Sunday, November 01, 2009


I'm starting a general all purpose Obama thread. Kicking it off with Peter Hitchens' surprising comment on Obama below:

"I never joined in the exaggerated swoon of praise for Barack Obama. But I have some respect – so far – for his unwillingness to be panicked by generals into deepening the futile deployment in Afghanistan.

I was also impressed that, unlike our own leaders, he had the decency to stand and salute the returning dead, whose homecoming George W. Bush tried to keep secret.

If soldiers’ coffins were carried through the Commons, with the maimed following in their wheelchairs, our pathetic frontbenchers might get round to debating this moronic, doomed war, and getting us out of it."


JP said...

Just some tidying - note previous Obama thread

JP said...

Am not really following the Obama Health Care story, but this comment from a neo-con I used to follow/like rings true:


Beware of ‘Comprehensive’ Anything
Victor Davis Hanson
National Review
February 18, 2010

Before attempting dramatic change, the Roman emperor Augustus is said to have warned, “make haste slowly.” The reformer Augustus was eager for radical social transformation. But he also knew he had to deal with generations of Roman tradition and habit — and thousands of entrenched special interests.

President Obama should heed Augustus’ advice before he plans any more doomed top-to-bottom changes. Take his stalled health-care reforms. Rather than trying to turn a largely private system all at once into a huge state-controlled and regulated industry at a time of historic deficits, he would have been better off advocating incremental changes.

Tort reform, for example, would reduce frivolous lawsuits that drive up medical expenses. Or health insurers could be allowed to compete across state lines. Tax credits and grants could focus on the uninsured. The costs of such changes would have been marginal, the savings large.

Instead, the president supported a 1,000-plus-page bill that had so many regulations that not even its congressional authors could explain all the details or predict their effects. And so President Obama’s massive overhaul looks like it will meet the same fate as Bill Clinton’s doomed 1993 “comprehensive” effort to remake American health care.


JP said...

The usual succint pro/con summary at Intelligence Squared.

Obama should meet the Dalai Lama. Someone needs to stand up to China
Intelligence Squared Debate
17 Feb 2010

JP said...

Something tells me Obama won't attract the same opprobrium that Bush did. Double standards, anyone?

Barack Obama plays more golf than George W Bush
BBC News

US President Barack Obama has played golf 32 times since he took office, more than his predecessor George W Bush did during his entire presidency. ... Mr Bush, who played 24 times, was mocked for his fondness of the game.

In an interview following the bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad, the former president was filmed on a golf course calling on "all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers", then pausing before saying: "Thank you. Now watch this drive."

Mr Bush later gave up playing golf while in office, saying in 2008: "I don't want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander-in-chief playing golf. "I feel I owe it to the families to be... in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal."

Golf Digest has ranked Mr Obama eighth among the list of golfing presidents, behind Bill Clinton but ahead of Ronald Reagan, who was known for practising putting in the aisle of Air Force One. John F Kennedy, widely considered the best golfing president, took great pains to ensure he was never photographed on the course.

JP said...

Does make you wonder what outrages committed in the Islamic world are recruitment bonananzas for the fight against Islamism. I suspect that none are, and it's interesting to muse on why.


US President Obama condemns plans to burn the Koran
9 September 2010

US President Barack Obama says plans by a small church to burn copies of the Koran on the anniversary of 9/11 are a "recruitment bonanza" for al-Qaeda.