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Tag Archives: Obama

Is Obama Speaking to Rabbis to Influence Their Sermons?

We have an election coming up in just a few weeks in which President Obama’s legacy is at stake. Jews, who tend to vote in large numbers, could help tip the balance crucial states like Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire.

Strangely, Obama has scheduled for late Monday morning what the White House is calling “a conference call with rabbis for Rosh Hashanah.”

Now, what could that be about? Obama is not doing much in the way of policy anymore. Relations with Israel are kind of on hold, although there is talk Obama could back a UN resolution declaring Israel an “occupier” of Palestinian lands, and it’s possible Obama wants to talk to them about that. But he would never make such a declaration before the elections, and it’s not Obama’s style to consult too much about his decisions, particularly with parties that will be adversely affected.

What makes sense is a suggestion by one of our readers, Sadie, that he will be providing them with a few talking points for their sermons. That he hopes to inject some politics into the synagogue this holiday season to ensure Jews back Hillary in November.

This could be done subtly. Since my fellow Jews are overwhelmingly Democrats, all he needs to do is ask the rabbis to talk about the civic duty of everyone to engage in the process by voting, even if they aren’t thrilled with the choices. One of Democrats’ most paralyzing fears is that their people, disgusted with the election, simply won’t show up to vote. So a pro-Democratic message from the Jewish pulpit need only be couched as a patriotic call to participate in democracy.

Obama Jewish leaders
Obama meets with Jewish leaders at the White House in 2011

The rabbis will be very receptive to this message. I’ve been a member of both Conservative — a term referring to religious, and not political practices — and Reform temples, and if I’ve ever heard a sermon that had a politically conservative theme to it, I can’t remember it. But I’ve heard plenty that sounded liberal, even if the rabbi might have just thought they were expounding on “social justice” or other themes everyone — of course! — would agree with.

Orthodox Jews tend to be less liberal, but I don’t know what Orthodox rabbis talk about.

Christians may not understand the power of the Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur sermon, but certainly, Obama’s Jewish aides do. Jews who belong to Reform and even Conservative temples tend to be pretty secular and not attend weekly Shabbat services. But on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, attendance at synagogue goes up exponentially. Everyone, it seems, feels the need to at least affirm their religion once a year.

And this year, whether they know it or not, they may be getting a message from Obama.

Obama is not above a little High Holy Day politics. In his Rosh Hashanah greeting last year, he stealthily dropped an anti-GOP message. Obama noted that we are obligated to atone for past sins, a theme of the holidays. But with Trump suddenly a threat in the GOP primaries, advocating a wall with Mexico — and his rivals also taking a hard line on illegal immigration — Obama threw in that we are required to “avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, and to love the stranger, and treat him as we would want to be treated.”

No Serious Statement From Obama on Charlotte, But That’s Okay

President Obama is checking out.

Here we have riots in Charlotte, North Carolina that resulted in the death of a protestor and a couple of dozen police officers injured, and Obama cannot muster up a serious statement.

It wasn’t until Thursday, after two nights of violence, that he mentioned in an interview with ABC News that the protestors should be “peaceful.” But he also noted “the pervasive sense of frustration among a lot of African Americans about shootings of people and the sense that justice is not always color blind.”

His spokesman opened the daily briefing Thursday insouciantly without a mention of the violence.

“There’s a lot going on in the world today, so I anticipate a wide variety of questions today,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest. “So let’s just get right to it!”

He was immediately asked about Charlotte and made clear that the president felt he had talked enough about such things.

“The President has, unfortunately, had numerous opportunities to address this topic,” Earnest said.

Indeed, he has, and things have only gotten worse.

The White House is right, it’s enough. No one needs another lecture from Obama highlighting a problem — racially motivated police brutality — that is not one of the more serious issues facing the country, or African Americans. The anger spilling into the streets is at bottom the result of the terrible circumstances of too many black people and the anger that it generates — anger fueled further by so-called black leaders and the president.

No doubt young black men are tired of being profiled by police, but the reason they are is that blacks commit a disproportionate amount of crime. Which bring us back to the bottom line undergirding this: Fed by liberal policies, African Americans are rutted in a cultural and economic nightmare.

Blacks need Republican policies that will give them the means to extricate themselves.


Of course, the president should make a statement from the White House lectern, because this is a particularly ominous thing going on in Charlotte. Dozens of people are violently protesting that a black cop, in a police department run by an African-American, killed a black man who had a gun. Now, what on earth are police supposed to think if they can’t shoot someone who has a gun without sparking a protest? Police are going to get killed, and they will back off, ensuring there is more crime and killing the communities they are trying to protect.

But what Obama would say would be counterproductive. He’d lecture about wrongs committed on both sides, and so forth. He wouldn’t simply say something reasonable, like law an order needs to return to Charlotte.

So yes, better he say nothing at all and go play golf tomorrow like he usually does.

Incrementalism Part 74: Military Seeks Another 500 Troops for Iraq

The military is requesting another 500 troops for Iraq, in the latest example of President Obama’s policy of incrementalism in fighting the war there.

This is the policy that was rejected after the Vietnam War because it’s a BAD POLICY, but one that, of course, has been embraced by President Obama, who has lots of BAD POLICIES.

From the Wall Street Journal:

The U.S. military is requesting authority to send up to 500 new troops to Iraq ahead of a much-anticipated campaign to take back Mosul from Islamic State, according to U.S. officials, adding to an expanding American presence in the country.

The new deployment, if approved by the White House, would assist Iraqi and coalition forces in preparing for the battle to capture the northern city, the extremist group’s last major stronghold in Iraq. That fight is expected to begin as early as mid-October, U.S. officials have said . . .

