Obama to high-dollar donors: Americans are “better off” since I was elected

King Obama

Image via Salon.com

Oh really?

President Obama said Americans were “better off now than when I came into office,” during a fundraiser Monday night outside of Washington.

Obama also slammed congressional Republicans for their focus on the terror attack in Benghazi and the implementation of ObamaCare.

The president told attendees at the high-dollar soiree in Potomac, Maryland that his Republican opposition in Congress had been “captured by ideologues” whose principal focus was on “how to make people sufficiently skeptical, so they can win the next election.”

“The debate now is about what?” Obama asked. “Benghazi? ObamaCare? It becomes this endless loop.”

Obama told donors that he preferred a robust Republican Party —  “I come from the Land of Lincoln” — but that the current iteration of the GOP did not believe “that government can get anything done.”

Obama’s remarks came at a fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee at the home of Jeffrey Drenzer, a medical training and technology executive. Tickets to the event, billed as an “intimate dinner,” ranged from $10,000 per person to $32,400 per couple.

Because it’s wrong to be skeptical about government. It’s wrong to expect your government should be held accountable for its incompetence. It’s wrong to think people should be able to hold on to more of their own money. It’s wrong to believe you need to do everything you can to foster a climate of investment and job growth.  And it’s wrong that people expect you to keep your promises on, I dunno, things like being able to keep their doctor and plans if they liked them.  Silly me.

Out here in the real world people are struggling to make ends meet, more are working part time and temporary positions – or have dropped out of the workforce altogether out of frustration, are paying more for their health insurance and/or are on plans they didn’t like and/or can barely afford … the list goes on. Our celebrity President can wine and dine and captivate his big money donors all he wants to, get them to (literally) buy anything he says, but no fancy speeches and no grand gestures on his part in efforts to sugarcoat today’s economic climate can/will change that.

King Obama I: DC “doesn’t work” because the GOP always tells me no

King Obama

Image via Salon.com

Aww. Poor guy  just can’t get anything done without issuing an executive order or signing statement (via):

President Obama told attendees at a high-dollar Manhattan fundraiser Wednesday night that the Democratic Party would be in better shape if he “could just get a million surplus votes in Brooklyn” and move them to Nebraska, where Tea Party conservatives scored a major win in Tuesday’s primary.

Complaining that he had a “drawerful” of things left to do, the president said he had been stymied because “Washington doesn’t work.”

“We have a party on the other side that has been captured by an ideology that says no to everything,” Obama said. “There might have been a time when that was an exaggeration but now it’s not.”

Obama made the comments at the second of two New York City fundraisers Wednesday, held at the Manhattan home of investment banker Blair Effron. Supporters paid $32,400 to attend the event, which benefited the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Earlier, the president held a closed-door roundtable discussion with donors who had contributed up to $32,400 to the Democratic National Committee.

Obama’s trip to New York was part of a furious fundraising push of late, as Democrats look to stockpile cash ahead of the 2014 midterm elections. The events were Obama’s 20th and 21st of 2014, and came on the heels of a trip to California last week where Obama hosted five separate fundraising events. According to CBS News’s Mark Knoller, Obama has attended 59 events benefiting Democrats this cycle.

Correct me if I’m wrong but I do believe a few years ago a certain first term junior Senator (D) from Illinois frequently spoke out against Republican policy ideas under President George W. Bush (R) and consistently voted in opposition to them – and encouraged his fellow Democrats to do the same.  Times have changed, I guess. Apparently it’s only okay to be the “party of no” and ideologically opposed to the um, opposition, when the President is a Republican.  Go figure! 8-|

The Selfie administration. Updated.

