Archive for Media

Obama’s IRS Lies And The MSM

In fact, the IRS did not hassle “progressive” groups

IRS agents testified before Congress that the agency’s political targeting did not apply to progressive groups as Democrats and the media have claimed, according to a bombshell new staff report prepared by the House Oversight Committee chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa.

IRS agents testified before Oversight that ACORN groups were scrutinized because the agency thought they were old organizations applying as new ones. Emerge America was scrutinized for potential “improper private benefit.” No evidence exists that the IRS requested additional information from any Occupy Wall Street group.

“Only seven applications in the IRS backlog contained the word ‘progressive,’ all of which were then approved by the IRS, while Tea Party groups received unprecedented review and experienced years-long delays. While some liberal-oriented groups were singled out for scrutiny, evidence shows it was due to non-political reasons,” according to the Oversight staff report, which was obtained by The Daily Caller.

“[T]he Administration and congressional Democrats have seized upon the notion that the IRS’s targeting was not just limited to conservative applicants,” the report states. “These Democratic claims are flat-out wrong and have no basis in any thorough examination of the facts. Yet, the Administration’s chief defenders continue to make these assertions in a concerted effort to deflect and distract from the truth about the IRS’s targeting of tax-exempt applicants.”

“[T]here is simply no evidence that any liberal or progressive group received enhanced scrutiny because its application reflected the organization’s political views,” the report stated.

Big surprise.

- Aggie

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Play it Again, Sam

I told you this thing had veered off course into the realm of the absurd.

No, not the plane—the investigation:

They were words heard around the world as investigators searched for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.

Weeks ago, Malaysian authorities said the last message from the airplane cockpit was, “All right, good night.”

The sign-off to air traffic controllers, which investigators said was spoken by the plane’s copilot, was among the few concrete details officials released in a mystery that’s baffled investigators since the Boeing 777 disappeared with 239 people aboard on March 8.

There’s only one problem. It turns out, it wasn’t true.

On Tuesday, Malaysia’s Transport Ministry released the transcript of the conversations between the Flight 370′s cockpit and air traffic control. The final words from the plane: “Good night Malaysian three seven zero.”

Malaysian authorities gave no explanation for the discrepancy between the two quotes. And authorities are still trying to determine whether it was the plane’s pilot or copilot who said them.

But the change in wording weeks into the search for the missing plane raises questions about how Malaysian officials have handled the investigation.

“It speaks to credibility issues, unfortunately,” Schiavo said.

“We haven’t had a straight, clear word that we can have a lot of fidelity in,” said Michael Goldfarb, former chief of staff at the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. “We have the tragedy of the crash, we have the tragedy of an investigation gone awry and then we have questions about where we go from here.”

Monday’s search ended without finding anything significant, Australian officials said. Four orange objects spotted by search aircraft and earlier described as promising turned out be nothing more than old fishing gear, they said.

Late last week, the search area shifted more than 600 miles after what authorities described as “a new credible lead.” But a Wall Street Journal report Monday night, citing anonymous people familiar with the matter, said before that crews had searched for three days in the wrong location due to “lapses in coordination among countries and companies” trying to find the missing jet.

What happened? Andy Pasztor, one of the reporters who wrote the story, said it boiled down to poor coordination between two parts of the investigation: one dealing with satellite data, and the other one dealing with fuel consumption and aircraft performance.

“And so what we’re left with is sort of a three-day gap where it’s clear that folks were definitely looking in the wrong place,” he said.

Oy.

On Monday, dozens of Chinese family members visited a Kuala Lumpur temple. They chanted, lit candles and meditated.

“Chinese are kindhearted people,” said Jiang Hui, the families’ designated representative. “But we can clearly distinguish between the good and evil. We will never forgive for covering the truth from us and the criminal who delayed the rescue mission.”

Understandable. But for the rest of us—especially for the entire CNN lineup—this is must-see-TV.

UPDATE:
Gotta love this headline from the Wall Street Journal: “Search for Missing Malaysian Plane Hampered by Lack of Certainty”
That’s putting it mildly.

