Posts Tagged ‘failing’

‘Transparency’ In Action: Obama Blocks Media To Conceal Failures

July 8, 2010

Let’s see.  Hope?  No freaking way.  Change?  Yes, but it’s really, really BAD change.  Even die hard and hard-core liberals like Robert Reich and Paul Krugman are predicting that Obamanomics are leading us into a double-dip recession IF we’re lucky enough to avoid a depression. Transparency?

Ooh, boy.

Afghan violence is soaring.  Obama’s own handpicked general is saying that the president is overwhelmed and unprepared, and that his civilian leadership team is a bunch of incompetent clowns.  All the evidence indicates that Obama is massively failing in Iraq.

What should he do?

Well, he should do the same thing in Afghanistan that he’s going to do about all his calamitous failures in the Gulf of Mexico.

He’s going to make sure that the media doesn’t have a chance to report the truth about what a failure he is at everything he touches.

Obama is going to clamp down on senior military commanders’ access to the media.  Oh, that directive has NOTHING to do with the McChrystal fiasco, just as my writing this article on Obama banning the media has nothing whatsoever to do with the new media ban policy.

From the Wall Street Journal:

WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Friday issued a directive to all senior Pentagon military and civilian officials saying their dealing with the media “has grown lax” in recent months and ordering them to get approval for all engagements with the press through his office.

The directive, a two-page memo signed by Mr. Gates, comes just days after Gen. Stanley McChrystal was fired as commander in Afghanistan for intemperate remarks made to Rolling Stone magazine. The existence of the directive was reported by the New York Times and a copy was obtained by The Wall Street Journal.

Despite the timing, Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, said it had been in the works for months before Gen. McChrystal’s firing. “This memo was written well before that,” Mr. Morrell said. “He thinks the department has been much too cavalier with its handling of the press.”

Now, you’d THINK they’d just admit the obvious and say, “That McChrystal thing was a real disaster, and we need to try to prevent something that disgraceful from happening again.”  But this is the most pathologically dishonest administration in history.  It’s like they have a perfect record on lying, and they’re not going to break it by telling the truth now.

This just goes back to Rahm Emanuel’s “Never let a crisis go to waste” mindset.

This is an administration that is so hostile to actual transparency that it has actually closed workshops on government openness to the public and blocked the press from attending transparency and accountability board meetings.

On front after front, this is the most opaque administration ever.  They block themselves off from media accountability even as they pat themselves on the back for their transparency.

This is the kind of administration that claims that it is advancing the will of the people when they are cynically defying and misrepresenting the will of the people.

It’s a constant pattern.  Just today, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that Obama has utterly failed at transparency regarding the massive porkulus boondoggleWhat a shock.

In Afghanistan, Obama prevents the military from open access to the press, which means that the military can’t tell us how shockingly incompetent Obama is as commander-in-chief.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise that Obama would deal with his failure in the
Gulf of Mexico the same way he’s handled everything else.  He has been so pathetically incompetent that there’s a pretty damn good argument that he is stopping the cleanup efforts on purpose.

White House Enacts Rules Inhibiting Media From Covering Oil Spill
By Noel Sheppard
Created 07/03/2010 – 11:28

The White House Thursday enacted stronger rules to prevent the media from showing what’s happening with the oil spill in the Gulf Coast.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper reported that evening, “The Coast Guard today announced new rules keeping photographers and reporters and anyone else from coming within 65 feet of any response vessel or booms out on the water or on beaches — 65 feet.”

He elaborated, “Now, in order to get closer, you have to get direct permission from the Coast Guard captain of the Port of New Orleans. You have to call up the guy. What this means is that oil-soaked birds on islands surrounded by boom, you can’t get close enough to take that picture.”

You’ve got CNN and Anderson Cooper – both of whom lean reliably to the left – having this to say about Obama’s “transparency”:

“This time, however, we’re not talking about BP. We’re talking about the government, a new a rule announced today backed by the force of law and the threat of fines and felony charges, a rule that will prevent reporters and photographers and anyone else from getting anywhere close to booms and oil-soaked wildlife and just about any place we need to be.”