**Posted by Phineas

x

This opinion piece by Eliot Cohen, former State Department counselor during the George W. Bush administration, pulls no punches when dealing with the inadequacies of Team Obama. While European magazines suddenly wonder just “what America will fight for,” (1) Cohen advises not even asking the question, given the administration’s fundamental lack of maturity and judgement:

Often, members of the Obama administration speak and, worse, think and act, like a bunch of teenagers. When officials roll their eyes at Vladimir Putin’s seizure of Crimea with the line that this is “19th-century behavior,” the tone is not that different from a disdainful remark about a hairstyle being “so 1980s.” When administration members find themselves judged not on utopian aspirations or the purity of their motives—from offering “hope and change” to stopping global warming—but on their actual accomplishments, they turn sulky. As teenagers will, they throw a few taunts (the president last month said the GOP was offering economic policies that amount to a “stinkburger” or a “meanwich”) and stomp off, refusing to exchange a civil word with those of opposing views.

In a searing memoir published in January, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates describes with disdain the trash talk about the Bush administration that characterized meetings in the Obama White House. Like self-obsessed teenagers, the staffers and their superiors seemed to forget that there were other people in the room who might take offense, or merely see the world differently. Teenagers expect to be judged by intentions and promise instead of by accomplishment, and their style can be encouraged by irresponsible adults (see: the Nobel Prize committee) who give awards for perkiness and promise rather than achievement.

If the United States today looks weak, hesitant and in retreat, it is in part because its leaders and their staff do not carry themselves like adults. They may be charming, bright and attractive; they may have the best of intentions; but they do not look serious. They act as though Twitter and clenched teeth or a pout could stop invasions or rescue kidnapped children in Nigeria. They do not sound as if, when saying that some outrage is “unacceptable” or that a dictator “must go,” that they represent a government capable of doing something substantial—and, if necessary, violent—if its expectations are not met. And when reality, as it so often does, gets in the way—when, for example, the Syrian regime begins dousing its opponents with chlorine gas, as it has in recent weeks, despite solemn deals and red lines—the administration ignores it, hoping, as teenagers often do, that if they do not acknowledge a screw-up no one else will notice.

That’ll cause a snit in the Oval Office, but it’s not the first time this administration has been cited for its narcissism and lack of seriousness. Over the years I’ve several times described Obama as “callow,” most recently when talking about a George Will piece that decried the administration’s adolescent tactics.

An administration takes its overall tone from the man who heads it, the guy sitting behind the Resolute Desk. In this case, we’re stuck with a man-child who’s unable to handle the challenges the world throws in his face with sobriety and the sense of duty and tradition his office carries — and demands. And this attitude is reflected in those he hires, and those they themselves hire.

And there are still just under three years to go.

Footnote:
(1) That’s bloody rich of The Economist. Now they whine about a lack of American leadership, but, back when W was in office, they were aghast and outraged by “cowboy Americans shooting up the world.” (To paraphrase) Make up your minds, guys!

UPDATE: John Bolton weighs in, via IJR:

“I think it’s, unfortunately, typical of much of the way the administration has conducted policy these last several years. It’s all about politics and communication and spin and a lot less about performance, conducted by a lot of relatively young people who are not schooled in foreign policy. Don’t get me wrong, I love children, I just don’t think they should be in charge of our foreign policy.”

Maybe we should give them a time-out.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

#Benghazi: Boehner to appoint special investigating committee? UPDATE: Here we go

**Posted by Phineas

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

At last. Just posted on Fox News:

House Speaker John Boehner is “seriously considering” appointing a special committee to probe the Benghazi attacks and an announcement from GOP leaders could come as early as Friday, sources tell Fox News.

One senior GOP source told Fox News that Boehner, who has faced pressured from rank-and-file members for months to form such a panel, is expected to go forward with the committee.

It’s unclear whether the decision is yet final. Some sources told Fox News this is a “done deal,” while others said it is “close.”

The movement comes after newly released emails raised questions about the White House role in pushing faulty claims about the attacks.

For more about the emails in question and their significance, see….

This is one of those “about danged time” moments. What was probably the back-breaker for Boehner was the revelation that the White House had withheld this email when first demanded by the House, then released it only as part of a judicial decision in a FOIA lawsuit regarding Benghazi, and then claiming it really had nothing to do with Benghazi, even though it clearly did. (And why release it as part of the documents demanded in a Benghazi lawsuit, if it had “nothing to do with Benghazi, per se” and was previously classified? And why was it classified?) This just screams “something to hide.” which is like blood in the water to Opposition politicians.

