Dear Mr. President, please stop BS’ing us on AGW

Featured

Yahoo today ran photos from across Europe this morning of the effects of early Spring snow. Britain, France, Germany and much of the rest of Europe have been faced with some of the most snow and cold since the 1960′s. I was a miserable winter and at Easter, still a miserable early Spring.

Today’s Telegraph estimates that 30,000 people will have died this winter season from weather related conditions. Earlier this year, a group of Norwegian students made a video mocking both the celebrity driven cause industry and global warming. Radi – Aid, sending radiators to Norway, can be seen here.

This week’s Economist gives another data point. Apparently, the models predicted by AGW advocates such as James Hanson, the NASA propagandist, for global warming are not working out the way they thought they would. Surface temperatures across the planet are at the low-end of the predictions and there hasn’t been any actual, you know, global warming in 10 years according to the numbers. What is emerging is that the climate change advocates really don’t know. Climatology is hard, you see. The weather in most places changes every day.

And those anthropomorphic polar bears the AGW crowd are using as poster bears for climate change? Well, there are a hell of a lot more of them on the planet than there were 25 years ago according to every single study written. It seems that our government has been trying to cover this up as well. ‘When the facts don’t fit the narrative change the facts” is government policy.

We have gone from Global Warming to Climate Change to WTF.

Yes, climates on the planet are changing. Why and how? We do not know. Climatology is a new science. It used to be called meteorology and we didn’t have a lot of faith in the TV weathermen in predicting tomorrow’s weather back in the ancient times oh 20 years ago or so.

Now we have experts with a kernel of data extrapolating some amazing consequences 50 or 100 years down the line. The data does not meet the bullshit test.

But this is what Al Gore and our President believe as gospel, and therein lies the rub. The president has authorized hundreds of billions, if not trillions of dollars in green energy projects that have failed or for which there is no real financial expectation of a reasonable return on investment, either ecologically or financially.

At the same time, the Administration has done its best to exterminate the coal industry, interfere with oil and gasoline prices, stymie nuclear power, and oppose natural gas. This is all part of their strategy. It is no accident. It is the stated goal of the green energy industry to work with government to raise the price of conventional energy to a point where green energy is competitive. Cheap energy is the enemy.

Bjorn Lomborg, the original skeptical environmentalist, wrote in the Wall Street Journal recently that the actual cost of green energy is much higher. The models used by corporations and government do not accurately reflect the energy, materials, and labor input in manufacturing green energy technology, which already relies far too much on government subsidies. I keep on thinking of all of those poor Germans in their worst winter in ages and their commitment to solar power. I wonder what the output of a solar array is in a snowstorm or the fog?

Solar power survives on voodoo economics. They don’t discuss the failure rates of modules or inverters or other components or the fact that dirt will drop the efficiency of a module array by 30-50%. All of the models reflect and unicorn and rainbow logic.

Just this morning, the EPA announced a new set of rules reducing sulphur and its emissions that would raise the price of a gallon of gasoline by a minimum of $0.09/gallon at a time of already record energy prices.The United States consumes 368 million gallons of gasoline per day, so this new tax will cost us $33 Million/day or $12 Billion/year. And who pays? Everybody. Who does it hurt the most? The middle class and poor.

The heavy thumb of government is already being felt in CAFE standards driving the standards for MPG up to a level that will kill the current automobile industry. And by the way, you and I have no voice in the discussion. It is a diktat by bureaucratic fiat. Stroke of the pen, law of the land government.

And the guy at the top of the pyramid is driving this bus. It is one of his core beliefs. The President is willing to use all of these tools because he feels that the United States uses too many of the world’s resources. How he came to that conclusion I am not sure, but it probably has to do with his elitist leftist education and the echo chamber he lives in. Facts, to them, are an inconvenient truth. It is about control.

So as the central tenets of anthropogenic global warming become shakier and the economics of green energy are seen to be a lie what happens? The record of this president indicates that he will double down. It is crucial to his political agenda to be right in all things.He is still in campaign mode. And if one of his core beliefs is challenged he is inflexible. This much we do know after four years.

But facts are pernicious. He has created an edifice based upon inaccurate information, and his policies must be challenged. BS should not be government policy.

Was he taking his meds?

