Archive for the ‘Obama Administration’ Category

President acts Russian … names more than 30 “Czars”

August 1, 2017

Why hasn’t this gotten any attention recently?

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Dems and their media buddies keep hammering Trump for being too cozy with Russia.

The slightest innuendo or chance encounter (think: Trump chats with Putin at formal G20 dinner”) gets blown up into a faux cause celebre that quickly evaporates.

Imagine for a moment if President Trump were to circumvent the Senate’s “advise & consent” rules by appointing people to his administration who play high-level cabinet-like roles … but aren’t subject to Senate approval.

The screaming would be deafening.

And, imagine if Trump were to call the process-circumventing appointees “Czars”.

Russia !  Russia !!!  Russia !!!!

Clear evidence of collusion: Impeach for treason.

 

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Only problem with the story: Trump hasn’t done it, but Obama did … to a gleeful, encouraging press that argued “he had no choice but to do it.”

For a trip down memory lane, here’s a list of Obama’s Czars….

(more…)

Smoking Gun: Have you read the Benghazi Report?

July 14, 2016

Apparently the FBI didn’t since the Benghazi Report provides a detailed case-relevant linkage to the damage sowed by Clinton’s email “carelessness”.

In previous posts, I concluded that Comey ruled illogically because he didn’t want to tilt a potentially historic election.

For months, left-leaners were crying “foul” … asserting that the DOJ shouldn’t get involved in cases involving high profile candidates in election years … especially if the charges are as trivial as carelessly giving our enemies a backdoor into our nation’s top secret information.

What if that classified information led to the death of an American ambassador and 3 members of his “off-the-books” security detail?

Still just trivial oversight?

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Just in case you haven’t had a chance to read the Benghazi Report …

Neither the left- nor right-leaning media echo chambers seem to have landed on what, in my opinion, may be the case study that best demonstrates why Hillary Clinton’s email “carelessness” was a big deal … a life or death situation.

Note to left-leaning readers: This post will be more balanced than you might expect.

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I’ll provide some details and  links below …. for now, the bottom line:

Though Clinton was hawkish on US involvement in Libya (to oust Gadaffi), she lost the argument and was relegated to implementing Obama’s “lead from behind” and “no boots on the ground” policies.

Accordingly, the State Department under-protected the diplomats (e.g. Ambassador Stevens) who were tasked to “connect” with the anti-Gadaffi rebels.

Said differently, the Presidential Policy disallowed any overt military security for the diplomats … i.e. no marines deployed before or during the attack.

My take: Clinton – who I hold in very low regard – was just implementing the Administration’s “no boots” policy.

She argued the contrary to Obama, but lost the argument … she could have resigned, but that would have been politically inopportune for the Dems in the run-up to the 2012 election.  Instead, she dutifully implemented.

Following the attack, Clinton tried to provide air cover for her boss, pitching the fraudulent video defense ad nauseam.

Of course, politicos lying to the American public isn’t exactly new news…

So, again, I’ll give her a pass for being a good team player.

Here’s where things go off-track for Clinton.

According to the Benghazi Report …

There were numerous emails on her home-brew email system that spoke explicitly to the lack of military security for the diplomats and provided details re: the diplomats travel schedules – when and where the diplomats would be, and how little protection they’d have.

Any reasonable person would consider those nuggets to be classified information … even if they weren’t “marked classified at the time that I sent or received them”.

Assuming that the non-secure email system was compromised (a fair assumption, I think) … then the diplomats were sitting ducks.

But,  there wasn’t any direct evidence uncovered that Hillary intended to make them sitting ducks … so, harm, but no foul, right?

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Here’s some detail from the Benghazi Report that’s worth reading for “texture” and context….

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Somebody, please explain Hillary’s firewall to me …

February 24, 2016

OK, Hillary has a firewall against the Bern in South Carolina because of that state’s Black & Hispanic populations.

Her popularity with Blacks is part historical for Democrats, part a residual from Bill Clinton and part from President Obama’s 90% approval rating among Blacks:

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Source: Gallup

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I get that.

And, I hear Hillary & Bernie ranting about income inequality, implying that it’s all the Republican’s fault.

They seem to be forgetting that President Obama has been riding herd on the economy for 7-1/2 years.

Yes, he inherited the “worst recession since the Depression”, but look what has happened since the recession ended.

Median household income for Whites has pretty much leveled out.

But, median household income for Blacks has continued to fall off.

In fact, the median household income gap between Blacks & Whites has widened since the end of the recession under President Obama’s watch.

 

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Source: CNBC

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So tell me, why the sky-high approval rating and Hillary’s firewall?

I must be missing something.

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#HomaFiles

Follow on Twitter @KenHoma            >> Latest Posts

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The most outrageous things said about the San Bernadino terrorist massacre …

December 7, 2015

The terrorist murders in California last week were a horrendous tragedy.

Can you imagine being one of the family or friends of the innocent victims?

 

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For me, it evokes the feelings I had when attending the funeral wake of one of my former students who was killed on 9-11.

I will never forget the look on his mother’s face as she tried to stay strong while standing in front of her dear son’s coffin.

That scene permanently framed my reaction to terrorists and their cold-blooded murderous actions.

With that as a backdrop, I was stunned by some of the outrageous (and dumb) things that were said following the killings ….

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Seriously, does anybody give a hoot about the Iran deal?

July 16, 2015

The Obama-friendly MSM has been trying its best to hype the deal as the most consequential foreign policy act in history … or at least the past hundred years.

Republicans  and Israelis are ranting doom and gloom.  The former largely for political reasons; the latter with legitimate concerns that they’re toast.

So, I’ve been feeling a bit guilty that I can’t get revved up on the issue

Thought Obama’s press conference yesterday might get me interested.

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For what it’s worth, here’s my take …

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TPA & TPP for Dummies (like me)

June 19, 2015

As an economist by training and a political junkie by avocation, you’d think that the current hubbub re: TPA & TPP would be immediately clear to me.

Nope.

I’ve listened closely to the politicos (Paul Ryan included) talk about TPA and TPP …  all they’ve done is muddle things.

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After chatting with a pol-in-the-know, I think that I at least understand the questions … and the reasons for the dust-up.

(more…)

Turnout: About the Dems’ highly touted GOTV ground game … and other ironic twists.

November 7, 2014

The United States Elections Project estimates that only 36.6% of eligible voters cast a ballot on Tuesday.

That’s pretty ironic since the Dems were, before the election, boasting about their predictive analytics and their unstoppable get-out-the-vote organization.

I haven’t been hearing much on the news about the GOTV machine that failed to get-out-the-vote.

 

 

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So, what happened?  Here are a couple of hypotheses to ponder (more…)

Maybe government does do some things right … (Did I really say that?)

November 4, 2014

Loyal readers know that I’m a small government guy … I’m with Reagan that government isn’t the solution, it’s usually the problem.

I think that the Federal government is collectively inefficient (i.e. bloated and wasteful) and, with increasing frequency, totally incompetent.

There are a couple of exceptions: the Military, the FBI, and — hold your hats on – the pre-Obama NASA

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It used to be that I was pro-NASA and pro-space exploration because of emotion.

I can still remember being glued to the TV during the first moonwalk.

Even as a teenager, I felt a pang of excitement and national pride.

Later, I was able to rationalize the spending when I saw my older  brother selling stuff from the space program to commercial businesses.

Of course, last week’s incidents provided two additional rapid-fire proof points.

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The Dude Factor …

May 6, 2014

Recently, “Dude” has gained some surged visibility.

First, a light touch …

A couple of weeks ago we posted the gone-viral of the nun who rocked the house on Italy’s version of The Voice

Part of the story’s punch line was the nun picked the bad boy rapper dude to be her coach.

 

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Here’s a way more serious Dude incidence that has gone viral…

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“The buck stops with the President” … oh, really?

