Using Water As A Weapon Of War

Herschel Smith · 03 Aug 2014 · 9 Comments

Next City: In a war, anything can be a weapon. In a particularly ruthless war, such as the conflict that has been raging in Syria for more than three years, those weapons are often turned against civilians, making any semblance of normal life impossible. Such is the case, experts say, with the way the nation’s water supply is being manipulated to inflict suffering on the population. According to an article posted by Chatham House, a London-based independent policy institute, water…… [read more]

Can’t Drill Our Way Out of High Oil Prices? Tell That to Saudi Arabia

BY Glen Tschirgi
2 years ago

Well, well… here is a nice little report from The Financial Times on the economics of global oil production and pricing:

Saudi Arabia has offered its main customers in the US, Europe and Asia extra oil supplies through the end of the year, a sign the world’s largest exporter is worried about the impact of rising prices on the global economy.

The Group of Seven finance ministers last month called on oil exporters to expand production. Saudi Arabia initially reacted coolly to the request, saying that global supply and demand were balanced. But the kingdom has recently taken steps to bring down prices, consulting with large refiners and offering them extra oil.

“The current price is too high,” a senior Gulf-based oil official told the Financial Times. “We would like to see oil prices back to $100 a barrel.”

The price of Brent, the global oil benchmark, has risen 33 per cent from mid-June to a peak of $117.95 a barrel on Friday. On Monday it plunged almost $4 in just four minutes, but later recovered.

Saudi Arabia last launched a similar round of consultations with major oil refiners in March, weeks before it boosted its production to a 30-year high of 10m barrels a day. Riyadh is now evaluating the response from refiners.

The nation last month produced 9.9m b/d, but the senior official said that Riyadh was now again pumping around 10m b/d. “We are consulting our clients about their oil needs and telling them we are ready to supply more,” the senior official said.

Opec delegates said Riyadh was trying to bring prices down. “The Saudis are actively managing the market,” added another senior oil official from an African Opec nation. “They supplied a little less when prices dropped to $90 over the summer and they will supply more now that prices are above $115.”

The signal from Riyadh comes as rising energy prices emerge as a contentious political issue in the US presidential race. Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate, has accused President Barack Obama of not doing enough to bring gasoline prices down.

The cost of regular gasoline surged in the US last week to $3.878 per gallon, the highest level ever for this period of the year. US retail gasoline prices reached an all-time high of $4.114 per gallon in early July 2008.

The White House last month dusted off plans to use the strategic petroleum reserve to bring prices down. But so far Mr Obama has not authorised a release, in part because opposition from allies such as Germany and, to a lesser extent, Italy, Japan and South Korea.

Hmmmm….I seem to remember that El Presidente said something to the effect that higher production of oil will not affect gas prices.  Oh yes, here are his remarks from March 2012:

The recent spike in gas prices has been another painful reminder of why we have to invest in this technology.   As usual, politicians have been rolling out their three-point plans for two-dollar gas: drill, drill, and drill some more.  Well, my response is, we have been drilling.  Under my Administration, oil production in America is at an eight-year high.  We’ve quadrupled the number of operating oil rigs, and opened up millions of acres for drilling.

But you and I both know that with only 2% of the world’s oil reserves, we can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices – not when consume 20 percent of the world’s oil. We need an all-of-the-above strategy that relies less on foreign oil and more on American-made energy – solar, wind, natural gas, biofuels, and more.

That’s right.  We “can’t drill our way to lower gas prices…”   Because, El Presidente says, the United States only has “2% of the world’s oil reserves.”   But we all know this is an outdated deception aimed at the gullible.  In fact, the Congressional Research Service reported several years ago that the U.S. has more oil and gas reserves (as that term is generally understood in the world oil industry) than any, other country on earth.   In fact, the U.S. has more oil and gas than Saudia Arabia, Venezuela and Candada combined.

