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Belmont Club

Game Over. Play Again?

August 20th, 2014 - 3:46 pm

Liz Peek at the Fiscal Times explains why the Republicans might fail to get voters interested in repealing Obamacare, despite its unpopularity. “What ever happened to Obamacare — the unpopular healthcare bill that was to be the Republicans big weapon as they battled for control of the Senate this fall? For sure, the Affordable Care Act has been pushed to the sidelines by the chaos in Iraq, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the surge in Central American minors across our border, the Veterans Administration scandal, the pestilential virus rampaging across the computers of the federal government, and so much more…”

What happened to it was it got buried by Snowden, ISIS, the IRS, Benghazi, Ebola, Syria, Libya, Ferguson, Bergdahl, etc … who can spare a thought for Obamacare? The Obama administration is living proof that the Dense Pack strategy works.  If your problems come fast enough, you start living hour to hour and the newest crisis drives out all thoughts of the last.

According to the Dense Pack strategy, a series of ten to twelve hardened silos would be grouped closely together in a line. This line of silos would generally run north-to-south, as the primary flight path for Soviet inbound nuclear missiles would be expected to come from the north over the North Pole. The rationale for this thinking went like this: As the first inbound warhead detonates over its target silo, it would throw a large cloud of debris over the entire missile field. Every other warhead targeted on that missile field would have to travel through that debris cloud to reach its target, and it was theorized that the act of traveling through that debris cloud would “trash” the warhead before it could detonate. Every successful explosion over the missile field would throw more debris up into the air, increasing the chances that each successive warhead would be destroyed before it could trigger.

A suit shows up raindrops only when some of it is dry. But a soaking wet suit is uniformly changed in color.

The price for Dense Pack is letting it happen. The problems are coming too quickly for Obama to even perfunctorily address them. You may recall the Space Invaders video game. Once the bad guys get the jump on you, there’s no catching up. Like Space Invaders, the problems are now all over Barack Obama. He’s been criticized for hunkering down in Martha’s Vineyard but consider:  what difference does it make if he stays in Martha’s Vineyard to play golf or attempts to engage the crisis du jour.  There’ll be another along tomorrow of equal or worse importance.

Should Obama go to Ferguson? What good would that do?  The decapitation of American journalist Jim Foley by ISIS is a case in point.  Obama “called and spoke with the parents on Wednesday, the same day he held a news conference in which he vowed a ‘relentless’ effort to stop ISIS.”

You mean like the way he vowed to bring justice to the perpetrators of Benghazi or the wrath that would descend on Assad? Or maybe he meant his efforts to #bringbackourgirls — the hundreds of schoolgirls kidnapped by the Boko Haram?  He means his vow as much as he meant the others. They got dense packed too.

The problem with crediting any vow to avenge Jim Foley is that by this time next week Foley’s gruesome murder will have been replaced not once, but possibly twice in the news cycle by new scandals. And then it will be “oh that Jim Foley”. In the immortal words of NSC staffer Tommy Vietor: “dude, it (Benghazi) was like two years ago.”  How long till Jim Foley becomes history?

Thus, anyone who tries to focus on a particular Obama administration issue will find that it won’t stay put. It’s like being blasted by a Claymore mine. Once you get past counting the 50th wound, you can’t remember where the first one was.

Thus, the opponents of Obamacare would be best advised to forget focusing their fire on any individual problem and focus instead on Obama. He’s the common factor in all the dozens and hundreds of crises his administration faces. This is probably happening already whether or not the Republicans intended it. Democratic pollsters argue that people don’t dislike Obamacare for any specific reason they can name, but because they hate Obama. They put this down to bigotry or racism, but although they see the problem they don’t interpret it correctly.

There’s a simpler explanation. They’ve realized their problems are not with the individual missiles but with the fact that the Soviets are launching a thousand ICBM strike on North Dakota. They ‘get it’. The Democratic pollsters don’t.

The Obama “brand” is seriously damaged. It may be that the president is doing some good in some cases. Or perhaps his style of governance is improving, but that will now be ignored. He will get no credit for it any more. He seems to have stopped being an effective president long ago.

That’s good news for America’s enemies and bad news for America.


