Jan
24
2015
8

Barack Obama calculated that calling for 529 tax hikes was safe enough.

Megan McArdle put her finger on precisely why Barack Obama floated the oh-heck-no proposal to tax people’s 529 college funds: “About the only people I saw defending this particular idea were blue-state singles who haven’t yet confronted the monstrous expense of shepherding their progeny into the new mandarin class to which they belong.” …And that’s who Barack Obama was trying to back-channel pander to, of course. In 2012 single voters broke strongly for Obama – single women more so then men – and since a tax hike on college fund earnings wouldn’t affect them too much (especially the ones without kids), Obama probably figures that it’s a ‘safe’ tax hike to have*. (more…)

Jan
17
2015
4

Barack Obama kind of, deniably, sort of implies certain Democratic Senators may have divided loyalties.

When it comes to foreign policy. Wink-wink, nudge-nudge, say no more…

Gee. I wonder what Barack Obama could possibly be hinting at: “At a closed-door meeting on Thursday, President Barack Obama suggested that some Democratic senators base their foreign policy positions on the preferences of their campaign donors.”  The subject in question is Iranian sanctions; and after Barack Obama made his comments Sen. Robert Menendez, of all people, did not take it kindly:

Mr. Menendez, who was seated at a table in front of the podium, stood up and said he took “personal offense.”

Mr. Menendez told the president that he had worked for more than 20 years to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions and had always been focused on the long-term implications. Mr. Menendez also warned the president that sanctions could not be imposed quickly if Congress waited to act and the talks failed, according to two people who were present.

I hope that the President understands that those are dangerous waters to go fishing in.  That wasn’t a progressive donor’s dining room or a private seminar hosted by a Big Left activist group. Comments that would be chuckled at there as being saucy euphemisms get a good deal less amusing, and a good deal inflammatory, out in the real world. And even a hack like Menendez can feel legitimate umbrage at being told that he’s operating at the beck and call of shadowy donors*.

Moe Lane

*Ironically, Menendez probably is - but not on foreign policy. I mean, I consider the man a corrupt suckweasel, but I would hesitate to insinuate that he puts his donors’ wishes before America’s. Heck of a thing when I have more respect for a Democratic Senator’s tattered integrity than does the Democratic President of the United States…

Jan
15
2015
4

Mandatory, country-wide paid sick leave is not actually a thing that will happen.

Let me just clear this up.

Previewing an element of his State of the Union address, the president will gather a roundtable of working women as a backdrop for his challenge to the Republican-controlled Congress to pass legislation even Democrats couldn’t muscle off Capitol Hill when they held the majorities. Obama will ask lawmakers to pass the Healthy Families Act, a long-stalled measure that would grant workers up to seven days of paid leave annually when they or family members have medical needs.

Imagine this imaginary conversation, in fact: (more…)

Jan
15
2015
2

Barack Obama, Democrats hit the mattresses in Baltimore.

I say that because the President is, shock, surprise! – avoiding reporters on this one: “[Barack Obama’s] mid-afternoon appearance is entirely off-limits to the media, in contrast to his 2010 appearance down the street for a similar retreat with House Republicans.”  I don’t know what’s funnier: the idea that President Obama doesn’t dare talk to the press, or that Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota doesn’t dare be at the same event at the same time as Obama. No, really, each one is guffaw-worthy, in its own way.

Jan
14
2015
6

White House remarkably blase about upcoming #obamacare subsidy case. Stupidly so, in my opinion.

This seems… unwise of the administration: “President Barack Obama is not sweating about the federal exchange subsidies. Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) says that at a roundtable discussion with congressional leaders he asked Obama why the administration hasn’t informed the public that subsidies are an endangered species. The president replied that he doesn’t anticipate the need for a contingency plan.” I mean, it’s not like the Obama administration has a great track record here when it comes to predicting what the Supreme Court will do with Obamacare.   (more…)

Jan
12
2015
4

Barack Obama’s Harriet Miers moment. Seriously.

This is getting remarkable. We’re seeing some possibly unexpectedly hostile reactions to the administration’s decision not to send anybody to participate in France’s anti-terrorism unity march:

  • Mike Lupica: “Everybody knows how complicated this country’s relationship with France has been, in war and in peace. Certainly there have been times when the leaders of France could have done better by us. We should have done better by them on Sunday. Only you couldn’t find us.”
  • Jake Tapper: “I say this as an American — not as a journalist, not as a representative of CNN — but as an American: I was ashamed.”
  • Michael Tomasky: “Look, it’s just my opinion, but extraordinary event; it’s our fight too. I, as a citizen, feel underrepresented.”
  • Fareed Zakaria: “Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN’s “Global Public Square,” called the absence of top U.S. officials a mistake… France is the United States’ “deepest ideological ally,” he said, and it would have been a meaningful image to have a senior administration member, or the President, standing shoulder to shoulder with other leaders.” (via Gateway Pundit, who is doing his own round-up.)
  • The New York Daily News (endorsed Obama for President): “The United States of America, Barack Obama, President, was inexcusably absent from one of the most critical turning points in the war between radical Islam and the West since 9/11.”

(more…)

Jan
11
2015
9

So, President Barack Obama skipped the French anti-terror unity march.

