Confidence in Obama slips more, poll shows



The euphoria of 2008 is over: America is in a funk. Elected last November on a wave of optimism, President Barack Obama now finds himself governing an increasingly pessimistic country in recession while muscling through Congress a health care reform overhaul and weighing whether to commit more troops to the 8-year-old Afghanistan war. The latest Associated Press-GfK poll shows that Americans grew slightly more dispirited on a range of matters over the past month, continuing slippage that has occurred since Obama took office as the year began...

Obama’s arrogance of power

Washington Examiner
by Gene Healy


Calvin Coolidge, a genuinely humble man and a fine president, wrote in his autobiography that it was ‘a major source of safety to the country’ for the president ‘to know that he is not a great man.’ Few of our recent presidents display Coolidge’s self-awareness. Newsweek’s Meacham reports that Barack Obama relishes ‘the capacity to shape reality in his image and by his lights.’ An interesting phrase, that — reminiscent of the Bush aide who bragged to reporter Ron Suskind that ‘we’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.’ And yet, as we learned during the Bush years, reality has a way of fighting back...

Stop, look, listen

by Justin Raimondo


We hear daily reports that President Obama has made this or that decision about how many more troops to send to the Afghan front; the numbers vary. This Reuters report headlines ‘four options’ the president is considering, but then names only three: sending 15,000, 30,000, or 40,000. Is the fourth option getting the heck out of that hellhole, before we destabilize the entire region? No way, no how. The numbers may change, but what doesn’t vary is the fact that this is quite obviously a political and not a military decision: it’s all about what’s happening in Washington, and not about what’s occurring on the ground in Afghanistan and environs. And the Washington political culture, which sees government action as the cure-all for society’s ills, is not about to take inaction as the cure for anything. We must ‘do something’ — even if it means playing right into al-Qaeda’s hands...

How to demilitarize your church

by Laurence M. Vance


No more turning holidays into military appreciation days. No more special military appreciation days. No more recognizing current members of the military or veterans. No more encouraging current members of the military or veterans to wear their uniforms on the above-mentioned holidays. No more treating military personnel differently from other occupations. No more references to military personnel ’serving’ in the military. No more unspecific and unspecified prayers for ‘the troops in harms way.’ No more military guest speakers. No more justifying service in the military because the Bible mentions soldiers. No more ‘God Bless Our Troops’ or ‘Pray for Our Troops’ or ‘Thank a Veteran’ slogans on church signs, bulletins, and websites. No more equating patriotism with admiration for the military. No more calling soldiers returning from overseas heroes. No more blasphemous nonsense about the troops dying for our freedoms like Christ died for our sins...

The audacity to change

Huffington Post
by Robert Kuttner


What a long, strange year it’s been since Election Night 2008. Whatever this administration has represented so far, it has not yet delivered change we can believe in. We needed a radical break with Wall Street, and we got the politics of prop up and bail out — with the result that most Americans don’t think the program is benefiting them. We needed President Obama to focus like a laser on economic recovery, and instead we got the distraction of a barely-worth-it health insurance patch. We needed the president to go to the country and win support for fundamental health reform, and instead we got Rahm Emanuel’s deal with the drug and insurance industries. … We needed a recovery program that held down unemployment, and instead we got a stimulus. … And now we are on the verge of Barack Obama’s very own Vietnam, in an escalating Afghanistan entanglement...

The messenger

by Andrew O'Hehir


Interview with Woody Harrelson. Harrelson: “I think there’s a lot of persuasive and powerful people around Obama. For a president to make his own decisions, I think that’s a rarity. Even someone who we think of as our guy — this is a guy with integrity, a guy who cares, for the first time in a long time — in the Oval Office, even with him we don’t really know who’s pulling the strings. I think of every president as being a marionette. Whether he’s any different, I don’t know. Certainly his military advisors all want him to prosecute this war to the end, just as they did in Vietnam with LBJ...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


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