According to this Investor’s Business Daily report based on a Congressional testimony by the Government Accounting Office:

Energy: The Government Accountability Office tells Congress the Green River Formation out West contains an “amount about equal to the entire world’s proven oil reserves.” So why are we keeping it locked up on federal lands?

Exploding the Big Lie pushed by President Obama that we can’t drill our way out of high gas prices because we have but 2% of the world’s proven oil reserves, Anu Mittal, GAO director of natural resources and environment, testified before Congress last week that just one small part of the U.S. is capable of outproducing the rest of the planet.

That small part is known as the Green River Formation, the world’s largest oil shale deposit, and is located in a largely vacant region of mostly federal land on the western edge of the Rocky Mountains that includes portions of Wyoming, Utah and Colorado.

As we have written in our “Oil And Gas/Fact And Fiction” series, the Green River Formation has been dubbed our Persia on the Plains, an area with technically recoverable oil in an amount estimated at four times the proven resources of Saudi Arabia.

Given that current U.S. daily oil consumption is running at 19.5 million barrels, the staggering amount of Green River reserves would by itself supply domestic oil consumption for more than 200 years. That sure blows the heck out of the “peak oil” theory that the world is running out of oil.

According to Mittal’s testimony before the House science subcommittee on energy and the environment, the U.S. Geological Survey “estimates that the Green River Formation contains about 3 trillion barrels of oil, and about half of this may be recoverable, depending on available technology and economic conditions.”

According to the president’s bizarre formulation, this oil does not count as a “proven” reserve because little drilling has been done. There is a reason for that. As Mittal testified: “The federal government is in a unique position to influence the development of oil shale because 72% of the oil shale within the Green River Formation lies beneath federal lands managed by BLM (Bureau of Land Management).”

(Emphasis Added)

In any event, Obama does not believe what he says, as usual.   While he pontificates about not being able to “drill our way out” of our energy problems, the Financial Times article reports that he has “dusted off plans to use the strategic petroleum reserve to bring prices down.”   If more drilling won’t solve the problem of high prices, then tapping the strategic reserve is useless.  Just one more example of El Presidente’s contempt for the American people.

Furthermore, even if it was true that the U.S. has “only” 2% of the world’s oil reserves, pricing is not determined by how much oil is in the ground.   Pricing is determined by how much is pumped out of the ground.   According to the CIA world fact book, as of 2010, the U.S. was producing an average of 9.688 million barrels of oil per day.   This already exceeds the production of Saudi Arabia when it wants to maintain stable pricing.    As the Financial Times article shows, however, when Saudi Arabia wants to bring down the price of oil, it ramps up its production to something around 10 million barrels per day.   If Saudi Arabia can affect world oil prices by simply putting an extra million or so barrels of oil per day onto the oil market, it is axiomatic that the U.S. can similarly affect the price of oil by getting production to over 10 million barrels or more per day.  In fact, some experts have said that the U.S. has the resources and capability to be producing over 15 million barrels of oil per day if we so choose.

One, other aspect of this subject that needs to be touched upon is the effect of Ben Bernanke’s federal monetary policy on oil prices.  Since Bernanke has decided to unleash another round of printing money and since oil prices are denominated in U.S. dollars, we will see the price of oil rise concomitant with the increase in the U.S. money supply.   In effect, then, the Saudis are underwriting our money printing by increasing oil production to offset to some degree the rise of oil prices that will naturally ensue because of the rising volume of dollars.

Take this one step further:  if the U.S. wants to recover from the Federal Reserve’s monetary inflation policy, producing increasing amounts of domestic oil is one effective way to do it.   Oil is real wealth.  Just like gold is real wealth (or, for that matter, all those incredibly valuable rare earth minerals the U.S. is sitting on but cannot develop due to ridiculous bureaucratic obstacles).  When the U.S. produces lots of oil, the wealth of the world comes to the U.S. rather than flowing to Saudi Arabia or Venezuela or Russia.   Oil, in a sense, is perhaps our greatest strategic weapon because it is one resource that the world cannot do without and it changes the balance of power globally.    In a crude sense, he who has the most oil wins.  We have it.  It’s time to start using it.

