Obama’s Interview with NYT’s Friedman: An Essay in Impotence

President Barack Obama’s weekend interview with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman is a stunning portrait of incoherence and inadequacy. Friedman–a shameless promoter of Obama since the 2008 campaign, whose books have allegedly influence Obama’s foreign policy views–tries his mightiest to wrest something of substance from the absentee president: “[I]t’s clear that the president has a take on the world,” he declares.

And what is Obama’s “take“? Two themes emerge from a morass of clichés and sophistry. The first is that the world is simply not worth engaging unless it agrees to behave itself: “no victor, no vanquished,” says Obama. Second, America is its own worst enemy, and the political divisions at home threaten to become as disruptive as those in Iraq. (The Tea Party, Friedman chimes in, “accounts for at least half of  [Obama’s] gray hairs.”

Obama is a man shockingly detached, not just from his job, but from himself. It takes particular chutzpah to blame your fellow Americans for political divisions when you are running around threatening executive orders if you don’t get your way. And it takes a special kind of arrogance to insist that the world behave as you wish it to, or to think that withholding your interest in it presents any kind of threat that will be taken seriously.

As for a path forward, Obama has no ideas. Russia could invade Ukraine–and there is nothing we could do, he suggests. Iraq is imploding–but that was inevitable given “de-Baathification” (i.e. Bush’s fault). Israel is united behind Benjamin Netanyahu–and that’s too bad. 

That such impotence poses as insight speaks to the narcissism of the man, and of those satraps who put him in a position to do the most damage to himself and the country.

Image: Screenshot/New York Times




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Special Election for Texas Senate Seat Heats Up

HOUSTON, Texas — In just over a month, voters in Texas Senate District 28 will head to the polls to choose who will replace Robert Duncan in the Texas Senate. Governor Rick Perry surprised many when he chose September 9 as the date of the special election. That date meant that potential candidates had until August 1 to file their paperwork with the Secretary of State’s office. Six candidates submitted the necessary paperwork. The names include one current State Representative, one former State Representative, and a former Bush administration official.

State Representative Charles Perry who had been talked about for months as a possible successor to Duncan’s seat will face former Texas Tech vice chancellor Jodey Arrington, former State Representative Delwin Jones, the former Mayor of Sweetwater Greg Wortham who is running as a Democrat, Kerry McKennon who announced he is running as a Libertarian, and Wolfforth resident Epifanio Gaza in the upcoming election.

Perry has represented House District 83 since 2010 when he defeated Delwin Jones in a runoff election during the Republican Primary. Perry has been seen as one of the more conservative lawmakers in the Texas House and has said previously that he would bring more conservatism to the Texas Senate. Arrington is a former vice chancellor of Texas Tech University and also spent time in the Bush administration, something his campaign has been quick to highlight.

The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal recently published a story about who is backing Arrington. The Lubbock Chamber of Commerce backed organization Imagine Lubbock Together has seen many of their own leaders pour money into Arrington’s campaign. As Breitbart Texas previously reported, Imagine Lubbock Together leaders sought in 2013 legislation that would allow the sales tax in Lubbock to be increased by one cent. House Representatives Charles Perry and John Frullo who represent Lubbock were against the measure as was then Senator Robert Duncan. The chairwoman of Imagine Lubbock Together told the Lubbock newspaper that Perry wasn’t willing to work with the organization on the one cent sales tax increase.

The other big name candidate in the race surprised many when he announced he would run for the Senate seat. At age 90, Delwin Jones is not finished with West Texas politics. Jones is no stranger to the Texas Legislature having served for 31 years as the representative for District 83. Jones was first elected as a Democrat in 1964 but was then defeated in 1972 by Pete Laney. Jones was later elected back to the Texas House in 1988 as a Republican and held that seat until he was defeated by Charles Perry in 2011. In 2012, Jones failed in a bid to unseat Perry in the Republican primary.

While Jones his offering his experience as the reason officials should put him on the November ballot, it might just be his experience and voting record that puts him at odds with the conservative district. Jones’ positions on some issues are in direct conflict with not only conservatives, but with the lawmaker he is hoping to succeed in Charles Perry. In 1995, Jones was the only Republican to vote against concealed carry legislation. In 2007, Jones voted against Voter ID, and voted in favor of in-state tuition for illegal immigrants in 2001. In 2009, Jones was one of eleven House Republicans that joined with Democrats to unseat House Speaker Tom Craddick of Midland and replace him with current Speaker, Joe Straus.

