Highlights of Obama’s First Few Months In Office.

I just thought I’d provide a few highlights updates for you from Obama’s first few months in office.

The Economy:

 Unemployment: 8.1%.

Stock market down more than 20% since the inauguration, and down 1300 points since Obama was elected.

Because of of the threat of health care nationalization, people are pulling their money out of health care stocks.

GM is on the verge of bankruptcy.  Chrysler is basically a cooked goose.

AIG is asking for more money – tens of billions of dollars – from the federal government.

Despite sinking oil prices, and low demand, gasoline prices are rising.

Barack Obama is on record as saying, “You know, I have more than enough to do without having to worry about the financial system.”

OBAMA:  By the time we got here, there already had been an enormous infusion of taxpayer money into the financial system, and the thing I constantly try to emphasize to people is that if coming in the market was doing fine, nobody would be happier than me to stay out of it.

REPORTER:  Right.

OBAMA:  You know, I have more than enough to do without having to worry about the financial system.

(By the way, there is a recording of the aforementioned transcript.  I’ve actually heard it for myself.)

Barack Obama is also on record as saying, “And, you know, the stock market is sort of like a tracking poll in politics. It bobs up and down day to day, and if you spend all your time worrying about that, then you’re probably going to get the long-term strategy wrong.”

Government Reform:

Trillion dollar deficit, with more to come (by Obama’s own words).

A known tax cheat as head of the IRS.

A person from the state with the worst economic record – Jennifer Granholm – as an economic advisor.

A guy who signed off on Clinton’s pardon of a tax cheat is now attorney general.

Two people had to drop out of the nomination process because they were tax cheats.

And let’s talk about Joe Biden’s performance:

(What’s that web site number again?)

Here’s Joe Biden’s explanation of how a government “stimulus” will help average people:

I would recommend that woman call my office directly, and I will be able to guide her as to what pieces of this package would be directly helpful to her. For example, it may very well be that she’s in a circumstance where she is not able, her customers aren’t able to get to her, there’s no transit capability, the bridge going across the creek to get to her business needs repair, may very well be that she’s in a position where she is unable to access the — her energy costs are so high by providing smart meters, by being able to bring down the cost of her workforce.

Of course, “smart meters” allow the utility companies to shut off your utilities on a whim, meaning that when they decide you don’t need heat, you don’t get heat.  That’s the Obama notion of innovation driving progress.  And we all know that people start up businesses away from things like bridges and roads, of which none exist already in this country.

In fact Biden’s mouth has become such a liability, they’re doing damage control as an American Thinker article details:

White House bars video of Biden speech

Rick Moran
So what’s Joe Biden been up to lately?

Obama put the Human Gaffe Machine in charge of spending $800 billion in stimulus money which I guess will mean that he will be hand stamping the official Obama seal of the stimulus on all the projects. Can’t imagine him being smart enough to do much else.

Now the White House has dispatched Biden to speak to labor leaders down in Florida where the union bosses will be rubbing elbows with the hoity toity crowd at the Fontainbleau Hotel (we hope they know which fork to use during the salad course – perhaps they’ll just use their switchblades).

One thing about that Biden speech; the White House has nixed any video coverage of the event:

When Vice President Joe Biden speaks to the annual meeting of AFL-CIO officials at the plush Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach Thursday morning, television cameras will not be allowed to cover his speech – on orders from the White House, Fox News reported.

The Fontainebleau, which recently had a billion-dollar makeover, describes itself as “a spectacular blend of Miami’s glamorous golden era and stylish modern luxury.” It has 1,504 rooms and suites, 22 oceanfront acres, 11 restaurants and nightclubs including three signature name chef restaurants, a 40,000-square-foot spa, and a “sophisticated poolscape” with private cabanas.

The AFL-CIO Executive Committee told Fox News it is holding its meeting at the Fontainebleau because the hotel agreed to employ union workers as part of its renovation project. 

A number of corporations are under fire for either holding or attempting to hold business meetings at resort hotels in these tough economic times.

After speaking to union members Thursday morning, Biden will tour Miami’s Intermodal Center, a transportation project funded by the Democrats’ economic stimulus bill.

So while their members are living hand to mouth and struggling to get by, the labor bosses will be living it up in Florida.

And the White House – fearing either a backlash against their buds in the labor leadership or are truly frightened of what gaffe Biden might let loose with – has said no to filming the Veep’s address. My guess is, it’s probably a little of both.

Attention my fellow brothers and sisters in labor unions: Don’t you feel just a little like you’ve been had by these phonies? Wake up and take back your unions from these frauds.

