Germany has again stated its opposition to so-called eurobonds as the new French finance minister prepares to meet his German counterpart for the first time.
“We have always said that as a first step we need solidity in European finances, and that is the fiscal compact,” said Steffen Kampeter, a deputy finance minister, referring to the budget pact that 25 out of 27 European Union countries agreed to abide.
But that has been put in doubt by the election of French Socialist Francois Hollande, who wants to introduce eurobonds and amend the pact, and stands opposed to the austerity policies pushed by Germany.
And in elections earlier this month, the majority of Greeks voted against those parties backing the drastic austerity measures that had been agreed with the EU.
France’s new Prime Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault [aka The Penis], told the newspaper Liberation that politicians should consider all measures, including borrowing from the European Central Bank.
This came as an ECB policymaker said that Plan A – in fact, the the only scenario – is for Greece to remain in the single currency.
“As soon as you start talking about Plan B or Plan C then Plan A is automatically thrown out of the window,” Joerg Asmussen said.
Say what you will about Putin (for example that he’s a fascist), he doesn’t suffer fools gladly. He took one look at the circle-jerk that was the G-8 summit and said what a waste of time. Why bother seeing Obama in shirtsleeves when you look so hot shirtless?
If he sucked in that gut any more, he’d rupture his spleen!
Anyway, the media may still swoon at the thought of Obama directing the global economy like Cecil B. DeMille on a film set, but the reality is he’s more like John Waters. Instead of Divine eating dog excrement in Pink Flamingos, we’ll be reduced to that, saying “You know, once a week, with a little tabasco, it’s not that bad.”
WHEN I listen to President Obama speak to and about women, he sometimes sounds too paternalistic for my taste. In numerous appearances over the years — most recently at the Barnard graduation — he has made reference to how women are smarter than men. It’s all so tired, the kind of fake praise showered upon those one views as easy to impress. As I listen, I am always bracing for the old go-to cliché: “Behind every great man is a great woman.”
Some women are smarter than men and some aren’t. But to suggest to women that they deserve dominance instead of equality is at best a cheap applause line.
The women I know who are struggling in this economy couldn’t be further from the fictional character of Julia, presented in Mr. Obama’s Web ad, “The Life of Julia,” a silly and embarrassing caricature based on the assumption that women look to government at every meaningful phase of their lives for help.
I have always admired President Obama and I agree with him on some issues, like abortion rights. But the promise of his campaign four years ago has given way to something else — a failure to connect with tens of millions of Americans, many of them women, who feel economic opportunity is gone and are losing hope. In an effort to win them back, Mr. Obama is trying too hard. He’s employing a tone that can come across as grating and even condescending. He really ought to drop it. Most women don’t want to be patted on the head or treated as wards of the state. They simply want to be given a chance to succeed based on their talent and skills. To borrow a phrase from our president’s favorite president, Abraham Lincoln, they want “an open field and a fair chance.”
In the second decade of the 21st century, that isn’t asking too much.
A student at Barnard College, Ayelet Pearl, has written a stirring protest to President Barack Obama’s commencement speech yesterday. Noting that the president’s words were “beautiful,” Pearl nonetheless objected to the use of the historic women’s college as a political prop, and said that the event left her feeling “stereotyped, simplified, and used.”
Pearl, a junior, pointed out in her article in the Columbia Political Review that while many Barnard students shared President Obama’s enthusiasm for “change,” they did not necessarily agree with his policies:
..what if our way is not his way? More importantly, what if my way differs from the woman sitting next to me in my art history class or my English class or my computer science class? What if the change I think we need is a different brand of education reform and a more conservative economic plan?
She also objected to the assumption by Barnard administrators that “all” the women at Barnard shared Obama’s political agenda, and the same conformist liberal orthodoxy:
Barnard President Debora Spar, in an interview on MSNBC, boldly told the show’s hostess that “they’re [Barnard students] all huge fans [of Obama].” Is that true? Can the president of Barnard College say, in good faith, that every single one of her students is a fan of President Barack Obama? Are we that unindividual? Or are we just a liberal student body, and, as women, a key component of the Democratic vote? Too often, the assumed answer is yes.