Depakote. Zyprexa. Risperadol, Abilify, Haldol, risperidone, olanzapine and an alphabet soup of other names of various drugs are used in the treatment of schizophrenia. There are others for ADD (Ritalin, Adderall), ADHD, etc, etc. Many times, there are multiple diagnoses and psychiatrists work with combinations of drugs in order to stabilize their patients. the bottom line is that psychiatric treatment in this country is primarily prescribed today.

David Kupelian hints at the lack of coverage of the Newtown shooter’s mental health profile. The media reports that the shooter had clinically defined mental health issues but stopped their investigations to chase after gun control. And yet it is the shooter’s mental state that is the crux of the matter. Guns are inanimate objects, and yet banning firearms is the easy solution.

Our prison system is filled with inmates with psychiatric issues. Studies report that 20% of inmates nationally have been clinically diagnosed. Many of the denizens of skid rows around the country have similar issues. Medication; mismedication, refusal of medication, and misdiagnosis are all a part of the puzzle that makes up our mental health wasteland today.

Here in California, a homeless man named Kelly Thomas; delusional and paranoid/schizophrenic was beaten to death by Fullerton police poorly trained in dealing with 5150 cases.  5150 is the section of the California Welfare & Institutions Code that allows a 72 hour psychiatric hold for patients who may be a harm to themselves or others. Mr. Thomas was held several times on this basis before his brutal death.

The Newtown shooter; Adam Lanza, had a history of mental illness. So far though, this has been undisclosed. Instead, the Left is going for the guns. It’s what they think is an easy play with sentiments in an uproar. They would rather abrogate the Constitution than deal with the real issues.

Rather than addressing root causes not just of this shooting but of crimes by and against the mentally ill nationally, the issue has become another tool for politicization. As Rahm Emmanuel famously said “never let a good crisis go to waste.”

Mental health care in this country is in crisis. We have a subculture of addiction; to pot; to prescription drugs; to heroin; to alcohol. Many bipolar individuals become addicted to routines including exercise and sex. We don’t deal with it. We prescribe medications to shut them up.

The consequences are upon us. From Jared Loughner in Tucson to Aurora, Colorado, to Newtown we have created a perfect storm of fantasy violence and enablement and psychiatric malpractice and institutional indifference. It is cheaper to gun down mad dogs than deal with the real issues. We don’t want to deal with the causes; only the symptoms. That is the politician’s way of dealing with crises.

The Cabinet Merry Go Round begins

The headline on Drudge is that Attorney General Eric Holder will be stepping down. The odds on favorite according to the Washington Post is Janet Napolitano, the former Governor and Attorney General of Arizona, who would be leaving a tainted Department of Homeland Security.

At State, it seems Hillary Clinton will be leaving post-haste, with either John Kerry (D-MA) or U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice as the favorites. One way or the other, we’re screwed. Kerry has been central to the mess in Afghanistan, which we can expect to blow up in our faces next year while Rice was the President’s prime interlocutor in the Benghazi fiasco.

The rumor is that Timothy Geithner will be replaced by Goldman Sachs (there’s that name again) Suzanne Nora Johnson or Erskine Bowles. Either way, once again we’re in trouble.

Leon Panetta is out of Defense as soon as possible, with juniors Ashton Carter or Michelle Flournoy named as the possible replacements. The knife is out, so the President seems to want a henchman (or woman) more than anything else as he winds up Afghanistan. Former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel is also in the mix. This would signal an even stronger shift against Israel as Hagel has repeatedly shown his antipathy. Unfortunately the world has become a much more dangerous place, and we will, I think, be sorely tested.

Steven Chu and Lisa Jackson at Energy and the EPA respectively are looking to leave as well. I must assume that their commitment to Green Energy, carbon taxes and the important work of saving the planet has waned mightily.

The stable door is open and the horses are bolting. The names of the replacements do little to assuage the concerns of a very concerned electorate.

One of the problems one has as a poor leader is in attracting the top talent. The Woodward book is damning. Being an outsider in the Obama administration is a form of gelding, and unfortunately the country is the loser. It is going to be a very long four years.

Bush vs. Obama – Disaster Edition

There is another strange disconnect just before this election. As some New Yorkers dumpster dive and many Jerseyites spend another cold night without basic services, the president has been bouncing across the map like a pinball trying to shore up his election chances. What is more strange is how the press have given him a hall pass for doing so.