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My Defense of Michelle Obama

Trust me, this is going to hurt me more than it is you:

Writing in the New Republic, former White House West Wing press aide Reid Cherlin goes pretty far out on a limb for a former in-guy with the Obama towel-whipping society, describing First Lady Michelle Obama as a controlling yet sometimes fickle East Wing boss who has created an unhappy work environment.

I credit Mrs. BTL for installing a sexism BS detector in my head. Women are often described in critical terms for the same traits that win men praise. Always, if you ask the missus.

So let’s tread carefully:

Apparently, all that spontanaiety you see from Michelle takes a lot of planning.

The first lady’s office can be a confining, frustrating, even miserable place to work. Jealousy and discontentment have festered, as courtiers squabble over the allocation of responsibility and access to Mrs. Obama, both of which can be aggravatingly scarce. Fueling these sentiments, according to former East Wing insiders, is the exacting but often ambivalent leadership style of the first lady herself.

Unlike her husband, who derives visible satisfaction from his ability to improvise, Mrs. Obama depends on structure to support her public warmth—the ease with which she’ll pick up a hula-hoop, say, or do the Dougie with school kids.

The imperative to guarantee results could be paralyzing. “That was the pressure on us,” one ex-aide told me. “‘Don’t do it if it’s not going to be perfect.’” Staff knew that every event should produce positive coverage, and that all the angles had to be exhaustively researched and gamed out (not easy with a team of less than 30).

But it was never completely clear what the standard of perfection should be. “There’s no barometer: The first lady having the wrong pencil skirt on Monday is just as big of a fuck-up as someone speaking on the record when they didn’t mean to or a policy initiative that completely failed,” says another former aide. “It just made you super anxious.”

Former staffers describe a high-stress, high-stakes workplace, in which Mrs. Obama scrutinized the smallest facets of her schedule. Aides in both wings of the White House say she insists on planning every move months in advance and finalizing speeches weeks ahead of time—a rigidity nearly unheard of in today’s chaotic political environment.

“For her, trust is huge, really feeling like people were protecting and thinking about her,” says one alum. “And then, also, she’s a lawyer. She’s really disciplined. She cares about the details. She’s never going to wing it.”

Imagine the first black First Lady of the United States wanting to be the personification of perfection! Imagine her holding to account the people on whom she relies!

There’s plenty I don’t like about Michelle Obama—her politics first and foremost. I’m also tired of her hectoring tone. (A-WOO-GAH! A-WOO-GAH! Sexism alert!!) Her bossiness. (CRACK!!! That just broke the detector.)

But I haven’t learned anything damning about her yet. Let’s keep trying:

All of this led to a culture of harsh internal judgment. Invitations to meetings with the first lady, in her office above the Jackie Kennedy Garden, became a vital status symbol, a way for staffers to measure their worth. “Every meeting was like an identity crisis, whether you got invited or not,” one former East Winger told me . . .

Whoever the chief of staff has been, Cherlin makes clear that the real power behind the throne is Valerie Jarrett, who gives the orders. Also very powerful is Sam Kass, who seems to have risen from Obama chef and gardener to all-round advisor and general-purpose guru.

They’ve become personal friends even intimates of the first lady, which Cherlin makes suggests, is what it takes to really succeed in the East Wing.

Talk about an unfair work environment.

BS.

What we’ve learned is that Michelle Obama is hypersensitive about her image. (What a bitch!) This makes her identical to any other woman not named Joan Rivers. Again, one could completely understand, and should certainly forgive, her compulsion to be a model First Lady (even First Mother), as she is the first African American to hold the position. While we might wish her to be more relaxed, more herself, she’s hardly in a comfortable position to do so. (Hey, maybe we’d rather she did not.)

We also learn that Mrs. Obama has her trusted intimates. That, too, is far from damning indictment.

I’ve had some pretty bad bosses, the worst of whom by far was a woman. She was irrational, temperamental, sharp-tongued, a nightmare to deal with in any capacity. But she was the boss, she ran the place. I bitched and moaned, to be sure, but my solution was to find another job. I did, and everyone lived happily ever after. (Except for my successor.)

