Archive for the ‘Barry the Puppet’ Category
Army intel official: Increasingly, ‘to make colonel and higher is all politics’
The extraordinarily large number of senior military officials being relieved of duty under the Obama administration – nine generals and flag officers this year alone and close to 200 senior officers over the last five years – is part of the creation of a “compliant officer class,” according to a U.S. Army intelligence official.In WND’s ongoing coverage of what some top generals are openly calling a “purge” of senior military officers who run afoul of Obama or his agenda, some military personnel have been speaking out.
According to a veteran Army intelligence official who spoke to WND on condition of anonymity, there is within the armed forces a major concern that a “compliant officer class” is being created by the Obama administration. So much so, he said, that it’s becoming harder to find “senior officers with a pair of balls in there [the military] now that would say no to anything.”
“Maybe at the rank of major or below, and possibly there are some in SOF (Special Operations Forces), but to make colonel and higher is all politics,” he said.
Underscoring the point, the official said almost no public concern was expressed by officers to the recent repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy or the decision to allow women into front-line combat.
“I didn’t read one piece of resistance to the DADT repeal, and I haven’t seen one peep about females in the infantry,” he said.
His comments echo those of retired generals who have expressed alarm over the high rate of dismissals of high-ranking officers in the Obama administration.
Retired Army Maj. Gen. Patrick Brady, a recipient of the U.S. military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, told WND that Obama’s agenda is decimating the morale of the U.S. ranks to the point that members no longer feel prepared to fight or have the desire to win.
“There is no doubt [Obama] is intent on emasculating the military and will fire anyone who disagrees with him” over such issues as “homosexuals, women in foxholes, the Obama sequester,” said Brady, former president of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.
Not only are military service members being demoralized and the ranks’ overall readiness reduced by the Obama administration’s purge of key leaders, but colonels – who are lined up in rank to replace outgoing generals – are quietly taking their careers in other directions.
Retired Army Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin, who was a founding member of Delta Force and later deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence under President George W. Bush, says it is worrying that four-star generals are being retired at the rate that has occurred under Obama.
“Over the past three years, it is unprecedented for the number of four-star generals to be relieved of duty, and not necessarily relieved for cause,” Boykin said.
“I believe there is a purging of the military,” he said. “The problem is worse than we have ever seen.”
Boykin said the future of the military is an increasing concern because of the departure of key leaders.
“I talk to a lot of folks who don’t support where Obama is taking the military, but in the military they can’t say anything,” Boykin said.
As a consequence, he said, the lower grades have decided to leave, having been given the signal that there is no future in the military for them.
The Army intelligence official told WND that as far as women in combat is concerned, he is “pretty sure” Army officers will “cheat to make sure one gets through basic training, as opposed to the Marine Corps which tends to be the last to lower its standards.”
As a consequence, he said, the Army is reevaluating physical fitness test standards that will “accommodate all genders, meaning lowering the standards.”
The point has been debated hotly as Obama moves women into all parts of the military. Obama supporters call for equal-effort assessments for women and men doing the same physical stress tests., while critics call for equal results, which is crucial in war.
“Without going too far down the rabbit hole,” he said, “I can tell you, having been in the infantry, that basic training isn’t a big deal. Where the females are going to get damaged is during the field training exercises and/or combat deployments.”
He also pointed out that the Army is pushing to “get rid of ‘toxic leadership.’”
“They’re even talking about a 360-degree evaluation system for officers, where the troops get a say on the officers’ performance,” he said.
That type of evaluation could prompt the departure of many more officers.
He said “toxic leadership” has been viewed as a result of the wartime environment in which people were promoted too fast or their performance wasn’t scrutinized very closely.
“I guess that’s the long way of saying probably a lot of officers need to be relieved,” he said.
The concept was outlined in a 2005 “Strategy Research Project” paper at the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks in Carlisle, Pa. The paper examined the issue of “destructive leadership styles,” which apparently the Army believes continues to exist in the officer ranks and would be subject to purging.
The paper, authored by Col. Denise F. Williams, identified characteristics of toxic leadership to include incompetence, malfunctioning, maladjusted, sense of inadequacy, malcontent, egotism, arrogance, selfish values, avarice and greed.
The Army Times recently cited “toxic leadership” in reference to cases of misconduct and abuse of authority by military leaders, which have “proliferated across the services in recent years.”
