Published on TheHill.com on May 26,2009
Asked why he was naming some of his rivals to top administration jobs, President Lyndon B. Johnson said it best: “I’d rather have them inside the tent pissing out than outside pissing in.” President Obama seems to echo Johnson’s management style in his handling of Bill and Hillary Clinton. By bringing them into his inner circle, he has marginalized them both and sharply reduced their freedom of action.
When the Japanese military invaded Manchuria in the early 1930s, Hitler, Mussolini, and Japan’s own government watch nervously to see what the League of Nations and the Western powers would do. Now it is North Korea and Iran who are watching and wondering.
If the United Nations, and the powers it represents, is as impotent as was the League in the 1930s, it will send the same signal to other would-be proliferators: that the rest of the world will sit by and do nothing. By so blatantly flouting international opinion and U.N. resolutions, North Korea has essentially said to the rest of the world: “put up or shut up.”
Obama’s liberal philosophy dictates that when the news is bad, shoot the messenger. The newest data from Arbitron, the company charged with measuring the size of radio audiences, suggests that listenership to hip hop, inner city, and minority radio has been overstated in the past and that the popularity of conservative talk radio has been under-reported.
This conclusion – ideologically inconvenient for Obama – comes from the company’s decision to dispense with the Stone Age way it has been measuring radio audiences – by hand written diaries based on listener memory – with modern machines which automatically record what the person is listening to and for how long.
From Caroline Glick, deputy editor and op-ed writer for the Jerusalem Post, comes alarming news. An expert on Arab-Israeli relations with excellent sources deep inside Netanyahu’s government, she reports that CIA chief Leon Panetta, who recently took time out from his day job (feuding with Nancy Pelosi) to travel to Israel “read the riot act” to the government warning against an attack on Iran.
Published in the New York Post on May 23, 2009
President Obama is attacking a red herring when he defends his decision to send the worst terrorists at Guantanamo to United States prisons by saying the likelihood of escape from secure federal facilities is very low.
Of course it is. No rope ladder or prison laundry truck is likely to do the trick.
But when it comes to federal judges, we can’t be so sure.
The widely heralded credit card reform legislation making its way through Congress is a sellout to the credit card companies. Obama has proposed and Congress has passed a series of minor reforms that deal with the fringes of the problem – late billings, retroactive interest rate hikes, misapplication of payments and such – but fail to reform the most basic offense of the companies: their usury.
Congress explicitly rejected any limitation on the interest rate credit card companies can charge. It remains perfectly legal for them to charge rates that would make a loan shark blush.
Published on TheHill.com on May 19, 2009
It’s obvious that either Leon Panetta, Obama’s head of the CIA, or Nancy Pelosi, his party’s Speaker of the House, has to go. No administration can tolerate a permanent, public civil war between two such high-ranking officials.
Especially when their disagreement stems not from issues of policy but from matters of veracity and credibility, the battle must end in one of their resignations. You cannot have the head of the nation’s first line of defense against terrorism calling the Speaker of the House a liar and being attacked by her in turn.
When will the economy stop dropping because of the recession and start dropping because of the harm Obama’s cure to the recession is inflicting? There will likely be a seam that will run through the polling and recession statistics in the next few months when the symptoms of the disease abate and those triggered by Obama’s program begin to kick in. In short, when will the Bush recession become the Obama recession? In fact, it may already have happened.
Obama’s popularity and the economic statistics fell, pretty much in tandem from his inauguration until early April. During this period, unemployment rose by two points, consumer confidence fell, and over 2 million jobs were destroyed. Over the same term, the president’s approval ratings (as measured daily by Scott Rasmussen – www.rasmussenreports.com) fell from a post-inaugural level of 65% to 55%.
How interesting that the latest Rasmussen poll shows the two parties tied on the issue of who can best handle the economy at the same time that Obama gets at 56 percent job approval rating.
Only 44 percent feel that the Democrats are best at handling the economy (as opposed to 43 percent for the Republicans). So about 13 points’ worth of voters approve of Obama but doubt his party’s ability to handle the economy.
This indicates that a drop in his approval ratings down to the mid-40s is in the cards.
Published on TheHill.com on May 12, 2009
When all of America’s top health insurers and providers met at the White House this week and pledged to save $2 trillion over the next decade in health costs, they were pledging to sabotage our medical care. The blunt truth, which everybody agreed to keep quiet, is that the only way to reduce these costs is to ration healthcare, thereby destroying our system.