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Top Rated Comments   
I think BBC producers of the future are going to have a hard time dramatizing the administration of Barack Obama, because if they portray it with anything like honesty it will come off as a farce.

Normally the BBC likes to portray historical personages in a tableau of high drama. But in Obama's case they'll have their work cut out for them. The hardest problem is how to treat his blowhard boasting. How he would fundamentally transform America. Make the seas fall. How will it show him skipping down the ramp of Air Force One to lecture the Egyptians without laying on the irony as thick as grease? How can it show him drawing the Red Line, like he was parting the Red Sea.

Who can play that with a straight face knowing what happened in actuality?

And all that vaingloriousness comes down to this sad spectacle of a man holed up in Martha's Vineyard emerging like the cuckoo in a cuckoo clock to make some meaningless cackle at intervals that looks, like Charles Krauthammer once observed, "animatronic".

Yet he goes on. That is the most marvelous part of this performance. Like a talent show contestant who is out of tune and being pelted with vegetables he seems utterly oblivious to his shame and degradation. He can't take a hint. A hook comes out of the side to pull him off, but it can't quite reach and he shuffles from side to side to stay clear of it. And on he goes, having made a hash of one song, straight on to another.

There is something almost insane about it. Something Section 8, except that you have Hillary and Nancy Pelosi acting the same way, and you realize that either they're all crazy or maybe we are.


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17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
A dense pack might also refer to a hall full of Obama supporters.

Lo info voters clearly lack
Ability to simply track
What’s going on both front and back
They are, of course, the densest pack
They follow every racist hack
Reject the learned, praise the quack
They think they’re smart but don’t know jack
They are, or course, the densest pack
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Everyone -- and it really does seem to be EVERYONE -- acts as if all of these crises fall exclusively on the president and that once he's saturated, that's it: some or all of them must suffer from not getting enough attention.

That's B.S. The job of the chief executive is to be the CHIEF. No executive job in the world is as extensively staffed as that of the president of the U.S. He has TENS OF THOUSANDS of people supporting him and what -- two dozen department heads? (Sorry -- they added so many, that I lost count.)

Obama has two self-evident problems:

1. Zero talent and experience as an executive. He doesn't know how to delegate, what can be delegated, how to deal with his subordinate executives -- any of that. In fact it appears he's afraid to deal with subordinates at all, in their executive support capacity, preferring them to get filtered through Val Jarrett who isn't even his C of S and has no noteworthy credentials.

2. He has only mediocrities working for him. Joe Biden as VP? REALLY? What could possibly be delegated to that man? Keeping TP in the White House heads?

Not one of the Cabinet officers could be called excellent in his or her field, not even an excellent executive. Well ... who appoints the cabinet officers?

Right. Although it doesn't look good for the Senate that they approved that bunch.

Then you've got all the czars. While every organization has a de facto org chart that differs somewhat from the formal one, the top level of the executive branch has to be a real mess, because the czars are there strictly because the president is comfortable with them but they would likely not be confirmed in a cabinet job. So when he does talk to someone about an issue, just how does that work? How are the lines of control kept clear, misunderstandings and dropped-through-the-cracks avoided? My guess is they aren't.

Rather than the departments feeding staff work and recommendations up to the president for policy and big decisions, it looks like everything runs open-loop until an external event requires immediate action. Then the system goes into a spasm, perhaps does something ... and goes back to open loop.

If president Obama had surrounded himself with top talent, given them their missions, and done follow through with each on a regular basis, first of all most of the current crises might have been avoided. And second, when something did happen there would be a fully functioning system to do all the gruntwork, with the president needing only to test, make decisions, present it to the outside world, and follow up to assure performance.

As things are he might as well play golf, because we don't actually have a president now -- just a figurehead. And THAT is why he can't keep up with the cascade of crises: He is doing the top manager job approximately 100% wrong.

17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (80)
All Comments   (80)
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The dense pack strategy will remain an option irrespective of who holds the presidency until people get a tool to help them navigate and manage the scandals so they are no longer overwhelmed.