[…]

We’re not the enemy here. Those of us down here trying to accurately show what’s happening, we are not the enemy. I have not heard about any journalist who has disrupted relief efforts. No journalist wants to be seen as having slowed down the cleanup or made things worse. If a Coast Guard official asked me to move, I would move.

But to create a blanket rule that everyone has to stay 65 feet away boom and boats, that doesn’t sound like transparency. Frankly, it’s a lot like in Katrina when they tried to make it impossible to see recovery efforts of people who died in their homes.

If we can’t show what is happening, warts and all, no one will see what’s happening. And that makes it very easy to hide failure and hide incompetence and makes it very hard to highlight the hard work of cleanup crews and the Coast Guard. We are not the enemy here.

We found out today two public broadcasting journalists reporting on health issues say they have been blocked again and again from visiting a federal mobile medical unit in Venice, a trailer where cleanup workers are being treated. It’s known locally as the BP compound. And these two reporters say everyone they have talked to, from BP to the Coast Guard, to Health and Human Services in Washington has been giving them the runaround.

We’re not talking about a CIA station here. We’re talking about a medical trailer that falls under the authority of, guess who, Thad Allen, the same Thad Allen who promised transparency all those weeks ago.

We are not the enemy here.

Everybody who cares about reality, and everybody who cares about truth, is Obama’s enemy, Anderson.

Obama has a lot to hide.  He’s got a lot to be ashamed of.  He’s failing on so many levels at the same time that no one can even keep track of them all.  The Gulf spill – already the worst in history – could be such a disaster that we might literally be in a “You can’t handle the truth!” moment.  Obama is now the worst president in American history even according to the standards the Democrats used against Bush in 2004.  And all he can do on the economy is keep blaming Bush and keep telling the same failed lie he’s been telling since the American people were stupid enough to hand him the keys to the White House.

All I can do about the Fascist-in-Chief is say those four words: I told you so.

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Obama’s Katrina in Gulf Just Got Twice As Awful

June 11, 2010

What is it, day 54 of the fool-in-chief’s disastrous inability to do anything about that damn hole he can’t plug?

Well, the damn hold problem is officially bigger than ever.

June 10, 2010
Government doubles previous oil flow estimate for BP well
By Mark Seibel and Renee Schoof | McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Thursday doubled its minimum estimate of how much crude oil was gushing from the Deepwater Horizon oil well, saying a panel of scientists had concluded that 20,000 to 50,000 barrels, or as much as 2.1 million gallons, were pouring into the Gulf of Mexico every day before BP sheared the well’s riser pipe on June 3.

That action, which BP engineers undertook to fit a “top hat” containment dome over the well, almost certainly increased the flow, and Dr. Marcia McNutt, the head of the U.S. Geological Survey, said an estimate of the flow since June 3 would be available in a few days.

“Our scientific analysis is still a work in progress,” McNutt said.

The announcement that tens of thousands more barrels of oil than previously estimated have been spewing into the Gulf for weeks added to a growing sense that neither the federal government nor BP correctly assessed the size of the unfolding disaster or marshaled enough resources to meet it.

McClatchy gives us a picture of the constantly changing estimate:

The Los Angeles Times offers more on the sheer scope of the disaster Obama is doing such a terrible job presiding over:

The new figures could mean 42 million to 84 million gallons of oil have leaked into the Gulf of Mexico since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on the night of April 20 — with the lowest estimate nearly four times the size of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill.

The flow estimates were released by Marcia McNutt, director of the U.S. Geological Survey, and do not count any increases that may have occurred since the cutting of the well’s riser pipe, a step that was expected to boost the flow.

And was it the heroic Obama administration that determined that the official estimates were wrong yet again?

No.  It was a bunch of scientists who had been arguing that the official estimates – from both BP and the federal government – were complete bullpucky:

The official government estimate of the flow rate is 12,000 to 19,000 barrels a day, which means the new device should be capturing the bulk of the oil. But some scientists have said those flow numbers could represent just the lower range and that the rate could be multiple times higher.

Worst-case scenario?
Leifer said based on the data he’s seen so far, the rate of flow from the broken well has increased since the initial April 20 explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig, which killed 11 workers. He believes BP’s decision last week to sever the well’s damaged riser pipe in order to install the containment cap has increased the flow by far more than the 20 percent BP and government officials had predicted.

