Bleak House

September 9, 2013

Obama-1303695059Crystal-clear, warm and beautiful this way-too-early Monday on California’s north coast, all this after a way-way-too quick weekend.
Two days just ain’t enough time.

This is the week that has to be for President Obama and his notched-gunsight on Syria — big TV interviews today with an enormous rally-for-war speech tomorrow. This is one proposition that’s a hard sell, especially from someone who blubbered this about all those NSA revelations before leaving Russia last week (via TechDirt):

Now, just more specifically, then, on Brazil and Mexico. I said that I would look into the allegations. I mean, part of the problem here is we get these through the press and then I’ve got to go back and find out what’s going on with respect to these particular allegations — I don’t subscribe to all these newspapers, although I think the NSA does — now at least. (Laughter.)

(Illustration found here).

HaHaHaHa — funny, really funny — not! TechDirt adds some punchlines:

Leaving aside the “joke” at the end, the admission is rather startling.
Here is the President of the US admitting two astounding things.
First, it appears that he and the NSA really have no clue at all what information Ed Snowden walked away with, and second (and worse), it appears that the President is admitting that he doesn’t know what the NSA is doing and is similarly learning these facts from the press.
This comes from the same President who has repeatedly insisted that there is plenty of oversight over these programs.
If that’s true, then he shouldn’t be taken by surprise when the press reveals what the NSA is doing, and shouldn’t have to “go back and find out what’s going on.”
He’s more or less admitting that there’s no oversight and the NSA is a rogue agency making its own rules, only checked on when the press reveals something.

And this is the guy who wants to bomb Syria.
Obama has had a horrible first year in this second term, and apparently the situation won’t get any better. Starting with the IRS scandal bullshit, right on through little Eddie Snowden’s disclosures and into the debacle that the Syrian CWs unleashed, Obama has revealed a terrible form. All through these incidents, the president has lost a great deal of the swagger and the confidence once a great part of his make-up, and now seems out of touch, sort of in a controlled, out-of-control mode. He looks like a bumbler.
I never, ever thought I’d agree with anything asshole-turd Rush Limbaugh said, but…: “Folks, the people of this country are lagging behind what the rest of the world thinks of Obama, I’m here to tell you… The American people are sort of a lagging indicator in coming to grips with Obama’s incompetence on things.”
Oh, the horror.
And Americans are tired of the horror — a new poll reveals no one wants to have anything to do with Syria:

The CNN/ORC International poll released Monday shows that even though eight in 10 Americans believe that Bashar al-Assad’s regime gassed its own people, a strong majority doesn’t want Congress to pass a resolution authorizing a military strike against it.
More than seven in 10 say such a strike would not achieve significant goals for the U.S. and a similar amount say it’s not in the national interest for the U.S. to get involved in Syria’s bloody two-year-long civil war.

“Even as he works members of Congress one by one in small group settings, President Obama’s biggest challenge is the American public at large,” said John King, CNN chief national correspondent.
“More than seven in 10 Americans simply don’t see a military response making any difference.
They don’t see it doing any good.
They’re very skeptical, post Iraq and even post Libya and post Egypt, that the United States can do something in a limited way in the Middle East and walk away with a success.
And so the skepticism is driving it right now.”

And Congress is also way-skeptical, and not quick in gunning for war — via USAToday:

The comprehensive poll of Congress finds that only a small fraction of the 533 lawmakers — 22 senators and 22 House members — are willing to say they will support the use of force in response to the reported use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime.
Far more overall — 19 senators and 130 House members — say they will oppose a resolution that would authorize military strikes.
There are two vacant seats in the House where lawmakers resigned and have not yet been replaced.

Democrats haven’t fallen in line behind the president, at least not yet.
Congressional Democrats are as likely to oppose the measure as support it, although most say they are undecided.
At the moment, 28 Democrats support action; 28 oppose it.
Republicans who have made a decision overwhelmingly oppose Obama, by nearly 8-1.
Sixteen Republicans support action; 121 oppose it.
In a majority of states, not a single member of Congress has gone on record endorsing the president’s request for authorization of a military strike.
That includes a dozen states that Obama carried in both the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections: Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maine, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.

“I think it’s an uphill slog from here,” House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., one of the handful of Republicans who supports the president, said on CBS’ Face the Nation Sunday.
He said the White House has “done an awful job” in explaining the reason for a strike and added, “It’s a confusing mess.”

The whole affair is more than just a “confusing mess,” it’s a disaster.
And this week will be a telling example of how Obama will fare in the near future. All that bullshit of hope and change and all the striving for the people — all through a glass-mirror darkly.

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