John Kerry – The Rodney Dangerfield of Diplomacy

The facial expressions tell the story

The facial expressions tell the story

From the Beeb:

Egypt media applaud tough security check on John Kerry

A highly unusual security check that US Secretary of State John Kerry and his senior aides were subjected to at the presidential palace in Cairo before meeting Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has made a splash in the local press.

The top US diplomat is usually treated with every courtesy in Cairo, but the front-page coverage in both private and state-owned papers hovers between factual reports and applause, describing the check with a hand-held metal detector as a “surprise” and saying that Mr Kerry had had to “comply” with orders of the security officers.

A note of pride can also be detected in the headlines.

“Checking Kerry at the doors of ‘al-Ittihadiyah’,” announces private daily Al-Tahrir. The report mentions twice that “Kerry and his team complied” with the procedures.

Similarly, privately-owned daily Al-Dustur’s headline proclaims in red letters: “A heavy surprise: John Kerry subject to strict inspection procedures before his meeting with Al-Sisi”.

The paper complements the report with a photo showing Kerry passing through the security scanner at the doors of Al-Ittihadiyah Palace.

And, again in red ink, private daily Al-Yawm al-Sabi adds to its headline: “Bravo Sisi”

For most of us emptying our pockets and passing thru metal detectors at security checkpoints at airports, sporting events and government buildings is just one of the minor hassles of modern life. But VIP types usually get to skip such inconveniences.

I’m guessing that what happened in Cairo was no coincidence. It was a not-so-subtle way of sending a message. As was the look on Benjamin Netanyahu’s face when Kerry arrived in Israel.

What makes this significant is that both Egypt and Israel are our allies. Our friends don’t respect us and our enemies don’t fear us. These are dangerous times indeed.

Meanwhile, Jews in Europe and America are being attacked by “pro-Palestinian protesters”, most of whom are Muslims. Yesterday they rushed onto the field at a soccer game and attacked the players of a Jewish team. So why are so many news outlets reluctant to identify the attackers?

A couple more planes got shot down over Ukraine yesterday. Fighting continues in Iraq. A commercial jet liner has disappeared over Africa somewhere. Scandalpalooza keeps going in Washington D.C. like the Energizer Bunny.

So where in the world is Barack Obama? He’s in California on a west coast fundraising tour!

We are so fucked.


Posted in Barack Obama, Worst President Ever! | Tagged , | 81 Comments

It Was Obvious When You Think About It


From Palm Springs Life:

Rancho Mirage May Become Home to President Obama

Reports say Thunderbird Heights house is about to close escrow

The Palm Springs area may once again become the home of a U.S. president.

Reports from several media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, have indicated President Barack Obama will soon close on a Rancho Mirage house in the exclusive Thunderbird Heights community.

Obama has been to the Palm Springs area three times in the past year, including two visits to Sunnylands. Their most recent stay was in Thunderbird Heights over Father’s Day weekend when the President played golf.


The house was listed in the magazine at $4.5 million and reports say the president will pay $4.25 million.

Thunderbird Heights is where Hollywood icons Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Frank Sinatra once owned homes.

The house is part of a 3.29-acre estate. The 6,100 square foot main home has four bedrooms and 4.5 baths, and there is an additional 2,000 square foot casita with three bedrooms, three baths.

It was obvious when you think about it. Barry and Mo weren’t going back to Chicago. They don’t even go back to visit that dreary place. Hawaii might be a nice place to visit, but it is too isolated.

Palm Springs has three of Barry’s four favorite things: golf courses, rich people and celebrities. He’ll have to get used to doing without adoring crowds after he leaves the White House, but that would be true no matter where he moves. Besides, he doesn’t really like mingling with the hoi polloi, he just likes hearing them chant his name.

In Palm Springs Barry can golf every single day. It’s close enough to Lost Angeles that his Hollywood pals can come visit, and if the stores in Palm Springs don’t have what Michelle wants she can pop over to Rodeo Drive for a little shopping spree.

I’m sure that Barry’s Greenie followers will be impressed with his new estate in a man-made oasis located in the middle of a desert.

The best part will be the little cottage out back where they can keep Michelle’s mom! The price seems kinda low, though. $4.25 million in California is practically a fixer-upper.

