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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Fri. 03/13/09 08:28:31 AM
   
         
         
   

Completely Unqualified and Wholly Unprepared

But Barack Obama is president anyway.

It's going to take a while, especially since his comrades in the mainstream media exaggerate the positives and ignore the negatives, but it looks like America and the rest of the world, too, are not going to escape the consequences of having a completely unqualified and wholly unprepared man as president of the United States.

Here's what it will involve, in a nutshell: corruption on a scale unknown since Harding, and incompetence on a scale unknown since Carter — in the same administration.

Don Surber writes about this, Mar. 11, based on reports from England.

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Barack Obama is too busy posing for magazine covers to actually do the job to which he was elected.

There is a price to be paid when a president throws a party every other night, weekends in Chicago or Camp David and poses for magazine cover after magazine cover.

After 51 days in office, Barack Obama has appointed only 73 people to 1,200 jobs that require Senate confirmation.

If they require Senate approval, they are important jobs.

But Obama is too busy to properly vet the people and appoint them to fill the jobs to get the work done.

That is his job.

And he shirks it.

And now we pay the price.

The London Independent reported: “Last week, it was all smiles and handshakes as Gordon Brown and President Barack Obama put on a show of unity in Washington.

“But yesterday, Sir Gus O’Donnell, Britain’s most senior civil servant, exposed transatlantic tension when he protested that Downing Street was finding it ‘unbelievably difficult’ to plan for next month’s G20 summit in London because of problems tracking down senior figures in the US administration. ‘There is nobody there. You cannot believe how difficult it is,’ the Cabinet Secretary told a civil service conference in Gateshead.”

The Times of London and other newspapers had similar accounts.

If our allies cannot reach us because Barack Obama has failed to appoint someone to answer the phone, how are we to have any friends in the world?

And yet this naïf little twit who barely qualifies to be a back bencher in the Illinois legislature had the nerve to tell reporters last week: “President Obama has accomplished more in 30 days than any president in modern history.”

He really said that.

He really thinks that.

He really thinks that because he could get legislation passed through a Congress that is overwhelmingly Democratic that he is God’s gift to the nation.

Barack Obama may have had the worst first 30 days in the White House since William Henry Harrison.

The British press gets it. The Independent reported: “ ‘You get to a certain point, and you can’t go any further,’ Sir Gus said. ‘A whole new bunch of people come in who probably haven’t been in government before.’

“Fifty days after President Obama was sworn in, every senior post in the US Treasury Department remains vacant, with the exception of Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary, who should have 17 deputies. The vacuum has prompted complaints that it is struggling to deal with the most severe downturn since the 1930s.”

Remember that voicemail from the 1980s set to Beethoven’s Fifth?

Nobody’s home! Nobody’s home!

And that telephone at 3 a.m. is ringing and ringing and ringing.

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(Note: President William Henry Harrison died after only a month in office.)

Here follow the reports that Surber references.

First, from the Times, Mar. 10.

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Britain's most senior civil servant has complained that Downing Street is finding it “unbelievably difficult” to make arrangements with the United States for the crucial G20 summit.

Sir Gus O'Donnell, the Cabinet Secretary, reportedly said that the handover to the Obama Administration was hindering discussions about the meeting in London next month.

The Prime Minister hopes that the summit on April 2 will produce a co-ordinated global strategy to tackle the economic downturn.

So far, his attempts to get his Washington and European allies to agree to a coherent common platform for the meeting have proved frustrating.

he G20 nations, which represent about 90 per cent of world economic activity, include not only the traditional G7 members but the European Union and emerging economic powers such as China and Brazil.

Mr O'Donnell said that No 10 was having trouble even getting in touch with key personnel at the US Treasury department. “There is nobody there,” he told a civil service conference in Gateshead. “You cannot believe how difficult it is.”

His comments come after Downing Street was left frustrated by the White House’s chaotic handling of Gordon Brown’s visit last week. No 10 aides were left scrambling when the President's staff changed press arrangements at the 11th hour.

Sir Gus's remarks appear to confirm the problems Mr Obama has faced in getting his administration staffed and up to speed during the worst economic crisis in decades.

The Times reported last week that Tim Geithner, the Treasury Secretary, had been forced to operate virtually on his own without any of the 17 deputies his department is supposed to have.

Sir Gus criticised the US system of new administrations appointing their own senior civil servants as “absolute madness”.

The Whitehall & Westminster World website, whose publisher, Dods, organised yesterday's event in Gateshead, reported that Sir Gus had emphasised the importance of continuity for projects such as the Olympics.

“You get to a certain point, and you can’t go any further,” Sir Gus said. “If there’s a change of administration, you’re out, and a whole new bunch of people come in who probably haven’t been in government before.”

Preparations for the summit are due to step up a gear this weekend when G20 finance ministers, including Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, and Mr Geithner, join central bankers at a luxury hotel in West Sussex that Winston Churchill used as a weekend retreat.

The main summit will be held at the ExCeL centre in the Docklands, where Mr Brown will receive heads of government from the EU and 19 other leading economies, including Mr Obama on his first visit to Europe as President.

Even though Mr Obama is visiting Britain for the G20, he is expected to meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

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Now, from the Independent, Mar. 11.

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Last week, it was all smiles and handshakes as Gordon Brown and President Barack Obama put on a show of unity in Washington.

But yesterday, Sir Gus O'Donnell, Britain's most senior civil servant, exposed transatlantic tension when he protested that Downing Street was finding it "unbelievably difficult" to plan for next month's G20 summit in London because of problems tracking down senior figures in the US administration. "There is nobody there. You cannot believe how difficult it is," the Cabinet Secretary told a civil service conference in Gateshead.

Last night Downing Street insisted the comments – reported on the Whitehall and Westminster World website – had been taken out of context. It added that Britain and the US had established a "very good and close working relationship" in the run-up to the G20 conference in London on 2 April. The Cabinet Secretary's undiplomatic language follows an outwardly-successful 48-hour visit by Mr Brown to Washington, which included talks with the new President and an address to the US Congress. The Prime Minister secured Mr Obama's backing for moves to kick-start the global economy, which he hopes to use to prompt other G20 leaders to support the fiscal stimulus package.

But Sir Gus's remarks will leave ministers smoothing feathers in the new administration, whose support is vital for agreement at the summit.

He made them as he stressed the importance of a permanent civil service rather than the US practice of filling posts when a new President is elected. He said it would be "madness" to introduce a similar system in Britain, because of the need for continuity in major projects such as the 2012 Olympics.

"You get to a certain point, and you can't go any further," Sir Gus said. "A whole new bunch of people come in who probably haven't been in government before." Fifty days after President Obama was sworn in, every senior post in the US Treasury Department remains vacant, with the exception of Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary, who should have 17 deputies. The vacuum has prompted complaints that it is struggling to deal with the most severe downturn since the 1930s.

Mr Brown's official spokesman said: "[Sir Gus] was explaining the benefits of the British system of having a permanent civil service. We have a very good and close working relationship with the United States on G20 and other issues. I think last week what you saw was an administration fully engaged on the G20. That is the sense we got."

The Cabinet Secretary's comments were removed from the website after the Government protested.

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Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Fri. 03/13/09 08:28:31 AM
Categorized as International & Political.

   
         
         

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