “it forms the largest and best organized opposition to the Mubarak regime and [is] the progenitor of Hamas and al [Qaeda]. It seeks Egypt’s transformation into an Islamic regime that will stand at the forefront of the global jihad.”

Now is the time for Republicans and conservatives to start asking the question: Who is losing Egypt? We need to debunk the starry eyed idealistic yearning for reform and the fantasy that a liberal democracy will come from these demonstrations. It won’t. Iranian domination will.

Egypt, with 80 million people, is the largest country in the Middle East or North Africa. Combined with Iran’s 75 million (the second largest) they have 155 million people. By contrast the entire rest of the region—Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, Tunisia, Jordan, UAE, Lebanon, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar combined—have only 200 million.

We must not let the two most populous and powerful nations in the region fall under the sway of Muslim extremism, the one through the weakness of Jimmy Carter and the other through the weakness of Barack Obama.

See http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/who-lost-egypt/

The United States cannot afford to lose Egypt, Jordan and other allies in the region. Among other things, Obama is pulling our forces out of Iraq; and a debacle is likely to follow in Afghanistan too, which seems to be a lost cause. All of this might determine the fate of Israel.

See, e.g., http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110201/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_iraq;_ylt=Akg0dRp1i4NSyUsUi6YKt.0LewgF;_ylu=X3oDMTJkdnRuaHE2BGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTEwMjAxL21sX2lyYXEEcG9zAzEEc2VjA3luX3BhZ2luYXRlX3N1bW1hcnlfbGlzdARzbGsDc2VuYXRlcmVwb3J0 (“American diplomats and other mission employees may not be safe in Iraq if the U.S. military leaves the volatile country at the end of the year as planned, according to a new report released [by the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee]“)

As I have written:

Obama is a [fool, a] fad and a feckless naïf, and a tragic Shakespearean figure who will be forgotten and consigned to the dustheap of history—unless he tragically alters the course of American history.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected (emphasis added)

Obama might tragically alter America’s history by losing the Middle East.

The Israelis are deeply and justifiably concerned. In an important article entitled, “Israel shocked by Obama’s ‘betrayal’ of Mubarak,” Reuters has reported:

If Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak is toppled, Israel will lose one of its very few friends in a hostile neighborhood and President Barack Obama will bear a large share of the blame, Israeli pundits said on Monday.

Political commentators expressed shock at how the United States as well as its major European allies appeared to be ready to dump a staunch strategic ally of three decades, simply to conform to the current ideology of political correctness.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told ministers of the Jewish state to make no comment on the political cliffhanger in Cairo, to avoid inflaming an already explosive situation. But Israel’s President Shimon Peres is not a minister.

“We always have had and still have great respect for President Mubarak,” he said on Monday. He then switched to the past tense. “I don’t say everything that he did was right, but he did one thing which all of us are thankful to him for: he kept the peace in the Middle East.”

Newspaper columnists were far more blunt.

One comment by Aviad Pohoryles in the daily Maariv was entitled “A Bullet in the Back from Uncle Sam.” It accused Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of pursuing a naive, smug, and insular diplomacy heedless of the risks.

Who is advising them, he asked, “to fuel the mob raging in the streets of Egypt and to demand the head of the person who five minutes ago was the bold ally of the president … an almost lone voice of sanity in a Middle East?”

. . .

Obama on Sunday called for an “orderly transition” to democracy in Egypt, stopping short of calling on Mubarak to step down, but signaling that his days may be numbered.

“AMERICA HAS LOST IT”

Netanyahu instructed Israeli ambassadors in a dozen key capitals over the weekend to impress on host governments that Egypt’s stability is paramount, official sources said.

“Jordan and Saudi Arabia see the reactions in the West, how everyone is abandoning Mubarak, and this will have very serious implications,” Haaretz daily quoted one official as saying.

Egypt, Israel’s most powerful neighbor, was the first Arab country to make peace with the Jewish state, in 1979. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, who signed the treaty, was assassinated two years later by an Egyptian fanatic.

It took another 13 years before King Hussein of Jordan broke Arab ranks to [make] a second peace with the Israelis. That treaty was signed by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated one year later, in 1995, by an Israeli fanatic.

There have been no peace treaties since. Lebanon and Syria are still technically at war with Israel. Conservative Gulf Arab regimes have failed to advance their peace ideas. A hostile Iran has greatly increased its influence in the Middle East conflict.

See http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/01/31/us-egypt-israel-usa-idUSTRE70U53720110131; see also http://apnews.myway.com/article/20110130/D9L2Q1Q00.html (“If Egypt resumes its conflict with Israel, Israelis fear, it will put a powerful Western-armed military on the side of Israel’s enemies while also weakening pro-Western states like Jordan and Saudi Arabia”)

Also, in an article captioned, “Israel Watches ‘Regional Earthquake’ in Egypt,” the Wall Street Journal has reported:

Israeli commentators depicted the crumbling of President Hosni Mubarak’s rule in Egypt as a regional earthquake, calling it the most significant Middle East event since the 1979 revolution against the Shah in Iran.

. . .

The speed at which Mr. Mubarak’s troubles escalated appeared to blindside Israeli officials, who have watched with growing alarm as protests in Cairo and other Egyptian cities swelled, endangering the grip on power of their strongest ally in the region. Inspired by a popular uprising in Tunisia, Egyptian protests swelled in a matter of days late last week. By the weekend, it was clear Mr. Mubarak’s reign was in jeopardy.

“We were caught by surprise,” said Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal in New York, a few hours before Mr. Mubarak’s announcement. “The Egyptian regime seemed very strong and very stable.”

Israel has a huge stake in Egypt’s stability. The historic 1979 peace treaty between the two countries, which share a long border, is the cornerstone of a regional balance. For more than 30 years, Israel has been able to count on Egypt to refrain from siding in Arab hostilities against the Jewish state.

An unfriendly government in Egypt would deprive Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of his only ally in a region that has grown more hostile toward Israel over the past several years, with the growing influence of Iran, the armed takeover of Gaza by Hamas, the rise of Hezbollah as a major political force in Lebanon, and Turkey’s tilt away from Israel and toward Syria.

Apart from geopolitical interest, Israel has economic stakes in Egyptian stability. Egyptian natural-gas supplies generate 20% to 25% of Israel’s electricity needs.

Israeli officials have said they worry that elections in Egypt could benefit Islamist groups hostile to Israel. Mr. Steinitz said Israel supports the establishment of a democracy in Egypt. But “sometimes, even democracies can lead to very negative results.” he said.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/IsraelWatchesRegionalEarthquakeinEgypt.pdf

The battle of Cairo has begun, just as battles have begun elsewhere in the Middle East. They will be ugly and brutal. When the dust settles finally, America’s “Hamlet on the Potomac”—or “Jimmy Carter-lite”—Barack Obama might have lost the region, just as Carter lost Iran to Islamic fascists. The consequences will be mind-boggling.

See also http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703445904576117801815760950.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories#articleTabs%3Dinteractive (The Wall Street Journal’s Interactive Timeline of “Regional Upheaval” in the Middle East)

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1 02 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

ObamaCare May Be History, And Barack Obama May Be Too

As a Wall Street Journal editorial has stated:

If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.

Federal Judge Roger Vinson opens his decision declaring ObamaCare unconstitutional with that citation from Federalist No. 51, written by James Madison in 1788. His exhaustive and erudite opinion is an important moment for American liberty, and yesterday may well stand as the moment the political branches were obliged to return to the government of limited and enumerated powers that the framers envisioned.

As Judge Vinson took pains to emphasize, the case is not really about health care at all, or the wisdom—we would argue the destructiveness—of the newest entitlement. Rather, the Florida case goes to the core of the architecture of the American system, and whether there are any remaining limits on federal control. Judge Vinson’s 78-page ruling in favor of 26 states and the National Federation of Independent Business, among others, is by far the best legal vindication to date of Constitutional principles that form the outer boundaries of federal power.

. . .

Judge Vinson’s learned opinion has put down a Constitutional argument that will reverberate all the way to the Supreme Court.

See, e.g., http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703439504576116090813454296.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop (emphasis in original); see also http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/obamacare-d.o.a./ (“OBAMACARE: D.O.A.“) and http://www.naegele.com/documents/FloridaObamaCaredecision-January-31-2011-Summary-Judgment-Order.pdf (a copy of Judge Vinson’s decision)

ObamaCare is the signature legislation of Barack Obama’s presidency. If it is struck down or is repealed in whole or in part, it will be another sign that his presidency is unraveling.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1351 (“Will Barack Obama Go Down In History As The President Who Lost The Middle East?”)

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3 02 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama Is A Fool And A Political Naïf, And The Israelis Recognize It

In an important article entitled, “US response to Egypt draws criticism in Israel,” the AP has reported:

President Barack Obama’s response to the crisis in Egypt is drawing fierce criticism in Israel, where many view the U.S. leader as a political naif whose pressure on a stalwart ally to hand over power is liable to backfire.

Critics—including senior Israeli officials who have shied from saying so publicly—say Obama is repeating the same mistakes of predecessors whose calls for human rights and democracy in the Middle East have often backfired by bringing anti-West regimes to power.

Israeli officials, while refraining from open criticism of Obama, have made no secret of their view that shunning Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and pushing for swift elections in Egypt could bring unintended results.

“I don’t think the Americans understand yet the disaster they have pushed the Middle East into,” said lawmaker Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, who until recently was a Cabinet minister and who is a longtime friend of Mubarak.

“If there are elections like the Americans want, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Muslim Brotherhood didn’t win a majority, it would win half of the seats in parliament,” he told Army Radio. “It will be a new Middle East, extremist radical Islam.”

Three decades ago, President Jimmy Carter urged another staunch American ally—the shah of Iran—to loosen his grip on power, only to see his autocratic regime replaced by the Islamic Republic. More recently, U.S.-supported elections have strengthened such groups as Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in the Palestinian territories and anti-American radicals in Iran.

“Jimmy Carter will go down in American history as ‘the president who lost Iran,'” the analyst Aluf Benn wrote in the daily Haaretz this week. “Barack Obama will be remembered as the president who ‘lost’ Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt, and during whose tenure America’s alliances in the Middle East crumbled,” Benn wrote.

Israel has tremendous respect for Mubarak, who carefully honored his country’s peace agreement with Israel after taking power nearly 30 years ago.

While relations were often cool, Mubarak maintained a stable situation that has allowed Israel to greatly reduce its military spending and troop presence along the border with Egypt.

He also worked with Israel to contain the Gaza Strip’s Hamas government and served as a bridge to the broader Arab world.

. . .

In the course of the turmoil, the Obama administration has repeatedly recalibrated its posture, initially expressing confidence in Egypt’s government, later threatening to withhold U.S. aid, and lastly, pressing Mubarak to loosen his grip on power immediately.

. . .

Critics say the U.S. is once again confusing the mechanics of democracy with democracy itself.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed similar sentiments this week when he warned that “if extremist forces are allowed to exploit democratic processes to come to power to advance anti-democratic goals—as has happened in Iran and elsewhere—the outcome will be bad for peace and bad for democracy.”

So far, no unified opposition leadership or clear program for change has emerged in Egypt. Historically the leading opposition in Egypt has been the Muslim Brotherhood, a group that favors Islamic rule and has been repressed by Mubarak throughout his tenure.

Many young people see the former director of the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog agency, Mohammed ElBaradei, as Egypt’s democratic hope, but critics say he is out of touch with Egypt’s problems because he has spent so many years outside of the country.

The calls for democracy inside Egypt have put the U.S. in an awkward position of having to balance its defense for human rights with its longtime ties to an authoritarian regime that has been a crucial Arab ally.

In Israel, critics say the U.S. has suffered a credibility loss by shaking off Mubarak when his regime started crumbling.

“The Israeli concept is that the U.S. rushed to stab Mubarak in the back,” said Eytan Gilboa, an expert on the U.S. at Bar-Ilan University.

“As Israel sees it, they could have pressured Mubarak, but not in such an overt way, because the consequence could be a loss of faith in the U.S. by all pro-Western Arab states in the Middle East, and also a loss of faith in Israel,” he said.

Raphael Israeli, a professor emeritus of Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, echoed a widely felt perception that before the unrest erupted, the Obama administration paid only lip service to the lack of human rights in Mubarak’s authoritarian regime.

“If Obama were genuinely concerned with what is going on in Egypt, he should have made the same demands two years ago (when he addressed the Muslim world in Cairo) and eight years and 20 years ago. Mubarak didn’t come to power yesterday.”

See http://apnews.myway.com/article/20110203/D9L59U1G0.html (emphasis added); see also http://www.economist.com/node/18065691 (“Worried Israel: Bad news for the Jewish state: Egypt’s upheaval is rattling the Israelis“)

As emphasized above, one conclusion jumps out:

Barack Obama will be remembered as the president who ‘lost’ Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt, and during whose tenure America’s alliances in the Middle East crumbled.

Beyond that, he may be remembered as the American president who lost the Middle East, or certainly large portions of it. Again, he is an utter fool and a feckless naïf, and he must be removed from office before he can do even more damage to America and U.S. interests.

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4 02 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

A Military Solution In Egypt?

The Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer has a new article about Egypt, which is worth reading. In it, he states:

The worldwide euphoria that has greeted the Egyptian uprising is understandable. All revolutions are blissful in the first days. The romance could be forgiven if this were Paris 1789. But it is not. In the intervening 222 years, we have learned how these things can end.

. . .

[O]nly a child can believe that a democratic outcome is inevitable. And only a blinkered optimist can believe that it is even the most likely outcome.

Yes, the Egyptian revolution is broad-based. But so were the French and the Russian and the Iranian revolutions. Indeed in Iran, the revolution only succeeded—the shah was long opposed by the mullahs—when the merchants, the housewives, the students and the secularists joined to bring him down.

And who ended up in control? The most disciplined, ruthless and ideologically committed—the radical Islamists.

This is why our paramount moral and strategic interest in Egypt is real democracy in which power does not devolve to those who believe in one man, one vote, one time. That would be Egypt’s fate should the Muslim Brotherhood prevail. That was the fate of Gaza, now under the brutal thumb of Hamas, a Palestinian wing (see Article 2 of Hamas’s founding covenant) of the Muslim Brotherhood.

We are told by sage Western analysts not to worry about the Brotherhood because it probably commands only about 30 percent of the vote. This is reassurance? In a country where the secular democratic opposition is weak and fractured after decades of persecution, any Islamist party commanding a third of the vote rules the country.

. . .

The House of Mubarak is no more. He is 82, reviled and not running for reelection. The only question is who fills the vacuum. There are two principal possibilities: a provisional government of opposition forces, possibly led by Mohamed ElBaradei, or an interim government led by the military.

ElBaradei would be a disaster. As head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), he did more than anyone to make an Iranian nuclear bomb possible, covering for the mullahs for years. (As soon as he left, the IAEA issued a strikingly tough, unvarnished report about the program.)

Worse, ElBaradei has allied himself with the Muslim Brotherhood. Such an alliance is grossly unequal. The Brotherhood has organization, discipline and widespread support. In 2005, it won approximately 20 percent of parliamentary seats. ElBaradei has no constituency of his own, no political base, no political history within Egypt at all.

He has lived abroad for decades. He has less of a residency claim to Egypt than Rahm Emanuel has to Chicago. A man with no constituency allied with a highly organized and powerful political party is nothing but a mouthpiece and a figurehead, a useful idiot whom the Brotherhood will dispense with when it ceases to have need of a cosmopolitan frontman.

The Egyptian military, on the other hand, is the most stable and important institution in the country. It is Western-oriented and rightly suspicious of the Brotherhood. And it is widely respected, carrying the prestige of the 1952 Free Officers Movement that overthrew the monarchy and the 1973 October War that restored Egyptian pride along with the Sinai.

The military is the best vehicle for guiding the country to free elections over the coming months. Whether it does so with Mubarak at the top, or with Vice President Omar Suleiman or perhaps with some technocrat who arouses no ire among the demonstrators, matters not to us. If the army calculates that sacrificing Mubarak (through exile) will satisfy the opposition and end the unrest, so be it.

The overriding objective is a period of stability during which secularists and other democratic elements of civil society can organize themselves for the coming elections and prevail. ElBaradei is a menace. Mubarak will be gone one way or the other. The key is the military. The United States should say very little in public and do everything behind the scenes to help the military midwife—and then guarantee—what is still something of a long shot: Egyptian democracy.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/03/AR2011020305173.html

However, even more ominous is the following conclusion from an article by Arnaud de Borchgrave—editor at large of The Washington Times and of United Press International—which states:

Between World War I and World War II, Egypt hovered between faux colonialism and faux democracy, between bad and worse. It has only known six years of real democracy (1946-52) in its 5,000-year history.

See http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/feb/2/the-mubarak-legend/

No American or citizen of any other nation should believe Barack Obama. He is a fool and a feckless naïf; and there are reports that the Israelis believe it too.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-1369

What happens now is less important than what happens in the future; and there is reason to believe that Obama is losing Egypt, and may well lose the Middle East, or large parts of it. He is an unmitigated disaster with respect to this issue and essentially everything else that he touches.

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4 02 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama’s Blocking Of New Power Plants Triggers Nationwide Blackouts

Matt Drudge has posted this article at his Web site, the Drudge Report, and it is worth reading.

See http://www.prisonplanet.com/obamas-blocking-of-new-power-plants-triggers-nationwide-blackouts.html

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4 02 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Is Barack Obama America’s Most Polarizing President Ever?

The UK’s Daily Mail has an article that expresses astonishment at the fact that Barack Obama divides the U.S. more than any second-year president in more than half a century. The article states in pertinent part:

Barack Obama was swept into power on a wave of optimism over his promise to bring America together in a new spirit of unity.

But a new poll has revealed that he divided the country down the middle more than any other second-year US president in more than half a century.

Astonishingly, Mr Obama’s second year in office was even more polarising than his White House predecessor George Bush.

Critics blamed Mr Obama’s determination to push through healthcare reforms and his administration’s big spending attempts to dig the US out of the financial crisis as two of the biggest issues that have split American opinion.

According to figures released by Gallup, Mr Obama’s popularity in 2010 was even more polarised than they were during his first year, measuring a 68-point gap between the percentage of Democrats and Republicans that approve of the president.

An average of 81 per cent of Democrats approved of the job Mr Obama was doing last year, compared to just 13 per cent of Republicans.

The 68-point divide is up from a 65-point gap in 2009, which was also a record for a first-year president.

Despite all his talk of bringing America’s two main political parties closer together, Mr Obama’s rock bottom 13 per cent approval from Republicans is easily the lowest percentage of support from an opposing party for any president in his second year.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1353753/Obama-divides-U-S-second-year-president-half-century.html and http://www.gallup.com/poll/145937/Obama-Approval-Ratings-Polarized-Year-Year.aspx (Gallup poll results); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1180 (“George W. Bush’s Memoir Sells 2 Million Copies In A Month, Nearly As Many As Bill Clinton’s Sold In Six Years”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1075 (“Bush Job Approval Rating Higher Than Obama’s”)

Neither the writer of the article nor the Daily Mail should be “astonished” in the least about what has happened to Barack Obama. In fact, such astonishment reflects enormous naïveté about U.S. politics and the American people.

The high-water mark of the Obama presidency was reached when Congress passed his signature health care legislation, “ObamaCare.” A U.S. federal court has just struck down that law in its entirety; and Congress is moving to repeal it as well.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1360 (“ObamaCare May Be History, And Barack Obama May Be Too”)

Obama is a fool and a feckless naïf, and a tragic Shakespearean figure who will be forgotten and consigned to the dustheap of history—unless he tragically alters the course of American history.

If he loses Egypt and other countries of the Middle East to Islamic fascism, and the American economy continues to decline, and he loses the Afghan War, he will have changed history, for the worse.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/#comment-1357 (“Will Barack Obama Go Down In History As The President Who Lost The Middle East?”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1368 (“Obama Is A Fool And A Political Naïf, And The Israelis Recognize It”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1336 (“SHOCK CLAIM: Hawaii Governor Admits There Are No Obama Birth Records In Hawaii”)

Lastly, racism is not what has turned off so many Americans. On the contrary, Obama is a far-left president in a center-right country; and he was “packaged” before the 2008 elections as a moderate, which was fraud. Those who voted for him are increasingly having “buyer’s remorse,” and this is especially true of Independents—who comprise approximately 35 percent of American voters—and members of the Tea Party movement, and “disenchanted” Democrats. These three groups, plus Republicans, may seal Obama’s political fate as the 2012 elections approach.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/

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5 02 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

OBAMA MUST BE IMPEACHED!

“WikiLeaks cables: US agrees to tell Russia Britain’s nuclear secrets”


HMS Vanguard

This is the title of the UK Telegraph’s article—subtitled, “The US secretly agreed to give the Russians sensitive information on Britain’s nuclear deterrent to persuade them to sign a key treaty, The Daily Telegraph can disclose”—which states:

Information about every Trident missile the US supplies to Britain will be given to Russia as part of an arms control deal signed by President Barack Obama next week.

. . .

The fact that the Americans used British nuclear secrets as a bargaining chip also sheds new light on the so-called “special relationship”, which is shown often to be a one-sided affair by US diplomatic communications obtained by the WikiLeaks website.

Details of the behind-the-scenes talks are contained in more than 1,400 US embassy cables published to date by the Telegraph, including almost 800 sent from the London Embassy, which are published online today.

. . .

A series of classified messages sent to Washington by US negotiators show how information on Britain’s nuclear capability was crucial to securing Russia’s support for the “New START” deal.

Although the treaty was not supposed to have any impact on Britain, the leaked cables show that Russia used the talks to demand more information about the UK’s Trident missiles, which are manufactured and maintained in the US.

Washington lobbied London in 2009 for permission to supply Moscow with detailed data about the performance of UK missiles. The UK refused, but the US agreed to hand over the serial numbers of Trident missiles it transfers to Britain.

Professor Malcolm Chalmers said: “This appears to be significant because while the UK has announced how many missiles it possesses, there has been no way for the Russians to verify this. Over time, the unique identifiers will provide them with another data point to gauge the size of the British arsenal.”

Duncan Lennox, editor of Jane’s Strategic Weapons Systems, said: “They want to find out whether Britain has more missiles than we say we have, and having the unique identifiers might help them.”

While the US and Russia have long permitted inspections of each other’s nuclear weapons, Britain has sought to maintain some secrecy to compensate for the relatively small size of its arsenal.

William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, last year disclosed that “up to 160” warheads are operational at any one time, but did not confirm the number of missiles.

See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/8304654/WikiLeaks-cables-US-agrees-to-tell-Russia-Britains-nuclear-secrets.html#

Obama must be impeached, now!

He needs to be dumped before the next election. The Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives must begin investigations immediately, laying the basis for the impeachment process.

Russia’s dictator-for-life Putin is our enemy, and cutting any deals with him is equivalent to cutting deals with Adolf Hitler before or during World War II.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/

Obama is a traitor. We have always known that!

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/#comment-1357 (“Will Barack Obama Go Down In History As The President Who Lost The Middle East?”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1247 (“Obama Trashes Pentagon, And Must Be Impeached!”)

Also, his hatred for the British seems to know no bounds. In his book, “Dreams from My Father,” he set forth his core beliefs, which I have discussed at length in an article. For example:

In Kenya, his alienation is reflected once again when he characterizes other tourists as expressing “a confidence reserved for those born into imperial cultures.” Also, throughout the book, he expresses his intense dislike for “colonialism,” which is perhaps summarized by his thoughts as he rides a train and imagines how a British officer might have felt on its maiden voyage: “Would he have felt a sense of triumph, a confidence that the guiding light of Western civilization had finally penetrated the African darkness? Or did he feel a sense of foreboding, a sudden realization that the entire enterprise was an act of folly, that this land and its people would outlast imperial dreams?”

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

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5 02 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Is Barack Obama Becoming A Handmaiden To Islamic Fascists?

It is a given that Obama is a cowardly demagogue. For example, he failed to come to the aid of those courageous Iranians who were tortured and killed after rising up in protest against the disputed victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, following the 2009 Iranian presidential election. The government of Iran is America’s enemy. Egypt’s Mubarak has been our ally, whom Obama has been “throwing under the bus”—which the Israelis understand fully, and watch with dismay and revulsion.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/#comment-1367 (“Obama Is A Fool And A Political Naïf, And The Israelis Recognize It”)

The Brits—another staunch ally—are outraged that Obama has agreed to tell Russia Britain’s nuclear secrets. The UK’s Telegraph has reported that Obama secretly agreed to give the Russians sensitive information about Britain’s nuclear deterrent to persuade them to sign the New START Treaty, which is traitorous and an impeachable offense.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1383

The battle of Cairo has begun, just as battles have begun elsewhere in the Middle East. They will be ugly and brutal. When the dust settles finally, America’s far-Left, naïve, anti-war, narcissistic president—our “Hamlet on the Potomac” or “Jimmy Carter-lite”—Barack Obama might have lost not just Egypt but the entire region, just as Carter lost Iran to Islamic fascists. The consequences will be mind-boggling.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/#comment-1357; see also http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.4f6d274f3aeb88a025c7211f3b0a1ee7.3b1&show_article=1 (“Jordan will sooner or later be the target of an uprising similar to the ones in Tunisia and Egypt”)

Obama is a fool and a feckless naïf, who is pulling out of Iraq completely. His policies are leading to the utter failure of his Afghan War; and it is simply a matter of time before he cuts and runs from there as well. As shrewd as Hillary and Bill Clinton can be at times, they seem to miss the fact that we may be in the midst of “The Clash of Civilizations” that Samuel P. Huntington wrote about—which Richard Nixon worried about.

See, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Clash_of_Civilizations; but see http://www.economist.com/node/18063852 (“[George W.] Bush was . . . a far more active champion of democracy than Mr Obama has been. . . . [T]he experts who scoffed at Mr Bush for thinking that Arabs wanted and were ready for democracy on the Western model are suddenly looking less clever—and Mr Bush’s simple and rather wonderful notion that Arabs want, deserve and are capable of democracy is looking rather wise”)

Islamic fascists find democratic movements and democracies abhorrent to them; and they are outwitting Obama at every turn, and making him into their handmaiden.

In an important Wall Street Journal article entitled, “Could al Qaeda Hijack Egypt’s Revolution?”—and subtitled, “Terrorists in Pakistan and mullahs in Tehran want to see chaos in Cairo. A splintered army and premature elections would help their cause”—Kenneth M. Pollack writes:

It is the nature of revolutions to be entirely unpredictable. Most fail, and even those that succeed often follow paths that no one foresaw—not their targets, not their protagonists, not the partisans on any side.

. . .

The uprising in Egypt is far from over, and neither is America’s necessary role. We must work to guard against the worst outcomes, which may seem remote but are all too likely in the unpredictable maelstrom of revolution:

The disintegration of the Egyptian army. Though hardly a paragon of democratic virtue, the army is the most important institution in Egypt, and it is vital to a peaceful transition to a moderate form of government. If the army fractures, Egypt will descend into chaos.

U.S. officials don’t know how loyal the army’s senior officers feel toward Hosni Mubarak, nor how sympathetic the enlisted men feel toward the protesters in Tahrir Square. Nor do we know where the loyalties of middle-ranking officers lie, but it is not hard to imagine that they are caught betwixt and between. At some point that no one will recognize until after the fact, the military may lose its cohesion and its ability to act on anyone’s behalf.

Thus the U.S. must maintain its extensive ties with Egypt’s soldiery, bolster their spirits, and encourage them to act as the impartial guardians of their country’s orderly transition. It’s imperative that the U.S. help Egypt past its current deadlock before divided loyalties tear apart the army.

Premature elections. If there is a need for a speedy resolution to the present impasse, the answer should not be an accelerated move to new elections. Where elections are concerned, speed kills.

Elections are an important element of democracy, but they are not synonymous with democracy. Few things can do more harm to a nascent democracy than premature elections.

. . .

Egypt is not ready to have good elections. It needs a new constitution and time for viable political leaders to establish parties, something the Mubarak regime prevented for 30 years. It is an open question whether eight months will be enough, but advancing that timetable would be incredibly reckless.

Although the Muslim Brotherhood likely represents only a minority of Egyptians, it probably would dominate any early elections. It is the only true mass party in Egypt, well-organized and disciplined, with a well-known track record and a well-understood political platform.

The Muslim Brotherhood is not al Qaeda, and it might provide reasonable leadership of a new government. But perhaps not. We simply don’t know, because Mr. Mubarak never allowed the Brotherhood any meaningful degree of participation in politics, so it never had to show its true colors.

It could be disastrous if the Brotherhood got to pick the next president of Egypt simply because it was the only organized party when elections were held.

A reprise of Lenin’s 1917 train ride into the Russian Revolution. Whatever our concerns about it, the Muslim Brotherhood is essentially the “Menshevik” faction of the Egyptian revolution. It espouses a moderate version of an ideology common among the Egyptian opposition and other Arab opposition movements, and it says it is willing to live and work within the constraints of a democratic system.

But revolutions often get hijacked by equivalents of the “Bolsheviks,” extremists who previously seemed so marginalized that they could never pose a real threat. The “Bolsheviks” of the Egyptian revolution are sitting in caves in Pakistan. They are the Salafist extremists of Ayman Zawahiri’s Egyptian Islamic Jihad and other groups that sought to bring about an Egyptian revolution throughout the 1990s. They waged a vicious terrorist campaign to try to do so and were ultimately driven from the country and into the arms of Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, where they became one of its dominant factions.

We should not doubt that when Zawahiri and his cohorts heard the news from Tahrir Square, they were probably jubilant that the revolution they had sought for so long had begun. They were likely also frustrated that they were not there to hijack it and lead it toward the radical Islamist state they seek. Zawahiri is probably doing whatever he can to play catch-up—to dispatch his supporters to Egypt to take control of the revolution.

The Iranian regime is also gleeful about the collapse of Mr. Mubarak, one of America’s most important Arab allies and one of Tehran’s most passionate enemies. Iran’s mullahs often see opportunity in chaos and violence, believing that anything that disrupts the region’s American-backed status quo works to their advantage. Witness their various efforts over the years in Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan and Bahrain.

Tehran may have already concluded that turmoil in Egypt suits its interests far more than any successful transition to stable democracy. Turmoil, after all, might prevent a new American ally from emerging and enhance the chances that Egypt’s new regime is more radical and friendly toward Iran. All of this gives Iran and al Qaeda common interests that may drive them toward tacit cooperation—with the goal of fomenting a modern Bolshevik Revolution.

In 1917, the Kaiser’s Germany famously arranged a train to take Vladimir Lenin from his exile in Switzerland across Germany to Russia. Berlin knew that Lenin was a wild radical who wished no good for Germany either, but it facilitated his entry into the Russian Revolution because it hoped he would make the situation worse and accelerate the collapse of the Russian state. It’s a model that could hold great appeal for Tehran today.

All of this may seem unlikely, but revolutions are also unlikely events, and once that threshold is crossed, old rules about what is normal and likely go out the window. That’s why those who start revolutions are rarely those who end up in charge when the smoke clears and the barricades come down. And it’s why the U.S., as Egypt’s friend and ally, must try to prevent a revolution made in the name of democracy from being hijacked by something much worse.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/KennethM.Pollack-CouldalQaedaHijackEgyptsRevolution.pdf; see also http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703313304576132362771119834.html?mod=WSJ_hp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsSecond (“In the Desert, a Tourist Drought”)

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10 02 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama Is Bowing Again . . . This Time To The Saudis

Obama bows to Saudis

A Fox News article entitled, “Report: Saudis Warned Obama Not to ‘Humiliate’ Mubarak,” states:

Saudi Arabia has threatened to prop up embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak if the Obama administration tries to force a swift change of regime in Egypt, The Times of London reported Thursday.

In a testy personal telephone call on Jan. 29, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah reportedly told President Obama not to humiliate Mubarak and warned that he would step in to bankroll Egypt if the U.S. withdrew its aid program, worth $1.5 billion annually.

America’s closest ally in the Gulf made clear that the Egyptian president must be allowed to stay on to oversee the transition towards peaceful democracy and then leave with dignity.

“Mubarak and King Abdullah are not just allies, they are close friends, and the King is not about to see his friend cast aside and humiliated,” a senior source in the Saudi capital told The Times.

. . .

The revelation of Saudi concerns sheds new light on America’s apparent diplomatic paralysis and lays bare the biggest rift between the nations since the oil price shock of 1973.

. . .

“With Egypt in chaos, the kingdom is Washington’s only major ally left in the Arab world and the Saudis want the Americans to remember that,” said a source in Riyadh.

. . .

The news came as testimony gathered by the Guardian newspaper claimed that the Egyptian military, despite maintaining an appearance of neutrality in the ongoing crisis, had secretly detained hundreds and possibly thousands of suspected government opponents since mass protests began weeks ago.

See http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/02/09/source-saudis-tell-obama-humiliate-mubarak/; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama/#comment-103 (“Now Barack Obama is bowing to the Mayor of Tampa, Florida!”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama/#comment-358 (“Bowing To The Communists!”)

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10 02 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

It Wasn’t The Fight Webb Dreaded; It Was The Prospect Of Another Victory—And Having To Spend Another Six-Year Term In The U.S. Senate

This is a political assessment of why Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) decided not to run for reelection. Having worked in the Senate for three and a half years, and having dealt with the Senate for many years after that, I understand.

Senators only have two basic duties: (1) make speeches, and (2) try to enact legislation. The speeches get tired after a while, very tiresome; and legislation is enacted, but seldom (if ever) is it taken off the books—long after it has outlived its usefulness.

Aside from that, senators have larger staffs than members of the House; however, the need to engage in fundraising to pay for vastly more expensive campaigns is almost endless. Many of them are forced to raise money year around, and it is not a lot of fun. I have helped raise money for Senate and House campaigns, and donated to them as well.

Lastly, as the article points out:

Webb personally warned President Obama that the all-out push for health-care reform would be “a disaster” for the party. Webb’s sort of Democrat fell from favor within the party during the course of one senatorial cycle, and became a vanishing breed by last November.

When Webb declared himself out of a re-election run, it was widely supposed that he had little chance of winning anyway. This is probably true. His likely opponent in 2012 would have been George Allen, who only narrowly lost to Webb in 2006 even after running a campaign that was a classic of self-immolation. But Webb’s closest friends believe that it wasn’t the fight Webb dreaded, it was the prospect of another victory—and having to spend another term in the Senate.

He loathed the elemental chore of incumbency—the endless fundraising loop—and was temperamentally ill-suited to the pace and grind of Senate work. . . . His closest pals weren’t Beltway pundits, or his political peers, but the remaining band of Vietnam buddies that still rally to his side when summoned (as he has always rallied to theirs).

See http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-02-10/jim-webbs-senate-career-ends-peter-j-boyer-on-the-real-reason/

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12 02 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

The Collapse Of The Mubarak Regime, Wholly Unexpected A Month Ago, May Constitute A Precursor Of What Is To Come Elsewhere In The Middle East

Which countries are next? Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Israel? Where this stops, no one knows.

For those who think that it might never happen in Israel, the following comments—from an article in the UK’s Economist—are sobering:

[S]ome Israelis ask whether Palestinian police units—or Israeli security forces, for that matter—would really crush a mass democracy movement live on world television, after Egypt’s powerful army has set a precedent of forbearance.

. . .

[C]ould [Israel] win against masses of peaceful protesters in town squares across the West Bank, Gaza and Israel too, demanding political rights for Palestinians? It is a question that makes many Israelis queasy.

See http://www.economist.com/node/18065691 (“Worried Israel: Bad news for the Jewish state: Egypt’s upheaval is rattling the Israelis“); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/#comment-1367 (“Obama Is A Fool And A Political Naïf, And The Israelis Recognize It”) and http://af.reuters.com/article/tunisiaNews/idAFLDE71C0KP20110213?sp=true (“Gaddafi tells Palestinians: revolt against Israel”)

Will the Jewish state be the next to fall—or among the next?

Another crucial question to ask is whether Barack Obama is the handmaiden of Islamic fascists, and whether he is facilitating the fall of America’s allies in the Middle East like dominoes?

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/#comment-1385

With respect to Israel, it bears repeating that I am forever reminded of what a prominent American (who is a Jew and a strong supporter of Israel) told me a number of years ago:

I have long thought that Israel will not make it, if only because of what are cavalierly called WMD [weapons of mass destruction] and its very tight geographical compression. All else is immaterial, including the Palestinians, or us, or the nature of Israel’s [government].

I was stunned by this person’s words, and I have reflected on them many times since. I have always assumed that Israel would be attacked from outside of “Palestine,” but not from within.

. . .

An editorial in the Wall Street Journal states:

Political Islam is so 1979—nowhere more so than in Iran, where an opposition rose up two years ago with the same demands as the Egyptians, only to fail amid a ruthless and violent government crackdown. Egypt’s revolt should inspire the Iranians anew. . .

However, one must never forget that America’s far-Left, naïve, anti-war, narcissistic president—“Hamlet on the Potomac” or “Jimmy Carter-lite”—Barack Obama failed to come to the aid of those courageous Iranians who were tortured and killed after rising up in protest against the disputed victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, following the 2009 Iranian presidential election.

Even worse, he coddled and gave comfort to America’s enemies, the brutal theocratic regime in that country. The Journal was guarded and too kind when it described his conduct as an “embarrassing silence.” It was nothing short of cruel; and he may have “signed” the death sentences of courageous Iranian protesters—but this is true of other uncaring, raving narcissists like Obama.

See, e.g., http://www.naegele.com/documents/IranianCrackdownGoesGlobal.pdf (“Iranian Crackdown Goes Global”) and http://www.naegele.com/documents/PresidentObamaSnubsIransDemocrats.pdf (“The President Snubs Iran’s Democrats”) and http://www.naegele.com/documents/Iransentences5todeathinpostelectionturmoil.pdf (“Iran sentences 5 to death in postelection turmoil”) and http://www.naegele.com/documents/IranianProtestersSentencedtoDeath.pdf (“An Alternative Nobel”)

For example, one Journal article—dated November 3, 2009—stated:

[C]ourageous and dignified overtures to the U.S. by [Iranian] Green Movement activists have been snubbed by the Obama administration. The administration has avoided discussion about the prospects for liberalization in a country that exports radical Islamist ideology throughout the Middle East and beyond. In regressive realpolitik fashion, it has grown increasingly reticent about the Iranian people’s struggle for human rights, apparently viewing it as irrelevant to U.S security interests. Rather than bolstering the opposition at a time when the Iranian regime is at its weakest, America is pursuing a policy of appeasement.

. . .

Iranian cyberspace is brimming with anger at what the Green Movement sees as betrayal by the West. From legendary filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf, presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi’s representative in Europe, to Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi, Iranian democrats are expressing disappointment at what they see as the trading of their democratic aspirations for dubious progress toward the goal of preventing a nuclear Iran.

“Engagement,” it turns out, is about nuclear weapons alone—no matter how many innocent Iranians are being beaten, tortured, raped and killed for expressing their hope for change.

. . .

Can the Obama administration achieve anything with Ahmadinejad’s cabal on the nuclear front that could possibly justify its betrayal of the Iranian people and American values?

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/PresidentObamaSnubsIransDemocrats.pdf

Also, the four articles cited immediately above stated: (1) the regime cracked down hard at home, and a Wall Street Journal investigation showed that it extended that crackdown to many of the 4 million Iranians living abroad as well; (2) Obama’s “engagement” with Iran was about nuclear weapons alone, no matter how many innocent Iranians were being beaten, tortured, raped and killed for expressing their hope for change; (3) the Iranian courts sentenced at least 89 defendants and 81 of them got prison terms ranging from six months up to 15 years; (4) the Obama Administration downplayed human rights in Iran as it pursued a negotiated nuclear settlement with the Ahmadinejad government; and (5) forgotten—at least by Barack Obama—is 27-year old Neda Aga Soltan, whose murder in June of 2009 by one of Ahmadinejad’s goon squads was captured on a video seen around the world.

. . .

In the final analysis, what is happening in Egypt and elsewhere may be another vindication of George W. Bush. Indeed, the Journal added:

This is also a day to note that George W. Bush was the President who broke with the foreign policy establishment and declared that Arabs deserved political freedom as much as the rest of the world. He was reviled for it by many of the same pundits who are now claiming solidarity with Egyptians in the streets.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704364004576132281877448852.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_AboveLEFTTop; see also http://www.economist.com/node/18063852 (“[George W.] Bush was . . . a far more active champion of democracy than Mr Obama has been. . . . [T]he experts who scoffed at Mr Bush for thinking that Arabs wanted and were ready for democracy on the Western model are suddenly looking less clever—and Mr Bush’s simple and rather wonderful notion that Arabs want, deserve and are capable of democracy is looking rather wise”) and http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/03/03/AR2011030304239.html (“[R]evolutions are sweeping the Middle East and everyone is a convert to George W. Bush’s freedom agenda”)

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12 02 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

OBAMA IS A FOOL!