In 2005 in the aftermath of Katrina, the media made it its mission to blame Bush for every hiccup in the relief efforts. Whether it was the response of the National Guard or the New Orleans Police or FEMA, it was “Bush’s Fault”. On the other side of the Mississippi though, Governor Haley Barbour and his team quietly went about rebuilding his equally damaged state and never was the breakdown in leadership in Louisiana mentioned.

In New Jersey this week non-union power crews were shunned and went to Pennsylvania instead. 1,000,000 homes and businesses are without power in New Jersey. Rescuers are still finding new victims as of this morning.

400,000 homes and businesses on Long Island are without power with temperatures in the 30′s and 30,000+ are homeless in New York City. There are few if any television cameras. The election is sucking up all the air time.

The President on the other hand left the White House this morning for stops today in New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio and Colorado. He will not be back in Washington until Tuesday night. How can he have time to deal with the crisis if he is spending all of his time campaigning?

And the response from the media? crickets……

A new storm is moving in on New York and New Jersey and temperatures are in the icebox. Hundreds of thousands of people need shelter now. Would that the media might hold the President’s actions up to scrutiny, but we can be certain that isn’t going to happen. They have proven themselves completely partisan.

What will it take to force the media to do their job? How many people will have to die before they shine the spotlight on the limited efforts and engagement of our government?

Senator Coburn’s Government Waste List – The new phone book’s here!

Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn has come up with his latest Waste Book listing many of the wonderful, bizarre spending projects our federal government funds. The preface points out that since the last budget was passed on April 29, 2009, our government has spent $11.2 trillion and added more than $4.8 trillion to the national debt which is now over $16 Trillion.

One of the first takeaways is that the NFL, and many other sports leagues are classified as non-profits, costing the economy approximately $91 Million/year in tax revenue. Roger Goodell and Jerry Jones have the best of all possible worlds; rapacious ticket prices; stadiums financed by local government; and no taxes on the partnerships that are the major sports leagues. I guess we should have pity on the poor NHL owners, but the PGA is right in there as well. There’s nothing quite like subsidizing professional golfers.

Burger King, KFC, Godfather’s Pizza, and McDonald’s all accept food stamps and while cities and school districts are waging war on soft drinks, over $2 billion in Food Stamp money was spent on these products last year. In Seattle, Starbuck’s is a popular food stamp item.

Parque Alegria, a series of 10 minute telenovelas being broadcast on Spanish language stations at a cost of $3-8 Million, including time buys, instructs viewers on how much healthier the Food Stamp program is, weaning them from El Pollo Loco to Burger King, I guess.

An unused airport in the Senator’s home state comes in for over $750,000 in subsidies over tha past few years. Morroccan pottery classes for $27 Million, Alex! Yep, we funded a series of useless classes in Morocco, where they have a ceramics tradition dating back over 1,000 years. There is also funding for NASA to develop pizza on Mars.

In another project called “Look! Squirrel!”  San Diego State University and UC Davis have developed a robotic squirrel that  “will help perform public outreach, mentor students, and develop the next generation of robot animals.”

For the 1%, the government is also funding marketing programs for American caviar producers.In Alaska, $3.3 Million was spent subsidizing a ferry to nowhere in Alaska. This is not the ferry the bridge to nowhere was supposed to replace.

Senator Coburn also points out that it now costs us $0.02 to produce a penny. And we’re supposed to believe that the Health Care Bill will bring costs down? And yes, there is a program funded by the NSF to test gaydar.

Pepsi got $1.6 million to build a yogurt factory in New York. USC in Los Angeles got $40K to develop a Henry David Thoreau video game. Apparently the user simply contemplates the screen for months at a time. The Army spent $1.5 million last year to develop combat ready beef jerky.

The GSA, that hard partying junketeering fun-loving crowd, spent $24 Million on trophies and awards. Everyone gets a trophy at the GSA!

The list goes on, but during this hard-fought election season, some light reading helps break the tension.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obama’s war on conventional energy and problem with the facts

The President spoke at length last night about his energy policy. He implied that under his administration the United States was producing more energy than ever before and took credit for the current shale oil and gas boom. And yet he has a terrible record on energy.

His War on Coal began long before the 2008 election. On January 17, 2008 in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, the candidate said:

“So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s Thousands of jobs at both coal mines and power plants have already been lost.