So what would such a tool look like? What would it do? How expensive would it be to create it? The country needs it developed for the next Carter, Clinton, or Obama so we don't have to suffer as much.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
So let's see, on the one hand we have ebola, ISIS, Ferguson, a horde of Guatemalan children, and a dogleg with a fairway bunker. On the other hand we have the FBI, a vaccine, ICE, a 3-wood, and an aircraft carrrier. Really, wouldn't it be better to have a standardized answer, just bomb everything and let Allah sort it out?

It just seems too complicated otherwise, the voters won't care, and the MSM won't get it right anyway.

Oh yeah, and the economy, anybody remember the economy? Bueller?
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Barack quit a long time ago, Now he is just going through the motions and waiting to become The Former First Black President in History of the United States of America.
Since being re-elected it's all been down hill to retirement.
All he has to do is not screw up in a way that can be actually detrimental to his legacy or get him arrested.
The empty suit is now at the dry cleaners.
"FORE!"
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
W: "Thus, the opponents of Obamacare would be best advised to forget focusing their fire on any individual problem and focus instead on Obama. He’s the common factor in all the dozens and hundreds of crises his administration faces."

I would change the focus in that statement from Obama to MSM. Obama is the figurehead that MSM has foisted on us. We need to weaken the power of MSM so they are less able to do this next time around with Hillary or Elizabeth Warren or whatever flavor du jour they come up with.

And BTW - weakening the influence of MSM immediately knocks at least 5 points off Obama's poll numbers, probably more impact than any new scandal or faux pas is likely to have.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hear hear. I have noted that the reason Alinsky et al is worthy of study is that he and ilk managed to convince an entire Western generation that they had been lied to much of their life (and did so by lying about most of it, natch.)

So that is the key: "YOU HAVE BEEN LIED TO!" Lied to by your media, lied to by your culture, lied to by your professors, all of whom have told you that they are so much smarter and more moral than all who came before (and you). They have lied to you about that.... virtually all of them.

Who are these people collectively? How about calling them the "Socialist Establishment"?

And you don't need to live your life according to them, you know.

After all..... you are better than that! ;-)
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment

"YOU HAVE BEEN LIED TO!" Lied to by your media, lied to by your culture, lied to by your professors..."

Yes, right on target. Why should we ever listen to MSM, etc. again, given this history of lies.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Latest word is that Obama intends to pursue a "law enforcement approach" to bring to justice the ones who beheaded Foley.

That'll work fine, sure. As soon as the FBI and Eric Holder can pry themselves free from Ferguson they will head over to ISIS territory and start interviewing people. I can see it now. Holder will show up in Fallujah and give a speech on how the situation is unacceptable. FBI agents will prowl through the bazzars, asking pointed questions and making subtle threats.

It's only a matter of time before the ones responsible for beheading Foly will be in the dock!
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Dense Pack is working in the sense that no individual scandal has been able to can gain traction. However, the downside is that the entire Obama Administration is now ensconced in a massive radioactive debris field.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
America is in a bad spot right now.

Our nation has more problems then a math book. In fact, i would argue that our problems have problems. I dont believe thats an understatement either.

Ive often thought the last few yrs that half (maybe more) the nation isnt worth fighting and dying for. I know im not alone in that assessment.

America is in a strange place, too late for voting to save us, too early to begin shooting.

17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Re-engaging Iraq? First, let's put in place new ROEs and re-define what we consider to be "collateral damage." Living near a terrorist must become absolutely unhealthy.
NO BOOTS UNDER CURRENT ROEs!
BTW, just who in Iraq is asking US to interfere?
This time oil will be repayment for our defense expenses. Either we get real this time, there will be no peace with Islam, absent the 3rd Conjecture.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
I understand even as we type the number of boots on the ground forces is increasing very rapidly.
The Mosul Dam is one reason, the Army Corps engineers said this was the most dangerous dam in the world, breaching and falling down in slow motion every minute.
A Tsunami 65 feet high held back by a dam the Iraqi's cannot maintain, and Lake Baghdad to be, under 15 feet of water with 500,000 potential drowned Iraqi's floating.
Cannot maintain a dam under fire, cannot stop the battle with just air power and drones.
Either they go ahead and put a Brigade of Armor and Mech Infantry with all it's assets on the ground there or just go ahead and blow the dam up.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Uh Oh! Our Lightworking Boy Emperor appears to be losing Chrissy Mathews!

