Archive for the ‘Oh look Obama changed his mind’ Category

In the headlines: ‘my Dear Obama, our son’, French flying over Libya, Obama in Rio

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

Headlines today:
Gaddafi patronizes the POTUS:
‘To my Dear Obama, our son’, says Gaddafi, defending attack on rebels

Defending his decision to attack rebel cities, Gaddafi told Obama, “Al-Qaida is an armed organisation, passing through Algeria, Mauritania and Mali. What would you do if you found them controlling American cities with the power of weapons? What would you do, so I can follow your example.”

WSJ:
French Jets Fly Over Libya as World Leaders Meet

NYTimes:
France Sends Military Flights Over Libya

FP:
How Obama turned on a dime toward war

Congress was not broadly consulted on the decision to intervene in Libya, except in a Thursday afternoon classified briefing where administration officials explained the diplomatic and military plan. Rice was already deep in negotiations in New York.

Obama’s Tuesday night decision to push for armed intervention was not only a defining moment in his ever-evolving foreign policy, but also may have marked the end of the alliance between Clinton and Gates — an alliance that has successfully influenced administration foreign policy decisions dating back to the 2009 Afghanistan strategy review.

Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution states,

The Congress shall have Power…To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

Heritage yesterday asked Five Questions Obama Has Not Answered on Libya

Here are just some of the fundamental questions the Administration has failed to answer as our military stands on the brink of a new and costly commitment:

So far, the only firm commitments are a naval blockade, AWACS for air traffic control, and signal-jamming aircraft. U.S. officials said that it would probably take several days for a full operation to be undertaken and that President Obama had not yet approved the use of U.S. military assets. Will he? Will the U.S. be using military force against Libya?
If establishing a no-fly zone in Libya is so vital to U.S. national security, why did the Administration waste a week getting approval from the U.N.?
Imposing a no-fly zone entails substantial costs for U.S. armed forces and risks diverting scarce U.S. military and intelligence assets. Will the vital missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, and the Horn of Africa suffer?
Are the rebels free of terrorist elements, and what precautions will we require them to take to ensure that weapons we supply are not sold or diverted to other groups?
Will we rule out supplying arms (“Stinger” anti-aircraft missiles, for example) that could pose a potent threat to U.S. forces if they end up in the hands of terrorists?

Obama’s in Brazil, taking a trip that should have been scheduled two years ago. I am glad he’s finally gone to Brazil.

US President Barack Obama  introduces his family as they arrive in Brasilia, Brazil, on Saturday.

His weekly address touched on the topic,

Obama should be creating a much more business-friendly environment for trade with Latin America, and instead of giving lip service, can easily approve the free trade agreements with Colombia and Peru, and possibly one with Brazil. That would increase America’s competitiveness within the hemisphere.

He and Dilma did not hold a joint press conference, just a press announcement, because Dilma doesn’t take questions:

a press officer in the Brazilian foreign ministry says Rousseff just doesn’t take questions. “It’s not her way. She didn’t do it with the prime minister of East Timor either,” the press aide said.

Hundreds of miles away, Brazil Sends Forces to Jirau Dam After Riots

Brazil’s federal government Friday authorized the presence of national security forces in the Amazon state of Rondonia after riots at the Jirau dam site halted construction on the 3,450 megawatt dam.

Brazil is one of the five nations that voted to abstain on Thursday night’s vote before the U.N. Security Council.

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Who do you believe?

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

The Hill:
White House rules out sequel to stimulus bill

resident Obama’s economic team is looking for ways to accelerate the agonizingly slow economic recovery, but the top White House spokesman on Thursday said a large spending measure is not being considered.

Some big, new stimulus plan is not in the offing,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said.



The WaPo:
Obama’s economic team considering new stimulus package

With the recovery faltering less than two months before the November congressional elections, President Obama’s economic team is considering another big dose of stimulus in the form of tax breaks for businesses – potentially worth hundreds of billions of dollars, according to two people familiar with the talks.

Either a. someone’s keeping Gibbs out of the loop,
b. depends on what the meaning of “stimulus” is,
or
c. we’re being taken for a ride.

Your pick.

Ace lets it rip while Steve Hayes is twittering Gibbs.

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The upcoming Obamacare tax

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Robert Samuelson points out, As Massachusetts health ‘reform’ goes, so could go Obamacare

If you want a preview of President Obama’s health-care “reform,” take a look at Massachusetts. In 2006, it enacted a “reform” that became a model for Obama. What’s happened since isn’t encouraging. The state did the easy part: expanding state-subsidized insurance coverage. It evaded the hard part: controlling costs and ensuring that spending improves people’s health. Unfortunately, Obama has done the same.

