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It sure is tough being President

An excerpt from my column at Townhall today:

Being the leader of the free world is without doubt a difficult job, but no one has made it look more so than the current administration.

After less than two months in office, President Obama, the "Yes, we can" man is already "overwhelmed."

At least that was the reason given for the shabby treatment the Obama administration gave British Prime Minister Gordon Brown when he visited last week. Not only did the President fail to provide a high profile press event for our closest ally, but he presented him with inexpensive gifts showing little thought or consideration.

The recent incident with the British prime minister is only one example of the recent problems the Obama administration has experienced in their less than two months in office.

From Chuck Bloomer:
Think about this -- September, October, November 2001. The US had just suffered the worst attack on our own soil, a terrorist attack killing 3000 people. The economy tanked, taking a full year to recover. President Bush ordered the attack on Afghanistan. Did you ever hear the President or any of his people complaining that Bush was "overwhelmed", "not getting enough rest", "surprised by the sheer volume of business that crosses his desk"? If one of you feels industrious, you can do a Google search and let me know if anything comes up. Obama's aides are claiming all that about our new president. I wonder if they realize they are actually admitting that Obama has no clue what he doing, that he is in way over his head, that the inexperience we all talked about before he was elected is beginning to show. I have a suggestion to the new POTUS -- Stop whining and get to work.


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Comments (44)

No We never heard George co... (Below threshold)
914:

No We never heard George complain even after all the savagery of 911 and the Dems attack machine. Man I miss Him

The answer is simple, being... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

The answer is simple, being president is above Obama's pay grade.

They said he was ready to l... (Below threshold)
joh:

They said he was ready to lead on day one, we just still don't know when that one day will be.

Ready to lead the palestini... (Below threshold)
914:

Ready to lead the palestinians to the promised land while simultaneously screwing us all to death.

This creep is worse than Carter and its only been 2 months. God help us.

I wonder what would happen ... (Below threshold)
Stan25:

I wonder what would happen if a real crisis happened? Will the "Anointed One" curl up in a ball in a corner and beg for Mommy to help him? Only time will tell, but I am willing to bet a case of Jack Daniels, he will be carted out of the White House wearing a white coat with its sleeves tied, by a few white coated men and babbling about how the Bush people screwed him again.

All the graft, all the plan... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

All the graft, all the planning, all the scheming, all the palms greased and the promises made to all sorts of disparate groups to get Obama into office...

Wasted - because they didn't pick someone who could actually DO the damn job in the first place!

ODS... (Below threshold)
max:

ODS

'<a href="http://theanchore... (Below threshold)
hpb:

'Chiseled pecs' doesn't seem as ready for action as that creepy Bush with all his making tough decisions and running the country and what-not.

O bamasD</... (Below threshold)
914:

O bamas
D umb
S upporters

Here in full view is the di... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Here in full view is the dishonesty of the Right. A couple of days ago there was a story from a Murdoch-owned London paper, The Daily Telegraph, quoting anonymous "source" after anonymous "source." Not one single quote was from a named source.

Today, Lorie and others are claiming that "the President's aides" are excusing the President's so-called "shabby treatment" of Gordon Browne on the grounds that he is "already overwhelmed."

The Murdoch treatment for all to see. An anonymous story being blown up by FOX wannabes, and accepted by gullible Righties as Gospel Truth.

Pa-freakin-thetic.

Nothing like "Rathergate" t... (Below threshold)
914:

Nothing like "Rathergate" to instill our sense of fairness Bruce.

Seriously what is everyone ... (Below threshold)
suhnami:

Seriously what is everyone complaining about.... Brown got 25, yes count 'em, TWENTY FIVE DVDs!!! I hope Crystal Skull and Ishtar were among the classics....

So, 914, your idea of fair ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

So, 914, your idea of fair and balanced journalism is to be no worse than Rather?

Perhaps it is the rumored n... (Below threshold)

Perhaps it is the rumored nightly parties at the WH by Barry & Michelle????

Too much party...not enough President?

Just sayin!!!!!

Duke

BruceI dont think ... (Below threshold)
914:

Bruce

I dont think there is such a thing as fair and balanced journalism on a competitive network. I think this venue is the closest it comes because everybody speaks their mind and as far as I know do not profit monetarily from it.

Whatever, 914.It i... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Whatever, 914.

It is dishonest to take a story like the Telegraph's, based solely on anonymous sources, and flog it for days, every commenter here except me ignoring its faulty sourcing, and then pretend it's common knowledge that Obama is "overwhelmed." Or pretend that "the President's aides" are using that as an excuse for "shabby treatment" of Browne.