Keep in mind there are really three parts, interrelated but distinct, to the “Benghazi question:”

  1. Prior to the attack: What was the role of then-Secretary Clinton, her top aides, and the State Department in determining the level of security in Benghazi, and why wasn’t the level or protection raised, or the compound evacuated, in the face of clear warning signs? Why were no emergency-reaction assets pre-positioned nearby to come to the aid of a station in a clearly dangerous area? Defense and the White House, too, have questions to answer here.
  2. During the attack: Where exactly were President Obama and Secretary Clinton, and when? Who was calling the shots? What actions, if any, did they take that night? Who made the decision not to even attempt a rescue with assets available in Sicily and Italy? (This last question was examined by the House Armed Services committee, which found no wrongdoing, but the testimony yesterday of General Robert Lovell (ret.), Deputy Director for Intelligence for Africom, the combat command responsible for Benghazi, makes it worth reopening.)
  3. After the attack: Who came up with the largely fraudulent story about a video? Why was it pushed on the American people for weeks after the massacre, including Secretary Clinton lying to the faces of the victims’ families? Why were the reports from State Department and CIA personnel on the ground in Libya that there was no anti-video demonstration ignored? My strong suspicion is that this was done to protect Obama’s reelection and Hillary’s 2016 prospects, but we need to know a lot more.

Clearly this committee would have a lot of work to do, much of it taking a lot of time. (Remember how long the Watergate hearings took?) Even if nothing criminal occurred, the American public has a right to a full public audit of the decisions and actions of its hired help before, during, and after the crisis.

Having raised the possibility, I can’t see Boehner not going through with this, which means we can expect some televised fireworks as witnesses are called under oath and House Democrats try desperately to protect the White House.

Stock up on the popcorn. smiley popcorn

RELATED: Earlier posts on the Benghazi massacre.

UPDATE: It’s on. Boehner will form the committee and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) (1) is expected to lead it. Meanwhile, Issa’s House Oversight Committee has subpoenaed Secretary Kerry regarding the State Department withholding documents.

Footnote:
(1) Good choice.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

#Benghazi: Proof of what we knew — the White House is full of lying suckweasels

**Posted by Phineas

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

So, more than 19 months after four Americans –including our ambassador– died at the hands of al Qaeda allies in an attack on our consulate in Benghazi, part of the truth finally comes out: the White House political operation used the story of  a video to protect President Obama reelection, sacrificing the truth, our national security interests, and any shred of decency owed the victims’ surviving families on the altar of his political needs.

Independent reporter Sharyl Attkisson has the story:

Newly-released documents reveal direct White House involvement in steering the public narrative about the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, toward that of a spontaneous protest that never happened.

One of the operative documents, which the government had withheld from Congress and reporters for a year and a half, is an internal September 14, 2012 email to White House press officials from Ben Rhodes, President Obama’s Assistant and Deputy National Security Advisor. (Disclosure: Ben Rhodes is the brother of David Rhodes, the President of CBS News, where I was employed until March.)

In the email, Ben Rhodes lists as a “goal” the White House desire “To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure or policy.”

The email is entitled, “RE: PREP CALL with Susan, Saturday at 4:00 pm ET” and refers to White House involvement in preparing then-U.S.Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice for her upcoming appearance on Sunday television network political talk shows.

The Rhodes email states that another “goal” is “To reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.”

Via Twitchy. There’s much more, so read it all.

Remember, Obama had been claiming for months that al Qaeda was “on the run,” nearly beaten. It was one of his justifications for reelection: he had crushed our mortal enemy. Then they attacked our consulate and killed our personnel, and suddenly the whole narrative was about to fall like the house of cards it was.