Obama in cowboy hat

He has compared himself with Ronald Reagan, by referring to himself as “The Gipper”—which is the moral equivalent of comparing Adolf Hitler favorably with Mother Teresa.

See http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/02/11/obama_refers_to_himself_as_the_gipper_in_farewell_to_gibbs.html

Another fool—who fancied being the president too—was Mike Dukakis who ran against George H.W. Bush in 1988, and was “destroyed” by him electorally. Hopefully the same thing happens to Obama between now and the 2012 elections.

Dukakis in tank

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14 02 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Is The Rift Widening Between Obama And Hillary?

Hillary and Bill Clinton fought hard to defeat Barack Obama in 2008, and there was no love lost between their respective political camps.

Among others, political pundit and former adviser to Bill Clinton, Dick Morris, has suggested that when the timing is right, the Clintons will strike at Obama again—in all likelihood, before the 2012 primary elections.

See http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/obama-may-face-left-wing-primary/; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected, footnote 10.

It has been reported that Obama was “furious” with Hillary’s State Department over Egypt, and that they undercut him at every turn.

See http://www.newsmax.com/InsideCover/obama-clinton-egypt-policy/2011/02/13/id/385923?s and http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/13/world/middleeast/13diplomacy.html (“Obama was furious, and it did not help that his secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton . . . was publicly warning that any credible transition would take time—even as Mr. Obama was demanding that change in Egypt begin right away”)

This might be a preview of what is to come as the 2012 primaries and general election approach. Obama and the Clintons may become overt political enemies again.

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17 02 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

The Middle East Is On Fire Again, And Crazy Muslims With Funny Names Aren’t Helping Things—. . . Barack . . .

This is the first paragraph of Ann Coulter’s latest column entitled, “Democrats: Emboldening America’s Enemies & Terrifying Her Allies Since 1976,” which added:

The major new development is that NOW liberals want to get rid of a dictator in the Middle East! Where were they when we were taking out the guy with the rape rooms?

Remember? The one who had gassed his own people, invaded his neighbors and was desperately seeking weapons of mass destruction?

. . .

Liberals couldn’t have been less interested in removing Saddam Hussein and building a democracy in Iraq.

. . .

Liberals angrily cited the high unemployment rate in Egypt as a proof that Mubarak was a beast who must step down. Did they, by any chance, see the January employment numbers for the United States?

. . .

You know another country where Obama wasn’t interested in democracy? (I mean, besides the U.S. when it comes to health care reform?) That’s right—Iran.

. . .

When peaceful Iranian students were protesting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s stolen election in 2009, we didn’t hear a peep out of Obama. The students had good reason to believe the election had been rigged. In some pro-Ahmadinejad districts, turnout was more than 100 percent.

Wait, no, I’m sorry—that was Al Franken’s election to the U.S. Senate from Minnesota. But there was also plenty of vote-stealing in Ahmadinejad’s election.

When it came to Iran, however, the flame of democracy didn’t burn so brightly in liberal hearts. Even when the Iranian protester, Neda [Aga Soltan], was shot dead while standing peacefully on a street in Tehran, Obama responded by . . . going out for an ice cream cone.

But a mob of Egyptians start decapitating mummies, and Obama was on the horn telling Mubarak he had to leave. Obama didn’t acknowledge Neda’s existence, but the moment Egyptians started rioting, Obama said, “We hear your voices.”

. . .

The fact that liberals support democracy in Egypt, but not in Iraq or Iran, can mean only one thing: Democracy in Egypt will be bad for the United States and its allies. (As long as we’re on the subject, liberals also opposed democracy in Russia, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and all the Soviet satellite states, China, Vietnam, North Korea, Cuba, Grenada, Nicaragua and Minnesota.)

Democrats are all for meddling in other countries—but only provided a change of regime will harm U.S. national security interests.

Time and again, Democrats’ fecklessness has emboldened America’s enemies and terrified its allies. . . .

For 50 years, Democrats have harbored traitors, lost wars, lost continents to communism, hobnobbed with the nation’s enemies, attacked America’s allies, and counseled retreat and surrender. Or as they call it, “foreign policy.”

As Joe McCarthy once said, if liberals were merely stupid, the laws of probability would dictate that at least some of their decisions would serve America’s interests.

See http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=41848; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/#comment-1408

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17 02 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

OBAMA’S AFGHAN WAR IS OVER, AND HE HAS LOST IT TO AMERICA’S ENEMIES

General David Petraeus

In an article entitled, “US faces exodus of top Afghanistan team”—and subtitled, “The US faces the loss of four senior members of its Afghanistan team in coming months, leaving President Barack Obama with a gaping lack of experience as the conflict enters a critical phase and the public expects a withdrawal of troops to start”—the UK’s Telegraph has reported:

The long-running conflict has placed unforeseen demands on the human resources of the US administration and several senior people are reaching the end of gruelling tours. Mr Obama will in coming months have to find replacements for Karl Eikenberry, the ambassador to Kabul, and Gen David Petraeus, the commander of coalition forces. Robert Gates, the Defence Secretary, who also served under George W Bush, could also be heading for the exit, though pressure is likely to increase on him to stay for the duration of Mr Obama’s first term in office.

In addition, Adm Mike Mullen’s four-year term as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ends in September and Marc Grossman, a retired diplomat, has just replaced the late Richard Holbrooke as special envoy to the region.

The length of the war, now in its tenth year, has exposed a shortage in Washington of people with experience or expertise in South Asia who have not already served long tours. Mr Obama therefore is confronted with a considerable challenge of finding the right people to continue his strategy of heavy US troop involvement in trouble spots such as Helmand while preparing the Afghan security forces to take charge by 2014.

Gen Petraeus only took up his current position in June last year when Mr Obama fired Gen Stanley McChrystal for making unflattering remarks about the administration during a magazine interview.

But he has already served multiple tours in Iraq and is a leading candidate to replace Adm Mullen. Stepping down in the autumn would at least allow Gen Petraeus to oversee the start of a planned troop withdrawal in July which Mr Obama has promised to Americans.

There are only a handful of suitable candidates to replace Gen Petraeus, and none is regarded as a match for his combination of battle experience, intellect or the public relations skills required for the job.

The four-star general is widely credited in Washington for his role in salvaging the war in Iraq when he took over as commander in 2007, and many Republicans view him as a hero and possible presidential material. The 2012 campaign appears to have to come too late for those ambitions, however.

See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/8329079/US-faces-exodus-of-top-Afghanistan-team.html

First, like Jimmy Carter before him, Obama’s first term in office will be his only term in office. He is finished as America’s “Community-Organizer-In-Chief,” and will return to either Chicago or Hawaii permanently in January of 2013—at the latest—to lick his political wounds, write his memoirs, and work on his presidential library.

Second, “victory” is a word that Obama has never used with respect to his Afghan War; and like the North Vietnamese before them, the Taliban may begin using that term in the not-too-distant future. Obama’s Afghan War is lost, and the Taliban have won it, and Afghan women will pay a horrible price in the process.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1102

Third, if the speculation is true, David Petraeus will have “escaped” with his reputation intact, to become Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which will be his reward for “rescuing” Obama from the McChrystal debacle—unless, of course, Obama blows the Petraeus appointment too.

Fourth, McChrystal is rumored to have a book coming out shortly before the 2012 elections, which may “fry” Obama politically.

Lastly, I have been told by a foreign policy “legend”:

That war was lost when we decided to invade. It was tailor-made for special forces, which we did at the beginning. . . . But [George W.] Bush decided revenge[, which] required a full scale invasion. Big mistake. As Mubarak [said] at the time, the situation required Muslim troops only, no US or other Western European nations. Bad call from Day One which means, in my judgment, ineluctable defeat.

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22 02 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

The Goal Of A Global Caliphate . . . And Barack Obama’s Reticence To Fight It

Arnaud de Borchgrave—editor at large of The Washington Times and of United Press International—has written another excellent and very sobering article entitled, “Gullible amnesia,” which is worth reading and reflecting on. In it, he states in pertinent part:

Jihad has a global strategy beyond self-defense—attack every “infidel rule” to widen the global caliphate until all mankind lives under the Islamic flag.

. . .

“The Yuppie Revolution in Egypt is Over, the Islamist Revolution Has Begun,” captured the essence of Egypt’s 18-day upheaval.

See http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/de-Borchgrave/2011/02/22/Commentary-Gullible-amnesia/UPI-47511298374510/

Because of the Muslim influence during Obama’s formative years when he was growing up in Indonesia, one wonders whether he has the will, determination and capacity to fight against a regional—much less a global—caliphate on behalf of the American people. Or is he merely a handmaiden of Islamic fascists, and a useful “tool” for them?

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/#comment-1385

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24 02 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

China’s Jasmine Crackdown

Obama is an utter buffoon, who will not be reelected.

Why is he silent when the forces of democracy are moving in China—like he was silent and failed to come to the aid of those courageous Iranians who were tortured and killed after rising up in protest against the disputed victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, following the 2009 Iranian presidential election?

See http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d4fcf4e6-3f6d-11e0-a1ba-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1EpwDexBl (“Nervous China puts security apparatus into overdrive“) and http://www.theworld.org/2011/02/22/china%E2%80%99s-jasmine-crackdown/ (“China’s Jasmine crackdown“) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/ (“China Is America’s Enemy: Make No Mistake About That“) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1406 (“The Collapse Of The Mubarak Regime, Wholly Unexpected A Month Ago, May Constitute A Precursor Of What Is To Come Elsewhere In The Middle East“) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/#comment-1445 (“The Goal Of A Global Caliphate . . . And Barack Obama’s Reticence To Fight It“)

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2 03 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Preserving And Enhancing American Military Might During Difficult Economic Times, And Forever

Author Mark Helprin wrote a fine article in the Wall Street Journal about the need to maintain America’s Navy, and not allow it to decline. I agree with his goals completely.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/TheDeclineofUSNavalPower.pdf

However, there is more to this issue that must be noted.

First, those who venture close enough to the Somali coast to place themselves at risk should not expect the U.S. Navy to rescue them.

It has been suggested that a joint military effort be undertaken by all the countries whose ships have been attacked or are at risk. My understanding is that there are joint operations globally to defend critical shipping lanes. Indeed, even China has contributed military forces to those efforts.

See, e.g., http://www.economist.com/blogs/asiaview/2011/03/chinas_foreign_policy

Yes, it might be ironic if China were to unleash a crippling attack on the Somali pirates and their bases, and thereby earn the respect and admiration of people worldwide. However, the Somali pirates are like gnats: bothersome, but not really dangerous in terms of America’s global commitments.

Yes too, the recent killing of the four sailors went awry, as any hostage taking negotiations can do. I concur that the Somali thugs should be terminated.

Second, Helprin noted: “[W]e are in effect an island nation.” This is how most Americans view their country. Many have never flown on an airplane, nor ventured far from where they grew up; and it is surprising how many sophisticated, wealthy, educated Americans have never been to Europe, or out of the States, or to other parts of the world. Their views are insular, which is reflected in American policies and outlook.

I believe in our great country, and in the inherent wisdom of the American people, and my comments are not intended to disparage them one iota.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/america-a-rich-tapestry-of-life/

Third, I concur with Helprin that vital U.S. national security and economic interests demand a large blue-water fleet. He adds: “As China’s navy rises and ours declines, not that far in the future the trajectories will cross.” I concur with that conclusion too. Both China and “dictator-for-life” Putin’s Russia are our enemies, now and in the future.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/ (see also the footnotes and comments beneath both of these two articles)

Fourth, Helprin states:

Abdicating our more than half-century stabilizing role on the oceans, neglecting the military balance, and relinquishing a position we are fully capable of holding will bring tectonic realignments among nations—and ultimately more expense, bloodletting, and heartbreak than the most furious deficit hawk is capable of imagining. A technological nation with a GDP of $14 trillion can afford to build a fleet worthy of its past and sufficient to its future.

I agree; and the same thing is true of other vital military needs and expenditures. Tragically, at present, we have a naïve, anti-war, far-Left, “Hamlet on the Potomac”—or “Jimmy Carter-lite”—narcissistic president, who is a cowardly demagogue. He is determined to weaken our great nation at every turn; and he must not be reelected.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ (see also the footnotes and comments beneath both of these two articles)

Fifth, it has been suggested that American military expenditures are equal to many times what the next countries combined are spending. Hence, the question arises: where is the money going?

There is no question that—like it or not—the United States must maintain its absolute superiority now and in the future. No nation must be in a position to ever challenge us. Our very survival depends on it.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/

As I told a friend recently, who had commented on a Pentagon report that China may have triggered our economic crash:

[T]he Pentagon does not make claims of this magnitude idly, or without great justification. This is not the way that the Pentagon works. It is very professional and thorough, probably the most outstanding agency in our government.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/#comment-1467

I spent two years working at the Pentagon in intelligence, and then I have worked on and with Capitol Hill for most of my legal career. During this time, I have had an opportunity to see many federal government agencies and programs in action; and I can honestly say that the Pentagon is the best by far. There is no agency or program that is even remotely close.

The people who work at the Pentagon and serve our military—both in uniform and as civilians—are totally dedicated and professional; and they have inspired enormous pride in me over the years. If you read any of my articles, you will realize that I do not spare my criticism of people and institutions; and I am not naïve. Some people might assert that I am cynical; I prefer to believe that I am an idealist, who is repulsed when I encounter something that is less than just or the best.

The Pentagon and our military are not perfect, but they are truly excellent. There are reasons why the Soviet Union collapsed and we are the only superpower in the world today. It did not just happen by chance.

This enormous power must be maintained and nourished. I will repeat—because it deserves emphasis again and again—our very survival depends on it. This is not a “Mary Poppins” world in which we live. There are countries and terrorist groups around the world that want to destroy our great nation, and kill all of us. This is a fact of life, period.

What follows are the comparative numbers relating to our military expenditures vis-à-vis those of other countries. There may be more recent numbers that are available publicly, but I have not seen them.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures#Chart_by_country_or_organization

For better or worse, America protects the free world; we encourage those countries and people who yearn for democracy and freedom; we are winding down a very successful war in Iraq, which I questioned and opposed at the outset, but was impressed that George W. Bush’s “surge” worked and won that war; we are mired in the Afghan War, which Barack Obama does not seem to have the will or determination to win; and we have commitments that are essentially endless.

We have no allies that are capable of doing any “heavy lifting” today. The UK is “gutting” its military; NATO is a mere shell of what it once was; and we are it—with very heavy duties and responsibilities. After having worked in and with government for so many years, I believe government is a vast wasteland, most of which should be eliminated. The one exception would be the Pentagon and our brilliant and, yes, wonderful and awe-inspiring military forces.

. . .

Update:

The UK’s Daily Mail has reported:

The 14 alleged pirates accused of hijacking a U.S. yacht off the coast of Somalia appeared in court today looking ‘exhausted and confused’.

The men, 13 Somalis and one Yemeni, were indicted on piracy, kidnapping and firearms charges at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, near the Norfolk naval base.

Two U.S. couples were killed on board their own yacht last month after Somali pirates took them hostage off the coast of Oman.

. . .

If convicted, the men could face life in prison—and U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride has not yet ruled out filing further charges.

According to the indictment, by a grand federal jury, at least three of the men shot and killed the four U.S. sailors without provocation. It says they were armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades.

. . .

U.S. special forces boarded the yacht. According to the military, all four hostages were found dead or dying.

U.S. Seals shot two bandits in the ensuing firefight and a further two were found dead on board.

Another 15 were taken into custody, but Mr MacBride today said the last suspect was not charged because he was only a child and was alleged to have had only limited involvement in the hijacking.

. . .

The four sailors who died in February are the first American hostages to have been killed by Somali pirates.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1365156/14-Somali-pirates-accused-killing-U-S-sailors-appear-Virginia-court-yacht-hijack.html (“14 Somali ‘pirates’ accused of killing four U.S. sailors appear in Virginia court over yacht hijack”)

Thus, even though the four sailors apparently placed themselves at risk by venturing into dangerous waters, and they should not have expected the U.S. Navy to rescue them, nonetheless the Navy attempted to do so and is bringing their killers to justice. It is another example of our brilliant military at work.

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5 03 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Do We Need U.N. Approval to Save Libyan Lives?

This is the question that is asked and answered in a Wall Street Journal article, which is worth reading.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/JohnYoo-WeDontNeedUNApprovaltoSaveLibyanLives.pdf

Obama is deferring to the UN because he is a spineless, cowardly, naïve, anti-war, far-Left, “Hamlet on the Potomac,” narcissistic president, who is determined to weaken our great nation at every turn. Also, the article is correct: his deference to the U.N. “amounts to a triumph of the Democratic Party’s pacifist base,” which Obama embraces and represents.

It has been said: “Jimmy Carter may be heading to #2 on the [list of] all-time worst presidents in American history, thanks to ‘O.’” This is an understatement. At best, Obama is “Jimmy Carter-lite.”

For example, following the rigged election victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009, countless Iranians who spoke out, protested and advocated freedom were beaten, jailed, tortured and killed, yet Obama stood by helplessly and did not come to their aid. Equally atrocious, he provided comfort to Iran’s theocratic fascists.

Similarly, he has done nothing to help protestors in China, or those in Russia. In fact, he has coddled the Chinese leadership and “dictator-for-life” Putin in Russia. He is turning his back on the fragile democracy in Iraq; and he is cutting and running from his Afghan War, leaving women and young girls to become tragic victims of the barbaric Taliban once again.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/ (see also the footnotes and comments beneath the article)

In short, he is despicable—no other word describes him adequately—and he has lost the legitimacy to govern, He must not be reelected.

Next, the Journal’s article is correct: China and Putin’s Russia are authoritarian regimes. America’s goal must be to bring down both regimes, which are increasingly focused on domination, and replace them with democratic nations that live at peace with the world.

. . .

Some people have questioned whether America has some moral or other responsibility to fix the problems of the world. In an absolute sense, it does not, unless our national security or economic interests are at risk. Many of the problems do not affect us, certainly on a personal basis—other than perhaps emotionally when we learn of tragic human suffering.

Did we have a duty to intervene in Germany during World War II to prevent the Nazi Holocaust that killed approximately 6 million Jews and others? Franklin D. Roosevelt decided that we did not. Did we have a duty to intervene to prevent the Rwandan genocide that killed approximately one million civilians? Bill Clinton decided against it, and later apparently regretted it.

Because of America’s role as the world’s only true “melting pot,” and a beacon to those who seek freedom and democracy around the world—and because this country has been so blessed for so long—there is a sense that we have higher duties to help others. We are the shining city on the hill. Similarly, because of its origins as the repository for the oppressed of Europe and elsewhere, tiny Israel is thought by many to have higher duties to help the Palestinians and others, and not oppress them too.

In short, reality constrains America’s options and actions. We cannot be all things to all people. There are Americans who are suffering too, and they need our help and attention first and foremost. We cannot drain our national resources—which are not limitless—to right the wrongs of the world. We can only do so much; and at some point Americans say (or believe) that enough is enough, and understandably so. It is not cruel or heartless to do this. It is simply a function of being realistic.

We need to do all that we can to meet our need for oil right here in the States. We have vast oil resources, which can be tapped without endangering our environment. Sure the radical eco-Nazis will scream, but so what. The goal of getting us off our dependence on foreign oil might rival our goal of putting a man on the moon—which seems like a distant vision today, especially after the last space shuttle completes its mission, because Obama has curtailed that program.

I concur with the following conclusions suggested by others:

(1) We have plenty of oil, excess amounts of coal, and huge reserves of natural gas; and

(2) We have nuclear power with a great track record of safety.

We must unleash these resources immediately, instead of allowing the eco-Nazis to dictate our future and limit our horizons.

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14 03 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Among The Many Reasons Why Obama Must Go

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article—which was written by a member of the European Parliament, Daniel Hannan—that essentially articulates the reasons why Barack Obama must not be reelected, and how he is leading America is the wrong direction. In it, he states in part:

On a U.S. talk-radio show recently, I was asked what I thought about the notion that Barack Obama had been born in Kenya. “Pah!” I replied. “Your president was plainly born in Brussels.”

. . .

My guess is that, if anything, Obama would verbalize his ideology using the same vocabulary that Eurocrats do. He would say he wants a fairer America, a more tolerant America, a less arrogant America, a more engaged America. When you prize away the cliché, what these phrases amount to are higher taxes, less patriotism, a bigger role for state bureaucracies, and a transfer of sovereignty to global institutions.

He is not pursuing a set of random initiatives but a program of comprehensive Europeanization: European health care, European welfare, European carbon taxes, European day care, European college education, even a European foreign policy, based on engagement with supranational technocracies, nuclear disarmament and a reluctance to deploy forces overseas.

. . .

Is a European future truly so terrible?

Yes. I have been an elected member of the European Parliament for 11 years. I have seen firsthand what the European political model means.

The critical difference between the American and European unions has to do with the location of power. The U.S. was founded on what we might loosely call the Jeffersonian ideal: the notion that decisions should be taken as closely as possible to the people they affect. The European Union was based on precisely the opposite ideal. Article One of its foundational treaty commits its nations to establish “an ever-closer union.”

From that distinction, much follows. The U.S. has evolved a series of unique institutions designed to limit the power of the state: recall mechanisms, ballot initiatives, balanced budget rules, open primaries, localism, states’ rights, term limits, the direct election of public officials from the sheriff to the school board. The EU places supreme power in the hands of 27 unelected Commissioners invulnerable to public opinion.

The will of the people is generally seen by Eurocrats as an obstacle to overcome, not a reason to change direction. When France, the Netherlands and Ireland voted against the European Constitution, the referendum results were swatted aside and the document adopted regardless. For, in Brussels, the ruling doctrine—that the nation-state must be transcended—is seen as more important than freedom, democracy or the rule of law.

. . .

The single worst aspect of Europeanization is its impact on the economy. Many Americans, and many Europeans, have a collective memory of how Europe managed to combine economic growth with social justice.

. . .

Human nature being what it is, few European leaders attributed their success to the fact that they were recovering from an artificial low. They convinced themselves, rather, that they were responsible for their countries’ growth rates. Their genius, they thought, lay in having hit upon a European “third way” between the excesses of American capitalism and the totalitarianism of Soviet communism.

We can now see where that road leads: to burgeoning bureaucracy, more spending, higher taxes, slower growth and rising unemployment. But an entire political class has grown up believing not just in the economic superiority of euro-corporatism but in its moral superiority. After all, if the American system were better—if people could thrive without government supervision—there would be less need for politicians. As Upton Sinclair once observed, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.”

Nonetheless, the economic data are pitilessly clear. For the past 40 years, Europeans have fallen further and further behind Americans in their standard of living. Europe also has become accustomed to a high level of structural unemployment. Only now, as the U.S. applies a European-style economic strategy based on fiscal stimulus, nationalization, bailouts, quantitative easing and the regulation of private-sector remuneration, has the rate of unemployment in the U.S. leaped to European levels.

Why is a European politician urging America to avoid Europeanization? As a Briton, I see the American republic as a repository of our traditional freedoms. The doctrines rooted in the common law, in the Magna Carta, and in the Bill of Rights found their fullest and most sublime expression in the old courthouse of Philadelphia. Britain, as a result of its unhappy membership in the European Union, has now surrendered a large part of its birthright. But our freedoms live on in America.

. . .

How aptly the British people might today apply the ringing phrases of the Declaration of Independence against their own rulers, who have “combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws.”

So you can imagine how I feel when I see the U.S. making the same mistakes that Britain has made: expanding its government, regulating private commerce, centralizing its jurisdiction, breaking the link between taxation and representation, abandoning its sovereignty.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703559604576176620582972608.html?mod=WSJ_hps_sections_opinion#articleTabs%3Darticle

Clearly, Europe is not in great shape economically; and it will get far worse between now and the end of this decade.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally (see also the footnotes and comments beneath the article)

Clearly too, while Obama might want “a less arrogant America,” he personifies arrogance and narcissism.

He wants “a transfer of sovereignty to global institutions.” After all, he never set foot on the American mainland until he attended Occidental College in Los Angeles and Columbia University in New York City. When he was there, he described his presence as follows:

Junkie. Pothead. That’s where I’d been headed: the final, fatal role of the young would-be black man.

His core beliefs are at odds with those of most Americans, which would have been evident if we had read his book, “Dreams from My Father,” before the 2008 election.

Also, Hannan is correct that Obama is pursuing “a program of comprehensive Europeanization,” despite his ingrained disdain for British and European cultures, which shines through in his book.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

Next, Hannan asks and answers his own question: “Is a European future truly so terrible?” Yes, he says; and as mentioned above, economically this is likely to be true, and socially too. Also, NATO is a mere shell of its former self; and militarily, the countries of Europe are pathetically weak.

Hannan makes an interesting observation that “an entire political class has grown up [in Europe] believing not just in the economic superiority of euro-corporatism but in its moral superiority.” Lacking the core beliefs of most Americans because of his heritage, Obama feels essentially the same way and has acted on such core beliefs.

Lastly, on balance, Hannan’s observations are correct, which is why Obama and the Democrats were rejected in last year’s mid-term elections, and why the same thing is likely to happen next year as well. The American people have had their fill of the grand “Obama experiment,” and will reject him like they rejected Jimmy Carter in 1980.

Indeed, as mentioned above, it has been said:

Jimmy Carter may be heading to #2 on the [list of] all-time worst presidents in American history, thanks to “O.”

This is an understatement.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected (see also the footnotes and comments beneath the article); see also http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704893604576200910152041584.html?mod=WSJ_hps_sections_opinion (“When the U.S. fails to lead, every nation recalibrates its interests and begins to look out for itself first”) and http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_OBAMA_CAMPAIGN_ENTHUSIASM?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-03-15-06-33-15 (“Obama’s team seeks new ways to fire up his base”)

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15 03 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama Does It Again . . .

. . . which is among the many reasons why he must be removed from the presidency as soon as humanly possible.

Acting through White House special assistant Elizabeth Warren, our narcissistic anti-business president is once again engaged in credit allocation and the distortion of credit markets and, yes, extortion from the banks. As the Wall Street Journal correctly stated in an editorial:

The new federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau . . . is trying to extend its reach by extorting billions of dollars from private mortgage servicers, regulating their business by fiat, and stalling a U.S. housing market recovery.

This brouhaha started last year when mortgage servicers—J.P. Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo and other banks—were accused of mishandling foreclosure documentation. The feds have been investigating, and it turns out that most of the infractions were technical while very few borrowers lost their homes without cause. But state Attorneys General and White House special assistant Elizabeth Warren have spotted a political opening to smack the banks one more time and dole out $20 billion to potential voters in 2012.

They’ve sent a proposed 27-page “settlement” to the banks that would, among other things, force mortgage servicers to submit to the bureau’s permanent regulatory oversight; impose vast new reporting and administrative burdens; mandate the reduction of borrowers’ mortgage principal amounts in certain circumstances; and force servicers to perform “duties to communities,” such as preventing urban blight. We warned during the Dodd-Frank debate that the new consumer bureau would become a political tool for credit allocation, and here we already are.

The legal language is so vague, and the potential liabilities so vast, that no CEO could in good conscience sign the agreement as it stands. The settlement includes, for instance, “unfair and deceptive business practice” clauses that would expose servicers to lawsuits for any “material” violation of the agreement, whatever “material” means. Homeowners and bank shareholders will ultimately pay for the compliance burden and the $20 billion to reward delinquent borrowers, as servicers pass on the costs. Never mind that these banks didn’t originate many of those loans and typically don’t own them now.

. . .

[M]ore than half of all mortgages modified during this housing depression have redefaulted within a year. A 50% failure rate is bad even for government work. Meanwhile, the foreclosure overhang has kept the housing market from finding a bottom so prices can recover.

. . .

The proposed settlement will only prolong the pain. HSBC has already frozen foreclosures in the U.S. and other banks will likely follow suit. RealtyTrac, which follows the housing market, said last week that foreclosure activity has already dropped to a 36-month low “as allegations of improper foreclosure processing continued to dog the mortgage servicing industry and disrupt court dockets.” The securitization market will suffer too: Who will buy bonds backed by payment streams that are open to legal challenge?

This shakedown is so egregious that it is inviting a political backlash.

. . .

[B]ut the larger story here is the way Ms. Warren is already using the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to tell banks how and to whom to lend money. She is doing so despite dodging a Senate confirmation that Dodd-Frank says is required for the person who runs the agency.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704758904576188640816094376.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

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17 03 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

A Nuclear Crisis In Japan, Radiation Spreading To America’s West Coast, A Civil War In Libya, And Where Is Obama? Heading For Rio

The UK’s Daily Mail has reported:

Resisting demands that he should remain at home in the White House to deal with the international response to Japan’s nuclear crisis and Colonel Gaddafi’s crackdown on anti-government rebels, [Obama has refused to scrap a five-day trip to Latin America that will take him to Brazil, Chile and El Salvador].

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1366975/Nuclear-crisis-Japan-civil-war-Libya-President-Barack-Obama-In-Rio-Janeiro.html; see also http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2011/03/19/2011-03-19_president_obama_lands_in_brazil_while_conservatives_blast_trip_during_chaos_in_j.html?r=news (“President Obama lands in Brazil while conservatives blast trip during chaos in Japan, Libya”) and http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/17/science/17plume.html (“Scientists Project Path of Radiation Plume“) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1172 (“Michelle Obama: ‘Let Them Eat Cake!'”)

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18 03 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

BARACK OBAMA: THE WEAKEST PRESIDENT IN HISTORY?

This is the title of an article in the UK’s Express, which states as follows:

INEFFECTUAL, invisible, unable to honour pledges and now blamed for letting Gaddafi off the hook. Why Obama’s gone from ‘Yes we can’ to ‘Er, maybe we shouldn’t’…

Let us cast our minds back to those remarkable days in November 2008 when the son of a Kenyan goatherd was elected to the White House. It was a bright new dawn—even brighter than the coming of the Kennedys and their new Camelot. JFK may be considered as being from an ethnic and religious minority—Irish and Catholic—but he was still very rich and very white. Barack Obama, by contrast, was a true breakthrough president. The world would change because obviously America had changed.

Obama’s campaign slogan was mesmerisingly simple and brimming with self-belief: “Yes we can.” His presidency, however, is turning out to be more about “no we won’t.” Even more worryingly, it seems to be very much about: “Maybe we can… do what, exactly?“ The world feels like a dangerous place when leaders are seen to lack certitude but the only thing President Obama seems decisive about is his indecision. What should the US do about Libya? What should the US do about the Middle East in general? What about the country’s crippling debts? What is the US going to do about Afghanistan, about Iran?

What is President Obama doing about anything? The most alarming answer—your guess is as good as mine—is also, frankly, the most accurate one. What the President is not doing is being clear, resolute and pro-active, which is surely a big part of his job description. This is what he has to say about the popular uprising in Libya: “Gaddafi must go.” At least, that was his position on March 3.

Since then, other countries—most notably Britain and France—have been calling for some kind of intervention. Even the Arab League, a notoriously conservative organisation, has declared support for sanctions. But from the White House has come only the blah-blah of bland statements filled with meaningless expressions and vague phrases. Of decisive action and leadership—even of clearly[-]defined opinion—there is precious little sign.

What is the Obama administration’s position on the protests in the Gulf island state of Bahrain, which the authorities there are savagely suppressing with the help of troops shipped in from Saudi Arabia? What is the White House view on the alarming prospect of the unrest spreading to Saudi Arabia itself? Who knows? Certainly not the American people, nor the leaders of nations which would consider themselves allies of America.

The President has not really shared his views, which leads us to conclude that he either doesn’t know or chooses, for reasons best known to himself, not to say. The result is that a very real opportunity to remove an unpredictable despot from power may well have been lost. Who knows when or if such an opportunity will come along again?

Every day for almost the last two months our television screens, radio broadcasts and the pages of our newspapers have been filled with the pictures, sounds and words of the most tumultuous events any of us can remember in the Arab world. The outcome of these events, once the dust has settled, could literally change the world. Yet Obama seems content to sit this one out. He has barely engaged in the debate. Such ostrich-like behaviour is not untypical of the 49-year-old President who burst through America’s colour barrier to become the first African-American to occupy the White House.

Two days after taking office in January 2009, he pledged to close down the prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, which has become notorious for holding detainees for years without trial. Obama promised to lose the prison within 12 months and to abolish the practice of military trials of terrorism suspects. It was an important promise. America’s reputation had been severely tarnished by revelations about the conditions at Guantanamo, by reports of waterboarding and extraordinary rendition (transporting prisoners to a third country for torture) and by the appalling treatment of detainees in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

Closing Guantanamo was a redemptive gesture. Two years on, not only is the prison still in use but its future is as assured as ever. Ten days ago, the President signed an executive order reinstating the military commissions at the island prison. Human rights organisations were outraged. “With the stroke of a pen, President Obama extinguished any lingering hope that his administration would return the United States to the rule of law,” said Amnesty International while Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, declared the President’s action to be “unlawful, unwise and un-American.”

White House spokesmen insisted the President was still committed to closing Guantanamo, which currently has 172 detainees in custody. It was Congress, they said, that had refused to sanction the transfer of the prisoners to the US mainland for trial, leaving no option but to keep the prison open in Cuba. Very little has been achieved in the quest to secure peace in the Middle East. Under Obama, US foreign policy is founded on extreme caution. At first this cool-headedness was a welcome change from the naked aggression of George W Bush and his henchmen Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.

It is also true that the President is constantly stymied by a hostile, Republican-ruled Congress. But Obama’s apparent reluctance to engage with momentous events is starting to look like more than aloofness. Some tempering of America’s role as the world’s No1 busybody may be no bad thing but under Obama the US appears to be heading towards isolationism. He is hardly doing much better at home. Economically, the US is in big trouble but the national debt is not shrinking.

Ditto the country’s ecological health; the American love affair with the car and oil remains undiminished despite any alleged commitment. But the White House appears to shy away from any tough action. The energy with which Obama entered the White House seems to have all gone in the push to bring in health care reform, which many Americans didn’t want (or still don’t realise they want).

All of which means that it is starting to look as if Obama and the Democratic Party have but one aim in mind for the rest of this presidential term: to get elected for a second. That means not doing anything that might upset any number of special interest or niche groups, which in effect means not doing very much at all. So, not too many harsh but necessary measures to tackle the financial deficit; no clear direction on where America goes with Afghanistan, even though the war there is going nowhere except from bad to worse.

The Obama government can’t even give clear direction on whether the American people are in danger of exposure to nuclear fallout from Japan following the devastating earthquake and tsunami. The US Surgeon General Regina Benjamin advised San Francisco residents to stock up on radiation antidotes, prompting a run on potassium iodide pills, while the President said experts had assured him that any harmful radiation would have receded long before reaching the Western shores of the US.

Yes we can was a noble and powerful mantra which secured for Barack Obama the leadership of the free world. Those tha[t] can, do. It is time he started doing.

See http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/235196 (emphasis in original); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1508 (“A Nuclear Crisis In Japan, Radiation Spreading To America’s West Coast, A Civil War In Libya, And Where Is Obama? Heading For Rio“)

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20 03 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Drudge On Obama: March 19, 2011

MARCH 19, 2011
OBAMA: ‘Today we are part of a broad coalition. We are answering the calls of a threatened people. And we are acting in the interests of the United States and the world’…

MARCH 19, 2003
BUSH: ‘American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger’…

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/DRUDGEREPORT2011.pdf

The last thing in the world that the United States needs is “WAR NO. 3.” Obama should be impeached immediately . . . but he’s “vacationing” in Rio!

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1508; see also http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1368130/Obama-Brazil-Rio-sightseeing-tour-bombs-missiles-pound-Libya.html (Party On!—”Wish you were here: Obama on sightseeing tour of Brazil . . . while bombs and cruise missiles pound Libya”)

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22 03 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Ralph Nader: Impeach Obama for Libya, Crimes

The Hill has reported:

Former presidential candidate Ralph Nader says President Obama should be impeached for committing “war crimes” in Iraq and Afghanistan.

. . .

“Why don’t we say what’s on the minds of many legal experts; that the Obama administration is committing war crimes and if Bush should have been impeached, Obama should be impeached,” Nader said in an interview. . . .

. . .

Nader’s comments came before the U.S. on Saturday launched military strikes into Libya, but they are among the toughest criticisms Obama has endured from the left.

The consumer advocate participated in an anti-war demonstration outside the White House this weekend, during which more than 100 protesters were arrested.

. . .

“[Bush officials] were considered war criminals by many people. Now, Barack Obama is committing the same crimes,” Nader said. “In fact, worse ones in Afghanistan. Innocents are being slaughtered, we are creating more enemies, he is violating international law.”

Obama appears to be facing growing resistance from the left over his administration’s foreign policy.

Anti-war filmmaker Michael Moore sharply criticized the president’s authorization of military strikes in Libya and a cadre of liberal House Democrats are questioning the constitutionality of the Libya operation.

See http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/150907-nader-obama-should-be-impeached-for-war-crimes; see also http://www.newsmax.com/InsideCover/RalphNader-BarackObama-Impeach-WarCrimes/2011/03/21/id/390252?s=al&promo_code=BE81-1 and http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0311/51668.html (“President Barack Obama should be impeached for approving air strikes against Libya, Democrat Rep. Dennis Kucinich said in an interview Monday“)

The process should start to impeach and remove Obama from the presidency, for all of the reasons discussed in the article above, its footnotes, and the comments beneath it.

See also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1230 (“Let The Investigations Begin—The More All-Encompassing And Far-Reaching, The Better!”) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Adpa5kYUhCA (“YouTube: Could Obama be Impeached over Libya? Let’s ask Biden“)

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22 03 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Nobel Committee Asked To Strip Obama Of Peace Prize

The Digital Journal has reported:

The Bolivian President and a Russian political leader have launched a campaign to revoke Obama’s honour after the US attacked Libya.

Liberal Democratic Party of Russia leader and Vice-Chairman of the State Duma Vladimir Zhirinovsky released a statement today calling for the Nobel Prize Committee to take back the honour bestowed on US President Barack Obama in 2009.

Zhirinovsky said the attacks were “another outrageous act of aggression by NATO forces and, in particular, the United States,” and that the attacks demonstrated a “colonial policy” with “one goal: to establish control over Libyan oil and the Libyan regime.” He said the prize was now hypocritical as a result.

Bolivian President Evo Morales echoed the call: “How is it possible that a Nobel Peace Prize winner leads a gang to attack and invade? This is not a defence of human rights or self-determination.”

Morales won the Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights in 2006.

He is amongst a number of left-leaning Latin American leaders who have denounced the attacks against Libya. Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, Rafael Correa of Ecuador, Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua and Cristina Ferdinez of Argentina have all criticised western media coverage of the Libyan crisis.

Morales and Chavez repeated calls for peace talks with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples.” The Committee praised the “change in the international climate” affected by Obama’s presidency.

In his Nobel Lecture, he discussed the “hard truth” of the inevitability of war, saying: “There will be times when nations—acting individually or in concert—will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.”

A message has been widely retweeted on Twitter today: “Obama has now fired more cruise missiles than all other Nobel Peace prize winners combined.”

See http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/304909

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22 03 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama Letter To Congress On Libya Sparks Protests

The Wall Street Journal has reported:

President Barack Obama Monday formally notified Congress the U.S. had begun military attacks on Libya, prompting complaints from lawmakers that the president waged war without congressional consent, appearing to contradict his own previous position.

. . .

Presidents over the decades have conducted military operations without prior congressional approval, including Harry Truman in Korea, George H.W. Bush in Iraq and and President Bill Clinton in Serbia. Congress in 1991 approved the Iraq military action, five months after Mr. Bush deployed forces to the region in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. The military action in Libya, which Congress wasn’t asked to approve, irked lawmakers.

. . .

In 2007, Mr. Obama, then a presidential candidate, said, “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”

. . .

Mr. Obama’s notification letter does not satisfy the constitutional requirement that Congress approve military action, says Lou Fisher, former researcher with the Congressional Research Service and an expert on war powers. Mr. Fisher also raised objections to Mr. Obama citing United Nations authorization in his letter.

“It’s impossible for Congress to take its war powers and give it to the U.N.,” Mr. Fisher said. “Other than defensive actions—and there’s no defensive actions here—this has to be done by Congress.”