In one case, which it called bizarre, a Navy commander was fired after subordinates complained that he poked them in “appallingly inappropriate places with his flashlight.”
One reader retorted: “I would never make it in this kinder, gentler Army. I wonder what happened to mission first. We won our war and a war hasn’t been won since. The only thing toxic in my day was gas.”
Boykin has told WND that the rate of dismissals has approached 200 in the past five years and that officers were dismissed on suspicion of disloyalty or suspected disagreement with the Obama administration on policy or force-structure issues.
He added that a number of officers have been relieved of duty for no given reason.
“Morale is at an unprecedented low,” Boykin said.
“Officers want to train for war but are not allowed to” because of other distractions such as allowing openly homosexual personnel in the military, the integration of women into the infantry and rules of engagement that favor “political correctness over our ability to fight to win.”
The sentiment was echoed by a Coast Guard Reserve member who told WND he will be retiring soon.
“I spend most of my ‘drills’ doing online training on things like ‘diversity’ and ‘preventing sexual harassment’ these days,” he said. “It’s becoming a joke. This country is in trouble.”
WND for weeks has reported on the problems faced by the nation’s military officers.
The reports include confirmation from Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness, who says Obama has done “great damage” to the military by taking away resources and imposing “heavy burdens of social experimentation.”
“But most flag and general officers are following orders, keeping their heads down and, in my opinion, letting down the troops,” she said.
In the Reagan administration, Donnelly was appointed by Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger to the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services. In 1992, President George H. W. Bush appointed her to the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces.
This year alone, nine commanding officers and generals have been removed from their posts. Several retired generals have accused the Obama administration of a “purge” and have linked the removals to political and social agendas.
Former Florida Congressman Allen West is calling for congressional oversight hearings into what he calls an “alarming trend” of dismissals and firings of high-ranking military officers by the Obama administration.
West, who served on the House Armed Services Committee, said he recently had been in contact with Committee Chairman Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon. West is calling for hearings “to determine exactly why” so many officers, especially senior officers, are being given the boot.
“McKeon needs to look at this problem,” West told WND. “There needs to be transparency. It is important to get the truth.”
In a recent interview with WND, Retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely, who was the deputy commanding general of the Pacific Command, similarly accused Obama’s close adviser, Valerie Jarrett, of orchestrating the imposition of “political correctness” throughout the military, affecting everyone from top generals to the ranks of the enlisted.
In pinning the blame on Jarrett, reportedly Obama’s most influential adviser, Vallely suggested her far-left, politically correct influence is forcing senior officers to watch everything military personnel say and do.
According to Vallely, Obama is “intentionally weakening and gutting our military, Pentagon and reducing us as a superpower, and anyone in the ranks who disagrees or speaks out is being purged.”
Vallely served in the Vietnam War and retired in 1993 as deputy commanding general, Pacific Command. Today, he is chairman of the Military Committee for the Center for Security Policy and is co-author of the book “Endgame: The Blueprint for Victory in the War on Terror.”
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/11/obama-building-compliant-officer-class/#zYSSGucYa10KgZQK.99
Spending totals hundreds of millions
by Steve Peacock
Supporters of Barack Obama tout his dedication to the responsibilities of the presidency by noting that he had taken 96 days of vacation at the point in his term that President George W. Bush had taken a reported 335.
But they admit that 51 of Bush’s trips were to his Texas ranch, while records show that Obama’s destinations have ranged from exotic European and African locales to pricey digs to Hawaii, where he’s sometimes traveled separately from his family, effectively doubling transportation costs for taxpayers.
The records released are partial, meaning no firm travel-expense total can be assembled. But individual cases are revealing.
For example, the Washington Post in June revealed the Obama family’s African vacation was slated to cost between $60 million-$100 million, according to a “confidential internal planning document.”
Part of the expense the purchase of nearly 4,000 “room-nights” for one stop in Johannesburg and close to $2 million for car rentals.
The cost of trips that are purely personal, such as daughter Malia Obama’s 2012 spring break trip to Mexico that took $115,500 from the U.S. Treasury, are not always fully disclosed.
And the Obama family has made many trips that are a hybrid of personal and business.
While it seems that members of the media are not generally asking pertinent questions about such travel and expenses, the administration also has provided information on an inconsistent basis.
