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WELL, WELL: Judge Andrew Napolitano was apparently right about British surveillance on the American election. “He was openly mocked — and suspended from Fox News — but now, it seems, he was right.” Prediction: Trace it back, if you can, and you’ll find Obama or one of his henchmen asking the Brits to do this. Or henchwomen.

Flashback: “Hypothesis: The spying-on-Trump thing is worse than we even imagine, and once it was clear Hillary had lost and it would inevitably come out, the Trump/Russia collusion talking point was created as a distraction.”

As a commenter says to this post, about Obama: “We kept thinking he was Carter and it turned out he was Nixon.” Well, I did say that Carter was a best-case scenario.

WITH FIRE: To Fix the Department of the Navy; Kill the Mabus Legacy.

Global warming and political incorrectness are the greatest threats to the United States, and it is the job of America’s Navy to protect us from those threats. For the past eight years, that has been the strategic legacy of Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, and the primary goal of his successor should be to ensure that Mabus has no legacy. The traditional mission of the US Navy has been to deter potentially hostile navies, or failing to do that, defeat them. Getting the US naval services back to that philosophy is going to be a big job for the new administration.

The Mabus priorities have been making the naval services more caring, inclusive, and environmentally protective. Discipline, combat effectiveness, and readiness have been secondary goals at best. Under Mabus, the Navy has sunk to readiness levels approaching those of the post-Vietnam Carter era.

Read the whole thing — although Instapundit readers have long known that Jimmy Carter was Obama’s best-case scenario.

KARL ROVE: A Preview of Obama’s Post-Presidency.

Mr. Obama still doesn’t understand that the GOP’s victories in ’10, ’14 and ’16 were repudiations of his policies. In the podcast, he argued that rural voters were wrong to vote Republican because his administration “devoted more attention, more focus, put more resources into rural America.” The idea that Democrats “abandoned the white working class,” he added, is “nonsense.” In other words, country folks should stay bought and the working class is too dumb to understand what’s good for them.

While saying it was time for “new voices and fresh legs,” Mr. Obama threatened that if “some foundational issues about our democracy” arise after he leaves office, he might “weigh in.” He also promised his presidential center would help young people become “organizers, journalists, politicians” by providing “tools for them to bring about progressive change.”

The IRS may get indigestion at such partisan use of a nonprofit, but Republicans should do cartwheels about these pledges, since it was Mr. Obama’s leadership that helped produce the biggest GOP dominance in nearly a century.

Mr. Obama will be the first ex-president since Woodrow Wilson to remain in Washington. Given the tone of his interviews, he could well become a carping, persistent presence in our nation’s capital.

We’re years past Carter being Obama’s best-case scenario.

BLOOMBERG NEWS EDITORIAL: Obama’s Betrayal of Israel at the UN Must Not Stand.

Flashback: Candidate Obama: “Any agreement with the Palestinian people must preserve Israel’s identity as a Jewish state, with secure, recognized and defensible borders. Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.”

Plus, Tom Maguire emails:

Since you were early and accurate with your Obama administration prediction that “Jimmy Carter is a best-case scenario”, shouldn’t you be taking a Bold Stand on Obama’s likely behavior as an Ex-Pres?

I think “Jimmy Carter is a best case” will apply to Future Obama as well. And that was before this UN Security Council clown show.

I think that Obama will far surpass Jimmy Carter in both sanctimony and support to America’s enemies. I believe that he will set a new standard in awfulness for ex-Presidents. But sadly, I don’t think this counts as a particularly bold prediction.

DON’T DOUBT ME: “Obama had barely lowered his hand after being sworn in back in 2009 that Glenn Reynolds proposed that a re-run of the Carter presidency was likely a best case scenario for the lightworker, and while this has been manifestly true for quite a while now, yesterday’s UN vote seals the deal.”

Related: Krauthammer’s Take: It’s As If the U.N. Passed a Resolution Declaring Mecca Jewish Territory. They’d never do that. Someone would kill them. Israelis take note. . . .

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Obama’s Second Term Was a Complete Failure.

As the Professor warned in the middle of Obama’s first term, “Up to now, comparisons with Carter were a tool of Obama’s critics. From now on, they’re likely to be a tool of his defenders. Because as bad as Carter was, Obama is shaping up to be worse. Much worse.”

ABOUT THAT JOBS REPORT… Labor force participation ticks down.

It remains stuck at levels not seen since 1978, when Jimmy Carter was President.

Of course, even during Carter’s Administration the trend for labor participation was upward.

If only someone had warned us that Obama would prove to be worse than Carter.

HEY, REMEMBER HIM? Barack Obama, the incredible shrinking president:

While presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump loom horrifyingly larger, can we spare a little horror as U.S. President Barack Obama looms ever smaller? No, I’m not sorry he’s leaving. I’m alarmed at a series of recent foreign policy humiliations showing just how badly the incredible shrinking president has damaged America’s standing in this turbulent world of ours.

First, emerging from the back door of Air Force One at the G20 in China after local functionaries literally denied him a red carpet. Second, begging Russian President Vladimir Putin for help on Syria and getting chlorine gas. Third, being told off by the president of Turkey over American support for Kurds in Syria. Fourth, being cussed out by the president of the Philippines.

