So Obama had his big State of the Union television debut, or what would have been a bigger television debut, if he had actually hoarded his appearances, instead of constantly delivering televised addresses to the nation, Castro style. Obama did manage to get viewers to tune in, who usually tuned him out, but he still couldn't manage to even equal his own stimulus plan address less than a year ago. To say nothing of matching Bush's State of the Union addresses.
This was the moment that Obama should have been hoarding his TV time for, instead of squandering it on constant appearances. The result was a much weaker impact than intended. Obama needed this speech to rebound from the collapsing health care bill and poor poll numbers. But instead he went on a fumbling offensive, trying to juggle an attempt to sell his attempt to capitalize on the new post-brown populism, blame Bush for everything, introduce a new phase of spending plans while claiming to be trying to cut the deficit, and appeasing the left by throwing out Don't Ask, Don't Tell, a candy reform he had been saving for the progressives for a while now.
Obama's speech as expected was low on responsibility. Consider the following--
One year ago, I took office amid two wars, an economy rocked by severe recession, a financial system on the verge of collapse and a government deeply in debt. Experts from across the political spectrum warned that if we did not act, we might face a second depression. So we acted immediately and aggressively. And one year later, the worst of the storm has passed.
The worst of the storm of course has not passed. But more to the point, Obama "credits" the expert with the responsibility for his own actions.
Yet the "experts" were not running the country, he was. It's one of many examples from Obama's SOU in which he refuses to follow Truman's "The Buck Stops Here" doctrine. Instead it stops with the experts.
So I know the anxieties that are out there right now. They're not new. These struggles are the reason I ran for president. These struggles are what I've witnessed for years in places like Elkhart, Ind., and Galesburg, Ill.
Predictable rust belt shoutouts, complete with an attempt to claim that the problem is old... yet it required sudden dire action when he took office. Yet it's better now, but still bad. Except it's not so bad, except when it was under Bush.
Logical consistency never was one of Obama's virtues.
For these Americans and so many others, change has not come fast enough. Some are frustrated; some are angry
This echoes the progressive meme, most famously put out by Howard Dean and Paul Krugman, that what Americans really want from Obama is more aggressive socialism, not less.
They are tired of the partisanship and the shouting and the pettiness. They know we can't afford it. Not now.
Actually the polls show that most people want more partisanship, which is one reason Brown won.
Our most urgent task upon taking office was to shore up the same banks that helped cause this crisis. It was not easy to do. And if there's one thing that has unified Democrats and Republicans, it's that we all hated the bank bailout. I hated it. You hated it. It was about as popular as a root canal.
But when I ran for president, I promised I wouldn't just do what was popular — I would do what was necessary. And if we had allowed the meltdown of the financial system, unemployment might be double what it is today. More businesses would certainly have closed. More homes would have surely been lost.
Also we might be ruled by Godzilla. I mean there's no proof otherwise, so it's safe to say that without bailing out the banks (who by a complete coincidence were some of Obama's biggest donors), Godzilla would be ruling over us today.
If you don't believe me, just ask Paul Krugman.
And that's it folks. The SOU mixed borrowed references to an American history that Obama doesn't give a damn about, a lot of references to the plight of plain ordinary folks he doesn't give a damn about (both essentially cut and paste from Presidential speeches for decades now) with a belligerent defense of his programs and hefty doses of Blame Bush (for at least one of those programs).
This was less a speech than it was the psychic equivalent of Lonesome Rhodes from A Face in the Crowd screaming to an empty hall, "Tell me you love me. I'll make you love me." Obama isn't quite there yet, but he's well on the road to it. His public speeches have gotten pissier and more bitter. And they leave a bitter taste in the audience's mouth, even when it seems like he's saying most of the right things.
This SOU was clearly the product of a lot of rushed focus groups and advisers, smacked off too many cooks and was delivered by a man who pretended to be angry over the state of things in America, but was all too obviously angry at his own falling popularity. Even as he was working to appease contradictory groups, while making a new series of false promises and defending his own record, the emperor's clothes had come off.
The AP fact checked some of Obama's speech and found some major issues. And mind you, not too long ago wire service fact checking used to be reserved for Obama's critics. And even his supporters have grown tired of hearing the "hope" ladled out. Because the only hope from Obama comes from those who have given to him and gotten back taxpayer money in return
Give and Get. That's the Chicago way.
But there's Dem panic all around. The panic is reaching as far as Feingold and Murray. Today I chatted briefly with Marty Lamb, who is working to replace McGovern. And the smell of blood in the water has forced even the left to move right.
