under the hammer
Under the Hammer
June 24, 2010
Here's an idea I'll give to President Barack Hussein Obama free of charge. Obama has repeatedly said that he and his staff have been in charge of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill since "day one." So for over two months Obama and his staff have been directing the efforts to stop the leak and clean up the mess. He has said repeatedly that every effort has to be approved by the White House.
Here is the idea: Turn stopping the leak over to BP to do any way they want without having to get permission from 50 people in the federal government.
Once the White House has gotten out of BP's way, then get out of the way of the cleanup. If federal resources can be used, allow whoever needs them to use them, but step aside. Stopping ships that are skimming oil because the fire extinguishers have expired or because there might not be enough life jackets on board is ridiculous.
Obama likes to compare this disaster to World War II, which doesn't seem appropriate, but I don't think the Coast Guard was off the coast of France at D-Day turning back landing ships because they were a life jacket short or their fire extinguishers had expired in May.
In emergencies you do the best you can with what you've got. If Obama had ever run anything he would know that you can't have everything perfect and get things done. Newspapers have lots of mistakes. It is because they are written, edited and printed on deadlines. When it comes time for a newspaper to go to press, someone has to make the decision that it is good enough to go. You do your best. But if we waited for The Rhino Times to be perfect it would not be a weekly, it would be a never-ly. Obama and his team don't seem to understand the idea of making do with what you have.
In an emergency if you need a tourniquet and you don't have sterile two-inch bandage material, you use whatever you can get your hands on. You don't let someone die because an inch-wide belt is too narrow for an ideal tourniquet. In an emergency such as the one in the Gulf you do whatever it takes to stop the flow of oil and you do whatever it takes to clean it up.
Reportedly Obama is not allowing foreign ships to participate because of the Jones Act, which was not passed to prevent foreign ships from helping to clean up oil. We should be welcoming all the help that we can get.
The reports are that the efforts are still not coordinated and that the federal agencies are still fighting each other instead of the spill.
Obama cannot stop the leak but he can get federal officials out of the way so that people who know what they are doing can get to work.
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I love seeing the people working on shore in hard hats and life jackets. Are they scared that a tidal wave is going to pick the workers up and knock their heads against a tree? This is the Gulf of Mexico; it doesn't have huge waves. Give the federal government a little longer and they will all be in hard hats, life jackets and space suits with fire extinguishers strapped to their backs. They will have on waders, Kevlar chaps and safety goggles.
Then once they are completely outfitted so they can't move, OSHA will decide that the beaches where oil is visible are too dangerous for people to work on and will only allow them to work on beaches where no oil is visible. In other words they can't work where they need to work but can only work where they don't need to work.
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In a column in Israel Today, Avi Lipkin (writing as Victor Mordecai) says that his wife was watching the Round Table Show, and Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said that he had had a private conversation with Obama and Obama said he was a Muslim. What Obama is reported to have said is that he is, "The son of a Muslim father and stepson of a Muslim stepfather, that his half-brothers in Kenya were Muslims, and that he was sympathetic to the Muslim agenda."
This is all over some conservative sites on the internet and it could be true, but consider the source. Lipkin is not saying that he heard this but that his wife heard it. And she didn't hear Obama say that he is a Muslim but heard someone else say that Obama said that he is a Muslim. So the writer didn't hear it and the writer's wife didn't hear it, but the writer's wife heard someone say that Obama said it.
You couldn't convict Obama of illegal parking with no more evidence than that. There are a host of explanations. The wife misunderstood what was said. Gheit said it but he misunderstood Obama, or even Gheit heard what he was told correctly but it was the interpreter who misunderstood the statement and mistranslated it.
Or even that Obama said it but he misspoke and meant to say that he was raised in a Muslim family.
The source is extremely weak and to jump to the conclusion that Obama said that he was a Muslim is quite a leap.
There is a lot of speculation about Obama's religion, in large part because there is more to the story than we are being told about Obama at Rev. Jeremiah Wright's church, and because now it has become obvious that Obama chooses golf over church almost every weekend.