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704355304576215073989153598.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories

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23 03 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

BIRDS OF A FEATHER

Obama and Gaddafi

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24 03 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Only 17 Percent Of Americans See Obama As A Strong And Decisive Military Leader

In an article entitled, “Few Americans see Obama as strong military leader,” Reuters added:

Obama is facing mounting discontent among opposition Republicans and from within his own Democratic Party over the fuzzy aims of the U.S.-led mission in Libya and the lack of a clearly spelled-out exit strategy for U.S. forces.

If the Libya mission becomes a foreign policy mess, mixed with perceptions Obama is a weak military leader, it could spell trouble for him in the 2012 presidential election.

See http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/24/us-libya-usa-poll-idUSTRE72N1JN20110324; see also http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1368693/Libya-war-Germans-pull-forces-NATO-Libyan-coalition-falls-apart.html (“Who’s in charge? Germans pull forces out of NATO as Libyan coalition falls apart“) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1369599/HMS-Invincible-aircraft-carrier-leaves-Portsmouth-Turkish-scrapyard.html (“Britain’s flagship vessel in the Falklands . . . will head past the conflict zone in Libya as she is towed to Turkey to be broken up for scrap parts. Britain controversially has no aircraft carrier after the HMS Ark Royal was decommissioned earlier this month due to Government cutbacks“)

. . .

The impeachment process must begin now—for the reasons discussed in the article above, and in the footnotes and comments beneath it. We cannot wait any longer.

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27 03 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama Is Pathetically Weak And Cowardly

The United States is knee-deep in “War No. 3″ against Gaddafi. In 2007, presidential candidate Barack Obama said: “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1527 and http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704355304576215073989153598.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories

Vice President Biden has agreed. And Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates does not believe that Libya posed an actual or imminent threat to the United States, and that it was not a vital national interest to the United States.

See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Adpa5kYUhCA (“YouTube: Could Obama be Impeached over Libya? Let’s ask Biden“) and http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2011/03/defense-secretary-libya-did-not-pose-threat-to-us-was-not-vital-national-interest-to-intervene.html (“Defense Secretary: Libya Did Not Pose Threat to U.S., Was Not ‘Vital National Interest’ to Intervene”); see also http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704517404576224993450738166.html?mod=WSJ_hps_sections_opinion (“There are American national security interests and American vital interests where, in my view, we need to act decisively and if necessary act unilaterally. This is not one of them”)

One must never forget that America’s far-Left, naïve, narcissistic president—“Hamlet on the Potomac” or “Jimmy Carter-lite”—Barack Obama failed to come to the aid of those courageous Iranians who were tortured and killed after rising up in protest against the disputed victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, following the 2009 Iranian presidential election. Even worse, he coddled and gave comfort to America’s enemies, the brutal theocratic regime in that country.

Also, Obama has made clear that America will not intervene in Syria’s unrest, after its President Bashar Al-Assad’s security forces clashed with protesters in several cities—because Assad is viewed as a “reformer,” even though he and his father’s Hitler-esque regimes have been every bit as brutal and repressive as that of Gaddafi.

See, e.g., http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-27/u-s-won-t-intervene-in-syria-unrest-clinton-says-on-cbs.html

Again, the impeachment process must begin immediately against Barack Obama, for these reasons and a myriad of other reasons cited in the article above, and in the footnotes and other comments beneath it.

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28 03 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama And The Clash Of Civilizations

The New York Times has an article entitled, “Opportunities and Perils for Obama in Military Action in Libya” by John Harwood, which is worth reading. In it, Harwood states in pertinent part as follows:

Suddenly, President Obama’s choices on Libya are reshaping his profile in unpredictable ways as he heads into the 2012 election season.

. . .

Mr. Obama calls it not an act of war but rather a quickly arranged and temporary humanitarian response representing “how the international community should work.”

. . .

“If he gets stuck in an ongoing civil war, then it could be enormously costly to the country, and to him politically.”

At minimum, Mr. Obama has introduced a new measure of his performance that almost no one would have expected when he defined his 2008 candidacy, in part, by his opposition to the Iraq war.

. . .

Mr. Obama faces skeptics across the political spectrum.

“It should not be assumed that a massacre or genocide was about to happen,” asserted Richard Haass, a veteran of both Bush administrations who is now president of the Council on Foreign Relations. Colonel Qaddafi, he said, may have been seeking merely to intimidate potential foes. It also is not clear, Mr. Haass added, that Libyan rebels are more humane, democratic or friendly to American interests.

. . .

A Gallup survey last week showed only about half of Americans backed the intervention, about the same proportion as backed the 1999 NATO airstrikes in Kosovo that Mr. Clinton authorized for humanitarian reasons. That finding underscored the political burden Mr. Obama has taken on.

“Approval will almost invariably go down from here,” said Scott Althaus, an expert on war and public opinion at the University of Illinois. “There’s little historical evidence that support can be sustained at even this modest level for very long.”

See http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/27/opportunities-and-perils-for-obama-in-military-action-in-libya/

Former President Richard Nixon drew on Samuel P. Huntington’s warning against a “clash of civilizations” between Islam and the West, when he wrote: “The United States must not let the ‘clash of civilizations’ become the dominant characteristic of the post-Cold War era. As Huntington observed, the real danger is not that this clash is inevitable but that by our inaction we will make it a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we continue to ignore conflicts in which Muslim nations are victims, we will invite a clash between the Western and Muslim worlds.” That is prescient advice, worth heeding today.

Our actions in Libya also call to mind Joel Chandler Harris’ famous story, “Br’er Rabbit and the Tar-Baby,” in which Br’er Fox tricks Br’er Rabbit by creating a baby made out of tar. Br’er Rabbit sees the Tar-Baby, which does not say a word; and annoyed, he hits the Tar-Baby on the jaw, but his fist gets stuck and he can’t pull it loose because of the tar. Undaunted, he repeats the process and his other hand sticks fast too. Then he kicks the Tar-Baby with both of his feet, and they too stick fast; and finally he becomes totally stuck in the tar.

Having liberated Afghanistan and Iraq successfully, our continuing commitments to both countries take precedence over any actions elsewhere in the Middle East. Moreover, by attacking Libya and failing to heed Nixon’s warnings, the United States might find itself knee-deep in Middle Eastern “tar.” The clash of civilizations would be in full tilt, and query whether America is prepared to embark on such a world war—in addition to our “War on Terror”—and whether it is in our long-term best interests to do so? Also, query whether such a war is winnable or necessary? As George W. Bush stated, and correctly so, we are not at war with Islam, but rather with extremists within the Muslim world who have subverted one of the world’s great religions.

To expand American military involvement and activities beyond Iraq and Afghanistan to neighboring countries seems foolhardy at best, and likely to trigger the clash of civilizations that both Nixon and Huntington warned about. We are not at war with Islam—in Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, in the Palestinian territories, or in the War on Terror—nor should we ever be drawn into such a war. It is certain that if the Bush White House acted militarily with respect to Libya or Iran, the same Liberals and Liberal-dominated media that undermined this country’s noble efforts in Iraq would have turned against former President Bush and his policies in short order, and raised the issue of impeachment. Is there a double standard now?

See also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1537

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3 04 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Syria Is An Iran Redo: Obama’s Response To The 2009 Iranian Uprising During Which He Was Scandalously Reluctant To Support The Demonstrators

This is the assessment of the Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer, in an article entitled,”Syria’s ‘reformer,’” which states:

Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer.

—Hillary Clinton on Bashar al-Assad, March 27

Few things said by this administration in its two years can match this one for moral bankruptcy and strategic incomprehensibility.

First, it’s demonstrably false. It was hoped that President Assad would be a reformer when he inherited his father’s dictatorship a decade ago. Being a London-educated eye doctor, he received the full Yuri Andropov treatment—the assumption that having been exposed to Western ways, he’d been Westernized. Wrong. Assad has run the same iron-fisted Alawite police state as did his father.

Second, . . . [h]ere are insanely courageous people demanding reform—and the U.S. secretary of state tells the world that the thug ordering the shooting of innocents already is a reformer, thus effectively endorsing the Baath party line—“We are all reformers,” Assad told parliament—and undermining the demonstrators’ cause.

. . .

This delicacy toward Assad is dismayingly reminiscent of President Obama’s response to the 2009 Iranian uprising during which he was scandalously reluctant to support the demonstrators, while repeatedly reaffirming the legitimacy of the brutal theocracy suppressing them.

Why? Because Obama wanted to remain “engaged” with the mullahs—so that he could talk them out of their nuclear weapons. We know how that went.

The same conceit animates his Syria policy—keep good relations with the regime so that Obama can sweet-talk it out of its alliance with Iran and sponsorship of Hezbollah.

. . .

No one is asking for a Libya-style rescue. Just simple truth-telling. If [Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John] Kerry wants to make a fool of himself by continuing to insist that Assad is an agent of change, well, it’s a free country. But Clinton speaks for the nation.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/syrias_reformer/2011/03/31/AFy4JFCC_story.html

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11 04 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Barack Obama Must Be Impeached And Removed From Office ASAP

In addition to the reasons set forth above, the Los Angeles Times has reported—in an article entitled, “CIA has slashed its terrorism interrogation role,” and subtitled, “The agency has stopped trying to detain or interrogate suspects caught abroad, except those captured in Iraq and Afghanistan”:

He’s considered one of world’s most dangerous terrorism suspects, and the U.S. offered a $1-million reward for his capture in 2005. Intelligence experts say he’s a master bomb maker and extremist leader who possesses a wealth of information about Al Qaeda-linked groups in Southeast Asia.

Yet the U.S. has made no move to interrogate or seek custody of Indonesian militant Umar Patek since he was apprehended this year by officials in Pakistan with the help of a CIA tip, U.S. and Pakistani officials say.

The little-known case highlights a sharp difference between President Obama’s counter-terrorism policy and that of his predecessor, George W. Bush. Under Obama, the CIA has killed more people than it has captured, mainly through drone missile strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas. At the same time, it has stopped trying to detain or interrogate suspects caught abroad, except those captured in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“The CIA is out of the detention and interrogation business,” said a U.S. official who is familiar with intelligence operations but was not authorized to speak publicly.

. . .

Patek, described by intelligence officials and analysts as a central figure among Islamic extremists in Southeast Asia, could reveal links between Al Qaeda sympathizers across the region. He is a prime suspect in the 2002 nightclub bombings that killed 202 people on the Indonesian island of Bali.

In the years after the Bali bombings, Patek is believed to have led a terrorist cell in the Philippines, where U.S. Special Forces have helped the military hunt Islamic militants on Mindanao island for years, said Sidney Jones, a Jakarta-based analyst for the International Crisis Group, an independent nonprofit organization that studies conflicts.

Patek’s information “would be a gold mine” to U.S. intelligence, she said.

Pakistani officials say they plan to deliver Patek to authorities in Indonesia, where he is wanted in the Bali case. Although seven Americans were among those killed in the bombings, no U.S. criminal charges are pending against him, a senior Justice Department official said.

A Pakistani intelligence source said no one from the CIA or any other U.S. agency had asked to question Patek.

. . .

In February 2010, the CIA helped Pakistani intelligence officers arrest Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s military leader, in Karachi. U.S. officials describe him as the most senior Taliban figure captured since the Afghanistan war began in 2001.

Baradar remains in Pakistani custody, and CIA officers are not satisfied with their access to him, according to two U.S. officials who have been briefed on the matter.

See http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-cia-interrogation-20110411,0,2236422.story

Are we going to wait until American citizens or U.S. interests are attacked abroad or at home before action is taken? If so, Barack Obama will have precipitated another USS Cole bombing, 9/11 or their equivalent. When it happens, the American blood or that of our allies will be on Barack Obama’s hands. It is best to impeach him now and send a message worldwide that we will not tolerate a president who intentionally weakens our national security—which is criminal.

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11 04 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Rasmussen: Lowest Level Of “Strong Approval” Yet Recorded For Obama

Obama is Alfred E. Newman

The highly-respected Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll indicates that 39 percent of American voters “Strongly Disapprove” of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president, while only 19 percent “Strongly Approve,” giving Obama a negative Presidential Approval Index rating of -20.

According to Rasmussen:

[This is] the lowest level of Strong Approval yet recorded for this president. There has been a sharp decline in enthusiasm among liberal voters.

Currently, just 37% of liberals Strongly Approve of the president’s performance. That’s down from 63% a year ago, 57% at the beginning of 2011, and 52% a week ago. Some liberal commentators have expressed disappointment with the president over the extension of the Bush tax cuts, the military action in Libya, and, most recently, the budget deal to avert a partial shutdown of the federal government. While liberal enthusiasm may be declining, 57% of voters believe the president is more liberal than they are.

. . .

Overall, 44% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the president’s performance. Fifty-five percent (55%) disapprove.

See http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll

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14 04 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Even Joe Biden Doesn’t Believe A Word That Obama Says, And Sleeps Through His Speeches

Biden sleeping through Obama speech

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1376670/Eyes-wide-shut-Gaffe-prone-Joe-Biden-takes-little-nap-Obama-deficit-speech.html; see also http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/us-politics/8449759/Joe-Biden-falls-asleep-during-key-Barack-Obama-speech.html

Assuming that Obama gets his party’s nomination for reelection next year, query whether he will replace Biden as his running mate? Might he chose Hillary Clinton (e.g., as a sop to the Left)?

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18 04 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

The Storm Is Just Starting, Which Will Make Obama’s Reelection Impossible

These are the conclusions set forth in a new article by political pundit and former Bill Clinton adviser, Dick Morris, which states:

[I]nflation may well be the dominant legacy of the Obama presidency.

. . .

The latest data indicates that prices soared in March at an annual rate of 6.5 percent, by far the highest increase in decades. Half of the increase was in energy prices and one half point in higher food costs. While the Federal Reserve Board focuses on the “core” inflation rate, that excludes these volatile items, American consumers dip into the same pocketbook to pay for food and fuel that they use to pay other prices.

And there is little likelihood of any leveling off of the prices of either food or fuel. The former is driven by the use of food for energy, diverting corn and other food crops from nutritional use. The later is animated by the instability in the Middle East and North Africa, an international crisis that is likely to worsen in the coming year. Indeed, should the disease that has brought down regimes in Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen and is fighting to topple them in Bahrain, Syria, and Libya spread[] further into Saudi Arabia, we could face huge increases in energy costs.

And don’t forget the likely upward pressure on interest rates. The Fed is likely to end its QE-2 (quantitative easing 2) program in June. No longer will it buy mortgage backed and Treasury securities from banks into order to pump more money into the system. Once the printing press stops, the Treasury will have to start borrowing real money from real lenders and pay real interest. It will no longer be able to borrow back the money the Fed prints at nominal interest rates. With Washington needing to borrow $40 billion a week to finance its deficit, the upward pressure on interest rates will be severe.

Then, there are health insurance costs. With the onset of the requirements of Obamacare, the increase in premiums has averaged twenty percent, further raising costs of business.

Faced with these increases in fixed costs, businesses will have to raise prices. But nobody will be able to pay them because the economy is terrible. That will trigger a loss of customers and ever higher prices to make up the gap. This stagflation cycle is now upon us and will wipe out any gains that the so-called recovery may offer.

Annual inflation of 6.5% is just the beginning, just like $5 gas is just the beginning. The inflationary forces Obama has unleashed by his record deficits and his virtual tripling of the money supply will batter the economy with a violence that will make his re-election impossible.

The storm is just starting.

See http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/here-comes-inflation/

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20 04 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

THE END OF OBAMA?

The headline at Matt Drudge’s Web site: “BOOK TO REVEAL OBAMA’S TRUE IDENTITY?” Another headline added: “‘MISSING RECORDS IN HAWAII, MISSING RECORDS IN KENYA, MISSING RECORDS IN INDONESIA’…”

The title of the book may tell it all: “Where’s the Birth Certificate?: The Case that Barack Obama is not Eligible to be President.”

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/DRUDGEREPORT2011.pdf and http://www.naegele.com/documents/DRUDGE-BOOKTOREVEALOBAMASTRUEIDENTITY.pdf; see also http://www.amazon.com/Wheres-Birth-Certificate-Eligible-President/dp/1936488299/

The so-called “birther” issue (i.e., where Obama was born, and hence his constitutional right to be president, or not) resonates with GOP voters, and with members of the Tea Party movement. Only a quarter of Republicans in the critical caucus-state of Iowa believe that Obama was born in the United States; and according to the latest New York Times-CBS News poll, 45 percent of adult Republicans believe Obama was born in another country, while 22 percent said they don’t know.

See, e.g., http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1380349/Barack-Obamas-reluctance-release-birth-certificate-identity-father.html

Most importantly, in a shocking USA TODAY poll, only 38 percent of Americans say Obama definitely was born in the United States.

See http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/2011-04-25-trump-president-poll.htm

His half-sister Maya Soetero-Ng defended him on “Piers Morgan Tonight,” but she was not alive when he was born. They share the same mother, but different fathers; and she grew up in Indonesia, and is not credible on this subject.

Also, the privacy laws should not apply at all, inter alia, because Obama can waive his rights to privacy, and demand that all records pertaining to his birth and him be made public. Anyone has the ability to do that.

It is noteworthy that former congressman and now Hawaii’s Governor Neil Abercrombie has admitted there are no records of Obama’s birth in Hawaii.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1336; see also http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=291041 (“[B]esides Obama’s actual birth documentation, the president has refused to release his Punahou school records, Occidental College records, Columbia University records, Columbia thesis, Harvard Law School records, Harvard Law Review articles, scholarly articles from the University of Chicago, passport, medical records, files from his years as an Illinois state senator, Illinois State Bar Association records”)

Next, it is questionable whether his parents were married, much less legally married. Before coming to Hawaii, his father had another family in Kenya; and he went back to that wife after leaving Hawaii, which Obama makes clear in “Dreams from My Father.” At best, his father may have been a bigamist.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/; see also http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1380349/Barack-Obamas-reluctance-release-birth-certificate-identity-father.html (“What [Obama's mother] didn’t realise however was that her husband had left behind a pregnant wife Kezia and child in Kenya”) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1381444/Barack-Obama-childhood-photos-Neighbours-dreamed-hed-president.html (“Barack Obama senior was a serial womaniser and polygamist,” “Harvard officials were trying ‘to get rid of him’ and ‘couldn’t seem to figure out how many wives he had'”)

More importantly, he was supposedly born on August 4, 1961. The applicable law from December 24, 1952 to November 13, 1986 specified that if only one parent was a U.S. citizen at the time of his birth (e.g., his mother), that parent must have resided in the United States for at least ten years, at least five of which had to be after the age of 16. Since his mother was only 18 when he was born, she had not even lived 5 years after the age of 16.

Like “Watergate” that brought down Richard Nixon and forced his resignation as America’s president, will these issues force Barack Obama’s resignation from the presidency and/or bring about his impeachment? If so, will Hillary Clinton be the Democrats’ nominee in 2012? Whatever happens, it may be historic.

See also http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1379270/Economic-Chernobyl-Dems-accuse-GOP-kamikaze-budget-politics-14-300-000-000-debt-ceiling-debate-rages-on.html and http://rove.com/articles/311 and http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0411/53561.html and http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2011/04/22/earth-day-ends-obamas-53300-gallon-trip (“Earth Day Ends Obama’s 53,300 Gallon Trip”)

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25 04 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Who Will Face Obama, Assuming He Is The Democrats’ Nominee Next Year?

The Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer, and political pundit and former Bill Clinton adviser Dick Morris, have made their political predictions with respect to the candidate most likely to be the GOP’s presidential nominee in 2012. Krauthammer says Mitt Romney; Morris says no. Both agree that Sarah Palin will not be a factor, despite her support among members of the Tea Party movement. Krauthammer effectively says Donald Trump is a joke, while Morris says the opposite.

Compare http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the_racing_form_2012/2011/04/21/AFT4TxKE_story.html with http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/comments-on-krauthammers-handicapping-the-2012-presidential-odds/#more-2921

Will the GOP snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, as they did in the lame-duck session of Congress last year?

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26 04 2011
Mary

If the gasoline prices continue as they are, it will be anyone but Obama. Every single item we presently do and continue to purchase will rise in cost. That spells inflation, big time. Something about gas prices really irks the everyday American, regardless of what kind of vehicle he or she drives. Gas prices were below 2.00 per gallon when Obama was elected in 2008. Today at my local gas station, the sign read 3.99 per gallon. When I checked my email, my nephew had sent a message to many that he saw gas prices 70 miles from where I live at 4.16 per gallon. WOW, the nephews and nieces are “ticked.” ( I see that as a microcosm of how others feel)
Someone will rise to the top for the GOP. I like Pawlenty, but he like Mitt Romney has some baggage. ( But then, who doesn’t?) If I could choose today, I would place my vote on Pawlenty for President and M Bachman for VP. It would not surprise me if one day Bachman is our first female US President. She has a good, solid background and appears focused on what troubles America.
Hoping I am not dodging the question, but I truly do believe today is too early to tell who would be the best contender for the GOP.

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27 04 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama: Come Clean Completely!

Two birth certificates have been released by the White House, purportedly pertaining to Barack Obama.

See http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/rss_viewer/birth-certificate.pdf and http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/rss_viewer/birth-certificate-long-form.pdf

Why it has taken all of these years to do this is mind-boggling! Obama’s minions have made accusations about “conspiracy theories over his birthplace,” “sideshows” and “distractions.” However, to the extent this has occurred, Obama has created them and fueled them. He alone is to blame—and is responsible—for what has happened. If there are “carnival acts and sideshow barkers,” as his minions contend, he has created them and is one of them.

See, e.g., http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/8477589/Barack-Obama-hits-back-at-birthers-and-releases-birth-certificate.html

Assuming the latest birth certificate is authentic, there are a whole host of other records that have not been released by Obama, which must be released now too. And there are lots of legal issues that pertain to his birth as well, and whether he is qualified to be president.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1567

As discussed in the article above, and in the footnotes and other comments beneath it, there are more than enough legitimate reasons to impeach Obama now!

Also, lots of Americans are asking: “Who is Barack Obama, and why has so much of his life been hidden from view and public scrutiny?” The answer is partially addressed in a biography that was purportedly written by him—and by him alone—”Dreams from My Father.” It is worth reading even now, because it sets forth his core beliefs in great detail, and it is “shocking.”

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

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29 04 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama Doesn’t Understand America

This is a statement by former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum.

See http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gb1eL1txU_mCfChOHAaPaxGuWklw?docId=ba2ec6c8e1214272aaf660c37fe0c13b

Of course Obama doesn’t understand America, inter alia, because:

(1) He never set foot on the U.S. mainland until he attended Occidental College in Los Angeles and Columbia University in New York City, and

(2) By his own admissions, when he attended college he was a “druggie”:

Junkie. Pothead. That’s where I’d been headed: the final, fatal role of the young would-be black man.

See Obama, “Dreams from My Father” (paperback “Revised Edition,” published by Three Rivers Press, 2004), p. 93; see also pp. 120, 270; http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

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2 05 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

OSAMA IS DEAD, AND OBAMA MUST BE IMPEACHED
Time: Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden
Multiple sources have confirmed that 9/11 terrorist mastermind, bin Laden, is dead. The Wall Street Journal has reported:

Although Mr. bin Laden was not thought to be a critical operational leader of Al Qaeda, he had been the worldwide symbol of the terrorist network.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704569404576297941397558496.html?mod=#articleTabs%3Darticle; see also http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/04/us-binladen-pakistan-photos-idUSTRE74370620110504 (“Photos show three dead men at bin Laden raid house”) and http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/de-Borchgrave/2011/05/03/Commentary-Pakistans-split-personality/UPI-50101304416227/ (“The sad truth about bin Laden’s burial at sea is that it will have little impact on the global war on terrorism“) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1382760/Osama-Bin-Laden-dead-Will-cutting-snakes-head-kill-Al-Qaeda.html (“Will cutting off the snake’s head kill Al Qaeda when Bin Laden was little more than an isolated figurehead?”—”If anything, there could be an increase in attacks on the West to avenge the killing of Bin Laden“) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1382831/Senator-Scott-Brown-heading-Afghanistan-National-Guard-training.html (“I commend President Obama, former President Bush and the highly capable men and women in our military and intelligence community whose tireless work over the last decade made this day possible”) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1382815/Osama-Bin-Laden-dead-Who-Obamas-Navy-SEALS-Team-6.html (“They are the U.S. military’s super soldiers . . . Navy SEALs from the famed SEAL ‘Team Six’—these secretive warriors are one of the most fearsome fighting forces in the world . . . the best of the best . . . [and] the success of the bin Laden raid proves just how versatile they are”—and “It hurts my heart that such warriors are needed . . . [but it] makes my heart swell with pride that the US has them”) and http://www.sealswcc.com/seal-default.aspx and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1383482/Osama-Bin-Laden-dead-Did-US-forces-use-stealth-helicopters-raid.html (“Did U.S. forces use secret stealth helicopters in bin Laden raid?”) and http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-stealth-chopper-20110507,0,3304582,full.story (“Bin Laden raid reveals another elusive target: a stealth helicopter”)

Osama bin Laden’s death is a victory for U.S. intelligence and the heroic American military, not for Barack Hussein Obama who has been “gutting” the U.S. military and plans more of the same—which is why Leon Panetta is going to the Pentagon. At best, Obama is a narcissistic demagogue who is weakening the security of the United States; and he must be impeached.

As former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey warned in a Wall Street Journal article, the killing of Osama bin Laden was a great victory for the U.S. intelligence community, but it may well be the last one because of Obama’s refusal to use tough tactics such as waterboarding on terror suspects:

Seized along with bin Laden’s corpse was a trove of documents and electronic devices that should yield intelligence that could help us capture or kill other terrorists and further degrade the capabilities of those who remain at large.

But policies put in place by the [Obama administration] promise fewer such successes in the future. Those policies make it unlikely that we’ll be able to get information from those whose identities are disclosed by the material seized from bin Laden. The administration also hounds our intelligence gatherers in ways that can only demoralize them.

Consider how the intelligence that led to bin Laden came to hand. It began with a disclosure from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), who broke like a dam under the pressure of harsh interrogation techniques that included waterboarding. He loosed a torrent of information—including eventually the nickname of a trusted courier of bin Laden.

That regimen of harsh interrogation was used on KSM after another detainee, Abu Zubaydeh, was subjected to the same techniques. When he broke, he said that he and other members of al Qaeda were obligated to resist only until they could no longer do so, at which point it became permissible for them to yield. “Do this for all the brothers,” he advised his interrogators.

Abu Zubaydeh was coerced into disclosing information that led to the capture of Ramzi bin al Shibh, another of the planners of 9/11. Bin al Shibh disclosed information that, when combined with what was learned from Abu Zubaydeh, helped lead to the capture of KSM and other senior terrorists and the disruption of follow-on plots aimed at both Europe and the United States.

Another of those gathered up later in this harvest, Abu Faraj al-Libi, also was subjected to certain of these harsh techniques and disclosed further details about bin Laden’s couriers that helped in last weekend’s achievement.

The harsh techniques themselves were used selectively against only a small number of hard-core prisoners who successfully resisted other forms of interrogation, and then only with the explicit authorization of the director of the CIA. Of the thousands of unlawful combatants captured by the U.S., fewer than 100 were detained and questioned in the CIA program. Of those, fewer than one-third were subjected to any of these techniques.

Former CIA Director Michael Hayden has said that, as late as 2006, even with the growing success of other intelligence tools, fully half of the government’s knowledge about the structure and activities of al Qaeda came from those interrogations. The Bush administration put these techniques in place only after rigorous analysis by the Justice Department, which concluded that they were lawful.

. . .

The current president ran for election on the promise to do away with them even before he became aware, if he ever did, of what they were. Days after taking office he directed that the CIA interrogation program be done away with entirely, and that interrogation be limited to the techniques set forth in the Army Field Manual, a document designed for use by even the least experienced troops. It’s available on the Internet and used by terrorists as a training manual for resisting interrogation.

In April 2009, the administration made public the previously classified Justice Department memoranda analyzing the harsh techniques, thereby disclosing them to our enemies and assuring that they could never be used effectively again. Meanwhile, the administration announced its intentions to replace the CIA interrogation program with one administered by the FBI. In December 2009, Omar Faruq Abdulmutallab was caught in an airplane over Detroit trying to detonate a bomb concealed in his underwear. He was warned after apprehension of his Miranda rights, and it was later disclosed that no one had yet gotten around to implementing the new program.

Yet the Justice Department, revealing its priorities, had gotten around to reopening investigations into the conduct of a half-dozen CIA employees alleged to have used undue force against suspected terrorists. I say “reopening” advisedly because those investigations had all been formally closed by the end of 2007, with detailed memoranda prepared by career Justice Department prosecutors explaining why no charges were warranted. Attorney General Eric Holder conceded that he had ordered the investigations reopened in September 2009 without reading those memoranda. The investigations have now dragged on for years with prosecutors chasing allegations down rabbit holes, with the CIA along with the rest of the intelligence community left demoralized.

. . .

We also need to put an end to the ongoing investigations of CIA operatives that continue to undermine intelligence community morale.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703859304576305023876506348.html

Clearly, Obama must be removed from office. He is a threat to the security of the United States, and the American people.

See also http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1384070/Osama-Bin-Ladens-death-9-11-families-angry-Obamas-handling.html (“‘He took the spotlight': 9/11 families angry over Obama’s handling of Bin Laden’s death“); and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected (see also the footnotes and other comments beneath the article) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1383860/Osama-Bin-Laden-dead-George-Bush-angry-Obama-does-Ground-Zero-victory-lap.html (“Jilted George Bush angry at lack of credit for catching Bin Laden as Obama prepares for Ground Zero ‘victory lap'”) and http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/evil_does_not_die_of_natural_causes/2011/05/05/AFhTKG2F_story.html (“[T]he bin Laden operation could never have happened [without the] Global War on Terror infrastructure that critics, including Barack Obama himself, deplored as a tragic detour from American rectitude“) http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=43326 (“Thanks to our feckless president, most of the Middle East is rapidly degenerating into a terrorist fever-swamp“) and http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703859304576306941215709576.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADSecond (“Bin Laden’s Death Changes Little“) and http://www.newsmax.com/InsideCover/ericholder-guantanamobay-closure/2011/05/09/id/395712?s=al&promo_code=C3C3-1 (“Eric Holder Vows to Close Guantanamo“) and http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2011-07-05-cia-bin-laden-hunter_n.htm (The real hero—among other American heroes who brought about bin Laden’s demise: “Persistent CIA hunter brought down bin Laden”)

. . .

Also, in an important article entitled, “Pakistan: Cutting to the quick,” UPI Editor at Large Arnaud de Borchgrave states:

Following the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi reckoned he would be next on Bush 43’s hit parade. So he quickly surrendered all his nuclear paraphernalia, still in unopened crates, to Britain’s MI6 and the CIA, an impulsive move he must rue today.

. . .

[In Pakistan,] China is waiting in the wings to step in to the breach.

Forty-four percent of Pakistanis can’t read a newspaper or write a simple letter in any language. It jumps to 90 percent of rural females in Baluchistan. Some 50 TV channels find it hard to distinguish between yellow journalism and straight news. And they are almost all anti-American.

Madrassas, or single-discipline Koranic schools, teach boys 6 through 16 to recite the entire Koran by heart—in Arabic. Ten years after 9/11 there are still some 12,000 madrassas that also teach youngsters that Pakistan’s real enemies are America, India and Israel. And in the past 10 years they have graduated almost 2 million young men unfit for decent jobs, easy to recruit for extremist causes and an endless supply of potential suicide bombers.

The government can’t afford to fund a proper network of state schools as over half the budget goes to the military.

. . .

Since 9/11, the United States has spent about $1 trillion on 17 intelligence agencies and the Defense Intelligence Agency. They have finally got their Most Wanted Terrorist. But this may generate more rather than less terrorism by al-Qaida and its “Associated Movements,” from Belgium to Bangladesh and from Spain to Somalia. Revenge is a great motivator.

Congress is prone to punish Pakistan for harboring bin Laden. This would be a grave geopolitical blunder. There is no solution in Afghanistan without Pakistan. And Pakistan says there is no solution without Taliban, which it can deliver by virtue of having originally created Taliban.

Pakistan also controls one of NATO’s two supply lines to Afghanistan.

Like bin Laden, Taliban leader Mullah Omar and his “Quetta Shura” organization are tucked away under the surveillance and protection of ISI’s Section S, most probably near Quetta in Baluchistan.

With Taliban about to launch its spring-summer-fall offensive in widely scattered parts of Afghanistan, it would behoove the Obama administration to cut to the quick and begin negotiations for the inevitable exit. Obama originally backed the Afghan campaign, now in its 10th year, because “that’s where al-Qaida is.”

A Taliban spokesman denied any relationship with al-Qaida. Mullah Omar was already highly critical of bin Laden 10 years ago. With 65 percent of Americans against the war, the danger now is what experts call “a mini Tet.”

It was the 1968 Tet offensive in Vietnam—simultaneous Communist attacks on 27 cities and towns—that hastened the final 1973 agreement to end the war.

In Afghanistan, simultaneous Taliban attacks on five or six widely scattered towns would see a NATO rush for the exit signs. Better to talk from a position of strength—with Pakistan preaching/ordering compromise to its Taliban proteges.

See http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/de-Borchgrave/2011/05/06/Commentary-Pakistan-Cutting-to-the-quick/UPI-20221304676040/; see also http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/may/5/evidence-at-bin-ladens-home-raises-nuclear-concern/ (“Evidence at bin Laden’s home raises nuclear concerns“)

. . .

One “hostile government” that might get clues to sensitive U.S. military technology from what is left of the American helicopter that crashed at the bin Laden compound in Pakistan—if it has not done so already—is of course China, whose presence in Pakistan is considerable. Indeed, China would like nothing more than to fill the vacuum if, or rather when, the United States withdraws from Afghanistan.

One must never forget that China was on the spot almost immediately after the American F-117 Nighthawk was shot down over Serbia in 1999—and we failed to destroy the wreckage. Indeed, the Chinese gleaned some of their technological know-how from that crash; and there is evidence to support the fact that China’s new stealth aircraft is the result of reverse engineering gained from the crash.

History may repeat itself in Pakistan, as our enemy China seeks to leap frog American technological advances.

See, e.g., http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703992704576305573936767298.html (“Crashed Copter Sparks Concern About Secrets”) and http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/osama-bin-laden-raid-pakistan-hints-china-peak/story?id=13570573 (“Osama Bin Laden Raid: Pakistan Hints China Wants a Peek at Secret Helicopter”) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1385728/Osama-Bin-Laden-dead–stealth-helicopter-blackhawk-china-Pakistan.html (“Pakistan to let Chinese plunder secret U.S. stealth helicopter downed in Bin Laden raid“)

. . .

Also, a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan would constitute the death knell of Afghan women—and their rights—who were brutalized by the Taliban before the United States invaded the country.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1102; see also http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1386784/I-eating-souffle-Laura-said–good–George-W-Bush-speaks-moment-Obama-called-say-Bin-Laden-dead.html (“[George W. Bush] took no credit for initiating the mission and instead praised [America's] troops for their bravery“)

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5 05 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

The 2012 Presidential Election Is Within The Republicans’ Grasp—Will They Blow It?

In a Wall Street Journal article, Karl Rove, former President George W. Bush’s key adviser, has stated:

Obama has the considerable benefits of incumbency but also a dismal record. The electoral map has shrunk for him: Key states that went for him last time are unlikely to do so again. This election is within the GOP’s grasp. The quality of the Republican candidate’s campaign and message will decide whether it becomes so.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703849204576303090659547856.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

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10 05 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

These People Are Lowlifes

In an article entitled,”Michelle Obama welcomes rapper to White House who called for burning of George Bush,” the UK’s Daily Mail has reported:

Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr, who uses the stage name ‘Common’, will be welcomed at an event celebrating American poetry on Wednesday.

He is expected to take part in rap workshops with schoolchildren in the afternoon before performing in the evening.

In footage on YouTube he is seen calling for the burning of the former president.

‘Burn a Bush cos for peace he no push no button,’ the hip-hop artist raps in one video, which has more than 800,000 views.

Other song lyrics reportedly include threats to shoot the police.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1385334/Michelle-Obama-welcomes-rapper-Common-called-burning-George-Bush.html

What scum!

As one American commenter noted:

These people have no shame. I guess they’re enjoying it while they can, because they’ve got just over a year and a half left before they have to pack up and move. I just hope our country holds together until then . . .

Amen in spades. The police are outraged too, and justifiably so—but this is who the Obamas are!

See, e.g., http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/NJ-State-Police-Outraged-Over-Rapper-Invited-to-White-House-121596869.html (“NJ State Police ‘Outraged’ Over Rapper Invite to White House“) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1386032/Outrage-Michelle-Obama-welcomes-rapper-Common-White-House.html (“Obama joins Michelle at racially charged White House reception for rapper who praised Black Panther cop killer and singer who condemned mixed race marriages“); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected (“Barack Obama Is A Lame-Duck President Who Will Not Be Reelected”)

Anyone who does not realize that down deep Barack and Michelle Obama are racists has never read his book, “Dreams from My Father,” nor understood their genuine affinity and affection for their former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright—at least until they threw him “under the bus” politically. It is who they are; their core beliefs and essence.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist

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25 05 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Running Against Obama The Icon

Shelby Steele has written an article in the Wall Street Journal entitled, “Obama’s Unspoken Re-Election Edge,” which is worth reading.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704569404576299241421694066.html

Steele is correct:

Whatever disenchantment may surround [Obama], there is a distinct national pride in having elected him.

. . .

The problem for Republicans is that they must run against both the man and the myth.

I am an outspoken critic of Obama, and believe he should be driven from the presidency. Losing his reelection bid is too kind; he should be impeached.

Having said that, and having written about him extensively, I will always remember two things about him: his smile; and his love for his mother and grandparents who raised him, which is described in his book, “Dreams from My Father.” Indeed, I have written:

[H]is mother died of cancer right after the book was first published; and in retrospect, he might not have written the same book about an “absent parent,” his father, but instead might have celebrated her life. He loved her, and writes: “[S]he was the kindest, most generous spirit I have ever known, and . . . what is best in me I owe to her.”

. . .

Barack Obama is not his Kenyan father, nor his mother. Perhaps he comes closest to being his maternal grandparents, “Toot” and “Gramps.” They loved him dearly and nourished him when he was growing up as a “half-breed”—his term, not mine—caught between two cultures, one white and the other non-white. He writes lovingly about his grandparents: “They had sacrificed again and again for me. They had poured all their lingering hopes into my success. Never had they given me reason to doubt their love; I doubted if they ever would.” Later, he would write: “I looked out the window, thinking about my mother, Toot, and Gramps, and how grateful I was to them—for who they were. . . .”

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

However, his views are the antithesis of almost everything that I believe in, policywise. Before he was elected, more Americans should have read his book and understood his core beliefs. As president, he has governed according to those beliefs, for the most part.

Yet—and I hate to admit it—there is a “likeability” quotient about him, similar to what Reagan had.

In the final analysis, there may be only two ways to defeat Obama: destroy him politically, by exposing personal scandals and scandals in his White House and administration, which might rock his presidency; or by presenting an alternative image of a Republican candidate whose views are embraced by a majority of Americans, and are diametrically opposed to those of Obama.

Mitt Romney may be that person, who is capable of defeating Obama and does. So far, his discussions of ObamaCare and Massachusetts’ health care law—enacted while he was governor—seem to raise “distinctions without differences.” However, I believe Romney’s appeal is much broader than any one issue.

Steele adds:

[T]he Republican field is framed and—as the polls show—diminished by [Obama's] mere presence in office, which makes America the most socially evolved nation in the world. Moreover, the mainstream media coddle Mr. Obama—the man—out of its identification with his exceptionalism.

Steele’s first sentence depicts how many in Europe view Obama, not how lots of Americans view him. The second sentence may describe an irrelevancy, because the “mainstream media” has lost its grip on America more and more, to the point where one might ask if it is relevant anymore? When Newsweek was sold for a dollar, this spoke volumes.

Next, Steele states:

How can the GOP combat the president’s cultural charisma? It will have to make vivid the . . . gulf between Obama the . . . icon and Obama the confused and often overwhelmed president. Applaud the exceptionalism he represents, but deny him the right to ride on it as a kind of affirmative action.

I concur. However, I disagree vehemently with Steele when he states:

A president who is both Democratic and black effectively gives the infamous race card to the entire left: Attack our president and you are a racist. To thwart this, Republicans will have to break through the barrier of political correctness.

The “race card” does not play to anyone these days except far-Left Liberals; it is repugnant to most other Americans. And “political correctness” is an anathema for most of us. Steele is caught up in fantasies if he believes that these factors are important to many Americans except the Left.

Steele is correct when he says that the GOP should use the theme, among others, that “Barack Obama believes in government; we believe in you.” This will resonate with America’s middle class that is being decimated economically.