Check out the realtor’s ad:

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POTUS Is Too Big To Fail


Chris “Mad Bitch Beer” Sleaza at WaPo:

It’s virtually impossible to be a successful modern president

Being president is the most powerful job in the world. At which you will almost certainly fail.

Why? For lots of reasons up to and including:

* The decline of the bully pulpit as a persuasion mechanism

* The deep partisanship present not only in Congress but also in the electorate more broadly

* The splintering of the mainstream media/the rise of social media.

Take the last 96 hours (or so) of the Obama presidency as illustrative of the broader impossibility of being president.

On Thursday, in the immediate aftermath of the Malaysia Airlines plane being shot down over Ukraine, President Obama delivered a cautious statement mourning the tragedy and promising he would get to the bottom of the situation. Conservatives immediately criticized that statement as insufficiently strong, comparing it unfavorably to how President Reagan handled a similar situation in 1983. (As The Fix’s Philip Bump explains, the Obama critique is not entirely fair.) Seeking to counter that narrative, Obama delivered another statement on Friday — and took questions from the press. He was far more aggressive in his tone about the possibility of Russian involvement. Over the weekend, the story of Secretary of State John Kerry’s on mic but off camera comments before a Fox News Channel interview drove much of the chatter. On Monday, Obama was back on TV with an even more aggressive stance on Russia — “What exactly are they trying to hide?” he asked about Russian separatists reportedly limiting access to the crash site — while also juggling an executive order banning discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation among federal contractors, hosting a town hall aimed at pushing his “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative and trying to cajole Congress into helping him deal with the ongoing crisis of undocumented children at the country’s southern border. Oh, and he also was trying to walk a fine line between defending Israel’s right to defend itself with somewhat critical comments about the number of Palestinian civilian deaths occasioned by the military operation in Gaza. And, double oh, he and his staff will have to continue to fend off Republican criticism of a three day fundraising tour he leaves on tomorrow — a cash-collection trip that GOPers believe looks unseemly amid the various domestic and international crises happening at the moment.

It’s exhausting to write that paragraph — much less live it. And, it speaks to the impossibility of convincing partisans pre-disposed not to like you or your intentions/methods, the need to be ever-present on every issue and the difficulty of trying to drive home your preferred message of the day, week or year.

All of that is not to excuse President Obama. He has struggled to contain self-inflicted wounds — particularly in his second term — ranging from the IRS scandal to the problems of vets receiving adequate and timely care. His relations with Congress — Democrats included — have never been warm and, as a result, his ability to ask for the benefit of the doubt is non-existent. His underestimation of just how polarized the country and the Congress have become was entirely avoidable; senior members of his inner circle — many of whom came directly from the campaign(s) — were all too aware of that reality. His belief in his own powers of persuasion — to the Congress and the country — were also heavily overrated.

But, it’s hard to see how Obama could be considered “successful” even if he hadn’t made the various mistakes — in governance and the politics of politics — that he did. His presidency began at a time not only of unprecedented polarization in Congress and the country but also at a moment in which a president’s ability to bend the country to his will had reached a low ebb.

There are a number of ways I could respond to this. the first and most obvious is to say “WE TOLD YOU SO!” again. Because we did. The only thing we got wrong about Obama is that he turned out even worse than we predicted. His presidency has truly been epic and historic, but not in a good way.

I could also point to the media’s role in selling a heavily overrated candidate to the American people. If the media had given Obama half the scrutiny that they gave Sarah Palin, Obama would never have been awarded the Democratic nomination. He might not have even made it past Iowa.

On the other hand, Powerline has a pretty good reaction:


Whenever a Democratic president gets into trouble, the predictable chorus starts up: The job of President of the United States is just too difficult for anyone to master.


People stopped saying this about halfway through Reagan’s presidency. Maybe there’s a substantive reason for that. Notice how all the elite complaints about the problems of the presidency always abstract from the substantive views and actions of the occupant. The possibility that maybe we have a crappy president never seems to enter into consideration.

And remember this operating rule: Pay no attention to elite liberals when they trot out their complaints about the inadequacy of our constitutional republic, and their suggestions for reform that always, by some strange coincidence, would increase their influence in the corridors of power.

