Obama the oblivious
Most people become aware of the hopeless inefficiency of sclerotic government by, oh, age 17 at the department of motor vehicles. Obama’s late discovery is especially remarkable considering that he built his entire political philosophy on the rock of Big Government, on the fervent belief in the state as the very engine of collective action and the ultimate source of national greatness. (Indeed, of individual success as well, as in “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”)
This blinding revelation of the ponderous incompetence of bureaucratic government came just a few weeks after Obama confessed that “what we’re also discovering is that insurance is complicated to buy.” Another light bulb goes off, this one three years after passing a law designed to force millions of Americans to shop for new health plans via the maze of untried, untested, insecure, unreliable online “exchanges.”
America’s Pacific Allies Right to Worry
Charles Krauthammer had harsh words Wednesday night for American foreign policy when it came to China’s establishment of a zone of control over the East China Sea.
“We had one strong response, which was to send American warplanes into that zone without obeying the Chinese demand that you check in with them”
Krauthammer said on Special Report, lauding the pair of B-52 bombers that flew through the airspace. However, he lamented that the U.S. has ordered its civilian airlines to comply with the Chinese rules even as Japan has told its airlines to ignore them.
An Outbreak of Lawlessness
Reid and Obama have their way with the rules
For all the gnashing of teeth over the lack of comity and civility in Washington, the real problem is not etiquette but the breakdown of constitutional norms.
Such as the one just spectacularly blown up in the Senate. To get three judges onto a coveted circuit court, frustrated Democrats abolished the filibuster for executive appointments and (non–Supreme Court) judicial nominations.
The problem is not the change itself. It’s fine that a president staffing his administration should need 51 votes rather than 60. Doing so for judicial appointments, which are for life, is a bit dicier. Nonetheless, for about 200 years the filibuster was nearly unknown in blocking judicial nominees. So we are really just returning to an earlier norm.
The violence to constitutional norms here consisted in how that change was executed. By brute force — a near party-line vote of 52-48. This was a disgraceful violation of more than two centuries of precedent. If a bare majority can change the fundamental rules that govern an institution, then there are no rules. Senate rules today are whatever the majority decides they are that morning.
Supreme Court More Likely to Rule in Against Contraception Mandate in Future Cases
The Supreme Court is more likely to rule in favor of explicitly religious organizations instead of large corporations when it comes to Obamacare’s contraception mandate, Charles Krauthammer said Tuesday night.
Krauthammer predicted on Special Report that after the Supreme Court had dealt with Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby — a case which he said could go either way — cases involving explicitly Catholic organizations stood a better chance of claiming victories over President Obama’s signature healthcare law.
Krauthammer: Matt Drudge is a ‘genius,’ ‘greatest headline writer in the history of mankind’
“I always marvel at people who can sort of see the future or see what it is in your time that there is a need for and create it,” Krauthammer told The Daily Caller. ”Like Amazon or, you know, Apple. But here it’s without having to write an algorithm just to figure it out. He’s the greatest headline writer in the history of mankind. That’s what he does.”
Drudge has “tremendous influence over the culture,” Krauthammer added.
Jamie Weinstein writes: TheDC recently conducted an extensive interview with Krauthammer in his Washington office about his new book, “Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics.” Over the next several days and weeks, we will be featuring the rest of the segments from the interview, including Krauthammer’s reflections on various political and media figures, so check back regularly. Previous segment links after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »
Krauthammer: Democrats will “Rue the Day” they Destroyed the Senate Filibuster Rule
It’s remarkable how President Obama “discovers” things so late in his tenure, Charles Krauthammer said Tuesday night.
“Remember at the beginning [of his administration], he spends a near trillion dollars on the stimulus and then discovers afterward that ‘shovel ready’ really doesn’t exist?” Krauthammer said. “And then he told us just a few days ago, he discovered how, you know that, purchasing health insurance is not easy, it’s rather difficult.”
“Is this news to him?”