August 30, 2013

Remember Harry Truman’s desk sign that read “The Buck Stops Here”?

Well, it sprang to mind when I read a Washington Post article title: “U.S. Facing Test on Data to Back Action on Syria.

 

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What’s that got to do with Harry Truman?

Here’s what caught my eye …

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Nums: Low public support for military action in Syria … and a historical reference point.

August 28, 2013

Recent polls have indicated that there is very low public support for military action against Syria.

Gallup says that 68% of Americans say the United States should not use military action in Syria to attempt to end the civil war there.

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Gallup

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Ditto a Reuters/Ipsos poll that says “Americans strongly oppose U.S. intervention in Syria’s civil war and believe Washington should stay out of the conflict even if reports that Syria’s government used deadly chemicals to attack civilians are confirmed,”

More specifically, “about 60 percent of Americans surveyed said the United States should not intervene in Syria’s civil war, while just 9 percent thought military action should be taken.”

A historical context puts an interesting paint job on these numbers …

(more…)

What Sequester? … The $100 million vacation.

June 18, 2013

The Washington Post reports that the First Family’s junket to Africa may cost taxpayers as much as $100 million.

And, that’s after scratching the safari from the itinerary.

 

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I’m old school, so I still think that $100 million is a lot of money.

To put the amount in perspective, here’s what else $100 million could buy …

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Why the uproar about the phone and internet surveillance?

June 7, 2013

Yesterday it was revealed that the Feds are routinely gathering and mining  “metadata” on all phone calls and trolling through emails and other Internet content.

Ostensibly they’re just on the look out for terrorists …  that’s a good thing.

I think most folks would agree.

But many folks are in an uproar over the matter.

Why?

For starters, a lot of folks don’t trust the Feds much anymore.

According to Gallup, less than 1 in 5 Americans say that they trust the Federal government

… over 80% only trust the Federal government some of the time or never.

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And, those numbers are before accounting for:

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Nums: Obama’s resilient power alley …

June 1, 2013

According to this weeks Quinnipiac University National Poll,   the President’s approval rating has dipped to 45% … putting him underwater against a 49% disapproval rating,

 

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But, he’s holding strong with some constituencies

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IRS: Why no mention of the NTEU connection?

May 24, 2013

Did you know that the “frontline” IRS employees involved in the IRS scandal are unionized?

Yep.

Members of NTEU – the National Treasury Employees Union.

So what?

First, like most government employee unions, the NTEU is all for bigger government and fatter retirement benefits.

So, it’s no big surprise that the union endorsed Obama for President.

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Nothing shady there … strictly legal … and consistent with the employees’ interests.

But, here’s where things get interesting …

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IRS: Lerner gets 4 Pinocchios … and pleads a fifth.

May 21, 2013

OK, now we’re starting to make some progress.

Lois Lerner is the head of the exempt organizations division of the IRS.

She’s the one who answered a planted post-speech question  — by “apologizing”  for the IRS targeting conservative groups.

Her public statements regarding the IRS fiasco has earned her 4 Pinocchios from the left-leaning Washington Post.

More on that later.

Now, it’s being reported that she’ll plead the 5th Amendment at a Congressional hearing on Wednesday. Source

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Here’s a link to the Post’s analysis : A bushel of Pinocchios for IRS’s Lois Lerner.

Quick summary: Liar, liar … pants on fire.I know, innocent until proven guilty …

English translation: GUILTY !

Perp walk,  anybody?

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GDP down, unemployment claims up, Jobs Council fired … say, what?

February 1, 2013

Let me be sure that I have this right.

According to the WSJ …

The government reported that the U.S. economy shrank for the first time in more than three years in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Gross domestic product — the broadest measure of goods and services churned out by the economy — fell at a 0.1% annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2012.

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The drop, a surprise, was driven by a sharp fall in government spending and by businesses putting fewer goods on warehouse shelves, as well as by a decline in exports.

A one quarter contraction of economic output doesn’t mean the economy is formally in recession, but it is unusual for such contractions to happen in the middle of economic expansions.

In fact,  a similar drop has only happened one time in the past fifty years.

Of course, the media bellowed that the number wasn’t as bad as it looked since much of the hit came from a drop in government spending which, incidentally, had surged in the pre-election 3rd quarter.

Hmmm.

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The story gets better …

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23 and counting …

November 2, 2012

No, it’s not the number of consecutive weeks that the BLS has under-reported initial unemployment claims … it’s the number of taxpayer-funded green energy companies that have failed so far … another 27 are reported to have very short financial runways..

Would you invest in this venture capitalist’s next fund?

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Source

  1. Solyndra*: Received $535 million DOE loan and $25.1 million in California tax credit. Bankrupt: September 2011
  2. Abound Solar*: Received part of a $60 million grant under the Bush administration, and was awarded a $400 million loan under Obama in December of 2010. Abound was awarded a $9.2-million loan from the Export-Import Bank in July 2011. Bankrupt: June 2012
  3. Beacon Power*: Received more than $25 million in DOE grants and a DOE loan for $43 million. Bankrupt: October 2011
  4. A123 Systems*: Received $390 million, of which $249 million of it was a Recovery Act Grant. Filed for Bankruptcy October 16, 2012, and two companies are seeking to buy A123; Johnson Controls and the Chinese firm Wanxiang Group Corp.
  5. AES Eastern Energy/Energy Storage*: Received $17.1 million DOE conditional commitment on August 2, 2010. Bankrupt: December 31, 2011.
  6. Amonix*: Received $6 million in federal tax credits a $15.6 million grant from the DOE for research and development. Bankrupt: July 18, 2012.
  7. Azure Dynamics*: Received millions in stimulus funds and over $1.7 million in Michigan state tax credits. Bankrupt: March 27, 2012
  8. Babcock & Brown: Received $178 million in the largest federal (1603) stimulus wind grant in December 2009. Placed into voluntary liquidation: March 13, 2009
  9. Energy Conversion Devices Inc./Uni-Solar: Received a $13.3 million Stimulus tax credit. Bankrupt: February 2011.
  10. Ener1*: Received a $118.5 million DOE Stimulus grant. Bankrupt: January 26, 2011.
  11. Evergreen Solar, Inc.*: Received Stimulus funds, grants, tax-credits, low-interest loans and subsidies. Bankrupt: August 15, 2011
  12. Konarka Technologies Inc.: Received $20 million in grants from government agencies such as the DOE and the Pentagon. Bankrupt: June 4, 2012.
  13. ADDITION Range Fuels*: Range Fuels: $162.25 million in government commitments since 2007, of which $64 million came from a USDA Biofuel loan in 2010 alone, despite financial and technical difficulties, and opposition inside the USDA.
  14. Raser Technologies: Received $33 million Treasury Department Stimulus grant. Bankrupt: May 2, 2011.
  15. SpectraWatt*: Received $500,000 grant from the Renewable Energy Lab via the Stimulus. Bankrupt: August 23, 2011
  16. Stirling Energy Systems: Received $7 million from a federal renewable-energy grant and was eligible for nearly $10.5 million in manufacturing September 28, 2011.
  17. Thompson River Power LLC: Received $6.5 million in Stimulus funds from Section 1603. Bankrupt: July 2, 2012.
  18. Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)
  19. Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million);
  20. Nordic Windpower* ($16 million)
  21. Satcon ($3 million) As reported by the Heritage Foundation October 18, 2012, “A solar company that got a multi-million-dollar grant from the Department of Energy earlier this year announced Wednesday that it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, making it the second taxpayer-backed green energy company to file for bankruptcy this week.”
  22.  Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($700,981) ($6 million); in our unconfirmed bankrupt list
  23. Cardinal Fastener & Specialty Co.: Received $480,000 through the Section 48C Advanced Manufacturing Tax Credit Program. During Obama’s visit to Cardinal Fastener, he took a “green Recovery Act victory lap,” and touted it as means for “Made-In-America Jobs” for Ohio. Yet, just two weeks after the Obama visit, Cardinal laid off 12 percent of its staff, and in June 2011, Cardinal Fastener filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Lastly, in January 2012, Cardinal Fastener was acquired by Germany’s Wurth Group for just $3.9 Million.