Foreign Policy:

We’re giving $900 billion to Hamas – a terrorist organization.

We’re beating up Israel, our long-time friend.

We’re releasing terrorists, that we know are terrorists, only because Gitmo is a bad, bad place.

And how do we treat Great Britain?  Inarguably our greatest ally?  Here’s how:

Obama’s DVD gift to Brown – it’s the thought that counts

The British press are appalled by Barack Obama’s present of 25 DVDs for Gordon Brown. But could there be a message in the president’s selection?

Well, what would you buy Gordon Brown? He’s not a man known for pleasure – rather as the sort to take an afternoon’s summer holiday before heading straight back to work, so it must be hard. But Barack Obama can’t have predicted the scornful response of the Daily Mail when he decided to pick Gordon up a few DVDs.

In return for a pen holder carved from the timbers of the sister ship of the one the White House desk is made from and a first edition of a seven-volume biography of Winston Churchill, the Mail is appalled that “Barack Obama, the leader of the world’s richest country” gave Brown a box set of 25 DVDs selected by the American Film Institute. These include Raging Bull, Casablanca, Psycho and The Graduate. It is, the Mail says, “a gift about as exciting as a pair of socks”.

Yet another example of the British press’s apparent mission to feel snubbed by Obama on Gordon Brown’s behalf and obsession with the passing of the special relationship with Bush (which was – at best – bittersweet). Was it only yesterday a commentary in the Times bemoaned the supposed injustice of the Browns giving the Obama’s daughters Top Shop dresses (with matching necklaces) when all their parents gave the Brown boys were models of the presidential helicopter Marine One? Yes it was.

It’s difficult to resist reading political messages into these films. Like Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront, could Brown have been “a contender … a somebody” if the US Congress had shown a little more interest in his global New Deal? Like Luke Skywalker on the Millennium Falcon, is Brown’s history of support for light-touch financial regulation in the City of London now endangering the mission?

The 25 films also include two from the end of the Great Depression: the Grapes of Wrath (recommended to Obama on this blog a while back) and the Wizard of Oz. Perhaps there is something here. A 1990 paper in the Journal of Political Economy argued it could be read as monetary allegory: in this interpretation the yellow brick road represents the gold standard (a return to which is not US policy).

The set also include three of Obama’s five personal favourites, according to his Facebook page: Casablanca, The Godfather and Lawrence of Arabia (omitted are the second Godfather film and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest).

Obama is, incidentally, really, really pleased with the pen holder and books. The White House even put out a press release saying so. It tells us the president thanked the prime minister and “noted the pen set is being displayed on the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office and the books are in the president’s personal study adjoining the Oval Office”.

Maybe Brown’s office will tweet each time he watches one of the 25. The Mail’s full list is here. Please add your own cinematic/political interpretations below.

And The Nazarine, so worn out from checking and double-checking his teleprompter, is so overworked that he can’t meet with Great Britain’s Prime Minister:

Barack Obama ‘too tired’ to give proper welcome to Gordon Brown

Barack Obama’s offhand approach to Gordon Brown’s Washington visit last week came about because the president was facing exhaustion over America’s economic crisis and is unable to focus on foreign affairs, the Sunday Telegraph has been told.

Sources close to the White House say Mr Obama and his staff have been “overwhelmed” by the economic meltdown and have voiced concerns that the new president is not getting enough rest.

British officials, meanwhile, admit that the White House and US State Department staff were utterly bemused by complaints that the Prime Minister should have been granted full-blown press conference and a formal dinner, as has been customary. They concede that Obama aides seemed unfamiliar with the expectations that surround a major visit by a British prime minister.

But Washington figures with access to Mr Obama’s inner circle explained the slight by saying that those high up in the administration have had little time to deal with international matters, let alone the diplomatic niceties of the special relationship.

Allies of Mr Obama say his weary appearance in the Oval Office with Mr Brown illustrates the strain he is now under, and the president’s surprise at the sheer volume of business that crosses his desk.

A well-connected Washington figure, who is close to members of Mr Obama’s inner circle, expressed concern that Mr Obama had failed so far to “even fake an interest in foreign policy”.

A British official conceded that the furore surrounding the apparent snub to Mr Brown had come as a shock to the White House. “I think it’s right to say that their focus is elsewhere, on domestic affairs. A number of our US interlocutors said they couldn’t quite understand the British concerns and didn’t get what that was all about.”

The American source said: “Obama is overwhelmed. There is a zero sum tension between his ability to attend to the economic issues and his ability to be a proactive sculptor of the national security agenda.