“…the so-called civil war among conservatives is vastly overblown and promoted mostly by liberal and the mainstream media [because] they want to see the divisions exacerbated.”
Today’s Daily Hammer: Politico’s article “Krauthammer on Krauthammer” tells us less–considering its length–than I hoped. But that may only be true for the over-saturated news junkies among us, already exposed to much of this material. What is original here I believe, are the quotes from various players. Confirmed in these quotes: Krauthammer is widely admired and respected, by allies and opponents alike. Almost universally so. (I have my own list of disagreements, but they’re usually minor)
One comical exception stands out (not counting fellow conservatives who have a legitimate beef with Charles, like Limbaugh and Levin) The NYT’s insulated Queen of Clueless, Paul Krugman. Krugman’s quote is juvenile, petulant, condescending. He couldn’t be bothered. It’s an embarrassing comment, unintentionally revealing. I highlighted it. So, from last week’s Politico, enjoy today’s edition of The Daily Hammer:
Charles Krauthammer was surprised when President Barack Obama invited him to the White House last month.
Since Obama took office, the columnist and Fox News contributor has been among the most forceful critics of the president’s policies. Krauthammer’s long been widely read among conservatives, but has recently raised his prominence with unrelenting and searing attacks on the president’s health care plan, proclaiming earlier this month that the “unraveling” of Obamacare, the administration, and the Democratic Senate majority could amount to nothing less than “the collapse of American liberalism.”
With Obama’s approval rating at an all-time low, and the Republican establishment at odds with the conservative base, Krauthammer had become more than “critic in chief.” Blending high-mindedness with strong conservative values, he has commanded respect on both the extreme and moderate sides of the spectrum, becoming the closest thing the factionalized GOP could have to a spokesperson, a de facto opposition leader for the thinking right.
President Obama’s so-called insurance fix is a scam that was meant to deflect blame from the White House, Charles Krauthammer said Friday night.
“He pretended to want to restore the plans to people who lost them,” Krauthammer said during a panel appearance on Special Report. “Because it is a sham. It was only intended to shift the blame. His intent is for these plans not to be renewed; he knows how impossible it will be.”
Krauthammer said that Obama knew how many insurance companies would refuse to renew canceled policies and how many state insurance commissioners would refuse the fix – ensuring that only a trickle of people re-enrolled in their old plans. However, had Obama not made that move, over 100 Democrats would’ve voted for Representative Fred Upton’s (R., Mich.) bill to extend canceled insurance policies a year.
“That would’ve been a rebellion against him and he would lose, as a second term president, complete control of the party and been a lame-duck less than a year into the second term,” Krauthammer said.
“We have not just Obamacare unraveling, not just the Obama administration unraveling, not just the Democratic majority of the Senate, but we could be looking at the collapse of American liberalism”
President Obama’s decision to tell people they could keep the healthcare they liked was not only unwise, it was untrue and the president knew it, Charles Krauthammer said Friday night.
“So now, it resolves the issue — was he himself deceived or ignorant of the law? Or did he know?” Krauthammer said.
Krauthammer went on the blast Obama for saying that only those who the CBO said it would get a better deal would get forced off their plans.
“I mean, this is compounding his problem of saying the truth,” he said.
“…it’s a political disaster. But the geniuses, the economists — if you hear Ezekiel Emanuel say on the “Fox News Sunday” this was designed — you had to get people out of the individual insurance market, generally people of some means, you put them in the exchanges, they overpay and you use the subsidy. This was not an accident. What they never understood is how disastrous it would be politically. But economically, that’s the way they make it work…”
“Every two years the American politics industry fills the airwaves with the most virulent, scurrilous, wall-to-wall character assassination of nearly every political practitioner in the country – and then declares itself puzzled that America has lost trust in its politicians.”
The shocking double-digit declines come weeks after the money-losing News ousted Editor-in-Chief Jim Rich after just one year on the job.