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Why would anybody distrust the BLS numbers?

October 8, 2012

The BLS is  an independent organization that just reports the facts, right?

Former GOP administration insiders are coming to the BLS’ defense, testifying that the number crunchers are innocent as babies.

So, why should anybody be suspicious just because  the “household survey” is giving answers that conflict with the “establishment survey” and  is reporting job gains greater than in any other month for the past 30 or 40 years?

Here are four documented reasons to be skeptical:

1. The administration has used bullying tactics with outside pollsters – specifically Gallup

Recently, Team Obama didn’t like Gallup’s polling numbers.  So campaign chief Axlerod called them to provide some statistical counseling, and and Attorney General Holder launched a DOJ investigation of Gallup’s human resource practices. Suddenly, Gallup’s  poll numbers turned more favorable to the President, including a 1-day 12 point improvement in Obama’s approval rating.  Coincidence?   Source

2. The administration has been bullying defense contractors to violate Federal employment laws.

ABC is reporting that the White House has told defense contractors to not issue layoff notices until after the election. They even went as far as to offer to pay for any legal fees associated with their violating the law by not giving employees proper notice. Specifically, “defense contractor Lockheed Martin heeded a request from the White House – one with political overtones – and announced it will not issue layoff notices to thousands of employees just days before the November presidential election.” Source

3. Obama has used bullying tactics with other “independent government agencies – specifically the CBO.

The Congressional Budget Office is supposed to be strictly objective, and completely detached from the Administration. But, during the ObamaCare debate, when the CBO numbers weren’t looking favorable, the President ordered CBO director Doug Elmendorf to the White House for counseling.  The next week, the CBO revised its numbers.  The new estimates were  more favorable towards ObamaCare.  Another coincidence? click for news report

4. The BLS has a recent track record of questionable numbers.

Most important, for at least the last 22 election season weeks, the same BLS that reports the unemployment statistics has systematically underreported weekly initial unemployment claims by an average of roughly 1% – about 3,000 claims per week – and then revised the estimates up the next week.

Why is the preliminary under-reporting a problem?

Because each week’s “headline” number of changes in unemployment claims is derived by taking the current week’s preliminary number and comparing it to the prior week’s revised number.

For example, in the week ending September 22, the preliminary number (367,000) was compared to September 15th’s revised number (363,000) and and 4,000 drop in unemployment claims was reported. The September 15 preliminary number – the basis for the September 15 report — was 359,000. So, comparing preliminary estimates for the two weeks, unemployment claims increased by 8,000 not 4,000. And, based on the past 22 weeks of initial underreporting, that number is likely to swell when the September 22 number is revised – most certainly upwards.

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My point: the Administration has demonstrated a willingness to bully supposedly independent groups, both in and out of government.

And, the BLS has exhibited some curious statistical reporting.

Still believe the latest unemployment report?

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No economist foresaw the severity of the recession … and no president could have done a better job … wrong and WRONG!

October 2, 2012

Obama has been stumping that no economists foresaw the severity of the recession … so don’t blame him the a trillion dollar faux-stimulus didn’t keep unemployment under 8%.

Former President Clinton pitched at the DNC that no president – not even him – could have pulled us out of the dive better than Barack did.

Huh?

Last weekend, the  NY Times debunked the first claim:

President-elect Obama’s economic team spent the final weeks of 2008 trying to assess how bad the economy was.

It was during those weeks ..when they first discussed academic research by the economists Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff that would soon become well known.

Ms. Reinhart and Mr. Rogoff  … were arguing that financial crises led to slumps that were longer and deeper than other recessions.

Almost inevitably … policy makers battling a crisis made the mistake of thinking that their crisis would not be as bad as previous ones.

Obama advisers … knew the history … yet, of course,  they did repeat it.

By late 2008, the full depth of the crisis was not clear, but enough of it was.

A few prominent liberal economists were publicly predicting a long slump.

The Obama team, in private, discussed the Reinhart-Rogoff work.

So why didn’t that work do more to affect the team’s decisions?

Want more proof?

On 12/24/2008, USA Today published a piece titled: Forecasters share predictions for economy’s outlook in 2009

The punch lines:

If the recession continues past the spring, as many economists predict, it will be the most prolonged one since the Great Depression.

Employers are expected to continue to shed jobs at a rapid pace.

Consumers will pull back spending.

Businesses will cancel equipment purchases. Unsold, empty homes will dot city blocks.

I guess what Team Obama means is Goolsbee, Romer, and Bernstein didn’t see the severity.

Clinton’s claim of un-doability is just plain silly.

Reagan inherited a recession as severe as the one Obama inherited, plus 18% inflation.

He pulled the economy out in 1-term … so, there !

Team Obama seems to have a penchant for re-writing history.

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Re: Woodward’s book … save your $$$ … here’s my synopsis.

September 17, 2012

Given Woodward’s rep,  the pre-release hype, and anticipation of some good dirt on Obama …. I downloaded the Kindle version as soon as it became available.

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I thought it was tedious with relatively little new news … reminded me of most movies: all the good parts are in the 2-minute trailer … rest of the movie is filler.

The broad theme – wisely reported —  is that Obama is clueless re: how big organizations run, what  a CEO does, how a CEO should act, and generally, how to implement ideas.

That shouldn’t surprise anybody since Obama  hadn’t run anything before becoming President, hadn’t been exposed to any effective big organization leaders and openly despises CEOS (except the late great Steve Jobs and Warren “Please Tax Me More” Buffett).

Verizon CEO Seidenberg “worried that Obama did not appreciate the importance of business. Sure, he understood it intellectually, but did he really admire the guts and instincts that made corporations succeed, hire workers, and grow America?” 

Here’s what caught my eye …

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Obama is broadly disrespected by Congressional leaders (both House and Senate, both parities) … and his own staff.

  • Boehner ignored phone calls from Obama …  and hated “ …going down to the White House to listen to what amounted to presidential lectures.”
  • Pelosi hit the mute button and kept working when Obama would call and pontificate
  • Reid allowed a staffer to dress down the President for not having a plan … and confidentially encouraged GOPers
  • Staffers (e.g. Summers, Orzag) observed “no adult in charge” … “It was increasingly clear that no one was running Washington. That was trouble for everyone, but especially for Obama.”
  • Van Hollen: “The administration didn’t seem to have a strategy. It was unbelievable. There didn’t seem to be any core principles.”

Ken’s Take: I was a bit surprised that even Dems  think he’s a tool … they buy in to his ideology, hoped his charisma would make him a good front man – but have been disappointed, and are left trying to cover for his inadequacies.

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Woodward presents a comparatively favorable picture of Dems: Biden, Reid, Pelosi, Van Hollen

  • Biden is presented as a savvy legislative pro who builds relationships and tries to work towards solutions … not the bungler he plays in public … McConnell: “ … a man I’ve come to respect as a straight-shooting negotiator.”
  • Reid and Pelosi come across as more thoughtful than their public personas …  effective leaders of their caucuses … cagey working the back channels with GOP leaders … generally trusted by GOP despite policy disagreements.
  • Van Hollen gets points for being a details man re: policy who’s willing to pitch and defend his points

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Obama fails at basic CEO stuff … much like a freshly-minted MBA whose first job is running GE … 
 “When you don’t know what you don’t know, it gets you in big trouble.”