The new U.S. forces would increase the number of American personnel officially deployed to Iraq from 4,400 to about 4,900. The Pentagon also maintains up to 1,500 additional U.S. forces that it doesn’t acknowledge as part of its Iraq force, most at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad or on temporary assignments. The new deployment would bring the overall U.S. presence to as high as 6,400. The 500 would be in addition to roughly 400 new personnel the U.S. sent to Iraq in early September to prepare for the Mosul offensive.

But please, don’t call it incrementalism! The White House rejects that term. And also don’t call these people “boots on the ground.” They are not boots on the ground, the are merely advising the Iraqis. They are not in combat, although they are getting shot at. Presumably by ISIS advisors, who are the only ones allowed by President Obama to shoot at Americans.

To the left is a U.S. soldier. Note that he is levitating slightly, and that therefore his boots are in fact not on the ground. He is advising the Iraqis on how to hide from green metal canisters.


The president’s failure to act decisively against ISIS is spawning a long war that has given the Islamists time and space to plot terror against the United States. We are seeing the results in our country now, and they threaten to get worse.

Obama Uses UN Speech for U.S. Politics

For President Obama, it’s all about his agenda, which comes first, not the country. And so he feels free to practice politics, and condemn the policies of his potential successor, in a forum where he is representing the United States before the world.

“Today, a nation ringed by walls would only imprison itself,” Obama said Tuesday during his remarks at the UN General Assembly.

Obama referenced Donald Trump’s wall after offering up his own simplistic thinking about us poor, dumb Americans, suggesting the views of Trump and his supporters are animated by racism – what he calls “the politics of ethnicity or tribe or sect.”

As these real problems have been neglected, alternative visions of the world have pressed forward, both in the wealthiest countries and in the poorest. Religious fundamentalism, the politics of ethnicity or tribe or sect, aggressive nationalism, a crude populism, sometimes from the far left but more often from the far right, which seeks to restore what they believe was a better, simpler age free of outside contamination. We cannot dismiss these visions. They are powerful. They reflect dissatisfaction among too many of our citizens . . . Today, a nation ringed by walls would only imprison itself. So the answer cannot be a simple rejection of global integration. Instead, we must work together to make sure the benefits of such integration are broadly shared.

Americans are not, as the president puts it, looking for “a better, simpler age free of outside contamination.” They are looking for reasonable limits on immigration and an end to illegal entry, so that our culture is preserved and not changed too rapidly.

America has always had immigration, but has also always acted to limit it. Obama asserts that the immigration we have today, reaching unprecedented levels and continuing without the prospect of a time out, are “what makes us Americans.” No, it’s not.

To say something like this is to be accused by Obama of racism. And that is why Trump, who is not afraid of such attacks, is so close to the White House.

Obama Improperly Interferes with the Press

During his remarks Monday on the latest terror attacks occurring under his watch, President Obama decided he would deploy a little government interference against freedom of the press.

He said:

I would ask that the press try to refrain from getting out ahead of the investigation. I am extraordinarily happy with the cooperation that’s been taking place between the FBI and state and local law enforcement officials. They are moving smartly on this investigation. It does not help if false reports or incomplete information is out there. So try to, as much as possible, stick to what our investigators say, because they actually know what they’re talking about.

Obama has completely thrown into a trash bin any notion of separation of powers and limits on the reach of his office. “As much as possible, stick to what our investigators say,” Obama says. Seriously? Write what the government tells you to?

Big Brother has news for you. Now read it.

H/T Washington Examiner.

Obama Talks Economic Fantasy While Touting Hillary

From an article I have running today in LIfeZette:

The president arrived in Philadelphia Tuesday to campaign for Clinton, seizing on a stray number and trumpeting it as if the country had  been brought back the Roaring Twenties.

But after nearly eight years of Obama, the economy currently is just a point away from recession. It grew by just 1.1 percent during the second quarter of this year, according to the Department of Commerce. In the first quarter, the economy expanded — if that’s the word for it — by only 0.8 percent.

A recession is defined by two consecutive quarters of negative growth. Obama is almost there. In fact, economic growth on this president’s watch, at a mere 1.6 per year, was never lower under any postwar president.

In August, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office delivered the grim news of Obama’s legacy. It predicted that for the next decade, growth will be about 2.0 percent per year, well below the postwar average of 3.2 percent.

Read the rest of the piece on LifeZette.

Obama Attacks the Press for Its Coverage of Hillary

Seriously? The press hasn’t been hard enough on Trump?

I guess long gone are the days when a man with the power of the presidency held back from public attacks on the press. Obama long ago turned the White House into a kind of third-world autocratic presidential palace, with his executive fiats, attacks on private citizens, and so forth. That he might be chilling free speech is of no concern to him.

Obama spoke today during a rally for Hillary Clinton in Philadelphia:

I’m not running this time, but I sure do get frustrated with the way this campaign gets covered. I’m just telling the truth . . . You don’t grade the presidency on a curve. This is serious business.

This from the man who has been graded on a curve by the press since he became a candidate in 2007. And from someone who has treated the presidency as the least serious business one can imagine.

Whoever gets in office next will be cleaning up his vast mess. They’ll do better if they’re held to account and covered by the press more aggressively than he was. Which, if Trump is elected, is a sure thing.


Obama Politicizes 9/11

In his weekly address Saturday, President Obama used the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks to offer a not-so-subtle dig against Donald Trump. From the remarks: In the face of terrorism, how we respond matters. We cannot give in to those who would divide us. We cannot react in ways that erode the fabric of… Continue Reading