Sorry, but it is.

I agree that we shouldn't g... (Below threshold)
joh:

I agree that we shouldn't go around citing "anonymous sources" claiming that Obama's "overwhelmed."

The obvious answer is that he's completely unqualified to be President.

What joh said~~~~~~~~~~~~~~... (Below threshold)
914:

What joh said~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Talk about fair and balanced.

I hope Crystal Skull an... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

I hope Crystal Skull and Ishtar were among the classics....

ISHTAR?

Good god, suhnami - what are you trying to do? Re-ignite the War of 1812?

You know Brucy and his ilk ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

You know Brucy and his ilk for 8 years went nuts on any, ANY story about GW from anonymous sourcing. It was fine then. Great journalism. Now look how they whine. Pa-freaking-thetic. ww

Obama has never worked a fu... (Below threshold)
John S:

Obama has never worked a full-time job. Community organizer is a fancy name for unemployed busybody lawyer. The Illinos Senate works 128 days a year. The U.S. Senate even less (and Bambi's attendance record there was 48%.) So the full-time job of president will take some adjustment.

But guess what? Obama is a lucky son of a bitch. Despite the constant negative bleating of the media, the recession bottomed in December. By next year things will look pretty good and Obama will be considered a f*cking genius. So he'll be free to pursue the New Bolshevik Revolution on you taxpayers.

About the only thing that could derail the Onama agenda and save your children from Euro-Communism is a foreign policy disaster. Fortunately with Billary running foreign policy, that's inevitable.

Wee Willie:You may... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Wee Willie:

You may have a point about my "ilk," but you can't post any link to anything I personally said, gloating about anonymous Bush-bashing, so kindly STFU when adults are speaking.

John S:

You must be a True Patriot. Only a True Patriot would wish for a foreign policy disaster to happen so that the party of True Patriotism can return to power. How Truly Patriotic of you.

Only a True Patriot would w... (Below threshold)
joh:

Only a True Patriot would wish for a foreign policy disaster to happen so that the party of True Patriotism can return to power.

Are you talking about Harry Reid or Barack Obama? There were so many Democrats that wanted the US to fail in Iraq that I lost count.

Or perhaps you meant John Murtha accusing our military of war crimes without evidence, or was that John Kerry?

Hey, I'm not here to defend... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Hey, I'm not here to defend the stupid things Kerry, Murtha, or anyone else says. I speak only for myself.

I was just pointing out that to say it would be "fortunate" for a foreign policy disaster to occur so that our children can be "saved from Euro-Communism" [ Huh? ] is kinda, well,... STUPID. And unpatriotic, too.

"They said he was ready to ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

"They said he was ready to lead on day one, "

YEp they said that. They just didnt specify what he was ready to lead. Maybe the country into bankruptcy and irrelevancy (he is doing a good job of that). Maybe lead his kids in songs praising Gaia, Mother Earth.

---

Bruce

ENough of the anonymous story meme. Really, You dont have a leg to stand on considering the number of anonymous source stories that were ran against Bush by umm just about everybody in the Press.

Really, RM? Link t... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Really, RM?

Link to 5.

Obama's been President 50 days. So show me FIVE anti-Bush stories, based SOLELY on anonymous sources as this one was, over the last eight years.

I'm talking about stories in the MSM, or stories flogged by the "Nutroots," that were SOLELY anonymously sourced.

Be careful. "Rathergate" doesn't count, as it was immediately debunked.

Rathergate should count bec... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Rathergate should count because of the fact that it was anonymous and they ran it anyway.

Next we have the NY Times story about eavesdropping.

How about the Valerie Plame stories? Funny how the dems called for hearings and resignations and people hauled off to jail before it turned out Armitage actually did the leaking. Then they shut up and went home.


Guantanamo bay urine koran story.

Katrina stories.

All these things reflected badly on Bush and he was beaten over the head with them and yet there are any number of anonymous sources listed in the stories.


Really Bruce. Come on. We have had the discussion on anonymous sources and we both dont like them. That doesnt mean they dont happen on both sides of the aisle.

I really do have better things to waste my time on than linking anonymous sourced stories. Things like beating Hyper over the head.

But I will tell you what. If I get a chance I will try to find some links. fair enough?



Bruce<a href="http... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Bruce

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=bush+scandal+%22anonymous+sources%22&aq=f&oq=

Go there. It lists 5000+ links. I am sure that you can find your 5 links.