In fact, Leifer says, the well may be spewing what BP had called before the spill its worst-case scenario — as much as 100,000 barrels a day from a freely flowing pipe.He said he’s seen no evidence from BP to date that would be inconsistent from that dire scenario.

Judging by live undersea videos, “it looks like a freely flowing pipe,” Leifer said. “From what it looks like right now it suggests to me they’re capturing a negligible fraction.”

It’s unclear how much oil is still escaping because scientists don’t have access to enough data and the video feeds show a “disorganized cloud” of oil shooting out of open vents in the containment cap and between the riser and the cap, Wereley said.

Obama assured us prior to the top hat attempt which not only failed but made the crisis much, much worse that he was in charge, and that BP was answering to him.

Which means that it’s OBAMA’S FAULT that BP even attempted the top hat procedure in the first place.  Everyone knew there was a risk that it could make the problem much worse by at least 20%.  Obama gambled big and failed huge.

And it is readily apparent that Obama has literally assisted BP in a continual giant cover-up as to the actual extent of the damage, either by omission or comission:

From the New York Times:

Tensions between the Obama administration and the scientific community over the gulf oil spill are escalating, with prominent oceanographers accusing the government of failing to conduct an adequate scientific analysis of the damage and of allowing BP to obscure the spill’s true scope. […]

And the scientists say the administration has been too reluctant to demand an accurate analysis of how many gallons of oil are flowing into the sea from the gushing oil well. […]

Oceanographers have also criticized the Obama administration over its reluctance to force BP, the oil company responsible for the spill, to permit an accurate calculation of the flow rate from the undersea well. The company has refused to permit scientists to send equipment to the ocean floor that would establish the rate with high accuracy.

Ian MacDonald of Florida State University, an oceanographer who was among the first to question the official estimate of 210,000 gallons a day, said he had come to the conclusion that the oil company was bent on obstructing any accurate calculation. “They want to hide the body,” he said.

You want chilling?

Contacts in Louisiana have given me numerous, unconfirmed reports of cameras and cell phones being confiscated, scientists with monitoring equipment being turned away, and local reporters blocked from access to public lands impacted by the oil spill. But today CBS News got it on video, along with a bone-chilling statement by a Coast Guard official: “These are BP’s rules. These are not our rules.”

Fifty days into the disaster, Barack Obama had still never bothered to make any contact with the CEO of British Petroleum to lay out the way things will happen, to find out what is going on, or to hold BP accountable in any way for anything.  Or, I don’t know, to politely ask BP to please allow some actual measurements of the flow rate so the nation can know the extent of the disaster they are going to have to deal with.

And now it is becoming increasingly obvious that BP – not Barack – has been ruling the roost all along.

Obama is responsible?  He doesn’t even have a clue what is going on.

Well, now, after 54 days – and weeks’ worth of inexcusable delay and weeks’ worth of criticism – Obama is finally “summoning” the BP CEO to mitigate the damage being done to his political hide.  But it’s rather obvious that Obama isn’t meeting the BP chief to do the right thing, but rather to appear to do the right thing to avoid further legitimate criticism over why he’s taken so damn long to do the right thing.

Obama should have at least been on the phone with the BP head within the first three days of this disaster.  Instead, he’s ignored his responsibilities and allowed BP to repeatedly lie, obfuscate, conceal, and even fabricate and done nothing about any of it.

What we have here is a complete failure of leadership.  And the result of that failure has just officially become twice as awful as it had been.

Obama Gets An ‘F’ In Keeping USA Safe From Bipartisan Commission

February 1, 2010

The United States is a sitting duck for any terrorist who wants to come and blow us up with pretty much whatever they want to blow us up with.

And the president who naively believed his “hope’n change” number would make the Muslim world love him – and by extension us – is responsible for our nakedness.

Obama’s contradictory and incoherent policies have left the military confused as to how to proceed in the war on terror.  And his demonization of the CIA has left the agency most needed to keep us safe bitter, sullen, demoralized, and more focused on protecting their careers than keeping
America safe
.

And now we learn this:

Obama Administration Earns an ‘F’ on Stopping WMD Attacks
Tuesday, 26 Jan 2010 07:46 PM
By: David A. Patten

The national WMD commission established by Congress has given the Obama administration an “F” for failing to protect America from nuclear, chemical, and biological attacks.