The embattled newspaper reported sharply lower sales on weekdays and Sundays and on newsstand sales and home deliveries, according to the Alliance for Audited Media.
While the entire newspaper industry has been hammered by print circulation declines in recent years, the drop-off by Mort Zuckerman’s Daily News in September was much steeper than the declines at The Post and the New York Times.
The News saw its weekday print circulation tumble 11.2 percent, to 207,680, almost double the 6.8 drop at The Post, which fell to 230,634. The Times reported a decline of 5.5 percent, to 551,579. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Dr. Charles Krauthammer: Mr. President: Republicans Don’t Oppose Diplomacy, They Oppose Your Bad DealPosted: March 21, 2015
From The Corner:
President Obama claims that Republicans are not interested in “a diplomatic resolution” to America’s long-standing conflict with Iran. “This is the president’s mendacity continuing to a degree that is really quite remarkable,” says Charles Krauthammer.
“‘There are people on both sides and beyond’ — so he means Republicans at home and Israelis – ‘who are against a diplomatic resolution. That’s a lie“
“‘There are people on both sides and beyond’ — so he means Republicans at home and Israelis – ‘who are against a diplomatic resolution,’” said Krauthammer on Friday’s Special Report, quoting the president’s comments in a video message in honor of Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, released Friday. “That’s a lie.
“They are against THIS diplomatic resolution…”
They are against this diplomatic resolution, the deal he is doing that any observer will tell you paves the road to an Iranian nuclear weapon that is legitimate and accepted by the international community. It is a disaster. That’s why it is opposed. People aren’t opposed to diplomacy; they are opposed to a specific deal.”
“…the deal he is doing that any observer will tell you paves the road to an Iranian nuclear weapon that is legitimate and accepted by the international community. It is a disaster. That’s why it is opposed. People aren’t opposed to diplomacy; they are opposed to a specific deal.”
Al Weaver writes: In an appearance on “The Kelly File” Thursday night, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer slammed President Barack Obama’s foreign policy for his interest in regime change in only one Middle Eastern country: Israel.
“Remember when we had the Iranian revolution under Obama’s watch in 2009? Well, there was a chance to get rid of the most anti-American regime in the region. He didn’t lift a finger, even rhetorically. No regime change. He said that’s Bush stuff. That is not — except in one place. The one place he’s actively trying to change the regime is in Israel…”
“…He’s doing everything he can to outmaneuver, to humiliate, to insult, to give the back of the hand to Bibi Netanyahu, knowing that for any Israeli Prime Minister, jeopardizing the U.S.-Israeli relationship could be fatal at the polls and that’s exactly what Obama’s doing.”
Krauthammer told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly that Israel, the staunchest U.S. ally in the region, is “the one place he’s actively trying to change the regime. He added that Obama is “doing everything he can” to “humiliate” and “give the back of the hand” to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
KELLY: The one strongest ally we have in this region is Israel. Obviously, Jordan’s another one, but Israel’s the strongest allied to the United States and strongest military. With respect to that ally, it seems to be acrimony and confrontation and poking the bear and affronts to Benjamin Netanyahu. Why? Read the rest of this entry »
Charles Krauthammer writes: On Sunday, at the great Paris rally, the whole world was Charlie. By Tuesday, the veneer of solidarity was exposed as tissue thin. It began dissolving as soon as the real, remaining Charlie Hebdo put out its post-massacre issue featuring a Muhammad cover that, as the New York Times put it, “reignited the debate pitting free speech against religious sensitivities.”
“As for President Obama, he never was Charlie, not even for those 48 hours. From the day of the massacre, he has been practically invisible.”
Again? Already? Had not 4 million marchers and 44 foreign leaders just turned out on the streets of France to declare “No” to intimidation, and pledging solidarity, indeed identification (“Je suis Charlie”) with a satirical weekly specializing in the most outrageous and often tasteless portrayals of Muhammad? And yet, within 48 hours, the new Charlie Hebdo issue featuring the image of Muhammad — albeit a sorrowful, indeed sympathetic Muhammad — sparked new protests, denunciations and threats of violence, which in turn evinced another round of doubt and self-flagellation in the West about the propriety and limits of free expression. Hopeless.