It’s time to renew that popular phrase:  Drill Baby, Drill.

Unmasked: New Book Shows The Real Obama

BY Glen Tschirgi
2 years, 1 month ago

In a short review of a soon-to-be-released e-book by Politico on the 2012 Obama Campaign, we find out that President Obama is pretty much the jerk we knew he was all along:

The e-book, produced as part of a two-month reporting project that included interviews with two dozen current and former members of Obama’s team, illuminates how the mood and character of the 2012 reelection effort is flowing from the top — with Obama’s own personality and values shaping his campaign just as powerfully as he did four years ago.

This has produced a campaign being animated by one thing above all. It is not exclusively about hope and change anymore, words that seem like distant echoes even to Obama’s original loyalists — and to the president himself. It is not the solidarity of a hard-fought cause, often absent in this mostly joyless campaign. It is Obama’s own burning competitiveness, with his remorseless focus on beating Mitt Romney — an opponent he genuinely views with contempt and fears will be unfit to run the country.

Obama is sometimes portrayed as a reluctant warrior, sorry to see 2012 marked by so much partisan warfare but forced by circumstance to go along. But this perception is by most evidence untrue. In the interviews with current and former Obama aides, not one said he expressed any reservations about the negativity. He views it as a necessary part of campaigning, as a natural — if unpleasant — rotation of the cyclical political wheel.

[Emphasis added]

In one reported incident, Obama spotted a person in a hotel lobby whom he knew was close to Senator Marco Rubio and had the following exchange:

“Is your boy going to go for [vice president]?” the president asked her. Maybe, she replied.

“Well,” he said, chuckling, according to a person who witnessed the encounter. “Tell your boy to watch it. He might get his ass kicked.”

This pretty well epitomizes Barack Hussein Obama.   He is nothing more than a cheap, trash-talking, Chicago thug politician, perfectly comfortable with the politics of personal destruction and not reluctant to flaunt it.   The fact that the Statist Media has aided and abetted this fraud on the public is nearly criminal.

Remember this the next time that you hear someone say that they like the President personally— “He’s a nice guy, he just has bad policies…”   No, he is not a nice guy.   He pretends to be one in order to manipulate gullible voters and sentimental, guilt-stricken women for political effect, but the mask if finally slipping and we will see in this campaign just how vicious and repulsive he can be.

A Lawyer’s Perspective on Obama’s Open Mic (aka: Selling Out Your Client)

BY Glen Tschirgi
2 years, 6 months ago

By now most everyone has heard or read about the latest Obama mess– the “off the record” conversation between Obama and outgoing Russian President Dimitry Medvedev inadvertently caught by at least one microphone that the two thought had been turned off.  A friend referred to it this incident as a “gaffe,” but that is far too generous a term.  This incident is one of those rare, clarifying moments when the heavily painted facade of a charlatan mistakenly falls away and the audience is allowed a brief glimpse at the truth.

And by now as well, everyone has heard or read various analyses of the incident, none of which are dire enough for my taste.  But there is not much to add.

Now we have reached the aftershocks of this White House temblor where Obama and his sycophants attempt to spin the story and explain it away.

In this reverberation, this assault on our intelligence and patience by El Presidente, William Kristol over at The Weekly Standard.com renders us all a great service in pointing out the many levels of duplicity and shocking arrogance:

Obama is being disingenuous: His private comments to Medvedev were not about reducing nuclear stockpiles. They were about missile defense: “On all these issues, particularly on missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space,” he said. And Obama didn’t just ask for “space” until after Election Day. He promised: “After my election I have more flexibility.” So Obama was promising more accommodation to Vladimir Putin’s Russia next year, not simply reiterating his commitment to nuclear weapons reduction.

