Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Quick Notes: Special BHO Edition

For the first time in my adult life since the inauguration in January, the President has done something that has made me feel truly liberated. I know I criticize President and GM CEO Barack Hussein "Hopey-Change" Obama a lot on this site. In his honor, this edition of Quick Notes , and special 300th blog post of Political Friends, is dedicated exclusively to him!

President Obama's New Found Faith. You may remember during the campaign last year unscrupulous Republicans and Conservatives had the Audacity to use then junior Senator Obama's middle name, Hussein. As Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller report on ABC News, the Obama campaign even had to address this on their Fight the Smears website saying:

"Barack Obama is a committed Christian. He was sworn into the Senate on his family Bible. He has regularly attended church with his wife and daughters for years. But shameful, shadowy attackers have been lying about Barack's religion, claiming he is a Muslim instead of a committed Christian. When people fabricate stories about someone's faith to denigrate them politically, that's an attack on people of all faiths. Make sure everyone you know is aware of this deception."

During the campaign, Senator Obama even stated his father was agnostic. Now the White House is playing up not just his middle name, but his Muslim connections. Again, according to ABC:

"During a conference call in preparation for President Obama's trip to Cairo, Egypt, where he will address the Muslim world, deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Denis McDonough said 'the President himself experienced Islam on three continents before he was able to -- or before he's been able to visit, really, the heart of the Islamic world -- you know, growing up in Indonesia, having a Muslim father -- obviously Muslim Americans (are) a key part of Illinois and Chicago.'"

While I am quite excited about the freedom to use the President (CEO's?) middle name, I am a little concerned about the President's comments that America is one of the largest Muslim countries in the world. The President was very specific that the number of American Muslim's living in the US makes it one of the largest Muslim countries in the world. That simply isn't true. As Toby Harnden writes on the UK Telegraph blog, we are either the 34th or 48th largest Muslim country if you actually do the math (depending on whose head counts you use). We aren't even in the top ten. Is this a lie, bad number crunching, or simple pandering?

Nuclear Power is OK for Iran, and UAE, but not the United States. President Obama has been very careful with what he has said regarding nuclear power in the United States. Any serious clean energy plan for our nation must include nuclear energy. According to Newsweek, nuclear energy accounts for 20% of our energy, and 70% of our nation's emission free energy . However, President Obama hasn't come out in favor of nuclear power, and by moving to shut down Yucca Mountain, he has made it much more difficult to increase our nuclear energy production.

Just because the President doesn't like nuclear power in the United States doesn't mean he believes it isn't good for the United Arab Emirates and Iran. In May, he proceeded with a deal to allow the United States to help the UAE become the first Arab nation with a nuclear power plant. The construction work in the UAE associated with this deal could provide U.S. companies with $41 Billion in contracts.

President Barack Hussein Obama has said, and reiterated in the last few days that he feels Iran has some right to nuclear power, just not nuclear weapons. I can't begin to cover all of the problems with this statement. The top two: Do you really think Iran will accept nuclear power and not create a nuclear weapon? What position does this put our ally Israel in?

President Obama quiet on murder? On Sunday, when Dr. George Tiller was shot at his church, the White House was quick to release a statement. In part it said that the President was "shocked and outraged" by the church shooting of a doctor who was known to perform late-term abortions. He went on to say, "However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence." So far, I agree with the President. However, the President puts himself in a very bad position when he comments on something like this. Why? Because what happens when another person is murdered and the President is silent on it?

For example, the next day, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad shot two Army soldiers in front of a recruiting office in Arkansas. One soldier was killed, the other wounded. Muhammad shot the soldiers because of what he felt the Army had done to Muslims. Details have come out today that Muhammad may have had other targets in mind based on information the FBI and Homeland Security Department found on a computer "linked" to Muhamad. As of this writing, the President has been silent on the murder and shooting of Army soldiers on American soil by a man who had converted to Islam. Whether he is intentionally placing different values on the life of Dr. Tiller versus Private William Long or Private Quinton Ezeagwula, he is giving the appearance that he doesn't consider these individuals, or their murders, equal.


the anonymous guy said...

So there are around 33 countries with larger Muslim populations than the U.S.

There are about 160 countries with smaller Muslim populations than the U.S.

Andy D said...

You understand that means we're not the largest Muslim country ,right?

the anonymous guy said...

Uh, nobody was claiming we're the largest Muslim country, bro.

It does mean that we're in the top 17% of countries for total population of Muslims.

Andy D said...

President Obama claimed we were THE largest Muslim country by number of Muslims.

the anonymous guy said...

Now you're claiming that Obama said we're the largest Muslim country?

Here's Obama: "And one of the points I want to make is; is that if you actually took the number of Muslim Americans, we'd be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world."

And, dude, here's a source I don't usually cite:

Here's *Andy*: "The President was very specific that the number of American Muslim's living in the US makes it one of the largest Muslim countries in the world."

S'all right, bro. Everybody forgets reality now and then. Just ask Dick.

Andy D said...

I have to concede, he did say one of the largest. I misread the initial articles. However, being the 34th largest or 48th largest does not make us one of the largest Muslim countries in the world. We aren't in the top 5, top 10, top 25 by anyone's counting. The President was just plain wrong on this.

the anonymous guy said...

So it would have been better if he would have said "one of the larger" instead of "one of the largest."

