Tag Archives: Bush III

Obama on Education

While Obama avoided recommended any radical change that could significantly improved education in the United States (banning affirmative action and social promotion, advocating the creation of a unified national testing standard, forcing states to publicly release individual-level test results with a unique identifier for every student, ending the grade-age system, etc), the President nonetheless focused on efforts that will help the worst-off learners:

Obama Calls for Overhaul of Education System – NYTimes.com
“I call on states to reform their charter rules, and lift caps on the number of allowable charter schools, wherever such caps are in place,” the president said, in his first major speech on education since he took office seven weeks ago. Caps now exist in 26 states and the District of Columbia, he said.

Putting limits on charter schools, even in places where they are performing well, “isn’t good for our children, our economy or our country,” the president said. He said recently in his budget message that he hoped to double financing for charter schools eventually, and that the Department of Education would help create “new, high-quality charter schools” while supporting the closing of those guilty of “chronic underperformance.”

Mr. Obama’s promotion of charter schools was virtually certain to be greeted with skepticism, at best, from teacher unions, as was his call for a system of merit pay for good teachers, which the president said would mean “treating teachers like the professionals they are, while also holding them more accountable.”

The president said new approaches to education should extend to the traditional school day and the school calendar, both of which should be longer. “We can no longer afford an academic calendar designed for when America was a nation of farmers who needed their children at home plowing the land,” he said.

Like George Bush, Barack Obama seems more interested in improving education for the bottom edge of the spectrum. High-SES / high-ability students may learn more in summer vacation than during the school year, because their free time is naturally enriched and educational. For these students, Obama’s recommendation will make life worse.

Obama’s 19th century view of Science and Technology

Courtesy gnxp, this question-and-answer with Barack Obama on science. Particularly, Obama focuses on “STEM” – the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics fields that fuel so much of our growth. Those who actually follow news on STEM, a set which does not include Obama, are aware of the controversial STEM extension to post-degree ‘internship’ work, which allows foreigners who graduate from American universities to work for up to three years in the United States without even having an H1-B visa.

Unlike vague hand-waiving on issues such as global warming, STEM immigrant and non-immigrant labor actually affects the United States economy right away, and causes compounding benefits of damages (depending on your view) in the years to come.

Given this, it’s obvious that Obama does not say a single word how immigration impacts Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. I know that in college Obama hung-out with marxists and hippies, but if he would have actually visited the STEM programs he would have seen how they essentially run on indentured foreign labor. Such a state of affairs has real consequences. Should it be expanded? Should it be rolled-back?

Not a word from Obama. Instead, we get vague calls for pointless great power conferences. How 19th century:

Sciencedebate 2008
I will restore U.S. leadership in strategies for combating climate change and work closely with the international community. We will re-engage with the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, the main international forum dedicated to addressing the climate change problem. In addition I will create a Global Energy Forum—based on the G8 5, which includes all G-8 members plus Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa—comprising the largest energy consuming nations from both the developed and developing world. This forum would focus exclusively on global energy and environmental issues. I will also create a Technology Transfer Program dedicated to exporting climate-friendly technologies, including green buildings, clean coal and advanced automobiles, to developing countries to help them combat climate change.

Barack Obama is the candidate of the past. If you liked eight years of George Bush’s style and want more of the same, vote Obama. Otherwise, vote McCain.

Obama’s Tax Gimmick

First Obama was for small budget deficits. Then he decided he really wanted more investment. For a while it looked like he was going to support universal health care. But now he wants young poor workers to subsidize rich old men and women.

My Way News – Obama’s ‘no income taxes on seniors’ draws critics
WASHINGTON (AP) – If you’re a senior citizen and earn less than $50,000 a year, Barack Obama has a deal for you: a life free of federal income tax.

Sounds appealing, right? Maybe to many seniors. But tax policy experts in Washington are giving it bad reviews. They see it as another subsidy for senior citizens, who already get federal help through Social Security and Medicare and often have economic advantages over other demographic groups.

Seniors typically have paid off their mortgages, many have investments and usually don’t pay taxes on their Social Security benefits. The kids are usually grown, so they’re not saddled with day care or college costs.

