March 06, 2009
Provocation of the Day
Does anyone doubt for a second that if George W. Bush had publicly fumbled aspects of his first Presidential meeting with our nation's preeminent ally that the tut-tutting from the press would be absolutely deafening?
When it reaches the point that Dana Milbank is lacing into a Democratic President then maybe, just maybe, there's a problem. And that's even before one gets to the 25 DVD embarrassment of the apocalypse.
People make mistakes, even at a high level. And maybe there is something the public doesn't know about past exchanges between Brown and Obama (or between their respective people) that may have soured things privately. That would be forgivable and understandable in the complex world of foreign affairs.
Yet, on the surface at least, this is the sort of absolutely boorish behavior that was presumed of W...yet note the comparisons by Milbank between how 43 treated visiting British PMs.
It's called a "special relationship" for a reason. It would be nice if the One who was supposed to heal our supposed unilateral transgressions with the rest of the world didn't get the ball rolling by offending our most important ally.
Posted by Eric Earling at March 06, 2009
11:26 AM | Email This
Was pretty stupid, that's for sure.
Not like they can't buy the same DVD's.
It's like he sent Michelle with girls in tow to the local Sam's club or Costco at closing time for a present the night before a visiting dignitary was to arrive. Boorish behavior indeed, and disasterously embarrassing given that the Browns' gifts had some meaning/sentimental value to them and our country's heritage. I guess there may be some truth to the rumor of the "ugly American" , now we can add cheap and thoughtless as well.
FWIW, Bush's gift wasn't much better, but at least it was personalized.
Obama performance scorecard to date: D- to Incomplete
3. Rick: I would change that scorecard to "Not Present".
I bet the problem is that Brown did not genuflect before the Obamassiah...
HOPE AND CHANGE!
5. Another example of the Big O's sleight of hand/speech. He was just addressing some group in, I think Iowa, and proclaimed that thousands of unspecified jobs,with a reference that teachers can keep teaching, etc., had already been saved or created in the state, including 25 new law enforcement officers who will help keep everyone safe. What he didn't reveal, however, is that the funding for those 25 jobs is only for one year. Wow. 25 jobs for one year. HOPE AND CHANGE!
6. Comrade Obama is as clueless as the people who voted the most under qualified person into the white house in US history
Considering the last guy we had in office, I see why you all are so concerned.
Newsflash patrick: Bush isn't president anymore...and your irrelevant little article was written in 2006.
You need to refresh your jar of koolaid and get a new book of talking points: bambi is the ONE now.
Iran has nukes!
@ 3 Katomar:
2006 or not, how incompetent do you have to be that you scare a majority of people in your closest ally? Or your closest neighbors? And you're all whining about DVD's? You'll have to do better then that.
Bush was and will be one of the most hated Presidents this country every had outside of places ike Albania that desperately wanted to be our friend.
12. "Bush was and will be one of the most hated Presidents this country every had outside of places ike Albania that desperately wanted to be our friend.
Patrick is making of one the most fallacious mistakes one can make with respect to history.
When he left office in 1953, [Harry]Truman was one of the most unpopular chief executives in history. His job approval rating of 22 percent in the Gallup Poll as of February 1952 was actually lower than Richard Nixon's was in August 1974 at 24 percent, the month that Nixon resigned. Public feeling toward Truman grew steadily warmer with the passing years, however, and the period shortly after his death consolidated a partial rehabilitation among both historians and members of the general public. Since leaving office, Truman has fared well in polls ranking the presidents. He has never been listed lower than ninth, and most recently was seventh in a Wall Street Journal poll in 2005.
W's history has yet to be written. So put a sock in it until your BDS has ebbed and some time has passed to reflect on his actions before declaring an absolute you have no way of predicting.
Bush gave PM. Brown a bomber jacket, how was that not an embarrassment?