Modern liberalism’s remedy for any failure of government is always MORE government.

That brings us to the point that I really wanted to make, which is that POTUS has become Too Big To Fail®.

Eisenhower warned us about the military-industrial complex, and he was right. But we also have Big Brother (aka the “national security state”) and Big Sister (aka the “nanny state”) to worry about, along with the regulatory state and the bureaucratic state that is filled with civil service grandees.

But in reality they are one entity known as the Executive Branch. Worst of all, the Executive Branch is run by a single person: POTUS. Very few people are both capable and trustworthy enough to wield that much power and Obama is not one of them.

The American people are partly (if not mostly) to blame for the current situation. We expect POTUS to do way too much. Unfortunately we have also given him too much power. We need to take some of that power away from POTUS and give it back to Congress and the states. Some of it we should take back from government entirely.

We need to return to the concept of divided government, federalism and limited powers. The problem is that long ago we allowed the camel to stick its nose in our tent. Now we have a big smelly camel in the middle of our tent and he doesn’t want to leave.


Posted in Barack Obama, Klown Musings, Worst President Ever! | Tagged , , | 77 Comments

Are Secular Liberals Religious Fanatics?


WMCB has been talking about this:

How liberalism became an intolerant dogma

At the risk of sounding like Paul Krugman — who returns to a handful of cherished topics over and over again in his New York Times column — I want to revisit one of my hobby horses, which I most recently raised in my discussion of Hobby Lobby.

My own cherished topic is this: Liberalism’s decline from a political philosophy of pluralism into a rigidly intolerant dogma.

The decline is especially pronounced on a range of issues wrapped up with religion and sex. For a time, electoral self-interest kept these intolerant tendencies in check, since the strongly liberal position on social issues was clearly a minority view. But the cultural shift during the Obama years that has led a majority of Americans to support gay marriage seems to have opened the floodgates to an ugly triumphalism on the left.

The result is a dogmatic form of liberalism that threatens to poison American civic life for the foreseeable future. Conservative Reihan Salam describes it, only somewhat hyperbolically, as a form of “weaponized secularism.”


From the dawn of the modern age, religious thinkers have warned that, strictly speaking, secular politics is impossible — that without the transcendent foundation of Judeo-Christian monotheism to limit the political sphere, ostensibly secular citizens would begin to invest political ideas and ideologies with transcendent, theological meaning.

Put somewhat differently: Human beings will be religious one way or another. Either they will be religious about religious things, or they will be religious about political things.

With traditional faith in rapid retreat over the past decade, liberals have begun to grow increasingly religious about their own liberalism, which they are treating as a comprehensive view of reality and the human good.

They aren’t just getting religious, they are getting downright fanatical. As with all religions, the fundamental beliefs of modern liberalism look ridiculous to outsiders. But that doesn’t matter to liberals because THEY believe it.

Obamanism is just one sub-sect of liberalism, with Obama as prophet. His first campaign sure didn’t lack for religious imagery, did it?

“A confidence man knows he’s lying; that limits his scope. But a successful shaman believes what he says — and belief is contagious; there is no limit to his scope.” – Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

Obama messiah

Posted in Klown Musings, Koolaid is a Helluva Drug | Tagged , | 104 Comments

The Nutroots Troll Themselves

Apparently the past few days there was a meeting in Detroit. It was the annual gathering of the progressive blogosphere, also known as Nutroots Nation. (It started off as “YearlyKos” but they changed the name a few years ago.)

Conservative bloggers took the opportunity to put on a seminar in trolling. They trolled the hashtag #NN14 so well that many of the Nutroots didn’t even realize they were being mocked. The blogger known as redsteeze earned his greasepaint and horn with some epic clowning.

Not to be outdone, the Nutroots finished their three day event by trolling themselves at an afterparty:

These are apparently the rape culture lyrics they were referring to:

One thing I ask of you
Let me be the one you back that ass to
Go, from Malibu, to Paris, boo
Yeah, I had a bitch, but she ain’t bad as you
So hit me up when you pass through
I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two
Swag on, even when you dress casual
I mean it’s almost unbearable
In a hundred years not dare, would I
Pull a Pharside let you pass me by
Nothing like your last guy, he too square for you
He don’t smack that ass and pull your hair like that
So I just watch and wait for you to salute
But you didn’t pick
Not many women can refuse this pimpin’
I’m a nice guy, but don’t get it if you get with me

The progressive puritans are now freaking out over the lyrics in naughty pop songs. It just doesn’t get any funnier than that.