  • Disrespects people and their ideas and then expects them to support his ideas … “The polls are pretty good for me right now.”, “Do you think Ronald Reagan sat here like this?”, “I won, you lost”, “This isn’t negotiable” … surprised when folks don’t rally for him when he’s in a bind … “when you need friends, it’s too late to make them.”
  • Unable to separate the important from the incidental … “All we were going to do was nick everybody and irritate everybody and not accomplish anything.”
  • “There was no agility in the White House, no ability to get organized and move fast on critical issues”
  • Absolutely no comprehension of the difficulty of syndicating and implementing decisions … thinks agreements in meeting are the end, not the beginning of the process.
  • “Obama had no chief operating officer, no COO to implement his decisions.” … (you know, a Dick Cheney or Hillary Clinton)
  • Poor staffing choices … goes for comfort level over effectiveness … only yes-men need apply … notice how the entire economic team has turned over?
  • No structure or processes … “Any good manager, any good leader, has a team around him and a structure around him for making things work and making things happen. I never got the slightest clue that there was a structure there.” … ”The place [White House] is dysfunctional.”
  • No contingency planning … no anticipation of 2nd order effects … no Plan Bs
  • Poor negotiation skills … Coburn: “it showed how inexperienced a negotiator Obama was.”
  • No sell-in of ideas … just brute force … expects the power of his idea to carry the the day … Cantor: ”… not on the same page, not in the same book, or even the same library.”
  • Poor communications …“Most extraordinary was the repeated use of the telephone for critical exchanges. Especially baffling was President Obama’s decision to make his critical request for $ 400 billion more in revenue in a spur-of-the-moment phone call. The result was a monumental communications lapse between the key parties”
  • Poor listening skills … “Obama talked, then seemed to listen — but … was really just waiting to talk again, to make his points, to win the argument.”
  • “The president talks a good game, but when it comes time to actually putting these issues on the table, making decisions, he can’t quite pull the trigger.”
  • “How badly the White House had played what should have been a winning hand.”
  • “It was a failure of presidential leadership. He was not Reagan. He was not Clinton.”
  • “Obama really doesn’t have the joy of the game.”

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Obama was (and is) is totally obsessed with 2 things …

  • Getting re-elected … e.g. Pushing big decisions past the 2012 election
  • Raising taxes on the top 2% … seems to be his driving mission in life

Ken’s Take:  Does Obama really think the world will change much if and when he gets his white whale?

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A few Congressional and business leaders mused: “We were here before him and we’ll be here after him”  … 

  • Implication #1: We’ll have to live with this stuff when he’s gone … “Whatever the Congress decided could be undone by a future Congress anyhow.”
  • Implication #2: All we have to do is drag our feet and outlast him … “Guys like me can hunker down and wait you out.”

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Best Teaching Point

Barney Frank’s advice to Paul Ryan:

Ryan sat down at one point with Representative Barney Frank, the Massachusetts Democrat known for his biting wit and powerful intellect.

Though they were ideological opposites, Frank gave him what Ryan considered the best advice he got about how to be an effective congressman.

Be a specialist, Frank told him, not a generalist.

Focus on one set of issues.

Get on the committee that you care about, and then learn more about the topic than anybody else.

Talk to all the experts you can find … and read everything you can.

Know these things inside and out.

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Some factoids

  • Internal Revenue Service data shows that the current tax system produces about 85 to 86 percent of what it’s supposed to … i.e. 15% non-compliance
  • 51 percent of all federal employees, including uniformed military, were at the Department of Defense.
  • Pell college grants, a Democratic and Obama favorite aimed at assisting college students, because the annual cost was now more than $ 20 billion.

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Some random snippets

  • Golf, a game of recovery. A bad or unlucky shot wasn’t fatal. Follow it up with a good second or third shot, and you could still find yourself on the green with a chance at par, or even better. .
  • Politics meant sitting across the table from people you might not like or who were annoying. Keeping cool was essential.

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Final note:  Woodward’s book would have been a big deal last week … Woodward caught a bad break since the Libya assassination and mid-East uprisings pushed his book out of the news coverage … .

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Tread marks: NEWSWEEK throws Obama under the bus!

August 20, 2012

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

Here’s the picture; below are a couple of snippets; click to read the whole article (a must read!).

Couldn’t have said it better myself …  send to friends.

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Snippets

The question confronting the country … is not who was the better candidate four years ago. It is whether the winner has delivered on his promises. And the sad truth is that he has not.
 

In his inaugural address, Obama promised “not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth.” He promised to “build the roads and bridges, the electric grids, and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.” He promised to “restore science to its rightful place and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost.” And he promised to “transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.” Unfortunately the president’s scorecard on every single one of those bold pledges is pitiful.

Welcome to Obama’s America: nearly half the population is not represented on a taxable return—almost exactly the same proportion that lives in a household where at least one member receives some type of government benefit. We are becoming the 50–50 nation—half of us paying the taxes, the other half receiving the benefits.

The president has done absolutely nothing to close the long-term gap between spending and revenue.

After all, it’s the president’s job to run the executive branch effectively—to lead the nation. And here is where his failure has been greatest.

Larry Summers told Orszag over dinner in May 2009: “You know, Peter, we’re really home alone  …  I mean it. We’re home alone. There’s no adult in charge.  … You can’t just march in and make that argument and then have him make a decision … because he doesn’t know what he’s deciding.”

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 did nothing to address the core defects of the system: the long-run explosion of Medicare costs as the baby boomers retire, the “fee for service” model that drives health-care inflation, the link from employment to insurance that explains why so many Americans lack coverage, and the excessive costs of the liability insurance that our doctors need to protect them from our lawyers.

The president just kept ducking the fiscal issue. Having set up a bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, headed by retired Wyoming Republican senator Alan Simpson and former Clinton chief of staff Erskine Bowles, Obama effectively sidelined its recommendations of approximately $3 trillion in cuts and $1 trillion in added revenues over the coming decade

For me the president’s greatest failure has been not to think through the implications of these challenges to American power. Far from developing a coherent strategy, he believed—perhaps encouraged by the premature award of the Nobel Peace Prize—that all he needed to do was to make touchy-feely speeches around the world explaining to foreigners that he was not George W. Bush.

America under this president is a superpower in retreat, if not retirement. Small wonder 46 percent of Americans—and 63 percent of Chinese—believe that China already has replaced the U.S. as the world’s leading superpower or eventually will.

It is a sign of just how completely Barack Obama has “lost his narrative” since getting elected that the best case he has yet made for reelection is that Mitt Romney should not be president. In his notorious “you didn’t build that” speech, Obama listed what he considers the greatest achievements of big government: the Internet, the GI Bill, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Hoover Dam, the Apollo moon landing, and even (bizarrely) the creation of the middle class. Sadly, he couldn’t mention anything comparable that his administration has achieved.

Ken’s Take:

There’s not much new news in the article’s content … all of it has been said before somewhere … much has been said here in the HomaFiles.

The news is that a liberal magazine has thrown Obama under the bus.

Newsweek, by breaking from the left-ranks, may have given permission to other media to at least jump off the bus and start reporting squarely.

OMG.

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Amateur Hour: No wonder the economy is a mess

August 25, 2011

According to a study by the Employment Policies Institute …

How many members of Congress have an academic background that provided them with a basic understanding how the economy works?

The answer, it turns out, is not many.

Publicly available data  show that nearly 8 out of 10  members of Congress lack an academic background in business or economics.

  • 55.7% majored in either government-related fields or the humanities
  • 13.7% majored in a business or accounting-related field.
  • 8.4% majored in an economics-related field

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Question: Think the President took a single econ or biz course in college or grad school – except for, maybe, contract law?  I’m betting the under.  I’d still like to see his transcripts to peek at his GPA (UG lower than W’s?) and to see if he took any econ-biz courses.

Couple the above with the low percentage of Obama’s cabinet who had worked in the private business sector prior to their appointment to the cabinet.

