Archive for the ‘trust’ Category

Obama Team: Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing

February 15, 2009

“Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing;” seems to be the mantra of team Obama.

Great, right?

The president himself told Republicans why he didn’t care to hear their inputs on the stimulus in two words:  “I won.”

In today’s New York Times columnist Frank Rich gloats his share asking, “Am I crazy, or wasn’t the Obama presidency pronounced dead just days ago?”

Well, Frank, as if often the case, the way a guy “wins” sometimes has long term implications.

So Frank, you are still crazy if you believe President Obama has a delightful “win” in this stimulus — both the process and the practical impact.

Ignoring the input of all Republicans and 47% of the voters who did not vote for Mr. Obama, and ramming the stimulus down everyone’s throat and lying along the way… well, there just might be a long term echo there.

“I won” and “we won” lacks some significant people: the American people.

The stimulus isn’t being widely heralded as a victory for the American people by the American people.

Emotions are mixed on even if this is a victory for Obama and the American people.

But it all depends upon what your definition of “is” is….
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer said, “Obama contradicted everything he said he stood for” during the process of making the stimulus.

“He did not work toward bipartianship and got not one conservative Republican vote.”

Krauthammer said “the president showed he would enact legislation by ramming it down throats,” a reference to the language President Obama used at last Monday’s press conference.

He also criticized the ugly process used to make the stimulus bill and the speed of the legislation; much of the blame for which lies with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

So it depends what your definition of “win” is……

The New York Times showed a long time ago that it is pro-Obama and screw the truth.  Ditto the Washington Post which strarted today with the headline “Obama Scores Early Victory of Historic Proportions.”

First of all, nobody will know for a year or two if the stimulus is a good thing or not.  And this humble servant will say that ignoring 47% of the voters and their elected representatives while our children and grandchildren are robbed and looted will leave some of us happy and some not.

China and Arab States that hold U.S. debt might be happy, along with the New York Times, Washington Post, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and a flock of Democrats.

The rest of us will remain more cautious, I think.

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia


From Frank Rich:
Stimulus: Obama Outsmarts Everyone 

Obama Respects Afghans More Than Americans
 Stimulus: China Will Fund U.S. Debt But “We Hate You Guys”

 Stimulus Surprise: Bipartisanship, Cooperation So Lacking From Dems That GOP Stays Unified’t_e

Missing from Congress’ stimulus negotiations: transparency

 Stimulus Proves Obama (And The NYT) Have No Idea What “Bipartisanship” Means; Or Could Care Less

 Stimulus: “Obama is popular but has no clout”

Obama Dead Wrong On Stimulus in Peoria, Caterpillar Remarks

 Barack Is Mostly Showman, Not Statesman; and Now Putin and Ahmadinejad Know

Obama Scores Early Victory of Historic Proportions
The Washington Post


Trust is the coin of the realm

February 14, 2009

Thomas F. Madden’s book “Empires of Trust” begins with the story of Rome’s conquest of Locri, a small Italian city-state.

A Roman lieutenant named Pleminius maintained order there in a heavy-handed manner, sacking and looting religious shrines and enslaving the Locrians. When Locrian ambassadors later assembled in the Roman Senate chamber, it was not, as many senators expected, to beg for forgiveness and charity but to lodge a complaint.

Pleminius, they charged, was a tyrant. “There is nothing human except his face and appearance,” cried one. “There is no trace of the Roman except in his clothing and speech.”

By Mike Mullen
Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Washington Post
Sunday, February 15, 2009; Page B07

Top US military commander Admiral Mike Mullen in New York. Top ... 
Top US military commander Admiral Mike Mullen in New York. Top US military officer Admiral Mike Mullen said on Tuesday more American troops were needed in Afghanistan as soon as possible to hold territory where insurgents have been routed.(AFP/File/Jason Kempin)

Though they had rebelled against Rome — siding with archenemy Hannibal — the Locrians expected better. “They trusted the Romans to act responsibly,” writes Madden, “and even when that trust was violated, they trusted the Romans to make it right.”

Such was the reputation for equanimity and fairness that Rome had built. Such were the responsibilities of leadership.

We are not Romans, of course. Our brigade combat teams are not the legions of old. Madden makes that clear. But we in the U.S. military are likewise held to a high standard. Like the early Romans, we are expected to do the right thing, and when we don’t, to make it right again.

We have learned, after seven years of war, that trust is the coin of the realm — that building it takes time, losing it takes mere seconds, and maintaining it may be our most important and most difficult objective.

That’s why images of prisoner maltreatment at Abu Ghraib still serve as recruiting tools for al-Qaeda. And it’s why each civilian casualty for which we are even remotely responsible sets back our efforts to gain the confidence of the Afghan people months, if not years.