Obama claimed to have been a long time and active member of Wright's church and then claimed to have been shocked when he found out that Wright was preaching anti-American and racist sermons. Obama is too smart not to know that Wright's preaching was not going to be popular with mainstream America. So why would he brag about Wright if he knew what Wright was preaching? Wright officiated at the wedding of the Obamas and baptized their children, but that doesn't mean that the Obamas were active members of the church.
There is also the problem that Obama didn't contribute in any significant way to the church – significant in this case means that his tax deductions for charitable contributions were nearly nothing during the period he was supposed to have been such an active member. The Obamas had a combined income of over $500,000, not counting the millions Barack Obama made on his books, and their charitable contributions were less than 1 percent of their income. Wright does not look like the kind of pastor who would quietly go along with people who made a lot more money than most in his church and contributed almost nothing.
It may mean that Obama does not have any strong religious beliefs, but adopted a church because he knew he needed one if he was going to go anywhere in politics. Now that he has made it to the top political job in the world, he doesn't have to pretend anymore. What it doesn't mean is that he is a Muslim.
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It's too early to know what Gen. Stanley McChrystal was thinking when he was critical of his superiors when talking to a reporter for Rolling Stone. The worst crime seems to be allowing members of his staff to talk freely in front of this reporter.
Whatever he was thinking it cost him his job. It's amazing, for a West Point man like McChrystal, being in charge of war is the job you work your whole life for, and he threw it away over some dumb comments in a magazine article.
It doesn't matter that what McChrystal said is true – Obama has no interest in the military or in wars. Obama certainly doesn't want to be involved in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but he is, and he happened to be McChrystal's boss. It's like calling your boss fat and stupid. It doesn't matter if it's true or not, if you accidently send it to everyone on your email list, including your boss, you're fired.
The wars are like Guantanamo times a thousand for Obama. He thought he could just close down Guantanamo and send everybody home, and he found out it wasn't so easy. Obama would like to just close up shop in Iraq and Afghanistan, but it isn't so simple. Somebody on his staff may have read about the American pullout from Vietnam, and there is no way Obama wants to be a part of a debacle like that. No matter what people think of the Vietnam War, the way the US pulled out of Vietnam was a disgrace.
McChrystal is no dummy. He got a meeting with Obama by telling Time magazine that he had not seen Obama since he took over in Afghanistan. It was a risky and incredibly clever move, but whatever he was trying for with this last move backfired.
McChrystal really doesn't say anything all that bad in the article, but you just can't make fun of your boss in public. McChrystal has to have known that this article was likely going to cost him his job, but what if it hadn't? Then what had he accomplished by mouthing off to a Rolling Stone reporter?
Maybe some explanation will come out, but however he explained his behavior to his boss, it wasn't good enough for him to keep his job.
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Before former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was impeached and removed from office, President Obama and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel bragged about running his campaign and getting Blagojevich elected.
Now Blagojevich has joined the ranks of Obama's other Chicago friends and now is someone he hardly knew. At one time Obama praised his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Terrorist and admitted bomber Bill Ayers was certainly a friend – he held the first fundraiser for Obama the first time he ran for office.
That first fundraiser is most often held by a family member or a close friend. In Obama's case it turns out Ayers was someone he barely knew, but somehow Ayers found out Obama was going to run for office and held a fundraiser for him.
It's amazing. Obama had a great deal of respect and admiration for his pastor and then it turns out he doesn't agree with much of what the pastor preached. In fact, not only did he not agree with it, but had no idea that Wright was preaching that stuff.
Obama appeared to be a good friend of Ayers, but when he decided to run for president he realized he had to ditch the terrorist who was his buddy, and now Ayers is just someone who lived in the neighborhood.
Blagojevich is in the same category. Obama said that he and Emanuel ran his campaign on the record, so he can't erase that, but he has distanced himself from Blagojevich as much as possible. But look at the people that Obama hung out with in Chicago – a preacher who preaches black supremacy, an unapologetic terrorist and a complete and utter idiot of a political crook.
Blagojevich knew he was under investigation by the FBI and certainly knew that involved wiretaps, yet he talked over the phone about how much he could get for a Senate seat. The man is incredible.
But then what do we know about Obama? He went to Columbia University, but news organizations who have tried can't find any classmates who remember him. So he didn't have to denounce his college friends because no one remembers going to school with him.