Monday, September 17, 2012

Obama's Growing Credibility Gap

The Obama administration is losing credibility as the whole U.S. Middle East policy crashes around their heads. To add insult to injury is their wavering explanations for what happened in Egypt and Libya which they are now blaming totally on an obscure internet video produced by a Coptic Christian who is living in the U.S. This flies in the face of obvious facts that the attack in Libya was planned and carried out by a well armed assault force. It also is in conflict with the statements of the president of Libya and that of national security specialists. It is clear that while none of the regional governments were behind the attacks, it is also clear that they did less that they could prevent the attacks.

One need only recall how in 2008 the McCain campaign received a fatal blow with the economic crisis that started with the Lehman collapse. From the outset of that campaign such an event occurring before the election would constitute an “unknown unknown” in the risk analysis terminology which was popularized by Donald Rumsfeld. The current meltdown in U.S. Middle East policy and the growing Obama administration credibility gap may constitute a similar game changer in this year’s campaign. Obama’s claim to a foreign policy advantage has collapsed in an instant.

Of course another complication is the “known unknown” of the pending confrontation between Israel and Iran. This could provide yet another “sea change” with massive consequences that are unpredictable.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Where Is The AARP?

Where is the AARP? Weren’t they the “gray panthers” that would fight “tooth and claw” for the interests of senior citizens? So for over a year Democrats and Republicans have cutout 16% of the tax base that supports their member social security checks. But, not a peep from the vaunted AARP! Where is all that senior voting power that we have heard about for years? What about that “third rail of politics” that none dared touch?

It seems whatever the core motivations of the AARP, protecting the interests of the retired aren’t that high of a priority. We know that the payroll tax was the price that Republicans had to pay to preserve the top-end of the Bush tax cuts. The payroll cut was pushed primarily by President Obama. It seems re-electing Obama is more important to the AARP than the interests of seniors.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Obama's Catholic Issue

Obama so-called accommodation with the Catholic Church is totally disingenuous. It is premised on a plan to require the insurance companies to provide contraceptives and abortion pills as a work around to his original plan to require faith-based institutions to provide them. To the shallow thinker this might be an attempt at compromise. However, it isn’t.

What is left in doubt is exactly who will actually pay for these services. The only way that this would be a sign of good faith would be that religious institutions would be given a reduced rate for their insurance proportional to cost of contraceptives and morning after pills. In that case all of the other costumers of the insurance companies would have increased rates to cover the cost of providing services to the religious organizations. While this might well serve the purpose of freeing the Church’s conscience, it would constitute the government mandating the financial support of religion. This would seem to violate current court interpretations of the First Amendment.

On the other hand if the religious organizations were not given a reduce rate then they would be providing contraceptives and abortion pills. In that case the Obama Administration offer would be a total sham. Furthermore, many of these organizations self-insure so who will pay in those cases?

This controversy is going to easily be swept under the rug. Nothing short of a complete rescission the Administration’s directive is acceptable.