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March 21st, 2011

unixronin: Lion facepalm (Facepalm)
Monday, March 21st, 2011 07:13 am

In the continuing political tradition of "Do what I say, not what I do":

George W. Bush, March 19, 2003, speaking from the White House

"My fellow citizens, at this hour American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger.  On my orders, coalition forces have begun striking selected targets of military importance to undermine Saddam Hussein's ability to wage war."

Every effort to spare the lives of innocent civilians, broad and concerted campaign, decisive force, no outcome but victory accepted, freedom defended, etc.

Barack H. Obama, December 20, 2007

The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

Barack H. Obama, March 19, 2011, speaking from Rio de Janeiro

BRASILIA, Brazil — President Barack Obama authorized limited military action against Libya Saturday, saying Moammar Gadhafi's continued assault on his own people left the U.S. and its international partners with no other choice.

Every effort to spare the lives of innocent civilians, broad and concerted campaign, decisive force, no outcome but victory accepted, freedom defended, etc.

Further reading:

The Washington Examiner, on Obama's "presumptuous and flippant" declaration of war from Rio de Janeiro, a step which he apparently felt sufficiently minor not to be worth interrupting his five-day trade junket over, and without even attempting to claim that Muammar Khadafy (or however we're spelling his name today) "poses a threat to the United States", and which he really did not discuss with Congress at all, let alone secure Congressional approval.

"Today, I authorized the armed forces of the United States to begin a limited military action in Libya," the president said.  For him it was self-evident he had such authority.  He gave no hint he would seek even ex post facto congressional approval.  In fact, he never once mentioned Congress.

(Pot, kettle, black, Mr. President.  Ah, but George Bush was George Bush when he did it, even though he debated it at length with Congress and the nation for months beforehand.)

Setting aside the wisdom of the intervention, Obama's entry into Libya's civil war is troubling on at least five counts.  First is the legal and constitutional question.  Second is the manner of Obama's announcement.  Third is the complete disregard for public opinion and lack of debate.  Fourth is the unclear role the United States will play in this coalition.  Fifth is the lack of a clear endgame.

And here's a report from Fox about how hardcore liberals in Congress are furious with Obama, and are demanding that Congress return to session and Obama to Washington so that he can explain his actions to a joint session of Congress, with one raising the question of impeachment.  —Oh, but wait, silly me, that's Fox ... it clearly can't possibly have ever happened.

Liberals like to slam George Bush because he was reading to a classroom full of kids in Florida when he received the news about 9/11, and chose to finish his reading session?  Barack Obama declared de-facto war on Libya, via an audio recording from Rio de Janeiro, not even having the responsibility and gravitas to properly address the nation, and then went back to playing soccer in the streets of a Rio shanty-town.

My GOD, Mr. President, at least make some PRETENSE of taking the duties of your office and your responsibilities to the nation seriously.

unixronin: Galen the technomage, from Babylon 5: Crusade (Default)
Monday, March 21st, 2011 07:23 am

Speaking of fail, here's the Washington Examiner again on the GM bailout.

One huge problem – and a crystalline visual aide of all that is wrong with TARP and government ownership - is GM Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairman of the Board Dan Akerson.

Akerson is not – and never has been – a car guy. He himself said so. What is he? He is a DC-connected, Wall Street hedge fund big coin guy.


Hedge fund guys are very fond of taking massive risks in pursuit of short-term profits.  And that’s fine - when they’re doing it with their funds.


You’re seeing myriad examples of this fake-it short-term policy from the company – and from its Washington, D.C. masters.

Begin with President Barack Obama’s chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, Austin Goolsbee, announcing in late February that the government will seek to sell its GM shares as quickly as possible.  Which – to no one’s surprise – caused a dip in GM’s share price.

Which currently sits - below its Initial Public Offering [IPO] price - at $33.  For We the Taxpayers/Shareholders to break even, it has to get above $54.

Which ain’t happening anytime soon - putting the lie to all this talk of We the Taxpayers/Shareholders making money on TARP.

To try to artificially pump up short-term sales, GM has been repeatedly slashing car prices and handing out purchase discounts well above the industry average.

As we saw with another government car giveaway, Cash for Clunkers, this only moves up car purchases that would have been made anyway.  Again – short-term vs. long-term.

Akerson, the article points out, has presided over two large-scale bankruptcies already, Hawaii Telecom and XO Communications.  So hey, what's a third?  We shouldn't count it against him.  After all, it's not like it's actually in a business he knows anything about.  Right?