Below are the percentages of cabinet members with private sector experience …

Eisenhower………..57%
Reagan……………..56%
GW Bush……………55%
Nixon…………………53%
Wilson ………………52%
GH Bush…………… 51%
F. Roosevelt……….50%
Truman………………50%

Harding………………49%
Coolidge…………… 48%
Johnson……… …….47%
Ford…………………..42%
Hoover ………………42%
Taft……………………40%

Clinton ……….. …..39%
T. Roosevelt……….38%
Carter………………..32%
Kennedy…………….30%

Obama……………… 8%

Hmmm.

Draw your own conclusion.

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Line drawn in sand: Obama won’t show transcripts … 3 reasons why he should.

April 29, 2011

OK, Trump got the birth certificate out of hiding.

Now, he’s pushing for Obama to reveal his college transcripts.

Go, Donald.

I’d like to see the transcripts for 3 reasons:

1) The liberal media hounded Bush for his transcripts. Why? Because they would prove that Bush was dumb.

Well, turned out that Bush didn’t challenge for valedictorian, but he was a B-C student. 

And, oh yeah, when John Kerry – intelligentsia personified – had to cough up his transcripts, it was revealed that dumb old Bush had better grades.

Hmmm.

Which leads directly to reason #2.

2)  Valerie Jarrett – one of O’s hitwoman – said yesterday:

“He’s almost 50 years old and he’s president of the United States and I don’t think anybody would debate his intelligence and so now we need to get serious … let’s just get serious and get back to focusing on what’s important,”

Sorry, Valerie, but I’m unimpressed with his intellect.

I’ve worked with dozens of people with more compelling intellects.

To be more specific, have you noticed the number of “ums” and “ahs” when the teleprompter is turned off?  Or, have you noticed how often the unplugged Obama steps in “it”.  Think: “cops acted stupidly” or “just go buy a hybrid van”.   To me, those are indicators of how well (or how poorly) a guy thinks on his feet.  Pure intellect – not dramatic reading skills.

I’d love to see him debate Paul Ryan on the budget mano-a-mano … or see him go one-on-one with Newt Gingrich on practically any issue. He’d get mopped.

Neither will happen, so if he flashes a string of straight As on a transcript, I’ll get off the case.

And, finally …

3) I’m curious re: how many courses the dude has taken in economics or business. 

The over/under is one … and I’ve taken the under on a couple of bets.  I can’t collect until the transcripts are made public.

So, I hope that the Trumpster keeps razzing Obama from bench until we see the transcripts …

* * * * *

P.S. to Valerie: “focusing on what’s important” … Isn’t the Oprah interview already in the can? Gimme a break.

Carnival barkers cry ‘foul’ over Obama’s derogatory reference.

April 29, 2011

When President Obama released his birth certificate on Wednesday morning, he remarked: “We’re not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers.”

In the process, Obama ended up starting a new controversy  — with America’s carnival barkers

According to the Huffington Post:

Many in the carnival community were not amused by the mention of their industry.

The editor of Carnival Warehouse.com, a website dealing with the industry, thought the president should be more sensitive about singling out groups when making disparaging comments.

“I think what Obama said is the same type of stereotype that has been placed on African Americans.”

“You wouldn’t expect those comments from someone who is a minority and has faced prejudice.”

Citing need for focus, Obama releases birth certificate … then jets to Chicago to tape Oprah

April 27, 2011

Yielding to the Trumpster, President Obama finally coughed up his official birth certificate,

Why now?

Citing the serious economic challenges that face the nation and the need to stay focused , Obama said:

“We do not have time for this silliness. We’ve got better stuff to do. I’ve got better stuff to do. We’ve got big problems to solve.”

Then, getting back to the serious business of being the President, Obama boarded Air Force 1.

According to USA Today: 

It’s a busy travel day for President Obama, who left this morning for Chicago and a taping of Oprah Winfrey’s talk show. First lady Michelle Obama will also appear on the program that airs Monday.

Then it’s off to New York City, where Obama speaks at three fundraisers for the Democratic National Committee.

The president is scheduled to return to the White House after midnight.

USA Today, Obama’s day: Oprah and the Big Apple, April 27, 2011

Thank goodness that the silliness is over and the man can focus on the important issues again.

Four more years …

April 7, 2011

President Obama – or, as some are calling him “Present Obama” – launched his 2012 campaign.

Worth spending a minute watching this …

Obama: 4 more years

Georgetown’s “chronic unwillingness to come together” … huh?

April 1, 2011

Be honest.

If Bush had misspoken like this, mass media would have gone nuts.

But, since the Orator-in-Chief said it, it got buried.

Here’s one recap I found:

During his speech at Georgetown University yesterday… he took a slap at his host.

Obama said, “You also happen to go to a school that for a long time has suffered from a chronic unwillingness to come together and make tough choices.”

Oops.

Seems that the smartest man on the planet just flubbed a line on the teleprompter.

In fact, the President’s speech read, “you go to school IN A TOWN that, for a long time has suffered…”

In other words, he was attempting to insult Washington, not the university.

Perhaps, he should listen to what he reads …

Unemployment, Budget, Libya, Japan … Fore!

March 15, 2011

Media widely report that Pres Obama took a 4 a.m. phone call from Sec. of Staff Bill Daley last week.

Many inferred that it was the news of the Japan earthquake and tsunami.

Au contraire.

Appears that it was a wake-up call for his 61st round of golf.

As Alfred E. Newman would say, “What me worry?”

President Obama just could not wait for spring weather to arrive.

For the second week in a row, the most powerful man in the world stepped away from the White House to hit the golf course.

Even as his administration and the U.S. military help Japan recover from a devastating earthquake, and as the world worries about Fukushima’s nuclear reactor, the president could not resist taking advantage of the 48-degree weather in the Washington, D.C., area.

The president left the White House Saturday afternoon for a short trip to Joint Andrews Base in Camp Springs, Md.

With cloudy skies, it’s not the best weather for golf, but Obama loves to spend his Saturdays on the greens. Last fall, Obama went golfing darn near every weekend.

These are never quick “work on your swing” trips; usually the president plays 18 holes, as he did last week.

ABC News, Just Warm Enough for Golf, Obama Back on the Course
a. March 12, 2011

Get your free ObamaPhone and free minutes …

March 4, 2011

That’s the shock email circulating these days. 

OK, to be fair and technically accurate, the program was started under Reagan, but it’s actively promoted by the current administration so we’ll give them some  credit.

Apparently cell phones are a necessity for minimum living standards …

What follows is unbelievable, but true … just follow the links.

The Program

SafeLink Wireless is proud to offer Lifeline Service, which is a program that enables qualifying customers to receive free cellular telephone service.

If you qualify, you will receive free cellular service, a free SafeLink Wireless cell phone and the assurance that you will get no bills and no contracts EVER!

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* * * * * *

How to Qualify

The process to qualify for Lifeline Service depends on the State you live in.

In general, you may qualify if…

1.You already participate in other State or Federal assistance program such as Federal Public Housing Assistance, Food Stamps and Medicaid, or

2.Your total household income is at or below of the poverty guidelines set by your State and/or the Federal Government, and

3.No one in your household currently receives Lifeline Service through another phone carrier, and

4.You have a valid United States Postal Address.

Note: In order for us to ship you your free phone you must live at a residence that can receive mail from the US Post Office.

In addition to meeting the guidelines above you will also be required to provide proof of your participation in an assistance program, or proof of your income level.

* * * * *

See for yourself:
https://www.safelinkwireless.com/EnrollmentPublic/home.aspx

Gov. Walker: “President Obama simply misunderstands” … ouch!

March 1, 2011

When speaking to the nation’s governors, Pres. Obama jumped back into the Wisconsin fray giving shout-outs to the unionized state employees.