Immediately, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Interior began to work hand in glove to re-write existing regulations on emissions; on new technology implementation; and even on the remediation of mining sites. Energy Secretary Chu re-stated this in early 2011. Credit Suisse estimated that by 2020 the targets would take over 35 Gigawatts of power off-line. Already numerous power plants and mines have been forced to close.

In the meantime, Secretary Chu, long before he took the job stated while at Lawrence Livermore Laboratories: “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” in order to reduce dependence upon foreign oil. he seems to have gotten his wish.

A few weeks into the new administration in March 2009, the President proposed his Cap & Trade Bill in the depths of the worst economic recession in 75 years. This would have done absolutely nothing to reduce greenhouse gases but would have created a market for hundreds of billions of dollars in credits to be traded. The power companies would have passed the bill onto the customer, and people like Al Gore, who has already made over $100 Million on the practice, would have made even more. The bill passed in the House but died in the Senate. Both houses were controlled by the Democrats at the time, but the bill was so egregious enough Democrats voted against it to kill it. But it was very close.

The president was proud to point out “Over the last three years my administration has approved dozens of new pipelines, including from Canada.  And we’ve opened millions of acres for oil and gas exploration.  All told we plan to make available more than 75 percent of our potential offshore oil and gas resources from Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico.” A small part is true, but the rest is clearly pure smoke, as will be demonstrated.

It is true that the president approved the southern part of the Keystone XL pipeline but he dramatically cancelled the much more important northern portion, which would make Alberta’s massive oil sands an integral part of the North American oil infrastructure. He wildly misstated his pipeline approvals.

He also said: “In 2010, our dependence on foreign oil was under 50 percent for the first time in over a decade.  We were less reliant on foreign oil than we had been.  In 2011, the United States relied less on foreign oil than in any of the last 16 years. ” Perhaps the worst financial downturn since the great depression may have had something to do with this.

But the Energy Information Administration reported in January that production of oil and gas  on federal and Indian lands is down 40% from 10 years ago. In January, the Bureau of Land Management reported that 2010 was the worst year since 1984 for new lease sales, and there was only one lease auction in all of 2011. Once again, the president’s statement is at odds with the facts.

Between 20 April, 2010 to mid 2011, all offshore and much inshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico was shut down because of the Deepwater Horizon moratorium. It was only  in early – 2011 that permits for offshore drilling began to be issued. Only recently have those levels returned to normal in the face of $4.00/gallon gasoline..Deepwater Well approvals

The war on conventional energy in Alaska alone is worth noting. In Alaska, The Department of Interior just banned drilling in 50% (11.5 million acres) of Alaska’s National petroleum reserve.The state of Alaska sued the federal government in 2010 for violating federal regulations in banning offshore drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. Shell Oil has been trying to drill for several years and has been blocked by various federal agencies at every step by any means possible. Exploratory drilling in the Cook Inlet has also been blocked by methods including the Jones Act, which requires U.S. hulled ships to be used. But in this case, there are no U.S. hulled ships that can be used. Catch 22 again.

The President also touted his approval of new nuclear power plants. There have been four reactors approved; all of them additional reactors at existing plants. No new plants have been approved. New plants are caught up in a Catch 22 because the President’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) was supposed to offer a form of credit insurance that would allow the operators to go to the markets for capital, but has yet to do so. Vague, yet effective Senator Harry Reid was also been very effective in quashing the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage site in cooperation with Obama’s NRC Chairman Gregory Jackzo. Jackzo was forced to resign in May for intimidation, harassment and a harsh working environment. Jackzo was adamantly against new nuclear power plants.

Last night the President bragged about the new natural gas rush. the only problem is that the federal government has once again done its best to stop this bonanza. If you recall, in 2010 EPA Regional Administrator Al Armendariz, responsible for the Texas/Louisiana oil patch, recommended (video) that the EPA crucify companies engaging in fracking. he was involved in a number of controversial cases in his region where he was apparently using these tactics and was forced to resign earlier this year. This seems to be official policy as there have still been no leases granted on federal land and the EPA has repeatedly been challenged successfully on their data.

Oil, Coal, Nuclear, and Natural Gas. The facts contradict the president and yet he remains unchallenged. The war on Hydro in the Northwest is also well-known, but is not at the same level yet.