Wonder if the DVD's have the right region code. PM. Brown may not be able to play them. =P
Poor wittle Wicky D. - his hero Bush was despised by most of the world. Yet, the idiot Rciky still thinks history is yet to be "written". How stupid is that? People who deal in actual facts (as opposed to the fantasy world of Wicky D. and the wingnuts) will use the facts DURING the Presidency - facts such as Bush was the most despised USD President internationally - EVER.
History won't change THAT! Only the revisionists who want to re-invent the facts of history can change that. Maybe that is the fantasy that the factually-challenged Wicky wants to happen.
Oh, and after the rest of W's illegal acts are ferreted out - he will be even lower. Also, the bush depression is getting worse - the numbers for December and January were just revised downward. The Bush economic disaster will be remembered for along time.
the bush grade: F
the Obama grade so far: A-
Increased transparency, action on the economy, cutting 40 billion in no-bid wasteful military contracts (priceless).
It was Eisenhower who warned of the miltiary industrial complex - and it was bush who brought no-bid contracts to the maximum and wasted over a trillion dollars on an unnecessary war in Iraq.
Next time I hear a republican complaining about job projects in the US causing a deficit - I want to slug the dumbass in the face (but I wouldn't do that since most republicans are such physical cowards anyways) for not saying ANYTHING about the waste of a trillion dollars, the no-bid contracts, the blackwater mess and other various and sundry Bush screw-ups.
Let us not forget all the stupid nicknames Bush gave to every foreign dignitary. Talk about embarrassing...Bush could not even show them the proper respect by calling them by their proper names.
Who the hell wants to be called Pootie-Poot?
Cato, patrick, and correctnotrighjt are all making the argument that Obama can be stupid, embarrassing, and disrespectful to our allies because, "Bush did it".
I thought Obama was superior. If he is superior and the people he appointed are superior, why do the resident lefties need to defend his stupid actions?
It is long past time to ban certain Internet tough guys on this forum.
If you're willing to simply let this place turn into a sewer for immature leftists, then there's no reason to visit it.
18. @ 14 ~ Up your meds, then re-read the post @ 12. I give you historical reality and you give me Bush derangement induced hysteria. What are you doing out of Goldy's toilet bowl anyway?
wasted over a trillion dollars on an unnecessary war in Iraq.
Citation please. Back up your statement with an actual accounting of the monies spent.
Let us not forget all the stupid nicknames Bush gave to every foreign dignitary
Hey, I'm still waiting for the Obamassiah to name the other 7 states of the USA! Talk about embarrassing, a President should at least know the basics of his OWN country, first!
21. Obama can be stupid, embarrassing, and disrespectful to our allies because, "Bush did it"
Why should Obama care about Brown anyway, PM Brown a dead man walking in his home country. If you read the Economist you would know he's going to be out on the street very soon.
Yes Bush did it, no one liked stupid nicknames, it was insulting and demeaning to everyone.
The PM comes to the US to talk about various issues facing the nation. Why in this recession economy should we as taxpayers be forced to spend money giving foreign leaders stupid little trinkets that are meaningless in nature? He got his stupid Churchill bust back, PM Brown should be very happy with that.
22. I thought Obama was superior.
Source? I never said such a thing.
If he is superior and the people he appointed are superior, why do the resident lefties need to defend his stupid actions?
Why do you feel the need to nitpick everything President Obama does? Was Bush immune from mistakes? If so maybe you can explain why someone would base a countries foreign policy stance based entirely on looking into a foreign leaders eyes and seeing their soul?
Why do you feel the need to nitpick everything President Obama does?
Because Obama is the current President, not Bush.
Understand? Alas, probably not...
the Obama grade so far: A-
correctnotright, your a comic genius.
Cato - you are entertaining.