Despite the short campaign calendar, two of the candidates aren’t having any trouble raising money. As of June 30, Perry had raised just over $130,000 this year with $194,654 in the bank. Perry’s main opponent in the race is former Texas Tech vice chancellor Jodey Arrington. As of June 30, Arrington had raised $206,650 with $201,105 in the bank. Perry recently told reporters that he was not worried about raising less money than Arrington.




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White Teacher Wins $350,000 in Bias Lawsuit Against Maryland School

A white teacher who said he suffered years of race-based abuse from his black boss at a Maryland High School was awarded $350,000 this month after he sued the school system for racial bias.

Former Prince George’s County teacher Jon Everhart claimed that the principal at Largo High School repeatedly called him racist names and constantly told him and others she intended to fire him because he is white.

“She called me ‘poor white trash’ and ‘white b—-,’ ” Everhart, 65, said of Largo principal Angelique Simpson-Marcus. “Her behavior was so outlandish.”

The teacher sued citing Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which “prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.”

Everhart’s attorney, Bryan Chapman, successfully argued that Title VI applied because the school received federal stimulus money in 2008.

The jury sided with the teacher on his discrimination claim, but not the charges of a “hostile workplace.” He was awarded the $350,000 for compensatory damages because he experienced health problems as a result of the situation. He may also receive back pay and benefits.

Despite the verdict, principal Simpson-Marcus claims none of the allegations are true. “I never said any of those things,” she said. “I don’t use that kind of language.”

But this isn’t just a case of “he said, she said.” Mr. Everhart is only one of several teachers who have sued over similar claims. Some of those suing the school feel they were fired for supporting Everhart. Most of the lawsuits were filed over what teachers claim was mistreatment they suffered at the hands of Simpson-Marcus.

Not all suits were connected to Everhart, though. One suit, for instance, came from a light-skinned African American teacher who says he was denied promotion because Simpson-Marcus openly prefers dark-skinned blacks.

When Everhart and Simpson-Marcus first tangled in 2003, Everhart says that the woman who was then a gym teacher told students that the only reason the district hired a white teacher is because he couldn’t get a job anywhere else.

Everhart also alleges that Simpson-Marcus warned him that once she became principal he would be the first person she would fire.

Records show that Everhart had high teacher performance ratings and was even named “teacher of the year” until Simpson-Marcus became principal and then his satisfactory evaluations came to an abrupt halt.

Simpson-Marcus transferred Everhart out of his position teaching honors English despite that he was popular with students. The principal is said to have informed students that Everhart was going to be fired.

Everhart’s attorney successfully argued that the teacher filed multiple complaints with the school district and all were ignored. He also tried to transfer to a different school in the district but his transfer was blocked by administrators. Everhart’s attorney also says that the district never launched any investigation into Simpson-Marcus’ behavior until the teacher won his lawsuit.

After his award was handed down, Everhart said he felt justice was served. 

“I do feel as though I have been vindicated,” he said.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter: @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.




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Obama Was For Our Total Withdrawal From Iraq Before He Was Against It (Video)

Before heading off to Operation Martha’s Vineyard, this morning, the president held a brief press conference on the White House lawn to discuss his decision to use air strikes against ISIS in Iraq.

Asked if he was having second thoughts about the American withdrawal from Iraq in 2011,  and if that gives him pause since the U.S. is doing the same thing in Afghanistan, Obama launched into his trademark doublespeak:  

“What I think is interesting is how often this keeps coming up as if it was my decision,” Obama answered. “Under the previous administration, we had turned over the country to a sovereign, democratically elected Iraqi government. In order for us to maintain troops in Iraq, we needed the invitation of the Iraqi government and we needed assurances that our personnel would be immune from prosecution if, for example, they were protecting themselves and ended up getting in a firefight with Iraqis, that they wouldn’t be hauled before an Iraqi judicial system.”

He expressed his frustration with those who have the temerity to suggest that his actions had anything to do with the current parade of horrors in Iraq. 

“That entire analysis is bogus, and it’s wrong,” Obama insisted. “It often gets peddled around here by people who are often trying to defend policies that they themselves made.”