This all seems uncharitable. I think you understand that he was making a valid point: there are a lot of Muslims in the U.S.--more than in most other countries in the world.

Andy D said...

No, he really wasn't making a valid point. It would have been much better to simply say that there are 2 million Muslims in America and make his point from there. Trying to rank us as a leader in Muslim population was simply pandering to his audience.

Kram said...

Why does he want to flaunt our Muslim status in the world and ignore our Christian status in the world?

the anonymous guy said...

Um, Kram, I think the point is to show what we have in common with people who would like to think of us as utterly different from them. It makes it harder to recuit people to go after "the great satan" when they learn that there are a lot of Muslims here who are also good Americans.

Anyway, Obama said very clearly in his speech that he is Christian and he quoted from the Bible.

The world has had enough of fake cowboys who drop bombs while quoting Christian scripture.

Andy D said...

His Speech in Egypt will not convince anyone to side with America who was on the fence before. It was a mediocre speech, with a lot of pandering thrown in.

But Kram does have a point. His "one of the largest Muslim nations" quote is just silly when you look at the demographics of our country. I doubt there are very many in the Muslim community who heard that quote and suddenly had a new revelation about our nation.

the anonymous guy said...

Have you been paying attention to what people in the Middle East are saying about the speech? It's quite the opposite from what you're saying. Of course the speech won't work miracles, but it has done a lot of good.

But that's the problem you right wingers have had for the past eight years. You don't have to see what the actual people in the Middle East think about it, you don't have to check for WMD, you don't have to think about *why* people might fly planes into U.S. buildings, you already know that blowing up Iraq will make Iraqis "greet us as liberators."

Do a little research and listen to people in the Middle East responding to Obama's speech.

Andy D said...

I have read a number of comments from people in the Middle East. They have been mixed at best. For example, CNN quotes a number of people with mixed reactions. The AP did a pretty good job of summing up the different opinions.

"The speech has done a lot of good"??? There hasn't been enough time for the best speech ever given to have made significant progress, let alone one that tried to pander to a number of different groups.

Andy D said...

One other thing....I forgot to mention that a number of the things President Obama said in his speech were echos of what President Bush had said for years. The constant, "America is not at ... at war with Islam," and that all people yearn for Democracy and Freedom are all theme's that President Bush said as early as September of 2001.

Brandon said...


A few quick comments. First, regarding Iran and nuclear power. Iran is allowed to have nuclear power, just as any other country in the world. As incredible as it may sound, Iran does not have a lot of gas available to fire their power plants, they actually have to import refined fuels they are so laughably bad at managing their greatest asset.

Ayatollah Khameini has issued a fatwa against both the possession and use of nuclear weapons, so it's questionable if Iran actually wants nuclear weapons or wants the capability to quickly manufacture nuclear weapons in case of an impending attack by the US.

I do agree with you that we need to increase our own nuclear power portfolio and hopefully a compromise will be worked out where Iran keeps its reactors but a third-party nation refines its needed uranium for them.

Second, what exactly didn't you like about the speech? I thought it was a solid one, although he has certainly had some better ones in the past. I agree with you that many of his points share commonalities with President Bush's ideas, although having a new face deliver them probably increased their effectiveness.

Andy D said...

I don't believe Iran should have nuclear technology until they stop funding terrorism. As long as Hamas and Hezbollah are funded and orchestrated by Iran, we can't be sure they won't use nuclear weapons.

Iranian leaders have said they would support a nuclear strike against Israel. I take them at their word until they renounce it, and show honest steps towards a peaceful existence with Israel.

There are a number of problems I had with the President's speech. I will try to be brief here unless you want a more detailed assessment. I would be happy to spend an entire post on it, but I am not sure anyone want's my play - by - play of the speech.

I did not like his treatment of Iraq. I felt like he spent to much time apologizing for our actions in Iraq while we still have troops there. I felt a portion of his speech was simple pandering. Some of his facts appeared to be made up (the 7 million Muslims in America who have higher incomes and education than most Americans). I think he did a terrible disservice to our nation comparing women's rights here with women's rights in the middle east.

To me, the speech felt like a campaign speech trying to get the votes of the audience without really hoping to carry through on any of the promises made in the speech.

Brandon said...


I don't recall the section of the speech regarding Iraq, but I do recall several Arabs criticizing the president for not addressing the issue of Iraq more in reaction pieces by Time & the BBC. I think it's important to recognize that regarding Iraq & Iran it's important to remember that the invasion of Iraq & the deposing of Iran's Prime Minister in 1953 are a significant cause of anger within the Arab world. Acknowledging that we have made some mistakes in our foreign policy in the Middle East is a big deal to those who live there from what I gathered from the reaction pieces.

I agree with you about Iran & nuclear technology, I don't really feel safe with their current leadership being around such technology, but unless we and/or our allies intelligence services can conclusively prove that Iran is developing nuclear weapons in violation of the NPT treaty to which they are a signatory, they are entitled to a nuclear program.

As for Iran wiping Israel off the map, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad thankfully does not have any control over Iran's foreign policy. Unless Ayatollah Khameini reverses himself & finds that Islam does sanction the possession and use of nuclear weapons, Iran cannot carry out such an attack.

Andy D said...

I think any time a President goes into another country and talks about the mistakes we have made, and equates them with much larger problems in that area, the President is making a mistake.

I dearly hope you are right on Iran and I am wrong. I am afraid it is the other way around though.