As for President Obama, he never was Charlie, not even for those 48 hours. From the day of the massacre, he has been practically invisible. At the interstices of various political rallies, he issued bits of muted, mealy-mouthed boilerplate. Followed by the now-famous absence of any high-ranking U.S. official at the Paris rally, an abdication of moral and political leadership for which the White House has already admitted error.
“On the contrary, the no-show, following the near silence, precisely reflected the president’s profound ambivalence about the very idea of the war on terror. Obama began his administration by purging the phrase from the lexicon of official Washington.”
But this was no mere error of judgment or optics or, most absurdly, of communications in which we are supposed to believe that the president was not informed by staff about the magnitude, both actual and symbolic, of the demonstration he ignored. (He needed to be told?)
On the contrary, the no-show, following the near silence, precisely reflected the president’s profound ambivalence about the very idea of the war on terror. Obama began his administration by purging the phrase from the lexicon of official Washington. He has ever since shuttled between saying that (a) the war must end because of the damage “keeping America on a perpetual wartime footing” was doing to us, and (b) the war has already ended, as he suggested repeatedly during the 2012 campaign, with bin Laden dead and al-Qaeda “on the run.”
During the White House briefing on Monday, press secretary Josh Earnest discussed the administration’s decision not to send a high-level official to a march honoring the victims of last week’s attack on a satirical newspaper and said the French ambassador would go to the White House later that day.
[VIDEO] CNN’s Jake Tapper Hammers President Obama: French President Jacques Chirac Was First to Visit U.S. After 9/11Posted: January 12, 2015
“I think that there was something more about this than just optics. This is being referred to here in France as France’s 9/11.”
CNN’s Jake Tapper was one of the first pundits to highlight President Barack Obama’s absence from yesterday’s major rally in Paris and his criticism continued today after White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest admitted someone of a “higher level” should have attended the event.
“Who was the first worlder to come to the United States after that awful trauma, who was it? Well, it was the president of France, it was Jacques Chirac. He came to Washington, D.C. and New York right after 9/11, within a week and a half or so. I don’t think that’s a mistake. We have a special relationship with this country.”
“I think that there was something more about this than just optics,” Tapper told Wolf Blitzer from Paris Monday afternoon. “This is being referred to here in France as France’s 9/11.”
Looking back at 9/11, an attack he admitted was clearly on a much larger scale than what happened at the Charlie Hebdo offices last week, Tapper said, “you have to look at the fact of, who was the first worlder to come to the United States after that awful trauma, who was it?”
“…It’s obviously not shaken by the fact that President Obama wasn’t there or Joe Biden wasn’t there or Mitch McConnell or John Boehner or any other American leader. But it would reaffirmed it in the minds of not just the French people but the American people.”
“Well, it was the president of France, it was Jacques Chirac,” he said, answering his own question. Read the rest of this entry »
— Jillian Melchior (@JillianKayM) January 7, 2015
‘We stand with Charlie Hebdo by censoring their work and kowtowing to their killers.” @NYDailyNews
— David Rutz (@DavidRutz) January 7, 2015
— Mary Katharine Ham (@mkhammer) January 7, 2015
James Kakalios writes: These are exciting days for physics, with several recent experimental observations providing important information on some of the most important mysteries of nature. The Large Hadron Collider at CERN has found the Higgs boson, the last missing particle in the Standard Model, advancing our understanding of the origin of the mass of fundamental particles. The discovery by astrophysicists that the expansion of the universe is accelerating implies that 75% of the universe is composed of “dark energy.” And a recent trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron suggests an explanation for the long-standing open question: can the Hulk lift Thor’s hammer?