“The odds are the retired folks – they’re getting pensions, they’re getting Social Security, they have investment assets, they own a house – so … they’re better off than somebody who is 30 or 40 years younger who’s trying to buy a house (and) trying to start saving,” said Clint Stretch, managing principal of tax policy for Deloitte Tax.

What is Obama thinking? Is he serious? I realize he is not much smarter than George W. Bush was in 2000 when it comes to policy, but even Bush’s income tax cuts could theoretically have worked.

Obama’s tax plan looks like a bigoted attempt to buy off the vote of rich seniors, forcing young workers who are trying to afford health insurance, buy a home, or pay off their student loan to subsidize those with a lot more wealth than they have.

To quote Obama: “I have to vote for Barack”

This is even better than the Paris Hilton ad!

Now, in fairness, it may not be fair for Republicans to criticize Barack “Bush III” Obama for religiosu rhetoric analogous to what got Bush II in trouble with the leftwing netroots. Still, when the leftwing of American politics transparently uses politics for political advantage without believing it it, it leads one to make the sort of tone-deaf pseudoreligious statements that Obama is known for.

Obama in Berlin, talking about nothing in particular

I listened to Obama’s speech in Berlin, and then his interview with Brian Williams.

Obama’s speech was good on delivery, and poor on substance, like most Obama speeches. It conatined a number of phrases meant to energize his Leftist base, and thus it comes across as somewhat cruel, like many Obama speeches when you pay attention to the words.

His interview with Brian Williams mostly continued the theme. Obama generally avoided actually promising or saying anything, but implied that he supported all the beliefs (good and bad) that are fashionable among his current friends. (So there were no references that would please his old friends. They are no longer useful to him.)

Ultimately, Obama’s answer to one qustion made me happy. Brian Williams asked Obama what he would ask the American people to do differently. Bush has been largely criticized for not asking the American people to sacrifice after 9/11. Would Obama show political courage?

Happily, the answer is no. Even better, Obama said that we needed to change how we talk about foreign policy, which implies his vacuousness continues up to foreign policy.

This is great news. If Obama wants to create a new policy, he would need to begin telegraphing it. Otherwise, the populous will be unprepared for the hardships and annoyances ahead, and that would limit his effectiveness. Obama shows no interest in doing this.

Obama is the candidate of the Establishment, the sequel of Bush II, just more of the same on many issues.

If you want a third Bush term (except when it comes to cultural issues), Obama is a fine choice.

Obama’s fake interviews, and his inability to communicate in English

Do you remember when Bush II’s FEMA conducted fake interviews, where government officials asked the Bush administration questions?

Obama is doing the same thing.

Obama is terrified of the press. He won’t take questions from foreign reporters. And when he’s in a serious situation, he doesn’t take questions from anyone.

This is not surprising. He is not elequent except when he reads from a script. Like Bush II, Obama has problems with the English language. He long ago failed the Quayle Test, and he regularly makes absurd and false statements that are only explained by the unreliability in which he manufacturs England-language sentences.

Many people have been aggravated by Bush II’s (George W.)’s inability to communicate a coherent message. Bush III (Barack H.) shares this same problem. Whether it is because of a real linguistic deficiency or is affected, this is dangerous for the country.

Obama’s “Mission Accomplished” Moment

John McCain’s recent op-ed begins with this strange header:

EDITORS’ NOTE: The New York Times wouldn’t print this oped from the GOP candidate.

As many readers of this blog know, the New York Times published an opinion-editorial piece by Barack Obama. When John McCain attempted to publish a reply piece, the Times refused. This is to be expected. As far as domestic policies proceed, the Times is as ideological and partisan as, say the Daily Kos of the Huffington Post. There’s no reason to think the Times is interested in anything other than pushing their own agenda.

Fortunately, the New York Post stepped in. Now that the editorial is published, and a second reason for the Times rejecting it is obvious: it includes a devastating attack against Barack Obama that is difficult to refute. McCain has finally called Obama on running for Bush’s third term:

GETTING IRAQ RIGHT – New York Post
During the course of eight visits to Iraq, I’ve heard many times from our troops what Major Gen. Jeffrey Hammond (commander of Coalition forces in Baghdad) recently said: Leaving based on a timetable would be “very dangerous.”

