Posts Tagged ‘winner’s curse’

The end of affirmative action

We may be at the end of affirmative action. Why? Referenda, subprime lending, and the Obamas.

Referenda

Anti-affirmative action referenda have been passed or attempted in:

• Arizona

• California

• Colorado

• Florida

• Michigan

• Washington State

I do not claim that is a complete list. I would appreciate a complete list if anyone knows where to get one.

It is noteworthy that it is hard to get such legislation passed by legislators because they are afraid of pressure groups. Individual voters, however, are not susceptible to pressure groups. That’s why these laws are more likely to pass when voted on by all the people.

Subprime

The nation has recently suffered a stock market crash, collapse of huge financial companies, passed a humongous bailout and watched almost every country in the world suffer similar problems.

Why?

Because some politicians pushed mortgage lenders to lend to so-called subprime borrowers. Substandard would be a more accurate description. Disproportionately, the borrowers were the same groups who benefit from affirmative action in employment, awarding of contracts, and college and graduate school admissions. Subprime lending is affirmative-action mortgage lending.

The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) is the main government culprit. About 20% of subprime mortgages were made by mortgage lenders who came under the CRA. The CRA probably gave the idea of subprime loans to the other 80%.

Most Americans did not care too much about affirmative action when it just kept their kid out of Harvard or made it easier for “disadvantaged” minorities to rent an apartment or buy a home. But when affirmative action destroys their retirement savings, gets them fired, and/or throws the world into a depression, affirmative action is done.

It was always immoral: the institutionalization of the notion that two wrongs make a right. Namely, that it’s OK to discriminate against whites and Asians because blacks and Latinos were discriminated against in the past. That was bogus. But people let it continue.

When it becomes dangerous, however, that’s another story. Wrecking the world economy is dangerous.

The Obamas

Michelle Obama says her high school guidance counselor discouraged her from applying to Princeton because her test scores were too low. She applied anyway and got in. So she showed them, huh? Actually, it was obvious affirmative action. She did not deserve to go to Princeton. She did not earn it. She got in to fill a black quota. Princeton’s admissions policies are racist.

The Obama campaign said she got in as a “legacy” because her older brother had gone there as a basketball recruit. That’s a lie. Legacies are for the children of graduates, not siblings. Nowadays, probably just the children of prominent graduates. Legacies for all are long gone.

There is not and never has been a legacy admission policy for siblings of recruited athletes. My oldest son went to Columbia, another Ivy League school, as a football player. His younger brothers got no legacy admissions to Columbia.

Harvard Law School

When Michelle wanted to go to Harvard Law School, she was once again told her test scores were too low. She went anyway. Once again, affirmative action. Harvard Law School’s admissions policies are racist.

It happens that I applied to Harvard Law School in the winter of 1975-6. At the time I was an MBA student at Harvard. I applied for their four-year, joint Harvard MBA-JD joint program. Mitt Romney is a graduate of that program—a couple of years ahead of me. I got rejected. And I know it was not because of my LSAT score. My score was 99th percentile. For those not familiar with standardized test score percentiles, 99th is the highest possible percentile. Was I bumped aside by Michelle Obama’s black skin? Not per se. She bumped some other white man or woman about ten years later. But it is fair to suspect that I was bumped by the Michelle Obama of 1975.

Michelle Obama was angry that the whites and Asians at Princeton and Harvard Law treated her and her black classmates as if they were charity cases.

Perhaps if Michelle had been smart enough to get into those two schools on her merit rather than the color of her skin, she would be smart enough to know that charity cases is exactly what affirmative-action college and grad school admits are. Being treated like charity cases is exactly what should have happened to them.

They ought to have to wear a scarlet A. Actually, they do. It’s their skin color not a letter. When people see a black student at Princeton or Harvard Law School, they know or strongly suspect that the person is an affirmative-action admit, which is too bad for the blacks and Latinos who actually deserve to be there.

Michelle’s legal career

Another test of the application of affirmative action to admit Michelle Obama instead a more qualified would-be lawyer is what kind of a lawyer did Michelle turn out to be?

For sure, a short-lived one. I could not find the exact duration on the Internet, but the Obama campaign Web site has only this to say about her stay at the Sidley Austin law firm:

…corporate law was not her calling…

Actually, apparently no other kind of law was her calling either. She never attempted to practice law again. It is at least an even bet that she quit the legal profession so quickly after Harvard Law School because she sucked at it, not unlike the way she sucked at taking the Law School Admission Test. I expect that top law firms like Sidley Austin make extra efforts to recruit black lawyers, but I doubt they can tolerate weak job performance in such a competitive profession.

And what of the more qualified white guy who got rejected by Harvard Law to make room for Michelle? Most likely, he went to a less competitive law school or to a selective one that is prohibited from engaging in affirmative action—like Boalt Hall at the University of California—and had a far more successful legal career than Michelle Obama. But Harvard Law met their black face quota in the year book and in Harvard Yard on graduation day, and that’s what’s important to them.

Michelle’s career in Affirmative-Action Land

And what happened to Michelle? She switched to non-profit jobs where skin color means as much as it does to non-profit Princeton and Harvard Law, namely, working for the Mayor of Chicago, various political charities, and finally the University of Chicago. How much does she make? $325,000 a year last I heard. I break that down as follows:

$50,000 a year for being a Princeton/Harvard Law grad who no longer practices law—that is, what she would make if she were white

$120,000 a year for combining black skin with preppy pearls and vocabulary

$155,000 a year for being celebrity Barack Obama’s wife

On Thursday, March 12, 2009 on the WRKO (Boston) Howie Carr show they repored that Michelle Obama’s $300k+ Chicago hospital position has not been refilled since she left for the White House (and possibly will not be, or at least not at the same pay level).