But, you don't get it. Brown is the PM. Obama is the President. There are diplomatic protocols between heads of state and these "stupid little trinkets", as you put it, are small building blocks in the rapport that strengthen or keep alliances going. Obama himself said that he would improve our standing - this missteps and the one Clinton did with Russia don't give me confidence that Obama et. al. know what they're doing. So what if Brown is out? Does the British government think Obama was dissing Brown or them? Stupid move.
Reread my post. I never said you said Obama was superior, but though you didn't expressly say it, your writings strongly imply it.
"Why do you feel the need to nitpick everything President Obama does?" Welcome to the last eight years of supporting Bush. Get over it.
26. Where is he? Has anyone seen him?
Who? Obama? Oh, he's probably on vacation or attending one of the Bulls/Wizards games...to hell with the people, they'll just have to wait on the king to finish his personal matters before toiling for you peasants and fixing the economy.
jimg @ 17:
I've been spending more time on pajamasmedia lately. Premium threads and some really sharp conservative commenters. PM has their share of trolls, but not the mindless variety SP is plagued with. I'm in favor of first amendment rights, but allowing BDS-plagued mental midgets to babble the same lies over and over is demeaning to all. Good night.
28. "the Obama grade so far: A-
Increased transparency, action on the economy, cutting 40 billion in no-bid wasteful military contracts (priceless).
LOL. Really, honestly LOL.
"Increased transparency" a la 1000-page bills voted on by "representatives" that haven't even read them; with the details trickling out via our media hound-dogs AFTER it's signed into law.. That kind of transparency..?
I presume the "action on the economy" is a reference to the "economic stimulus" that has thus far been greeted with such trumpeting fanfare by Wall Street. You know.. Wall Street, where the dollars eventually end up when the economy is stimulated by the demand for volcano monitoring equipment.. Maybe those guys didn't get the memo that the "stimulus" only LOOKS like another pork-ridden spending fest.. Or maybe they misinterpreted the constant drumbeat of "eat the rich" as being directed at them.
As for no-bid contracts; where there's abuse, great. I've also seen legitimate concerns related to issues such as the fluidity of situations in war zones and the difficulty of trying to do contracts "on the fly." But if it can be done without adversely affecting our troops' safety or success of their missions, I'll happily give credit where it's due. THAT is the first measure though. Don't pretend for a second that we couldn't easily cut that same amount from domestic programs, without affecting the chances of any American taking a bullet. Assuming this one works, it's kinda worth noting that this is one of those things where there's some ACTUAL bi-partisanship involved, isn't it? Maybe mister "bi-partisanship" is wising up after the stunning job the Pelosi left has done of steering us more squarely into the iceberg in the short time since the election, now that they don't have to get past Bush.
Obama is so nouveau riche
that it's just embarrassing. He's all fascinated by Air Force one and can't believe he made it to the Presidency. That's why he's giving DVD box sets to foreign dignitaries.
We need a man with experience, leadership and financial acumen to lead us out of troubled times. Obama's got none of the above.
30. President Barack Obama dislikes Britain, but he's keen to meet the Queen
President Obama has been rudeness personified towards Britain this week. His handling of the visit of the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, to Washington was appalling. ... Obama looked like he would rather have been anywhere else than welcoming the British leader to his office ...
... This was coupled with Michelle Obama's casual choice of gifts for the Brown sons - matching models of the helicopter which ferry her husband around. While Sarah Brown had spent time choosing gifts for the Obama girls, Michelle had clearly sent an aide to the White House gift shop at the last moment.
All in all, he doesn't think much of us ...
... Note how the coolness of Team Obama disappears when a bit of regal glamour is introduced into the equation. He might not like the Brits, but he can recognise a global superstar when he encounters one. He wants to be associated with her. He's shameless.
To quote the author, "Oh, give me strength."
Now remind me, what was that the whiners were complaining about our former (and best living) President and that supposed lack of world love for him?
Remind me, did he ever insult our closest ally?
Perhaps our bambi should spend less time pounding a basketball and a tad bit more reading up on appropriate gifts for dignitaries.