We now return you to our regularly-scheduled First Lady bashing…

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And Here’s The Sanity Side

Obama is an embarrassment

The writer points out that even Jimmy Carter wasn’t this bad.

Leaders of other countries don’t respect President Barack Obama, said 53 percent of respondents in Gallup’s annual World Affairs poll, conducted Feb. 3-6. That only 53 percent of Americans think this is an indictment of the news media’s coverage of foreign affairs.

He would lead the world by “deed and example,” not try to “bully it into submission,” Sen. Barack Obama wrote in Foreign Affairs magazine in 2007.

In a major foreign policy speech in 2008, Mr. Obama said he would focus on “ending the war in Iraq responsibly; finishing the fight against al-Qaida and the Taliban; securing all nuclear weapons and materials from terrorists and rogue states; achieving true energy security; and rebuilding our alliances to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”

The key elements of his foreign policy were to be a “reset” of relations with Russia, and outreach to Muslims.

To symbolize “reset,” when they met in Geneva, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with a red plastic button modeled on the “easy button” in the Staples ads.

“I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world,” Mr. Obama said in a much ballyhooed speech in Cairo in June, 2009.

No president has talked the talk so well, but walked the walk so badly.

Don’t you feel ashamed for him? He’s an adult. He believed this stuff.

And to quote our fearless leader, “Here’s what is true”:

The plastic button Ms. Clinton gave Mr. Lavrov was supposed to say “reset” in English and Russian. But “peregruzka” means “overcharged.” Relations went downhill from there.

To appease Russia, President Obama cancelled a ballistic missile defense treaty with Poland and the Czech Republic. But the more concessions he made, the more contempt with which he was treated by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

His Russian policy has been a total failure. But it hasn’t backfired as much as has Mr. Obama’s “outreach” to Muslims:

• Iran is closer than ever to a nuclear weapon. Mr. Obama weakened economic sanctions as a gesture of goodwill, so now the mullahs have the money to finish the job.

• Saudi Arabia is so angered by Mr. Obama’s appeasement of Iran it refused a seat on the U.N. Security Council; so frightened by it the Saudis are talking quietly with the Israelis about joint military action.

• In what had been our foremost Arab ally, Egypt, the president’s dalliance with the Muslim Brotherhood has alienated both the military and the people.

• Mr. Obama waged war of dubious legality to oust Moammar Gadhafi in Libya, an evil, mean, nasty, rotten guy, but not, since 2005, a threat to the United States. (He gave up his nuclear weapons program because he was afraid what happened to Saddam Hussein might happen to him.)

In the chaotic aftermath, al-Qaida has established a stronghold there. An al-Qaida affiliate murdered U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

• Seventy percent of the 2,313 Americans killed in Afghanistan died after President Obama escalated the war. They died in vain. The Taliban is expected to take over when U.S. troops leave.

• The fighting in Iraq was over when Barack Obama took the oath of office. His inept diplomacy and premature withdrawal of all U.S. troops permitted an al-Qaida resurgence there.

• Worldwide, al-Qaida is as great a threat today as it was in 2001, the director of national intelligence told Congress last month.

• Peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians have gone nowhere, which is nothing new. But Barack Obama is the first U.S. president to lose the trust of both Israelis and Palestinians.

• More than 130,000 people have been killed in the civil war in Syria. President Obama threatened to intervene militarily on one side, then, after pressure from the Russians, in effect switched to the other, to the dismay of our European allies.

Isn’t that depressing?

Not even the hapless Jimmy Carter made so big a mess. Relations have soured even with Canada, which is tired of being jerked around on the Keystone pipeline.

It’s time the news media noticed.

It is way, way past time for the medial dolts to notice and to cover this. But they won’t. At this point, how can they? How embarrassing that they have allowed this to happen without coverage.

- Aggie

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Let’s Play BTL’s New Game. See If You Can Explain The Meaning Of The Bland Term: MEN

Ten men with knives.

What do we know about these men?

Twenty-nine people were killed and 130 were injured Saturday night when 10 men armed with long knives stormed the station in the southwest Chinese city of Kunming, the state news agency Xinhua reported.
Members of a separatist group from Xinjiang, in northwest China, are believed to have carried out the assault, authorities said. The report referred to them as “terrorists.”