Aside from Obama scandals, which may or may not unfold, the twin pincers of America’s economic problems and national security issues may seal his political fate. Indeed, no later than January of 2013, he may retreat to either Chicago or Hawaii to lick his political wounds, and write his memoirs, and work full time on his presidential library—and of course, play golf. For some of us, this cannot happen fast enough.

. . .

Next, Obama’s speech before UK’s Parliament in London at Westminster Hall was one that might have been given by George W. Bush (except for Obama’s personal references). For example, the seeds of freedom and democracy that Bush planted in Afghanistan and Iraq have morphed into the “Scent of Jasmine,” which has spread throughout the region.

See http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/05/25/remarks-president-parliament-london-united-kingdom (“[I]t’s possible for the sons and daughters of former colonies to sit here as members of this great Parliament, and for the grandson of a Kenyan who served as a cook in the British Army to stand before you as President of the United States”); see also http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1390800/Obama-reaffirms-special-relationship-U-S-historic-speech-MPs.html (“‘One of the strongest alliances the world has ever known': Obama reaffirms ‘special’ relationship between U.S. and UK in historic speech to MPs”)

. . .

Lastly—in a video commentary entitled, “Stop GOP Medicare Suicide,” which is worth watching—political pundit and former Bill Clinton adviser, Dick Morris, has argued that there is no need to cut Medicare to reduce the federal budget deficit, and warned that Republicans must heed the lesson of their New York congressional defeat and back off House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s proposed Medicare cuts.

See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVhV8am6-0M; see also http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304066504576345471658036598.html

Also, the GOP’s posture on this issue—putting it front and center—surely cannot help Mitt Romney. If anything, he may be wishing that the issue goes away and does not become a centerpiece of the 2012 elections.

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27 05 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Is The Arab Spring Being Hijacked By Ultra-Conservative Islamists, Similar To What Happened In Iran?

This was predictable, and now it seems to be happening. For example, Reuters has reported the words of one Cairo lawyer who is a Christian: “We did not risk our lives to bring Mubarak down in order to have him replaced by [ultra-conservative Salafist Islamists].” Reuters adds:

Those who camped out in Tahrir Square side by side with Muslims to call for national renewal now fear their struggle is being hijacked by ultra-conservative Salafist Islamists with no one to stop them.

. . .

Sectarian tensions are not new to Egypt, where Christians make up around 10 percent of the population of 80 million. But the frequency and intensity of clashes have increased since Mubarak’s overthrow.

Many blame a broader weakening of law and order that began as the protests against Mubarak gathered pace and police deserted the streets.

. . .

Egypt’s military rulers have vowed to punish those behind sectarian clashes, banned demonstrations outside places of worship and promised to give Christians equal rights.

But Christians say no one has been tried yet for the burning of a church in Helwan, south of Cairo, in March or for violence in the Cairo suburb of Imbaba on May 7 that left 15 people dead. At least 13 died in clashes after the Helwan incident.

The army has said 190 people will face trial over the Imbaba clashes, which began when a group of Salafists demanded to look inside a church where they suspected a female convert to Islam was being held against her will.

See http://ca.news.yahoo.com/christians-worry-egypt-being-hijacked-islamists-031322380.html

Will the “Scent of Jasmine” that began in Tunisia morph into a “stench” that engulfs the region? Only time will tell.

What is clear though is that following the rigged election of 2009 in Iran, countless Iranians who spoke out, protested and advocated freedom were beaten, jailed, tortured and killed, while Barack Obama—America’s “Hamlet on the Potomac,” or “Jimmy Carter-lite”—stood by helplessly and did nothing to come to their aid.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1316 (see also the article itself, as well as the footnotes and other comments beneath the article)

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29 05 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Barack Obama’s Sacking Of The Pentagon

The Wall Street Journal has an important editorial entitled, “The Gates Farewell Warning”—and subtitled, “America can be a superpower or a welfare state, but not both”—which is worth reading. It states in pertinent part:

[U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates] has warned against cuts to weapon programs and troop levels that would make America vulnerable in “a complex and unpredictable security environment,” as he said Sunday at Notre Dame. On Tuesday at the American Enterprise Institute, Mr. Gates noted that the U.S. went on “a procurement holiday” in the 1990s, when the Clinton Administration decided to cash in the Cold War peace dividend. The past decade showed that history (and war) didn’t end in 1989.

“It is vitally important to protect the military modernization accounts,” he said, and push ahead with new capabilities, from an air refueling tanker fleet to ballistic missile submarines.

***

America’s role as a global leader depends on its ability to project power. In historical terms, the U.S. spends relatively little on defense today, even after the post-9/11 buildup. This year’s $530 billion budget accounts for 3.5% of GDP, 4.5% when the costs of the Afghan and Iraq wars are included. The U.S. spent, on average, 7.5% of GDP on defense throughout the Cold War, and 6.2% at the height of the Reagan buildup in 1986.

But on coming into office, the Obama Administration put the Pentagon on a fiscal diet—even as it foisted new European-sized entitlements on America, starting with $2.6 trillion for ObamaCare. The White House proposed a $553 billion defense budget for 2012, $13 billion below what it projected last year. Through 2016, the Pentagon will see virtually zero growth in spending and will have to whittle down the Army and Marine Corps by 47,000 troops. The White House originally wanted deeper savings of up to $150 billion.

Mr. Gates deserves credit for fighting off the worst White House instincts, but his biggest defeat was not getting a share of the stimulus. Instead he has cut or killed some $350 billion worth of weapon programs. He told his four service chiefs last August to find $100 billion in savings. The White House pocketed that and asked for another $78 billion. Last year, Mr. Gates said that the Pentagon needs 2%-3% real budget growth merely to sustain what it’s doing now, but it could make do with 1%. The White House gave him 0%.

In the Gates term, resources were focused on the demands of today’s wars over hypothetical conflicts of tomorrow. This approach made sense at the start of his tenure in 2007, when the U.S. was in a hard fight in Iraq. Yet this has distracted from budgeting to address the rise of China and perhaps of regional powers like a nuclear Iran that will shape the security future. The decision to stop producing the F-22 fighter and to kill several promising missile defense programs may come back to haunt the U.S.

Mr. Gates knows well that America won’t balance its budget by squeezing the Pentagon. “If you cut the defense budget by 10%, which would be catastrophic in terms of force structure, that’s $55 billion out of a $1.4 trillion deficit,” he told the Journal’s CEO Council conference last November. “We are not the problem.”

. . .

Europe . . . today spends just 1.7% of GDP on defense. The Europeans get a free security ride from America, but who will the U.S. turn to for protection—China?

As Reagan knew, America’s global power begins at home, with a strong economy able to generate wealth. The push for defense cuts reflects the reality of a weak recovery and a national debt that has doubled in the last two years. But the Obama Administration made a conscious decision to squeeze defense while pouring money on everything else.

***

“More perhaps than any other Secretary of Defense, I have been a strong advocate of soft power—of the critical importance of diplomacy and development as fundamental components of our foreign policy and national security,” Mr. Gates said at Notre Dame. “But make no mistake, the ultimate guarantee against the success of aggressors, dictators and terrorists in the 21st century, as in the 20th, is hard power—the size, strength and global reach of the United States military.”

That’s a crucial message for Republican deficit hawks, and especially for a Commander in Chief who inherited the capability to capture Osama bin Laden half way around the world but is on track to leave America militarily weaker than he found it.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703779704576074273918974778.html?mod=WSJ_hps_sections_opinion (emphasis added)

What Obama and his far-Left minions have been doing to the Pentagon smacks of what the Cameron government is doing to the UK’s military, which will be devastating to both countries’ defenses and to the security of the United States and our allies.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-1591 (“Sun Setting On British Power”)

The Journal’s editorial was prescient in asking: “[W]ho will the U.S. turn to for protection—China?”

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that (“China Is America’s Enemy: Make No Mistake About That”) (see also the footnotes and comments beneath the article); see also http://www.gallup.com/poll/147839/Military-Personnel-Veterans-Give-Obama-Lower-Marks.aspx (Gallup: “U.S. Military Personnel, Veterans Give Obama Lower Marks”) and http://www.whitehousedossier.com/2011/05/30/obama-golfing-memorial-day/ (“The business of memorializing our war dead done, President Obama headed out to the Fort Belvoir golf course today, finding his way onto the links for the ninth weekend in a row . . . and the 70th time of his [two-plus year] presidency”)

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31 05 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Why Barack Obama Must Be Removed From The Presidency

Arnaud de Borchgrave, editor-at-large of The Washington Times and of United Press International—and a foreign policy “guru,” with respect to whom I have enormous admiration and respect—has another fine article that is worth reading and reflecting on, albeit I respectfully disagree with many of his conclusions. Its implications go directly to the future of the United States as the world’s only superpower and the greatest nation on the earth.

See http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/may/30/shining-citadel-redux/

In it, he stated that “[t]he U.S. owes China $1.3 trillion.” So what? We can refuse to pay them.

Indeed, China is dependent on Americans’ consumer purchases. Hence, China is “in bed” with us. To bring down our economy is to bring down their economy. They have no choice except to ride along, God love ‘em.

In a sense, our debt is “funny money.” It is like playing the game of “Monopoly,” as a kid, except that the U.S. is “too big to fail” and China’s economy is tied into ours. Is it a “zero-sum” game where only one party wins, or the game of “musical chairs” where only one person gets that last seat? Not at all. The global economy, at least with respect to China and the U.S., is too “integrated.” Yes, they might like to “screw” us, but they would end up screwing themselves too. Hence, it can be argued that they are “boxed in”—at least economically, if not militarily.

Next, de Borchgrave asserted:

Default [on America's debt] would rock global markets. By comparison, the Great Depression would look like children losing their weekly allowance. And the rest of the world would begin to look to China as the next global supreme power.

It is not that easy, or straightforward. America cannot lose without China losing bigtime. If our economy comes to a halt, theirs will come to a screeching halt, with their population out of work and mass riots that even their vaulted security apparatus and military might not be able to put down. Then, the “Arab Spring” or the “Scent of Jasmine,” which they have quelled so far, will come to China with a resounding thud.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/#comment-1612 (“The Chinese Communist Party And The Masses Have Drifted Apart, And The Party May Be In Danger Of A Confrontation With The Chinese People”)

Also, de Borchgrave argued:

With the SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden in his secret lair a short walk from Pakistan’s prestigious military academy, we have dramatic evidence that small-scale operations can be more effective for changing the course of history than multidivision invasions that inadvertently hand victory to our enemies.

It is highly unlikely that the death of bin Laden “changed the course of history,” or anything close. However, Barack Obama, being the raving narcissist and demagogue that he is, is milking this one completely and will continue to do so. Our heroic intelligence and military personnel pulled it off. Apparently they knew of bin Laden’s whereabouts for quite a while; however, our “Hamlet on the Potomac,” Obama, “dithered” and could not make a decision.

Also, while this was a “small-scale operation,” we need our overwhelming military forces to protect us and our allies, and project American power and might around the world. Make no mistake about it. Among other things, it prevents wars and keeps us safe at home.

De Borchgrave stated:

The $1 trillion we blew on Iraq killed Saddam Hussein, but it was a pyrrhic victory that enhanced Iran’s power and influence in Iraq.

Prior to the commencement of that war, I argued against launching it, inter alia, because I believed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction (or “WMDs”)—which he would not hesitate to use against our military forces, and they might be at risk.

Having embarked on the war, however, David Petraeus’ “surge”—which George W. Bush approved, despite opposition from the Pentagon—proved to be brilliant and very successful. Whether Iraq can hold on to its fragile democracy remains to be seen. But we should not withdraw from the country despite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s lack of support with respect to this issue. Also, like George H.W. Bush did with respect to the Gulf War (e.g., getting monies from the Saudis and Kuwaitis), we should be receiving Iraqi oil revenues to compensate us for the human and financial costs of the war.

De Borchgrave added:

The U.S. can no longer afford a global military strategy and a defense budget that is almost as large as those of the rest of the world combined.

Obama has increased our budget deficit dramatically; and it was totally foreseeable that he would use that as an excuse to slash our military. Without our military and economic strength, we will be in deep trouble. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said it best—which is quoted in the Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Gates knows well that America won’t balance its budget by squeezing the Pentagon. “If you cut the defense budget by 10%, which would be catastrophic in terms of force structure, that’s $55 billion out of a $1.4 trillion deficit,” he told the Journal’s CEO Council conference last November. “We are not the problem.”

See, http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1606 (“Barack Obama’s Sacking Of The Pentagon”)

It is arguable that Barack Obama is destroying the U.S., and that he must be removed from office ASAP, no later than January of 2013. Yes, I know that many Americans may take umbrage at this statement, but the man is a disaster in terms of the future of our great country. He is far worse than Jimmy Carter. At least Carter was a “misguided” patriot, who had gone to Annapolis and served in our military.

Next, de Borchgrave asserted:

[C]onservative think-tank experts are calling for a larger defense budget in order to keep the U.S. dominant on land, sea and air.

I agree with them. In the past, de Borchgrave has catalogued the threat from China alone. The U.S. military must not be weakened one iota; and in fact, it must be strengthened. We have to rebuild after two wars.

De Borchgrave contended:

Carrier-borne F-18 Super Hornets could have reduced Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad house and compound to dust, but that would have destroyed all the intelligence.

The holy grail of defense spending is not as holy as it was before Abbottabad.

The “treasure trove” of intelligence was welcomed and valuable, and bin Laden’s death was a “symbolic” victory, but all of this is a mere drop of water in the vast oceans when compared with China and other enemies around the world that seek to destroy the United States and our allies. Bin Laden’s death cannot be used as an excuse to cut any military expenditures. However, the consummate demagogue Obama is trying to do it. Leon Panetta is not being sent to the Pentagon as our next Secretary of Defense to preside over a military “build up.” Hopefully both he and Obama are on their way out of office no later than January of 2013.

De Borchgrave observed:

Outspending and out-arming the Soviet Union worked at a time when the Soviet empire was on the verge of internal economic collapse. The “American Century” was the politico-military-economic miracle of the 20th century.

This is true today thanks in large part to Ronald Reagan, whom the Democrats hated and tried to destroy politically. Now he is “deified,” and they do not dare open their mouths. However, they tried to bring down his presidency, inter alia, with the so-called “Iran-Contra scandal.” And yes, like Reagan, I was once a Democrat, but never again—to the best of my belief.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/ (“The Rise Of Independents”)

Taking a quasi-defeatist, Jimmy Carter-esque approach, de Borchgrave asserted:

If America has lost some of its luster in the early 21st century, the loss is entirely self-inflicted.

“Self-inflicted” largely by Obama, who has increased our budget deficit dramatically and put us in an “either-or” posture (e.g., either debt reductions or defense). He and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and their Democrats, have come perilously close to bankrupting our great nation.

Next, de Borchgrave argued: “The Iraq war was an expensive mistake.” It was only an “expensive mistake” if the flame of democracy flickers and dies, after we have given it life.

De Borchgrave added:

The Afghan war was an ill-thought-through, expensive punitive expedition that dragged in 42 other nations and, thus far, has cost the hapless U.S. taxpayer almost half a trillion dollars—with still a few years to go before all the troops come home.

It is Barack Obama’s Vietnam—which was Lyndon Johnson’s war.

If de Borchgrave is correct that the Afghan War is futile, it will represent a human tragedy of staggering proportions, especially for Afghan women. I would not give a plug nickel for the lives of Afghan women if the Taliban return to power!

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1102 (“Why We Fight In Afghanistan, And Why American Women Should Demand Barack Obama’s Removal From Office By Impeachment Or Otherwise”)

De Borchgrave contended:

Delusions of grandeur, or whatever it was, kept us spending billions on weapons systems for the last war, not the cyber- and robotic conflicts of the future.

This is the “party line” from the “Kool-Aid” crowd, or far-Left, anti-war Democrats who occupy the White House and other seats of power in Washington, D.C. today, as well as the American media—and I am not suggesting that de Borchgrave is part of that group, nor has he become beguiled by it.

If we go to war with China or North Korea, for example, it will not be a “cyber- and robotic conflict.” If an EMP Attack can be mounted against us, we will not be able to defend against it with “pee shooters.” Yet, this is precisely the Obama-Biden view of the world, and the reason why their presidency must end, sooner rather than later. Our great country cannot go through another four years with them in charge; and yes, I am an Independent, not a Republican.

Next, de Borchgrave contended: “The F-35 will be the last manned fighter bomber built.”

I do not believe this at all. If we are in a shooting war with China or North Korea, for example, we will need fighter jets, bombers and drones. All of our drones in this world will not save us. To argue that they would do so is like arguing that American foot soldiers are obsolete, which is utter nonsense, and more left-wing, anti-war, Democratic “babble.”

De Borchgrave added:

And the Pentagon estimates the total cost of owning and operating the fleet of 2,500 F-35s at $1 trillion dollars over the estimated 50-year life span of the aircraft.

Fifty years is a long time. Neither de Borchgrave nor I will be here then, but hopefully many hundreds of millions of Americans will be. The 50-year argument is a total “red herring,” used by the Democrats to inflate the apparent costs and kill off the weapons systems.

Also, de Borchgrave stated:

The Air Force is training more drone operators than fighter and bomber pilots, a fundamental shift for the 62-year-old service.

I concur that U.S. drones are potentially excellent, but like the American foot soldier, they will never replace fighters and bombers, especially when it comes to possible wars with China and North Korea—or Russia if it ever challenges us again. We need to project America’s power, and drones do not achieve that. Indeed, a logical extension of de Borchgrave’s arguments is that America would do away with our carrier battle groups too, which is absurd.

He asserted as well:

There are now 7,000 drones of various types in the U.S. arsenal.

In Afghanistan, neither old nor new bells and whistles will prevent Taliban from coming back, albeit “reformed” with pledges to keep out bin Laden and his terrorist mob.

First, soldiers on the ground will prevent the Taliban—if enough are deployed, and if we have the will to win, which Obama does not.

Second, Taliban “pledges” in general, and those to treat women humanely, are utter nonsense. They are the equivalent of what happened in Vietnam after America departed, when an estimated million Vietnamese lost their lives.

Third, with the fall of Afghanistan, is Pakistan far behind?

Lastly, de Borchgrave asserted:

In fact, al Qaeda fighters took a powder during the battle of Tora Bora 10 years ago. And killing Afghan guerrillas was not why friends and allies originally signed on.

We have “fair weather” friends and allies. Indeed, our principal ally’s military, that of the UK, is getting “decimated” by its Prime Minister David Cameron, which is what Barack Obama and his Über-Leftists want to do to our great military.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-1591 (“Sun Setting On British Power”)

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2 06 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Thanks To Obama, American Taxpayers May Lose $14 Billion On Auto Bailout

This is an admission by the Obama White House, which was reported in a Wall Street Journal article that is worth reading. It adds:

The White House said Wednesday that taxpayers could lose roughly $14 billion of the money spent on auto industry bailouts, despite the industry’s recent recovery.

. . .

While “there is no joy” in acknowledging that loss, the bailout succeeded in saving jobs and preventing a broader industry collapse, [the White House's top auto and manufacturing adviser, Ron Bloom] said.

. . .

The U.S. could lose more than $10 billion in General Motors Co. alone if the government sold its remaining shares of the auto maker at current share prices.

. . .

The White House report also comes as the U.S. industry’s sales have hit a lull. U.S. auto sales declined in May, in only the second significant slide since the fall of 2009, as short supplies, higher prices and economic worries weighed on demand, auto companies said Wednesday.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303745304576359530678869402.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTWhatsNewsCollection

This is total fraud on the part of Barack Obama and others, which should be investigated thoroughly by House investigating committees whose activities are underway already. Ford did not take any bailout funds, and it did not collapse. The same is true of all other automakers, foreign and domestic, except for General Motors and Chrysler, which should have been allowed to fail. The process of bailing them out distorted the marketplace, and rewarded Obama’s supporters, not the least of which is the United Auto Workers (“UAW”), which benefited handsomely. Indeed, the benefits to Obama’s supporters and the lost tax revenues, and other costs, far exceed the $14 billon figure.

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2 06 2011
Doug Booth

I saw the authors comment about President Obama on the Daily Telegraph (UK) website, my own view is that Obama’s foreign policy is perceived as less unilateral than previous Presidents, that is appreciated internationally but will be of little domestic consequence to US voters.

The global economy is in a mess not just the American one, I think this was due to bond market deregulation in the Reagan years, there’s little Clinton, GW Bush or Obama could do once Reagan opened that pandora’s box and we’re all paying the consequences now.

I think maybe it’d be nice to see a credible Republican alternative for president rather than mud slinging at Obama.

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2 06 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Doug, for your comments.

First, I agree that Obama plays differently to international audiences than he does to American audiences. On balance, he is loved by the former, and treated with skepticism if not disdain by a majority of Americans. The highly-respected Rasmussen poll results bear this out.

For example, today he has a negative Presidential Approval Index rating of -11, which means that 36 percent of the nation’s voters Strongly Disapprove of the way that Obama is performing his role as president, while only 25 percent Strongly Approve. This may have a telling effect as next year’s elections approach.

See, e.g., http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll

Second, “deregulation” has been a theme for years, fostered by the banking and securities industries. The SEC has always been lax, but the banking and related industries finally wore down their regulators, with help from former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, and we are living with the consequences today. No one president can be blamed for deregulation.

See, e.g., http://www.philstockworld.com/2009/10/11/greenspan%E2%80%99s-legacy-more-suffering-to-come/

Third, Obama deserves everything that he is getting and more. As I have written, repeatedly, hopefully no later than January of 2013, he retreats to either Chicago or Hawaii to lick his political wounds and write his memoirs, and work full time on his presidential library. It cannot happen fast enough, for all of the reasons that are set forth in the article above, its footnotes, and the comments above yours and this one.

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2 06 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Why Barack Obama May Be Heading For Electoral Disaster In 2012

This is the title of an important article by Nile Gardiner in the UK’s Telegraph, which is worth reading. In it, he states:

On a recent visit to London I was struck by how much faith many British politicians, journalists and political advisers have in Barack Obama being re-elected in 2012.

. . .

But back in the United States, the reality looks a lot different. Many political leaders in Britain fail to understand the degree to which the American people are deeply unhappy with their president’s poor handling of the economy. Nor have they grasped the epic scale of the defeat suffered by the president in the November mid-terms, and the emphatic rejection by a clear majority of Americans of the Big Government Obama agenda.

Just seven months ago, the United States was swept by a conservative revolution that fundamentally transformed the political landscape on Capitol Hill, and gravely weakened the ability of the president to pass legislation. This revolution is not in retreat but gaining ground, led by charismatic figures such as Paul Ryan, the Reaganite chairman of the House Budget Committee, entrusted with reining in out of control government spending. And as a Gallup poll showed, America is unquestionably a conservative country ideologically, but one that is ironically led by the most left-wing president in the nation’s history.

Ultimately, the 2012 presidential election will be decided by the state of the economy, and new data released this week makes grim reading for the White House. In fact you cannot watch a US financial news network at the moment, from Bloomberg to CNBC to Fox Business, without a great deal of pessimism about the dire condition of the world’s biggest economy. 66 percent of Americans now worry the federal government will run out of money in the face of towering public debts.

. . .

Bill Clinton’s labour secretary Robert Reich summed up the grim mood in a hard-hitting op-ed in The Financial Times, which took aim at both the administration and Congress:

The US economy was supposed to be in bloom by late spring, but it is hardly growing at all. Expectations for second-quarter growth are not much better than the measly 1.8 per cent annualised rate of the first quarter. That is not nearly fast enough to reduce America’s ferociously high level of unemployment. . . . Meanwhile, housing prices continue to fall. They are now 33 per cent below their 2006 peak. That is a bigger drop than recorded in the Great Depression. Homes are the largest single asset of the American middle class, so as housing prices drop many Americans feel poorer. All of this is contributing to a general gloominess. Not surprisingly, consumer confidence is also down.

Unsurprisingly, the polls are again looking problematic for the president. The latest Rasmussen Presidential Tracking Poll shows just 25 percent of Americans strongly approving of Obama’s performance, with 36 percent strongly disapproving, for a Presidential Approval Index rating of minus 11 points. In a projected match up between Obama and a Republican opponent, the president now trails by two points according to Rasmussen—43 to 45. The RealClear Politics poll of polls shows just over a third of Americans (34.5 percent) agreeing that the country is heading in the right direction, with nearly three fifths (56.8 percent) believing it is heading down the wrong track. That negative figure rises to a staggering 66 percent of likely voters in a new Rasmussen survey, including 41 percent of Democrats.

There is no feel good factor in America at the moment. But there is a great deal of uncertainty, nervousness, even fear over the future of the world’s only superpower. This is hardly a solid foundation for a presidential victory for the incumbent. Even though we don’t know yet who he will be up against, Barack Obama could well go into 2012 as the underdog rather than the favourite he is frequently portrayed as. On balance we’re likely to see a very close race 17 months from now. But there is also the distinct possibility of an electoral rout of the president if the economy goes further south. “Hope and change” might have played well in 2008, but it is a message that will likely ring hollow in November 2012, with an American public that is deeply disillusioned with the direction Obama is taking the country.

See http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/nilegardiner/100090356/why-barack-obama-may-be-heading-for-electoral-disaster-in-2012/ (emphasis added); see also http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/june_2011/only_24_say_they_share_obama_s_political_views (“Only 24% [Of American Voters] Say They Share Obama’s Political Views“)

The real question before the American people is whether the “Neanderthal” Republicans will manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, just as they did during the lame-duck session of Congress at the end of last year. If so, it would be a disaster for the United States, and perhaps the death knell of the GOP. Lots of Independents like yours truly would never vote for a Republican candidate again, as a matter of principal.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/

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9 06 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

CNN Poll: Obama Approval Rating Drops As Fears Of Depression Rise

This is the title of an important CNN article, which is worth reading. It states in pertinent part:

President Barack Obama’s overall approval rating has dropped below 50 percent as a growing number of Americans worry that the U.S. is likely to slip into another Great Depression within the next 12 months, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Wednesday also indicate[s] that the economy overall remains issue number one to voters, with other economic issues—unemployment, gas prices and the federal deficit—taking three of the remaining four spots in the top five.

. . .

Forty-eight percent say that another Great Depression is likely to occur in the next year—the highest that figure has ever reached. The survey also indicates that just under half live in a household where someone has lost a job or are worried that unemployment may hit them in the near future.

. . .

“The poll reminded respondents that during the Depression in the 1930s, roughly one in four workers were unemployed, banks failed, and millions of Americans were homeless or unable to feed their families,” says [CNN Polling Director Keating Holland]. “And even with that reminder, nearly half said that another depression was likely in the next 12 months. That’s not just economic pessimism—that’s economic fatalism.”

. . .

Not surprisingly, with that much economic angst, the economy is the number one issue, the only one that more than half of the public says will be extremely important to their vote for president next year. Nearly all issues that at least four in ten say will be extremely important to their vote are domestic issues. Terrorism also makes that list, but Afghanistan is fairly low and Libya is tied for dead last out of the 15 issues tested. Abortion and gay marriage also rank very low, indicating that 2012 may be an election that is shaped more by bread-and-butter issues than social and moral concerns.

See http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/06/08/cnn-poll-obama-approval-rating-drops-as-fears-of-depression-rise/; see also http://cnsnews.com/news/article/after-28-months-stimulus-spending-19-mil (“1.9 Million Fewer Americans Have Jobs Today Than When Obama Signed Stimulus”) and http://www.cnbc.com/id/43441924 (“Misery Index” Highest In 28 Years)

Since before this blog began in December of 2009, I have maintained that the United States and other countries worldwide are in the mist of the “Great Depression II.” If anything, the empirical data and other similar findings set forth at this blog support that conclusion. It has been stated again and again that 20-40 years from now, economic historians will describe the end of the last decade and the current decade as an economic depression, not a recession, drawing parallels between this period and the Great Depression of the last century that did not end until the outset of World War II—or perhaps at the end of it.

Also, I have maintained that “green shoots”—or signs that things are improving—may appear from time to time, similar to what happened during the Great Depression, and hopes may rise. However, in all likelihood, they will be short-lived and dashed as the green shoots turn into “dead weeds,” and the economic tsunami continues to roll worldwide, bringing enormous suffering to millions of people. With respect to the housing sector alone, I have predicted that the “bottom” will not be reached for at least another five years; and that those who sit on the sidelines and wait patiently, with cash, will find bargains galore and be rewarded handsomely.

See, e.g., http://www.americanbanker.com/issues/173_212/-365185-1.html (“Greenspan’s Fingerprints All Over Enduring Mess”) and http://www.philstockworld.com/2009/10/11/greenspan%E2%80%99s-legacy-more-suffering-to-come/ (“Greenspan’s legacy: more suffering to come”—”Interview with Timothy D. Naegele”); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/will-the-eus-collapse-push-the-world-deeper-into-the-great-depression-ii/ (“Will The EU’s Collapse Push The World Deeper Into The Great Depression II?”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/04/23/is-financial-reform-simply-washingtons-latest-boondoggle/ (“Is Financial Reform Simply Washington’s Latest Boondoggle?”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/16/the-great-depression-ii/ (“The Great Depression II?”)

More and more observers are agreeing with what has been stated at this blog; namely, the Great Depression II is here to stay, at least through the balance of this decade, and the human suffering is and will continue to be unfathomable. As I stated in an article entitled, “Euphoria or the Obama Depression?” that was published by the McClatchy Newspapers and McClatchy-Tribune News Service on April 8, 2009:

America and other nations are in uncharted waters; and their politicians may face backlashes from disillusioned and angry constituents that are unprecedented in modern times. Also, the limits of godless secularism and paying homage to the false gods of materialism may become self-evident.

See http://www.realclearpolitics.com/news/tms/politics/2009/Apr/08/euphoria_or_the_obama_depression_.html

I have contended that “Barack Obama Is A Lame-Duck President Who Will Not Be Reelected,” and this conclusion is becoming more and more evident to millions of Americans and others worldwide.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/ (see also the footnotes and comments beneath the article); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1617 (“Why Barack Obama May Be Heading For Electoral Disaster In 2012″) and http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-22/obama-gets-30-of-americans-certain-to-support-re-election-in-economy-poll.html (“Obama Gets 30% of Americans Certain to Support Re-Election in Economy Poll”) and http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304657804576401653113017130.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read (“President Barack Obama is likely to be defeated in 2012″)

. . .

In a CNBC article entitled, “US Is Nearing Even Worse Financial Crisis: Jim Rogers,” financial “guru” and international investor Jim Rogers’ sobering assessments are cited:

The U.S. is approaching a financial crisis worse than 2008, Jim Rogers, chief executive, Rogers Holdings, warned CNBC Wednesday.

“The debts that are in this country are skyrocketing,” he said. “In the last three years the government has spent staggering amounts of money and the Federal Reserve is taking on staggering amounts of debt.

“When the problems arise next time…what are they going to do? They can’t quadruple the debt again. They cannot print that much more money. It’s gonna be worse the next time around.”

. . .

He called Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke a “disaster” who has “never been right about anything” since he’s been in Washington. “I hope he doesn’t come back with QE3 but that’s all he knows. The only thing he knows is to print money.”

He predicted that after the Fed ends its quantitative easing program, known as QE2, this month, it may come back under another name.

“They’re gonna bring it back because [Bernanke will] be terrified and Washington will be terrified,” he said. “There’s an election coming in November 2012. Washington’s gonna print more money.”

See http://www.cnbc.com/id/43328325; see also http://www.cnbc.com/id/43354054 (“JPMorgan Forecasts Another Drop in Home Prices”) and http://www.marketwatch.com/story/many-of-us-wont-be-able-to-retire-until-our-80s-2011-06-09 (“Many of us won’t be able to retire until our 80s”)

CNBC has reported:

It’s official: The housing crisis that began in 2006 and has recently entered a double dip is now worse than the Great Depression.

Prices have fallen some 33 percent since the market began its collapse, greater than the 31 percent fall that began in the late 1920s and culminated in the early 1930s, according to Case-Shiller data.

. . .

“The sharp fall in house prices in the first quarter provided further confirmation that this housing crash has been larger and faster than the one during the Great Depression,” Paul Dales, senior economist at Capital Economics in Toronto, wrote in research for clients.

. . .

Prices continue to tumble despite affordability, which by most conventional metrics is near historic highs.

The rate for a 30-year conventional mortgage is around 4.5 percent, just above the historic low of 4.2 percent in October 2010.

. . .

Yet other factors are constraining the market.

After the fallout from the subprime debacle, in which millions lost their homes when they defaulted on loans they could not afford, banks changed underwriting standards.

More than four in every five mortgages now require a down payment of 20 percent, and credit history standards have tightened. At the same time, foreclosures continue at a brisk pace, pushing more supply onto the market and pressuring prices downward.

Then there is the issue of underwater homeowners—those who owe more than their house is worth—representing another 23 percent of homeowners who cannot leave or are in danger of mortgage default.

Indeed, the foreclosure problem is unlikely to get any better with 4.5 million households either three payments late or in foreclosure proceedings. The historical average is 1 million, according to Dales’ research.

See http://www.cnbc.com/id/43395857 (“US Housing Crisis Is Now Worse Than Great Depression”)

In another important Wall Street Journal article entitled, “The Great Property Bubble of China May Be Popping,” it has been reported:

After years of housing prices gone wild, China’s property bubble is starting to deflate.

Residential prices are heading downward in some major cities, damping some undesired real-estate speculation but raising the prospect that the Chinese economy may slow more rapidly than anticipated with profound consequences for global growth.

Real estate is a foundation of China’s phenomenal growth record in the past two decades, and its health is crucial to China’s construction, steel and cement sectors. Real estate is also a favored investment of Chinese looking to get better returns than bank deposits pay. Local municipalities and provinces depend on rising prices for land sales as well to fund infrastructure projects.

World Bank economists warned at a Beijing press briefing on Wednesday that a real-estate bubble was among the biggest economic risks China faces.

. . .

A downturn in property and apartment prices would harm Chinese industry and investment, and crimp consumer spending. China is a “housing-led economy,” says UBS economist Jonathan Anderson, who estimates that property construction alone accounted for 13% of gross domestic product in 2010, twice the share of the 1990s.

While China’s anticipated growth is still well above that of other large economies, any reduction could have deep consequences. The global economy is now even more dependent on China for demand for anything from commodities to luxury goods, given the tepid recovery in the U.S. and Europe’s continuing sovereign-debt problems.

If the Chinese housing market slows faster than people had expected, the impact would be felt in a number of markets that export heavily to China. Many Latin American and African economies have shifted their focus toward Chinese demand for their raw materials, and many Western firms, including U.S. retailers and fast-food chains, now bank on Chinese consumers feeling wealthier to make up for stagnating sales elsewhere. Also, plans by local Chinese governments to improve infrastructure loom large for heavy-equipment makers like Caterpillar Inc.

. . .

A number of analysts think official data, which have continued to show a slight rise in prices, understate the slowdown as the government can affect the numbers by pressing developers to withhold or add high-value properties to the market depending on what it wants the data to show.

. . .

Chinese officials, facing widespread anger from ordinary citizens who can no longer afford to buy a home, have sought to slow the rise in housing prices.

. . .

Since January 2010, the Chinese government has introduced a number of measures to stem speculation, including boosting down-payment requirements on mortgages for second homes to 60% from 40%, barring state-owned enterprises outside the real-estate sector from investing in property and lifting the amount of cash banks must hold in reserve 11 times—essentially reducing funds banks can lend.

. . .

In Shanghai, apartment sales tumbled 37% in April, to 11,000 units, compared with 17,500 units in January, according to the Shanghai Real Estate Trading Center. With business so slack, Midland Realty, a unit of Hong Kong-based Midland Holdings Ltd., closed eight of its nine offices in Shanghai. “The government’s policy on purchase restrictions had a huge impact on both selling and buying, leading to transactions drying up,” said Xu Feng, senior director of Midland’s development center in Shenzhen.

see http://www.naegele.com/documents/TheGreatPropertyBubbleofChinaMayBePopping.pdf; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/ (“China Is America’s Enemy: Make No Mistake About That”) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2005231/Chinas-ghost-towns-New-satellite-pictures-massive-skyscraper-cities-STILL-completely-empty.html (“China’s ghost towns: New satellite pictures show massive skyscraper cities which are STILL completely empty”) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/china-business/8598998/Enter-the-dragon-to-save-the-euro.html (“Enter the dragon ‘to save the euro’”)

The economic tsunami that was unleashed several years ago continues to roll worldwide, producing tragic human suffering that will increase exponentially during the balance of this decade.

Hold on tight. The worst is yet to come. Things will get very ugly between now and the end of this decade, both in the United States and globally!

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10 06 2011
Mary

Yes indeed the economic situation in the US will mandate the 2012 election. I ask you this question though, not to be trite, but realistic. Isn’t every Presidential election based on how
Americans see themselves financially? It seems to me, it has always been about how thick or how thin our wallets are………………and how we can continue to work and grow financially. Will President Obama ask the question of us: “Are you better off today than you were 4 years ago?” I doubt it……………………….but how I wish he could, and we could respond with a resounding, no.

It became critical to me in reasoning when I saw foreclosures in the newspaper in record numbers. In the past, it was such a shock that someone was being foreclosed on; now it is an every day occurrence which is so telling of our current economic crisis.

I can only hope that with a new President, although difficult, the economic culture will change for us. How I wish I could once again spend a few dollars without thinking: “maybe I should not have done so because my job could end tomorrow.” Then I think of the 17 to 20 percent of unemployed in my state and wonder where will they ever find work? Guilt thrives, so I don’t want to spend money at all. How many others feel this way? Many I believe. which hurts the economy because we are not spending $$$$ due to the instability of the US economy. It becomes a vicious cycle of survival. We aren’t putting money back into the economy because we are uncertain about our own futures. If this continues into the election year, surely P Obama is doomed.

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10 06 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Mary.

First, I agree with you that every presidential election is determined, at least in part, by how Americans see themselves financially.

Second, I agree that if Obama were to ask Americans the question now and next year, “Are you better off today than you were 4 years ago?” the response would be a resounding “no.” Clearly, he does not dare ask such a question.

Third, one commenter stated today:

[Obama' decision not to run for reelection] will be made for him by other Democrats; Obama’s post [Osama bin Laden]-kill has evaporated (and then some) in the polls; we now have [a] majority or America saying he’s doing a bad job on the economy and 70% of America thinks we’re going in the wrong direction. Based on what I’ve seen in the last week I suspect Obama’s internal polls are even worse. Johnson would not have resigned if he thought [there] was a chance for a second term – a Dem primary challenge or forced exit is not too far fetched these days.

I agree completely. This comparison with Lyndon Johnson’s decision not to run for reelection in 1968 is apt. Also, the latest CNN poll may tell the tale, which shows that Obama’s approval rating drops as fears of a depression rise. Among many other factors, this may doom his presidency, and consign him to history as a tragic Shakespearean figure.

It has been said—as I have mentioned before:

Jimmy Carter may be heading to #2 on the [list of] all-time worst presidents in American history, thanks to “O.”

This is an understatement.

Obama is a demagogue; and his naïveté is matched by his overarching narcissism. He is more starry-eyed and “dangerous” than Jimmy Carter. Indeed, it is likely that his presidency will be considered a sad and tragic watershed in history; and the American people are recognizing this more and more with each day that passes.

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13 06 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

The American Political System Is Wonderful

The American people are wiser than they are given credit for—certainly by those people in other countries—and our political system works more brilliantly than most people believe it does.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/america-a-rich-tapestry-of-life/ (“America: A Rich Tapestry Of Life”) (see also the footnotes and comments beneath the article)

We elected Barack Obama, whom lots of Americans hate today; and before him, we elected George W. Bush whom people hated too. He was preceded by Bill Clinton, whom people tried to impeach and remove from the presidency. Lyndon Johnson was hated too, and he was followed by Richard Nixon who was hated and forced to resign.

Clearly, our political system has “checks and balances,” and we elect presidents and then throw them out of office. Lyndon Johnson could not run for reelection; and it is not inconceivable that the same thing might happen to Barack Obama between now and next year’s elections.

We veer from conservatism to liberalism, and then back again. Reaganism was followed by Bill Clinton’s liberalism, which was followed by George W. Bush’s conservatism . . . and then by Obama’s liberalism.

MSNBC has reported:

In an exclusive interview with TODAY’s Ann Curry that will air on Tuesday’s show, President Barack Obama said that if he were Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner right now, he would resign in the wake of the scandal in which Weiner admitted to sending explicit photos of himself to women online.

“I can tell you that if it was me, I would resign,’’ Obama told Curry.

