Begala to Obama: Listen to me, dummy

Posted on October 8, 2009. Filed under: America | Tags: , , , , |

Hugh Hewitt

Chicago and the Olympics weren’t a great mix from the start. Sort of like holding an international gathering of Alcoholics Anonymous in the Guinness St. James’ Gate Brewery in Dublin, Ireland.

The grifters and graft merchants of the Windy City couldn’t have helped themselves, and the results wouldn’t have been pretty. As a lover of the Olympics, I am disappointed, but perhaps we can nominate a less problematic locale for 2020 than Chicago and New York have proved to be in the last two rounds.

The aftermath of the president’s pratfall has been interesting to watch. The first-round knockout was so embarrassing that even the Beltway’s cadre of professional friends of the powerful were eager to telegraph that they were out of the loop and without influence on this one.

Paul Begala, who is beginning to make Brutus look like a paragon of loyalty, rushed to Politico’s Josh Gerstein to reaffirm to the world that he had warned the president not to go.

When the media’s merchants of inside scoop are looking for opportunities to broadcast how little their advice matters, you know the smash-up was pretty bad.

The obvious question: If the president cannot persuade the International Olympic Committee, which is, after all, merely corrupt, to go his way, how will he persuade Iran’s mullahs, who are both corrupt and fanatical, to give up their nukes?

Answer: He won’t, but the legacy media will be able to cover for his failure in that far more significant arena.

The stunned disbelief on the faces of a half-dozen Beltway-Manhattan media elites when the live announcement of the big boot to Chicago’s backside was made could not have been more revealing.

How could this be happening to their most favorite, best prepared and least unilateral president ever? It didn’t take long for the senator from Blagojevich, Roland Burris, to blame George Bush for the catastrophe that befell Chicago’s speculator class, and by Monday morning the momentarily stunned David Axelrod will have worked that line into his explanation.

The usually never-at-a-loss-for-spin Axelrod had sounded bitter on CNN when he rushed out to blame politics for the disaster, an unexpected if refreshing break from the Bush-centric rhetoric of the Obama inner circle.

Read the rest in The Washington Examiner

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The Noble ‘Sacrifice’ Of Michelle Obama

Posted on October 5, 2009. Filed under: America | Tags: , , , , |

By Michelle Malkin

It’s hard out there for a first lady of the United States. Take it from travel-weary Michelle Obama. On Tuesday night, she boarded a luxury 757 for Copenhagen. Think of the stairs she had to climb. Oh, the agony of the feet!

Upon arrival, Mrs. O, her “chit-chat buddy,” Chicago-based talk-show queen Oprah Winfrey, and Chicago powerbroker/interest-conflicted real estate mogul/senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett immediately embarked on a grueling, grip-and-grin campaign to secure the Olympics for their hometown. Our smile muscles ache in sympathy.

You will be comforted to know that the gracious FLOTUS feels your pain for her pain. “As much of a sacrifice as people say this is for me or Oprah or the president to come for these few days,” the first lady told a group of fellow Chicago 2016 boosters, “so many of you in this room have been working for years to bring this bid home.” Translation: Thank me, thank you, for all we do.

Never has self-congratulatory gratitude been raised to such an art form, but there was no time for loyal subjects to dwell. The selflessly indefatigable Michelle Obama had to rush off for an 800-meter wine-and-cheese dash with International Olympic Committee members, followed by a rigorous aerobic Heads of State luncheon hosted by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and another high-heeled trek to the IOC Opening Ceremony at the Copenhagen Opera House.

Of course, it’s not entirely clear which “people” out there are saying that the Obamas’ jaunt to Denmark is a “sacrifice.”

Certainly not the families of the 43 American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who have died in Afghanistan since Gen. Stanley McChrystal called for more reinforcements.

Certainly not the families of the nearly 40 children and teens in Chicago who lost their lives on the out-of-control streets of the Windy City so far this year.