Some women are pro-life; some women are pro-choice. Some women are advocates for universal health care; some women are not. Some women support gun rights, others do not. Some women will vote for Barack Obama in 2012, and other women will not.
The speech at Barnard, she said, was “the perfect political platform” for the president–yet ironically, the speech was held on the campus of Columbia University, Obama’s alma mater, and he left not “setting foot on our campus.”
A press that is typically attuned to symbolism missed that one big-time. The man who fancies himself God’s gift to women “stereotyped, simplified, and used” them without actually setting foot on Barnard’s campus. (One only has to cross Broadway.)
Both like and unlike his father, President Obama leaves part of himself behind with the women he comes into contact with. Barack Sr. “punished” many women with a baby; Barack Jr. punishes them with no job prospects and a condescending attitude. Both would have benefitted from learning a little respect.
PS: Aggie and I wonder (as do all of you) if this guy can be beat. Well, George Bush won reelection (or just election) in 2004, in spite of a hostile media and a couple of controversial wars. And it was people like Aggie and me what did it. We voted for Gore in 200, but for Bush in ’04. All it takes is for enough of Obama’s hardly insurmountable coalition to crumble. He can remain overwhelmingly popular among his various constituencies, only slightly less so—and lose. I’m coming to believe he will (knock on wood).
I was re-reading Dreams from my Father to prepare for an appearance on Hannity that will air tomorrow night, and I came across a passage I’d completely forgotten.
The scene is Chicago, in front of Obama’s apartment. A group of unruly young black men pulls up outside after midnight, music blasting. He has a guest in his apartment, and his neighbors have just brought home their newborn. He gets upset and goes outside to tell them off.
Then he starts to think: They could be me from just a few years ago. And they might intend him harm. Then, finally, he considers how he — a grown up with a job and a life — is increasingly unlike these kids, and how they may never have the chance to mature the way he did:
Their unruly maleness will not be contained, as mine finally was, by a sense of sadness at an older man’s injured pride. Their anger won’t be checked by the intimation of danger that would come upon me whenever I split another boy’s lip or raced down a highway with gin clouding my head.
Okay, besides the obvious DUI and assault and battery charges, I’d like to level an addition accusation, far more serious: unclear writing. Obama’s “unruly maleness” (however that differs from “unruly femaleness”) was eventually contained “by a sense of sadness at an older man’s injured pride.” Whose? Who was the older man? Himself? Is he saying he finally matured? That’s fine, and I’m sure we’re all happy that he’s no longer driving while intoxicated, but he could just say so. I’m not sure what it is he’s trying to say, which leads me to believe that neither does he.
This evening “Piers Morgan Tonight” welcomed Mark NeJame with new details on George Zimmerman, the man charged with killing Trayvon Martin.
Joining Piers Morgan for a live interview, the CNN legal analyst shared an exclusive photograph which suggests Zimmerman has black heritage:
“The man in the middle is apparently George Zimmerman’s great-grandfather. The woman above him, is in fact his grandmother who is half black,” explained NeJame. “And the little child in the gentleman’s lap, is his mother. So we see that he really has significant multiracial, multicultural roots.”
In a case ripe with racial undertones, NeJame suggests that Thursday’s photo may help the Zimmerman camp refute theories that Martin’s death was a result of profiling and bigotry:
“Talking to people that know him, I have changed my position,” revealed the guest. “People can come up with whatever conclusions they want. But from looking at the facts and the evidence, I don’t think there is a racial motive in there.”
Odd how this hasn’t been all over the news, as the original “story” (and I do mean story) was.
A medical report by George Zimmerman’s family doctor shows the neighborhood watch volunteer was diagnosed with a fractured nose, two black eyes and two lacerations on the back of the head after his fatal confrontation with Trayvon Martin.