It is literally impossible to imagine any of these things happening to former presidents Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush or Richard Nixon. Jimmy Carter? Maybe one or two. But Obama managed all four. While he did cancel his meeting with the appalling Filipino president, he seemed to treat the rest as no big deal.

As Glenn noted, “When Jimmy Carter Is your best-case scenario, you’re in trouble.” That was written back in 2011, but alas, voters didn’t heed the warning. Which is why our semi-retired president’s last months in office aren’t exactly occurring “unexpectedly,” even to his most die-hard loyalists.


LIE OF THE DECADE: Obama’s ransom payment to Iran out-lies Hillary and even his own Obamacare mendacity, Jed Babbin writes at the American Spectator:

Obama has said repeatedly that the deal blocks all of Iran’s paths to nuclear weapons, which is precisely the opposite of the truth. Hillary won’t disturb Obama’s lies about the Iran deal because it’s as much a part of her legacy as it is a part of his.

Obama’s lies — on Islamic terrorism, Iran, Syria, Russia, China and the rest — will remain undisturbed if, as seems likely, America elects the woman Safire labeled congenital liar as president. On Iran, Obama’s lies deserve the label “historic” because they will shape our history, and those of our allies.

When presidential lies are synonymous with policy, our nation is in great danger.

Indeed™. Or as Glenn warned in 2011, “Up to now, comparisons with Carter were a tool of Obama’s critics. From now on, they’re likely to be a tool of his defenders. Because as bad as Carter was, Obama is shaping up to be worse. Much worse.”

Of course, Carter hasn’t lacked for leftwing apologists to spin even his most embarrassing moments. The scrotal torque-inducing spin to defend his successor’s myriad disasters will be astonishing to witness in the coming years.

OBAMANOMICS: US Productivity Plunges For 3rd Quarter In A Row – Longest Losing Streak Since 1979.

Instapundit readers have known for years that Jimmy Carter was the “best-case scenario” for Barack Obama.

EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN! Wall Street’s latest dirty word—stagflation:

A tightening labor market and rising inflation against a backdrop of slowing overall growth are painting an increasingly stagflationary picture for the U.S. economy.

Stagflation, or conditions in which costs are rising but growth is not, last was seen in the 1970s, before then-Fed Chair Paul Volcker had to push the economy into recession to slay the inflation dragon.

Now, with a variety of factors coming together to show inflationary-deflationary cross currents, Wall Street is bracing for another battle.

Welcome back Carter! Although as someone once warned, when it comes to foreign, domestic, and economic issues, “at this point a Carter rerun is probably a best-case scenario.”

(Incidentally, note that CTL-F “Carter” brings up zero returns in the above CNBC article. “Unexpectedly.”)


ED DRISCOLL LINKED this 2011 column of mine on Obama vs. Carter earlier today, and, well, I wish I hadn’t been so right. And note this bit:

At the moment, Obama is involved in three wars, and in two of them he is losing. (The third, ironically, is the war he ran against, in Iraq, where things seem to be going comparatively well).

Well, it was then, but he fixed that shortly thereafter by withdrawing American troops, setting the stage for today’s debacle.


Conservatives have long attacked President Barack Obama by comparing him with Jimmy Carter. Obama seemed to be following in Carter’s footsteps, becoming a failure both at home and abroad. That comparison is mistaken, however. Obama is far worse than Carter.

“I think of Jimmy Carter as the good old days,” said former ambassador and American Enterprise Institute senior fellow John Bolton.

He’s in good company.

WHY SUSAN RICE PLAYED THE RACE CARD: At Commentary, Jonathan S. Tobin writes:

The headline on the Politico website for the Ross excerpts when it went up on Thursday morning was one that used a quote in which the State Department veteran claimed that Rice spread the word that “Netanyahu did everything but ‘use the N-word’ in his interactions with Obama over Iran. Later in the day, that was changed to the more neutral (and actually more in keeping with thrust of the content of the story) headline, “How Obama got to “Yes” on Iran.” But as inflammatory as that initial headline was, that one line was what has everyone talking about Ross’s book today. Indeed, although Ross’s purpose is to try to repair what he correctly terms the unnecessary damage to the alliance that was caused by the administration’s combative attitude toward Netanyahu, that false allegation by Rice actually tells us more about what’s wrong between Washington and Jerusalem than anything else.

“Ross draws a distinction between Obama’s first term, when a figure such as National Security Director Tom Donilon worked to reassure the Israelis that they were not being left alone to fend for themselves, and his last,” Tobin adds. “In his second term, Obama ceased caring about what the Israelis thought, and Donilon’s successor Susan Rice acted on that imperative.”

In his 2002 article with the classic headline “Carterpalooza,” Jay Nordlinger wrote, “No one quite realizes just how passionately anti-Israel Carter is. William Safire has reported that Cyrus Vance acknowledged that, if he had had a second term, Carter would have sold Israel down the river.”

Think of the last eight years as Jimmy Carter’s long-lost second term – dialed up to 11.


Next month, the family of a Marine veteran will mark the grim milestone of his fourth year held by Iran — barring a miraculous change of heart by a regime that originally sentenced him to death for conspiracy to commit espionage.