Green Energy is problematic and a niche resource at best. I am not sure what the President’s game is, but he has done his best and has lied about it. Watch what he does; not what he says.

The elephant in the living room in Benghazi

Yesterday, Hillary Clinton fell on her sword according to the national media, but without actually taking responsibility for the lies regarding who and why and how the Benghazi assassinations occurred. She took blame for the security failure, but not for the mischaracterization of the attack as from a spontaneous reaction to an obscure movie rather than its true source, Al Qaeda.

From the outset, Ms. Clinton, the President, and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice hewed to the party line that it was the rioters and not the radicals; at the U.N.; on “The View”, and on the talk shows a lie was propagated.

In the meantime, after the president spiking the ball on Osama Bin Laden and after hundreds of Hellfire strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, Al Qaeda was supposed to have rolled over and died. Instead, not only were Ambassador Stevens and his team killed, but also a senior security officer at our embassy in Yemen a few days later. They know who we are and where we live. Al Qaeda is alive and well.

And this is the President’s problem.  The facts don’t fit the narrative.

The Administration has a problem with the truth. But they have an even bigger problem.

11 years after 9/11, Al Qaeda and our enemies still have the ability to penetrate our intelligence and security and carry out complex attacks based upon that information.

Just like they did on December 30, 2009 when a Jordanian double agent went through 5 layers of security and penetrated a top security CIA facility at Camp Chapman in Afghanistan and detonated himself, killing 7 top analysts trailing Al Qaeda.

Just as the Taliban did in penetrating Camp Bastion in a complex attack on September 14.

There is a message being sent with these attacks that the Administration is desperate to cover up. The enemy have penetrated our security and can strike when they feel the time is right.

Our government and those of our allies have erected an Orwellian security apparatus costing hundreds of billions of dollars. This apparatus violates our civil liberties as it taps pretty much anything it pleases; traces financial transactions all over the globe, and stares at us through the cameras on the street or drones 60,000′ in the air.

And now we find that there are basic security leaks. The watchers have been penetrated. The all-powerful Oz, in this case our President, is a man behind a curtain peddling lies. And we are less safe than we were 11 years ago.

 

Following the breadcrumbs on the Libyan cover up

Last night, Vice President Joe Biden was adamant that the responsibility for the Libyan fiasco and subsequent deception lays everywhere but the White House.

First the Director of National Intelligence’s office misinformed them, and then the State Department didn’t have the answers and then the FBI was sent in 2 weeks after the incident to try to apply some sort of Jedi forensics on a “crime scene” that had been completely compromised.

Let’s look at the facts:

On late Tuesday night, September 11 (mid afternoon Washington time) the Ambassador was kidnapped and found dead at a Benghazi hospital early Wednesday morning, September 12.

The New York Times in their article on the event on September 12, a few hours after the attack raised the specter of Islamic militants armed with RPG’s and anti-aircraft missiles. According to the article:

“American and European officials said that while many details about the attack remained unclear, the assailants seemed organized, well-trained and heavily armed, and they appeared to have at least some level of advance planning.”

On  September 12 our president and Secretary of State stated unequivocally that it was a spontaneous riot triggered by an obscure film no one had heard of until September 11. Our UN Ambassador Susan Rice, not the Secretary of State, went on a number of talk shows that weekend and was quoted in all of the mainstream media delivering the Administrations version of events.

On September 14, the Libyan government had 4 men in custody. On September 19, the president of Libya in an interview with Al Jazeera, Libyan president President Mohamed al-Magarief stated that the attacked was planned well in advance and that Al Qaeda was responsible.

On September 24, the President appeared on “The View” instead of attending the U.N. General Assembly or perhaps even working to find the facts of the case, and once again stated that our government was still investigating the case.

The Daily Beast released the story which truly upset the apple cart first on September 26, which was when the coverup started morphing.

On October 3, Reuters reported that the Administration knew within hours that the attack was tied to militants, and that the CIA had this information.

“Officials familiar with them said they contained evidence that members of a militant faction, Ansar al-Sharia, as well as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, were involved in the assaults.

So our president expects us to believe that 2 days before the facts went public and a week after the president of Libya identified the attackers he still knew nothing about the true nature of the assassination. There is such a thing as plausible deniability. This is implausibly deniable.

