Today the President of the United States said he was open to more investigations and even trials for Bush-era CIA interrogation wrongdoing. This just less than 24 hours after a photo op at CIA during which the president said, in slightly veiled terms, that would never happen.
There was news today that Caterpillar Inc., the world’s largest maker of bulldozers and excavators, posted its first quarterly net loss in 16 years and said full-year profit and sales will trail its previous forecast amid a global recession.
This wouldn’t be major news except for the fact that Caterpillar was once thought to be the world’s largest exporter of heavy earth moving equipment to Latin America and President Obama has apparently been unable to bring that dream into reality — despite the president’s participation in a two day Summit of the Americas this last weekend.
The president returned from the summit without a promise of a contract for Caterpillar — but he did bring back a nice book and a few photos of himself with Hugo Chavez, and other Latin strongmen….
“It would be nice if the president had really done anything for us, for our workers,” a Caterpillar employee told us.
Caterpillar says it pays $100,000 in tariffs on each piece of heavy equipment it exports to Columbia, because the U.S. Congresss has failed to pass the free trade agreement….
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gives U.S. President Barack Obama a copy of “Las Venas Abiertas de America Latina” by author Eduardo Galiano during a meeting at the Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain, Trinidad April 18, 2009. Photo by Kevin Lamarque, Reuters.
The Latin American visit was thus an opportunity lost for an America in an economic mess but maybe an opportunity gained for the American rock star president who seems more like he wants to be Secretary General of the U.N….
Earlier this year the White House staged a rather grand economic photo op at Caterpillar.
During that event, President Obama said, “Yesterday, Jim [Owens], the head of Caterpillar, said that if Congress passes our plan, this company will be able to rehire some of the folks who were just laid off.”
President Barack Obama addresses employees at the Caterpillar plant in East Peoria, Ill., Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009.(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
But when asked if the stimulus could do that, Jim Owens said last February, on the day of the president’s remarks, “I think, realistically, no. The honest reality is we’re probably going to have more layoffs before we start hiring again.”
Owens seemed to say that the president was not in touch with honest reality.
The president’s Caterpillar photo op was thus an opportunity lost….Hope offered with no possibility of becoming true…
On March 17, 2009, Caterpillar announced a fresh round of job cuts, laying off more than 2,400 employees at five plants in Illinois, Indiana and Georgia.
It seems to us that only a brain dead staff would have staged such an event for Caterpillar: they must have known anything the president said would turn out badly.
Or maybe this is just gross dishonesty…..and disrespect for the working people involved…..
Other Obama White House events also seem ill conceived. Take yesterday’s first ever cabinet meeting and trumpeting an attempt to cut $100 million from the various government departments….
The president seemed please that the government just discovered buying in bulk from Staples….like the rest of us….
The president turned around and spent the $100m already today by offereng more dough to the IMF…..like $100 billion….
Then there is the Bow.
The bow may have impressed Muslims and emboldened Ahmadinejad in Iran but it scared Israelis….
Speaking of conception, it seemed odd that White House stage managers found it necessary to remove Jesus Christ from Georgetown prior to the president’s economic address — but I guess we were rendering unto Ceasar and for a guy that is pro-abortion and hadn’t been to church between Christmas (should we say XMass?) and Easter well….
The Brit Prime Minister got movies on CD from the President of the United States: not a very symbolic gift. One was “Star Wars.” And nobody in the White House even checked to see if these CDs can be watched in the UK (they use different digital formatting: the CDs given by Obama are “blank” on UK machines).
An opportunity lost…..
Don’t forget, many Presidents of the United States do their work in the Oval Office on the “Resolute Desk” which is made from the timbers of a Royal Navy Warship. That’s symbolism.
JFK among otheres used the “Resolute Desk” — a gift from the UK. Obama returned one gift from the UK: A Statue of Sir Winston Churchill.
An insult that didn’t need to happen….
This White House is more inclined toward Ward Churchill….
The president gave the Queen of England an IPod — made in China.
The Secretary of State in this Obama Administration gave her Russian counterpart a giant red button which was supposed to be marked “reset.” But the word was not spelled correctly or was just flat out the wrong word. Besides: to most Russians a giant red button is for launching nuclear weapons…..
So what are we resetting to with Russia? Ask Joe Biden: it was his idea apparently to make the ‘reset” button. Joe “Advisor to Many Presidents” Biden should have asked the staff to discuss with him how Vladimir Putin might reset — back to his KGB roots?
The photo op with the dog was good; so kudos to whoever thought of that: Maybe Sasha and Malia…..
Was it Joe Biden, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton that thought it was a good idea to encourage Russia to just hit the “reset” button? Well, whoever…..
U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with Bolivian President Evo Morales during the opening ceremony of the 5th Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain April 17, 2009. REUTERS/Xinhua/David de la Paz