So, if my math is correct, George Zimmerman is 1/16th black—which makes him twice as black as Betty Buckskin is Indian. (And infinitely more so if you demand documentary proof—but since did Democrats demand that?)
As Rush said today, if Barack Obama had another son, he might look like George Zimmerman.
Actually, Zimmerman takes after Obama a whole lot more than Trayvon Martin did.
Trayvon Martin should be alive today; it’s a shame he is not. But don’t believe what the media tell you. They start lying right after “good evening” (if not before).
On Friday’s “The Daily Rundown” on MSNBC, Charlie Cook of the famed The Cook Political Report offered his theory as to why Iowa seems to be tilting toward the Republicans in the upcoming election.
According to his co-guest David Drucker, a reporter for Roll Call, it stems from a dissatisfaction with Washington, particularly with ObamaCare. However, Cook says it is something more.
“Small towns — states with a large small town rural populations, Democrats in general, the president has had a really hard time,” Cook said. “I mean, we have kind of a metrosexual president … that doesn’t go over well in the small town. And it’s just cultural. It is what it is.”
He said that on MSNBC? Did Chris Matthews threaten to kick his a** with his tingly leg? Did Rachel Maddow threaten to tear his still-beating heart from his chest and shove it down his throat? (She could do it, too.)
But I’m not sure Obama is a metrosexual. I mean, he’s a goof and a klutz, and narcissistic as the day is long, but he’s not quite the preening pretty-boy more typical of the profile (and yes, John Edwards, you should be blushing).
But metrosexual? I just don’t know. Certainly not in this guy’s league:
But amid the bad news and pressures of late 2009, the trip unexpectedly passed like a brief, happy fantasy for the president, a Nordic alternate reality where citizens were learned and pensive, discussions were thoughtful, and everyone was a fan. “It wasn’t hero worship,” said one adviser who accompanied them. “Okay, it was.”
For one day, the Obamas lived in the dream version of his presidency instead of the depressing reality. At meals and receptions, they mingled with the members of the Royal Academy – government officials, academics…
The trip spurred a thought the Obamas and their friends would voice to each other again and again as the president’s popularity continued to decline: the American public just did not appreciate their exceptional leader. The president “could get 70 or 80 percent of the vote anywhere but the U.S.” [President Obama's old friend] Marty Nesbitt told [another old friend of Obama] Eric Whitaker indignantly.”
Does it even occur to people who say, think, or write such a thing that the reason his popularity is declining (to the extent that it is) is precisely tied to his popularity among Europeans? He wants to remake the US in the image of European socialism. No wonder he’s popular in (that antisemitic enclave) Norway; and no wonder he’s less so here.
But the real issue seems that he doesn’t get universal love. Any detractor seems a detractor too many. How can you people not see his brilliance, his articulateness, his cleanliness? Obama’s popularity is actually higher than it should be, given the moribund economy and his renunciation of certain campaign promises. He still probably stands a good chance of being reelected. What’s his problem? We don’t have a peace prize to offer an unworthy candidate; we just have the Oval Office. And we gave that to him, unworthy as he is of that too.
But I’m still stunned that we can get revelations like this out of a published book. Surely, some in the press have read it. (I wouldn’t, but it’s their job.) Did it occur to none of them that this is an interesting and very telling anecdote?
Initially, Barack had tuned out the presidential talk, too. But he was just as disappointed with the U.S. Senate as he had been with the state senate—he had gone to Washington to do big things, but he was a junior member of a slow, rule-bound, Republican-controlled body. ‘Shoot. Me. Now.’ he wrote to an aide, in the middle of a particularly long-winded oration. (The speaker was Senator Joe Biden.)
Isn’t that precious? The United States Senate was too small for him. He had served less than one term, only two years of which in the minority party, and he was already bored. Now, I know Joe Biden will do that to a person, but if your goal is really just to help people, can’t you find a way? And is the honor of serving as a US Senator really all washed away in a few months’ time? I’m surprised he still wants to be president. Emperor would be more fitting.