From Chrissy: "No American president can survive if he lets Iran get nuclear weapons, and no American president can survive if he lets Americans be beheaded on international television with impunity. Impunity! He has to strike back, as an American, it’s in our soul!:

Note to Chrissy: Iran probably already has nukes and Buraq Hussein is only feigning concern over the beheading. He is enjoying them. He is on ISIS's side.

It seems more and more of our left wing friends have tired of little Boy Buraq and his shenanigans.
.
Maybe there is hope after for impeachment. If Ebola lands on these shores, look out Barry, that could be the straw that breaks the anti-impeachment camel's back.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Robin Wright, another longterm leftie weighs in on Iraq:http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-0821-wright-iraq-mission-creep-20140821-story.html

Well waddayaknow she wants a "well defined mission" and "a clear exit strategy." Me too, Robin!

She also wants our Boy Emperor to level with us. Ummm Robin, I'm not so sure that skill is in Buraq's skill set. He has a bit of trouble with that honesty thang.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Two years to go. The problem is not so much what comes after Obama, although the challenges you are facing are vast and multifarious they will with massive effort and considerable time be surmountable. Probably. You have overcome much worse in your past and it is quite likely as the scale of the damage done becomes ever more evident that the required shared effort will materialize. Not without considerable anger, grief and shame.

The real problem comes from the opportunity Obama offers your foes both foreign and domestic whilst he still infests the White House and assorted Golf links. Negotiating the next couple of years whilst you are weak, dazed, confused and without real, effective leadership is what worries me. It only takes one player to make the decision that now is the time to take advantage of your current malaise for all Hell to open up. If one leads others will follow and then we will all find out what Dense Pack really means.

In a previous thread radag brown was describing a trip through your hinterlands and how normal, tranquil and prosperous it all seemed when compared to the stories filling the news. I am quite sure that back in 1937 and 1938 most Europeans saw the same sort of view, listened to the news regarding Czechoslovakia, Poland and Germany and felt the same admixture of emotions too.

Whilst that weak, dishonest, lazy, feckless, vainglorious, narcissistic, hate filled, spendthrift, job destroying low life is POTUS we are all in greater danger than we care to recognize.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
yes, but with one important difference - the hinterlands I just drove thru happen to be armed to the teeth.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
let me amend that: the hinterlands are armed to the teeth and they do not assume the current "normalcy" is sustainable.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, that is noted and is a cause for hope, that you Americans still have the right and ability should all else fail to take control of your own destiny. I very much hope it never comes to that. Over here we will be destined to play the part of that anonymous Chinese man standing before a tank armed with no more than a shopping bag full of groceries. Over here only the cops and the criminals have guns.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
I find your description of POTUS a bit under the top.
---
Community Health Systems hacked, records of nearly 4.5 million patients stolen

https://www.google.com/#q=Community+Health+Systems+hacked
---
(The Chicoms have also hacked Iron Dome)
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes! I did kind of run out of adjectives. Sorry about that, the admonition is noted and I will try much harder in future.

I was re running in my mind what it felt like when we had the execrable Gordon Brown foisted on us after 11 years of that slippery, lie filled weasel Tony Blair. Now we only have to suffer the utterly useless David Cameron.

Big breaches of security were a feature of our previous semi socialist Labour administration with its fetish for ever bigger and utterly unworkable IT projects. Donate money to the Labour party, win a no bid or minimal competition bid to get the contract, suffer from multiple re writes to the contract as the plan is repeatedly altered. Be utterly incompetent at the task. As the over runs pile up the cost double, triple and then eventually reach between 5 and 10 times the initial estimate. The whole thing is cancelled by the next administration leaving the taxpayer to foot the bill and the government left with a vast pile of obsolete equipment no one can use. Happens time after time and yet no one sees time for it.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's OK, Israel already has a replacement for the Iron Dome in the works…and I hope this time we don't share it's secrets with the U.S.Defense Dept. and Senate Select Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Live & Learn" over here, "Learn or Live Not" over at your place.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
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