One Hundred Days of Obama: 100 Mistakes

1. “Obama criticized pork barrel spending in the form of ‘earmarks,’ urging changes in the way that Congress adopts the spending proposals. Then he signed a spending bill that contains nearly 9,000 of them, some that members of his own staff shoved in last year when they were still members of Congress. ‘Let there be no doubt, this piece of legislation must mark an end to the old way of doing business, and the beginning of a new era of responsibility and accountability,’ Obama said.” — McClatchy, 3/11

2. “There is no doubt that we’ve been living beyond our means and we’re going to have to make some adjustments.” — Obama during the campaign.

3. This year’s budget deficit: $1.5 trillion.

4. Asks his Cabinet to cut costs in their departments by $100 million — a whopping .0027%!

5. “The White House says the president is unaware of the tea parties.” — ABC News, 4/15

6. “Mr. Obama is an accomplished orator but is becoming known in America as the ‘teleprompt president’ over his reliance on the machine when he gives a speech.” — Sky News, 3/18

7. In early February, the 2010 census was moved out of the Department of Commerce and into the White House, politicizing how federal aid is distributed and electoral districts are drawn.

8. Obama taps Nancy Killefer for a new administration job, First Chief Performance Officer — to police government spending. But it surfaces that Killefer had performance issues of her own — a tax lien was slapped on her DC home in 2005 for failure to pay unemployment compensation tax on household help. She withdrew.

9. Turkey tried to block the appointment of Anders Fogh Rasmussen as new NATO secretary general because he didn’t properly punish the Danish cartoonist who caricatured Mohammed. France’s Nicolas Sarkozy and Germany’s Angela Merkel were outraged; Obama said he supported Turkey’s induction into the European Union.

10. . . . and he never mentioned the Armenian genocide.

11. The picture of Obama and Hugo Chavez shaking hands.

12. Hugo Chavez gave him the anti-American screed “The Open Veins of Latin America.” Obama didn’t remark upon it. At least it wasn’t DVDs.

13. Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega went on a 50-minute anti-American rant, calling Obama “president of an empire.” Obama didn’t leave the room. “I thought it was 50 minutes long. That’s what I thought,” he said.

14. Executives at AIG get $165 million in bonuses, despite receiving an $173 billion taxpayer bailout.

15. “For months, the Obama administration and members of Congress have known that insurance giant AIG was getting ready to pay huge bonuses while living off government bailouts. It wasn’t until the money was flowing and news was trickling out to the public that official Washington rose up in anger and vowed to yank the money back.” — Associated Press, 3/18

16. “After pushing Congress for weeks to hurry up and pass the massive $787 billion stimulus bill, President Obama promptly took off for a three-day holiday getaway.” — New York Post, 2/15

17. SARAH PALIN ON: “I WON” AND THE DEATH OF BIPARTISANSHIP

“Obama soared to victory on the hopeful promise of a new era of bipartisanship. During his inaugural address he even promised an ‘end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.’

“Too bad it took all of three days for the promise to ring hollow.

“Start with Obama’s big meeting with top congressional leaders on his signature legislation — the stimulus — on the Friday after his inauguration. Listening to Republican concerns about overspending was a nice gesture — until he shut down any hopes of real dialogue by crassly telling Republican leaders: ‘I won.’ Even the White House’s leaking of the comment was a slap at the Republican leadership, who’d expected Obama to adhere to the custom of keeping private meetings with congressional leadership, well, private.

“It’s only gone downhill from there. The stimulus included zero Republican recommendations, and failed to get a single House Republican vote.

“It’s not just the tactic of using Republicans for bipartisan photo-ops, and then cutting them loose before partisan decisions, that irks Obama’s opponents. The new president wasted no time rushing forward with policies and legislation guaranteed to drive Republicans nuts. The first bill he signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act — a partisan hot-button that drew all of eight Republican supporters in the entire Congress. Then there was the swift reversal of Bush policies on abortion and embryonic-stem-cell research — issues dear to the Republican base.

“And when Obama and the Democrats in Congress took up SCHIP — the children’s health-insurance bill that Republicans say vastly expands government’s role in health care — they had an easy chance for real bipartisanship. After all, the bill had been hashed out in the previous Congress, and a bipartisan accord was reached before President Bush responded with a veto. Did the Obama team push for the compromise version in the 111th Congress? Nope. They went back to the drawing board, ramming through the Democrats’ dream version.

“Of course, the lack of bipartisanship isn’t limited to Capitol Hill. Obama has taken gratuitous swipes at the Republicans who recently decamped Washington, blaming President Bush for everything from the economy and the war to the lack of sufficient puppies and rainbows. And who could forget the Rush Limbaugh flap — in which Obama’s top advisers, including chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, orchestrated a public relations campaign meant to undermine the Republican National Committee chairman, Michael Steele, by framing talk-radio personality Limbaugh as the real head of the Republican Party.

“For now, Obama’s back-pedal on the bipartisanship promise just makes him look insincere. But the real consequences of the mistake will be felt soon enough. As Presidents Bush and Clinton could tell him, congressional majorities do change — and at some point, Obama will need Republicans on his side. He’d be smart to spend his second 100 days making up for the serious snubs of his first.”