Here are some quotes from the google page

"Citing "people involved in the case" for the assertion that Bush was the innocent ... Citing anonymous sources of his own, Daily News Washington bureau chief ... effect of advancing the notion that the CIA leak scandal does not extend "

"Mar 31, 2007 ... The Boston Globe cites anonymous sources who complain that Cheney's ... Anatomy of a Bush Administration Scandal Hillary Clinton says she"

"Jun 1, 2005 ... WASHINGTON -- Anonymous sources have been condemned by the Bush White ... bring down Richard Nixon's presidency in the Watergate scandal"

"A case for silencing anonymous sources. David Ehrenstein ... wise to the scandal-mongering that tried to pass itself off as "investigative ... Joseph Wilson's pointing out a blatant lie in President Bush's State of the ...
"

"Anonymous sources have provided some of the most important information in The Times, like the disclosure of the Bush administration's extralegal bugging of ... Because the painful Jayson Blair scandal involved articles containing ..."

"In 2005, he dissected the anonymice present on Bush's tour of Europe. ... A year and half ago, the Times acknowledged that excessive reliance on anonymous sources "


And that is just off page 1 and I kept it to major news sources.

Bruce<a href="http... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Bruce

http://www.newsweek.com/id/188565

You know it is bad when NEWSWEEK is citing "The establishmnet" as possibly thinking Obama doesnt have what it takes.

If you look at their nonscientific online poll (I personally hate polls, scientific or not) he has more Fs than As. More than 50% of the folks give him a D or and F with that vast majority of those giving him an F.

As we stated when Bush was getting hammered. What people think and say about the President makes a difference, no matter who they are. A President who looks incompetent doesnt inspire confidence. IMO, Obama looks like a naive T baller playing in the big leagues. NK, Iran, and Russia are all makng noise. A President that looks weak makes America vulnerable to attack.

It's understandably that Ob... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

It's understandably that Obama is so tired. It's one thing to be the President, but it's much harder being the Dictator.

RM - You hit it so... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

RM -

You hit it solidly...

"IMO, Obama looks like a naive T baller playing in the big leagues. NK, Iran, and Russia are all makng noise. A President that looks weak makes America vulnerable to attack."

The problem is, for all of the grandstanding and Obama-luv coming out of Europe before the election - what they were supporting wasn't the real person, but the carefully crafted image Obama was projecting.

Heck, he even described himself as a blank screen in his book, and people projected what they wanted to see.

You can't say he didn't do it well - he got elected, after all. But he's put all his effort into crafting the image - it's a bit late for him to go back and pick up the leadership skills he's missed.

Like a dog chasing a car and catching the bumper - now what is he going to do? He won't be able to let go of it for the next 4 years...

Stories citing SOME anonymo... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Stories citing SOME anonymous sources and stories citing ONLY anonymous stories are not equivalent, RM. Apparently, you can't find any examples of the "many, many" times the MSM ran with anonymous Bushbashers. Just say "Uncle," Dude.

My point here is that this is typical of the Right. Here you have a Murdoch-owned paper running a story about Obama being "too tired" to properly conduct diplomacy. No proof, just a bunch of anonymous quotes from un-named "officials" and "inside sources." Then, a day or two later, Rightie bloggers posting stories about how "the President's aides" are saying Obama is "overwhelmed" as an excuse for his imagined "blunders." Swallowing an unsourced story whole, as Gospel Truth. Then inflating it.

This is what you call "dishonesty." Period.

RM, Rathergate WASN'T anony... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

RM, Rathergate WASN'T anonymous. That's why it was so easily debunked.

Even you, RM, were braying ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Even you, RM, were braying about "Obama's cabinet members" saying this crap the other day. See how the "Big Lie" theory works? It ain't rocket surgery, man.

Then, a day or two later... (Below threshold)

Then, a day or two later, Rightie bloggers posting stories about how "the President's aides" are saying Obama is "overwhelmed" as an excuse for his imagined "blunders." Swallowing an unsourced story whole, as Gospel Truth. Then inflating it.

This is what you call "dishonesty." Period. - Bruce Henry

If you read my column you will find that I said I don't buy the exhausted story anyway. I think it is partly incompetence and partly running things as far into the ground as they can go so when they recover even a tiny bit it will look like an Obamessiah miracle by comparison.

But you have to admit that Team Obama used the "he's tired" thing several times during the campaign. As an excuse for flubbing his uh, er, uh speeches when the teleprompter, uuuhh, malfunctioned and when he made other mistakes.