“Nearly a decade after 9/11, one year after our original report, and one month after the Christmas Day bombing attempt, the United States is failing to address several urgent threats, especially bioterrorism,” stated former Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., chairman of the bipartisan Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism
. The report charges the administration “is simply not paying consistent and urgent attention to the means of responding quickly and effectively so that [WMD attacks] no longer constitute a threat of mass destruction.”

Surprisingly, the Commission concluded there still exists “no national plan to coordinate federal, state, and local efforts following a bioterror attack, and the United States lacks the technical and operational capabilities required for an adequate response.”

An outgrowth of the 9/11 Commission report, the WMD Commission is charged with evaluating U.S. defenses against WMD attacks. The report issued Tuesday examines 17 areas deemed vital to defending against WMD.


The Commission gave the administration an F for not improving the nation’s ability to respond rapidly to a biological attack inflicting mass casualties, and an F for poor implementation of the education and training programs needed to train national-security experts
.

It also awarded Congress an F for poor oversight.

The vice-chairman of the Commission, former Sen. Jim Talent, R-Mo., stated: “We are also enormously frustrated about the failure of Congress to reform homeland security oversight. The department can’t do its job, if it is responding to more than 80 congressional committees and sub-committees.

This fragmentation guarantees that much of what Congress does is duplicative and disjointed.

Jena Baker McNeill, Homeland security policy analyst for The Heritage Foundation, joined the Commission’s criticism of Congress. “Congressional oversight chaos is one of the No. 1 obstacles to good policy-making on Homeland Security. It’s out of control,” McNeill tells Newsmax.

In another category, government oversight of high-containment labs, the administration received a D+. It said a presidential directive could be used to tighten supervision over dangerous pathogens held in these facilities.

And while the report conceded the administration had made progress in countering weapons proliferation in Pakistan, it said so much remains to be done that it could grade the item only as “incomplete.”

By no means was the report one-sided against the administration, however.  In fact, team Obama was awarded an A for helping to secure dangerous pathogens, and an A for developing a national strategy for advancing the analysis biological substances.

The report also gave the administration an A- for designating a special presidential adviser on WMD proliferation. The Commission also awarded an A- to the administration for creating more efficient councils for coordination of policy.

Overall, the report rapped the Obama administration for being slow to recognize and respond to the threat of bioterrorism. While conceding that previous administrations have made the same mistake, Graham said: “We no longer have the luxury of a slow learning curve, when we know al-Qaida is interested in bioweapons.”

In the report card, the Commission reiterated its December 2008 warning that, “Unless the world community acts decisively and with great urgency, it is more likely than not that a weapon of mass destruction will be used in a terrorist attack somewhere in the world by the end of 2013. That weapon is more likely to be biological than nuclear.”

Officials must assume a WMD attack “will occur” unless the proper steps are taken, the report says.

The report cites several recent incidents that suggest the nation is inadequately able to defend against a WMD attack. Among them:

* The H1N1 flu scare. The H1N1 pandemic revealed detection of the mass onset of disease, which is known as “domestic disease surveillance” is inadequate. Although the administration had several months warning about the flu threat, the epidemic peaked before most Americans had access to the vaccine. The slow response showed the United States is “woefully behind in its capability to rapidly produce vaccines and therapeutics….” While the virus may not have been as lethal as some doctors had predicted, a bioattack would strike without warning. The report says the lack of preparedness “is a symptom of a failure of the U.S. government to grasp the threat of biological weapons” although it notes the administration has done a much better job of responding to the nuclear threat. Although the Heritage Foundation’s McNeill says the administration did a good job of communicating with the public about H1N1, she adds: “We’ve still got significant information-sharing problems on this topic. We’ve got to … figure out much faster what the trends are.”
* The Christmas Day attack. The foiled attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day suggests al-Qaida is expanding its international partnerships. While that attack failed, “the United States cannot count on such good fortune,” according to the report.
* The nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea. Along with the political instability in nuclear-armed Pakistan, Iran and North Korea are cited as grave concerns. The report says the United States “must strengthen the nonproliferation regime, develop more effective policies to eliminate terrorist havens in Pakistan, and galvanize allies to stop the Iranian and North Korean nuclear weapons programs.”