See http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/43385259/ns/today-today_news; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/#comment-1635 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/#comment-1636 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/#comment-1643 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/#comment-1644

As with this issue and so many others, Obama is America’s “Hamlet” on the Potomac. He is betwixt and between, unable to do what is right. He should be calling for Weiner’s immediate resignation in no uncertain terms on moral grounds, just as Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer—the Democrats’ No. 1 and 2 leaders in the House—and other party leaders have done.

See, e.g., http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2003475/Anthony-Weiner-fate-decided-Democrats-Huma-Abedin-flies-in.html (“‘You MUST go': Pelosi repeats calls for Weiner’s resignation as wife flies in to confront errant husband”)

Instead, Obama equivocates. We can only assume that if he finds himself in a comparable or similar situation, he will do the honorable thing and resign like Richard Nixon did. Indeed, at some point in the future, he may be tested. Also, there is the possibility that Obama might not run for reelection, just as Lyndon Johnson decided during the Vietnam War.

Obama is in the midst of four wars, and an economic depression; and it is not beyond the pale to believe that he is reviewing internal polling that paints a bleak picture of the campaign ahead—or other factors might influence his decision not to run. If so, he will likely retreat to either Chicago or Hawaii prior to January of 2013, to write his memoirs and work full time on his golf scores and presidential library.

See, e.g., http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/de-Borchgrave/2011/06/13/Commentary-Half-pregnant-strategy/UPI-97361307964099/ (“Today, President Obama has got the United States involved in four wars: Afghanistan, Iraq (where U.S. troops are still being killed), Libya and Yemen (where the confusion of a civil war gave U.S. drones open skies to target al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula)”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1637 (“CNN Poll: Obama Approval Rating Drops As Fears Of Depression Rise”)

Indeed, the Associated Press has reported:

President Barack Obama says his wife and daughters aren’t “invested” in him being president and would have been fine had he decided against running for re-election. But he says they believe in what he’s doing for the country.

Asked about his family’s reaction to his wanting another term, Obama said: “Michelle and the kids are wonderful in that if I said, `You know, guys, I want to do something different,’ They’d be fine. They’re not invested in daddy being president or my husband being president.”

He says first lady Michelle Obama would be the first one to encourage him to do something “a little less stressful” if she no longer thought that what they were doing was worthwhile for the country.

See http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110614/ap_on_re_us/us_obama_family_1 (“Obama: My family would be fine with just 1 term”)

Stay tuned, as the American saga continues . . .

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19 06 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

America Is Losing Its Grip

This is the grim warning of outgoing Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. His admonitions continue:

Aboard the Pentagon jet on his last foreign trip as secretary of defense, Robert Gates takes a moment to peer across the American horizon—and the view is dire: the U.S. is in danger of losing its supremacy on the global stage, he says.

“I’ve spent my entire adult life with the United States as a superpower, and one that had no compunction about spending what it took to sustain that position,” he tells NEWSWEEK, seated in a windowless conference room aboard the Boeing E-4B. “It didn’t have to look over its shoulder because our economy was so strong. This is a different time.”

. . .

“To tell you the truth, that’s one of the many reasons it’s time for me to retire, because frankly I can’t imagine being part of a nation, part of a government … that’s being forced to dramatically scale back our engagement with the rest of the world.”

Such a statement—rather astonishing for the leader of the world’s preeminent fighting force—may open the administration to charges of not believing in American exceptionalism. . . .

He is determined to define his own legacy as Pentagon boss, and eager to push back against one of the more vocal criticisms of his tenure: the belief among many liberals and some conservative budget hawks that in a time of deep indebtedness, he hasn’t been willing to chop enough of a defense budget bloated by a decade of war.
Don’t expect him to apologize. In Gates’s mind, it’s other political leaders with less experience who are confused.

“Congress is all over the place,” Gates says at one point. “And the Republicans are a perfect example. I mean, you’ve got the budget hawks and then you’ve got the defense hawks within the same party. And so I think there is no consensus on a role in the world.”

. . .

Bridging two administrations, Gates gets credit for stabilizing Iraq, though the key decisions that led to success—a surge of troops and the appointment of Gen. David Petraeus to oversee the strategy—predated his arrival.

Petraeus says Gates knew that his real contribution was to buy time in Washington for the strategy to succeed.

See http://www.newsweek.com/2011/06/19/the-defense-rests.html?om_rid=NsfkQq&om_mid=_BN-f69B8bzy3X1

America’s “prince of darkness”—or its “Hamlet on the Potomac” and “Jimmy Carter-lite”—Barack Obama is doing everything in his power to destroy our military might, after having added dramatically to our nation’s budget deficit that is sapping our economic vitality and strength. He would have the United States become a UK militarily, or worse, which is why he is sending Leon Panetta to the Pentagon, to “gut” it.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-1591 (“Sun Setting On British Power”)

Ronald Reagan encountered Obama’s negativism when he came to the White House in the wake of Carter’s presidency; and he turned our ship of state around, and changed the course of history. Our enemy, the once-mighty Soviet Union, collapsed and is gone today; and America has reigned supreme ever since, as the world’s only superpower.

Accordingly, Obama must be sent packing either to Chicago or Hawaii no later than January of 2013, to write his memoirs and work full time on his presidential library. He a tragic Shakespearean figure who will be forgotten and consigned to the dustheap of history, like Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter before him—unless he tragically alters the course of American history.

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20 06 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Barack Obama’s ACORN Is History

The Associated Press has reported:

The Supreme Court won’t hear an appeal from ACORN, the activist group driven to ruin by scandal and financial woes, over being banned from getting federal funds.

The high court on Monday refused to review a federal court’s decision to uphold Congress’s ban on federal funds for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

Congress cut off ACORN’s federal funding last year in response to allegations the group engaged in voter registration fraud and embezzlement and violated the tax-exempt status of some of its affiliates by engaging in partisan political activities.

ACORN sued, but the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City upheld the action. The high court refused to hear its appeal.

See http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110620/ap_on_re_us/us_supreme_court_acorn_lawsuit; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

The next step will be to send Obama to Chicago or Hawaii no later than January of 2013, to lick his political wounds and write his memoirs, and work full time on his presidential library. For the good of the country, it cannot happen fast enough!

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20 06 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

The AARP Does Not Represent Seniors, But It Is Trying To Sell Them Out Anyway

Political pundit and former Bill Clinton adviser, Dick Morris, has a video that is worth watching about the role of the AARP in the Medicare and Social Security debate.

See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfPYucJ1IUw

The AARP is a total fraud, and its so-called members should desert it en masse. It does not represent or speak for seniors.

Like many other worthless trade associations in Washington and the United States, it exists to keep its bloated paid staff in power, much as the unions do. In fact, it is really little more than a union—or an insurance company, as Morris describes it—and it certainly does not speak for seniors on the issue of social security benefit cuts or any other issue.

It is time for seniors to wake up and be heard loud and clear; and for the AARP to be abandoned, and its highly-paid and gluttonous staff to be fired. They are playing “footsie” with Obama, who ran up the record deficit with wasteful and irresponsible spending (e.g., the so-called “Stimulus Package”), and now it is totally predictable: he is demanding that America’s seniors, our superb military and others bear the burden of devastating cuts.

Again, it is time for Obama to go—either to Chicago or Hawaii no later than January of 2013, to lick his political wounds and write his memoirs, and play golf and work on his presidential library full time. All other politicians who support such cuts should join him in political purgatory. It cannot happen fast enough!

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected (see also the footnotes and comments beneath the article)

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20 06 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Russian Despot Putin’s Repression Continues, While Obama Is Endorsed

A bloated Putin and his lap dog Medvedev

In an article entitled, “Medvedev hints he and Putin won’t be 2012 rivals,” Reuters has reported:

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev dismissed talk of a deepening rift with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in remarks published Monday, strongly hinting they would not run against each other for president next year.

In a Financial Times interview, he also said he hoped Barack Obama, who has helped improve Russian-U.S. ties, would win a new term as U.S. president next year.

. . .

Many analysts . . . believe it is Putin who will decide whether to return to the country’s top job or endorse his protégé for a second term. With a marginalized opposition, either one would be likely to win.

. . .

Medvedev sounded far less equivocal about the U.S. election in November 2012, praising Obama and accusing some of his opponents of turning Russia into a scapegoat.

“There are representatives of a very conservative wing who are trying to resolve their political tasks in part by whipping up passions about Russia,” he said.

He suggested a Republican victory could chill ties after a period that included the signing of a new nuclear arms reduction pact and U.S. support for Russia’s bid to join the World Trade Organization.

“I would like Barack Obama to be elected to the office of president of the United States a second time,” he said.

See http://ca.news.yahoo.com/medvedev-hints-putin-wont-2012-rivals-213400461.html

It is not surprising that his lapdog, Medvedev, will not oppose Russia’s “Hitler,” Putin, in perpetuating his brutal de facto dictatorship. Hitler’s henchmen and those of Stalin did not oppose them either.

Similarly, it is not surprising that they would endorse and embrace Barack Obama, who was responsible for giving them the New START Treaty. George W. Bush withdrew from the ABM Treaty, which had expressly prevented major advances in missile defense. The next GOP administration must withdraw from the New START Treaty as soon as it comes to power.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1137 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1147 (“Obama And His Democrats Did Not Get The Message—Their Ranks Need To Be Thinned Even More, Starting With Obama”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1167 (“Russia Warns Against START Changes—So What?”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1182 (“Republicans Who Voted To Ratify START Should Be Defeated”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1194 (“The New START Treaty Is Another Obama Travesty—Like ObamaCare—Which The Next GOP Administration Should Withdraw From Immediately”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1245 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1397 (“WikiLeaks cables: US agrees to tell Russia Britain’s nuclear secrets”) and http://www.theotherrussia.org/2011/06/09/russia-nato-missile-defense-negotations-break-down/ (“Russia-NATO Missile Defense Negotations Break Down”)

In important testimony before Congress, former world chess champion and chairman of the United Civil Front—a pro-democracy group—and co-chair of the Russian Solidarity Movement, Garry Kasparov stated:

After I left the sport, I joined the pro-democracy movement in my country, motivated by the disturbing course change away from freedom that Russia was undergoing under President Vladimir Putin. I could not accept that my own children would grow up in a totalitarian state as I had. And to those who have suggested that I should leave Russia for my family’s convenience and safety, I say that it is my country, one I proudly represented around the world for decades, and so let the KGB leave, not me.

. . .

More recently, I traveled across almost all of Russia to talk to and listen to my countrymen, which is the only way for most Russians to hear from a critic of the Putin regime, since we are banned from the mass media. My colleagues and I are dedicated to bringing individual freedom and the rule of law to Russia, and we know very well by now that this cannot happen as long as Putin is in power. We protest in the streets, we provide legal defense for those who are punished for standing up to the regime, and we try to let Russians know that they are not helpless and that they are not alone.

When the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union collapsed, we on the other side of the Wall felt far more hope than you can imagine. Yes, there was fear and confusion as well, but thanks to the courage of Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and others who followed them, hundreds of millions of people had the opportunity to grasp the freedom that the western world takes for granted. It was a great moment in world history and those leaders who did not forget about us will in turn never be forgotten by us.

For those who do not follow events in Russia, that is often where the story ends. Communism was proved bankrupt, the Cold War ended, and Russia joined the free world. Unfortunately, that last item on the agenda was never quite completed. Russia under Boris Yeltsin quickly acquired many of the mechanisms of democracy and freedom, but the values and traditions that support them never had a chance to put down roots. Economic chaos, rampant corruption, and widespread violence left many Russians with the impression that these were the fruits of democracy. When former KGB lieutenant-colonel Vladimir Putin took control of the country in 2000, he and his cronies were very quick to exploit that impression, just as the Communists had done in the previous election against Yeltsin.

By the way, I refer to Russia’s state security apparatus as the KGB for the expediency of this more widely recognized acronym. Its name has been changed many times over the decades, but calling it the FSB, its current name, does not change its nature. I admit that I had some hopes that the rampant corruption of the last Yeltsin years would be reined in by this unknown but efficient KGB man Putin. I could have never imagined that in just a few years, a bust of Felix Dzerzhinsky, forefather of the KGB, that had been torn down by jubilant crowds over a decade earlier, would soon find its way back to the plaza, both figuratively and literally.

The new regime quickly began the process of dismantling the fragile new institutions of honest elections and a free media. Rivals and dissenters were purged from the political and business realms, power was tightly centralized in the executive, and the flow of federal money from the wealthy center to the rest of the country was reversed, creating what most resembles a feudal oligarchy. The Putin regime also contains elements of Mussolini’s corporate fascism, with giant private monopolies working together with the state. It’s really a combination of Adam Smith and Karl Marx. The expenses are nationalized while profits are privatized.

One of the most common, and most ignorant, commentaries we of the opposition hear about the situation in Russia today is that we should be grateful, because things are better now than they were in the USSR. This is damning with very faint praise! Why go back to the 1970s to make comparisons? What about 1991? Or 1998? We had many problems then, yes, but we also had far more liberty and the potential to stay on a course to join the free world. Putin took that from us. We are also often told that Russians want a strong hand, a Tsar, and do not really want democracy. I reject completely this notion of a mysterious genetic tendency. Consider China and Taiwan, East and West Germany, and the two Koreas.

Putin’s economic miracle is another common myth. If you look at the numbers, the real economy was ready to boom in 2000 even with oil prices in the teens. Russia was recovering from the 1998 default and market reforms were taking effect despite the high corruption level. And yet now, even with oil back near $100, the outlook is still poor. The country is falling apart as the oligarchs steal the money faster than it can be pumped out of the ground. We are quickly becoming a resource-dependent petro-dictatorship. Putin and his gang are not Communists, or nationalists, or anything else. There is no ideology, only power and money.

But we have elections, yes, we do have elections. We go through the motions of voting and put on a show of campaigning and counting, all as if it really mattered—even though we all know it is all only for show. Putin is so secure in his power he did even bother changing the constitution to take another term. He simply put his shadow, Medvedev, in his chair temporarily, and continued business as usual. America and the rest of the free world prefer to go along with the charade, to allow Russia a place in the G-8 as if Russia were a real democracy. To those who say that Putin is popular, and that fake elections and suppression of dissent are irrelevant, I ask them, “how do you know?” Would you trust opinion polls in a police state? If he is so popular, why jail opposition activists, why blacklist so many rivals and so many topics from the media?

As for Medvedev, he is bait for a trap. For more than three years now, first as Putin’s hand-picked “candidate” and now as president, he has been making statements that give credulous Russians and willingly duped foreign officials false hope that he will lead a liberalization movement against Putin. But how can a man be in conflict with his shadow? For all his talk, Medvedev has done nothing to ease the oppression while doing much to make it worse. Laws have been passed that broadly define opposition members as extremists, even terrorists, and the list of political prisoners continues to grow longer. In theory, Dmitri Medvedev can create the Medvedev Era with one stroke of his pen, by signing an order to relieve Vladimir Putin from his post as prime minister. But as the popular joke in Russia goes, “There are two parties in Russia today. The Putin party and the Medvedev party. The problem is Medvedev doesn’t know which one he belongs to.”

A cynic may ask, “why does it matter to us if Russians do not have freedom of speech? We have enough problems now, why take a stand?” For decades, America led the fight to contain the spread of Communism. Not only because it threatened American interests, but because every president understood that being America meant standing up for American ideals worldwide. The USSR was not just a threat, it was, in Reagan’s typically blunt term, the evil empire, to be resisted on moral grounds. Its people were victims to be aided, not enemies to be destroyed.

When the wall fell, the free world celebrated and in so doing, let down its guard. Just as all the professional analysts were surprised by the collapse of the USSR, it seems today few are willing to admit Russia has slipped back into darkness. This is a terrible mistake, as the spread of the corruption of Putin’s corporate state is a serious threat to freedom worldwide. It only imitates capitalism, while in reality it is a state-run machine for looting national resources in Russia and the shareholders of companies abroad. Corruption, not oil or gas, has become Russia’s biggest export. The western appeasement crowd that keeps calling for engagement that will eventually transform Russia cannot see that it is the West, not Russia, that is being transformed by this contact.

Drawn by the lure of big profits, western presidents, prime ministers, and corporations have lined up to sacrifice their professed ideals in order to do business completely on the Kremlin’s terms. Transparency International ranks Russia as 154th of the 178 nations on their corruption index. On their list of the world’s twenty-two largest exporting nations, Russia scores by far the worst in evaluating its corporations’ readiness to pay bribes while doing business abroad. After over a decade of Putin and increasing economic engagement with the rest of the world, Russia’s rankings have gotten worse, not better. The neighboring nations most closely allied with Putin’s government have also dropped steadily in the corruption rankings. The problem inside Russia has become epidemic. According to estimates made by the leading Russian expert in corruption, Georgyi Satarov, the overall amount of bribes in the Russian economy skyrocketed from $33 billion to more than $400 billion per year during Putin’s rule.

Putin is also not above the old-fashioned use of force, as he demonstrated by invading neighboring Georgia and annexing its sovereign territory. Which, by the way, is still occupied by military force and where Putin continues to make threats. Kremlin provocations inside Georgia continue via a series of terrorist bombings that have been strongly linked to Russian intelligence officers operating from the annexed territory of Abkhazia. An official list of these state-sponsored terror attacks issued by the Georgian government is attached to my submitted testimony. The Kremlin has had no qualms blackmailing its neighbors and Europe over natural gas, at one point cutting supplies and causing shortages to half of the European Union during winter. Always looking for new sources of cash, the Kremlin continues to supply military and nuclear technology to belligerent states like Iran, Syria, and Venezuela. It is often said that the US needs Russia’s help in various regions, but it has been clear many times that the Kremlin’s only interest is self interest. Putin is delighted to help the United States stay stuck in Afghanistan and to stir up conflict in the region, as any incident drives up the price of oil, the money from which keeps the oligarchs in power.

. . .

Putin’s closest allies, those who keep him in power, are not faceless gray Politburo members who aspire to nothing more than a nice house or car. Putin’s oligarchs own global companies, buy real estate in London, Biarritz, New York City. The money they have pilfered from Russia’s treasury goes to buy art, yachts, and American and British sports teams. In short, they wish to enjoy the spoils and this makes them vulnerable. Putin needs the West’s support because that is where they all keep their money.

They are vulnerable to limitations on banking, acquisitions and travel, leading to what I call the “Do not Fly, Do not Buy List.” Even the suggestion that their investments abroad might be investigated would cause shockwaves in the Kremlin power structure. So many of their assets come from shady deals and looted properties that if the West ceases to rubber-stamp their money-laundering operations they will cease to treat Putin as the all-powerful guarantor of their wealth. As the famous Washington saying goes, follow the money and you will get results.

This treatment of denying visas and investigating investments must not be reserved for Putin’s wealthy supporters. The entire Kremlin power structure, especially the judiciary, is made up of loyalists with no regard for the rule of law. Those who violate their oaths and betray the laws they should be upholding should not be granted immunity by the civilized world. The police and prosecutors who fabricate evidence, the judges who rubber-stamp the convictions, the officials who rig the elections, they can and must be held accountable. They are following orders from above, yes, but just because they will not pay for their crimes in Russia does not mean they should be treated as decent citizens when they leave the protection of the KGB police state.

. . .

The creation of a new police state in Russia is not an anonymous, blameless crime. I have included with my submitted testimony lists we have compiled of the officials involved in numerous grave violations of Russian law and Russia’s international commitments. There are many precedents for taking action against such individuals. The members and leaders of the Cosa Nostra, the Italian mafia, were above the law in their native Sicily. But many were refused entry to the United States due to their criminal connections. Those who whitewash the murders of journalists and opposition members and those who carry out the repression of Putin’s Russia should be treated with equal scorn by the civilized world. These are not warlords or soldiers, they are bureaucrats who side with power because they want the easy life. If their lives become less easy, you will be surprised at how quickly things can turn.

The final argument is that Russia is too strong, that its oil and gas reserves make the Kremlin too powerful and influential to resist. This is similar to the theory that the US cannot stand up to China on Tibet or anything else because China holds so much American debt. But the Chinese are not fools. They know that the day after America defaults, the Chinese economy would explode to the moon. It’s economic mutually assured destruction, and the same principle is in effect with Russian resources. Russia cannot cease selling oil and gas to the West, despite the occasional threat. The pipelines are in place, the contracts are written, and the entire Kremlin oligarchy depends on the high profit margins to stay in power. Without the cash surplus that comes with $100 per barrel oil, the hollow state of the Russian economy would quickly be revealed.

. . .

I look forward to the day when a strong, independent, and economically and culturally vibrant Russia takes its place among the leading nations of the world as an equal partner. This can only happen when our people are free to choose their leaders and free to achieve their dreams. Our problems are for us to solve; we do not beg for help. What we ask is that America and the other leading nations of the free world live up to their own traditions and rhetoric. End the hypocrisy of treating Putin’s regime like a democratic ally. Stop treating the oligarchs who plunder our nation like legitimate businessmen. Stop allowing the agents of a police state to travel without restrictions or shame.

When I was growing up in the Soviet Union, in Baku, Azerbaijan, we were told America was the enemy. But most of us understood that there must be something good there if the government was so keen on keeping it from us. Generations of American leaders faced down nuclear annihilation to fight for the rights of those behind the Iron Curtain. Surely the threat of Putin’s Russia is nothing in comparison. From the Marshall Plan to Jackson-Vanik, the United States has listened, spoken, and acted. There is no longer a wall that needs to be torn down, but courage is still necessary to protect our most sacred values. I thank you again for inviting me here today and I wish you all the courage to act.

See http://www.theotherrussia.org/2011/06/19/kasparov-asks-congress-to-take-a-courageous-stand/ (“Kasparov to Congress: Take a Courageous Stand [And Stop Treating Vladimir Putin And Other Corrupt Russian Officials As Members Of An Actual Democracy]“) (emphasis added)

The Washington Post’s Fred Hiatt has added with respect to Kasparov:

Given that chess champions are rock stars in Russia, he could have settled into an easy life of celebrity there. Or he could have joined the opposition to Putin’s kleptocracy, as he has, but from a safe and comfortable apartment in London or Manhattan.

Instead, he has maintained a life in Russia, where—given the grisly fate met by many journalists and human rights advocates—he lives with bodyguards and anxiety.

He does not live without hope for Russia’s future, however. And to that end, he came to Washington (meeting with executive and congressional officials) with three essential messages:

First, the ostensible power struggle between Putin, now prime minister, and his hand-picked president, Dmitry Medvedev, is a sham. Putin pulls the strings. Americans, including the Obama administration, have been taken in by this shadow play, Kasparov says, which is useful for Putin—Medvedev gives the regime a friendlier face to the West—but essentially irrelevant.

Second, Putinism is not working, and therefore its continuation is not inevitable. Despite being an oil exporter at a time of sky-high oil prices, Russia’s economy is ailing. Capital is fleeing, infrastructure is decaying, and people are noticing.

. . .

And having quarantined Russia from democracy movements that flared in Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan, Putin now has to worry about infection from the Arab Spring. “Putin did everything to prevent an Orange Revolution, but now comes the ghost of Tahrir Square,” Kasparov said.

Finally, the United States has at its disposal a practical tool that could help undermine Putin’s hold on power—specifically, a bill sponsored by Maryland Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin that would ban visas for and freeze assets of Russian officials implicated in rank abuses of justice or abrogations of freedom inside Russia.

“To outsiders, this may not seem like much,” Kasparov said. But it would undermine what Kasparov sees as the fundamental principle and purpose of Putin’s regime: that officials who are loyal to Putin can accumulate assets and park them abroad—and that Putin can protect them.

“If you are loyal to the boss, to the capo di tutti capi, you are safe, inside Russia and out—in Dubai, London, Lake Geneva,” Kasparov said. “If something happens to even a small group of these people, it will cause a dent in the monolith of power.”

Putin has bought off and corrupted so many European officials that Europe will not act first, Kasparov said. But the United States could—and because Russian oligarchs increasingly are investing in the United States, U.S. action would make a big difference.

“Don’t tell me you don’t have leverage,” Kasparov said.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/post/garry-kasparov-has-a-suggestion/2011/06/17/AGPUyiYH_blog.html

The KGB lieutenant-colonel who became Russia’s ruler, Putin, must be tried, convicted for his many crimes globally, and terminated. His lackey, Medvedev, is also complicit; and he too must be tried, convicted and imprisoned, at the very least.

The West’s goal must be to bring down a Russia increasingly focused on domination and replace it with a democratic nation that lives at peace with the world—and this is true with respect to China as well.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/ (see also all of the footnotes and comments beneath the article and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-silent-voices-of-stalin’s-soviet-holocaust-and-mao’s-chinese-holocaust/#comment-900)

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24 06 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

In Fleeing Afghanistan, The West Relinquishes Its Grip On The World

This is the title of an interesting and sobering article by Peter Oborne—who is the UK Daily Telegraph’s chief political commentator—which is worth reading.

See http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/peteroborne/100093677/in-fleeing-afghanistan-the-west-relinquishes-its-grip-on-the-world/

Oborne is mistaken: Richard Nixon did not lose the Vietnam War; Lyndon Johnson and the U.S. Congress did. As someone whom I know has written—who is a syndicated columnist and an outstanding reporter with impeccable, world-class credentials, based in Washington, D.C.:

Congress, in its infinite wisdom, cut off all further military aid to Saigon.

[The South Vietnanmese army] ARVN saw no point in continuing to fight, stabbed in the back by the US Congress.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/john-f-kennedy-the-most-despicable-president-in-american-history, fn. 10.

Among other things, Oborne wrote:

Let’s throw the clock forward to 2014, the year Obama and Cameron say combat operations must end. This much is certain: the Taliban will return to power, conceivably with Mullah Omar (still topping the FBI’s most wanted terrorist list) coming down from the mountains to resume his old position, so rudely interrupted, as Head of the Supreme Council and effective head of state.

It is unlikely that Taliban commanders will take kindly to the flourishing nightlife and lively restaurants that have sprung up under President Karzai’s rule. All this will close at once, while Kabul’s notorious Swimming Pool Hill—where blindfolded criminals and homosexuals were pushed off a high diving board to their deaths—may open again for its ghoulish business. The Taliban attitude towards female education has, to be fair, improved over the past decade. At best, Kabul will come to resemble a provincial Saudi Arabian city.

. . .

[It is likely that] . . . Afghanistan will face a civil war, just as it did after the Soviet withdrawal in 1989. If so, humanitarian agencies will find it impossible to operate, and reports of hideous carnage and atrocities will seep out of the country, with Western powers unable to do more than wring their hands. Stalemate is the likely outcome: eventually, large parts of the country will be dominated by warlords, each appropriating a chunk of the Afghan National Army.

In any case, it is unlikely that Obama’s sketchy three-year plan will work. There is no serious incentive—apart from cash—for any Afghan to stay loyal to the departing Americans and British. They must look to secure their future. President Karzai—currently at the heart of a massive banking fraud—will probably quit soon and flee, taking with him the billions of pounds his family have stolen.

Meanwhile, governments such as Britain’s, with armies still operating inside Afghanistan, will be forced to answer a very troubling question: why are we sending our bravest and best young men to be maimed and killed when we are going to leave, anyway?

. . .

Those countries with a genuine long-term interest in the region will get more and more involved, and be entitled to do so—China, Iran, India, Russia and, above all, Pakistan. No force on earth will prevent the Pakistani government from backing the Afghan Taliban, and it is past time that Britain and the US woke up to this elemental fact.

So where does this latest humiliation leave the United States? There were many who predicted that defeat in Vietnam marked the end of the American century, yet they were soon proved wrong and the US went on to enjoy a period of astonishing global success. But remember this—Nixon and Kissinger played one dazzling card as Vietnam weakened. They made peace with China, recruited her as an ally against Soviet Russia, and opened this formerly closed state to international capitalism. The consequences can be assessed in the history books—the greatest advance in living standards the world has ever seen, and US hegemony reaffirmed for an extra generation. But that happy epoch is over. China feels no gratitude, and has turned almost overnight from protégé into malevolent rival, with an ever harsher appreciation of the realities of global power.

Certainly, America remains the greatest military force on earth, with three million men and women in uniform and seven formidable battle fleets, with a combined tonnage greater than the next 13 largest navies combined. Yet the sorry lesson of Iraq and Afghanistan is that this prodigious military muscle is practically useless for 21st-century warfare.

. . .

Back in 1974, as the US prepared to abandon Vietnam, its national deficit stood at $6.1 billion, equivalent to about $27 billion today. This year’s deficit is $1,660 billion—60 times higher. Back then, US debt stood at $475 billion (around $1.8 trillion, inflation adjusted). In the intervening period, that debt has risen sevenfold to around $14 trillion, having doubled over the last seven years alone. The withdrawal from Afghanistan is, in part, the unexpected consequence of this financial crisis.

There is a sense that yesterday’s Afghan defeat was ordained when Barack Obama, with his mandate to bring George W Bush and Tony Blair’s senseless “War on Terror” to an end, won the 2008 presidential election. Now Obama has fulfilled his promise, and the task that lies before him now is to manage that defeat. More serious than America’s military defeat in Afghanistan has been its moral defeat. Again and again, it has behaved as hideously, and with the same barbaric contempt for human rights, as the worst of its enemies. Obama needs to reunite the United States with civilised values and redefine his country’s role in the world.

The rest of the familiar post-war architecture has gone. America is no longer capable of being the policeman of the world, and may retreat to its historic isolation. Across the Channel, the debt crisis is wrecking the European dream. History is moving faster than ever, and taking us into a new and formless world.

What Oborne should have said, and did so implicitly, is that Barack Obama is responsible for what has been happening in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere in the region; and he will be blamed for it—by the American people and by history.

Despite the wishful thinking of many, America is not in decline—any more than it was when Henry Kissinger and Jimmy Carter articulated similar beliefs.

One thing is crystal clear though: Obama must be forced from the U.S. presidency at the earliest possible date, and no later than January of 2013. He is an unmitigated disaster—a narcissistic demagogue, and America’s “Hamlet on the Potomac” and “Jimmy Carter-lite”—and his departure cannot happen fast enough!

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/09/are-afghanistan-iraq-and-pakistan-hopeless-and-is-the-spread-of-radical-islam-inevitable-and-is-barack-obama-finished-as-americas-president/ (“Are Afghanistan, Iraq And Pakistan Hopeless, And Is The Spread Of Radical Islam Inevitable, And Is Barack Obama Finished As America’s President?”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/ (“The Economic Tsunami Continues Its Relentless And Unforgiving Advance Globally”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/america-a-rich-tapestry-of-life/ (“America: A Rich Tapestry Of Life”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1637 (“CNN Poll: Obama Approval Rating Drops As Fears Of Depression Rise”) (see also the footnotes and comments beneath these articles)

. . .

The people who will suffer the most in Afghanistan when we pull out will be its women. Indeed, Obama will be giving Afghan women and young girls the “gift” of horrific Taliban rule once again, which will be inhumane.

American women, and women and women’s rights organizations worldwide, must rise up and tell Obama that a pull-out is acceptable only if he is willing to send his two girls to school in Afghanistan now and after the pullout—instead of their fancy school in the Washington, D.C. area—and he actually does this.

Tragically, we know what the Taliban will do—including the brutal killing, raping and disfiguring of Afghan women—for example, by cutting off their noses and ears. We need only ask “Aisha” (or the brave “Bibi”), and look into her eyes and at her once-beautiful features that were disfigured.

There are no mysteries about what Obama’s Afghan policies will produce—which is merely one of a multitude of reasons why his presidency must end as soon as humanly possible.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1102 (“Why We Fight In Afghanistan, And Why American Women Should Demand Barack Obama’s Removal From Office By Impeachment Or Otherwise”) (see also the article itself, as well as the footnotes and other comments beneath it)

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26 06 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Los Angeles, Mexico

This is the title of an article at one of the Tea Party Web sites, which is worth reading because it reflects the beliefs—and yes, deep-seated prejudices—of lots of Americans. There is no question that illegal immigration has gotten out of hand, and our country is being changed by it.

See http://www.teapartynation.com/forum/topics/los-angeles-mexico

My views with respect to the article are as follows:

First, one of the “culprits” is Barack Obama, who must not be reelected; this much is crystal clear. He must be sent packing either to Chicago or Hawaii no later than January of 2013, to lick his political wounds and write his memoirs, and work full time on his golf scores and his presidential library. It cannot happen fast enough!

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/ (see also the footnotes and comments beneath the article)

Second, having grown up in Los Angeles, I have seen it change over the years. Yes, the immigration issue is a serious problem nationally, and I have written about it.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/illegal-immigration-the-solution-is-simple/ (see also the footnotes and comments beneath the article)

However, by and large, the Mexicans in Southern California are hard-working, wonderful people, who go about their lives just like any other Americans. I listen attentively for Spanish being spoken; however, most speak English among themselves, which I have observed almost consistently. They become integrated into the American culture quickly, taking at most a generation to do so. They are very family-oriented, happy people who genuinely enjoy life. The Catholic churches in Southern California are filled with them; and young Mexican-Americans are attending on their own, without being forced to do so.

Perhaps I am biased because Mexican food is a favorite of mine; Spanish architecture is my favorite; and the Spanish/Mexican culture has imbued much of California (e.g., its beautiful Missions, stretching as far north as the lovely town of Sonoma in California’s wine country; the old Spanish ranchos that are referenched in the titles to property even today).

Third, the author of the Tea Party article complains that soccer fans at the Rose Bowl were loyal to Mexico, not the United States. I had season tickets to the UCLA football games at the lovely Rose Bowl for about 25 years, until I got tired of watching them lose or play dismal football. The Rose Bowl is a perfect venue for soccer; and the 1994 FIFA World Cup matches were held there, which were very exciting.

Having said that, some friends of mine and I were planning to attend a UCLA-USC basketball game near the LA Coliseum some years ago, and arrived in downtown LA early to have dinner. We allowed plenty of time to get to the game; however, it took us almost an hour to go about a mile or so, because a double-header soccer match involving Mexico was being played at the Coliseum. As it was, we missed the first half of the basketball game because of the traffic jam.

I know the intensity of soccer in Southern California, which is wonderful. However, it is not limited to Mexicans. People from other Hispanic cultures are just as enthusiastic; and having played soccer as a kid, with my son playing it too, I know what a great sport it is. And yes, those Mexicans who were not born here are very loyal to Mexico’s teams. The sports rivalries in soccer equal those in American football, basketball, baseball and other sports; and sports fans are often fanatics.

In short, I concur with the Tea Party article that we must stop illegal immigration in its tracks. I have outlined my views in the article cited above. However, to condemn Mexican-Americans on a wholesale basis—who are becoming a significant part of the American culture—is an enormous mistake. Among other things, they were here before the “gringos,” and they are here to stay, contributing mightily to our great country, just as other immigrants have done before them.

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29 06 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama’s Drawdown Disaster

In another brilliant commentary by Arnaud de Borchgrave, editor at large of The Washington Times and of United Press International—entitled, “Vietnam redux”—he has written:

A phased Afghan withdrawal over the next 3 1/2 years is a recipe for disaster. A date or even year certain, for ending involvement is to concede victory to Taliban.

See http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/de-Borchgrave/2011/06/29/Commentary-Vietnam-redux/UPI-65811309355176/; see also http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303763404576416191709848746.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories (“Al Qaeda Remains Top Threat to U.S.”) and http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/afghanistan/2011-07-04-petraeus-troop-drawdown_n.htm (“Obama’s plan was not among the range of options the military provided to him”)

He adds:

“The U.S. provided better firepower to Afghan resistance fighters opposing the Soviet occupation in the 1980s than it is giving to the Afghan national army today,” [former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan (and Iraq) Zalmay Khalilzad] argues. “The ANA currently lacks adequate air transport, armor and protected mobility.”

. . .

It is increasingly obvious to the Taliban leadership that Obama shaped the troop downsizing to fit the needs of his 2012 re-election campaign, not to the needs of U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus and his commanders in Afghanistan.

The Vietnam War—for the United States—ended almost four decades ago. The last combatant flew home in March 1973. But America’s South Vietnamese allies fought on—with U.S. military assistance voted by Congress. They held their ground with their own air attack and transport support (which ANA doesn’t have).

North Vietnamese commanders, as subsequent memoirs attest, thought they had several more years of fighting before they could hope to take Saigon.

Until, that is, the U.S. Congress, in its infinite wisdom, grew tired of solemn commitments to our former South Vietnamese allies and cut off all military aid. As North Vietnam’s legendary commander Vo Nguyen Giap later admitted, he thought Saigon was still at least two years away from falling to communist forces.

Following the congressional vote, Giap quickly improvised an offensive to take Saigon—suddenly handed to him on a silver platter. Fifty-five days later, communist troops marched into Saigon’s Presidential Palace unopposed.

Similarly, in Afghanistan, when the last U.S. and allied combat troops leave Afghanistan, the U.S.-trained and -funded Afghan army will need major U.S. financial support—already more than the entire budget of the Afghan government. No one is betting that Congress will continue to underwrite an army in which almost 80 percent cannot read or write.

Next to domestic priorities, the need to sustain an ANA against a Taliban that long since jettisoned its former al-Qaida allies will pale into insignificance—especially in Congress.

In fact, there is much evidence that Taliban supremo Mullah Omar had already disowned his alliance with al-Qaida’s Osama bin Laden when Obama was elected president. Yet Obama endorsed the Afghan war because “that’s where al-Qaida is.”

A series of erroneous assumptions fueled a decade-long war that has already cost half a trillion dollars, following $1 trillion strategic blunder in Iraq.

A ranking Iraqi official recently conceded privately to this reporter that today 1) “sad to say but Iran now has more influence in Iraq than the United States and 2) “hard to recognize but Saddam Hussein’s brutal dictatorship was the best defense against the regional ambitions of Iran’s medieval mullahs.”

Pakistan, now in its noisiest anti-U.S. mood following the U.S. Navy SEALs raid that killed bin Laden, which humiliated the Pakistani army, can see an opportunity for restoring the status quo ante. With its original Taliban creation back in the saddle in Kabul, it will restore sufficient clout to make sure the United States and NATO exit from Afghanistan peacefully.

Pakistan will also return to what it perceives to be a more familiar and comfortable defense posture—Afghanistan as its defense in depth to the west in the event of an Indian frontal attack.

Between now and then, Pakistan’s all-powerful Inter-Service Intelligence agency will be back in the driver’s seat facilitating Taliban’s negotiations with the United States for an honorable withdrawal.

Many ignore Vietnam’s lessons as the Cold War ended in a global communist defeat that made the loss of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos seem like minor tactical setbacks. Think again.

The unfolding disaster in Afghanistan, compounded by the calamitous misadventure in Libya, add immediacy to the “Haunting Legacy” of Vietnam—a new must-read book by Marvin and daughter Deborah Kalb on how and why the Vietnam albatross continues to circle the White House.

A truly brilliant article, as only de Borchgrave could have written, because of his vast experience with the Vietnam War and the lessons learned from it, as well as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and the Middle East in general, and the lessons to be learned from that region as well, and the tragedies that may be emerging.

Reason enough to make sure that Obama’s presidency ends no later than January of 2013, when he retreats either to Chicago or Hawaii to lick his political wounds and write his memoirs, and work full time on his presidency library!

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30 06 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

GOP’s Herman Cain: Obama “Not A Strong Black Man”

This is the title of a USA Today article, which is worth reading—as well as the New York Times Magazine interview on which the article is based. It states in pertinent part as follows:

GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain says President Obama is “not a strong black man” in the mold of Martin Luther King Jr.

. . .

“A real black man is not timid about making the right decisions,” Cain [said]. As for Obama, Cain goes on to say “it is documented that his mother was white and his father was from Africa. If he wants to call himself black, fine. If he wants to call himself African American, fine. I’m not going down this color road.”

When pressed if he’s saying that Obama is not really a black man, Cain responds “not in terms of a strong black man that I’m identifying with” and cites the civil rights leader and his father, Luther Cain Jr.

Cain said his dad didn’t have a lot of formal education but had a “Ph.D. in common sense.”

See http://content.usatoday.com/communities/onpolitics/post/2011/06/herman-cain-barack-obama-black-man-/1 and http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/03/magazine/herman-cain-talks-about-herman-cain.html?_r=1; see also http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/61518.html (“Herman Cain: Impeaching Obama would be ‘a great thing'”)

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2 07 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

The Future Still Belongs To America

American flag

This is the title of an important Wall Street Journal article by Professor Walter Russell Mead—subtitled, “This century will throw challenges at everyone[, but the] U.S. is better positioned to adapt than China, Europe or the Arab world”—which states in pertinent part the following:

It is, the pundits keep telling us, a time of American decline, of a post-American world. The 21st century will belong to someone else. Crippled by debt at home, hammered by the aftermath of a financial crisis, bloodied by long wars in the Middle East, the American Atlas can no longer hold up the sky. Like Britain before us, America is headed into an assisted-living facility for retired global powers.