Obama’s new comment is also revealing. What does Obama mean by saying that the current environment isn’t conducive to “thoughtful consultations” with the Pentagon, as well with Congress? Obama is, it seems, suggesting he’ll be able to override military advice more easily once he gets past the election. That’s good to know. And that his consultations with the Pentagon fall for Obama into the same category as negotiations with congressional leaders from the other party. This is revealing—and scary.

Finally, Obama doesn’t seem at all aware of how inappropriate his whole line of discussion with Medvedev was. It’s one thing to acknowledge election year imperatives when discussing domestic issues at home. It’s quite another to do so when discussing foreign policy with a foreign leader. A president of the United States, meeting with a foreign leader abroad, should surely maintain the posture that he’s acting in the best interests of the United States at all times. Others can explain election year considerations sotto voce if necessary. But it’s deeply inappropriate for the president to discuss election year considerations—especially with a foreign leader whose country is often hostile to U.S. interests.

(Emphasis mine)

This is all very true and very well put by Kristol, but when I read these paragraphs I experienced an instantaneous connection with my other life as a trial attorney that puts Obama’s behavior in a very comprehensible light.

As most civil trial attorneys will tell you, there is often precious little, actual trial work.  The truism that most cases settle before trial is, not surprisingly, true.   How a case reaches a settlement, however, is a little known and surprising secret.   In my experience– anecdotal and possibly unrepresentative though it may be– cases settle very often because the attorney representing the other side sells out his client. Beyond the fact that this behavior is blatantly unethical and goes against the very heart and soul of the attorney-client relationship, I am constantly amazed at how attorneys will, for example, reveal damaging information about their client, or express frustration or even open hostility toward their client, all in the pursuit of the magic Settlement Agreement.   The Agreement that will allow them to move on to less taxing, more rewarding, more interesting work for someone else who always seems to pay better or have a better claim on their time.

Why would an attorney do this?  I am not sure.  An educated guess is that these attorneys are perhaps lazy and do not want to be bothered by the time and effort required to bring a case to trial.  Or perhaps these attorneys have taken on too many, other cases and are desperate to reach a Settlement that will mean one, less case to worry about.  Many of these attorneys I deal with express regrets about taking on their clients (“they don’t/can’t pay me” or “they are completely out of control” etc…).   In any event, after reading William Kristol’s piece, I immediately identified Obama’s behavior with the double-crossing attorneys I often encounter.

This is what I contend Obama was caught doing with President Medvedev: selling out his client, the United States of America, in order to achieve some kind of magical Settlement Agreement with the Russians.   Why?  Again, I can only guess but probably the same reasons apply to Obama as with the trial attorneys:  he doesn’t like his client, he is annoyed or even desperate to move on to other, more interesting or personally profitable work.   Reaching the magic Settlement Agreement may, in Obama’s mind, reinforce his egoism– the all-important Legacy.

That Obama appears willing to sell out the U.S. to Russia is a terrible thing, indeed.  But even worse (if that’s possible) is the certain knowledge that someone who will sell out his client in one case will do so again and again in other cases.   Just as Obama was caught by Danish television telling a string of visiting Nordic leaders the same, hokey line about “punching above their weight,” you can bet that Obama has been having the same, Medvedev-like conversation with other world leaders who are every bit (if not more) hostile to the U.S. than Russia.

Does anyone think, for example, that Obama has not already told President Erdogan of Turkey that he will be much more “flexible” after re-election to sell out Israel?   What about selling out U.S. interests to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt?  Iran?  Syria?  China?  In all of these cases, Obama desperately wants that magical Settlement Agreement.   And like the attorneys I deal with all too often, Obama will sell us all out to get the deal he wants and needs.

Nostradamus Predicts Economic Rebound on November 7, 2012

BY Glen Tschirgi
3 years ago

How bad have things gotten for President Obama?