Lorie You Are so bea... (Below threshold)
914:

Lorie You Are so beautiful

BruceA. The rathe... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Bruce

A. The rathergate story was originally anonymous. It was debunked so quickly since the document was an obvious forgery and they discovered the source through the fact that the fax copy Rather had had the Kinko's information from where it was faxed from. Go back and research THE ORIGINAL story.

b. "Stories citing SOME anonymous sources and stories citing ONLY anonymous stories are not equivalent, RM. Appar"ently, you can't find any examples of the "many, many" times the MSM ran with anonymous Bushbashers."

So I didnt bother to go back and read just the 5000+ links that I gave to find 5 stories with purely anonymous sources.

You set a bar and I didnt meet it and thus what I said is incorrect, at least according to you. Think a bit much of yourself dont you. I mean come on Bruce. How about I tell you you are lying because you didnt go reading through 5k+ articles on the web to find 5 specific ones meeting certain criteria. Give me a break guy.

Let's say I do go back and find 5 articles with lists no other sources BUT anonymous sources. Than what do I get from you? A cookie. GIve me a break guy. I spent yesterday driving around Amarillo and Lubbock which can be described in one word. FLAT. I spent the last 2 days in a hotel. I may be bored but I am just not that bored.

They said he was ready t... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

They said he was ready to lead on day one..

Yeah, he was ready on day one! Unfortunately, day 2, 3, 4, ... not so much.

Bruce, I find it hard to be... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Bruce, I find it hard to believe that you actually think there were no totally anonymous sourced stories on GW. GW's transition team couldn't even get in the White House until late December because of Algore and Clinton. All during that time there was unsourced after unsourced stories about GW not having time to put a team together, Cheney was picking them out, GW just sleeps while others do the work, etc. You my friend are dishonest.

And for you to say your ilk may run with those stories but you don't, you are on your own, well then in the future you have to be more careful of all the broad brushing of conservatives and republicans that you like to throw around. ww

Bruce"Even you, RM... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Bruce

"Even you, RM, were braying about "Obama's cabinet members"

Umm you pointed that out and I immediately stated that I was incorrect in saying it. Yet you fail to mention that I admitted I was incorrect even though you knew that I posted I was incorrect.

"See how the "Big Lie" theory works? It ain't rocket surgery, man.
"

Yep I see. You lefties are a master of it arent you.


Yes you did, RM, and I was ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Yes you did, RM, and I was wrong not to say so.

But there are lots of folks, like the unfortunate Willie, who will never let go of a talking point, no matter how flawed. That's how the RightWing Echo Chamber works.

They make talking points out of stories like these.

And you guys keep saying there were Lots, or Thousands, or Dozens, of similar (solely) anonymously sourced stories about Bush, but have yet to post one specific example.

Bruce"But there are ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Bruce
"But there are lots of folks, like the unfortunate Willie, who will never let go of a talking point, no matter how flawed. That's how the RightWing Echo Chamber works."

Yes and the left wing Echo Chamber works as well.

"And you guys keep saying there were Lots, or Thousands, or Dozens, of similar (solely) anonymously sourced stories about Bush, but have yet to post one specific example."

Just because we haven't posted any doesnt mean they dont exist.

Look at the Plame affair. What was the big story on that? "Who was the leaker to Novac?"

Look at Rathergate - The source was discovered after the Kinko's showed up on the document and people traced it back and CBS was trying to throw the heat off of themselves after the obvious forgery was discovered.

Look at the NY TIMES eavesdropping story - No source was ever named for that.

Here you go Bruce

http://www.aim.org/media-monitor/anonymous-sources/

"On June 5, for example, Post reporters pointed to Vice President Dick Cheney and his staff as the primary culprits in the administration's campaign to politicize Iraqi WMD intelligence. The Post's reporters attribute this very serious allegation to "some analysts," "one senior agency official," "a former defense intelligence official," and "former intelligence officials." One "former official" told the Post that high-level defense officials browbeat the intelligence community. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was said to "have treated the analysts' work with contempt."

These are very serious allegations, but also very difficult to evaluate. It is well-known that there have been elements inside the intelligence community skeptical about the magnitude of Iraq's WMD programs or purported Iraqi ties to al Qaeda. And the Post and the New York Times have repeatedly afforded these nay-sayers a forum to air their criticisms.

The problem with the sourcing practiced by both papers is that neither gives the reader any basis by which to judge the credentials or credibility of those making the charges. Have these officials been intimately involved in the collection, processing, or analysis of Iraqi data? Or are they "strap hangers," simply repeating hallway gossip to their friends in the media? Pentagon officials are now trying to dispel such rumors. Predictably, the Post and Times cited anonymous sources harshly critical of those efforts.