What a surprise!

I see no evidence in Michelle Obama’s biography that she ever achieved anything on merit in her life. When she stepped out of Affirmative-Action Land briefly, she quickly flopped, then scurried back into Affirmative-Action Land.

Is First Lady an affirmative-action job? If she gets it, it will be because of the color of her father-in-law’s skin—so yes. Will a lousy performance as First Lady be overlooked because of her skin color? It depends on the nature of the lousy performance. Garden variety lameness will probably not be paid much attention to. If she resumes shooting her mouth off about the meanness of America or her not feeling any pride in her country until her husband was ahead in the polls, the American people will be extremely unhappy—perhaps to the point of firing her in 2012.

Barack and affirmative action

What about Barack?

We know he is smarter than Michelle because, unlike her, he was not dumb enough to tell the world that his test scores were not good enough to get admitted to Occidental, Columbia, and Harvard Law. Lots of people say he’s intelligent. Historian Michael Beschloss said on Don Imus’s show that Obama has the highest IQ of any U.S. president. Imus asked, “What is Obama’s IQ?” Beschloss said he did not know.

How can he say Obama’s IQ is the highest without knowing the IQ of Obama and every prior president? He can’t. It’s just a guess based on Obama’s abilities as a smooth talker.

I would not know whether Obama is smart, and neither will anyone else until he releases his SAT and LSAT scores and his high school and college transcripts. Don’t hold your breath.

There is also the question of whether Michelle and Barack turned in adequate homework, classroom participation, and tests while in college and grad school. Affirmative action also is often applied to student performance by many professors.

Black columnist, authhor, and Hoover Institute Fellow Thomas Sowell frequently complains that affirmative-action admissions for blacks puts them into academic situations where they fail at much higher rates than whites and Asians at those same schools. He says that damages their self-esteem and self-confidence unnecessarily, wastes their time and money, and usually results in their flunking out never to return there or to another college or graduate school where they would have graduated.

Potential but no performance

The fact that Michelle lacked the test scores to get in and the performance to succeed in the legal profession after graduation strongly suggests that Princeton and Harvard Law School let her slide academically. That may also be the case for Barack. He didn’t knock anyone dead either as a lawyer or a law school lecturer. People who worked with Obama consistently describe him in the fashion of a joke Brazilians like to tell about their country.

Brazil has great potential and always will.

People who knew him keep saying that Barack could have been as good as he wanted to be, but he never lived up to his potential because he never bore down and worked hard at, or even stuck with, anything. He is permanently like some early twenties college grad who is still trying to find himself. Everybody gave him a pass beccause of his charm and great public speaking ability, so he never bothered to do any more than be charming and make charismatic speeches, and adopt his father’s African first name rather than stick with the name Barry, which is what the President’s father called himself in the U.S. and what the president himself always went by until he started using his race “coupon” to get into selective colleges..

Some would say I have no right to question their qualifications or student performance without proof. Yeah, I do. There is such a thing as affirmative action. Occidental, Princeton, Columbia, and Harvard Law are proud practitioners of it. Release your scores and grades if you are a “disadvantaged” minority and got into and graduated from those schools on merit rather than affirmative action. If you are unwilling to do that, wear your scarlet “AA.” You can’t have it both ways.

They want it, but did not benefit from it themselves

One of the great ironies of affirmative action is that blacks and Latinos spend great energy demanding it, then spend equal or greater amounts of energy swearing that they themselves were not beneficiaries of it. Yeah, right.

And what about Barack’s career as a lawyer? Not much more than Michelle’s. He was an associate at Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, a small Chicago law firm that apparently specializes in black political law, for three years then he was “of counsel” for five years when his license to practice law became inactive. There is a definition of the phrase “of counsel” at Wikipedia. The normal measure of success in a law firm is getting promoted from associate to full partner. Obama never did that. Obama was ACORN’s lawyer while at that law firm, but I have never heard of any case that Obama argued, let alone won.

The election of Barack Obama to the presidency is electoral affirmative action. As is characteristic of affirmative action, he neither earned, nor is qualified for, the position at this time, yet he has been given it. As Geraldine Ferraro correctly observed, if Obama were white, he would have been laughed out of the early primaries. If he were white, he would have gotten fewer votes than Dennis Kucinich. His blackness, such as it is, was sine qua non to his election, therefore: electoral affirmative action.

Pilot

Imagine Obama were a passenger on a full 747. The plane takes off 20 minutes late and hits some turbulence about 45 minutes into the flight. Obama stands up and addresses the passengers. Flashing his million-dollar smile and making full use of his charismatic speaking ability, he confidently alleges that the pilot is incompetent as evidenced by the late departure and the turbulence. He assures the passengers that he is a far better pilot and says that they should vote him to replace the pilot.

A white passenger raises his hand and asks,

“Are you a licensed pilot? If so, are you certified to fly 747s?”

Obama: “I refuse to respond to racist smears.”

White passenger: “It’s not racist. It’s an important, legitimate question.”

Obama: “Would you have asked me that question if I were white?”

Black passengers nod as if to say, “Been there, experienced that.”