In some cases, federal entities such as the State Department, which arranges the logistics of executive branch travel, have thwarted efforts to discover more about the government’s accomodations, transportation and related expenses.
Indeed, WND has been waiting more than a year and a half for the State Department to reveal details of a mysterious stay at the super-luxurious Hotel Hessischer Hof in Frankfurt, Germany.
Although State on Nov. 17, 2011, had uploaded to the FedBizOpps database a contract awarded to the hotel for $52,000, it released no details explaining the contract. State acknowledged receiving the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, request, but otherwise has remained silent on the matter.
It remains unclear who may have stayed at the luxury hotel, as the award date is not necessarily indicative of when the government actually used the facility.
Vice President Joseph Biden’s wife, Jill Biden, and Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, traveled to Frankfurt just months prior to the notice. However, there is no record of where they stayed as they cheered for Team USA during the Women’s World Cup Final.
The media lack of interest in pertinent details of administration travel is startling.
“Is the president reading any books on his vacation?” one unidentified reporter asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney aboard Air Force One as Obama headed to the exclusive Martha’s Vineyard resort scene last summer.
“I expect he will, and I will see what I can find out,” Carney said in response to the softball question. “Most of the many hours I spent with him in the last couple of weeks, when he’s been reading, he’s been reading briefing materials.”
While it often takes FOIA requests and lawsuits to obtain information about the vacations of POTUS (president of the United States), FLOTUS (first lady) and VPOTUS (vice president), CNN’s “The Situation Room” with Wolf Blitzer earlier this year tooted its own horn for purportedly finding a seemingly once-in-a-lifetime document about such trips.
CNN bragged about its supposed findings in the broadcast version of the report. In contrast, the online text version deferred, erroneously, to the Weekly Standard for breaking the story – even though U.S. Trade & Aid Monitor (with which this writer is affiliated) reported on the Biden trip Feb. 23, nearly a month ahead of either media outlet.
In that report, it was revealed the State Department spent $585,000 on hotel rooms and racked up $322,000 on intra-country transportation costs.
Blitzer, nonetheless, expressed wonder at CNN’s supposedly “rare” uncovering of detailed documents specific to VPOTUS Biden’s one-day jaunt to Paris.
Blitzer and CNN White House Correspondent Brianna Keilar on March 22 bantered back and forth about their “amazing, amazing discovery.”
Blitzer went so far as to claim he had never seen such information in the seven years he had covered the White House.
Keilar added that she personally conducted a search of the FedBizOpps contractor database. Data on the publicly accessible source was limited to Biden accommodations specific to the Parisian trip and a corresponding stop in London, she claimed.
“We’re getting an extremely, extremely rare glimpse at how much it costs when Vice President Joe Biden goes traveling,” Blitzer proclaimed in the broadcast. “Brianna, we’ve covered a lot of presidential and vice presidential trips, but this is pretty amazing.”
“It kind of makes you wonder if this information was put out accidentally,” Keilar later said. “I did a search myself of the past 365 days where obviously the president and vice president have gone on other foreign trips and I could find no contracts in addition for any of those visits.”
An immediate follow-up search by this writer – followed up by a more recent search by WND – revealed that Keilar either did not actually look or, at the very least, did not look closely at the records.
Also readily available were hotel and transportation records of the Obama and Biden trip to Colombia that year – the scandal-plagued journey to South America in which Secret Service agents were caught patronizing prostitutes while guarding the president.
The trip called for the rental of 1,046 hotel rooms at 13 separate establishments in and around Cartegena, Colombia, where the sixth annual Summit of the Americas took place.
While the overall cost to taxpayers is unknown, the rooms and cars alone cost nearly $1 million.
A simple keyword search using terms such a “POTUS,” “VPOTUS” and “presidential” quickly turn up the records, which separately include the cost of hotels and limos as well as a “justification for other than full and open competition” document governing State’s selection of vendors.
Conservative media generally have acknowledged that Bush took more vacation days than Obama but argue that he often did so at his own expense and at personal or family owned locations, where at times he hosted world leaders.
Left-leaning media have retorted that – despite taking 51 of those trips to his Texas ranch – Bush had vacationed for a total of 335 days, contrasted to Obama’s 96 days at a similar point in his second term.
The Washingtonian earlier this year conducted a profile on Mark Knoller, CBS News correspondent and “unofficial White House statistician,” to find out more about presidential facts in general.