How about the insurance companies?

Attacking unpopular insurance companies is easy — and ultimately ineffectual. The trouble is that they’re mostly middlemen. They collect premiums and pay providers: doctors, hospitals, clinics. Limiting premiums without controlling the costs of providers will ultimately cause insurer bankruptcies, which would then threaten providers because they won’t be fully reimbursed. The state might regulate hospitals’ and doctors’ fees directly; but in the past, providers have often offset lower rates by performing more tests and procedures.

Read the whole article: Samuelso predicts,

Even if its modest measures to restrain costs succeed — which seems unlikely — the effect on overall spending would be slight. The system’s fundamental incentives won’t change. The lesson from Massachusetts is that genuine cost control is avoided because it’s so politically difficult. It means curbing the incomes of doctors, hospitals and other providers. They object. To encourage “accountable care organizations” would limit consumer choice of doctors and hospitals. That’s unpopular. Spending restrictions, whether imposed by regulation or “global payments,” raise the specter of essential care denied. Also unpopular.

Obama dodged the tough issues in favor of grandstanding. Imitating Patrick, he’s already denouncing insurers’ rates, as if that would solve the spending problem. What’s occurring in Massachusetts is the plausible future: Unchecked health spending shapes government priorities and inflates budget deficits and taxes, with small health gains. And they call this “reform”?

Good question.

One could argue that the “reform” pertains to the powers the administration claims to derive from the Constitution:
As of last Friday, the NY Times, that arm of the vast right wing conspiracy, reported (emphasis added),
Changing Stance, Administration Now Defends Insurance Mandate as a Tax

When Congress required most Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty, Democrats denied that they were creating a new tax. But in court, the Obama administration and its allies now defend the requirement as an exercise of the government’s “power to lay and collect taxes.”

And that power, they say, is even more sweeping than the federal power to regulate interstate commerce.

Administration officials say the tax argument is a linchpin of their legal case in defense of the health care overhaul and its individual mandate, now being challenged in court by more than 20 states and several private organizations.

Under the legislation signed by President Obama in March, most Americans will have to maintain “minimum essential coverage” starting in 2014. Many people will be eligible for federal subsidies to help them pay premiums.

In a brief defending the law, the Justice Department says the requirement for people to carry insurance or pay the penalty is “a valid exercise” of Congress’s power to impose taxes.

Congress can use its taxing power “even for purposes that would exceed its powers under other provisions” of the Constitution, the department said. For more than a century, it added, the Supreme Court has held that Congress can tax activities that it could not reach by using its power to regulate commerce.

Add that one to the “Oh look Obama changed his mind” category.

On the issue of Obamacare, Jennifer Rubin points out,

More than the specific maladies of ObamaCare (which are many), this is the core problem with Obama’s great legislative “accomplishment”: it assumes that a centralized bureaucracy can do a better job of containing costs and maintaining quality care than the hundreds of millions of citizens making daily decisions with their doctors. With each revelation — for example, that choice in doctors will be severely restricted – the public gets an inkling that the one-size-fits-all federalized health-care system is going to be every bit as expensive and every bit as objectionable as the nationalized health-care systems that have been tried out in other Western democracies.

All of this is a fine argument for government to do less, not more. Much less.

Indeed, it is.

But back to the Constitution, make sure to read Maynard’s excellent post at Tammy Bruce’s blog, Obamacare and Unlimited Federal Power,

One of the tragic aspects of modern America is how few of our citizens understand that the powers of the Federal government are limited and defined by the Constitution. Most people shrug and figure the government can do whatever it wants. Our ignorance becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Whenever the government illegally usurps power and we let them get away with it, another bad precedent has been set. It becomes legally okay for them to do it again in the future because they did it in the past.

No matter how you cut it, we’ll be paying for it.

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Obama: “fierce advocate” for the free market

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Not only narcissistic, but also self-deluded:
Obama Says He’s ‘Fierce’ Free-Market Advocate, Rejects Critics.

He just wants you to understand your feelings:

Obama attributed feelings that he’s unsympathetic to business in part to “a spillover effect” from public criticism he has leveled at large banks.

He also cited instances when he has clashed with specific industries such as insurance companies over his health-care plan, energy companies over climate change, and banks over a financial-regulatory overhaul. Still, he argued, in each case the proposal benefited American businesses as a whole.

“You have got some pretty significant, well-funded industry interest groups who are adamantly opposed, and they have got a lot of sway,” Obama said.

Takeovers of the financial, banking, and automotive sectors – and proposing a takeover of the healthcare industry – which would amount to the government controlling over 50% of the economy, and he considers himself a “fierce advocate for the free market??