Here’s Gov. Walker’s response …

Excerpted from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Walker responds to Obama, Feb. 28, 2011

Gov. Scott Walker responded to comments President Barack Obama made about the protests in Madison:

Walker’s office issued this statement:

“I’m sure the President knows that most federal employees do not have collective bargaining for wages and benefits while our plan allows it for base pay.

And I’m sure the President knows that the average federal worker pays twice as much for health insurance as what we are asking for in Wisconsin.

At least I would hope he knows these facts.

“Furthermore, I’m sure the President knows that we have repeatedly praised the more than 300,000 government workers who come to work every day in Wisconsin.

“I’m sure that President Obama simply misunderstands the issues in Wisconsi …, and isn’t acting like the union bosses in saying one thing and doing another.”

BHO: “I’ll walk that picket line with you” … oh, just kidding.

February 28, 2011

As a stumping candidate, Obama declared: “And understand this: If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House, I’ll put on a put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself. I’ll walk on that picket line with you as president of the United States.”

See it with your own eyes

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SA9KC8SMu3o

So, why hasn’t he kicked off his Motown Gala dancin’ shoes and slipped into some comfy walkers to join his buds in Madison, Wisc. ?

Especially after firing the early shot about “assaulting union rights”?

Well, turns out that Obama has some explaining to do.

As the WSJ reports:

President Obama, the great patron of the working man, also happens to be the great CEO of one of the least union-friendly shop floors in the nation.

Fact: President Obama is the boss of a civil work force that numbers up to two million (excluding postal workers and uniformed military).

Fact: Those federal workers cannot bargain for wages or benefits. Fact: Washington, D.C. is, in the purest sense, a “right to work zone.” Federal employees are not compelled to join a union, nor to pay union dues.

Fact: Neither Mr. Obama, nor the prior Democratic majority, ever acted to give their union chums a better federal deal.

Fact:  Democratic President Jimmy Carter, backed by a Democratic Congress, …  severely proscribed the issues over which employees could bargain, as well as prohibited compulsory union support.

Fact: Federal employee unions . Unions are limited to bargaining over personnel employment practices such as whether employees are allowed to wear beards, or whether the government must pay to clean uniforms.

Perhaps, Pres.. Obama will explain how it is that Wisconsin is wrong to ask for the same budget flexibility that he enjoys as president.

If he’s unable or unwilling) to do that, perhaps he’ll tell the thugs he dispatched to Wisconsin to back off.

Are you doing better now ?

February 22, 2011

Key stats from date Obama was inaugurated until today.

Yeah, I know … it’s Bush’s fault.

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Published on DickMorris.com on February 15, 2011

Simple question: Why hasn’t Obama fired Ray LaHood?

February 10, 2011

Ray LaHood is Obama’s Transportation Secretary.

The guy who excorciated Toyota for making unsafe cars.

“I wouldn’t let anybody in my family drive one.  They’re not safe.”

No evidence.  Just hearsay.

No investigation.  Just anecdotes and ambulance chasers.

Toyota loses millions.  Government-owned GM surges.

Now, it’s “pedal misapplication”.  Not electronics.

Either LaHodd is totally irresponsible or frightfully conniving.

Either way, he should be fired

Let’s see if Obama has the moral clarity and ‘nads to do what’s right.

I’m taking the under on the bet …

GM’s UAW workers get windfall bonus … and, oh yeah, Toyota’s innocent.

February 9, 2011

From the ‘makes your blood boil’ file:

Yesterday, there were 2 seemingly unrelated news stories … I say ‘seemingly’ because the mainstream media hasn’t picked up on the connection.

First, the WSJ reported that GM (aka, Government Motors)  is planning to pay its hourly workers  at least $3,000 each in profit-sharing payouts, the largest amount ever.  Why? Because the company miraculously returned to profitability in 2010. The profit-sharing checks will go to 45,000 workers as part of the auto maker’s contract with the United Auto Workers union.

Now, let’s stop and think for a moment.

How did GM return to profitability?

Through increased UAW productivity?

Nah.

First, GM wiped out shareholders and – completely ignoring contract law — moved the union pension claims ahead of its bona fide secured creditors. Get rid of your debt – and its related interest – and your economics change a bit.

Then, toss a couple of billion dollars of excess plants & equipment into a new corporate entity … just get it off your books.

Then, have one of your owners – in this case the Federal government – make some bogus claims against one of your major competitors.  Maybe have the President and Secretary of Transportation declare that the competitor’s cars are unsafe to drive.  That might dampen their sales … and increase your’s.

So what if the claims are largely unfounded.  Go for it.

Now, for the other news story.

The WSJ reported that NASA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted a 10-month-long study on Toyota’s apparent acceleration problems.

Based on the study they absolved the electronics in Toyota’s vehicles for unintended acceleration, and said driver error was to blame for most of the incidents.

While floor mats sometimes got caught under the throttle, the  most common problem was drivers hitting the gas when they thought they were hitting the brake, which the NHTSA called “pedal misapplication.”

So tell me again why the overpaid, over-pensioned UAW workers are getting bonuses …

Uh-oh … O’s upside down again.

February 7, 2011

President Obama’s job approval numbers are looking good … if you just look at the polls conducted by CNN, CBS, and NBC.

But, Gallup and Rasmussen are back to running counter to the mainstream media.

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* * * * *

Gallup is now reporting that 45% approve and 47% disapprove … the bump from extending the Bush tax cuts seems to have faded.

image 
http://www.gallup.com/poll/113980/Gallup-Daily-Obama-Job-Approval.aspx

* * * * *

Rasmussen’s most recent Presidential Approval Index – which subtracts String Dis-approvers from Strong Approvers – is down to minus 17.

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* * * * *

And, Gallup is reporting that President Barack Obama’s approval ratings during his second year in office were the most partisan and polarized of any president’s first two years of his presidency

Nearly a 70-percentage-point gap in how Republicans and Democrats evaluated his performance.

Obama’s approval among Republicans averaged 13 percent, while Democrats’ approval of Obama’s second year averaged 81 percent.

* * * * *

Uh-oh …

Obama’s post SOTU bounce …

February 1, 2011

Oops. 

While many polls show Obama’s approval rating going up since he extended the Bush tax cuts, according to Rasmussen, the President’s State of the Union Address pushed his approval numbers down.

Hard to believe that folks didn’t get excited over tax the oil companies, tax the rich … keep on spending on fast trains, solar panels, and whatever.

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More proof that Sarah Palin is a mean person.

February 1, 2011

Palin got criticized last week for her reaction to President Obama’s State of the Union Address.

She simply noted that the President coined the slogan “Winning the Future” … and suggested the obvious: perhaps we should all start wearing buttons with the slogan’s initials “WTF”.

Well, liberal pundits hammered her for being crude and divisive.

Hmmm.

They didn’t squawk when Vice President Biden called ObamaCare a “BFD”.

Double standard, anybody ?

A tiresome, irksome speech … ouch!

January 31, 2011

Peggy Noonan was a Republican speech writer … then she jumped on the  Hope & Change train … then she fell out of love with O … then the Tucson speech reignited her enthusiasm … then came the State of the Union.

Here a few of the notable quips from her WSJ op-ed …

I hate writing this. I wanted to write “A Serious Man Seizes the Center.” But President Obama was not serious and he didn’t seize the center, he went straight for the mush.

It is a strange and confounding thing about this White House that the moment you finally think they have their act together — the moment they get in the groove and start to demonstrate that they do have some understanding of our country — they take the very next opportunity to prove anew that they do not have their act together, and are not in the groove. It’s almost magical.

Rhetorically the speech lay there like a lox, as if the document itself knew it was dishonest, felt embarrassed, and wanted to curl up quietly in a corner of the podium and hide. But the president insisted on reading it.