They were “terrorists,” eh? What makes them terrorists? Just because the Chinese say so? They sound like Freedom Fighters to me. Language can be so tricky.

Anyway, one way to figure out who the “men” were and what their anguish is all about – because imagine the pain the Chinese must have inflicted for them to decide to butcher 29 strangers in a train station – is to simply jump to the last paragraph. Let’s see, there are 20 paragraphs in all. And the last one says this:

Frequent outbreaks of violence have beset Xinjiang, a resource-rich area where the arrival of waves of Han Chinese people over the decades has fueled tensions with the Uyghurs, a Turkic-speaking, predominantly Muslim ethnic group.

So there you have it. The media did their best to confuse us, but BTL was correct in the previous post. It was Muslim terrorism against infidels, or, if you prefer, Freedom Fighters defending their land and culture against Occupiers. I wonder if the Chinese public will be as lame as we are in the West?

- Aggie

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NY Times Gets A Chuckle Out Of This!

Suicide bomb instructor in Iraq blows up entire class

Just imagine if this had been a story about a Palestinian “work accident” What if the Israeli population had reacted with such glee? How would the NY Times would have covered the story?

If there were such a thing, it would probably be rule No. 1 in the teaching manual for instructors of aspiring suicide bombers: Don’t give lessons with live explosives.

In what represented a cautionary tale for terrorist teachers, and a cause of dark humor for ordinary Iraqis, a commander at a secluded terrorist training camp north of Baghdad unwittingly used a belt packed with explosives while conducting a demonstration early Monday for a group of militants, killing himself and 21 other members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, army and police officials said.

Iraqi citizens have long been accustomed to daily attacks on public markets, mosques, funerals and even children’s soccer games, so they saw the story of the fumbling militants as a dark — and delicious — kind of poetic justice, especially coming amid a protracted surge of violence led by the terrorist group, including a rise in suicide bombings.

Just last week a suicide bomber struck a popular falafel shop near the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here, killing several people. On Monday evening Raad Hashim, working the counter at a liquor store near the site of the attack, burst out laughing when he heard the news.

“This is so funny,” Mr. Hashim said. “It shows how stupid they are, those dogs and sons of dogs.”

It is funny, and on so many levels. There were nearly daily Palestinian terrorist suicide attacks on Israel during the first six years or so of our glorious new century, and there were uncountable work accidents. Somehow the media never saw the humor in the work accidents nor the horror of the terror attacks themselves. And they blamed the victims. Let me take a shot at playing editor, rewriting the first bit of the NY Times article, as if it had appeared circa 2005, assuming this incident had involved people trying to murder Israelis:

“If there were such a thing, it would probably be rule No. 1 in the teaching manual for instructors of aspiring suicide bombers: Don’t give lessons with live explosives.” NO. NO. NO. Try something like this: In the continuing tit for tat conflict between Palestinian freedom fighters and the Israeli military, the Palestinians are today mourning the loss of some of their bravest soldiers… Better, right?

In what represented a cautionary tale for terrorist teachers, and a cause of dark humor for ordinary Iraqis, a commander at a secluded terrorist training camp north of Baghdad unwittingly used a belt packed with explosives while conducting a demonstration early Monday for a group of militants, killing himself and 21 other members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, army and police officials said. Terrible. Try it this way: Iraqi government officials claim that a training accident caused an explosion in which approximately 22 “terrorists” died. Representatives of the Iraqi Freedom Fighters are currently studying the accident and cannot be reached for comment… There, much more balanced.

“Iraqi citizens have long been accustomed to daily attacks on public markets, mosques, funerals and even children’s soccer games, so they saw the story of the fumbling militants as a dark — and delicious — kind of poetic justice, especially coming amid a protracted surge of violence led by the terrorist group, including a rise in suicide bombings.” Horrible. Unbalanced, one-sided, unethical, beneath the dignity of The Paper of Record. Try this: Some Iraqis are gloating and celebrating the loss of the Freedom Fighters, but others point with worry to the possibility of an escalation of tensions.