And don’t get me started on these,

  • Increasing the national debt to astronomical, unprecedented levels
  • Cap and trade
  • “Green” energy schemes that result in no job creation, while unemployment continues to rise

and that swipe he took at businesses by deploring the “well-funded industry interest groups”, when those are the very businesses he’s destroying.

“Fierce advocate” for free market?

Yeah, right.

Please note there will be no podcast today due to internet connection problems. Thank you for your patience.

Related
Maybe Reporters Should Bring YouTube Clips to Obama Interviews

Obama snubs the Lama; Taiwan sweats

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

dalai_1479354c

Craven appeasement:

Barack Obama cancels meeting with Dalai Lama ‘to keep China happy’
President Barack Obama has refused to meet the Dalai Lama in Washington this week in a move to curry favour with the Chinese.

In a now-characteristic lack of spine move,

The decision came after China stepped up a campaign urging nations to shun the Tibetan spiritual leader.

Two things, though:
1. karma’s a bitch
2. appeasement never works.

In the meantime, if I were in Taiwan, this would make me worry, big time.

Roundup of reactions and news at The Anchoress.

UPDATE
One question, what exactly does President Obama gain from breaking with18 years of precedent and refusing to meet with the Dalai Lama? Have we received anything in return?

Obama’s big deals with big pharma: Pharmaquiddick

Friday, August 14th, 2009

My first question is, is the memo authentic? Because this is really explosive:

Internal Memo Confirms Big Giveaways In White House Deal With Big Pharma:

A memo obtained by the Huffington Post confirms that the White House and the pharmaceutical lobby secretly agreed to precisely the sort of wide-ranging deal that both parties have been denying over the past week.

The memo, which according to a knowledgeable health care lobbyist was prepared by a person directly involved in the negotiations, lists exactly what the White House gave up, and what it got in return.

Take a look:
original

As the HuffPo points out,

the deal seemed to be a betrayal of several promises made by then-Sen. Obama during the presidential campaign, among them that he would use the power of government to drive down the costs of drugs to Medicare and that negotiations would be conducted in the open.

Oh look Obama changed his mind, if the memo is authentic.

The Atlantic:

An understanding between the White House and PhRMA has been the topic of some debate. The $80 billion figure has been out there, and The New York Times reported August 5 that an agreement had been reached.

But earlier this week, President Obama suggested that “now, we may be able to get even more than that,” referring to the promised $80 billion in savings pledged by the drug industry. Was there a binding agreement, or just a savings pledge?

Ace notes the problems with Pharmaquiddick, whether the deal itself is legal:

1. The President is not allowed to enter into secret deals with corporations. Deal, perhaps. Deal secretly? No.

2. They’ve lied about it. They did not merely withhold information about the deal; they actively lied to the public — in agreement with each other; both parties, after all, have to agree to lie before one goes forward in the lie — about the deal.

3. Big Pharma has also agreed to an utterly-corrupt $150 million ad buy to prop up Obama’s plan — which is of course the same as contributing to his election war chest. And John McCain only spent $126 million on his campaign, for comparison.

4. Obama keeps lying to the public, claiming he can find additional “savings” in drug spending, when in fact he as already promised to seek not a penny more in savings from Pharma. He needs to contrive fakey-pretend methods of savings, in order to explain why the CBO is wrong, and he keeps coming back to vague savings he’ll get from drug-makers. This is a lie. The exact amount of savings has been agreed to and there is not another dollar coming. (Cf. his frequent statements that he’s already gotten $80 billion out of pharma, so who knows how much more in savings he’ll find?)

5. Obama promised over and over these “negotiations” would be not only transparent, they’d be on CSPAN; he promised that anyone “carrying water” for the drug companies (a Congressman, he suggests) would be shamed.

RightWingSparkle:

The worst thing to me? Pres. Obama going on and on, claiming he can find additional “savings” in drug spending, when in fact he has already promised a deal with the drug companies to not get a penny more in savings from them.

Doug Ross:

That, my friends, is crony capitalism at its finest.

This is not the free market — it is the Democrat Party distorting, twisting, perverting an industry to advance its Statist agenda. Like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the “War on Poverty”, the Democrat agenda is control.

Where Is The Halliburton Style Outrage?