The first lady’s slip of self-absorption reminds me of a useful passage in Washington Post writer Liza Mundy’s biography of Mrs. Obama. After graduating from Princeton University and Harvard Law School, the bitterly oppressed Michelle Obama headed back to her native Chicago to join the high-powered law firm of Sidley Austin — the ninth largest in the world. There, Mundy’s book reported, the future first lady griped about having to do the duties of a second-year associate while she was a second-year associate — demonstrating the trademark attitude of entitlement and inflated ego that led the law partner who recruited her to later describe her as “perennially dissatisfied.”

Doing her first job was a burden then. Enjoying the perks of her current job is a “sacrifice” now.

Read the rest of Michelle Malkin on GOPUSA

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Obama’s French Lesson

Posted on October 3, 2009. Filed under: American people | Tags: , , |

By Charles Krauthammer

“President Obama, I support the Americans’ outstretched hand. But what did the international community gain from these offers of dialogue? Nothing.” — French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Sept. 24

WASHINGTON — When France chides you for appeasement, you know you’re scraping bottom. Just how low we’ve sunk was demonstrated by the Obama administration’s satisfaction when Russia’s president said of Iran, after meeting President Obama at the U.N., that “sanctions are seldom productive, but they are sometimes inevitable.”

You see? The Obama magic. Engagement works. Russia is on board. Except that, as The Washington Post inconveniently pointed out, President Dmitry Medvedev said the same thing a week earlier, and the real power in Russia, Vladimir Putin, had changed not at all in his opposition to additional sanctions. And just to make things clear, when Iran then brazenly test-fired offensive missiles, Russia reacted by declaring that this newest provocation did not warrant the imposition of tougher sanctions.

Read the rest By Charles Krauthammer

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Chasing Olympic Gold

Posted on October 3, 2009. Filed under: military | Tags: , , , , , |

Chasing Olympic Gold

By Oliver North

WASHINGTON — At the conclusion of the 1939 movie “Gone With the Wind,” Vivien Leigh, playing Scarlett O’Hara, defers decision on what to do about the major crisis in her life with this sentence: “After all, tomorrow is another day.” Unfortunately, the Obama White House seems to have adopted Scarlett’s decision-making process for the war in Afghanistan. Note to the O-Team: Kabul isn’t Tara — and Americans are dying while the commander in chief dithers.

On Wednesday, Sept. 30, a full month after Gen. Stanley McChrystal submitted his “assessment” of the situation in Afghanistan, Mr. Obama convened a three-hour meeting of his “national security team” in the White House Situation Room to “discuss next moves.” According to information subsequently provided by the White House press office, Gen. McChrystal “participated in the meeting” via an encrypted video link, and no decisions were made.

Less than 24 hours later, the commander in chief boarded Air Force One and headed — not to meet with his commander on the field of battle — to Copenhagen to meet with the International Olympic Committee.
His mission: persuade the IOC to select Chicago as the site for the 2016 Summer Games. Apparently, winning Olympic gold for Chicago is more important than winning a war.

Read More From Oliver North on Real Clear Politics

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The President as Pitchman: It Isn’t Pretty

Posted on September 30, 2009. Filed under: Olympics | Tags: , , , , |

President Obama demeans the office of the presidency by traveling to Denmark, where he will  reduce himself to the role of Billy Mays pitchman in the U.S. bid to win the 2016 Olympic games for Chicago.

The greatest asset a president of the United States has is his credibility and his time. I know because I had the privilege of being the “gate keeper” for President George W. Bush.

I was Deputy Assistant to the President for Appointments and Scheduling, Vetting and Research. I was responsible for Mr. Bush’s time management and planning. As such, I was acutely aware of how valuable and important the time of the president of the United States is.

Everyone wants the president’s time but there is only a certain amount of it that is available. It is worth its weight in gold and is a finite commodity and thus, must be protected and used wisely.

We had a saying in the White House, that if you wanted to see the president, you never will, however, if you need to see the president, you always will. The only question is to how much time you would be given.

The questions we wrestled with everyday when the senior staff wanted the president to do something went like this: is this the best use of his time, is he the right person to be doing this, is the timing right, how will it be perceived by the public and the press, and will it advance policy?

The last minute decision by the president and his staff to sell the Olympic committee on Chicago is a mistake. It fails the five-prong test I alluded to above. Here’s why:

Read Why-Bradley Blakeman Fox News Opinion

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