“Just last week a suicide bomber struck a popular falafel shop near the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here, killing several people. On Monday evening Raad Hashim, working the counter at a liquor store near the site of the attack, burst out laughing when he heard the news.

“This is so funny,” Mr. Hashim said. “It shows how stupid they are, those dogs and sons of dogs.” Find a supporter of the Freedom Fighters who will say, “This is an attack on our brave men. Allah will punish the perpetrators. We will kill ten of them for every one of us who has entered Paradise!” Or just make is up. Who will bother to track the speaker in Iraq? ;)

“This is God showing justice,” Mr. Hashim continued. “This is God sending a message to the bad people and the criminals in the world, to tell them to stop the injustice and to bring peace. Evil will not win in the end. It’s always life that wins over death.”

Perfect! The Freedom Fighter says that Allah will not tolerate violation of his ways, and that we, the Freedom Fighters, value Death over Life, etc. Blame the Israelis, George W. Bush, and even Obama.

Another paragraph, another example of unbalanced reporting:

Another resident of the area, who lives near the ministry building that was targeted last week, said: “I heard this today when my friend rang me in the afternoon to tell me about it. He was so happy as if he was getting married.

“Which made me happy as well,” the resident said. “I hope that their graves burn and all the rest of them burn as well. I was not happy with the number killed, though: I wanted more of them to die, as I remember my friend who was killed by a suicide bomber in 2007.”

Perhaps the NY Times should end the story like this: And so the eternal Tit-for-Tat continues. Or possibly we should channel Pete Seeger?

- Aggie

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Excellent Analysis Of Media Coverage Of Israel

- Aggie

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Why Was Martin Bashir Permitted To Resign?

Why didn’t MSNBC fire him?

Just over two weeks ago, MSNBC host Martin Bashir delivered a harsh piece of commentary that culminated in the suggestion that someone should “s-h-i-t” in former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin‘s (R-AK) mouth. Bashir offered an abject apology on his next broadcast, but a chorus of critics continued to demand action against the host. After a reported “vacation” for the host earlier this week, Bashir announced, in a statement to Mediaite Wednesday afternoon, that MSNBC and Martin Bashir are parting ways.

Here’s the statement to Mediaite, from Martin Bashir, via email:

After making an on-air apology, I asked for permission to take some additional time out around the Thanksgiving holiday.
Upon further reflection, and after meeting with the President of MSNBC, I have tendered my resignation. It is my sincere hope that all of my colleagues, at this special network, will be allowed to focus on the issues that matter without the distraction of myself or my ill-judged comments.
I deeply regret what was said, will endeavor to work hard at making constructive contributions in the future and will always have a deep appreciation for our viewers – who are the smartest, most compassionate and discerning of all television audiences. I would also wish to express deepest gratitude to my immediate colleagues, and our contributors, all of whom have given so much of themselves to our broadcast.’

MSNBC released Bashir’s statement, plus the following statement from MSNBC President Phil Griffin:

“Martin Bashir resigned today, effective immediately. I understand his decision and I thank him for three great years with msnbc. Martin is a good man and respected colleague – we wish him only the best.”

Seriously, why is it ok to suggest that someone piss and shit into a woman’s mouth, just because she has the gall to be a conservative woman? Why is this ok? Why did it take this long for him to go, and why was he allowed to resign?

- Aggie

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Managing the Message

The Associated Press worships President Obama. But it wants a little love in return:

Editors of The Associated Press condemned the White House’s refusal to give photojournalists real access to President Obama, who prefers to circulate press release-style pictures taken by his own paid photographers.

These official photographs are little more than propaganda, according to AP director of photography Santiago Lyon.

The AP has only been permitted to photograph the president in the Oval Office on two occasions. Both were during his first term. All other pictures of Obama in his office were taken by White House photographers and distributed to the press.

This is not the first time the AP has insinuated that Obama’s photo policy is bad for modern journalism. Editors at the country’s largest wire service began complaining about Obama’s autocratic media strategy during his first campaign for the presidency in 2008.

They even sent a letter to the Obama campaign that said, “There are many ways in a campaign to control your message and conduct private meetings that do not involve deceiving the press corps.”