This fashionable chatter could not be more wrong. Sure, America has big problems. Trillions of dollars in national debt and uncounted trillions more in off-the-books liabilities will give anyone pause. Rising powers are also challenging the international order even as our key Cold War allies sink deeper into decline.

But what is unique about the United States is not our problems. Every major country in the world today faces extraordinary challenges—and the 21st century will throw more at us. Yet looking toward the tumultuous century ahead, no country is better positioned to take advantage of the opportunities or manage the dangers than the United States.

Geopolitically, the doomsayers tell us, China will soon challenge American leadership throughout the world. Perhaps. But to focus exclusively on China is to miss how U.S. interests intersect with Asian realities in ways that cement rather than challenge the U.S. position in world affairs.

. . .

In Asia today China is rising—but so is India, another emerging nuclear superpower with a population on course to pass China’s. Vietnam, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia and Australia are all vibrant, growing powers that have no intention of falling under China’s sway. Japan remains a formidable presence. . . . Asia today looks like an emerging multipolar region that no single country, however large and dynamic, can hope to control.

This fits American interests precisely. The U.S. has no interest in controlling Asia or in blocking economic prosperity that will benefit the entire Pacific basin, including our part of it. U.S. policy in Asia is not fighting the tide of China’s inexorable rise. Rather, our interests harmonize with the natural course of events. Life rarely moves smoothly and it is likely that Asia will see great political disturbances. But through it all, it appears that the U.S. will be swimming with, rather than against, the tides of history.

Around the world we have no other real rivals. Even the Europeans have stopped talking about a rising EU superpower. The specter of a clash of civilizations between the West and an Islamic world united behind fanatics . . . is less likely than ever. Russia’s demographic decline and poor economic prospects (not to mention its concerns about Islamic radicalism and a rising China) make it a poor prospect as a rival superpower.

When it comes to the world of ideas, the American agenda will also be the global agenda in the 21st century.

. . .

Fascism, like Franco, is still dead. Communism lingers on life support in Pyongyang[, North Korea,] and a handful of other redoubts but shows no signs of regaining the power it has lost since 1989 and the Soviet collapse. “Islamic” fanaticism failed in Iraq, can only cling to power by torture and repression in Iran, and has been marginalized (so far) in the Arab Spring. Nowhere have the fanatics been able to demonstrate that their approach can protect the dignity and enhance the prosperity of people better than liberal capitalism.

. . .

Closer to home, Hugo Chavez and his Axis of Anklebiters are descending towards farce. The economic success of Chile and Brazil cuts the ground out from under the “Bolivarean” caudillos. They may strut and prance on the stage, appear with Fidel on TV and draw a crowd by attacking the Yanquis, but the dream of uniting South America into a great anticapitalist, anti-U.S. bloc is as dead as Che Guevara.

So the geopolitics are favorable and the ideological climate is warming. But on a still-deeper level this is shaping up to be an even more American century than the last. The global game is moving towards America’s home court.

The great trend of this century is the accelerating and deepening wave of change sweeping through every element of human life.

. . .

This tsunami of change affects every society—and turbulent politics in so many countries make for a turbulent international environment.

. . .

This challenge will not go away. On the contrary: It has increased, and it will go on increasing through the rest of our time. The 19th century was more tumultuous than its predecessor; the 20th was more tumultuous still, and the 21st [century] will be the fastest, most exhilarating and most dangerous ride the world has ever seen.

Everybody is going to feel the stress, but the United States of America is better placed to surf this transformation than any other country. Change is our home field. It is who we are and what we do. Brazil may be the country of the future, but America is its hometown.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/TheFutureStillBelongstoAmerica.pdf (bold emphasis added); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/america-a-rich-tapestry-of-life (“America: A Rich Tapestry Of Life”)

The only thing on the horizon that might dampen the American future that Professor Mead has described is a nation-ending EMP Attack, which might kill all except for 30 million Americans, and end any future that we might envision.

Query whether we are totally and absolutely protected against such an attack, or whether America’s “prince of darkness”—and its consummate narcissistic demagogue, “Hamlet on the Potomac” and “Jimmy Carter-lite”—Barack Obama, is weakening our great nation’s military strength in ways that will dramatically change the course of history?

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/

. . .

In another important article entitled, “World power swings back to America”—and subtitled, “The American phoenix is slowly rising again. Within five years or so, the US will be well on its way to self-sufficiency in fuel and energy. Manufacturing will have closed the labour gap with China in a clutch of key industries. The current account might even be in surplus”—the UK Telegraph‘s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard added:

Telegraph readers already know about the “shale gas revolution” that has turned America into the world’s number one producer of natural gas, ahead of Russia.

Less known is that the technology of hydraulic fracturing—breaking rocks with jets of water—will also bring a quantum leap in shale oil supply, mostly from the Bakken fields in North Dakota, Eagle Ford in Texas, and other reserves across the Mid-West.

“The US was the single largest contributor to global oil supply growth last year, with a net 395,000 barrels per day (b/d),” said Francisco Blanch from Bank of America, comparing the Dakota fields to a new North Sea.

Total US shale output is “set to expand dramatically” as fresh sources come on stream, possibly reaching 5.5m b/d by mid-decade. This is a tenfold rise since 2009.

The US already meets 72pc of its own oil needs, up from around 50pc a decade ago.

“The implications of this shift are very large for geopolitics, energy security, historical military alliances and economic activity. As US reliance on the Middle East continues to drop, Europe is turning more dependent and will likely become more exposed to rent-seeking behaviour from oligopolistic players,” said Mr Blanch.

Meanwhile, the China-US seesaw is about to swing the other way. Offshoring is out, ‘re-inshoring’ is the new fashion.

“Made in America, Again”—a report this month by Boston Consulting Group—said Chinese wage inflation running at 16pc a year for a decade has closed much of the cost gap. China is no longer the “default location” for cheap plants supplying the US.

A “tipping point” is near in computers, electrical equipment, machinery, autos and motor parts, plastics and rubber, fabricated metals, and even furniture.

“A surprising amount of work that rushed to China over the past decade could soon start to come back,” said BCG’s Harold Sirkin.

The gap in “productivity-adjusted wages” will narrow from 22pc of US levels in 2005 to 43pc (61pc for the US South) by 2015. Add in shipping costs, reliability woes, technology piracy, and the advantage shifts back to the US.

The list of “repatriates” is growing. Farouk Systems is bringing back assembly of hair dryers to Texas after counterfeiting problems; ET Water Systems has switched its irrigation products to California; Master Lock is returning to Milwaukee, and NCR is bringing back its ATM output to Georgia. NatLabs is coming home to Florida.

Boston Consulting expects up to 800,000 manufacturing jobs to return to the US by mid-decade, with a multiplier effect creating 3.2m in total. This would take some sting out of the Long Slump.

As Philadelphia Fed chief Sandra Pianalto said last week, US manufacturing is “very competitive” at the current dollar exchange rate. Whether intended or not, the Fed’s zero rates and $2.3 trillion printing blitz have brought matters to an abrupt head for China.

Fed actions confronted Beijing with a Morton’s Fork of ugly choices: revalue the yuan, or hang onto the mercantilist dollar peg and import a US monetary policy that is far too loose for a red-hot economy at the top of the cycle. Either choice erodes China’s wage advantage. The Communist Party chose inflation.

Foreign exchange effects are subtle. They take a long to time play out as old plant slowly runs down, and fresh investment goes elsewhere. Yet you can see the damage to Europe from an over-strong euro in foreign direct investment (FDI) data.

Flows into the EU collapsed by 63p from 2007 to 2010 (UNCTAD data), and fell by 77pc in Italy. Flows into the US rose by 5pc.

Volkswagen is investing $4bn in America, led by its Chattanooga Passat plant. Korea’s Samsung has begun a $20bn US investment blitz. Meanwhile, Intel, GM, and Caterpillar and other US firms are opting to stay at home rather than invest abroad.

Europe has only itself to blame for the current “hollowing out” of its industrial base. It craved its own reserve currency, without understanding how costly this “exorbitant burden” might prove to be.

China and the rising reserve powers have rotated a large chunk of their $10 trillion stash into EMU bonds to reduce their dollar weighting. The result is a euro too strong for half of EMU.

The European Central Bank has since made matters worse (for Italy, Spain, Portugal, and France) by keeping rates above those of the US, UK, and Japan. That has been a deliberate policy choice. It let real M1 deposits in Italy contract at a 7pc annual rate over the summer. May it live with the consequences.

The trade-weighted dollar has been sliding for a decade, falling 37pc since 2001. This roughly replicates the post-Plaza slide in the late 1980s, which was followed—with a lag—by 3pc of GDP shrinkage in the current account deficit. The US had a surplus by 1991.

Charles Dumas and Diana Choyleva from Lombard Street Research argue that this may happen again in their new book “The American Phoenix”.

The switch in advantage to the US is relative. It does not imply a healthy US recovery. The global depression will grind on as much of the Western world tightens fiscal policy and slowly purges debt, and as China deflates its credit bubble.

Yet America retains a pack of trump cards, and not just in sixteen of the world’s top twenty universities.

It is almost the only economic power with a fertility rate above 2.0—and therefore the ability to outgrow debt—in sharp contrast to the demographic decay awaiting Japan, China, Korea, Germany, Italy, and Russia.

Europe’s EMU soap opera has shown why it matters that America is a genuine nation, forged by shared language and the ancestral chords of memory over two centuries, with institutions that ultimately work and a real central bank able to back-stop the system.

The 21st Century may be American after all, just like the last.

See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/8844646/World-power-swings-back-to-America.html (emphasis added)

It is noteworthy that Evans-Pritchard qualifies his predictions by saying that they will occur in “five years or so.” I concur that America has a very bright future ahead; however, this decade will be “dicey,” and it is difficult if not impossible to predict when there will be light at the end of the tunnel—or when the economic tsunami will have run its course and petered out. What we do know is that the Great Depression of the last century did not end until the onset of World War II, at the earliest; and this depression may last just as long.

Lastly, Russia will continue to be a pygmy when compared to the United States—in terms of America’s vibrant democracy, its growth, military power and economic strength, and all other indicia of global power. The same will be true, to a similar degree, with respect to China, although its future is much brighter than that of Russia.

See, e.g., http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2063117/U-S-Army-tests-hypersonic-weapon-travels-times-speed-sound–ANYWHERE-earth-30mins.html (“U.S. Army tests hypersonic weapon that travels five times the speed of sound… and can hit ANY target on earth in 30mins”)

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6 07 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama Asks Texas To Spare Gruesome Murderer The Death Penalty

Pandering to the America’s Hispanic voters, and trying to undermine Texas Governor Rick Perry’s bid for the presidency, Obama has asked for the State of Texas and Perry to spare a Mexican citizen the death penalty for a gruesome 1994 murder because he was not granted consular help. The UK’s Telegraph has reported:

Humberto Leal, 38, a native of Monterrey, Mexico was convicted of the 1994 rape and murder of Adria Sauceda, 16, whose naked body was found with a large stick protruding from her. She had been bitten and her head crushed by a lump of asphalt.

. . .

Even Leal’s lawyers concede that it was “plausible” he was responsible for Miss Sauceda’s death. But they contend that if he had been given consular assistance rather than a state-appointed defence lawyer he would probably have been convicted of manslaughter.

. . .

Polls show that about 65 per cent of Americans favour the death penalty. Mr Perry’s enthusiastic backing for the death penalty would be unlikely to be an issue that could harm him in the Republican primaries. It could, however, became an issue in a general election against Mr Obama, who supports the death penalty but is much more willing to consider exclusions.

See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/8619229/Barack-Obama-asks-for-Texas-and-Rick-Perry-to-spare-Mexican-the-death-penalty.html; see also http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/05/obama-stop-texas-mexican-execution

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9 07 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

The Left Attacks Rupert Murdoch

In a scathing denunciation of News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch—entitled, “Murdoch’s Watergate?”—Newsweek magazine has published an article that represents self-puffery on the part of writer Carl Bernstein. For openers, what he fails to mention is that Newsweek used to be owned by his former employer, the Washington Post; and it is down and almost out, and it is a mere shell of its former self.

See http://www.newsweek.com/2011/07/10/murdoch-s-watergate.html

Bernstein writes about the phone hacking that has taken place at Murdoch’s News of the World in the UK, which Murdoch does not condone any more than Bernstein or any of us do. Based on what we know happened, it is a travesty; and any hacking is an invasion of our privacy, and stringent sanctions must be imposed when it has been found to take place.

However, like so many members of the Left and far-Left, Bernstein’s agenda evidently includes an attempt to bring down Murdoch and his empire, not just deploring the practices that have occurred. Is it a coincidence that Bernstein’s former partner, Bob Woodward, was interviewed by the BBC, and said essentially the same thing? Are the Left’s responses being choreographed, or do they just happen to be the same or similar? The Left senses blood in the water, and is attacking on all fronts.

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-14074015 (“Watergate journalist on ‘Rupergate’ hacking scandal”); see also http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jul/10/observer-editorial-murdoch-phone-hacking (“Murdoch’s malign influence must die with the News of the World”)

Bernstein’s outrageous, bombastic comments are pure hyperbole—and are best summed up in his statement about the Murdoch “empire’s pernicious influence on journalism in the English-speaking world.” Bernstein fancies himself as having brought down Richard Nixon, and now he and others of his ilk are trying to do the same with Murdoch.

What Bernstein does not fathom is that he and others of the Left and far-Left have driven American conservatives, moderates and, yes, some liberals—and Republicans, Independents, members of the Tea Party movement and “disenchanted” Democrats—to embrace Murdoch’s media organizations instead of what the Left has tried to spoon feed us for so many years.

To refer to “the unfair and imbalanced politicized ‘news’ of the Fox News Channel” is utter tripe, but indicative of how Bernstein and his fellow travelers view the “enemy.” Newsweek was sold by Bernstein’s former employer, the Washington Post, for $1; CNN’s ratings have plummeted; MSNBC is in worse shape; liberal talk radio is history; and in all likelihood, the far-Left’s poster boy, Barack Obama, will not be reelected next year.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/

Carl Bernstein and his fellow Leftists have plenty to moan about, and he does:

Too many of us have winked in amusement at the salaciousness without considering the larger corruption of journalism and politics promulgated by Murdoch Culture on both sides of the Atlantic.

And yes too, there are legitimate gripes, apart from the phone hacking scandal. Murdoch has tried to turn the digital portion of his empire into profit centers, not always with much success. For example, MySpace is being given away; and he has closed off the online version of the Times of London to non-subscribers. Query how many people bother to read it anymore, because there is too much news on the Web worldwide that is free.

However, Bernstein and his fellow Leftists are trying to deflect attention away from their own failings—and change the game, and focus on Rupert Murdoch. Instead, they should be concerned about Obama’s forthcoming defeat and the vertiginous plunge of the American Left.

. . .

In an article that is worth reading, conservative political pundit Ann Coulter has written:

[T]he [New York] Times ferociously defended its own use of the hacked [phone conversation in 1996 between then House Speaker Newt Gingrich and House Republican leadership], arguing that it would be unconstitutional to punish the publication of information, no matter how obtained.

So it’s strange to see these defenders of the press’s right to publish absolutely anything get on their high horses about British tabloid reporters, operating under a different culture and legal system, hacking into cell phones.

Not only that, but they are demanding that the CEO of the vast, multinational corporation that owned the tabloids be severely punished.

This is because the CEO is Rupert Murdoch and Murdoch owns Fox News.

The entire mainstream media are fixated on Murdoch’s imagined role in the Fleet Street phone-hacking story . . . solely in order to pursue their petty vendetta against Fox News, which liberals hate with the hot, hot heat of a thousand suns.

. . .

Murdoch is an American who owns television networks, satellite operations and newspapers all over the world. As he said in his testimony this week, News Corp. has 53,000 employees and, until its recent demise, News of the World amounted to a grand total of 1 percent of News Corp.’s operations.

Why wasn’t Les Moonves responsible for CBS anchor Dan Rather trying to throw the 2004 presidential election with phony National Guard documents one month before the election? Moonves was president, CEO and director of CBS, a company with half as many employees as News Corp. And his rogue employee constituted a much bigger part of CBS’ business than News of the World did of the Murdoch empire.

And yet no one asked if Moonves was aware that his network was about to accuse a sitting president of shirking his National Guard duty. Moonves wasn’t dragged before multiple congressional panels. Nor was MSNBC tracking his every bowel movement on live TV. No one remembers the biggest media scandal of the last 30 years as “The Les Moonves Scandal.”

What about all the illegally obtained information regularly printed in the Times? Was Pinch Sulzberger unaware his newspaper was publishing classified government documents illegally obtained by Julian Assange?

Did he know that in 2006 the Times published illegally leaked classified documents concerning a government program following terrorists’ financial transactions; that in 2005 it revealed illegally obtained information about a top-secret government program tracking phone calls connected to numbers found in Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s cell phone; and, that, in 1997, the paper published an illegally obtained phone call between Newt Gingrich and Republican leaders?

. . .

But now the rest of us have to watch while the mainstream media pursue their personal grudge against Rupert Murdoch for allowing Fox News to exist. They demand his head for owning a British tabloid where some reporters used illegally obtained information, something The New York Times does defiantly on a regular basis.

See http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=44996; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1715

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11 07 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Treasury Secretary Geithner Echoes What This Blog Has Been Predicting!

In an article entitled, “Geithner says hard times to continue for many,” the AP has reported:

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner . . . says many Americans will face hard times for a long time to come.

He says President Barack Obama rescued the United States from a second Great Depression and will keep working to strengthen the economy. But Geithner says will be some time before many people feel like the country is recovering.

Geithner tells NBC’s “Meet the Press” that it’s a very tough economy. He says that for a lot of people “it’s going to feel very hard, harder than anything they’ve experienced in their lifetime now, for a long time to come.”

See http://news.yahoo.com/geithner-says-hard-times-continue-many-150523958.html

If anyone seriously believes that “Obama rescued the United States from a second Great Depression,” there is a bridge in Brooklyn that they might wish to buy. Despite the “spin” that Obama, Geithner and others are giving to economic issues, most Americans understand fully what is happening and who is to blame, which is why Obama will not be reelected next year.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1637 (“CNN Poll: Obama Approval Rating Drops As Fears Of Depression Rise”) (see also the article itself, as well as the footnotes and other comments beneath the article)

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11 07 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

More Government Shutdowns Are Coming

The UK’s Economist has an article about the government shutdowns in the State of Minnesota and elsewhere, which is worth reading.

See http://www.economist.com/node/18928883

What is crystal clear is that things will get worse, a whole lot worse, between now and the end of this decade. Indeed, many years from now, economic historians may refer to these times as the “lost decade” or the “Great Depression II,” or by using similar terms.

The closure of federal, State and local government facilities in the United States will become the norm. Included will be parks, more and more of which are closing now; museums and libraries; hospitals and other health care facilities; and schools and other educational facilities.

Courts will be closed, or operate on reduced schedules; and the list of “lights out” governmental entities will grow. Law enforcement will be terminated or “furloughed,” prisoners will be released, and crime will rise. Roads will go unpaved; and there will be a general breakdown and deterioration of America’s infrastructure.

Government at all levels will be affected and have no choice, as tax revenues decline dramatically. Housing prices will fall by at least another 50 percent during the next five years or so, which means that property tax revenues will fall accordingly—unless government taxing entities refuse to reduce property valuations in a last-ditch attempt to maintain declining revenues. There will be “pitched battles,” in the courts and elsewhere, between the taxing authorities and the taxed; and more and more owners will have their properties seized to satisfy unpaid obligations.

Banks and other mortgage lenders are burdened today with staggering amounts of “toxic” and “underwater” loans, which are either on the lenders’ books already or the borrowers are poised to default in the days and months ahead and lose their properties. If the banks’ loan portfolios were “marked to market,” their net worths or capital might be negative now or fall precipitously. This will only get worse; and the bank regulatory agencies will be faced with the dilemma of whether to seize the “walking wounded” or allow them to operate and continue in existence, with their problems mounting each and every day.

In the United States and globally, meaningful and effective government solutions will be non-existent, and public outrage will be enormous and increasing exponentially. As I wrote more than two years ago:

While U.S. politicians and their counterparts in other countries have been trying to convince their electorates that they have the answers, they are simply holding out false hopes that real solutions are at hand; and Americans are apt to realize this as the elections of 2010 and 2012 approach.

. . .

America and other nations are in uncharted waters; and their politicians may face backlashes from disillusioned and angry constituents that are unprecedented in modern times.

See http://www.realclearpolitics.com/news/tms/politics/2009/Apr/08/euphoria_or_the_obama_depression_.html (“Euphoria or the Obama Depression?”)

Last November, Barack Obama and his Democrats suffered staggering electoral defeats in the United States. Next November, the consequences are likely to be even worse. Among other things, Obama might not be reelected; and if so, American economic issues may have proved to be decisive. Similar trends will be occurring in other countries.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-1709 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1637 (“CNN Poll: Obama Approval Rating Drops As Fears Of Depression Rise”) (see also the articles themselves, as well as the footnotes and other comments beneath them) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2021173/Americas-city-broken-dreams-50-jobless-destitute-people-set-forest-community-New-Yorks-doorstep.html#comments (“The Tent City of New Jersey: Desperate victims of the economic slump forced to live in makeshift homes in forest”)

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11 07 2011
mark

murdoch watergate..your posting about carl bernstein
you are as evil as and without morals just as murdoch is….this has nothing to do with being right wing or left wing ….this has everything to do with one man murdoch a power hungry evil man…shame on you to make excuses for him

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11 07 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you for your comments, Mark, which respond to my comments above about Carl Bernstein, the Left and Rupert Murdoch.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1708 (“The Left Attacks Rupert Murdoch”)

First, I have not condoned what has been alleged about the practices at News of the World in the UK. Quite to the contrary, I have written above:

Based on what we know happened, it is a travesty; and any hacking is an invasion of our privacy, and stringent sanctions must be imposed when it has been found to take place.

Second, do you know for a fact that Murdoch condoned any of the phone hacking, much less personally authorized or otherwise participated in it? At most, what has been alleged by the Murdoch haters and detractors is that he permitted a climate to exist at the News of the World whereby it took place and was not stopped in its tracks.

Lots of media organizations go beyond the pale to obtain news in the increasingly-competitive environment in which they operate. This did not begin with the News of the World scandal. Indeed, Carl Bernstein cites at least one example of when he crossed the line during the “Watergate” saga that made him famous:

When Bob Woodward and I came up against difficult ethical questions, such as whether to approach grand jurors for information (which we did, and perhaps shouldn’t have), we sought executive editor Ben Bradlee’s counsel, and he in turn called in the company lawyers, who gave the go-ahead and outlined the legal issues in full. Publisher Katharine Graham was informed. Likewise, Bradlee was aware when I obtained private telephone and credit-card records of one of the Watergate figures.

See http://www.newsweek.com/2011/07/10/murdoch-s-watergate.html

All of them must be held responsible. The practices of none—on the right or left—can be ignored. I am an Independent politically, not a Democrat or a Republican; and both parties and their surrogates, and the media, must be held accountable.

Third, with due respect, it has everything to do with the right and left wings of the political spectrum, at least in the United States. John F. Kennedy and his brother Bobby were two of the most despicable characters in American political history; and they engaged in practices that were criminal at the very least, yet the media looked the other way and lionized both of them.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/john-f-kennedy-the-most-despicable-president-in-american-history/ (see also the footnotes and comments beneath the article)

Bernstein and his partner, Bob Woodward, achieved fame because of Watergate, which brought down Richard Nixon and his presidency. Yet, there is reason to believe that Nixon’s predecessor, Lyndon Johnson, engaged in practices that were equally egregious—wholly apart from his responsibility for the deaths of more than 55,000 Americans in his Vietnam War.

There is a double standard in the media and among the Left. Their “darlings” like JFK, Bobby Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson took actions that resulted in countless deaths, but they were never brought to justice. Conservatives such as Nixon were destroyed. This is what Bernstein is trying to do now with Murdoch: continue the unholy crusade that he began with Watergate.

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12 07 2011
Jeremy

Obama is going to be reelected. Votes for liberals are about entitlements and hatred for Republicans and the perceived rich. Obama will never lose his entitlement base and his policies of redistributing wealth have only angered people who would not support him no matter what he did. Dont forget the fraud and voter intimidation that comes with having a war chest pain for by foreign enemies. The votes will be there for him.

For a country who fails to vet a man to see if he is even eligible to run(he is not natural born citizen), and allows him to hide all his records, produce a forged birth certificate document, in addition to pushing through socialist policies all while the Congress says nothing, tells you what kind of man he is. He is simply a muslim marxist dictator being allowed to destroy this country from within. Its like Rome all over and if you think it is bad now, wait until after he is reelected. Unless he is arrested and impeached before the 2012 election, this country is over as we know it and to think we wont reelect him when there is no noteworthy Republican candidate, is being blind. While I am not a big fan of Sarah Palin, she is the only one who has a chance to beat Obama and that is a very small chance. The others are simply recycled failures.

What is your position on his eligibility to be President Dr. Naegele? Do you think he is a natural born citizen as defined in the Constitution? Do you think he provided a forged document relating to his birth? Why is no one speaking out on this issue other then Corsi and his cohorts?

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12 07 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you for your comments, Jeremy.

I have addressed Obama’s qualifications to be president already.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1567

With respect to your other comments, obviously I feel strongly that he must not be reelected, for all of the reasons that I set forth in the article above, and my comments beneath it. I believe he is “beatable,” especially given the state of the economy, which will not improve—much less enough to help him—between now and next November’s elections.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-1638 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1713 (see also the articles themselves, as well as the footnotes and other comments beneath them)

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13 07 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama, US Viewed Less Favorably In Arab World, Poll Shows

The Boston Globe has reported:

The United States is viewed less favorably in much of the Arab world today than it was during the final year of the Bush administration, and President Obama is less popular in the region than Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, according to a poll released today by the Arab American Institute, a nonpartisan research and advocacy group.

. . .

[T]he current poll is striking in that is illustrates how far Obama’s favorability has fallen in the region, after an initial optimistic spike when he took office.

“It’s because expectations were created that were not met,” [James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute] said.

In 2008, the final year of the Bush administration, only 9 percent of Egyptians had a favorable attitude towards the United States. A year later, after Obama took office, that number jumped to 30 percent. But now it has plummeted to just 5 percent of Egyptians who view the United States favorably.

Similar figures in Morocco, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates show that the United States is viewed less favorably now than the final year of the Bush administration.

In a worrisome sign for US policymakers who would like to enlist the region’s support in isolating the Iranian regime, the poll shows that the policies of Iran are viewed more favorably than the policies of the United States.

In Egypt and Jordan, only 3 percent of people polled said they agreed with Obama’s policies in the region, compared to 31 percent and 20 percent who said they agreed with the Iranian president’s. In Saudi Arabia, only 10 percent agreed with Obama’s policies, compared to 4 percent who said they agreed with the Iranian president.

See http://www.boston.com/Boston/politicalintelligence/2011/07/obama-viewed-less-favorably-arab-world-poll-shows/yIVn6f6PueWbdhZutglhoJ/index.html; see also http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2011/07/13/obama’s-popularity-in-arab-world-now-lower-than-bush’s/ (“Obama’s Popularity in Arab World Now Lower than Bush’s”) and http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0711/Obama_popularity_falls_in_Arab_world.html (“Obama popularity falls in Arab world”)

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24 07 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Will The Euro Crisis Will Give Germany The Empire It Has Always Dreamed Of?

This issue is discussed in an excellent and very sobering article by Peter Oborne, the UK Telegraph’s chief political commentator, which states in pertinent part as follows:

There was one crucial message from yesterday’s shambolic and panicky eurozone summit: today’s predicament contains terrifying parallels with the situation that prevailed 80 years ago [when Wall Street embarked on a second and even more shattering period of decline, by the end of which shares were worth barely 10 per cent of their value at their peak], although the problem lies (at this stage, at least) with the debt rather than the equity markets.

After the catastrophe of 2008, many believed and argued—as others did in 1929—that it was a one-off event, which could readily be put right by the ingenuity of experts. The truth is sadly different. The aftermath of that financial debacle, like the economic downturn after 1929, falls into a special category. Most recessions are part of the normal, healthy functioning of any market economy—a good example is the downturn of the late 1980s. But in rare cases, they are far more sinister, because their underlying cause is a structural imbalance which cannot be solved by conventional means.

Such recessions, which tend to associated with catastrophic financial events, are dangerous because they herald a long period of economic dislocation and collapse. Their consequences stretch deep into the realm of politics and social life. Indeed, the 1929 crash sparked a decade of economic failure around much of the world, helping bring the Weimar Republic to its knees and easing the way for the rise of German fascism.

The faith of leading European politicians and bankers in monetary union, a system of financial government whose origins can be traced back to the set of temporary political circumstances in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, and which was brought to bear without serious economic analysis, is essentially irrational. Indeed, in many ways, the euro bears comparison to the gold standard. Back in 1929, politicians and central bankers assumed that the convertibility of national currencies into gold (defined by the economist John Maynard Keynes as a “barbaric relic”) was a law of nature, like gravity. European politicians have developed the same superstitious attachment to the single currency. They are determined to persist with it, no matter what suffering it causes, or however brutal its economic and social consequences.

There is only one way of sustaining this policy, as the International Monetary Fund argued ahead of yesterday’s summit in Brussels . . . the only conceivable salvation for the eurozone is to impose greater fiscal integration among member states.

. . .

By authorising a huge expansion in the bail-out fund that is propping up the EU’s peripheral members (largely in order to stop the contagion spreading to Italy and Spain), the eurozone has taken the decisive step to becoming a fiscal union. So long as the settlement is accepted by national parliaments, yesterday will come to be seen as the witching hour after which Europe will cease to be, except vestigially, a collection of nation states. It will have one economic government, one currency, one foreign policy. This integration will be so complete that taxpayers in the more prosperous countries will be expected to pay for the welfare systems and pension plans of failing EU states.

This is the final realisation of the dream that animated the founders of the Common Market more than half a century ago—which is one reason why so many prominent Europeans have privately welcomed the eurozone catastrophe, labelling it a “beneficial crisis”. David Cameron and George Osborne have both indicated that they, too, welcome this fundamental change in the nature and purpose of the European project. The markets have rallied strongly, hailing what is being seen as the best chance of a resolution to the gruelling and drawn-out crisis.

It is conceivable that yesterday’s negotiations may indeed save the eurozone—but it is worth pausing to consider the consequences of European fiscal union. First, it will mean the economic destruction of most of the southern European countries. Indeed, this process is already far advanced. Thanks to their membership of the eurozone, peripheral countries such as Greece and Portugal—and to an increasing extent Spain and Italy—are undergoing a process of forcible deindustrialisation. Their economic sovereignty has been obliterated; they face a future as vassal states, their role reduced to the one enjoyed by the European colonies of the 19th and early 20th centuries. They will provide cheap labour, raw materials, agricultural produce and a ready market for the manufactured goods and services provided by the far more productive and efficient northern Europeans. Their political leaders will, like the hapless George Papandreou of Greece, lose all political legitimacy, becoming local representatives of distant powers who are forced to implement economic programmes from elsewhere in return for massive financial subventions.

While these nations relapse into pre-modern economic systems, Germany is busy turning into one of the most dynamic and productive economies in the world. Despite the grumbling, for the Germans, the bail-outs are worth every penny, because they guarantee a cheap outlet for their manufactured goods. Yesterday’s witching hour of the European Union means that Germany has come very close to realising Bismarck’s dream of an economic empire stretching from central Europe to the Eastern Mediterranean.

History has seen many attempts to unify Europe, from the Habsburgs to the Bourbons and Napoleon. This attempt is likely to fail, too. Indeed, a paradox is at work here. The founders of the European Union were driven by a vision of a peaceful new world after a century of war. Yet nothing could have been more calculated to create civil disorder and national resistance than yesterday’s demented move to salvage the single currency.

See http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/peteroborne/100098260/this-crisis-will-give-germany-the-empire-its-always-dreamed-of/ (emphasis added); see also http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/c087c30e-b3be-11e0-855b-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1Smxa2CKN (“Athens’ ability to stay course in doubt”) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/8653579/Europe-steps-up-to-the-plate.html (“Europe’s economic recovery is sputtering out”) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/8656572/Eurozone-debt-crisis-Europes-politicians-will-be-punished-for-a-deal-dripping-with-moral-hazard.html (“At some point the Germans will realise that the package is a thinly-veiled fiscal union which makes the transfers they funnelled into East Germany look like small change, and they will revolt at the ballot boxes”)

. . .

There are those who preach the tenets of creating a global government; and they maintain that the constitution of a new world order is essential to maintain democracy. Also, they contend that the regulation of the economy by a global financial institution can be a solution to the financial crisis that began in 2007, and such an institution would be a first step towards the creation of a global government, of which the European Union is an illustration.

Barack Obama agrees with this; and it is among the many reasons why he must not be reelected next year. Indeed, he will “retreat” either to Chicago or Hawaii no later than January of 2013, to lick his political wounds and write his memoirs, and work full time on his golf scores and his presidential library.

“Global governance” is pure and utter nonsense. Indeed, lots of Americans would gladly get rid of the UN, and ship it to France or elsewhere in Europe, and let the French or other Europeans pay for it. Global governance is “Mary Poppins-esque” and/or “Alice in Wonderland-esque.”

Americans do not want Germany or France participating in the governance of anything relating to the United States, any more than Hitler’s Germany should have done it. This is among the reasons why World War II was fought by the United States. America’s history abhors “meddling” in our affairs, which is exactly what global governance entails, and much much more. A majority of Americans might be willing to give up their lives fighting to insure that this never happens.

France did not win World War II. Americans saved Frenchmen from “enslavement” by the Germans. But for the United States, the French might be speaking German today as their “native” tongue. Indeed, a German-American—Dwight David Eisenhower—destroyed Hitler and his monstrous “Thousand-Year Reich.” France did not do it. France was flat on its pathetic back.

The United States has real enemies in this world today, who want to destroy us (e.g., China’s military, Putin and his Stalinist thugs in Russia, North Korea, Islamic fascists). We cannot rely on France or Europe to defend us—militarily, economically or in any other way. Indeed, France and Germany are perhaps the last countries in the world to preach to the United States about democracy. Americans have given their lives for it. France has only “talked” about it.

Lastly, Americans are not about to trust their survival, the survival and national security of our great country, and our freedoms and democracy to France or Germany, two countries that lost World War II.

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26 07 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama’s Support Crumbles

In an article entitled, “New polls confirm Obama’s Democratic base crumbles,” the ultra-Leftist Los Angeles Times reported:

[W]hile most of the media focuses on Republican [House Speaker John] Boehner and the [Tea Party] pressures on him to raise the debt limit not one Liberty dime, [Vermont's Senator Bernie] Sanders’ mumblings are a useful reminder that hidden in the shadows of this left-handed presidency are militant progressives [aka Liberals] like Sanders who don’t want to cut one Liberty dime of non-Pentagon spending.

. . .

Obviously, David Plouffe and [Obama's other political] strategists have been polling phrases for use in this ongoing debt duel, which is more about 2012 now than 2011. “Balanced approach” is no sweet talk for old Bernie or tea sippers on the other side.

Obama is running for the center already, aiming for the independents who played such a crucial role in his victorious coalition in 2008. They were the first to start abandoning the good ship Obama back in 2009 when all the ex-state senator could do was talk about healthcare, when jobs and the economy were the peoples’ priority.

Democrats lost the New Jersey and Virginia governor’s offices largely as a result of that and Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat in Massachusetts. And then came last November’s midterms when voters chose the approach of that historic pack of House-bound Republicans.

[E]ven without an identified GOP presidential alternative, we’ve had a plethora of recent polls showing Obama’s fading job approval, especially on the economy.

Now, comes a new ABC News/Washington Post poll with a whole harvest of revelations, among them, strong indications that Obama’s liberal base is starting to crumble.

Among the nuggets:

Despite those hundreds of billions of blown stimulus dollars and almost as many upturn promises from Joe Biden, 82% of Americans still say their job market is struggling. Ninety percent rate the economy negatively, including half who give it the worst rating of “poor.”

Are You Better Off Today Than Jan. 20, 2009?

A slim 15% claim to be “getting ahead financially,” half what it was in 2006. Fully 27% say they’re falling behind financially. That’s up 6 points since February.

A significant majority (54%) says they’ve been forced to change their lifestyle significantly as a result of the economic times—and 60% of them are angry, up from 44%.

“More than a third of Americans now believe that President Obama’s policies are hurting the economy, and confidence in his ability to create jobs is sharply eroding among his base,” the Post reports.

Strong support among liberal Democrats for Obama’s jobs record has plummeted 22 points from 53%[,] down below a third. African Americans who believe the president’s measures helped the economy have plunged from 77% to barely half.

Obama’s overall job approval on the economy has slid below 40% for the first time, with 57% disapproving. And strong disapprovers outnumber approvers by better than two-to-one.

See http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2011/07/obama-poll-jobs-democratic-base-crumbling.html (emphasis added); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1637 (“CNN Poll: Obama Approval Rating Drops As Fears Of Depression Rise”)

The ultra-Leftist Washington Post has reported that African-Americans, Liberals and other Americans have been fleeing Obama in droves:

The dissatisfaction is fueled by the fact that many Americans continue to see little relief from the pain of a recession that technically ended two years ago. Ninety percent of those surveyed said the economy is not doing well, and four out of five report that jobs are difficult to find. In interviews, several people said that they feel abandoned by both parties, particularly as debates over the debt ceiling gridlock Washington.

. . .

The poll showed support for Obama’s economic agenda has begun to slip in the past nine months. The percentage of people who said Obama has made the economy worse jumped six points since October to 37 percent. That creates a bigger opening for Republican attacks as the presidential campaign begins to heat up.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/more-americans-unhappy-with-obama-on-economy-jobs/2011/07/25/gIQABJ9sZI_story.html?hpid=z3 (“More Americans unhappy with Obama on economy, jobs”)

Obama’s disapproval ratings are near record highs, according to the highly-respected Rasmussen polling organization. While these disapproval ratings will fluctuate between now and next year’s elections, America’s Independents—who constitute approximately 35 percent of U.S. voters, of which yours truly is one and proudly so for more than 20 years—are deserting Obama en masse, which is among the many reasons why he will not be reelected.

See http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/obama_approval_index_history and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/ (see also the footnotes and comments beneath the article)

What is potentially most exciting for Republicans, Independents, members of the Tea Party movement, and “disenchanted” Democrats—who are united in their opposition to Barack Obama’s reelection—is that if the election were held today, his numbers are “bleak” and he might lose in a landslide.

In an important article and series of political assessments, the National Journal has reported:

President Obama’s job approval rating in the latest national polls has been in the danger zone, ranging from 42 percent (Gallup) to 47 percent (ABC News/Washington Post), with every survey showing him with higher unfavorables than favorables. Needless to say, it’s not a good place for a president to be, especially since his numbers have worsened over the past two months.

The race for president isn’t a national contest. It’s a state-by-state battle to cobble an electoral vote majority. So while the national polls are useful in gauging the president’s popularity, the more instructive numbers are those from the battlegrounds.

Those polls are even more ominous for the president: In every reputable battleground state poll conducted over the past month, Obama’s support is weak. In most of them, he trails Republican front-runner Mitt Romney. For all the talk of a closely fought 2012 election, if Obama can’t turn around his fortunes in states such as Michigan and New Hampshire, next year’s presidential election could end up being a GOP landslide.

. . .

Obama let his frustration show at last Friday’s press conference, looking helpless while talking down the prospects of economic growth without a long-term deal. He may end up being forced to either accept a debt-ceiling package crafted by House Republicans or threaten a veto that could send markets reeling.

See http://nationaljournal.com/columns/against-the-grain/obama-s-battleground-state-blues-20110726 (emphasis added)

Last but by no means least, Obama’s policies toward Putin’s Russia have resulted in an attack against the American Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia, and other threats against the United States.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1748

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28 07 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

46 Percent Of Likely U.S. Voters View Most Members Of Congress As Corrupt, And Obama Is Fading

Bravo! The American people are wiser than our politicians give them credit for being. When this number becomes closer to 100 percent, their collective wisdom will know no bounds!

The highly-respected Rasmussen polling organization has found:

Voters are more convinced than ever that most congressmen are crooks.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 46% of Likely U.S. Voters now view most members of Congress as corrupt. That’s up seven points from June and the highest finding yet recorded. Just 29% think most members are not corrupt, and another 25% are not sure. . . .