Bloomberg, Schumer and Gillibrand, who repeats whatever Schumer tells her to say, even if it contradicts what she said last week, are now all against the terror trials being held in New York. In return Obama decided to slap New York across the face by refusing to support health funding for those suffering from health issues after 9/11.
The state’s two senators and 14 House members met with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius just hours before President Obama implored in his speech to the nation for Congress to come together and deliver a government that delivers on its promises to the American people.
So the legislators were floored to learn the Democratic administration does not want to deliver for the tens of thousands of people who sacrificed after 9/11, and the untold numbers now getting sick.
“She made it clear that the administration does not support any kind of funding mechanism that goes into the bill,” said Bronx Rep. Eliot Engel.
“I think it’s fiscal restraint… but you know what? They find money for everything else, they need to find money for this,” Engel said. “We were attacked because we’re a symbol of our country.”
McMahon was furious that caring for the heroes of Sept. 11 would take a back seat to anything but military funding.
“I thought there was a complete lack of understanding of the issue by the secretary and quite frankly, I did not expect that lack of compassion and failure to understand the urgency of the issue.”
Victims and advocates of 9/11 families are similarly stunned.
Lorie Van Auken, whose husband died on 9/11 and who supports the White House in its push to try the terrorists in New York, was crestfallen at the news.
“I thought that these people would be taken care of. I would have expected better from this administration,” Van Auken said, adding that she thought it sends the wrong message to all of America’s would-be heroes that the government won’t be there for them.
They shouldn't have been floored, since
A. Obama's phony spending freeze will never involve cutting the things he cares about or needs for political reasons. By contrast 9/11 funding is an easy target.
B. This is a warning to New York Democrats not to mouth off over the KSM trials.
Today the Daily News, a generally liberal tabloid, penned an angry editorial reading "Get the hell out of here: No terror trial in city, but send funds for WTC sick"
The precipitous and ill-conceived nature of Attorney General Eric Holder's plan to try the 9/11 masterminds in Manhattan Federal Court appears to have dawned on President Obama. Yesterday, the White House ordered a search for another trial venue.
The right answer would be to convene a military tribunal at the one place fully outfitted for the occasion: Guantanamo Bay.
Obama needs only to switch Khalid Shaikh Mohammed to a military tribunal and then to direct the savings into programs for the 9/11 sick.
Failing such a reversal, Congress needs to take command. Long Island Rep. Pete King got the ball rolling with a bill barring the Justice Department from holding terror trials in civilian courts.
That type of measure may be the only salvation. Mayor Bloomberg has come around to urging that the trial be taken somewhere else. And so have New York's duo of late-to-the-ramparts senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.
Imagine, too, the rude awakening suffered Wednesday by those two along with Reps. Carolyn Maloney, Jerry Nadler, Eliot Engel, Michael McMahon and 10 additional members of New York's congressional delegation.
There they were, loyal Obama Democrats, who were sure their fellow loyal Obama Democrats would reverse the funding denials of the vanquished Bush administration. There they were, supporters of civilian terror trials.
And there they were, stiffed by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who said, nope, there would be no long-term funding because, you know, these are tough times.
But there would be money to turn lower Manhattan into an armed camp for the duration - assuming Obama ponies up for the security rather than dumping the costs on the NYPD.
The latest site for the KSM trial would seem to be Governor's Island, which is close to New Jersey, leading that state's lawmakers to get in on the act.
The Tri-State area is not happy with Obama. And the turnaround isn't even limited to the local area. Diane Feinstein has backed up New York Democrats on this.
Only Obama's buddy, mayor of the hellhole that Newark turned into, Cory Booker, says he wants the trials in Newark.
Now the Post is claiming an anonymous administration source has said that Obama may be willing to retreat on the KSM trial, and conduct a military tribunal in Gitmo... if the backlash gets strong enough.
It's a sign of desperation and a sign of the times, that the Obama Admin might be willing to send a brother back to Gitmo, instead of giving him the full ACLU works blocks away from the site of Ground Zero.
In Israel, Haaretz is reporting that Netanyahu may be offering Mitchell more concessions, such as the release of more Fatah terrorists from prison and the removal of more roadblocks... both of which will lead to more terrorist attacks and dead Israelis.
It's a symptom of how broken the political system is, that 17 years after Oslo, Israel is still on the same broken track of appeasing terrorists.
Meanwhile Pinny (Pinchas) Cohen, a presumed descendant of the original Pinchas, tossed two sneakers at the Israeli Supreme Court's left wing head judge, Dorit Beinish.