In April of this year, the AP renewed its criticisms in an article titled “Controlling the narrative while limiting media access.”

“[The Obama White House] is limiting press access in ways that past administrations wouldn’t have dared, and the president is answering to the public in more controlled settings than his predecessors,” wrote the AP. “It’s raising new questions about what’s lost when the White House tries to make an end run around the media, functioning, in effect, as its own news agency.”

Oh, come on. It’s not like official White House photographer, Pete Souza, is into hero worship.

Untitled

Give the man a Pulitzer!

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Why, Exactly Why, Is Obama Such An Atrocious President?

Yes, he’s a dolt, yes, the economy is weak, our foreign policy is in shambles, the health care law will cost thousands their jobs and maybe America will end up with fewer Americans with health insurance, and he’s arrogant to boot. But to quote one of my kids, who got real persistent and particular one day: “Yes, Mommy, I understand there’s a sperm and an egg, but how, exactly how, do they get together???” In the spirit of that question, what, exactly what, makes this guy worse than so many others?

And I woke up this morning with the particulars:

Obama has a Nixonian respect for the Constitution and the rule of law. (I realize that this is unfair to Richard Nixon).

Obama has a Carteresque way with both foreign policy and the domestic economy, with quite a bit of Carter’s condescending arrogance thrown in.

Obama has a Kennedy era teeny-bop press, in love with his handsome features, lovely wife and daughters, his sexy golf moves, and his inspiring speeches. The Beatles didn’t have it this good.

As a result:

America has a lawless, arrogant, incompetent leader who has lowered our international standing, tortured our economy, and cheapened our culture. And we don’t have a media to help us to understand this.

- Aggie

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Obama Takes Advice From Columnists At The NY Times!

The dumb leading the stupid

Hey, maybe YOU could be a big-time presidential advisor!

What influenced President Obama’s mercurial decision on military intervention in Syria? According to Michael Calderone, it may have been the editors and op-ed writers at the New York Times.
Calderone confirms that President Obama had an off-the-record meeting with Times editor Andy Rosenthal, members of the editorial board, and opinion columnists David Brooks, Gail Collins and Ross Douthat. The meeting took place on on August 29, the day before he reversed course and decided to postpone military intervention.
The meeting came amid the White House’s push for military intervention in Syria, one of the topics discussed that day. The Times editorial board hadn’t explicitly come out for or against a strike on Syrian President Bashar Assad before the meeting, and soon after the paper still expressed concerns about the administration taking action without congressional approval and broad international support.
Calderone goes on to paint a picture that shows the Obama Administration taking the lead of the Times editorial board as his Syria policy took shape the last weekend of August, including the dramatic, last-minute decision to seek congressional approval on military intervention.
In an editorial posted online Aug. 30 and in the next day’s paper, Times editors wrote that “even in the best of circumstances, military action could go wrong in so many ways; the lack of strong domestic and international support will make it even more difficult.”
Later that evening, President Obama reversed course and announced he would take the issue to Congress.

What difference, at this point, does it make?

- Aggie

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The Reviews Are In!

Looks like a bomb:

Billed as a game-changer on Syria, the President’s White House address landed with a thud that could be heard as far away as Damascus. Barack Obama has a huge credibility problem on Syria and on foreign policy in general, and Tuesday night’s speech will do nothing to help that. As Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer put it on Fox News, it was “one of the most odd presidential speeches ever delivered,” with no clear-cut strategy laid out, while urging Congress to delay a vote on the use of force against Assad’s regime.

He urged Congress to support his approach, but wants them to wait before they vote. For these were the words of an exceptionally weak and indecisive president, one who seems to be making up policy on the hoof, as he stumbles and bumbles along on the world stage, with his hapless Secretary of State in tow.

How different to the halcyon days of Ronald Reagan, a man who led the world’s superpower with strength and conviction. The Gipper knew the meaning of American leadership, especially at times of crisis. Unfortunately President Obama can only dream of holding a candle to Reagan’s achievements, and at present is even outperforming Jimmy Carter as the most feeble US president of modern times.

Owwww… It can’t get worse than that.

Anyone else?