The President continues not to comprehend America’s central anxiety about government spending: that it will crush our children, constrict the economy in which they operate, make America poorer, lower its standing in the world, and do in the American dream.

We’ll focus on “greater Internet access,” “renewable energy,” “one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015,” “wind and solar,” “information technology.” “Within 25 years, our goal is to give 80% of Americans access to high-speed rail.” The administration continues to struggle with the concept of priorities. They are like people who’d say, “Martha, the house is on fire and flames are licking down the stairs—let’s discuss what color to repaint the living room after we rebuild!” A better priority might be, “Get the kids out and call the fire department.”

The president will limit the cost of government by whipping it into shape and removing redundant agencies. Really? He hasn’t shown much interest in that before. He has shown no general ideological sympathy for the idea of shrinking and streamlining government. He’s going to rationalize government?

On education, the president announced we’re lagging behind in our public schools. Who knew? In this age of “Waiting for Superman” and “The Lottery,” every adult in America admits that union rules are the biggest impediment to progress. “Race to the Top” isn’t the answer. We all know this.

There is often about the president an air of delivering a sincere lecture in which he informs us of things that seem new to him but are old to everyone else. He has a tendency to present banalities as if they were discoveries. “American innovation” is important. As many as “a quarter of our students aren’t even finishing high school.” We’re falling behind in math and science: “Think about it.” Yes, well, all we’ve done is think about it.

When you talk this way, as if the audience is uninformed, they think you are uninformed. Leaders must know what’s in the national information bank.

He too often in making a case puts the focus on himself. George H.W. Bush, always afraid of sounding egotistical, took the I’s out of his speeches. We called his edits “I-ectomies.” Mr. Obama always seems to put the I in. He does “I implants.”

The president made a semi-humorous reference to TSA pat-downs, but his government is in charge of and insists on the invasive new procedures, to which the president has never been and will never be subjected. So it’s not funny coming from him.

WSJ, An Unserious Speech Misses the Mark, Jan. 27, 2011

Pro-business, except for …

January 26, 2011

Oil companies, banks, insurance companies, manufacturing companies with global footprints.

Hmmm.

Tax rates for high-earners are going up to fund “investments” in things Americans are clamoring for … like high speed rail between Disneyland and Las Vegas, and wiring up rural America (when the rest of the world is going wireless).

Corporate tax rates coming down, but corporate taxes staying the same or going up … huh?

Closing corp tax loopholes except for windmills, solar shingles, etc.

Don’t even think about touching ObamaCare … except the 1099s for small businesses.

Bottom line: I lost, you won, I don’t care, business as usual.

* * * * *

Most notable:  Colleges should welcome back military recruiters and ROTC.

Silliness: “Sputnik moment”, faces in the crowd, weird stories of visits to community colleges and shingle companies.

Most surprising: Even the Dems in the crowd looked bored.  My imagination, or were some doing Siduko puzzles?

So “do it” moment: overlapping functions across executive branch agencies (e.g. the salmon story) … they’re under your management Mr. President. So, fix them and stop yakking … !

Obama cites harsh rhetoric creating gulf with biz execs … their’s not his!

December 17, 2010

Here’s one from the “say what?” file …

At Wednesday’s CEO Summit, execs told Obama that

“ … an overwhelming majority of those in business believe the administration is hostile, with little or no understanding of how this saps the “animal spirits” required for taking risks on expansions and start-ups.”
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1e56086c-0882-11e0-80d9-00144feabdc0.html#axzz18Gn2QqtQ

OK, that’s not new news to most of us.

The President’s rebuttal:

“ …  the president expressed his frustration about the apparent disconnect between productive talks with the executives, and the harsh rhetoric directed at the administration by the business lobbyists they employ.”http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ea11431a-087b-11e0-80d9-00144feabdc0.html#axzz18GoEJFOK

After 2 years of vilifying virtually every company (except Google) with the harshest rhetoric on the planet, the President says the problem is biz talking trash about him.

You gotta be kidding me.

Ironic that the fate of his presidency is now largely in the hands of those who he has trash talked.

See FT, Only business can put Obama back on top, December 15 2010
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1e56086c-0882-11e0-80d9-00144feabdc0.html#axzz18Gn2QqtQ

My bet: the execs will continue to sit on cash and slow roll the hiring process.

Why?

They just don’t trust the guy …

The potentially fatal flaw in the tax compromise … for the GOP, that is.

December 7, 2010

This morning, the GOP is crowing and the mass media headlines are reading: “Republicans achieve top goal in Obama tax-cut plan”.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101207/ap_on_bi_ge/us_tax_cuts

My take – which I haven’t heard from any pundit yet – is that the GOP fell for a trap.

Interestingly, I don’t think that Team Obama even realizes what it got in the deal.

First, because of the layered tax breaks to low earners, high earners will be paying an even higher proportion of the country’s total income tax tax take.

More important, Obama is one step closer to institutionalizing a tax scheme that has a majority of voters paying zero income taxes (or less).

Think about it: the majority gets to demand more government programs that they don’t pay a cent towards.  I think that’s scary.  Very scary..

* * * * *

See the analysis that I originally posted on July 31, 2008 during the run-up to the election.

It proves the point (ahead of its time)  that less than half of all voters pay any income taxes if / when Obama’s tax scheme is adopted.

It’s the Homa Files post that continues to get the most hits, and the topic is ‘hot’ this week because of the plan to continue the Bush tax cuts.  So, here’s a flashback .

HomaFiles: “My #1 tax beef: Under the Team Obama tax plan, a majority of voters will be paying zero income taxes (or less)”
https://kenhoma.wordpress.com/2009/04/16/my-1-tax-beef-under-the-team-obama-tax-plan-a-majority-of-voters-will-be-paying-zero-income-taxes-or-less/

The Obama bandwagon … who’s jumping off? who’s staying on?

November 30, 2010

Punch line: Many are jumping off,  in some groups — by droves. 

But, blacks and the intelligentsia remain fiercely loyal.

Unions weren’t a cross-tab category.

* * * * *

From the Washington Examiner ….

The coalition Obama led to victory in 2008 has frayed in just two years.

Start with voters who call themselves independents. Obama won 52 percent of them in 2008; now, according to Gallup, he is at 42 percent. 

Next, women. In 2008, Obama won 56 percent of female voters. Today, he’s at 49 percent.

He is also down with men, from 49 percent in 2008 to 44 percent now.

Even younger voters, a key part of Obama’s coalition, are peeling away. In ’08, Obama won 66 percent of voters 18-29 years of age. Now, he’s at 58 percent.

Then there are white voters. In ’08, Obama won 43 percent of whites. Now, he’s at 37 percent. 

He won 67 percent of Hispanic voters in 2008; now, he’s at 58 percent.

Even support among black voters, a bedrock for Obama, has ticked downward; after winning 95 percent of blacks in ’08, he’s now at 89 percent.

Just one group has stuck with Obama through it all. In ’08, he won 58 percent of people with graduate degrees. Now, he’s at 59 percent. It appears that academic types will be with Obama always.

Excerpted from the Washington Examiner, Obama’s poll numbers point to his defeat in 2012,11/26/10
http://washingtonexaminer.com/politics/2010/11/obamas-poll-numbers-point-his-defeat-2012

Obama dives below the Mendoza line …

November 24, 2010

Talk about a bad day.

The President got the 3 a.m. phone call (you do remember Hillary’s campaign ad, don’t you) informing him that North Korea fired on South Korea.  

Besides creating a threat to world peace, the act of aggression sucked all of the oxygen out of the day’s news cycle.

That hurt, because O was heading for Kokomo to cheerlead the recovering economy and do a GM-IPO victory dance.

Oops.

Then the Fed announces that it’s cutting its growth forecast for 2010 and 2011.

To make matters even worse, Gov’t Motors shares tumbled about a buck, heading down below last weeks offering price.