Today brought another milestone in the tragic case of Amir Hekmati: President Obama finally, for the first time, said his name in public.

The family had been begging the White House just to say Amir’s name.

Mr. Obama’s two terms really are a case study in how a president can make Jimmy Carter look competent by comparison, aren’t they?

OUCH: The Disastrous Clinton Post-Presidency. “The qualities of an effective presidency do not seem to transfer onto a post-presidency. Jimmy Carter was an ineffective president who became an exemplary post-president. Bill Clinton appears to be the reverse. All sorts of unproven worst-case-scenario questions float around the web of connections between Bill’s private work, Hillary Clinton’s public role as secretary of State, the Clintons’ quasi-public charity, and Hillary’s noncompliant email system. But the best-case scenario is bad enough: The Clintons have been disorganized and greedy.”

As Rick Wilson said on Twitter, when you’ve lost Jonathan Chait. . . .

OUR JUNIOR VARSITY ADMINISTRATION: Adriana Cohen: Foreign Policy Inexperience Proving Costly. “The truth is, Obama is worse at foreign policy than Jimmy Carter.” Hey, I warned everybody that a Carter rerun was a best-case scenario. . . .

ED DRISCOLL: It’s Deja Malaise All Over Again. “Welcome back Carter — but then, arguably, from the implosion of the doomed Great Society onward, liberalism, progressivism, leftism, Obamaism — whatever it chooses to call itself this week — has never recovered from its own seemingly permanent crisis of confidence, simply because its own FDR-LBJ-style cargo cult view of the glories of big government is itself unachievable, as with all forms of magical thinking.” I repeat, at this point a Carter rerun is a best-case scenario — and an increasingly implausibly best-case scenario at that.

Related: Roger Simon: Liberalism: The Decline Of An Illusion. “What Republicans are now confronting is an empty machine. . . . I have no idea if Republicans will end their circular firing squad and unite sufficiently to right our country, but one thing seems abundantly clear from the events of the last weeks, including Tuesday’s election in which Terry McAuliffe barely eked out a victory over the unexciting Ken Cuccinelli. Liberalism in our country is in a more precarious position than ever. It may not even really exist. Liberalism as practiced in today’s America is a chimera, not actually an ideology but an alliance of interest groups controlled by elites for the preservation of their (the elites’) wealth and power.”


DRIVING IN TO WORK, I HEARD KEN WALL — SUBSTITUTE HOSTING ON KILMEADE AND FRIENDS — saying that the big question facing Republicans today is whether we want a strong military “like Reagan” or we want “the military footprint of Guatemala,” which he repeatedly said is what Rand Paul wants.

Two things here: (1) Boy, the GOP establishment must hate Rand Paul; and (2) What a dumb way of stating the military and security choices that face America. We’re not in the Reagan era. We’re not even in the Carter era (I told you a Carter rerun would be a best-case scenario). And, more importantly, a lot of the stuff being done in the name of national security — like drone strikes on American citizens, or mass-spying (and mass-lying) by the NSA, FBI, et al.– is stuff that aims inward, at Americans. In the Reagan era, national security aimed outward, at the Soviet Union and its allies.

There’s also much, much less trust in the government regarding its use of these inward-aiming powers. That distrust is entirely rational. Anyone who thinks that the GOP can, or should, just try a Reagan rerun on national security isn’t serious.


PER WEHNER: Obama’s Lear-like Rage. “Mr. Obama’s effort at emotional blackmail has failed, and in bitterly lashing out at those who called him out on his demagoguery, he went some distance toward confirming that he is, in fact, a demagogue. Three months into his second term, Mr. Obama is becoming an increasingly bitter and powerless figure. When a man who views himself as a world-historic figure and our Moral Superior commands things to happen and they don’t, it isn’t a pretty sight. See yesterday’s Rose Garden statement for more.”

Meanwhile, a reader emails: “I wonder how all those wringing their hands over the failure of the gun bills would feel…if the nation’s abortion policies were based on the Kermit Gosnell atrocities?”

Yes, the emotional-blackmail thing only goes one way, apparently. But it’s interesting that it was such a colossal failure this time. Putting forward people to promote your cause, and then maintaining that no one is allowed to argue with or criticize them because of their victim status must have looked like a sure winner to the White House, but they overplayed their hand and it backfired.

UPDATE: More backfire. This emotional bullying stuff just doesn’t seem to intimidate people on the right anymore. I guess when you’ve been called a racist every time you disagreed with Obama’s healthcare policy, such things lose their power.

And reader Drew Kelley emails: “Remember how we joked about Obama’s first, and second, terms being – in a best case scenario – another term of Carter? Today, it seems that this term is turning into a reprise of Nixon, but with a President even more bitter.”

STEALTH TAX HIKE: Why the New $450,000 Income Threshold Is a Political Fiction. “Mr. Obama purports this is merely ‘a return to the Clinton-era tax rates.’ But capital-gains rates will be about three to five percentage points higher than in the 1990s, the Medicare tax is higher, and his stealth tax will raise personal rates higher than advertised. Forget the golden Clinton memories. Mr. Obama is pushing the U.S. back to the Carter era.”