Anyhow, Joe got his own back:
Not such a big effing deal after all, eh Joe?
PS: Don’t you love how the mainstream media ferrets out these embarrassing episodes in Obama’s life? Me neither. This is from Jodi Kantor’s book, which ha been out only a few weeks. But the dog-eating story has been out there for years (even in his own voice on the book on tape!), and no one thought fit to mention it till just now! I haven’t read the thing, but maybe it has the same effect on readers that Obama’s speechifying has on Biden.
The White House puts out a weekly video report called “West Wing Week,” which provides all the highlights of Barack Obama’s events and accomplishments. Two weeks ago, the video included a shot of Obama sinking a three-pointer at the Easter Egg roll (1:50).
Zeke Miller of BuzzFeed notes that the White House managed to scrub what really happened:
At Easter Egg Roll event, the ball-player-in-chief missed four of five 3-pointers, but you’ll only see the one basket Obama made in the White House’s video recap of the week.
Far from condemning this whitewashing of events (can I write that?), I welcome it. I wish we could apply it to his whole administration. Edit out ObamaCare, stimulus, about a dozen pointless nationwide addresses, and so much more. We’d just have the Inaugural Ball and him throwing out the first pitch, because I can’t see that often enough.
Oh, what am I saying? We already have an edited, scrubbed version of events. It’s called the mainstream media!
PS: One… more… time!
PPS: Remember the media hoopla over Bush serving the (supposedly) fake turkey (which was real) to the troops? I call this scandal Brick-gate.
Michelle Obama made a remarkable claim when talking up her husband, President Barack Obama, at a campaign event earlier today in Nashville, Tennessee.
“I am so in,” Michelle Obama said toward the end of her remarks. “I am going to be working so hard. We have an amazing story to tell. This president has brought us out of the dark and into the light.”
The crowd of nearly 450 folks applauded as the first lady likened her husband to a Jesus-like figure.
In the book of Matthew, we read, “the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.” (Matthew 4:16) The phrase is used to describe the words Jesus preached.
In Micah, light, however, is a reference to God’s words. “Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD will be a light to me,” it says in Micah 7:8.
Either way, in religious terms, light is used to denote the true path, presented either by God or a savior. Or by Barack Obama.
I sort of see Michelle’s point: red ink is a heck of a lot brighter than black.
But this guy has been told of his godliness (or at least his cleanliness) for so long, he’s come to believe it. As Jesus said to Pilate, “I won.” Jesus also had an optional Galilean dialect he could turn off and on at will. And articulate! That man (or son of man, depending) could talk the wings off an angel.
Michelle no more believes her old man has brought us into the light than my wife believes it of me. “Why don’t you start by just bringing the garbage to the curb, sport?” she usually says to me.
“This bears on your reporting,” President Obama said to journalists. “I think that there is oftentimes the impulse to suggest that if the two parties are disagreeing then they’re equally at fault and the truth lies somewhere in the middle. And an equivalence is presented which I think reinforces peoples’ cynicism about Washington in general. This is not one of those situations where there’s an equivalency.”
“As all of you are doing your reporting, I think it’s important to remember that the positions that I am taking now on the budget and a host of other issues. if we had been having this discussion 20 years ago or even 15 years ago … would’ve been considered squarely centrist positions,” Obama said a few moments later.
Obama on the Paul Ryan budget: “We wouldn’t have the capacity to enforce the laws that protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, or the food that we eat. Cuts to the FAA would likely result in more flight cancellations, delays and the complete elimination of air traffic control services in parts of the country. Over time, our weather forecasts would become less accurate because we wouldn’t be able to afford to launch new satellites and that means governors and mayors would have to wait longer to order evacuations in the event of a hurricane. That’s just a partial sampling of the consequences of this budget.”
Dude, you think we watch the weather for accurate predictions?