He could use the info from his own protocol department... if he ever bothered to find it... or even properly staff it... hmmm... another vetting problem bambi???
I'm just askin'...
Regarding the article linked above, I loved some of the comments:
You really shouldn't be offended. Obama was rude not because of any animus toward Mr. Brown or England but because he is a rank amature.
His handlers have not yet trained him on diplomatic courtesy. He'll be more gracious once his handlers see the polls on his behaviour and push it more toward the top of their agenda.
chris March 06, 2009 01:25 PM GMT
As an American, I surely hope that the Queen will not meet Obama for any other purpose other than to to dress down the arrogant punk. Obama's dissing of Brown is inexcusable - regardless of what one thinks of Brown.
Why you Brits swoon over the nothingness that is Obama is beyond me. Then again, you've given knighthood to Ted Kennedy. Pleading insanity at this point might be your best defense. Roy E March 06, 2009 01:25 PM GMT
With the obvious inability to grasp the complexities of the position, Mr. Obama is ill-prepared and unable to lead America at this time. He was elected by fooling a large majority of people. He is now pushing his far-left Socialist agenda and ignoring the economy. My ancestors sailed from England to settle here in America. They would be appalled at the manners of this "President" Heck, he can't even speak without his precious "teleprompter". (watch him try to speak without this) With his public display of disdain for our biggest ally... the Queen should tell him to "take a hike" !! From one American to my mother country... thank you for always being there for us. There, I said it... I doubt if Barack Hussein or Michelle Obama will ever be so kind. Ken March 06, 2009 01:27 PM GMT
Sounds like Europe is getting over their Obama love too. The lesson is that electing a guy just because he is from a different party and because of the color of his skin as a novelty doesn't mean that said man is capable of handling the job properly. You Euro-peons wanted Bush out? Well, enjoy dealing with Obama. He's our version of Neville Chamberlain and would hand Europe over to our enemies in a heartbeat if it meant getting a promise of peace (even a false one) from them. Ben March 06, 2009 01:49 PM GMT
Regardless of how one feels about Brown, the US-UK alliance is the fundamental force for freedom in the world.
It is beyond telling that Mr Obama has no such rudeness for the Arab nations that he has bent over to accommodate since taking office.
As an American, I apologize for the Messiah's amateur behavior.
We as a nation, like yours, have been destroyed from within by Liberalism, which has rendered us senseless and defenseless. Freedom March 06, 2009 01:59 PM GMT
Obama is the epitome of bitterness - towards the color of his own skin, whites, religion, free enterprise and goodness knows what else - but we will see that appear as well. His lover is his teleprompter and his wife I think is as thick as two short planks. He reminds me of the buggers who ran apartheid in SA only this master is of a different shade. He has turned dislike into hatred in 2 months flat and it will get worse. That he doesn't know what he is doing is clear and his bad manners towards long time friends and freedom is evident - watch out Obama from smaller things civil wars have started. The first one may be a tax revolt! del March 06, 2009 02:16 PM GMT
As an American, Britain please except my apology.
However, I don't think that Obama is anti-British; he and his wife are just bitter professional victims.
Its especially interesting to me how your media and people are seeing through the Obama curtain, while our media still tongue bathe him, and our people remain clueless as to how incompetent Obama is and and what a witch his wife is. And don't even get me started on how he's handling the economy with his team of tax cheats. Andrew March 06, 2009 02:22 PM GMT
You Brits love the idea of a black socialist running America. Well, mates, now you have him. Be careful what you wish for; you may just get it. And by the way, I hope you don't mind Obama's high tarrifs on British goods. It's "change we can believe in," right? jedsil March 06, 2009 02:24 PM GMT
What in the world did people on both sides of the Atlantic expect? Obama is an amateur in all matters of foreign affairs and economics, let along class and protocol. It was obvious long before US voters elected him. Alfred March 06, 2009 02:29 PM GMT
And so it goes on... for 20 pages of comments.