“That was the gamble these guys made at the front end of this presidency and I think they’re finding it a hard thing to do everything.”

British diplomats insist the visit was a success, with officials getting the chance to develop closer links with Mr Obama’s aides. They point out that the president has agreed to meet the prime minister for further one-to-one talks in London later this month, ahead of the G20 summit on April 2.

But they concede that the mood music of the event was at times strained. Mr Brown handed over carefully selected gifts, including a pen holder made from the wood of a warship that helped stamp out the slave trade – a sister ship of the vessel from which timbers were taken to build Mr Obama’s Oval Office desk. Mr Obama’s gift in return, a collection of Hollywood film DVDs that could have been bought from any high street store, looked like the kind of thing the White House might hand out to the visiting head of a minor African state.

Mr Obama rang Mr Brown as he flew home, in what many suspected was an attempt to make amends.

The real views of many in Obama administration were laid bare by a State Department official involved in planning the Brown visit, who reacted with fury when questioned by The Sunday Telegraph about why the event was so low-key.

The official dismissed any notion of the special relationship, saying: “There’s nothing special about Britain. You’re just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn’t expect special treatment.” The apparent lack of attention to detail by the Obama administration is indicative of what many believe to be Mr Obama’s determination to do too much too quickly.

In addition to passing the largest stimulus package and the largest budget in US history, Mr Obama is battling a plummeting stock market, the possible bankruptcy of General Motors, and rising unemployment. He has also begun historic efforts to achieve universal healthcare, overhaul education and begin a green energy revolution all in his first 50 days in office.

The Sunday Telegraph understands that one of Mr Obama’s most prominent African American backers, whose endorsement he spent two years cultivating, has told friends that he detects a weakness in Mr Obama’s character.

“The one real serious flaw I see in Barack Obama is that he thinks he can manage all this,” the well-known figure told a Washington official, who spoke to this newspaper. “He’s underestimating the flood of things that will hit his desk.” A Democratic strategist, who is friends with several senior White House aides, revealed that the president has regularly appeared worn out and drawn during evening work sessions with senior staff in the West Wing and has been forced to make decisions more quickly than he is comfortable.

He said that on several occasions the president has had to hurry back from eating dinner with his family in the residence and then tucking his daughters in to bed, to conduct urgent government business. Matters are not helped by the pledge to give up smoking.

“People say he looks tired more often than they’re used to,” the strategist said. “He’s still calm, but there have been flashes of irritation when he thinks he’s being pushed to make a decision sooner than he wants to make it. He looks like he needs a cigarette.”

Mr Obama was teased by the New York Times on Thursday in a front page story which claimed to have detected a greater prevalence of grey hairs since he entered the White House.

The Democratic strategist stressed that Mr Obama’s plight was nothing new. “He knew it was going to be tough; he said as much throughout the campaign. But there’s a difference between knowing it is going to be tough and facing the sheer relentless pressure of it all.”

Hillary’s recent trip to Russia?  A resounding success:

Clinton Goofs on Russian Translation, Tells Diplomat She Wants to ‘Overcharge’ Ties

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gives Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov a gift bearing an incorrect translation — one that implies hostility, rather than peacemaking. 

Note to self: When trying to improve ties with a former Cold War-era foe, check a dictionary.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton learned that lesson the hard way Friday when she presented Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with a gift bearing an incorrect translation — one that implied hostility, rather than peacemaking.

Clinton presented Lavrov with a gift-wrapped red button, which said “Reset” in English and “Peregruzka” in Russian. The problem was, “peregruzka” doesn’t mean reset. It means overcharged, or overloaded.

And Lavrov called her out on it.

“We worked hard to get the right Russian word. Do you think we got it?” Clinton asked Lavrov.

“You got it wrong,” Lavrov said. “This says ‘peregruzka,’ which means overcharged.”

The two top diplomats, who met in Geneva, laughed and Clinton explained: “We won’t let you do that to us, I promise.”

Clinton said earlier she was presenting the gift because it “represents what President Obama and Vice President Biden and I have been saying and that is, ‘We want to reset our relationship.’ And so we will do it together.”

Clinton adviser Philippe Reines said the typo would be fixed, noting that the correct translation for “reset” is only a couple letters off.

“Since we’re all learning a little Russian today, Opechatka is Russian for typo. So the ‘Opechatka’ is being fixed, the gift will correctly read ‘Perezagruzka,'” he said.

Obama has nominated (and later withdrew) former Marine General Anthony Zinni as ambassador to Iraq.  General Anthony Zinni was a vocal opponent to the  war in Iraq from the outset.