So bad that even the slavish State Run Media are beginning to point out the obvious fibs and flaws in  Obama’s September 8th speech to Congress.

The Associated Press notes here at least four instances of fibbing by Obama in the speech.  The lede paragraph alone is something that we would not have seen even 10 months ago:

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama’s promise Thursday that everything in his jobs plan will be paid for rests on highly iffy propositions.

It will only be paid for if a committee he can’t control does his bidding, if Congress puts that into law and if leaders in the future – the ones who will feel the fiscal pinch of his proposals – don’t roll it back.

The AP article points out that Obama’s claim that his new calls for stimulus spending will be fully paid for is unlikely at best given the reliance on a future Congress and president to come up with the money and/or cuts.   Obama’s assertion that his proposals have all been supported by Republicans at one time or another is also a distortion that does not take into account the changed circumstances of the economy and the federal deficits, nor Republican opposition to these very proposals.   The AP correctly notes that Obama’s claim that the new stimulus measures “will not add to the deficit” is patently untrue: since federal revenues are completely absorbed by defense and entitlement spending, any additional spending on stimulus can only come from borrowed (i.e. deficit) funds.  Finally, the AP calls out Obama on his claim that the new stimulus will create immediate employment as several of the proposals, such as the “infrastructure bank,” will take months if not years to set up.

In addition, as we saw with Stimulus I, even Obama admitted that there were no “shovel ready jobs” as he expected.  Repairs of roads, bridges, highway projects all take time to plan and implement and, given the contraction in the construction industry over the last, few years, it is quite possible that any infrastructure jobs that are ready to implement now will be given to the few, remaining companies that have managed to stay alive.   And we can never discount the crony factor when huge amounts of federal dollars are being doled out.   Much of that money will wind up in the pockets of political supporters rather than creating any new jobs.

But the Associated Press is not alone.

The New York Times and CNBC are pointing out the inherent weakness in Obama’s plan to jump start the economy.   CNBC reprints an article from the NYT printed September 10, 2011 titled, “Employers Say Jobs Plan Won’t Lead to Hiring Spur.”

The dismal state of the economy is the main reason many companies are reluctant to hire workers, and few executives are saying that President Obama’s jobs plan — while welcomed — will change their minds any time soon.

That sentiment was echoed across numerous industries by executives in companies big and small on Friday, underscoring the challenge for the Obama administration as it tries to encourage hiring and perk up the moribund economy.

The plan failed to generate any optimism on Wall Street as the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index and the Dow Jones industrial average each fell about 2.7 percent.

As President Obama faced an uphill battle in Congress to win support even for portions of the plan, many employers dismissed the notion that any particular tax break or incentive would be persuasive. Instead, they said they tended to hire more workers or expand when the economy improved.

This is such a fundamental concept of business that it amazes me that a president of the United States could not grasp it.  As a small business owner myself, I can attest to the fact that no amount of payroll tax breaks or tax credits would induce me to hire an employee that I do not need.  In a business that is functioning normally — i.e., not skewed by cronyism, subsidies or other factors that distort profit-loss considerations– hiring is driven by demand for products or services that cannot be met with current staffing.  A tax break or credit, particularly one that is temporary, is not a reason to hire.

So this is the tectonic divide between the Obamas of the world and The Rest of Us.   In Obama’s unshakeable faith in the Keynesian Religion, the only answer, always and forever, is stimulus.   He simply cannot see that the biggest obstacle to hiring is the very government action to which he is irrevocably committed. For The Rest of Us, a government that is imposing a huge, yet-to-be understood healthcare mandate, spending us and the next 3 generations into debt oblivion, corrupting the natural order of free markets in competition for customers and innovation, and going out of its way to demonize the “rich,” punish them and redistribute wealth to the unproductive class of society is ample reason to hunker down, save up your cash (or convert to hard assets), hire no one you will have to be regulated for, and wait out the storm of insanity that is Washington, D.C. right now.