Are we proud yet?
32. Outstanding, Ragnar. These comments show that at least some people are capable of thinking. I especially liked the "while our media still tongue bathe him" line. Couldn't get more graphic or accurate than that.
33. Please accept my apologies for the boorish behavior of Mr. Obama, my President.
Sadly -- for us -- it seems that no one ever taught Mr. Obama good manners or how to be a proper host. Worse, Mr. Obama apparently is ignorant of the history of your people and the lasting gifts that you have given to America.
Please let me thank you for those precious gifts.
Thank you for your gift of radical and dangerous ideas of freedom for which your people have fought and died.
Thank you for your gift of your navy's bringing to an end the Atlantic slave trade -- the first use of a nation's navy for a solely moral purpose.
Thank you for your gift of standing fast while standing alone against the terrible, murderous onslaught of the Nazis.
Thank you for your gift of standing shoulder to shoulder with the United States during the 70 years of costly -- but finally victorious -- war against the great sanguinary evil of Communism.
Thank you for your gift of comfort by standing first and strongest with us in the grim days after 9/11.
Thank you for your gift of sending real soldiers to fight and die alongside our men and women liberating the 45 million people of Iraq and Afghanistan.
And, thank you for your multitude of gifts of science, literature, art and music.
We will always be grateful for your friendship.
And now, a question with the sole purpose of agitating our liberal pets (when they get up)... Shouldn't you be calling him President Soetelo? It is my understanding he legally changed his name to Barry Soetelo back in his Indonesia days. Is there any evidence he legally changed it back? Or did he decide it was hip and politically expedient a la Malcom X?
I'm just askin'...
I was linked to a non-political forum that's running a thread "Sayings that earn you a punch in the face" ... one guy wrote "I voted for Obama."
35. This latest D'oh-bama incident reminds me of when he and McCain visited Ground Zero in NY together last September. John McCain, in classy fashion, laid his flowers down at the memorial with care and respect. D'oh-bama just threw his out very haphazardly like it was throwing a piece of trash on the heap. Very noticeably different handlings of the same act. I was not impressed with D'oh-bama.
Shanghai asked, here it is :
Iraq war costs, estimated over 1 year ago and still going up. This does not count all of the veteran costs , the costs for disability for over 75,000 injured vets or the costs for the future psychological problems for the vets. Remember, Bush promised us this war would pay for itself.
"The cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could total $2.4 trillion through the next decade, or nearly $8,000 per man, woman and child in the country, according to a Congressional Budget Office estimate scheduled for release Wednesday.
Assuming that Iraq accounts for about 80% of that total, the Iraq war would cost $1.9 trillion, including $564 billion in interest, said Thomas Kahn, Spratt's staff director. The committee holds a hearing on war costs this morning.
"The number is so big, it boggles the mind," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill."
"The number is so big, it boggles the mind," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill."
Okay, now I understand. 1.9 Trillion boggles the mind, so OF COURSE, Rahm Emanuel and the current administration are understandably unable to fully understand the 3.27 Trillion they are proposing to spend. I get it now. Poor things.
Thanks for proving that you were, in fact, wrong. You stated explicitly:
bush who brought no-bid contracts to the maximum and wasted over a trillion dollars on an unnecessary war in Iraq.
Meaning the money is already spent. Your backup? A guess in a magazine loaded with "estimates" and "could total" and "assuming".
Not to mention it includes the decade of spending that President Obama has already promised. So any spending by Obama is counted against Bush - yet more shenanigans by you Marxists!
Hey, in that case it's definitive that the Obama/Pelosi/Reid bailout plan is a waste of over $3.2 trillion, and the new mortgage assistance bill from the Obama/Pelosi/Reid regime cost us over $1 trillion.
You have to accept these conclusions if you want to be logical at all. There are several organizations (Heritage, Cato Institute, CBO) that have analyzed these spending bills and reported the long-term impacts are at least the numbers I've claimed.
