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March 13, 2013

President Obama: The sky is falling

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Almost two weeks have gone by since the so-called “sequester” of the federal budget went into effect and all indications lead us to believe that the Zombie Apocalypse has not happened. Nor has it otherwise resulted in the end of the world as we know it.


Remember the sequester? It was the key and critical provision of the Budget Control Act of 2011, which took effect on March 1.


According to Dylan Matthews on March 1, 2013, in The Washington Post:


“The 2013 sequester includes: $42.7 billion in defense cuts (a 7.9 percent cut); $28.7 billion in domestic discretionary cuts (a 5.3 percent cut); $9.9 billion in Medicare cuts (a 2 percent cut); $4 billion in other mandatory cuts (a 5.8 percent cut to nondefense programs, and a 7.8 percent cut to mandatory defense programs).”


According to a number of astute political observers, including Chris Cillizza, also of The Washington Post, the sequester may very well have been over-hyped by a president who is not used to media scrutiny.


Mr. Cillizza wrote in “Did President Obama cry wolf on the sequester,” “In the days leading up to the March 1 sequester deadline, dire warnings about its impact were being issued daily from President Obama. Lines at airports would be interminable. First responders would be compromised. Things would be, in a word, bad.”


At my advanced age, I can easily recognize political silliness when I see it.


According to Media Research Center’s Brent Baker, who wrote in an article titled, “Krauthammer: Obama on Charm Offensive Because ‘Media Could No Longer Cover for Him,’” “Charles Krauthammer credited President Obama’s charm offensive toward Republicans to his losing the news media which couldn’t any longer abide his ridiculous sequester ‘cut’ exaggerations.


Mr. Baker is the vice president for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center, a conservative media watchdog organization and think tank.


President Obama’s strongest constituency, which, according to Dr., Krauthammer, “is not the left, it’s the mainstream media, could no longer cover for him without being entirely embarrassed,” Krauthammer observed last Friday night on the Fox News Channel, “It had to expose the one exaggeration after another on the sequester.”


Dr. Krauthammer went on to observe that “the stuff about the janitors being laid off and all that which wasn’t so and, secondly, the obvious cynicism of the White House tours trying to inflict the maximum pain in order to make a case and to blame Republicans.


“That kind of partisanship has worked for the President since election night and through the fiscal cliff, but it crashed on the sequester. And that’s why I think he’s had to recalculate and now he’s become extremely charming.”


And what about those White House tours? Well, according to Scott Whitlock, who also writes for the Media Research Center, “World News's Jonathan Karl on Wednesday turned a uniquely skeptical eye on Barack Obama's decision to end White House tours in the wake of sequester,”


In his article, “ABC's Jon Karl Skeptically Questions Obama's Ending of White House Tours,” dated March 7, Mr. Whitlock noted: “Highlighting the President's claim that the decision was a financial necessity, (Mr. Karl) chided, ‘The President is having dinner tonight with Republicans at a restaurant just six blocks from here. He took a 20-car motorcade and, of course, lots of Secret Service agents.’[MP3 audio here.]”


“Talking to anchor Diane Sawyer, Karl joked: ‘Maybe next time, Diane, [Obama] can save a little money by just ordering in.’ Karl questioned the White House's claim that $84 million in cuts, out of a $1.6 billion budget for the Secret Service, caused the end of the tours. The journalist did the math: "Tours are open 20 hours a week and use 30 uniformed Secret Service officers at about $30 an hour. Total saved? Approximately $18,000 a week.”


Geoffrey Dickens reports for the Media Research Center, “MRC analysts reviewed all of the 88 sequestration stories, from when coverage began on February 14 through March 1 when the ‘cuts’ took effect, and found 58 (66 percent) of them advanced the most horrific Obama administration talking points.


“Another 10 offered the same scary forecasts but at least included the skeptical view that the sequestration reductions weren’t that big and their effects were being overhyped.”


In an article in Politico, on Monday, Darren Samuelson dares to simply state the obvious to everyone except the hardened Kool-Aid drinkers on the left, “President Barack Obama and his Cabinet got burned last month for overhyping the effects of $85 billion in spending cuts.


“Now federal agencies are grappling with a double-barreled problem: How to make those cuts real and then explain what they mean to a public that didn’t buy in to the hysteria the first time.”


Only time will tell if the mainstream media will be able to once again sweep this latest example of presidential ineptitude and prevarication under the rug.


Fortunately, the Media Research Center has preserved some of the best quotes by sycophant journalists who work as stenographers for the dear leader. “The three-page, fully-formatted, full-color PDF good for printing:”


Last week, while “MSNBC’s Chris Matthews (spent) President’s Day dreaming about Barack Obama showing up on Mount Rushmore (and) NBC’s Chuck Todd (fretted) about conservatives not going on liberal talk shows because their staffers ‘actually believe’ the ‘mythology’ that the media have a liberal bias…,” various talking heads fell all over each other making fools of themselves.


Then again, the Zombie Apocalypse could happen yet…


Meanwhile, just in case things take a turn for the worst, I am a member of the “Zombie Outbreak Response Team.”


I’m just saying…


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