White passengers look down at their shoes remembering that blacks have often been unfairly treated in U.S. history.

They vote. Obama wins. He takes over the flying and the plane crashes killing all aboard because Obama did not have a pilot’s license and never learned how to fly a 747.

Some will say being a pilot is not the same as being a president. Well, there have been two people who were both pilots and presidents, both named George Bush. I am sure they would tell you that being president is far harder than flying a plane.

The main difference between being a pilot and being a president is that when the plane crashes, we know whose fault it was. But when government crashes, the various members of it all endlessly point fingers at each other. Because of the lack of clear lines of responsibility in government, no one is ever held accountable—or they are held accountable for things they did not have exclusive control over.

What we do know is that an incompetent president can do great harm to the country and the world. What we also know is that Obama has far less pertinent training and experience than any president in history—almost no pertinent training or experience.

Unfairly taints the talented blacks and Latinos

Some blacks and Latinos do earn admission and graduation on merit—like the one black who got admitted to Boalt Hall in California after affirmative action was banned by referendum. He want to Harvard or some such instead because he did not want to be the only black at Boalt Hall Law School. I admire and commend him for his Cal admission, but it is certain that his real accomplishments will be discounted by most people—including those of his own race—because they will assume he was an affirmative-action charity case. Affirmative action unfairly taints the genuine accomplishments of all blacks and Latinos in those realms where affirmative action is applied. That’s a shame, but apparently a self-inflicted one.

Diminishes black incentive to study or work hard

In his 2008 book The Logic of Life, Tim Harford has a chapter he calls “The Dangers of Rational Racism.” Among other things, he says affirmative action has hurt the motivation of favored students. They slack off in their efforts compared to ambitious whites and asians because they calculate they only need decent grades and their skin to get admitted. Studying hard became “acting white” and was condemned and socially punished by minority peers. Unintended perhaps, but not surprising consequences of affirmative action.

Same applies to getting and keeping affirmative-action jobs. When I was in the Army in the 1970s, my roommate, another Army lieutenant, worked in an office with some civilians. One was a huge black woman who rarely came to work and was surly to the boss. When they tried to discipline her, she said, “I’m black and I’m civil service so you can’t do nothing to me.” As far as I know, no one ever tried.

When I was a kid in the 1950s and early 1960s, parents of girls and discriminated-against minorities told their children they had to work twice as hard as a white man to get the same success. They did not think that was fair, but neither did they whine about it. They just told their daughters and minority sons to get their noses to the grindstone. Then, in the late 60s and early 70s, new black leaders said, essentially, screw that. Fight for equality. Demand equality.

They tried race riots in the summer of 1967. Those devastated the black communities in question. To this day you can still see the scars in those cities and see the financial effects in the form of uninsured small stores that charge high prices—combat pay for their owners and employees.

Affirmative action lasted longer—until now I am arguing in this article.

Affirmative action is a form of regulation. As explained in the 2008 book The Gridlock Economy, the best level of regulation is the Goldilocks level: not too much and not too little, just right. Affirmative action is too much. The nation either has, or is about to, realize that.

Unprepared for statewide office elections

The 11/6/08 Wall Street Journal had an interesting article on yet another adverse effect on blacks of affirmative action.

Running for president almost requires previously holding statewide office. Relatively few blacks have run for president in part because relatively few blacks have held statewide office. Blacks are underrepresented compared to their percentage of the population (13.4%) in the U.S. Senate and governorships. There have only been three post-Reconstruction black senators counting Obama and there have only been two black governors: Doug Wilder in VA and Duvall Patrick in MA.

Why is that?

There are black cities, congressional districts, and counties, but no black states.

In addition, the U.S. Justice Department has interpreted the Voting Rights Act to mean that they should push for gerrymandering of districts so as many as possible have black majorities. That makes it easier for blacks to get elected—IN THOSE DISTRICTS. But it also enables black candidates in those districts to ignore the white voters in those districts. That, in turn, causes almost all black candidates to run on the typical black-grievances-against-whites agendas. A lot of the trouble Obama had in the recent election stemmed from his embracing the black-grievances agenda of Wright, Farrakhan, and Flager and the radical chic agenda of Hyde Park in order to get elected in the South Side of Chicago district.

So how did Obama get elected U.S. Senator from Illinois? His Democrat primary opponent self-destructed as a result of a sex scandal during the primaries. During the general election, his Republican opponent, Jack Ryan, also self-destructed as a result of a sex scandal when his sealed divorce records were leaked then officially released during the campaign. Ryan and his wife had their divorce records sealed by mutual agreement. Their release came as a result of lawsuits in Los Angeles by the Chicago Tribune and Chicago radio station WLS. I guess we can surmise that the Trib and WLS were not Ryan supporters.

Ryan had gotten divorced from Jeri Ryan, his wife and the character “Seven of Nine” on the TV series Star Trek Voyager. In other words, Obama had no hope of winning the U.S. Senate Democrat primary or general election until the two sex scandals. Obama reneged on a promise to not use the divorce records. In other words, Obama’s winning a U.S. Senate seat was extremely anomalous.

In most other cases, blacks have trouble making the transition from out-blacking competing candidates in black districts, gerrymandered or natural, to win Democrat primaries or general elections to win statewide offices, namely governorships and U.S. Senate seats. In other words, by “helping” blacks win local, county, and Congressional seats by letting then cheat through gerrymandering, the do-gooders and affirmative-action pushers have handicapped black candidates who want to win the votes of mixed-race statewide or national electorates.