So are you going to cherry pick? Are you going to complain about the potential $1.9 trillion of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars (which freed 50 million people, by the way) and ignore the $4.2 trillion blown through in the last 6 weeks.
I mean, if you want to make hard statements based on what-ifs, that just shows you're essentially bereft of ideas and facts!
39. Shanghai Dan, can you account for the 4.2 trillion "blown through" in the last 6 weeks?
40. Brown is the PM. Obama is the President. There are diplomatic protocols between heads of state and these "stupid little trinkets", as you put it, are small building blocks in the rapport that strengthen or keep alliances going.
LOL, if all of diplomacy hinges on "stupid little trinkets" then the world has serious problems. Gordon Brown is going to be out, a new Labor leader will take his place. The Brit's are not pleased with Brown for being so cozy with President Bush and his pro-torture policies or his handling of the economy. Do tell, what is PM Brown going to do with a bomber jacket the President Bush gave him?
Note how the coolness of Team Obama disappears when a bit of regal glamour is introduced into the equation. He might not like the Brits, but he can recognise a global superstar when he encounters one. He wants to be associated with her. He's shameless.
Queen's been around a lot longer than Brown has been PM. Of course the Queen is not an elected figure, go figure.
Rangnar, what would you suggest we give PM Brown to celebrate our special relationshiop? A key to the White House? Lincoln's bible? A wooden horse make from the planks of Ben Franklin's bed? Do tell us?
41. Cato: I would suggest a little respect to start with. Gifts aside, he was not treated respectfully during his visit. Brown was met by no one official when he landed, no joint press meeting, Obama didn't even bother to attend or listen to Brown address to Congress. Didn't even know what Brown said. I would say Brown was dissed.
THE LAST WORD
"British prime minister Gordon Brown thought long and hard about what gift to bring on his visit to the White House last week. Barack Obama is the first African-American president, so the prime minister gave him an ornamental desk-pen holder hewn from the timbers of one of the Royal Navy's anti-slaving ships of the 19th century, HMS Gannet. Even more appropriate, in 1909 the Gannet was renamed HMS President. The president's guest also presented him with the framed commission for HMS Resolute, the lost British ship retrieved from the Arctic and returned by America to London, and whose timbers were used for a thank-you gift Queen Victoria sent to Rutherford Hayes: the handsome desk that now sits in the Oval Office.And, just to round things out, as a little stocking stuffer, Gordon Brown gave President Obama a first edition of Sir Martin Gilbert's seven-volume biography of Winston Churchill. In return, America's head of state gave the prime minister 25 DVDs of 'classic American movies.' Evidently, the White House gift shop was all out of 'MY GOVERNMENT DELEGATION WENT TO WASHINGTON AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY T-SHIRT' T-shirts. Still, the 'classic American movies' set is a pretty good substitute, and it can set you back as much as $38.99 at Wal-Mart." --columnist Mark Steyn
It's funny to see everyone here immediately default to the assumption of the "clueless," "unqualified" Obama who "publicly fumbled" this meeting.
Unfortunately for your narrative -- particularly looking at you Ragnar -- that doesn't really make much sense, does it?
The White House has protocol staff and well-documented procedures. They surely have records of what has been exchanged previously.
If the Obama folks made a huge gaffe, I would expect them to fix it pretty quickly. As far as I know, his quick meeting recently with Harper up in Canada went just fine. And Harper was certainly a close friend of Bush and Canada is a staunch ally in the War on Terror.
So, no, I find it much more interesting to wonder exactly why they appear to have snubbed the Brits. After all, they clearly made a gaffe in initially dropping the "special relationship" phrase; however, Obama made a point of using the proper diplomatic phrasing again later. So, they ARE paying attention.
46. particularly looking at you Ragnar
You don't quite grasp the concept of links and blockquotes, do you?