Among the Commission’s recommendations: Congress should consolidate the unwieldy number of committees and subcommittees sharing responsibility for homeland security oversight.

Also, the government must get better at early detection and diagnosis of diseases.

The Commission adds that the administration must fix what it calls the “fundamental failure” to address “a growing shortfall in our national security workforce.” It states the nation needs more experts to help ward off a WMD attack.

According to author and noted correspondent Judith Miller, defenders of the president’s anti-WMD policies respond that Obama’s second presidential security directive was to construct a roadmap on defending the nation against biological-warfare attacks. Miller’s sources say the administration intends to seek future funding increases for non-proliferation and bio-defense programs.

McNeill says improving U.S. capabilities against WMD will require much better cooperation among federal agencies.

“If the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security can’t work out their problems,” she tells Newsmax, “it’s difficult to see how there’s going to be any capable federal response to something big, which could inflict mass casualties.

So Obama isn’t just a failure, he’s a dangerous failure who could get millions of Americans killed.  And ditto for the Democrat-controlled Congress.

On issue after issue, whether it’s Gitmo, whether its the New York terrorist trial for 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, whether its troops in Afghanistan, whatever the issue is, Barack Obama has gotten the issue completely wrong and was forced to return to the Bush policies that kept us safe.

I’ve written about Obama’s stunning failure and incompetence relating to H1N1 vaccine distribution.  I’ve written about Obama’s stunning incompetence regarding the Christmas day terror attack that even liberals realize Obama completely screwed up.  I’ve written repeatedly about Obama’s utter failure to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons (and I have 50 articles on Iran and Obama – so you can take your pick).

Do you remember how Democrats blasted Bush over his statements that Iran was in the process of developing nukes? He was completely right, and they – as usual – were completely wrong.

The intelligence professional who has led both the National Security Agency AND the Central Intelligence Agency has blasted Obama’s incompetence.

The only thing that is keeping Americans reasonably safe is al-Qaeda’s fixation with air travel – which is far easier to safeguard than many other points of entry that are completely open (such as our borders — we’ve done nothing to secure our borders primarily because Democrats have refused to allow us to secure them).  Yes, they could easily smuggle WMD into our country and kill millions.  But they don’t even have to do that.  When they decide to start machine-gunning Americans in our shopping malls (just imagine the body count if a few dozen terrorist teams attacked us at about the same time across the country!), we’re going to start seeing how completely exposed and vulnerable we are.

Meanwhile, our failure-in-chief continues to run the show.

Even Liberals Realizing Obama Has Been Total Bust At Creating Jobs

October 8, 2009

This article is in many ways typical New York Times.  It comes from a distinctly liberal perspective, and views solutions to the problems that America faces through a liberal prism.

The big difference in this case is that it really takes a critical look at a Democrat.  It slams Barack Obama as being basically disinterested and uninvolved in – and even uncomprehending of – the biggest crisis facing the country.

Does Obama Get It?

By BOB HERBERT
Published: October 5, 2009

The big question on the domestic front right now is whether President Obama understands the gravity of the employment crisis facing the country.  Does he get it?
The signals coming out of the White House have not been encouraging.

The Beltway crowd and the Einsteins of high finance who never saw this economic collapse coming are now telling us with their usual breezy arrogance that the Great Recession is probably over.  Their focus, of course, is on data, abstractions like the gross domestic product, not the continued suffering of living, breathing human beings struggling with the nightmare of joblessness.

Even Mr. Obama, in an interview with The Times, gave short shrift to the idea of an additional economic stimulus package, telling John Harwood a few weeks ago that the economy had likely turned a corner. “As you know,” the president said, “jobs tend to be a lagging indicator; they come last.”

The view of most American families is somewhat less blasé. Faced with the relentless monthly costs of housing, transportation, food, clothing, education and so forth, they have precious little time to wait for this lagging indicator to come creeping across the finish line.

Americans need jobs now, and if the economy on its own is incapable of putting people back to work — which appears to be the case — then the government needs to step in with aggressive job-creation efforts.

Nearly one in four American families has suffered a job loss over the past year, according to a survey released by the Economic Policy Institute. Nearly 1 in 10 Americans is officially unemployed, and the real-world jobless rate is worse.