— Sarah Palin is the governor of Alaska

18. “The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today.” — Department of Homeland Security intelligence report

19. Nixes a “buy American” provision in the stimulus bill.

20. “Yes, Canada is not Mexico, it doesn’t have a drug war going on. Nonetheless, to the extent that terrorists have come into our country or suspected or known terrorists have entered our country across a border, it’s been across the Canadian border. There are real issues there.” — Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. The 9/11 hijackers did not come across the Canada border

21. “The Obama administration is signaling to Congress that the president could support taxing some employee health benefits, as several influential lawmakers and many economists favor, to help pay for overhauling the health care system. The proposal is politically problematic for President Obama, however, since it is similar to one he denounced in the presidential campaign as ‘the largest middle-class tax increase in history.’ ” — New York Times, 3/14

22. JOE SCARBOROUGH ON: PROMOTING FEAR

“During his historic inaugural speech, Barack Obama promised to usher in a transformational age where hope would replace fear, unity would overtake partisanship, and change would sweep aside the status quo. But early in President Obama’s first 100 days it is obvious that the only thing that is changing is the Candidate of Change, himself.

“The same politician who proclaimed during his inauguration that ‘on this day we have chosen hope over fear’ soon warned Americans that the US economy would be forever destroyed if the stimulus bill was voted down.

“Why was it that same man who promised to put Americans’ interests ahead of his own political ambitions chose instead to use the suffering of citizens to advance his agenda?

“Maybe he was following the guidance of Rahm Emanuel, who famously said, ‘You never want to waste a good crisis.’

“They didn’t.

“The White House’s warnings were so over-the-top that Bill Clinton felt compelled to warn the new president against making such grim pronouncements. Americans would quickly warn that the White House would not channel FDR’s eternal optimism but rather embrace the gloomy worldview of Edgar Allen Poe.

“The Candidate of Hope also quickly adopted the Nixonian worldview that Americans voted their fears rather than their hopes. Over Mr. Obama’s first 100 days, that cynical calculation paid off politically for a White House that seemed most interested in appeasing the most liberal members of his Democratic Party.

“I expected more from Barack Obama. For the sake of my country, I hope I get it from the new president over the next 100 days.”

— Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and author of “The Last Best Hope: Restoring Conservatism and America’s Promise” (Crown Forum), due out June 9.

23. Sanjay Gupta was in discussions to become Surgeon General, but the TV personality withdrew after he was criticized for his flimsy political record.

24. Rasmussen finds 58% of Americans believe the Obama administration’s release of CIA memos endangers the national security of the United States.

25. Only 28% think the Obama administration should do any further investigating of how the Bush administration treated terrorism suspects.

26. “Obama thanked CIA employees for their work and said they’re invaluable to national security. He explained his decision to release the memos, then told everyone not to feel bad because he was now acknowledging potential mistakes. Theirs, not his. ‘That’s how we learn,’ Obama said, as though soothing a room full of fourth-graders.” — The Oklahoman, 4/23

27. By releasing the torture memos, Obama opened American citizens up to international tribunals. A UN lawyer said the US is obliged to prosecute lawyers who drafted the memos or else violate the Geneva Conventions.

28. In their first meeting, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown gave Obama a carved ornamental penholder from the timbers of the anti-slavery ship HMS Gannet. Obama gave him 25 DVDs that don’t work in Europe.

29. TIM CARNEY ON: PICKING BILL RICHARDSON AS SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

“Richardson’s value in Obama’s Cabinet had everything to do with appearances. First, he was the Hispanic pick. Second, because Richardson had run against Obama for President, tapping him for the Cabinet helped the media write the Obama-Lincoln comparisons by burnishing the ‘Team of Rivals’ image.

“But Richardson withdrew before Obama was even inaugurated when news came out about a criminal investigation involving David Rubin, president of a firm named Chambers, Dunhill, Rubin & Co. (although there was no Chambers or Dunhill), who had donated at least $110,000 to Richardson’s campaign committees and had also profited from $1.5 million in contracts from the state government.

“This was an early warning sign about Obama’s vetting process (various tax problems and the Daschle problem would reveal this as a theme), but picking Richardson to run Commerce also highlighted that Obama and Richardson’s promise of ‘public-private partnerships’ — such as Detroit bailouts, Wall Street bailouts, and green energy–was an open door for corruption and was at odds with Obama’s promise to diminish the influence of lobbyists.

“The Richardson mistake was one of Obama’s first, and it was emblematic. Richardson embodied Obama’s attention to self-image and the problems inherent in his vision of an intimate business-government connection.”

— Tim Carney is a Washington Examiner columnist

30. Timothy Geithner nomination as Secretary of Treasury was almost torpedoed when it was discovered he had failed to pay $34,000 in Social Security and Medicare taxes. He also employed an illegal immigrant as a housekeeper. He was confirmed anyway.

31. . . . Not so lucky, Annette Nazareth, who was nominated for Deputy Treasury Secretary. She withdrew her name for undisclosed “personal reasons” after a monthlong probe into her taxes . . .

32. . . . or Caroline Atkinson, who withdrew as nominee for Undersecretary of International Affairs in Treasury Department, with a source blaming the long vetting process. Geithner still has a skeleton crew at Treasury, with no one qualified — or willing — to take jobs there.

33. “Barack Obama has been embroiled in a cronyism row after reports that he intends to make Louis Susman, one of his biggest fundraisers, the new US ambassador in London. The selection of Mr. Susman, a lawyer and banker from the president’s hometown of Chicago, rather than an experienced diplomat, raises new questions about Mr Obama’s commitment to the special relationship with Britain.” — Telegraph, 2/22

34. Obama’s doom-and-gloom comments and budget bill push the Dow below 7,000, from which it’s only recently recovered.

35. “You’re sitting here. And you’re — you are laughing. You are laughing about some of these problems. Are people going to look at this and say, ‘I mean, he’s sitting there just making jokes about money–‘ How do you deal with — I mean: Explain. Are you punch-drunk?” — Steve Kroft, “60 Minutes,” 3/22

Read the entire article from the New York Post:
http://www.nypost.com/seven/0425200
9/postopinion/opedcolumnists/100_day
s__100_mistakes_166177.htm?&page=0

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