U.N. Ambassador Rice has an interesting position. She is a direct report to both the Secretary of State and the President. This month’s Foreign Policy Magazine has a fascinating article on Ms. Rice and informs us that she has placed her relationship with the president well ahead of that with Secretary Clinton. So whose version was she reporting? Has anyone asked her? Who wrote the version reported? Who was the author of the deception?

The House Committee investigating the attack established yesterday that the Department of State failed to protect Ambassador Stevens adequately. So what next?

As they said back in 1973; “What did the President know and when did he know it?” I would add to that, “why did he lie to us, and what did he hope to gain?”

 

 

 

Resurgent Jihad

Today’s Congressional hearings on the 9/11 Benghazi attack shed new light on the circumstances surrounding the murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in a raid now attributed to Al Quaeda. For one month, the Administration portrayed this raid as a response to an offensive videotape by local residents when the truth was that a heavily armed band of Islamic radicals intent upon one specific mission; the assassination of Ambassador Stevens.

The military and State Department security officials testifying to the Congressional committee were unanimous in recognizing the highly fluid and dangerous state on the ground in Libya and repeatedly requested additional assistance and to extend the mission of a security team already on the ground. These requests were denied by Foggy Bottom.

There were specific and credible warnings of an impending attack. These were ignored. The president of Libya just a few days after the attack spoke the truth which the Administration is only now admitting regarding the source of the attack.

In Afghanistan, the suicide mission at Camp Bastion was the most successful act of jihad in the war to date. Green on Blue violence is now an integral part of Taliban tactical planning and has taken over 55 ISAF lives this year. This does not include an accelerated rate of civilian massacres.

The Taliban is sending a clear message that they are back and that they are ruthless.

In a controversial speech in Chicago last week, CBS senior foreign correspondent Lara Logan ripped the narrative that we are winning the war against terrorism apart.

Having covered the Afghanistan War since 2001, her perspective is unique as she has seen the war the war has changed over the past 11 years. Her most recent project was to investigate the resurgence of the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

She interviewed many of the key players including several of the commanding generals, Ambassador Ryan Crocker, Taliban emissaries, and Afghan government officials. The Taliban and their Al Qaeda and Pakistani allies do not see themselves as insurgents. They were the legal government of Afghanistan and are completely committed to retaking power once the international forces leave next year. Both the Taliban and Al Quaeda have set up training camps in the remote provinces of Nuristan and Kunar. That has not made the morning news.

Our own leadership has been minimizing this threat in the interest of internal American politics. Ms. Logan pointed out that unlike the Vietcong and North Vietnamese in that war, the Salafists see the struggle as a clash of cultures and faith. The caliphate is a real and attainable goal. But like the Vietcong and North Vietnamese, they have remained unchanged in their ideology. There is no kinder, gentler Taliban. It is a fiction being sold to us.

Salafism has now spread to Yemen, Egypt, Syria, Libya, Mauritania, Somalia, Mali, and Nigeria and has become much more virulent.While many of the governments and even the people wish for peace, the Salafists are infiltrating much as they have done in Pakistan. It is never the mass of the populace but rather small cliques who have asymetrically been able to commit terror whether the Bolsheviks, the Nazis, or the Salafists.

Most of these countries without strong, pro-Western dictators would be considered failed states. The primary missions of AFRICOM now are to combat Islamic terrorism and help prevent the failure of existing national governments. We may not agree with the political systems in some of these countries, but we must help prevent chaos as best we can with limited resources and involvement.

The Obama administrations support for the Arab Spring would be sorely tested in the political arena regardless of the Salafists. Nascent governments are almost impossible to predict. But the the role of the Salafists and the resurgence of Al Quaeda should be a strobe light for the next administration.

The Afghan people were never completely with us. Night letters, assassinations, and attacks have always created a barrier to international aid and the modernization of the country.There is a fatalistic expectation that they will once again be deserted and must make their accommodations with the Taliban.

On the other side of the border, Pakistan has multiple personality disorder coupled with extreme paranoia. It has a toxic political environment pitting sect and ethnicity against each other while the ISI and Army use the  both Taliban and Haqqani Network to both fund the insurgency through the narcotics trade and and counter Western and Indian influence in Afghanistan. The Pakistani government has gone from a shaky ally to a frenemy to an undeclared enemy. That Pakistani agents have been behind some of the worst terrorists incidents in Afghanistan is another data point in both the destabilization of Afghanistan and the growing sophistication of asymmetrical warfare.