We’re running on a treadmill that is carrying us backward. Something approaching 10 million new jobs would have to be created just to get back to where we were when the recession began in December 2007. There is nothing currently in the works to jump-start job creation on that scale.

A massive long-term campaign to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure — which would put large numbers of people to work establishing the essential industrial platform for a truly 21st-century American economy — has not seriously been considered. Large-scale public-works programs that would reach deep into the inner cities and out to hard-pressed suburban and rural areas have been dismissed as the residue of an ancient, unsophisticated era.

We seem to be waiting for some mythical rebound to come rolling in, magically equipped with robust job creation, a long-term bull market and paradise regained for consumers.

It ain’t happening.

While the data mavens were talking about green shoots in September, employers in the real world were letting another 263,000 of their workers go, bringing the jobless rate to 9.8 percent, the highest in more than a quarter of a century. It would have been higher still but 571,000 people dropped out of the labor market. They’re jobless but not counted as unemployed. The number of people officially unemployed — 15.1 million — is, as The Wall Street Journal noted, greater than the population of 46 of the 50 states.

The Obama administration seems hamstrung by the unemployment crisis. No big ideas have emerged. No dramatically creative initiatives. While devoting enormous amounts of energy to health care, and trying now to decide what to do about Afghanistan, the president has not even conveyed the sense of urgency that the crisis in employment warrants.

If that does not change, these staggering levels of joblessness have the potential to cripple not just the well-being of millions of American families, but any real prospects for sustained economic recovery and the political prospects of the president as well. An unemployed electorate is an unhappy electorate.

The survey for the Economic Policy Institute was conducted in September by Hart Research Associates. Respondents said that they had more faith in President Obama’s ability to handle the economy than Congressional Republicans. The tally was 43 percent to 32 percent. But when asked who had been helped most by government stimulus efforts, substantial majorities said “large banks” and “Wall Street investment companies.”

When asked how “average working people” or “you and your family” had benefited, very small percentages, in a range of 10 percent to 13 percent, said they had fared well.

The word now, in the wake of last week’s demoralizing jobless numbers, is that the administration is looking more closely at its job creation options. Whether anything dramatic emerges remains to be seen.

The master in this area, of course, was Franklin Roosevelt. His first Inaugural Address was famous for the phrase: “The only thing we have to fear. …” But he also said in that speech: “Our greatest primary task is to put people to work.” And he said the country should treat that task “as we would treat the emergency of a war.”

Now that’s the sense of urgency we need.

More Articles in Opinion » A version of this article appeared in print on October 6, 2009, on page A31 of the New York edition.

Not to dive into the genetic fallacy, as so many liberals so often do, but it is nevertheless significant that the Economic Policy Institute is a distinctly liberal think tank.  And Hart Research Associates aint exactly Rasmussen.  So while I don’t know that they aren’t right in their survey about Obama vs. Congressional Republicans, I would point out: 1) that I wouldn’t regard it as gospel; and 2) don’t forget that as LOW as Bush got in the polls, he STILL outperformed the Democrat-controlled Congress throughout his entire presidency.

In fact, Bush had more than DOUBLE the ratings of the Democrat Congress:

Bush’s job approval rating fell to 24 percent from last month’s record low for a Zogby poll of 29 percent. A paltry 11 percent gave Congress a positive grade, tying last month’s record low.

So in terms of net differences, Bush actually fared quite a bit better when pitted against a Democrat Congress than Obama is faring when pitted against Congressional Republicans.  And I would submit that the public thinks a lot more highly of Republican ideas than this smoke-and-mirror statistic would otherwise indicate.  Just sayin’.

I made that point just to demonstrate the statistical sleight of hand going on.

Now, Bob Herbert is a big government, rah-rah FDR guy, who sees the big public projects of the WPA as the model for our country’s salvation.

For what it’s worth, I – and Congressional Republicans – agree(d) that that would have been FAR better than Obama’s $3.27 trillion pork-laden employment bust known as the stimulus.

A New York Times story points out why Republicans opposed the porkulus so fiercely:

But the committee’s ranking Republican, Jerry Lewis of California, asserted that the program would do far too little to finance road construction, flood control projects and other works for the public good.