Allow me to suggest two actions the government could take that could produce dramatic effects on the economy:  repealing Obamacare (or at least waiving its effects for all 50 states as suggested by Romney), and lifting most of the federal restrictions and bans on domestic energy production.   On this second point, the economic impact of oil and gas production (to say nothing of coal and nuclear) is astounding: both Texas and North Dakota (North Dakota!) have seen huge increases in employment due to a booming oil and gas industry exploiting both old wells and new ones with the process of hydraulic fracturing.

And to show that this boom is not limited to what we think of as the typical oil and gas states like Texas, there is this article from The Dayton Daily News that sketches the outlines of just how vast the natural gas reserves in Ohio might be:

DAYTON — Ohio appears on the cusp of a 21st-century oil and gas boom that could net tens of thousands of new jobs and perhaps build a foundation for new industry, proponents say. The source is natural gas-rich shale rock beneath three-quarters of the state.

***

The Utica Shale, which geologists say has yet to be fully analyzed, extends westward across three-quarters of the state from Ohio’s eastern border, state estimates show. It also lies under New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

It could extend to Montgomery County, but drilling potential remains unknown. Chesapeake said it will increase drilling rigs in the Utica to 20 by the end of 2012 and 40 by 2014.

This year, the state opened up parks and other public land to drilling over opposition from environmentalists.

It might seem a stretch that Ohio could profit from a boom based on oil and gas, an industry with roots here that date to the 19th century. But a new boom appears possible if Pennsylvania’s recent experience with new drilling in another formation, the Marcellus Shale, is any guide. The Marcellus has a smaller footprint in Ohio than the Utica and lies beneath Ohio’s easternmost counties.

Pennsylvania is weathering an iffy economy well, with an unemployment rate of 7.8 percent. Its share of the Marcellus is helping. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry issued its estimate this month that natural-gas and crude oil extraction and related industries created 72,000 new hires from the fourth quarter of 2009 to the first quarter of 2011.

It’s too tricky to attribute all the hires to new drilling, said Tim McElhinny, an analyst with the department. But there are so many new hires that a portion must be due to the Marcellus. Those jobs include well drilling, engineering, trucking, highway and bridge building, testing, metal fabrication and new government hires.

The jump in employment in the core gas industries — extraction, drilling and pipeline work — is smaller but nevertheless doubled to 18,837 from the fourth quarter of 2007 to the fourth quarter of 2010.

For the immediate future, it looks like the eastern third of Ohio and the Marcellus Shale is where the action will occur. But longer term, besides offering job opportunities to out-of-work or underemployed residents, low-cost natural gas from the Utica could fuel industrial redevelopment in Ohio, propoponents say.

The U.S. Geological Survey in August updated its estimates for the Marcellus Shale region underlying New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio, saying it contains 84 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, recoverable natural gas, vastly more than thought nearly a decade ago in large part because of new drilling and extraction technology. The last government assessment in 2002 suggested about 2 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas.

The Utica Shale, some experts believe, could be bigger still. Tom Stewart, executive vice president for the Ohio Oil and Gas Association, said more drilling and analysis is needed to fully comprehend the Utica.

Consider for a moment the vast increase of estimated gas reserves cited above:  from 2 trillion in 2002 to 84 trillion as of August 2011.  This is only covering the Marcellus Shale formation.  The Utica Shale formation “could be bigger still.”

And lest anyone think that the impact of these dramatic discoveries is limited to the energy industry, the article notes:

Also promising have been expressions of interest by the chemical industry about locating close to a rich supply of low-cost, natural gas. New Ohio natural gas could be a key feedstock of chemical production, Stewart said. That could prove a rich spin-off from the finds, he said.

Natural gas has been touted by some as a potential transitional energy source to renewables because it’s a cleaner fuel than coal and has reduced impact on climate change.