Despite the narrative, the world is a much more dangerous place than it was in 1998, or 2001, or 2006, or even last year. We are perceived as weak and weak-willed. The retreat from Afghanistan will be the cause for rejoicing throughout the Islamic world. Not by all, but by the powerful minority willing to proclaim jihad.

There will be many unintended consequences caused by our fickle policies. A nuclear Iran is only one of our worries. As Ms. Logan concluded in her remarks,

” When I look at what is happening in Libya, it’s a big song and dance about whether this was a terrorist attack or a protest. And you just want to scream “For God’s sake, are you kidding me?”. The last time we were attacked like this was the U.S.S. Cole, which was a prelude to the 1998 embassy bombings, which were the prelude to 9/11. And you are sending in FBI agents. I hope to God that you are sending in your best clandestine warriors who are going to exact revenge and let the world know that the United States will not be attacked on its own soil. That its ambassadors will not be murdered. And the United States will not stand by and do nothing about it.”

General John Allen was suddenly promoted out of his job as commander of ISAF last week because he spoke the truth. This is the third commander who has been relieved in theater in the Afghan War.

Instead of the truth that needs to be told and heard there is a narrative at large that must be countered, or we shall pay a much higher price sooner rather than later.

 

 

 

A Disengaged President

There has been a strange turn in the last few weeks as we have learned more about what gos on in the White House and the political and personal isolation the President has created. In Bob Woodward’s latest book, “The Price of Politics”, the Woodward describes a president antagonistic to his opponents to a toxic degree and who has distanced himself even from his own party leadership. Woodwards describes a “monumental communications gap” between the President and House Majority Leader John Boehner at the critical moment in the 2010 budget negotiations.

Then, the New York Times ran an article regarding the President’s response to the Arab Spring in which he is described as having distanced himself from Arab and Middle eastern rulers and leaders, engaging them through intermediaries and minimal direct contact. This is especially strange in view of his attempt to engage the Islamic world when he spoke at Tahrir Square in Cairo in 2009.

That he did not consult with any of those leaders prior to pulling the rug out from under Hosni Mubarak on February 11, 2011 sent our relations in the Gulf into the freezer.

We were told early on in the Obama Administration that the President had surrounded himself with a highly loyal cadre, and at the same time we have seen an unprecedented number of czars reporting directly to the President and subverting the normal communications channels.

His complete disengagement with the loyal opposition in Congress is also an established fact. But when you are not talking to your own people, that becomes a real problem. This includes his various and sundry Cabinet members and advisers as well. His truancy at national security meetings is legendary.

Last night in the first debate we once again saw a disengaged president. He was ill prepared, disjointed, and quite obviously off of his game. Prior to the debate, the party spinners were out in force reducing expectations, but it is generally agreed that the first debate was a disaster for the President.

The President is more comfortable, it seems, campaigning and schmoozing. Neither requires real engagement and speaking to worshipful audiences roaring their approval is a great salve to the ego.

The country has at different times had a number of presidents who have for reasons of health been unable to completely fulfill their obligations. Wilson after his stroke and Ronald Reagan in the latter half of his second term come to mind. At a critical time in his administration, Wilson was unable to campaign for his greatest program, the League of Nations and for a less onerous treaty with Germany after World War I.

But President Obama is a man in the full flower of life at an age when his achievements could have been herculean. Instead as Mr. Romney pointed out last night he instead placed all of his prestige and wasted his political capital on a highly unpopular health care bill that was one of the most imperfect pieces of legislation in our history.

The one thing a president has is access to the most remarkable set of advisers and data in the history of our planet. And yet with all of these tools at his disposal, he has made a conscious decision to be remote and to go it alone.

Mr. Obama himself argued for the Lincolnian “team of rivals” when he formed his own cabinet and yet has done more end runs around his Cabinet than any of his predecessors.

The Presidency is the loneliest job in the world. It all comes down to one man’s decision. But to isolate oneself as the President has done is to create an echo chamber where decisions are made in a vacuum. As this is a very dangerous thing. Consensus and consent are critical to any major decision, and while the President’s party has marched in lockstep, very little has been accomplished because of the polarization that originates at the top.

It’s not just about policy. It is also about the ability to do the job effectively, and in this, the president has failed.