“Facts are stubborn things,” Lewis said, describing the package as a recipe for bloated government programs that would saddle taxpayers with a debt burden “well, well into the future.”

And now even the New York Times is essentially acknowledging that the Republicans were right and Obama was wrong.

I would also point out that the Hoover Dam is named the Hoover Dam because Herbert Hoover was doing public works projects before FDR.  And Herbert Hoover was the guy that every Democrat loves to blame for the Great Depression.

And while we’re on the subject of what happened in the 1930s, I might as well point out that things didn’t go so good under the leadership of FDR.

In fact, FDR’s Treasury Secretary had this to say as he looked back over the decade:

“We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. And I have just one interest, and if I am wrong… somebody else can have my job. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises… I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started… And an enormous debt to boot!” — Henry Morganthau, FDR’s Treasury Secretary, May 1939

A look at the graph of unemployment should help you understand what Henry Morganthau understood:

It shouldn’t surprise you when you take the time to learn about what FDR attempted that he actually prolonged the Great Depression by seven years.

Having mentioned the massive yet mysteriously ignored failure of FDR to solve unemployment or get the economy going, allow me to return to Obama’s current failure.

Still another liberal publication, Time Magazine, ran an article back in July entitled, “Obama’s Stimulus Plan: Failing by Its Own Measure.”  It begins:

Back in early January, when Barack Obama was still President-elect, two of his chief economic advisers — leading proponents of a stimulus bill — predicted that the passage of a large economic-aid package would boost the economy and keep the unemployment rate below 8%. It hasn’t quite worked out that way. Last month, the jobless rate in the U.S. hit 9.5%, the highest level it has reached since 1983.

And of course, it’s currently 9.8% – and almost certain to keep rising.

Now contrast what the Obama team predicted – a ceiling no higher than 8% unemployment – and then see what the administration is trying to pass off now:

Vice President Joe Biden delivered a rousing review of the government’s economic stimulus plan in a conversation with the nation’s governors. “In my wildest dreams, I never thought it would work this well,” he said. “Thank you, thank you.”

I mean, is this a statement that when team Obama said that they believed their stimulus plan would keep unemployment under 8% that they were being fundamentally dishonest with the American people?  And that 9.8% unemployment is better than their wildest dreams?

And don’t just say Vice President Joe Biden is an idiot and dismiss him.  He IS an idiot, of course.  But he is the official spokesidiot of the Obama Administration.

Having affirmed that significant public works-style projects would have been a massive improvement over the failed Obama stimulus, allow me to briefly point out a few other things that would have helped the nation restore confidence in the U.S. economy and the jobs that would have gone with it.

For one thing, tax breaks would have helped, but we didn’t get them.

Contrary to Democrat fluffery, there really weren’t “tax breaks” in the stimulus.  Rather, the people who got the “breaks” didn’t actually pay federal income taxes.  The “tax breaks” were really welfare breaks.  Lowering taxes stimulates more investment and more productivity by allowing investors to keep more of what they earn, rather than incentivizing them to shelter their money, which raising taxes invariably does.  Transferring money from the pockets of tax payers and giving it to those who didn’t pay federal income taxes – even if you euphemistically call it a “tax break” – simply doesn’t accomplish that goal.

Another thing that would have helped was targeting stimulus toward the businesses that actually do most of the hiring.

Small businesses which employ 20 or fewer workers are responsible for 50% of the jobs in this country.  And businesses defined as “small businesses” are responsible for nearly 3/4ths of the total jobs in the USA.

And what did small businesses get from the stimulus? Butkus.  The porn-loving National Endowment for the Arts actually got more stimulus funds than all the small businesses in the country combined.

If Democrats wanted to create jobs, they might have considered giving the money to businesses that actually created jobs, rather than to their politically connected liberal special interest groups.  Again, just sayin’.

It also would have helped if the stimulus had been something that actually helped more than it hurt.  The Congressional Budget Office, hardly a conservative bastion, reported that the stimulus bill would lead to a lower GDP 5 to 10 years out than if Congress had done absolutely NOTHING.  The enormous government spending will ultimately crowd out private investment which would have had a much higher chance of increasing GDP than the spending in the stimulus bill.