[Order James Kakalios’ book “The Physics of Superheroes: Spectacular Second Edition” from Amazon]
The scene in question aired Oct. 28 during an episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC. In this clip, the Avengers are relaxing in their street clothes in Tony Stark’s penthouse apartment, and are discussing the “enchantment” on Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, which stipulates that it can only be lifted by those “deemed worthy,” and whoever does so will “possess the power of Thor.” Thor places his hammer on a coffee table (actually, as shown below, it is resting partially on some books on the table), and various heroes attempt to pick up the hammer, to no avail. Thor then hefts the hammer and casually flips it into the air.
And thus one proposal for why the hammer is unliftable is put to rest. Astrophysicist and Director of the Hayden Planetarium, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, has speculated that, if Mjolnir is composed of neutron star matter, the densest material in the universe outside of a black hole, then it would weigh as much as three hundred billion elephants.
[Check out James Kakalios‘ other book “The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics: A Math-Free Exploration of the Science That Made Our World” at Amazon]
Water has a density of one gram per cubic centimeter, and lead has a density of eleven grams per cubic centimeter, but they pale compared to neutron star matter, which has a density of one hundred million million grams per cubic centimeter. In this case Mjolnir would weigh roughly twelve thousand trillion pounds. I know Tony Stark is rich, but even if he could buy a coffee table that could support such a weight, I can’t imagine any book, even an impenetrable physics text, that could bear up under this force. No, we must look elsewhere for an explanation as to why only Thor (and a few select others—more on this in a moment) can raise Mjolnir. Read the rest of this entry »
Syria Strikes: U.S. Reports Significant Damage [VIDEO] Krauthammer: Air Strikes in Syria ‘Not Militarily Significant’Posted: September 23, 2014
U.S. officials didn’t provide estimates of casualties, though local residents said many were killed, including civilians.
WASHINGTON—WSJ reports: The first U.S.-led airstrikes on extremist groups in Syria hit militant leaders, training camps and control centers, U.S. officials said, promising this was only the start of a long campaign.
The attacks were conducted with the aid of Arab allies, but the U.S. carried out the bulk of the raids. After the first wave of strikes, the U.S. said it conducted follow-on attacks during the day Tuesday that hit two Islamic State armored vehicles in Syria.
The U.S. and its allies unleashed more than 160 missiles and bombs on targets inside Syria, disrupting infrastructure used by the extremist groups Islamic State and al Qaeda-linked Khorasan, Pentagon officials said in the first assessments of the impact of the strikes…
“…militarily this is not significant. This is a diplomatic stroke of sorts. It’s still a very narrow coalition. The fact is that on the ground they don’t have a strategy for defeating ISIS.”
On Tuesday’s Special Report, Charles Krauthammer responded to news that both Syria and Iran knew in advance about the American air strikes in Syria. Informing Iran was a poor choice, Krauthammer said, but telling Syria made sense because the U.S. needed to know its planes would not be shot down during the bombing. He said the U.S. is unintentionally acting as Syrian President Bashar Assad’s air force, and are allowing Assad the capability to attack moderates in Syria with greater ease…(read more) NRO
…The U.S. and its allies unleashed more than 160 missiles and bombs on targets inside Syria, disrupting infrastructure used by the extremist groups Islamic State and al Qaeda-linked Khorasan, Pentagon officials said in the first assessments of the impact of the strikes.
While it will be days before a definitive conclusion can be drawn, U.S. officials said they believe some leaders of both Islamic State and Khorasan were likely killed in the strikes on training camps and headquarters buildings.
The expansion of the military campaign against Islamic State from Iraq to Syria carries significant risks for President Barack Obama’s administration.
Mr. Obama has spent his presidency extricating the U.S. from two long and costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now there is the prospect of getting mired again in a protracted Middle East war. Read the rest of this entry »
“I thought he had a phone. How about picking up the phone and talking with the allies? You know the phone is a way to communicate rather rapidly.”