It doesn’t matter how hard we try to avoid hurting the innocent, and we do try very hard. It doesn’t matter how proportional the force we deploy, how precisely we strike. It doesn’t even matter if the enemy hides behind civilians. What matters are the death and destruction that result and the expectation that we could have avoided it. In the end, all that matters is that, despite our best efforts, sometimes we take the very lives we are trying to protect.

You cannot defeat an insurgency this way.

We can send more troops. We can kill or capture all the Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders we can find — and we should. We can clear out havens and shut down the narcotics trade. But until we prove capable, with the help of our allies and Afghan partners, of safeguarding the population, we will never know a peaceful, prosperous Afghanistan.

Lose the people’s trust, and we lose the war. The strategy reviews for Afghanistan recognize this and seek military, economic, political, diplomatic and informational approaches to regaining that trust. We know that the people are the real long-term hope for success. No single solution or preventative measure will suffice in protecting them.

Read the rest:

Barack Obama: Credibility Lost?

February 2, 2009

In two weeks as president, Barack Obama has thrown away his credibility and destroyed trust — more than any other President of the United States in the History of the Republic.

Let’s just say that for the sake of argument.

This is now like bleeding from a thousand cuts.

Related on FEB 3 about 1 PM Eastern:
Daschle Out; Major Obama Setback

Nothing like Bill Clinton’s early-going gays in the military effort or Hillary’s closed door try at revising the American medical system in the dawning days of Bill’s presidency….

But Barack Obama’s preaching about “bipartisanship” was not matched with actions as Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats crafted the economic stimulus package without taking into account Republican viewpoints.

Maybe if Barack had been in the Senate longer he’d know more about bipartisanship….

“We won” Republicans were told, when they objected to certain stimulus package goodies like funding to fight bird flu.

That only saves jobs if workers don’t die at work….

The Treasury Secretary admitted to tax evasion.  Ditto the president’s nominee for HHS, Tom Daschle.

Psst: This is what transparency gets us.  The right thing to do when things like this come up is to ask the guy to withdraw, not ask for an ‘exception.”

Nancy Killefer, who failed for a year and a half to pay employment taxes on household help, has withdrawn her President Obama nomination to be the first chief performance officer for the federal government, the White House said Tuesday.

Chief Performance Officer Nancy Killefer
Nancy Killefer
Robert Gibbs
White House spokesman Gibbs said, “Nobody’s perfect.”  Did he mean Daschle?

The nominee for Deputy Secretary of Defense used to be a lobbyist.  He’s still in the running, despite the president’s vows against lobbyists and for ethics.

On al-Arabiya TV the president made a plea to Muslims.  So Iran demanded an apology for American wrongs.

Just 11% of U.S. voters think America should apologize to Iran for “crimes” against the Islamic country.

The stimulus bill written by Democrats has a “buy American provision.”  China, Germany and others objected.

Canada hopes U.S. officials will exempt America’s top trading partner from “Buy American” provisions in the economic stimulus bill before Barack Obama arrives in Canada this month for his first foreign trip as president.

The stimulus, meant to create jobs, contained at least two two questionable items  — $75 million for smoking cessation programs and $400 million to slow the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted disease.  Both  have already been dropped from the most recent draft of the measure.  You can recall others like the sod for the Mall in Washington DC….

Nearly half of U.S. voters (49%) say Barack Obama is politically more liberal than they are.

The president promised to close Gitmo and pull out of Iraq.  He has done neither: but has angered some militay people.

He has cut defense by 10% and started to discontinue the term “war on terror.”

The president has opened an exchange of words with radio personality Rush Limbaugh….

The number of voters saying Obama is more liberal than they thought on election day is growing…..

Tough two weeks.  Even with a dedicated Democratic House and Senate the public can lose trust and confidence …..

John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Mullen: Cash crunch threatens US security, Defense Spending

Obama Orders U.S. Defense Cut 10%

Under Obama, `war on terror’ catchphrase fading

 Obama Team Wants Pentagon Budget Focused More on Current War, Less on Future Programs

Obama Told His Actions On Gitmo Could “jeopardize those who are fighting the war on terror”

Troubling Obama Trends Seen By Some In Military? Why Die For “Limited Goals” In Afghanistan?

Obama’s Unnecessary Muslim Apologia; Misguided on al-Qaeda

US President Barack Obama, seen here on January 29, 2009, sits ... 
US President Barack Obama, seen here on January 29, 2009, sits alongside Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner


The New York Times also has an editorial on Tuesday suggesting that Mr. Daschle should withdraw his name too.