"

----------
http://www.slate.com/id/2140423/
Titled "Bush Counsel May Be Next In Shake-Up," the article speculates on the imminent transfer or disposal of White House counsel Harriet Miers. (Remember her?) The paper first grants anonymity to an "influential Republican with close ties to [White House Chief of staff Joshua B.] Bolten ... [who] was granted anonymity to talk openly about sensitive internal White House deliberations. ..."

...
"A few paragraphs down, a pack of Republican anonymice skitter through the story as Times reporters Elisabeth Bumiller and Jim Ruttenberg write:

Mr. Bolten is said by a number of Republicans in Washington to feel that Ms. Miers is indecisive, a weak manager and slow in moving vital paperwork through the system.

A number of Republicans? Three? Ten? Twenty? Five thousand?

"
...
"Just when you think the anonymice have retired, new ones pop out of the woodwork. Bumiller and Ruttenberg write:

Republicans close to the White House said Mr. Bush was the driver of the changes made so far, including the decision to ask Mr. Rove to focus primarily on the midterm elections.

And:

Republicans said Mr. Bolten has been focused on finding a new White House press secretary with good contacts in the Washington news media and a deep understanding of how they work.

Who the hell are these Republicans?

"
...
"One last set of anonymice tear through the story before it ends. The subject is whether Fox News commentator Tony Snow will succeed Scott McClellan as White House press secretary. The unnamed sources for this item are granted anonymity "because they did not want to upset [Snow's] private discussions at a sensitive time."

Isn't this a tad nuts? How would applying the sources' names to this Times story upset private/sensitive discussions in a way that the anonymously provided information doesn't? Unless, of course, the sources for this item are Snow and his tapeworm.

A year and half ago, the Times acknowledged that excessive reliance on anonymous sources could be injurious to the paper's credibility and formed a committee charged with exploring ways to reduce them. I believe that the anonymice have eaten the committee alive.

"


BruceRemember Judy... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Bruce

Remember Judy Miller?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/22/AR2005072202222.html

"Judith Miller, the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter who now wears a brown and green prison jumpsuit, will soon enter her third week in a jail cell just a few miles from the White House where administration officials suspected of leaking classified information to journalists -- including the president's top political strategist, Karl Rove -- are still running the government"

More about the NG story by CBS

http://www.ojr.org/ojr/workplace/1096589178.php
"While bloggers and others online pushed back at the CBS story with a lot of clever work, much of the "information" flying around the Net about the documents was inaccurate -- including claims that the font didn't exist in 1972 (Times Roman was first used in 1931; the IBM version was known as Press Roman in the 70s), that proportional spacing wasn't available on typewriters (IBM introduced it in 1941) and that the superscript "th" wasn't possible then (superscript capability could be purchased as an option). That's not to say the Texas Air National Guard had access to a typewriter with all of these abilities, just that the claims made individually were off target. At the same time, some mainstream media outlets echoed CBS?s mistakes by relying on anonymous sources and making assumptions as they covered the story.

Then there was The New York Times, which put Dan Rather's apology on the front page but played its own admission about faulty pre-war reporting inside.

"

BruceWhere there i... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Bruce

Where there is smoke there is fire

http://www.aim.org/media-monitor/trusting-the-medias-anonymous-sources/

"Taking the use of anonymous sources to a ridiculous extreme, the CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News and ABC World News Tonight all aired interviews with an "anonymous" alleged CIA officer critical of the Iraq war. We never saw his face, only shadows. His name, "anonymous," was on his new book, "Imperial Hubris." Reporters didn't mention it, but the interviews were clearly designed to be a preemptive strike on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is releasing a 400-page report critical of the CIA for its handling of a wide range of intelligence matters.

"

http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/45079,opinion,did-bush-and-cheney-invent-the-anthrax-scare

"ABC News should reveal its 'anonymous sources' and clear up the scare that led to war on Iraq
"

http://www.thenation.com/blogs/capitalgames/982
"Every time that query was placed in front of McClellan, he batted it away with a stock reply, noting that the White House had no information beyond the media reports--which were based on anonymous sources--to "suggest White House involvement" in the Wilson leak. "Are we supposed to chase down every anonymous report in the newspaper?" McClellan asked. And several times, he challenged his inquisitors, "Do you have any specific information to bring to my attention suggesting White House involvement?"
"

Shall I go on Bruce?

By standing there and trying to claim that there were no or few anonymous sources who were printed as having said things against the Bush administration is making you look foolish.




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