The danger is that extremists supported by al Qaeda and Iran could stage a comeback, as they have in the past when we’ve had too few troops in Iraq.

Sen. Obama seems to have learned nothing from recent history. Indeed, he’s emulating the worst mistake of the Bush administration by waving the “Mission Accomplished” banner prematurely.

I’m dismayed that he never talks about winning the war – only of ending it. But if we don’t win the war, our enemies will – and a triumph for the terrorists would be a disaster for us.

Obama is repeating the “Mission Accomplished” debacle, assuring us that because kinetics are now down, we can leave. Bush III has not learned this lesson from Bush II.

There is a saying, those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it.

But the intellectually incurious are condemned to repeat what happened five years ago.

That spells trouble and blood for an Obama administration.

Obama’s inability to communicate fluently in English

One of the similarities between Bush II (George W.) and Bush III (Barack H.) is that neither show evidnece of being able to speak English extemporaneously.

The Weekly Standard
Obama is also shunning the foreign press, according to Christoph von Marschall, Washington bureau chief for Berlin’s Der Tagesspiegel. LGF’s Charles Johnson says that Obama’s “staff is desperately worried that the candidate will make a gaffe, as soon as he ventures into uncharted territory. Foreign reporters tend to ask questions about…you know…foreign stuff.” And Protein Wisdom’s Karl adds, “Mr. von Marschall should not be surprised, inasmuch as hubris and control-freakishness are increasingly hallmarks of the Obama campaign.”

And on Sunday we learned that it might be to Obama’s advantage to avoid the press. Face the Nation aired Lara Logan’s interview with the candidate, in which he said that “the objective of this trip was to have substantive discussions with people like President Karzai or Prime Minister Maliki or President Sarkozy or others who I expect to be dealing with over the next eight to 10 years.” (Video at Hot Air.)

Of course, Obama’s inability to speak English doesn’t mean he’s relatively unintelligent for a national-level professional. There’s plenty of other evidence for that, already.

Obama, a Fool or a Naif on Foreign Policy

Those who remember 2000 remember George Bush’s quixotic pursuit of “human dignity,” whil Gore talked about “human rights.” The reason was that Bush wanted a non-interventionist foreign policy that would let us stay home. “Human rights” is associated with International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law, and implies obligations. “Human Dignity” is a squishy concept that means nothing, so the Bush 2000 campaign embraced it.

So does the Bush ’08 campaign, incarnated in the form of Barack Obama:

Obama never uses the soaring language of Bush’s freedom agenda, preferring instead to talk about enhancing people’s economic prospects, civil society and—his key word—”dignity.” He rejects Bush’s obsession with elections and political rights, and argues that people’s aspirations are broader and more basic—including food, shelter, jobs. “Once these aspirations are met,” he told The New York Times’s James Traub, “it opens up space for the kind of democratic regimes we want.” This is a view of democratic development that is slow, organic and incremental, usually held by conservatives.

Fareed Zakaria’s latest piece,which includes that piece of Bush IIIism from Barack Obama, is disturbing reading. Either Obama is a fool or a naif, or Zakaria is complicit in deceiving the American people.

I think all three are true.

  • Obama would be a fool if he actualyl believed in “realism,” an economics-ignorant school of foreign policy which is concerned with questions such as how to balance against Germany, what we should do when France begins mining our harbors, etc.
  • Obama is a naif if he supports “realism” because Daily Kos thinks its cool.
  • Zakaria is deceiving the American people if he believes that Obama believes something else — for instance, if he believes in Functionalism or Idealism — and is calling that Realism because Daily Kos thinks its cool.

Obama is so unsure of what he believes with regards to foreign polic that Obama has hired 300 people to tell him what to think. This is a typical mistake of naifs who know they are naive: they think knowledge is like a bucket of water, so the more you have in one room, the more you have. It’s the fallacy of the mythical man month, a concept I expect Obama has never heard about.

Update: Tom is impressed, but does not say why.