Bill Richardson withdrew after being nominated as Commerce Secretary as a grand jury was at work investigating portions of his state government.

Geithner, Daschle Remind Us, Taxes Too Hard for Democrats; How Can They Create a Workable Stimulus?

January 31, 2009

Democrats not paying their own taxes makes me question the biggest government give away ever: the stimulus.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner wasn’t sharp enough to use Turbotax and to ethically pay his own taxes; until that is he was nominated for the top financial job in the nation.

Daschle Knew of Tax Issues Last June, Raising Questions on Obama Vetting Process, Ethics

Now former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, it turn out, accepted hundreds of thousands in gifts and compensation without ever noticing or considering these goodies income.  he didn’t confes until after he was vetted by team Obama for the HHS job.

Psst: you guys like me with little money searching for dimes in your pocket at the 7-11, if a company gave you a Cadillac and a chauffeur, it would never occur to you that was a valueable asset?

Geithner and Daschle raise serious concerns about mental ability or ethics or both.  And they add nothing to America’s trust of the government and should be expelled from further government service.

Related from Michelle Malkin:

China’s milk scandal is a political temblor

January 5, 2009

China’s milk scandal horrifies the public and undermines the authority of a one-party system with a hand in everything.
Selling contaminated baby formula is a heinous enough crime to shock a nation, but China’s leaders know they have a dangerously destabilizing political crisis on their hands.

The Seattle Times

The scandal goes to the heart of a covenant between any authoritarian regime and those who surrender freedom. They cede power with the belief, however wishful, they will be better off. Those in power promise to protect them from all manner of hazards, foreign and domestic.

The unraveling of China’s milk scandal has horrified the country. Last week, the chairwoman of a diary company pleaded guilty to producing and selling fake or substandard products. Milk products contaminated with an additive that produces kidney stones has killed six babies and sickened another 300,000.

Company officials knew milk products adulterated with melamine were making infants ill months before the scandal broke in September.

China’s one-party system has opened the economy, but the ties between commerce and government are closely held. Any indictment by public opinion goes to the heart of the legitimacy of power in Beijing.

Chinese authorities cannot maintain the illusion of control with broad failures to deliver. The killer earthquake in May near Chengdu, in Sichuan Provence, stirred outrage on two fronts. Authorities were sharply criticized for not getting emergency supplies to people. A second wave of anger came over grossly inadequate building standards, especially for schools that became death traps.

The milk scandal and trial is a variation on the theme of credibility and competence. As described by reporter Barbara Demick, in The Los Angeles Times:

“The case is turning into a showdown between the Chinese government’s opaque legal system and a consumer culture that increasingly clamors for information and accountability.”

The Chinese are turning to Web sites and texting to vent their frustrations and try to stay updated.

China’s problems compound. The milk scandal is already complicating international trade, with the discovery of contaminated products. Foreign governments, with their own constituencies, talk aloud about their ability to rely on Chinese authorities and inspectors.

The milk scandal is a grievous personal tragedy and a deep political temblor.

China: Free Speech, Poisoned Food, Dead Children

Government Picks Winners, Losers, Calls Other Shots and Pays The Bills: Happy Now?

December 9, 2008

The president of General Motors has to go.

So say Barack Obama and Christopher Dodd.

And their combined business exerience is?  ZERO.

Never mind that stockowners and a board of directors have called the shots for more than 6 decades.

Once you accept government money: you are trapped into accepting further government “oversight.”

This is how it works in places like China and Russia: where real free market economies have not existed in recent memory or are merely experiments.

U.S. lawmakers Barney Frank, left, and Nancy Pelosi, right, speaking at a news conference on the proposed bailout of the U.S. automakers on Monday. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)

Like it or not, the “global economic downturn” of 2008 will change one nation more than any other on earth: the United States.  Because the lesson being learned and the government actions growing from the election of Barack Obama and the dismal economic news is this: Wall Street and every company represented there can no longer be trusted to manage itself.  And since Main Street is suffering our Big Daddy Government has to take “appropriate” action.

It’s your vote and your money and your elected representatives in Congress calling the shots now…..

I heard a congresswoman interviewed on the radio this week opine that she could make a lot of money needed for things like the automobile company bail-out  by cutting the military; especially aircraft carriers and Air Force tankers.  I have a lot of questions about such quick thinking, the least of which is: do we want the future America to have an international role or not?


Iacocca says US auto execs shouldn’t be ousted

Here may be some examples of Big Government in other lands…..

Russia Reclaiming Raw Materials Like Oil, Coal
 China city checks complainers into mental hospital