As I keep saying, a Carter rerun is the best-case scenario, and it’s now looking implausibly optimistic.

BING WEST: Romney As Reagan, Obama As Carter.

That’s just foreign policy, but there’s another way Obama is like Carter. How long before we see a reprise of these bumper stickers, with gas prices soaring?

Of course, as has now become obvious, these days a Carter rerun represents a best-case scenario.

FOUAD AJAMI: Muslim Rage And Obama’s Retreat.

This is not a Jimmy Carter moment—a U.S. Embassy and its staff seized and held hostage for 444 days, America’s enemies taking stock of its weakness, its allies running for cover. But the anti-American protests that broke upon 20 nations this past week must be reckoned a grand personal failure for Barack Obama, and a case of hubris undone.

No American president before this one had proclaimed such intimacy with a world that stretches from Morocco to Indonesia. From the start of his administration, Mr. Obama put forth his own biography as a bridge to those aggrieved nations. He would be a “different president,” he promised, and the years he lived among Muslims would acquit him—and thus America itself. He was the un-Bush.

And so, in June 2009, Mr. Obama descended on Cairo. He had opposed the Iraq war, he had Muslim relatives, and he would offer Egyptians, and by extension other Arabs, the promise of a “new beginning.” They told their history as a tale of victimization at the hands of outsiders, and he empathized with that narrative.

He spoke of “colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations.”

Without knowing it, he had broken a time-honored maxim of that world: Never speak ill of your own people when in the company of strangers. There was too little recognition of the malignant trilogy—anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism and anti-modernism—that had poisoned the life of Egypt and much of the region. . . .

Our foreign policy has been altered, as never before, to fit one man’s electoral needs. We hear from the presidential handlers only what they want us to believe about the temper of distant lands. It was only yesterday that our leader, we are told, had solved the riddle of our position in the world.

Give him your warrant, the palace guard intone, at least until the next election. In tales of charismatic, chosen leaders, it is always, and only, about the man at the helm.

Obama didn’t learn much in his sojourn abroad, and apparently much of what he did learn turned out not to be so.

Related: James Taranto on Obama’s Apology Ad:

What message does the ad actually send the Mohammed Tariq Khans? On the one hand, a message of weakness: Assemble a big enough mob, kill enough people, burn enough flags and churches, and you too can grab the attention of the most powerful man and woman in the world. On the other hand, a taunt. If Obama and Mrs. Clinton really mean it, the Khans must think, why haven’t they presented the video makers for public mincing? The State Department’s ad contains no answer to that crucial question.

If our government is going to run an ad to educate Pakistanis (or whoever) about American attitudes, wouldn’t it make sense to include an explanation as to why America’s leaders cannot and will not enforce the mob’s standards of blasphemy? To an American, what’s objectionable about this ad isn’t so much the apology for the video’s offense as the abject failure to defend basic American principles of freedom. That same failure makes the ad less than worthless as an educational tool.

Obama didn’t learn much in his sojourn at Harvard and Chicago law schools, and apparently much of what he did learn turned out not to be so.

Oh, and it’s not a Jimmy Carter moment — because at this point, Jimmy Carter would be a best-case scenario. And an increasingly implausible one, I’m afraid.


Much as it pains me to admit she was right about something, Hillary’s remarks about that 3 a.m. phone call were correct in one way. It wouldn’t be wise to call President Obama, as they probably don’t allow phones on the golf course or at campaign fundraisers which is where he seems to spend most of his time.
Sadly, we’ve also learned that Secretary Clinton can’t handle that phone call too well, as it seems her response was to apologize for freedom.
With all of the things I didn’t like about him, John McCain doesn’t look so bad to me now.

Please withhold my name if you use this.

When people are willing to give their names in support of this sentiment, we’ll have really turned a corner . . . .

UPDATE: And maybe we have. From my email:

“Well, I’m Bob Tandler, and I support that message.”

“I’m guessing I won’t be the only one to do so, but I’m quite willing to say: My name is Todd Tolhurst, and I wholly support this sentiment. And you can post that.”


I support what the reader writes.

Use my name – I’m a proud Tea Party supporter and Republican.

I do this for my grandchildren.

By the way, we are in a brand new Congressional District – Ron DeSantis, a Navy and Iraq vet is the R candidate and deserves support.

Republican volunteers have knocked on my door, but no Democrats. Maybe they´re looking at the registration, but I would have noticed if the Dems were in the neighborhood.

Mike Thompson
Palm Coast FL. ( part of the I4 corridor which the MSM thinks is so important)

Moe Lane emails: “I didn’t say it, but I’d put my name to the sentiment. I’ll happily cop to being offended by Obama; disappointed by Clinton; and wistful for McCain.” Hell, at this point I’m wistful for Jimmy Carter. I told you people that a Carter rerun would be a best-case scenario, and I was right!

“Wish I had said it, and you can use my name if you like. Bill Gasper.”

“Hell, put my name to it. I am Spartacus. Rob Carty, Houston, Texas.”