It attempted to glean critical statistics from Knoller by posing questions, for instance, about Obama’s dog, Bo, including how many times the pet had been aboard the president’s helicopter, Marine One.
According to the article, Knoller admitted that despite the voluminous tidbits of data that he has amassed, he had no knowledge of Bo’s flight information.
Despite its discovery, the Post at times appeared apologetic, claiming that “the preparations appear to be in line with similar travels in the past,” and that, in advance of the trip, “the federal agencies charged with keeping him safe won’t be taking any chances.”
WND separately located numerous procurement documents detailing some expenses for the Obamas’ African travel and accommodations. Though the administration in late September and early October posted records for the Obama’s stay in South Africa, it did not disclose records for their stay in Senegal and Tanzania.
It cost an estimated $550,000 to house a “Senior High Level USG [U.S. government] Principal” at the Radisson Blu Sandton in Johannesburg, South Africa,” whom the document did not explicitly identify – despite the FedBizOpps page referring to the procurement as “POTUS Accommodation.”
The no-bid justification called for “2,200 lodging room nights” for this unnamed official for “June 12, 2013-July 11, 2013.”
Separately, it cost another $500,000 for “1,700 lodging room nights” during the same period at the Table Bay Hotel overlooking Cape Town Harbor.
Despite the documents’ secretive nature, even the White House made no secret about the POTUS/FLOTUS hybrid vacation and official business visit to Africa during that period, as Michelle Obama kept an online journal about their journey across the continent.
The U.S. Department of State made arrangements with multiple transportation vendors for the South African presidential visit that totaled close to $2 million.
Contractors included Europcar ($702,342), Kwathlano ($500,000) and Cabs Car Hire ($185,000).
A separate $503,846 contract was awarded to Europcar for SUVs, pickup trucks, vans, buses, box trucks and “large capacity vehicles.”
Judicial Watch has been building a dossier on Obama family vacations, obtaining documents that otherwise had been publicly released and also suing the government when it withholds information.
The organization has chronicled the cost of Obama family trips, particularly those of first lady Michelle Obama and her children unrelated to official White House business.
Her 2010 trip to Spain cost taxpayers $487,585, the group discovered.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said at the time, “The American people can ill afford to keep sending the first family on vacations around the globe. There needs to be greater sensitivity to the costs borne by taxpayers for these personal trips.
“It is hypocritical for President Obama to fire GSA officials for wasteful conference spending, while his family went on a luxury vacation in the Costa del Sol Spain that cost taxpayers nearly half-a-million dollars.”
Judicial Watch also has filed FOIA requests for, among others records, information about President Obama’s trip to Palm Springs, Fla., and “the simultaneous vacations of Michelle Obama and Joseph Biden in Aspen, Colorado.”
Although other publicly accessible records do not necessarily address presidential vacation-specific trips, they do indeed shed light on the cost of such standard globe-trotting in general.
Despite some gaps in the Obama trip record, a comprehensives search of FedBizOpps produces multiple records on the current administration’s travels.
On the other hand, it produces zero records for the George W. Bush administration, despite the database’s voluminous provision of federal procurement information extending back to the William Jefferson Clinton administration.
The following list offers a chronological record of what is publicly and readily available about the cost of Obama and Biden trips on primarily official business.
Obama’s 2009 trip to Germany included an estimated cost of $272,976 for rooms at Hotel Leonardo Weimar.
It took an additional $533,585 on that same journey for presidential accommodations – rooms, office space and parking spaces – at the Hotel Tascshenbergpalais Kampinski in Dresden.
One travel blogger describes the German luxury facility as a “Distinguished and elegantly restored 214-room hotel housed in the resurrected ruins of an 18th-century royal baroque palace, in the heart of a historic district adjacent to the famous Semperoper and Zwinger palace complex.”
It separately cost about the same amount for additional rooms at the Dresden’s Steigerberger Hotel de Saxe.
Obama, during his re-election campaign several years later, praised his union supporters in Ohio while on the re-election campaign trail because, he said, “It is unions like yours that helped to forge the basic bargain of this country – the bargain that built the greatest middle class and the most prosperous country and the most prosperous economy that the world has ever known.”
Part of that union bargain includes the ability of workers to save enough money to retire and take “maybe a vacation once in a while – nothing fancy, but you can enjoy your friends and your family.” Presumably that bargain does not include vacations in European palaces.