Naturally this has led to loving depictions of the martyrdom of Dorit, who had her eyeglasses broken. Depictions that have not been lavished on Israelis murdered because of the Supreme Court's favoritism toward terrorists. And the left wing press has eagerly seized on the sneaker throw to begin screaming about a "culture of incitement" (left wing code for criminalizing criticism of left wing public officials), because a mentally unstable man threw sneakers at a corrupt judge.
Haaretz already penned an op ed blaming that same culture of incitement and demanding stronger measures, while praising the court. The repulsive Mazuz latched on to it as part of a "wave of attacks". Apparently there was a wave of sneaker hurlings we were not aware of. In a comic farce, the Chief Justices convened to proclaim their support for Beinish (support against what? A 52 year old man who threw sneakers at her and was promptly arrested?) and issued a statement saying;
"The chief justices see this incident as one that undermines a national symbol and as an insult to the entire legal establishment, which represents one of the pillars of democracy in the State of Israel."
This kind of anti-democratic lunacy in response to a minor incident can only be the work of people who have had insufficient shoes thrown their way. The legal authorities are demanding a long prison sentence for Pinny Cohen, a man who is rather obviously mentally unstable, but whose cry that Dorit Beinish is corrupt, was quite true.
But the same people so worried about a chief justice's broken eyeglasses couldn't give a damn about Israeli children being murdered by the very terrorists they set free.
If you still feel any sympathy for the terrible tragedy of Dorit Beinish's broken eyeglasses, consider some who will pay a much higher price for her actions on behalf of terrorists.
Driving instructor Eli Cohen, a 30-year-old father, was killed in 2000 after his car was sprayed with bullets. Though shot multiple times, he survived long enough to drive to the nearest settlement before he lost consciousness and crashed.
There have been no fatal sniper attacks since the highway was closed to Palestinians in 2002, but risks are ever-present. Almost daily, youths throw stones at passing cars.
Last week, Israeli police say, they found a hidden explosive device by the side of the road.
Memories of the Jewish blood spilled on this highway have led some Israelis, including family members of those killed, to come out strongly against reopening the road to Palestinians.
Saying last week's ruling turns a drive down Highway 443 into a game of Russian roulette, some conservative lawmakers are moving to annex the highway to Israel.
Days after the ruling, posters began appearing along the road, taking aim at Israel's Supreme Court chief, Dorit Beinisch. "Dear Driver, Beware," the signs read. "Beinisch is endangering your life on Route 443."
Meanwhile in the US German Automaker Audi unveiled its "Green Police" ads in which a fake police officer warns people not to use more than one napkin for the sake of the environment.
The ad itself is obnoxious and petty enough to almost qualify as a parody of environmentalism. Worse since there are actual police forces with that name, some may be confused into thinking that the ad represents a legitimate warning from a law enforcement agency and so qualifies as intimidation.
But just to make Audi's green fascism that much more appalling, the name was also used by a Nazi Jew hunting unit.
But you have to admire Audi for putting the fascism in environmentalism so well. What a way to get ready for the Superbowl.
In other news, renowned left wing revisionist historian Howard Zinn died of a vast military industrial conspiracy against his heart. In lieu of flowers, mourners are asked to make kissy faces to Hugo Chavez.
The President of Pakistan is on a black goat killing spree to protect him from evil magic.
Mr Zardari, who rose to power after the assassination of his wife, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, in late 2007, has become increasingly unpopular and faces a range of problems from Islamist militancy to a stagnant economy and political rivalry.
Luckily stagnant economies are easily fixed with a little goat killing.
Incidents like this should serve as an education to anyone who still doesn't understand that a Muslim country may have some technology, but it's still stuck in the dark ages. Now pardon me while I go kill some goats to improve the economy.
Atlas continues her dedicated investigation of the Auschwitz blueprints. It's a quite important issue because it helps expand our knowledge of the Mufti's, at the time the leader of Muslims in Israel, collaboration in the Holocaust.
The report concluded that the Grand Mufti both supported and encouraged “the Nazi program of extermination of the Jews.” Captured records revealed that he had accompanied Adolf Eichmann to visit the gas chambers at Auschwitz and helped to put an end to negotiations being carried out by the Nazis to ransom Jews; the Mufti insisted they be liquidated. Writing to Himmler, the Mufti accused him and Joachim von Ribbentrop of being too lenient, since they had allowed some Jews to flee Germany. “If such practices continue,” the Mufti was quoted, “it would be “incomprehensible to Arabs and Moslems and provoke a feeling of disappointment.”
The Mufti wanted a Nazi invasion in order to exterminate the Jews in Israel. But he wanted the extermination of Jews to even take place in Europe. A common theme in Muslim propaganda is that they're being punished for the Holocaust, which had nothing to do with them.
The hell it didn't.