Johanna Lapp writes: “Out me. Orphan, white African exile, refugee, new US citizen, Democrat, lesbian, grad student at expensive elitist college. One more stripe can’t make matters any worse.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: More coming out. Sarah Hoyt emails:

I need something to make me feel good after this horrible week, so here it is:

Foreign born, Latin origin, MA in literature, novelist — I wish we’d elected McCain. Sometimes, in my crazier moments, I wish Clinton (whom I hate) were still president. After a week like this, I think we’d be better off with Carter. What more should go in my self denunciation? I hate Marxism with a burning purple passion; Communism should not be acceptable. Declaring yourself a communist should be as acceptable as declaring yourself a puppy eater (oh, wait!) It should shock and disgust well-balanced people. I believe the US is the best country in the world — not perfect — but by far the best system humanity has constructed. Those dead white men who wrote the constitution knew very well what they were doing and we’re not fit to shine their boots. What other totally crazy beliefs do I hold? Oh, yeah, I like men. I think masculine virtues are necessary to the maintenance of civilization and I think we’re treating our men very badly and there will be a price to pay. I believe in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I believe that our system of individual rights has made possible magnificent technology. And because that technology allowed me to drop all the publishers who would have objected to this statement — other than Baen Books who doesn’t object at all — and self publish all the books Baen doesn’t buy, you can sign me Sarah A. Hoyt (aka Sarah D’Almeida, aka Elise Hyatt.)

The USA is lucky to have you, Sarah.

FINALLY: Reader Richard Samson writes:

Please allow me to join in the “I Am Spartacus!” moment.
Richard E Samson
Greensboro, NC


JOHN PODHORETZ: Shut Up, They Explained: Romney’s Day. “Romney can be criticized for attacking it. Romney can be criticized for what he said, for his wording, for his ideas. He can be faulted for his timing—although such criticism is really only about style and political smarts, not substance. But the onslaught yesterday wasn’t about that. What Mark Halperin calls ‘the gang of 500’—-the world of conventional opinion-—was saying one thing and one thing only to Mitt Romney, and that was: You are not to speak.”

They defend Obama like crazed Muslims defend the Koran. No criticism can be seen as legitimate, because they have invested everything.

Related: The Media Lash Out.

Meanwhile, Romney’s back in the lead in the Rasmussen tracking poll. He’s also ahead by 3 in Florida.

UPDATE: Obama Echoes Carter With ‘Shoot First’ Criticism of Romney. As I’ve been saying, at this point a Carter rerun is a best-case scenario.

MORE: Media Does What Romney Couldn’t, Solidifies Republican Support.

MORE STILL: Reader Arthur Barie writes:

Glenn, you know what you’re not seeing in all these stories criticizing Romney’s statement?

Romney’s statement.

Can’t let a clear defense of the 1st Amendment, and of American interests leak out into the public eye.

It’s all about the narrative.

HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): Jobs? What Jobs? Note this chart in particular:

Why have jobs recovered so slowly, and so little, compared to past recessions?

UPDATE: Reader John Hawkins — no, not that one, another John Hawkins — writes: “You keep saying that Jimmy Carter is a best-case scenario for Broke Obama, and looking at that jobs chart confirms it, at least when it comes to employment. Carter’s recession is the yellow line up in the corner. The current red line is four times deeper and five times longer.”

And reader Brock Cusick emails:

Glenn, this chart is more important than just Obama’s awful stewardship of the economy. Look closer. Look at how each recovery takes longer than the previous one. The longest recovery prior to this one was 2001, and the longest recovery before that was 1991. This is a chart of demosclerosis. We don’t just need to get rid of Obama. We need a hard reset of the entire Federal apparatus. A do-over, if you will. Or the next recession will be even worse – no matter who’s in office.

Here’s a simple solution: Any Federal agency which isn’t delivering real value, is shut down. Give the employees a generous exit package to lessen the human cost, but get the regulators to stop interfering with the economy. And any Federal agency that’s kept, gets six months to re-write the regulations so that they’re clear, transparent, market friendly, and less than 100 pages in length.

And, of course, pass a major tax reform. Make the tax code 10 pages in length. Make that a hard cap.

Works for me.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Economic historian Eric Schubert writes:

There are two basic reasons why the job situation remains so tough:

First, the current recession is a classic balance sheet recession that was 30 years in the making. The housing bubble of the last decade was the culmination of our increasing love of debt and our failure to save. Nouriel Roubini called it four years ago. His analysis – along with Gary Schilling’s – still holds. The large run-up of government debt under the Obama Administration has allowed private balance sheets to heal. – a process very similar to what Nordic countries faced in the 1990s. The process would have happened if John McCain had won in 2008. An inevitability, unless you want 25-30 percent unemployment over a very short period of time. Low job growth is a function of the laws of economics, not politics.

The problem we now face is that next year the government balance sheet will need to be addressed, which will prolong the hiring slump over the next five years. No sign President Present is up to that job.

Second, there is a structural mismatch on skills and education young men and women are getting and what is needed in the economy. Walter Russell Mead has been writing on the subject extensively for the past year. Too many folks leaning on the Blue Social Model for their future; education needs serious reform. Arnold Kling wrote a convincing column months that there is some strong evidence that a comparable mismatch also prolonged the Great Depression.