Or maybe it does:

Now this is intentionally funny:

Posted in Nutroots Nation | Tagged | 124 Comments

Are You Ready for Warren?

Elizabeth Warren

On the weekends I like to do goofy and whimsical posts.

Elizabeth Warren’s 11 Commandments of Progressivism

Watch Elizabeth Warren give a speech to her fold, and you realize she’s one of the rare Democrats who can excite her base in the same way Ted Cruz or Dr. Ben Carson can excite their own. As Politico’s Katie Glueck wrote on Friday, liberals’ minds may be with Hillary Clinton, but their hearts lie with Warren.

Speaking on Friday at Netroots Nation, a convention for liberal bloggers and activists, Warren got the crowd more fired up than Vice President Joe Biden was able to do the day before. (To be fair, the crowd was in a solemn mood at the time in reaction to the news of the Malaysian passenger plane crash). In her speech, Warren outlined more clearly than other Democrats the social issues that galvanize progressives. Her performance was reminiscent of a certain other young senator in 2008.

“What are our values?” Warren asked the audience, some of whom held up “Run Liz Run” signs. “What does it mean to be a progressive?”

She went on to outline 11 tenets of progressivism:

- “We believe that Wall Street needs stronger rules and tougher enforcement, and we’re willing to fight for it.”

- “We believe in science, and that means that we have a responsibility to protect this Earth.”

- “We believe that the Internet shouldn’t be rigged to benefit big corporations, and that means real net neutrality.”

- “We believe that no one should work full-time and still live in poverty, and that means raising the minimum wage.”

- “We believe that fast-food workers deserve a livable wage, and that means that when they take to the picket line, we are proud to fight alongside them.”

- “We believe that students are entitled to get an education without being crushed by debt.”

- “We believe that after a lifetime of work, people are entitled to retire with dignity, and that means protecting Social Security, Medicare, and pensions.”

- “We believe—I can’t believe I have to say this in 2014—we believe in equal pay for equal work.”

- “We believe that equal means equal, and that’s true in marriage, it’s true in the workplace, it’s true in all of America.”

- “We believe that immigration has made this country strong and vibrant, and that means reform.”

- “And we believe that corporations are not people, that women have a right to their bodies. We will overturn Hobby Lobby and we will fight for it. We will fight for it!”

And the main tenet of conservatives’ philosophy, according to Warren? “I got mine. The rest of you are on your own.”

When I first saw the title of that article I clicked on it thinking I would see Elizabeth Warren layout the fundamentals of progressive ideology. All I found was some vague ideals and policy positions.

I agree with some of what she said. I believe that Wall Street needs stronger rules and tougher enforcement, and I believe in science too. I support equality. Is there anybody who doesn’t work on Wall Street who opposes regulating bankers and the stock market? Who is against science?

We need regulations that deter crooks without strangling honest bankers and brokers. We need scientists who don’t have a political agenda. We need to understand that you can’t legislate prosperity for everyone.

From what I’ve been reading, the Progs are eating this shit up with a spoon, just like they did six years ago. Well, not just like six years ago, but close. Elizabeth Warren doesn’t have the same cool image that Obama had. She’s more like John Edwards, without the mistress.

But she isn’t Hillary, and that’s important.

Have a super Caturday!


Posted in 2016 Elections, Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton | Tagged , | 155 Comments

The Clothes Have No Emperor

Clint Eastwood talks to POTUS

Clint Eastwood talks to POTUS

The word that comes to mind is “surreal”:

President Barack Obama provoked fury in the U.S. on Thursday by casually devoting less than a minute to the deaths of 295 people aboard a Malaysian airliner, as he began an often jokey 16-minute speech about the need to expand America’s transportation infrastructure.


Obama declared in Wilmington, Delaware that ‘it looks like it may be a terrible tragedy,’ but not before enthusiastically declaring that ‘it is wonderful to be back in Delaware.’