This wasn’t a meeting of a group meant to deal with a foreign policy crisis. No, Rhodes was heading up a political damage control team. That’s where the priority was. Not in determining how this happened, not in pursuing our enemies, and certainly not in our Head of State and Commander in Chief taking responsibility, because that might have meant handing a cudgel to the Republicans. Jim Geraghty weighs in (emphasis added):

Yes, Rhodes’s speechwriting always focused in the foreign-policy realm. He was a longtime assistant to Lee Hamilton, then joined Obama as a speechwriter in 2007. But this guy’s not an expert on Libya. There’s no way he was in any position, from Washington, to overrule the assessment of the folks on the ground. He’s a message guy. And he quickly concluded – accurately – that the administration’s obvious ill-prepared presence in Libya, and failure to organize timely rescue efforts, on the 9/11 anniversary represented a serious threat to the president’s reelection. They needed a scapegoat; the video was the best option at hand.

That included, by the way, trampling the First Amendment rights of the video maker, who was hauled off in the middle of the night and pilloried in the press to play that scapegoat.

And before anyone says things were still unclear and they really thought the attack was a spontaneous reaction to the video, check the dates. Rhodes’ email was dated the 14th; the attack happened on the 11th. By the night of the attack, within hours, they knew that it was a terrorist strike, not an out of control riot against a video:

Minutes after the American consulate in Benghazi came under assault on Sept. 11, 2012, the nation’s top civilian and uniformed defense officials — headed for a previously scheduled Oval Office session with President Obama — were informed that the event was a “terrorist attack,” declassified documents show. The new evidence raises the question of why the top military men, one of whom was a member of the president’s Cabinet, allowed him and other senior Obama administration officials to press a false narrative of the Benghazi attacks for two weeks afterward.

Gen. Carter Ham, who at the time was head of AFRICOM, the Defense Department combatant command with jurisdiction over Libya, told the House in classified testimony last year that it was him who broke the news about the unfolding situation in Benghazi to then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The tense briefing — in which it was already known that U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens had been targeted and had gone missing — occurred just before the two senior officials departed the Pentagon for their session with the commander in chief.

According to declassified testimony obtained by Fox News, Ham — who was working out of his Pentagon office on the afternoon of Sept. 11 — said he learned about the assault on the consulate compound within 15 minutes of its commencement, at 9:42 p.m. Libya time, through a call he received from the AFRICOM Command Center.

As I wrote at the time:

But now we have the testimony of the general in charge of the combat command responsible for Benghazi that he, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff regarded this as a terrorist attack — within minutes of the attack beginning! Panetta and Dempsey then went to a previously scheduled meeting with Obama at which, we’re supposed to believe, they didn’t give their boss their considered opinion? They just let him believe the massacre happened because of some video few ever saw? That they let him and his advisers go on for weeks like this, when they knew the truth?

Garbage. It is inconceivable that Obama did not know that night that our consulate had come under terrorist attack. 

And that was three days before Rhodes’ email, which can only mean this was a deliberate attempt to lie to the American people in order to save Obama’s (and Hillary’s) craven political rear ends.

No wonder they tried to keep this email secret.

RELATED: At PJM, Roger Simon says this is “worse than Watergate” and calls for impeachment.

PS: And this only answers one major question about the Benghazi massacre. Still left begging is the question of just where Obama was that night and what was his role, if he even had one. The question of Hillary’s accountability for her incompetence leading up to the disaster is a whole other matter.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Call me crazy, but George Will may be off the White House Christmas card list

**Posted by Phineas

crying-obama

A couple of days ago, George Will wrote a column that probably left our thin-skinned, petulant president crying for his binky — “TheAdolescent President.” Here’s an excerpt:

Recently, Barack Obama — a Demosthenes determined to elevate our politics from coarseness to elegance; a Pericles sent to ameliorate our rhetorical impoverishment — spoke at the University of Michigan. He came to that very friendly venue — in 2012, he received 67-percent of the vote in Ann Arbor’s county — after visiting a local sandwich shop, where a muse must have whispered in the presidential ear. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) had recently released his budget, so Obama expressed his disapproval by calling it, for the benefit of his academic audience, a “meanwich” and a “stinkburger.”

Try to imagine Franklin Roosevelt or Dwight Eisenhower or John Kennedy or Ronald Reagan talking like that. It is unimaginable that those grown-ups would resort to japes that fourth-graders would not consider sufficiently clever for use on a playground.

