“My job is to get this fixed… The federal government is fully engaged. And I’m fully engaged.” – Barack Obama May 27, 2010
“Never confuse motion with action.” – Benjamin Franklin, 1700s
In spite of still rising unemployment numbers, a dismal economy, and an oil disaster that gets worse by the hour (amongst other things), Barack Obama (between rounds of golf, stops on the eternal campaign/fundraising trail or yet another vacation) keeps bellying up to his traveling teleprompter to assure us he has it all under control. And how, exactly, does Barack define taking control…? He calls for meetings, lots of meetings… and he makes speeches (and follow-up speeches) about the meetings (both past and forthcomming) he has had/will have with congress and/or other people he has appointed to new commissions who are assigned to study or launch investigations into all of the problems in which he and his administration are “fully engaged” and he holds the occasional press conference to apprise us of his demand that they conform to some serious deadlines in scheduling meetings with him personally to inform him of what was discussed at their meetings…
“We didn’t need another meeting. We didn’t ask for another meeting… It’s not the process that interests us; it’s the outcomes. ” – Bobby Jindal after another meeting with Obama
Now, while oil continues to spew into the Gulf (polluting the environment and destroying already suffering local fishing/tourism economies), what “action” does Barack Obama take? He issues a six-month ban on all off-shore drilling while yet another newly appointed commission investigates BP’s potential criminal liability in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
According to Louisiana Governor, Bobby Jindal, this moratorium will shut 33 deepwater rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, including 22 near Louisiana, costing as many as 6,000 jobs in the next three weeks and 20,000 by the end of next year. And, according to the National Ocean Industries Association, each drilling platform idled by Obama’s ban puts 1,400 jobs at risk.
And what about those new US unemployment numbers Barack is so proud of? Well, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg, (even though unemployment claims surged to one of its highest levels) employment rose by 431,000… Unfortunately, virtually all of the new jobs were temporary jobs “created” by the U.S. Census.
Even more interesting, a former Census worker (whose identity was hidden) named (ahem)… “Maria“, explained just how the Census jobs “created” and recreated those impressive numbers:
“What they do is hire you, they train you like a few weeks — 35, 40 hours of training and give you six hours of productive work and lay you off.”
… then they rehire you……. so it counts as another new job… and some of those new jobs were “created” by hiring (and paying around 10,200 people $3.4 million) for not working at all. Clever, no?
You see, Obama used the same math strategy to “create” improvements in unemployment numbers as he used when he “created” last year’s 3rd quarter GDP growth with Cash for Clunkers and the 26.9% increase in the 2nd quarter with the $8,000 tax credit for homebuyers… Of course, all of these “created” numbers disappear once the program that “created” them goes away. It’s motion, “created” to give the illusion of “action”. Any takers on a bet that Obama will be touting another increase in employment sometime in the not too distant future…? Say… after an estimated 11,800 to16,500 new IRS agents are hired to enforce that new Health Care bill?
Today, Obama returned to Louisiana, not to offer solutions but to roll up his sleeves and point the finger of blame for the ongoing oil debachle and to lay the responsibility for solving the problem, not upon himself (as he did just a little over a week ago to reporters in the East Room of the White House) but upon BP… again.
And what is it with Obama and this “sleeve rolling” thing? Is it just me or have others noticed? He doesn’t do it so much at official gatherings (like before reporters or congress) but at nearly every venue where Barack is speaking to ordinary people he removes his jacket and rolls up his sleeves. It’s like when you go to a staged play… over and over again… and you see the performance so many times you know when the actor is going to walk stage left and perform an action as they deliver a familiar line.
Here he is as “candidate” Obama, rolling up his sleeves for an audience comprised mostly of gullible students at the University of Nevada, Reno Quadrangle.
Here’s president Obama “rolling up his sleeves” for students at Arcadia University in Glenside, PA.
And here he is rolling sleeves at the University of Tampa and another on August 20th last year when, ” At precisely the appointed hour of 2:45pm ET, Barack Obama bounded into Democratic National Committee headquarters, took off his jacket, rolled up his sleeves, and delivered his message to those selected volunteers in the auditorium for his Organizing for America “National Health Care Forum with the President,”
And Time Magazine even gave us a close up of Obama’s sleeve rolling technique as he read his teleprompter at a town hall meeting at the Orange County Fair and Event Center in Costa Mesa, California.
I mean, come on. Obama was even the poster child for an article in Esquire magazine as a role model for proper sleeve rolling protocol!
“We will not rest until this well is shut, the environment is repaired and the cleanup is complete.” – Barack Obama – May, 2010
Vacuous promises of change are hostages to fortune if they cannot be delivered upon to improve the living conditions of a people. The slickness of campaigning that comes from a combination of heavy funding and public relations expertise does not inevitably translate into an ability to govern. There is no point a nation’s having the audacity of hope unless it also has the sophistication and the will to turn it into action. As things stand, Barack Obama and America under his leadership do not. – Simon Heffer, UK Telegraph, March, 2010