Similarly, a whopping 85% of voters think most members of Congress are more interested in helping their own careers than in helping other people. That’s a record high for surveys stretching back to early November 2006. Only seven percent (7%) believe most of the legislators are more interested in helping others.

These findings come at a time when voter approval of the job Congress is doing has fallen to a new low. Just six percent (6%) of voters now rate Congress’ performance as good or excellent. Sixty-one percent (61%) think the national legislators are doing a poor job.

Rasmussen Reports has asked these questions monthly since June 2008 and sporadically before that.

While some believe that people hate Congress in general but love their own representative, just 31% believe their own representative is the best person for the job. Most think it’s at least somewhat likely that their own representative trades votes for cash.

. . .

Most voters don’t care much for the way either party is performing in the federal debt ceiling debate. The majority of voters are worried the final deal will raise taxes too much and won’t cut spending enough. Just 23% of Adults are at least somewhat confident that U.S. policymakers know what they’re doing when it comes to addressing the nation’s current economic problems.

. . .

Voters trust the GOP more on nine of 10 issues regularly tracked by Rasmussen Reports including the economy, taxes, health care and national security.

Republicans lead Democrats again this week on the Generic Congressional Ballot as they have every week since June 2009.

Voters under 50 believe much more strongly than their elders that most members of Congress are corrupt. Union members share that view more than those who are not unionized.

See http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/july_2011/new_high_46_think_most_in_congress_are_corrupt (emphasis added)

Also, Barack Obama’s popularity has been plummeting, which reflects wisdom on the part of the American people too. He is an unmitigated disaster, a raving narcissist and demagogue, America’s “Hamlet on the Potomac” and “Jimmy Carter-lite,” who will not be reelected. He is perhaps the most arrogant, corrupt president of our lifetimes; and this country cannot endure four more years of his presidency or the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate.

See, http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1740 (“Obama’s Support Crumbles”) (see also the article itself, as well as the footnotes and other comments beneath it); see also http://people-press.org/2011/07/28/obama-loses-ground-in-2012-reelection-bid/ (Pew Poll: Obama Blows Huge Lead; Independent Voters Abandon Him) and http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/07/28/african-american-middle-class-eroding-as-unemployment-rate-soars/?test=latestnews (“African-American Middle Class Eroding As Unemployment Rate Soars”—”It’s the Great Depression”) and http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2011/jul/01/vice-president-joe-biden-visits-las-vegas-looking-/ (“A Magellan poll . . . showed 53 percent of Nevadans were unhappy with Obama’s tenure so far”)

. . .

Last but by no means least, Nancy Pelosi—who as the House Speaker was responsible for enacting Barack Obama’s wasteful so-called “Stimulus Package” that drove up this nation’s debt, which is why there is a debt crisis today, and was responsible for enacting ObamaCare too, which is an “Obamination” of the worst magnitude—had the supreme gall to state:

What we’re trying to do is save the world from the Republican budget. We’re trying to save life on this planet as we know it today.

See http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/pelosis-reactionary-liberalism_577709.html

Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Obama are the “poster children” for what is wrong with America today.

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9 08 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama Is Powerless As Larger Forces Bring Down The Country And His Presidency

Obama mopping his brow

There is no question that Barack Obama is America’s “Hamlet on the Potomac” and “Jimmy Carter-lite,” and that he is presiding over the end of his failed presidency, like Carter did before him. While it might still be possible that Obama will not run for reelection—a decision that Lyndon Johnson made before the 1968 elections—Obama’s overarching ego and narcissism may propel him forward to meet his political Waterloo. To be sure, Johnson had a larger-than-life, colossal ego too.

See, e.g., http://www.gallup.com/poll/124922/Presidential-Approval-Center.aspx (compare Gallup’s job approval ratings for Johnson and Obama, as well as Obama with other presidents)

In the Washington Post, Dana Milbank has written:

The most powerful man in the world seems strangely powerless, and irresolute, as larger forces bring down the country and his presidency.

The economy crawls, the credit rating falls, the markets plunge, and a helicopter packed with U.S. special forces goes down in Afghanistan. Two thirds of Americans say the country is on the wrong track (and that was before the market swooned), Obama’s approval rating is 43 percent, and activists on his own side are calling him weak.

. . .

He delivered his statement on the economy beneath a portrait of Abraham Lincoln, but that was as close as he came to forceful leadership. He looked grim and swallowed hard and frequently as he mixed fatalism (“markets will rise and fall”) with vague, patriotic exhortations (“this is the United States of America”).

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-most-powerful-man-on-earth/2011/08/08/gIQA49w72I_print.html

It has been said:

Jimmy Carter may be heading to #2 on the [list of] all-time worst presidents in American history, thanks to “O.”

This is an understatement. Carter was a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, a distinguished Naval officer, the governor of Georgia, and a faith-filled candidate before he assumed the presidency. Obama was a failed community organizer, and a U.S. senator who spent almost his entire term of office campaigning for his next job, the presidency.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ (“Obama does not appear to be religious. . . . Jimmy Carter was a man of God, yet he failed”)

As William McGurn has written in the Wall Street Journal:

[T]he New York Times’s Maureen Dowd recently quoted an unnamed Democratic senator moaning that “we are watching him turn into Jimmy Carter right before our eyes.”

She was not alone.

. . .

Many have noticed this trend. Few appear to appreciate that the record shows an even stronger parallel between Messrs. Obama and Carter. For there was a day—especially after he finished ahead in the 1976 Iowa caucuses—that Mr. Carter was hailed as the intelligent outsider who was going to clean up Washington and forever change American politics.

. . .

[I]t’s not just the way President Obama’s policies have not worked out that invites the Jimmy Carter parallel. It’s also the over-the-top praise each received before entering office. In both 1976 and 2008, each Democrat was presented as the kind of smart, cool, new politico who was going to—fill in the cliché—”transcend politics as we know it,” “appeal across traditional lines,” “bring America together,” etc.

. . . [S]ome of the differences between the two presidents favor Mr. Carter. Faced with raging inflation and a declining dollar, President Carter appointed Paul Volcker chairman of the Federal Reserve. He supported deregulation. Most of all, in contrast to President Obama, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize because he wasn’t George W. Bush, President Carter actually earned his, at least for the Camp David Accords that brought about peace between Israel and Egypt.

. . .

[P]eople who once hailed [Obama] as the reincarnation of Abraham Lincoln are now dismissing him as the second coming of Jimmy Carter.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904140604576496461072142314.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

In an article entitled, “Is Obama Smart?”—and subtitled, “A case study in stupid is as stupid does”—the Wall Street Journal‘s Bret Stephens has written:

“I think I’m a better speech writer than my speech writers,” [Obama] reportedly told an aide in 2008. “I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m . . . a better political director than my political director.”

. . .

Of course, it’s tempting to be immodest when your admirers are so immodest about you. How many times have we heard it said that Mr. Obama is the smartest president ever? Even when he’s criticized, his failures are usually chalked up to his supposed brilliance. Liberals say he’s too cerebral for the Beltway rough-and-tumble; conservatives often seem to think his blunders, foreign and domestic, are all part of a cunning scheme to turn the U.S. into a combination of Finland, Cuba and Saudi Arabia.

I don’t buy it. I just think the president isn’t very bright.

Socrates taught that wisdom begins in the recognition of how little we know. Mr. Obama is perpetually intent on telling us how much he knows. Aristotle wrote that the type of intelligence most needed in politics is prudence, which in turn requires experience. Mr. Obama came to office with no experience. Plutarch warned that flattery “makes itself an obstacle and pestilence to great houses and great affairs.” Today’s White House, more so than any in memory, is stuffed with flatterers.

Much is made of the president’s rhetorical gifts. This is the sort of thing that can be credited only by people who think that a command of English syntax is a mark of great intellectual distinction.

. . .

Then there is Mr. Obama as political tactician. He makes predictions that prove false. He makes promises he cannot honor. He raises expectations he cannot meet. He reneges on commitments made in private. He surrenders positions staked in public. He is absent from issues in which he has a duty to be involved. He is overbearing when he ought to be absent. At the height of the financial panic of 1907, Teddy Roosevelt, who had done much to bring the panic about by inveighing against big business, at least had the good sense to stick to his bear hunt and let J.P. Morgan sort things out. Not so this president, who puts a new twist on an old put-down: Every time he opens his mouth, he subtracts from the sum total of financial capital.

Then there’s his habit of never trimming his sails, much less tacking to the prevailing wind. When Bill Clinton got hammered on health care, he reverted to centrist course and passed welfare reform. When it looked like the Iraq war was going to be lost, George Bush fired Don Rumsfeld and ordered the surge.

Mr. Obama, by contrast, appears to consider himself immune from error. Perhaps this explains why he has now doubled down on Heckuva Job [U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Timothy] Geithner. It also explains his insulting and politically inept habit of suggesting—whether the issue is health care, or Arab-Israeli peace, or change we can believe in at some point in God’s good time—that the fault always lies in the failure of his audiences to listen attentively. It doesn’t. In politics, a failure of communication is always the fault of the communicator.

. . .

[I]t takes actual smarts to understand that glibness and self-belief are not sufficient proof of genuine intelligence. Stupid is as stupid does, said the great philosopher Forrest Gump. The presidency of Barack Obama is a case study in stupid does.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904140604576495932704234052.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

In an article entitled, “Dashed Hopes: How Obama Disappointed the World,” Marc Hujer of Germany’s SPIEGEL opined:

As America’s first black president, Barack Obama electrified an entire nation. But now that the nation is in crisis, he seems unable to connect with the people. He wanted to change America and restore its reputation in the world. But now his opponents are dictating the country’s political course.

. . .

High Hopes

When Barack Obama was elected almost three years ago, the country seemed intoxicated. The world allowed itself to be carried along by this wave of enthusiasm, and by its hopes for a new, more peaceful America.

. . .

Obama’s election was the self-affirmation of a nation that wanted to prove that the American dream was still alive. Not voting for Obama would have been cynical, timid and un-American.

. . .

Last week, both houses of the United States Congress approved a lazy compromise shaped by pre-election political interests. In doing so, they averted the threat of a government default, but only because no one could be sure that it might not lead directly to the collapse of the US and possibly the global financial system. The president was not even one of the main players anymore, and his fellow Democrats had already abandoned demands he had previously described as essential. Gone was the spirit of “Yes, we can.” Now it seemed as if the rating agencies were dictating America’s fate. The country that Obama had set out to lead to new heights now seemed to be immersed in frustration, faintheartedness and mutual finger-pointing.

Approval Ratings Plunge

. . .

Obama’s approval ratings have plunged, with only 40 percent of Americans now saying they are satisfied with his performance. In April 2009, shortly after his inauguration, some 68 percent of Americans were still on Obama’s side.

All that remains of the great hopes Americans and the world had pinned on Obama, inspired by his stirring campaign speeches about change and renewal, is a battlefield of unsatisfactory and contradictory compromises. Obama, who just turned 50 and was once a symbol of youthful change, suddenly seems old and worn out, as gray as his hair has become.

His decline in popularity has also destroyed the hope that Obama could bring new momentum to America and the world. With the debt-ceiling debate, the right-wing Tea Party movement has taken both Congress and Obama’s presidency hostage. It is no longer the president who determines the issues and sets the tone of the debate, but a small, radicalized group of unashamedly amateur politicians who have declared the government to be their enemy. As the Tea Party gains stature, Obama loses credibility.

. . .

The clash with the Tea Party has highlighted Obama’s shortcomings. His opponents have everything he seems to lack. They are loud, confident and uncompromising, sticking to their principles while he repeatedly hesitates and delays. In the US midterm elections, dozens of Tea Party candidates managed to get elected to Congress by capitalizing on the rage of people who Obama had failed to connect with.

Creating an Emotional Vacuum

Obama has ignored this rage. Was it “Obama’s original sin,” as commentator Frank Rich writes in New York Magazine, that he was too restrained and not angry enough? “By failing to address that populist anger, Obama gave his enemies the opening to co-opt it and turn it against him,” Rich writes. In doing so, he left behind an emotional vacuum that enabled the Tea Party to rise to prominence. In turn, the party created a political climate in which reasonable efforts became impossible.

Obamaland has turned into the Land of the Tea Party.

In this country there is no longer any hope of reconciliation and unity, which was once the biggest and most hopeful promise of his candidacy. Obama hasn’t healed the planet either—an admittedly ambitious goal. Nevertheless, many believed him, so much so that in October 2009, after he had been in office only nine months, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

. . .

The first test for Obama came in early December 2009, when it was time to realign Washington’s policy on Afghanistan. For Obama, Afghanistan had always been the “good war,” the war that Bush had neglected because of Iraq. Over the objections of the political realists in his own administration, he decided to increase troop numbers by 30,000 soldiers, in a “surge” that he hoped would bring the Taliban to its knees. There were some successes, but no one can claim that the enemy has been defeated. On the contrary, the country remains unstable and at war. Now the Americans are beginning their withdrawal—and they are not leaving as victors.

In the ensuing months, Obama was forced to acknowledge again and again that the new foreign policy approach was not without its inner contradictions. He remained oddly aloof during the revolution in Iran, for fear of jeopardizing a dialogue with the regime of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which then never materialized.

Part 2: Losing Respect Worldwide

In his much-celebrated Cairo speech, Obama promised a new beginning for the US’s relationship with the Islamic world, a relationship “among equals,” but when push came to shove, nothing much happened. In the Middle East conflict, he allowed himself to be put under so much pressure by the Israeli government, even more so than his predecessor, that a resumption of the peace process became less likely.

Obama has yet to find a convincing response to the revolutions that began with the Arab Spring. In Egypt, where he was long hesitant before eventually supporting the goals of the Arab Spring, the United States is less respected today than during the Bush administration.

It is now clear that Obama is simply not the man to help conflicting parties out of entrenched positions or give new impetus to an alliance. He instinctively leans toward measured, often delayed reactions, leaving his promises of change to fall by the wayside.

. . .

Obama is defined more by others than by himself. Some call him a socialist who is out to destroy America, while others, including some of his fellow Democrats, say that he is in bed with the country’s rich and influential. This criticism shows how great their disappointment is.

. . .

Steering Clear of the ‘Angry Black Man’ Image

. . .

The desire to distance himself from the image of the angry black man also prompted him to part ways with his pastor, Jeremiah Wright. Wright had played an important role for Obama, even giving him the title of his speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention in Boston, “The Audacity of Hope.”

. . .

But then the pastor became a liability. He represented black anger. He preached against the racism which still hasn’t been eradicated in America. Wright is no longer in touch with Obama, but he continues to preach throughout the country, and he likes to focus on the parable of the lost sheep in Luke 15:3-7. Sheep get lost “six feet at a time,” he says, because they can’t see very far. They see a clump of grass six feet away from the flock and move towards it. And then they see something greener still and move another six feet. Six feet by six feet, “they stray from the flock,” he says.

Although Wright no longer mentions Obama by name in his sermons, it is clear to everyone who this sheep that is straying from the path is, this sheep that can only see six feet in front of him—as far as the next compromise. Wright’s sermon can be read as a parable of Obama’s blocked presidency.

. . .

Last Chance

. . .

An economic crisis affects any president, and a downturn is often the reason presidents are voted out of office. But because the great communicator has apparently forgotten how to talk to his voters, the crisis affects him more adversely than other presidents before him. Everything he does now is seen in a critical light, which only reinforces the impression that he doesn’t understand the problems of Americans and that he is weak when it comes to making decisions.

This explains the increasingly vocal criticism of the president from within his own ranks. Democrats are frustrated over the fact that he has been forced to abandon his campaign goals, and that he is losing sight of the promises he made, especially to stimulate job growth. Is what he is doing pragmatism or capitulation? Is he merely trying to stay in power?

See http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,779043,00.html (emphasis in original) (Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan)

SPIEGEL is mistaken. Barack Obama never electrified an entire nation, certainly not the American nation. Only a foreign media outlet such as SPIEGEL, spewing forth its fanciful and totally-distorted views of Americans and U.S. politics, could come to such absurd conclusions. America was never “intoxicated” with Obama either.

The Tea Party is not running the United States today; and Obama, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have attacked their political “enemies” at least as viciously as Richard Nixon was ever accused of doing. With respect to Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize, it was considered a joke by most Americans, and he was ridiculed for having accepted it.

What is happening today is that Republicans, Independents—who constitute approximately 35 percent of American voters, of which yours truly is one—members of the Tea Party movement and “disenchanted” Democrats are uniting to drive Obama from the presidency. He has failed, and it is time for him to go before he does even more damage to our great nation.

In short, Obama is a demagogue and a fraud, like John F. Kennedy was. Also, down deep, he is angry. If one has any doubts about the anger that dwells within him, pick up a copy of his book, “Dreams from My Father,” and read it carefully.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/john-f-kennedy-the-most-despicable-president-in-american-history/ (“John F. Kennedy: The Most Despicable President In American History”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/20/ronald-reagan-and-john-f-kennedy-a-question-of-character/ (“Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy: A Question of Character”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/ (“The Rise Of Independents”)

It is worth repeating what I wrote in the concluding paragraph of the first article that appeared at this blog on December 5, 2009:

In the final analysis, will [Barack Obama] be viewed as a fad and a feckless naïf, and a tragic Shakespearean figure who is forgotten and consigned to the dustheap of history? Will his naïveté have been matched by his overarching narcissism, and will he be considered more starry-eyed and “dangerous” than Jimmy Carter? Will his presidency be considered a sad watershed in history? Or will he succeed and prove his detractors wrong, and be viewed as the “anointed one” and a true political “messiah”? Even Abraham Lincoln was never accorded such accolades, much less during his lifetime. And Barack Obama’s core beliefs are light years away from those of Ronald Reagan.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-1774 (“Stocks, Real Estate Will Collapse And Keep Falling Into 2013″) and http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/business/indexes/rasmussen_consumer_index/rasmussen_consumer_index (“Consumer Confidence Hits Two-Year Low, Approaching Lowest Level of Past Decade”) and http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll (Forty-two percent of American voters Strongly Disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president, giving him a negative Presidential Approval Index rating of -21) and http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-12/u-s-consumer-sentiment-falls-more-than-expected-to-54-9-in-michigan-index.html (“U.S. Consumer Confidence Drops to Three-Decade Low Amid Economic Headwinds”) and http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/obama-i-reversed-recession-until-bad-luck-hit (“Obama: I reversed recession until ‘bad luck’ hit“)

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10 08 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Is Race A Factor In My Comments About Barack Obama and Tiger Woods?

First, as I have said and written:

I believe in this country, and I believe in Americans of all colors, faiths and backgrounds. The United States is the only true melting pot in the world, with its populace representing a United Nations of the world’s peoples. Yes, we fight and we even discriminate, but when times are tough—like after 9/11—we come together as one nation, which makes this country so great and special. Also, all of us or our ancestors came here from somewhere else. Even the American Indians are descended from those who crossed the Bering Strait—or the “Bering land bridge”—according to anthropologists.

See http://www.philstockworld.com/2009/10/11/greenspan’s-legacy-more-suffering-to-come/ (Interview with Timothy D. Naegele: “Greenspan’s legacy: more suffering to come”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/america-a-rich-tapestry-of-life/ (“America: A Rich Tapestry Of Life”); see also http://seekingalpha.com/instablog/2951-ilene/31177-interview-with-timothy-d-naegele

Second, race is still an issue in our society, and discrimination exists; and neither Woods nor Obama have changed that fact. One would be very naïve to think otherwise. However, both Woods and Obama have taken giant steps to tear down the color barriers that had existed, just as others before them had done.

Third, if anyone thinks that African-Americans who voted for Obama overwhelmingly in 2008 will not be upset—and, indeed, angry—if he is not reelected, such a person is naïve and knows essentially nothing about race relations and national politics in the United States today.

Fourth, many African-American women are very sensitive about African-American men who do not date and/or marry African-American women. This is a fact. Because Woods seems never to have dated an African-American woman, African-American women are not likely to defend him or come to his aid if the scandals swirling about him intensify even more.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/17/is-redemption-possible-for-tiger-woods/ (see also the footnotes and comments beneath the article)

This is not present in the case of Barack Obama. Indeed, there is every reason to believe that he is happily married to his wife, Michelle, who is a very strong-willed and talented African-American woman.

Fifth, my favorite golfer for many years has been Vijay Singh, who is at least as “black” as Woods in terms of skin color. My only regret is that Singh has not beaten Woods in their every encounter. if anyone has followed Singh around at tournaments and/or talked with those who know him well, they will realize that he is personable and well-liked, and not arrogant, aloof and unbearingly narcissistic like Woods. Also, the scandals that have surrounded and hounded Woods (e.g., prostitutes, bimbos)—and have brought shame to him, and hurt the young kids who revered him as a hero—have not blemished Singh.

Sixth, I have very definite and deep-seated substantive, philosophical and political differences with Obama, which I have not been timid or defensive in writing about. I never realized the depth of these differences until I read and analyzed his book, “Dreams from My Father” twice after he was elected in 2008. These differences have become greater, much greater, as his presidency has unfolded.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ (“Is Barack Obama A Racist?”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/ (“Barack Obama Is A Lame-Duck President Who Will Not Be Reelected”) (see also the footnotes and all of the comments beneath both articles)

Seventh, some people have suggested that the level of hatred towards Woods would be much less if we did not have a president who is half African-American, and a country with serious economic problems. However, the linkage between Woods and Obama is almost nonexistent. Among other things, Woods’ “accident” in Florida that triggered his “bimbo eruption” and subsequent divorce occurred in late November of 2009, when Obama was still very popular. Indeed, essentially all of the facts about Woods’ prostitutes and bimbos came out while Obama remained popular.

Lastly, I am very proud of the federal housing laws that I authored on behalf of Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). They included the “Brooke Amendment” relating to public housing; and the national “Housing Allowance” program, which morphed into the Section 8 housing program that has helped millions of African-Americans and others.

Brooke was the first African-American to serve in the U.S. Senate following Reconstruction at the end of the American Civil War; Barack Obama was the third. As a young attorney, I staffed Senator Brooke on the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the United States Senate; and I served as chief of staff to the senator during his re-election campaign of 1972.

Also, on behalf of Senator Brooke, I established a summer program for disadvantaged kids in Massachusetts, in conjunction with the Pentagon, which involved underutilized military facilities within the State (e.g., the Boston Navy Yard, Otis Air Force Base) and served approximately 100,000 kids during its first year alone.

See http://www.naegele.com/naegele_resume.html

On most issues, I was politically in tune with Senator Brooke; I am not with Barack Obama at all.

See also http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2011-08-17-race-poll-inside_n.htm (“Poll respondents chart racial progress since MLK”)

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14 08 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Will China Go To War To Protect Its Core Interests In The South China Sea?

The Wall Street Journal has reported that smaller Asian nations such as Vietnam were already wary of China’s growing military prowess, but the launch of its first carrier is yet another message about its increasing strength.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/USShowsoffCarrierAmidTensions.pdf; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/ (“China Is America’s Enemy: Make No Mistake About That”)

The Journal’s article added:

China claims nearly all of the South China Sea, which the U.S. has said it has a national interest in making sure freedom of navigation continues in an area home to vital shipping lanes.

Vietnam, the Philippines and several other Asian nations also stake claims to all or part of areas of the sea, which is believed to be potentially rich in resources. Both countries have looked to the U.S. following recent rows with China over their oil-exploration activities. Beijing denies it has interfered, but Hanoi and Manila have accused the communist giant of overstepping its bounds.

Hanoi has reacted sharply, holding live-fire drills in the South China Sea and allowing rare protests to be held for more than two months. The tightly controlled communist government typically stamps out any demonstrations quickly, but on Sunday some 200 people again marched around Hanoi’s central Hoan Kiem Lake chanting “Down with China!”

. . .

Last month, top Chinese Gen. Chen Bingde publicly scolded Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, during his visit to Beijing, saying the U.S. decision to hold joint maritime exercises with the Philippines and Vietnam was bad timing and could have been rescheduled, given the current rifts.

Adm. Mullen defended the exchanges, saying they were pre-planned.

“I consider this visit good timing. There is never bad timing,” [Capt. David A. Lausman, commanding officer of the USS George Washington] said of Saturday’s [visit by the American nuclear carrier and its aircraft carrier battle group off Vietnam's southern coast]. “We are operating in international waters together as friends. There’s never a bad time for friends to get together and meet.”

Three U.S. Navy ships paid a port call to the central Vietnamese city of Danang last month for joint exchanges, including search-and-rescue operations. The Vietnam War ended in 1975, but the former enemies have worked to strengthen military ties since relations were normalized in 1995.

The Philippines, a U.S. ally, has also recently sparred with China, also alleging interference with its energy exploration efforts in the South China Sea. The U.S. conducted naval exercises there in June, including live-fire drills.

The USS George Washington is essentially a floating city that can house some 5,000 sailors and pilots, as well as 70 aircraft, and is equipped with its own hospital. Based in Japan, it is one of the world’s largest warships and can haul about four million pounds (1.8 million kilograms) of bombs.

Pilots blasted off from the flight deck during the weekend visit, soaring over the South China Sea as the Vietnamese and U.S. Embassy visitors angled their cameras for souvenir photos of the powerful display.

“It took us a hundred years to get right here,” Capt. Lausman said of the navy’s century of building aircraft carriers. “And we have 11 of these throughout the world right now, not just one.”

Steps are being taken by Barack Obama to weaken America’s military might, which must be twarted in their entirety. Indeed, Obama must not be reelected; his presidency must end as soon as humanly possible; and he must be sent packing either to Chicago or Hawaii no later than January of 2013, to lick his political wounds and write his memoirs, and work full time on his presidential library. It cannot happen fast enough for the good of the United States, and our national security interests and well being.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1680 (“Obama’s Drawdown Disaster”) (see also the article itself, as well as the footnotes and other comments beneath it)

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16 08 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

OBAMA SINKS TO NEW LOWS

Squatters' shack in California during the Great Depresssion

Squatters’ shack in California during the Great Depression

Tent city in California during Obama’s “Great Depression II”

Bread lines during the Great Depression

Bread lines during the Great Depression

Thousands camp out for job fair in Atlanta as jobless rate rises

Thousands camp out for job fair in Atlanta as jobless rate rises during Obama’s “Great Depression II”

The highly-respected Rasmussen polling organization has reported:

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that 19% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty-two percent (42%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -23.

At 19%, the number who Strongly Approve matches the lowest total yet recorded for this president. It has fallen that low only once before, on April 11 of this year. While 45% of Democrats Strongly Approve, just 4% of Republicans and 8% of unaffiliated voters share that enthusiasm.

See http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll; see also http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/black-caucus-tired-making-excuses-obama (“Black caucus: Tired of making excuses for Obama”); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1778 (“Obama Is Powerless As Larger Forces Bring Down The Country And His Presidency”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/ (“The Economic Tsunami Continues Its Relentless And Unforgiving Advance Globally”) (see also the footnotes and all of the comments beneath the article)

In an article entitled, “New Low of 26% Approve of Obama on the Economy,” Gallup has reached similar conclusions:

A new low of 26% of Americans approve of President Barack Obama’s handling of the economy, down 11 percentage points since Gallup last measured it in mid-May and well below his previous low of 35% in November 2010.

Obama earns similarly low approval for his handling of the federal budget deficit (24%) and creating jobs (29%).

. . .

Approval on Afghanistan Sinks 15 Points

Americans’ approval of Obama on Afghanistan is down 15 points since mid-May, the most of any issue Gallup tracked during this period, though the resulting 38% approval rating is not the lowest he’s seen on this issue.

. . .

Obama also suffered a nine-point decline in his foreign affairs rating, to 42% from 51% in May. His current rating is a new low, but is not much lower than his prior low 44% and 45% foreign policy approval ratings in the second half of 2010; however, it is down nine points compared with the start of 2010.

. . .

Democrats Alone Back Obama’s Performance on the Issues

Obama earns scant support on the issues among Republicans, and does not do much better among independents. In contrast to Democrats’ majority approval of Obama on all seven issues tested, fewer than half of independents approve of the president’s handling of any of these.

Bottom Line

President Obama’s approval rating has dwindled in recent weeks to the point that it is barely hugging the 40% line. Three months earlier, it approached or exceeded 50%. History will remember this period for the messy political debate in Washington over the debt ceiling, followed by distress on Wall Street and tragedy in Afghanistan. How much each of these factors is responsible for the overall decline in Obama’s approval rating is unclear. But Americans’ unhappiness with each of them is reflected in recent declines in Obama’s specific job ratings for the economy, the federal budget deficit, and various foreign policy measures, as well as in his markedly low rating for creating jobs.

See http://www.gallup.com/poll/149042/New-Low-Approve-Obama-Economy.aspx?utm_source=alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=syndication&utm_content=morelink&utm_term=All%20Gallup%20Headlines%20-%20Politics (see a series of charts that accompany the article); see also http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2027013/Child-poverty-1-5-American-children-living-poverty.html (POVERTY SOARS UNDER OBAMA: “One in five American children now living in poverty according to new report”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1806 (“Obama’s Design For The Economy Was A Near-$1 Trillion Stimulus That Left Not A Trace“) and http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/aug/18/new-dhs-rules-cancel-deportations/ (OBAMA CANCELS DEPORTATIONS OF ILLEGALS) and http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_AIR_FORCE_BIRTHER?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-08-17-20-45-19 (“Air Force discharging sergeant who doubts Obama”—which is presumably true of most members of the American military) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2027541/Michelle-Obama-takes-separate-government-jet-hours-extra-vacation-time-Marthas-Vineyard-President-arrives-uses-TWO-helicopters-Air-Force-One-500-mile-journey.html (“Michelle and Barack take his-and-hers jets for separate 500 mile hops to Martha’s Vineyard vacation—just hours apart“) and http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-18/putin-slams-u-s-parasite-after-1-600-jump-in-russia-holdings.html (Obama’s Friend Putin Of Russia Calls U.S. “Parasite”) (see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/ (“Russia’s Putin Is A Killer”)) and http://www.realclearpolitics.com/news/tms/politics/2009/Apr/08/euphoria_or_the_obama_depression_.html (“Euphoria or the Obama Depression?“)

Obama plays golf on Martha's Vineyard-August 2011

While America sinks farther, Obama plays golf and vacations on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, late-August of 2011

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19 08 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama’s Design For The Economy Was A Near-$1 Trillion Stimulus That Left Not A Trace

The Washington Post‘s Charles Krauthammer has a column entitled “Bad luck? Bad faith?” that is worth reading. It states in pertinent part:

We had reversed the recession, avoided a depression, got the economy moving again. . . . But over the last six months, we’ve had a run of bad luck.

— President Obama, Decorah, Iowa, Aug. 15

A troubled nation wonders: How did we get mired in 9.1 percent unemployment, 0.9 percent growth and an economic outlook so bad that the Federal Reserve pledges to keep interest rates at zero through mid-2013—an admission that it sees little hope on the horizon?

. . .

Obama’s design for the economy was a near-$1 trillion stimulus that left not a trace, the heavy hand of Obamacare and a flurry of regulatory zeal that seeks to stifle everything from domestic energy production to Boeing’s manufacturing expansion into South Carolina.

He sowed, he reaps.

In Obama’s recounting, however, luck is only half the story. His economic recovery was ruined not just by acts of God and (foreign) men, but by Americans who care nothing for their country. These people, who inhabit Congress (guess which party?), refuse to set aside “politics” for the good of the nation. They serve special interests and lobbyists, care only about the next election, place party ahead of country. Indeed, they “would rather see their opponents lose than see America win.” The blaggards!

For weeks, these calumnies have been Obama staples. Calumnies, because they . . . deny the legitimacy to those on the other side of the great national debate about the size and scope and reach of government.

. . .

Conservatives resist Obama’s social-democratic, avowedly transformational agenda not just on principle but on empirical grounds, as well—the economic and moral unraveling of Europe’s social-democratic experiment, on display today from Athens to the streets of London.

. . .

This from a man who has cagily refused to propose a single structural reform to entitlements in his three years in office. A man who ordered that the Afghan surge be unwound by September 2012, a date that makes no military sense (it occurs during the fighting season), a date not recommended by his commanders, a date whose sole purpose is to give Obama political relief on the eve of the 2012 election. And Obama dares accuse others of placing politics above country?

. . .

A comforting fantasy. But a sorry excuse for a failing economy and a flailing presidency.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/bad-luck-bad-faith/2011/08/18/gIQAD2IWOJ_story.html (emphasis in original)

Barack Obama is a complete failure as America’s president; and he must be denied a second term in office, if not impeached and driven from the presidency.

See also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1801 (“Obama Sinks To New Lows”)

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19 08 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Why Aren’t Homes Selling?

The answer is at least six-fold:

(1) They are bad investments;

(2) It is cheaper to rent than own;

(3) Housing prices will fall at least another 50 percent in the next five years or so, and cash will be king when the “bottom” is reached finally;

(4) Americans are sick and tired of being defrauded by homebuilders and realtors who have been pushing the value of homeownership, when in fact it is not true;

(5) The worst is yet to come, and Americans instinctively know this; and

(6) Banks and other mortgage lenders have “toxic” loans galore, which would only increase dramatically if non-performing or under-performing loans were marked-to-market, causing bank capital to fall even more.

These are also among the many reasons why Barack Obama will not be reelected. The chickens are coming home to roost; and lots more Americans will lose their homes and suffer greatly, which will be true of those abroad as well.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/ (“The Economic Tsunami Continues Its Relentless And Unforgiving Advance Globally”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/ (“Barack Obama Is A Lame-Duck President Who Will Not Be Reelected”) (see also the footnotes and comments beneath both articles)

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19 08 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Will Barack Obama Be A One-Term President By His Own Choosing, Instead Of Being Driven From The Presidency?

This has been suggested in a Wall Street Journal article by Peggy Noonan—entitled, “The President’s Island Retreat”—and it has been mentioned before by Barack Obama himself.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/ThePresidentsIslandRetreat.pdf and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1647

Noonan opines:

The phrase of the day is “new lows.” It blares from every screen. The number of Americans satisfied with the ways things are going hits new lows—11%. President Obama’s popularity: new lows. The Dow Jones Industrial Average this year: new lows.

. . .

How could he not be depressed? He has made big mistakes since the beginning of his presidency and has been pounded since the beginning of his presidency. He’s got to be full of doubts at this point about what to do. His baseline political assumptions have proved incorrect, his calculations have turned out to be erroneous, his big decisions have turned to dust. He thought they’d love him for health care, that it was a down payment on greatness. But the left sees it as a sellout, the center as a vaguely threatening mess, the right as a rallying cry. He thought the stimulus would turn the economy around. It didn’t. He thought there would be a natural bounce-back a year ago, with “Recovery Summer.” There wasn’t. He thought a toe-to-toe, eyeball-to-eyeball struggle over the debt ceiling would enhance his reputation. The public would see through to the dark heart of Republican hackery and come to recognize the higher wisdom of his approach. That didn’t happen either.

Nothing worked! And nothing’s going to work. He’s the smartest guy in the room, but he’s got the reverse Midas touch. Everything he touches turns to—well, unsatisfying outcomes.

. . .

On the stump this week in the Midwest, he should have been on fire with the joy of combat, he should have had them whooping and hollering with fresh material and funny lines. But even at his feistiest, he was wilted. Distracted. Sometimes he seems to be observing himself and his interactions as opposed to being himself and having interactions. His audiences wanted to show support, it was clear, that’s why they came. But there was something tentative in their response, as if they wanted to come through for the applause line but couldn’t figure out exactly where the applause line was.

. . .

Mr. Obama shouldn’t be faulted for wanting to rest, relax and spend whole days with his family. But the timing of this vacation is incongruent, and so is the location.

On the timing, there’s an air of economic crisis hanging over everything, a sense that other shoes may drop. Actually it’s a sense of something impending, with unemployment high, Europe broke and the Mideast reaching full boil. A politician who wanted to impart a sense of leadership in crisis, who passionately wanted to keep the presidency, and who was prudently anxious about his prospects just might let such a moment change his plans.

As for the location, the president loves Martha’s Vineyard, and there’s a lot to love—beautiful beaches, hills, biking. But it’s a little island whose summertime population is dominated by those who, due to their affluence, are essentially detached from everyday life in America. It’s a playground of the liberal rich: hedge-fund maestros, network producers, Wall Street heavyweights, left-leaning activists. It’s the kind of place that reverberates in the national imagination—that tags you as elitist. . . . If you’re a liberal president, you probably shouldn’t be on vacation at a place known for snooty liberal insularity.

. . .

In early 2010 this space made much of the president’s pre-State of the Union interview with Diane Sawyer, in which she pressed the president about his political predicaments. He said: “I’d rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president.” I thought at the time: He means it, he can accept being a one-termer.

Maybe he’s feeling it now more than ever.

Maybe it means not much will change in terms of his leadership between now and the election.

Maybe he’ll be as wilted next year as he was this week.

It is useful once again to repeat and reflect on what I wrote in December of 2009, at the end of the first year of Obama’s presidency:

In the final analysis, will he be viewed as a fad and a feckless naïf, and a tragic Shakespearean figure who is forgotten and consigned to the dustheap of history? Will his naïveté have been matched by his overarching narcissism, and will he be considered more starry-eyed and “dangerous” than Jimmy Carter? Will his presidency be considered a sad watershed in history? Or will he succeed and prove his detractors wrong, and be viewed as the “anointed one” and a true political “messiah”? Even Abraham Lincoln was never accorded such accolades, much less during his lifetime. And Barack Obama’s core beliefs are light years away from those of Ronald Reagan.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1801 (“Obama Sinks To New Lows”)

The chickens are coming home to roost.

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23 08 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama Skids To New Lows

The latest polling has shown that Barack Obama’s approval ratings reached the lowest levels ever.

For example, the highly-respected Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll shows that only 19 percent of American voters Strongly Approve of the way that Obama is performing his role as president. Forty-five percent Strongly Disapprove, giving him a negative Presidential Approval Index rating of -26.

See http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll

Gallup polling has shown that Obama’s job approval rating has fallen as well, with 38 percent of Americans approving of the job Obama is doing as president, while 54 percent disapprove.

See http://www.gallup.com/poll/113980/Gallup-Daily-Obama-Job-Approval.aspx

While polling results will fluctuate between now and next year’s elections, Obama is “history” in all likelihood. The American economy will get worse, not better, and it will doom his presidency.

See also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1801 (“OBAMA SINKS TO NEW LOWS”) and http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_NEW_HOME_SALES?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-08-23-10-14-07 (“If the current pace continues, 2011 would be the worst year for new-home sales in nearly half a century“) and http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/one-four-democrats-wants-dump-obama (“One in four Democrats wants to dump Obama”)

YET . . .

Obama golfing on Martha's Vineyard

. . . NOTHING IS ALLOWED TO DISTURB OBAMA’S SUMMER VACATION AND GOLF GAME ON THE ELITIST ISLAND OF MARTHA’S VINEYARD!

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23 08 2011
Mary

Having also captured this news today, I find myself shaking my head in wonder at how bad our nation will yet become with him as our President. He has to be concerned about his numbers, all Presidents are; and of course he knows if the election were held today, he would be defeated. But as you say, polls fluctuate. He has a huge climb though to persuade the American people to believe he is still the “Messiah” or the “anointed one”. (I wonder how the hope and change mantra is going)

Now, with the earthquake rattling his surroundings, you can bet the “elite” are wondering what will happen next.

Let’s hope this is his last vacation to the “Vineyard” on our dime. Oh wait, he still could do it again next year. And on it goes without a plan for the un- or under-employed and no comment on the sale of homes in July, the worst in ages. Guess he might as well go for another bike ride after the round of golf.

We will have much to do to get our country back, but make no mistake about it, we will do so.

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1 09 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama Is A Total Fool, Buffoon, And A Feckless Naïf, Who Should Resign Immediately

Once again, Barack Obama has demonstrated his utter incompetency. As a Time magazine article—entitled, “Even as He Prepares for Fall Offensive, Obama Retreats on Jobs Speech—states accurately:

Barack Obama had three weeks to plan his first move of the fall political season. When he announced it, that move appeared to be an aggressive one. And then it blew up in his face.

Midday on Wednesday, his aides announced that the president intended to give a joint address to Congress about the economy at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 7, the same day and time that his Republican rivals planned to meet in California for a nationally televised debate [at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library].

. . .

Officially, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the Republican presidential debate did not factor in the decision. “It is coincidental,” he said. But at this level of presidential communications, coincidences don’t happen. Calculations are made. Costs and benefits are projected. And decisions are rendered.

So it is all the more striking that just hours after the White House announced its timing plans, Obama backed down.