Ignore the bit about “climate change” which is bunk.  Nonetheless, few people in the U.S. today realize that our economic salvation is at hand.  I hope to post an article in the near future on the amazing energy wealth that has been discovered in the U.S., but for now it is enough to say that the advances in technology hold out the very real potential to revolutionize our economy with cheap and abundant oil and natural gas.   Beyond the huge number of new jobs in the industry itself nationwide, estimated by some at 1 million in the next seven years, imagine the many ripple effects.   Even the very announcement of a new policy to fully tap into our energy resources is enough to significantly affect the global price of oil and bring down U.S. energy costs, effectively pumping billions of dollars into the economy.   As the price of oil goes down, the money flowing to fascist states like Iran is severely restricted.   Want to bring down the tyrants in Tehran?  Bring the price of oil down to even $60 per barrel and the Mullahs’ economy crashes and burns.

Of course, this kind of commitment to energy independence is not going to happen under this Administration.  Nor is any, other sensible plan going to emerge that would free up private enterprise and restore the shaky nerves of consumers.   So, barring a dramatic change at the White House, it is time to batten down the hatches and ride out the storm.   We will all have to wait until November 7, 2012, the day after the national elections.   Assuming that the American people come to their senses and reject Obama for a second term, I am officially putting on my Nostradamus hat and predicting, here and now, that the economy will begin a dramatic comeback from that point onward.

Crises, Crises Everywhere (and not a President to be found)

BY Glen Tschirgi
3 years, 6 months ago

Folks, this post by White House blogger Keith Koffler sums up perfectly the abdication of office by this President:

The Middle East is afire with rebellion, Japan is imploding from an earthquake, and the battle of the budget is on in the United States, but none of this seems to be deterring President Obama from a heavy schedule of childish distractions.

The newly installed tandem of White House Chief of Staff William Daley and Senior Adviser David Plouffe were supposed to impart a new sense of discipline and purpose to the White House. Instead, they are permitting him to showcase himself as a poorly focused leader who has his priorities backward.

This morning, as Japan’s nuclear crisis enters a potentially catastrophic phase, we are told that Obama is videotaping his NCAA tournament picks and that we’ll be able to tune into ESPN Wednesday to find out who he likes.

Saturday, he made his 61st outing to the golf course as president, and got back to the White House with just enough time for a quick shower before heading out to party with Washington’s elite journalists at the annual Gridiron Dinner.

With various urgencies swirling about him, Saturday’s weekly videotaped presidential address focusing on “Women’s History Month” seemed bizarrely out of touch.

Obama Friday took time out to honor the 2009-10 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks. Thursday was a White House conference on bullying – not a bad idea perhaps, but not quite Leader of the Free World stuff either.

Obama appeared a little sleepy as he weighed in against the bullies, perhaps because he’d spent the night before partying with lawmakers as they took in a Chicago Bulls vs. Charlotte Bobcats game.

Meanwhile, the president has been studying for weeks whether to establish a No Fly Zone over Libya, delaying action while the point becomes increasingly moot as Qaddafi begins to defeat and slaughter his opponents. And lawmakers from both Parties are wondering why he seems to be AWOL in the deficit reduction debate.

The Libya indecision follows an inconsistent response to the protests that ousted former Egyptian President Mubarak and seemed to catch the White House off guard. The perfunctory response from the White House Monday to Saudi Arabia’s dispatch of troops to Bahrain suggested the administration wasn’t prepared for that one either.

But the fun stuff won’t end anytime soon. On Thursday, the Taoiseach of Ireland will be in town to help the president celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. And then Friday it’s off to Brazil for the start of a three-country Latin American tour.

When Obama took the oath of office, he swore:

“I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and I will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

If Obama refuses to faithfully execute his duties in such a brazen manner, perhaps it is time that he find other employment, or we, the people, can find it for him.  As things stand, I am not sure that we can wait until January, 2013.


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