Affirmative action has become the equivalent of training wheels that are never removed, thus making blacks the equivalent, in many ways, of people who never learned how to ride a bike. It is long past time to remove the training wheels from black achievement. The subprime disaster and election of Obama may bring that about now.

Relinquishment of the moral high ground

When I was a kid in rural Delaware in the 1950s and earl 1960s, I went to a segregated school and attended movies at a theater where blacks had to sit in the balcony. In the south, blacks could not eat at the same restaurants or drink from the same water fountains or use the same public rest rooms, among other things.

Those things were wrong. Blacks protested and did so from the moral high ground. That moral high ground was crucial to their ultimate victory over segregation and discrimination.

But it turned out that most blacks were not morally superior to the whites who imposed segregation and racial discrimination. Indeed, those blacks were equally morally inferior. They did not want to end the wrongs, they merely wanted to turn the tables and become the oppressors rather than the oppressees.

The euphemisms they used for their discrimination oppressions were “affirmative action” and “minority set-asides.” The euphemisms they used for their re-segregation efforts were “Congressional Black Caucus,” “Historically black colleges,” “Black studies,” “Black student unions,” “Black graduations”, “Black culture,” and others. They hated being prevented from sitting at white lunch counters, yet they now segregate themselves at all-black lunch tables in high schools and colleges all over the U.S. It apparently was not racial separation they resented, but just not being the ones who initiated the separation.

I got this idea while watching a talk by Shelby Steele on C-Span on 11/8/08. I am not sure that’s what he said, but it matters not who said it. It is what happened in the U.S. in the last 50 years, culminating in Obama’s presidential election.

Thomas Sowell says racism is wrong and putting it “under new management” [affirmative action] did not change that.

Sanford and Son

I saw a pertinent episode of Sanford and Son once. That 1970s TV sitcom featured black comedian Redd Foxx as a junk yard owner. Desmond Wilson played his son.

In one episode, the father needed major surgery. The episode consisted entirely of his trying to get his initial assigned surgeon—a black doctor—changed. Why? Sanford did not want some affirmative-action surgeon cutting him open. He wanted a real surgeon—a white or Asian doctor.

As I said above, affirmative action can be dangerous when it allows unqualified people to borrow mortgages—or get professional licenses—or run the free world. And whites and Asians are not the only ones able to recognizing that.

Obama as president

Let’s move on to the possibility of an Obama presidency. I have not heard any blacks publicly express misgivings about Obama being president based on how he might hurt them if he wins, then screws it up. But I have no doubt that behind closed doors, when no whites are around, some blacks are expressing concern that Obama may win, take office, then screw the job all up and set blacks back decades as a result.

Is that what will happen?

Guaranteed.

How can I say that?

Easy.

1. All presidents fail to an extent

2. Whoever is elected president in 2008 is going to inherit an intractable, worldwide economic crisis.

3. Obama has almost no training or experience for the job.

4. Obama has ensured his failure by promising more than anyone can deliver.

5. Obama himself apparently believes he is incompetent.

6. Obama has tacitly approved the notion that he is John F. Kennedy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.

Failures of all recent presidents

Here is a list of president since I was in college and their failures:

President Failures
Nixon Vietnam, price controls, gas lines, Watergate, Impeachment, resignation
Ford inflation, recession, (Joke was that Ford’s economic and energy plan was to buy a car then park it in your garage and never use it), pardoned Nixon
Carter worst inflation ever in U.S., “malaise,” Iran hostage crisis, gas lines, windfall profits tax on oil companies
Reagan

caused S&L debacle and gazillion-dollar bailout by deregulating, signed Tax Reform Act of 1986 which traded real estate passive loss limits desired by Democrats for low 28% top rate that has since been taken back by the Dems, Iran-Contra scandal, Lebanon military intervention and retreat, War on Drugs, Challenger disaster, Immigration amnesty law

George H.W. Bush broke promise of no new taxes (“Read my lips”)
Clinton Hillary health care initiative, Whitewater scandal, disbarred, impeached, multiple sex scandals, let Osama get away, lost Democrat control of Congress for the first time in 40 years, sleazy pardons, “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy on gays in military, travelgate, Blackhawk down, troopergate
George W. Bush Iraq, Afghanistan, 2008 economic collapse and stock market crash, social security reform, No Child Left Behind, immigration, deficit, subprime crisis, medicare prescription benefit, Katrina, stem-cell research, North Korea nuke

A reader said I did not give Reagan his due. I did too. Remember, this is only a list of failures. I did not say he and the others had no successes. They all had some successes. This discussion is only about failures.

Winner’s curse

There is a phrase in the mathematics of bidding: the winner’s curse. It refers to the fact that the winning bidder at an auction often has bid too much and is overpaying for the thing purchased. In this election, it has a different meaning. Whoever wins the 2008 presidential election will be stuck with a catastrophic economic situation. Furthermore, it is a worldwide crisis which means it is beyond the powers of the president to solve it. It is also unprecedented, so the expertise to solve it does not exist in anyone, let alone the two candidates, neither of whom knows squat about economics or finance.

Obama will try to blame it all on the “failed Bush policies.” The public and media will give him about 100 days to do that. Afterwards—the remaining 1,360 days of his administration, the public will regard the recession or depression as the new president’s fault. Is that fair? It is if you replay their campaign assurances that they were the ones who could fix it. The guy who gets inaugurated in January, 2009 will be the 21st century Herbert Hoover and there is nothing he can do about it.