Then the coup de grace: Zogby releases polling results showing the President’s approval rating dipping below the Mendoza Line.

In baseball, a .200 batting average is nicknamed the “Mendoza Line”.

A batting average below the Mendoza Line is considered unqualified for the pros, even if a player has strong fielding skills.

The Presidential equivalent is an approval rating of 40%

Well, according to the latest Zogby poll, Pres Obama has fallen below the Presidential Mendoza line.

Uh-oh.

image

http://zogby.com/news/ReadNews.cfm?ID=1924

Other – more reliable polls – peg Obama’s approval in the mid-40s … so, I take Zogby with a grain of salt. 

But, the Zogby results give me an opportunity to talk about the Mendoza Line … an opportunity that just can’t be passed up.

Wash Post: “Obama’s global influence is intact” … say what?

November 15, 2010

The emperor is wearing a snazzy new suit of clothes isn’t he?

Let’s consider the facts:

  • The election was a shellacking for the President … his words, not mine
  • Most polls indicate that a plurality (sometimes a majority) of citizens take exception to his major policy initiatives: ObamaCare, stimulus, cap & tax
  • No foreign leaders bought into his spend ‘til you drop economic policy

The President’s response?

  • His policies are directionally correct and working … and anybody who doesn’t think so is either ignorant or just plain wrong.
  • The rest of the world leaders are wrong … you’ve got to borrow and spend your way out of the ditch.

“President Obama asserted that the punishment his party took in midterm elections has not damaged his ability to advance U.S. interests.”
 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/12/AR2010111204772.html

I guess a President has to appear confident and sure of himself.

But, isn’t this guy creating a whole new art form.

Or, is there a parallel universe out there?

One that the mainstream media discovered before the rest of us.

We’re overled & undermanaged, but there’s a role model … or is there?

November 9, 2010

This Business Week article caught my eye over a year ago, and lingered in the back of my mind.

Punch line: The best leadership is good management. Too many so-called leaders fancy themselves above the messy, but crucial, work of managing.  So they don’t know what’s going on.

The article’s poster boy for good management is, you guessed it … Barack Obama.

Oops.

Corporate America has had too much of fancy leadership disconnected from plain old management.

How did this happen? It became fashionable some years ago to separate “leaders” from “managers” — you know, distinguishing those who “do the right things” from those who “do things right.”

I hear stories about this every day: about CEOs who don’t manage so much as deem — pronouncing performance targets, for instance, that are supposed to be met by whoever is doing the real managing.

The truth is, many of the most successful strategies are not conceived in isolation at the “top.”

Unfortunately, detached leaders tend to be more concerned with impressing outsiders than managing within.

The most striking example of engaged leadership now comes — not from the business world — but from the political realm.

Most impressive about President Barack Obama’s energetically led campaign was how capably he managed it.

(Remember all those photos of Obama on his BlackBerry?

BusinessWeek, Overled and Undermanaged, August 6, 2009
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/09_33/b4143068890733.htm

As I often say, the only thing that lets me sleep well at night is knowing that the Administration will bungle the implementation of any wacky programs the Congress legislates …

"Words matter" … after lecturing us, the orator-in-chief gets another teaching moment.

November 2, 2010

Remember when — during the presidential campaign — candidate Obama was criticized by some folks as being all talk?

His response was a speech — which he plagiarized from Gov. Patrick of Massachusetts — that refrained the phrase “they’re not ‘just’ words, words matter”.

Well, last week he told Latino voters that they should vote “to punish their enemies”.

That has become a battle cry in recent days … for his opponents.

One of Obama’s usual targets — John Boehner — put it succinctly:

We have a president in the White House who referred to Americans who disagree with him as ‘our enemies’.

Think about that. He actually used that word.

When Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush used the word ‘enemy,’ they reserved it for global terrorists and foreign dictators – enemies of the United States.

Sadly, we have [a] president who used the word ‘enemy’ for fellow Americans … fellow citizens.

He uses it for people who disagree with his agenda for bigger government…people speaking out for a smaller, more accountable government.”

WSJ, Boehner Blasts Obama’s ‘Enemies’ Line*, November 1, 2010
http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2010/11/01/boehner-blasts-obamas-enemies-line/

I think Obama’s message resonated … more with his opponents than his supporters.

* * * * *

While I’m on the subject, don’t forget his cocky proclamation “elections have consequences, and I won

I wonder if tomorrow morning he’ll man-up and say “elections have consequences, and I lost”

My, oh my … words do matter, don’t they ?

Management style: Just walk out … huh?

November 2, 2010

Says one Obama aide:

Mr Obama is notoriously impatient, slapping a time limit on all discussion.

“If there is no agreement in 45 minutes, no matter how important the issue may be, he simply stands up and walks out.”

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3201486/Can-Obama-expect-a-hammering-in-the-mid-term-elections-YES-HE-CAN.html

Wouldn’t you like a peek at his calendars to do a work-time analysis?

I wonder: does he ever wakes and say to himself: “Gee, I think I’ll stay in the White House and spend a few minutes on the economy today?”

Naw …

Palin vs. Obama: Barack challenges Todd for "First Dude" title.

October 29, 2010

During Sarah’s GOP acceptance speech she introduced her husband Todd as the “First Dude”.

Now, John Stewart is trying to transfer that title to Barack Obama.

Let the battle begin …

In the Daily Show, Obama had a friendly host and an even friendlier crowd.

He was making this first-ever appearance by a president on the Daily Show as part of a long-shot effort to rekindle the spirit of ’08.

* * * * *

“You don’t want to use that phrase, dude,” Stewart recommended (to President Obama).

Dude.

The indignity of a comedy show host calling the commander in chief “dude” pretty well captured the moment for Obama.

Washington Post, “On the Daily Show, Obama is the last laugh”, October 27, 2010
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/27/AR2010102709035.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

So, on Monday, the Dem candidate for governor tells Obama to “stuff it” …  and, on Wednesday, John Stewart calls him “dude”.

I love this stuff.

What do Barack Obama and Rodney Dangerfield have in common?

October 29, 2010

According to Dangerfield and the President, they get no respect.

Charles Krauthammer sums it up nicely …

Obama Underappreciation Syndrome

Opening a whole new branch of cognitive science — liberal psychology — Obama has discovered a new principle: The fearful brain is hard-wired to act befuddled, i.e., vote Republican.

But of course. Here Obama has spent two years bestowing upon the peasantry the “New Foundation” of a more regulated, socially engineered and therefore more humane society, and they repay him with recalcitrance and outright opposition.

Here he gave them Obamacare, the stimulus, financial regulation and a shot at cap-and-trade — and the electorate remains not just unmoved but ungrateful.

Faced with this truly puzzling conundrum, Dr. Obama diagnoses a heretofore undiscovered psychological derangement: anxiety-induced Obama Underappreciation Syndrome, wherein an entire population is so addled by its economic anxieties as to be neurologically incapable of appreciating the “facts and science” undergirding Obamacare and the other blessings their president has bestowed upon them from on high.

I have a better explanation.

Better because it adheres to the ultimate scientific principle, Occam’s Razor, by which the preferred explanation for any phenomenon is the one with the most economy and simplicity.

And there is nothing simpler than the Gallup findings on the ideological inclinations of the American people. Conservative: 42 percent. Moderate: 35 percent. Liberal: 20 percent.

No fanciful new syndromes or other elaborate fictions are required to understand that if you try to impose a liberal agenda on such a demonstrably center-right country — a country that is 80 percent non-liberal — you get a massive backlash.

Washington Post, Obama Underappreciation Syndrome, October 22, 2010
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/21/AR2010102104856.html

My early high school football coach Howie Weyer — who got 15 minutes of fame by refusing to hire smokers and fat people when he left football and went into business — used to drum in to us: respect is something you earn.

Hear that, Dude?