While I agree with some of Mr. Cusik’s ideas, Obama has done little either way to impact employment. What he did with the stimulus package, however, was one of the most egregious forms of crony capitalism in the history of this country. And as Michael Barone has repeatedly commented, the President still pushes the outdated Blue Social Model from the 1950s, which makes him more of a square than Governor Romney! In that respect, a second term would slow the healing and transformation our economy needs, and which I believe Governor Romney understands or will soon grasp.

Let’s hope.

HOPE AND CHANGE: Gas Prices Grow More Under Obama than Carter. As I was saying quite some time ago, a Carter rerun is now the best-case scenario, and I’ll add that at this point it’s mostly visible in the rearview mirror.

I’VE BEEN SAYING FOR A WHILE THAT A CARTER RERUN IS NOW THE BEST-CASE SCENARIO FOR THE OBAMA PRESIDENCY, but Holman Jenkins fills in the blanks. “Mr. Carter had served aboard Navy submarines. He ran a peanut plantation. He served one term as Georgia governor—real jobs that produce real effects. Mr. Carter saw himself in some realistic relation to the world. . . . Mr. Obama’s career has been one in which the main effect has been the impression he leaves on audiences—the main effect has been himself. Familiarity with his country—or any other country—would be helpful at this point, if only to counterweight his mesmerization with the arc of his personal story.”


What’s a six-letter word that describes what you get when you combine spiking jobless claims and rising inflation? Answer: M-I-S-E-R-Y. And as new reports show, Obama is dishing out heaping portions of it.

The two reports out of the Labor Department are troubling enough on their own. Jobless claims hit 428,000 last week, up 11,000 from the week before, the highest level in months and, naturally, unexpected. And inflation in August was up 3.8% over last year, also higher than forecast.

These reports also point to a more worrisome trend. With unemployment stuck at a stratospheric 9.1% — and giving no signs of coming down soon — inflation is now climbing. The current annual rate is more than twice where it stood in January. Combine the two, and you have a Misery Index of 12.9 — up 21% this year and a stunning 64% since Obama took office.

To put the current index in some historical context: (1) it’s higher than any time in the past 28 years, (2) it’s 36% higher than the post-World War II average of 9.5 and (3) there have been only nine years in the past 63 when the annual Misery Index topped 12.9 — all in the inflationary 1970s.

Welcome back, Carter. Except that, as I keep saying, a Jimmy Carter rerun now represents a best-case scenario.

STEPHEN GREEN: “For a while now, Glenn Reynolds has argued that ‘Jimmy Carter is the best-case scenario’ for Obama — because it’s been pretty obvious for a while now. But it’s only this morning that I figured out the why.

DANA MILBANK: “A familiar air of indecision preceded President Obama’s pep talk to the nation.”

Plus this: “It’s not exactly fair to blame Obama for the rout: Almost certainly, the markets ignored him. And that’s the problem: The most powerful man in the world seems strangely powerless, and irresolute, as larger forces bring down the country and his presidency. . . . That is the enduring mystery of Obama’s presidency. He delivered his statement on the economy beneath a portrait of Abraham Lincoln, but that was as close as he came to forceful leadership.” It’s as if, in some sort of national spasm of carelessness and self-deceit, we elected a guy entirely unqualified by experience or personal characteristics to the single most important office in the land, to serve during a period of unusual troubles that he was not equipped to address.

Nice to see that even the press is starting to notice.

UPDATE: Obama In The Headlights.


Plus: Obama’s penchant for speeches now sounding hollower by the word. I’m definitely sensing a shift in the tone here. . . .

Hey, they once loved Jimmy Carter, too. Until they didn’t. But, as is worth repeating, at this point a Carter rerun is a best-case scenario.

MORE: Reader Robert Burnham emails that an MSM preference cascade may be underway:

I think this week and last will be seen as when Obama lost the MSM. His inexperience and political incompetence have become too obvious to ignore, even for them. He’s become a liability to the Party. They won’t turn on him viciously because they invested so heavily in him before. But we’ll see a chilling of tone in regard to him, and simultaneously a warmer response toward Democrats who appear more electable.

Another matter is that Democrats looking farther down the road may actually not want to jump into 2012, figuring that a primary fight against a sitting president will be fratricidal to the Party — and perhaps also that a political reversal next year has become highly probable anyway.

Yeah. Unless there’s a grudge involved.

THE RETURN OF STAGFLATION: Obama’s Carter-era policies bring back Carter-era problems. As I keep saying, a Carter-rerun is a best-case scenario.

And note this:

One possible difference is that interest rates were extremely high during the Carter years. Right now, real interest rates are close to zero. Banks have plenty of reserves but they still aren’t lending. Banks won’t lend if it isn’t profitable to do so. Businesses won’t invest if the expected benefit doesn’t exceed the risk. That has to do with uncertainty in the system, and in view of fact that when interest rates are nearly zero, there isn’t much wiggle room there to change the calculus.

Today’s uncertainty runs the gamut from monetary to fiscal policy. Uncertainty about another ineffective “helicopter drop” of money by the Fed does not help the situation. There’s no telling what’s going to happen on the fiscal and regulatory side. Obamacare is in legal limbo, some states are starting implementation, and many employers have no idea what it’s going to mean for them. Congress and the president have no agreement on addressing the debt crisis as we edge up to the point of default. Spending cuts have to be part of the solution because what we have is a spending a problem.