Allahpundit

One memo produced by one lobbyist is an awfully thin reed on which to rest a charge like this, as any Rathergate veteran would remind you. The most transparent administration evah making secret promises to private industry not to push as hard as it might to control costs on its flagship policy measure? Why, it’s almost too good to check. Exit question for the economists among us: Why would the pharmaceutical business risk creating a monopsony among its consumer base by supporting a government program that could eventually lead to a single-payer system? Having only one client — especially a client with the power to regulate the price you can charge him — gives him an awful lot of leverage over you. Which is, er, a bad thing, isn’t it? Yet they’re ready to plunk down $150 million to advertise on behalf of it, on the word of a guy from Chicago that he won’t double-cross them and demand lower prices once the bill is safely passed and he has the power he wants. Good work, pharma.

Special thanks to Larwyn.

What’s on the menu: waffles with the weenie diplomacy

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

UPDATE

No sooner I put up the post that Allahpundit twittered:
Gibbs: hot dog diplomacy ended. All 4th of July invites to Iranians rescinded.

Weenies? We don’t need no steenkin’ weenies!

As Jules put it,

I’m trying to keep the criticism on a constructive level, but I’m rapidly losing confidence in this administration’s ability to manage even something as simple as a Fourth of July picnic without turning it into an international embarrassment.

Earlier:
Yesterday, the weenie diplomacy was still on. Today, they’re thinking it over:
Officials: President Obama reconsidering July 4 invitations to Iran

The Obama administration is seriously considering not extending invitations to Iranian diplomats for July 4 celebrations overseas, senior administration officials tell CNN.

The officials said intense discussions on the issue were taking place, but the final decision had not been made.

Looks like they’ll have waffles with those weenies:

One senior administration official said Wednesday the reconsideration of the July 4th invitations is consistent with Obama’s comments Tuesday, in which he said he was “shocked and appalled” at the violence against demonstrators.

“The president said yesterday how this plays out will affect what we do,” the official said.

Obama said Tuesday, “If Iran chooses a path that abides by international norms and principles, then we are interested in healing some of the wounds of 30 years in terms of U.S.-Iranian relations.”

But he sidestepped questions on whether the offer to attend the celebrations still stand.

“That’s a choice the Iranians are going to have to make,” he said.

Officials said if such a decision is made invitations that have gone out will not be rescinded, although it was unclear whether any Iranians had accepted an invitation.

Or perhaps the drinks are on the rocks?

“I wouldn’t say engagement is off the table, but it is certainly on ice,” a senior administration official told CNN this week.

But what if they give a weenie roast and nobody comes?

US State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said Wednesday he does not believe that one single Iranian diplomat has accepted invitations to July 4 events at US embassies worldwide.

(h/t Jammie)

Could it possibly be that the Ayatollahs don’t find appeasement appetizing?

The Lid was blogging on this, too.

The WHO, the Malawi soccer balls, Paygo, and the roundup

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

Michael Fumento reports that The WHO finally gets its pandemic!

Not this Who,

but the World Health Organization.

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Jules explains How To Make A Malawian Soccer Ball

Jane, who has An example of what excellent parenting really is, sent Worst Side Story

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Maria sent Bam’s Euro Freeze, and the unexpected chill.

My friend Erik was at the 65th Anniversary Commemoration of D-Day and reports on the event: Obama’s stirring words to D-Day veterans (“You could have hid in the hedgerows or waited behind the seawall”) come with… (faint) apology for WWII!

Via Casuist, Washington Wants German Help with Two More Prisoners. There’s lots of money involved in Uighur relocation, isn’t there?

In further foreign relations news, the Obama administration announced the release of four Uighurs to the Bermuda, but imposed travel restrictions that blocks them from entering the US… and neglected to notify the British government.

Oopsie.

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Glenn Reynolds, in a rare long post, asks HOW DO WE KNOW THAT THE OUTRAGEOUS SPENDING IS BECOMING A PROBLEM FOR OBAMA?

IBD explains The President’s Paygo Schitck. More at the WSJ, The ‘Paygo’ Coverup
The Obama pattern: Spend, repent, spend again, repent.

The real game here is that the President is trying to give Democrats in Congress political cover for the health-care blowout and tax-increase votes that he knows are coming. The polls are showing that Mr. Obama’s spending plans are far less popular than the President himself, and Democrats in swing districts are getting nervous. The paygo ruse gives Blue Dog Democrats cover to say they voted for “fiscal discipline,” even as they vote to pass the greatest entitlement expansion in modern history. The Blue Dogs always play this double game.

The other goal of this new paygo campaign is to make it easier to raise taxes in 2011, and impossible to cut taxes for years after that. In the near term, paygo gives Mr. Obama another excuse to let the Bush tax cuts he dislikes expire after 2010, while exempting those (for lower-income voters) that he likes. In the longer term, if a GOP Congress or President ever want to cut taxes, paygo applies a straitjacket that pits those tax cuts against, say, spending cuts in Medicare. The Reagan tax reductions would never have happened under paygo.