Will then described how Obama relies almost solely on four argument tactics common to teenagers: the straw man; declaring the argument over; why argue, because everything is fine; and “you’re saying no because you hate me.”  Here’s what he wrote about the second:

Adolescents also try to truncate arguments by saying that nothing remains of any arguments against their arguments. Regarding the ACA, Obama said the debate is “settled” and “over.” Progressives also say the debate about catastrophic consequences of man-made climate change is “over,” so everyone should pipe down. And they say the debates about the efficacy of universal preschool, and the cost-benefit balance of a minimum-wage increase, are over. Declaring an argument over is so much more restful than engaging with evidence.

Will’s right, of course. We do have a callow, narcissistic 13 year-old in charge whose only response when opposed is to taunt, shout-down, and denigrate. He also assumes his audience is stupid (1), which is about the only explanation for the constant lies in the face of all evidence to the contrary. (“If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” being just one example, albeit a spectacular one.)

Do read the whole thing. I’m sure it left a mark.

PS: Yes, it’s true. I have no respect for Barack Obama. For his office, yes. For him, no. And he’s earned it.

Footnote:
(1) Which, to be fair, is not wholly unjustified when talking about his own supporters. They put up with so much and keep coming back for more.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

.@BarackObama Twitter feed celebrates Easter – then himself

If these last two Tweets (as of this writing) from the @BarackObama Twitter feed don’t (unfortunately) sum up the absolute arrogance of our “me first” celebrity President, I don’t know what does:


Thirty minutes later …


Note which one got the most retweets and favorites. Depressing.

Everything has to be about him – the anniversary of the Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat, the death of Nelson Mandela. He’s even managed to get himself included in the the official White House historical bios of Presidents past! And we won’t even go there on the implicit insinuation the image gives off that he is some type of deity

Really. Not every special event, season, historical anniversary is about him – even though he and his team of image crafters like to try and make it so. I sincerely hope and pray that our next President – whether he (or she) is a Democrat or Republican, return to the days where Presidents didn’t make every single thing all about them … or at least gave off the PRETENSE that they didn’t think it was. Sheesh! o=>

Obama arrogance

The self-centeredness of our ‘fearless leader’ truly knows no bounds.

Caption This: Joe Biden posts selfie pic of himself and President Obama

He posted it to his new Instagram account last night, and of course the White House Twitter feed picked it up:


Now, I know y’all will be able to do wonders with giving this “selfie” the caption it deserves, but remember to keep it clean, please. ;) Twitchy.com has some good ones that were tweeted out last night.

I’m guessing the two weren’t actually riding together in the same car when this photo was taken, as the Secret Service understandably dictates the President and VP can’t travel in the same vehicle for security purposes. But, I can safely assume that this has everything to do with the “guy’s trip” The Hill reported yesterday that President Obama and the Veep went on in an attempt at trying to pivot the national discussion back to the economy:

President Obama and Vice President Biden took what the president dubbed “a guy’s trip” to western Pennsylvania on Wednesday, as the White House looked to refocus attention on the president’s economic agenda.

During a stop at a local community college, Obama announced $600 million in government training initiatives designed to help workers find jobs.

That includes $500 million to help community colleges tailor their curriculums to better fit employers’ needs, and $100 million in grants to fund apprenticeship programs.
“We want a seamless progression from community college programs to industry-recognized credentials and credit towards a college degree,” Obama said.

The president looked to draw a contrast with “some folks” in Washington who have stymied his economic agenda, with his budget proposals and stimulus plans earning little momentum on Capitol Hill. But despite a series of events focusing on his economic messaging, the White House has so far failed to gain traction on his policy proposals.

Obama acknowledged he and Biden “sometimes sound like a broken record” as they discuss their economic proposals.

But, the president argued, it was “more urgent now than ever that we push forward” because of how the job market was changing.

[…]

Before speaking, Obama and Biden met with students at the community college who showed off their work in a “mechatronics” course where they learn how to operate mechanical systems through electronics. Two students showed Obama and Biden a motor control system that simulated a garage door opener.