Yes, it is.

JUST WORDS? Obama, February 2009: If this economy hasn’t rebounded in three years, I’m a one-termer. The must-watch video’s at the link.

Sounds like he was anticipating Walter Russell Mead.

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Jimmy Carter As A Best-Case Scenario. “The Great Recession is not as crushing as the Great Depression, but President Obama’s problems in the face of economic turmoil are beginning to look Hooveresque.”

UPDATE: A reader emails: “If Obama turned around now and disowned EVERYTHING he’s done so far, he could aspire to being about as good as Carter.”

ONE OF MANY: Obama’s Undeclared War. “No President since Jimmy Carter has enacted programs that were so job destroying.” And I repeat: Jimmy Carter is a best-case scenario.

STEVEN HAYWARD: “I’m reminded again of Glenn Reynolds’s refrain that a rerun of the Carter administration may be the best-case scenario for the Obama presidency. Cy Vance, Carter’s disaffected secretary of state, wrote in his memoirs that Carter had planned to sell out Israel if he was reelected in 1980. Obama looks poised to pick up where Jimmy left off.”

MY SUNDAY WASHINGTON EXAMINER COLUMN: When Jimmy Carter Is Your Best-Case Scenario, You’re In Trouble. “Up to now, comparisons with Carter were a tool of Obama’s critics. From now on, they’re likely to be a tool of his defenders. Because as bad as Carter was, Obama is shaping up to be worse. Much worse.”

UPDATE: From the comments, a haiku:

Obama has failed
The worst President ever
Jimmy Carter smiles!


ANOTHER UPDATE: More haiku from the comments:

Carter competence
with Nixonian ethics
makes worst prez ever


MORE: How bad has it gotten for the lefties? After an extensive — though not exhaustive — list of Obama failures in my column, leftie blogger TBogg weighs in in the comments and all he can come up with is this bit of “racer” nonsense:

Shorter Glenn Reynolds:

I don’t like the black guy.

He’s pretty much eaten alive by the other commenters, but I’ll break out this one:

Yeah, people ain’t ticked because they’re payin’ $5 a gallon for gas, they’re ticked ’cause a black guy is president!

Folks ain’t ticked because they been unemployed for 2 years, they’re ticked ’cause a black guy is president!

And nobody’s ticked because they had a sh*tty health care “reform” plan stuffed down their throats last year (for which exemptions are being handed out right and left to the main advocate’s pals and cronies) they’re all ticked ’cause a black guy is president!

Hey, I’ll bet you if by next year we’re all living in lean-to’s and searching for discarded pizza in dumpsters, we’ll all be ticked; not because of that, but because a black guy is presdient!

Because heaven knows, nobody would be bothered by any of this kind of stuff if a white guy was president, right?

When even the miserable partisan hacks can’t come up with anything better than a naked race-card play, you know that . . . well, that Jimmy Carter is the best-case scenario.

MORE: Terry Hinshaw emails: “Not surprisingly, Andrew Sullivan doesn’t much care for your critique of Obama. Note, however, his concluding paragraph which I suspect is his initial, tentative step toward accusing you of being a racist.”

Between now and 2012, everyone will be a racist for 15 minutes. It’s all they’ve got, as they try to defend this miserable failure of a President, and those charges are just an admission that they have nothing else. See the response from the commenter above, which disposes of them entirely. And isn’t it just a bit sad for Andrew to be following, however tentatively, in the footsteps of a TBogg blog comment? Come on, Andrew — raise your game!

But wait, wasn’t Andrew critiquing Obama harshly just a little while ago? “A congressional vote is also important to rein in the imperial presidency that Obama has now taken to a greater height then even Bush.” Was that racist? Never mind. He was praising Bush more effusively than I ever did, right up until he started calling me a Nazi for not joining him in Bush-hatred and Iraq war cut-and-run policies. He’s excitable, you know.

Meanwhile, speaking of “derangement,” how’s that whole Sarah-Palin’s-uterus thing going for you, Andrew?

And yeah, now I’ll get the usual 500 “ignore Andrew Sullivan” emails. But every once in a while, you have to note things for the record.

Plus, a great PhotoShop.

MORE STILL: Reader James Merriner writes:

I believe I am the only writer in the country who has covered both Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama in their hometowns during their time in state government–as well as their presidential campaigns. They were probably the most intelligent politicians, in terms of raw IQ, I have covered, so their failures in office should tell us something about what constitutes intelligence in democratic leadership. My conclusions: (1) Neither trusted the voters enough to tell them the truth. (2) They were right to do so because the voters initially bought their myths.


AS I KEEP SAYING, THAT’S NOW THE BEST-CASE SCENARIO: Eric Alterman: Hey, Obama’s Looking A Lot Like Jimmy Carter These Days.

UPDATE: Reader Wayne Moore writes: “Obama has left Carter territory and entered James Buchanan territory.” That’s what I’m afraid of.