Due to “unusual and compelling circumstances,” the State Department awarded an approximately $3 million no-bid contract to secure rooms at Pittsburgh’s Omni William Penn Hotel and the Hilton Pittsburgh Hotel “to meet housing and security requirements for POTUS staff and DoS [Department of State] senior-level support staff” for Obama’s visit to the G20 Summit.
The contract arranged housing for about “1,000 officials and support staff from September 1, 2009 through September 26, 2009″ needing close access to the David Lawrence Convention Center, where the Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, or G20, event was held.
Obama’s trip to France to commemorate the Normandy D-Day invasion cost $870,868 for single rooms, suites and control rooms at the Hotel Westin in Paris between May 25 and June 8, 2009.
It cost another $343,643 for additional rooms at the Mercure Omaha Beach and four other hotels in the region from May 24 to June 7.
Yet another $166,824 helped house 80 Secret Service agents at the five-star Hotel du Louvre June 1 to June 8 during the Normandy event.
The president in 2010 traveled to Prague to sign a nuclear arms-reduction treaty with then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
The trip led to an $811,000 bill at the Hotel Hilton Prague for 1,533 single-room, single-occupancy room nights, 13 single-room, double-occupancy room nights, 64 suite room nights, 248 single offices, 12 suite offices, one “special use of an elevator, 100 late check-out fees [and] 126 room-emptying fees.”
Related accommodations at the Hotel Marriott B.H. Centrum in the Czech Republic fetched an estimated $163,000 for 287 single room nights and various conference rooms, electronic devices and late check-out fees.
Driving first lady Michelle Obama and other VIPs around Denmark to lobby – unsuccessfully – the International Olympics Committee to choose Chicago as the site of the 2016 Olympics was a boon for Copenhagen Limousine Services in 2009, which received an estimated $212,449 payment for its services.
The U.S. Department of State, however, did not release those records until 2010.
Judicial Watch separately uncovered an additional $467,175 in expenses related to the arrival of the president and his entourage. The group included Valerie Jarrett, a Chicago political hack who needed an “ethics waiver” to serve as Obama’s “Olympics czar” on behalf of Chicago, the group said. The president arrived in the Denmark capital toward the end of that campaign.
In December 2009, the president visited Copenhagen to attend Climate Change Conference: vehicle and driver rental services via Viking ($405,679), Copenhagen Limousine Service ($510,204) and Edelskvo Bus ($306,192).
The president and his staff also rented 90 rooms at Scandic Palace, Scandic Copenhagen and Scandic Front hotels ($1 million) and another 70 rooms at Scandic Syhavn ($195,183).
Additional records include:
The Warsaw, Poland, rental of 2,114 lodging room/nights cost $454,000 for an Obama stay May 27 and May 28, 2011, at the Warsaw Marriott Hotel as part of his multi-state trip to visit the leaders and citizens of England, France, Ireland and Poland.
Obama presented himself to the British people as “the grandson of a Kenyan who served as a cook in the British army,” while in Ireland he “drank a beer with the residents of Moneygall, birthplace of his maternal great-great-great-grandfather,” the Washington Post reported.
Oct. 28, 2010 – Nov. 11, 2010: Presidential visit to New Delhi, India, required 134 rooms and conference facilities at Taj Palace Hotel, cost: $203,853.
November 2010: Presidential stay at Shangri-La Hotel, Jakarta, Indonesia, requiring 450 sleeping rooms, offices and one-day ballroom rental, cost: $700,000.
August 2011: VPOTUS trip to China, Japan and Mongolia. Records available only for 1,601 room nights and conference rooms at Hotel Okura Tokyo, cost: $477,301.
May 26-27, 2011: G8 conference, Deuville, France, 3,498 hotel accommodations for POTUS at 10 different hotels, cost: $2 million. Estimated transportation package with Biribin Limousines: $992,400-$2,857,150.
Dec. 2-3, 2011: VPOTUS trip to Istanbul, Turkey, $475,000 for 218 rooms.
Feb. 21, 2012-March 8, 2012: VPOTUS trip to Mexico City, requiring 919 hotel room nights at Inmobiliaria Nacional Mexicana (Four Seasons Hotel), cost: $348,936.
March 13, 2012 to March 28, 2012: POTUS hotel room rental at Grand Hyatt Hotel for Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, South Korea. Designated a “sensitive/secure package” and locked. Cost undisclosed.