The solution to economic problems is to encourage the market in every possible way. Obama will try the opposite initially. He will increase taxes on capital gains and successful businesses and executives. That will deepen and prolong the recession or depression. Every time Obama cynically chases more votes with his Marxist rhetoric about going after big corporations and their executives and capital gains he scares away the very leaders and investors who are the only hope to restore a strong economy.

No training or experience

The best prepared president in the 20th century was George H.W. Bush—better known as “Bush the First” or Bush “senior.” He was the youngest U.S. naval pilot in history—a World War II torpedo bomber pilot who was shot down by the Japanese and rescued by a U.S. submarine. He graduated from Yale then was a successful businessman in the Texas oil industry. He was a Congressman, Director of the CIA, the first U.S. envoy to China since World War II, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and two-term vice president under Ronald Reagan. Predictably, he was also the most successful president in the last hundred years.

Barack Obama is the least qualified presidential candidate in the entire history of the U.S. Compared to the failed presidents listed above, he has almost zero useful experience. Those guys were governors or former vice presidents. Indeed, he has no pertinent training and only the briefest, most undistinguished experience as an Illinois state senator who voted “present” a lot and as a U.S. senator who was given a rare committee chairmanship in spite of being a rookie, then never held a single committee hearing. What he has mainly done as a legislator is neglect his duties while campaigning for higher office.

He was a part-time teacher of constitutional law for 12 years, but his recently broadcast interview on the Constitution—recorded before he became a national figure—indicates his main interest in the Constitution is in finding fault with it, the judges who interpret it, and the people who wrote it for their failure to incorporate “economic justice” and “redistribution of wealth” Marxist principles.

Obama has ZERO experience in the following aspects of the duties of the President:

• foreign policy

• national security

• finance

• economics

• managing subordinates

• large organizations

• civil and criminal justice

• labor

• agriculture

• health care

• housing

• transportation

• energy

• k-12 or college education

• military or veterans

His supporters will say that he will have advisors. No doubt, but the problem is he does not know enough to know whom to select for advisers. He will have advisers on which advisers to get advice from.

He will get conflicting advice as all presidents do. Because he has no experience, he will not know how to choose which of the conflicting advisors to listen to, or to go with some of one‘s advice and some of another’s, or whether to reject all of them.

Because of his lack of training or experience, he will get pushed around and conned by advisers, Congress, lobbyists, military brass, and by domestic and foreign enemies.

See my article on the lack of validity to the “he has advisers” argument.

Rookie

All the adults reading this have been rookies at least once in their lives. I have been a rookie 10 or twelve times because I tried many different careers. You can see it in the 81 books I have written. When you and I were rookies, we screwed up. We had to guess at how to do things. We asked others what to do or how to do it and—in retrospect—recognize that we sometimes asked, and relied upon, the wrong people. When it came to managing people, we were initially too lenient, too willing to accept excuses for substandard performance. We got pushed around and taken advantage of by suppliers, vendors, bosses, co-workers, etc.

Obama himself has been a rookie a couple of times. He ran for Congress in Chicago and got beat by the then and still incumbent, a convicted felon ex-convict. He was a rookie “community organizer” and held meetings that no one in the community attended.

Being a rookie president of the United States is no different except for two things:

• The stakes could not be higher.

• Obama will be in a super fishbowl where his every word, action, and inaction will be evaluated microscopically where the other end of the microscope is occupied by tens of thousands of the world’s top experts on the subject in question as well as hundreds of thousands of political enemies who will twist or magnify or whatever to make Obama look bad.

Thinking back to your rookie time, how would you have fared under such scrutiny and pressure? Obama is gifted at schmoozing, reading a teleprompter, and basking in the adulation of his cult followers. But that is not enough to get him through the presidency. He is also pretty good at bluffing as evidenced by the fact that he got elected president. But they taught us at West Point to never bluff because if you do you will inevitably be found out and you will lose all credibility with your subordinates. Obama never learned that lesson. Indeed, at Harvard Law School I surmise they teach the exact opposite. So Obama, and we, are in big trouble as a result of his election to the presidency.

Promising more than you deliver

Suppose he is a brilliant student of the presidency and somehow manages to do a good job in comparison to other presidents. He will still be considered a failure.

Why?

There is only one way to do a good job and still have people unhappy with you. That is to promise more than you deliver. Has Barack done that? Is the Pope Catholic?

Obama has promised everything to everyone. Energy independence via mostly renewable sources that do not yet make economic sense. Free money for college. “Tax cuts” or plain old $5,000 gifts for 95%. Health insurance for everyone. More Army and Marine troops. Fix the world economy. End climate change. There is no hope that he or anyone else could keep all those promises. He cynically figures he can promise anything and everything to get elected, then bullshit his way out of keeping those promises after he gets elected. That is actually the only significant mistake George H.W. Bush made.

This is another manifestation of the winner’s curse. Obama bid for the presidency by promising more than any presidential candidate in history. After inauguration day, the American people will essentially say, “OK, winning bidder, pay up.” He cannot.

There is a feeling among whites that if Obama gets elected, that’s it. Blacks will then have gotten everything there was to get. No more free passes for skin color. And that’s if he has a successful presidency!