“We’re lawyers, we barely understand garage door openers,” Obama quipped.

Or, how to fix the economy, for that matter …

VP Biden - SOTU

Photo via Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

The #EqualPay hypocrisy of the Obama White House

Facts

Facts matter.

Glenn Reynolds aka Instapundit takes on the Obama White House’s glaring double standard when it comes to the issue of “equal pay” for women (via):

The “War On Women” theme was a key component of Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign. And since politicians tend to repeat what works, the Democrats are pushing the same theme again for 2014 — and, no doubt, as preparation for a Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016 where all opposition will be treated as evidence of sexism. But have they taken it too far? Just maybe.

One clue is that even the Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus, generally a reliable Democratic ally, isn’t buying the Democrats’ “revolting equal-pay demagoguery.” Marcus writes:

“The level of hyperbole — actually, of demagoguery — that Democrats have engaged in here is revolting. It’s entirely understandable, of course: The Senate is up for grabs. Women account for a majority of voters. They tend to favor Democrats. To the extent that women — and in particular, single women — can be motivated to turn out in a midterm election, waving the bloody shirt of unequal pay is smart politics. Fairness is another matter. Since President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in 1963, it has been illegal for employers to pay women less than men for the same work.”

The problem is that comparing what all men and all women earn is deceptive. Men tend to choose more jobs that require long hours, or that are dangerous — hence the much higher rate of vocational death among men than women — but that also pay more. Women tend to prefer jobs that offer flexible or shorter hours, and clean indoor conditions.

[…]

Then it turned out that the Obama White House itself pays women workers less than men. White House Press Secretary Carney didn’t mention his wife’s choices, but did argue that the number was misleading because women held different jobs. Well, yes. Federal law says you have to pay people the same for the same work; it doesn’t say you have to pay secretaries the same as press secretaries. This is true both in the White House, and in the private businesses that the White House was attacking.

Make sure to read the whole thing, especially if you want to learn more about other Democrats who don’t practice what they preach when it comes to their standard and definition of “equal pay” … including NC’s own Senator Kay Hagan.

Reviving the “war on women” meme is just another desperate election year tactic (like playing the race card) for Democrats who want to maintain control of the Senate and win more seats in the US House, as Reynolds notes above.  But at least in the case of the phony equal pay argument,  even many of the left’s reliable media outlets aren’t on board with it, so it looks like – at least in this case – the Democrats have engaged in a spectacular fail.

What.a.shame. /sarc

The thrill is gone: networks refuse prime time slot for Obama speech

**Posted by Phineas

Feeling rejected.

Feeling rejected.

Oh, how this must pain the soul of our Narcissist in Chief. Remember the halcyon days of Hope and Change in his first term, when it seemed like he was making a national address every week? Joint sessions of Congress, prime time press conferences, the networks just couldn’t get enough Obama.

Someone cue B.B. King, because the thrill is gone, baby:

White House officials sought valuable primetime air for a rare, impromptu Tuesday night address to tout the accomplishment of signing up more than 7 million people under the Affordable Care Act.

But network officials refused to make the kind of accommodation they did previously for the announcement that Osama Bin Laden had been killed, for instance, and Obama was left instead cutting into the much smaller audiences of Ellen and other daytime shows.

Three sources familiar with the request confirmed the White House asked for the primetime slot in their effort both to emphasize a bright moment following the challenging roll out and, more important, to try to reintroduce the country to a law that remains unpopular.

Oh, man. “No, you can’t interrupt NCIS. But, hey, we’ll let you cut into Ellen, champ.” How far our modern Icarus has fallen. Could it be even the major networks knew the 7 million sign ups “milestone” was just a bunch of smoke?

Regardless, it’s a sign both of the growing irrelevance of Obama as he moves further into lame-duck status and that the fight over this train-wreck of a law isn’t over, no matter how many they claim to have signed up. The major networks aren’t going to give up valuable commercial revenue just to satisfy Obama’s need to take a victory lap.

This calls for a song. Hit it, B.B.!

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)