June 2012 (specific rental dates not provided): POTUS attendance at G20 Summit, Los Cabos, Mexico. Estimated hotel room cost (through travel agency Turismo y Convenciones): $1,889,388-$2,078,327. Vehicle rentals (via Operadora Transtur): $630,760-$693,836.
November 2012 (specific rental dates not provided): Obama visit to Phnomn Penh, Cambodia. Raffles Hotel Royale; 895 room nights and several conference rooms. Cost: $400,000. Another 1,010 room nights at Sunway Hotel for an additional $400,000.
August 22, 2013: Presidential trip to Stockholm, Sweden. Total number of rooms: 121. Grand Hotel Stockholm and Lydmar Hotel. Estimated cost: $112,190 -$246,230.
The most recently published presidential travel records offer limited access.
Full records for Obama’s travel to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC 2013, conference in Indonesia are not currently accessible.
Records exist under the headers of “Cargo trucks to support POTUS visits” and “Passenger car rental services for APEC 2013, Bali, Indonesia.”
Partial records come up during a search of FedBizOpps, but the entire package remains marked as “sensitive,” thereby requiring site registration.
Although this writer is a registered and validated user of the FedBizOpps and System for Award Management, or SAM, access remains blocked, with the error message “SAM Validation Required” popping up when the APEC records list appears during a database search.
Records of the presidential stay at Yokohama Grand InterContinental Hotel in Japan for APEC 2010 likewise are only partially accessible – and for some reason the three-year-old records remain marked as “sensitive.”
His Father The Devil. There has never been a president of the United States that told the truth all the time, but never before has lying been seen at such levels. On tonight’s show we reveal another demonic aspect to you about your president Barack Hussein Obama: the inability to tell the truth. Our guest this evening will be conservative author and commentator, Erik Rush from Full Contact LIVE!
With your radio host and bible teacher, Geoffrey Grider of Now The End Begins.
Top insurance industry officials warned Sunday that President Obama’s push to delay health plan cancellations would only make things worse.
Obama announced his proposed fix last week after insurers cancelled millions of individual market policies. The cancellations have created a massive political headache for Democratic lawmakers and a president who repeatedly asserted that Americans would be able to keep their plans.
“We have a policy disagreement,” Karen Ignagni, head of the industry group America’s Health Insurance Plans, told “Fox News Sunday.” “When you set rules in place, and an industry meets them, and then the rules are changed, that creates… problems.”
Obama summoned industry officials to the White House on Friday to try to assuage their worries. Ignagni said her group still has concerns.
She refused to criticize the White House, however, although it has renewed attacks on the industry for crafting plans that can leave Americans exposed to catastrophic expenses. She said the industry is working with the administration to come up with a solution.
“We have work to do,” she said. “I’m not in the blame game biz.”
Obama on Friday also called former Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), the head of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, after his group warned that his proposed fix “threatens to undermine the new market and may lead to higher premiums and market disruptions in 2014 and beyond.”
“The commissioners still have the same concerns,” Nelson told Fox News on Sunday. “Keep in mind, some of the commissioners have already found a way to extend the coverage people currently have into 2014.
“Some have already taken steps comparable to what the president is talking about; others are taking other steps to mitigate against this and others have decided they’re not going to follow the president has suggested.”
Is there a method to President Obama’s style of leadership, his methods of decision-making, his habits of attention, over-sight and follow-through? In recent months I’ve been keeping a file of stories that might suggest an answer. See what you think.
“President Barack Obama went nearly five years without knowing his own spies were bugging the phones of world leaders. Officials said the NSA has so many eaves-dropping operations under way that it wouldn’t have been practical to brief him on all of them.”They added that the president was briefed on and approved of broader intelligence-collection ‘priorities,’ but that those below him make decisions about specific targets.”
—The Wall Street Journal, Oct28, 2013
“HealthCare.gov is the highest profile experiment yet in the Obama administration’s effort to modernize government by using technology, with the site intended to become a user-friendly pathway to new health insurance options for millions of uninsured Americans.
“‘This was the president’s signature project and no one with the right technology experience was in charge,’ said Bob Kocher, a former White House aide who helped draft the law.”
—The Wall Street Journal, Oct 28, 2013
“Tensions between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have grown sharply in recent months. President Barack Obama authorized the CIA to provide limited arms to carefully vetted Syrian rebels, but it took months for the program to commence….