President Obama’s emotional siding with Trayvon Martin in the Rose Garden Friday, hailed by some as a moment of leadership on race relations, is an egregious abnegation of duty that could help lead to race riots and further deaths.
Obama Friday expressed sympathy for Trayvon and said if he had a son “he’d look like Trayvon.” Obama’s comments gave the highest official imprimatur possible to a variety of people who are attempting to create mass protest in response to the tragedy.
Speaking just as the 20th anniversary of the Rodney King riots approaches, Obama has now aligned himself with these forces.
Well, maybe. We’ll see.
But something about the president’s comments strikes me as odd:
Obama senior advisor David Plouffe this morning eviscerated former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on “This Week” after the GOP presidential candidate lashed out at the president for his comments on Trayvon Martin.
“Those comments are reprehensible,” said Plouffe. “Speaker Gingrich is clearly in the last throes of his political career…You can make a decision whether to go out with some shred of dignity or say these irresponsible reckless things. And he’s clearly chosen the latter.”
Plouffe was addressing comments Gingrich made on “The Sean Hannity Show” this past Friday.
“What the President said, in a sense, is disgraceful. It’s not a question of who that young man looked like. Any young American of any ethnic background should be safe. Period,” said Gingrich. “We should all be horrified no matter what the ethnic background. Is the President suggesting that if it had been a white who had been shot that would be okay because it wouldn’t look like him? That’s just nonsense.”
That’s Gingrich, not me. What I have ask, with all due incredulity, is why Obama turned this tragedy into a literal reflection of himself? What goes in the mind of someone who would do that? What does it say about him?
When JFK, Jr’s plane crashed, did I write that if I had a twin, he’d look like John-John? Of course not. The fact that it wasn’t true was only one reason why. The other was because it wasn’t about me. Everything is not a reflection of me.
The truth of what happened to Trayvon will be learned. The truth of the president “acting stupidly” in criminal cases has long been known.
I know Obama has a rather large extended family. Here in Boston, we host two of them, both illegally. It occurs to me that even Obama’s Kenyan half-brother squats in his own place, while Auntie Zeituni lives on the dole in public housing.
President Obama has passed the buck to others – mainly George W. Bush – for no less than 13 problems that characterize his presidency, suggesting time and again that his own policies are not to blame for his difficulties and he is simply doing the best that can be done with the cards he was dealt.
Even so, Obama is aggressively staking a claim for successes for which Bush shares significant or nearly all responsibility, including increased drilling for oil and natural gas, the end of the Iraq War, and the killing of Osama Bin Laden.
What follows is a roster of Obama’s efforts to assign blame for 13 problems that prevail or have faced him during his presidency. In several cases, the quotes here are just one or two of many that show Obama passing the buck on a particular issue.
“The key thing that is driving higher gas prices is actually the world’s oil markets and uncertainty about what’s going on in Iran and the Middle East, and that’s adding a $20 or $30 premium to oil prices.”
- March 23, 2012
“Obviously, we wish Solyndra hadn’t gone bankrupt. Part of the reason they did was because the Chinese were subsidizing their solar industry and flooding the market in ways that Solyndra couldn’t compete. But understand, this was not our program per se. Congress–Democrats and Republicans–put together a loan guarantee program.”
- March 22, 2012
“When I came into office there has been drift in the Afghanistan strategy, in part because we had spent a lot of time focusing on Iraq instead. Over the last three years we have refocused attention on getting Afghanistan right. Would my preference had been that we started some of that earlier? Absolutely. But that’s not the cards that were dealt. We’re now in a position where, given our starting point, we’re making progress.”
- March 14, 2012
“When I took office, the efforts to apply pressure on Iran were in tatters. Iran had gone from zero centrifuges spinning to thousands, without facing broad pushback from the world. In the region, Iran was ascendant.”
- March 4, 2012
“We’ve made sure to do everything we can to dig ourselves out of this incredible hole that I inherited.”
- February 23, 2012
That’s just this year. But he’s been “inheriting” his entire presidency.