Speaker John Boehner had raised objections to having the speech on Wednesday, which would force the Congress to convene several hours earlier than had been planned. Boehner suggested Thursday, when the National Football League had scheduled its season opener, one of the highest rated televised events of the year, at 8:30 p.m.

. . .

At another point in Obama’s presidency, such a minor skirmish would not have mattered all that much. But this is, in fact, a key point in Obama’s presidency. . . . [T]he Obama White House is preparing a major shift in tone and substance in the hopes of reasserting Obama’s leadership abilities heading into the next election. Recent months, of course, have not been kind to Obama’s polls. . . .

As part of this strategy, on Wednesday morning Obama held an event in the Rose Garden talking tough to Republicans about the consequences that will befall them if they insist on having their way in an ongoing dispute over highway funding. After night fell, he was demonstrating his willingness to back down if Republicans bit back.

The problem this raises for Obama is real and immediate. He faces a perception problem, not just with Congress but with a growing share of the American people. . . .

On Wednesday night, White House aides made clear that they do not expect the president’s speech to cut into the first game of the season between the Green Bay Packers and the New Orleans Saints. The NFL pre-game show was set to begin on NBC and the NFL Network at 7:30 p.m., with game-time programming beginning at 8:30 p.m. In 2010, the pre-game show on NBC garnered 15 million viewers, and the game attracted more than 22 million. It is hard to see how Thursday is anything but a worse time spot for the President. Even if he is able to still start speaking at 8 p.m., when more people are around the television, the talk the following morning for much of his target audience will be about football, not politics.

And so the President’s team must now look for another opportunity to demonstrate its willingness to go on offense. As it happened Wednesday, the bungled scheduling undercut their central message.

See http://swampland.time.com/2011/09/01/even-as-he-prepares-for-fall-offensive-obama-retreats-on-jobs-speech/ (emphasis added)

Russia’s dictator-for-life Putin has made a fool out of Obama, and he has bowed to the Chinese and almost everyone else on the planet; and now he has made a total fool of himself and proven once again why he needs to be relieved of the presidency ASAP before he does even greater damage to this great nation!

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1814 (“Obama Skids To New Lows”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1748 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1396 (see also the articles themselves, as well as the footnotes and other comments beneath them)

. . .

Perhaps one female commenter from Boston said it best, and captured the feelings of so many Americans:

obama and the democrats get more and more desperate with each passing day. they know now the election is already lost, this bozo will be a one-term president. i for one am enjoying watching the emperor and his minions finally figure out what everyone else already knows, he’s not wearing any clothes. he has to be the worst president this country has ever had.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2032335/Obama-set-announce-jobs-plan-week–time-GOP-debate.html; see also http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-ratings-sink-to-new-lows-as-hope-fades/2011/09/05/gIQAIytZ5J_story.html?hpid=z1 (“Obama ratings sink to new lows as hope fades”) and http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44401295/ns/politics/ (“Obama hits all-time lows, according to NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll”) and http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-poll-economy-20110906,0,7074574.story (US on wrong track say 75 percent—of Californians!) and http://www.sacbee.com/2011/09/14/3908483/field-poll-californians-sour-on.html#ixzz1XvyUxbmk (“Field Poll: Californians sour on Obama”) and http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-16/clinton-popularity-prompts-some-remorse-poll.html (“Clinton Popularity Prompts Buyer’s Remorse”)

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1 09 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

The Lessons of Baghdad: Obama And NATO Snookered By Al Qaeda And China In Libya?

Gadhafi and Obama, birds of a feather

In a Wall Street Journal article entitled, “From Baghdad to Tripoli”—and subtitled, “In stark contrast to the challenges faced by Iraq, fair winds attend the Libyan venture”—Fouad Ajami has written:

The spectacles of joy in Tripoli today recall the delirious scenes in Baghdad’s Firdos Square in 2003—the statues pulled down, the palaces of faux grandeur and kitsch ransacked by people awakening to their own sense of violation and power, the man at the helm who had been full of might and bravado making a run for it, exposed as a paranoid and pretender, living in fear of his day of reckoning.

In neither case had the people of these two tormented societies secured their liberty on their own. In Baghdad, the Baathist reign of terror would have lasted indefinitely had George W. Bush not pushed it into its grave. There had been no sign of organized resistance in that terrified land, not since the end of the 1991 Gulf War and the slaughter that quelled the Shiite uprising.

Libya offered its own mix of native resistance and foreign help.

. . .

But it was Egypt, the big country on Libya’s eastern frontier, that shook the Libyan tyranny. In February, after a popular insurrection that held the Arab world enthralled, Hosni Mubarak bent to his people’s will and relinquished power. Six days later a spark caught fire in Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city. A reluctant American president was pulled into the fight. Gadhafi’s fate was sealed—NATO would function as the air force of the rebellion.

. . .

But Libya is not the historical knot that Iraq was, and for all the surface similarities, Gadhafi was never the menace that Saddam had been. In stark contrast to the challenges faced by Iraq, fair winds attend this Libyan venture.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/FouadAjami-FromBaghdadtoTripoli.pdf

This rosy assessment for Libya stands in sharp contrast with the sobering views of Arnaud de Borchgrave—the distinguished editor-at-large of The Washington Times and of United Press International.

Indeed, de Borchgrave has written:

After 42 years in power in Libya, Moammar Gadhafi’s regime is history but unmentioned during NATO’s five-month bombing campaign is that the victorious rebel regime of Benghazi is heavily infiltrated by Islamist extremists.

See http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/de-Borchgrave/2011/08/22/Commentary-New-world-disorder/UPI-22821314015006/

Even more disturbing are the following facts about Libya, which de Borchgrave has described in great detail in an article—entitled, “Global con?”—which is essential reading:

Were the United States, France, Britain, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Qatar and the United Arad Emirates—the NATO-led coalition that set out to overthrow Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s regime—snookered by al-Qaida? A preposterous scenario with some disturbing factual elements.

. . .

“[T]he story of how an al-Qaida asset turned out to be the top Libyan military commander in still war-torn Tripoli is bound to shatter—once again—that wilderness of mirrors that is the ‘war on terror,’ as well as deeply compromising the carefully constructed propaganda of NATO’s ‘humanitarian’ intervention in Libya.”

His name . . . is Abdelhakim Belhaj. Few in the West and across the world have ever heard of him. Gadhafi’s fortress of Bab-al-Aziziyah, originally his army headquarters when he seized power in 1969, was “essentially invaded and conquered 10 days ago by Belhaj’s men—who were “at the forefront of a militia of Berbers from the mountains southwest of Tripoli.”

The militia, this account says, is the so-called Tripoli Brigade, . . . [which] turned out to be the rebels’ most effective militia in six months of tribal/civil war.

Abdelhakim Belhaj, also known as Abu Abdullah al-Sadek, is a Libyan jihadi . . . [who] honed his skills with the mujahedin in the 1980s anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan.

Belhaj is the founder of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and its de facto emir. . . . After the Taliban captured Kabul in 1996, the LIFG kept two training camps in Afghanistan, one of them, 19 miles north of Kabul—run by Abu Yahya (a high-ranking member of al-Qaida)—was “strictly for al-Qaida-linked jihadis.

After Sept. 11, 2001, Belhaj, still according to this account, moved to Pakistan and then to Iraq, where he befriended Abu Musab al-Zarqawi—all this before al-Qaida in Iraq pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri.

. . .

In 2007, Zawahiri (bin Laden’s deputy) officially announced the merger of LIFG and al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb. “So, for all practical purposes since then,” says this version of events, “LIFG/AQIM have been one and the same—and Belhaj was/is its emir.”

Before year’s end in 2007, LIFG was calling for jihad against Gadhafi and also against the United States and Western “infidels.”

Every intelligence agency in the United States, Europe and the Arab world knows where Belhaj is coming from,” writes Escobar. Belhaj has made sure in Libya that he and his militia will only settle for Shariah law.

The assassination of rebel military commander Gen. Abdel Fattah Younis—by the rebels themselves—seems to point to Belhaj “or at least people very close to him.”

Younis, before he defected from the regime, was in charge of Libya’s Special Forces as they battled the LIFG in Cyrenaica near Benghazi between 1990 and 1995. It was in 1993 that Gadhafi asked this reporter to tell the CIA director that he wanted to work with the United States against Islamist extremists in Cyrenaica.

[A]ll the top military commanders working with NATO are LIFG, from Belhaj in Tripoli to Ismael as-Salabi in Benghazi and Abdelhakim al-Assadi in Derna.

. . .

“[I]t does not require a crystal ball to picture the consequences of LIFG/AQIM—having conquered military power and being among the war ‘winners’—not remotely interested in relinquishing control just to please NATO. Meanwhile, amid the fog of war, it is unclear whether Gadhafi is planning to trap the Tripoli brigade in urban warfare or to force the bulk of rebel militias to enter the huge Warfalla tribal areas.”

Gadhafi’s favorite wife belongs to the Warfalla, Libya’s largest tribe, with up to one million people and 54 sub-tribes.

“The inside word in Brussels . . . is that NATO expects Gadhafi to fight for months, if not years; thus the bounty on his head and the desperate return to NATO’s plan A, which was always to take him out.”

Libya, according to this prediction, may now be facing the specter of a twin-headed guerrilla Hydra; Gadhafi forces against a weak TNC central government and NATO boots on the ground; and the LIFG/AQIM nebula in a jihad against NATO.”

A harum-scarum scenario of NATO snookered by al-Qaida affiliates that can only please China.

See http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/de-Borchgrave/2011/09/01/Commentary-Global-con/UPI-85911314879713/; see also http://news.yahoo.com/libyan-rebels-round-black-africans-130723394.html (“Libyan rebels round up black Africans”)

Will China, Islamic fascists and al Qaeda win the war in Libya; and once again has America’s raving narcissist and consummate demagogue—its “Hamlet on the Potomac” and “Jimmy Carter-lite”—Barack Obama, been nothing more than a fool, a buffoon, and a feckless naïf, who lost the Middle East?

See also http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2066380/Will-World-War-III-U-S-China.html (“Will World War Three be between the U.S. and China?”)

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7 09 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama Doesn’t Have A Clue What To Do

As discussed in a UK Daily Mail article, this is the conclusion of former Massachusetts Governor and successful businessman Mitt Romney, who is running for the presidency, and of course he is correct:

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has claimed Barack Obama ‘doesn’t have a clue what do about the economy’.

Mr Romney outlined his own sweeping economic plan to slash regulations and company taxes, weaken the unions and put limits on China.

He vowed in his first day in office to undo what he claimed were the failed economic policies of the current administration.

Mr Romney said the sitting U.S. president is ‘not a bad guy—he just doesn’t have a clue what to do about the economy’.

. . .

Confidence in Mr Obama’s stewardship of the economy has been hit by months of dire economic news.

Several polls this week show fresh declines in his approval ratings.

One for NBC News/Wall Street Journal put him at a low of 44 per cent—down three percentage points on July.

The same survey also revealed approval of his economy management stands at only 37 per cent.

A Democratic pollster who helped conduct the survey said the poor results suggest Mr Obama is no longer favoured to win re-election in 2012.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2034558/Mitt-Romney-attacks-Obama-president-plans-300bn-jobs-package.html

The Daily Mail summarized the poll findings as follows:

HOW THE POLLS STAND

NBC News/Wall Street Journal

Job approval: 44%
Handling of economy: 37%

ABC News/Washington Post

Negative rating on handling of economy & jobs: 6 in 10
People worse off financially since he started: 1 in 3

Politico/George Washington Uni

Country strongly or somewhat in wrong direction: 72%

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19 09 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama Is A Hypocrite, A Demagogue, and a Raving Unprincipled Narcissist

Obama=not a clue

As the UK’s Financial Times has underscored:

Exactly a year ago this week, President Barack Obama stood at the podium at the UN General Assembly and declared his support for a Palestinian state.

“Palestinians will never know the pride and dignity that comes with their own state,” Mr Obama told the general assembly, unless the two parties reached a peace agreement.

So it will be some degree of awkwardness that Mr Obama returns to the UN this week and directs his representatives to vote against a plan that would lead to Palestinians achieving that exact destination. . . .

Indeed, the US president will be acutely aware how hypocritical he must appear: voicing support for democratic transitions across the Middle East at the same time as scuppering Palestinian aspirations for recognition. Mr Obama hardly wants to be seen as being on the wrong side of the change sweeping through the Arab world.

Palestinian leaders this week plan to make a bid for full membership of the UN, a move that would officially make it a state, Palestine, on an equal footing with Israel. But the US has explicitly stated that it will use its veto power through the Security Council to block any such move.

. . .

Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former Saudi Arabian ambassador to the US and part of the ruling family, last week warned that an American veto would end the allies’ “special relationship” and would make the US “toxic” in the Arab world.

Blocking the move would also undercut the US’s authority as a genuine mediator in the peace process that Mr Obama has only half-heartedly pursued since taking office.

See http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/0e21ea0a-dfe2-11e0-a820-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1YLoV5Mjk; see also http://www.naegele.com/documents/PalestinianOptionsatUNLeadtoLegalThreattoIsraelsMilitary.pdf (“Palestinian Options at U.N. Lead to Legal Threat to Israel’s Military”)

What is clear from this and so many other examples like it is that Obama is a fool, a fad and a feckless naïf, and a tragic Shakespearean figure who will be forgotten and consigned to the dustheap of history—unless he tragically alters the course of American history.

His naïveté is matched by his overarching narcissism; and he is more starry-eyed and “dangerous” than Jimmy Carter. Indeed, it is likely that his presidency will be considered a sad and tragic watershed in history; and the American people are recognizing this more and more with each day that passes.

He must be sent packing either to Chicago or Hawaii not later than January of 2013, to lick his political wounds and write his memoirs, and work full time on his golf scores and his presidential library. It cannot happen fast enough, for the good of the world, the United States and the American people, before he does even more damage!

See also http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2011-09-20/poll-economy-obama/50483094/1?loc=interstitialskip (“Poll: Economic pessimism deepens, and more blame Obama”) and http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2011/09/23/morgan-freeman-obama-has-made-racism-worse-tea-party-will-do-whatever#ixzz1YnWDliVr (“Morgan Freeman: Obama Made Racism Worse”)

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27 09 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

WILL OBAMA PULL OUT?

Obama=frantic

See http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/will-obama-pull-out-dick-morris-tv-lunch-alert/; see also http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/what-is-bill-clinton-up-to-2/ (“WHAT IS BILL CLINTON UP TO?”)

Obama is falling so far and so fast that he might pull out of this presidential race, like Lyndon Johnson did—prior to the 1968 elections.

See also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1809 (“Will Barack Obama Be A One-Term President By His Own Choosing, Instead Of Being Driven From The Presidency?”) and http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/obama_approval_index_history (“Obama Approval Index History”) and http://www.myfoxchicago.com/dpp/news/politics/illinois-obama-approval-rating-poll-romney-home-state-perry-cain-presidential-2012-reelection-20111003 (“President Obama’s Job Approval Rating Drops Below 50% in Home State Of Illinois”) and http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/10/03/obama_american_people_not_better_off_than_they_were_four_years_ago.html (“Obama: American People Not Better Off Than They Were Four Years Ago”)

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3 10 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Under Barack Obama, Poverty Among Blacks Has Reached Record Levels, At The Very Least Destabilizing The Black Middle Class

Time Magazine has an article by Steven Gray, a Washington Correspondent for the magazine and its former Detroit bureau chief, which is worth reading because of the writer’s apparent disillusionment with Obama.

Among other things, he concluded:

[O]n the watch of the first African American president, poverty among blacks has reached record levels, potentially, permanently, destabilizing the black middle class. . . . [A]ny President should be concerned that such a large subset of the population is falling into the abyss.

See http://swampland.time.com/2011/10/03/a-tale-of-two-speeches-is-obama-closeting-americas-black-experience/

This article mirrors the writer’s naïveté. Barack Obama is black when it suits him, and white at all other times; and what is happening to the black middle class is happening on his watch. At best, the writer is being charitable.

For openers, look at the number of white male advisers who surround Obama at the White House, and then look for any people of color who hold these very top positions. The name “White” House has defined his presidency since the very beginning . . . and indeed, since the beginning of his runs for elective offices (e.g., David Axelrod, David Plouffe).

Down deep Obama is conflicted. Just read his book, “Dreams from My Father.” It is all there in black and white.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

Obama is a racist and a bigot; and he is anti-Israel. Put succinctly, he is a raving narcissist and a demagogue; and he speaks out of all sides of his mouth. He and he alone is the center of his universe.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/ (see also the footnotes and comments beneath the article)

Barack Obama has been an unmitigated disaster for blacks and whites, which is among the many reasons why his presidency will end no later than January of 2013, when he retreats either to Chicago or Hawaii to lick his political wounds and write his memoirs, and work full time on his golf scores and his presidential library.

It cannot happen fast enough, for the good of the United States and all Americans!

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4 10 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Barack Obama: The President Of Contempt

This is the conclusion of the Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens, in an article by that title, which is subtitled: “To Barack Obama, America is lovable in proportion to the love it gives him in return.” This is not surprising in the least, because it is how narcissists like him view the world.

Stephens added:

We caught flashes of the contempt during the campaign. There were those small-town Midwesterners who, as he put it at a San Francisco fund-raiser, “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who are not like them.” There were those racist Republicans who, as he put it at a Jacksonville fund-raiser, would campaign against him by asking, “Did I mention he’s black?” There was the “you’re likable enough, Hillary,” line during a New Hampshire debate. But these were unscripted digressions and could be written off as such.

Only after Mr. Obama came to office did it start to become clear that contempt would be both a style and method of his governance. Take the “mess we have inherited” line, which became the administration’s ring tone for its first two years.

. . .

“We are cleaning up something that is—quite simply—a mess,” said the president the following month about Guantanamo. “Let’s face it, we inherited a mess,” said Valerie Jarrett about the economy in March 2010.

For presidential candidates to rail against incumbents from an opposing party is normal; for a president to rail for years against a predecessor of any party is crass—and something to which neither Reagan nor Lincoln, each of them inheritors of much bigger messes, stooped.

Then again, the contempt Mr. Obama felt for the Bush administration was merely of a piece with the broader ambit of his disdain. Examples? Here’s a quick list:

The gratuitous return of the Churchill bust to Britain. The slam of the Boston police officer who arrested Henry Louis Gates. The high-profile rebuke of the members of the Supreme Court at his 2010 State of the Union speech. The diplomatic snubs, petty as well as serious, of Gordon Brown, Benjamin Netanyahu and Nicolas Sarkozy. The verbal assaults on Wall Street “fat cats” who “caused the problem” of “10% unemployment.” The never-ending baiting of millionaires and billionaires and jet owners. . . .

. . .

What is it that Mr. Obama doesn’t like about the United States—a country that sent him hurtling like an American Idol contestant from the obscurity of an Illinois Senate seat to the presidency in a mere four years?

I suspect it’s the same thing that so many run-of-the-mill liberals dislike: Americans typically believe that happiness is an individual pursuit; we bridle at other people setting limits on what’s “enough”; we enjoy wealth and want to keep as much of it as we can; we don’t like trading in our own freedom for someone else’s idea of virtue, much less a fabricated concept of the collective good.

When a good history of anti-Americanism is someday written, it will note that it’s mainly a story of disenchantment—of the obdurate and sometimes vulgar reality of the country falling short of the lover’s ideal. Listening to Mr. Obama, especially now as the country turns against him, one senses in him a similar disenchantment: America is lovable exactly in proportion to the love it gives him in return.

Hence his increasingly ill-concealed expressions of contempt. Hence the increasingly widespread counter-contempt.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204524604576608690389452476.html?grcc=grdt&mod=WSJ_hps_sections_opinion (emphasis added); see also http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2011/10/04/michelle-obamas-africa-vacation-cost-more-than-432142 (“Michelle Obama’s Africa Vacation Cost More Than $432,142″) and http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/nearly-half-million-send-michelle-africa (“The Obama daughters were listed on the manifest [of Michelle Obama's Africa Vacation] as ‘senior staff'”) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2045351/Michelle-Obama-s-goodwill-tour-Africa-cost-U-S-taxpayers-AT-LEAST-425-000-watchdog-group-says.html (“Michelle Obama’s ‘goodwill tour’ of Africa cost U.S. taxpayers AT LEAST $425,000, watchdog group says”) and http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/nilegardiner/100108992/michelle-obama%E2%80%99s-taxpayer-funded-spending-is-an-embarrassment-for-the-white-house/ (“[claims] from sources inside the White House itself that the First Lady may have spent ‘$10 million of taxpayers’ money on vacations alone in the past year'”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1172 (“Michelle Obama: ‘Let Them Eat Cake!'”) and http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/obama-has-now-increased-debt-more-all-presidents-george-washington-through-george-hw (“Obama Has Now Increased Debt More than All Presidents from George Washington Through George H.W. Bush Combined”) and http://www.rove.com/articles/344 (“Obama . . . expressed his disdain for average Americans at a fund-raiser in San Francisco that he thought was private”) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2047627/Obama-finishes-work-4pm–41-want-second-term.html (“Obama finishes work at 4pm… but he could be saying bye for good as only 41% want him to have a second term”)

What we are witnessing is the plight, anger and fraud of a raving narcissist, Obama—and his wife—when the world turns against him.

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11 10 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Egypt Descends Into Chaos

Arnaud de Borchgrave—editor at large of The Washington Times and of United Press International, who has impeccable credentials and sources—has written another excellent and very sobering article entitled, “Egypt’s Tower of Babel,” which is worth reading and reflecting on. In it, perhaps the most sobering paragraph states:

The confidential message from one of Egypt’s major players said, “Common sense and rationality have disappeared and the military, while trying to keep some keel to the process, have daily fires to deal with, e.g., disruptions in hospitals, educational sector in disarray, court rulings revoking privatizations that happened over 10 years ago, cancellation of licenses for plants built and that employ thousands of workers, a now dysfunctional banking sector and heightened risk of sudden court rulings, strikes in public transport, riots and demonstrations, populist mania by aspiring politicians, a totally frantic and irresponsible media, major weapons smuggling from Libya and Gaza, and an economy looking into the abyss with the stock exchange falling off the cliff, not to mention ‘no new investments’.”

See http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/de-Borchgrave/2011/10/11/Commentary-Egypts-Tower-of-Babel/UPI-27191318326176/

It seems that Egypt is descending into chaos and anarchy, with nothing to impede or stop the downward spiral.

Both Israel and Saudi Arabia urged Barack Obama not to undermine or abandon America’s long-time ally, the former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted in February, and to support his continuance in power. Yet, being the naïf that he is—America’s “Hamlet on the Potomac” and “Jimmy Carter-lite”—of course Obama did not heed their advice and warnings.

This is one of many reasons why Obama must be driven from the presidency, and sent packing either to Chicago or Hawaii no later than January of 2013, to lick his political wounds and write his memoirs, and work full time on his golf scores and his presidential library. Indeed, it cannot happen fast enough for the good of the United States and the American people!

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12 10 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama Wanted To Apologize For Hiroshima and Nagasaki, And Was The First U.S. President To Bow To Japan’s Emperor!

Obama bows to Japan's emperor

While Barack Obama’s presidency must come to an end as soon as humanly possible, for all of the reasons set forth in the article above and the footnotes and comments beneath it, the latest news underscores that vital imperative in spades.

Despite having grown up partly in Indonesia, Obama was raised by his mother’s parents in Honolulu, which had experienced the devastating Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor, the loss of American lives there, and the beginning of World War II in the Pacific. Surely he learned something about that war, and the fact that the Japanese were even more brutal and barbaric toward American military personnel and civilians in waging the war than Hitler’s Nazis were.

Yet, an Investor’s Business Daily editorial noted:

Leaked cables show Japan nixed a presidential apology to Hiroshima and Nagasaki for using nukes to end . . . World War II.

. . .

The obsessive need of this president to apologize for American exceptionalism and our defense of freedom continued recently when Barack Obama’s State Department (run by Hillary Clinton) contacted the family of al-Qaida propagandist and recruiter Samir Khan to “express its condolences” to his family.

Khan, a right-hand man to Anwar al-Awlaki, was killed along with Awlaki in an airstrike in Yemen on Sept. 30. . . .

It’s yet another part of the world apology tour that began with Obama taking the oath of office to protect and defend the United States and its Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, something he immediately felt sorry for.

One stop on his tour was Prague in August 2009. There he spoke of “America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons,” ignoring that before 1945 we lived in such a world and it was neither peaceful nor secure.

Another stop on the tour was in Japan, where Obama in November 2009 bowed to the emperor, something no American president had ever done. It could have been worse if plans to visit Nagasaki and Hiroshima to apologize for winning the war with the atom bombs had come to pass.

A heretofore secret cable dated Sept. 3, 2009, was recently released by WikiLeaks. Sent to Secretary of State Clinton, it reported Japan’s Vice Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka telling U.S. Ambassador John Roos that “the idea of President Obama visiting Hiroshima to apologize for the atomic bombing during World War II is a ‘nonstarter.'”

The Japanese feared the apology would be exploited by anti-nuclear groups and those opposed to the defensive alliance between Japan and the U.S.

Whatever Tokyo’s motive, Obama’s motive was to once again apologize for defending freedom, this time for winning with devastating finality the war Japan started.

. . . Obama envisions a world without nuclear weapons, and moves steadily toward unilateral disarmament of our nuclear arsenal. . . .

See http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/587698/201110111829/Apologies-Not-Accepted.htm

Obama a fool and a traitor!

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14 10 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

The Second Mogadishu War, This Time In Uganda

The UK’s Telegraph has reported, in an article that is subtitled “President Barack Obama on Friday announced he was sending 100 combat troops to central Africa to advise forces aiming to hunt down the Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army, which stands accused of gross human rights abuses over the course of two decades”:

In an attempt to head off criticism from his war-weary country, Mr Obama stressed that the American troops would not act independently and would only fire on LRA forces “in self-defence”.

. . .

The Friday afternoon timing of the announcement seemed a deliberate attempt by the White House to avoid an extended public debate about sending US ground forces into Africa for the first time since the “Black Hawk Down” incident in Somalia in 1993, when 18 US military personnel died in a botched attempt to capture a warlord.

But what promises to be a dangerous and sensitive mission immediately prompted doubts.

Obama is a fool and a feckless naïf—America’s “Hamlet on the Potomac” and “Jimmy Carter-lite”—who must be removed from the American presidency as soon as humanly possible. Now he is launching the United States into another war, like our failed efforts in Mogadishu (of “Black Hawk Down” infamy), before we have completed our missions in Iraq and Afghanistan successfully. It must be stopped immediately.

No later than January of 2013, he will retreat either to Chicago or Hawaii to lick his political wounds and write his memoirs, and work full time on his golf scores and his presidential library. It cannot happen fast enough for the good of the United States and the American people!

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16 10 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

OBAMA LOSES IRAQ

Islam rising

The Associated Press has reported that America’s military presence in Iraq will decline to zero by the end of this year, which will not allow Barack Obama or Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to claim victory. It will be a defeat of monumental portions; and the gains made under George W. Bush, and the more than 4,400 American military lives lost since March 2003, will have been for nothing.

See http://www.usatoday.com/news/military/story/2011-10-15/Iraq-withdrawal-war-troops/50786604/1

This and Obama’s war in Afghanistan are his Vietnams. Also, he is launching us into another war in Uganda, and losing the Middle East to radical Islam. Aside from the economy and a myriad of other issues (e.g., ObamaCare), this is why Barack Obama—America’s “Hamlet on the Potomac” and “Jimmy Carter lite”—will not be reelected.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1871 (see also the article itself, as well as the footnotes and all of the comments beneath it); see also http://www.newsmax.com/InsideCover/borchgrave-gadaffi-obama-libya/2011/10/20/id/415255 (“De Borchgrave: Former al-Qaida Leader Emerging as Strongman in Libya”)

Instead, he will retreat with his “Marie Antoinette” either to Chicago or Hawaii to lick his political wounds and write his memoirs, and work full time on his golf scores and his presidential library. It cannot happen fast enough for the good of the United States and the American people!

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20 10 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama: A Really Bad One-Term President

As noted many times in my articles and comments, it has been said:

Jimmy Carter may be heading to #2 on the [list of] all-time worst presidents in American history, thanks to “O.”

This is an understatement.

Indeed, political pundit Karl Rove has written in the Wall Street Journal:

For many Americans, another stimulus looks like more reckless and wasteful spending.

Temporary measures like those in Mr. Obama’s Stimulus II won’t encourage long-term growth.

. . .

The president is increasingly at odds with members of his own party, especially those up for re-election in 2012, like West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin. Voters see what Mr. Obama, the most rigidly ideological modern president, cannot: It’s time to limit government’s size, scope and reach.

Voters are demanding growth and jobs. Mr. Obama, by contrast, seems most intent on transforming America to fit his liberal worldview. But we can’t have growth and jobs if the priority is to transform the country into a European-style social democracy.

Back in 2010, Mr. Obama told ABC’s Diane Sawyer, “I’d rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president.” The outcome he didn’t mention is that he could turn out to be a really bad one-term president.

See http://www.rove.com/articles/346

. . .

There is another article entitled, “The Economic Disappointment of Generation O,” which is worth reading:

The unemployment rate in 2010 for newly graduated men and women with bachelor degrees was 9.2 percent, far higher than the 5.1 percent rate such adults experienced in 2005.

This is Generation O: the age cohort that contributed, registered, volunteered and voted for Barack Obama with greater intensity than we have seen since at least the 1960 presidential election. Since then, the effect of President Obama’s failed economic policies has fallen most disproportionately on them.

The unemployment rates among Generation O not only suggest personal disappointment, but also large and lasting implications for them and for society.

. . .

[T]here is in our country a creeping fear of downward mobility, a prospect that Generation O will not do as well as their parents.

Young male graduates have been particularly adversely affected, with an unemployment rate of 11 percent, compared to 7.9 percent for women. Five years ago male graduates had an unemployment rate of 5.8 percent, and the rate for females was 4.5 percent.

. . .

How would Generation O fare if they remained in school, and earned a master’s degree? Not that much better. The unemployment rate for MA degree holders was 7.7 percent in 2010, up from 4.6 percent in 2005.

Breaking the data into subsets tells an even starker story. White males with bachelor’s degrees are commonly regarded as a privileged class, but they have not been insulated from economic trends. According to unpublished Labor Department data, their unemployment rates have more than doubled over the past five years, from 5.2 percent in 2005 to 13.1 percent in 2010. Rates for white female grads have soared, from 4.1 percent in 2005 to 12.3 in 2010.

Black male BAs have fared even worse, with unemployment rates tripling from 6.5 percent in 2005 to 24 percent in 2010. This means that nearly one quarter of the black males who made it through a four-year degree program was unemployed.

Politicians and educators tell minority students that educational attainment is the path out of poverty, but this is not persuasive if 24 percent of our black male graduates are unemployed.

As if lack of a job isn’t bad enough, large increases in college tuition in recent decades mean that Generation O is graduating with a lot of debt.

. . .

That’s one reason why rates of recent graduates living at home with either a parent or grandparent have increased. In 2005 the share of 20-24 year olds who had at least a bachelor’s degree but were living at home was 36 percent, and it reached 43 percent in 2011.

It used to be that if you graduated from college with a degree you were assured of a job. For many in Generation O, this is no longer true.

It’s not just bad luck, or President George W. Bush’s fault, as Mr. Obama tries to suggest. Mr. Obama has promoted an Old Economy model that favors big corporations, labor unions and more government. But Generation O thrives best in a New Economy model that favors nimble start-ups, hard-charging union-free workplaces and minimal government interference.

Generation O voted for Barack Obama believing him to be a new kind of leader, but he has delivered them an Old Economy with European-style mandates (think Obamacare), sclerosis, and dysfunction. They put him in the White House[;] Barack Obama has consigned them to their parents’ house. Clearly, only one side made out well on that deal.

See http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2011/10/20/the_economic_travails_of_generation_o_99319.html; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/are-colleges-dinosaurs/#comment-1755 (“Debtors’ Prisons”) (see also the article itself, as well as the footnotes and other comments beneath it)

Those who voted for Barack Obama are getting what they deserved. The chickens are coming home to roost!

. . .

Lastly, former Bill Clinton adviser and Democrat operative James Carville is quoted as saying:

In radio interview with Scott Hennen, the Ragin’ Cajun says the President needs to shake up his economic team, fears the fiscal crisis could spell trouble for Obama in 2012.

Carville: “Everything worries me in this environment. Nobody’s gotten elected with these kinds of numbers. So, I’m worried in the general election.”

See http://thepage.time.com/2011/10/25/carville-im-worried/ (emphasis added)

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7 11 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

An American Tragedy: Barack Obama Lost Iraq

This is the conclusion of the Washington Post‘s Charles Krauthammer, who has written:

Barack Obama was . . . handed a war that was won. The surge had succeeded. Al-Qaeda in Iraq had been routed, driven to humiliating defeat by an Anbar Awakening of Sunnis fighting side-by-side with the infidel Americans. Even more remarkably, the Shiite militias had been taken down, with U.S. backing, by the forces of Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. They crushed the Sadr militias from Basra to Sadr City.

Al-Qaeda decimated. A Shiite prime minister taking a decisively nationalist line. Iraqi Sunnis ready to integrate into a new national government. U.S. casualties at their lowest ebb in the entire war. Elections approaching. Obama was left with but a single task: Negotiate a new status-of-forces agreement (SOFA) to reinforce these gains and create a strategic partnership with the Arab world’s only democracy.

He blew it. Negotiations, such as they were, finally collapsed last month. There is no agreement, no partnership. As of Dec. 31, the U.S. military presence in Iraq will be liquidated.

And it’s not as if that deadline snuck up on Obama. He had three years to prepare for it. Everyone involved, Iraqi and American, knew that the 2008 SOFA calling for full U.S. withdrawal was meant to be renegotiated. And all major parties but one (the Sadr faction) had an interest in some residual stabilizing U.S. force, like the postwar deployments in Japan, Germany and Korea.

Three years, two abject failures. The first was the administration’s inability, at the height of American post-surge power, to broker a centrist nationalist coalition governed by the major blocs—one predominantly Shiite (Maliki’s), one predominantly Sunni (Ayad Allawi’s), one Kurdish—that among them won a large majority (69 percent) of seats in the 2010 election.

Vice President Biden was given the job. He failed utterly. The government ended up effectively being run by a narrow sectarian coalition where the balance of power is held by the relatively small (12 percent) Iranian-client Sadr faction.

The second failure was the SOFA itself. U.S. commanders recommended nearly 20,000 troops, considerably fewer than our 28,500 in Korea, 40,000 in Japan and 54,000 in Germany. The president rejected those proposals, choosing instead a level of 3,000 to 5,000 troops.

A deployment so risibly small would have to expend all its energies simply protecting itself—the fate of our tragic, missionless 1982 Lebanon deployment—with no real capability to train the Iraqis, build their U.S.-equipped air force, mediate ethnic disputes (as we have successfully done, for example, between local Arabs and Kurds), operate surveillance and special-ops bases, and establish the kind of close military-to-military relations that undergird our strongest alliances.

. . . It became clear that [Obama] simply wanted out, leaving any Iraqi foolish enough to maintain a pro-American orientation exposed to Iranian influence, now unopposed and potentially lethal. Message received. Just this past week, Massoud Barzani, leader of the Kurds—for two decades the staunchest of U.S. allies—visited Tehran to bend a knee to both President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

It didn’t have to be this way. Our friends did not have to be left out in the cold to seek Iranian protection. Three years and a won war had given Obama the opportunity to establish a lasting strategic alliance with the Arab world’s second most important power.

. . . The excuse is Iraqi refusal to grant legal immunity to U.S. forces. But the Bush administration encountered the same problem and overcame it. Obama had little desire to. Indeed, he portrays the evacuation as a success, the fulfillment of a campaign promise.

But surely the obligation to defend the security and the interests of the nation supersede personal vindication. Obama opposed the war, but when he became commander in chief the terrible price had already been paid in blood and treasure. His obligation was to make something of that sacrifice, to secure the strategic gains that sacrifice had already achieved.

He did not, failing at precisely what this administration so flatters itself for doing so well: diplomacy. After years of allegedly clumsy brutish force, Obama was to usher in an era of not hard power, not soft power, but smart power.

Which turns out in Iraq to be . . . no power. Years from now, we will be asking not “Who lost Iraq?”—that already is clear—but “Why?”

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/who-lost-iraq/2011/11/03/gIQAUcUqjM_story.html (emphasis in original); see also http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/de-Borchgrave/2011/11/07/Commentary-Grapes-of-wrath/UPI-63781320672616/ (“Grapes of wrath”) and http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/who-lost-the-arab-world-dick-morris-tv-lunch-alert/ (“Who Lost The Arab World?”)

It has been said:

Jimmy Carter may be heading to #2 on the [list of] all-time worst presidents in American history, thanks to “O.”

This is an understatement.

Biden is a total buffoon and a pathological liar, so the results of his efforts were predictable. What is even worse is that Obama—America’s “Hamlet on the Potomac” and “Jimmy Carter-lite,” who is the United States’ worst president ever, having been raised in an Islamic country (i.e., Indonesia)—is losing Afghanistan and the Middle East as well.

What is abundantly clear is that Obama must not be simply defeated in his reelection bid. He should be impeached, and driven from the American presidency in shame and disgrace!

See also http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/obamas-politically-strategic-inaction/2011/11/17/gIQAPCbCWN_story.html

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11 11 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Where And Why Keynes Went Wrong

The RAND Corporation has an interesting article that discusses Keynesian economics—in the context of Barack Obama’s failed and wasteful so-called “stimulus package,” and discusses why it failed—which is worth reading.

See http://www.rand.org/commentary/2011/11/07/WS.html

First, one must appreciate fully that Obama understands little or nothing about economics and business; and in both respects, he is a fool and a feckless naïf, and a tragic Shakespearean figure who will be forgotten and consigned to the dustheap of history—unless he tragically alters the course of American history.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ (“[I]n New York City before he moved to Chicago for the first time, he went to work as a research assistant at a consulting house to multinational corporations, where he recalled feeling like ‘a spy behind enemy lines'”)

He is America’s “Hamlet on the Potomac” and “Jimmy Carter-lite.” His naïveté is matched by his overarching narcissism; and he is more starry-eyed and “dangerous” than Jimmy Carter. When the stimulus package was be devised, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her Democrats were given the task of fashioning it, which they did to satisfy their constituents, regardless of whether the rest of America benefited or was hurt.

The RAND article notes:

It is generally recognized that the conceptual underpinnings for so-called stimulus programs lie in the theory developed by John Maynard Keynes in the 1930s. That the practical results of these programs in recent years have been negligible, if not negative, while their costs have been high, may be sufficient grounds for avoiding them in the future.

. . .

Before addressing questions about the theory, let’s briefly recap the costs and results of the stimulus so far.

Total stimulus costs have been high, but reckoning them accurately isn’t easy. They include $787 billion in federal spending that was legislated and appropriated in 2009 with the “stimulus” label attached to it. In addition, a proper accounting of the cost should include several other programs and outlays that, while not carrying the “stimulus” label, were designed to boost domestic spending or preclude reductions in spending that were otherwise expected to occur. These other programs include the following: TARP funding to relieve the impaired asset values and weakened balance sheets of financial institutions ($700 billion); bailout funds provided to support the auto industry ($17 billion); extension of unemployment benefits to support income and spending by unemployed workers ($34 billion); and temporary subsidies for the “cash for clunkers” program ($3 billion).

These other measures should be included in a full reckoning of stimulus costs because of their shared common purpose: to boost aggregate demand, or avoid its further decline. . . .

All of these outlays, amounting to more than $1.5 trillion, are properly encompassed in Keynes’s central policy prescription: namely, to use public policy aggressively to stimulate “aggregate demand.” Those who have criticized the government’s stimulus efforts for being too small may not realize how large they have actually been.

What about the results of the stimulus package? Between the end of the second quarter of 2009 . . . and the end of the second quarter of 2011, nearly all the stimulus funding was disbursed. The result was that GDP increased from $12.6 trillion (in 2005 prices) to $13.3 trillion—an increase less than half the dollar-for-dollar injection of stimulus money! In the same period, gross private consumption rose by $400 billion, and gross private (nonresidential) fixed investment rose by $155 billion. In the same period, employment decreased by 581,000.

A simple accounting of costs and benefits—costs are high, benefits much lower—warrants skepticism about further recourse to stimulus spending.

. . .

The core of the [Keynesian] theory is “aggregate demand” defined in terms of two components: consumption demand and investment demand.

. . .

Insufficient aggregate demand was Keynes’s diagnosis of the Depression-era conditions of continued unemployment and stagnant economic gr