“One Western diplomat described Saudi Arabia as eager to be a military partner in what was to have been the U.S.-led military strikes on Syria. As part of that, the Saudis asked to be given the list of military targets for the proposed strikes. The Saudis indicated they never got the information, the diplomat said.”
—The Wall Street Journal, Oct 21, 2013
“Besides the Syrian government’s gains, there was mounting evidence that Mr. Assad’s troops had repeatedly used chemical weapons against civilians. “Even as the debate about arming the rebels took on a new urgency, Mr. Obama rarely voiced strong opinions during senior staff meetings. But current and former officials said his body language was telling: he often appeared impatient and disengaged while listening to the debate, sometimes scrolling through messages on his BlackBerry or slouching and chewing gum.”
—New York Times, Oct 22, 2013
“On Saturday, as the shutdown drama played out on Capitol Hill, President Obama played golf at Fort Belvoir in Virginia.”
—Washington Post, Sept 28, 2013
“For French President Francois Hollande, it seemed like the perfect response: a lightning-quick strike on Syria to punish the government for an alleged chemical weapons attack. “But with President Obama’s surprise decision to ask Congress for a go-ahead on military action, Hollande has found himself embroiled in political controversy abroad and at home. Instead of vaunting Hollande as a warrior charging off to do battle, critics say he now looks more like a sidekick who was left in the lurch by his American ally.”
—Washington Post, Sept 6, 2013
“The essence of Eisenhower’s hidden hand, of course, is that there was real work going on that people didn’t know at the time. If that’s true now, then Obama really is emulating Ike. If, on the other hand, he’s simply doing nothing or very little, that would be passivity, not hidden-hand leadership.”
—Eisenhower biographer Jim Newton, quoted in New York Times, July 15, 2013
“In polo shirt, shorts and sandals, President Obama headed to the golf course Friday morning
with a couple of old friends, then flew to Camp David for a long weekend. Secretary of State John Kerry was relaxing at his vacation home in Nantucket. “Aides said both men were u dated as increasingly bloody clashes left dozens dead in Egypt. but from outward appearance they gave little sense that the Obama administration viewed the broader crisis in Cairo with great alarm.”
—New York Times, July 5, 20
“The president had a truly disturbing habit of tunneling major foreign-policy decisions through small cabal of relatively inexperienced White House advisors whose turf was strictly politics. Their primary concern was how any action in Afghanistan or the Middle East would play on the nightly news, or which talking point it would give Republicans
—Vali Nasr, “The Dispensable Nation/’April 2013
“Mr. Obama’s reluctance to put American forces on the ground during the fight, and his decision to keep America’s diplomatic and C.I.A. presence minimal in post Qaddafi Libya, may have helped lead the United States to miss signals and get caught unaware: the attack on the American mission in Benghazi. Military forces were too far from Libya’s shores during the Sept. 11 attack to intervene.”
—New York Times, Nov. 1, 2012
’For the people who go out, on to the edge, to represent our country, we believe that if we get in trouble, they’re coming to get us, that our back is covered. To hear that it’s not, that’s a terrible terrible experience.”
—Gregory Hicks, former deputy chief of mission in Libya, on “60 Minutes,” Oct 27, 2013
call Mr. Obama’s style indifferent, aloof or irresponsible, but president who governs like this reaps the whirlwind—if not for himself, then for his country.
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) announced earlier today that it will be closing 8 coal-fired power plants. The TVA is one the country’s 5 biggest users of coal for electricity, these 8 plants creating 3,300 megawatts of electricity.
This move is a decision made by executives to try and reduce coal to 20% of its total generating capacity. Two plants in Kentucky will be closed even though Senator Mitch McConnell tried to convince them not to do so in order to save jobs.
Of course the Sierra Club was at the forefront of the battle to get these plants closed. They had a lawyer involved in the negotiations with TVA from the beginning. Obviously it doesn’t help anything that the EPA keeps putting stricter rules and regulations on coal powered plants.
Deciding to close these plants not only puts many people out of work, but now this source of electricity is gone for many people in the areas around the plants. The plants set for closure include 6 in Alabama and 2 in Kentucky. It will be interesting to see the repercussions of their decision to close all of these plants in favor of gas-fired plants.
The energy war will continue on with the EPA in President Obama’s hands.