According to this new version of history, Obama always wanted to leave troops behind, but because the Iraqi people wanted us out of there, he had no choice but to grudgingly, reluctantly, regretfully bring all the boys home and triumphantly declare over and over and over again that he *ended the war in Iraq.

As DrewM at AoSHQ points out – this new version of events differs from the now expired version of events circa October 2011:

THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. As a candidate for President, I pledged to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end — for the sake of our national security and to strengthen American leadership around the world. After taking office, I announced a new strategy that would end our combat mission in Iraq and remove all of our troops by the end of 2011. As Commander-in-Chief, ensuring the success of this strategy has been one of my highest national security priorities. Last year, I announced the end to our combat mission in Iraq. And to date, we’ve removed more than 100,000 troops. Iraqis have taken full responsibility for their country’s security.

A few hours ago I spoke with Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki. I reaffirmed that the United States keeps its commitments. He spoke of the determination of the Iraqi people to forge their own future. We are in full agreement about how to move forward.

So today, I can report that, as promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year. After nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over.

In 2011 that was music to a **war weary America’s ears. But now as ISIS rampages through the country, creating a genocidal terror state – it sounds like clanging cymbals. 

Obama said “it’s interesting how this keeps coming up” because it indeed did come up, in June when he announced the that he was sending 300 military advisers to Iraq to aid “Iraqi security forces.” 

Scott Wilson of the Washington Post noted that the president had “surprised a few people” when he claimed during that news conference that the 2011 decision to withdraw all U.S. forces from Iraq was made entirely by the Iraqi government. 

A reporter asked Obama,  “Do you wish you had left a residual force in Iraq? Any regrets about that decision in 2011?” 

“Well, keep in mind that wasn’t a decision made by me,” Obama answered. “That was a decision made by the Iraqi government.”

Even a reporter at the Washington Post found this to be a bit much.

Wilson writes, “the implication ran counter to a number of claims that Obama has made in the past, most notably during a tight campaign season two years ago, when he suggested that it was his decision to leave Iraq and end an unpopular war.”

For much of that election year, Obama had included a line of celebration in his standard stump speech, one that among an electorate exhausted by more than a decade of war always drew a rousing applause: “Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq,” Obama proclaimed in Bowling Green, Ohio, in September 2012, and did nearly every day after until the election. “We did.”

Wilson helpfully pointed to a contentious exchange Obama had with Romney at the last presidential debate of the 2012 campaign season. 

“With regards to Iraq, you and I agreed, I believe, that there should be a status of forces agreement,” Romney told Obama as the two convened on the Lynn University campus in Boca Raton, Fla., that October evening. “That’s not true,” Obama interjected. “Oh, you didn’t want a status of forces agreement?” Romney asked as an argument ensued. “No,” Obama said. “What I would not have done is left 10,000 troops in Iraq that would tie us down. That certainly would not help us in the Middle East.


Two years later, it’s grimly amusing to hear this strong “Foreign Policy President” lecture Romney about not being clear enough for the voters. 

“Here’s one thing … I’ve learned as commander in chief,” Obama said. “You’ve got to be clear, both to our allies and our enemies, about where you stand and what you mean.”

*You don’t “end wars.” You win them or you lose them.

**I was never “war weary” myself. I tend to think the responsible thing to do after a hard fought victory, is keep troops in a place as long as they’re needed to to keep the peace.




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Dartmouth Will Not Allow Stalking Victim to Carry Gun for Self-Defense

On August 7, Breitbart News reported that 20-year-old Dartmouth student Taylor Woolrich asked the school if she could carry a gun to fend off a man she claims has been stalking her since she was 16.

On August 9, the Los Angeles Times reported the school denied her request.

According to the Times, Woolrich is from San Diego, where she claims 67-year-old Richard Bennett “spotted her at a coffee shop where she was working in 2011 and began harassing her.” She says that even after she went away to Dartmouth, he demonstrated an inexplicable knowledge of her trips back to CA and “last summer… he was at [her] front door within eight hours of [her] plane landing.”

Woolrich has a restraining order against Bennett, who is currently jailed in San Diego facing “charges of stalking, possession of a firearm while under a restraining order, and unlawfully obtaining personal information about Woolrich’s family.”

She asked Dartmouth if she could carry a handgun on campus to defend herself in the event that Bennett is released and comes to find her.

Her request was denied, but a Dartmouth spokesman said: “We do everything we possibly can to make our students feel safe.”

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins   Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. 




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