In fact, he has no chance of having a successful presidency. When he fails, the non-black population will be very angry and will end affirmative action throughout our society. Blacks will have been disarmed on the subject by Obama’s failure as president. Some things, like lending trillions of dollars, surgery, and the presidency of the U.S., are important, potentially dangerous matters. They are not places to be screwing around pretending that “disadvantaged” minorities are qualified for loans or licenses or jobs that many of the individuals in question are, in fact, not qualified for.

Obama himself thinks he is incompetent

Obama himself appears to believe, or at least fear, that he is incompetent at managing. What evidence is there of that? He is 47 years old. He has somehow avoided ever being in a job where you could measure his performance in all that time. His resume sounds like that of a person in his early twenties only it lasts for 27 years instead of the five that people normally spend in their early twenties. He seems to have existed in a sort of Never-Never Land where he never has to get a job more suitable for a 26-year old or older man.

After college, he worked for a year editing a couple of international business newsletters in NYC. That was the only job he ever had in the for-profit sector. Then he worked for a do-gooder, non-profit, charity-funded organization in also in New York City where he went to college. That’s fine for his age at the time: 22 to 25.

What has he done since then? Part-time “Community organizer,” part-time law school lecturer, part-time lawyer, part-time state senator, and absentee U.S. senator. Jack of all non-profit activities; master of none.

Other would-be presidents have tried to get their ticket punched with the most impressive jobs they could. Mitt Romney is one of the best examples. He prepared to be president and tried to prove he was well qualified by getting degrees from Harvard Business and Harvard Law—similar to Obama who has a Harvard Law degree. But then Romney also made $500 million managing Bain Capital’s private equity funds, turned around the scandal-ridden Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, and was a two-term governor of Massachusetts.

George W. Bush got a Harvard MBA, worked in the oil business, ran the Texas Rangers baseball team, and was a governor of Texas.

Bill Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar, graduated from Yale Law School, was attorney general and governor of Arkansas.

Reagan, Bush the 1st, Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy, Gore, Kerry all served on active duty in the military during wars—and they apparently did so deliberately to burnish their resumes for later political campaigns.

What has Obama done deliberately to get ready to run for president? Avoid ever having a job where people could see whether he was worth a shit. He never had to meet a payroll or make a profit. He never led men in combat. He never was a mayor or a governor or a school principal or a government administrator. He never coached a team even as a volunteer youth coach. Never negotiated a contract. He never argued a legal case to a verdict that I know of.

He never did anything where a measurable result could be seen and evaluated by the press or the public or the others who worked for him or with him. His voting record says what it says but he has a zillion explanations of what it does not mean what it says. Too much of his “voting record” says “present” or “not present.” If he thought he could have gotten away with it, he would have missed every vote. Indeed, he mainly lost in his run for Congress because he missed votes on gun control when he was in the IL senate. He has assiduously refused to put himself where he had to do anything other than schmooze and charm people in casual conversation or make speeches.

Why? Logic suggests it is because he fears that he would fail or knows that he would fail.

In fact, no presidential candidate in history other than Obama has ever dared even consider running for president before getting varied and extensive experience—and showing voters what he could do—through a significant series of the most responsible jobs possible.

Well, guess what? The presidency is all the jobs Obama has so diligently avoided wrapped into one and then some. The best measure of Obama twisted selfishness and sociopathic disregard for others is that he knows he is incompetent, yet he has no qualms whatsoever about stepping into the Oval Office and trying to bluff his way through his first-full-time job, his first position managing others—at incalculable danger to the U.S. and the Free World.

Is schmoozing and making speeches part of being president? Absolutely. It’s an important part. But it’s only about 10% of the job. The other 90% is making policy decisions; recruiting, training, and retaining good subordinate managers; counseling and firing bad managers; and getting millions of subordinates to execute ad hoc jobs like responding to a crisis and routine jobs like caring for veterans, maintaining parks, and investigating federal crimes. Obama has zero training or experience at any of that. He will fail at those tasks as a result. And the nation will be hurt, perhaps seriously, by those failures.

President John F. Kennedy said the president made no easy decisions—only hard ones. He said all the easy decisions had been made at lower levels. The lower level government guys only passed the buck on the toughest decisions up to the President.

What’s Obama going to do when people start coming into the Oval Office asking him to make real, life-or-death decisions. Go back to doing cocaine which was how he dealt with the “trauma” of contemplating having a black father and a white mother? If he couldn’t handle that, and he has avoided ever having a real job, what the heck is he going to do when he has the toughest job in the world? Joe Biden was right. The presidency does not lend itself to on-the-job training. And Barack Obama was right when he avoided ever having a job where he would have had to produce results. He is incompetent at anything other than schmoozing and speaking.

You can’t call him incompetent because his father was black. But that won’t stop him from being incompetent if and when he gets to the Oval Office. And no amount of schmoozing or speechifying spin or affirmative-action double standards prohibiting criticizing blacks will be able to hide his failures there. He can avoid the hard questions refuse to go on Hannity or agree to town hall meetings with McCain as a candidate, but there is no such option in the presidency. If, say, China invades Taiwan, President Obama will have to make a decision what to do about it. I predict he will try to schmooze the Chinese back to the mainland. I also predict it will not work.

A human subprime loan application

Obama’s candidacy is, in a number of ways, a human subprime loan application. For one thing, I have said that “subprime” is just a euphemism for substandard. Is Barack Obama substandard as a presidential candidate?

Absolutely.

He has about 1/20th to 1/10th of the training and experience as previous major party nominees and presidents.