Domestic Affairs:

Obama lectures Republicans on who they should listen to, and how they should think:

President Obama warned Republicans on Capitol Hill today that they need to quit listening to radio king Rush Limbaugh if they want to get along with Democrats and the new administration.

“You can’t just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done,” he told top GOP leaders, whom he had invited to the White House to discuss his nearly $1 trillion stimulus package.

One White House official confirmed the comment but said he was simply trying to make a larger point about bipartisan efforts.

Limbaugh, because of Obama’s comments, is now seen as the de facto leader of the Republican party (not that this is a bad thing).

Obama is lying about meetings he is having with industry leaders:

D’oh! Caterpillar CEO Contradicts President on Whether Stimulus Will Allow Him to Re-Hire Laid Off Workers

EAST PEORIA, ILL. — President Obama today repeated the claim we asked about yesterday at the press briefing that Jim Owens, the CEO of Caterpillar, Inc., “said that if Congress passes our plan, this company will be able to rehire some of the folks who were just laid off.”

Caterpillar announced 22,000 layoffs last month.

But after the president left the event, Owens said the exact opposite.

Asked if the stimulus package would be able to stop the 22,000 layoffs or not, Owens said, “I think realistically no. The truth is we’re going to have more layoffs before we start hiring again”

“It is going to take some time before that stimulus bill” means re-hiring, he said.

Owens supports the stimulus plan, but said it would take some time to have an impact on his industry and “is a little light on the heavy construction.”

Jim Cramer – CNBC commentator and contributor at MainStreet.com – has started attacking Obama’s fiscal policies.  Cramer is now under attack by Frank Rich, Bill Malher, and Jon Stewert (all of them real great “intellects” in their own mind…er…right).

Take Frank Rich and Jon Stewart. Both seize on the urban legend that I recommended Bear Stearns the week before it collapsed, even though I was saying that I thought it could be worthless as soon as the following week. I did tell an emailer that his deposit in his account at Bear Stearns was safe, but through a clever sound bite, Stewart, and subsequently Rich — neither of whom have bothered to listen to the context of the pulled quote — pass off the notion of account safety as an out-and-out buy recommendation. The absurdity astounds me.

(By the way, Jim, welcome to the club!)

We have people in town hall meetings begging for Obama to pay their mortgage, buy their cars, and forcing McDonalds to provide more benefits.

We have a president who cannot live without a teleprompter:

Obama’s safety net: the TelePrompter

TelePrompter.

The textbook-sized panes of glass holding the president’s prepared remarks follow him wherever he speaks.

Resting on top of a tall, narrow pole, they flank his podium during speeches in the White House’s stately parlors. They stood next to him on the floor of a manufacturing plant in Indiana as he pitched his economic stimulus plan. They traveled to the Department of Transportation this week and were in the Capitol Rotunda last month when he paid tribute to Abraham Lincoln in six-minute prepared remarks.

Obama’s reliance on the teleprompter is unusual — not only because he is famous for his oratory, but because no other president has used one so consistently and at so many events, large and small.

After the teleprompter malfunctioned a few times last summer and Obama delivered some less-than-soaring speeches, reports surfaced that he was training to wean himself off of the device while on vacation in Hawaii. But no such luck.

His use of the teleprompter makes work tricky for the television crews and photographers trying to capture an image of the president announcing a new Cabinet secretary or housing plan without a pane of glass blocking his face. And it is a startling sight to see such sleek, modern technology set against the mahogany doors and Bohemian crystal chandeliers in the East Room or the marble columns of the Grand Foyer.

It’s just something presidents haven’t done,” said Martha Joynt Kumar, a presidential historian who has held court in the White House since December 1975. “It’s jarring to the eye. In a way, it stands in the middle between the audience and the president because his eye is on the teleprompter.”

Just how much of a crutch the teleprompter has become for Obama was on sharp display during his latest commerce secretary announcement. The president spoke from a teleprompter in the ornate Indian Treaty Room for a few minutes. Then Gov. Gary Locke stepped to the podium and pulled out a piece of paper for reference.

The president’s teleprompter also elicited some uncomfortable laughter after he announced Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as his choice for Health and Human Services secretary. “Kathy,” Obama said, turning the podium over to Sebelius, who waited at the microphone for an awkward few seconds while the teleprompters were lowered to the floor and the television cameras rolled.

We have a president who erroneously thinks that America developed the automobile.

And how about Eric Holder – Obama’s attorney general – and his thoughts on his fellow citizens?  Well:

Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and I believe continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards.

 

And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

 

 

 

 

 

Yep.  Running like a well-oiled machine.

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