Are we worrying yet? Via Maggie, Brazil, Russia Trade T-Bills for IMF Clout

Brazil and Russia are set to unload U.S. Treasury bonds as they acquire $10 billion each of new International Monetary Fund securities designed to bolster the institution’s aid programs, officials in the countries said Wednesday.

The moves are part of a bid by the so-called BRIC nations — Brazil, Russia, India and China — to play a bigger role at the IMF and other international institutions. The announcements helped push Treasury yields to their highest level this year on concern that rising U.S. debt has hurt T-bill demand among big holders of U.S. dollar reserves.

Expect a lot more of that in the future.

Back when he was campaigning Before he was elected, Obama said that terrorists should not get Miranda rights:

Well, now they will.

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I wonder how the news that the Weekly Standard may have been a target of the Holocaust Museum shooter will be spun by those who think Napolitano is a visionary.
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The AMA opposes government single-payor medical coverage. I worked in different positions in the group medical benefits insurance business for nearly 10 years and Medicare was a disaster. I advised my parents to have supplemental coverage, which they did, and which was invaluable during my father’s last illness. The proposed Obamacare is Medicare, only in bigger scale.

On a single-payor system, there won’t be a supplemental plan.

And it will lead to rationing. Medical rationing is never called that; it takes the form of absurdly long waits for all sorts of treatments.

The Dems are split on the issue.

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Last but not least, what’s for dinner? The world of MREs, that’s what!

More flip-flops

Monday, June 1st, 2009

obama-flopsThe Obama flip-flops you don’t know

This much everybody knows: Even before taking office, Obama broke his promise to not appoint lobbyists to his administration. Since then, he’s abandoned his promises to pay for every dollar of new government spending and bring home all combat troops from Iraq within 18 months. And in recent days, he’s outraged his political base by reversing his earlier commitments to eliminate military tribunals and release photos depicting prisoner abuse.

But there are also the ones on Osama Bin Laden, human space exploration (hey, it means more spending, so now he’s embracing it), the Armenian genocide, business tax cuts, and

Other flip-flops include everything from federally funding needle-exchange programs (which he supported in the campaign but his budget does not), allowing five days of public review before bill signings (he broke the promise with his first bill signing) and ordering the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

It’s tough to remain steady when you’re constantly running for office, isn’t it?

Obama Reverses Position on Release of Photos of Detainee Abuse

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

Obama Reverses Position on Release of Photos of Detainee Abuse

President Obama will oppose the release of several dozen photos depicting abuse of detainees held in U.S. military custody abroad, reversing his previous position on the grounds that the pictures could inflame anti-American sentiment and endanger U.S. troops.

The WaPo makes it sound like it was someone’s idea to release the photos,

The administration said today that Obama met last week with White House lawyers and informed them that he did not “feel comfortable” releasing the photos because of the reaction they could cause against U.S. troops and because “he believes that the national security implications of such a release have not been fully presented to the court.”

The administration said today that Obama met last week with White House lawyers and informed them that he did not “feel comfortable” releasing the photos because of the reaction they could cause against U.S. troops and because “he believes that the national security implications of such a release have not been fully presented to the court.”

It may well have been the case: Andrew McCarthy looks into that at length:

It’s worth asking: Has it dawned (pardon the pun) on people yet that it’s a huge problem to have a Justice Department stocked with lawyers who have spent (or whose firms have spent) the last eight years volunteering their services to America’s enemies? We’ve already seen the premature announcement of the closure of Guantánamo Bay when there was clearly no plan for what to do about the detainees; the outright release of Binyam Mohammed, who plotted with “Dirty Bomber” Jose Padilla to attack American cities; the purging of the terms “enemy combatant” and “war”; the release of the CIA memos over the strenuous objection of the intelligence community – and in a shamefully dishonest manner that revealed interrogation tactics but suppressed from public view the life-saving information that the tactics yielded; the announcement of an investigation of Bush administration lawyers and the leaking of information from the related ethics probe; Holder’s under-the-radar suggestion that he’d cooperate with Spain’s investigation of Bush administration officials;the sweetheart plea deal for Ali al-Marri (a terrorist who, like Binyam Mohammed, was planning to conduct a post-9/11 second-wave of mass-murder attacks in the U.S.); the plan to release trained terrorists in the United States; and, now, the decision to release the prisoner abuse photos that the president, hopefully, will rescind.That’s quite a track record in just a hundred days.

Meanwhile, what was Chuck Schumer saying about torture five years ago?

Inner compass? What inner compass?