From The Corner: On Thursday’s Special Report, Charles Krauthammer reacted to President Obama’s statement, “I don’t want to put the cart before the horse—we don’t have a strategy yet,” about the United States’ effort against the Islamic State. Krauthammer said he was shocked by Obama’s statement, especially considering the context in which the comment was made.
“Look I thought that the president could no longer surprise me,” Krauthammer said. “I was wrong. He shocked me today. The President of the United States, in the middle of a real crisis, a few days after the beheading of an American, deliberately sort of spitting in the face of the country and demonstrating his cruelty, the president gets in front of the world and says, ‘I don’t have a strategy.'”
But even worse than the president’s statement that he had no strategy to defeat the Islamic State, Krauthammer said, was his comment about Ukraine. Read the rest of this entry »
Another nominee for headline of the week…
Krauthammer speculated on Reid’s mental health on “Special Report with Bret Baier” Tuesday night.
Liasson explained that President Obama has always said he “wanted the flexibility to treat kids from Central America the same as Mexico” but never explicitly asked Congress to change the Bush-era 2008 sex trafficking law.
“He wanted Congress to go first,” she said. “People in the base of the Democratic party don’t want this law changed, don’t want these kids sent home faster.” Read the rest of this entry »
“I think that it’s very important that the Army pursue this.”
“If you’re going to do the swap that we did for this kind of guy, where there is a question whether he left on his own or not or what the motives were, you absolutely have to bring military justice to bear.”
— Charles Krauthammer on Tuesday’s Special Report
Charles Krauthammer calls for a counter-boycott of Mozilla
“This is the culture of the left not being satisfied with making an argument, or even prevailing in an argument, but in destroying personally and marginalizing people who oppose them…”
For The Daily Caller, Brendan Bordelon reports: Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer called for Americans to affect a “counter-boycott” of Mozilla after the company fired their CEO for donating to an anti-gay marriage campaign, calling the move “totalitarian discourse…”
“…This is totalitarian discourse, and it shows a level of intolerance that is absolutely — it should be unacceptable, and people ought to get what they’re giving out and field a counter-boycott.”
Krauthammer spoke on a Fox News panel with USA Today columnist Kirsten Powers and conservative columnist George Will, discussing Brendan Eich’s dismissal from popular web browser provider Mozilla after activists discovered he donated $1,000 to California’s Prop 8 campaign — which made gay marriage illegal in the state. Many gay activists boycotted Mozilla, leading to Eich’s eventual termination.
Will noted that Eich’s dismissal is “an illustration of a new phenomenon. No one likes sore losers, but now we have sore winners. The gay rights movement is winning — particularly with regard to same-sex marriage — with a speed and breadth that simply takes your breath away . . . Yet unsatisfied with victory, they seem to want to stamp out and punish people for their previous views.” Read the rest of this entry »
The U.S. needs a serious foreign policy
Charles Krauthammer writes: The president of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council challenges critics of President Obama’s Ukraine policy by saying “What are you going to do, send the 101st Airborne into Crimea?” Not exactly subtle. And rather silly, considering that no one has proposed such a thing.
[Charles Krauthammer is the author of “Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics” Check it out at Amazon]
The alternative to passivity is not war but a serious foreign policy. For the last five years, Obama’s fruitless accommodationism has invited the kind of aggressiveness demonstrated by Iran in Syria, China in the East China Sea, and Russia in Ukraine. But what’s done is done. Put that aside. What is to be done now?
We have three objectives. In ascending order of difficulty: Reassure NATO. Deter further Russian incursion into Ukraine. Reverse the annexation of Crimea.
We’re already sending U.S. aircraft to patrol the airspace of the Baltic states. That’s not enough.
1. Send the chairman of the Joint Chiefs to the Baltics to arrange joint maneuvers.
2. Same for the four NATO countries bordering Ukraine — Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania.
3. Urgently revive the original missile-defense agreements concluded with Poland and the Czech Republic before Obama canceled them unilaterally to appease Russia.