THERE’S THAT WORD AGAIN: Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Rise; Inflation Pressure Grows. I kind of expected it to be unexpected.

And inflation rising? Welcome back, Carter! Though as I say, that’s now a best-case scenario.

UPDATE: Losing The Present.

WELCOME BACK, CARTER: Scary-Ass Charts Of The Day. As I keep saying, a Carter re-run is looking more and more like a best-case scenario.

WHERE HAVE I HEARD THIS BEFORE? Niall Ferguson: The Best Case Scenario Is A Rerun Of The 1970s, With Obama In The Role Of Jimmy Carter. Nice to see that people are figuring out that a Carter rerun is now the best-case scenario, though. Too bad it’s now obviously true. . . .

BILL CLINTON: These delays on oil drilling permits are ridiculous. “Bill Clinton sounds a lot more like George W. Bush these days than Barack Obama. In fact, that comparison was easy to make, thanks to Bush’s presence at the conference, and Clinton himself made it. . . . I’ve been missing George Bush for more than two years. Who knew I’d be missing Bill Clinton by this time? Let’s hope we don’t get to the point where we’re missing …. Jimmy Carter.” As I’ve said before, Jimmy Carter now represents a best-case scenario.

UPDATE: Reader Patrick Kelly writes: “I really miss the days when I could believe that your ‘Jimmy Carter is the best case scenario’ was hyperbole.” What’s worse is, I’m generally regarded as excessively optimistic. . . .

TIM CAVANAUGH: Has Anybody Seen Jimmy Carter Lately? I would snark “Look in the White House!” but as I’ve been saying, at this point a Carter rerun looks like a best-case scenario.

LOOKING AT $5 A GALLON GAS IN MASSACHUSETTS? “Imagine what would happen if Saudi Arabia goes offline.” I paid $3.59 a gallon last night.

UPDATE: A reader emails: “Obama has a plan for $3 gasoline — sell it by the quart.” Wow, all the old Jimmy Carter jokes are coming back. Although, as I’ve said, I’m afraid that a Carter rerun is now a best-case scenario.

DANA MILBANK WONDERS IF THE WHITE HOUSE HAS ANY IDEAS. The Carterization proceeds apace — though, as I’ve said before, at this point a Carter rerun is the best-case scenario.

CHUCK SIMMINS: Prognosis: Inflation. “Your increase in costs from 2005 to 2010 depended upon what you bought. Unless you bought the exact mix that goes into the CPI, you saw a different CPI, your personal CPI. If you are like me, your personal CPI went up a whole lot more than the government’s CPI.”

Related: The Return Of Stagflation? “So inflation is back in the picture and unemployment is rising again. Does the phrase ‘Carteresque’ come to mind?” As I’ve said before, at this point “Carteresque” is probably a best-case scenario.

PETER FERRARA: The Obama Watch: So Much Worse Than Carter. Hey, I was warning last year that a Carter-era rerun would be a best-case scenario. And I was right . . . .

CHANGE: Will the US Be Jealous of Japan’s ‘Lost Decade’? Well, I still think that the Carter years are now a best-case scenario.

ACTUALLY, THAT’S A BEST-CASE SCENARIO: Der Spiegel: Will Obama Be The Jimmy Carter of the 21st Century?

DAVID REILLY: “President Barack Obama is starting to look like the second coming of Jimmy Carter.” I repeat, that’s a best-case scenario at this point.

DER SPIEGEL: Obama’s Nice-Guy Act Gets Him Nowhere. If only he were as tough on America’s enemies as he is on Fox News.

John Hinderaker comments: “President Obama took office wanting to distinguish himself from President Bush. . . . Now, as Der Spiegel concludes, he is trying desperately to distinguish himself from Jimmy Carter.” I don’t think he’s trying all that hard . . . .

Plus, Mark Steyn: More mush from the wimp. Sorry, but a Carter-era rerun is the best-case scenario.

THAT SAME OLD CARTER FEELING AGAIN. Sorry, but as I’ve said before, I think a Carter-era rerun is a best-case scenario at this point . . . .

BACK TO THE FUTURE: 1978 all over again? “Why did things go south for Carter so fast? Because America’s enemies had taken measure of the man during his first, change-filled year in office. They saw weaknesses they could exploit. In the second year, they made their move.” I’d say that at this point, a Carter-rerun is a best-case scenario.

HISTORY’S GREATEST MONSTER: Romney taunts Democrats with memories of Carter. A Carter-rerun is now looking like a best-case scenario. . . .

OH, GOODY: Barack Obama surrenders to Russia on Missile Defence. It really is like Jimmy Carter all over again. Well, actually that’s looking like a best-case scenario these days . . . .

THINGS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED THIS WEEKEND, if you were off, you know, having a life.

Nationwide protests target Obamacare. Much more on that here, here, and here.

Plus, Heath Shuler’s ungracious treatment of the 250 who showed up at his office in Asheville. And some video from Tucson.

The Amazon/Orwell scandal.

An informative video from the Health Administration Bureau: Health Rations And You.

White House foreclosure plan a bust so far.

Matt Welch and Nick Gillespie on Obama as Jimmy Carter. Actually, I now see that as a best-case scenario . . . .

Environmentalists for space exploration.