‘Before I begin, obviously the world is watching reports of a downed passenger jet near the Russia-Ukraine border. And it looks like it may be a terrible tragedy. Right now we’re working to determine whether there were American citizens on board. That is our first priority.’

‘And I’ve directed my national security team to stay in close contact with the Ukrainian governemnt. The United States will offer any assistance we can to help determine what happened and why. And as a country, our thoughts and prayers are with all the families and passengers, wherever they call home.

Obama then jarringly quickly returned to his prepared remarks.

‘I want to thank Jeremie for that introduction’ he said. ‘Give Jeremie a big round of applause.’

‘It is great to be in the state that gave us Joe Biden. We’ve got actually some better-looking Bidens with us here today. We’ve got Beau and his wife, Hallie, are here. Give them a big round of applause. We love them.’

Obama also acknowledged the presence of Treasury Secretary Jack Lew with a joke.

‘Jack Lew’s signature is actually on your money,’ he said, ‘although it’s kind of illegible. We teased him when he first became treasury secretary that he was going to have to fix his signature a little bit because it looked just like a caterpillar running along the bottom.’

From there he launched into a 16-minute speech about transportation projects he wants Republicans to fund, complaining bitterly about their objections to his end-runs around the federal legislature.

‘When I have a chance to help communities like Wilmington, I’m going to do it,’ he said, as cable news networks focused on the lives lost in Eastern Ukraine.

‘That’s when my administration takes these executive actions, when Congress won’t act. And so far, the only response we’ve gotten from the Republicans is a lawsuit. They’re suing me for doing my job, instead of going ahead and doing their job.’

‘That’s disappointing,’ Obama said. ‘It’s a political stunt.’


Obama finished his speech by saying ‘Let’s build some bridges. Let’s build some roads. God bless America.’


The president’s next stop after Wilmington was New York City, where he headlines a Democratic Party fundraiser Thursday evening. Tickets for the cozy event go for as much as $32,400.

I don’t think that Obama provoked fury yesterday. The reactions I saw were incredulous and disgusted, but I don’t recall anyone being angry. From what I understand (I didn’t watch so I’m getting my information second-hand) the various news anchors on all the regular and news networks simply switched away from Obama’s speech when they realized he was just repeating some unimportant policy/campaign talking points.

“It looks like it may be a terrible tragedy.”

By the time Obama spoke it was beyond question that something terrible had taken place. A jetliner full of people had crashed with no survivors. Why it crashed and who (if anyone) was responsible was still undetermined.

“Right now we’re working to determine whether there were American citizens on board. That is our first priority.”

That statement kinda rankles me and I’m an American. If I was a citizen of some other country I probably would be insulted to hear an American president indicate that all that the Americans care about is other Americans. That may be equally true of all countries but it sure seems like a pretty insensitive thing to say at a time like that.

Before he gave that speech, Obama had a photo-op lunch at the Charcoal Pit in Wilmington, Delaware. He ordered the “Pit Special” which is a cheeseburger with fries. (He ordered it medium well.) With the media watching and waiting for a reaction to the plane crash in Ukraine, Obama’s only comment was “I’m starving” before he sat down to eat.

After the speech, Obama left for New York City where he attended not one but TWO fundraisers.

By the way – the plane crash in Ukraine was not the only crisis yesterday. The ground war in Gaza started too. On most days that would have been the big story, but it was pushed into second place behind the plane crash.

Some presidents might have interrupted their planned schedules in order to return to the White House, but not Barack Obama. So what big things does he have planned for tomorrow?

9:30 am || Receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
1:30 pm || Meets with Treasury Secretary Lew
1:45 pm || Meets with Lew and Secretary of State Kerry
4:20 pm || Meets with HHS Secretary Burwell
5:40 pm || Departs the White House for Camp David

It’s a safe bet will play at least one round of golf this weekend. Obama has a two week vacation scheduled next month that he needs to rest up for.

Seriously though, this is getting scary. I have never seen a president that was this deep in denial. He just goes about his daily routines as if the whole world was not on fire. He is Barack Obama – Queen of Denial.

The problem is we need somebody to be president for two and a half more years. I can’t believe I am saying this, but even Joe Biden is starting to look good by comparison.

bear is loose 4

Posted in Barack Obama, Worst President Ever! | Tagged , | 139 Comments