There is a very simple explanation for this: “President Barack Obama will not join other world leaders at Sunday’s Paris march in tribute to the victims of this week’s Islamist attacks in France, a US official told AFP.” Basically, President Obama legitimately and genuinely does not understand why it is necessary for him – or a sufficiently dignified surrogate* – to represent our country at an activity such as this.  From Obama’s point of view, since no American was attacked, no American was killed, and no American was involved he clearly thinks that our involvement in this matter is thus unnecessary. And since the formal solace and condolences from foreign dignitaries would offer no comfort to him in similar circumstances, Barack Obama apparently feels that offering his own detached sympathies would be essentially equally pointless. (more…)

Dec
28
2014
5

The TRUE Great Failure of Barack Obama.

There has been quite a bit of commentary – not to say, ‘gloating’ – about the Democrats’ rather problematical 2016 prospects*.  To wit: their front-runners are all old (late sixties to early seventies), all have baggage, and all distinctly lacking in any sort of executive experience whatsoever**.  Worse, their front-runners are also their bench, as the surviving Democratic governors aren’t exactly anything to write home about, either.  And that’s what I want to write about. Consider this list:

  • Florida: Alex Sink (66)
  • Iowa: Chet Culver (48)
  • Michigan: Virgil Bernero (50)
  • Ohio: Ted Strickland (73)
  • New Mexico: Diane Denish (65)
  • Pennslyvania: Donald Onorato (53)
  • Wisconsin: Tom Barrett (61)

All seven people on that list (data via here) were Democrats who lost a governor’s race in 2010, but kept their opponent down below 60% of the vote (we’ll skip Maine, because those races are always weird). They’re also races where the GOP thus picked up the seat (Florida is a special case, because Charlie Crist, but it’s such an important seat we’re keeping it on the list). In other words, these were almost all Democratic-held governorships that were lost to the GOP. (more…)

Dec
19
2014
6

Buried lead: Barack Obama comes out in favor of Citizens United!

Dear God but this man is unaware of the universe.

Because if somebody is able to intimidate folks out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they’d start doing if they see a documentary that they don’t like…

Actually, we don’t have to imagine what they’d start doing.  You see, in 2008 a federal court decided that a documentary called Hillary: the Movie was in violation of the infamous McCain-Feingold campaign finance ‘reform’ law. The group that put that documentary together insisted that it was instead, you know, free speech and thus absolutely protected… which, oddly enough, was an argument that the federal government didn’t like.  Which is why the federal government argued against it in the Supreme Court – and lost, thank God.  But not before the FEC actually argued with a straight face that McCain-Feingold allowed for banning books.  No.  Really. (more…)

Dec
17
2014
6

Sure, let lame duck Barack Obama normalize relations with Cuba.

Better him than somebody who still has a meaningful political career.

Since John F Kennedy, Presidential foreign policy towards Cuba can be summed up in one sentence: Let my successor be the one who has to be the guy that let Fidel Castro win.  Well, guess what: Barack Obama volunteered to be the poor, stupid sad sack that has to eat the pavement on that. CNBC reports: “The U.S. is starting talks with Cuba to normalize full diplomatic relations and open an embassy, according to U.S. officials. The expanded relationship would also open imports of Cuban cigars somewhat, according to a CNN report.”  We get cigars and some political prisoners released; Cuba gets to win. (more…)

Dec
09
2014
4

Tweet of the Day, I Don’t Think Jorge Cares For Your Tone, Barry edition.

I hope that President Obama thinks that he won this exchange with Jorge Ramos. I truly do.

I especially enjoyed when Obama told Jorge to answer his own question, talked over Jorge, and then told Jorge that he was out of time. So did Right Scoop. Mind you, this was the rather horrible enjoyment people get when they watch an expensive automobile that’s owned by someone they dislike get sucked into a mudslide. Which is to say, this is nasty fun to watch. And it didn’t help Democrats among Hispanic voters at all.

Nov
28
2014
4

Barack Obama cannot, in any way, be said to have white working class support.

Gallup is being a bit, ah, antiseptic on this story: “President Barack Obama’s job approval rating among white non-college graduates is at 27% so far in 2014, 14 percentage points lower than among white college graduates. This is the largest yearly gap between these two groups since Obama took office.”  I say ‘antiseptic’ because it should be spelled out more that Obama’s popularity with college educated white voters dropped remarkably in 2010, and has been slowly degrading ever since; but at the same time Obama’s support among working class whites not only dropped similarly in 2010, it did so again after 2012. In other words, Obama seems to have found a floor when it comes to white college graduate voters; white working class ones, not so much.

I mention all of this solely for one reason: in the run-up to 2016 you are going to hear a lot of college educated white Democratic activists solemnly inform you that [INSERT DEMOCRATIC PARTY CANDIDATE HERE] will be able to craft a populist message that will resonate with working class voters.  They are also going to inform you, just as solemnly, that Barack Obama will not be a drag on the ticket.  This is not a case where both of these things cannot be true; it is more a case that neither is true, but the former is slightly less unbelievable than the latter.  It will be interesting to see which Democratic pundits will be able to comprehend this.

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Moe Lane (crosspost)

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