He seeks preferential treatment for his skin color which was also the case with many subprime borrowers.

Is his candidacy the human equivalent of a low doc or no doc loan application? You bet. Low doc and no doc mean low document or no documentation applications. Those did not require proof that the borrower was qualified. Obama has offered no such proof that he is qualified to be president either.

Recently, the Los Angeles Times reporter who has been traveling with Obama throughout the campaign wrote that he still does not know Obama. None of his colleagues do either. This was in contrast to other campaigns where the reporters who travel with the candidates do get to to know them.

It reminded me of what former Clinton aide Dick Morris said repeatedly about Hillary. It was along these lines:

Hillary thinks that if you got to know the real her, you would not like her. So she always hides who she is behind scripted comments and a fake personality that she thinks you are more likely to feel good towards.

Just as Obama behaves in ways that suggest he believes he is incompetent, he also seems to believe that he can only retain your affection if he prevents you from ever finding out who he really is. He is the lo doc no doc candidate.

Profound crime

If I am right that Obama knows he is incompetent, his willingness to campaign for and accept the presidency is profoundly criminal. He is knowingly committing the moral equivalent of a sort of mass scale malpractice. He could do trillions of dollars of damage to the nation. Since presidents make life-or-death decisions, he may well also commit mass manslaughter or mass negligent homicide.

There is little difference between what Obama is going to do on inauguration day and what Frank Abagnale, Jr. did throughout his life—before he went to jail. The movie Catch Me If You Can was loosely based on Abagnale’s life.

I know, George W. Bush arguably did something of that nature putting U.S. troops into Iraq, but it will take at least a few more years to draw final conclusions about that. George Bush is almost history. This article, like Obama claimed for himself, is about the future.

America’s blacks who voted for Obama purely for racial reasons are also co-conspirators to these crimes. They appear to recognize that Obama has virtually no suitable background for the job of president. But they appear to have gone ahead and voted for him anyway disregarding the welfare of the nation—of which they are citizens—because they regarded the self-esteem boost a higher priority than the well-being of America.

Whites who voted for Obama because he is black—and in spite of his obvious lack of qualifications—appear to have suffered temporary insanity—ranking proving their lack of racism to themselves and the world above our having a competent commander in chief and chief executive.

The second coming of JFK, FDR, and Lincoln

Obama has frequently been described as another JFK, FDR, and/or Lincoln. Not only has Obama not discouraged such statements, he has encouraged them. For example, he used Abraham Lincoln’s Bible to be sworn in as president. It was and is extremely foolish for Obama to allow such a towering bar to be set as the measure of whether he succeeds.

When I mentioned Obama’s failure to protest his being touted as the next JFK. FDR. or Lincoln, my wife said, “He believes it himself.”

I said, “Actually, I think he thinks he’s better than those guys. He is astonishingly overconfident about everything he does.”

Is Obama JFK? And Michelle, Jackie Kennedy?

No. Start with Jackie. She was beautiful enough to have been a model. She spoke fluent French as a result of having been educated in that country. She never made a political speech. She was raised so as to have an amazing amount of grace, class, taste, and style, which she revealed in her redecoration of the White House, invitations to leading classical performing artists to perform at the White House, shielding her children from the press, and the way she dressed.

Michelle has tried to imitate Jackie by wearing pearls and having musicians like Yo Yo Ma perform at the White House. But there is a ton more to it than that. She needs to be herself, although she tried that and it was a disaster. Now her best bet is to do what she ultimately did during the campaign. Keep her mouth shut and hide.

I already compared Obama and Kennedy at http://www.johntreed.com/Obama.html.

Is Obama FDR?

A. We should hope not and B. No.

Roosevelt is regarded as the man who saved the U.S. from the Depression. In fact, he inherited a recession and turned it into a prolonged Depression through trade wars and such universally denounced steps as price fixing, paying farmers not to farm, and marginal make-work projects (like the collegiate-style concrete football stadium at my high school—zoom in to the max to see it). The Depression ended in spite of Roosevelt’s efforts as a result of World War II. See the current book New Deal or Raw Deal? How FDR’s Legacy Has Damaged America by Burton W. Folsom, Jr.

Category
FDR
Obama
College honor
Editor of the daily Harvard Crimson newspaper
none
Law school
Dropped out of Columbia law School because he had already passed the bar exam
graduated from Harvard Law School
Legislative career
New York State Senator
Illinois State Senator
Appointive career
Assistant Secretary of the Navy
none
National politics
1920 Vice-Presidential candidate
none
State executive office
two-term Governor of New York
none

 

Is Obama Lincoln?

Category
Lincoln
Obama
Education
only 18 months of one-room school house then self-educated by reading
wealthy kids high school in Honolulu, Occidental College in Pasadena, Columbia College in Manhattan, Harvard Law School
Legislative career
Illinois State Representative
Illinois State Senator
Law career

full-time from 1837 until president in 1861—in one famous case, Lincoln got his client off on a murder charge by discrediting a witness who said he saw the crime by the light of a high moon. Using an almanac, Lincoln proved the moon had almost set at the time of the crime.

Lincoln argued many cases including appellate cases that set legal precedents

part-time from 1993 to 2002

never argued a case

Military service
Company commander of an Illinois militia company in the 1832 Black Hawk War
None
Oratorical fame
1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates regarding slavery
Opening speech at 2004 Democratic National Convention that nominated Kerry
Inventor
awarded patent in 1849 for navigating shallow waters with floats extended from the sides of river boats
none
Party leader
Founder of the Republican party
none

Rhetoric

Obama is famous as an orator. I agree.

