23 June 2010

Firing Generals

Who would've guessed that dealing with the military is something that's required of the Commander in Chief? The super smart geniuses at USA Today wonder:
Fire McChrystal? A Test For Obama
WASHINGTON (USA TODAY) - Gen. Stanley McChrystal's forced return from Afghanistan Wednesday to explain embarrassing comments about President Obama and his top advisers could hardly come at a worse time.
A spring offensive against the Taliban in southern Afghanistan is moving slower than expected. The promised effort to retake Kandahar, the country's second-largest city, will take longer than initially forecast. Attacks on U.S. and coalition troops are setting records each month, and June is on track to be one of the bloodiest months for Americans in the 9-year-old war.
Terrible timing
With an out-of-control oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and stubborn unemployment numbers, Obama "doesn't need another distraction," says Larry Jacobs, a University of Minnesota political scientist.
"Obama's got so many things going wrong," he says. "This is not a good time for Obama to be at war with the armed services."
Presidential historian Fred Greenstein of Princeton agrees that Obama will take heat either way, but "the criticism will be greater if he fires him, given that the story broke with an apology."
While many military experts say McChrystal has to go, most political reaction from Congress was to wait until today's meeting. Politicians in both parties deferred to the White House.

22 January 2010


Despite the fact that the White House denies it, the recent election to replace Ted "The Swimmer" Kennedy in the Senate is... a test for Obama:

A test for Obama in Kennedy fief

Even a few weeks ago, the idea that a Republican might win the Massachusetts Senate seat held by Edward Kennedy for nearly 50 years would have seemed ridiculous. In Tuesday’s election, Scott Brown seems poised to do just that. The state is one of the most liberal in the union, but polls give him a narrow lead over the Democratic candidate, Martha Coakley.

Even a narrow Democratic win would be an upset. To lose the seat would be a body blow both for the Democratic party and for Barack Obama’s administration. It would cost the Democrats their 60th seat in the Senate, and with it the filibuster-proof majority they need to pass healthcare reform. More than that, it would stand as a brutal repudiation of Mr Obama’s programme. If Massachusetts elects a Republican to succeed Kennedy, a rout of the Democrats in November’s mid-term elections – even a Democratic wipe-out like that of 1994 – becomes plausible.

13 January 2010

Massive Historic Devastation

Here I thought that once-in-a-forever earthquakes were a reason for us all to band together and help the needy.  Little did I know that disasters like this existed only to be... a test for Obama:

The Obama administration is now one week away from completing its first year in office. It has faced numerous challenges and tests, but in many ways this may well be the most critical. The role of the United States in the world and in this hemisphere is being redefined. What better way to demonstrate American ideals, values, confidence and capacity than a rapid and well-managed relief effort? The President and his top aides should treat this catastrophe as if it were happening on American soil and give it the hour-to-hour attention we would devote to such a crisis at home. Furthermore, the President should go to Haiti as a symbol of our commitment as soon as it is secure enough to assure his safety.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present megalomania.  Would one of you please take this opportunity to inform the good Mr. Cohen that the world does not revolve around his delusions?

(Thanks to Harvey!)

Update: Good heavens, the Christian Science Monitor ratchets up the faux drama.

Here's an interesting idea, guys: Let's let our traditional charities take a stab at solving the crisis, like they do each and every time there is one. Anyone who thinks that the American people are sitting around waiting on the Federal Government to tell them when to donate to a worthy cause is clearly out of touch with reality.

Update again: Illustrating the vast amounts of creativity of the press, Newsweek picks up on our hackneyed little meme, courtesy the Kansas City Star.

11 January 2010

The Holidays!

An item we must've missed in our monthlong haze of laziness:--Illustrating once again that no other Americans have ever found the Christmas season to be difficult, we discover that "the Holidays" themselves are... a Test for Obama!

At White House, Holidays Are Both Treat and Test

WASHINGTON — For many in this town, December is a magical season of flickering menorahs and sparkling pine trees, spicy eggnog and savory latkes. But at the White House it is also a grueling whirlwind of nonstop parties and receptions — the biggest test yet of the Obamas’ entertaining endurance and party-hosting prowess.

You know what the press loved to call it when George W. Bush threw "nonstop parties and receptions?"

Questionable, I believe it was.

Different strokes for different folks -- Whoever said you couldn't have "change" in Washington?

Nuking Nukes

Being forced to align his empty leftist rhetoric with the realities of the world? This can only be... a test for Obama:

Obama's nuclear-free vision mired in debate

The debate represents another collision between Obama's administration and key parts of the national security establishment, after scrapes over troop levels in Afghanistan and missile defenses in Eastern Europe.

But more than those issues, the future of U.S. nuclear weapons policy is directly tied to a series of initiatives Obama has advanced as a prime goal of his presidency.

"This is the first test of Obama's nuclear commitments," said former U.S. Ambassador Nancy E. Soderberg, who held senior foreign policy positions in the Clinton administration. "They can't afford to fall short at the outset."

Congress called for the nuclear review, the third such study since the end of the Cold War, placing the Pentagon in charge. Similar reviews were conducted near the beginning of the Clinton and the George W. Bush administrations, but Obama's is the first in which substantial changes stand to be made both in the number of U.S. nuclear weapons and in how they are used.

You know who else is worried about his nuclear-free vision?

Americans, who have the audacity to expect our government to defend against nuclear attack.

Defeating Yemen

You probably never would have guessed it, but apparently beating terrorists who try to bomb us on planes is... a test for Obama:

Sunday's best: Obama facing a test with al-Qaeda in Yemen

Good morning from The Oval. And Happy New (Political) Year.

President Obama returns from his Hawaii vacation Monday, right into the still-brewing political storm over the near-bombing of a passenger plane on Christmas Day -- and its connection to the troubled nation of Yemen.

Hours after the U.S. and Great Britain closed their embassies in Yemen -- where it is believed that al Qaeda operatives planned the 12/25 attack -- Obama counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan made the rounds of Sunday morning talk shows. [...]

As a side note, I'd like to thank Harvey for highlighting this little side project! It's not so much "dead" as it is "neglected." I'll do my best to keep finding new tests to share with you, all of which are unprecedented.

No President has ever had to deal with tough issues like terrorism and war before, don'tcha know.


09 December 2009

Clinched Fists

Vainly attempting to seal the deal in which Iran gratuitously agrees to give up its nuclear ambitions? Definitely a test for Obama:
Tomorrow the U.S. will meet with Iran to seal the deal that could take the country's uranium away. Michael Adler on why the moment is the ultimate test of Obama's engagement policy.
After a meeting in Geneva that was the first fruit of President Obama’s policy of engagement on Iran comes a new encounter in Vienna. The meeting with Iran in the Austrian capital Monday is technical, with the goal of getting enriched uranium shipped out of the Islamic republic. It is also an “Audacity of Hope” moment in foreign diplomacy, a potentially transformative development which few expected and most doubt is possible. The Iranians agreed, in principle, in Geneva on October 1 to send uranium that can be used to make atom bombs to a safe place outside of the country. This would reduce the threat that Iran could use the uranium for a nuclear weapon and give time for non-proliferation talks. The question Monday is: Will the deal go forward, collapse, or perhaps what is worse, die of a thousand cuts as it is delayed?
So how'd that particular test work out?