The president’s speech confirms that he is committed to taking significant strategic risks on behalf of strictly humanitarian goals. That is not typical of American foreign policy, which is precisely what U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power aims to change, and precisely why we’ve run into trouble.

Power’s core argument is that American foreign policy has historically “refused to take risks” for humanitarian ends. Power chastises American leaders for declining to “invest the military, financial, diplomatic, or domestic political capital” necessary to prevent massacres. U.S. officials, she complains, consistently “play up the futility, perversity, and jeopardy of any proposed intervention.”

A foreign policy that intentionally subordinates traditional calculations of strategic interest to humanitarian ends will inevitably sacrifice our strategic interests. And having lost strategic position, our ability to sustain humanitarian ends, insofar as we can do so consistently with out interests, will be correspondingly reduced. This is what happened in Libya and Syria when we put Power’s policies into practice. So not only are we now facing a substantial reduction of our influence in the Middle East and the rise of Russia in our place, but the Syrians are unlikely to give up their chemical weapons in the end.

All of this follows logically from Power’s theories. Move humanitarianism to the center of our foreign policy at the expense of traditional strategic concerns, and strategic disaster follows. In the end, that means more humanitarian problems, not less.

Humanitarian interventionism has been tested in the Middle East and found wanting.

Oh boy. That’s kind of depressing.

Doesn’t anyone have a kind (or kinder) word?

It has taken Barack Obama a long time but finally he found out why he is President of the United States. The revelation came late in his speech when he talked about what made America “exceptional.” It is our values, the fact that we would not, could not, stand by and watch little children gassed to death. It was, finally, a reason for the United States to take action in Syria.

The statement came late –late in the speech and late in the Syrian civil war. Also late was the statement that the U.S. could act at little cost to itself.

So, the president belatedly came to the correct conclusion—but won’t do anything about it. That’s leadership.

Which prompts the question:

President Obama’s East Room speech tonight was unusual, and probably unique, because it raised throughout the question: Why are you giving this speech?

Why indeed?

Last word from Bob Woodward, who previewed, not reviewed the speech:

Woodward said right now, “there’s no plan” and polling shows the president is “out there alone,” but it’s not impossible that his address Tuesday night could have an effect.

“He’s going to be there tonight pleading in essence, saying you know I think this is right, I’m the commander in chief, please back me,” Woodward said. “He’s going to have to really pull one out.”

The only thing left to “pull out” is his cranium from his rectum, and it doesn’t sound like he did.

UPDATE:
From the late editions:

President Obama never misses a chance to “blame it on Bush,” and last night’s address to the nation on Syria was no exception.

The reason Obama has failed to win support military action in Syria, the president declared last night, is not because he has failed to lay out a coherent strategy — it’s because of “the terrible toll of Iraq and Afghanistan.” Obama further slammed former president George W. Bush for presiding over “a decade that put more and more war-making power in the hands of the president and more and more burdens on the shoulders of our troops, while sidelining the people’s representatives from the critical decisions about when we use force.”

Put aside the fact that Congress explicitly authorized the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, while Obama did not seek congressional authorization before launching his war in Libya — or that dozens of nations joined us in Iraq and Afghanistan, while in Syria we have … France.

If Bush was so bad, then why did Obama lift so much of his speech making the case for military action in Syria from Bush’s speech making the case for military action in Iraq?

Ooooohhh.

UPPERDATE
Last one, promise:

“I think it was a speech in search of a purpose,” Hume said in an appearance with Fox host Bret Baier. “I mean, after all, ask yourself this question, Bret, what did the president ask for tonight? He came in support of a resolution that he has asked Congress to postpone. He is asking support for the authorization for the use of force. But he doesn’t want to do that and he doesn’t even want them to vote on it. I think the events of yesterday just overtook him. He asked for the time, he announced a speech.”

Brit Hume nailed it. Whatever reason Obama had for giving the address was overtaken by events. He had nothing to say, nothing to offer, and he’d look like (more of a) jackass if he canceled the stupid thing. In the immortal words of Sonny Corleone, he came out with nothing more than his d*ck in his hands.

And people were naturally underwhelmed.

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