So are JFK, FDR, and Lincoln. But there is one big differences.

Obama is gifted at reading a teleprompter. He is like NBC news anchor David Brinkley of whom it was said he could have everyone on the edge of their seats if he read the Manhattan phone book. He did it in part with numerous pauses per sentence. Paul Harvey does the same. So does Obama.

JFK, FDR, and Lincoln, however, said many memorable things. Even with the best available speech writers, Obama has said nothing memorable.

Here are some memorable quotes from JFK, FDR, and Lincoln:

JFK:

Let us never negotiate out of fear but let us never fear to negotiate.

And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.

All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin. And therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words "Ich bin ein Berliner!"

I am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris, and I have enjoyed it.

I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House – with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

FDR:

Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression–everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way–everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want–which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants–everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom from fear–which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor–anywhere in the world.

Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

We, and all others who believe in freedom as deeply as we do, would rather die on our feet than live on our knees.

The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough to those who have little.

Lincoln:

Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it.

Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.

A house divided against itself cannot stand.

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan – to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.

Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

..that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Obama:

This guy has written two best-selling books. Actually, the first one flopped, then became a best-seller after his 2004 Democrat convention speech. The second was written after that speech. Can you remember any memorable line from either book? Me neither.

Obama was nobody until his keynote speech to the 2004 Democrat convention. Please give us some of the memorable quotes from that crucial-to-Obama’s-future speech. You can’t do it, can you? Me neither.

Then there was his speech on race. It was said that it would be taught in schools and memorized by school children. Please recite some of the great lines from that speech. Nothing, right?

Then there was his inaugural speech. With each of the former presidents listed above, some of the quotes are from their inaugural speeches. Obama just made his on January 20, 2009. Please remind us of the most famous quotes from Obama’s inaugural speech. You can’t think of any.

Obama cannot come up with any memorable lines. He cannot even find a speech writer who can, or maybe they did but he was unable to even recognize them when they were written for him and he cut them from the speech. Zilch. Nada.

But give credit where credit is due. The guy can read a phone book.

Will the media protect Obama when he fails?

People have become so used to Obama getting a pass from the media that they figure the same will probably happen after he takes office.

Nope.

Why not?

A top editor claimed the media are not biased toward liberals. Rather, he said, they are biased in favor of the best story. I disagree about the liberals. There is a liberal bias in much of the media. But I agree with him that the media’s main bias is the good story, not Obama’s politics.

I am a member of the media. Have been for 32 years. What they want more than anything is readers. The classic way to get readers in the writing business is to write a man-bites-dog, not a dog-bites-man story. In other words, the public wants new stories.

“Old white guy gets elected president” is dog bites man. “Young, partially black guy gets elected president” is man bites dog.

So are “first black president selects cabinet,” “first black president gets inaugurated,” and “first black president settles into Oval Office.”

But “first black president has another day at the office” is not new and interesting. It’s boring. On the other hand, “president who spoke to huge adoring crowds and who energized young voters flops as president” is man bites dog. That is the story the media will be looking for as the days unfold after inauguration and they will have no trouble finding it. Will the media admit they screwed up? Sure. That, too, would be man bites dog.

We have all seen the media build some newcomer on the scene up, only to tear him down once his being on top became old news. The above explanation is why that happens and why that will for sure happen to Obama as well.

Even Joe Biden agrees with the above scenario. He said during the primaries when he was a candidate for president, that the presidency does not lend itself to on-the-job training—a pointed reference to Obama. More recently, as VP nominee, he said that Obama would be tested shortly after inauguration, like Soviet leader Khrushchev did to the 47-year old John Kennedy in the Cuban Missile Crisis, which almost led to World War III. Biden also said that it would initially appear that Obama had screwed up his response. He begged the public to support Obama at that future time even though he will not seem at the time to deserve the support.

Lame, and also in total agreement with what I am saying here.

Charlie Rose Shows

It started within days of the election, most notably on the Charlie Rose Show where Tom Brokaw said we do not know who Obama is. Limbaugh put selected portions of the transcript on his Web site. For you knee-jerk, out-of-context accusers, those who have read the whole transcript say the excerpts are consistent with the whole. On a subsequent show, Newsweek editor Jon Meacham called the Obama campaign a “creepy cult of personality.” One thread in these Rose interviews reminded me of the line in the Carly Simon song “You’re so vain you probably think this song is about you.

You had one eye in the mirror

As you watched yourself gavotte

[Wikipedia says Simon’s use of the word “gavotte” means “a pretentious or egotistical style of dancing.”] Obama seems to me to have one eye on the mirror looking it himself always, even when there is no mirror and he needs to imagine one. I expect the dazzled public will eventually realize this and when they do, Obama will become an object of ridicule. His name may even enter the language like Borked. For one example, I predict that cars from Detroit that comply with Obama’s mileage and carbon fooprint requirements will be dubbed “Obamamobiles” and only bought by the same use-my-car-purchase-to-make-a-political-statement liberals who buy Volvos and Priuses.

On the other side, the media is already building George W. Bush up, most notably with regard to the meeting between him and Obama in the White House on 11/10/08.

“George W. Bush is a great guy” is man bites dog. So is “Obama is creepy.” Gotta love the traditional headline news media.